Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings, Yahoo and Victiv 8/13/15

Two mini slate for your Thursday enjoyment. Love these small slates as I think the mistakes cascade for the uninformed. Let's get into it.

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Early Slate
Noah Syndergaard - FD 11000 DK 11100 Victiv Yahoo
Opponent- Col (Butler) R Park- @Nym
If there's one thing the Rockies have shown lately, it's that they stink. They've been manhandled of late by opposing pitchers and could be in for more of the same in this game. Last night deGrom put on a clinic against Colorado and I like Syndergaard going against them today. They are a weaker unit that really drops off a cliff after about the fourth batter, and really before that they're no great shakes. Thor's striking out close to 10 batters per nine and has limited the walks in his rookie season. He's a big favorite to win today against Eddie Butler and the strike out numbers could come fast and furious. He's expensive on FanDuel but he appears by far the safest bet considering park and opponent.

Consider Jon Lester in tournaments


Late Slate
There are three interesting options on this slate, all coming moderately priced. I can come up with positives and negatives for each of them. But if I have to pick a lane, I'll go with:

Francisco Liriano - FD 9700 DK 11000 Victiv Yahoo
Opponent- Stl (Lynn) R Park- @StL
He's coming at a nice discount on FanDuel and I'll take him at his price point on the other sites as well. Liriano's been a borderline stud this season but after a few subpar outings (against two above average teams against lefties) Liriano has seen a price drop. It's time to buy. The Cardinals are one of the worst teams in the league against lefty pitching this season. They're striking out more than 24% of the time in this split and a majority of their quality bats (Carpenter, Wong, Heyward) are significantly worse against lefty pitching. Liriano's striking out more than ten batters per nine this season with a sub three xFIP. With the three big pitchers at the same price point, I'm taking Liriano.

Consider Stephen Strasburg as an upside tournament play
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Early Slate
Kyle Schwarber - FD 3900 DK 4800 Victiv 5000 Yahoo 18
Opponent- Mil (Cravy) R Park- @Chc
Before we anoint him the second coming, let's stop and reflect for a second on what's gotten Schwarber here. He's been big time aided by BABIP in his short major league tenure, which is helping to inflate some of his numbers. That being said, this guy can definitely hit and even some luck doesn't fully explain his high .900's OPS. He's taking more walks and is really tuning up right-handed pitching. He's rocking an OPS over 1.000 with a nutso .282 ISO. Those numbers will float back down to reality some, but he should feature in Cubs stacks and cash games today.


Late Slate
Yasmani Grandal - FD 3200 DK 4100 Victiv 4500 Yahoo 16
Opponent- Cin (Sampson) R Park- @Lad
Outside of Jeremy Guthrie there aren't any true disaster arms on this slate so we are going to need to pick up some hitter value in the margins and hope for the best. Keyvius Sampson has nice peripherals in his two starts this season, striking out a batter an inning. But he can get wild and exits early. I'm taking some Dodgers at diminished prices, Grandal included. His much better split is facing righties as he walks nearly 14% of the time and has a mid .800's OPS over the last two seasons against them. The Dodgers are always f@#$ing with their order so who knows where he'll bat, but I suspect it's around the five hole. Makes a nice mid tier play considering you don't need to pay too much for pitching (at least on FD).

Consider Wilson Ramos


First base

Early Slate
Anthony Rizzo - FD 4300 DK 5300 Victiv 5600 Yahoo 19
Opponent- Mil (Cravy) R Park- @Chc
There are a few interesting first base options on this early slate, but if I'm getting some of the bigger money in on a bat, then Rizzo just might be my guy. He'll cost for sure, but he has a nice matchup against Tyler Cravy who's a middling arm at best. Cravy isn't a favorite to put Rizzo down on strikes as the latter walks nearly as much as he K's. Rizzo's a patient hitter and has put up a fantastic season with a mid .900's OPS and .240 ISO. There aren't a ton of big bats I'm targeting on this slate, but Rizzo is one of the few.

