Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings 7/11/15
Giving out a ton of picks today for both slates. It's just how I'm feeling tonight.
Jon Lester - FD 8900 DK 9500
Believe me, it doesn't feel amazing to put him in the picks when he's facing Chris Sale from the other dugout. But there are a lot of reasons to like Lester as a cash game play today. First off, the price offers a major discount from some of the other arms on the slate (Sale included). Lester gives you some more roster flexibility. His peripherals this season are solid with a strikeout rate close to a batter an inning and the walks at a manageable 2.61 per nine. He has a 3.21 xFIP and is facing the White Sox who rank dead last in the league against lefty pitchers. They stink in that platoon. Again, the win expectation gets diminished because of the matchup against Sale. But I like everything else going on with Lester.
Chris Sale - FD 11600 DK 12500
Have to mention him of course because he's just kind of the best. Sale's been other-worldly this season striking everyone out (approximately) and walking no one (give or take). He's the Cy Young frontrunner in the AL and there's really nothing bad to say about the guy. The only issue with him today is he's facing the Cubs, one of the best teams in the league against lefty pitching. And that's a rough shout considering Sale's prices. The margin for error is a little lower. That being said, he's a clear top option on this slate.
Pitching on this evening slate makes me want to puke. It's so dicey that I'm at odds over the whole slate.
James Shields - FD 9200 DK 8000
The good news first. Shields is putting up a solid season with a 3.21 xFIP with peripherals better than a 3:1 K:BB ratio. He isn't an elite ace, but not too far behind. Which is all well and good because the price won't totally kill you. The bad news is he's facing a Rangers' team ranked in the top third of the league against pitchers and is going in a hitter's park. I like the win expectation against Colby Lewis but can't honestly project Shields for a safe performance here. He's at the top of the list mostly because the other options are such a drag.
After Shields the waters get really murky (and they aren't exactly crystal clear with him). You can consider Ryan Vogelsong on the cheap because of the bigger money line. You can also take the diciest of dice rolls with Hisashi Iwakuma coming back from the DL.
Salvador Perez - FD 2400
Early slate catcher is rough though you might catch lightening here if Lavarnway starts for the Braves. If not, it's slim pickings made worse because Perez isn't on the DraftKings early slate. He's a bargain on FanDuel though. He's been BABIP'd to death over the last couple of years against lefties and that's really driven down his overall production consider that's been his platoon of choice over his entire career. Faces a weak Mark Buehrle today. Perez isn't a masher but should get the job done at this price.
Strongly consider Ryan Lavarnway if he starts for the Braves
Yasmani Grandal - FD 3600 DK 4300
He's a little expensive now, but in all likelihood you won't be spending on ton on pitching with this slate. Grandal's been hitting fifth in the order behind Adrian Gonzalez and that little boost in plate appearance expectation does him solid. He's a tougher out for righty pitching with a 13% walk rate and .364 wOBA over the last couple of seasons. His salary isn't so much that it will hamper you doing other things with your lineup and he's in a nice counting stat position with the batting order.
Justin Bour - FD 2700 DK 3000
I'm making these early offense picks on the cheap side because you are going to want to spend on an arm. It also helps that some of the bigger name players are in tougher pitching matchups so we can write them off from a safety perspective. Iglesias is no chump, but is a bit exposed as a starter. Bour though has been in the middle of the order with Giancarlo on the shelf and has hit righties real well over the last couple of years with a .371 wOBA and 136 wRC+. He's a super bargain on DraftKings and should be highly owned over there. FanDuel price isn't as advantageous but still works considering the rest of the first base field is weaker.
Adrian Gonzalez - FD 3600 DK 4700
Feels like he shows up in the picks everyday mostly because the Dodgers have gone through a solid run of bad pitching over the short term. It continues again tonight against Taylor Jungmann who strikes out only 6.5 batters per nine, walks 2.5 and has an xFIP in the low 4's. Gonzo's FD price is right in the safe zone while the DK price pushes it a little, especially on the upside.
Yonder Alonso - FD 2300 DK 3500
This is where you can go to save if you really need it at first base. He doesn't have a lot of power in him but he walks a ton, can hit righties, is hitting second in the order at times (including last night) and won't crush you with auto outs through the K. Alonso isn't a sexy play, but these prices, the ballpark, his batter profile and the matchup all play really well.
Wilmer Flores - FD 2300 DK 3500
Flores has put up real numbers against lefties this season. Though the sample size is small, he has an .862 OPS and .239 ISO in that platoon. Those are legit. His career numbers are hampered some by his BABIP (though he is a low guy in this regard). But the power is very real and he's facing Patrick Corbin who didn't look sharp in his first game back from a prolonged injury rehab. I'm buying Flores at these prices in such a weak position. Allows you again to spend up at pitching.
