Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

James Davis

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings and Draftster 5/1/15

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Lance Lynn - FD 8100 DK 8300 DFSTR 7900
Lynn had been fantastic before having some BABIP problems against Milwaukee, and I suspect that will continue against Pittsburgh on Friday. The Pirates are way better against left handers, and they've managed just a .282 wOBA against righties while also walking the fewest times of any team in the league. AJ Burnett isn't a a bad pitcher (and probably makes a fine play for GPPs), but St. Louis' bats have been so much better than Pittsburgh's that I like them to give the Cards the edge in helping Lynn get a win.

Max Scherzer - FD 10500 DK 12000 DFSTR 11100
Matt Harvey - FD 10300 DK 11200 DFSTR 8800
It's pretty brutal that the two best pitching plays of the day (by far) are facing one another. There's probably some argument to just split your double ups and 50/50s with these guys and be done with it. The Mets and Nats are 22nd and 23rd in the league in wOBA vs. right handed pitchers, which makes each a plus match-up for a hard throwing righty. Both Scherzer and Harvey are positively transcendent. The problem here is that only one of them can win, and there's some chance that neither of them will win. Still, though - either would be the play of the day if the other wasn't pitching, so it felt like I should include them here.

Ian Kennedy - FD 7300 DK 8200 DFSTR 6900
Well, Kennedy's first start was about as bad as it gets. And he's facing the Rockies? What's he doing here!? Well, a couple of things. First, he was kind of underratedly great last season - striking out 207 guys against 70 walks in 203 innings pitched. Next, San Diego is the best place to pitch in the majors. I'm not saying this is a cash game play, but the Rockies actually have the second fewest walks against righties this season, and their free-swinging ways might not translate to the large confines of Petco.

Also considered: AJ Burnett, for GPPs. K per inning guy for a bargain.




Salvador Perez - FD 2700 DK 3600 DFSTR 5400
Perez's price still isn't where it should be, as he's a sub $3,000 player on FanDuel in spite of showing plus power and average for the position. He's .45 wOBA points better against left handed pitching for his career, and he happens to be facing a pitcher whose name is literally Kyle Lobstein. What's more, Lobstein is actually bad in addition to having a bad name. His 10 Ks against 8 BBs on 18 IP this season are laughable, and given that Perez is super tough to strike out as it is, I think this is a high floor/high ceiling play for cheap.

Stephen Vogt - FD 3100 DK 3800 DFSTR 6200
In this very young season, Vogt has mustered an 1.100 OPS against right handed pitching. And if I can be real with you for a moment, our projection system likes him without even knowing that. Really, this is a dream spot for a righty killer. Great park in Texas, and a horrid pitcher in Lewis. Fantastic buying opportunity with lots of upside.

Yasmani Grandal - FD 2300 DK 3600 DFSTR 5300
Yas-money! Okay, I'm not actually that super psyched about this play. But there actually is a lot to like here. Grandal has been 30 wOBA points better against righties over the course of his career, and has actually shown good promise this season. His 15% BB rate is fantastic, his 20% K rate is tolerable, and he's mostly being held down by a BABIP that's more than 50 points below his career norms. Basically, Grandal is a nice way to get away from the catcher position cheaply.

Also considered: Buster Posey. Most of the early season slump is due to BABIP woes. Everything else looks fine.

First Base

Jose Abreu - FD 4000 DK 5700 DFSTR 7200
I hadn't looked at Kyle Gibson's YTD stats until moments ago, and I had to do a double take. 12 BBs against 6 Ks in 22 IP? It has to be one of the worst 22 inning stretches by any pitcher in the last few years. Meanwhile, Abreu has picked up right where he left off from last year's incredible campaign - knocking 5 homers with a .956 OPS. This is looking like one of the mismatches of the year.

Freddie Freeman - FD 3500 DK 4600 DFSTR 6600
Anthony DeSclafani has shown promise in his young career, but Freeman is a professional hitter who eats right handers for lunch. His already good career line is actually 145 OPS points better against north-paws, and he's actually got a .967 OPS against them this season. On a day where a lot of the other good 1Bs have tougher match-ups, Freeman's a great buy in the upper-mid tier.

Carlos Santana - FD 3400 DK 4400 DFSTR 6300
I can't be the only person who is like, so pumped that Mark Buehrle finally sucks the way he should. The 36 hits he's given up in 23 innings are in line with what his stuff should produce, and I'm eagerly awaiting more of the same. While Santana's been better against righties so far in this short season, his OPS is 80 points better against lefties for his career, and I fully expect him to eat Buehrle's lack of stuff for lunch.

Also considered: If you can spend up for it, Adrian Gonzalez has been hitting no-doubters that shouldn't be confined by the Dodgers' spacious home park. Perfect lefty/righty spot against the young De La Rosa. Only thing holding him back is the price - it's just tough to justify a $5k price tag for anyone not named Trout outside of good hitters' parks.


Second Base

Dustin Pedroia - FD 2900 DK 3900 DFSTR 6600
Pedroia has been better against lefties over the course of his career, and has been absolutely mauling them this season (1.100+ OPS). Sabathia's 5.96 ERA shares that he's continuing to be as hittable as he has been for the last two seasons. Throw in a great hitters' park, and you've got your 2nd base play of the day.

