Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings and Draftster 6/26/15
Francisco Liriano - FD 9900 DK 10000
I know some will be tempted to pay up for Scherzer today coming off the no-hitter, but he leaves you seriously strapped for cash and there are plenty of other solid arms going on this slate. Liriano is one of those dudes. Liriano's having his best season in a long while, striking out close to 11 batters per nine and finally limiting the walks. The latter piece is allowing him to go later into games and rack up more fantasy points along the way. Basically, he's a Cy Young contender so far this season. Today he faces a Braves team ranked second to last in the league against lefty pitching. Comes at a serious discount as compared to Scherzer and I think I'd rather free up the money for some bats.
Johnny Cueto - FD 10600 DK 10600
Another bigger salary but still less than the top, top tier of pitchers. Cueto's another guy in a great matchup against the Mets who rank 28th in the league against righty pitching. Cueto doesn't put up amazing strikeout numbers (a little less than a batter an inning) but makes up for some it by rarely walking any batters. He's about a 5.5:1 K:BB rate that helps him hang around in games. The Mets are a light-hitting bunch who lack many legit power threats, especially when the you get to the second half of the order. Don't love the matchup against Syndergaard, but Cueto should be able to go long in this game.
Tyson Ross - FD 8800 DK 9100
Coming off his best game of the season by far, a complete game against the Diamondbacks. And look who he's pitching against today...the same team. Only this time it's actually in a pitchers' park in San Diego. Ross has no problem with the strikeouts, but it's the walks that often kill him. If he limits those then he has supreme upside as evidenced by the last time out. I'm not buying totally on the recent performance. But our system likes him independent of that game which is encouraging.
Matt Shoemaker - FD 7900 DK 7100
If you are looking to fade some of the big arms or get a second pitcher for cheap on DK then Shoemaker could be your guy. His peripherals this season are solid with a 4:1 K:BB rate and a 3.92 xFIP, about a run and a half less than his mid 5's ERA. The latter piece isn't great but he's got a solid matchup against the Mariners who rank second to last in the league against right handed pitching. They strike out 23% of the time in that split and I like the cost savings you get on Shoemaker.
Look, you need to obviously consider Max Scherzer against the Phillies, but I just think you are overpaying based on that last game. Also consider Corey Kluber for the big money as he's always a big K threat.
Derek Norris - FD 2800 DK 3400
Should be hitting second the lineup against the lefty Robbie Ray today. I'll get into Ray's deficiencies later on in this post, but suffice to say, he isn't great. Norris though is against lefty pitching. Over the last year or so he has an .874 OPS and .382 wOBA in that platoon. He walks more than 11% of the time against southpaws and bats higher in the order than really any other catcher. It makes him incredibly valuable and his weaknesses against righty pitching keep the prices very much in check. I especially love the DraftKings price.
Yan Gomes - FD 2300 DK 3200
Another guy with a lot of success against lefties, Gomes doesn't bat as high in the order as Norris, but he's nearly as good in this platoon. Over the last year his OPS is over .800 in that split to go with a 128 wRC+. Wei-Yin Chen is significantly worse against righty hitters for his career and has allowed a mid .700's OPS against that batting hand. I wish Gomes would hit in the 5th or 6th spot at least against lefties, but beggars can't be choosers here.
Don't love this position today.
David Ortiz - FD 3000 DK 4100
Been turning on the power lately which is a good sign to show he isn't completely dead. I don't love the ballpark for Papi today against an average pitcher in Colome, but I also am not a big fan of the position as a whole. First base is really weak from a value perspective so we will have to take some players in the margins today. Papi is one of those guys, cheaper though not free, but in a solid enough matchup and still a bit underpriced because of the early season struggles.
Pedro Alvarez - FD 2500 DK 3600
I think I'm going cheap at first base today. Alvarez is coming on the punt-priced side of things and there's a lot to like about his profile. His biggest issue is the strikeout though Williams Perez strikes out only about seven per nine so that expectation is decreased some. Alvarez does take walks and Perez allows about four per nine. The only thing I don't love is Perez is an extreme ground ball guy and Pedro is heavily reliant on the long ball for his scoring. Mostly an upside play at the price and the idea that he can make more contact or draw the walks today.
Ian Kinsler - FD 2800 DK 3800
Had him as a top pick yesterday with some notes about how it appeared he was possibly running bad in the power department. Lo and behold the guy homers. From a prediction standpoint this was major league, lucky, but the process was sound and holds up today. He's a better hitter against lefty pitching and face Jose Quintana today. Kinsler's batted ball profile looks very much in line with his career averages though he is hitting a few more line drives. Quintana's been slightly above average as pitcher this season, but I love the price on Kinsler, especially on FanDuel.
Howie Kendrick - FD 2600 DK 4000
Justin Nicolino is getting the start today for the Marlins after an inauspicious minor league career. The lefty doesn't look to have an imposing arsenal and some of the Dodgers' righties should be in a good spot going into this game. Kendrick's been a good hitter against lefties over the last year plus with an OPS over .800 and a .351 wOBA. His value goes up the higher he hits in the order and should be in the top four going into this game.
