Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

08/07/2015
Doug Norrie

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

There are a lot of ace or ace-lite pitchers going on this slate. Which means our hitter picks will trend to the cheaper side so we can work those arms into lineups. You won't be able to fade them all I don't think.

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Pitchers

Let me reiterate something I mentioned about one second ago. There are a ton of really good pitchers going on this slate. And they all cost. Results aside, I'm always most confident at least with the process for our pitching selections. Today, outside of Kershaw (and the price there is daunting), I am a little concerned with "getting it right". So I'm going to write up a few more pitchers than normal with the reasoning. Am I hedging? F#$% yes. But I just don't see a totally clear path.

Clayton Kershaw - FD 13400 DK 15000 Victiv Yahoo 70
Opponent- Pit (Cole) R Park- @Pit
It's Kershaw Day. I'm not sure if you've been like us and rode Kershaw through some early struggles (with luck) to start the season. If you've stayed faithful then you've been healthily rewarded. The recent game log reads like something out of a Hall of Fame introduction speech. He's gone at least eight innings in his last four games, striking out double digits in three of them. He's got a 2.00 xFIP and ridiculous 7:1 K:BB rate. He's the leader for the NL Cy Young in my mind with those kinds of numbers. Today he faces a Pirates team ranked right around the middle of the pack against lefties in terms of wOBA, but they do strike out more than 23% of the time. Now here's the thing with Clayton: the price. It's exorbitant and he needs to be near perfect to hit on value. That combined with you'll have to find some cheap, safe hitters to fit him. So there's work to be done. But man, if any pitcher can pull it off he's the one.

Cole Hamels - FD 10500 DK 10300 Victiv Yahoo 51
Opponent- Sea (Iwakuma) R Park- @Sea
He's up here because our system like him a hair above some of the other arms and I think it's because the price is just that much lower than some of the other elite big boys. Hamels has the K rate we like to see. And the ballpark will help keep some of the power down. The Mariners are a middling team against lefties which helps Hamels' chances. I see him more as a tournament play because the walk rate can get him in trouble.

Jacob deGrom - FD 11100 DK 12100 Victiv Yahoo 54
Opponent- TB (Odorizzi) R Park- @TB
deGrom is a good example of what is happening with pitching on today's slate. He is too good and has too good a matchup to not mention him, and yet the price is borderline so I am left scratching the old noodle (and my head, was scratching my pool noodle while I dipped and thought about today's picks). The Rays suck against righties and deGrom's peripherals are fantastic. He just doesn't go super late into games often the price is at a breaking point. Yikes with today's pitching.

James Shields - FD 8900 DK 8600 Victiv Yahoo 48
Opponent- Phi (Nola) R Park- @Sd
It's hard not to mention the guy facing the second to worst team in the league against righty pitching. Now Zack Greinke proved yesterday that no one is exactly safe against the Phighten' Phils, but Shields is coming in the middle tier of arms that could be set for a higher upside game. He's throwing in Petco which always helps any pitcher and his peripherals this season have been on point. Look, he's not exactly safe, but as a second arm on a two pitcher site like DK or a cheaper upside play, he works.

Jose Fernandez - FD 11000 DK 13000 Victiv Yahoo
Opponent- Atl (Teheran) R Park- @Atl
Imagine a slate where Jose Fernandez comes this far down the list? Against the Braves?! (I never use exclamation points!) I know they put up nine runs yesterday, but my god with that Braves' lineup. There's no way they are favorites to do that over the long term with that sack of garbage going on through nine. That's the case for Jose, and the fact that he's amazing.

 

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Catchers

Victor Martinez - FD 2500 DK 3500 Victiv 4900 Yahoo 14
Opponent- Bos (Kelly) R Park- @Det
I gave the caveat yesterday that I realize he's only a FanDuel play at catcher. Sure, he hasn't caught in the last decade but whatever. We take value when we can get it. I'm putting him at the top again because his price is so low that you can have an EV+ situation almost with his position in the batting order alone. Oh and I should mention that he was a top play yesterday and lo and behold, dude smacks two dongs. Boom. Not buying him on that alone of course, but it's nice to know that whatever injury issue may be hampering him hasn't totally sapped his power.