Consider Joe Mauer


Late Slate
Joey Votto - FD 3500 DK 4200 Victiv 5300 Yahoo 20
Opponent- Lad (Latos) R Park- @Lad
It's close between Adrian Gonzalez and Votto for me on this slate. But I'll take Votto (especially on DraftKings). Latos actually isn't a terrible arm, though it's easy to think of him that way. He has a mid 3's xFIP though he isn't striking out more than 7.5 batters this season. Votto lives to take walks against righties with a 17% rate over the last two seasons in this split. He isn't an extreme power threat in this game with the park (and hasn't tuned up righties in the short term) but he's a safe cash game play across the board.

Consider Adrian Gonzalez


Second base

Early Slate
Brian Dozier - FD 3100 DK 4000 Victiv 5400 Yahoo 18
Opponent- Tex (Gonzalez) R Park- @Min
I'll get into the crimes and misdemeanors of one Mr. Chi-Chi (don't call me Alex) Gonzalez a little further down in this write up. Suffice to say for now, you'll want to get Twins into your lineups whenever possible. Dozier's more known for his work against lefties, but the last couple of seasons in the other split haven't been bad. His close to .800 OPS and 121 wRC+ look even better when you consider the BABIP's in the mid .200's during that time. Even with a little bad luck he's been a viable guy in this platoon. Affordable in nearly every format and has a ton of upside at these prices.


Late Slate
Anthony Rendon - FD 2800 DK 3100 Victiv 4900 Yahoo
Opponent- SF (Vogelsong) R Park- @SF
A price play plain and simple. Rendon's power appears nearly non-existent this season which is for sure troubling. But he's coming basically free for a guy hitting second in the order who has well above average production against righties over the last couple of seasons. He'll be in every lineup for me at second base on this slate. It's just too cheap a number with a great lineup slot against a very average pitcher in Ryan Vogelsong. The latter's rocking a mid 4's xFIP on the season and has only 2:1 K:BB peripherals. Again, Rendon's lack of power shows signs of a lingering injury. But even as a slap hitting punt play in the two spot, these prices are advantageous.



Early Slate
Marcus Semien - FD 2800 DK 3500 Victiv 4400 Yahoo 14
Opponent- Tor (Buehrle) L Park- @Tor
He'll probably hit near the bottom of the order which I'm not a real fan of, but there are few other options at shortstop for the early slate. If he's near the top of the order he's a must play against the lefty, but even at the bottom there's some value. Semien's well above average against lefties for his career with 117 wRC+ and .773 OPS. Those aren't eye-popping numbers, but are perfectly acceptable for a cheap shortstop. Like I said, monitor his slot in the order leading into gametime. Though honestly, I'm not seeing a ton of other ways to go on the early slate.

Consider Eduardo Nunez


Late Slate
Erick Aybar - FD 2200 DK 3200 Victiv 4300 Yahoo 14
Opponent- KC (Guthrie) R Park- @KC
To be this far down the picks not having mentioned anyone hitting against Jeremy Guthrie doesn't have me feeling great, but the Angels aren't exactly a dynamic offense. Two runs over the last two days against below average lefties in a hitter's park has me a little soured on them. But that's a trap we don't fall into and they are a nice stacking play today. Aybar isn't particularly good at major league hitting. But he's a favorite to make a lot of contact as he isn't a big K guy and rarely walks. He's hitting around fifth in the order and the price is about as cheap as it gets. Easy play on this slate.

Third base

Early Slate
Miguel Sano - FD 2900 DK 3800 Victiv 4000 Yahoo 18
Opponent- Tex (Gonzalez) R Park- @Min
We gave him as a top play yesterday and he was a huge start in cash games. To say he paid is a complete understatement. It was tough getting separation with his big game yesterday because most of the industry was on him, and I think it will be more of the same today. After his results against Nick Martinez, he'll now face a comparably bad arm in Chi-Chi Gonzalez. Chi-Chi, before getting sent down to the minors was sporting some truly grotesque numbers. A sub 3.5 K/9, walking more than he struck out and rocking an xFIP in the low 5's. There's a reason he was back in the minors. The Twins will be heavy plays on this slate, Sano probably the highest of them all.

