Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

08/02/2015
James Davis

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings, Victiv, and Yahoo 8/3/15

Hey all!

TGIM! It's a short slate on Monday, but even on a short slate, we'll never be able to detail every single good pick for you. What follows is a few players from each position that make a solid play for various contest types. 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, Victiv, and Yahoo.

Pitchers

Francisco Liriano - FD 10500 DK 10800 Victiv Yahoo
Opponent- CHC (Lester) L Park- @Pit
Jon Lester - FD 10000 DK 10400 Victiv Yahoo
Opponent- Pit (Liriano) L Park- @Pit
Feels like a cop out writing up 2 pitchers who are facing one another, but here's the thing - they both have fantastic match-ups. Both the Cubs and the Bucs are in the top 7 in terms of K% against left handed pitching, so the upside for either is undeniable. If I had to choose one, though, I'd go with Lester. In spite of the big name bats on the Pirates being right handed (McCutchen and Marte), they have a few guys who just can't hit left handed pitching at all (Walker and Alvarez), and they're in the bottom half of the league when it comes to wOBA against lefties. As for the pitchers themselves - they actually cut a much more similar profile that you may realize. Both are sub-3 xFIP guys (excellent) with K rates better than a guy per inning. Only one of them can win this match-up, of course, but I think you could make a case for just splitting your lineups between the two and filling your lineups around what would be a sturdy and well-hedged foundation.

Tyson Ross - FD 8600 DK 9300 Victiv Yahoo
Opponent- Mil (Peralta) R Park- @Mil
Ross is one of the more unusual great pitchers in the league. At first blush, his 4.30 BB/9 walk rate is the highest in the majors by .75 among qualified pitchers. It seems like I should be making acerbic barbs about him instead of including him on top of the pitcher rankings. So what gives? Well, Ross has a K/9 approach 10, which is excellent, but perhaps more importantly, the man is a literal ground ball machine. Well not literally - he's a human being - but he generates grounders at the third highest rate in the majors, and is 6% ahead of the guy in 4th place. His K/9 is almost 2 per 9 higher than the either of the guys ahead of him. That quantity of ground balls erases a lot of mistakes, helping Ross to remain one of the steadier options in the league. As for the Brew Crew - they were in the bottom third of the league in terms of wOBA against right handed pitching before they dealt Aramis and Gomez, and now that they're in rebuilding mode, it should be easier to wriggle a win out of them. I like Ross for any format.

 

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

 

Catchers

Stephen Vogt - FD 2200 DK 3500 Victiv 4000 Yahoo 14
Opponent- ANA (Wilson) R Park- @Oak
There is so much value in this place that it's hard to call it strictly an upside play, but Vogt's had such a tough run of it recently that I guess I have to. Tyler Wilson and his 4 Ks in 17 IP ought to be like a lamb being sent to the slaughter. The Angels promoted him based on his 2.12 ERA in AAA this year, but his 4.90 xFIP tells a better tale of his very real struggles. The man can't strike people out, and the K is Vogt's biggest weakness. He could get back to hitting like he did earlier this season in this one, and some yard work is a very real possibility.

Jason Castro - FD 2600 DK 3200 Victiv 4000 Yahoo 8
Opponent- Tex (Lewis) R Park- @Tex
A little resurgence for Castro recently, with home runs in each of his last 2 games in July. And that's good, because boy has he been horrible otherwise this season. But still, the 28 year old Castro has a career .754 OPS against right handed pitching, and he'll be facing a below league average righty (Colby Lewis) in the league's 2nd best hitter's park. Castro, like Vogt, can't be called a play for safety - but I love the upside here as well.

Wilson Ramos - FD 2200 DK 3100 Victiv 4100 Yahoo 13
Opponent- Ari (Godley) R Park- @Was
Go cheap at catcher today! To be clear - I really prefer Vogt today - but I don't mind Ramos in your 50/50s. Zach Godley has a very similar story to Tyler Wilson. He's a guy who had some success in the lower levels of the minors that frankly wasn't very good in AAA before being promoted. I like this play considerably less because Wilson is so much better against left handed pitching, but he ought to be able to make plenty of hard contact in this game and possibly pile up some counting stats if the guys in front of him cooperate.

