Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

James Davis

Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings, DraftDay and StarStreet 8/9/14

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Yu Darvish - FD 11100 DK 12000 DD 21700 SS 32100
Darvish is the man today, and it isn't even close. The only real case you can make for not playing him is probably to buck what the rest of the field is doing. While Scherzer has his perks, the match-up for Darvish simply can't be beaten. The Astros have struck out just .1% less than the first place Marlins, and Darvish's K/9 is borderline historic.

Cole Hamels - FD 9800 DK 11100 DD 21150 SS 31700
A fantastic year for Hamels, who is putting up a fantastic ERA and K/9. Enter the lowly Mets, who are tied with the Phillies themselves as the second worst team in the league when it comes to wOBA and one of the five easiest teams in the majors to strike out, and you have a match made in heaven. Dillon Gee isn't scaring us, in case you were curious.

The field
A lot of guys to choose from here: Jeff Samardzija at home, Jake Odorizzi against the lowly Cubs, or even a dice roll with Francisco Liriano against the lefty-heavy Rockies Padres. I'm going to be going expensive with Darvish or Hamels, but if you insist on going cheaper, these are the guys I'd target. If you insist on playing the early slate, I like Scherzer best.



Mike Zunino - FD 2700 DK 2700 DD 7700 SS 5700
If you're going strictly upside, it's tough to pass up on the power hitting Zunino against a pitcher of Noesi's skill level. With a 4.44 xFIP and a 38.7% ground ball rate, Noesi is a prime guy to stack against if you're going for a big score.

Devin Mesoraco - FD 3200 DK 4000 DD 8300 SS 7700
Brad Penny indahouse!!!!!!!!!! Brad Penny was terrible the last time he pitched a full season, which was in freaking 2011. He posted a 4.74 xFIP then, and has AGED THREE YEARS. Mesoraco has been crushing it this season, and while his breakout is definitely somewhat BABIP fueled, that won't make a difference here.

Also considered: Brian McCann, Wilin Rosario


First Basemen

Justin Morneau - FD 3400 DK 4200 DD 9750 SS 7500
Cahill is a wild man, and Arizona is a great place to hit. Morneau has abused right handed pitching this year to the tune of a .398 wOBA. Need to know more?

Adrian Gonzalez - FD 3400 DK 3800 DD 9700 SS 6400
Fiers has been dominant in AAA this season, but it's tough to forget his 7.25 ERA campaign from a couple years ago. Gonzalez isn't having a banner year, but he's been running pretty bad BABIP wise (.40 points below his career levels), and if our projection system has it right, Fiers high 80s stuff should be no match for the Dodgers' slugger.

Chris Davis - FD 3100 DK 4300 DD 9000 SS 6500
If you've been following along here at DFSR, you've been most pleased to see Davis paying off night after night by doing what he does best, hitting dongs. Lackey is a pretty solid pitcher and all, but when Davis is seeing the ball this way, there's no one in baseball with his upside.


Second Basemen

Robinson Cano - FD 3900 DK 4900 DD 11450 SS 9000
Cano is on a 9 game hit streak where he has sprinkled in a healthy dose of counting stats and extra base hits. He'll ply his trade against the hapless Noesi, and the result should please people willing to invest a healthy amount at the second base position.

Chase Utley - FD 3300 DK 4100 DD 9400 SS 7700
Dillon Gee is the very definition of an average pitcher, and Utley remains a very underrated option at 2nd base. With just 10 home runs and 5 steals, he doesn't have the upside of some other options... but he is as steady as they come, and if the Phils turn it around on Gee, he could rack up some excellent counting stats as well.

Jason Kipnis - FD 3600 DK 4300 DD 8950 SS 7500
If you're going early slate today, I love the Indians against Brandon McCarthy. McCarthy has always had trouble getting his ERA to line up with his xFIP, and it's no accident. He gives up a lot of hard hit balls. Like a lot of Indians (not like Native Americans - guys on the offensively named baseball team), Kipnis is a true lefty platoon guy. He is pretty lousy against lefties, but handles right handers as well as anyone in the game.



Hanley Ramirez - FD 3600 DK 4500 DD 10200 SS 8300
While he's no longer HANLEY RAMIREZ, his 12 homers and 12 steals and 800+ OPS are fantastic from the Shortstop position, and our projection system is less than optimistic about Fiers' chance for a bounceback.