Neil Walker - FD 3000 DK 4000 DFSTR 6100
If you decide to go away from Lance Lynn, Walker is one of the few guys on the Pirates who is actually better against right handed pitching - his .850 OPS against them this year is only slightly above his career number. 2nd base isn't great today, and if you decide to fade Pedroia (you shouldn't), Walker's an interesting guy to look at.

Chase Utley - FD 2500 DK 3800 DFSTR 6300
If you're thinking about going cheap at the position, I'm sticking with Chase Utley. The BABIP luck is absolutely absurd so far, and his approach still looks fine to me. Koehler has still put up just the 12 Ks against 8 BBs, and he's simply not a guy to be feared in general. It isn't a fantastic park or anything, but there's still tremendous upside here given how low the price has fallen.

Also considered: Jedd Gyorko. One of those moveable object/stoppable force things with him facing Eddie Butler. Just a cheap punt play that could pay.



Mike Aviles - FD 2400 DK 3200 DFSTR 5400
It looks like a day to escape the shorstop position cheaply. Me? I'll take Aviles. He's batting 2nd against left handers this season, and while he's run bad from a BABIP perspective, his 6 BBs against 2 Ks show his control of the zone. I already wrote about how unimpressed I am with Buehrle, so if Aviles is starting, I'll play him.

Jimmy Rollins - FD 2800 DK 3600 DFSTR 6000
At this point in the season, a lot of guys are going to be priced according to a lot of luck-based measures. Rollins is one of those. His price has climbed ever downward in spite of being better than I expected. He's hitting the ball hard (a couple of homers and a triple) and stealing bases, and he's really a reasonable BABIP away from being a very good fantasy player. You don't have to pay for him today, and the Dodgers could run Rubby out of town. I like him quite a bit here, if that's how the money shakes out.

Alcides Escobar - FD 2400 DK 3800 DFSTR 5800
Very similar story to Aviles. He's batting at the top of the lineup, he puts a ton of balls in play, and he's up against an underqualified pitcher in Lobstein.

Also considered: If Aybar is leading off again, he makes a nice play against the young Chris Heston. His bubble burst in Colorado, and our system thinks the Angels will crush him as well.

Third Base

Adrian Beltre - FD 2900 DK 4400 DFSTR 6900
You'll wait around all season trying to get platoon spots like this. Beltre put up nearly a 1k OPS against left handers last season, and did even better than that at home. Now, Kazmir is a cut above the average left handed pitcher that Beltre faced last season, but the combination of park and skills still makes Beltre a must play for me today, especially if you save up at pitcher.

Evan Longoria - FD 3100 DK 4200 DFSTR 6200
It isn't easy being Chris Tillman. He went from premier prospect to punch line seemingly overnight, and after a couple of respectable seasons, he's struggling yet again. Longoria's showing the best approach he's displayed in years (15 Ks against 12 BBs), and I think he'll be able to wait for his pitch against Tillman, even if it's not his ideal platoon situation.

Trevor Plouffe - FD 2400 DK 3900 DFSTR 5700
If you decide to save at third base, you can get Plouffe for nearly free on by far the better side of his platoon. He's an 800+ OPS guy with power against left handers, and Quintana is having a hell of a time in this young season so far.

Also considered: Kyle Seager.


Joc Pederson - FD 3600 DK 4100 DFSTR 5400
While Pederson isn't going to BABIP .406 for the whole season, Pederson did put up a .350+ BABIP in the minors, and has the foot-speed and bat-speed to sustain those rates at the major league level. You need to deploy him somewhat cautiously simply due to the strike outs, but Joc's 30/30 potential makes him a great play against right-handers in any park. The upside in this match-up is irresistible.

Jay Bruce - FD 3200 DK 4700 DFSTR 6200
Man, it gets really tempting to write off Jay Bruce when he's striking out like this. But! He's posted a career best walk rate this year, and his ISO is .16 points higher than his career average. And the best part of this spot? He'll get to ply his strengths without having to worry about his weaknesses. Cahill's never been able to sustain the K rate he flashed in the minors at the major league level, and looks totally lost this year. This could be a huge game for feast or famine Bruce.

Kole Calhoun - FD 3300 DK 4300 DFSTR 6900
With Trout feeling a little bit priced out of consideration here, I still like Calhoun quite a bit. The triple slash line this season is solid, I am not a believer in Chris Heston, and he's .60 OPS points better against right handed pitching. The park isn't ideal, but I love him as a high floor play.

Melky Cabrera - FD 2500 DK 4300 DFSTR 6400
Cabrera remains very reasonably priced because he's basically been a super high floor no ceiling guy. But still - you've only been disappointed with his fantasy output in 1 game since April 17th. And now he gets his best match-up of that stretch by a mile. I've already pooped on Mr. Gibson's pitching abilities enough, but needless to say, Melky will enjoy this advantage as much as the rest of his team.

Matt Kemp - FD 3700 DK 4900 DFSTR 6400
If you have trouble getting the money in, I don't mind taking Kemp even in a bad platoon match-up at home. It's a straight up mismatch with the underqualified Butler, and Kemp's .343 wOBA at home is respectable.

Also considered: Mark Trumbo, Carlos Beltran, David Peralta, Mookie Betts.

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