Welcome to the MLB FanCave Favorites for today’s massive 14-game slate on Fanduel. In this plays of the day article, I will briefly highlight my top pitchers, my top stacks, my one lock to leave the yard, and my favorite one-off bats that I will be building my lineups around. Let’s jump right in!
Justin Verlander – Houston Astros – $11,300
It’s a close call between Verlander and Max Scherzer for me tonight, but Verlander is getting the edge. Both among the top pitchers in baseball at this moment, it will be very likely that they will have similar outings, but with a slight $400 discount I lean Verlander. He has faced Texas twice already this year, and has averaged 50.5 FP in those games. I expect another double-digit strikeout 50+ FP game, and I will have him locked in my lineups.
Tyler Skaggs – Los Angeles Angels – $8,200
When I research, one of the things I take into consideration when it comes to baseball is recent performance. Having spent most of life in the game, whether it be playing or coaching, I am a firm believer that when a guy is hot he is hot. Skaggs has quietly put together three solid games in a row against fierce opponents. In that span, he threw 17 2/3 innings, striking out 18 and giving up just four earned runs. One of those games was against the mighty Yankees at home, and even more impressive was that the other two were on the road at Houston and at Seattle! If you want a low owned guy on a slate with a ton of great options Skaggs could be your man.
(Also considered for GPP: Kevin Gausman $8,600, Jake Faria $7,300, Sonny Gray $6,400)
For cash games I do not tend to stack much, but sometimes entire teams are underpriced, or overpriced for that matter. When we have all of these stud pitchers over $11K in salary, if we want to find a good three man stack it will take some digging. Here is the best I found.
Philadelphia Phillies: (Aaron Altherr $2,900, Carlos Santana $3,700, Rhys Hoskins $4,100.)
I will start this with saying I wish Santana was still sub $3K as this stack would be lock and load with Verlander, but kudos to Fanduel for pricing him up, as he has been on an absolute tear. He is now riding a seven game hitting streak, with four long balls on the way. Hoskins’ production has taken a slight dive the last week or so, but I look for him to get back on track tonight against struggling Mets lefty Steven Matz. Altherr gives us some much needed value, along with the ability to also go yard at any time against a lefty. He has also slightly been heating up, after a decent series against the Giants.
Running this stack with Verlander only leaves us with $2,600 per spot for five more players. This is a tricky one and likely not an option. Until we see lineups and what value opens up, I will likely not run any stack in cash games. I will just search for value.
My GPP stacking strategy is a little different. Sometimes I like to go the full four-man stack, with maybe a three-man and one one-off. More often, I opt for the double three-man stacks with maybe a two-man or two one-offs. It really all depends on what’s left after the core is established. You will always want to stack to try to win tournaments. I like to pay down for pitcher usually unless there is a really cheap stack I like, and there is not one today. So with likely Skaggs or Gausman, here is my top GPP stack.
New York Yankees: (Didi Gregorius $4,100, Giancarlo Stanton $4,900, Neil Walker $2,600, Miguel Andujar $2,700)
The Yankees will get Kendall Graveman, after the Athletics found their rotation in shambles last night with Trevor Cahill landing on the DL. Graveman has been atrocious this year, posting an ERA of 8.89 in 28.1 innings. So the Yankees are in line to do some damage. This exact stack isn’t perfect, but at this price point and paired with Skaggs, we are left with an average of $3,125 per player, with four remaining roster spots. This is pretty much right where we want to be for the flexibility we need for those last four spots.
(Also considered for GPP: Houston Astros, Los Angeles Angels, Boston Red Sox)
Lock To Leave The Yard
Going to introduce something new here into FanCave Favorites as I will choose my top pick to hit a home run today. While I am doing my research, one of the first things I look for is who is going yard today. I usually find three or four I like, and try to sprinkle them in lineups as one-offs. Let’s find out who is my lock to leave the yard today.
George Springer – Houston Astros – $4,600
Springer was an easy choice today actually, as he faces Cole Hamels. It was never a great match-up in the past, but this year, Springer has been crushing Hamels. He had a two homer game against him in the most recent game, and another dong in his previous start early in the year. I am not going to give you $10 if he hits a home run if you retweet this on Twitter, but Springer is my top choice to leave the yard.
Top One-Off Bats
OF – Shohei Ohtani – Los Angeles Angels – $3,400
Ohtani hit another bomb last night and is consistently proving he is big time. He is now batting a cool .354 with five home runs and 16 RBI’s in his limited action thus far on the season. He gets to face veteran Lance Lynn tonight against the Twins, and he should be able to make some hard contact again today.
OF – Tommy Pham – St. Louis Cardinals – $3,700
Pham is a great story, grinding his way through all of his minor league options and constantly being pushed aside by the Cardinals. Now having established himself as top outfielder, he is leading off and batting .330 with six home runs in the early goings. Tonight he gets a lefty in Padres rookie Eric Lauer, and is in a favorable spot. Always a threat to steal when he gets on base, Pham is a legit threat, and should pay off his salary no problem in this situation.
SS – Max Moroff – Pittsburgh Pirates – $2,000
Lineups are pouring in and we find our first value play. Moroff will lead off today in Pittsburgh against Giants lefty Andrew Suarez. Priced at the minimum, and actually a good hitter against lefties, this will be your chalk value of the day.
2B – Chase Utley – Los Angeles Dodgers – $2,300
Another solid looking punt today, Utley should find himself in the lineup again after going 2-for-3 yesterday. The Dodgers are facing Matt Harvey in his first start for the Reds, and I know I want some Dodgers exposure. In the later slates at least, I will be stacking up Utley with Joc Pederson and Cody Bellinger. If you need the value for the main slate, Utley could be your guy if you are punting the position. If you are not paying up for Ozzie Albies, my recommendation is to punt.