Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

James Davis

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings 6/30/15

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.



Chris Sale - FD 11300 DK 12800
On a day where 30 men are taking the mound for their respective teams, Chris Sale stands head and shoulders above all of them in terms of raw point projection in our projection system. This should come as no surprise - Sale's 12.19 K/9 leads the majors, and he's maintained a walk rate below 2 per 9 innings. Now, Lance Lynn is no slouch for the Cardinals, but the Cards futility against left handed pitching more than makes up for it. They've struck out an absurd 24% of the time against left handed pitching this season, and that number includes a representative sample of the league's lefties. It doesn't account for them facing a God incarnate. I suspect Sale will blow through this lineup each time through and leave the game with a high double digit point total.

Cole Hamels - FD 9800 DK 10300
We received some ridicule early in the season for sticking with Hamels when his ERA wasn't matching his peripherals, but at the end of June, all is well in the world of Cole Hamels owners. The 31 year old's 3.28 xFIP is below his elite career 3.37 number, and nothing seems out of line at all. His 9.60 K/9 is his best since his rookie season nearly a decade ago, and he's actually been a little unlucky with this HR/FB rate. While Taylor Jungmann has been decent this season, the guys trying to score runs for him very much aren't. The Brew Crew has the league's 3rd worst wOBA against left handed pitching this season, and Hamels should be able to have his way here.

Ian Kennedy - FD 7400 DK 8100
Before you send any mean tweets, I know that Ian Kennedy sucked the last time he faced the Mariners, and yes, I recall that we picked him then as well. But! From where I'm sitting, the case for playing Kennedy against the Ms remains convincing. The Mariners have the 3rd lowest wOBA against right handed pitching in the majors, and pair that with the league's 4th highest K rate. Kennedy's also been wildly unlucky in terms of his home run to flyball ratio this season. His 21.7% figure is twice as high as his career number, and he'll be pitching this game in Petco - a place that dramatically reduces home run power. Kennedy has still been nearly a K per inning guy this season, and he's coming off of 3 straight solid starts. I'll be happy to roll the dice in large top-heavy tournaments today.

A contrarian play: Lance Lynn. Our projection system likes him fine, even if a win might be hard to come by. Still, no one is going to play the guy, and if the Cardinals can scratch a run across it might be all Lynn needs. Just sayin'.

A true punt: Taylor Jungmann. Nice peripherals so far this season, and a not horrible match-up with the Phils.

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Yasmani Grandal - FD 2700 DK 3900
Grandal has an .898 OPS against righties this season, and has shown double digit fantasy point upside. Tonight he'll be facing the right hander Rubby de La Rosa. The young D-Backs starter has realized some of his prospect promise so far this season, posting an impressive 3.33 xFIP even if his ERA hasn't followed. Digging a little deeper, though, you find a guy who gets butchered by left handed hitting. His K rate against lefties is just better than half as good as it is against right handers, and his walk rate is about 50% higher. I like Grandal in all formats as a result.

Derek Norris - FD 3100 DK 3700
The 26 year old Norris was put on planet Earth to be able to crush lefty pitching while also playing catcher. His career .861 OPS against southpaws is downright elite for his position, and you can still get him at pretty affordable rates. And then there's Mike Montgomery. Don't let the smooth ERA fool you - his 4.15 xFIP tells a much more accurate tale of his current talent level. If you want to catch a little lightning in a bottle, Norris makes for a very interesting play.

Salvador Perez - FD 2400 DK 3500
For less than the price of a hot dog you can get a catcher with an .822 career OPS against left handed pitching in a fine hitter's park. Now let's be real - Keuchel is a fine pitcher and this is hardly a terrific match-up. But if you need to save up for a big pitcher today, I like Sal quite a bit to help you escape the position cheaply.


First base

Adrian Gonzalez - FD 3100 DK 4900
Back to back Dodgers lefty stack nights. Here's what I wrote about Adrian last night, all of which still applies tonight:

How the mighty's price has fallen! I've been on vacation for the last week, so coming back to Gonzo posting a 3000 price on FanDuel has me scratching my head. What could have happened in the last 10 days that caused his price to drop 16-20%? *checks* He has been... something less than elite, but certainly not awful. He's still got a .398 wOBA against right handed pitching for the season, and has had some monster games along the way.

Mark Teixeira - FD 3200 DK 3900
The 35 year old Teixeira has basically produced his career line this season. What's more, the Ks are down, the walks are up, and the ISO is the highest of his career. Frankly, he's some bad BABIP luck from being a media MVP candidate. And while Heaney is probably a better prospect than you might think, he's still nothing more than league average. Teixeira has also been about .040 OPS points better against lefties over the course of his career. I don't mind Teixeira in any format.

David Ortiz - FD 3000 DK 4300
Like any good Daily Fantasy Baseball analyst, I always remember when I'm right, and always forget when I'm wrong. To that end, I'd like to return you to June 14th, 2015, when I famously recommended Ortiz against Marco Estrada. He hit a home run. So there. The case for Ortiz remains the same as it has been all season. Yes, he's old. Yes, he's lost some pop. But, he's got a .914 OPS against right handers this season, and all 11 of his homers have come against them. He's still very affordable, and Estrada's less than elite stuff should still allow Ortiz's bat to play.

Also considered: Chris Davis.

An interesting punt: Ryan Howard. Can still put the ball in the seats, and one mistake from Jungmann could make Howard pay off handsomely.

