Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings and Victiv 8/26/15

There were some huge offensive outbursts yesterday, and we were one a bunch of them for sure. Let's get right back at it with Wednesday's plays.

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There are some really great arms going on this slate, but none is standing heads and tails above the rest. I wish Scherzer was going here instead of getting pushed back and then things would be easy. But alas, we're stuck with what we have. There are four top end pitchers going today. I think each of them is overpriced in their own regard. But it will be awfully tough to fade all four, so here goes.

Chris Sale - FD 12500 DK 13000 Victiv
Opponent- Bos (Porcello) R Park- @Cws
In terms of raw points, he's your guy. He's been other-worldly all seasons and the last two games has struck out 14 and 15 batters respectively. It's doesn't get much better than that. And for this kind of production you are going to need to pay in a big way. The good news is there are plenty of cheaper bats on this slate so fitting his salary isn't a total disaster. It's just that at these prices he has almost no room for error. He's facing a Red Sox team that's well above average against lefty pitching this season in one of the best hitter's parks in baseball. Of course, Sale is the kind of pitcher you can throw some of this stuff out with, but it's worth mentioning. He's a heavy favorite for the win and for the AL Cy Young Award. But there is a little buyer beware here.

Chris Archer - FD 11800 DK 12800 Victiv
Opponent- Min (Duffey) R Park- @TB
He's coming off a complete games shut out against the K happy Astros. And now he has another nice matchup against the Twins who rank in the bottom third of the league against righties this season. Archer's put up a monster season in his own right, striking out 11 batters per nine and rocking an elite 2.67 xFIP. The AL is full of ridiculous pitching performances this season and Archer's one of them. For around the same price point, I'll still take Sale by a hair, but Archer is in a fantastic spot as well.

Justin Verlander - FD 8000 DK 8200 Victiv
Opponent- LAA (Santiago) L Park- @Det
Been writing for his last few starts, but Verlander is a completely different pitcher since the All-Star Break. He has a 6:1 K:BB ratio with an 8.5 K/9 rate. You'll take those kinds of numbers from a guy in his price tier, though he isn't the overwhelming value he was over the last few weeks. Now he faces an Angel team below average on the season against righty pitching with a lineup that really tails off after the first few batters. Verlander isn't an amazing play here, but he can make a nice second arm on DraftKings, or an upside-ish play on FanDuel.
Patrick Corbin - FD 6800 DK 7500 Victiv
Opponent- STL (Lackey) R Park- @Ari
I think you can take a flyer here strictly as a tournament play. The Cardinals are much worse team against lefty pitching this season and Corbin's coming cheaper with decent peripherals.



Victor Martinez - FD 2700 DK 3400 Victiv 4900
Opponent- LAA (Santiago) L Park- @Det
Always have to give the qualifier that he only qualifies for catcher on FanDuel, but I think he's in play even at first base on DraftKings. V-Mart, hitting cleanup for the Tigers is criminally underpriced on FanDuel in his dominant split. In fact, this guy has one of the best platoons against lefties in all of baseball over the last couple of seasons. The 1.038 OPS and .441 wOBA are elite level and as I'll get into later, Hector Santiago has been running well above his head all season. I don't see a reason to play anyone else at catcher on this slate other than Martinez on FanDuel. Cody Anderson and his abysmal 3.75 K/9 rate is coming off the DL tomorrow. Lucroy and the Brewers should make a ton of contact in this one.

Jonathan Lucroy - FD 2800 DK 3100 Victiv 4500
Opponent- Cle (Anderson) R Park- @Cle
For better or worse, we've been giving you Lucroy all season. Whether it's the old broken watch theory, or just Lucroy starting to come around, he went yard yesterday against Josh Tomlin (and then went yard again to cap a monster night). I'm throwing him right back out there today, especially considering the price on DraftKings is darn near the bottom.

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First base

Freddie Freeman - FD 3100 DK 4600 Victiv 5100
Opponent- Col (Flande) L Park- @Atl
Don't typically like playing guys on the reverse side of their split, but Freeman's price on FanDuel, along with the positional scarcity going today has me thinking hard about him against Yohan Flande. Flande's a big ground ball guy, but is also light on the K's. That kind of profile has very little margin for error and Freeman is actually a slightly above average hitter against lefties over the last couple of seasons. Not in play for me on the other sites, but the FanDuel pricing is just low enough.

Adam LaRoche - FD 2600 DK 2800 Victiv 4400
Opponent- Bos (Porcello) R Park- @Cws
Like I said with Freeman, first base is very thin on this evening slate and getting away with a cheap play here or there could go a ways in helping you stock up elsewhere. Over his last 800 or so plate appearances, Laroche has a low .800's OPS and .356 wOBA against righties with a 14% walk rate. Those numbers look awfully good considering his pricing, especially on DraftKings where he's practically free. Rick Porcello is a low 4's xFIP guy and the ballpark does all kinds of power favors for lefties.

Consider Miguel Cabrera if you want to go the other way and over spend.


