Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings, Yahoo and Victiv 7/23/15

Got a a double mini slate going tomorrow with a ton of good arms taking the bump. That makes for an interesting set of picks as so many batters stand to get mowed down. Let's take a look at a nice little Wednesday.

Hat tip to Justin Koenig who helped out with the picks tonight. Follow him @_justin_k

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Quick note on the early slate. There are eight pitchers going and none of them are scrubs. There are also eight decent or above offenses going. That makes the early slate extremely difficult on both ends of the graph. I am going straight system picks with no frills for this slate.


Early Slate
There are some good pitchers going on this slate and I don't want to start any of them. So that's cool.
Masahiro Tanaka - FD 9800 DK 10100 Victiv Yahoo 47
Opponent- Bal (Jimenez) R Park- @NYY
Going Tanaka over Price here is one simply made about Price. I think David has a good matchup and is a premium arm. But you are paying such a number for his services with the ability to get quality innings from Tanaka at a substantial discount. Tanaka's peripherals are great this season with a 4.5:1 K:BB rate to go with a 2.98 xFIP. He gets himself in trouble with elevated pitch counts that keep him from going late in games. That's his one downside. He has a tough matchup in a good hitter's park. But no pitching situation is looking good today. I'll take the discount on Tanaka against the O's and majorly sweat it.

Consider Garrett Richards

Late Slate
Tyson Ross - FD 8500 DK 9100 Victiv Yahoo 48
Opponent- Mia (Koehler) R Park- @Sd
Tyson Ross draws a solid matchup tonight against a Miami Marlins team that ranks in the bottom third of the league in wOBA and strikes out just over 20% of the time. Combine that with an impressive 9.54 K/9 and Ross becomes a play with tremendous upside. His biggest problem this year has been control issues, but luckily tonight he is facing an impatient Marlins team that draws walks in only 6.3% of plate appearances (26th in the league). The Marlins have been abysmal on the road this year, which gives Ross a good chance of getting the win. He is a great bargain play if you want to avoid paying up for Kershaw.

Clayton Kershaw - FD 13000 DK 14500 Victiv Yahoo 70
Opponent- NYM (Colon) R Park- @NYM
You’d have to be crazy to spend almost 40% of your salary on a pitcher, right? Think again. Kershaw has always been a high-priced commodity, but his incredible form over his last two outings has driven his price to unthinkable heights. If you can afford to scale back on hitters, Kershaw is facing a Mets team that ranks 26th in wOBA and OPS against lefty pitching, and is striking out at a 23.6% clip against southpaws. He comes with a hefty price tag, but I fully expect him to produce one of the best outings of the starting pitchers on this slate.


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Early Slate
Stephen Vogt - FD 2700 DK 3600 Victiv 4300 Yahoo 17
Opponent- Tor (Hutchison) R Park- @Oak
Drew Hutchison is much better than his plus 5 ERA suggests, but on a day with so many quality arms we really can't avoid big strikeout numbers or target dogs. Vogt's put up an .850 OPS and .365 wOBA over the last couple of seasons against righties. He's hitting in the top of the order and that counts for a lot for any catcher. The price on Vogt is way down over the short term though his opportunity is still very much the same. With so many good arms today you'll want to take cheaper hitters when possible.

Consider Brian McCann

Late Slate
Evan Gattis - FD 3300 DK 3500 Victiv 4800 Yahoo 15
Opponent- Bos (Miley) L Park- @Hou
Left-handed pitcher with a low K/9 rate and high ERA? Check. Stadium that acts as a launching pad for right-handed power hitters? Check. Batter that has a history of crushing left-handed pitching? Check. This matchup is the perfect storm for starting Gattis at a position that is pretty thin for the late slate, and his power upside is difficult to ignore. Combine that with the fact that the Astros are one of the better hitting teams against lefties, Gattis should have plenty of RBI opportunities throughout the night making him a high-upside play.

