Each day I will be providing my recommended player picks for your FanDuel daily fantasy baseball lineups. The goal is to help you build the optimal cash game (50/50s/double-ups/head-to-head) lineup. Make sure to double check the weather on the RotoGrinders’ Weather Page before making your lineups!
On this first NFL Sunday of the 2017 season, the MLB provides us with a 9 game “main slate”. This may be a great day to profit in cash games and GPPs alike as many DFSers may be focused on NFL.
Madison Bumgarner — San Francisco Giants — $9,700 — I don’t love the pitching on the main slate, but I feel most comfortable rostering Madison Bumgarner as a high-end arm if you are looking to pay up here. The LHP does get a negative park shift and he is striking out just 8.47 K/9 in only 14 starts, but the White Sox are hitting LHP to the tune of just a .318 wOBA (with 95 wRC+) in the second half of the season. Bumgarner’s price is below where it has been over the past few seasons, which is in line where it should be, but there is value to be had as Chicago has the eighth-worst K% in major league baseball against southpaws since mid-July. If you are looking to save some cap room here, each of the plays listed below are fairly safe cash plays given their opponents’ lineups.
Low-Tier: A.J. Cole (WAS)
J.T. Realmuto — Miami Marlins — $2,500 — The top play at the position is Buster Posey, but he may get the day off, which makes Nick Hundley an even better play for the reasons set forth below in this article. Instead, I wanted to focus on J.T. Realmuto, who has a .160 ISO and .313 wOBA against RHP this season. He will get a favorable park shift to SunTrust Park in Cumberland, Georgia and will face RHP R.A. Dickey, who is allowing RHBs to hit to a .355 wOBA. You can target the Marlins power right-handed bats in this contest, especially the value hitters like Realmuto, which allows you to pay up for your SP and SS.
Mid-Tier: Buster Posey (SF)
Freddie Freeman — Atlanta Braves — $4,200 — The Atlanta Braves offense is in a great spot at home this afternoon and will be hitting against RHP Odrisamer Despaigne, who has only struck out 4.58 batters per nine through 35 innings of work in the majors this season. The fact that his xFIP of 6.02 is substantially higher than his current 3.57 ERA indicates that there is more room for regression. The Braves lefties should take advantage of this against Despaigne, who has allowed LHBs to hit to a .343 wOBA this season. In his shortened season, Freeman has hit to a .444 wOBA against RHPs and his offense should hang at least four on Despaigne.
Low-Tier: Mitch Moreland (BOS)
Joe Panik — San Francisco Giants — $3,200 — On the main slate, I expect the San Francisco Giants offense to be the chalk play against RHP Carson Fulmer who has just a 4.50 K/9 to go along with his awful 9.92 xFIP. Of course, we have a sample size of just six innings for the 23-year-old, but the Giants, especially the lefties, should rake off Palmer in Guaranteed Rate Field. Joe Panik has been seeing the ball well with three multi-hit games in three of his last four games. He is priced as a mid-tier option, which feels like a bargain against a young pitcher in a hitters’ park.
Low-Tier: Gavin Cecchini (NYM)
Trea Turner — Washington Nationals — $4,300 — Imagine what could have been if Trea Turner had not missed much of the season due to injury. The Nationals held him out the perfect amount of time as Turner has gone hitless in only three of 11 games since his return to the lineup. The shortstop gets to hit against RHP Ben Lively, who has a low K/9 and is allowing RHBs to hit to a .319 wOBA against him. Turner hits right-handed pitching well (.357 wOBA vs RHP) and in a game where the Nationals have one of the highest implied run totals, you want exposure to the top five batters in the lineup.
Mid-Tier: Paul DeJong (STL)
Low-Tier: Ryan Goins (TOR)
Josh Donaldson — Toronto Blue Jays — $3,700 — This suggested play has everything to do with the fact that picking on Anibal Sanchez is one of my favorite past times. I circle every one of Sanchez’s starts on my calendar and attack him with both LHBs and RHBs. The RHP has allowed LHBs to hit to a .369 wOBA and righties have hit to a .418 wOBA this season. Righties have hit over three HRs per nine and the Blue Jays patient offense should have the ability to wait out Sanchez’s poor command. Donaldson is having a down season, which has been shortened due to injury, but he is priced below where he should be and is a safe cash game play at third in what will be a high-scoring contest. Just make sure that the third baseman is in the lineup and has recovered from an illness that has kept him out of the lineup for the last two games. If Donaldson doesn’t go, grab Anthony Rendon or an even cheaper option listed below.
Mid-Tier: Anthony Rendon (WAS)
Giancarlo Stanton — Miami Marlins — $4,400 — The 27-year-old outfielder got the night off Friday evening and it seemed to help yesterday as he recorded his 54th homerun. He gets to face R.A. Dickey today and he has an un-ignorable 1.024 OPS against the knuckleballer. On a slate where we are searching deep to come up with safe cash game plays, it feels great knowing that we can safely roster Stanton and his .342 ISO and .400 wOBA against RHP. The Marlins have one of the higher implied run totals this afternoon and are in play in the hitters’ park in Atlanta.
Denard Span — San Francisco Giants — $3,300 — You are going to roster this mid-tier outfielder for the same reasons that you are rostering Joe Panik at second base. The Giants have one of the highest implied run totals on the day and get to face Carson Fulmer and his 9.92 xFIP. Batters have hit the eighth-most total homeruns this season at Guaranteed Rate Field and you should have exposure to at least three hitters from the visiting team in your cash game lineups. Span should have a favorable spot in the San Francisco batting order and he is hitting RHP to a tune of a .342 wOBA this season.