Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

James Davis

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings and Starsdraft 9/19/15

Massive double slate, y'all! Today is a positively huge day of baseball - perfect for junkies who want to sweat multiple daily fantasy sports at the same time. Presumably you've grabbed a cheat-sheet from our college football expert, Casey. So that much is taken care of. After that, you're going to want some baseball information as well. Let's be real for one quick second - there's no way I am going to be able to write up every single guy across two big slates. I'll do my best to give you a couple of great plays in each spot, but 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.


Early Slate
Michael Wacha - FD 8900 DK 9800 StarsDraft
Opponent- Chc (Wood) L Park- @ChC
Wacha, Wacha, Wacha. For such a big day, it's a pretty tough slate to grab a big name, big dollar pitcher. Wacha is a pretty interesting guy, because he's been the picture of consistency for quite a while. In his last 5 starts, he scores exactly 12 or 13 fantasy points on FanDuel in 4 of them. The other one? Well, he got blown up by these same Cubs that he'll face today. To be honest, that's going to happen against the Cubs from time to time. They're in the top half of the league in terms of wOBA against right handed pitching, and have some guys who can pile up the runs in a hurry. So why is Wacha topping these picks today? The Cubs' K%. Their 24.1% K rate against right handed pitching is the very highest in all the land, and that makes them a team that pitchers have put together some huge days against. Yes, this could be a blow-up start for sure - but I'd submit that the upside potential outweighs the downside risk, and that Wacha is worth a shot in all formats.

Patrick Corbin - FD 6900 DK 9700 StarsDraft
Opponent- SF (Leake) R Park- @SF
We gave you Corbin as a punt play when he faced the Giants two starts ago, and he went out and tossed a fantasy gem - throwing 6 innings of 5 hit ball with 5 strikeouts and no walks. And that was in his dangerous home hitter's park! Well, today he'll face these same Giants in the much more pitcher friendly AT&T park. He'll also be up against Mike Leake - an extremely non-scary pitcher that should make a win more than possible. For their part, the Giants are essentially a by-the-book league average match-up. They've got some guys that crush left handed pitching (I'm sure we'll recommend Posey later), and they don't strike out a ton. This is a sheer points per dollar value play. When Corbin is right, he's just not a sub $7,000 pitcher on FanDuel. He might be a little priced out on DraftKings, but he's all systems go for me anywhere else.

Late Slate
Clayton Kershaw - FD 13400 DK 15100 StarsDraft
Opponent - Pit (Liriano) Park- @Lad
It's just going to be tough to get this much money in on such a high floor guy today doing anything else. Kershaw scored 15 FanDuel fantasy points against Colorado in his last start, which was the worst of his last 4 starts (he posted totals of 18, 25, and 27(!) in his other 3). The guy's a monster, and in a true tier of his own at the position. While facing off against Liriano isn't ideal, the Pirates as a whole are a great spot for a lefty. They've got a top 10 K% against LHP and a bottom 10 wOBA. Kershaw's probably too expensive to play in a big tournament, but he seems like a lock for a great performance in a double-up.

Garrett Richards - FD 8400 DK 8900 StarsDraft
Opponent- Min (Gibson) R Park- @Min
My favorite big tournament play for the late slate. Richards has sort of an odd line this season. His K rate is down as a whole, but he also has a few HUGE starts under his belt. He's struck out 11 batters in a start twice since the beginning of August. Well, Saturday's match-up affords Richards similar upside. The Twins have the worst wOBA against right handed pitching in the American League, and the 8th highest K% in all of baseball. Kyle Gibson has taken a step forward this season, but all that means for him is a 4.03 xFIP and a sub 6 K/9. Frankly, I think there's a case to be made for playing Richards in double-ups as well if you just hate how your lineups come together after the big purchase of Kershaw.



Early Slate
Buster Posey - FD 3600 DK 4300 StarsDraft
Opponent- Ari (Corbin) L Park- @SF
DFSR favorite Buster Posey is on an absolute tear recently, putting up two games with 7.75 fantasy points or more up in his last 4. We do like Corbin today, but Posey's track record against lefties just outweighs anything on Corbin's resume. The Giants' backstop has a .962 OPS against left handed pitching for his career - a figure you just won't find at his position. You could probably charge even more for Posey here and he'd still be a good deal, but at these prices he's a fantastic high floor (and relatively high ceiling) player that you should be able to afford given the dearth of expensive pitching early.

