Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

09/11/2015
Doug Norrie
Via Keith Allison

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings, StarsDraft and DraftPot 9/11/15

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Pitchers

Hisashi Iwakuma - FD 9400 DK 8500 Victiv
Opponent- Col (Bettis) R Park- @Sea
As we've been over before, the Rockies are a much different hitting team when they are on the road. In fact, they stink. Outside of Coors the Rockies are one of the worst hitting teams in the league. And today they head into Safeco Field, one of the best pitcher's parks in all of baseball. Iwakuma isn't a big K guy, but he makes up for it some by limiting the walks. That helps with his xFIP which at 3.51 is a half run lower than the ERA. He's a solid -170 ML favorite in this one and though you are paying up a little too much for a guy without elite K stuff, the matchup and park tell the story on him today.

Kyle Hendricks - FD 7700 DK 7200 Victiv
Opponent- Phi (Asher) R Park- @Phi
The recent game log doesn't tell the story of a pitcher you want to throw out in cash games. But there are some reasons to like Hendricks today. He's facing a light-hitting Phillies' squad who while improved in the second half for sure, are still nothing more than a below average offense. They aren't a bottom-feeding team by any means, but they aren't all that good either. Hendricks is a -200 ML favorite and brings solid peripherals into the game with a K rate close to eight per nine and a mid 3's xFIP. Not a great ballpark, but is the biggest favorite for the win on the day.

Justin Verlander - FD 8800 DK 9400 Victiv
Opponent- Cle (Anderson) R Park- @Cle
I feel like I've written this almost every time he's pitched over the last month or so, but Verlander's been a totally different pitcher in the second half of the season. He's upped the K's to about eight per nine, and is rocking an elite 5:1 K:BB ratio in that time. So I like him in a vacuum. I don't love the matchup with the Indians who are an average team against righties and really don't strike out all that much. Verlander won't kill you on price, so there's some room for error. But not much. This is more about the day's pitching slate being tough sledding.

 

Catchers

Russell Martin - FD 2400 DK 3900 StarsDraft 4400
Opponent- NYY (Nova) R Park- @NYY
Here's to hoping he's in the lineup today because there's a lot to hate about catcher. I suspect he's there after getting the day off on Monday. If so then he makes one of the better options relative to price going on this slate. Martin's an above average hitter against righties over the last couple of seasons with an OPS close to .800 and a 125 wRC+. Those numbers bod well against a low strikeout pitcher like Ivan Nova. Yankee Stadium plays well for power for righties (even though it's known to make careers for lefties). I like Martin's prices at a weaker position.

Matt Wieters - FD 2400 DK 2800 StarsDraft 4400
Opponent- KC (Duffy) L Park- @Bal
Let's see if he's in the lineup for the Orioles today, but I think he's there. Wieters, in a smaller sample size, has been pretty darned good against lefties over the last couple of seasons. His .808 OPS and 120 wRC+ play out fantastic for these prices and he's facing Danny Duffy who's striking out less than six batters per nine and walking close to three and a half. Those go with a high 4's xFIP and you've got a cheap catching play against a bum arm.

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First base

Prince Fielder - FD 2700 DK 4300 StarsDraft 5000
Opponent- Oak (Chavez) R Park- @Tex
Fielder's had some BABIP issues which started in July and have only gotten progressively worse as time's marched onward towards the end of the season. He's definitely been grounding out more, which is a somewhat troubling sign over the long term, as that number normalizes quickly especially if there is some kind of underlying issue. Jesse Chavez is a fine enough arm, but I'm looking at Fielder's price here as well as the ballpark. Arlington boosts power all around and Fielder, on FanDuel is coming in the lower tier of salary. Makes a solid cash game play made better if he keeps the walk rate up there.

Paul Goldschmidt - FD 4000 DK 5000 StarsDraft 5700
Opponent- Lad (Wood) L Park- @Ari
Yes, f@#$ing please. Let me give you a quick update on what Goldschmidt has done against lefties over the last couple of seasons. How about an OPS over 1.100 and wOBA over .450. Those numbers are sick good (really kind of the best) and even with a pitcher like Alex Wood on the mound, I'm playing Goldie in this park with these kind of platoon splits. He's had a significantly worse (for him) second half of the season in part because of a decline in the Hr/FB rate. But he's coming at outstanding prices for his talent tier and going in a great hitter's park. A couple of solid options at first base today.

 

Second base

Robinson Cano - FD 3100 DK 4000 StarsDraft 5200
Opponent- Col (Bettis) R Park- @Sea
Because baseball's very much a marathon and very much not a sprint, Cano is a guy we've been on and off targeting all season. That's because the price has been all over the place starting the year in the depths of despair only to rebound in a big way for the last two months. Now he's back in the value zone. I really like his FanDuel price and he's in play on DraftKings as well if you go cheaper at pitching. Chad Bettis isn't a terrible arm, but not someone I avoid either. Don't love the park, but the talent wins the day here.

