Welcome to our new series covering RIVAL Fantasy picks for MLB! We will focus on two fantasy contest types offered on RIVAL; Challenges and FantasyBook (Over/Under).
Challenges are H2H matchups between two MLB players. You choose which one you think will score the most fantasy points, then place a bet to back it. If another user chooses the other player at any time before the contest, the bet is on! If your player scores more fantasy points, you win 1.8x your bet. FantasyBook is more traditional than what you may be used to from other fantasy sites, offering you Fantasy Point lines for pitchers and hitters. Choose whether you think they will score Over or Under that set line, and choose your bet. You can parlay multiple picks together to vastly increase the juice (ex: 3 picks = 5x your bet).
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RIVAL Challenge Picks
Drew Rasmussen vs. Austin Hays
Rasmussen and the Rays will square off against the Reds, a team that has been pretty average at the plate. The key here is that the Rays are -190 and favored to win by 1.6 runs today. He wasn’t sharp last time out (vs. TOR), but he’ll do enough to get by Hays today.
Randy Arozarena vs. Manny Machado
These are top-quality hitters, but one has a much more favorable pitcher matchup. Arozarena will face Levi Stoudt, while Machado will face veteran Charlie Morton. Stoudt is the #23 prospect in the Reds system, and he’ll be making his MLB debut today at home against the Rays. Advantage: Arozarena and the Rays.
Wander Franco vs. Nathaniel Lowe
I’d advise going with all Rays in these Challenge picks, as you can tell by my recommendations today. Both of these hitters have been under their RIVAL fantasy line more often than not lately, but as stated above, Franco and the Rays get a wonderful opportunity to feast against a rookie making his first start. To quote Kramer: “Giddy up.”
RIVAL Over/Under Picks
Max Scherzer (OVER), Mike Clevinger (UNDER), Jhony Brito (UNDER)
RIVAL has a unique scoring format for pitchers. Strikeouts mean nothing except that they aid the IP total. A Win is 4 points, IP is 1 point, and ER is -1 point.
So IP-ER is the baseline. Then determining the possibility of securing the W for the bonus 4 points will almost always catapult a decent pitching line to be over ~6 points.
Scherzer and the Mets are -140 favorites to win today, and I think he has a strong chance to hit his win bonus and go over his 5.16 RIVAL fantasy point line today. The Dodgers roll out a tough lineup to navigate, but Scherzer is one of the most dominant pitchers in the sport, and he shouldn’t be intimidated by anything with his experience.
Clevinger has impressed through three starts with his new team on the south side of Chicago, but unfortunately, it appears regression is coming sooner rather than later. His 5.91 xERA is in stark contrast to his 2.20 ERA, while he’s walking many people and not getting many swings and misses or strikeouts. The Phillies rank fourth in OPS vs. right-handed pitching, and they are the slight favorites today, so it’s unlikely we see any win bonus being attributed to Clevinger.
Brito impressed in his first start and got the job done in the second, but it all fell apart for him in his latest start against the Twins. He allowed 11 hits, eight earned runs, one homer, and four walks while striking out eight. Remember, strikeouts don’t count for anything on this site as it stands right now. Trout, Ohtani, and the rest of Angels are more than capable of getting to the prospect early and often, and I don’t see any chance that he will walk away from this game with his win bonus.
Tyler Stephenson (UNDER), Wander Franco (Over), James Outman (UNDER)
Hitting on RIVAL is much more standard. One point for single, four points for a home run, one for a run, and one for an RBI.
Rasmussen is an excellent pitcher, and Stephenson has gone under his RIVAL fantasy line in four of his last five games.
While Franco has hit a bit of a cold streak, all that has done is pushed his RIVAL fantasy line down to a spot where we have to like his chances to hit the over today. He’s facing a rookie making his MLB debut in Levi Stoudt.
Outman has been one of the top breakout players in the MLB in this young 2023 season, posting a 1.009 OPS with three homers, ten RBI, ten runs scored, and two steals. However, he’s facing Max Scherzer today. I will side with the Hall of Fame starting pitcher every time here.
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A multi-lingual talent head, Allen is fluent in languages such as Spanish, Russian, Italian, and many more. He has a special curiosity for the events and stories revolving in and around US and caters an uncompromising form of journalistic standard for the audiences.