Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks for FanDuel, DraftStreet, and DraftKings 5/15/14

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Michael Wacha DraftKings 10,000
Wacha was a top play yesterday and with the rain out the considerations are the same. So here is the writeup from yesterday. The only issue is that he isn't listed (at present) on FanDuel
The Cubs poured it on the other night, lighting up the Cardinals and boat-racing them out of the park. Don't fear, that won't happen again any time soon. At least not against a guy like Wacha. Wacha is bringing the heat this season, striking out nearly 11 batters per 9, limiting the walks and holding on to an xFIP under three. And the Cubs, even with that offensive outburst, remain very close to the bottom of the league in team wOBA against righties while striking out about 22% of the time.

Nathan Eovaldi FanDuel 7200 DraftKings 9300 DraftStreet 20998
Has been borderline terrific to start the season. Eovaldi has elevated his K rate about 30% this season, which doesn't seems to be smoke and mirrors. His xFIP is 3.15 (trailing the ERA by just a tad) and his walk rate is teeny tiny. This plus the Giants are in the bottom third of the league in team wOBA against righties with a .296. He's the most expensive pitcher on DraftStreet (I'd still play him), an absolute steal on FanDuel and seeming like a strong cash game play on DraftKings.

After these two the pitching gets a little weird. There are upside guys like Salazar and Ventura, but I don't love their matchups.

Tyson Ross FanDuel 6700 DraftKings 9000 DraftStreet 17779
A solid, if unspectacular play against Cincy today. Ross has been a decent pitcher to start the year. Doing nothing outstandingly, but not struggling in any real areas. His xFIP is in line with his low 3's ERA and he gets enough strikeouts to be DFS relevant. Walks a few too many batters which can hurt him getting deep into games. But the Reds are about league average against righties.

Lance Lynn FanDuel 7800 DraftKings 9300 DraftStreet 20766
Targeting matchup here almost exclusively. With some pitching coming cheaper today, Lynn grabs the Cubs, a team ranking near the bottom of the league in OPS and wOBA against righties. They also K a bunch. My queasiness comes from Lynn, who can be real shaky. When he is grooving, he generates swings and misses. But he can also struggle deep in counts to finish batters off. The debate today is whether to go with some pitchers with higher upsides, but against strong offenses. Lynn is the other direction. (Update: I thought Stl-Chc was being made a doubleheader today making both Lynn and Wacha in play. This is not the case. No Lynn today.)



Salvador Perez FanDuel 3100 DraftKings 3900 DraftStreet 6789
Could basically give the same writeup as two days ago when he faced off against a lefty. Over the last year Perez has a 122 wRC+ when southpaws are on the hill. He has pretty significant platoon splits when it comes to R/L match ups. Wei-Yin Chen is a decent pitcher who's been limiting his walks this season. That does temper my excitement on Perez a bit. But he still makes the top overall catching play today.

Brian McCann FanDuel 3200 DraftKings 3800 DraftStreet 5878
Jacob deGrom everyone. At best he's a lower end prospect. At worst, he gets fucking rocked today by the Yankees. I'm going with the latter. McCann is one of the few top end hitting catchers in the league, with a 781 OPS against righties over the last year. I really like just about every Yankee I can fit into lineups today, especially the lefties. Stack Yankees.

Jonathan Lucroy FanDuel 3300 DraftKings 4100 DraftStreet 6593
Lucroy has simply crushed lefties over his career and in the span of the past year has an .881 OPS and whopping 143 wRC+ against that hand. Lucroy's had a great start to the year and Wandy Rodriguez is, well, Wandy Rodriguez.


First Basemen

David Ortiz FanDuel 4200 DraftKings 5100 DraftStreet 9028
Phil Hughes has been pretty good this season. The move away from Yankee Stadium is helping him in that regard. One reason for this is because he's an extreme flyball pitcher and Yankee stadium doesn't fit that profile. But he's been running pretty good so far on his HR/FB rate and Ortiz is not the kind of guy you can keep letting flyballs up to. Take last night for example. I think he will punish Hughes today, even in a park that depresses power (though Ortiz doesn't seem bothered by it).

C.J. Cron FanDuel 2800 DraftKings 4200 DraftStreet 5725
He's been getting starts against lefties and I assume that'll happen again today Bedard, who sucks. Don't let the 3.38 ERA fool you. The xFIP is more in the mid 5's. It's why you'll see some more Angels below. Bedard is smoke and mirrors and Cron has been crushing this early season with an OPS over 1.000. He hasn't walked at all which is a bit of a concern, but I'm willing to keep the splits in his favor. I'd consider Albert Pujols under the same considerations.

Billy Butler FanDuel 2200 DraftKings 3900 DraftStreet 4454
Oof. Man I don't know. Seems broken. But is also coming at the minimums against a lefty.


Second Basemen

Neil Walker FanDuel 3300 DraftKings 4300 DraftStreet 6989
I really like the matchup the Pirates have against Gallardo. He is prone to the long ball and that is Walker's forte, at least early on in the season. Gallardo's xFIP is close to 4, he strikes out less that seven batters per nine and has been on a steady decline. Walker's splits favor righties and you'll see Alvarez below with almost the exact same writeup.

