Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

James Davis

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings and Starsdraft 9/6/15

Happy continued weekend! Hope your Labor Day is filled with meat, drinks, family, and checking your phone constantly while absentmindedly giving verbal clues to feign interest in whatever they are talking about that doesn't have to do with sports. Me? I'll be DFSing this thing. Let's get to it.

By the way - like all Sundays, this is a huge slate. I'll never be able to give you all of the acceptable plays you might be able to trot out there in various formats today. I'll give you the guys I like best, but our projection system has a lot more answers than I do. If you want the rest? Go ahead and get access to the exclusive projection system that produces these picks. Sign up now and get a free 3 day trial to our lineup construction tool for FanDuel, DraftKings and Starsdraft.


Dallas Keuchel - FD 11200 DK 12500 Victiv
Opponent- Min (Duffey) R Park- @Hou
I've been sitting here for 30 minutes trying to figure out who to give as the headlining play today, and it's sort of been torture. In the interest of full disclosure, our system likes Johnny Cueto better than Keuchel among the top tier guys. I happen to think it's a little bearish on Keuchel, and it likes Cueto a little too much based on last year's strike-out percentage. Keuchel's got the third best xFIP in the majors, and while he also isn't an first tier K guy, he generates ground-balls at the second highest rate in the major leagues. In practice, this leads to very few terrible games for him, and quite a few terrific ones where he pitches deep in games on low pitch counts. There's nothing great about this match-up with the Twins - they're basically league average against left handed pitching, and fairly tough to strike out. This a bit of faith in Keuchel - here's to hoping it's well placed.

Gerrit Cole - FD 9400 DK 11000 Victiv
Opponent- STL (Lackey) R Park- @StL
Ugh, we're left with a lack of fantastic options at every price point tonight, it seems. Cole has had some real stinkers recently, but in the absence of injury news, we have to trust that it's just baseball being baseball, and little else. So that means that instead of being scared, we should view this as a buying opportunity. You're convinced, right? Me too? Okay, let's give some context. First of all, Cole really has been excellent this season. His 3.15 xFIP is 11th best in the majors, he's in the top 25 in terms of K/9, and his .47 HR/9 is the 4th lowest in the majors. The Cards really aren't a fantastic match-up, but given the lack great mid-tier options, I could definitely see taking a shot on Cole in big tournaments.

Brett Anderson - FD 7100 DK 7300 Victiv
Opponent- SD (Cashner) R Park- @SD
In the lowest tier of pitchers today, Anderson looks like a great option. And, oddly, given the lack of great top tier pitching, I may even consider him for double-ups and 50/50s. So, Anderson isn't a tremendous K guy at this point in his career, but he does one thing tremendously well - generate ground-balls. He's the best in the majors at such things, and it's helped him turn in a better than league average xFIP these last two seasons in spite of his paltry K rate. Counting in his favor today are the Padres (the 5th lowest wOBA and 2nd highest K% against LHP this year), and the notoriously pitcher-friendly Petco. Anderson definitely has some bad games on his track record this season, but given the lack of fantastic top tier pitching, you could do a lot worse.

Considered: Hisashi Iwakuma.



Buster Posey - FD 4300 DK 5300 Victiv 5600
Opponent- Col (Flande) L Park- @Col
If you're fixing to spend up on anyone today, it's going to be hard to choose anyone besides Posey. The man has a .947 career OPS against left handed pitching, and that takes into account the fact that he plays most of his games in a hitter's hellhole. Today he'll be hitting in the best hitter's park this side of Mexico City, and he'll be facing Yohan Flande. Flande's an interesting pitcher in some ways - he has extreme ground-ball tendencies, which make him not as bad in Coors as some. Still, though, he is still just about a league average (at best) pitcher, and Posey is not the type of hitter to be deterred by a guy of Flande's stature. Posey's a great play in any format, if you can afford him.

Yasmani Grandal - FD 2200 DK 2600 Victiv 4100
Opponent- SD (Cashner) R Park- @SD
A re-up from yesterday's picks - here's what I wrote then:

The price is just stupid. Grandal has an .826 OPS against right handed pitching this season in spite of some lousy BABIP luck, and while he's on a pretty bad run recently, that's baseball, folks. Ross is a good pitcher, Petco's a bad place to hit, but Grandal just isn't a minimum priced catcher. Still, I don't necessarily love him for the upside here. For a huge ceiling, there's one pretty clear play.

Well, today's match-up is with a considerably worse pitcher than Tyson Ross, so needless to say we like Grandal quite a bit today as well. Something of a must play in 50/50s and double-ups, though the upside is admittedly limited in a tough park for guys hitting from the left side of the plate.

Evan Gattis - FD 3100 DK 4500 Victiv 4900
Opponent- Min (Duffey) R Park- @Hou
Let's get the formalities out of the way - this is only a play for big tournaments where you need to wager on getting a ton of upside. Gattis has a .222 ISO against right handed pitching this season, and Tyler Duffey's stuff simply hasn't translated to the major leagues. He's walked nearly 5 guys per 9 innings, and doesn't have anywhere near the stuff to erase mistakes like that. I wouldn't be shocked if Gattis put one in the seats.

