Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

08/19/2015
Justin Koenig

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings and Victiv 8/19/15

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Pitchers

Early Slate
Julio Teheran - FD 8500 DK 10000 Victiv
Opponent- SD (Ross) R Park- @SD
There’s not a whole lot to love pitching-wise on the early slate of games today, but Julio Teheran is the exception. The Padres strike out a lot against righties (21.6%) and have the 27th lowest OPS as well. Teheran hasn’t exactly been on fire this year, but his numbers have been much stronger against righty hitters, something the Padres have a lot of. Mix in a good pitchers park in Petco, and Teheran appears to be your best bet.

Late Slate
Jaime Garcia - FD 8500 DK 10300 Victiv
Opponent- SF (Cain) R Park- @Stl
Because all of the upper tier pitchers on this slate have pretty tough matchups, I’m going to give you some lower priced guys I think will perform well. Normally I wouldn’t suggest many pitchers facing the Giants formidable offense, but Garcia is an interesting matchup. While the Giants crush right-handed pitching, they are actually in the lower half of the league against lefties. Garcia’s strikeout numbers aren’t going to blow anyone away, but he’s been phenomenal everywhere else with a WHIP of 0.90, and ERA of 1.57 and an xFIP of 3.15. Add in the fact that I expect the Cardinals to win at home (because they usually do), and Garcia might end up posting the best score of any pitcher on the slate.

Nathan Karns - FD 8000 DK 7700 Victiv
Opponent- Hou (Keuchel) L Park- @Hou
Doesn’t have quite as good a matchup as Garcia in my opinion, but Nathan Karns is another good mid-tier priced arm you can use in the late slate. His strikeout numbers are better than Garcia’s at almost a K per inning, which is nice since the Astros strikeout the second most in the bigs against righties. The troublesome things are that the Astros are decent hitters against righties (when they make contact), and he’s facing an ace in Dallas Keuchel. On the other hand the Rays are fantastic against southpaws and just recently roughed up Scott Kazmir. I don’t like his upside as much as Garcia’s, but Karns has produced more than 10 FD points in 8 of his last 10 games, so he’s a safe bet for a decent score.
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Catchers

Early Slate
Brian McCann - FD 3700 DK 4000 Victiv 5000
Opponent- Min (Santana) R Park- @NYY
Normally I wouldn’t recommend spending up this high on a catcher, but McCann is worth every penny. He’s been an absolute monster this year against right-handed pitching at the lefty-friendly Yankee Stadium, posting an OPS just shy of 1.000. He’ll also be facing a pretty bad pitcher in Ervin Santana, who is every bit as bad as his ERA would suggest. With Teixeira’s health in doubt, McCann should be hitting in the 4th spot tomorrow, and should see plenty of RBI opportunities.

Late Slate
Russell Martin - FD 2700 DK 3600 Victiv 4500
Opponent- Phi (Morgan) L Park- @Phi
There isn’t a whole lot to like as far as catchers are concerned on the late slate, so I’m going to save some cash at this position. That being said, Russell Martin is an incredible bargain at these prices, considering he’s facing a lefty. Martin has an OPS of 0.987 against lefties this year, which is elite among even the highest priced players. Add in the fact that he’ll be facing Adam Morgan, who has the lowest K/9 rate I have personally ever seen (4.65), and this becomes a nearly must play. I love Martin in all formats.

Yadier Molina - FD 2400 DK 3300 Victiv 4300
Opponent- SF (Cain) R Park- @Stl
I personally think Martin is the clear-cut catcher to play today, but if you want to save a little money Molina is worth a look. He’s got a reverse platoon split this year meaning he’s been better against righties. Matt Cain has been abysmal this year and because the Cardinals have so many injuries, they will rely more heavily on Molina to produce. Again, I really like Martin, but Molina is a nice back-up option if you want to spend up elsewhere.

 

First base

Early Slate
Justin Bour - FD 2300 DK 2800 Victiv 3300
Opponent- Mil (Peralta) R Park- @Mil
Just a disclaimer, if Teixeira is healthy I would be picking him. But since his health is questionable at the moment, let’s take a look at Justin Bour. His OPS is close to 0.800 against righties, and would probably be significantly higher if he didn’t strikeout so much. That’s what makes the matchup against Wily Peralta so intriguing because Peralta has one of the worst K rates in the majors (5.24 K/9). Bour is a nice upside play here that will allow you to spend up at other positions.

Late Slate
Paul Goldschmidt - FD 4400 DK 5400 Victiv 5500
Opponent- Pit (Happ) L Park- @Pit
1B is loaded today, but Goldschmidt has an absolutely ideal matchup tonight against J.A Happ. He’s rocking an incredible 1.166 OPS against southpaws, and unless Happ learns how to throw righty overight, he’s going to be in a lot of trouble. The Diamondback offense has been on fire the past week or so, and if that trend continues Goldschmidt should get plenty of RBI opportunities. I know his price has risen, but anytime Goldschmidt faces a lefty not named Kershaw, you’ve got to consider him a top play.

