RotoWire & FanDuel Fantasy Baseball Championship – Final Qualifier

It feels like we just got here, but in truth, the party is almost over. I am referring to the final week of the FanDuel Baseball Championship Qualifierwhich takes place Wednesday at 7 P.M. ET.

Those looking for one more chance at DFS glory can take part in the event for the opportunity to grab a seat in the championship contest, which takes place June 28. Players will have their best three scores averaged together, with the top-25 advancing to play for a share of $2,000, plus whatever cool stuff we have lying around the office. Want to learn more? CLICK HERE for a full breakdown of rules and requirements.

RotoWire experts aren’t eligible for the tournament but don’t feel too bad, as we have our own shindig happening. Scott Jenstad (oaktownsj) remains in first place heading into the last contest, but Andrew Parr (aparr013) has been destroying everything in his path of late, having scored at least 150 points in each of the last three slates, and winning last week’s event with a tally of 181.60. That puts him in third place overall, and while he is unlikely to catch Scott in the final showdown, we will undoubtedly see him in our own championship round.

Here is a list of the top-10 experts as we round out the competition:

  1. Scott Jenstad (oaktownsj) – 1487.30
  2. Peter Merrill (black26) – 1393.00
  3. Andrew Parr (aparr013)- 1392.50
  4. Ronny Mor (ronnymor2) – 1360.50
  5. Tate McIntyre (tamc10) – 1337.20
  6. Josh Fathollahi (jashfath) – 1298.70
  7. Vlad Sedler (rotogutguy) – 1294.50
  8. Jake Letarski (rotojakeski) – 1288.70
  9. Darin Brown (dabsabre) – 1276.20
  10. Shannon McKeown (rotoshannon) – 1272.90

Strategy Tips

It takes hard work, long hours and keen insight to become a DFS master. Alternatively, you could just rely on our MLB lineup optimizer. The optimizer uses daily projections to show you the highest projected lineup using FanDuel’s salary limits. There’s more to it than just a click of a button, however, as players can use this tool to compare things like projected fantasy points, over/under lines and weather forecasts. I would encourage everyone to get a feel for the optimizer while making lineups, as it provides a wealth of valuable information on one centralized page.

Value Plays

Mike Leake, St. Louis Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers

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FanDuel Price: $8,000

The stats may not look sexy, but Leake has been preventing runs with the best of them this season, as evidenced by his 2.70 ERA over 12 starts. The Brewers can be a bit of a handful, but Leake should be able to neutralize some of the squad’s power by using his heavy groundball rate, as Milwaukee hits the ball on the ground at a 47 percent clip. It also never hurts to have an elite pitch in your back pocket. Leake’s cutter has registered 8.2 runs above average this season, which rates as the top mark in baseball for the offering among qualified pitchers.

1B Marwin Gonzalez, Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers

FanDuel Price: $3,400

It seems as though a lot of people are sleeping on Gonzalez, but if he hadn’t missed time with an injury he would rank as one of the top hitters in the league in a number of categories. The first thing to note is his slash line, which stands at .303/.401/.594 over 155 at-bats. He has also tallied a 14.4 RAA against the fastball, while notching a walk rate better than 12 percent. None of this is good news for Andrew Cashner, who has walked more lefties than he has struck out, contributing to a 6.17 xFIP over 31.2 innings.

SS Wilmer Flores, New York Mets vs. Chicago Cubs

Fanduel Price: $2,700 

Flores has been a sneaky little monster against lefties, tallying a .595 slugging percentage and a 36 percent hard contact rate over 37 at-bats. Mike Montgomery walks far too many batters to be an effective starter in the long run, which could make this an opportunity to grab some cheap righties in a stack.

High Risk/High Reward

Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

FanDuel Price: $10,200

Kluber is no stranger to dominant outings, but there are a few red flags in his peripherals that may make one hesitant to play him against a strong offensive team. First, we see that his hard contact rate against righties is close to 43 percent. It should also be noted that he gives up a few more homers to right-handers than we typically want in an ace, having allowed four over 27.1 innings. The good thing about pitchers like Kluber is their high strikeout rates can go a long way towards erasing mistakes, but owners may have to bite their nails before all is said and done.

1B Joey Gallo, Texas Rangers @ Houston Astros

FanDuel Price: $3,800

Gallo typifies the boom-or-bust option on most days, but there is an added layer of uncertainty for his matchup against hard-throwing prospect Francis Martes, who logged a 38:28 K:BB ratio in 32.1 innings at Triple-A Fresno this season. If he can remain patient, Gallo could put himself in counts to do damage with his .311 ISO, but there is an excellent chance that his 37 percent strikeout rate will be a factor in the matchup.