Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

James Davis

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings 6/5/15

Full disclaimer - this is a massive slate, and there's no way I could ever possibly list every decent play today. So, I'll do my best in highlighting whom I believe to be the elite plays. If you want the rest? Go ahead and get access to the exclusive projection system that produces these picks. Sign up now and get a free 3 day trial to our lineup construction tool for FanDuel, DraftKings and Draftster.



Yikes - pitching is pretty darn brutal tonight. No true ace on the board, and most of the middling guys have big question marks. It might be a day to just spread your exposure and go cheap. Here are my thoughts.
Jake Odorizzi - FD 8600 DK 8600
The case for Odorizzi is rather straightforward. He'll be pitching in one of the league's very best pitcher's parks against the Mariners, who have the 3rd highest K% against right handed pitching in the league to pair with the league's 5th lowest wOBA. He's facing a guy who has nearly a clone of his peripheral stats, but Odirizzi's Rays have had the league's 5th best wOBA against left handed pitching this season. Odorizzi isn't a huge strike out guy at this point in his career, but the low walks and the nice pitcher's park make this look like a play that a lot of people are going to put atop their cash game (and even big tournament) lineups today.

Tyson Ross - FD 9000 DK 9400
I know what you're thinking: Tyson Ross? On the road? Against the team with the 6th lowest K rate against RHP in all of baseball? I don't know what to tell you - this is what our projection system is spitting out. It's an awful day for pitching. If you'd like a case, I'll do my best. Ross has struck out more than a batter per inning this year, and had 10 games in a row with 10 or better fantasy points on FanDuel before last outing's stinker. The big sell here is the overmatched Raisel Iglesias. If the Dads can get to him, Ross should be in a decent line for a win - which separates him from most of the rest of the pitchers going today. The thing to remember about Ross is that he's one of the more extreme groundball pitchers in the league. His 63.5% GB rate is peak Brandon Webb territory. So he can erase those walks in a hurry, and tends not to get as crushed by homer friendly parks like Cinci. I'm not overly enthused here, but this still looks like a cash game play to me.

Tsuyoshi Wada - FD 6700 DK 7400
If you want to go against the grain and save a ton of money at pitcher today, Wada makes for a pretty interesting play. The Nationals have the 10th highest K% against left handed pitching to go with the 12th lowest wOBA against southpaws. And Wada's been pretty good against, well, basically everyone so far in his big league career. His K rate this season (10.59/9 innings) is outstanding, and while it won't last, he could flummox the Nats here for sure. I'm a little spooked that Anthony Rendon will start turning the Nats' woes against lefties around, but he's just one guy, and not nearly enough to give up completely here. Also - Wada gets a chance to face Tanner Roark, who has mustered just 11 Ks in 31 IP this season. Not saying this is a safe play, but I could totally see it paying off.


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Yasmani Grandal - FD 3100 DK 3400
You can grab a legit, non-BABIP fueled .400 OBA catcher for $3,100 today. He's also hitting on the better side of his platoon. Do you know who it is? Damnit. Yes, it's Grandal. I shouldn't have written his name first. I suck at surprises. Anyway, while Grandal's BABIP does look high - this was basically the exact guy he was in the minors before struggling a little bit upon turning pro. C-Mart is a fine young pitcher and all, but the points per dollar value and high floor due to Grandal's patience is too much to pass up here.

Jonathan Lucroy - FD 2800 DK 3600
I'll do my best to make this my only "professional hitter" label of the column, but that's exactly what Lucroy is: a professional hitter. And despite the sparkly ERA, Kyle Gibson is barely pitching at a major league level. 30 Ks against 21 BBs in 62 IP just aren't going to cut it, and with how sharp Lucroy's looked in his first couple games back, I wouldn't be surprised to see him sting a few line drives here. And with the rest of the guys around him getting to hit against Mr. Gibson as well, it could turn into a solid counting stat day.

Buster Posey - FD 3700 DK 4300
Just because you might be in the position to spend up if you go cheap at pitching today. Posey's actually had an insane approach against right handers this season - his 20 BBs against 13 Ks makes me feel a little bit cross-eyed. And if you're unfamiliar with Jerome Williams' work, it might be best that you keep it that way. He's been getting soul-crushed all season (and, let's face it, all career), and this game really shouldn't be any different. Our system loves getting Posey away from his home park, where fly balls go to die. In spite of this being a righty/righty matchups, this will be one of Posey's highest upside non-Coors starts of the season.


