Welcome to our MLB Daily Fantasy Breakdown! Today, we have a nice slate of Monday baseball.
After a few days of some pretty big slates, we’ll be slowing things down today with just 8 games. There are some very strong pitching options at the top, but there are also some options that are a little more affordable in the mid-tier. This should definitely make tournaments very fun tonight. 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:
STEPHEN STRASBURG – It isn’t often that you will go into a hitter’s park to make your pick for top pitching option of the day, but I do not have a problem doing that with Strasburg. We’ve seen this Diamondbacks lineup get shut down both at home and on the road, and it has happened against some pretty middle-tier pitching. Strasburg is one of the top strikeout arms in baseball, so his strikeout upside in this matchup is absolutely into double-digits. I think the Nationals should be able to pick Archie Bradley apart, making Strasburg a pretty good option for the win.
DANNY SALAZAR – Salazar has a really good matchup at home against the Minnesota Twins and Tyler Duffey. If you recall, Duffey did shut this Indians lineup down once already, but I can’t imagine that happening again. Salazar has just as much upside as Strasburg tonight, if not more, against a Twins team that isn’t great against right-handed pitching. He is in a better hitting environment that Strasburg as well. I think he’s more likely to implode than Strasburg, which puts him firmly as our top tournament play of the day.
JIMMY NELSON – If you want to go cheap and play it really risky in tournaments, Jimmy Nelson is your guy. He can definitely put together an outing that gets himself into the 50 point range, or he could get knocked around and finish under 20. The Padres lost one of their top bats when Matt Kemp was traded, but he also struck out a lot. Still, this lineup is less potent without him, so they should be continued targets in MLB DFS.
JONATHAN LUCROY – For whatever reason, Lucroy did not see fit to want to play for a team that could seriously contend for a championship this year. Instead, he will stick with Milwaukee, as they head to San Diego in their series against the Padres. Jared Cosart was traded to the team a few days ago, and has not been good in his limited time playing this year. I like Lucroy’s chances at having a nice outing tonight.
WILSON RAMOS – Archie Bradley hasn’t exactly been a bad pitcher against right-handed batters, but this is more about the hitter and the atmosphere. Ramos has been one of the best hitting catchers this year, and this stadium is known to see the ball fly. Bradley can definitely give up some extra-base hits, and I certainly see that being the case tonight. Ramos is a good play in both formats.
MIKE NAPOLI – Tyler Duffey has looked a lot worse since the first time he shut down the Tribe. I think hitters are on to him, and I expect that to be the case with the Indians today. One of my favorite plays is Napoli, as he has really good upside in a matchup like this. I could definitely see him adding to his home run totals on the year, and even if he doesn’t, should see some action through walks and runs scored.
KENNYS VARGAS – On the opposite side of this game, I would look to Vargas. He is priced under $3k on FanDuel, making him an appealing option. He seems to bring something to the table every night, very rarely posting a goose egg. He does have power as well, and Salazar will have some outings where he gives up home runs. I prefer him more in tournaments than cash games.
SCOOTER GENNETT – Gennett gets an even better matchup than Lucroy, as he gets the split advantage. I expect this Brewers team to score some runs, and Gennett is always a threat to take one deep off a lower-tier righty. He’s priced a little higher than I’d like, but I still think it’s fair for this matchup.
RYAN SCHIMPF – Schimpf has seen his price come up to $2.7k, and in my opinion, it is still too cheap. While I could see Nelson dominating this Padres lineup, I could also see it being a situation where the Padres beat him up. Schimpf has shown a power stroke, and at his price, that is what we want in tournaments. I actually don’t mind playing him in cash games either, as he let’s you spend a little extra at other positions.
KRIS BRYANT – Bryant is my favorite play at the position tonight as the Cubs move from their series against the Mariners to the Marlins tonight. Adam Conley is a decent pitcher, but Bryant is an excellent hitter, and this is a matchup that I want to exploit. He is always highly owned in tournaments, so if he has a big game and you don’t have ownership, your night is over.
WILMER FLORES – Flores isn’t the most exciting option on the board, but at his price, coupled with a matchup against a beatable CC Sabathia, Flores makes a nice tournament play. We’ve seen Flores put together some good outings this year, and this could very easily be another one. I think he’ll carry relatively low ownership, so he makes an excellent tournament pivot tonight.
XANDER BOGAERTS – Bogaerts is in play every night for the most part, but he is most definitely in play when he gets a matchup against a low-tier lefty. James Paxton fits that bill to a tee, so we should line Bogaerts up tonight. His upside is pretty significant in this matchup, and his price is pretty affordable. I think you’ll see high ownership on him tonight.
DANNY ESPINOSA – Espinosa has been on a relative cold streak, after having a month of June where he was very good. This matchup is still very good for him, as Archie Bradley can give up big outings, and this Nationals team is good enough to put runs up on the board in bunches. I like Espinosa to be a low owned option tonight that could have a big game and separate you from the pack.
NELSON CRUZ – Cruz made this article yesterday, where he was much cheaper. His price jumped, but he still feels underpriced in this matchup being under $3k. Eduardo Rodriguez has disappointed us by having a few good games, but I think this Mariners lineup should be able to put some runs up against him. I like Cruz to be a part of that, and have a nice outing.
FRANKLING GUTIERREZ – Gutierrez saw his price jump almost $1k from Sunday to Monday, which is kind of crazy, but at the same time, this pricing algorithm tries to price according to matchup. It’s clear that he is in a good position, and could see a bit of a lower ownership as a result of the price being a little bit higher.
STEVE PEARCE – Pearce is priced at $3.2k for this matchup against Danny Duffy. I do think that Danny Duffy is a good enough pitcher, but he is still prone to the long ball and big outings, so I want to have some exposure to Rays righties. Pearce is high on my list, as he should be able to put together a nice game for his price.
TRAVIS JANKOWSKI – Jankowski certainly hasn’t been setting the world on fire with his play lately, but it is still a good spot for him against Jimmy Nelson. Jankowski is a very fast dude, so if he is able to get on base, there is a good chance that he will be able to take a bag or two. Those add up quick in daily fantasy.
MICHAEL SAUNDERS – Saunders is priced really well for this matchup. Doug Fister is so frustrating for daily fantasy players, as he doesn’t seem to give up big outings, but I think this Blue Jays team is one that could give him some fits. He’s getting walk a lot too, which not only gets him points, but also opportunities to get driven in, or to steal bases.