Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings and Draftster 5/29/15

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This is the kind of day where you are going to want to pay up for pitching.

Matt Harvey - FD 10700 DK 10600
Our system isn't through the roof on Harvey tonight, but I see him as a very safe play on this slate. He is turning in a solid season with more than a K an inning while only walking about 1.5 per nine. The 3.09 xFIP won't knock your socks off (literally or figuratively), and he got knocked around last game. But this is an elite arm facing a Marlin team coming in the bottom third of the league in team wOBA against righties. Citi Field helps pitchers by depressing power though the Marlins don't have much of that to begin with.

Cole Hamels - FD 9800 DK 10200
If can feel weird taking pitchers against the Rockies but that's because we have Coors Field in mind when thinking about that Denver team. But understand, they aren't a very good hitting team. Even factoring in about half of their games at Coors, the Rockies rank 23rd in the league in team wOBA against lefties and are striking out more than 25% of the time. Take away some Rocky Mountain air and the reality is probably much worse. Hamels strikes out enough batters though I don't love the walk rate. Still, I'm willing to pay up for him on this slate with the matchup.

James Shields - FD 9300 DK 9800
Francisco Liriano - FD 9100 DK 9200
Hate that they are facing each other, but love the ballpark they're throwing in. Both guys rate out almost identical pts/$ plays on this slate even with the win expectation diminished for both because of the other (follow that?). I'd consider Shields the safer play of the two as he's been a total ace this season. He's striking out close to twelve batters per nine with a 2.79 xFIP. Dude must be loving San Diego for more than just the weather. Meanwhile, Liriano is putting together one of his best seasons. He's also mowing batters down, but is bitten by the walk bug every once in awhile. More of a tournament play for me just because of the other arms. But you can see why we want to pay way up for pitching today.

If you are looking to go super cheap and load up on bats, think about Tim Hudson against the lowly Braves. And if you hate yourself, consider Stephen Strasburg


Just killing time until fantasy football season? Fantasy Pros has a pretty cool mock drafting software you can check out!



Derek Norris - FD 2700 DK 3200
Norris has put together a Bondsian 1.111 OPS against left handers this season, and while that's a small sample size, the lefty-killing catcher has an .878 OPS against southpaws. That's pretty phenomenal, especially on this price. While Liriano is a fine pitcher, he's erratic, and his two weaknesses (lack of control, leaving balls up in the zone) should play right into Norris' hands. He could also strike out a handful of times. But I'll take the upside in all formats.

Evan Gattis - FD 4000 DK 4400
Rodon, for all of his potential, just doesn't look ready. His 21 Ks against 19 BBs are an embarrassment, and it's hard to believe that he's long for this league. If you're a daily player of FanDuel or DraftKings, you're familiar with the work of Evan Gattis by now. He's got 8 extra base hits in his last 4 games, and his price has skyrocketed. I can't say I'd be psyched to pay up for him today (especially because I'm paying for pitching), but in a nice hitter's park against a not-quite-there-yet lefty, you could see some serious fireworks here.

Carlos Ruiz - FD 2400 DK 3600
Yadier Molina - FD 2200 DK 3600
These are just the high floor guys. Both are facing less than intimidating pitchers, and they should be able to put balls in play. After that anything can happen, of course, but I think either are safe bets if you just want to escape the position cheaply. Me? I'll take Norris.


First base

David Ortiz - FD 2600 DK 4500
He's a usual suspect on this list by now, and you may be sick of reading him. Well, too bad. Here's the thing with daily fantasy baseball: you don't get rich by riding hot hands, you get rich by having a steady hand. What do I mean? It'd be easy to give up on a guy like Ortiz given his triple-slash season line. And that might even be correct for all I know. But the data paints a different picture. His line drive and groundball rates are up, but his BABIP is way down. This doesn't add up. His HR/FB rate is 13%, as opposed to his last 5 seasons average of 18%. Something will break soon, here, and why not against what's left of Yovani Gallardo in a great hitter's park?