First base

Early Slate
Joe Mauer - FD 2500 DK 3200 Victiv 4400 Yahoo 15
Opponent- LAA (Richards) R Park- @Ana
I'm fine with you spending as little as possible at first base and calling it a day. I kind of hate most of the options and when running through lineup models, there's almost no reason to put in any kind of salary here. Mauer is just kind of a guy at this point, only slightly above average against righty pitching over the last couple of seasons. He'll take a walk, won't completely destroy you in the K department and allows you to turn in a roster because most of these sites require you start someone at the position.

Late Slate
Jose Abreu - FD 2900 DK 3700 Victiv 5100 Yahoo 17
Opponent- Cle (Bauer) R Park- @Cle
Price on him is reaching critical mass here. It's getting a little crazy and I'm not sure totally how to handle this kind of thing except to buy him all over the place. His month of July has been something to forget and yet he's still hitting third in the White Sox order, has been significantly better against righty arms this season with an ISO closing in on .200 and is facing a wild pitcher in Trevor Bauer. This is a classic buy low scenario we see all the time in DFS when a player is running bad. He probably isn't an elite hitter like we saw last season, but these prices are simply too low, especially DraftKings.

Consider Adam Laroche


Second base

Early Slate
Ben Zobrist - FD 2900 DK 3700 Victiv 4700 Yahoo 16
Opponent- Tor (Hutchison) R Park- @Oak
Another day of getting some money in on Zobrist. I like him better against lefties, but as a switch hitter he isn't an extreme platoon guy. He's slightly above average against righties over the the short term and won't break the bank for you. He hits in the top four of the lineup most days and most other second basemen are just way outside their comfort zone today.

Consider Johnny Giavotella as a punt play who hits lead off.

Late Slate
Kolten Wong - FD 3100 DK 4100 Victiv 4800 Yahoo 16
Opponent- KC (Young) R Park- @KC
Because it would be difficult to pay up for Altuve or Kipinis, I really like Kolten Wong in this spot against a weak right-handed starting pitcher in Chris Young. Wong has been solid this year against righties, but this matchup is more of a reflection on just how bad Chris Young is. He doesn’t posses strikeout stuff, which is reflected in his absurdly high 4.98 xFIP. Wong typically bats early in the Cardinal line-up, so he’ll have plenty of chances to accumulate a solid score for a very reasonable price.



Early Slate
Erick Aybar - FD 2700 DK 3200 Victiv 4500 Yahoo 14
Opponent- Min (Santana) R Park- @ana
Shortstop is a moderate level of gross on this slate, hence the mentioning of Aybar here. Since dropping from the lead off slot (giving way to another guy who shouldn't be at the top of any order) Aybar relegated himself back to fantasy obscurity. Until today where there are just so few options at the position. He's a warm body that heads into the batter's box around four times per game. (How's that for a ringing endorsement?) Because I think this slate behooves a stars and scrubs approach, you are getting your scrub money in at shortstop.

Consider Marcus Semien


Late Slate
Francisco Lindor - FD 2400 DK 2800 Victiv 3700 Yahoo 13
Opponent- CWS (Samardzija) R Park- @Cle
We've been writing about this guy almost since he hit the majors. With shortstop almost always on the thinner side, getting Lindor in from the second spot in the order at these prices is just about all the recipe you need in DFS. He's hit safely in seven of his last ten games and even shown some power to boot. When some of the BABIP bad luck wore off, he started paying these prices. And that's the thing about it: he remains a punt play. With the plate appearance expectation and salaries he is my clear play here tonight.

Third base

Early Slate
Josh Donaldson - FD 4600 DK 4400 Victiv 5400 Yahoo 20
Opponent- Oak (Kazmir) L Park- @Oak
If you are going to pay up for hitters on this slate, then he and Joey Bats might be the way to go. Donaldson is one of the premier hitters in the league when facing lefties. He's crushed to the tune of a 1.000 OPS over the last two seasons with a 185 wRC+. Those numbers rank with the best in the league and we like to get money in on him almost whenever he's in this platoon. the price has come down a little and is sort of a joke on DraftKings where he's almost a must play.

