MLB DFS DraftKings.com & FanDuel.com Lineups & Picks for March 31, 2018
Baseball is back with a full slate of MLB DFS games scheduled for Saturday, 3/31/18. The main slate on DraftKings includes seven games starting at 7:05 p.m. EST, while FanDuel’s main slate also includes seven games starting at 7:05 p.m. EST.
For today, we’re listing our top MLB DFS pitchers, hitters, and stacks to target in Cash and GPP lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel. The info below can also be used for crafting your daily fantasy baseball strategy at FantasyDraft.
Please note the advice below is relevant for daily fantasy purposes. A player or team might be better or worse from a fantasy perspective than in real life due to matchup, price, and lots of other factors. This is important to consider when constructing a roster. Remember that more than in other sports, variance is a huge part of baseball. Even Paul Goldschmidt can go 0-for-4 on a given night, and Max Scherzer can get lit up by an unsuspecting team.
Weather can also play a huge role in MLB DFS on a nightly basis, and lineups are constantly shifting. So always, always check the starting lineups and weather reports when playing for an MLB slate.
3/31/18 MLB DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS
Knuckleball: $5 entry, $150k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $25,000 to 1st!
Slugfest: $40 entry, $100k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $10,000 to 1st!
MLB Squeeze: $4 entry, $100k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $20,000 to 1st!
Grand Slam: $25 entry, $75k guaranteed (FanDuel)
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Best MLB DFS Pitchers for March 31, 2018
Lucas Giolito @ KC ($8.7K DraftKings, $7.4k FanDuel)
I will try not to be too hard on Ian Kennedy in this analysis, but frankly, I think you can really look at White Sox bats today, one in particular which we’ll get into later. You can also look to Lucas Giolito, the inexperienced right-hander the South Siders we’ll send out to the mound tonight. There is very little to support the Giolito play tonight, but in any formats where you’re rostering two pitchers, he’s interesting if only because in his last outing, on September 24 of last year, the 23-year-old went seven innings, allowing just one run on five hits while adding five strikeouts. That came against the Royals, a team whose offense got worse in the offseason. He’s GPP only, but Giolito could be a sneaky win candidate if Ian Kennedy implodes, as he did in pretty much all of 2017.
Yu Darvish @ MIA ($12.2k DraftKings, $9.4k FanDuel)
My favorite thing about paying up for arms is getting scrappy in order to find savings elsewhere. How many people forced aces into their lineup on Opening Day and rostered…Matt Davidson. And that’s my favorite thing about fantasy baseball: the variance. Today, we’ll have another exercise in finding hidden value as pitching is not deep. Darvish has a terrific matchup against a Miami Marlins team that lost all of its offense over the past several months, and he’s got that strikeout upside you need in a guy this expensive. Miami has shown little offense since the third inning on Opening Day, and Darvish is a brutal no. 3 in what could be a filthy Cubs rotation. He’ll look to regain ace status starting tonight.
Zack Greinke vs. COL ($10.1k DraftKings, $9.0k FanDuel)
If Darvish is too pricey and/or you don’t buy into the Darvish-Chicago dream pairing narrative, you almost have to go with Greinke. The 34-year-old will look to reap the benefits of Chase Field’s new humidor (which neutralizes its previously hitter-friendly ballpark factors), and he gets a Rockies team that struck out eight times in 5.2 innings against Patrick Corbin on Opening Day. Greinke is still an elite pitcher who handles lefties as well as he does righties, which is important considering how many lefty bats Colorado has. In 2017, Greinke actually allowed a better OPS to opposing right-handed bats. But there is that October matchup against Colorado, where Greinke allowed 4 runs in 3.2 innings against the Rockies (though he did somehow get the win). Ignore that. Instead, focus on the 37 strikeouts in 34 innings and the respectable 3.41 ERA overall against Colorado in 2017. It may not be a gem, but Greinke has K-upside and home field advantage. Deploy if you’re fading Darvish, in cash and GPP.
Brandon McCarthy vs. PHI ($7.0k DraftKings, $6.8k FanDuel)
Hey, I said I don’t think this is a deep slate for pitchers. McCarthy is an aging veteran who struggles to stay healthy, but has always had talent. The Braves are ever-so-slight home favorites against the Philadelphia Phillies, a suddenly young team with much to prove. McCarthy can’t really strike them out like he used to, but his veteran prowess coupled with his clean bill of health lead me to believe that today we’ll see the best version of McCarthy this season, for better or for worse. I’ll take the optimist’s approach in some GPP lineups, but again, McCarthy’s spotty health makes it difficult to gauge just what he still can do.
