Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

James Davis

Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings, and DraftStreet for 7/5/14

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Felix Hernandez

Gio Gonzalez

Scott Kazmir

Also considered: Jeff Samardzija, Jose Quintana (upside only), Tim Hudson



Russell Martin FanDuel 2700 DraftKings 3800 DraftStreet 5865
David Buchanan has been pretty uninspiring early in his career, and Russell Martin has been quietly terrific this year. He's playing every day, and while he is better against left handers, he is pretty close to being platoon neutral. And David Buchanan's lack of ability more than makes up for the platoon difference. AND! Where else are you going to get a catcher with an on base percentage higher than .400 for such a price? The price will climb on Martin eventually, and while it's at this level - I'm a buyer.

Mike Zunino FanDuel 3000 DraftKings 3200 DraftStreet 4986
The one guy on Seattle who is a lefty killer, and with the power he's flashed this season he can easily pay his price even if the rest of the guys around him prefer right handed pitching. US Cellular is a heck of a lot better place to hit than Safeco, and Zunino will have more upside than any other catcher today - it will all come down to if he makes the most of it.

Brian McCann FanDuel 3000 DraftKings 3600 DraftStreet 6883
The system suggests that Yohan Pino shouldn't even show up for this game, and I tend to agree. McCann has been relatively feast or famine, but the guy is still a professional hitter, and his teammates love to hit right handers as much as he does. Pino has been pretty good in the minors this year, but I think he gets chased early.

Also considered: AJ Pierzynski

First Basemen

Chris Davis FanDuel 3100 DraftKings 5000 DraftStreet 5276
Full disclosure: My younger brother's name is Chris Davis. No relation. But it does make me biased in Chris Davis' favor. That said, Lackey has lost a lot of his luster in his last couple of starts, and the lack of strike outs really exposes him to Davis' strengths. It's a great park for him to hit, and this could be the game where he ends his home run drought.

Mark Teixeira FanDuel 3300 DraftKings 4400 DraftStreet 7290
Another guy who should take full advantage of Sr. Pino - Teixeira rolls with more upside than most at his price because he can also hang a golden sombrero on himself on any given day. The power is still there, though, and Teix and his Yankee home-boys could absolutely be part of the winning line-ups for the early slate.

David Ortiz FanDuel 3800 DraftKings 5000 DraftStreet 7410
Ortiz is not the man he once was, but he can still put a hurting on right handed pitching, especially at home. He's got a .422 wOBA against right handers for his career, and while he can't be counted on to reproduce those numbers, he could still have a huge game at home against Jimenez.

A strong day for 1b - we also considered Joey Votto, Mark Reynolds, Justin Morneau, Ryan Howard, Freddie Freeman, Albert Pujols.


Second Basemen

Neil Walker FanDuel 2800 DraftKings 3700 DraftStreet 5800
Walker has been more steady than spectacular recently, but I'm a buyer on the Pirates today, and Walker still has more than enough upside against right handed pitching. Buchanan's struggles are well documented, and it's tough to find a guy with a .347 wOBA vs. right handed pitching for prices like you can get Neil Walker.

Daniel Murphy FanDuel 3000 DraftKings 4000 DraftStreet 6336
Murphy is the quintessential double-up play - he has put up 2.7 points per game on FanDuel this year, and that impressive figure has been put together without the benefit of a ton of homers. In this game, he'll face off against what's left of Colby Lewis, and Murphy's righty-mashing abilities should be put to good use.

Jason Kipnis FanDuel 3200 DraftKings 0 DraftStreet 5058
Kipnis would rank higher, but I'm a little concerned that there are some injury things preventing him from realizing his full potential. If there's a time to play him, though, today would be the day. Kipnis' wOBA is .35 points higher against right handed pitching, and Jeremy Guthrie's inability to strike anyone out negates Kipnis' biggest weakness. If you're asking me? Upside is worth the risk.

Also considered: Chase Utley, Dustin Pedroia


Troy Tulowitzki FanDuel 4500 DraftKings 5200 DraftStreet 9369

Hanley Ramirez FanDuel 4500 DraftKings 5100 DraftStreet 9595
You can have your pick of the two big short stops today. I prefer Hanley due to the platoon split advantage, but if you're a Tulo guy due to Haren's home-run tendencies, I couldn't blame you. The other edge to Hanley is Jorge De La Rosa's incredible struggles at home this year. His 5.27 FIP against right handers at home is horrendous, and Hanley will be quite a bit better than the average Joes that have lit up De La Rosa this year.
Note: Hanley was hit in the hand last night after this writing - but we're expecting him to play. Monitor this closely.

Asdrubal Cabrera FanDuel 3000 DraftKings 0 DraftStreet 5246
Cabrera is basically the Daniel Murphy of Shortstops. He doesn't accrue a lot of those high scoring events, but he's sure and steady, and Guthrie allows for just the type of big games that Cabrera is capable of.