Howie Kendrick FanDuel 3800 DraftKings 4900 DraftStreet 6695
Because pitching is so cheap today I think you can slightly overpay on some position players. Kendrick represents one of those opportunities. His price is a little inflated, but that's okay. Because I think the Angels hammer Bedard and Kendrick is one of those righty vs. lefty platoon splits you want to be all over. His OPS against lefties is in the high 800s over the last season and he doesn't strike out much. This limits his downside especially against guys like Bedard who don't have a ton of swing and miss stuff.

Consider: Brian Roberts, Ryan Raburn



Yunel Escobar FanDuel 2200 DraftKings 3200 DraftStreet 4422
Wow is shortstop horrible today. Wow. Going for the minimum here with very few other considerations except that he plays every day and hits lefties much better (for him, it's all relative, he doesn't hit anyone that well at all). Again, between him and some of the pitching on the table you are going to be able to load up in some other places.

Erick Aybar FanDuel 3100 DraftKings 3800 DraftStreet 6632
Aybar is pretty platoon neutral. He's actually just kind of stuck in neutral in terms of actual hitting, or offense in general. He doesn't do a whole heck of a lot. That being said, he's sitting in a lineup with a bunch of other guys set to go off today and is playing a position that isn't the easiest to fill. Target the bad pitcher here in Bedard.

Consider: Alcides Escobar


Third Basemen

Evan Longoria FanDuel 3700 DraftKings 4500 DraftStreet 7369
Oh yes. Manhandles lefties. Just pulverizes them into a million little pieces. Over the last year Longoria has a .388 wOBA and .152 wRC+ against that hand. He is the best overall third baseman and one of the top plays today across the board. Tyler Skaggs has shown some flashes but he hasn't been striking out a ton of batters. Some other right hand hitting Rays are in the mix today, Longo being the best of them all. The perfect cash game option at this position and with some other salaries low in other areas, fitting him in should be no issue.

Carlos Santana FanDuel 3100 DraftKings 4200 DraftStreet 5102
I've been saying all along that Santana has been the very definition of running bad and that when his regression began we'd all be buying super low on his upside. He showed a little of that last night. Though I didn't recommend him yesterday, he had a big one, going yard and putting up some hits. There's more of this to come. His walk rate is awesome and the Babip is still super low. Grab him now against JA Happ as Carlos is slightly better against lefties.

Pedro Alvarez FanDuel 3300 DraftKings 3900 DraftStreet 6692
Honestly, just about everything I said about Walker holds true for Alvarez and I've said it before: these guys will often show up in the picks together.



Mike Trout FanDuel 4800 DraftKings 5700 DraftStreet 10347
To finish off some of the Angel loving today I bring you Mr. Trout. The big concern with him so far this season has been the strikeout. His K rate is a crazy high 27%. This is so inflated compared to his career averages that it does raise some eyebrows. Not a ton, but some. That being said, everything else is working in his favor today. The opponent in Bedard is weak and Trout has so much freaking upside it isn't funny. His price on FanDuel has dipped under 5K and that is feeling like a complete steal (something else missing from his game a bit this season). I'm loving Trout today though. Just too good of a matchup.

Jacoby Ellsbury FanDuel 3700 DraftKings 4600 DraftStreet 6936
Facing off against some pitcher no one outside of the Mets organization and some real die hard prospect watchers has ever heard of. Ellsbury is sitting at some fantastic prices across the board. And though he won't be staring down the short porch in right in Yankee Stadium, he showed last night even that when on base he's a threat to run. This is, without a doubt, buying low on Jacoby.

Carlos Gomez FanDuel 4400 DraftKings 5300 DraftStreet 9259
He's pretty far down in our system today and I'm not exactly sure why. He destroys lefty pitching and has close to a thousand OPS against southpaws over the last year. It makes it hard to explain why exactly our system has him so down the list, especially considering that Wandy Rodriguez is worse against righties. I'm bucking the system today if he's in the lineup (he sat yesterday and is waiting on the suspension).

Desmond Jennings FanDuel 3100 DraftKings 4600 DraftStreet 6313
Is so, so much better against lefties that I like to have some exposure to him when the price isn't corrected on that consideration. Today, it hasn't. He hits at the top of the order against lefties and you can easily stack him with Longoria and Wil Myers. Another reason I really like Jennings' potential is his power and speed combo, giving him some built in safety if he can reach base while really pushing the upside if the Rays get an extra at bat in a high-scoring game.

Ryan Braun FanDuel 4500 DraftKings 5700 DraftStreet 9543
If you think he plays the full game, I think this is a great spot to take Braun, especially if some folks are scared off by the injuries and uncertainty.

Shane Victorino FanDuel 3300 DraftKings 4300 DraftStreet 6850 and
Grady Sizemore FanDuel 3000 DraftKings 3200 DraftStreet 5481
Love where they are hitting in the order. Really like the matchup against Hughes and think the price is still very nice considering they are relative power/ speed threats.

Consider: Khris Davis, Grant Green

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