Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings and Draftster 4/11/15
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Johnny Cueto - FD 10700 DK 9700 DFSTR 3100
Cueto is an interesting guy for me in the early slate because for a couple of reasons. First of all, you're often going to want to spend up on pitcher because they tend to just have the highest multipliers on a points per dollar basis (at least on FanDuel) in an absolute sense. So while Mike Pelfrey has some chance to put up 15 points on a 5k salary, and Cueto won't get 30 points on a 10k salary, you're still going to need to invest that $5,700 you don't spend on Pelfrey elsewhere. After we get the pesky maths out of the way - Cueto looked fantastic in his first start, and the Cards struggled against right handers last year (20th in wOBA), making this a pretty nice spot to grab him.
James Shields - FD 9200 DK 9800 DFSTR 3100
I just love Shields here, in spite of a pretty awful opposing pitching match-up. But here's my reasoning. Shields is still a top tier player, and you don't have to play top top prices to get him. He's pitching in an historically great pitcher's park, and the Giants were dead in the middle of the pack against right handers last season. And while Madison Bumgarner is pretty imposing over there in the other dug-out, the Padres have added a few right handed bats that should at least be able to keep this game competitive. I think Shields is a fine play in any format.
Cole Hamels - FD 9700 DK 10200 DFSTR 3100
You didn't have a great time if you played Hamels against the Red Sox - watching him give up homers to Pedroia and Betts must not have been a blast. And frankly, the match-up with the Nationals doesn't look a whole lot better, especially in his homer-friendly home park. So what gives with this recommendation? Well, let's not get carried away with one bad game, for starters. Hamels was fantastic last year, and he pitched in this park then as well. He actually had a lower xFIP at home then on the road! Additionally, I like the match-up with Fister today. Fister's tendencies to stay around the plate should bode well for the Phils in this home-friendly park. He's a lot like Shields, really, but our projection system just likes him a little less.
Also considered: Julio Teheran
Brian McCann - FD 3100 DK 4800 DFSTR 6100
We're still waiting on that break out game for Brian McCann, but this could really be it. He still bats in the middle of that lineup in a great park for left handed power hitters, and McCann is way better against righties. He ran ridiculously bad against them last season (a .205 BABIP vs. his .305 against lefties), and still managed to club 12 homers in 197 plate appearances. Joe Kelly, by the way, is kinda horrible. His smoke and mirrors approach caught up to him at the end of last season, and his 4.2 xFIP is nothing to write home about. I love McCann in all formats.
Jonathan Lucroy - FD 3500 DK 4600 DFSTR 7100
While LuCroy's career numbers still make him look like a guy who really prefers southpaws, last season's stats paint a different story. 12 of his 13 homers came against righties, and his 52/51 strike-out to walk ratio is pretty damned good. Vance Worley actually isn't horrible, but "isn't horrible" isn't going to cut it against one of the league's best hitting catchers. Lucroy isn't a huge upside play, but I like him quite a bit for cash games.
Carlos Ruiz - FD 2400 DK 3700 DFSTR 5600
If you just want to escape a low upside position cheaply, I wouldn't mind going after Carlos Ruiz again. I played him quite a bit on opening day, and it worked out pretty well. And then he put up the exact same score in the two games after that! I love him here in particular because he's a high contact guy against a high contact pitcher. This dramatically raises his floor - which is perfect if you want to save your money for a position where the upside tends to be greater.
Also considered: Russell Martin
David Ortiz - FD 3700 DK 5400 DFSTR 7900
Papi keeps getting older, but his bat seems to stay the same age. The man put up 35 homers last year, and has a dream match-up against the young Adam Warren in homer-happy Yankee stadium. Papi maintained a near 1:1 k/bb last season, and hit for his trademark power as well. I'll play him in all formats in the early slate.
Also considered: Adam LaRoche against Pelfrey.
Prince Fielder - FD 3800 DK 5100 DFSTR 7100
It may be hard to look at Fielder seriously after his power outage last season, but he's been seeing the ball incredibly so far this year, and I'm optimistic. Texas is a great park for left handed power hitters. Fielder's wOBA is 56 points higher against righties for his career. Roberto Hernandez is awful (103 Ks against 78 BBs last season). I'll take the Prince everywhere, baby.
Justin Morneau - FD 4000 DK 5300 DFSTR 3100
Morneau was basically an MVP candidate at home vs. right handed pitching last year, batting .356 with a .416 wOBA. My suspicion is that that will continue into this season, and another homer last night has me feeling good here. Hammel was good last year - make no mistake - but righties just have a hell of a time being good in Coors field against this lineup.
Also considered: Justin Smoak for double ups.
Ben Zobrist - FD 3000 DK 4100 DFSTR 6600
Zobrist is off to a tough start of the season, but dude - it's baseball. People are going to have a bad few games. At this stage in his career, you really need to keep an eye on his platoon splits. Last season, Zobrist put up a wOBA .67 points higher against left handed pitching. Happ is basically a league average pitcher - which is a nice spot on a day with lot of number 1s going.
Neil Walker - FD 3400 DK 4600 DFSTR 6300
Second base is pretty crappy tonight, so I'm likely to tap into Walker. For his career, he's been about .50 points better wOBA wise against right handed pitching - so you can really only play him against righties - and Jimmy Nelson happens to be right handed! Now, Nelson isn't as bad as his 2014 ERA suggests, but he's still an average to below league average pitcher, and Walker's got more upside than you might think on these prices.
