Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

James Davis

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings and Draftster 6/7/15

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.



Mike Fiers - FD 7800 DK 8100
He's not the kind of guy that usually headlines our picks article, but give me a moment to explain. Fiers' peripheral credentials are excellent - his 69 Ks against 19 BBs in 57 innings are excellent, and if he wasn't sporting a BABIP .070 points higher than his career levels, one can imagine he'd be having a great ERA season as well. But this recommendation goes far beyond Fiers' own track record, and involves the gentlemen he'll be pitching against. The Twins are arguably the best match-up for a right handed pitcher in the major leagues, sporting the league's 2nd worst wOBA and 5th highest strike out rate. Throw in a great match-up with Mike Pelfrey (whose awful peripherals won't prop up that ERA much longer), and a win looks like a real possibility as well. I love Fiers in all formats.  

Johnny Cueto - FD 10500 DK 9600
If you are looking to spend up, perhaps because Fiers doesn't pass your "cash game" sniff test, Cueto is the logical choice. The Padres are just a step behind the Twins when it comes to futility against right handed pitching - they've amassed the league's 7th highest strike out rate while managing just the 6th highest wOBA. Now, those numbers should be higher outside of Petco, but the point still remains - they don't love hitting right handers. Odrisamer Despaigne is just a step above Mike Pelfrey in terms of pitching ability, which is to say he's pretty darned bad. Nothing to see over Cueto's way at the moment - he's got his classic fantastic K rate paired with an elite walk rate, and is cutting down batters, business as usual. A great play in cash games, and a fine play in big tournaments, too.

Jordan Zimmermann - FD 9200 DK 8700
Zimmermann has taken a real step back in terms of K rate this year, and to be honest, I'll probably play the above two guys instead. But people like options, so here's options! Zimmermann's K rate has ticked upward recently, and the Cubs have struck out at the very highest rate (26.2%!) of any team in the major leagues, and if the season ended today, would be the highest in at least this millenium (I got bored clicking back through years - sue me). That's going to forgive some of what's lacking in Zimmermann's stuff. Kyle Hendricks has been pretty good for the Cubs on his end - but you're not making this play for safety - you're hoping to go against the grain and catch lightning in a bottle.

Also considered: Chris Archer, but I'll probably fade him and go with Cueto instead. The peripherals are through the roof here of course, and Seattle is a fine match-up, but I simply like Cueto better.

An interesting punt: Kyle Hendricks, incidentally.



Buster Posey - FD 3800 DK 4300
Back to the well with Posey against a right hander on the road! Posey has been fantastic against right handed pitching this season, walking 20 times against just 13 strike outs, and crushing the ball when he is making contact. Philly remains a great place to hit, and getting away from San Fran does wonders for Posey's power numbers. And then there's Sean O'Sullivan. The young man just isn't a major league ready pitcher, as his year to date performance would suggest. His 19 Ks against 9 BBs mean the G-men are going to put barrels on the ball early and often.

Jonathan Lucroy - FD 3000 DK 3800
A rest seems to be just what Lucroy needed. After a rough April, he's returned from injury to smack 8 hits in his last 4 games, including a homer and a double. And I'll try to lay off Big Pelf to some degree in this article - but the main thing you need to know there is that he's got the majors' 3rd worst K/9 - 4.12. This is up from last season's 3.80. He just can't strike people out, and he's not exactly great with command, either. I think this is a great spot to ride a hot Lucroy against one of the league's very worst pitchers.

Yasmani Grandal - FD 2900 DK 3600
On a day with so many pitchers going, it will certainly be tempting to not play guys facing one of the good ones. And Grandal is certainly facing one of those in Lance Lynn. But I have to say, I'm just infatuated with taking the Dodgers' backstop against right handed pitching this season. He's got nearly a .900 OPS, and has an eye-popping 16.4% K rate. There's a lot about this spot that I don't love, but this looks like a very solid value play even in spite of those extenuating factors.



First base

Brandon Belt - FD 3600 DK 4500
Brandon Belt is having a really weird season. After taking a serious step back in an injury shortened 2014 campaign, Belt has returned to miraculously lead the league in line drive %. That means that his 5th highest .391 BABIP isn't all that unsustainable, and that not quite as much regression as you'd think would be coming if everything else stays the same. But the weird thing is the K rate that he's pairing with this great contact. The 26% is just awful, and not doing him any favors. Still, he's pounding right handers to the tune of a .985 OPS, and like Posey, this is a great spot to get him against a below average righty in a great hitter's park.

