Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings, DraftDay and Draftster 8/28/14

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Pitchers

Early Games
Jake Arrieta - FD 8200 DK 9900 DD 17800 DFSTR 6600
The only guy for me in the early slate today. Arrieta paid off huge when we recommended him last time (unless his joke of a bullpen punted away the win), and not a lot changes for him here. He's still got great K stuff, and he's facing a middle of the road Cinci offense. The big sell, here, is guy who'll take the mound for the Reds. Dylan Axelrod has had something akin to no success at any level, and I think even the Cubs will be able to hit him. Time shall tell

If you feel like you want to go against the Arrieta grain, our projection system likes Kuroda against a guy whose literal last name is "Lobstein," but Detroit always spooks me, personally.

Late games
Sonny Gray - FD 8700 DK 8700 DD 19550 DFSTR 6900
Your safest bet at investing a decent chunk of salary at a solid multiplier today is one Sonny Gray. It's going to seem a little counter-intuitive. I mean, the Angels do have a good offense, and CJ Wilson isn't exactly a pushover. But the main things pushing me in this direction are: 1) A great park in which to pick and 2) the fact that there are no true aces today. It's important not to underestimate the impact of allocating a large portion of salary at a good multiplier, and on sites where pitchers simply outscore similarly priced hitters, I like Gray a decent amount.

Mike Minor - FD 6900 DK 7500 DD 14850 DFSTR 4900
The value play of the day sure seems to be Mike Minor. He's been decidedly unlucky this year: his 4.90 ERA is way ahead of his 3.73 xFIP. His peripherals look good, and the Braves should stand some chance against lefty Jon Niese (though I don't hate it if you just want to take Niese here instead). For me, it's a combination of Minor's good stuff and the Mets anemic offense. They've got the 2nd lowest wOBA in all of baseball (behind only the horrendous Padres), and Minor seems like both a safe play and one with some upside.

Also considered: Tommy Milone

 

Catchers

Early Games
Brian McCann - FD 2700 DK 3800 DD 7700 DFSTR 6800
Be prepared - I'm not sure how often we'll see the Kyle Lobstein unicorn pass through town, so I am dead set on making the most of it. The only thing even slightly dinging McCann is the platoon thing. Lobstein is left handed. But he could throw 2 balls simultaneously and I'd still like to stack basically every guy on the Yankees against him. The question will be: which Yankees to leave behind.

If you must stray from McCann, and I wouldn't, you can consider Devin Mesoraco to catch lightning in a bottle against Jake Arrieta.

Late Games
Evan Gattis - FD 3000 DK 4000 DD 8800 DFSTR 6600
If you're unfamiliar with the work of Evan Gattis - here's the straight dope. He sits around, biding his time against right handed pitchers, just waiting for left handed pitchers to come around. Then, like a snake that's finally digested a huge groundhog, he is ready to feast again. His .484 wOBA against left handers is simply out of this world, and the so-so peripherals of Jon Niese shouldn't scare us even a little.

Derek Norris - FD 2600 DK 3600 DD 7100 DFSTR 3000
Norris is a slightly poor man's version of Evan Gattis, and CJ Wilson is probably a poor man's version of Jon Niese. So, it all sort of comes out in the wash here. I give the nod to Gattis because the difference is actually somewhat sizeable, but Norris' .407 wOBA is nothing to sneeze at. He's a real hitter with tremendous pop against southpaws, and there's great upside here for sure.

Also considered: Salvador Perez

 

First Basemen

Early Games
Mark Teixeira - FD 2800 DK 4000 DD 9050 DFSTR 3000
Tex is actually my favorite Yankee today. First, he's probably the best Yankee against left handed pitching. Second, he's got some of the best power, which gives him nearly the highest upside. If he catches a "lob" he might send a characteristic "Tex-Message" over the left field fence. I feel sick. Let's move on.

Anthony Rizzo - FD 4000 DK 5000 DD 10500 DFSTR 7700
A-to the Rizz-o! The Cubs' resident righty crusher brings his 30 homers to bear against Dylan Axelrod who, again, and I hate to belabor the point, really has no business making the major league minimum. This is straight up assault.

Late games
Carlos Santana - FD 3500 DK 4300 DD 9300 DFSTR 3000
Our projection system finds it necessary to drag poor John Danks' name through the mud every 5 days, and for good reason. With 104 Ks against 61 BB in 158 IP, his peripherals are pretty grizzly. Santana's patience and power play right into Danks' weaknesses, and if Danks leaves the ball up in the zone, it could be a huge day for Santana.

Adam Dunn - FD 2600 DK 3700 DD 8250 DFSTR 3000
Dunn's not without his fair share of risk, but his .209 ISO is nothing to sneeze at. He could absolutely put up a negative score in any given game, but 17 of his 19 homers have come against right handed pitching this year, Comerica is definitely a park that allows the long ball.

Also considered: Albert Pujols

Second Basemen

Early Games
Brandon Phillips - FD 2600 DK 3700 DD 7300 DFSTR 4100
Ian Kinsler - FD 3400 DK 4700 DD 9550 DFSTR 6800
The system isn't truthfully crazy about either one of these guys, but it likes them best of a rather uninspiring bunch. Both face pretty tough pitchers, and neither from their favored platoon spot. If you can get a 2B on the cheap, I'd probably try to do that - but if the price is right, either of these guys will have way more upside than the cheaper options that will float early.

