Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks for FanDuel, DraftStreet, and DraftKings 6/1/14

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You are going to need to spend on pitching today and the decisions aren't easy. It's really difficult to make distinctions at the top of the pitching pool. I think a general rule today is this: Of the four stud pitchers going today, Darvish, Scherzer, Sale and Greinke, you should employ the ones that are the cheapest on the respective sites. This might sound like a cop out. It really isn't. I think it's a logical manuever and if you play multiple sites, represents a natural hedge. The four big guys are working with many of the same considerations. They are all facing teams rated in the bottom half of the league against their respective hands. Each opponent K's about 20% of the time and each of these guys is pitching lights out this year, K-ing more than a batter an inning. And just generally being awesome. Sale in particular is an insane bargain on FanDuel. So if trying to choose, rather than splitting hairs, just save money and move on.

Here are some other guys to round it out.

Cole Hamels FanDuel 8300 DraftKings 8400 DraftStreet 18725
Hamels' xFIP is actually in line with his career averages, he's just run a little bad (for him) in Babip. His K rate is fine, the walks are a little high and he's pretty much been the same pitcher as in the past with no change in velocity. The Mets are a team striking out a crazy 26% of the time against lefties. Hamels falls into the tier below the big boys, but the opponent makes him real enticing. It was a tough choice between he and Lester in the same range, but I'll take Hamels because of the opponent.

Wade Miley FanDuel 6100 DraftKings 6400 DraftStreet 12777
The Reds come in dead last in the league against lefties and some of their stats include when Votto was still around. They are an atrocious offensive team, prone to the K and really taking a nose dive in talent after the top of the order (which isn't good anyway). Miley is a solid spot start today on those things alone. Miley's xFIP is a full run below his ERA, sitting at 3.65. His K rate is acceptable, though he does get wild. With so many big boys going, I'll take the salary relief

Kyle Lohse FanDuel 6500 DraftKings 7900 DraftStreet 17115
One thing I love about Lohse is his staunch refusal to walk batters. His 1.58 BB/9 is one of the lower ones you'll see out of a starter in this price range. And he couples this with a 4.5/1 K/BB rate that sparks my interest. Getting the Cubs is a huge boon as well with them rating near the bottom of the league against righties. Another solid middle tier guy to pair with a stud in your lineup today.



Brian McCann FanDuel 3400 DraftKings 3900 DraftStreet 5880
If there is a catcher favorite to go yard today, this is the guy. He's facing a righty, fly ball pitcher in Yankee Stadium. And though Hughes has been good this season, there's a reason the Yankees (and he) were fine with his departure. The stadium isn't built to his skill set. McCann, much better against righties, should be in the lineup and I love the power upside. This is a game you might see Hughes' low, to-date HR/FB rate regress just a bit.

Salvador Perez FanDuel 2700 DraftKings 3700 DraftStreet 4826
Owns nice splits against lefties and this write up will end up looking real similar to what I said about him leading into Friday when he faced JA Happ. Buehrle is a run hot All-Star with an xFIP north of four. The Rogers Center boosts power to righties (though it helps to have two of the best righty bats in the game hitting home runs there) and Perez is coming at somewhat discounted prices.

Carlos Ruiz FanDuel 2600 DraftKings 4100 DraftStreet 5755
Chooooooooch! Been having such a solid season with an OPS close to .800 and walking more than he's striking out. Our projection system doesn't account for his time served, but it's nice to know that the walk rate is really boosting his value. He owns massive splits in favor of facing lefties, OPSing close to .900 over the last year against them. Facing Niese today makes him one of the best points/$ catchers out there.

Strongly consider Devin Mesoraco


First Basemen

Adrian Gonzalez FanDuel 3300 DraftKings 4700 DraftStreet 7692
Edinson Volquez probably isn't as bad as I want him (or believe him) to be, but he ain't good. That's for sure. Gonzalez's prices have dropped a bit lately after coming out of the gate like fire. He hasn't homered in about 10 days (I'm writing this during the drubbing of the Pirates) but I don't think we expected him to keep up the blistering early-season pace. That's fine. We want to snag guys when the price drop to optimal points. This is nearing that place. Is completely affordable and benefits from Hanley and Puig hitting in front of him.

Adam Lind FanDuel 3300 DraftKings 4100 DraftStreet 5597
The prices feel like complete bargains today. His 970 OPS is Babip-fueled for sure, and we will see some regression there as the season wears on. But again it's worth noting, that our system doesn't factor in those early season returns. It only likes his price for what he is expected to do moving forward. Oh it also likes that Jeremy Guthrie is a trash bag with a righty arm. He gets the "trash bag"* multiplier and has big upside at these prices.
*It's complicated

Justin Morneau FanDuel 3700 DraftKings 4400 DraftStreet 6537
Looking forward to him getting back to the friendly confines of Coors. But for the time being we can run him out against a decent, but not great, pitcher like Tomlin. Morneau is great at home obviously, but he's also solid on the road, with a 154 wRC+ road split versus righties this season. That's something to write home about. A place I'm looking forward to him getting back to.

Consider David Ortiz and Billy Butler


Second Basemen

Jason Kipnis FanDuel 2800 DraftKings 4000 DraftStreet 6906
He sat out yesterday (pinch hit late) so he should be in the lineup today after returning from injury earlier this week. Kipnis is one of the elite offensive second basemen in the game and today faces Jhoulys Chacin, a dude light on strikeouts and long on xFIP. Kipnis is walking as much as he's striking out this season, a stat representing some bad news for a guy like Chacin. Kipnis should be on base today and his Babip still has some regressing to do.