Jose Abreu - FD 3600 DK 4900
With 6 extra base hits in his last 10 games, I'm prepared to say Abreu is back - and we still don't have to pay maximum prices for him just yet. While he's facing a righty in this game, he was only slightly worse against right handed pitching last year, and it doesn't present the same problems for him that it does many sluggers of his caliber. And then there's Alfredo Simon. His 4.27 xFIP is a much better indicator of his abilities than his 2.97 ERA, and his relative lack of strike outs will play right in to Abreu's hands. In his nice home hitter's park, Abreu has as much upside as any player on the board.

Eric Hosmer - FD 3300 DK 4100
The 25 year old Hosmer is finally delivering on his elite prospect status, and he's especially doing so against right handed pitching. His .948 OPS against northpaws this season is elite, and he'll be matched up here with 35 year old Colby Lewis. Lewis' 4.41 xFIP tells you most of what you need to know here - the guy is past whatever prime he can be said to have had, and Hosmer should be a great value on the price you need to pay to get him.

Also considered: Rolling it back with Adam Lind.

Second base

Chase Utley - FD 2700 DK 3700
Utley's back down to very affordable levels, and has a great match-up today with Vogelsong. Utley's .209 BABIP is about .090 points below his career established levels, and while some of that might be attributed to old age, there's a really serious uptick coming. His K/BB are still solid, and he's still getting plenty of opportunity in the Phillies' lineup. Vogelsong makes basically a perfect match-up for Utley and the Phillies - his pitch-to-contact approach isn't going to play any better than his 4.55 xFIP has anywhere else. I love Utley has a way to save up to spend more at higher upside positions.

Logan Forsythe - FD 3100 DK 3400
Forsythe and his .840 OPS this season can only be called a break-out candidate, and taking him a positive platoon situation against Mike Montgomery feels like a safe way to invest some salary today. While Montgomery once had serious prospect status, he's hit the wall at AAA several times before finally coming up this season. He's not awful or anything, it's just that Forsythe has been hitting everyone this season, and I don't see any reason why that won't continue when he faces Montgomery in his second big league start.

Also considered: It's a rough day at second base, but if he plays, Robinson Cano is still a great points per dollar value, theoretically.



Jean Segura - FD 2900 DK 4300
From last night's picks:
Segura has reached base in 8 straight, and shown considerable pop in that time as well - 5 extra base hits. Could this be the resurgence of the guy who showed flashes of being a fantasy force in 2013? To be honest, it kinda doesn't has to be. Segura's priced in such an affordable fashion, and JR Graham is so under-qualified, that he has as high a floor as possible. I think he also has a considerable ceiling to go with it, if the Brew Crew run Graham the way I think they could.
Pelf is arguably worse than Graham, so needless to say, I'm doubling down on this pick tonight.

Brandon Crawford - FD 3000 DK 4000
As often happens in back to back games, the same guys burble up to the surface. That's the case with Crawford here. From last night:
It's a little odd to stick your neck out and take Brandon Crawford against a righty, but hear me out. 6 of Crawford's 8 homers have come against right handed pitching this year, and he's actually struck out less against northpaws than their southern brethren. Of course, he's been just stinging the ball against lefties, but the .270 BABIP difference can't sustain.

And, this time around, O'Sullivan is basically the same caliber pitcher that Severino Gonzalez was last night. It's still a fine play, and I love it for the upside.

Also considered: Jimmy Rollins, Jonathan Villar.


Third base

Evan Longoria - FD 3100 DK 4000
I gave the case against Mike Montgomery in Forsythe's write-up, so I won't go back to the well here. Instead, I'll just let you know that Longoria is still topping a .900 OPS against left handed this season in spite of an underwhelming season long line. It's not the best hitter's park, but the combination of price and upside have make Longo a really serious consideration in any format.

Joey Gallo - FD 3200 DK 3500
If you want the highest upside (and probably the lowest floor) at the position today, thinking as hard as you can about Joey Gallo. Okay, not quite so hard - you're not trying to do telekinesis, holmes. But if you're not familiar with Gallo - he's a 70 power prospect who has slugged .600+ across three levels since the beginning of 2014, and is about as serious a threat as there is when it comes to hitting the long ball. His weakness, of course, is the strike-out: he makes Chris Davis look like Tony Gwynn. But hitting against Jeremy Guthrie is quite literally the dream scenario. His 3.33 K/9 is the worst in the majors among qualified starters, and it's .65 worse than second place Mark Buehrle! If there's a game to grab Gallo and feel good about it, this would be it.

