Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

James Davis

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings 7/8/15

Well, well, well. It's Wednesday. And it's a huge, yuge double slate. Games in the afternoon, games in the evening, games everywhere. For this article, I'm going to go ahead and give just 1 player from each position for the early slate and 2 from each position for the late slate.

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Early Slate
Julio Teheran - FD 8200 DK 8500
The cash game guy is Jacob DeGrom but I'm intrigued by Teheran for big tournaments. He had a 2.9:1 K:BB ratio in June, and while he had a few terrible starts in there, he had some good games as well. The Brew Crew are basically league average against right handers, but I really like Teheran's spot against Fiers here. While Fiers has better peripherals over the course of the season, he had a 26:18 K:BB in June, and everything seems headed in the wrong direction. This is categorically an unsafe play - but there could be great points per dollar upside here.

Late Slate
Clayton Kershaw - FD 12500 DK 13300
Like Kluber last night, Kershaw shows up in all of the optimal double-up lineups I am making for Wednesday's late slate, even at these huge prices. Kershaw himself needs no introduction, so let me break down the match-up. The Phillies aren't especially awful against left handed pitching, but they will be away from their friendly home ball-park, which should help Kershaw. And what will really help? A man named Adam Morgan. You may not have heard of him. You may not want to. The young man couldn't manage a K/9 above 5 in AAA this season. Basically, he had a big 2012 that saw his prospect stock rise, and then he never did anything again. Kershaw will be an overwhelming favorite to get the win here, and should have plenty of luck with the punchless Phils. Easily the cash game play of the day.

Trevor Bauer - FD 8400 DK 7900
Another day, another great match-up for a Cleveland right-hander. The reason to play Bauer is the same reason that Corey Kluber headlined the pitcher category last night - the Houston Astros. The Astros are striking out at historical levels against right handed pitching. Their 25.9% K rate is the highest of the millenium, and might be the highest ever, but I'm too lazy to look back any further. Bauer, for his part, has his warts. He's wild, for one, and his fly-ball tendencies can get him burned on occasion. But he is striking out better than a guy an inning, and against the Astros, that is often enough. This isn't a safe play by any means. But while the masses are chasing another Kershaw gem, Bauer is a guy who can show up and grab a high-teens point total on FanDuel when things break right.

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



Early Slate
Matt Wieters - FD 3000 DK 3600
It's a rough day to play a catcher early, but I'm satisfied with Wieters. He's been solid against left-handed pitching over the course of his career (an .820 OPS), and about .100 points better than he is against righties. Today he'll face Tommy Milone, who's never been anything other than a below league average soft-tossing lefty. His ERA is shiny, but it's 1.36 runs better than his lousy 4.38 xFIP. I like Wieters for safety and upside.

Late Slate
Russell Martin - FD 3300 DK 4300
Martin has a .902 OPS against left handed pitching this season, and while it's a little bit BABIP fueled, most of it is legit. Martin is hitting for serious power this season, and he happens to be facing a pitcher who is likely going to be pitching at the home run derby in a week. John Danks has allowed a .902 OPS to right handed pitching this year. Are you aware how horrible that is? Really horrible. I love Russell in this spot.

Chris Iannetta - FD 2700 DK 3500
Iannetta has been terrible this year in general, but he has a near .900 OPS against left handed pitching - a number that's basically in line with his career numbers. Today he'll be facing poor Chris Rusin, a left hander who was not built to pitch in Coors Field. This is obviously a high-upside and low-floor play, but taking a guy with Iannetta's power in a phenomenal hitters' park against a below league average lefty can really pay off in big tournaments.


First base

Early Slate
Joe Mauer - FD 2400 DK 3700
Kinda boring, but the early slate isn't offering a lot to chew on. It feels weird to go cheap at first base, but I think the case for Mauer is strong. First of all, he's an underrated platoon guy. He has been a staggering .154 OPS points better against right handed pitching over the course of his career. Jimenez has sort of been a demon this season, but Mauer is a really tough out for a right handed pitcher, and I think he could pay his price and let you move on with your life.

Late Slate
Mark Teixeira - FD 3400 DK 4200
First base is oddly awful today, considering how many games are going. Just a lot of guys going against their platoon, and some decent pitching in the good spots. This is one such case. Kazmir is damned tough, but Teixeira is having a fine season in his own right, and has been about .045 OPS points better against left handed pitching over the course of his career. Throw in a good park in Yankee Stadium, and this is a spot that I'm willing to take a shot on.

David Ortiz - FD 3200 DK 4400
Ortiz's season long triple-slash is sort of an eye-sore, but it's not because of how he's hit right handed pitching. He's got a .912 OPS against righties in 2015, and has hit 13 of his 14 homers against them. Today he'll face Tom Koehler, whose 4.26 xFIP tells plenty of the story of who he is - a slightly below average right hander. Ortiz is also WAY better at home against righties during his career, posting a 1.043 OPS in such situations (though obviously a lot of that comes from when he was way better). All in all, though, I think Ortiz is what passes for a safe play from the 1B position on this slate.

If you save up, Albert Pujols is still doing goddish things.


Second base

Early Slate
Ian Kinsler - FD 3200 DK 4000
While you were away, Kinsler has had a pretty solid last week of MLB hitting. He's also another huge platoon guy. He's .116 OPS points better against left handed pitching during his career, and he's facing a league-average dude in Happ that should give him plenty of chance to make contact. The game is in Safeco, which really limits Kinsler's wall-scraping power upside, but I still think he could be good here. At least compared to other 2nd basemen on this slate, who all should suck bad.

