Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Austyn Varney

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 5/24/16


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Chris SaleChris Sale FD 12300 DK 13800
Opponent - CLE (Tomlin) Park - @CHW
FD - 44.26 DK - 25.5

The pitcher position is a very interesting one tonight as there are a few really great options and a bunch of guys with high upside and very high risk. We will start off with Chris Sale who is taking on the left handed heavy Cleveland Indians. Sale has been absolutely dominant against both lefties and righties in 2016 with a .192 wOBA and 17.2% hard contact rate. While those numbers may not be exactly sustainable, his 2.87 xFIP suggest they are not too far off from his real talent. The Indians will likely trot out around 5 or 6 lefties and Sale has absolutely shut them down this far into 2016 with a .165 xFIP. While this ballpark isn't ideal, Sale has pitched extremely well in U.S. Cellular Field throughout his career. Sale is my top option in both tournaments and cash games on FanDuel.

David PriceDavid Price FD 10700 DK 8900
Opponent - COL (De La Rosa) Park - @BOS
FD - 44.8 DK - 25.11

Price is nearly a must play on DraftKings as he is sitting at an insane price tag of $8900. While he is a lot more expensive on FanDuel, he is still a great option in tournaments. Price has been great as of late with 17 strikeouts over his last 2 starts. In 2015, Price sported a .272 wOBA and 26.4% hard contact rate. This Colorado Rockies team has been horrible on the road throughout the last 4 seasons as evidenced by their .292 wOBA and 26.2% hard contact rate. While this is certainly a hitters ballpark, it does not compare to Coors Field. As mentioned, make sure you get Price in your cash games on DraftKings.

Consider - Jeff Samardzija, Julio Teheran

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Brian McCannBrian McCann FD 3200 DK 3700
Opponent - TOR (Dickey) Park - @NYY
FD - 12.59 DK - 9.41

R.A. Dickey has been really bad for the better part of 4 years at this point. Dating back to 2014, Dickey has given up a .348 wOBA and 5.33 xFIP to lefties and has not been much better against righties. McCann on the other hand, has been really good against righties since 2013 with a .362 wOBA and 34.7% hard contact rate. This ballpark sets up extremely well for McCann and the Yankees righties as the right field wall ranges from 314-365 feet, which in the shortest in the league. McCann has been swinging the bat well and will look to keep that going tonight.

Stephen VogtStephen Vogt FD 2300 DK 2700
Opponent - SEA (Karns) Park - @SEA
FD - 10.2 DK - 7.88

As I was about to begin writing this, I looked up and saw Vogt just hit one out against Taijuan Walker. Vogt has hit righties very well since 2014 with a .347 wOBA and .846 OPS. Nathan Karns, however, has given up a .324 wOBA and 37.0% hard contact rate against lefties dating back to 2014. While this ballpark may not be ideal, Vogt is not reliant on power. Vogt is a viable option in both cash games and tournaments.



Chris DavisChris Davis FD 3800 DK 4300
Opponent - HOU (Fister) Park - @HOU
FD - 14.67 DK - 10.93

Chris Davis and the Orioles are in a terrific spot here against right hander Doug Fister in hitter friendly Minute Maid Park. Fister has struggled mightily against lefties in 2016 with a .389 wOBA and 38.3% hard contact rate. With a 4.72 xFIP, the peripherals suggest those numbers will sustain. Chris Davis on the other hand, has demolished righties dating back to 2011 as evidenced by a .382 wOBA and an insanely high 42.6% hard contact rate. While this ballpark is not as friendly as Camden Yards, it is certainly a hitters ballpark.

Prince FielderPrince Fielder FD 2900 DK 4000
Opponent - LAA (Chacin) Park - @TEX
FD - 12.77 DK - 9.72

While it is going to be very tempting to just plug in Chris Davis, it is always a good idea to get some exposure to other guys in tournaments. Fielder has been swinging the bat well after starting the season off rough with 9 hits and 4 extra base hits over the last 7 games. Jhoulys Chacin has been very horrible lately as they have given up 14 earned runs in only 3 games and 16 innings. This ballpark sets up extremely well for Fielder as Globe Life Park ranks in the top 10 for left handed power.