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First base

Eric Hosmer - FD 3200 DK 4600 Victiv 5100
Opponent- CWS (Johnson) R Park- @KC
The first of a handful of Royals I imagine we'll see on this list today. Hosmer does not cut a huge upside profile, but if you're looking for a nice high floor for your 50/50s? Look no further. Hosmer has tortured right handed pitching for a .923 OPS this season, and seems to hit nothing but line drives against all but the very best righties. Erik Johnson ain't that. He has had some promising results in the minors this year, but he was horrible last year in both AAA and the majors. I don't think the Royals will have any problems undressing his less than great stuff, and Hosmer should be right in the middle of it.

Pedro Alvarez - FD 2400 DK 3300 Victiv 4500
Opponent- STL (Lackey) R Park- @StL
It's rather hard to find a good upside play at a reasonable price today, but if you want to go very cheap, Alvarez is at least a little interesting. Alvarez has been nearly .180 OPS points better against right handed pitching during his career, and 19 of his 22 homers have come against northpaws this season. As for Lackey, he's got a nice ERA this season, but his xFIP casts him as a below league average guy. His walks are up, his K rate is down, and he's skating by on some good HR/FB% luck.

Freddie Freeman - FD 3500 DK 4200 Victiv 5100
Opponent- Was (Ross) R Park- @Was
He's basically a clone of Eric Hosmer, but he's a little more expensive and not quite as good. Interestingly, Joe Ross is sort of just like Erik Johnson. He's had some nice results (generally) in the majors, but really shown little track record to justify this performance in the minors. Freeman just isn't an upside play, but if you simply like him better than Hosmer, our projection system likes him fine.

Consider: David Ortiz - he's my favorite upside play, but it feels a little risky given the other options at these high price points.


Second base

Anthony Rendon - FD 3200 DK 3700 Victiv 5100
Opponent- Atl (Banuelos) L Park- @Was
Rendon is not a huge upside guy. He doesn't hit home runs, and he doesn't really steal bases. But! He can hit left handed pitching, and he'll have lots of opportunity today. He's been about .050 OPS points better against lefties for his career, and he'll be facing a lefty with no track record of major league success. He's always been raw, but he has been awful in the majors - posting a K rate below 6, and a walk rate over 4. I love Rendon for 50/50s and double-ups.

Neil Walker - FD 2400 DK 3700 Victiv 4700
Opponent- STL (Lackey) R Park- @StL
2nd base is a fairly tough position today, but I love Walker if you want to get away from the position cheaply. 2nd base just isn't a spot with a ton of upside generally, so the fact that all of Walker's 13 homers have come against right handed pitching means something. Lackey's a pitcher in decline, and this is a sheer points per dollar value play.

Brian Dozier - FD 3000 DK 4300 Victiv 5100
Opponent- Hou (Keuchel) L Park- @Hou
Ugh, here's a guy who I'd love to rank higher - and he'd top this list against any other lefty at these prices. But Keuchel is so good that you really can't think of Dozier as anything other than an upside play. We mentioned a lack of upside at the position, though, and that's what Dozier supplies. His 26 homers give him a double digit lead over second place at the position, and he's got an .841 OPS against left handed pitching for his career. I'm not saying it will happen, but Dozier is still probably the most likely keystoner to go yard today.



Jimmy Rollins - FD 2800 DK 3000 Victiv 4500
Opponent- SD (Cashner) R Park- @SD
Rollins was a selection from last night, and while he didn't put up anything at all, he did get the thing we pictured most - opportunity. His team scored just 2 runs, and he still got 5 plate appearances. That's pretty darned nice. Rollins has been bit by the bad BABIP bug this season (he's .040 points off his career levels), and while some of that is due to age, plenty is due to bad luck. The Dodgers are still believers, and so is our projection system. I don't think his power plays in Petco, so this is more of a safety play for me, but I like it quite a bit.

Ian Desmond - FD 3200 DK 3700 Victiv 5100
Opponent- Atl (Banuelos) L Park- @Was
If you want upside at a fairly reasonable price today, take a look at Desmond. He's 2nd in the majors at the position in homers, and 7th in steals. He's in a positive platoon situation against Banuelos today - Desmond's been .050 OPS points better against left handers for his career - and as mentioned above, Manny might just not be majors ready. Desmond could put up fantasy points in a pile, here.

Alcides Escobar - FD 2200 DK 3600 Victiv 4400
Opponent- CWS (Johnson) R Park- @KC
Ah, a very boring mainstay at the end of our shortstop rankings. Escobar gets this ranking for basically 2 reasons: price, and opportunity. He bats lead-off in front of some guys that can actually hit, and is the minimum price. He's also a pretty lousy hitter. But, like Rollins, there's just something to stepping up to bat more times than anyone else on your team. And in Escobar's case, he's probably one of the favorites to get the most plate appearances overall today. And Erik Johnson is lousy. So.

