Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings and Draftster 6/19/15

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Chris Sale - FD 11000 DK 11900
Sale's been a revelation over the last month or so. Dude's just got it dialed in and is moving batters down at a crazy rate. In his last 37 innings he has 61 strikeouts and only 7 walks. You read those numbers correctly. He is at peak performance level right now and faces a Rangers team striking out almost 23% of the time against lefties. They are middle of the pack in terms of team wOBA, and this is a hitter's park so that comes into play. But in situations like this, I ride the hot hand. Sale is a cash and upside play today for sure.

Kyle Hendricks - FD 6800 DK 6900
The Twins are one of the worst teams in the league against righty pitching, ranking 29th in team wOBA for that split and striking out more than 21% of the time. Hendricks isn't a huge swing and miss guy, but he has solid peripherals with a 4:1 K:BB rate to go with a 3.45 xFIP. Hendricks feels safer today against a weak-hitting Twins lineup that lacks any kind of pop down the second half of the order. Hendricks also serves a role on sites like DraftKings as a totally reasonable second arm to pair with Sale.

Lance McCullers - FD 6700 DK 8000
A fantastic upside play coming very cheap. McCullers is striking out ten batter per nine to go with only two walks and a 3.17 xFIP. The last piece trails the ERA some, but he, like Hendricks, faces a bottom-feeding offense in the Mariners. Seattle's 28th in the league against righty pitching this season and McCullers has the added advantage of throwing in Safeco Field. He's not quite the bargain on DraftKings but he won't break the bank either. There's some serious K upside for Lance in this matchup.

Consider James Shields


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Jonathan Lucroy - FD 3200 DK 4000
All. Day. Long. I doubt I play anyone else on this slate. The process here is relatively simple. He's facing a lefty in Coors. Lucroy though benefits from a price already running a little low thanks to some BABIP struggles. He has a chance to really correct in this spot. Facing Jorge de la Rosa, Lucroy's a career .868 OPS guy against lefties and has been hitting near or at the top of the lineup. I'd be completely shocked if he wasn't the highest owned catcher on this huge slate.

Consider Yasmani Grandal I suppose, but I'm not getting far away from Lucroy. Typically we recommend 2-3 players per position on a slate of this size, but I just think there is a massive drop-off after Lucroy.



First base

Jose Abreu - FD 3600 DK 5000
Adam LaRoche - FD 2500 DK 3400
Colby Lewis is a flyball pitcher throwing today in a park that doesn't exactly reward that particular pitcher profile. U.S. Cellular is one of the best parks for hitters in all of baseball. Abreu and Laroche could be primed to take advantage of Lewis today. Laroche is a particularly cheap guy with power upside and Abreu hits righties well. The latter's a little expensive on DraftKings today considering some of the other big money options. But I think both of thee guys could be in line for a power surge in this matchup.

David Ortiz - FD 2800 DK 4000
I want to believe he isn't cooked. But it's getting harder and harder. He's getting BABIP'd to death over the last two ears thanks to the shift. And the ISO is way down this season. His GB% is up as well, a bad sign for a power hitter. I'm willing to buy here on the price and in the matchup against Yohan Pino, but it's not necessarily a lock at this price as it'd been in the past.

Consider Adrian Gonzalez


Second base

Kolten Wong - FD 2900 DK 3400
At these prices, I'm nearly completely sold on Wong as a cash game play on this slate. He's OPS'ing near .800 on the season and adds hints of power and speed to the leadoff slot (so important for those expected plate appearances). Wong doesn't walk a ton for a leadoff hitter, but Phillippe Aumont might have something to say about that. Dude lives for giving the free pass as he's giving up nearly six of them per nine at AAA this season. And it's in line with most of his time in the minors. He is all over the place. Wong should see some time on base today.

Dee Gordon - FD 3100 DK 4500
A slight overpay considering some of the power out there on this slate, but I don't mind Gordon. The upside to shoot here is the speed obviously. DeSclafani is no great shakes as a pitcher with a low strikeout rate and mid 4's xFIP. What we're looking for here is Gordon getting on base and running. This pick comes to you mostly out of the thinness at second base more than an extreme confidence in Gordon producing.

