Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Austyn Varney

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 4/12/16


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NOTE - Both FanDuel and DraftKings have pumped up the prices on players in Coors Field. They are all still in play in tournaments purely due to the upside in Coors Field. The pricing has made it very difficult to recommenced players from this game.



Jose FernandezJose Fernandez FD 10900 DK 11900
Opponent - NYM (Syndergaard) Park - @NYM
FD - 34.84 DK - 19.41

Jose Fernandez will be taking on the New York Mets on the road in Citi Field. Fernandez has sported a combined .247 wOBA over the course of his career and should only improve from their as he is still working towards his prime. The Mets are a team that can score runs but can also get in a rut and stall out. Fernandez has been absolutely dominant against right handed hitters and has shown so sign of slowing down. The Mets are not a team that I am not necessarily scared of targeting as they have a lot of righties that can be shut down by pitchers like Fernandez. I do prefer Fernandez in tournaments as Syndergaard will be pitching against him. This makes the win much less likely as he is a dominant pitcher as well.

Corey KluberCorey Kluber FD 10600 DK 12200
Opponent - TB (Moore) Park - @TB
FD - 39.47 DK - 21.85

Kluber will be facing off the the Tampa Bay Rays in a game with a 7 over/under. While the Rays are a team that is much improved against righties this year, They are still very strikeout prone and don't have much chemistry just yet. Steve Pearce, Brad Miller, Logan Morrison and Steve Souza all have high strikeout rates and bring huge upside to this Kluber start. Kluber sported a .269 combined wOBA last season and his peripherals suggested he will improve. Kluber will likely be pushed to around 110 pitches and should be able to get through at least 7 innings. I prefer Kluber in cash over Fernandez as the Indians should be able to score with ease off of Matt Moore.

Gio GonzalezGio Gonzalez FD 9300 DK 8600
Opponent - ATL (Chacin) Park - @WSH
FD - 37 DK - 19.53

Gio GonzaleZ is who I will be playing if I don't want to pay up for Fernandez or Kluber. Gonzalez gets a prime match-up with the Braves who are worse against left handed pitchers. This is mostly due to Freddie Freeman, Nick Markakis and A.J. Pierzynski all being lefties and struggling more so against southpaws. Gonzalez has been a very consistent pitcher throughout his career and exhibited a .281 wOBA vs lefties last season. I expect Gio to keep up that same level of play this year and should be in store for a solid outing here. Gio is a good tournament and cash game play as he has a high floor and has shown his high ceiling in the past.

DFSR 705x90


Brian McCannBrian McCann FD 3400 DK 3700
Opponent - TOR (Sanchez) Park - @TOR
FD - 10.66 DK - 8.36

The Yankees will be going from Yankees Stadium to an even better hitters ballpark in the Rogers Centre. McCann will be facing off with an average righty in Aaron Sanchez. Sanchez has struggled mightily against lefties to begin his career and gave up a .380 wOBA to them just last year. McCann has more pop than just about every other catcher out there and is in a great spot to hit one out tonight. McCann has a career 122 wRC+ against righties, which is above average.

Yan GomesYan Gomes FD 2700 DK 3200
Opponent - TB (Moore) Park - @TB
FD - 9.01 DK - 7.22

Yan Gomes is a player I targeted heavily in season long leagues as I am expecting him to return to his 2014 form. In 2014, Gomes hit .331 with a 144 wRC+ against lefties, which is absolutely amazing for a catcher. Here he gets to face off with an average lefty in Matt Moore. Moore exhibited a .341 wOBA to righties last season and showed no signs of improvement. All the signs are pointing to Gomes having a good game here. I am hoping he is hitting in the top 6 of the lineup. If he is not, he will strictly be a tournament option for me.



David OrtizDavid Ortiz FD 3900 DK 4800
Opponent - BAL (Wright) Park - @BOS
FD - 12.94 DK - 10.15

Ortiz seems to never age and has coasted into another season with 30 home run power. Ortiz is a fun player to roster as he seems to always be in prime spots during the games. It is very rare that Ortiz comes up with nobody on base or in scoring position. Ortiz and the Red Sox will face off with Mike Wright at home. Mike Wright is a righty that struggles immensely against lefties evidenced by his .392 wOBA in 2015. Ortiz is in a prime spot to produce and is a great play in all formats.