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Scooter GennettScooter Gennett FD 2700 DK 3300
Opponent - ATL (Teheran) Park - @ATL
FD - 10.21 DK - 8.3

While Julio Teheran makes for an interesting play tonight, so do the Brewer lefties. Teheran has been atrocious against lefties dating back to 2014 with a .386 wOBA and 34.7% hard contact rate that is backed up by a 5.07 xFIP. Scooter Gennett on the other hand, has been a platoon hitter that has hit righties extremely well for a few years now. Dating back to 2013, Gennett has sported a .346 wOBA backed up by a league average .316 BABIP. Turner Field is certainly not a hitters park, however, it is not a pitchers park either.

Rougned OdorRougned Odor FD 3500 DK 4100
Opponent - LAA (Chacin) Park - @TEX
FD - 12.23 DK - 9.91

Rougned Odor is our second Texas Ranger and the same points that apply to Fielder apply here. Odor has hit righties very well since his Major League debut as evidenced .346 wOBA, .207 ISO and .282 BABIP. That BABIP suggest Odor will actually improve against right handed pitchers. As mentioned, Jhoulys Chacin has struggled against lefties and will struggle in Globe Life Park, a hitter friendly park.



Manny MachadoManny Machado FD 3700 DK 4300
Opponent - HOU (Fister) Park - @HOU
FD - 12.98 DK - 10.23

While you may look at this match up and assume it is a negative one for Machado due to Fister being a righty, you would be wrong. Machado has hit righties extremely well since his debut with a .355 wOBA and 36.6% hard contact rate. Doug Fister on the other hand, struggled against righties in 2015 with a .368 wOBA and 34.2% hard contact rate. As mentioned, this ballpark is a slight bump from Camden Yards due to the Crawford boxes in left field.

Jimmy RollinsJimmy Rollins FD 2900 DK 3300
Opponent - CLE (Tomlin) Park - @CHW
FD - 10.41 DK - 8.55

Jimmy Rollins is a very consistent option at the shortstop position that lacks such. Rollins has maintained a .327 wOBA against righties this year and has shown a little bit of upside with 2 home runs, 7 doubles and a triple. Josh Tomlin on the other hand, has been over performing and his peripherals suggest his wOBA should be around .382 against left handed hitters. This ballpark sets up very well as it ranked in the top 8 for left handed power last season.



Matt CarpenterMatt Carpenter FD 4000 DK 4600
Opponent - CHC (Hammel) Park - @STL
FD - 10.35 DK - 7.98

The third base position is absolutely horrible tonight and we are basically picking the lesser of all evils. I am landing on Carpenter due to the fact that he is just so good against righties and Hammel is a slightly above average pitcher. Dating back to last season, Carpenter has sported a .396 wOBA and 38.2% hard contact rate against righties. Jason Hammel, however, has been slightly above average against lefties dating back to 2014 with a .301 wOBA and 28.2% hard contact rate. Carpenter is a good play in all formats by default. However, if you are trying to pay up at pitcher, you will need to pay down at a spot or two.

Luis ValbuenaLuis Valbuena FD 2400 DK 2900
Opponent - BAL (Tillman) Park - @HOU
FD - 9.75 DK - 7.34

If you are looking to pay down at third, Valbuena is going to be your guy. In 2015, hit righties to a .348 wOBA and hit 20 of his 25 home runs against them. Chris Tillman will be facing off with Valbuena and the Astros and he has had his fair shore of trouble against lefties. Looking back to 2014, Tillman has sported a .327 wOBA and 34.2% hard contact rate supported by a horrible 4.87 xFIP.



