Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings, and DraftStreet for 6/20/14

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Stephen Strasburg FanDuel 9800 DraftKings 10900 DraftStreet 22501
This one is obvious. Strasburg has every relevant factor going in his favor today. He's at home, he's facing a team that lives to strike out and is in the bottom third of the league against righties. Oh, and he's awesome. Like having a great season even by his own high standards. Stras has been dominant this year with a 2.49 xFIP and a 10.82 K/9 while walking the fewest batters of his career. This is a perfect spot for Strasburg and I'm not sure how much I'd consider fading him. The upside is just too high and the price isn't completely out of control on these sites. Cash games, I'd make him work and GPPs no one else has a raw point expectation anywhere close in our system.

James Shields FanDuel 8300 DraftKings 8900 DraftStreet 16238
Big game James hasn't lived up to his nickname too much this season as James Worthy probably takes back sole possession of that moniker. But he's in play today because the Mariners are trash and Shields is only slightly off his career averages. He's basically a good, not great, pitcher you can target in the right circumstances. This is one of them. The Mariners strike out almost 22% of the time and have a team OPS of .680 against righties. Shields isn't going to blow it out of the box in strikeouts but he seems to be a fairly safe cash game play.

Dan Haren FanDuel 7300 DraftKings 8100 DraftStreet 15799
Henderson Alvarez FanDuel 7200 DraftKings 7300 DraftStreet 15700
I'm grouping these two guys together because the considerations for them are almost exactly the same. They each have strike out problems (in that they K about 6 per 9) but they make up for it somewhat by each allowing less than two walks per nine. This keeps their K/BB rates in the 3-4/1 range which is acceptable. They also are both facing bottom feeding offenses in the Padres and Mets and are throwing in great pitcher's parks. Honestly, these guys are like even.

Jaime Garcia FanDuel 6200 DraftKings 8800 DraftStreet 14866
Has shown awesome control since coming off the DL a few weeks ago. He's rocking a 6:1 K:BB ratio and an xFIP under three. Small sample size for sure, but you'd at least like it to be trending this way early on. The Phillies aren't terrible against lefties, ranking around the top third of the pack, but Garcia's price is cheap enough across the board that I think you can consider him.

Consider David Price in GPPs on the K upside. But buyer beware, he's allowing a million home runs.

Additional note: As of post Kluber wasn't listed on FanDuel, so it's tough to make a determination on him. But I think he's a stayaway against Detroit.



Brian McCann FanDuel 3200 DraftKings 3500 DraftStreet 4915
Still coming cheap. Still running bad. Still hitting near the top of the order. And still playing in Yankee Stadium. Oh and he gets to face Ubaldo Jimenez, a dude heavy on the flyballs and heavy on the home runs. That's a bad combination for this stadium. McCann's pricing makes him a solid play in every format and someone I'll target all over the place. There is too much upside at these salaries considering a lot of his early season woes are because of bad luck.

Chris Iannetta FanDuel 3100 DraftKings 3500 DraftStreet 4300
I suspect he'll play against the lefty Saunders as he's got some pretty extreme splits favoring that side of the mound. His OPS against lefties is in the high .800s over the last year with a 151 wRC+. These numbers should provide him with legit shots at doing some damage against a dude in Saunders who strikes out less than six batters per nine while also walking close to four. That's bad news against a Blue Jay team heavy on righties and power.

Carlos Ruiz FanDuel 2800 DraftKings 3900 DraftStreet 6065
I actually like Jaime Garcia today but the world of DFS means I can like both sides of a coin for different reasons. Chooch is a lefty masher with a 180 wRC+ this season. That's much higher than his career mark but he still favors hitting lefties. His OPS against lefties this year is close to .900 and I like him even playing in a park that suppresses power for righties. It's this last piece that actually keeps Chooch further down the list.