Ian Kinsler FanDuel 3500 DraftKings 4900 DraftStreet 7424
One of the best second base splits you'll see against lefties. Over the last year he's got an .370 wOBA against lefties with a 130 wRC+. The Tigers in general are much better against lefties as their lineup is loaded with righty bats. Kinsler, hitting near the top of the order, in from of Miggy and VMart is in an amazing spot today with great prices. He has the highest raw point expectation of second basemen today.

Brandon Phillips FanDuel 2900 DraftKings 3800 DraftStreet 5166
Though I recommended Miley above, you'll still see some Reds today on the list. That's because Chase Field is a great hitter's park and Miley does struggle a bit with righty bats. Phillips has pretty much been a flaming pile of dog shit this year. So that's a negative. But he's coming in at punt-ish prices in a good ballpark on the right side of his split. You can do worse.

Consider Jose AltuveScooter Gennett



Xander Bogaerts FanDuel 3700 DraftKings 4000 DraftStreet 6433
With every at bat is showing that his small sample success last season against lefties is very much a real thing. He slaughters them and should be on your radar every time one takes the hill against the Red Sox. Tonight it's Erik Bedard who's on the regression train to HeSucksVille. Bogaerts has a .945 OPS and 165 wRC+ against lefties this season. His price is climbing steadily so we aren't stealing him like we did before. But it isn't outside of the value zone.

Jose Reyes FanDuel 3900 DraftKings 5000 DraftStreet 8449
Reyes is really only in the discussion against righties because of his splits. But tonight he gets Mr. Guthrie and you should be stacking some lefty Blue Jays in spots. Reyes fits that theme and should see some time on the base paths. Has recovered from his early season malaise, hitting like crazy lately and faces a crappy pitcher in a hitter's ballpark. Will need to pay up in some spots, but this is a great play behind Bogaerts.

Jonathan Villar FanDuel 2700 DraftKings 3400 DraftStreet 4036
Mired in a big slump, Villar has been pretty bad this year. Part of it is the Babip. He also strikes out close to 30% of the time. And he hits ninth. How's that for a sales pitch? But he does hit significantly better against lefties over his career. If you are looking to completely punt SS rather than pay for Xander or Jose, I think this is one place to go.

Consider Asdrubal Cabrera


Third Basemen

If you are looking for a position to completely save/punt on, this is the one. There are a bunch of cheap options with nice matchups and good splits here. Tons of ways to go. I'm going to rapid fire through a bunch of them quick. Great position to free up cap space depending on the site.

Yangervis Solarte FanDuel 2800 DraftKings 3700 DraftStreet 4877
Faces a flyball pitcher in Yankee Stadium. Went yard yesterday after an extended slump.

Juan Francisco FanDuel 3200 DraftKings 4000 DraftStreet 6293
Crushes righty pitching and fits perfectly with a Blue Jay stack against Guthrie. Price has snuck up and isn't the insane bargain from the beginning of the year. Still good value.

Danny Valencia FanDuel 2400 DraftKings 3000 DraftStreet 4738
Insane career splits against lefties. Like .867 OPS and 136 wRC+ against southpaws type good. Good ballpark at punt prices.

Matt Dominguez FanDuel 2600 DraftKings 3400 DraftStreet 3598
Another punt play against the lefty Chen. Kind of goofy looking.

Nick Castellanos FanDuel 2200 DraftKings 3400 DraftStreet 3761
The worst of the group but better against lefties. Really only would consider if I was stacking Tigers, as the other guys on this list rate a little higher. Still a solid play though.



Carlos Gonzalez FanDuel 4000 DraftKings 4800 DraftStreet 7548
Corey Dickerson FanDuel 3900 DraftKings 3400 DraftStreet 4564
Love these guys for the same reason today. Both are coming at health discounts pretty much across the industry. Though I think Dickerson is a little pricey on FD he's in play everywhere else, coming really cheap considering what he's done so far and his projection out. Corey's been awesome this season. No way about it. Cargo on the other hand has seen his price drop because of some injuries and a general lack of production. Don't expect these prices to last. I'll be putting them together in lineups all over today against Tomlin.

Torii Hunter FanDuel 3400 DraftKings 3900 DraftStreet 6311
Austin Jackson FanDuel 2700 DraftKings 4000 DraftStreet 5152
Two more guys who are in play more today because I think you can have exposure to some Tigers. Both dudes are actually pretty platoon neutral. And the only thing tempering my excitement a little for the Tiger righties is Elias does have strike out stuff. But in general these guys are worth solid looks on a day where the outfield is a little weaker than normal. Many of the studs are facing tough pitching, something I'm looking to avoid.

Jacoby Ellsbury FanDuel 4100 DraftKings 5000 DraftStreet 7454
I think Hughes will struggle in his return to Yankee Stadium, for many of the reasons he left Yankee Stadium. The long ball is a problem. This has also been a problem for Ellsbury, much because of a HR/FB sitting at about half his career average. This stands to regress based on the home ballpark. There are dongs left in his bat. We are still buying low on him.

Melky Cabrera FanDuel 3600 DraftKings 4700 DraftStreet 8087
He's better against righties and is a hit machine. You've seen other Blue Jays on here against Guthrie and the Melkman follows suit.

Andre Ethier FanDuel 3000 DraftKings 3400 DraftStreet 6252
Been getting at bats against the righties and kind of delivering. Still pretty cheap in spots and Volquez is nothing to be concerned with.

Ryan Ludwick FanDuel 2200 DraftKings 2900 DraftStreet 3895
A nice punt option agains the lefty Miley in Chase Field. Coming in at the minimums across the industry and significantly better against lefties over his career.

Consider Jonny Gomes, Christian Yelich

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