Second base

Robinson Cano - FD 2500 DK 3300
In spite of it being a huge slate, second base is still woefully thin. To that end, I'm going to grab Robinson Cano in many cases and try to get away cheap here as well. If you missed it, FanGraphs published a fantastic article on Cano's struggles this year, essentially concluding that Cano's major issue is mechanical (and thus likely fixable). Well, with 2 homers in the last week (2 of his 4 on the season), and Edgar Martinez as his new hitting coach, there's some chance Cano returns to a semblance of his former self soon. It won't take long for his price to climb 25% in that case. It's hard to believe I'm writing this, but I'm still a buyer here.

Ben Zobrist - FD 3300 DK 4100
Another repeat of last night's picks. Here was the skivvy from Monday's picks:

Our projection system has been beating the Ben Zobrist drum all season, and if you kept a steady hand with him through his bad BABIP luck, you've been treated to 10 consecutive days of positive scores and two GPP winning games against the Rangers and Angels. Zobrist has the lowest K rate of his career, and has maintained his elite walk rate all the while. His OPS is creeping back up near .800, and he has had the worst BABIP luck of his career (.047 points off his career levels).

Jorge De La Rosa is probably about the same guy David Hale is at this point, so I like Zobrist plenty as a high floor play once again.

Rougned Odor - FD 2700 DK 3900
And another repeat! Odor has delivered on last night's selection so far - he's 2/3 as of this writing - and our projection system likes him once again on Tuesday. Odor's been about .070 OPS points better against right handed pitching in his young career, and he's batting second amid some legitimate power bats in the Texas lineup. Miguel Gonzalez continues to overshoot his true talent level (and his peripherals), and I think pitching in Camden Yards against a tough Texas squad could have him crashing back down to Earth promptly.

Also considered: Dee Gordon, for upside.



Alcides Escobar - FD 2600 DK 4000
I have no idea why the Royals are allowing Alcides Escobar to lead off, but they are, which makes him what passes for a reasonable shortstop option tonight. don't get me wrong - the man can barely hit. And this isn't a great match-up with Keuchel. But he is a little bit better against left handed pitching, and shortstop is as grizzly tonight as it ever is. 4 or 5 at bats should be enough for him to reach his pretty solid floor that he reaches on a game to game basis.

Marcus Semien - FD 2200 DK 3300
Jimmy Rollins - FD 2200 DK 3600
Starlin Castro - FD 2200 DK 3300
The cheap dudes. I like all of them for slightly different reasons. Castro is in a nice platoon spot. J-Roll is in a nice park against a less than elite pitcher. Semien is against a crappy pitcher. I don't love any of these guys, but again, it's another way to get away pretty cheaply with a reasonably high floor.

Also considered: If you decide to spend up, Reyes is probably the highest upside guy at the position on a points per dollar basis. He's on a 30 SB per 162 game pace, and could do some damage against Rodriguez and company.

Third base

Josh Donaldson - FD 4100 DK 4800
If you've got a few bucks to spend at third base tonight, or really any position, Donaldson is probably the guy for you. Now, if Eduardo Rodriguez is not a name that's familiar to you - he's not as bad as his lack of profile would suggest. Our projection system likes him as about a 4.00 xFIP guy - pretty remarkable for a 22 year old. Still, he's a 22 year old lefty facing a guy who plays with the cheats on against left handed pitching. Donaldson's 1.141 OPS against southpaws tells you about all you need to know. He's a fantastic play in all formats.

Kris Bryant - FD 3500 DK 4100
Joey Gallo - FD 3000 DK 3200
The "young dudes with 80 power and ridic upside" division. Bryant has an 1.100+ OPS against left handed pitching in his young career, and Gallo's power has been well documented in this space. Both have nice match-ups with Niese and Gonzalez, and could easily be the part of winning GPP lineups.

Will Middlebrooks - FD 2200 DK 3200
Obviously a pure punt play, but one that you might like to take a look at if you're going to spend up on pitching. Middlebrooks bats 5th behind some nice hitters when the Dads are facing a left hander, and he's almost .090 OPS points better against lefties over the course of his career. And I alluded to this earlier, but Montgomery's 5.60 K/9 in 35 innings pitched this season is an indicator that he may just not be ready yet.

Also considered: Kyle Seager.



Justin Upton - FD 3200 DK 4500
Matt Kemp - FD 3000 DK 4500
The Friars' right handers have a great platoon spot against Mike Montgomery today, and their prices are low enough that they can provide great points per dollar upside. Neither of them should be particularly put out by playing in Petco (they're both actually better at home than on the road). With the high K rates you might not be able to trust either in a 50/50 or double up, but the upside here is undeniable, especially when stacked with Norris.

Joc Pederson - FD 3500 DK 4300
The break-out star of the year has a .900 OPS and 19 home runs this season. He had a 30/30 season in the minors last year. The guy might be a legit star in the making. I like him as well as any other Dodgers lefty today, and think he has as much or more upside than any other outfielder going today.

Michael Brantley - FD 3100 DK 4400
Brandon Moss - FD 3000 DK 4000
Two guys who have been much better against right handed pitching over the course of their careers, and a below league average pitcher in Erasmo Ramirez. Not a bad little outfield stack.

A million cheap guys: If you want to check em all out, grab a free three day trial of our projection system. I'm on the way to bed!


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