Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings, Yahoo and Victiv 8/14/15

This is a massive slate with a ton of rough pitching, a Padres' trip to Coors and a million things in between. I'll highlight some of the better values, but it's nearly impossible to set all of the plays straight with these parameters. That being said, you know this is always a good place to start.

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Max Scherzer - FD 11400 DK 14600 Victiv Yahoo
Opponent- SF (Cain) R Park- @SF
There are two stud pitchers going on this massive slate and the way they are priced offers some nice natural hedging. To start, on FanDuel I'll take Scherzer who comes in just a hair below Kluber. Scherzer's an ace's ace and has put together a season worthy of his huge contract. He's striking out close to eleven batters per nine and walking less than two. The 2.87 xFIP is of course elite and he's in contention just about every time he touches the mound. The problem with Scherzer today is the matchup with the Giants isn't necessarily ideal. They rank among the best teams in the league against righty pitching and don't strike out a lot. I'm avoiding Scherzer on DraftKings where I think the price is too cost prohibitive. But on FanDuel I will play him and save just a few dollars over Kluber (who I'll have over there as well too).

Corey Kluber - FD 12000 DK 10600 Victiv Yahoo
Opponent- Min (May) R Park- @Min
He hasn't been the most consistent pitcher in baseball, but he's been one of the best nevertheless. He, Scherzer and Kershaw are one, two, three in terms of WAR this year. Kluber's just gotten there a little more haphazardly. Some of the stinkers have been what's kept the price in check and he's a must start for me on DraftKings today. That he's the fourth highest pitcher on the board seems nuts (though I know there are other good arms going). Kluber faces a Twins team ranked in the bottom third of the league against righties and are striking out close to 21% of the time in that split. Kluber's a favorite for the win and is able to work in a nice pitcher's park that depresses power to lefties especially. Like I said, it's close for me between Kluber and Scherzer on FanDuel, but Kluber is a lock at that price on DK.

Robbie Ray - FD 7000 DK 7500 Victiv Yahoo 38
Opponent- Atl (Teheran) R Park- @Atl
This is a deep cut, B-side play if you are looking to load up on Coors or another hitter's park. Ray is coming very cheap and is in a nice spot against the Braves. Atlanta is one of the worst teams in the league against lefty pitching, ranking 28th in team wOBA and striking out more than 21% of the time. Ray's peripherals are solid this season striking out close to a batter an inning, walking less than 2.5 and putting up an xFIP in the high 3's. Look, I'm not calling him safe by any means, but in terms of value arms he's right up there.


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Jonathan Lucroy - FD 2300 DK 3300 Victiv 4800 Yahoo 16
Opponent- Phi (Morgan) L Park- @Mil
My man is just having a disaster of a year against lefties, which is a shame because it's usually his strong suit. Lucroy has been a victim of bad luck with a BABIP under .200 in that split and power issues across the board. It's been a rough one for sure which has left his price in the basement. But something has to give today when he faces Adam Morgan who's been shredded by righty bats this season to a mid .800's OPS. Lucroy is still hitting second in the order (higher than almost any other catcher) and that kind of plate appearance expectation gives him great value at these prices. There's a lot to like here if you can stay the course on a guy who's had some bad luck this year. That doesn't go all the way to explain Lucroy's issues, but he is a bargain nonetheless.

Stephen Vogt - FD 2300 DK 3600 Victiv 4300 Yahoo 12
Opponent- Bal (Jimenez) R Park- @Bal
Because I think you're going to need to pay up for one of the big arms going today, these picks will definitely trend toward the cheaper side. Vogt's put together a nice year all things considered and yet his price is still very much in the punt zone. His OPS is creeping around .800 and the walk rate is way up, over 11%. His second half's been plagued by a .175 BABIP thanks to an increased GB%. There could be some injury stuff going on there, but as long as he's hitting around the middle of the lineup in a power park then these are fine prices.