 

First base

Paul Goldschmidt - FD 4400 DK 5600 Victiv 5800 Yahoo 21
Opponent- Was (Fister) R Park- @Was
It's weird to take a guy who's .080 points better against left handers as a righty, but when the man has a 1.040 OPS against right handed pitching, you can make an exception. He's also one of the more well-rounded upside guys that exists, clocking in at 14th in the majors in home runs and 11th in steals. A first baseman, 11th in the majors in steals! And then there's Doug Fister. Poor guy hasn't been able to strike out 5 guys per 9 innings this season, and his pitch-to-contact approach will be followed with a lot of ducking and hiding when he's facing Goldschmidt. If you can afford to pay up at 1B today, Goldschmidt seems like the clear guy to turn to.

Freddie Freeman - FD 3500 DK 4400 Victiv 5500 Yahoo 17
Opponent- SF (Cain) R Park- @Atl
In the next tier down, I like Freeman quite a bit. He's not the upside guy Goldschmidt is, but I really do like his floor. He's been flirting with a .900 OPS against right handed pitching, and Matt Cain hasn't been Matt Cain is one of the more overrated pitchers to ever grace the majors. He's got a career 4.15 xFIP, and hasn't been below 4 since 2012. He's basically built a career by pitching well at home (he's .060 OPS allowed points better at home), and this year he's allowed a staggering .967 OPS on the road. Freeman ought to be able to do some damage here.

Brandon Belt - FD 3700 DK 4200 Victiv 5100 Yahoo 11
Opponent- Atl (Foltynewicz) r Park- @Atl
Belt went ahead and hit 2 homers against left handed pitching on the 1st, but he's still .150 OPS better against right handed pitching this season. He's not a high-floor play here because he strikes out so damned much, but he makes so much hard contact (still the league leader in line drive percentage) that I like him against a mistake prone pitcher like Foltynewicz.

A great cheap option: Yonder Alsonso against Wily Peralta.

 

Second base

Joe Panik - FD 2900 DK 3700 Victiv 4300 Yahoo 14
Opponent- Atl (Foltynewicz) r Park- @Atl
He can't be called a high upside play, but he's got the highest floor of anyone at the position in tonight's game with the Braves. The Giants' second baseman has walked almost has much as his terrific sub 10% K rate, and has an .825 OPS against right handed pitching this season. He's also been a little bit better on the road, and his team has the best wOBA in the majors on the road - meaning counting stats for him are a lot more likely away from home. I like him in all formats in spite of his lack of conventional upside.

Robinson Cano - FD 4300 DK 5000 Victiv 5800 Yahoo
Opponent- Col (Butler) R Park- @Col
If you want raw, top tier points per dollar upside, it's going to hard to best Robinson Cano today. You already know about Coors field, but you may not be properly acquainted with Eddie Butler. Butler was walked exactly as many batters as he's struck out this year, and both his xFIP and his BB/9 would be the worst in the majors if he had made it through enough innings to qualify. It's an off year for Cano, sure, but he should still be able to blister Butler's batting practice stuff. If you can pay up, Cano's a great play.

Anthony Rendon - FD 2900 DK 3200 Victiv 5100 Yahoo
Opponent- Ari (Godley) R Park- @Was
A guy you can take against his platoon splits against Godley as well. His .761 career OPS against right handed pitching is nothing to write home about, but his price has dipped down to the point where you can play him against a guy who got by in the minors on smoke and mirrors. I like the above guys better, but like Rendon as part of a Nationals stack if you want one.

 

Shortstop

Brad Miller - FD 3000 DK 3800 Victiv 4300 Yahoo 14
Opponent- Col (Butler) R Park- @Col
Miller might wind up being the only Mariner you can afford today, but if so, you shouldn't be ashamed. On a day where the shortstops who can actually hit are taking the day off (or facing Felix Hernandez), I frankly like Miller in all formats. I've given you the case against definition fringe talent Eddie Butler already, so I'll spare you there and focus on Miller. In 273 PAs against right handed pitching this season, Miller has a .789 OPS with 8 homers and 10 steals. That's damned fine upside for this position, and against one of the very worst pitchers in the very best hitter's park, it stands to reason that there's room for even more upside here. On a bad slate for shortstops, I like Miller in all formats.

Marcus Semien - FD 2600 DK 3000 Victiv 3900 Yahoo 11
Opponent- ANA (Wilson) R Park- @Oak
Semien is kind of a poor man's Brad Miller (ouch), but with 9 homers and 9 steals, he's really not all bad. What you're really getting here, though, is some safety. Semien's cheaper than Miller, and facing a pitcher that's just as bad. I mentioned before that Tyler Wilson only has 4 Ks in 17 IP - did you read that? It's so bad. It means the A's will be making consistent contact, and Semien should have several chances to pay this price today.

