This article outlines the best daily fantasy MLB plays of the day at every position. We take a comprehensive look to uncover these core recommendations, factoring respective salaries into the analysis.
Please note, these player picks were organized early in the day. For MLB contests, always check lineups and weather closer to game time. Rain, wind, or unexpected managerial decisions could open up additional sources of value. Be sure to keep an eye on the MLB Headlines and Injuries desk.
The six-game main slate on DraftKings and FanDuel excludes the 4:05pm ET games. Those account for many of the best pitchers available today. Yahoo! counts them as part of their main contest so I’ll list a few in the “also consider” section.
San Diego Padres at Colorado Rockies – In a small slate, all eyes will be on Coors Field. Both clubs have plenty of down-lineup pivots to help diversify what will be very chalky stacks. Neither Zach Davies nor Antonio Senzatela are downright terrible, but we should expect them to struggle at altitude. Especially Davies. Senzatela has years of experience on his side.
Rays at Tommy Milone – Milone, a homer-prone southpaw, is tasked with neutralizing a heavily platooned Rays lineup. Advantage Rays.
Braves vs David Peterson – I happen to believe Peterson will have a long career (barring injury), but his second outing is liable to be a challenge versus the division rival Braves. They offer a high hurdle for any southpaw hurler.
Aaron Civale – Indians (at Twins) – Yahoo: $37, DK: $9600, FD: $8400
In a typical slate, we wouldn’t be considering Civale with this matchup and at this price. He’s expensive for what amounts to an expectation of five innings, three runs allowed, and four strikeouts. The main reason you should consider paying up is that he’s very simply the most talented pitcher available on DraftKings and FanDuel (Yahoo! players have up to three better options listed below). The Indians righty has a diverse five-pitch repertoire and the command to mess with hitters. He’s a pitchability guy who has consistently outperformed his peripherals both in the minors and majors.
Travis d’Arnaud – Braves (vs David Peterson) – Yahoo: $13, DK: $4000, FD: $2700
The Braves sat d’Arnaud yesterday so he’d be available for this contest. The Mets are calling upon a southpaw with a high ground ball rate. This is Peterson’s first big test after a fairly friendly matchup with the Red Sox last week (they’re susceptible to both southpaws and ground ball pitchers). There’s a chance he’ll be knocked from the game early, exposing a struggling bullpen. D’Arnaud did the majority of his damage against left-handed pitchers last season, although it’s too small a sample to draw any firm conclusions about his platoon abilities.
This is an affordable Coors Field pivot. Much of the attention will be focused on the big names. On DraftKings, where Wil Myers is first base eligible, Murphy will be overshadowed by the visiting Padres. He was never fully healthy last season in what should have been a coming out party. The spacious pastures of Coors Field are perfect for Murphy’s style of hitting. With his balanced approach, multiple hits with run production are always on the table. In fact, only Myers is more likely to deliver a hit among possible first basemen. This high floor comes at a cost, he only projects for around a one-in-ten chance to homer.
With Eric Hosmer battling a case of gastritis, France has a chance to start at first base. He’s still listed as a second baseman on Yahoo! and DraftKings. Last season in Triple-A, France blasted 27 home runs in 348 plate appearances. The run environment in El Paso is roughly analogous to Coors Field. While the righty has merely tread water since reaching the majors, he’s shown plenty of positive traits such as copious hard, pulled contact. Most Padres stacks will exclude France. You can use him to diversify your stack or merely as a one-off.
Jake Cronenworth (1B on DK, SS on Y! and FD) might draw this start instead of France.
Yesterday, I gave a tempered recommendation for Diaz as a GPP pivot. Today, I’m emphatically all aboard the Diaz bandwagon. Facing a southpaw can only be a good thing for Diaz, but my main concern when considering his viability is the opposing pitcher’s batted ball profile. Milone is an extreme fly ball guy. Diaz needs a little help getting under the ball. When he does, he has almost Stanton-esque power. Milone is exactly the boost he needs. Dollar-for-dollar, Diaz is the best third baseman in this slate. Our Rotoworld Player Projections concur.
This should sound familiar. Adames is a ground ball hitter who has surprisingly solid power when he lifts the ball. Milone, by virtue of being an extreme fly ball pitcher, will help Adames to generate that lift. As a result, he projects for a one-in-five chance to homer. That is on par with the Coors Field shortstops for a fraction of the price. Of course, Adames is more dependent on potential home runs to return value for his DFS managers. He’s best-used as a GPP pivot.
Luis Robert (at Jake Junis) – Yahoo: $16, DK: $3600, FD: $2800
Now that he’s been bumped to leadoff, Robert is a superb value in a slate stuffed to the gills with expensive Coors-based outfielders. The precocious prospect is looking like Javier Baez reborn. No regular has a higher swinging strike rate than Robert. He’s staved off a disastrous strikeout rate by swinging at everything. And when he connects, he does serious damage. Junis is unlikely to induce many whiffs, and he’s prone to mistakes over the plate. The Royals bullpen is also exploitable.
The reasons you want to use Diaz and Adames should give you pause before tossing Renfroe into your lineup. As a fly ball hitter, facing a fly ball pitcher can be a recipe for pop-ups. Even with this risk, Renfroe is one of the best hitter values. Like Adames, he’s a healthy GPP pivot if you’re in search of high volatility and home runs. If he struggles against Milone he’ll still get a couple cracks at one of the worst bullpens in recent memory.