Welcome to May, as new month kicks off and things start to get a bit more serious around baseball. To wit, this weekend already features big series between the Yankees and Red Sox, Mets and Nationals, Tigers and Royals, Pirates and Cardinals, a nice interleague matchup of the Angels and Giants, and the weird quirk of the Orioles and Rays playing in Tampa but with Baltimore being the home team.
This means that playing daily fantasy over the weekend will serve as the icing on the cake, as it can only add to the fun of watching what should already be fascinating games. It all starts today, with a semi-full slate that includes 14 games for FanDuel (all but the early Brewers-Cubs game), and plenty of chances to get back on track after a listless Thursday.
So start here, browse around the interwebs for extra research, and be ready to make some money with FanDuel's daily fantasy baseball.
Friday, May 1st
Locks: 7:05 ET (Rays @ Orioles)
By the projected Thursday lineup, yesterday was a very unfortunate slate for my team. I really hope you went with Mike Leake (15 points) as the starting pitcher, because Chris Sale laid a negative-1 egg to bury all hopes of another monster day. The offense had its ups and downs, ultimately setting at 7.50 points to cap off the mediocre showing. I feel much more confident about today, so it's only a matter of getting back on track.
It appears as if the baseball gods are really happy this Friday, as nothing but sunny skies and perfect ballgame weather is listed on the forecast. Not even the wind should be a factor today, so be confident in picking any player on any game.
Biggest Money Line Favorites
In what is turning out to be an almost daily tradition, the Phillies are the biggest underdog of the day, as Miami is -160 to beat them. Both the Dodgers and A's stand at -145 in their respective games (even as Oakland plays on the road), while the Cardinals and Padres are -140 favorites to close out the day.
All over/unders for the day stand between 7 and 8.5 runs, though early Vegas movements are leaning more toward the overs, so be careful of any line movements. It should be an average scoring day by these projections.
Pitcher – Anthony deSclafani ($7,700)
Today features the option of spending big on a starting pitcher with enough of a track record, or go for pure value with youngsters pitching at home. In the end, I'm going for a guy stuck in the middle, though more inclined to the value side. After all, Matt Harvey and Max Scherzer are facing each other. Instead, Anthony deSclafani has been great to start the year, and gets to face the Braves, who looked helpless against Mike Leake yesterday. The Reds' starter has averaged 16.5 PPG in his 2 starts on the road, and expect more of the same today.
Others to Consider: Scott Kazmir ($9,200), Tom Koehler ($6,600), Chris Heston ($5,900)
Catcher – Derek Norris ($2,800)
There are a couple of big games to target in the AL East, as Yankees-Red Sox and Rays-Orioles should see a lot of runs. Outside of that, the Dodgers get a nice matchup at home, the White Sox face another mediocre Twin, the Reds have the potential, and the Blue Jays continue to be a threat. However, I still like the underpriced Norris. The Padres have proven that they are one of the best lineups in the game, and Norris has been an underrated cog. At his price, he remains a nice pickup on almost any day.
Others to Consider: Brian McCann ($3,300), Yasmani Grandal ($2,300)
First Base – Carlos Santana ($3,400)
Lost in the middle of Cleveland's very disappointing start has been Santana's sneaky-good season, as he enters today with a .400 OBP and gets to bat from his preferred right side. Against today's starter, Mark Buehrle, Santana is 6-for-18 in his career. One of these days, the Indians are going to start hitting like they are supposed to, and Santana will be in the middle of it all.
Others to Consider: Edwin Encarnacion ($3,900), Kendrys Morales ($2,500)
Second Base – Dustin Pedroia ($2,900)
Among second basemen with at least 10 games played, Pedroia stands at #5 in terms of points per game, but still stands as only the 15th-most expensive player at his position. His inconsistency has hurt a bit, but he still remains one of the most trust-worthy guys at this position. Today he gets to face a pitcher he has haunted for his career, as Pedroia is 15-for-37 against CC Sabathia, which is something that goes beyond small sample size noise.
Others to Consider: Devon Travis ($3,500), Brian Dozier ($2,900)
Third Base – Evan Longoria ($3,100)
In another case of ownage of a division foe, Longoria is 10-for-27 versus Chris Tillman, while his 25 career homers versus the Orioles are the second-most he has against any opponent. After a slow start, Longoria has begun to make adjustments and get on base more frequently, with an OBP around 40% that should be matched by a spike on power, as Longo hasn't homered since Opening Day.
Others to Consider: Josh Donaldson ($4,000), Mike Moustakas ($3,000)
Shortstop – Jimmy Rollins ($2,800)
The Dodgers are the best team against right-handed pitchers of this young season, and get to face mediocre Rubby de la Rosa at home. Aside from a possible revenge wish from Rubby, who was traded by the Dodgers after only 14 appearances with the organization, this should bode well for a nice offensive night at Chavez Ravine. Rollins has done most of his damage from the left side in 2015, and should be a nice value play for today.
Others to Consider: Xander Bogaerts ($2,900)
Outfield – Giancarlo Stanton ($5,100), Hanley Ramirez ($4,400), Alexander Guerrero ($2,800)
The strategy of grabbing expensive outfielders has worked wonders this week, so we might be well-suited to give it another try. For today, we have the Mighty Giancarlo Stanton (lifetime 2-for-3 versus Jerome Williams), who is heating up and has always had Marlins Park figured out. Hanley Ramirez leads the league in homers, and is hitting .467 with 4 dingers against lefties so far. In the end, Guerrero has been a revelation for the Dodgers. The only problem is that he is never fully guaranteed of a starting spot, so pay attention to how Don Mattingly deploys his outfielders, even as he is now finally trying to sneak Guerrero into the lineup almost every day.
Others to Consider: Jose Bautista ($4,900), Jacoby Ellsbury ($4,200), Mookie Betts ($3,100)