Strongly consider Derek Norris


First Basemen

Joey Votto FanDuel 3600 DraftKings 4500 DraftStreet 7119
R.A. Dickey's been pretty garbage-y this year and I expect Votto is able to take advantage. First off Dickey's been walking the ballpark, averaging close to four free passes per nine. He also isn't going to see the strikeout numbers he enjoyed from his Cy Young run a few years ago. He's just a different guy, and not in a good way. Votto on the other hand is as patient as they come and Great American Ballpark really helps lefties in terms of power. I'm on board with this as a solid cash game play because he should be at least able put some points together.

C.J. Cron FanDuel 2500 DraftKings 3400 DraftStreet 4709
Our system likes him but it's worth it to note that Cron has been much better against righties this season. The sample size is of course very small and there are some Babip issues related to the split. But I still think we can keep him in play against Saunders today. Really every righty Angel is being considered and you'll see them up and down this list. I'm not a huge fan of getting a lot of money in at first base today either making Cron a solid consideration.

Joe Mauer FanDuel 2200 DraftKings 4100 DraftStreet 4895
Kendrys Morales FanDuel 2800 DraftKings 4200 DraftStreet 5999
Both hit righties well. Both are coming in at close to punt prices. And both are facing Hector Noesi today. If you are looking to save a little coin at first base, and I think that should be the plan, then these guys offer decent options against a bad pitcher. Mauer in particular is much better against righties.

Consider Mark Reynolds and Chris Davis


Second Basemen

Jason Kipnis FanDuel 3500 DraftKings 4400 DraftStreet 6224
Such a great fantasy option day in and day out, and I think we are very much still buying low on the guy. His Hr/FB% is down from his career average and if that number starts regressing you are in for some big days going ahead. All of his other relevant starts look solid. He's K-ing less, walking more, still stealing bases and once that power comes around, watch out. Rick Porcello has fallen victim to the long ball and though he's been a groundball pitcher for his career, that number is way down this season. Great spot to buy Kipnis.

Howie Kendrick FanDuel 3200 DraftKings 4000 DraftStreet 4922
Howie is a better hitter against lefties for his career though the splits aren't enormous. He's basically above average against both hands with a slight bump against southpaws. This season his 114 wRC+ reflects his career averages and Joe Saunders plays well to Kendricks' contact style of hitting. Should have the ball in play today.

Daniel Murphy FanDuel 3000 DraftKings 3800 DraftStreet 6655
Sort of like Chooch above, Murphy gets the nod even though I threw out Alvarez in the pitcher's section. Alvarez doesn't strike out many guys or walk them either. He relies on the ball getting put in play. Well guess what? This is Murphy's M.O., spraying the ball around the field. Not a ton of upside because he doesn't hit for power, but makes a nice cash game play if you are looking to essentially guarantee some points. (or as close as you can expect such a thing in baseball)



Shitshow at this position today. Everyone either stinks, is on the wrong side of the split, is too expensive or has a bad matchup. Here we go.

Erick Aybar FanDuel 3400 DraftKings 4000 DraftStreet 5577
One of the top SS in the system, Aybar is another Angel getting a big bump being a righty facing Saunders. Almost all of Aybar's value comes from him rapping out singles and trying to come around and score. Or having those singles drive in others in front of him. He doesn't do a whole lot else, including strikeout. Aybar puts the ball in play often. That alone makes him valuable today at a weak position.

Danny Santana FanDuel 3300 DraftKings 4200 DraftStreet 4867
The Babip is crazy high and unsustainable so don't expect him to be quite this good. When that number regresses so will his batting average of course. That being said Hector Noesis is just the guy we want to target today. He walks guys in abundance (something Santana doesn't love doing) and Twins should get on base today. Santana is a speed threat with itty-bitty* hints of power. Again, shortstop sucks today.