Second base

Jason Kipnis - FD 3100 DK 4200 Victiv 5100
Opponent- Mil (Nelson) R Park- @Cle
Gave you Kipnis as the runaway favorite for second base yesterday and he paid off handsomely with a couple of doubles and runs scored. No reason to stop the fun now. Again, the price is a joke on FanDuel where he is coming in the lower mid tier. That's crazy for a dude with a mid .800's OPS on the season and the ability to swipe a bag or two. Jimmy Nelson isn't as bad as Wily Peralta so Kipnis is a little worse off in that respect. But Nelson is far from an ace, striking out less than eight batters per nine and walking more than three. This is another good spot for Kipnis out of the leadoff slot and I don't see a reason (other than stacking here and there) to go away from him on FanDuel.

After Kipnis, the second base waters are a lot less clear. It's a bunch of guys in the wrong side of their splits, facing a tough arm, or both. You can think about going cheap with a guy like Kelly Johnson who hits around the fifth spot against righties. Another cheap option is Jedd Gyorko who has a tougher matchup with Gio Gonzalez, but is an above average bat against lefties. For me, it's mostly about Kipnis here.



Jhonny Peralta - FD 2400 DK 3800 Victiv 4700
Opponent- Ari (Corbin) L Park- @Ari
Though I know I mentioned Corbin as a possible upside pitcher in for that position, it doesn't mean I'm adverse to taking some bats against the guy if the price is right. And it's right on Jhonny. We've been throwing him out there for about a week now and will keep doing it as long as the price stays in this tier. Peralta's been hitting third in the lineup when the D-Backs face lefty arms and he's better in this split for his career. The park really helps play up power for righties and you won't get a much better plate appearance expectation out of the shortstop position than with Peralta on this slate. It will be tough to get away from him especially if I'm spending up for Scherzer.

Jimmy Rollins - FD 2500 DK 3300 Victiv 4600
Opponent- Cin (Holmberg) L Park- @Cin
Speaking of shortstops that can grab an extra at bat, the Dodgers have Rollins hitting in the leadoff slot. And that's about the only reason you'll see him in the picks today. He's about league average against lefties over the last couple of seasons, but David Holmberg is so brutal that he can make even the worst splits guy look Ruth-ian. As long as Rollins keeps in the first slot then his price is around with Peralta's. Rollins has the better matchup, but Peralta I like a bit more dollar for dollar.

Third base

Todd Frazier - FD 2800 DK 4400 Victiv 5000
Opponent- LAD (Anderson) L Park- @Cin
If these picks are looking a lot like yesterday's well, what can I say? Most of the considerations are just about the same. The pricing hasn't changed at all and a lot of the same guys are rolling into the better of their platoon. Frazier included. He's been a staple in the picks over the last week or so because the price is dumb on FanDuel thanks to a .240 BABIP since the All-Star Break. Sure the K's and groundballs are up since then, but it could be him pressing because of the run bad. He's handled lefties over the last two years with a mid .800's OPS and .366 wOBA. Brett Anderson is no bum, but is only an average pitcher with a lower K rate.

Justin Turner - FD 3000 DK 3700 Victiv 3800
Opponent- Cin (Holmberg) L Park- @Cin
Calling all Dodgers, all right-handed Dodgers. That's what happens when you get a guy like Holmberg on the mound, righty bats start running to the plate. Turner should be in the cleanup slot tonight against the lefty and is an above average hitter in this split over the last couple of seasons. It's close between him and Frazier for me and I'll likely have shares of both with a little more Frazier on FanDuel and more Turner on DraftKings. They make a nice natural pricing hedge.



Yasiel Puig - FD 2700 DK 3600 Victiv 5100
Opponent- Cin (Holmberg) L Park- @Cin
If he's sticking in the two slot in the order then I suspect he's one of the highest owned bats on the day. Puig has had his ups and downs, and can be an infuriating guy to roster because sometimes he seems like a world beater while other times looks completely lost. But you have to love him in this matchup with Holmberg. Puig's well above average against lefties over the last couple of seasons with a 125 wRC+. He takes a ton of walks in this platoon (13.8%) and keeps the K's relatively in check. All over the ballpark as well that only behind Coors in terms of righty power. Consider Scott Van Slyke right along with him.

Rajai Davis - FD 2300 DK 3300 Victiv 4200
Opponent- LAA (Santiago) L Park- @Det
At these prices, the only lefties I'd avoid Rajai with would be the best of the best. Hector Santiago is no such arm. Santiago's been towing the luck line so far this season with an ERA well below the high 4's xFIP he carries around. Davis on the other hand is a punt play who's beat up on lefty pitching over the last couple of seasons with a mid .800's OPS and 130 wRC+. Those numbers are outstanding for a min-priced leadoff hitter who'll also steal bases. This one offers a ton of salary relief and I'm playing him almost all over the place in cash games.

Jonny Gomes - FD 2400 DK 2400 Victiv 3300
Opponent- Col (Flande) L Park- @Atl
Another cheap guy in a good spot. Gomes should be hitting around the middle of the order against the lefty Flande. Because that's basically all he can handle, Gomes makes a nice punt play on a day where you'll probably want to pay up for pitching.

If you want to go expensive, I think you can consider paying up for Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte against the lefty Chris Narveson. Both guys are solid against lefties (McCutch is great) and Narveson is a mediocre (at best) arm.

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