Other pitchers to consider: Kyle Gibson, Kenta Maeda
Best MLB DFS Hitters for March 31, 2018
@ ($. DraftKings, $4. FanDuel)
First base is quite deep today, and I don’t think you need to go all the way to the top (Anthony Rizzo, Paul Goldschmidt) to rake at the position. Instead, take the seemingly-trivial-but-actually-important several-hundred-dollar savings by paying slightly down for Jose Abreu. The White Sox first basemen has absolutely crushed Ian Kennedy with three homeruns in 19 plate appearances against the Royals starter. He hit safely in nine of those 19 appearances. Last season, Kennedy saw his fly ball percentage leap to just shy of 50%, and Abreu isn’t kind to pitchers who allow fly balls and well hit balls. Kennedy—at least 2017 Kennedy—is glorified batting practice. Look for Abreu to build on a strong start. He’s viable industry-wide and in both cash and GPP formats.
Matt Davidson @ KC ($3.9k DraftKings, $3.1k FanDuel)
We’ll stop with the White Sox here, but I had to include Davidson. The White Sox have been patient with the 27-year-old, and you may have heard that he delivered on Opening Day with three home runs. It’s true. Davidson, like Abreu, will get to try his hand against fly-ball pitcher Ian Kennedy, a pitcher he is 3-for-8 against in his career with one of those three hits leaving the yard. I think in fantasy sports, sometimes it’s important—especially this early in the season—to roll with the hot hand. Davidson is a prime candidate to be the somewhat obscure player who is on pace for 60 home runs by the All-Star Break, only to fizzle out miserably. Yeah, I like that narrative. But I’m recommending rostering Davidson until further notice. At least against guys like Ian Kennedy.
Joe Panik @ LAD ($3.4k DraftKings, $2.7k FanDuel)
If we’re looking to pay up for at least one stud pitcher, we’re going to want to find value if we can. Enter Joe Panik. The Giants infielder is mostly intriguing for two reasons: he is 4-for-9 lifetime against Kenta Maeda (with a home run), and he boasted a .799 OPS against right-handed pitchers in 2017. Maeda is slightly worse against left-handed bats, but considering the history between the two, though brief, I give the edge to Panik. He won’t have to do much to hit value, and he plays on the San Francisco Giants. That offense hasn’t been cool since, like, 2015? What I’m trying to say is, no one will be on him. He’s a high-risk leverage play, but it’s not insane. This is a plus matchup for Panik, maybe more so than any other Giant.
Enrique Hernandez vs. SF ($3.3k DraftKings, $2.3k FanDuel)
Hernandez vs. a bad lefty? Book it. Derek Holland is a shell of what he once was, and even his best version wasn’t that good. Sure, he’s got some filthy stuff, but not necessarily the effective kind of filthy. Hernandez absolutely crushes lefties, and he did last year to the tune of a .946 OPS. Holland allows a .892 OPS to right-handed batters. Easy enough. Fire away in GPPs and cash games.
Kyle Schwarber vs. MIA ($4.6k DraftKings, $4.1k FanDuel)
Today, Schwarber gets to face a below average right-handed pitcher. Oh, and Odrisamer Despaigne allowed lefties to knock him around at an OPS of .806. The two have never met before, but taking Despaigne’s difficulties against left-handed bats, and Schwarber’s .857 career OPS against right-handed pitchers, and I think you can figure the rest. Schwarber is a fairly expensive option who I like in GPPs given his propensity for the long ball. If you are able to craft a cash lineup without Darvish, Schwarber should definitely be on your radar.
Other hitters to consider: Hunter Renfroe, Eddie Rosario, Logan Morrison, Joe Mauer, Austin Barnes, Ian Happ, Robbie Grossman, Ben Zobrist, Wil Myers, Jake Lamb, Miguel Sano
MLB DFS Stacks to Consider for March 31, 2018
White Sox vs. Ian Kennedy (Royals)
Twins vs. Andrew Cashner (Orioles)
Dodgers vs. Derek Holland (Giants)
Braves vs. Vincent Velasquez (Phillies)