Also considered: Russell Martin - love him against Wade Miley.

Late Slate
Salvador Perez - FD 2300 DK 3600 StarsDraft 4500
Opponent- Det (Boyd) L Park- @Det
Perez is a 25 year old catcher who has a career .768 OPS against left handed pitching, and the third most home runs for his position in all the major leagues. And yet... he's near the very minimum price. Why? I can't really help you, there. All I can do is tell you to grab him. One start has been worse than the next for the young lefty Matt Boyd this season. ERA really isn't my thing, but an 8.02 ERA in 42 innings pitched is quite an accomplishment. More to the point, his 5.23 xFIP would be the worst in the majors if he qualified, and his 32.3% ground ball rate means he gives up a lot of hard contact on balls up in the zone. This has led to a rather incredible 12 home runs allowed in those same 42 innings pitch. I love Perez everywhere.

Victor Martinez - FD 2200 DK 3300 StarsDraft
Opponent- KC (Volquez) R Park- @Det
The high-floor answer if you would prefer not to go down the Perez hole. Victor Martinez is not really a fantastic hitter in his own right at this point in his career, but he has RBI opportunities that you rarely find at the position. And all for bargain-basement prices! Martinez bats behind Kinsler, Cabrera, and JD Martinez, which affords him a lot of cuts with men on base. The real clincher though is facing Edinson Volquez. His 4.33 xFIP is his worst since 2009, and even his ground-ball rate is heading in the wrong direction. Martinez will get lots of at bats, and that ought to mean production.

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First base

Early Slate
Paul Goldschmidt - FD 4100 DK 4900 StarsDraft
Opponent- SF (Leake) R Park- @SF
I think you'll be able to afford Goldschmidt early, and if you can, I think he makes a heck of a play. With only 2 homers and 1 steal in September, Goldschmidt's price has tailed off a bit from its mid-season highs. Even with a little bit of a September swoon, Goldschmidt still has the 7th highest wOBA in the majors against right handed pitching. He's also got 28 home runs and 21 steals, which are pretty fantastic upside totals for any position. Today he'll face Mike Leake, a roughly major league average pitcher whose walks are up and strikeouts are down from last year's performance. I'd be pleased deploying Paul anywhere, especially given the lack of a lot of other great options at the position.

Late Slate
Miguel Cabrera - FD 3800 DK 4600 StarsDraft
Opponent- KC (Volquez) R Park- @Det
An even better option than Goldschmidt from where I'm sitting, though it'll be tough to get a lot of money in across your hitters if you decide (like I will) to go with Kershaw. Still, Cabrera is a terrific play today - he's actually got a better wOBA against righties than Goldschmidt (he's 6th in the majors against RHP), and he's facing a significantly worse pitcher. And he's cheaper! This is really a sexy spot. The only fly in the ointment with Cabrera is the relative lack of upside this season - he just doesn't have quite the same power that he used to. But even in spite of Cabrera's recent slumpishness, I'm a big believer here.

Freddie Freeman - FD 3300 DK 4300 StarsDraft 5200
Opponent- Phi (Eickhoff) R Park- @Atl
It's been a rough couple weeks for Freeman, but that's baseball, folks. In daily fantasy sports, that just means a buying opportunity. He's still got an .898 OPS against righties this year, and I'm far from concerned. The crown jewel of the Cole Hamels trade, Jerad Eickhoff really hasn't done anything inspiring as a big leaguer. You don't want to draw too many conclusions from a 30 inning sample, but Eickhoff has been pretty bad in spite of getting lucky on BABIP allowed (his .256 number far outpaces his minor league levels). He leaves a lot of balls up in the zone (a 32.3% ground ball rate), and just doesn't seem to be able to fool major league hitters. I like Freeman anywhere, today.


Second base

Early Slate
Anthony Rendon - FD 3400 DK 4100 StarsDraft 5400
Opponent- Mia (Nicolino) L Park- @Was
A no brainer's no brainer for double-ups, today. He's a 25 year old righty who's got a solid .823 OPS against left handed pitching during his young career, and he bats lead off in front of some guys who can actually knock him in. Now, Rendon's not a power or speed threat, so his upside has to come when he gets lucky and piles up counting stats in bunches, but that might just be the case here. Nicolino has a rather amazing 2.98 K/9 in his 54.1 innings pitched this season, which is the lowest figure I've ever anecdotally while viewing information like this over such a sample. Yup - all systems go, here.