Jimmy Rollins FanDuel 2900 DraftKings 4000 DraftStreet 7043
Rollins remains one of the great underrated quantities in Daily Fantasy Sports. With steals in 3 of his last 5 games, he's been putting up numbers and paying value, and now he gets to face Edinson Volquez, who has maintained his trademark wildness while losing his strike-out ability. I think the Phillies could curb-stomp the guy today, and believe Rollins should have plenty of room to go off.

Also considered: Elvis Andrus, Jean Segura


Third Basemen

Josh Donaldson FanDuel 3500 DraftKings 4500 DraftStreet 7755
If you're aiming for upside, look no further than Josh Donaldson. His absurd .585 lifetime slugging percentage against left handers doesn't tell the story of what he should be able to do against Mark Buehrle's utter lack of stuff.

Carlos Santana FanDuel 3600 DraftKings 0 DraftStreet 5162
Our projection system also loves Carlos Santana, and I feel like I should take a second to explain why. It's more than just the opportunity to face Jeremy Guthrie - Santana has been incredibly unlucky this year, posting a BABIP .45 points below his career levels. His peripherals are still quite strong - he's striking out just a little bit more than he's walking - and I think the Indians will be all over the Royals with Santana at the center.

Pedro Alvarez FanDuel 3100 DraftKings 3800 DraftStreet 7160
It's that lefty/righty thing again. I'll be honest - 3rd base is pretty rough today. But if you want to pile on some Pirates, I absolutely love Alvarez. He can throw up a negative number with the best of them, but you're going to get maximum value from heavy strike out guys when they face pitchers who don't strike anyone out. Buchanan is one such fellow. If you are a high volume player, I don't see any reason not to slot Alvarez and his cohorts in on a squad or two.



Matt Kemp FanDuel 3100 DraftKings 4600 DraftStreet 6241
It's going to be tough to talk me out of Matt Kemp today. He's not the vintage version of himself, but he doesn't need to be to put an incredible hurting on Jorge De La Rosa. The increased strike outs are a concern, but De La Rosa has fewer than 2 Ks per BB this year, and Kemp's strike outs shouldn't be a concern here.

Matt Holliday FanDuel 3100 DraftKings 4200 DraftStreet 6119
Holliday has been abused by Lady Luck this year - posting a BABIP .38 points below his career established levels. Hopefully you stacked righties against Andrew Heaney during his last time out, per our recommendation. If you didn't? No sweat. This is your time to make up for lost time. Even in this down year, Holliday has posted a .362 wOBA against lefties, and Andrew Heaney just isn't a major league pitcher.

Jacoby Ellsbury FanDuel 3500 DraftKings 4400 DraftStreet 8191
You can go read the McCann and Teixeira entries for information on why we like Ellsbury today. Not a whole lot else to say here.

Yasiel Puig FanDuel 3800 DraftKings 5700 DraftStreet 8844
The price has come down on Puig, and perhaps for good reason. But dude. In this game, you're getting a raw hitter with the game's greatest upside against a pitcher who really doesn't have the stuff to take advantage of the holes in Puig's swing. And it's in COLORADO! Rocky Mountain high! Mile High City! Other puns! I'll be playing Puig everywhere today, even if it's sort of just for funsies since I rarely get to root for him.

Jason Heyward FanDuel 3100 DraftKings 4000 DraftStreet 5633
I get it if you're disillusioned with Heyward, but he is probably the biggest example of a guy whose general stat line needs to be dug into. Heyward has been atrocious against left handed pitching this year - the .207 wOBA is pitcher-esque. But the .357 wOBA against right handers is still more than serviceable, and Michael Bolsinger has given up an awful lot of hard hit balls this year. I love Heyward today.

Yoenis Cespedes FanDuel 3700 DraftKings 4800 DraftStreet 8064
Cespedes is one of the true upside/downside plays. The guy strikes out a lot more than he walks, and his uppercut swing leads to a less than ideal BABIP. But he can really hit lefty pitching. More than that, Buehrle makes a terrific match-up for him. Cespedes prefer guys who live around the plate, and he could put together a monster against the soft tossing lefty.

Jose Bautista FanDuel 4500 DraftKings 5000 DraftStreet 8832
Just a nod to Bautista, who has a Bondsian .543 wOBA against left handed pitching this year. A .780 SLG! What an animal. Kazmir has been great, and Oakland is a heck of a place to hit... but a 1.280 OPS against left handers! Good thing this article is over. I have to go take care of something.

Also considered: Bryce Harper, Oscar Taveras, Michael Bourn, Jay Bruce, Shin-Soo Choo, Carlos Beltran, Justin Upton, Austin Jackson


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