Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

James Davis

Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings, and DraftStreet 4/9/14

A funny day, with some discounted prices on superstars, some shallow positions, and some excellent bargain-basement pitching. A lot of possible mistakes to be made today, so dive into the picks and avoid the pitfalls.

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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.



Brandon Morrow FanDuel 5100 DraftKings 8400 DraftStreet 17668
Morrow has killed more fantasy teams of mine than any man should have to endure. I feel like I know, and hate, the guy personally. The thing is, that strikeout stuff plays better against Houston than just about anything, and Toronto should make quick work of Lucas Harrell. Easily my top play today.

Zach McAllister FanDuel 5200 DraftKings 0 DraftStreet 14420
DraftKings was behind the ball in getting the CLE/SD makeup game on the schedule, but McCallister makes a great play on the other two sites. He's not a world beater, but San Diego's anemic lineup shouldn't do a heck of a lot to him, anyway. Throw in Cleveland's ability to smash lefties and they should do pretty well in this one - giving McCallister a shot at some decent innings and a win.

Wandy Rodriguez FanDuel 5100 DraftKings 7700 DraftStreet 15429
It's just not a day to spend on pitching, to me. The Cubs managed just a .693 OPS vs. lefties last year, and with Jason Hammel going for them, I see a Pittsburgh W as fairly likely. Wandy still has some K ability, and I think he could do nicely here.

If you HAVE to spend on pitching, I don't hate Tim Lincecum, Zack Wheeler, or Matt Garza - but I'm going cheap today.



A.J. Pierzynski FanDuel 2700 DraftKings 3200 DraftStreet 4458
Everyone's least favorite catcher has always been a great hitter against righties, and I'm not sold on Ross' transition from the bullpen. Throw in a nice park, and you have a nice start.

Jason Castro FanDuel 3200 DraftKings 3600 DraftStreet 5181
The young catcher is off to an inauspicious start, but he's quite a good hitter against right handed pitching. It's those pesky lefties that make him look like Rey Ordonez-lite.

Brian McCann FanDuel 3300 DraftKings 4300 DraftStreet 5587
I'm feeling McCann at home against the underwhelming Miguel Gonzalez. Yankee stadium is great for lefties, and he's still batting in the heart of the order.


First Basemen

Justin Morneau FanDuel 3000 DraftKings 4700 DraftStreet 6772
I'm sorry if you're bored of me recommending Morneau, but the price remains ridiculous for what he's capable of at home vs. right handed pitching. Especially right handed pitchers named "Erik Johnson."

David Ortiz FanDuel 3900 DraftKings 4700 DraftStreet 8121
He loves it when you call him Big Pa-pi. I prefer to call him Sr. Ortiz. Whatever you call him, you can believe that if I like Pierzynski vs. the transitioning righty, I love Ortiz. Price is off early season highs, but nothing about my opinion of him has changed.

Nick Swisher FanDuel 3100 DraftKings 0 DraftStreet 6125
The switch hitter has always prefer lefties, and away from the safe confines of Petco, Eric Stults' smoke and mirrors routine isn't nearly so promising. Could be a big day for the Indians' lefty mashers.

If prices are a concern, I also like Encarnacion and Votto today.


Second Basemen

Neil Walker FanDuel 3000 DraftKings 3700 DraftStreet 6053
As I've noted many times in this space before, Walker is a righty crusher, plain and simple. It's SO important to know your switch hitters and how they perform against the different hands in daily fantasy baseball. Solid hitters park as well. Great play.

Ryan Raburn FanDuel 2300 DraftKings 0 DraftStreet 5100
I present to you Ryan Raburn: a man who was put on Earth to crush lefties. Raburn isn't quite as good against lefties as Walker is against righties, but he's also a lot cheaper. Love the possibility of added counting stats with the rest of Cleveland's lefty-killers.

Ben Zobrist FanDuel 3600 DraftKings 4500 DraftStreet 6387
The system loves Zobrist against Jeremy Guthrie, and so do I. KC is a slight hitters' park, and Guthrie is a hitters' pitcher. Zobrist is already consisting Zobristing this season, and I expect that to continue today.



