Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks for FanDuel, DraftStreet, and DraftKings 5/19/14
Really slow day in baseball. We'll just do some quick picks for those playing the short slate tonight.
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Stephen Strasburg FanDuel 10200 DraftKings 11100 DraftStreet 21998
Feel like I'm obligated to put him first and well he should be. Strasburg's numbers this season are some of the best of his career. What sways public opinion on Stras is that his blow ups early in the season were high profile and he didn't last more than five innings in each. The rest of his season he's been nails. He carries big time home/road splits for his career that probably just are a real thing. His home ERA is a full run less in Washington and today gets the Reds, a middle of the pack team against righties who become even worse without Votto at the top of the lineup. Stras will be a huge cash game start and it is risky to fade him in this spot.
Garrett Richards FanDuel 7200
I would consider him everywhere but on FanDuel he is a crazy steal. Priced 30% less than Strasburg. This makes the cash game consideration here a bit closer. Richards has been super solid this season, striking out more than a batter an inning. I think he's running a little hot and is a bit overpriced on other sites because of it. The Astros strike out a ton but they aren't complete dogs. For instance, Richards is more than Stras on DraftStreet. This is probably a mistake. He's been good, but not that good. On FanDuel roll it without hesitation. When he's priced same as Stras, go Stephen.
Mike Minor FanDuel 7800 DraftKings 8300 DraftStreet 16666
Coming at a crazy discount on a short day. Minor has been super solid in his first three starts back from injury. He's striking out about 8.5 batters per nine, keeping the walks down and a crazy HF/FB rate is what's keeping his ERA high. That's great news for you because others will look at the ERA and suspect he's a dud. He's not. The Brewers strike out the third most in the league against lefties at close to a 25% rate. Minor has great upside today even with a coupld of Brew Crew guys like Braun and Lucroy who pound lefty pitching. It's the risk you can take and Minor makes a great play on the short slate.
Tyler Flowers FanDuel 2400 DraftKings 3100 DraftStreet 3136
Going cheap and effective here. There aren't a ton of solid catching options today so I'm willing to take a L/R matchup from the everyday catcher. Flowers isn't that good, but neither is Vargas and don't let that 3.00 ERA fool you too much. His xFIP is nearly a full run higher and K's aren't part of his profile. Vargas isn't awful, but he's below average even with keeping the walks down. Flowers has a little pop and comes in at minimum prices allowing for flexibility elsewhere.
Wilson Ramos FanDuel 2800 DraftKings 3500 DraftStreet 5363
Ramos has started slowly since returning from injury and that's to be expected to some degree. One thing to know about him is that over the last year he's actually been a reverse splits guy, hitting better against righties (almost an 800 OPS) than lefties. That's good to know so as not to make snap judgments about a righty facing another righty. Mike Leake doesn't strike out many batters and Ramos is still coming cheap.
Eric Hosmer FanDuel 2700 DraftKings 3800 DraftStreet 6329
Let's pick on the weakest pitcher of the bunch shall we? Scott Carroll is just dreadful. Just real, real bad and probably shouldn't be in the majors. He is striking out an astonishing low 2.42 batters per nine. This is the lowest number I can remember seeing. And it's a real problem facing a Royal team that really doesn't K anyway. You'll see a lot of Royals stacks today for that very reason. Cash games too. It just makes sense on a slow day to target the worst arm. Hosmer hasn't exactly been Ted Williams this season, and has exhibited just about no power. Some of it is bad luck with his HR/FB% trailing his career average by a mile. But he also hits a ton of groundballs. I still like him today and some other Royals too.
Freddie Freeman FanDuel 3500 DraftKings 4300 DraftStreet 7303
Targeting the long ball here. Freeman has big time power upside and faces a pitcher whose primary weakness is allowing opposing batters to circle the bases. Though Wily Peralta has been better this season, he's not nearly as good as his sub three ERA would suggest. And for his career, his HR/FB rate suggests that keeping the ball in the park is a challenge. Really like Freeman in this spot and want to stay away from some of the other live arms throwing today.
Consider: Albert Pujols
Good luck here tonight. I don't love any of these options.
Howie Kendrick FanDuel 3400 DraftKings 4600 DraftStreet 6665
The platoon splits are definitely in his favor as he OPS's nearly one hundred points higher against lefties. He's got a 136 wRC+ against southpaws over the last year. It's just that Keuchel has been a damn good pitcher this year. That's what tempers my excitement about the L/R matchup. Keuchel is really showing strike out potential and carrying an xFIP under three. On a short night there is no way around it really, but beware of how good this might look on paper.