Late Slate
Johnny Giavotella - FD 2900 DK 3400
I led with Giavotella yesterday, and through two at bats as of this writing, it's played out in much the way we imagined. He rapped out a single, and the actual good players did awesome stuff around him. Giavotella is not a great talent in and of himself, but he's still hitting in Coors at the top of a lineup that should destroy Chris Rusin as easily as it did Chad Bettis.

Dee Gordon - FD 3200 DK 4700
If you prefer to go the high upside route, I like Dee Gordon. To give you a sense of what I like about Gordon, just look at what he did on July 3rd and 4th. On the 3rd he stole two bases after hitting a single, paying his price and then some. On the fourth, he singled and walked en route to scoring 2 runs and stealing a base. All he needs to do is put the bat on the ball. Gordon's better against right handed pitching, and Porcello's resume is beginning to speak for itself. Best upside guy at the position from where I'm sitting, and it's very close with Giavotella for safety as well.



Early Slate
Eduardo Nunez - FD 2400 DK 3200
The early option shortstops are just awful. So, I present Eduardo Nunez to you with modest embarrassment. I don't have a lot of nice things to say about him. He's hard to strike out? For real, though. Who are you going to play? I'm honestly curious. You can make a case for the awful JJ Hardy in a positive platoon spot I guess? Best of luck!

Late Slate
Jimmy Rollins - FD 2500 DK 3300
Jimmy Rollins bats last. But! He's now a table-setter for the top of the Dodgers' lineup. And while J-Roll's triple-slash is an abomination, he still is what passes for an upside play at the position. He's on pace for a 15/15ish season, and that's with his BABIP .40 points below his established levels. He also gets to face Adam Morgan, which should be a boon to any player at any position.

Infinite cheap guys: I can't bring myself to write up five different $2,200 shortstops, so you'll have to grab a free three day trial of the projection system if you want to see 'em for yourself. I also like Jose Reyes, who is decidedly not cheap.

Third base

Early Slate
Kyle Seager - FD 2400 DK 3200
Seager's having a less than stellar year, but he's only 27 years old, and he's put up an .800 OPS against right handers over the course of his career. That's a pretty solid track record for a young player, and I'd be surprised if what he's done to date was a total fluke. Anibal Sanchez is better than his ERA would suggest, but this play is all about points per dollar value. I don't think he'll win you any big tournaments necessarily, but I think he's a very high floor guy.

Late Slate
David Freese - FD 3100 DK 4100
While he hasn't shown it this season, Freese is a platoon guy through and through. He's about .100 OPS points better against left handed pitching for his career. This is just another play, like Giavotella above, where the upside and floor are built in by the park and pitcher. Coors and Rusin. I actually don't think this is a super-duper-uber must play, but third base is pretty tough today, and you could do a lot worse.

Consider Matt Carpenter.



Early Slate
Rajai Davis - FD 2700 DK 3600
So I thought I wrote Davis up in the last couple days, and it turns out it was on June 6th. Well, sorry, the same information is still true. A month is nothing in baseball time. Here's what I wrote:

Davis has an .870 OPS against left handed pitching this season, but that's just gravy. He's back at his supremely elite baserunning ways this season, and will be batting atop a bone-crunching Tigers' lineup against a guy who hasn't been an effective pitcher since before I became a father (about 5 years ago, since you asked). Rajai is a high floor guy with a great ceiling due to the steals and the potential counting stats as well - I love him in all formats.

What's changed? Well, Davis' OPS against lefties has climbed, and the Tigers are still crunching. Great early slate play.

Adam Jones - FD 3300 DK 4400
So, Adam Jones is actually better against right handed pitching over the course of his career. "But James," some hypothetical reader is thinking, "Jones is facing a a lefty today! I better head to twitter and say something mean!" Slow your roll, imaginary antagonist to my life's story. Jones has actually raked left handed pitching this season, and while that might be a BABIP fueled aberration, it still means something. And hey, I'm not ecstatic about playing Jones here, but the early slate OF are generally trash. Jones is a high-contact, high-floor guy. I don't mind playing him and trying to find upside elsewhere.

Yoenis Cespedes - FD 3500 DK 4100
Normally I'd write up two guys from the same team in the same spot since the pitcher is the same, but I wouldn't want to put Cespedes in the same class as Davis today. Sure, he's got a different level of upside due to the power potential, but he's basically platoon neutral, and most of his upside comes from what the guys around him do. So, I like him. But don't love love him. Cool? Cool.

Late Slate
Mike Trout - FD 5600 DK 6600
The best big money play on the board, and it might not be close. Trout against a crap lefty in Coors Field? Well, we saw what happened last night. Absolutely could be a repeat performance (and then some) against Rusin tonight.

Yasiel Puig - FD 3300 DK 3700
Alex Guerrero - FD 2200 DK 2800
Scott Van Slyke - FD 2900 DK 3600
Dodgers righty stack against Adam Morgan. Could be a serious thing. No further analysis forthcoming.

Michael Brantley - FD 3000 DK 4500
Brandon Moss - FD 3300 DK 4300
Dan Straily looked like he was going to be good for a few minutes there when he was called up, but he just isn't. Through 248 major league innings he has a 4.58 xFIP. That's just horrid. And while neither Brantley nor Moss has lit the world on fire this season, it's not because they've forgotten how to hit bad pitching. Both favor hitting against right handed pitchers, and both have big upside (though for different reasons) in the right match-up. I'm ready to say that this spot with Straily is it.

Again, a zillion cheap guys. Good luck out there today!


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