Chris Owings FanDuel 2800 DraftKings 2400 DraftStreet 6080
The young Diamondback is running a lot this year, and has produced much better against righties in his career than lefties. His value doesn't really come from homerun pop, so playing in San Francisco isn't much of a concern to me.

Asdrubal Cabrera FanDuel 3100 DraftKings 0 DraftStreet 6309
Cabrera gets a big boost when facing lefties simply because so many of the guys who hit around him do. He's a little better against lefties himself, but his run-scoring and RBI opportunities will go way up against a guy like Stults as well. If you're worried about his early season woes, stop it.

Brad Miller FanDuel 3200 DraftKings 4200 DraftStreet 6633
It's a little bit weird to recommend any hitter in Safeco, but Miller is a guy who can break rules like these from time to time. The system isn't sold on Garrett Richards as a future ace, and on a bad day for Shorstop value, Miller is a pretty decent play. He's also about .40 OPS points better against righties for his career.


Third Basemen

Brett Lawrie FanDuel 2900 DraftKings 3700 DraftStreet 5575
Lawrie has been on pins and needles waiting to see when DFSR would recommend him, and his day in the sun has finally come. While Lawrie is slightly better against righties, this is largely a condemnation of Harrell. Lawrie is still priced very cheaply for what he is capable of on a good day.

Pedro Alvarez FanDuel 3600 DraftKings 4200 DraftStreet 5852
Jason Hammel in Chicago is just such a great match-up for my old pal Pedro. A not-too-great righty who gave up 22 homers in 137 IP last year on the back end of his career? Without strike-out stuff? Sign me up!

Mike Moustakas FanDuel 2600 DraftKings 3700 DraftStreet 4539
Okay! THIS is the game! I can feel it! Moustakas is .95 OPS points better against righties for his career, and .60 OPS better at home. Odorizzi has talent, but hasn't realized all of it yet. Bold prediction: Moustakas puts up his first homer of the season.

For your stacking pleasure, I also love Carlos Santana today if you are playing other Indians.



Grady Sizemore FanDuel 2800 DraftKings 4500 DraftStreet 6190
The sites refuse to price Grady as though he is going to play for the short term. He's been mashing, and sliding him in with the other Boston lefties is looking like a fantastic play today against the ex-reliever Ross.

Shin-Soo Choo FanDuel 3800 DraftKings 4800 DraftStreet 7746
Choo's on-base ability just makes him so damned steady, and that Texas lineup provides opportunities for counting stats that he's never had in his career before. The system isn't sure what to make of Peavy, but in Boston, I like Choo's chances for a nice line.

Carlos Gonzalez FanDuel 5500 DraftKings 5600 DraftStreet 9985
The sites are testing my stomach for paying for hitters, but this match-up is almost too good to be true. The unproven Erik Johnson, a righty, against the guy who has a 1K OPS at home vs. any handedness, and a .170 better OPS against righties for his career? Dream match-up, and worth paying for on a day where you can afford to go cheap with pitching.

Logan Morrison FanDuel 2400 DraftKings 3700 DraftStreet 4692
Seattle stack alert! I like Morrison if he's in the lineup against Richards. He's basically free, and can absolutely pay off on this price against a less than elite right-hander.

Colby Rasmus FanDuel 2900 DraftKings 3500 DraftStreet 5284
A terrific match-up for Rasmus to get his season on track. Colby's been uncharacteristically abysmal vs. righties this year, but he's actually quite good against them for his career, and Harrell is certainly a below average right-hander.

Bryce Harper FanDuel 3900 DraftKings 4400 DraftStreet 7024
Harper kills righties, and the system is unimpressed with Jacob Turner's chances to be a top pitcher this year. Getting him at a slight discount to early season prices, and it's a ridiculous overreaction to a small sample size.

David DeJesus FanDuel 2600 DraftKings 3000 DraftStreet 5268
Dejesus routinely makes a great play as a bargain basement platoon guy, and his match-up against Guthrie is a great spot to save some money in the OF.

Jose Bautista FanDuel 4800 DraftKings 4900 DraftStreet 9504
Harrell, of the 1.01:1 K:BB ratio last year, is just so overmatched in this one that it isn't funny. Bautista is one of the savviest hitters in the game today, and punishes mistakes as well as anyone. Feeling a little embarrassed for Harrell already.


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