Mark TeixeiraMark Teixeira FD 3300 DK 4400
Opponent - TOR (Sanchez) Park - @TOR
FD - 11.55 DK - 8.93

Mark Teixeira will be in the picks article a lot this year mainly due to the fact that he is a switch hitter in the middle of a lethal lineup. As mentioned above, the Yankees are in a terrific spot in the Rogers Centre against a righty that struggles against lefties. Big Tex held a 151 wRC+ last season against righties and doesn't appear to be slowing down this season. Tex is a great cash game play as he has a great floor and home run upside.

Consider: Carlos Santana, Albert Pujols



Daniel MurphyDaniel Murphy FD 3400 DK 4200
Opponent - ATL (Chacin) Park - @WSH
FD - 10.81 DK - 8.85

Daniel Murphy has started the season right where he left off last season and that is on fire. Murphy and Harper have been leading the Nationals offense so far and will run into another great match up here. Jhoulys Chacin is a below average righty and has exhibited a career .337 wOBA to lefties. Murphy is in a great spot tonight and should be in some great RBI opportunities.

Cory SpangenbergCory Spangenberg FD 3200 DK 3000
Opponent - PHI (Morton) Park - @PHI
FD - 10.45 DK - 8.49

Spangenberg is another hitter that has started off this season hot and may be a legitimate hitter. Spangenberg held a league average 104 wRC+ against righties last year but should improve as he had a low BABIP and is getting closer towards his prime each year. Charlie Morton is a below average right handed pitcher who will typically give up 3-4 runs per start. Morton gave up a .384 wOBA to lefties last year and there is no reason not to attack Morton with the Mariners left handed hitters. Spangenberg is a good cash game play as he does lack home run upside.

Consider: Dustin Pedroia



Francisco LindorFrancisco Lindor FD 3200 DK 3700
Opponent - TB (Moore) Park - @TB
FD - 10.47 DK - 8.5

Lindor will be facing off with Matt Moore tonight and as mentioned, he struggles against righties to a .341 wOBA clip. Lindor is a very talented shortstop and held a 144 wRC+ against lefties last season. I expect the Indians get a bunch of baserunners on and Lindor should have the opportunity to knock some in. Tampa bay is an average ballpark and does not move the needle too much for me. Lindor is a great play in all formats due to his high floor and home run upside.

Marcus SemienMarcus Semien FD 2800 DK 4000
Opponent - LAA (Santiago) Park - @OAK
FD - 9.22 DK - 7.35

Semien is a shortstop with more power than most and a lower salary than most. Hector Santiago is a decent pitcher but happens to struggle against righties with home run upside. Semien sported a 144 wRC+ against lefties which shows just how high his upside here. I prefer Semien in tournaments due to his low floor and home run ceiling.



Adrian BeltreAdrian Beltre FD 3400 DK 4400
Opponent - SEA (Miley) Park - @SEA
FD - 10.04 DK - 8.03

Beltre had a good game last night and will look to continue his play against a bad lefty in Wade Miley. Miley gave up 14 homers and a .331 wOBA to righties. Beltre has always smashed lefties and has a career 133 wRC+ against them. The Rangers should have some runners on base for Beltre to knock in. I am comfortable with Beltre in both cash games and tournaments. The Rangers a re a good stack if they end up putting a bunch of righties in there.

Danny ValenciaDanny Valencia FD 2500 DK 3500
Opponent - LAA (Santiago) Park - @OAK
FD - 10.83 DK - 8.66

Danny Valencia is a platoon specialist and is facing a lefty that struggles against righties. Valencia is a career 136 wRC+ hitter against lefties and should be able to take advantage of Hector Santiago's weaknesses. As Mentioned above, Santiago is very poor against righties and struggled with a .331 wOBA against righties. Valencia is a terrific option in both cash games and tournaments as I expect his ownership to be rather low.

Consider: Anthony Rendon



Mike TroutMike Trout FD 4600 DK 5300
Opponent - OAK (Graveman) Park - @OAK
FD - 15.33 DK - 11.97

Mike Trout is coming off his first home run of the season and will likely explode from here on out. Kendall Graveman is a righty that actually struggles more against righties. Mike Trout is an amazing hitter vs both right handed hitters and left handed hitters. Trout sported a 168 wRC+ against righties last season and will only improve from here on out. You can expect Trout to take advantage of Graveman and his weaknesses.