Consider Neil Walker



Another day of being forced to think about shortstop. What a burn. I almost always hate the position. Today I really hate it.

Jean Segura - FD 3200 DK 4200
Note on this one: I'm only considering him if he finds his way toward the top of the lineup against the lefty. If he's relegated to the 7 or 8 slot then I think you are overpaying for a dude who could see limited plate appearances. But he's see a major bump if he was in the top one or two of the lineup and I'd have him all over my cash games on FanDuel. Still think he's be overpriced on DraftKings.

Alcides Escobar - FD 2400 DK 3900
Welcome to another day of recommending a guy like Escobar. As I've said before and with much of the season left to go, I'm sure I'll say it again. Alcides is up here because for some reason the Royals have him hitting leadoff. Even though dude struggles to get on base. But he can run once there (which isn't often) and that's where all of his value comes from. Faces the hard throwing lefty Eduardo Rodriguez which I don't love, but the options at shortstop are so very thin.

Xander Bogaerts - FD 2500 DK 3700
He's been hitting in and around the middle of the lineup lately which boosts some of his expectation. Would much prefer playing him against a lefty, but this is shortstop and we don't often get what we want. Look, again, I can't make outstanding cases for these guys because they offer so little on the offensive end. But the salaries won't completely submarine you.


Third base

Aramis Ramirez - FD 3000 DK 3800
He's getting brutalized by BABIP this season with a .216 mark 100 or so points off his career averages. The rest of his batted ball profile looks in line with his career marks and I think he's just running bad right now. It's kept his price lower heading into Coors. Let's start buying. He's tagged lefties for a .917 OPS over his career and faces Jorge de la Rosa in Coors. With the Brewers a little banged up he's hitting in the top five of the order. I suspect he's one of the more popular plays on the day and with good reason.

Matt Carpenter - FD 3400 DK 3700
The reasoning for Carpenter is much the same as Wong. He faces a wild pitcher and has a 12% walk rate on the season. Carpenter's just the kind of guy to wait Aumont out and get into longer, advantageous counts. Carpenter's putting together a bounce back season with a mid 800's OPS and 139 wRC+. His DraftKings price would be the only reason I'd consider getting away from Aramis on this slate, though it's close.

Chase Headley - FD 2300 DK 3800
Just a punt play if ou are looking to get bigger moneny in somewhere else in the lineup. Headley's been hitting second for the Yankees which is where he derives most of his value. He's just a ho-hum hitter, but Alfredo Simon won't overpower you and that short porch in Yankee Stadium left field always looms close by.



Ryan Braun - FD 4600 DK 4900
Carlos Gomez - FD 4300 DK 5300
This assumes both are in the lineup of course. Gomez sat yesterday and could see the bench again today. Braun's been a little unlucky this season (a major theme with the Brewers) as his BABIP's running about 60 points off his career average. He's still OPS'ing around .800 but has lost some considering hits are finding gloves a lot more. Some of it may have to do with a reduced LD%, but the dip hasn't been dramatic. Both guys face the lefty de la Rosa and though their prices are up, I don't think they are out of bounds by any means. Will be tough to fit them both and Sale, but there are a lot of ways to mix and match Coors' stacks today.

Joc Pederson - FD 3700 DK 4000
Though Chris Heston's no pushover, I think we are buying a little low on Pederson right now. After a big time power surge to start his season, he's cooled off some. But outward projections still look good for Joc and hitting leadoff with his sort of power expectation is excellent if looking at projected plate appearances for a game. Like I said, Heston is a better pitcher than I'd typically target on a slate like this one, but you can make an exception with Pederson.

Michael Brantley - FD 3500 DK 4600
Brandon Moss - FD 3400 DK 4300
Slightly off board plays for the money here, but I think there is some separation potential with these two guys. Nathan Karns is a 4 xFIP guy with some moderate control issues as he walks more than 3.5 batters per nine. Both Brantley and Moss are patient hitters with the latter representing a three true outcomes profile. Our system likes them in the mid tier of pricing where it can sometimes be tough to round out lineups.

Consider Jason Heyward and Adam Eaton


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