Mike Moustakas - FD 2400 DK 3700
I wrote this two nights ago, before Moustakas' price dropped another $200 on FanDuel:
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.

While Lewis is pitching better than Chi-Chi Gonzalez at the time of that write-up, the difference isn't huge, and Moustakas makes an INSANELY great upside play at basically a minimum price in a positive platoon situation here.

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



Carlos Gonzalez - FD 3500 DK 4600
With 10 hits (including 3 XBH) in the last week, it seems like Gonzalez might be back to where he's a fantasy option we can consider on any given night. And at these prices, he's going to be heavily in consideration any time he's playing in Coors - the rest just depends on the pitcher. Jose Urena is not the type of guy who will scare us away. While he's shown an interesting approach in the minors, his pitch-to-contact style just doesn't play in Coors. I think this youngster won't make it out of the 4th inning, and that Cargo has a monster game.

Carlos Gomez - FD 3600 DK 5100
Gomez delivered a monster game in a way that only he can on Saturday night, going 4/5 with 3 RBI, a BB, and an SB. That's just going to happen for him from time to time, and it's exactly why he's such a pleasure to play in daily fantasy baseball. His floor is high because of his incredible speed, and his ceiling is high because of his 20/30 talent. I've made the case against Pelfrey already, but needless to say, the rough-around-the-edges Gomez gets a particular boost in match-ups against guys with no stuff whatsoever.

Mookie Betts - FD 2800 DK 4300
An emerging power/speed guy, Betts now has 10 homers and 15 steals in 2/3 of a season's worth of plate appearances, giving you some insight into his upside. Now, I should make it clear - I probably could have taken half a dozen Red Sox players tonight - so Betts isn't alone here. The principal reasons are Kendall Graveman and (to a lesser extent) Fenway Park. His 18 Ks and 15 BBs in 34 IP this season are downright lousy, and he could be in for a world of pain here.

Jay Bruce - FD 2900 DK 4200
In a mea culpa, I wrote up Jay Bruce's match-up for Sunday's game for Saturday's write-up since FanDuel had the wrong games. So, this is quite literally the same spot I would loved yesterday, had it been the case!

Bruce's best possible permutation above platoon and home/road splits is against right handed pitchers at home - where he's posted an .878 OPS with great pop. Odrisamer Despaigne has only managed 4.56 K/9 this season, to go with just over 2 walks per 9. He'll also be away from his friendly home in Petco. Lots and lots of upside for Bruce here, and Despaigne's inability to strike people out mitigates his biggest weakness. I actually like him in all formats.

Alex Gordon - FD 2700 DK 3800
Gordon's a slightly poor man's version of Eric Hosmer, and you get him at slightly poor man's prices. That's all there really is to say, here - high floor, low ceiling play.

Christian Yelich - FD 3100 DK 4500
The Rockies just trot out one embarrassment of a pitcher after the next, and while the sites adjust prices to some degree based on guys hitting in Coors, they often don't adjust quite enough for extreme platoon guys like Yelich. His OPS against right handed pitching is .100 points higher than it is against lefties, and most of his power potential is wrapped up in his turning on right handed offerings. Kyle Kendrick has a 6.55 ERA this season, and his 32 Ks against 22 BBs in 66 IP say that he isn't just having bad luck. Yelich could tap into some of the power he showed as a prospect, but has shelved since joining the bigs.

Josh Reddick - FD 3000 DK 4300
Buchholz is good, but Reddick is darn cheap for a guy who has a 1.050 OPS against right handed pitching this season. Huge, YUGE upside for extremely reasonable prices, here.

Bruce's best possible permutation above platoon and home/road splits is against right handed pitchers at home - where he's posted an .878 OPS with great pop. Odrisamer Despaigne has only managed 4.56 K/9 this season, to go with just over 2 walks per 9. He'll also be away from his friendly home in Petco. Lots and lots of upside for Bruce here, and Despaigne's inability to strike people out mitigates his biggest weakness. I actually like him in all formats.

Also considered: Curtis Granderson.

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1 Visitor Comment

  1. Tried a bunch of websites. Purchased a bunch of subscriptions. This is outright the easiest projection and lineup helper I’ve found. However I crossed reference the writers daily picks with factual daily numbers…and for the most part they are 40% on point. Not too bad I guess. I play over 200 Entries a day. Tomorrow I’m going to try to run a single lineup using the lineup tool provided by this website. Will post results after todays 4:05pm slate games.


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