Welcome to our MLB Daily Fantasy Breakdown! Today, we have a nice slate of Saturday baseball.
Last night was an interesting one to say the least. Our picks were either really good or, quite frankly, really bad. It’s important to note that a lot of times when we say “tournament play”, we mean that there is a nice upside, but also a big downside, a la Matz and Nova. We’d done pretty good this week hitting on some really cheap pitching options, but yesterday was the exception to the rule. We’ll look to get back on track today with a few different slates being offered up on both FanDuel and Draftkings. Let’s make tonight a good one, as there are a number of great contests that are being offered on FanDuel. If you don’t have an account, use our link to sign up for FanDuel.
Today, we will break everything down position by position. If you like what you see, don’t hesitate to follow us on Twitter @researchandwin and let us know we helped you or yell at us for leading you down the wrong path. Also, make sure to check out our baseball research portal by clicking on this sentence.
With that out of the way, let’s move on to the picks:
ANTHONY DESCLAFANI – Yes, Anthony Desclafani makes our top pitching play today. He’s been extremely consistent for his price, and gets the best matchup on the board against the San Diego Padres. Even better, he gets this matchup in San Diego, which is a much better pitcher’s park than The Great American Smallpark in Cincinnati. He makes an easy cash game play for me today, as he should be extremely safe, and has a pretty good floor in the contest as well. There is some risk there, because we know the Reds pitching can be bad, and the bullpen is still suboptimal, but I will take the upside.
JUSTIN VERLANDER – Verlander is the second pitcher I am going to consider tonight. On the year, he has been pretty good, and faces a Houston team that can definitely give up big performances to pitchers. They still strike out a ton, and if Verlander has his stuff going, it could be a huge outing. The problem here is that the Astros are also a very potent offense, and if Verlander is misplacing his pitches, it will be a quick outing for him. I am going to side with him being in good shape tonight, but I think I’d rather save the money and run with DeSclafani. It’s worth noting that I think Verlander has more upside.
JULIO TEHERAN – The final pitcher I am looking at today, but only in tournaments, is Julio Teheran. We know a few things about Teheran. The first is that he is a very good pitcher, and an even better one at home. We also know that he struggles with lefties, and outside of Odubel Herrera, I’m not sure the Phillies really have any frightening lefties. Finally, and most unfortunate but important, his team basically provides no runs for him when he pitches. His opposition will be Jeremy Hellickson, who as well is a good, underrated and developing pitcher, but I think this is a matchup that speaks to Hellickson’s weaknesses. Because of that, I think Julio is a good bet for the win, and should see his usual amount of strikeouts in the process.
WELLINGTON CASTILLO – I initially had Grandal as the top play, but the prices and matchup for Castillo is too much to ignore. He’s sitting at only $2.5k on FanDuel, and that makes him a steal based on matchup and current production. We know he likes to hit lefties, and Scott Kazmir hasn’t exactly been setting the world on fire. He makes a great option for both cash games and tournaments tonight.
YASMANI GRANDAL – I love the spot for Grandal tonight if he gets the start against Braden Shipley. Shipley isn’t yet ready for the big leagues, but he’ll have to do his best to take down a Dodgers team that put up nine runs last night. He’s got serious upside in a contest like this, and only comes in second because of his price.
MIKE NAPOLI – Dillon Overton is a prime candidate to get torn apart by the Indians tonight. I love the Tribe when they are playing at home, and especially when they get a subpar pitcher. Napoli is having the best year he’s had in quite some time, so I think it is important to ride that strike. He is priced up on both sides, but he also has very serious upside in a matchup like this.
MIGUEL CABRERA – Cabrera is a different story between FanDuel and DraftKings. On FanDuel, he is about fifteenth on the list of first basemen, but on DK he is the highest priced option. I would expect very, very high ownership on FanDuel, and probably a pretty decent one on DK as well. Mike Fiers should not be able to win the matchup here, and Miggy is starting to turn things on after a pretty lengthy drought.
ROUGNED ODOR – Odor is playing some pretty unbelievable ball right now, and I will definitely look for him to continue his hot play tonight in this matchup against Ian Kennedy. While Kennedy has been a good pitcher at times, I can definitely see this Rangers lineup giving him fits tonight. He is reasonably priced on both sites and should return a nice score tonight.
RYAN SCHIMPF – Schimpf is a guy who makes this column basically anytime he is taking on a right-hander. While DeSclafani is my favorite play on the night, I do think there is a chance he will give up a few runs. If he does, Schimpf is a guy I am looking at to be involved. He is really consistent, and provides some power upside, but more importantly, is dirt-cheap. I wouldn’t use him in cash games, but he does make a nice tournament play.
KRIS BRYANT – It’s unfortunate that I’ve made it this far in the article without picking on Wade Miley. You should do it. He isn’t a great pitcher, and he is going to struggle with this Cubs lineup. Bryant is expensive, but this is a really good situation for him, and I expect him to have a very nice outing. Unfortunately, he’s only available in the early slates.
WILMER FLORES – I would assume Flores will see the lineup today, and I think this makes a nice opportunity for him in tournaments. While Jorge de la Rosa has been better since a stint in the bullpen, he isn’t a pitcher we are going to shy away from targeting. I would expect reasonably low ownership on Flores today, making him the ideal tournament option at the position.
COREY SEAGER – Seager is going to make a number of my lineups today, as he gets the best matchup on the board in my opinion against Braden Shipley. I expect the Dodgers to continue to score runs tonight, and Seager will be a big part of it. His price is excellent on FanDuel, but a bit high on DraftKings. Either way, I will have a nice share of ownership on both sites.
ALEDMYS DIAZ – Diaz is still an underpriced commodity on FanDuel, though he is Seager’s equal on DraftKings. I think he should have a field day against Colin Rae making his debut against the Marlins tonight, and will be in most of my lineups that do not have Seager in them.
YOENIS CESPEDES – If this is a good matchup for Wilmer Flores, then it is definitely a good matchup for Cespedes. He hasn’t exactly been setting the world on fire lately, but, especially in tournaments, I’ll take my chances with him. He’s got great upside in this contest, and this is a loaded position today, so he could see lower ownership than usual.
STARLING MARTE – Marte is another guy I really like tonight. He’s been very reliable in recent times, and gets another strong matchup here against Chase Anderson. Sure, sometimes Anderson can deliver a gem, but for the most part, he is someone we want to target. Marte is going to be one of those guys I really have a lot of exposure to tonight, as I feel he’s got a big game in him.
MARCELL OZUNA – I think Ozuna will be overlooked tonight, because of the fact that there are a lot of other matchups to exploit, but I am a big fan of using him. He’s going through a little bit of a down period here, but he has some nice upside against Jaime Garcia tonight, as he is one of the best at hitting left-handed pitching on the year. I won’t have a ton of ownership of him, but he’ll be in my mix tonight.
RAJAI DAVIS – I can see Davis being the key to it all tonight. He’s priced as the sixth most expensive outfielder on FanDuel, and is priced up on DraftKings as well. I expect this to cause lower ownership on him tonight, and I’ll gladly take it. He’s been awfully quiet lately, and tonight could be the night he goes boom. He should be leading off and he makes an excellent tournament play.
MICHAEL SAUNDERS – Saunders is in a good position tonight against Yovani Gollardo. He’s hitting well on the year, and this matchup should be a good one for him to take advantage of. I like a lot of the Blue Jays tonight, but Saunders is my favorite.