Chris Davis - FD 3300 DK 4400
A torrid last few days have Chris Davis' season long line sitting awfully close to our projection system's preseason guesses about him. And this is the way it's going to go for a guy who strikes out a third of the time. You'd never call Davis a cash game play, but in big tournament, why not? Davis is a streaky player, and he's made very hard contact against right handed pitching throughout his entire tumultuous career. His OPS is about .100 points better against right handers, and that's where most of his power comes from. In this game he'll face Nathan Karns, who actually hasn't had a terrible start to the season - but Camden Yards is a totally different place than Tropicana Field for hitters. This is a huge ceiling, very low floor play.

Joey Votto - FD 3200 DK 4000
Speaking of steady hands, mine's not steady enough to stick with Strasburg. It looks for all the world like it's falling apart there, and I'll need to see a couple of good starts before I'll hand him my fantasy ball again. That sounded bad. You get the idea. It's a cold stretch for Votto right now, no doubt - but the guy still has an .840 OPS for the season, and the 31 year old has managed a .975 OPS against right handed pitching over the course of his career. Call me crazy, but I'll take my chances on Votto in his sweet home park against the totally lost Strasburg.

Also considered: Albert Pujols.

Second base

Chase Utley - FD 2800 DK 4000
Utley has put up 2.5 or better fantasy points in 7 of his last 10 games, and while he doesn't have any monsters in there, 5 of those games featured 3.5 FanDuel points or better. If you can get that kind of performance in a cash game from your second baseman on prices like these - you take it, and run. And even with his recent resurgence, his season line is still awful on the back of his ridiculous .202 BABIP. Things are turning on Utley already, and I wouldn't be a whole lot later to this party if I were you. Especially not against fringe major leaguer Chad Bettis.

Robinson Cano - FD 2700 DK 4200
If he plays, our projection system would have you believe that the hate has gone way too far on Sr. Cano. The Ks are up, the BBs are down, and he isn't hitting for any power. I get it. But $2,700 on FanDuel? Come on, now. It's a classic buying opportunity. The floor Cano provides on this price is just fantastic, even if this is his new profile. I like him quite a bit against Trevor Bauer, who has lucked his way into an ERA that's nearly a run better than his xFIP this season. I think Seattle's lefty heavy lineup could give him trouble, and I'm praying that Cano will be a part of it.

Also considered: Ian Kinsler, Ben Zobrist.



Marcus Semien - FD 2900 DK 3800
The As shortstop is quietly on pace to flirt with a 20/20 season. That's just insane production from the short stop position, especially on great prices here. The right handed short stop is a bit better against left handed pitching, and he'll be up against ancient left-hander Chris Capuano, who hasn't gotten through 5 innings in his 2 starts this year. Love this play for safety and upside.

Jimmy Rollins - FD 2700 DK 3600
Writing about daily fantasy baseball can make you feel like a broken record, that's for sure. Rollins' price has crept up recently on the back of a 5 game streak where he's averaged 3 FanDuel points per game. That might not sound like much, but hardly any players have averaged more than a point per salary dollar this season - so it's a significant accomplishment. Rollins is still batting 2nd in a very tough Dodgers' lineup, so his opportunity is as good as ever. Rollins, like a lot of hitters so far this year, has an affordable price because of bad BABIP luck. His .217 number is .51 points off of last year's total, and a speedster like him won't maintain such a figure for long. And Lackey's early season success is looking like more smoke and mirrors than true talent level - his ERA is almost a full run ahead of his xFIP. Could be a nice game for Rollins and the Dodgers.

Brad Miller - FD 2500 DK 3500
Apologies in advance to frequent DFSR readers who have read their fair share of Brad Miller love already, but here we are. Miller is a very affordable play with decent power upside, and he's put together an .825 OPS against right handed pitching this year. Bauer, like Lackey, has run hot this season, and I think the Ms could give him a run for his money. Nice opportunity for Miller do some very affordable damage for you.

I like Hamels but don't be surprised if Troy Tulowitzki puts a beat down on in Philly. Citizen's Bank is no Coors, but it can give up the long ball as well. Some chance Tulo puts a hurting on one.


