Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Brent Holloway

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 6/9/16

Who's ready to get fired up about Gio Gonzalez? Just kidding. Kinda. A short/split Thursday slate features a buffet of mediocre arms and some of the best hitting parks in the majors, so offense should be bountiful, but finding a reliable arm could be even more vital that usual.


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Today DFSR founders Doug Norrie and James Davis broke down the Thursday short slate of games for FanDuel and DraftKings on our daily MLB podcast!



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Gio GonzalezGio Gonzalez FD 9000 DK 8900
Opponent - CHW (Gonzalez) Park - @CHW
FD - 30.7 DK - 15.38

Yesterday we had aces galore. Twenty-four hours later and Gio Gonzalez is our top recommendation at pitcher. So it goes in DFS, especially on a relatively short slate. Gio's numbers look really similar to the same ones he's always put up: ERA and xFIP hovering in the high-to-mid 3s with a solid K rate. But he hasn't been exactly the same dude so far in 2016, and the differences include some good (fewer walks) and some bad (more homers). The home runs are a little tough to figure. He's giving up more hard contact, so maybe it's as simple as that, but he's likely running into so bad luck, as well, and regression is expected. Tonight would be a good time for it to start, because US Cellular Field doesn't do a lot to suppress the long ball and Gonzalez has been scuffling lately. On the other hand, the White Sox strike out a fair amount against southpaws and the Nats are favored. It's not the heartiest recommendation we've ever offered, but the pickings are slim tonight.

Jimmy NelsonJimmy Nelson FD 7800 DK 8700
Opponent - NYM (Colon) Park - @MIL
FD - 32.69 DK - 16.54

Ugh. I know. Me too. But this is the kind of pitching slate we're dealing with today, folks. Miller Park is great hitter's park, but most venues hosting MLB action today are too, so it doesn't ding Nelson's value in relation to his colleagues as much as it normally would. He's also coming off a really ugly start at Philadelphia last time out, but he'd been on a pretty solid run prior to that, holding foes to two runs or less in four straight and six of his last seven. Nonetheless, the overall numbers in 2016 aren't pretty, and we've seen enough of Nelson by now to know that he's a pretty average dude. Working in his favor is the fact that the Mets are equally average against RHP this season, and strike out fourth-most in the majors in the split.

Consider: The projection system likes Adam Wainwright, but I just can't pull the trigger in the Great American Smallpark against a Reds team that has scored seven or more runs in seven straight games. They haven't been very good against RHP this season, though, so if you want to fade the hot streak, the algorithm is on your side.

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Evan GattisEvan Gattis FD 3700 DK 4200
Opponent - TEX (Perez) Park - @TEX
FD - 10.69 DK - 8.18

As far as catchers go, he's gonna cost you, but your pitching won't, so you should be able to find room for Gattis' big-time upside. Since coming off the DL, he's shaken off a slow start to the season and returned to form as one of the best power-hitter backstops in baseball. He's also been significantly better vs. LHP this season (.403 wOBA), which makes Martin Perez a soft target tonight. Perez has out-pitched his peripherals by a good margin in 2016, but as long as he's barely topping 5 Ks/9 while walking nearly 4, that 3.24 ERA isn't going to hold, especially considering his home park. Global Life Park in Arlington ranked second only to Coors Field in terms of overall park factors last season, and it could see plenty of offense tonight.

Yadier MolinaYadier Molina FD 2500 DK 2800
Opponent - CIN (Finnegan) Park - @CIN
FD - 9.19 DK - 7.27

On the opposite end of the price spectrum, we've got Molina. He's also at the opposite end of the power spectrum, so he's far less exciting, but from a value perspective, he's actually the projection system's top choice tonight. Much of that is due to the fact that Brandon Finnegan's home run tendencies and the Cincinnati park are conspiring to boost his ceiling, while Finnegan's lack of command and inability to strike guys out meshes well with Molina's sharp batting eye and contact skills. He's going on three years removed from the .300 hitter he once was, but he's a fine play if you're bargain hunting.

Consider: Francisco Cervelli, Brian McCann

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John JasoJohn Jaso FD 3500 DK 4500
Opponent - COL (Bettis) Park - @COL
FD - 14.15 DK - 11.02

Coors Alert! Jaso's a fine ball player, but it's not often he shows up at the top of the board in terms of raw points projections. Unless you're stacking Pirates, he's not a guy you're going to use often in GPPs, but there's plenty to like about the Pittsburgh leadoff hitter's game. For starters, he's batting leadoff. We talk about it all the time, but that brings big value in DFS. He's also a high-walk, low-K guy, which always helps mitigate the risk of the lineup-killing goose egg. But most importantly, he'll be in Coors Field, and there's no place in the universe (probably) better for hitting baseballs.

Edwin EncarnacionEdwin Encarnacion FD 3700 DK 4600
Opponent - BAL (Wilson) Park - @TOR
FD - 12.72 DK - 9.52

Encarnacion's sub-par 2016 is due in no small part to a big jump in his strikeout rate, coupled with a dip in walks. His patience and ability to avoid strikeouts have been as much of a calling card as his ability to drive in runs throughout the prime of his career (he walked more than he whiffed in 2013), and while he's on the back side of his better days, Baltimore's Tyler Wilson is a prime candidate to help us relive the golden years tonight. The soft-tossing 26-year-old has just 27 Ks in 53 IP this season, and has demonstrated issues keeping the ball in the park, which could bite him tonight in the Rogers Centre.