First base

Jose Abreu - FD 3700 DK 5500
Our projection system begged everyone to buy low on Abreu even has his stock continued to fall, and I'll be the first to admit that I didn't hold as tightly as I ought to have. But with 3 homers in his last 8 games, the Abreu we saw last year seems to be fully back. While his season line hasn't caught up to last season's line - none can doubt that the power and upside have returned in full force. And today? He'll be up against one Kyle Ryan. "Who's that?" you might be wondering. Well, I don't blame you. Kyle Ryan hasn't posted a K rate above six in the minors since 2011. In his 3 innings this year, he walked three, and struck out zero. He also happens to have the displeasure of being left handed, which plays into the right-handed Abreu's sweet spot. This could get super, duper ugly.

Adrian Gonzalez - FD 4000 DK 4300
Gonzalez has put an otherworldly beat down on right handed pitching this season, as his 1.062 OPS against northpaws would attest. I think I prefer the upside of Abreu, listed above, just due to the fact that he's facing a WAY worse pitcher, but I actually don't mind grabbing Gonzalez as a one off if you've just got bills to spend and want to pick up one of the highest upside guys this season has had to offer.

Adam Lind - FD 2500 DK 4300
If, for whatever reason, you just want to wildly go against popular opinion today, grabbing Lind on the super-cheap might be up your alley. I've already detailed Gibson's woes - but Lind often makes a fine play against right handed pitching. His price is depressed because of his paltry .595 OPS against left handers, but his .895 OPS against righties is quite literally something to write home about (I just included this stat in a hand-written note to my aunt - a thank you note for a thoughtful birthday present). Gibson's inability to strike out anyone plays right into Lind's hands, and this might be a case where you can pay very little to get similar upside to what the big boys can produce.

Also considered: Chris Davis.

Second base

Ben Zobrist - FD 3000 DK 4200
With more walks than strike outs this year, Zobrist is basically his bad BABIP (.232 vs his .290+ career levels) away from having a fine season. He's still a 15/10 threat, and his low K rate makes him one of the highest floor plays the position has to offer. But the real charmers here are Wade Miley, and hitting in Fenway. Fenway is a great place to hit from the right side of the plate, and Wade Miley and his 33 Ks against 20 BBs in 54 IP are a great person to hit from the right side of the plate against. I don't know that this is a huge upside play, but it's a cash game play like you read about.

Robinson Cano - FD 2500 DK 3700
Do I hate myself? Do I hate you, since I'm causing you to read this name? It hasn't been pretty to ride Cano this year. I know - I've been riding him since he was like $3,400 on FanDuel in the right match-ups. Alas, here we are. You can get a hall of fame second baseman coming off a great year for $2,500, and there's no talk of injury. Cano has quietly not been awful recently - he even has a home run in the last week - but the season line is still downright scary. Perhaps too scary. But I am obligated to include him here, because if you don't play Odorizzi, it's going to feel awfully hard to put any other 2B in this slot given the price and opportunity.

Ian Kinsler - FD 3100 DK 4000
If you want a little more upside than the above guys with arguably more downside, consider Ian Kinsler! Kinsler is finally on the long ball board this week, and after another nice game on Thursday, I'm starting to wonder if we're seeing the floor of what his price will be this season. Kinsler hasn't actually run bad in terms of BABIP this season, but the dramatic ISO drop looks a little bit odd, and could potentially be because of some run-bad against left handed pitching this season. He's been about .075 OPS points better against LHP for his career, and those trends have nearly reversed this year. While Quintana is a decent pitcher, I like Kinsler in a a nice hitter's park today.

Also considered: Neil Walker, Chase Utley.



Marcus Semien - FD 2600 DK 4000
I gave you Miley's credentials above, so I'll spare you them here. As for Semien, he's a guy who flashed 20/20 stuff earlier this season (even if the power was perhaps a mirage) who's on hard times as of late. So who's the real player? Well, Semien's weakness at this point in his young career is striking out. He can make solid line drive contact and really run, but he is still fooled by advanced pitching. The great thing here is that he'll be away from his treacherous home park, and away from any manner of treacherous pitching. I think he's a high floor play with considerable points-per-dollar upside.