Neil Walker - FD 3200 DK 4200
Hitting second in the Pirates' lineup and doing some damage, we aren't getting the deal on Walker that was coming around only a few weeks ago. Walker's been on a hitting tear over the last couple of weeks, putting up big numbers all around considering his hitter's profile. I'm not buying on that run (and our system doesn't account for it at all) but it's nice to see he's doing this against righty pitching as we've been saying for awhile. I'm going there again today against John Lackey who isn't an elite K guy.
Consider Kolten Wong
Francisco Lindor - FD 2500 DK 3000
As the BABIP predictably rounds into form, we all of a sudden don't look like huge donkeys for recommending Lindor for these last couple of weeks. He's been putting the bat on the ball over the short term and making the most of his second slot in the order. Not availble on FanDuel for the early slate, but makes a great DraftKings play at super low prices. This is punt time and helps get in some bigger money at pitcher. The Indians are committed to his slot in the lineup and that's a huge boost.
Andrelton Simmons - FD 2600 DK 3800
Bats at the bottom of the order, but is rolling in Coors so that makes up for some of it. Simmons is on here facing a lefty and hitting in the best park in baseball for power. Wouldn't consider him otherwise, but there are of course very few shortstop options on this slate.
Consider Troy Tulowitzki obviously if you can save enough
If you threw a dart a dartboard with a list of shortstops you'd probably be in just as good of shape. I know that isn't what a prognosticator should shout from the heavens, but I'm just keepin it real yo. I can only, in good conscience give you guys to consider here. Making a solid case for any of them would feel fake. Not a cop out, and those who read us consistently know we don't roll this way often. But here we go.
Chris Johnson - FD 3100 DK 3100
A little pricey on FanDuel, but a total steal on DraftKings, Johnson is a lefty killer. Over the last two seasons he has one of the best platoon splits in baseball against southpaws. His .957 wOBA and .415 OPS rank right up there with the truly great hitters. He's slotted in the middle of the lineup when lefties are on the mound and should be again tonight. Close to a must start on DK if he's hitting fifth again and in the mix on FD mostly because the position is so weak.
Miguel Sano - FD 2600 DK 4000
Trevor Plouffe - FD 2700 DK 4100
Would consider both of these guys against Alfredo Simon on FanDuel if you are looking to save just a bit. Both in the wrong side of the split but they hit in the middle of the order and won't break the bank on you.
Matt Carpenter - FD 3000 DK 3800
A.J. Burnett isn't as good as his sub-2 ERA would suggest, though he's been a good pitcher this season all things considered. The reason to think about putting Carpenter into your lineups tonight is his price has fallen into a really advantageous place almost independent of the matchup (unless it was an elite arm, which Burnett is not). He's hit righties well over the last couple of seasons with a .360 wOBA and 132 wRC+ in that frame while walking as much as he strikes out. It's that kind of OBP safety that I like about Carpenter in this matchup against Burnett who isn't putting up crazy K numbers this season. Not a fantastic play because Burnett is above average, but the price warrants it.
Consider Pablo Sandoval
Carlos Gonzalez - FD 4000 DK 4100
Charlie Blackmon - FD 4400 DK 4400
If you play Lester today, or even Harvey (or both) there is a real chance of getting one or both of these guys in your lineup today. Because the weak arms are going in Coors and solid arms are going over so much of the rest of the slate, you will want to get money in whenever possible on this game. Blackmon and CarGo are two great possibilities. Matt Wisler has a serious strikeout deficiency and an xFIP in the mid 4's. Both Blackmon and CarGo are obviously better against righty pitching, hit near the top of the lineup and their prices won't completely break the bank. They are especially affordable on DraftKings where I will probably start both.
Christian Yelich - FD 3100 DK 4300
Love him hitting in the two hole even if he isn't having the best season. Yelich is an above average hitter against righty pitching and is in a good spot against Iglesias today. Over the last two seasons Yelich has a 110 wRC+ and can take walks in this split. A little pricey all around, but I do like some sneaky upside here.
Here's to hoping Jonny Gomes is in the Braves lineup against the lefty
Joc Pederson - FD 3300 DK 3900
Hey, sick of seeing Dodgers on this list? Sick of us writing about them? I kind of am too. But like I said with the guys above, the Dodgers have dropped somewhat in price over the short term, Joc included because he's seen a little bit of a power outage. He K's a lot too, so this is to be expected. Which is why we want to buy when the getting's good. These are the times, especially on DraftKings.
Nelson Cruz - FD 3300 DK 4600
Doesn't have the best matchup in the world against C.J. Wilson, but we are talking about one of the best lefty platoon hitters in all of baseball here. Cruz is OPS'ing over 1K with a wRC+ pushing 200 over the last two seasons in this split. His FanDuel price is close to a must for me considering he's in that mid tier zone that can sometimes be tough to fill.