Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks for FanDuel, DraftStreet, and DraftKings 5/31/14

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Masahiro Tanaka FanDuel 10500 DraftKings 12100 DraftStreet 25225
I'm no expert in multicultural integration, but it doesn't appear Tanaka is having an issues adjusting to a new country. In fact, I doubt he ever goes back to Japan. Seriously. I don't think he'll ever visit. I know if I had an xFIP of 2.30 at my job, I'd never leave. K'ing ten per nine? Sleeping over in the break room. He's been a stud no doubt about it. The Twins have actually been good against righties and it doesn't look fluky. But Tanaka has been so elite that you can kind of consider him against almost anyone. Only downside (and it will be for half the games this season) is the park.

Michael Wacha FanDuel 8400 DraftKings 9500 DraftStreet 18303
Wacha doesn't rate too far below Tanaka today. He's a bit behind him in raw points, but comes at such a cheaper tag almost everywhere that he makes a great cash game play. His points/$ is better than Tanaka across the board. The Giants are in the middle of the league against righties and strike out nearly 23% of the time. Busch Stadium really limits power to all sides of the plate, making Wacha even safer. If it helped me get some bigger bats in the lineup I'd really consider starting Wacha over Tanaka. His xFIP is just slightly north of three and he K's a batter an inning.

Brandon McCarthy FanDuel 5900 DraftKings 7200 DraftStreet 13689
Don't know what's gotten into him this season, but I like it. He's been real, real good. McCarthy's always been solid at limiting the free passes. But this year he's seen a bump in strike outs to go along with it. People will be off of him because of the 4.87 ERA. But his xFIP is running two runs below that at 2.88. You won't see much bigger difference this far into the the season and much of it is thanks to a staggering 21% Hr/FB rate that is nowhere near sustainable. Awesome chance to buy on him today and pair him with Wacha or Tanaka at cheaper prices against the weak Reds.

Drew Smyly FanDuel 6600 DraftKings 6000 DraftStreet 12265
Looking at Smyly today for two reasons. One, the Mariners are near the bottom of the league against lefties with a .643 OPS and .288 wOBA. Two, Smyly can strike batters out with an 8.12 K/9. That's good enough to throw in there as an upside play in some GPPs.

Consider Tyson Ross 



Victor Martinez FanDuel 3800 DraftKings 4800 DraftStreet 8119
Alex Avila FanDuel 2800 DraftKings 3500 DraftStreet 4738
I'm grouping them together, somewhat unfairly, but because their considerations are the same and VMart is catcher eligible on FanDuel and both get to face Chris Young today. He's one of our favorite pitchers to pick on. Young is terrible. I know he has a sub four era. But his xFIP is close to six and he doesn't strike anyone out. I'll get more into Young later. VMart is pretty platoon neutral, strong against both hands, while Avila is significantly better against righties. I'd play whoever you can get in at catcher.

Brian McCann FanDuel 3400 DraftKings 3900 DraftStreet 7304
McCann rates out behind these two in terms of raw points today. Playing in Yankee Stadium against Kevin Correia is a recipe for success any way you slice it. McCann's Babip remains about 60 points below his career averages and his Hr/FB rate is just a hair under what he's used to. I still believe there is an power surge on its way.

Derek Norris FanDuel 2800 DraftKings 3700 DraftStreet 5002
His price has dropped primarily because of a recent power outage. It's a blip. Norris's big boost is his walk rate. He takes free passes as much as he K's. This is a stat that'll always limit his downside because getting on base increases point expectation just on its own. He's also significantly better in his career against lefties. Significantly is understating it. He has an 80 point difference (150/70) in wRC+ against lefties. Great spot against Skaggs.

Consider Yan Gomes


First Basemen

David Ortiz FanDuel 3800 DraftKings 4700 DraftStreet 6651
Love my Big Papi tonight against Odorizzi. Jake K's guys for sure. But he's incredibly prone to walking batters. And walking them some more. And then deciding to walking them more for some reason. He's got a 4.38 BB/9 and that's bad news facing Papi who's got a 14% walk rate. And when Papi isn't walking, he's crushing a lot. Only reason he isn't sitting at his typical 900+ OPS is the Babip running a little low. Go get him.