Salvador Perez - FD 2400 DK 3200 Victiv 4500 Yahoo 13
Opponent- CWS (Danks) L Park- @KC
There are a bunch of cheaper catchers you can grab today with some upside. But there is a reason they are cheap so remember that. Perez is facing a weaker John Danks today and is actually a better hit against lefties for his career. He's running a little bit of terrible in this split this season with a gross .182 BABIP that's submarining the platoon. I'm still ok buying him at near punt prices in a good matchup.

Consider Yan Gomes

 

First base

Paul Goldschmidt - FD 4000 DK 5600 Victiv 5800 Yahoo 20
Opponent- Cin (Iglesias) R Park- @Ari
Because we have to pick a lane with these picks or else they'd be 8,000 words each night, we do many of our picks based on FanDuel pricing. Why it never hurts to get a peek at our full projection system for a look at how values differ among sites. Goldschmidt is a silly price on FanDuel and is someone you can work into a lineup with almost any pitcher. While he's at his best against lefties, this matchup with Iglesias doesn't exactly frighten me. Rasiel dials up the K's, but he's also walk heavy with an xFIP about four. Goldie's a price play plain and simple.

Ryan Zimmerman - FD 2600 DK 3400 Victiv 4500 Yahoo 14
Opponent- Col (de la Rosa) L Park- @Was
On the much cheaper side of things and in a good spot today. I'm going to get blue in the face saying it, but you will need cheap bats today. Zimmerman's significantly better against lefty pitching for his career with an OPS close to .900 in his tenure. Been a little down over the short term thanks to some injuries, bad luck and just getting old. But he's hitting in the middle of the Nats' lineup and coming near basement prices against de la Rosa who can get bombed from time to time.

Consider Yonder Alonso on the cheap

 

Second base

Anthony Rendon - FD 3000 DK 3200 Victiv 5100 Yahoo
Opponent- Col (de la Rosa) L Park- @Was
With so many good pitchers going today, it stands to reason that you'll see some of the same teams featured here. I really like Rendon for cash games today (especially on DraftKings with that price and the multi-position eligibility) because he takes walks like a mad man and has an extreme career split against lefties. Rendon's tuned them up for a 130 wRC+ and .359 wOBA. de la Rosa walks on the wild side and with Rendon hitting second in the lineup he has some plate appearances coming his way. I'll be playing him all over the place.

Kolten Wong - FD 2800 DK 4100 Victiv 4800 Yahoo 15
Opponent- Mil (Cravy) R Park- @Mil
He takes a small hit if the move to fifth in the order is permanent. If that's the case then I knock him down a few notches. But my reasoning behind Wong remains the same as yesterday when I said:

Falling out of the leadoff slot does a little to hurt his plate appearance expectation (which really matters in DFS) but he makes up for a bit of it with extra RBI chances out of the third whole. Wong is affordable on FanDuel and a little pricey on DraftKings. He's having a fine enough season with hints of power and speed helping to keep the floor high. Has the other piss poor pitching matchup in Michael LorenzenTyler Cravy... But Wong's a solid play who won't cost you too much in the quest to pay up for pitching.

Consider Brandon Phillips in the mid tier or Johnny Giavotella on the super cheap

 

Shortstop

Jose Reyes - FD 3000 DK 3800 Victiv 4900 Yahoo 16
Opponent- Was (Zimmermann) R Park- @Was
I don't know how Jose Reyes sees his baseball career, but I suspect dude's just a little bummed about having left Toronto. Some of this will surely right itself after playing a few more games in Coors (with the power and all), but from a team perspective this was a massive step down. And the price has gone the same direction. But even though his teammates are less inclined to power, Reyes still has a lot of value hitting second in the Rockies' order and coming at these prices. Jordan Zimmermann's a solid arm, but Reyes is one of the few shortstops hitting this high in a lineup, has some speed and can score runs in the right situation. I think this is a moderate discount on the guy.

