Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks for FanDuel 1/1/14

Ahh - nothing better than aces getting bombed in the first, randoms getting 14 FPs, and getting 1 guy wrong on every team. Hope your opening day was as daily fantasy sportsarific as mine was! But you're here for picks. So let's do some picks.

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A little note about baseball picks

If you're coming over from basketball - welcome. If you're a lifelong fantasy baseball player, welcome. I want to give a quick heads up about how we are going to do our baseball picks.

Unlike basketball, contextual information matters very little baseball. Guys rarely take days off, and "playing well recently" means almost nothing. Playing time hardly ever changes (unlike in basketball where guys can increase their opportunities by 50% on a coach's whim), and when it does, it's fairly obvious.

So, we're going to be giving picks each day without huge write-ups. The only thing that changes about a player in a given day (for the most part) is the park he's playing in and the pitcher he is facing. Most of the other stuff is noise, unless a player has drastically changed his position in the lineup. For pitchers, all that really matters is who they are facing, which park, and if they've been recently injured.

We cool?

Let's do it.



A quick philosophical note on Pitchers. There's an industry thought that you "have to pay for pitching." This is a bunch of nonsense. For every position, we're looking for value. Our system will project points per $ - and 10 points from a 5k pitcher is better than 15 points from a 9k pitcher.

CC Sabathia $7,100
It's that time of year when people get to face the Astros! Say what you will about CC's decline, but the Astros are forced to use ping pong paddles when they step to the plate. Or at least you'd think so.

CJ Wilson $6,800
Wilson draws the 1927 Yankees Mariners, who rank among the worst in the league at facing lefty pitching. They also K a ton vs. southpaws. Very nice matchup here.

Ian Kennedy FD $5,800
Pitching in San Diego (one of the top 3 pitcher's parks) at a decent price against a less than elite offense Kennedy makes a fine play.

Brett Anderson FD $5,100
It's easy to forget that Brett Anderson was once a total sure thing - with Ks, control, and stamina. Well, I haven't forgotten, Brett. The control wasn't there last year, but that's normal when returning from injury. And he's facing the Marlins! Let's be clear, this is a RISKY GPP play, but the upside is very real.


Buster Posey FanDuel 4000 DraftKings 4100
If you want to spend, Posey is your guy. Posey basically turns into Miguel Cabrera when he faces lefties, and Miley is on the lower end of day 2 starters. Fantastic play today.

Yan Gomes FanDuel 2900 DraftKings 3600
Gomes got a little lucky last year, but the lefty-mashing he displayed is very, very real. I get that Kazmir had a nice bounce back and all, but Gomes should have no problem getting around on him.

Carlos Ruiz FanDuel 3100 DraftKings 3100
Chooch had a strong opening performance, and now faces a lefty in an excellent park for hitters. With an OPS 50 pts higher against lefties for his career, Ruiz makes a very attractive start.


First Basemen

Nick Swisher FanDuel 3000 DraftKings 3600
Though he faces a guy in Kazmir that bounced back from oblivion last season, Swish has a few things going for him. One is his 920 OPS verse lefties last season. Couple that with a few Kazmir control issues and you've got a solid play. Oh and maybe Swish thought Kazmir was a dick in the locker room last year or something (speculation based on nothing except me wanting Swisher to be good today). This is one of our top plays on the day.

Adrian Gonzalez FanDuel 3800 DraftKings 4200
We look at a lot of components when making picks. Parks, splits, opposing pitcher, etc. San Diego is definitely not conducive to monster games. But Ian Kennedy is. Especially Ian Kennedy against lefties. They can tee him up. Gonzalez falls into that second tier of first basemen in terms of price but I like his multiplier more than some of the big boys, and never had any problem hitting in Petco.

Justin Morneau FanDuel 3300 DraftKings 4000
A quiet start for Morneau in his new home - but Morneau can give it to righties, and Eovaldi is one of the worst 2nd starters in the league.


Second Basemen

Ryan Raburn FanDuel 2700 DraftKings 2700
You are seeing a lot of Indians on this list today for good reason. They rake lefties. Raburn is the kind of platoon player you want to target on the right day. What does he do against lefties? Try a .437 wOba against southpaws on the season. For those keeping score at home, that's awesome. Coming crazy cheap. Just make sure he's in the starting lineup, but he should be. He's listed as an OF on the other two sites, but is still a bargain there as well.

Dan Uggla FanDuel 2900 DraftKings 3300
Uggla gets round two in Milwaukee's homer-happy park, and this time against Kyle Lohse. Lohse is OK and all, but he's a pitch to contact guy, which eliminates Uggla's principal weakness.



Chris Owings FanDuel 2700 DraftKings 2300
Dirt cheap, and facing the declining Cain at home.

Erick Aybar FanDuel 3100 DraftKings 3300
Aybar draws the less than great Erasmo Ramirez. Ramirez is one of the worst 2nd starters out there, and Aybar is pretty much the same against righties and lefties.

Jean Segura FanDuel 4000 DraftKings 4100
Segura is actually projected to outscore the higher priced Hanley and Tulo tomorrow, as they both suffer from playing in horrendous parks. He tailed off at the end of the last year, but the system loves the gains he made last year.


Third Basemen

Carlos Santana FanDuel 3800 DraftKings 4200
Santana's patient and powerful approach should wreak havoc on his former battery mate, even in Oakland.

Aramis Ramirez FanDuel 3400 DraftKings 4000
Another guy with a big righty/lefty split, it stands to reason that Wood should have a lot of opportunities with other DFSR recommendations Ryan Braun and Jean Segura. The Brew crew are a heck of a lot better against lefties, much to Alex Wood's chagrin.

Chase Headley FanDuel 3300 DraftKings 3800
Greinke was insanely lucky last year, and battled some classic Greinke ailments during Spring Training. Headley does terrifically against right handed fly ball pitchers, even in Petco.

Pablo Sandoval FanDuel 3400 DraftKings 4000
For your stack purposes, Sandoval, Posey, and Pence make a pretty decent combination. Sandoval is actually a bit worse against lefties - so I'd only play him as a "home run" move in a GPP format with the other Giants going.



Ryan Braun FanDuel 4400 DraftKings 5000
Juicy McJuicealot brings his lefty crushing attitude up against Alex Wood. Wood is a nice young pitcher and everything, but Braun is still an animal. He'll be played by everyone, everywhere.

Giancarlo Stanton FanDuel 4400 DraftKings 4300
Stanton is sooo ready to test Anderson's left arm. Park isn't ideal, but the pitcher plays to Stanton's strengths perfectly.

Ben Revere FanDuel 3000 DraftKings 3700
Interesting, because the system is totally unaware of Revere's opening day performance. It very much likes revere against the left-handed Perez in Texas.

Marcell Ozuna FanDuel 2900 DraftKings 3600
Ozuna made us look smart with a hell of a game yesterday, and the lefty masher draws Brett Anderson tonight. Anderson remains a wild card, and Ozuna could have another big game.

Jeff Baker FanDuel 2200 DraftKings 2700
Baker is hitting in the middle of this lineup, and like Ozuna and Stanton, he's designed to crush lefties. A fine opening day, and it is shaping up to be a decent performance here as well.

Carl Crawford FanDuel 3100 DraftKings 4000
Crawford draws a nice match-up in Kennedy. He doesn't care about the lack of home-run possibilities. His speed and gap power play perfectly in Petco. Ethier makes a nice play in this game as well, as a righty masher.

Dexter Fowler FanDuel 3000 DraftKings 3700
Fowler is better against lefties, and CC wasn't exactly himself last year. He doesn't need the Astros to go off to have a very effective performance.

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