Justin Morneau FanDuel 3700 DraftKings 4400 DraftStreet 7120
Corey Kluber put on a clinic last night. But that's what's great about baseball, Kluber isn't going to the mound again tonight. That would be Trevor Bauer. Bauer has elite strikeout stuff. He also has elite walk stuff too. He's a lot like Odorizzi. I'm willing to forgive the K's just because the wildness means the K rate gets neutralized because he won't go late into the game. Bauer's other problem? Home runs. It's like he's trying to serve them up.

Albert Pujols FanDuel 3700 DraftKings 5300 DraftStreet 6954
His splits don't necessarily favor him hitting lefties. But this is is somewhat mitigated by Milone sucking. Machine Gun Milone is firing blanks (like what I did there? Literary shit) and the Angels should take advantage. Even with Pujols' reverse splits I think we can, ahem, fire him up (gun reference) and shoot for the moon (another one). It's so easy being a writer.

Anthony Rizzo FanDuel 3000 DraftKings 4100 DraftStreet 6273
Sat out last night. And is mired in a minor power outage. These are the times to buy on guys. Baseball season is long as hell. Don't get wrapped too much in whether a guy is "hot" or "cold". Wily Peralta is a slump buster. Bad for him. Good for his opponents. Rizzo has increased his walk rate by a ton and is solid. I love him at these prices.

Consider Adam Laroche


Second Basemen

Chase Utley FanDuel 3800 DraftKings 5000 DraftStreet 8182
He's not exactly a bargain today, but he's got the highest expectation of any second baseman. Don't, for a second, get foold by Jacob deGrom's 1.83 ERA. It's all smoke and mirrors. He walks nearly as many guys as he strikes out and has an xFIP 2.5 runs higher. Small sample size yes, but trending in the wrong direction. Utley stands to be on base today and gets a bump because of the ballpark.

Ben Zobrist FanDuel 3100 DraftKings 3700 DraftStreet 5544
It's always a little weird buying a guy on his way back from injury. Adjustment periods can be prolonged. But this position is mediocre tonight. Zobrist is a fine option at second. I'm mostly targeting bad matchups here, even if the Pts/$ outputs aren't anything to write home about. Rubby de la Rosa is a fine enough prospect with some putrid major league numbers. The sample size is small, so I'm not putting an enormous amount of stock in it, but he isn't an ace by any means.

Scooter Gennett FanDuel 2200 DraftKings 3400 DraftStreet 5051
Love my little Scooter. I pick and choose spots with this guy. I've got a soft spot for the dude. He's no great shakes, but at punt prices against Hammel I think you can take a shot on him in the Brewer offense. Is one of the few Brew Crew who hits better against righties.

Consider Howie Kendrick though I think he's a little overpriced.



Asdrubal Cabrera FanDuel 2900 DraftKings 3700 DraftStreet 5095
Has nothing to do with his yardwork yesterday (though it was nice for us). But everything to do with opposing pitcher, and the serious black hole that happens at shortstop. I think Cabrera is where I'm going to be going across the board at shortstop today. He gets Morales, and though the splits are just a little worse against lefties, the other options have so many flaws that it's hard to even write about them.

Jimmy Rollins FanDuel 3100 DraftKings 4500 DraftStreet 6515
Um, like I was saying. Rollins actually has been just a tad fantasy relevant this season with six home runs and some stolen bases. The walk rate is up too. Jeez, I might be talking myself into the guy. His .750 OPS is perfectly acceptable for a shortstop and the matchup against deGrom is pretty advantageous. Well look at that, I talked myself into someone.