Consider Trevor Plouffe


Late Slate
Todd Frazier - FD 3100 DK 4100 Victiv 5000 Yahoo 16
Opponent- Lad (Latos) R Park- @Lad
We gear many of our picks to FanDuel pricing which is why Frazier shows up at the top of the third base plays here. On some of the other sites you can find a bit better value, but on FD he's a bargain. Over the last couple of seasons he has a .360 wOBA against righties and a 130 wRC+. Like I said with Votto, Latos is no push over and Dodger Stadium is about league average for righty power. But I'm in on Frazier where he's affordable as he's hitting in the middle of the lineup his recent struggles have brought the price down in spots.

Consider Chase Headley if he's hitting second again



Early Slate
Dexter Fowler - FD 2900 DK 4600 Victiv 4700 Yahoo 17
Opponent- Mil (Cravy) R Park- @Chc
Chris Coghlan - FD 2500 DK 3200 Victiv 3800 Yahoo 14
Opponent- Mil (Cravy) R Park- @Chc
Coming at slightly different price points depending on the site, though on FanDuel they are right in range with each other. If the Cubs trot out the same lineup today against the righty Cravy, then expect it to look like Fowler in the leadoff slot and Coghlan hitting third. Those are advantageous spots and Coghlan makes an especially interesting punt play considering his prices across the industry. He's hit righties well over the last couple of seasons with an .815 OPS and 124 wRC+ in that split. Love the counting stat possibilities at his price point. Fowler meanwhile is a bargain on FanDuel, but a bit pricier on the other sites. I like him in the leadoff slot against a weaker arm, but know that against righties is his worse split.

Yoenis Cespedes - FD 3500 DK 4400 Victiv 5100 Yahoo 19
Opponent- Col (Butler) R Park- @Nym
Ooh doctor Eddie Butler is bad. He walks almost five batters per nine this season and strikes out less than that. I know he pitches in Coors half the time, but that doesn't fully explain just how brutal these number are. Even park adjusted he's a guy we can stack hitters against. Cespedes has hit righties to over an .800 OPS and .350 wOBA. Don't love the park, but like everything else about the matchup.


Late Slate
Mike Trout - FD 5000 DK 5500 Victiv 5900 Yahoo 23
Opponent- KC (Guthrie) R Park- @KC
Shane Victorino - FD 2200 DK 2500 Victiv 3900 Yahoo 7
Opponent- KC (Guthrie) R Park- @KC
It can be tough staying patient with teams and players when they've been big let downs over the short term. But that's why we can sometimes get separation value on players who've burned folks in recent memory. That could be the case with the Angels who've been struggling on offense. But these two guys are top plays for me on this slate because they face by far the worst arm in the mix. Guthrie, as stated, is bad. He strikes out only 4.5 batters per nine and has an xFIP in the low 5's. We need to have money in against him and the OF makes the best place for the Angels. Victorino is only in play if he's hitting leadoff again. Trout on the other hand is my guy today. He's better against righty arms and is of course, the best.

Jacoby Ellsbury - FD 3000 DK 3900 Victiv 5200 Yahoo 17
Opponent- Cle (Bauer) R Park- @Cle
He's coming ridiculously cheap right now thanks to some major struggles in the not-so-short term. His July and August have been ridiculously bad. But know this: his second half of the season has been highlighted by a .169 BABIP over his last 100 plate appearances. That's as bad as you'll see, especially from a guy with wheels. I'm buying at these prices for when he snaps out of it.

Consider Carl Crawford if he hits lead off again.

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