Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings, and DraftStreet for 7/13/14

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Pitchers

Julio Teheran FanDuel 7800 DraftKings 9400 DraftStreet 20825
Teheran has turned into a master of his craft – with 110 Ks and just 29 walks in 128 IP, he’s turned into the ace that prospectors thought he’d be when he was coming up. Aside from 2 tough starts (his most recent anomaly against the Mets, and a tough one at Coors Field), Teheran has paid off these prices very solidly during every start this season. The good news in this one? He’s got the Chicago Cubs, who own the 4th worst strike out rate of any team in major league baseball. I think Teheran pitches deep and amasses a nice K pile, and I’m not worried in the least about one bad start. Also, the Cubs prefer to lose instead of win, which helps Teheran’s chances for a win.

Madison Bumgarner FanDuel 8800 DraftKings 9500 DraftStreet 19999
Bumgarner is essentially a slightly richer man’s version of Julio Teheran. Impeccable control, swing and miss stuff, and a better home park. He’ll square off against Arizona, and while the D-backs don’t K nearly as much as the Cubs, they’ve compiled a significantly worse wOBA (.306, good for 22nd in the majors) in spite of having a terrific home park to hit in. They won’t be so lucky in this contest, as foggy San Francisco is no Bank One Ballpark. The other major bump he gets? Vidal Nuno should have a tough time against the Giants’ offense.

Hyun-Jin Ryu FanDuel 7500 DraftKings 8700 DraftStreet 18430
All three pitchers at the top of our list tonight have a similar profile – but Ryu is the worst of the three. He has good but not excellent control, and a good but not great K rate. Like Teheran, his season’s line is largely marred by one bad recent outing. What he’s got going for him is significant, however, and that’s the opposing offense. The Padres are dead last in wOBA, and it isn’t even close. Their .273 mark is .21 points below the next worst offense, and they pair their historic futility with the league’s 6th worse K rate. Ryu won’t need to be Bumgarner or Teheran to put together a monster fantasy start today.

Also considered: Francicso Liriano

 

Catchers

Brian McCann FanDuel 2800 DraftKings 3700 DraftStreet 5419
Hey, look! Brian McCann is on top of our projection system’s catcher rankings, again! Well, hopefully you’ve seen that the system has been right on McCann recently, but his teammates haven’t cooperated. McCann is spraying BBs all over the field, and it stands to reason that his teammates will bring him home or do him the courtesy of getting on base every once in a while. My hunch tells me that the Yankees make quick work of Kevin Gausman, who for all of his promise, just isn’t a finished product.

Buster Posey FanDuel 3100 DraftKings 4000 DraftStreet 5243
Clearly more upside than McCann, even if it’s not a banner year for Posey, either. Before you get concerned about guys in off years, understand that poor year to date performance can come from a number of reasons, not the least of which is bad BABIP luck. The case for Posey? The guy has shredded left handed pitching for a near 1.000 OPS over the course of his brief career, and Vidal Nuno almost certainly ranks in the bottom quartile of the lefties Posey has head the pleasure of abusing over the course of his career.

The rest:
It’s tough to imagine going away from these two tonight, but if you must, there are a heap of guys with some upside but some significant downside as well. Wilin Rosario has a fly ball pitcher at home, but he hates facing righties. Jason Castro has historically been great against righties, but has really struggled against them this year. Me? I’m with McCann and Posey.

 

First Basemen

Mark Teixeira FanDuel 3300 DraftKings 4600 DraftStreet 6519
One of those Yankees stack days. The Yankees have a number of guys who can hit right handed pitching, and Teixeira tends to reap the benefits when they all get going. With a 2 homer game in the last week, Teixeira has shown that he unquestionably has the upside to be a part of a GPP winning squad, and if our projection system is right and Gausman gets chased, Teixeira will be right at the center of it.