Xander Bogaerts - FD 2600 DK 3900
With all of the terrible pitching going today, it's going to seem weird to play a 22 year old against a guy who has struck out nearly a guy per inning this year. But when I'm looking for upside today, this is where I'm turning. Bogaerts has a near .800 OPS against left handed pitching in his young career, which is really something for a guy his age. He's also .120 OPS points better at home than on the road. And of course, there's the very affordable price. What'll stand in the way of most grabbing him here is Scott Kazmir, but not me. In his last 5 starts, Kaz has K'd 21 batters while walking 15 in a total of 25 innings pitched. That's really nothing to write home about - far more "a little better than league average" than "ace." And Fenway will be his toughest park on that trip. I don't mind taking the Boston righties against him a bit.

Jose Reyes - FD 3500 DK 4600
In his 9 games since returning from injury, Reyes has reached base in 8 games, had 5 multi-hit games, and has whacked 4 doubles. I dunno if he's "back" back, but he's kinda back, right? And the great news here is that he really doesn't need to be fully back to face Roberto "don't call me Fausto, it's just awk" Hernandez. Roberto has struck out just 30 batters and given up 18 walks in his 60 filler innings pitched this year, and this park isn't helping his matters any. Reyes is a huge upside play here, and could really cause some trouble.


Third base

Mike Moustakas - FD 2600 DK 4000
Moustakas just keeps plugging away, destroying right handed pitching, and none of the daily fantasy baseball sites seem to notice (or care). His .904 number is just fantastic, and is probably a reflection of his top-tier prospect pedigree, not luck. In this game he'll face Chi-Chi Gonzalez, who smoke-and-mirrors'd his way to a scoreless start against Boston in his last outing on the back of 5 walks in 5 innings with just 2 strike outs. The Royals are one of the toughest teams to strike out in the league, and I bet Moose and his compadres run Gonzalez earlier than 5 here.

Evan Longoria - FD 3100 DK 3800
Doug wrote it last night: Facing lefties is still Longoria's bread and butter. He's been much, much better for his career in this split and even this season owns 163 wRC+ and .919 OPS against southpaws.

Yup. And while Happ is a better pitcher than Elias, it won't cover the platoon-split and talent gap here close enough to scare me away.

Also considered: There are a number of cheap guys who could make a decent play today. Aramis Ramirez, Yasmani Tomas, and Lonnie Chisenhall come to mind.



Christian Yelich - FD 3100 DK 4700
The rep on Yelich coming up was that he wasn't going to be able to hit big league pitching from the left side of the mound, and so far that's been mostly true. But we don't need to play him against lefties. In this one, he'll go up against perhaps the worst of the Rockies' awful pitchers in Eddie Butler. Butler has amassed 2 more walks than his paltry strike out total this season, and just looks lost out there. Throw in the Coors factor, and Yelich is a gorgeous play.

Alex Gordon - FD 2900 DK 4300
Gordon is an older, slightly less good, slightly less exciting version of Moustakas. Everything else applies, here, and I think he makes for a nice high-floor play.

Carlos Gomez - FD 3600 DK 5000
You lose some of Gomez's power taking him against a right hander, but he should make up for that in increased speed. As for what he's doing this year - really nothing out of the ordinary for him. He's on pace for yet another 20/20 or even 20/30 season if he can stay healthy, meaning that he'll be an elite upside guy when facing hapless pitchers like Kyle Gibson.

Hanley Ramirez - FD 3700 DK 4600
I already pointed out why I'm less than scared of Kazmir at the moment, so I'll just give you Hanley's credentials. He's put together a near 1K OPS against left handed pitching this season, and has been about .060 OPS points better against southpaws over the course of his career. The Sox rattled Kazmir last time out, and I think it could be a monster game for Hanley on a very affordable price.

The spendy bits
Carlos Gonzalez - FD 3600 DK 4600
Joc Pederson - FD 4300 DK 4400
If you want to spend up a little bit at the sacrifice of some points per dollar value, I like both of these guys plenty. Cargo is facing a below average righty at home, and Pederson and his career .935 OPS against right handed pitching will ply his trade at home with some beasts batting around him. Either of these guys could have a fine game, if you happen to have the money to spend.

Also considered: A cadre of cheap guys, not the least of which are Melky Cabrera and Matt Kemp. For the rest? Grab a free three day trial of our projection system.


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