Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

James Davis

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel, Victiv, Yahoo, and DraftKings 7/30/15

Games everywhere, trade's a madness. Meanwhile, DFSR continues it's rock-like consistently with the best picks in the industry the moment you need them.

A quick note about today - there's a little micro-slate with two noon games tomorrow. I'm not going to throw picks out there for those games. While we have projections for them in our system, I don't want to chew up real estate in this article for a super small slate that most won't play, and I'll instead focus on the big 7:10 slate. Keep reading for picks for the evening games.

If you want projections for 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 11800 DK 13200 Victiv Yahoo
Opponent- Bos (Wright) R Park- @Bos
Your big money pitching play of the day, from where I'm sitting. I considered Arrieta for this spot because I was feeling a little spooked about picking against the Red Sox. Then I realized it wasn't 2005 or whatever. The Red Sox have a couple of guys on their team (Papi and Sandoval) who are basically automatic outs against left handed pitching, and the Red Sox have the 9th worst wOBA in the league against left handed pitching this year. They're fairly tough to strike out, but Chris Sale's ridiculous 11.53 K/9 (second in the majors behind Kershaw) means he can pretty much strike you out regardless. And then there's Steven Wright. His xFIP (4.94) is almost as high as his paltry 5.30 K/9, making him one of the worst guys to take the hill on a consistent basis. I love Sale for double ups and 50/50s.

Shelby Miller - FD 8600 DK 9700 Victiv Yahoo
Opponent- Phi (Harang) R Park- @Phi
Miller's a guy who doesn't often make it on to this list simply because his ERA is so much higher than his xFIP, and he isn't a strikeout monster. So what's he doing here? He's facing the Phillies of Philadelphia. Can we pause for a second and say what a stupid name the Phillies is? Thank God other owners had more creativity, or we'd have wound up with the New Yorkies, the Bostonies, etc. It's almost as bad as the Bills having a picture of a Buffalo on their helmet, even though their mascot isn't a buffalo, it's a dude named Buffalo Bill, who was actually a cowboy.

Where was I? The Phillies. They're tied for the worst wOBA the majors against right handed pitching this season, and they're trotting out an old pitcher who's returning from a month long foot injury. The Phillies also have the lowest walk rate vs. right handed pitching this season, mitigating Miller's wildness issues to some degree. I can see throwing him in any format, especially if you have a lot of big bats you like today.

If punts for big tournaments are your thing, how about Jimmy Nelson? He doesn't have elite stuff, but he's got a sub 4 xFIP and a 7.50 K/9 this season, making him a slightly better than league average pitcher. And what he's really got going for him is those Chicago Cubs. Their 24.3% strikeout percentage against right handed pitching makes them one of the very juiciest upside match-ups in the league. Sure, Arrieta is a good pitcher, and Nelson will have a tough time getting a win, but if he does and the Cubs continue their King ways, this could pay off big.

Also considered: Jake Arrieta. The Brew Crew is a below average offensive team against right handed pitching, and he remains one of the underrated quantities in the league. I don't mind him a bit if you want to save up a little bit and come down from Sale.


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Yadier Molina - FD 2300 DK 3100 Victiv 4300 Yahoo 12
Opponent- Col (Rusin) L Park- @Stl
Yadi Dadi, we likes to padi, we don't cause trouble, we don't bother nobadi. Snoop! Some things never get old.

As I'm looking up and down my catcher projections for tomorrow, it's looking a lot like it's a day to go cheap at the position, and Molina tops that list by a mile. The left handed Chris Rusin is actually one of the better of the terrible Rockies pitchers, but that's sort of like being the most honest politician. And it's not just pitching in Coors - his wOBA allowed is actually .052 points higher on the road (and good for an incredible .882 OPS). What's this mean? It's stack city against him with Cardinals righties. Molina's not a traditional huge upside guy, but he could have significant counting stat upside in a game that should be lopsided. And on a points per dollar basis, it's tough to pass up on a near minimum price.

Brian McCann - FD 3000 DK 3900 Victiv 4900 Yahoo 16
Opponent- Tex (Gallardo) R Park- @Tex
Your token "a little bit more expensive" option if you decide to go cheap at pitcher and want real upside from the position. McCann's 15 homers are tied for the major league lead for a catcher, and he's been about .060 OPS points better against right handers this season. He'll be hitting in the friendly confines of Globe Life Park against the underratedly bad Yovani Gallardo (his 4.19 xFIP is almost a run worse than his ERA), and I think he could be in for quite a big game if things break right.

Salvador Perez - FD 2200 DK 3300 Victiv 4800 Yahoo 12
Opponent- Tor (Estrada) R Park- @Tor
The high upside Yin to Molina's safety Yang. That sounded weird. But still! While Perez has been better against lefties during his young career, he's got a very respectable .747 OPS against right handers this season. More importantly, he's clubbed 15 homers, and looks like he's turning his doubles power into the ability to do some yardwork. Tonight he'll face Marco Estrada, who used to be good, but is now the owner of a dreadful 4.55 xFIP. He also generates ground balls on only 33.2% of his plate appearances against, meaning Perez should have even more opportunity to hit bombs than usual. I like him for big tournaments where you need serious bang for your buck.

