Welcome to our MLB Daily Fantasy Breakdown! Today, we have a nice slate of Friday baseball.
Wow – yesterday was quite the high scoring day, and that might be putting it lightly! It’s been awhile since we’ve seen that many teams hit double digits – and it was a short slate! Tonight, the pitching options look much, much better, and I don’t think you need to spend over five digits to find good production. That is something I am very happy about. We’ve got some games in good hitter’s parks, as well as some gas cans on the mound, so overall, this should be a fun night! 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:
YU DARVISH – It is hard to ignore what Darvish has been able to do since coming off the disabled list. He’s been very consistent, with a high floor, but surprisingly a low ceiling. He’s striking out well over a batter an inning, but the problem is that he’s not making it too far into games. The Tigers are a team that we shouldn’t love to play a pitcher against, but Darvish is good enough that I’m not concerned at all. He should be in line for a win against Anibal Sanchez, and makes my top play of the day in cash games.
JONATHAN GRAY – Gray hasn’t been as consistent as Darvish, as he turned in two single digit performances in his last ten, but he’s got a higher ceiling, which feels weird saying. The matchup here is excellent against the Phillies, who he should be able to dominate. His strikeout rate is also over one batter per inning, which is a plus here too. A win is likely here as well, and I think he’s got a pretty good shot at an outing in the mid-50’s.
DYLAN BUNDY – It’s great to see Bundy finally putting things together, after being such a highly touted prospect for so long. The Giants aren’t the best opposition, but I’m not really that scared away. Bundy is striking batters out at exactly one per inning, and should very well be able to see 7 innings. A win should happen here against Matt Cain. 7 innings, 7 strikeouts and a win could allow him to be the best points per dollar play of the evening.
SANDY LEON – Leon had a red-hot start to his season, and after cooling off for a brief period, seems to be back to his old tricks again. Patrick Corbin is a matchup that should suit Leon well, and his price is still fair enough that you will be able to build a strong lineup using him. The Red Sox should give him plenty of opportunities to knock in runs.
MIKE ZUNINO – Zunino is an excellent power hitter, but his floor is dangerously low. He’s just as likely to have a three home run night as he is a four-strikeout night. He should be considered against Sean Manaea, and he comes in as our top potential home run threat tonight. He’s priced at a nice price, and could be the highest scoring catcher on the slate if things go right.
JOEY VOTTO – Votto comes in as my top first base play tonight, but only ever so slightly. The matchup here against Jimmy Nelson is ideal, as he has just been awful as of late. Votto has been on a nice little mini-roll lately, and I think without questions there is a good chance he puts together a big outing tonight.
MIKE NAPOLI – It is amazing to see the year Napoli is having. He’s only been in single digits once over his last ten games, while having six home runs in that span. This is about the third time this has occurred with Napoli this year, so when he gets hot, I run him. Tyler Skaggs has been great and awful in his first two matchups, and a mixed bag at pitcher is not what you want to go into Cleveland with.
JOSE ALTUVE – The Astros went bonkers yesterday, scoring 25 runs over two games. That is just obnoxious. Fortunately, if you read our article, you probably had some exposure to Carlos Correa and George Springer, who both had two huge games. Today, it should be Altuve’s day, as he gets a lefty in Francisco Liriano that he should absolutely dominate. He’ll cost you, but there is no question he has huge upside.
SCOOTER GENNETT – Gennett also made our list yesterday, and he did not disappoint, notching his belt with a 25 point performance. Tonight, he gets another good matchup against Homer Bailey, and we are going back to the well again. He’s cheap, and he’s got big upside so he’s a guy you at least want to consider in tournaments.
MARTIN PRADO – Prado has been very good this year, and is priced excellently in this matchup at just $3k. He’ll get Carlos Rodon, who is still developing as a pitcher, and has been wild this year. Prado isn’t a huge power hitter, but he can definitely put together big fantasy games in other ways. I like him a lot tonight.
DANNY VALENCIA – Tonight, Valencia will get Ariel Miranda in a matchup that favors him very well. We know that he is very good against left-handed pitching, and Miranda is still trying to get his footing. I like his chances to have a big outing, and much like Prado, is far too cheap for the matchup he is in.
MARCUS SEMIEN – Semien profiles in a lot of the same ways as Valencia this year, so typically when Valencia makes a good play, Semien does as well. Semien is actually just slightly more expensive than Valencia, but they both make really nice plays tonight. I think he should be in for a good game tonight.
WILMER DIFO – There is no telling if Difo will start at all, but if he does, he makes a very nice punt option at minimum price tonight. Mike Foltynewicz has been pretty bad this year, and especially bad against left-handed batters. Difo is going to be a good player, and this presents a really nice option if he does indeed make the lineup.
MARCEL OZUNA – Ozuna has slowed down a lot at the plate recently, but he is always a good play when he goes up against a poor left-handed pitcher. I think it’s safe to say that Carlos Rodon qualifies for that, so we definitely want to look into him tonight. He’s priced fairly at $3.1k, and should be used in tournaments only.
JAKE SMOLINSKI – Smolinski is only getting in the lineup when he goes up against a left-handed pitcher. Tonight, he should be in there, and if he does, he’s priced at a good spot. He should carry relatively low ownership, and does have a fair amount of power upside. Again, I would only use him in tournaments.
DAVID DAHL – What a start Dahl has gone through in his initial call-up to the big leagues! Tonight, he’ll get Jake Thompson in what should be an ideal matchup for him. He’s very hot at the plate, and while it isn’t Coors, Philly is a pretty attractive hitting environment as well. I like him in both formats tonight.
NELSON CRUZ – Initially, I was going to put Franklin Gutierrez here, but with the price difference at only $700, I would much rather go with Cruz who is hitting the ball really well right now. WE know he has major power upside, especially against left-handers. Sean Manaea should have a tough time with this Mariners lineup tonight.
GEORGE SPRINGER – After a very successful Thursday, I want to go back to the well with Springer. He’s one of the best options in either format on the day, and I think he should be able to put another good outing together. Liriano should really struggle with this Astros lineup, and they should be a popular stack tonight.