Third base

Trevor Plouffe - FD 2900 DK 4100
Here's the thing: you'd probably take Trevor Plouffe's year to date OPS in and of itself on this price, and roll the dice. But his season numbers start to look downright special when you only take into consideration what he's done against left handers. Against southpaws he's compiled a .925 OPS, and it frankly doesn't look like a fluke. Meanwhile, the Buehrle bubble has blessedly burst. I know you liked that alliteration - leave this to the pros, folks. What was I saying? Ah yes, Buehrle. The Blue Jays' lefty has a grizzly 27 Ks against 14 walks in 54 innings pitched this year, and it's unsurprisingly yielded some pretty bad results. Plouffe will be in a hugely advantageous spot here, and could have a huge game.

Adrian Beltre - FD 3000 DK 4600
It's the wrong side of the platoon for Beltre, but he's historically not been terrible against right handers, and this is a pretty special pitching match-up. Steven Wright just doesn't look ready for prime time - his 11 Ks against 8 BBs in 22 innings aren't going to continue to yield a sub-4 ERA for long. Beltre's a professional hitter, and I think he puts on a hurting on Wright here in a great hitter's park for a very affordable price.

Matt Carpenter - FD 3900 DK 4500
You think Matt the Bat might be back from his down season? Jeez. The guy has better than a 1K OPS against right handed pitching this season, and it doesn't appear to be letting up any time soon. His BABIP is only .14 points ahead of his career levels, and his batted ball data is fantastic. His line drive rate is up near 27%, and he's making more hard contact than ever, with a 40% hard% per FanDuel. Bolsinger has had a fine start to the season, but he (obviously) isn't going to be a sub 1 ERA guy forever. I think Carpenter has a great game with plenty of upside here.

Also considered: Pablo Sandoval



A ton of cheap guys: I've never seen our projection system so overloaded with cheap guys, so I won't write them all up here. Matt Kemp, Melky Cabrera, and a ton of other dudes you can see if you grab a free three day trial of said projection system now.

Hanley Ramirez - FD 3000 DK 4700
Our system is just really, really down on Gallardo. Hanley's been damned terrible against right handed pitching, but this dramatic platoon split is largely a new thing - he's only been about .60 OPS points better against left handed pitching for his career. We're basically seeing a good buying opportunity for a guy who's underpriced based on some early season luck, and a good hitter's park against a so-so over the hill pitcher.

J.D. Martinez - FD 3000 DK 4000
One of last season's fantasy break-out players, JD Martinez is back on pace for a fine season this year. His 9 home runs in less than 200 plate appearances are very solid, and he's been about .50 OPS points better against left handed pitching for his career. Very affordably priced upside against Hector Santiago, who admittedly is having a fine season.

Jason Heyward - FD 3100 DK 4400
2 homers in the last week, and the guy just came off a season where he stole 20 bases. I'm not saying he's the MVP candidate many thought he'd be - but we're starting to see a fantasy player with real upside. And the problem for Heyward has never been hitting righties like Bolsinger. He's got an .824 OPS against righties for his career. I like the upside at home here.

Carlos Gomez - FD 3800 DK 5100
A cold series with San Francisco has Gomez looking pretty darn affordable. Gomez is such an unorthodox player that it's easy to forget about him some times - but in the last two seasons, he's averaged 23.5 home runs and 37.5 stolen bases. That's downright ridiculous, and worthy of the very most expensive prices the game has to offer. He's priced just under that at the moment, and will draw the league average De Rosa at home. If you're worried about the platoon situation here, don't be. Gomez has been nearly platoon neutral over the course of his career, and is actually seeing the ball better against right handers this season.

Jose Bautista - FD 4700 DK 5400
Trevor May has a tendency of leaving balls up in the zone, which can be an unwise thing to do against Bautista. May's 4.95 ERA already doesn't look fantastic, and when one considers that his HR/FB% has mysteriously cut in half this season, it makes one wonder if he could be doing even worse. If you're spending up at outfield, Bautista is my guy.


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2 Visitor Comments

  1. Red Sox manager John Farrell said Thursday that Ortiz will be out of the lineup for a few days to work some things out, WEEI reports. (5/28/2015)

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