Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings, DraftDay, and Starstreet for 7/18/14

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Pitchers

Stephen Strasburg - FD 9700 DK 10500 DD 19050 SS 28700
I just love that his ERA is in the mid three’s because it keeps his prices around the industry artificially low. The fact remains that his xFIP is a full run lower, the K’s are among the highest in the league, the walks are among the lowest in the league for qualified starters and historically he’s much better at home. Even with the Brewers coming to town, I’m still on the Strasbandwagon now and going forward. It’s not like he’s coming free by any means, but for this type of pitcher his prices are more than fair.

Madison Bumgarner - FD 8800 DK 9500 DD 16450 SS 27000
Has quite a bit going for him today. Let’s start with the ballpark. The Marlins have a home stadium that severely depresses power for just about everyone except Giancarlo Stanton. That alone makes pitchers there worth considering. That the Marlins are also a below average team against lefties also helps. They rank in the bottom half of the league in both team OPS and K% against lefties. Bumgarner’s a solid upper tier get if you aren’t paying for Stras. In fact, in many ways he offers about the same expectation when factored for park and opponent for less money.

Ian Kennedy
FanDuel 7700 DraftKings 8600 DraftDay 15700 StarStreet 25200
Our system has loved him all season and it’s paid dividends. Kennedy remains undervalued across the board and honestly, I’ve played him a ton this season. The numbers are completely there for the guy. He’s striking out more than a batter an inning and carrying an xFIP in the low three’s. He also has the advantage of pitching in a great park for his skill set. The Mets have actually been coming around on offense of late, but are still not great. This is a solid spot for the guy and on two pitcher sites I will pair him almost everywhere.

Bartolo Colon
FanDuel 7600 DraftKings 7300 DraftDay 14900 StarStreet 21600
This is almost strictly a matchup play. The Padres are dreadful and really any pitcher lucky enough to take the mound against that crew is worth consideration. The big thing about Colon, besides his fat body, is he doesn’t walk anyone. This is awesome against a weak hitting squad in the Padres in a ballpark that keeps down power. Considering the opponent Colon appears safe-ish for his salaries.

Francisco Liriano - FD 6700 DK 7800 DD 11850 SS 19900
The Rockies are a tough team to evaluate. At home, they are obviously world beaters because of the ballpark. But you put this squad on the road and all of a sudden they drop down to 22nd in the league in team OPS with a 22% strike out rate. That’s a huge dip that points starkly to Mile High bolstering the overall numbers. We know this of course about the park but I just wanted to point out that the Rockies can be targeted when on the road. Liriano is just such an opportunity if you are chasing cheap upside.

 

Catchers

Brian McCann - FD 2800 DK 3700 DD 7200 SS 5000
Might as well start off the second half right we left off in the first half. By recommending McCann. This has to be the guy I’ve written the most about this season. I feel like I know the guy personally. Or at least his struggles. Dude’s Babip remains low as does the HR/FB%. I’m expecting a big second half from the guy and what a great way to start but against Mike Leake, a guy susceptible to the home run, playing in Yankee Stadium. Let’s go Brian. I have faith my brother.

Miguel Montero - FD 3000 DK 3900 DD 8250 SS 6500
He’s having a solid season against righties (he is horrific against lefties) with an .864 OPS and 136 wRC+. Montero is buoyed by the ballpark in Chase Field that’s among the best hitter’s homes in all of baseball. Edwin Jackson has strikeout potential but he also can get absolutely shelled on the right night. This is a tough spot for the guy in this ballpark where the margins are super thin.

Wilin Rosario - FD 3300 DK 4200 DD 7800 SS 6600
I’d like it so much better if the game were at home obviously. But we can consider Rosario against lefties almost anywhere because he’s kind of one of the best hitters in the league against them. Rosario’s OPS is over 1K on this side of the split. Of course, much of this is thanks to the thin Denver air. But we can’t put the numbers all on that. I’d take the other two guys ahead of him, but this is an interesting option today even with the bad ballpark and Liriano being decent.

