Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks for FanDuel, Draftkings, and Draftstreet 4/3/14

Baseball season is trucking along and we are churning out winners. Guys like Charlie Morton yesterday won you money. And that wasn't all. Our pitcher recs were generally off board and lights out. Lets be profitable again today.

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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.


Wandy Rodriguez FanDuel 4900
The system continues to spit out winners from the Pirates, and it loves Wandy against the hapless Cubs. Same reason as we suggested Morton last night - the price is simply to cheap against a team this bad.

Felix Doubront FanDuel 4600 DraftKings 7200 DraftStreet 11400
Doubront is a high strike out guy who is pitching in a game where his team will be likely to win. And he's awfully cheap as well. I guess what we're saying tonight is: Go Cheap, or you might wind up going home.

Ivan Nova FanDuel 6400 DraftKings 8000 DraftStreet 16080
If you're desperate to spend, Nova makes an interesting start against Oberholtzer and the Astros. 7 innings and a win with a few Ks sprinkled in is totally in play here.

Brandon Morrow FanDuel 5200 DraftKings 8400 DraftStreet 16090
Morrow will be a contrarian play, but he's dirt cheap, and pitching in a terrific pitcher's ball park. Clearly a risky move, but one that could pay off when no one else is on him.



Matt Wieters FanDuel 3300 DraftKings 3500 DraftStreet 6070
Got a text from my boy Mike the other day that said, "Love to see Marty (sic) Wieters strike out." This shows you how we feel about Matty W. around here. I've shared more than my share of hate across a variety of mediums about this guy over the years. But I'm in on him today. He beast lefties and Doubront, while a big K guy, also can get wild.

Matt Wieters FanDuel 3300 DraftKings 3500 DraftStreet 6070
I don't love how far down in the order he hits, but catcher is tough today and I don't think I'll be targeting any of the bigger money options except for Wieters. Zunino faces off against Jesse Chavez. I expected to look up some numbers on Chavez and make fun of him. Tough to do as he had decent peripherals in the minors. But he's still an unproven commodity called upon in a pinch because of injuries.


First Basemen

Adam Dunn FanDuel 2700 DraftKings 3700 DraftStreet 5038
This is where FanDuel would do well to account for splits. Dunn faces off against Hughes - a pitcher who struggles with the long ball - in a park perfectly suited for the long ball.

Mark Teixeira FanDuel 3500 DraftKings 4300 DraftStreet 6990
Love him against Oberholtzer, who doesn't have the power arm to take advantage of Tex's declining bat speed. Teixeira should be ON THE MARK!!! against the young pitch-to-contact Lefty.

Mike Napoli FanDuel 3300 DraftKings 3800 DraftStreet 5460
Great match-up for Napoli, as the soft-tossing Chen and his lefty repertoire should be no match for no match for Napoli and his career .908 OPS vs. lefties.


Second Basemen

Ben Zobrist FanDuel 3600 DraftKings 3900 DraftStreet 5983
We have Zobrist as the top second basemen today for a couple of reasons. The first is because Brandon Morrow was essentially a pitching machine last year. The kind that grooves balls right over the middle of the plate. The kind you practice hitting against. He allowed close to a 1.000 OPS to lefties. That's insane. Zobrist as a switch hitter could crush.

Dustin Pedroia FanDuel 4100 DraftKings 4500 DraftStreet 7706
Whenever Dustin faces off against a lefty your ears and eyes and wallet should perk up. Because good things are going to happen. He mashed to the tune of a 937 OPS last year against southpaws and will be in Camden Yards, one of the best hitters parks for right handed hitters.

Neil Walker FanDuel 3100 DraftKings 3600 DraftStreet 5960
Will definitely be targeting some Pirates today against Jason Hammel. Walker isn't flashy, and there is a drop off from Zobrist to him, but for the dollars, Walker can absolutely get it done. Especially if you are putting Pirates in a stack today.