Mike TroutMike Trout FD 4900 DK 5500
Opponent - TEX (Perez) Park - @TEX
FD - 14.95 DK - 11.65

Trout has been very good lately and kept it going last night against Derek Holland with a double and 2 hits. He will be facing an even worse left hander tonight in Martin Perez. Martin Perez has been horrible against righties throughout his career with a .347 wOBA that is backed up by a 4.87 xFIP. Needless to say, Trout has demolished lefties since hi debut with a .394 wOBA, 38.2% hard contact rate and .402 OBP. This ballpark is a huge upgrade from Angels stadium as it ranked top 12 for right handed power last season. While I am not enthused by this Angels team, Trout is a terrific 1 off play.

Carlos BeltranCarlos Beltran FD 3500 DK 4100
Opponent - TOR (Dickey) Park - @NYY
FD - 12.42 DK - 9.45
Brett GardnerBrett Gardner FD 3400 DK 4200
Opponent - TOR (Dickey) Park - @NYY
FD - 12.06 DK - 9.76

Here we have an outfield due to has speed and power against the weak right hander in R.A. Dickey. As mentioned, R.A. Dickey has struggled immensely over the past few years and is certainly nearing the end of his career. I will be looking to target him all year long and this is a great spot to do so in hitter friendly Yankee Stadium. Both Beltran and Gardner have hit lefties well over the past 3 years with a +.345 wOBA and 33% hard contact rate. While this Yankees team has been disappointing this year as a whole, they will certainly turn it around and end up being one of the better offensive teams against right handers. I am a big proponent of the Yankees stack tonight and these 2 outfielders are my favorite. Ellsbury is certainly worth consideration as well if he is in the lineup.

Consider - Mitch Moreland, Adam Jones, Melky Cabrera, Billy Burns

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34 Visitor Comments

  1. Rolled with Kershaw/Cueto and some cheap Rays and Phillies and had the best night I have had in a while. I have never rolled with half my salary tied up in pitching but it seemed to work. Is this a viable strategy going forward? Those “can’t miss” stacks just seem to miss here lately more than not. They make all of the sense in the world, but for whatever reason have been bust.

    • Agreed. It’s a crap shoot. Kershaw and Cueto pitch CG/SO’s and their offenses can barely muster a run @ in support. Bloop hit in the 9th gets it for cueto and Dodger bats were supposed to be all over Reds pitching like a cheap suit–yeah, right. Maybe Buster Posey and crew need to be on Nat’l TV more often.

    • It ALWAYS a viable strategy to pay up for pitching. Pitching is the safest, highest upside way to get points. The trouble with paying up is you have to work a little harder finding the value bats.

    • Definitely agree with this. I’m new to mlb dfs but it’s damn annoying how consistently stacks or “big bats” completely miss. I don’t think I’m cut out for betting on a sport where the best players in the game do absolutely nothing 70-80% of the time. I only win money betting on top pitchers which still seem to go under-owned. Someone mentioned Kershaw should be 100% owned so anytime he’s only 60% owned, you gain EV by going 100% on him.

  2. No mention of any Red Sox bats? Wondering why being in Colorado. Weather concerns?

  3. @ED game is at Boston

    @Anthony when Kershaw is on the mound, yes! And it all depends on the matchup the pitcher has on the night. Yesterday both guys had great matchups and delivered.

    • @ Nick. Agreed good pitching trumps good hitting but the pitcher’s offense has to carry their weight. If Anthony would have missed out on CG/SO W points because of poor backing from offense, would he have done nearly as well? I had Kershaw and Cueto also and those W’s made the difference for me.

  4. Indians Lineup will likely be

    Davis CF (R)
    Kipnis 2B (L)
    Lindor SS (S)
    Napoli 1B (R)
    Santana DH (S)
    Gomes C (R)
    Byrd RF (R)
    Ramirez LF (S)
    Uribe 3B (R)

    I count one (1) lefty not 5-6 do some research on the teams lineup against lefties please.

  5. Stack those Indians all you like there…my $$ is on Sale.

    • Gave up 3 ER to the Indians last time he faced them. I feel uneasy about him facing 8 righties, 4 with pretty good power upside. Tribe has been no joke this season 2nd in AL in runs per game.

    • Lol Francona stacked em’ and he’s getting rocked.

