This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
This time of the year it can be hard for MLB to get some shine with the NBA and NHL playoffs going strong (and the first round of the NHL playoffs was quite good). Never overlook MLB, though, especially if you are a DFS player. Opportunities abound. Wednesday's schedule is heavy on afternoon and early evening games, leaving us with only eight games starting at 6:40 p.m. EDT or later. Here are my recommendations from that slate.
Gerrit Cole, NYY at BAL ($10,600): The whole crackdown on foreign substances, loss of spin rate thing? Not really worrying Cole this year. Over his last four starts, in which he's gone at least six innings each time, he's posted a 1.42 ERA. He hasn't gotten a chance to face the Orioles yet, a bottom-10 offense expected to be among the worst in the majors.
Kevin Gausman, TOR vs. SEA ($9,800): Gausman was excellent last season, posting a 2.81 ERA over 33 starts. This year, though, he's been incredible. Somehow, he has a 0.83 FIP through seven starts. He has 54 strikeouts versus two walks. While he's pitching like this, Gausman feels like a safe bet in all but the toughest matchups.
Drew Smyly, CHC vs. PIT ($6,800): You can save some salary on Smyly by going with a focus on the matchup over the pitcher. The lefty has a 3.64 ERA through six starts. The Pirates finished last in runs scored in 2021, and looking at the roster this year I'm expecting them to finish in the bottom five once again, perhaps even last.
Not only does Jazz Chisholm ($4,200) have six home runs and six stolen bases, he's hit .292 and slugged .566. Josiah Gray has had a lot of issues with home runs this year. He's allowed eight homers, and five of them have come over his last two starts.
Last season, George Springer ($3,900) hit 22 home runs in only 78 games. He already has seven this year. Since 2020, he has a .906 OPS against southpaws. Marco Gonzales is a lefty, one with a 6.28 FIP in 2022 at that.
Tim Anderson ($3,700) is basically a lock to finish with double-digit home runs and stolen bases in a season. He's also an elite hitter, having posted a .324 average since 2019. The veteran Zack Greinke has had an issue facing righties in recent years. He's allowed right-handed hitters to bat .293 against him since 2020, and Anderson can tackle a pitcher like that with gusto.
Francisco Lindor has the big contract, and Pete Alonso has the big bat. Brandon Nimmo ($3,300) doesn't get as much attention, because he doesn't put up the power stats. What he does, though, is get on base. Over the last three seasons he has a .404 OBP. The lefty swinger will face righty Jordan Hicks, who in his first season as a starter has a 4.43 FIP.
Blake Snell will be making his first start of the season Wednesday, so I am a little wary of him. Since he's a lefty, I want a righty from the Phillies, and I'm going with Alec Bohm ($2,900). He's started surprisingly strong, as the third baseman has slashed .313/.349/.429.
I like the upside that Alfonso Rivas ($2,400) provides against a righty pitcher. In his brief career he has an .870 OPS versus righties. Mitch Keller is not merely a righty, as he's a guy with a career 6.12 ERA.
Stacks to Consider
Lyles has a 4.43 ERA in 2022, which is actually a step up for him. His career ERA is 5.18. The righty has only allowed 1.15 home runs per nine innings, and I say "only" because he's allowed at least 1.60 home runs per nine in each of his last three campaigns. I think more home runs are going to arrive, and maybe soon.
Stanton and power go hand in hand, of course. He's smashed 10 home runs and slugged .538. That's right in line with his career .543 slugging percentage. Rizzo is having no issues with hitting homers, as he has 10 of them already as well. The lefty also has a .908 OPS against righties in 2022. Donaldson has picked up his play, as he has a .931 OPS over the last three weeks. He also has a .968 OPS on the road this season.
Dunning had a 4.51 ERA in 2021, his first with the Rangers. This year he has a 4.06 ERA through seven starts. In his career, Dunning has allowed lefties to hit .268 against him. Often I will stack three lefties from the Angels against a righty, but with Shohei Ohtani on the mound, I figured I'd leave him out of the stack this time.
Is Ward a late bloomer? Is this a true breakout campaign? All I know is that he's slashed .376/.484/.733 with nine home runs. He's also batting leadoff for a lineup that has been elite offensively, so he already has 26 runs to his name. Marsh has four home runs and three stolen bases, and he's posted a .880 OPS against righties in 2022. After hitting 29 homers last season, Walsh has hit six this year. He's also managed a .956 OPS against right-handed batters since 2020.