Also considered: Kyle Schwarber is a very interesting upside play if he's in the starting rotation. He has the potential to put up huge games against right handed pitching, and Nelson isn't exactly a strike-out machine. It's definitely a risk since he often gets pulled late, but possibly worth it in a big tournament.

First base

Anthony Rizzo - FD 3000 DK 4600 Victiv 5300 Yahoo 17
Opponent- Mil (Nelson) R Park- @Mil
In which I recommend a pitcher, only to pick a ton of dudes against him. Again - Nelson isn't a cash game play, he's a high upside dice roll. And the main thing he'll be rolling the dice against is: "Can I keep Rizzo to merely hitting long fly balls instead of home runs?" After a little dry spell, Rizzo hit a shot last night, hopefully quieting any concerns you had about his power. His OPS for the season has dipped below .900, but I mean, he costs $3,000 on FanDuel - the same as guys like Justin Smoak, Ryan Howard, or Ben Paulsen. And Rizzo's not a one trick pony, either. His 14 steals only trail Paul Goldschmidt at the position, and he's double the guy in 3rd place. Love this play for safety and upside.

Jose Abreu - FD 3900 DK 5300 Victiv 5600 Yahoo 18
Opponent- Bos (Wright) R Park- @Bos
The Cuban sensation has averaged 6.25 FanDuel fantasy points over his last 5 games, and seems to be positively bursting with confidence and poise at the moment. Okay, I can't possibly tell that. But he is crushing the ball. While it's strange to take a slugger across platoon lines, Abreu still has a career .890 OPS against right handed pitching, and again, it's Steven Wright. His lack of a put away pitch means Abreu will have a dozen pitches this game to bang against (or over) the green monster, and I've gotta say, I'm a big buyer in big tournaments today.

Freddie Freeman - FD 3500 DK 4300 Victiv 5400 Yahoo 19
Opponent- Phi (Harang) R Park- @Phi
Old steady Freddie. His 13 home runs and 3 steals don't exactly inspire any ballads to be written, but if you want a decent double-up or 50/50 play? Let's have a look. The man has a .915 OPS and a very respectable 18% K rate against right handed pitching this season, and while he's definitely a threat to face a LOOGY in the late innings, he can definitely hit is value before it gets to that point. And, well, Aaron Harang was awful this season before his injury, as his 4.57 xFIP would attest. Love his high floor, and there might be more ceiling for him that usual here as well.


Second base

Jason Kipnis - FD 3700 DK 4700 Victiv 5000 Yahoo 18
Opponent- Oak (Bassitt) R Park- @Oak
The league's best offensive second baseman, and it isn't even close. Today, he'll be facing the young Chris Bassitt, something of a non-prospect from the A's system (FanGraphs called him a 5th starter - don't shoot the messenger) who hasn't adjusted as well to the major leagues as his 2.94 ERA suggests. His peripherals (especially his 5.61 K/9) paint the picture of a guy getting by on smoke and mirrors, and Kipnis has advanced to the point where that just won't fly. His 1.012 OPS against northpaws is absurd, and the fact that he's walked more than he's struck out against right handed pitching this year means smoke and mirrors aren't likely to be very effective. Potentially big game here, but I love him for his high floor for 50/50s.

Brian Dozier - FD 3600 DK 4600 Victiv 5600 Yahoo 21
Opponent- Sea (Happ) L Park- @Min
If you play daily fantasy baseball, you're well acquainted with what the Doze-man can do for you from the second base position against left handed pitching. If you're not, let me share with you now. Seated? Great. Dozier has an excellent .891 OPS against southpaws this season. But I'm burying the lead. His 21 homers are ten more than the next highest guy at the position. He's also tied for 8th in steals. Just ridiculous. Against the league-average (to below) JA Happ, Dozier sure looks like a must play in all formats, especially since he'll be getting Happ away from Safeco.

Devon Travis - FD 3000 DK 3900 Victiv 4400 Yahoo 14
Opponent- KC (Duffy) L Park- @Tor
Your small sample size radar should be blaring here, but Travis has crushed left handed pitching this season, putting up a .974 OPS in a way that kinda looks sustainable. You see, his BABIP against lefties is just .315 (around his career levels), and he has almost as many home runs (4) as he does strike outs (4) in the 62 times he's strode to the plate against a southpaw. Today he'll be facing Danny Duffy, who's probably trying his best out thee, but has allowed a god awful 4.62 xFIP and a total lack of the put-away stuff that made him a big prospect pre-injury. The Jays should crush Duffy, and Travis should have lots of opportunity here.



