MLB Daily Fantasy
Michael Pineda (Al Bello/GettyImages)

Welcome to another edition of Def Pen sports MLB Daily Fantasy breakdown series. Today we will break down the top 3 pitcher plays in our opinion as well as give the best hitting stacks of the night. We will be using FanDuel’s pricing and scoring system as that is our personal preference.


*Important Note: When playing FanDuel daily fantasy baseball it has become evident that having a strong starting pitcher is an integral part of the success of a lineup. Strikeouts are weighted heavily in FanDuel’s scoring system thus making guys with a high strikeout upside very appealing. The SIERA stat (Skill interactive ERA) has become very popular amongst sabermetrics crowds of baseball and helps understand just how good the pitcher is. These two aspects of strikeout percentages and SIERA combined with ballpark factors as well as weather factors are all taken into consideration when analyzing the best fantasy pitcher of the night.

  1. Michael Pineda $8,600: Pineda has been a flamethrower this year, striking out 50 batters in 41 IP. Despite what looks like not the best matchup in the world with the Royals rating just below average in strikeout percentage, Pineda has amazing sabermetric stats on his side tonight. The Royals are ranked dead last in runs per game, combine this with the fact that Pineda’s SIERA this season has been a staggering 2.59 make this for the best pitching matchup of the night.
  2. Michael Fulmer $9,500: In Fulmer’s last two outings he has posted 58 and 49 FanDuel points respectively while only giving up a total of 2 ER and striking out 16. With the Orioles rating in the bottom 10 in strikeout percentage, this bodes for a very favorable matchup strikeout wise tonight despite the O’s potent offense. The weather is an interesting thing to keep in mind with this matchup as well, with 15-20 MPH of wind blowing in from right field which should diffuse a lot of the power that this Baltimore lineup possesses.
  3. Matt Garza $8,300: If you’re looking for a bit of a cheaper tournament option tonight you might want to look towards someone like Matt Garza. His strikeouts are around the leave average on his k/9 rating but he does have a really good matchup tonight against the 3rd highest strikeout rate team in the majors in the Padres. The Padres also rank 4th to last in runs per game. Along with this, Garza has been surprisingly good this year, posting a 3.86 SIERA and averaging 32.8 FanDuel points per game.


*Important Note: While often times you can get lucky by selecting individual players off of different teams, the best strategy for MLB Daily Fantasy is to stack hitters in a lineup as to rack up runs/RBIs if a guy scores another guy in your lineup. Think of it as similar to a QB/WR stack in football, where both get the points for a touchdown connection so by starting both and in the case that they score a touchdown you are getting seemingly double the points. This works in the same way, wherein if you stack a lineup you are maximizing your potential points.

MLB Daily Fantasy
Aaron Altherr (Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
  1. Phillies – Philadelphia has an exceedingly favorable matchup against the Rangers’ 5th starter Andrew Cashner. Cashner currently holds a 6.10 SIERA, which is one of the MLB’s worst. We’ve got to expect guys like Aaron Altherr and Cesar Hernandez to be prolific in this matchup.
  2. Tigers – Detroit is facing Ubaldo Jimenez who has struggled mightily this season. Jimenez has a 5.44 SIERA, and when we consider that the Tigers have been slightly above average, in terms of wRC+ (sabermetric for runs created), we should expect a great offensive showing tonight.
  3. Cubs – Chicago could be the beneficiary of the most generous wind advantage so far this season, from a hitter’s perspective. Although their matchup, Scott Feldman, has performed decently this season, Feldman is not renowned for his ability to incite many groundballs. Feldman holds a 1.37 GB/FB ratio which rates as a near-average mark league-wide, especially considering that many GB/FB ratios are above 2 (Dallas Keuchel of Houston Astros has 3.52). Furthermore, Chicago scored 9 runs in their last game and has seen increased productivity from Kyle Schwarber and newcomer Ian Happ. Considering all of these factors, the Cubs are an intriguing stack for tonight.

All stats and data courtesy of baseball reference and Fangraphs.

Contributed to by Josiah Brady, @steadylosing on Twitter.

As always with MLB Daily Fantasy make sure you check the weather as well as the starting lineups before lineups lock. If you have any questions comments concerns or would like advice, feel free to contact me or Josiah via Twitter.


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