Chase Utley - FD 3300 DK 4100 DFSTR 6800
He's not the upside guy he used to be, but he did put up double digit steals and homers last season, and all of his upside came against right handed pitching. His biggest weakness (striking out) is mitigated by Fister's inherent inability to strike anyone out (5ish K/9). He's always been a lot better at home, and I think he'll barrel a few up today.
Also considered: Callaspo is a cheap starter, and our projection system thinks he's got a high floor against Dillon Gee.
Asdrubal Cabrera - FD 2600 DK 4100 DFSTR 5800
Cabrera is a straight down the middle neutral platoon guy, so this rating comes straight from a price and opponent perspective. Our projection system is bearish on Cossart's chances this season, while you have to like the groundball rate, the lack of strike-outs is going to mean some big games. Cabrera's not a huge upside guy or anything, but I think this is a fine high-floor cash game play.
Jose Reyes - FD 3700 DK 4900 DFSTR 7800
Reyes finally broke out with a three hit game on Friday, and now he'll get Ubaldo Jimenez. Yes, he of the 4.81 ERA and 116K / 77BB ratio last season. Reyes has been basically platoon neutral over the course of his career, but started trending toward preferring right handed hitters last season. Reyes' speed, contact, and BABIP make him what passes for a high upside play at this position, and I love him here today.
Jed Lowrie - FD 2700 DK 4200 DFSTR 5700
Our projection system has loved Lowrie since jump street on these prices, but I have foolishly ignored it based on my own eyeball test. Well, he's a third of the way to last year's home run total, and looking as healthy and sharp as ever. He certainly prefers left handed pitching, but Gallardo's a guy who can leave the ball up in the zone, and Texas is a hell of a place to hit.
Pablo Sandoval - FD 2900 DK 5400 DFSTR 6100
Sandoval was one of the most absurd platoon split guys of last season - putting up a wOBA a staggering .112 points better against right handed pitching. And while Warren was fine out of the bullpen, facing these Sox in Yankee stadium is a totally different animal. Love him here, and will play him everywhere early on.
Also considered: Connor Gillaspie.
Adrian Beltre - FD 3900 DK 5100 DFSTR 7600
It's true that Beltre was better against left handed pitching last year, but he was hardly bad against right handers. He also had a .402 wOBA against righties at home last season. I've documented Hernandez's failures earlier in this article - so there's no reason to repeat it here. I think Beltre is a fine upside play, and would be comfortable playing him wherever.
Brett Lawrie - FD 2800 DK 3900 DFSTR 6000
After a forgettable 2014, I think we need to put something into context. A lot of Lawrie's 2014 could be attributed to ridiculous BABIP luck, posting a .260 mark to juxtapose against his .294 career levels. He's also a young player, and that kind of run can really start screwing with you after a while. A nice platoon situation against one of the worst pitchers going today, and a great price for Lawrie, has me feeling comfortable with him if you'd like to get away from 3B without spending as much.
Melky Cabrera - FD 2800 DK 5000 DFSTR 6700
The Melk-Man hammered right handed pitching last season, and he'll get the opportunity to ply his righty-crushing ways against Mike Pelfrey. If you're unfamiliar with the dealings of Michael Pelfrey, allow me to enlighten you. The man walked nearly twice as many batters as he struck out last season, and had a startling 7.99 ERA. It was only 5 starts, but God was he bad. I don't see any reason for him to turn it around.
Carlos Beltran - FD 2900 DK 4900 DFSTR 6700
Mookie Betts - FD 3300 DK 5100 DFSTR 6300
Shane Victorino - FD 2700 DK 4400 DFSTR 6100
For all the same reasons I recommended McCann & Papi. All of these guys have great match-ups in a terrific hitters park against young/bad pitchers. I'd be happy to get any of them in (assuming they were starting in an early game).
Carl Crawford - FD 3200 DK 4700 DFSTR 7000
Crawford was a very effective fantasy player last season, popping 8 homers and swiping 23 bags. He's also been 44 wOBA points better against right handers than left over the course of his career. Bradley's shown flashes of effectiveness over the course of his minor league career, but he's way too erratic to trust in a match-up like this. Arizona is a great place to hit, and I think Crawford will have a fine game against the youngster.
Jose Bautista - FD 4300 DK 5400 DFSTR 8400It's always odd to recommend guys who show a huge platoon against the wrong-handed pitcher, but I'm prepared to make an exception here. Why? Well, Jimenez is simply a perfect match-up for Bautista. Jose's got an inhuman batting eye, and Jimenez is intensely wild. Jimenez leads the ball up in the zone (just a 40% ground ball rate), and Bautista turns high pitches into homers like it's his job. Well, it is his job. You understand. Either way, I think this is a great spot to spend up and potentially get a sick payout.
Mitch Moreland - FD 2500 DK 4400 DFSTR 5300
Moreland's an excellent cheap guy to plug in today, and I'd say in any formats. Moreland is a season removed from smacking 23 homers, and while there's a good reason he's not an every day player, it isn't because he can't hit right handed pitching. He's got an .810 OPS at home against right handed pitching, and that's against all right handers. Roberto Hernandez? He would qualify as something worse than average. This is a great way to save up and spend elsewhere.
Khris Davis - FD 2600 DK 4500 DFSTR 6600
While Davis is more of a lefty-masher, he was actually more than capable against right-handers so far in his career. What I really like here is Worley's tendencies to stay around the plate. Davis might get a chance to rip at one here, and I'll be first in line to try and grab him in a GPP.
Also considered: Travis Snider.
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