Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks for FanDuel, DraftStreet, and DraftKings 5/25/14

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Going to get a little weird at pitcher tonight.

Stephen Strasburg FanDuel 10000 DraftKings 11400 DraftStreet 21203
Much is made of Strasburg's home/road splits. With good reason. His numbers are significantly better at home than on the road. But there are reasons to like him tonight. First of all, his price is reflective of his ERA and not the underlying numbers that paint a slightly different picture. His xFIP is 2.56 and he's getting nickeled and dimed with a .356 Babip that is allowing innings to extended on him. His K's and BB's are very much in line with his career averages and he's limiting the home run. The Pirates are a fine enough offensive team, but not worth avoiding. I think people will be turned off on Stras because of some either bias (he's screwed them recently) or the H/R thing. I'm putting him in there tonight. Pittsburgh is a pitcher's park and Stras has been unlucky.

David Price FanDuel 9300 DraftKings 11200 DraftStreet 19763
I still very much believe. Price is, on paper by some simple metrics, having the best season of his career. He's rocking an unbelievable 13:1 K:BB ratio. He has 77 K's and 6 walks. If you are new to baseball let me bring you up to speed: This is fucking amazing. The problem from price is that the lack of walks has turned into a huge spike in home runs. The latter I don't think is sustainable. His HR/FB% is way out of line with his career averages. But alas, this along with a high Babip against has his ERA in the low 4's while his xFIP is 2.56. The Red Sox are in the top third of the league against lefties, but they also strikeout 22% of the time. I'm taking Price, at home, as an upside play tonight.

Dallas Keuchel FanDuel 7700 DraftKings 9900 DraftStreet 17366
Our system hasn't caught up to his performance yet, but that's fine. Sometimes you need to use some just good only genius-level judgment (works for me, try it) and roll with a dude who is bringing it this season. The big thing for Dallas this season has been limiting the walks. He's taken his BB/9 from 3.05 to 1.75, keeping needless batters from reaching base. It's working. His ERA and xFIP are below 3 and he's keeping the ball in the ballpark. The Mariners are 26th in the league in wOBA against lefties. Keuchel is coming real cheap on FanDuel and in the second tiering on DraftKings and DraftStreet. (Update: Keuchel has been scratched)

Corey Kluber FanDuel 8300 DraftKings 10300 DraftStreet 19394
Don't love that he's facing Baltimore, which is why he's sitting so far down on the list. So I'm nonplussed on that end. But man Kluber has been nails. He's striking out more than 10 guys per 9 and his xFIP is 2.72, a full half run lower than his ERA. He's turning in to the pitcher we thought he'd be going into the season. I'm tempered because of the opponent, but the K upside is for sure there.

Jaime Garcia FanDuel 7800 DraftKings 7800 DraftStreet 13405
Get a little weird tonight.



Jason Castro FanDuel 3300 DraftKings 4100 DraftStreet 5354
Striking out at an ungodly rate. Which isn't the line you usually want to see leading into the first of the hitter's picks. But man, 31.5% is disgusting. Good news? Brandon Maurer doesn't strike anyone out at all. His K/9 is a weak 4.88 and he isn't a favorite to send anyone down. Castro makes a high upside play against a weak pitcher.

Josmil Pinto FanDuel 3000 DraftKings 3600 DraftStreet 5855
Not a guy who hits these lists very often. But he's climbing because his projections moving out are getting better as he continues to improve. Pinto's walk rate is an awesome 15% and he's OPS'ing about .800 (a great number for a catcher). And if anything, he's running bad with only a .270 Babip. Starting to groove on Pinto a little bit more and is a guy I'll be keeping an eye on going forward.

Miguel Montero FanDuel 3100 DraftKings 3800 DraftStreet 4563
Zack Wheeler has some strikeout potential, but man Montero has been good this season. He's drastically cut down on his strikeouts, has the walk rate going and has show some pop. He's got crazy drastic splits that favor him facing righties and he carries a .345 wOBA against that hand. That's not All-Star level of course, but it suffices.