 

 

First Basemen

 
Chris Davis - FD 2900 DK 5000 DD 8950 SS 7500
Davis is still priced at less than superstar values, and while that" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'outbound-article', 'http://partners.fanduel.com/processing/clickthrgh.asp?btag=a_3086b_2"rel="nofollow">FD</a> 6700 <a href="http://partners.draftkings.com/aff_c?offer_id=128&aff_id=33414"rel="nofollow">DK</a> 7800 <a href="https://www.draftday.com/invite/camerondiggs"rel-"no follow">DD</a> 11850 <a href="https://www.starstreet.com/?invite_code=dfsr"rel-"no follow">SS</a> 19900</strong><br />\nThe Rockies are a tough team to evaluate. At home, they are obviously world beaters because of the ballpark. But you put this squad on the road and all of a sudden they drop down to 22nd in the league in team OPS with a 22% strike out rate. That’s a huge dip that points starkly to Mile High bolstering the overall numbers. We know this of course about the park but I just wanted to point out that the Rockies can be targeted when on the road. Liriano is just such an opportunity if you are chasing cheap upside.</p>\n<p> </p>\n<h3><strong>Catchers</strong></h3>\n<p><strong>Brian McCann</strong> - <a href="http://partners.fanduel.com/processing/clickthrgh.asp?btag=a_3086b_2"rel="nofollow">FD</a> 2800 <a href="http://partners.draftkings.com/aff_c?offer_id=128&aff_id=33414"rel="no follow">DK</a> 3700 <a href="https://www.draftday.com/invite/camerondiggs"rel-"no follow">DD</a> 7200 <a href="https://www.starstreet.com/?invite_code=dfsr"rel-"no follow">SS</a> 5000<br />\nMight as well start off the second half right we left off in the first half. By recommending McCann. This has to be the guy I’ve written the most about this season. I feel like I know the guy personally. Or at least his struggles. Dude’s Babip remains low as does the HR/FB%. I’m expecting a big second half from the guy and what a great way to start but against Mike Leake, a guy susceptible to the home run, playing in Yankee Stadium. Let’s go Brian. I have faith my brother.</p>\n<p><strong>Miguel Montero</strong> - <a href="http://partners.fanduel.com/processing/clickthrgh.asp?btag=a_3086b_2"rel="nofollow">FD</a> 3000 <a href="http://partners.draftkings.com/aff_c?offer_id=128&aff_id=33414"rel="no follow">DK</a> 3900 <a href="https://www.draftday.com/invite/camerondiggs"rel-"no follow">DD</a> 8250 <a href="https://www.starstreet.com/?invite_code=dfsr"rel-"no follow">SS</a> 6500<br />\nHe’s having a solid season against righties (he is horrific against lefties) with an .864 OPS and 136 wRC+. Montero is buoyed by the ballpark in Chase Field that’s among the best hitter’s homes in all of baseball. Edwin Jackson has strikeout potential but he also can get absolutely shelled on the right night. This is a tough spot for the guy in this ballpark where the margins are super thin.</p>\n<p><strong>Wilin Rosario</strong> - <a href="http://partners.fanduel.com/processing/clickthrgh.asp?btag=a_3086b_2"rel="nofollow">FD</a> 3300 <a href="http://partners.draftkings.com/aff_c?offer_id=128&aff_id=33414"rel="no follow">DK</a> 4200 <a href="https://www.draftday.com/invite/camerondiggs"rel-"no follow">DD</a> 7800 <a href="https://www.starstreet.com/?invite_code=dfsr"rel-"no follow">SS</a> 6600<br />\nI’d like it so much better if the game were at home obviously. But we can consider Rosario against lefties almost anywhere because he’s kind of one of the best hitters in the league against them. Rosario’s OPS is over 1K on this side of the split. Of course, much of this is thanks to the thin Denver air. But we can’t put the numbers all on that. I’d take the other two guys ahead of him, but this is an interesting option today even with the bad ballpark and Liriano being decent.</p>\n<p> </p>\n<p> </p>\n<h3><strong>First Basemen</strong></h3>\n<p> <br />\n<strong>Chris Davis</strong> - <a href="http://partners.fanduel.com/processing/clickthrgh.asp?btag=a_3086b_2"rel="nofollow">FD</a> 2900 <a href="http://partners.draftkings.com/aff_c?offer_id=128&aff_id=33414"rel="no follow">DK</a> 5000 <a href="https://www.draftday.com/invite/camerondiggs"rel-"no follow">DD</a> 8950 <a href="https://www.starstreet.com/?invite_code=dfsr"rel-"no follow">SS</a> 7500<br />\nDavis is still priced at less than superstar values, and while that', '\nMark Teixeira - FD']);" s fair enough given this season's downturn in home runs, he still has as much upside as anyone when he's facing a right handed pitcher. Samardzija is enough pitcher to worry any daily fantasy baseball player, but our projection system likes Davis significantly more than any other first baseman you may consider. For me it just comes down to upside - a guy who can turn on a ball like Davis needs to be considered at these prices vs. right handed pitchers.