Derek Jeter FanDuel 2900 DraftKings 3900 DraftStreet 7511
Started the farewell tour by almost breaking his hand on a HBP. But he's still here (has been here forever) and has made a career by, among other things, beating up lefties pretty bad. Brett Oberholtzer can't strike anyone out so I see Jeter making a bunch of contact today. This is the top shortstop play for the money. (Can't wait until he retires)

J.J. Hardy FanDuel 3200 DraftKings 3500 DraftStreet 5926
It's always a good idea to pick out the times Hardy faces lefties. Last year he had a 350 wOba against the weird hand guys and Doubront is just such a guy. Not a lights out matchup for Hardy as Felix can rack up some K's but I like the spot.

Xander Bogaerts FanDuel 3100 DraftKings 4000 DraftStreet 6004
Xander and Hardy are actually pretty close in our system. Part of that is boosted by Bogaert's short, awesome run versus lefties last year so I think the numbers are a little noisy. That being said, Wei-Yin Chen won't blow anyone away and Camden yards can be unforgiving.

Troy Tulowitzki FanDuel 4200 DraftKings 4400 DraftStreet 8709
Dollar-for-dollar Tulo isn't the best SS option on the board, but if you're able to save in some other areas his matchup against Jacob Turner is advantageous.


Third Basemen

Pedro Alvarez FanDuel 3600 DraftKings 4000 DraftStreet 5653
Have to like Pedro today against Jason Hammel. The big third baseman has started slowly this season (nary a hit yet) but I think he breaks out of it today. Alvarez has big power upside and Hammel allowed 1.42 HR/9 last year with a close to 5 FIP. Hammel sucks.

Pablo Sandoval FanDuel 3500 DraftKings 3800 DraftStreet 6440
As a switch hitter, Big Panda is significantly better facing righty pitchers. And Bronson Arroyo isn't a threat to rack up strikeouts. Arizona allows more homeruns than league average to righties and Arroyo is susceptible to the long ball.

Trevor Plouffe FanDuel 2900 DraftKings 3000 DraftStreet 5800
I'm considering Plouffe whenever he faces a lefty. Trevor sported an 862 OPS versus lefties last year and Jose Quintana is about a league average pitcher. Oh, and US Cellular lets up lots and lots of homeruns to righties. This is a great spot for Plouffe.



Aaron Hicks FanDuel 2500 DraftKings 3700 DraftStreet 6048
Hicks is a guy you've got to watch all season. A word to the wise on FD prices - they reflect the total player, and hardly ever his split stats. Hicks' performance against righties is a crime against humanity, but he's totally serviceable against lefties, and getting him this cheap against a young lefty in a hitter's park is a very nice situation.

Yoenis Cespedes FanDuel 3600 DraftKings 4200 DraftStreet 8216
Like a lot of raw players, Cespedes has a huge platoon split, and facing the similarly raw Elias is really an ideal match-up for him. Lefties with an unpolished repertoire are where Cespedes makes his money.

Jay Bruce FanDuel 3800 DraftKings 4200 DraftStreet 6535
Not sure how many times I can write this in one night, but it really is as simple as this in most cases: another guy who is 100 OPS pts better against the opposite handed pitchers. Most of Cincinnati's reputation as a hitter's park comes from how it allows homers to righties, so Bruce won't benefit there, but the rest of the contextual factors are enough to make him a great play.

Bryce Harper FanDuel 4300 DraftKings 4200 DraftStreet 7695
Zack Wheeler was incredibly lucky in a lot of ways last year, and while he's a fine prospect, the public perception of him is probably a little greater than his current talent level. I think he'll be a star, but he isn't there yet, and Harper stands to capitalize in a nice righty/lefty matchup.

Angel Pagan FanDuel 3100 DraftKings 3700 DraftStreet 6835
Pagan is perfectly suited to take advantage of Arroyo's pitch to contact game - especially in the hitter happy Bank One ballpark. He gets a 50 OPS bump against righties.

Michael Cuddyer FanDuel 3500 DraftKings 3900 DraftStreet 6987
Cuddyer is actually considerably better against lefties, but the quality of the pitcher he is facing (Turner) is enough to make up for it.

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