Joey Votto - FD 4100 DK 4900 Victiv 5700
Opponent- KC (Guthrie) R Park- @Cin
Not too far behind Goldschmidt is Joey Votto. His OPS is a bit lower than Goldschmidt’s at 0.972, but his pitching matchup might be even more favorable. I’m honestly befuddled (there’s my SAT word for the day) that Jeremy Guthrie is still a major league pitcher, when his numbers suggest the complete opposite. He’s striking out fewer than 5 per 9 innings, walking more than 2.5 per 9, and has an xFIP of 5.12. He’s a very below average pitcher, and Votto is very much an above average hitter, so I really like his chances here.

 

Second base

Early Slate
Dee Gordon - FD 3900 DK 4800 Victiv 5000
Opponent- Mil (Peralta) R Park- @Mil
I’ve already mentioned how bad of a pitcher Wily Peralta is so I wont get too much into that here, but Gordon is a nice play at 2B that is otherwise pretty disastrous. Gordon has put up positive FD points in his last 7 games, including four games with 5+ points. He should have plenty of opportunities to get on base in this one, and once there he’s one of the biggest base stealing threats in the big leagues. I’m going with Gordon here because I like his high floor, and quite frankly because he’s the only one I’m remotely comfortable playing.

Late Slate
Anthony Rendon - FD 3400 DK 4100 Victiv 5400
Opponent- Col (de la Rosa) L Park- @Col
We’ve been on Rendon pretty much every time he’s up against a lefty, and this time is no different. Rendon has been significantly better against southpaws this year, and tonight he’ll be playing in the hitter’s sanctuary that is Coors Field. De la Rosa has had some serious control issues this year, giving Rendon plenty of chances to get on base and drive in runners already on base. Rendon also typically hits toward the top of the lineup, which only increases his value even more.

Kolten Wong - FD 2600 DK 3400 Victiv 4600
Opponent- SF (Cain) R Park- @Stl
He’s been struggling as of late, but Wong could be the perfect example of how buying low could pay off quite a bit. Despite his recent struggles, Wong still has an OPS of nearly 0.800 against righties, and Matt Cain has been terrible this year against lefties. To give you an idea of just how bad we’re talking, in 87 at bats lefties have an OPS of over 1.100 against him. I know this is a bit of an against the grain pick, but it could pay off huge in a tournament where not a lot of people will pick him.

 

Shortstop

Early Slate
Jean Segura - FD 2200 DK 3400 Victiv 4200
Opponent- Mia (Koehler) R Park- @Mil
SS today is even worse than 2B (which I didn’t think was possible), so simply escaping the position without losing points could be considered a victory. My goal is to do that as cheaply as possible, so I’m going with Jean Segura. I know he’s not facing a lefty, but his spot at the top of the line-up increases his value significantly. This is certainly a punt play in every sense of the word, but Segura is one of the few players at the SS position that I expect to be in the positives today.

Late Slate
Troy Tulowitzki - FD 4000 DK 4600 Victiv 5600
Opponent- Phi (Morgan) L Park- @Phi
Another Blue Jay who absolutely demolishes lefty hitters, Tulowitzki’s price has dropped to a fairly comfortable point, especially given who he’s facing. His OPS is 0.945 against lefties, even though he’s striking out in nearly a quarter of his AB’s. This makes the matchup with Morgan so perfect, because his insanely low strikeout rate almost completely eliminates the threat of a bad game here. I don’t normally pay up at the shortstop position, but tonight I have a feeling Tulowitzki is going to be worth it.

Jhonny Peralta - FD 2400 DK 3600 Victiv 4400
Opponent- SF (Cain) R Park- @Stl
If you spend up elsewhere, Johnny Peralta is a nice low price safety net. He’s been up and down since the All-Start break, but this low of a price for an All-Star hitter who bats in the middle of the lineup is always going to have some valuable upside. I don’t like him nearly as much as Tulowitzki, but against a bad pitcher he’s a good punt play if aren’t sold on Tulo.