Chris Davis FanDuel 3000 DraftKings 5000 DraftStreet 4692
The price keeps dropping as Davis’ struggles continue, but daily fantasy baseball is about finding the guys who are due for a bounceback. Our projection system has Davis at the top of that list. In this game he has a heck of a lot going for him – Chase Whitley shouldn’t be able to exploit the holes in Davis’ swings the way that some pitchers can. Davis’ peripherals are actually pretty similar to his peak seasons, so what’s the deal with the depressed line? BABIP problems. Davis’ BABIP is .75 points below his career norms, which leaves him as the guy who I think is most likely to have a huge bounceback second half. This means I’ll be a buyer in the interim.

Adam Dunn FanDuel 3000 DraftKings 3800 DraftStreet 4536
Bauer is wild and can surrender the long ball. He can also strike guys out. Since Dunn is the king of the three true outcomes, I think his game ending line will be 1/3 with 2 Ks, a walk, and a homer. Okay, projecting a specific line is a little bit silly. But still. I think Dunn is a favorite to pay off his price and then some in today’s matchup, and guys with a home run swing like this have to be in any conversation about having the highest upside for his position on any given night.

Also considered: Justin Morneau, Adrian Gonzalez

 

Second Basemen

Brian Dozier FanDuel 3000 DraftKings 4700 DraftStreet 7575
He’s turned into one of the best HR/SB guys in the game, somehow, and he’s walking into a match up that quite literally was made in heaven for him. Brett Anderson is a shell of the shell of his former self, with just 5 Ks against 5 BBs in 15 IP. Colorado isn’t the friendliest place to pitch, either, so Dozier and his .378 wOBA against left handed pitching should be able to cash in on the stars aligning for him. Dozier’s on the top of my list, and it isn’t even close.

Dustin Pedroia FanDuel 3200 DraftKings 4500 DraftStreet 6522
The case for Pedroia? The opposing pitcher. Pedroia prefers lefties, but Cosart is just bad enough to bump the low-upside Pedroia into the second position on our second base list for the day. Cosart’s 67 Ks in 104 IP are bad, but his 47 BBs in those same innings are worse. It will take an act from God for Cosart to escape the season as a starter, and let’s hope the road to his obsolescence starts today.

Ian Kinsler FanDuel 4200 DraftKings 4600 DraftStreet 8599
The Tigers are probably the favorite to score the most total fantasy points against left handed pitching on any given night, but it is always tough to get them in due to price concerns. Kinsler is damned expensive for a 2b, but he’s also pretty much worth it. His .386 wOBA against left handers is excellent, and the left handed Mummy Bruce Chen (with his 7.11 ERA) will be about as effective as a real life mummy would be against him.

Also considered: Howie Kendrick, Jason Kipnis, Aaron Hill

 

Shortstops

Troy Tulowitzki FanDuel 4700 DraftKings 5900 DraftStreet 8979
You know, I don’t take a Tulo, lightly, and neither does our projection system. Hughes’ peripherals remain terrific this year, but he’s surrendering a ton of hits, and surrendering hits like that can lead to big innings and big problems in Colorado. Tulo is just on a different level this year, and facing a guy who allows balls to get up in the air could mean a huge game for my NL first half MVP.

Asdrubal Cabrera FanDuel 3000 DraftKings 4000 DraftStreet 5425
Cabrera is a fun daily fantasy baseball play because he is pretty much platoon neutral, meaning you can play him against left or right handed pitchers. The big factor contributing to this ranking are the pitcher he’s facing. John Danks and his 79 Ks and 44 BBs in 112 IP this year have made many a fantasy owner happy this year, and Cabrera’s little-bit-of-everything approach should put him in position for something from a solid to monster performance.

Elvis Andrus FanDuel 2700 DraftKings 4100 DraftStreet 5628
If you feel like going the low-risk and relatively low reward route at SS today, Elvis Andrus makes an intriguing option. The case for Andrus essentially boils down to the fact that his teammates should be able to drive him in against Tyler Skaggs. Texas is a great hitters’ park, and Skaggs’ lack of strike-out stuff is going to put Andrus in position for a very solid day.