Third base

Todd Frazier - FD 2300 DK 4400 Victiv 5000
Opponent- Mil (Nelson) R Park- @Cin
Just a simple price issue. Frazier (and his upside) are worth a heck of lot more than near minimum prices on FanDuel. While he's better against lefties, Frazier still has 17 homers and 10 steals against right handers in just north of 400 plate appearances this season. That's more than enough performance for 15-20% more than these prices, so this is a fantastic value. He's facing Jimmy Nelson (your stock league average guy) in his nice home hitter's park, and I like him for any format today really.

Matt Duffy - FD 2900 DK 4600 Victiv 4800
Opponent- Col (Flande) L Park- @Col
We've been giving you Duffy in Coors for one major reason - his prices. While the sites are pretty good about inflating prices for guys stepping into Coors Field, they often don't adjust properly for the cheapest guys. While it's true that Duffy is unlikely to light the world on fire by himself, the guys around him really make this price work for us. They get on base, allowing him to knock them in, and will do a better job knocking him in when he's on base. As for Duffy, he's been better against right handed pitching during his short career, but I won't let that stop me from gobbling up this value. I like this play in any format as well.

Adrian Beltre - FD 3200 DK 3700 Victiv 5300
Opponent- LAA (Santiago) L Park- @Ana
Beltre is a pretty sneaky upside play, today. He's put up an OPS north of .800 against left handers this season in spite of having a BABIP .100 points less than the levels he put up that season. He's walked as much as he's struck out against left handed pitching, and has a .193 ISO against them on the season. Hector Santiago, meanwhile, has been insanely lucky - his 4.67 xFIP is the 7th worst in the majors among qualified pitchers, and his 30% ground-ball rate means homers are always going to be a possibility. I'm not sure Beltre can make it work in this tough park for hitters, but there's definitely a chance he puts up a huge game.

Also considered: Matt Duffy in Coors.



J.D. Martinez - FD 3400 DK 4900 Victiv 5500
Opponent- Cle (Anderson) R Park- @Det
I went against our projection system and trusted my gut last night - leaving Martinez out of the picks in what I thought was a less than ideal match-up with Danny Santana. Woops. Martinez did what Martinez does. He struck out twice, and blasted a home run. Martinez has been crushing right handed pitchers all season, and that continued on Saturday. As for Sunday? If Santana scared me, Cody Anderson puts my tender heart at ease. His 4.01 K/9 this season is the worst I can recall off the top of my head, and this spells real trouble for him. Martinez's Achilles Heel is his swing-and-miss tendencies. If you take Ks off the table? Oy. This could be a monster.

Mike Trout - FD 4300 DK 4500 Victiv 5500
Opponent- Tex (Lewis) R Park- @ana
Well, Trout is obviously projected for more points than Martinez, but it gets boring listing him first every single night, and our system does think Martinez will be better on a points per dollar basis, if not in an absolute sense. But! Mike Trout is still a pretty phenomenal play. Trout has been basically the same against right and left handed pitching this season, so I'm not worried about the lack of platoon advantage here. Our projection system is licking its chops at Colby Lewis. His K's are down, he's making his trademark mistakes up in the zone, and his xFIP is the highest it's been since 2007. I like Posey better in a vacuum, but Trout is still a guy you have to look at if you have money to spend, today.

Jay Bruce - FD 2400 DK 3900 Victiv 4800
Opponent- Mil (Nelson) R Park- @Cin
Bruce has gotten a lot of run in this space recently, and the reason is pretty simple: his price has been wrong for a while. Bruce is a guy who never turned into the superstar people pictured he'd be, but that has unfairly soured him in the eyes on many. He still has a lot of utility in daily fantasy baseball, and in particular against right handed pitching. His ISO jumps by .075 points against righties, and has 16 of his 19 homers against them as well. Again, Jimmy Nelson is an okay pitcher, but nothing can should spook you on trying to chase real upside value here.

Alex Gordon - FD 2800 DK 4200 Victiv 5000
Opponent- CWS (Johnson) R Park- @KC
Ben Zobrist - FD 3900 DK 4600 Victiv 4600
Opponent- CWS (Johnson) R Park- @KC
Just more Royals for your Royals pile. The Royals are all oddly clones of one another - guys who make lots of contact, don't hit for lots of power, but give opposing pitchers fits when taken together. These are two more that are priced well for what they can provide for you - only in 50/50s and double-ups, though.

Dexter Fowler - FD 3100 DK 4200 Victiv 5000
Opponent- Ari (de la Rosa) R Park- @Chc
Fowler was a top play yesterday, and bombed a home-run. The only problem here is that he'll step away from the comforts of facing left handed pitching, and face a righty instead. The good news is, Fowler can bat from both sides of the plate. Okay, switch-hitting isn't all that uncommon. But it's particularly relevant here. Rubby de la Rosa is in the majors because he can get right handed hitting out. Really well. But guys hitting from the left side of the plate have tortured him. His K rate takes a nosedive, his walk rate jumps, and the batted ball data shows he's giving up way more hard contact. Fowler should once again have a lot of opportunity to do real damage.

And infinity cheap guys - for those, grab a free three day trial of our projection system. Good luck out there!


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