Late Slate
Matt Carpenter - FD 2900 DK 4200 Victiv 4800 Yahoo 16
Opponent- KC (Young) R Park- @KC
Although his DraftKings price is a little too high for my taste, Carpenter’s lowered FanDuel price makes him an intriguing play. Although his recent form has lowered his price, he draws a pretty favorable match-up against the righty Young. Young has one of lower K/9 rates in all of baseball, which plays right into Carpenter’s strength of making solid contact. Carpenter has a BABIP of 0.320 and a walk rate of 14.4%, two of the highest marks against right-handed pitching. This makes Carpenter a very safe bet to get on base a lot and put up solid numbers, with plenty of potential for RBI opportunities if the rest of the Cardinal line-up is hitting well.


Early Slate
Jose Bautista - FD 4900 DK 4500 Victiv 5500 Yahoo 20
Opponent- Oak (Kazmir) L Park- @Oak
Along with Donaldson, he's the big money way to go with these early games. Joey Bats has a 180 wRC+ against southpaws over the last couple of years and is just a masher who, paired with Donaldson, makes opposing lefties probably wish their start got skipped or something. Like Donaldson, the price is kind of a joke on DraftKings considering the rest of the player pool. I see both of these guys as close to musts on that site and really in play everywhere else as long as you punt some of the crappier positions.

Nelson Cruz - FD 3400 DK 4100 Victiv 5500 Yahoo 18
Opponent- Det (Price) L Park- @Det
Mark Trumbo - FD 2300 DK 3100 Victiv 4900 Yahoo 14
Opponent- Det (Price) L Park- @Det
I never said this slate would be easy. It feels all kinds of icky* to get money in against David Price. But know that Price's xFIP is trailing his ERA by almost a run. Cruz is one of the best hitters in the league against lefty pitching with an absurd .447 wOBA over the last two seasons. Trumbo is living a personal nightmare this season and has been ground down to a nub, but the price reflects it and he has shown the ability to hit lefties over his career (though just not this season). Austin Jackson fills this need as well at a lower price.
*pro term

Late Slate
Joc Pederson - FD 2800 DK 3500 Victiv 4500 Yahoo 15
Opponent- NYM (Colon) R Park- @NYM
Anytime you can grab a lead off hitter with this much power upside for cheap, they become an almost must play. This is the position Joc Pederson is in tonight, with his price dropping significantly, especially on FanDuel. Pederson boasts an impressive 0.366 wOBA and 0.837 OPS against righties, and his matchup with the low K ratio Colon significantly reduces his strikeout chances. Colon has one of the higher HR/9 ratios in the league (1.15), and with Pederson batting lead off there’ll be plenty of opportunities for the long-ball.

Gregory Polanco - FD 2300 DK 3100 Victiv 4300 Yahoo 16
Opponent- Was (Fister) R Park- @Pit
I'm only interested in him if he's hitting lead off. He's basically an average hitter against righties whose upside comes from the wheels. With 17 SBs on the season he can boost his value by getting on and getting running. He hits in front of at least two above average bats and if on base can get around and score. It's the getting on base part that can prove a chose. But if you are spending up on pitching then he is just the kind of low cost guy to get in there based on plate appearance expectations.

Strongly consider an Indians stack of Michael Brantley, Brandon Moss and David Murphy


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1 Visitor Comment

  1. Hey love the work! Quick question….with the recent offensive success of NY and DET, their higher O/U today, the price points of guys like Cespedes, Beltran, Castellanos and some of the success both teams hitters have had against their respective pitchers particularly NY why aren’t their more NY and DET picks against pitchers like Jimenez and Iwakuma? Thanks again!


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