 

Third Basemen

David Wright FanDuel 3600 DraftKings 4500 DraftStreet 7174
It sorta breaks my heart to watch a season where David Wright has a sub .800 OPS, but his terrible season line can’t be blamed on his performance against left handed pitching. He’s put them through the ringer even in this off year to the tune of a .402 batting average. If you aren’t a daily fantasy baseball junkie, you may not be aware that Brad Hand (whom Wright will be facing) is simply horrible. 27 Ks against 19 BBs in 35 IP is an embarrassment, and Wright should run him.

Trevor Plouffe FanDuel 2600 DraftKings 4500 DraftStreet 6087
Plouffe paid you if you played him when we recommended him vs. De La Rosa on Friday, and he gets another crack at a lousy lefty on Sunday. Plouffe is one of the classic platoon guys that play in the majors today, and should be able to employ his one marketable major league skill (crushing lefties) to great effect against Brett Anderson.

The rest:
Another position where the next best options are intriguing, but who have warts. Kelly Johnson is a darling in our projection system, but his rather horrific fantasy season has me feeling gun-shy. Martin Prado loves lefties, but does he love Bumgarner? Feels doubtful. Chris Johnson, Ryan Zimmerman, and Nolan Arenado are also highly regarded by our projection system, but each has their concerns as well. I’d feel OK about any of these guys, but not as terrific as I’d feel with Wright or Plouffe.

 

Outfielders

Mike Trout FanDuel 5400 DraftKings 6200 DraftStreet 10239
Mike Trout has been absolutely ridiculous this year, putting up a .430 wOBA (wtf!?) while essentially being just as good against right handed and left handed pitching. Our projection system is rightfully skeptical of Scott Baker, and it believes he’s going to make Baker look like a batting practice pitcher in the friendly hitters’ confines in Arlington.

Bryce Harper FanDuel 3000 DraftKings 4300 DraftStreet 4898
Far be it from me to tell you to catch a falling knife (okay, you got me, I do this all the time), but I recommended Harper on Friday and he homered in a situation just like this one. Harper’s price could be 50% higher than it is now by the end of the season, and if it is, it’s because he’s going to make good on what he does best: destroy right handed pitching. Kyle Kendrick is probably a good family man or something, but his lack of K stuff and general suckitude when it comes to pitching in the major leagues should leave plenty of opportunity for another Harper long ball.

Austin Jackson FanDuel 2500 DraftKings 3900 DraftStreet 4424
Like Kinsler, Jackson is a guy who gets to be a part of the Bruce Chen sweepstakes. Jackson should get a lot of opportunity to hit with men on base in this game, and our projection system thinks he’ll make the most of it. Again, an underperforming guy who our projection system continues to believe in. It paid off when we recommended him for Friday’s games, and I think it will on Sunday as well.

Justin Upton FanDuel 3400 DraftKings 5000 DraftStreet 7803
Okay, so now that the early season semi-embarrassing MVP talk has died down, Upton is back to around the level of performance where he’s settled in these last few years. The one big difference in Upton’s game this year (aside from the frustrating K rate) is the widening gap in his platoon splits. Upton boasts an impossible .485 wOBA against left handed pitching this year, and he should make a ton of very hard contact against Travis Wood today.

Josh Hamilton FanDuel 3300 DraftKings 4600 DraftStreet 6862

Jacoby Ellsbury FanDuel 3700 DraftKings 4600 DraftStreet 7475
By the time we get to the bottom of these writeups, it’s tough to come up with new ways to say the same things. Ellsbury is still one of the game’s premier speed threats, and is quite a bit better against right handed pitching. Josh Hamilton’s ranking is very much the same story – a career righty killer who has a great matchup (Scott Baker) in a great hitter’s park (Texas).

Alex Rios FanDuel 3100 DraftKings 4600 DraftStreet 6575
Rios is a fun player for daily fantasy baseball because he’s basically Mike Trout against left handed pitching (.437 wOBA this year) and Andrelton Simmons (.297 wOBA) against right handed pitching. Good news! He’s facing the left handed Tyler Skaggs in this contest, and in a terrific hitter’s park, to boot. Rios is a fantastic play today.

Also considered: Oscar Taveras, Carlos Gonzalez, Jose Bautista, Yoenis Cespedes, Matt Holliday, Josh Willingham.

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