Mark Teixeira - FD 3400 DK 4600 DD 9750 SS 7000
On a day where a whole gaggle of number 1 starters are going, a league average guy like Mike Leake is a welcome sight. Teixeira has been a lot better against righties this year, posting a .366 wOBA as opposed to a .311 wOBA against lefties, and Yankee Stadium is a wonderful place for lefties of any stripe(!) to hit.

Anthony Rizzo - FD 3600 DK 5300 DD 10350 SS 7800
Trevor Cahill has posted a decent K rate this year, but the walk rate is an utter disaster, and the patient and powerful Rizzo should be poised to make the most of it. Rizzo has posted a wOBA .45 points better against righties than left in his short career, and should enjoying bombing the ball in Arizona's terrific hitters' park.

Also considered: Adrian Gonzalez, Mike Napoli

 

Second Basemen

Tommy La Stella - FD 2500 DK 3400 DD 6550 SS 5800
A.J. Burnett’s been subpar this season and one very important number sticks out to me here: the walk rate on either side of this matchup. Burnett is walking close to four batters per nine while TLS takes free passes more than he strikes out. Patient hitters crush Burnett as they can wait out his swing and miss stuff. La Stella isn’t going to do a whole ton else for you, but getting on base is a way to get things rolling and makes a cheap cash game play.

Ben Zobrist - FD 3400 DK 4200 DD 8900 SS 7400
I am going to keep betting against Kyle Gibson. I know he’s put together some games in which he kept the runs down. But this wasn’t for much else but luck (CHECK HIS GAME LOG). He remains a dude without major league swing and miss stuff. Pitchers like this can get by for only so long. And then is all falls apart. Zobrist is just kind of a guy. He doesn’t do anything really well, but also doesn’t kill you anywhere either.

Daniel Murphy - FD 2800 DK 4100 DD 8150 SS 6600
Murphy is your guy if you're setting a double up lineup. San Diego is a hell of a place to hit, and Kennedy is a more than adequate pitcher... but Murphy just seems to go out and do a little something every game. The price is depressed because you aren't going to get a whole lot of upside, but I don't mind him if you just want to fill your 2b slot cheaply and forget about it.

Also consideredd: Dustin Pedroia
 

 

Shortstops

 
Jimmy Rollins - FD 3000 DK 4200 DD 9100 SS 7200
Has there ever been a quieter 20/30 season from a short stop? Rollins isn't there yet, but that's the pace, and that's a pretty phenomenal fantasy season. Ervin Santana isn't a bad pitcher or anything, but Rollins is as capable as any short stop in the game of putting up a monster, and on a day where the pickins are slim, I'm vibing Rollins as the head of the class.

Elvis Andrus - FD 2700 DK 4000 DD 7450 SS 5500
It's less than an ideal day for Short Stops, so I'm taking Andrus largely for the sake of safety. His skill set is largely getting on base, running, and scoring runs, and Dickey is actually a pretty decent guy to face if that's your game. Knuckle ballers can't do much to suppress the running game, and if Andrus does get on, I expect him to have the green light.

Starlin Castro - FD 3000 DK 4100 DD 7650 SS 6200
This is mostly a case of match-up, and to be clear, I vastly prefer the two guys above him. Castro prefers left handed pitching, but he's still quite affordable for his skills and I have a gut feeling that Cahill gets run from this game early. If he does, Castro is quite likely to be at the center of it.

