Happy unofficial Star Wars Day, everybody! But in more important developments, welcome to another week to cash in playing daily fantasy baseball at FanDuel. The week starts with the Astros leading their division by 7 games after notching 10 straight wins, and seemingly all preseason darlings (except the Dodgers and Cardinals) continuing to struggle mightily.
Luckily for us, even when a few tough days playing this game can get you down, all it takes is a successful slate to get a quick turnaround. Starting the fifth week of the young season, we have a busy Monday that includes a loaded schedule of 11 games and plenty of quality pitching.
As it usually happens on Mondays, there is only one format to play in, with your choice of what type of league you want to join. Considering the wide array of options for today, there are no particular limits for all players, so I would lean on finding value in public leagues or cheap head-to-head games.
Monday, May 4th
Locks: 7:05 ET (Marlins @ Nationals)
The only game with a moderate chance of rain will take place in Colorado, where there is a 50% chance of precipitation throughout most of the game. Games at Coors are always a good idea to seek cheap offense, but be careful of the unfavorable clouds.
Outside of Denver, the weather should be nice and smooth. The forecast for strong winds remains for Boston and San Francisco, where the offense could get a boost via the friendly currents.
Biggest Money Line Favorites
There are a number of lopsided favorites for the day, highlighted by the red-hot Astros at -190 to beat the Rangers. I guess that when the Houston front office devised its plan to tank and rebuild slowly, they dreamed of a day in which their team was such a big overdog. Elsewhere, the Dodgers are -170 road favorites over the Brewers, while the Nationals and Cardinals are equal at -155 to win at home.
Pitcher – Alex Wood ($7,700)
Out of the 21 pitchers with at least two starts, 8 of them have averaged at least 10 FanDuel points per game. There are also 8 hurlers who cost at least $8,000, which is usually the threshold for top-tier starters. There are many ways to play out today, as you can make a case for several of them in all price ranges.
Clayton Kershaw ($11,300) faces the Brewers, and he is 4-0 with a 0.87 ERA in Miller Park. Even as he has looked mortal at times this year, he still leads the league in strikeouts. There is also Felix Hernandez, who is 4-0 to start the season but that also pitches in Angel Stadium, where he has only won 3 of 20 career starts. Jordan Zimmermann, Madison Bumgarner, and Dallas Keuchel also deserve consideration, by the way.
However, if you search for pure value, Alex Wood is your man. He is 2-1, 2.14 ERA in his career versus the Phillies, but that has come against more talented Philadelphia squads. This year, when in doubt, it is never a bad idea to bet against the Phillies. In 26 games to start the year, opposing starters are averaging 11PPG against Philadelphia, with 14 total wins. Even as the Phillies are somewhat decent against lefties, they are also the third-worst offensive team playing on the road. Wood owns a career 10.4 K/9 pitching in Turner Field.
Others to Consider: Kershaw ($11,300), Keuchel ($8,500), Zimmermann ($8,900)
Catcher – Evan Gattis ($3,400)
Remember that on Friday we picked up Norris for $2,700? Well, after hitting four homers in 3 games, he gets a bump to the elite tier among catchers. Today the Astros face lefty Ross Detwiler, owner of an 8.66 ERA and who has allowed 6 homers in just 17.2 innings. Houston is slugging .420 against left-handed pitchers, so today they look like a great stacking option.
Other quality options to stack include the Dodgers, Rays, and the games in Toronto and Colorado. As much as there are aces today, there is also a nice share of less-than-ideal starters.
Others to Consider: AJ Ellis ($2,200), Brian McCann ($3,200)
First Base – Adrian Gonzalez ($4,300)
Gonzalez has predictably cooled off after his torrid start, but he is still the second-best first baseman in FanDuel in PPG, and the key bat for the hard-hitting Dodgers. The Mexican slugger has just loved hitting at Miller Park, with a .406 average and 9 homers in 24 career games in Milwaukee. He is also 2-for-5 lifetime against Kyle Lohse. Even at this price, he should be a good investment.
Others to Consider: Freddie Freeman ($3,400), James Loney ($2,500)
Second Base – Devon Travis ($3,500)
In his last 10 games, Travis has produced at least 4 points in six of them, with a Sunday grand slam capping off another impressive week for the rookie. After starting the year batting near the bottom of the order, he has now been bumped to leadoff or near the top, which bodes well for his FanDuel value. He enters today batting .438 at home.
Others to Consider: Jose Altuve ($4,900), Stephen Drew ($2,200)
Third Base – Yasmany Tomas ($3,000)
The Diamondbacks were mostly held in check during their weekend series in Los Angeles, but now they get to travel to Colorado, where balls fly far almost by default. Despite being rushed to the big leagues, Tomas has acquitted himself nicely, showing good plate discipline albeit with little power. At this price, he is worth a look to see if the power can show up in the thin air.
Others to Consider: Josh Donaldson ($4,000)
Shortstop – Jimmy Rollins ($2,700)
In the continued effort to stack a few Dodgers, Rollins is almost an obvious choice. He continues to be a prominent fixture atop the LA lineup, and is much better when he hits from the left side. His track record against Lohse is not stellar, but considering just how little quality options we have at shortstop, this should be a good pick.
Others to Consider: Marcus Semien ($3,000), Ian Desmond ($2,800)
Outfield – Jacoby Ellsbury ($4,200), Jake Marisnick ($3,400), Alexander Guerrero ($2,800)
Today´s outfield features all kinds of dimensions, as we are going for some power, a ton of consistency, and even speed. Ellsbury has heated up after a terrible start, and he faces RA Dickey, against whom he is 5-for-10 in his career. Ellsbury has also loved hitting at Toronto, with a career .319 average, 14 stolen bases, and 21 extra-base hits in 54 career games up north.
Marisnick and Guerrero are part of stacking offenses for today. Their affordable prices bode well to balance out some of the expensive bats we have also targeted, but feel free to mix and match across the outfield as you wish.
Others to Consider: Corey Dickerson ($4,800), George Springer ($3,900), Joc Pederson ($3,900)