  6. @Jodie Yeah those extra points can be a difference.

    Giants and Dodgers offense has been cold this month..

  7. The matchup isn’t ideal for sale, but sale is sale. Has big upside every time he steps on the mound

  8. Any concern with the Rockies being ranked 6th in team OPS vs Lefties? I know its inflated a little due to Coors but they also have hit 28 hr Away vs 21 @ home. Short left field for Arenado and Story.

  9. Just an FYI, In the optimizer, some of the pitching matchups are incorrect. Examples: Yunel Escobar is facing TEX (Kershaw) and Trotter/Miller facing MIA (Gonzalez).
    Also shows Karns getting -2 points…..

  10. Where are Red Sox! Lol I checked and once again I have to force them into the lineup. Why does the machine hate them so much? It has Bradley projected @ 7.5! He averages 12! What in the world? It’s no way that no one on this site is fading them nightly if they watch any baseball or baseball highlights. Why does the machine hate the Red Sox bats that are killing it every night

    • Ha. I hear you on the Red Sox. They aren’t there for a couple of reasons today. One is price. They are priced like a team that’s been crushing and that is an issue. We have them for high raw points in system (Xander, Betts, Pedroia and Hanley all top out near top of raw points at each position) but they are all very expensive.

      Re: Jackie Bradley. He hits near the bottom of the lineup, is facing a lefty and has his average pts/ game numbers buoyed by a .400 BABIP and 23% Hr/FB ratio. Neither are likely to be sustainable.

  11. The Indians will actually probably only use 1 Lefty tonight against Sale – Kipnis. Bad information on that one. They only have 2 LHB on the team right now.

    1B Santana – Switch
    SS Lindor – Switch
    2B Kipnis – Left
    1B Napoli – Right
    C Gomes – Right
    RF Byrd – Right
    LF Ramirez – Right
    3B Uribe – Right

  12. Any tips on using the optimizer for cash games?

  13. Jackie Bradley Jr. kas a better batting average against lefties than rightie. Nonetheless I think Hanley, Pedroia, Bogearts and Young are the best Sox plays tonight.

    • The BA v LHP has a lot to do with a BABIP 60 points higher in that split. I suspect over the long term it swings back the other way to at least platoon neutral. Probably more.

      Re: Sox. I’m with you and for tournaments they are a great stack. Just expensive, that’s all.

  14. So what kind of lineups are u guys thinking just need some help tired of not cashing or making 5 dollars I have Verlander price wieters Cabrera Murphy Castellenos mercer Martinez trombo young what u guys think any help would be great

    • That’s a good lineup,i m fading price tho for gpp

  15. Is there any sure thing third basemen out there I’m struggling to find a great play

  16. Ok might be a dumb ? What’s difference between gpp and cash games and tournaments ???

    • Not dumb , cash is head to head 50_50s double ups. Gpp is a tourney that has larger payouts on the top but harder to place

  17. Completely off on your assessment of Chris Sale, first of all I have no idea where you got the idea that he’d be facing 5-6 lefties when there are only 2 true lefties on the entire team. Second, he gave up three runs to the Tribe his first time out against them. I said earlier that their offense is absolutely dangerous this season. I feel bad for all the people who avoided the Indians hitters and picked Sale.

    • Yeah it’s interesting. When all was said and done, our optimal lineups from our system didn’t have Sale in lineups. The numbers still looked good on paper and I stand by the pick. But the margins were thin on him. Would never have predicted that performance of course.

    • Bob agree with some of what you bring up and avoided game completely but giving up 3 runs in prior game should have no bearing in your decision on a pitcher like Sale. By that assessment wouldn’t play Kershaw vs Miami next time because he gave up 5 runs last time or wouldn’t have considered Kluber vs Detroit last 2 times because they own him. Each game is different and even the pitchers have bad games even it seems they’re vs same team

  18. Hey guys, I completely whiffed on that 6-7 lefty thing. Not sure what I was thinking but I will make sure to take a look at a projected lineup before making a claim like that again. Sorry about that, Austyn.

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