Considered: Brandon Crawford.

 

Third base

Evan Longoria - FD 2900 DK 3700 Victiv 5100 Yahoo 17
Opponent- CWS (Quintana) L Park- @cws
We gave you Longoria in his last match-up with a lefty, and he went 3/4 with a walk against Eduardo Rodriguez and the Bosox. His teammates didn't help him out at all, but the fact remains - Evan can hit some left handed pitching. Now, Quintana is a much better pitcher than Eduardo Rodriguez, but that just shifts this from a must-play to a really good pick. Longoria has a .911 OPS against lefties this year, and that's just not usually a number you can get for less than $3,000 on FanDuel. Throw in a nice hitter's environment (unlike Longoria's terrible home park), and you've still got a terrific play.

Yunel Escobar - FD 2300 DK 3500 Victiv 4000 Yahoo 12
Opponent- Ari (Godley) R Park- @Was
If you want a high floor super cheap guy, Escobar has to be the choice. He's back to batting 2nd, and he's simply having a fine season if this is what you have to pay for him. For his career, he's been roughly platoon neutral (and better against righties in a small sample this season), so Godley being a righty is no sweat. Basically, he should have a good number of plate appearances with the greatest hitter on Earth behind him, and I'll gobble up all the plate appearances there that I can.

Kyle Seager - FD 4200 DK 4700 Victiv 5500 Yahoo 16
Opponent- Col (Butler) R Park- @Col
More Eddie Butler sweepstakes stuff. I'm not sure how you can afford to pay up for all of these Seattle lefties without going cheap at pitcher, but if you do, there's absolutely a scenario in which a Seattle stack and some cheap pitcher with upside wins a big tournament tonight.

 

Outfield

Bryce Harper - FD 4600 DK 5700 Victiv 5800 Yahoo 21
Opponent- Ari (Godley) R Park- @Was
*scrambles to look up some absurd Bryce Harper stats*

Okay! Got some. Harper has the best OBP and the best SLG against right handed pitching this year, and his 1.175 OPS is .129 points higher than 2nd place. So ridiculous. And he's 22 years old. Enjoy this, folks.

Josh Reddick - FD 2700 DK 4200 Victiv 4400 Yahoo 16
Opponent- ANA (Wilson) R Park- @Oak
A mere human, Reddick is not Bryce Harper. But for $1,900 less in salary, he can be forgiven. Reddick is one of the best platoon plays in the game, with an OPS .225 points higher against right handed pitching. I've given you the case against Wilson already, but the story here is really Reddick. Huge upside in this play, and his low K rate against righties makes this a fine play for 50/50s as well.

Adam Jones - FD 3200 DK 4200 Victiv 5300 Yahoo 17
Opponent- Oak (Chavez) R Park- @Oak
We gave you Jones for 4 days in a row, and he had 10 FanDuel fantasy points a game in two of them, and -1 fantasy points a game in the other two. So, what are you gonna do? It's baseball, folks. Jones, for his career, has been about .045 OPS points better against right handed pitching, and today he'll face the right handed Jesse Chavez. While Chavez's season line doesn't look awful, he has basically had 2 good starts since May, and has fallen apart peripherally even if his ERA has survived. This should be a solid game for Jones, and I recommend him mostly for 50/50s and double ups.

Preston Tucker - FD 3100 DK 3600 Victiv 4400 Yahoo 15
Opponent- Tex (Lewis) R Park- @Tex
Tucker's been living on this list recently, as he's faced a group of lousy right handers in good hitters' parks. While it's tempting to say that Tucker "burst on to the scene" with his .924 OPS against right handed pitching in the majors this year, the man has been crushing it ever since he was drafted in 2012. What you're seeing here is legit, folks, and if anything, there's room for considerably more (especially as he figures out big league lefties). Against Lewis in Texas? He could definitely put up another big game.

Angel Pagan - FD 2200 DK 3000 Victiv 3900 Yahoo
Opponent- Atl (Foltynewicz) r Park- @Atl
A fantastic high floor option if you just want to save up on one of your OF spots. The man leads off for the team with the best road wOBA on the majors, and should be good for 5 PA against the below league-average Foltynewicz. Pagan himself is not a ton to write home about against right handed pitching, but this is a clear case where opportunity trumps talent, and you can figure he'll manage to do something with his numerous projected plate appearances.

Also considered: A ton of other cheap guys - too many to name here. If you want the rest?

 

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1 Visitor Comment

  1. you guys really do have the best pics

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