This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
FanDuel is rolling with a showdown slate for Tuesday night's All-Star game, but the nature of the midsummer classic makes for challenging lineup builds that have to target a specific pitcher. Sure, you could put a cash lineup together of mostly starters, seemingly assuring yourself of two guaranteed at-bats, but we're still throwing darts. As such, this feels like a night to play for fun and hope to get lucky.
It's important to know who isn't playing, as injuries and opt-outs are in play, and those players remain in the pool. For the American League, the Astros' trio of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Michael Brantley are all out. For the National League, Yadier Molina and Mookie Betts won't play. These are in addition to obvious injury casualties like Mike Trout, Ronald Acuna, Buster Posey and Kyle Schwarber. Thankfully, all are at least priced at the slate's minimum of $4,000.
Shohei Ohtani will oppose Max Scherzer, and we'll likely see a new arm every inning. Unless basic counting skills have eluded me, I only see 10 arms on the AL's roster, and 11 on the NL's. The American League may also have to stretch a bit more, as it's fair to question Gerrit Cole's availability after his 130-pitch outing last week. They've got four lefties listed, while the NL only has two, so American League bats have less of a shot at a LvR matchup.
I feel safer with the National League's late-inning options with Josh Hader, Craig Kimbrel and Mark Melancon all reliable choices. As such, I'm slightly leaning towards more National League bats despite the American League's history of winning this contest.
Not exactly a deep thought, but many lineups will likely slide Vladimir Guerrero ($9,500) or Fernando Tatis ($9,000) into their MVP slot. Guerrero's contact ability makes him a far safer choice, but given that I just said I'm backing the NL, Tatis is my pick given the slight discount and potential for speed. We don't have to pay a premium for the MVP slot, unlike at DraftKings, so the only reasons to not use one of these two would be fading them or budgetary concerns.
If we trust these stars will be kept in the yard, but not off the basepaths, we can slide down each lineup and target some run producers. Freddie Freeman ($8,000) is in a good spot for the National League, though I don't love the salary. Looking across to the other dugout, Xander Bogaerts ($6,500) really stands out hitting third.
There are three starters priced at a minimum, but Bryan Reynolds and Cedric Mullins are hitting in the bottom third of the order. As such, Max Muncy ($4,000) figures to be incredibly popular hitting out of the two hole between Tatis and Nolan Arenado ($7,500). It just makes too much sense to use him as an essentially free square
The next tier of low-priced options are led by the two starting catchers, who are both hitting out of the seven hole. While I don't hate Salvador Perez or J.T. Realmuto here ($5,500 each), I think we may be able to get some value from either side's backup catcher, as they assuredly get two at-bats as well. Omar Narvaez ($4,000) strikes out only 17.2 percent of the time, and compared to Mike Zunino's 39.2 percent clip, it's easy to see which choice is safer and deduce who has more power potential as well. In similar fashion, it makes some sense to pair a backup with your MVP above.
Listed position likely means little tonight, but the AL only has two listed third basemen, putting Jose Ramirez ($5,000) in line for multiple ABs.
In searching for some reserve dart throws, we can mix in options who put the ball in play like Trea Turner ($4,500) or Bo Bichette ($4,000) and pair them with some power upside in Kris Bryant ($4,000) or J.D. Martinez ($4,500). Sprinkling in random guys having career years, like Brandon Crawford ($4,000) or Adolis Garcia ($4,000), can play too.