Mookie BettsMookie Betts FD 4000 DK 4700
Opponent - BAL (Wright) Park - @BOS
FD - 13.31 DK - 10.68

Mookie is my under the radar pick for MVP this year and he has backed me up pretty well so far. Betts will take on Mike Wright at Home in Fenway Center. Wright struggles vs righties as shown his .361 wOBA vs them last season. Betts also hit righties well as evidenced by his 117 wRC+ last season. Betts is in a terrific spot here and is a great play in both cash games and tournaments.

Jacoby EllsburyJacoby Ellsbury FD 3400 DK 4600
Opponent - TOR (Sanchez) Park - @TOR
FD - 12.2 DK - 9.79

Jacoby Ellsbury has started off well like the rest of the Yankees and is in a great spot once again here. As mentioned above, Aaron Sanchez struggles mightily vs lefties and also struggles holding runners on base. Ellsbury hit righties to a 109 wRC+ clip last season and that was a down year. Ellsbury will look to bounce back this season and will likely have a huge season around this lethal Yankees lineup.

Consider: Rajai Davis, Jon Jay, Alex Gordon, Brett Gardner, Ryan Rua

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40 Visitor Comments

  1. I’m getting my butt kicked in MLB. Optimizer had a bunch of Seattle players in the 10-12 pts range. They ended up getting 0.

    What’s a quick way to familiarize yourself with the players and teams?

    • Seattle had a supreme matchup against Colby Lewis last night which is why system liked them. Baseball’s funny. Lewis pitched well, but it’s a good illustration of how baseball is working on such a micro-level. First inning Aoki singles and then gets caught stealing because he over-slid bag. Lewis went 3 balls to 4 out of first 5 batters. Lind flies out to warning track.

      What I’m saying is, it’s that close to that stack being the nuts.

      All that being said, and I’ll continue mentioning this in articles because I think it’s important. It makes a lot of sense to diversify lineups in baseball. There’s just too much variance for single lineup cash game strategy (IMHO). I run 5-6 cash lineups each day per site.

    • There is no quick way unfortunately. You have to put in the time just like with any other sport. What I pay attention to for batters is strike out rate. Get a bunch of guys that get on base and maybe 1 or 2 dudes that are swinging for home runs. Secondly, the optimizer is not fail proof. Use it as a skeleton and then eliminate players by using other factors available to you.

  2. I’ve played DK the past few years. Thought I’d try FD this year. I was not aware of the difference in swapping out players after locked plus the lack of fractional scoring in FD results in too many identical scores. I keep coming “in the money” and not even getting my entry fee back due to identical scores yet not identical LU’s. It happens in DK but not as much as I’ve seen in DU. I haven’t looked over DK’s new scoring yet but I may go back.

    • The new scoring system on FD is leading to a great many ties. I think it is an issue personally. It’s supremely edge killing because there aren’t enough ways to separate points in big tournaments.

  3. That’s why I stopped playing MLB on FD. Once the game is locked you can’t switch out players even if the teams haven’t even put our their lineup for the day. So you really have no way of knowing if your players will play or not. At least DK gives you the option of switching them out.

  4. Getting in a big tourney on dk would you recommend me going with the optimal which I know you guys say us for 50/50 but has been doing well in tourneys for me also or would you recommend me stacking one of the teams you say is a good team to stack

  5. Any thoughts on the Yankees against Sanchez? I found myself picking Yankee players.

    • Yeah that’s why we wrote some of them up. Sanchez is an extreme splits guy. Ace against righties, brutalized by lefties for his (short) career. I like the Yanks, but his effectiveness against righties likely decreases some of the lefty value getting through the order.

  6. Doug, any opinion on guys from the early 2 games?

    • Personally, I’m not playing it. But system says go Tigers and Maeda. The reason it’s a stayaway for me is the pitching is all pretty good without anyone being a standout.

      • Thanks Doug, appreciate the response!

  7. So I’m relatively new to DFS baseball. Took me a couple months to get Basketball, and now I do pretty well (when I don’t overthink things LOL). I’m probably about 50% right now in baseball cash games. Paying one a day until I feel I have the hang of it, as well as a couple $1 tourneys. So my question is in cash games, is it best to stack or diversify? Stacking is great, but when you have a team that just goes cold you are toast, and to me maybe seems like more of a tourney strategy? Thoughts? Also for cash, is there a guide in terms of % of salary to spend on pitching?

    • If playing one lineup I would diversify hitters for this reason. The reason I diversify my buyins among different stacks is to hit both cash games and tournaments in the right situation. I play more tournaments in MLB than I do in NBA. But if playing one lineup, then yes at times diversifying the lineup itself is correct.