Consider Jarrod Saltalamacchia


First Basemen

Mark Teixeira FanDuel 3600 DraftKings 4800 DraftStreet 8222
You want to get Tex in on left handers. You especially want to get him in on lefties that suck. I give you Mr. John Danks. Danks rocks an xFIP close to 5 and walks nearly 4.5 guys per nine innings. He struggles. Tex is significantly better against righties and U.S. Cellular Field amps up power to all sides of the plate. This is a sick spot for Teixiera.

Anthony Rizzo FanDuel 3200 DraftKings 4400 DraftStreet 7199
Donn Roach is about as good as you would expect a guy named "Donn Roach" to be. So yeah, he sucks. Good news for those buying on Rizzo. His number is lower in some places than others, but I like him today even in the disadvantageous ballpark. Our system accounts for that and Rizzo is significantly better against righties. Especially righties named Donn Roach. (Update: America's favorite isn't pitching, but instead is lefty Billy Buckner. This downgrades Rizzo)

Joe Mauer FanDuel 2900 DraftKings 4700 DraftStreet 5043
Says more about the state of first base tonight than it does about Mauer himself. Here's a guy who is what he is. He gets on base. He hits some singles. Every once in a while one of those singles becomes a double. And every so often one of those doubles becomes a home run. That's Joe Mauer in a nutshell. I think he's a cheaper, safer play against Vogelsong. But this is mostly because I really don't like many of the higher priced first base options tonight as they are too expensive.

Mark Reynolds FanDuel 2600 DraftKings 3700 DraftStreet 4865
He's an all or nothing guy, a two true outcomes player. Home run or strikeout is what you're looking at. I'd consider him as a cheap GPP play against Jacob Turner.


Second Basemen

Dee Gordon FanDuel 3700 DraftKings 4900 DraftStreet 7166
Continues to get on base. And then steal bases. Hell, he stole three just last night. Guys like Gordon we are buying because of speed. The Phillies over the last year have been among the worst in the league at throwing out base stealers with a team rSB of -4. This is bad and ranks near the bottom of the league. Combine this with rookie David Buchanan taking the mound and we could be looking at Gordon taking off to the races again.

Jedd Gyorko FanDuel 2400 DraftKings 3700 DraftStreet 2862
He's one of these guys that turns up every time there's a lefty on the mound. That's because his splits are so much in favor of him facing southpaws that he needs to be on your radar, even with the shitstorm he's been a part of offensively this year. It's equal parts Babip and increased K%. One is being unlucky. The other is him being bad. He's probably somewhere in between. Travis Wood has been decent this season but I'm willing to take a flyer on Gyorko because of the price and platoon advantage.

Scooter Gennett FanDuel 2300 DraftKings 3400 DraftStreet 5449
Gennett has a 144 wRC+ against righties over the last season. That's a healthy number for a second baseman and hitting at the top of the Brewer order (even if they've been cut by injury) offers its advantages. Jacob Turner isn't as horrible as his ERA would suggest, but he isn't good either. I like Gennett today and would consider stacking some Brewer bats in some spots.

Consider Chase Utley



Hanley Ramirez FanDuel 4000 DraftKings 5200 DraftStreet 7834
Swing is looking real long right now, a bad sign as a guy ages. That's a dime store opinion of course as I'm more a numbers guy than any kind of scout. But it just seems, from what I've seen of him, that he isn't tracking as well or catching up with the fastball. He's also been real unlucky. But hey, that's why crappy teams like the Phillies promote losers like David Buchanan. To break their opponents out of slumps. Is there another reason? Hanley's actually shown some increased power lately, a logical leap considering his HR/FB rate was crazy low and bound to regress. I think he keeps it going tonight even with the reverse platoon split.

Everth Cabrera FanDuel 2400 DraftKings 3800 DraftStreet 4398
Everth, like Jedd is a guy you need to really have some shares in when facing a lefty. Over the last year, even in a limited sample size, Cabrera has an .890 OPS. This is a big number for anyone, and really out of the box for a shortstop. The problem for Cabrera this year is that he seems to be hitting with a wiffle ball bat, and that's when he's actually making contact.