Neil Walker - FD 2300 DK 3700 StarsDraft 4600
Opponent- Mil (Nelson) R Park- @Pit
Wanted to play him yesterday but he got a day off in favor of Josh Harrison. I suspect he's right back in the lineup today and at very cheap prices he's a fantastic value play against Jimmy Nelson. Nelson is mid tier in terms of K rate and xFIP, falling as very much average in both categories. Walker is a dude who handles righties with an .811 OPS and 122 wRC+ over the last couple of seasons. If he hits near the top of the order I'd probably vault him over Cano in terms of points per dollar value and he's be an almost must play.

 

Shortstop

Troy Tulowitzki - FD 3700 DK 3800 StarsDraft 4800
Opponent- NYY (Nova) R Park- @NYY
If you decide to go a little cheaper at pitching today then fitting his salary isn't a big thing. The drop in his industry salary has coincided with his drop in the order and his value gets knocked some when he's hitting out of the top for in the lineup. That being said, he's going in a great hitter's park against a very weak arm in Ivan Nova who strikes out less than six batters per nine and sports a high 4's xFIP. He's been crushed by a .254 BABIP in the second half of the season which has caused his price drop. I'm still all over these prices in a high-powered offense.

Jhonny Peralta - FD 2200 DK 3600 StarsDraft 4300
Opponent- Cin (Lorenzen) R Park- @Cin
Do you know what a broken record sounds like? It sounds like us recommending Jhonny Freaking Peralta. That's what it sounds like. He's been a daily play for us over the short term simply because it's very difficult to get away from his price. If you are the kind of person who rides streaks, he doesn't seem to be the guy for you. But we ride price points and Peralta's a middle of the order shortstop with a career track record that puts him as an above average bat. Honestly, I'd consider almost any shortstop at the minimums hitting 1-3 in the order. That he's actually hit in the past makes him close to a must play on FanDuel though I understand the hesitancy.

Third base

Todd Frazier - FD 2400 DK 4200 StarsDraft 5000
Opponent- STL (Lackey) R Park- @Cin
Remember the broken record thing I said about Peralta a couple of paragraphs ago? That thing also sounds like Todd Frazier. We've been running him out there on the regular on FanDuel because the price is just plain stupid for his slot in the order and history as a well-above average batter. The salaries are starting to come back up (because, well duh) but his FanDuel price isn't anywhere close to where it should be. He's still going in a hitter's paradise in Great American Ballpark. And though he's a better hitter against lefties, Frazier isn't an extreme splits kind of guy. DraftKings price isn't quite the value, but he's still in close to must-play territory on FanDuel.

Justin Turner - FD 2700 DK 3800 StarsDraft 3900
Opponent- Ari (Ray) L Park- @Ari
Turner is a guy I could get away from Frazier with on FanDuel and I definitely like him better on DraftKings. He's been hitting the top four of the order and he's a fine enough hitter against southpaws. With an OPS over .800 for the last couple of seasons he's facing Robbie Ray who can dial up some K's but also issues a fair amount of walks. The ballpark is a big factor here with Chase Field playing out as one of the best power parks in all of baseball. Like Turner as a value near the top of the order in this matchup.

 

Outfield

Adam Jones - FD 3000 DK 3900 StarsDraft 5300
Opponent- KC (Duffy) L Park- @Bal
If he's back in the lineup today then Jones makes a fantastic play against the lefty Danny Duffy. Over the last couple of seasons, Jones has been about as good as it gets against lefty pitching. His .409 wOBA and .956 OPS rank right up there with the big boys and he's put a hurting on southpaws. He's been mildly banged up lately so you need to keep an eye on his status in the lineup. But if he's in the 3-4 hole then you are looking at a fantastic option in all formats.

Josh Reddick - FD 2400 DK 3900 StarsDraft 4300
Opponent- Tex (Lewis) R Park- @Tex
Reddick is an extreme splits guy whose price is kept in check because he plays against lefties and stinks against them. Reddick, on the season, has an .823 OPS with a 129 wRC+. He hits in the middle of the order and is facing a middling arm in Colby Lewis. The Ballpark in Arlington caters well to lefty power and these prices on Reddick make him a fantastic cash game play especially on FanDuel where he's coming near the minimums.

Scott Van Slyke - FD 2400 DK 2800 StarsDraft 3600
Opponent- Ari (Ray) L Park- @Ari
Another cheaper option on the day who should be in the lineup against the lefty. Over the last couple of seasons, few hitters are better in this platoon than Van Slyke who owns a .980 OPS and .421 wOBA. The sample size is smaller than most everyday hitters, but they are legit. He owns a 15% walk rate and basically just crushes this split. Hoping he gets the start against the lefty in this park.

Consider J.D. Martinez and Starling Marte in the middle tier

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