*industry term

Asdrubal Cabrera FanDuel 2900 DraftKings 4100 DraftStreet 6317
Like some of the other Indians being recommended today, Asdrubal is on here because our projections kind of hate Porcello and the guys hitting from the left side against him deserve consideration. This is the better side of the split for the switch-hitting Cabrera.

Consider Jed Lowrie


Third Basemen

Josh Donaldson FanDuel 3800 DraftKings 4500 DraftStreet 6924
A lefty killer to his core. Though he's been mired in a crazy power outage I don't care. This is the perfect time to buy low on a guy who has made a living destroying lefties. He faces a crappy one in Doubront today and really you should have in several spots on the threat of the home run. This is a position I'm willing to spend on today if need be.

David Freese FanDuel 2300 DraftKings 3400 DraftStreet 3832
If you're seeing a theme today, good. Because it's there. We are basically targeting players from the Angels, Brewers, Indians and a few other guys thrown in there along the edges. Freese has a career 128 wRC+ against lefties and is struggling this year thanks to a .211 Babip against them. He is coming in at pretty much the minimum everywhere and really allows a ton of flexibility in a really good matchup.

Carlos Santana FanDuel 3500 DraftKings 4200 DraftStreet 5646
Been saying it for weeks but we are still buying low on the guy. Facing Porcello today really cuts down on his strikeout chances, something that he's always struggled with. But Santana also has a great eye with a walk rate close to 19%. The Babip is still 60 or so points off his career averages and the price reflects him running into some bad luck this year.

Aramis Ramirez FanDuel 3100 DraftKings 5000 DraftStreet 7187
Strolling into Coors always helps everyone. Especially power hitters. This of course you knew. He is this far down the list because Aramis is much worse against righties carrying a weaker .343 wOBA over the last year against them. That tempers the excitement a little in the Rocky Mountain air. But now too much. You should still have him on your radar and need to have some exposure to this game.



Ryan Braun FanDuel 4500 DraftKings 5900 DraftStreet 9245
Probably the top overall play when you consider raw points and cost. Trout is up there too but Braun is coming just a smidge cheaper on DraftKing and DraftStreet and a hell of a lot cheaper on FanDuel where he'll be a huge percentage start. What do you want to know here? He's playing in Coors, hits righties fine enough and again, is playing in Coors. We try not to overdo the Coors effect as it's properly weighted in our system but Braun's expectation is high factoring in that consideration. He's a top play today for sure and will be interesting on the sites where they are close, the Braun/Trout differences in ownership.

Mike Trout FanDuel 6000 DraftKings 6100 DraftStreet 9522
Speaking of the guy, it's impossible to leave him off this list today. I think the FanDuel price is a little steep and limits the rest of your roster. But on DraftStreet and DraftKings you can make a strong case. Look, he's the MVP and he's facing a shit lefty. I don't need to go into all the reasons why this makes sense.

Jacoby Ellsbury FanDuel 3600 DraftKings 4500 DraftStreet 7676
The speed really helps limit his downside. He'd been getting shut out in this area until swiping a couple of bags last night. If he is off to the races then he should have no problem hitting value on his salaries today. His problem lately is an increased strike out rate which of course limits him standing on first base and subsequently stealing second. For his career, Ubaldo Jimenez has been well below average at keeping runners from stealing.

Adam Eaton FanDuel 2800 DraftKings 3700 DraftStreet 6416
Alejandro De Aza FanDuel 2600 DraftKings 3500 DraftStreet 5755
Both of these guys consistently rate high in our system because their prices are low and their expectations are in the mid tier. Neither will win you a tournament, but I like them as salary guys in cash games.

Jay Bruce FanDuel 3100 DraftKings 4000 DraftStreet 5316
A solid pick because Dickey has struggled, for his career, with lefties. They have a .328 wOBA against him and this year has followed that trend. Plus with R.A.'s strikeouts down a bit it neutralizes Bruce's biggest weakness.

Strongly consider Yoenis Cespedes
Consider Carlos Gomez and Michael Bourn


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