Jimmy Rollins - FD 3100 DK 3900 DD 8950 SS 7600
Rollins isn't the overall player than Hanley is at this stage in his career, his fantasy value is arguably higher. 15 homers and 22 steals is nothing to sneeze at, and Rollins has actually been about 10% better vs. right handed pitching over the course of his career. Throw in an average Dillon Gee and a great place to hit in Philly and you have a terrific opportunity for some serious upside.

The rest:
Brad Miller and Asdrubal Cabrera both have nice matchups and nice prices, but I'm going with the guys above today.


Third Basemen

Todd Frazier - FD 3100 DK 4300 DD 9300 SS 7600
Frazier is having a truly elite fantasy season. 20 homers and 17 stolen bases at this point in the season puts him sort of in a class by himself, and on this fine day he wins the Brad Penny lottery. I could write for hours on how terribly this Brad Penny experiment is going to go, but I'll let his pitching speak for itself. Me? I'm grabbing Frazier and co. all day.

Kyle Seager - FD 3300 DK 3900 DD 9350 SS 7900
It's one of those Mariners lefty stack days. Noesi and his 84 Ks and 44 BBs in 114 innings pitched are these Mariners' dream, and the underrated Seager will bring his .390 wOBA against righties this season to the plate in what ought to be a blood bath.

David Wright - FD 2600 DK 3800 DD 8250 SS 6400
Hamels is truly great, and the Mets generally suck, but Wright has turned into a fascinating player. His overall line is an eyesore, but his .422 wOBA against lefties this season is absolutely absurd. The price continues to dip on Wright based on his epic failures against right handed pitching, but the guy is a sight to behold against lefties, and hitting in Philly has always been kind to Wright. I'm not counting on him for huge upside just because the rest of the Mets should stink, but he could be very solid here.

Also considered: Lonnie Chisenhall



Mark Trumbo - FD 2800 DK 4000 DD 7900 SS 6000
Our projection system has fallen desperately in love with Mark Trumbo these last few days as he's had the opportunity to hit against the cavalcade of terrible Rockies left handers. Trumbo has dominated left handed pitching to the tune of a .388 wOBA this year, and De La Rosa might be the very worst righty he's faced this year. Huge upside at a very reasonable price.

Billy Hamilton - FD 3500 DK 4400 DD 8550 SS 7700
I have to say I have a quiet love for what Hamilton brings to the daily fantasy baseball table. His steals limit his downside, as simply getting on base once can get you points in bunches, and they also provide elite upper tier upside. Brad Penny can not do a single thing well, and hasn't been able to in many many years. I love all the Reds today, but Hamilton in particular.

Austin Jackson - FD 3000 DK 3600 DD 7800 SS 6800
Jackson makes for an interesting play today because he fits in so nicely with the rest of the Mariners' offense. He's nearly a reverse platoon split player, and should have a lot of opportunities for RBI and runs against Hector Noesi.

Carlos Gonzalez - FD 3700 DK 4400 DD 10450 SS 7000
Cahill has been unlucky this year, but there's still a lot going against him in this match-up. Our projection system isn't concerned about whatever has been going on with Gonzalez this year. The guy's always been a little banged up. So it stands to reason that he could get back on track against a guy who gives up a heck of a lot of hard hit balls.

Jacoby Ellsbury - FD 3700 DK 4200 DD 9600 SS 7800
In the early slate, I think you could do a lot worse than getting Jacoby Ellsbury in your lineup. It's odd to say, but he's sort of a poor man's Billy Hamilton. Much better player overall, and does more around his speed than Hamilton does. But when he's right, he'll pay his way with the steals and the runs scored.

Mike Trout - FD 4600 DK 5400 DD 13400 SS 10200
This is true mismatch territory. Clay Suck-holz (ZING!) and his 75 Ks against 38 walks in 101 innings is a testament to how far his stuff has deteriorated, and Trout might literally be match-up proof. What I love here is what the rest of the Angels should be able to do around Trout, which should give Trout additional counting stats upside.

Adam Jones - FD 3700 DK 4100 DD 8750 SS 8000
While he's turned into more of a strict power threat, Jones still brings a lot to like to the table as a fantasy outfielder. He's a reverse platoon split guy like you read about, boasting a wOBA .21 points higher against right handed pitchers than left handers. Lackey has been up and down recently, and our projection system thinks this one will be a down turn.


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