Neil Walker - FD 2500 DK 3400
I like the other two guys considerably better than Walker but he's in here as a strict price play when so many of the arms are going to cost you today. He's been hitting cleanup for the Buckos and faces Williams Perez, a below average pitcher. He's on here for salary relief plain and simple, though does have a high enough basement because of where he hits in the lineup.
Ian Desmond - FD 2300 DK 3600
Another guy we had in the picks yesterday who went yard. He's been a platoon neutral guy for his career so I don't mind playing him against the righty Harang. The latter's a flyball pitcher and this game is going in Philly, a solid hitter's park. Harang's pitching to an xFIP in the mid 4's and only strikes out 6.35 batters per nine. The K is Desmond's big time weakness as he goes down on strikes at an alarming clip. But he won't break the bank for you on a day where you'll want to save every chance you can. Has the power to pay of the price with ease in one swing and low tags keeps him from killing you if he becomes a K machine.
Jose Reyes - FD 3600 DK 4500
Because there are a bunch of other garbage-y arms on this slate, we've been rather reserved in our typical Nick Martinez hate. But Reyes is a guy you can consider playing against Martinez simply because shortstop is such a wasteland and he's got a good matchup. Reyes is what he is at this point. Dude doesn't take enough walks to fully take advantage of the big bats he's got hitting behind him. And without the OBP he suffers in the speed department. But with his team offense, leadoff slot, pitching matchup and abover average offensive skills you can consider paying these prices for the guy.
Francisco Lindor - FD 2600 DK 3600
Still hitting second in the order for the Indians and facing an average pitcher in Wei-Yin Chen. Mostly looking at him from a lineup placement and price standpoint. He's run a little bad in BABIP since getting called up a couple of weeks ago though that doesn't fully explain the paltry OPS. I think there are some hits in that bat, though I'm mostly on him for price and opportunity here.
Adrian Beltre - FD 3000 DK 4100
Joey Gallo - FD 3100 DK 3500
Have these guys together because the considerations are the same though it's worth noting that I like Beltre much better for the price. First off, with him back Gallo's moved down in the lineup to around the sixth or seventh hole though I suppose that could change with the lefty Buehrle on the mound. And Buehrle is the reason we are talking about these guys today. Beltre is a true lefty killer and has kept it up over the last year. His .916 OPS and 149 wRC+ are among the best in the league in that split over the time period. The Rogers Centre is one of the best hitter's parks in all of baseball and both of these guys have massive power upside heading into this slate. Gallo is a strikeout hound, though Buehrle's stuff is so weak I don't think he goes down swinging as much as normal.
Chase Headley - FD 2800 DK 4100
Much like some other picks today, Headley is a guy we are once again targeting based almost solely on price. He's still in the two hole for the Yankees and that's a huge advantage for someone in his pricing tier. He isn't much of a hitter of course, but Vincent Velasquez is walking the ballpark in his short major league stint (almost seven batters per nine). But again, for around the same pricing I would take the two guys above.
Consider Pablo Sandoval
Justin Upton - FD 3300 DK 4400
Matt Kemp - FD 2500 DK 4100
Robbie Ray's had a lot of trouble with righty hitting for his career and has only gotten away with them this year because he's been incredibly lucky with the BABIP. The 1.72 ERA is smoke and mirrors as the xFIP is about 2.5 runs higher. He has a career 4.55 xFIP against righties and has allowed an OPS over .800 (and that's him getting lucky). Upton is one of the best hitters in the league when it comes to the lefty platoon. He's rocking a .900 OPS over the last year with a .392 wOBA. Even in the pitcher's park I'm willing to roll him in this matchup and he's seen a serious price decrease in the short term. Kemp meanwhile is a borderline punt play on FanDuel though I think you can find slightly better deals on DraftKings. Still a solid play hitting in the middle of the order against such a weak arm.
Yasiel Puig - FD 3700 DK 4100
When he'e been able to stay on the field this season, Puig is putting together a fantastic year with an OPS right around .900 with a .386 wOBA. A little BABIP heavy, but not enough to fully account for the success. He's a platoon neutral guy for his career so facing the lefty doesn't give him an enormous boost. He's just really fairly priced in a matchup against a guy in Nicolino who's just been called up from the minors. Puig, hitting first or second in the lineup has the power/ speed combo you want to see for these midrange prices (even though he's yet to steal a base this season).
Rajai Davis - FD 2700 DK 3700
Said this about him yesterday and very little has changed:
He usually finds his way to the top of the lineup against lefties. Let's hope that's the case against Rodon today. Rajai's an extreme splits guy who fairs much, much better against lefty pitching. He has a 122 wRC+ and .812 OPS against that split for his career and should basically only play against southpaws if anyone has a clue. The Tigers seem to understand this.