Late Games
Javier Baez - FD 3100 DK 4300 DD 8700 DFSTR 3000
Javy don't hurt 'em! Wow! Our projection system is just in love with Baez's upside today. With 3 homers in his last 8 games, Baez has flexed the power that had scouts drooling about his potential... and now he'll face the same quality pitching those scouts got to watch him against. I'm all in, here. <strong><em>Note: Baez is part of early slate.</em></strong>

Ben Zobrist - FD 3700 DK 4600 DD 9100 DFSTR 6000
Zobrist is sort of the opposite play of Baez. He's steady, with modest upside (9 homers and 9 steals this year), and Norris has actually turned in non-terrible peripherals this year. Zobrist is a great double up play in this spot, but I wouldn't bother with him in big GPPs

Also considered: Howie Kendrick.

Shortstops

Early Games
Starlin Castro - FD 3000 DK 3900 DD 8000 DFSTR 3200
Castro is officially posting the highest wRC+ of his career, and while he's not the superstar we hoped he'd be, he's still having a very solid season for a shortstop. I don't want to belabor the point about Axelrod, so let's just say this is a nice spot to play him in a good hitter's park.

Also considered: the Captain, Derek Jeter

Late Games
Erick Aybar - FD 2900 DK 4200 DD 8200 DFSTR 9900
When the Angels are clicking, Aybar has been right in the center of it all. In his last six games, he's averaged 3.75 fantasy points per game (on FanDuel), which frankly, is awesome. Sonny Gray is obviously a deterrent, but Aybar has been quite a bit better against right handed pitching this year, and it wouldn't shock me at all to see another solid performance out of him.

Elvis Andrus - FD 2400 DK 3600 DD 7400 DFSTR 3000
You know, I'm as obsessed with upside as the next guy, but I find myself playing Andrus with some frequently because shortstops so rarely have authentic upside (besides yesterday's primo pick one James Rollins!!). The upside that playing Andrus gives you is that you can allocate more money to more expensive guys, and the odd game where he reaches base a couple of times and sneaks across a run or two. Our projection system loves him on a points per dollar basis, and I think I do, too.

 

Third Basemen

Early Games
Chase Headley - FD 2700 DK 3600 DD 7550 DFSTR 3000
Martin Prado - FD 3000 DK 4300 DD 8650 DFSTR 8800
Lobstein!!!!!!! Both of these guys can hit a lefty, and Prado in particular.

Luis Valbuena - FD 2800 DK 4000 DD 7550 DFSTR 6700
A little bit off board, but Valbuena actually provides surprising upside (3 homers in his last 8), and Axelrod really is that bad. You could do a lot worse than just going cheap with Valbuena and spending more elsewhere.

Late Games
Josh Donaldson - FD 3700 DK 4700 DD 9500 DFSTR 5000
Donaldson has looked human this year overall, but his .452 wOBA against lefties is anything but. Wilson gets by more on reputation than stuff at this point, and if he makes a mistake near the zone, Donaldson should be able to realize his sky high ceiling in this game.

Adrian Beltre - FD 3200 DK 4500 DD 9750 DFSTR 8200
Beltre makes for an interesting play in the #2 slot here because he's a facing a good pitcher of the wrong handedness for his preferences. The thing with Beltre? He's pretty much a beast against righties too, with a .373 wOBA against them in the 2014 season. While McHugh is solid, he's not in the kind of class of pitcher that can overwhelmed a professional like Beltre, and I like the Texas 3B for both safety and upside.

Also considered: Feeling frisky? Consider a very cheap David Wright.

Outfielders

Early Games
Billy Hamilton - FD 3100 DK 4700 DD 8300 DFSTR 3900
Jay Bruce - FD 3200 DK 4300 DD 8350 DFSTR 3000
Our projection system isn't quite as high on the Reds' lefty outfielders as it often is, and that's likely due to the presence of a good pitcher on the mound for the Cubs. All that said - the early game outfielders are a pretty distressing site, and I don't really have a whole lot else to offer you here. If you're spending at OF early, these two are probably your best bet for both safety and upside.

Angel Pagan - FD 2500 DK 3900 DD 7650 DFSTR 4800
Not nearly enough Jordan Lyles hate in this column. Sorry about that. Watching Lyles struggle through 5 inning starts is a little like watching a 4 year old struggle with reading. You can guess that he might be able to do it at some point, that moment feels a LONG ways away. Anyway, Pagan is far from a superstar himself, but at these prices, I like the upside if he plays.

Also considered: Hunter Pence, Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury

Late Games

Coco Crisp - FD 2900 DK 4800 DD 9300 DFSTR 8300
Hey, the projection system gave you guys Crisp last night, and it paid off big. Well, it has him at the top of the list again, thinking he could hurt CJ Wilson the same way he did the Angels last night. Now, he's definitely a smidge better against righties, but at these prices, you're still getting a guy who can score points in a lot of different ways, and occasionally in bunches. I'm a buyer again tonight.

Mike Trout - FD 4300 DK 5600 DD 13450 DFSTR 5900
While Sonny Gray is a nice pitcher, the Angels can put up numbers against right handed pitchers. And the recent slump has Trout at one of his most affordable prices all season.

Nelson Cruz - FD 3400 DK 4900 DD 10200 DFSTR 5900
Adam Jones - FD 3600 DK 5100 DD 9600 DFSTR 6600
Nick Markakis - FD 2900 DK 4100 DD 7600 DFSTR 3000
I kinda love spending on outfield tonight. Our projection system is utterly unconvinced that Hellickson is a guy we should fear at all, and I have to say, I'm in agreement. A handful of good starts this year doesn't undo a career of gross peripheral stats, and I have a hard time picturing him fooling the Orioles outfielders.

Curtis Granderson - FD 2500 DK 3500 DD 7750 DFSTR 4700
Talk about a feast or famine play. I'll give the Grandy Man the nod for guy most likely to have the ugliest swing of the night and also most exciting at bat of the night. I'm not sure which one will show up, but there's a lot of upside potential on these prices if Minor leaves a couple in the zone for him.

Give a follow on Twitter @dailyfantasysr and @dougnorrie.

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