Jhonny Peralta - FD 2700 DK 3800 Victiv 4500 Yahoo 14
Opponent- Col (Rusin) L Park- @Stl
Troy Tulowitzki - FD 3500 DK 3900 Victiv 4900 Yahoo 18
Opponent- KC (Duffy) L Park- @Tor
Oh man, our projection system is close on these two fellas. And I have to say, it feels awfully nice to see Tulo's price below $4,000. While Toronto is no Coors, it's still a top 10 hitters' park, and I love him in a fresh situation against lousy lefty Danny Duffy. As for Peralta, I'm giving him the nod over Tulo here (even though I'll take either) for a couple of reasons. First of all, he's out-homered Tulowitzki in spite of not playing half his games in Coors. He's also just a few OPS point behind him. But really, it's a price thing. Saving $800 here means you can spend it on a great big dollar option elsewhere, like Josh Donaldson. In case it's slipped your mind, Chris Rusin has been awful against right handed pitching and awful on the road, making that a pretty ideal spot.

Infinite cheap guys: It's hard to pick one over the other, for me. I like Brad Miller against a mediocre righty in Hughes, but our system thinks high-in-the-order guys like Escobar are a better value. Me? I love spending up on one of the above guys today, which I'll rarely do at shortstop. But each day is a new adventure, so I'm game!


Third base

Josh Donaldson - FD 4600 DK 4600 Victiv 5800 Yahoo 19
Opponent- KC (Duffy) L Park- @Tor
Perhaps the most tantalizing big ticket player going today, Donaldson will be facing the left handed Danny Duffy (already described/disparaged in this article). Donaldson's 1.033 OPS against left handed pitching this season looks like a fluke until you look at his lifetime .966 number, and then the terror sets in. He might only be peaking now. The man's a legit monster, and the sky's the limit in this contest in the nice hitting environment of the Rogers Centre.

Mike Moustakas - FD 2500 DK 3700 Victiv 4300 Yahoo 15
Opponent- Tor (Estrada) R Park- @Tor
Moustakas is a very unsexy option for the position, but a great way to escape cheaply if you want to spend up elsewhere. His .850 OPS against right handers this season looks legit, and while he doesn't pile up the counting stats in most situations, he's a guy who's absurdly hard to strike out facing a guy without strike-out stuff. He'll put a lot of hard balls in play against Estrada, and should have a great floor for your 50/50 and double-up purposes.

Another safe option would be Kyle Seager. His write-up would look a lot like Moustakas', so I'll spare you. If Phil Hughes scares you, you are probably a guy who flamed out of the minors in 2009. He's back to pitching to contact (and doing so pretty badly), and Seager's righty smushing ways could come in handy here.

The boom/bust play of the day at third base has to be Miguel Sano. The man with true bell-tower power could homer every time against Happ, or strike out every time. Or just have a really good game. Fun guy to throw in there with Dozier in a big tournament stack, though.



Andrew McCutchen - FD 4400 DK 4800 Victiv 5600 Yahoo 19
Opponent- Cin (Holmberg) L Park- @Cin
Starling Marte - FD 3700 DK 4700 Victiv 5100 Yahoo 16
Opponent- Cin (Holmberg) L Park- @Cin
Good God, there is so much phenomenal top-end talent today that going cheap on pitching is looking better and better. The big name Bucs get it done in different ways - McCutchen with his all-around game, and Marte with his power/speed combo, but the fact remains - both of these men can destroy some left handed pitching. On a strictly value basis I'll take Marte today. He's been better this season, and is considerably cheaper - but I'll be happy to stack em both.

Not familiar with David Holmberg? You aren't the only one. The guy could only strike out 5.07 batters per 9 innings in AAA, so it's hard to picture what he'll do against major league pitcher without wincing uncomfortably.

Matt Holliday - FD 3200 DK 3800 Victiv 4900 Yahoo 15
Opponent- Col (Rusin) L Park- @Stl
Just another high-floor right hander to plug in against Chris Rusin today. Holliday's .411 OBP is the best of his career, and I shudder to think how this mismatch will play out. Like Holliday in any format, but love him for 50/50s and double-ups.

Adam Jones - FD 3000 DK 4300 Victiv 5300 Yahoo 16
Opponent- Det (Simon) R Park- @Bal
If you want a stand-alone guy that many won't play today, Adam Jones is pretty interesting. He's a reverse platoon guy for his career (meaning he's better against right handed pitching), and Alfredo Simon is pretty damned bad. Jones doesn't cut the classic high-upside profile, but he can definitely get it done against guys who make mistakes in the zone. In that area, Alfredo Simon absolutely qualifies.

Jose Bautista - FD 4200 DK 4600 Victiv 5700 Yahoo 20
Opponent- KC (Duffy) L Park- @Tor
If you can afford to stack him with Donaldson, Travis, and/or Tulo, there could be some serious fireworks in this one. Or they could all strike-out. Baseball is kinda stupid that way. But still - few have hit left handed pitching as hard as Bautista has in his career, and I think this will be a bloodbath.

Also considered: Michael Brantley, and again, infinite cheap guys that are pretty interchangeable.

Want to sift through them yourself?


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