Alcides Escobar - FD 2200 DK 3400 Victiv 4400 Yahoo 14
Opponent- CWS (Danks) L Park- @KC
Speaking of shortstops who bat high in the order, Escobar (for reasons very much unknown) continues to roll in the leadoff spot for the Royals. That, plus his punt prices are really the only two value adds. He doesn't get on base or steal (though the latter might be a byproduct of never actually being on base) so I can't really rely on those things. The main item with Alcides is that he's free and you need to save up for pitching.

Consider Ian Desmond

Third base

Todd Frazier - FD 3300 DK 4900 Victiv 5300 Yahoo 16
Opponent- Ari (Ray) L Park- @Ari
He's seen his price plummet over the short term. You know what that means? Time to buy the crap out of him on FanDuel. He's seen a power outage through July and into August after tearing through the first few months of the season. He's also had some major BABIP problems in this time and I don't see any thing to suggest it's anything more than a funk. Time to break out of it today against Robbie Ray. Ray isn't terrible, but Frazier's been solid against lefties over the last couple of seasons with a mid .800's OPS and .362 wOBA even with a lower BABIP. Chase Field works to boost power all around and this is a great matchup for Frazier. Might cost a little too much on DraftKings, but the upside is there.

After Frazier it gets pretty light for me at third. I don't see a ton of other solid value plays. You can consider Matt Carpenter for around the same price, but he doesn't have quite the power upside. You can go a little cheaper with someone like Yunel Escobar hitting leadoff. On FanDuel I'm playing Frazier in every lineup outside of team-specific stacks and even then I will probably rock him.

 

Outfield

Jason Heyward - FD 3500 DK 4300 Victiv 4900 Yahoo 17
Opponent- Mil (Cravy) R Park- @Mil
The big story with Heyward is the Cards are no longer relegating him to the bottom of the order. He's been hitting third for the team and this kind of plate appearance and counting stat expectation does wonders for a guy's value. He's facing Tyler Cravy whose ERA looks fine enough in limited innings, but the peripherals aren't near there or the xFIP. Heyward exists in that middle range of salaries which will come into play today. Heyward's not doing anything too different this year than he's done in the past. High .700's OPS with some speed. It's just that he's now getting to the plate more per game.

Marlon Byrd - FD 2900 DK 4000 Victiv 4800 Yahoo 16
Opponent- Ari (Ray) L Park- @Ari
He's not a super deal, but also won't break the bank for you today. Byrd isn't as extreme a platoon guy as you might think though he's better against lefties this season for sure. It's a bit more even as you look down the career arc, but I'd still rather have him against the southpaw because he does do more damage here. Solid hitter's park and rolling around the middle of the order, Byrd give some salary relief on FanDuel. It's closer on DraftKings where I think you can go a little cheaper in the outfield.

Jayson Werth - FD 2300 DK 3100 Victiv 4900 Yahoo 15
Opponent- Col (de la Rosa) L Park- @Was
It's been a bad injury-laden season for Werth, but now that he's back and facing a lefty we should sit up and take notice. Over the last couple of seasons he's put up a high .800's OPS and .380 wOBA against southpaws and the career looks much of the same. He's made his bones in this split and I love playing him as an extreme punt today. de la Rosa is wild and you can do well by stacking some cheaper Nats today.

Anthony Gose - FD 2300 DK 3000 Victiv 3800 Yahoo 13
Opponent- Bos (Kelly) R Park- @Det
He's a guy I like to throw in around the margins and I should have put him in the picks yesterday because our system liked him. He only exists for me if he's hitting leadoff, where I think he'll be against the righty Kelly. His upside is in getting on base and turning on the jets. I love the DraftKings price especially in cash games if you are trying to roster expensive arms.

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