After Kendrick there is literally not one other guy I'd feel even remotely comfortable playing be it for price, or matchup, or he sucks.
Johnny Giavotella FanDuel 2400 DraftKings 2500 DraftStreet 4326
So let's just go cheap why don't we. Like his Royal brethren Johnny G pulls the best pitchign matchup of the day. He isn't a good hitter and I think he has very, very little upside. But as I said before, the this position is not good today and I'm willing to pretty much punt it.
Thought second base was bad? You haven't seen anything yet.
Erick Aybar FanDuel 3000 DraftKings 3800 DraftStreet 5650
Hate it but you've got to start someone here. Don't really have much else to say about. Aybar does nothing real well except get to swing a bat a little bit after Trout, Pujols, Kendrick, etc. So he's got that going for him, which is nice.
Ian Desmond FanDuel 2900 DraftKings 3700 DraftStreet 4487
Really the only other "offensive" shortstop. And I don't mean that his fielding is offensive (which it is). I'm not interested in paying the big tag for a run hit Alexei Ramirez and Desmond is a decent tag against a mediocre pitcher in Leake.
Carlos Santana FanDuel 3400 DraftKings 4200 DraftStreet 5347
His price is starting to creep up out of the basement, mostly on the legs of one monster game. The rest of what he's been doing is much of the same. Hitting groundballs and walking. This isn't exactly a recipe for fantasy success unless you have insane wheels. Carlos does not. But I'm still buying him. He's pretty platoon neutral with the slight edge toward facing lefties, which he does today in Smyly. Not a great play, but the Indians in general are better facing southpaws so I think there is some upside here.
Mike Moustakas FanDuel 2600 DraftKings 3300 DraftStreet 5738
Again, we are going after Scott Carroll. Moustakas has never been a high Babip guy. But what he's doing this season is low for even him. His Babip sits at .161, nearly one hundred points off his career average. Much of the rest of his batted ball profile is in line with his careeer numbers, leading me to think this is just an unlucky spell. He isn't a great hitter, but there is some power in the bat. I'll buy him today on the cheap against a garbage arm.
Alex Gordon FanDuel 2300 DraftKings 3900 DraftStreet 5295
Pretty much finishing off my run on Royals for the day. I will be playing Gordon everywhere tomorrow. And it isn't because he went yard yesterday. That was bound to happen as his HR/FB% was so ungodly low that it stood to reason he would begin to regress and but some balls in the stands. He isn't a huge power guy, but he's got pop and his price has been driven into the basement by his lack of power this season. You are paying punt prices for a guy who's a good player. He's striking out much less this season which is great. He's also hitting more gorund balls, which isn't But the number isn't dramatic. What is/was is how bad he was running on the home run. This will begin to turn around.
Ryan Braun FanDuel 4500 DraftKings 5600 DraftStreet 7878 and/or
Mike Trout FanDuel 4800 DraftKings 5900 DraftStreet 9669
I'm listing them together here because they are both around the same price, bot have matchups against lefties, but those lefties are above average so it tempers my excitement a little considering the price tags. I think you should have one or the other in lineups today. My suggestion would be basically to start Trout in games you are playing Minor and if not, then save a few bucks and play Braun. I think from a strategy point of view, it works.
Dayan Viciedo FanDuel 3200 DraftKings 3500 DraftStreet 5203
Over his career Dayan has been much better against lefties even if the numbers from the past year don't totally back that up. In that timeframe his splits are reversed. So really anyway you look at it, it's good news for Viciedo. Will be playing him against Vargas today. Viciedo's problem is with Abreu out of the lineup, the White Sox become even less likely to score runs. It's not a protection thing, there is just one less superstar type to drive in guys. It could be a problem for this squad that was running hot to start the season anyway.
Jason Heyward FanDuel 2900 DraftKings 3500 DraftStreet 5044
Feel like I recommend him every day. And everyday he's just kind of "meh and we move on with our lives. His ISO has been garbage this year and without looking it up, he's got to be one of the worst lead off hitters in baseball relative to OBP. But the Braves keep trotting him out there and for his prices I think you can too. Wily Peralta can generate some swings and misses, but not a ton. The salaries are so low that you can easily make it happen and the fact that Hey ward chucks in some steals does raise his floor a little.
Consider: Norichika Aoki
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