Also considered: Jed Lowrie, Asdrubal Cabrera

 

Third Basemen

 
Pablo Sandoval - FD 3000 DK 4100 DD 7950 SS 7100
I'm going to get real with you for a second - third base is an absolute mess today. I don't particularly love Sandoval today, but Nathan Eovaldi hasn't struck out more than 3 guys in a start since June 8th. Strike outs aren't everything, but Big Panda should get ample opportunity to put some liners in play, and that could lead to a big day.

Josh Donaldson - FD 3300 DK 4500 DD 9500 SS 7500
"Whoa there," you're saying to yourself. "Josh Donaldson against a righty? Have the DFSR guys gone absolutely mad?" No. Third base is that bad. What Donaldson has going for him today is A) just being generally awesome and B) Tillman's peripherals are some of the worst in the game. 74 Ks against 48 BBs in 118 innings is plain horrible, and a hitter of Donaldson's caliber should be able to cause a ruckus regardless of his handedness.

Evan Longoria - FD 3400 DK 4600 DD 9450 SS 7300
Same story for Longoria as Donaldson. Longoria is worse than Donaldson, but Gibson is worse than Tillman. I give the nod to Donaldson overall, but the upside is still quite large here. Longoria has been a complete failure against right handed pitching this year, but Kyle Gibson and is microscopic K rate could be enough to pull Longoria back from the depths.

Also considered: David Wright, Trevor Plouffe
 

Outfielders

Austin Jackson - FD 2500 DK 3900 DD 8150 SS 5800
Our projection system can't quite you, Austin Jackson. While it hasn't been a banner year for the Tigers' outfielder, a lot of that can be attributed to a BABIP .37 points below his career levels. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it's a tough day to be a hitter - and we're going to be playing a lot of guys against the weaker pitchers of the day like Bauer. Jackson also happens to be a pretty heavy reverse platoon split guy, so facing a righty actually plays to his strengths.

Andrew McCutchen - FD 5200 DK 5800 DD 13550 SS 11200
McCutchen is one of the best hitters against left handers in the world, full stop. And on a day where a lot of his contemporaries are facing aces, he gets one Jorge De La Rosa. De La Rosa has 73 Ks and 45 BBs against 103 IP, and not all of that can be attributed to Coors Field.

Bryce Harper - FD 3000 DK 4300 DD 7850 SS 7200
Harper has sucked this year. But he's a guy who was a $5,000 player on FanDuel to start the season, and after some injury troubles, he's all of a sudden a $3,000 guy? Give me a break. The hate has gone way too far, and whether he gets his stuff together now or later this season, he simply isn't going to finish the year with a .682 OPS. He can still crush right handed pitching, and Lohse isn't a pitcher who scares me today.

Shin-Soo Choo - FD 3000 DK 4600 DD 8650 SS 6900
Choo is a guy our system continues to be a fan of in spite of his year to date line, and for good reason. The skills are all still there, and making sweeping decisions on whom to play based on a half a season's data isn't always wise. Choo's patient approach could pay dividends against Dickey, and while I don't picture huge upside here, he could turn out a more than solid line.

Yoenis Cespedes - FD 3000 DK 4400 DD 8050 SS 6700
A's stack, anyone? Can't write it in 20 different ways, but Cespedes is a monster upside hitter on any given day, and if Tillman is up to Tillman stuff, he better pray that Cespedes doesn't get a hold of one of his many mistakes.

Jason Heyward - FD 3100 DK 4100 DD 9100 SS 7500
I write this every time Heyward plays against a righty, but Heyward doesn't need to be the superstar he was projected to be to be a great daily fantasy baseball play. The guy has a .468 OPS against left handed pitching, which is about as bad as it gets. Against righties, though? His .802 number is more than adequate, and you're still getting him at very affordable prices. Burnett has shown flashes of brilliance this year, but he's also showed some extreme wildness, and Heyward could take advantage.

Jacoby Ellsbury - FD 3700 DK 4600 DD 10050 SS 8000
Again, on a day with so many aces, getting a great lefty hitter at home against a merely average righty is like finding an oasis in the desert. Ellsbury will be a part of all my Yankees stack lineups.

Also considered: Matt Holliday, Oscar Taveras, Domonic Brown, Starling Marte

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