Jose Reyes FanDuel 3900 DraftKings 5100 DraftStreet 8505
He's a little expensive which is the only thing keeping him down this list. Reyes gets a good matchup against Aaron Brooks, a dude I've literally never heard of. That's because my man owned a low K rate just in the minors. Not a good sign when moving up the ranks. I think you can buy Reyes on that consideration alone.


Third Basemen

Go cheap here today.

David Freese FanDuel 2600 DraftKings 3600 DraftStreet 4653
David is a fair bit better against lefties over his career. In the past year his OPS (.800) is about .150 points higher than his split against righties. I like a bunch of Angels today against Milone. Freese has been hitting hear the middle/top of the order since coming back from injury a few weeks ago. Great spot for Freese and his 126 wrC+ against lefties over the last year.

Brett Lawrie FanDuel 2600 DraftKings 3500 DraftStreet 5438
His platoon splits are neutral so I'm not concerned with the R v R matchup. The bigger concern is the Lawrie isn't great. But he hits in a solid lineup, has some power and the Babip is about fifty points below his career average. He is nothing but a plug and play option. Offers you significant salary relief with the chance for a ball scraping over the other side of the fence. The Rogers Center boosts power and Aaron Brooks is someone you (and everyone else) has never heard of.

Evan Longoria FanDuel 3300 DraftKings 4200 DraftStreet 6889
Splits aren't in his favor, but it's hard to find solid value at this position tonight. I'm not in love with paying this much, but I think you can save in other parts of your lineup and start Longo today. Evan still owns about an .800 OPS against righties over the last year. It isn't close to what he does to lefties, but it represents some success nonetheless.

Strongly consider David Wright



Yoenis Cespedes FanDuel 3500 DraftKings 4200 DraftStreet 6591
I have a feeling Yoenis calls his friends and family the night before he faces a lefty and gently reminds them what he's doing the next day. Something like, "Oh hey mom. Yeah things are good. Just calling to say hi. Tyler Skaggs is on the mound tomorrow...Yup, lefty." And then Cespedes delivers to everyone he called. (I assume this is what happens as it's what I would do if I were this good at anything in my life.) His splits are extreme and Skaggs is merely fine.

Carlos Gonzalez FanDuel 4000 DraftKings 4800 DraftStreet 7399
Injuries are always an issue with this guy. And honestly, he seems to get pulled from games more than the average player. But he also crushes righties and Bauer's control issues could be a real problem for him today against the Rockies. Cargo doesn't have the craziest points/$ projection, but it's completely in play and his prices have dropped recently. I think he'll be a heavy cash game play because of how affordable he is right now.

Domonic Brown FanDuel 2200 DraftKings 3800 DraftStreet 4324
Came so close to recommending him yesterday as he was at the top of our system for his points/$ leading into the matchup against Montero. System had it right. I had it wrong. He went yard. Could be a sign he's breaking out of whatever is crushing him this season. Gets another decent matchup against deGrom. Brown has power, but his GB% is killing him. Here's to hoping that regresses some.

Andrew McCutchen FanDuel 3500 DraftKings 4800 DraftStreet 7101
As a rule I tend to try and avoid guys against decent pitchers. Ryu is one of those guys. But Cutch's success against lefties is so crazy awesome that he should be in play facing just about any lefty except maybe Kershaw. Consider some of these numbers over the last year: 222 wRC+, .491 wOBA, 1,157 OPS. You won't see many things better than that. So yes, Ryu is above average. But Cutch is elite against lefties. The latter wins in that turf war.

Jay Bruce FanDuel 3000 DraftKings 3700 DraftStreet 5267
Billy Hamilton FanDuel 3000 DraftKings 4000 DraftStreet 5204
Both of these guys rate out high in our system, though it hasn't totally accounted for how good Brandon McCarthy's been this year. They aren't nearly as high as yesterday, but both are affordable and offer upside for different reasons. Bruce for power and Hamilton for speed. I like them both today and still think they'll be off of people's radars.

Consider Alejandro de Aza, Jacoby Ellsbury and Alex Gordon

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