Jean Segura FanDuel 2900 DraftKings 3700 DraftStreet 6023
He's in that classic shortstop mold of kind-of-don't-really-do-anything-offensively and yet we are still talking about him because the position is just always so hard to fill. I'll target him tonight because he has a nice matchup against Turner. Segura can steal some bases but getting on base has been his issue. His OBP is currently under .300, which is abysmal. It's a little Babip, but not much. Like, don't love this play tonight.

Consider Jed Lowrie and Troy Tulowitzki (duh)


Third Basemen

Carlos Santana FanDuel 3100 DraftKings 4200 DraftStreet 3948
Man the price is just still so low which is why he continues to show up on our picks. He's been running so, so bad this year and we've been over that fact many times. I'm willing to target him here against Ubaldo because of the price mostly. It's an odd day for hitters and the top end salary guys don't really seem worth it. Santana is a crazy value on DraftStreet and is probably in must-start territory for me there. He's a solid value across the board as well.

Todd Frazier FanDuel 3400 DraftKings 4100 DraftStreet 6469
Should be starting tonight against the lefty Garcia, and if he is that's great news for you. Frazier has an OPS close to .800 over the last year against lefties with a 118 wRC+ in that timeframe. Jaime Garcia is still very much an unknown quantity as he returns from injury. I don't really like the Reds in general but I'll make an exception here.

Pablo Sandoval FanDuel 2900 DraftKings 4000 DraftStreet 6356
He went yard last night, but our system doesn't really account for that. What is knows is that the price is still right for his expectation going forward and Ricky Nolasco is just an average pitcher. Plus Panda is better against righties with an OPS split about 100 points higher against that hand.

Consider Matt Dominguez



Coco Crisp FanDuel 3100 DraftKings 3800 DraftStreet 7401
It's pretty tough to believe in R.A. Dickey at this point, especially with the walk rate so elevated. This is the reason you want to target Crisp. He walks all the time, almost as much as he's striking out. He's getting on base more than enough to justify the salary here. Though Dickey can dial up the K's every once in a while, I'm not too concerned about it in this spot. I firmly believe we are still buying low on Crisp.

Matt Holliday FanDuel 3200 DraftKings 5000 DraftStreet 5211
He's having a hell of a time this year. His OPS is super low for him, hovering around the .750 mark. This can be attributed in large part to him running extremely bad in his HR/FB rate. His career average is 15.8%. This season? 4.3%. Get ready for some regression. The rest of his batted ball profile is in line with his career averages, except for that one number. I'm all over Holliday today against Cingrani, who I have no faith in. This is a great spot at a low cost. Also put:

Allen Craig FanDuel 2800 DraftKings 4400 DraftStreet 4674
Right along with him.

Christian Yelich FanDuel 3400 DraftKings 4400 DraftStreet 6217
I am not a believer in Wily Peralta and still trust Yelich to capitalize on weaker righty pitching. Yelich has been the benefactor of a decent amount of luck in terms of scoring runs this year (the Fish seem to knock him in every time) so I think those numbers are a little inflated. But he's been good, getting on base and is much better against righties.

Alfonso Soriano FanDuel 2900 DraftKings 4000 DraftStreet 4516
He's been really struggling. Really, really struggling. But the splits are there in favor of him facing lefties and Danks sucks. So there's that. Over the last year Soriano owns a .912 OPS against lefties along with a 146 wRC+. These numbers point to why it's so important to understand platoon matchups in DFS. Even with Soriano struggling, the salary is so low and split so high that he needs to be on your radar, especially considering the opposing pitcher is garbage.

Gerardo Parra FanDuel 2700 DraftKings 3600 DraftStreet 5640
Just so much better against righties. Wheeler has K stuff but struggles to go late in games and also has control issues at times. Parra, over the last year, has a .352 wOBA against righties with a 119 wRC+. He doesn't strike too much and hits near the top of the lineup which has helped boost some of his run totals.

Consider Alex Gordon and Shin-Soo Choo

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