Late Slate
Jedd Gyorko - FD 2700 DK 3500 StarsDraft
Opponent- Col (Flande) L Park- @Col
Oh, what a juicy upside play. Gyorko is a hitter with a lot of holes in his swing, but he's also got a .183 ISO against left handed pitching for his career and a .783 OPS this season. And this all takes into account the fact that Gyorko hits in the hitter's hellhole of Petco Park. Today, all of Gyorko's concerns go out the window. He'll be up against left hander Yohan Flande, who is a solidly below league average pitcher no matter where he pitches. And then there's lovely Coors Field, which turns hitters like Gyorko from guys who are watching their fly balls get caught near the warning track to guys who trot around the bases. It's far from a sure thing, but there's upside as high as the day is long, here.

Jason Kipnis - FD 2900 DK 4500 StarsDraft 5000
Opponent- CWS (Rodon) L Park- @Cle
I can't say I feel comfortable with this suggestion, and to be honest, I'll probably just grab Gyorko. In Kipnis, though, you're getting a professional hitter with a great approach against an erratic young lefty who has as many stinkers as he does gems. Still, Kipnis is a much better hitter against right handed pitching, and I think this is more a play to dream on for big tournaments than it is one you can just plug and play everywhere.



Early Slate
Ian Desmond - FD 3200 DK 3600 StarsDraft 4900
Opponent- Mia (Nicolino) L Park- @Was
Ian Desmond is a neat player because he just cuts a profile almost totally unlike anyone else at his position. He's got a .195 ISO against lefties this season, and has been about .140 OPS points better against southpaws overall. But he's a shortstop! I don't get it. What I do get here is that he's a lefty-mashing (at least, for the position) shortstop who's facing a pretty damned terrible pitcher who also doesn't strike anyone out. Desmond seems like a clear play for big tournaments today.

Jhonny Peralta still looks like a fine, cheap option - and I like him against Travis Wood - and far prefer him in double-ups over Desmond.

Late Slate
Mike Aviles - FD 2400 DK 2500 StarsDraft 3000
Opponent- CWS (Rodon) L Park- @Cle
You guys!! I actually feel excited about a shortstop recommendation! Aviles has been really hitting recently, reaching base 10 times in his last 4 games. He's not batting 2nd on the Indians, and will get a lot of cuts against the left handed Rodon. Rodon has clear #1 pitcher upside, but he's also about as raw as possible. His 4.66 BB/9 would be the very worst in the majors if he could stay in games long enough to have pitched enough innings to qualify. I love Aviles' upside here, and lots of plate appearances should give him plenty of safety as well.

Erick Aybar - FD 2300 DK 3200 StarsDraft 4400
Opponent- Min (Gibson) R Park- @Min
The Victor Martinez of the shortstop position, almost exactly. Aybar doesn't really care what your handedness is, and doesn't really care what park he hits in. What makes Aybar a good play from night to night is all opposing pitcher. If the guys around him are on base (and they are some good guys), he'll get a lot more RBI opportunities than most shortstops. If everyone's hitting, he'll also get a nice pile of plate appearances. This is not an upside play, but one look at his game log will show you that he can a great bet for 2.25-3.5 FanDuel fantasy points from night to night, which is simply a tremendous value on this price point.

Third base

Early Slate
Evan Longoria - FD 3100 DK 3500 StarsDraft 4900
Opponent- Bal (Chen) L Park- @TB
Longoria has been a DFSR favorite all season long, because our projection system just can't ignore his track record against left handed pitching. His .953 OPS this season is obviously stellar, but it's far from an anomaly - it's just who he is. He's also got 60 homers in 1294 plate appearances against left handed pitchers - a 30 homers per season pace that speaks to just the upside he's capable of. Wei-Yin Chen was having a pretty decent start to the season before tailing off recently, as his pitch-to-contact approach has yielded a handful of really bad starts. His xFIP is now well below league average, and facing Longoria on Saturday shouldn't help matters.