Third base

Early Slate
Adrian Beltre - FD 3500 DK 4500 Victiv 5200
Opponent- Sea (Montgomery) L Park- @Tex
I really like the matchup that Beltre has against the lefty Montgomery. Not only does Beltre have more power against southpaws, but he also has a walk rate of over 10% (which is very, very high). This works well for this matchup because Montgomery has some pretty noticeable control issues (3.48 BB/9) and gives up over a HR/9. Because he should be able to get on base often, Beltre is a pretty safe play that has some serious upside.
Late Slate
Kris Bryant - FD 3400 DK 4700 Victiv 5100
Opponent- Det (Norris) L Park- @Chc
While Bryant has slightly better numbers against righties, he’s still got solid enough numbers to play him against the very below average Daniel Norris. Bryant has been consistently putting up good numbers over his past 10 games (except for his last one), and I’m looking for that trend to continue against Norris. Bryant’s biggest issue against lefties has been his incredible K rate of 34%. Norris has a K/9 of just 6.25, so the strikeout threat is significantly reduced. I like Bryant as a high floor play, with a good amount of upside because of the pitching matchup.

Todd Frazier - FD 2900 DK 4700 Victiv 5100
Opponent- KC (Guthrie) R Park- @Cin
It’s almost humorous that a guy with 29 HR’s on the season is priced this low, but I’m not complaining. Although he’s not facing a lefty, he’s still an above average hitter against right-handed pitching. Besides, bad pitching is bad pitching regardless of which side it’s coming from, and Guthrie is one of the worst that the major leagues have to offer. This is strictly a low price, high upside play, but I think Frazier is due to have a big game.
Strongly consider Josh Donaldson if you can somehow fit him into your lineup.

 

Outfield

Early Slate
Jacoby Ellsbury - FD 3200 DK 4300 Victiv 5300
Opponent- Min (Santana) R Park- @NYY
When healthy, Ellsbury has been a pretty consistent DFS play, and has recorded a positive score on FD in his last three games. He’s hitting leadoff in front of a platoon of lefties against a right-handed pitcher who struggles against lefties. I like Ellsbury to get on base quite a bit in this one, and with who’s backing him up he could be in for quite a few runs scored as well.

Nelson Cruz - FD 4800 DK 5600 Victiv 6100
Opponent- Tex (Holland) L Park- @Tex
This is an almost unfair matchup, and since there’s not any highly priced pitching on the slate, Nelson Cruz is as close to a must-play as it gets. His numbers against lefties are absolutely mind numbing, with an OPS of 1.154 and a wOBA of 0.479. Considering he’s facing a guy who has only pitched one inning this year, I think it’s safe to say Cruz could have a monster game here.

Yasiel Puig - FD 2800 DK 3800 Victiv 5100
Opponent- Oak (Chavez) R Park- @Oak
This is play is mainly because his price is almost too low to not consider him at this spot. He’s got fairly decent numbers against righties this year, but he’s also hitting behind quite a few solid lefty hitters who should get on base quite a bit. I like Puig to have plenty of RBI chances in this one, and if he can capitalize on a few he could have a big game.
Also consider: Brett Gardner

Late Slate
Starling Marte - FD 3000 DK 4600 Victiv 5000
Opponent- Ari (Ray) L Park- @Pit
This guy absolutely crushes left-handed pitching, with an elite OPS of just under 0.900 against southpaws. Tonight Marte draws a matchup against Robbie Ray, who is just an average pitcher. Getting Marte at these low prices almost feels like robbery, but hey I’m not complaining. I like him in all formats as a solid floor, high upside play.

A.J. Pollock - FD 4300 DK 5200 Victiv 4900
Opponent- Pit (Happ) L Park- @Pit
Yasmany Tomas - FD 2600 DK 3500 Victiv 4000
Opponent- Pit (Happ) L Park- @Pit
Pollock has been on an absolute tear lately, and I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon. He’s put up positive FD points in his last nine games, including three games of over 7.5 points. He’s been slightly better against lefties this year, which makes his matchup against J.A Happ that much better. Tomas is an above average hitter who’s price has dropped quite a bit over the past few weeks. I expect both of these guys to have a good game, and I really like pairing them with Goldschmidt in a GPP.

Jayson Werth - FD 3700 DK 3300 Victiv 5200
Opponent- Col (de la Rosa) L Park- @Col
From what I’m hearing, Werth is going to be hitting lead-off in Colorado. I personally find this a little weird, but it significantly increases his value, especially against the lefty De la Rosa. He’s struggled quite a bit this year compared to his normal production, but the guy still has a career OPS of 0.923 against southpaws. I probably wouldn’t be making this pick if he wasn’t playing in Coors, but the ballpark factor is making me strongly consider him for an outfield spot.

Dexter Fowler - FD 2900 DK 4800 Victiv 4900
Opponent- Det (Norris) L Park- @Chc
Fowler has been significantly better against lefties this season, posting an OPS of just over 0.800 in such matchups. As I mentioned with Bryant, he’s facing a guy who doesn’t have overwhelming strikeout stuff, which helps shield him a little from his nearly 20% strikeout rate. Add in the fact that he’ll be hitting at or near the top of the order and Fowler becomes an interesting option at such an affordable price.

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