Thursday brings us only six games for Fantasy Baseball this week. For daily we’ve got a limited talent pool to choose from, and limited may be a generous term. Vegas expects only two games to score eight combined runs, Tampa Bay/Toronto and Kansas City/Minnesota, so offense could be tricky.
On top of that the list of starting pitchers for the day has plenty of questions attached. On days like this the wise daily player can still take advantage. With only one dominant ace out there and no real obvious power righties facing terrible left handed pitching it might be a day to up the percentage of investment in tournaments while decreasing your cash games. Daily players are going to have to take a shot on some risky plays today and the ones that get it right will reap the rewards.
I do really enjoy days where you don’t see 70% ownership of a bunch of players and today is looking like one of those days. So, what does my FanDuel strategy look like on such a day? Read on to find out. In case you are wondering, costs below are Fanduel prices.
Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco vs. Arizona, $10,500
The Giants are heavily favored in this game, the total runs are projected at 6.5, Bumgarner has already beaten Arizona this year, and he’s pitching at home in a good pitcher’s park so this would seem like the obvious choice for a no brainer pitcher. Still, I’m just a little concerned with the three inning outing he had in his last start and the Diamondbacks have been a little scrappy so far this season. This is still your safest bet, but you will have to pay for it.
Cole Hamels, Philadelphia at Washington, $9,900
Hamels always seems to produce with strikeouts and is an above average pitcher. The question is whether he gets any run support and the win. Fanduel is heavily weighted towards the W for your pitcher so there is always some risk starting Hamels when you play on that site.
Chris Archer, Tampa Bay at Toronto, $8,600
I view Archer as a long shot tournament play today. He looked very good in his last start and has ten K’s on the season through two starts. Toronto has a formidable lineup but there are some holes and the big bats are righties. I am guessing Archer is barely owned, but has a chance to surprise.
Archie Bradley, Arizona at San Francisco $5,000
Bradley is one of the cheapest starting pitchers at Fanduel today. If you really want to go out on a limb, do you think the Diamondbacks young gun can take down another Giant? He got the better of Kershaw in his first start and goes against Bumgarner this time. You are going against the mainstream if you go down this path, but rooting for the underdog is always fun, right?
Buster Posey, San Francisco vs. Arizona, $4,300
Catcher is even more thin than usual today. When in doubt you can always pay for Posey and avoid the torment over which punt option to take.
Salvador Perez, Kansas City at Minnesota, $3,800
The Royals catcher is about the only other obvious pick for this position today. The Royals are playing well on offense and they are going up against a rookie that throws from the left today.
J.T. Realmuto, Miami at NY Mets, $2,200
If Miami’s catching prospect is in the lineup you have a new punt option. Miami just called up Realmuto so he will be a cheap alternative that will allow you to load up elsewhere. If he does end up in the Marlins lineup, which is a substantial if, you can hope he gets a hit or two and maybe even steals a base. That’s right, he’s a catcher that can steal bases!
Lucas Duda, NY Mets vs. Miami, $3,900
Duda is now hitting .353 so far this year and hits 50 points better against right handed pitchers for his career. He has loads of power and is a threat to take the ball out of the park anytime he steps into the box.
Brandon Belt, San Francisco vs. Arizona, $3,200
Belt is affordable but hasn’t done much beyond pull his groin so far this year. Today he is facing the rookie from Arizona. If Archie Bradley isn’t able to string together two solid starts Belt has a chance to add some counting stats to his season.
Kendrys Morales, Kansas City at Minnesota, $3,000
The Royals are playing lights out right now and Morales is on board with the rest of the offense. He’s hitting .375 and worth riding while he’s hot.
Dee Gordon, Miami at NY Mets, $4,200
While Billy Hamilton has been getting all the attention, Dee Gordon has quietly stolen six bases while hitting .378 in the leadoff spot for the Marlins. If the Marlins get on the board today chances are Gordon is going to be part of it.
Devon Travis, Toronto vs. Tampa Bay, $2,500
At this price Travis is worth a little risk here. Chris Archer has been pitching well and Travis is hitting left handed pitching much better than right handed pitchers like Archer so far this spring. However, he’s still been a pleasant surprise in the Jays lineup and is a cheap alternative that might still generate some positive return on investment.
Alcides Escobar, Kansas City at Minnesota, $3,200
It seems like all of Kansas City’s lineup is hitting over .350, Escobar included at his current .412 average. All of these Royals hitters are the easiest offensive players to target today against the Twins young left hander.
Tim Beckham, Tampa Bay at Toronto, $2,200
While he’s likely stuck at the bottom of the order Beckham is still found at rock bottom pricing on Fanduel. He’s been playing regularly, been hitting and even has a home run on his short resume already. If you want to go cheap at shortstop Beckham is your guy.
Josh Donaldson, Toronto vs. Tampa Bay, $3,900
The new Blue Jays infielder got off to a slow start but has been finding some rhythm over the last few games. He’s yet to hit a long ball this year and is overdue. I don’t like the matchup against Archer, but I just have a feeling there’s a breakout game coming here anytime.
Cody Asche, Philadelphia at Washington, $2,700
Ashe is probably a tournament play going against Doug Fister on a team that likely won’t score many runs today, but he’s hitting .500 and that price is very attractive.
Jose Bautista, Toronto vs. Tampa Bay, $4,700
This is a lot of money to pay for a guy that hasn’t performed to his expected level to start the season. However, Bautista has homered twice in the last four games and appears to be waking up. Vegas thinks this game should have the highest score of the day and if Archer breaks down Joey Bats could wreak havoc.
Lorenzo Cain, Kansas City at Minnesota, $3,600
Cain has at least one hit in every game he’s played in so far this year. He’s hitting third in a red hot lineup and has a .387 average with an OBP of .474. While he may not hit two home runs today, he’s an almost lock to get on base a couple times and generate points.
A.J. Pollock, Arizona at San Francisco, $3,100
Pollock started out strong this season but Ender Inciarte has been even better and has eaten into Pollock’s time. With Mad Bum on the mound Pollock and his right handed bat should be slotted into the starting lineup. I think there’s a chance the D-Backs get to Bumgarner a little and Pollock might be a sneaky play.
Kevin Kiermaier, Tampa Bay at Toronto, $3,000
Tampa Bay has a little more offense than everyone thought. Kiermaier has picked up where he left off last year and has been seeing the ball well. He’s at .321 with two homers and five other extra base hits. I think Tampa might score some runs today and I want a couple Rays in my lineup.