Late Slate
Adrian Beltre - FD 3100 DK 4400 StarsDraft 5200
Opponent- Sea (Nuno) L Park- @Tex
I'm tempted to list Beltre on some nights just because of how gratifying it's been to watch him bounce back in the second half of the season. Beltre was genuinely playing badly early in the season, but really turned things around after walking as much as he struck out over the course of July and August. And Beltre is sincerely a lefty killer. He's got an .820 OPS against lefties this season (a huge fall off from his last few years, if still solid) largely due to his lousy .273 BABIP, and now that that number is regressing toward his true talent, he's been putting up numbers on people. Today he'll face Vidal Nuno, a not necessarily terrible pitcher whose overall line looks a lot better by virtue of his pitching in Safeco. Well he ain't in Seattle anymore, and Beltre should smash him here.

Todd Frazier - FD 2800 DK 5000 StarsDraft
Opponent- Mil (Jungmann) R Park- @Mil
This is more of an off-beat big tournament play, but Frazier has shown some serious upside against right handed pitching this season. Yes, he's way, way better against left handed pitching, but his 20 homers and 12 stolen bases in 470 plate appearances against right handed pitching paint a pretty good picture of what he can do for you in the right spot. He'll be up against Taylor Jungmann today, a solid rookie right hander who shouldn't be easy pickings for Frazier and the Reds. Still, Jungmann is not too far ahead of league average (if he isn't in), and this is the type of spot you want if you're trying to grab big upside on the cheap.



Early Slate
Quick note - there are a lot of cheap guys you can check out in our projection system, if you'd like - but they're also so tightly ranked that I'm not going to dive into it here. I'm just going to talk about the more expensive guys.

Adam Jones - FD 2700 DK 4500 StarsDraft 5100
Opponent- TB (Ramirez) R Park- @TB
I've written it a zillion times, but in case you're new to our little site here - Jones is one of the rare reverse platoon split guys in the major leagues. He's always been better against right handed pitching, and this year's no exception. And almost all of his power has come against northpaws this season - he's got 21 homers in 427 plate appearances against them. Sweetening the deal is young Erasmo Raimrez. To Ramirez's credit, he's dropped his xFIP by nearly a run this season. Sadly, he's still sitting above an xFIP of 4, meaning a guy of Jones' pedigree won't be too spooked here. Love Jones everywhere, especially with how tough the outfield position is in the early slate.

Jacoby Ellsbury - FD 2500 DK 3400 StarsDraft
Opponent- NYM (Syndergaard) r Park- @NYM
Brett Gardner - FD 2800 DK 4300 StarsDraft
Opponent- NYM (Syndergaard) r Park- @NYM
God, outfield really is pretty awful in this early slate. But really, this is just a strict price play. Yes, Syndergaard is pretty damned good. And he's equally tough on right and left handed batters. And it's been a pretty tough run for the Yankees' outfield recently. Still, though - they're still batting at the top of the Yankees' lineup, and both of them are 15/15 types with room for more in the speed department. Can't say I love love this, but I'll just trust that the system sees more than what my initial revulsion does.

Strongly considered: David Peralta.

Late Slate
Mike Trout - FD 4600 DK 5400 StarsDraft 5800
Opponent- Min (Gibson) R Park- @Min
Kole Calhoun - FD 3100 DK 4100 StarsDraft 5300
Opponent- Min (Gibson) R Park- @Min
Our system is just calling for an Angels stack against Kyle Gibson today. Naturally, that means it loves the Angels' hard hitting outfield. We talked about Trout earlier this month, explaining his power outage as largely bad luck (in terms of pitchers he faced, and some fly ball data), and just like that he's crushed 4 homers in his last 5 games. Kyle Gibson ain't going to scare anyone here. If you can pay, this is a phenomenal play.

Jay Bruce - FD 2500 DK 4200 StarsDraft
Opponent- Mil (Jungmann) R Park- @Mil
Bruce has been pretty good recently - averaging 2.5 FanDuel fantasy points per game in his last 10 games. He also has a couple of huge games, where he bombed a home run against one right handed pitcher or another. And that's what we're seeing the projection system touching on here. Bruce is a career .200 ISO guy against right handed pitching, and he's just not a near-minimum hitter when he's facing a less than ace right handed pitcher. And as I'm writing this, he just homered again! So, there. Anyway, Bruce batting 5th behind Votto and Frazier means he'll have RBI opportunities to spare, and I frankly love him here even if there's real downside risk.

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


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