So many pitchers, so few fantasy roster spots. Well, actually, there’s just one pitching spot available for FanDuel lineups, but for Saturday, I wish there were 4 or 5 more.
Editors note: Sign up for DraftKings’ MLB $10K Mini Moonshot contest, which begins Saturday, May 9, at 7:05 p.m. Eastern. The contest is FREE for first-time DraftKings users and $3 for current members. First prize is $800 and 780 entered teams get paid. Fill a 10-player lineup with a $50,000 salary cap and if your selections do well on the field, the better your fantasy team does. The Mini Moonshot runs every day, so if you miss Saturday’s deadline, you can sign up for Sunday’s contest.
Just on the MLB’s night schedule alone, there a handful of aces and other quality options on the bump. Let’s check them out (in FanDuel salary order):
Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers, at Rockies ($11,200)
Madison Bumgarner, Giants, vs. Marlins ($10,100)
Dallas Keuchel, Astros, at Angels ($9,100)
Tyson Ross, Padres, at Diamondbacks ($8,300)
Jon Niese, Mets, at Phillies ($8,100)
The first names you notice are Kershaw and Bumgarner. While both of them are rounding into form, I found them too expensive for what I wanted to do with my hitting lineup. Sometimes you need to make the tough decisions for the greater good of the lineup.
I originally went with Niese, but he doesn’t have that dominate game in him; he’s not going to pile up the strikeouts or go many innings. And the Mets’ offense has vanished, which worries me for Niese getting the 4 points for a win.
That left Keuchel and Ross. Keuchel has been nearly unhittable, allowing just 21 hits in 45 innings (that’s ridiculous). Ross piles up the Ks and the Padres’ offense piles up the runs, a winning combo for a FanDuel pitcher.
So who did I go with? I can’t tell you now, it’ll ruin the surprise. You’ll have to scroll down two whole paragraphs.
FanDuel uses the following parameters: You get a $35,000 cap to spend on 9 players – 1 pitcher, 1 catcher, 1 first baseman, 1 second baseman, 1 shortstop, 1 third baseman and 3 outfielders.
You can find the FanDuel scoring key at the bottom of the post.
Here are the best FanDuel lineup picks for May 9:
Dallas Keuchel, Astros, $9,100, at Angels
Keuchel (3-0, 0.80 ERA) is one of the best young arms in the league and gets the Angels at an opportunistic time. That last part is why I went with Keuchel over Ross. Here’s the case against the Halos: 1) They are batting .226, near the bottom of the majors, 2) Over the past 7 days, they’re hitting .211, 3) They’re scoring just 3.6 runs per game (3 per contest over the past week), 4) At home, where Saturday’s game is, they’re hitting .230, 5) They’re hitting .244 vs. lefties, like Keuchel, 6) #FearTheBeard
Carlos Ruiz, Phillies, $2,200, vs. Mets
Ruiz has been ruining fantasy teams in 2015, but could be useful Saturday. At 9 for 30 vs. Mets starter Jon Niese and with that inexpensive price tag, Ruiz fits perfectly into my budget. Don’t get in the habit of using him, though.
Anthony Rizzo, Cubs, $4,400, at Brewers
Rizzo has feasted on the Brewers, particularly Saturday starter Kyle Lohse. The mammoth 1B is 10 for 21 with a homer vs. the struggling righty. Rizzo is one of the best – if not the best – play of the day. Lohse has allowed a whopping 9 long balls in just 34 2/3 innings.
Daniel Murphy, Mets, $2,800, at Phillies
Murphy is slowly emerging from his slow start, but he’s not quite there. Perhaps a matchup vs. Phillies righty Aaron Harang will help. Murphy is 8 for 23 with a dinger vs. Harang. Murphy was at his best in 2014 against the Phillies staff, hitting nearly .300 with 9 RBIs. The 2B crop was especially thin for Saturday and Murphy could be a cheap source of fantasy points.
Jhonny Peralta, Cardinals, $2,800, at Pirates
Peralta has homered in 2 of 3 games and is known to be a streaky hitter, so this is a very positive sign. “Don’t Call Me Johnny” hit 4 of 21 HRs in 2014 vs the Bucs and is 4 for 9 against Saturday’s starter Vance Worley. It’s a pretty ugly batch of shortstops for the evening FanDuel contests.
Todd Frazier, Reds, $4,000, at White Sox
Third base was the last position I picked. I had $4K, Frazier’s price. I’m extremely happy about this. Frazier is 5 for his last 11 and has homered in 3 of 5 games. And the White Sox have one of the worst staffs in the league at the moment.
Ryan Braun, Brewers, $3,500, vs. Cubs
Don’t look now, but Braun is heating up. 4 for 9 with a homer and 6 runs scored in the last 3 games. The notorious Cub clubber has really put the wood on Chicago starter Travis Wood’s pitches – 9 for 27 with 2 homers and 4 doubles. This could be the beginning of a very productive run for Braun.
Jason Heyward, Cardinals, $3,200, at Pirates
Heyward is off to a hot start this month (.320), but his power numbers have been absent all season. He’s 6 for 14 with a bomb vs. Vance Worley of the Pirates, so there’s a good chance he keeps up the pace. I wasn’t exactly enamored with the OF selections with the price tag of $3,200 and under, besides this guy…
Jorge Soler, Cubs, $3,000, at Brewers
Soler orbited the bases with a home run and ended with 6.25 fantasy points Friday. And Saturday he’s got that matchup with the Brewers and the can’t-keep-it-in-the-ballpark Kyle Lohse. At .379 for the month, the sun isn’t ready to set on Soler’s production. Excellent price, too. Another somewhat-attractive option at this price is Houston’s Jake Marisnick, but he’s mired in a 1 for 15 slump, so Soler it is.
Total Lineup Salary: $35,000 of an allotted $35,000
Each day, we’ll give you the rundown of who to pick for a winning lineup, so stay with us the entire season.
Single = +1 points
Double = +2 points
Triple = +3 points
Home Run = +4 points
Run Batted In = +1 points
Run = +1 points
Base on Balls = +1 points
Hit By Pitch = +1 points
Stolen Base = +2 points
Out = -.25 points
Inning Pitched = +1 points (fractional scoring per out)
Strike Out = +1 points
Win = +4 points
Earned Run Allowed = -1 points
DraftKings Now Has Fantasy Golf, Soccer, MMA & Poker
Interested in branching out beyond baseball? DraftKings offers a handful of other sports in season now like Golf, NBA, MMA and Soccer. NFL, College Football & Basketball, and NHL will be available when those seasons begin.
The NBA has reached the playoffs, but you can still play daily fantasy basketball. Sign up for the NBA $100K Sharpshooter contest, which is FREE for first-time DraftKings users and $3 for current members.
Play fantasy golf each weekend as the PGA Tour is in full swing. Turn $20 into $1 million with DraftKings’ Millionaire Maker PGA Tour contest. The $2.5 million prize contest starts is for the U.S. Open, which starts June 18.
DraftKings offers contests from the MLS and EPL. Sign up for the $250 Striker EPL contest. It is FREE for first-time users, $3 for current members.
Participate in fantasy MMA with UFC events. Head over to DraftKings to learn more about fantasy MMA.