Consider spending up a little on Derek Norris against the lefty in Coors


First base

I found first base the hardest to write about today. It just feels like one big land mine.

Carlos Santana - FD 3200 DK 3700 Victiv 5300 Yahoo 16
Opponent- Min (May) R Park- @Min
Doesn't strike me as a tremendous bargain, but really no first baseman does today. Trevor May's been an above average pitcher for sure. So there's some downside here. But Santana's had his success against righties this year with an awesome 17% walk rate and close to .800 OPS. Those numbers are about good enough to get the job done on a slate where the first baseman is tough to come by.

Albert Pujols - FD 3800 DK 4300 Victiv 5300 Yahoo 17
Opponent- KC (Duffy) L Park- @KC
You're paying out the wazoo here, and he'll be tough to get into lineups with the pitching situation and some of the other bats around. But he's in a great spot against Danny Duffy. Duffy's been scorched by righties this season allowing an OPS close to .800 and walking more than 4 per nine. Pujols is putting together a solid power season (even if he's struggling against lefties). Again, I think this is slightly over the value threshold, but the position doesn't have a ton to offer.

Consider Pedro Alvarez


Second base

Chase Utley - FD 2400 DK 2800 Victiv 4100 Yahoo
Opponent- Mil (Peralta) R Park- @Mil
He's cleared waivers and might get traded, so keep that in mind going in to today. Check news leading into lock. But if he's hitting leadoff again for the Phillies then you have a fantastic bargain on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Utley's been plagued by a terrible BABIP all season, though it's begun to correct in the second half of the season where his OPS is close to 1.000 and he's rounding back into shape. But the price is still in the basement which is great for us. If he's in the top two slots in the order against Peralta in a hitter's park like Miller then you have a top value play on your hands. Peralta isn't a big K guy which should help in the contact expectation.

Jedd Gyorko - FD 3100 DK 4000 Victiv 4800 Yahoo 12
Opponent- Col (Flande) L Park- @Col
Unlike some of the other Padres' guys today, Gyorko is actually affordable in some formats. Because pitching will cost so much, you'll be hard pressed to stack Padres in any kind of safe situation, but he's one guy you can possibly get money in easier with. Gyorko's a better hitter against lefties with a 116 wRC+ over the last couple of seasons in this split. Coors is obviously Coors so you know there's a power expectation boost all around for the Dads. Jedd's in contention here.

Consider Neil Walker



Jhonny Peralta - FD 2600 DK 4100 Victiv 4500 Yahoo 15
Opponent- Mia (Koehler) R Park- @Stl
A little too expensive on DraftKings so I'll give some other plays there in a second. Peralta's price has come down on FanDuel over the short term and you can safely run him out in cash games today even against the righty Koehler. Koehler is mediocre against both righties and lefties so I'm not worried about the reverse platoon here. Peralta's put up a 121 wRC+ and .787 OPS over the last couple of seasons against righties. This play is all about price on FanDuel where Jhonny's starting to bottom out (which sounds dirty, but actually just means good value).

Jean Segura - FD 2200 DK 3300 Victiv 4300 Yahoo 12
Opponent- Phi (Morgan) L Park- @Mil
This is 100% contingent on him hitting leadoff again. If he gets dropped to the bottom of the order, then forget it. Segura setting the table against a pitcher who's struggled to get righties out makes a solid value play considering the rock bottom prices. Jean's no prize with the bat, so I won't bore you with rough-looking numbers. But few shortstops get a chance to hit first. That alone is a big bump for anyone with the opportunity.

Xander Bogaerts - FD 3400 DK 3900 Victiv 4600 Yahoo 16
Opponent- Sea (Montgomery) L Park- @Bos
A little too expensive on FanDuel, but a fantastic bargain on DraftKings against the lefty Montgomery. With a great deal of luck on his side, Xander's been crushing lefties this season. Now the .900+ OPS in that split is heavily BABIP-aided, but he's always been better in this split. And our system doesn't factor in his luck over the short term. He's still coming at a great price on DK and will make getting some bigger pitchers in a little easier over there.