  8. I play season long baseball, and I will say it does seem like a lot weird things are happening thus far. Some terrible pitchers have had great games and great pitchers have struggled. Sometimes the first month of baseball is quirky. You’ll have guys hit 80% of the season HR total in the first month, etc.

    • Yes agreed. The good news is this makes for fantastic value in the next couple of times around with pricing. This happened with Kluber last season. He was brutal (on the face of it) to start the season. But the peripherals were there and his price dropped. He then crushed value. I’m not sweating it too hard. I’m very confident our system has the correct components in place for maximizing value over long term.

  9. Reading the comments above is making me feel better.

    I think I’ll take Andys route and play 1 game a day till I get used to the players and how well teams are playing.

  10. Do you have a sneaky pitcher for an tournament play? I was leaning towards Graveman, granted he is facing the Angels but he showed signs of life and Oaklands bats have to wake up. I know he’s an extreme pick but I threw him in a cheapo lineup for an all day play for craps and giggles.

  11. I think a good sneaky pitching play may be Santiago. The K potential is there vs. A weak lineup.

    • I don’t mind this strictly from an upside perspective. But I have no real love for Santiago. I think he ran amazingly hot last season.

  12. Is there any way to include whether a batter/pitcher is righty or lefty? Also, would it be possible for the optimizer to switch SS/3B? FD and DK both list the 3B first, but the optimizer has SS first. It confuses me sometimes.

  13. Do you mean in the player cards or in the projection outputs themselves?

    I’ve passed along switching the positions to devs as I full agree with you.

  14. What do u guys do Doug play the top 5 lines in cash and throw in tourney as well

    • Nooooo.. Never play play all line ups in cash and tourney. I will always throw 1 or 2 in a tourney. Those are our sleepers and gut feeling players. The optimal is “safe” IMHO for double, triple and even quintuple ups. Still mix and match. Play with the optimizer and learn what it really can do. This way you can build lines around say a certain pitcher that you JUST know it is today when no one else thinks so. Like Nola last night..

  15. any reason DK isnt posting any games for the early tilt, I had Puig and Madea having big games and can’t play them. Also why is suarez still listed as a SS only, I have been itching to play a cozart/suarez combo and they havnt corrected the data.

  16. Ps Tyler “the great white” white is not in optimizer . Kid from Houston another bomber for them

  17. I’m torn between Beltran or Parra..any thoughts? Or neither? Any love for LeMahieu? He’s been pretty consistent so far. Batting lower in the lineup though.

  18. First, thanks for the excellent tools that you provide. So far the tool has paid off for the first month.I was relatively new to MLB DFS and wanted to have some guidance and its been great so far for both MLB and NBA.

    Now my question today is that the optimizer doesn’t really have much exposure to the Giants-Rockies game. It has a couple San Fran players but no Rockies, any reason behind this? Is it safe to use Rockies in cash games or would you avoid?

    • Hey Michael,
      Thanks for the nice words. Yes, some of those players are showing up. The issue with the games in Coors is that the sites massively correct for guys going in that stadium so they experience big salary hikes. We account for the park factors among other things. So while you will see some players show up, it won’t be all because of the increase in price.

  19. I read several articles a day about how to assemble your lineup but always seem to resort back to the optimizer for final considerations. The one thing Im running into today is all the other articles say to stack that game even for cash. Do you feel the same? So for basically the same questions, Im just trying to reassure myself lol

  20. Phegley batting 2nd for the A’s vs. Santiago and priced at $2,200.

    • Yup I just pushed an update with that updated batting order and he’s the clear play at C today.

  21. Only thing to worry about with Phegley is him getting PH for with Vogt if they don’t like a R on R matchup late.

    • Agreed. This is a problem for a lot of the A’s really. We try to factor some PH things for certain teams into the projections but it’s tough. I think price is warranted here though

  22. FYI; Buster Posey is not starting starting he is day to day, lingering foot injury from over the weekend. T. Brown is starting for him batting 9th but is not on Fanduel rosters as of right now.

  23. Is Ruiz an option at catcher for cash games?

  24. I think it’s interesting how some sites have picks for certain players and other sites pretty much say to completely fade those players. It kinda makes you question the player selection and who to rely on. Not trying to bad mouth anyone I just thought it was interesting and seems like a good topic to talk about.

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