Third base

Evan Longoria - FD 3100 DK 4100 Victiv 5100 Yahoo 16
Opponent- Tex (Perez) L Park- @Tex
You know it's been awhile since he faced a lefty (or at least it seems that way) because I haven't thought about the guy in the short term. That's because I only really register his name when a southpaw is on the mound. Say what you want about his struggles, the performance against lefties hasn't been a part of it. This season he's rocking a .941 OPS and .395 wOBA in this split. Those are legit numbers that only back up his career averages. That he can no longer hit righties is what keeps the price in check. Going in a great hitter's park against a middling lefty has me playing Longo nearly across the board today.

Mike Moustakas - FD 2300 DK 3200 Victiv 4300 Yahoo 12
Opponent- LAA (Weaver) R Park- @KC
Jered Weaver pitcher fine enough on his return from the disabled list, but forgive me if I'm still little skeptical about him rounding completely back into form. His numbers pre-DL stint were putrid especially on the K front. I liked Moustakas a lot more when he was hitting second but around sixth will have to do. Merely a price play against what could still be a weaker arm.

Consider Todd Frazier



Look, you need to consider Justin Upton and Matt Kemp for sure. A couple of righties facing the lefty Flande in Coors is always a great raw points setting. But these sites correct for this type of thing and their salaries are through the roof. Our system doesn't think they are at the top end of the value tiers because of the Coors inflation. But I'd be ridiculous is I didn't mention them.

Ryan Braun - FD 4000 DK 4700 Victiv 5600 Yahoo 19
Opponent- Phi (Morgan) L Park- @Mil
Remember what I was saying about Adam Morgan stinking against righties so far this season? That applies to Braun as well. Braun's had a lot of success in this split so far this season with a .404 wOBA and .947 OPS. He's rocking lefties and that's been the case for much of his career. I like him as a nice alternative for separation if you want to get away from paying up for Coors. I think the power expectation is as much there for Braun as it is for the likes of Upton and Kemp and he's coming cheaper.

Yasiel Puig - FD 3000 DK 3300 Victiv 4900 Yahoo 16
Opponent- Cin (Lamb) L Park- @Lad
John Lamb is for sure a prospect so I'm not getting over-excited about Puig facing a middling dude just called up from the minors. That being said, this is a spot where he can do some damage relative to price. He's hitting around sixth in the Dodgers' order (which is constantly in flux) but that's high enough to get his plate appearance expectation in check. Puig is actually better against righties for his career meaning we can't just assume this righty-lefty matchup is advantageous. But I still like the opponent and Puig's price, especially on DraftKings where he's practically a punt play.

Josh Reddick - FD 2300 DK 3900 Victiv 4500 Yahoo 11
Opponent- Bal (Jimenez) R Park- @Bal
Over the last couple of seasons Reddick's been one of the best hitters in baseball against righty pitching. His 146 wRC+ and .375 wOBA are among the best in baseball in that split. Today he's facing a flyball pitcher in one of the best parks in baseball for lefty power. Camden Yards ranks only behind Coors and Yankee Stadium for lefty home runs. Reddick, in the middle of the order against Ubaldo is something I can get some money behind.

Hanley Ramirez - FD 3400 DK 4300 Victiv 5100 Yahoo 17
Opponent- Sea (Montgomery) L Park- @Bos
He can't play left field worth a damn, but he can hit lefty pitching. Dude's tuned them up over the last couple of years with an OPS close to .900 and a .386 wOBA. He continues to come in the middle tier where we can buy on the upside. Not the easiest guy to root for (I feel like I always catch him on the wrong day), but there's no denying the success he's had in this platoon. Because there is a little more savings across the other positions, I don't mind spending more in the outfield today.

Consider Brandon Guyer and Brandon Moss as some cheaper options.

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