Consider: Brandon Moss, if he gets a start against the lefty in Cincinnati.


Rougned OdorRougned Odor FD 2900 DK 4000
Opponent - HOU (McHugh) Park - @TEX
FD - 11.38 DK - 9.31

He was back at the top of the order Wednesday night, but whether he's hitting leadoff or sitting in prime RBI position from the five hole, Odor's our top choice at the keystone today. He's still coming at a discount (especially on FanDuel) following a seven-game suspension for rearranging Jose Bautista's face in shallow center field, but he's the same high-upside power/speed guy who was of the most expensive guys at his position not long ago. There's nothing about Colin McHugh that makes him especially easy to pick on, but his home runs allowed are up this season and despite a 19-win campaign in 2015, the underlying numbers say he's not somebody we have to avoid. His 3.91 xFIP last year is up to 4.03 this season, which might make him an ace for Cincinnati this season, but for the rest of the league, it's pretty mediocre.

Josh HarrisonJosh Harrison FD 3100 DK 4800
Opponent - COL (Bettis) Park - @COL
FD - 11.06 DK - 9.31

I was gonna say he's like a poor man's Odor, but he's actually more expensive, thanks, in part, to the Coors Field price bump. Otherwise, the skills between the two are pretty similar. Neither walk (or strike out) that much, and while Harrison can't match Odor's pop, he's probably got the slight edge in speed. He's also got a better matchup, even if the difference between Bettis and McHugh isn't quite as vast as their ERAs would suggest. Bettis isn't a strikeout guy, though, and gives up way too many homers (1.5 per 9), and it's not just a park problem. He's actually been somehow better at Coors Field this season. We can't see that holding up over the long term, and today's game against a potent Pittsburgh offense could force some regression. Harrison bounces all over the order, but if Starling Marte remains out, he should be right in the middle of the action in one way or another.

Consider: Robinson Cano, Scooter Gennett


Carlos CorreaCarlos Correa FD 4100 DK 4900
Opponent - TEX (Perez) Park - @TEX
FD - 11.63 DK - 9.53

It's not a great slate for SS value, so it's a good day to pay up for some of the elite talent at the position. Correa has fallen off the 30/30 pace he set for himself early in 2016, but he remains one of the best young shortstops in the game and few can match his upside. As mentioned earlier, we like the Astros righties against Perez (4.41 career xFIP in the split), and Correa owns a .355 wOBA and .219 ISO against southpaws in 158 career games. Early betting lines have this game slated as the second highest total on the board today, and Correa should be in good position to help push it toward the over.

Manny MachadoManny Machado FD 3800 DK 4500
Opponent - TOR (Stroman) Park - @TOR
FD - 11.05 DK - 8.72

The projection system doesn't like him quite as much as Correa, but if you're avoiding the early games or just need to save a couple of bucks, it's hard to go wrong with Baltimore's sensational young shortstop. There's very little Machado doesn't do well; he makes contact, draws walks and hits for power, which is how you end up with a wOBA north of .400 and an OPS a shade under 1.000. Marcus Stroman hasn't been as awful as you might think, but there's no reason to fear him, especially not in Rogers Centre, which provides a nice boost to power numbers across the board.

Consider: Aledmys Diaz, Trevor Story


Jung-ho KangJung-ho Kang FD 3600 DK 5300
Opponent - COL (Bettis) Park - @COL
FD - 12.88 DK - 10.11
Opponent - COL (Bettis) Park - @COL
FD - 12.88 DK - 10.11

As Coors Field prices go, the costs aren't bad on FanDuel tonight and Kang is a great guy to target on the site. He's in play on DraftKings, too, but the projection system has him approaching must-play territory on FanDuel. Since coming off the DL in early May, he's picked right back up where he left off in the second half of 2015 before a gruesome leg injury in September. In a little over a month, he's already slugged eight homers and boasts a .429 wOBA and 1.038 OPS. And he's been equally good against righties and lefties, so why he's coming in a mid-range prices is something of a mystery.

Jhonny PeraltaJhonny Peralta FD 2200 DK 3700
Opponent - CIN (Finnegan) Park - @CIN
FD - 10.25 DK - 7.93

Speaking of soft pricing on FanDuel, Peralta is up from the minimum, but he's still an extreme punt-level bargain. He's also at 3B now, with Matt Carpenter shifted to 2B, reflecting the Cards' new-look infield and making things easier for those of us looking to stack St. Louis tonight. Brandon Finnegan is better than some of the guys the Reds have trotted out this season, but he's plenty flammable, as evidenced by his 5.04 xFIP on the year. Meanwhile, Peralta has two doubles and a homer in his first two games off the DL, so rust clearly isn't an issue. At these prices, it'll be hard to get away from him in cash games, and he makes a fine tournament play as well. He's not projected for the a total as high as Kang or a couple others today, but the value is gonna be tough to beat.

Consider: Nolan Arenado, Kyle Seager


Bryce HarperBryce Harper FD 4100 DK 4800
Opponent - CHW (Gonzalez) Park - @CHW
FD - 15.23 DK - 11.75

Harper is almost never a bad play when he's at anything less than max pricing and he's pretty affordable tonight, especially on a slate devoid of high-end pitching. Frankly, even if his price was significantly higher, you'd have to give him some consideration against a middling guy like Miguel Gonzalez in home run-friendly park. A refresher on Gonzalez: He doesn't miss bats, and he has a history of command and home run issues, which you probably know is the golden trifecta of true-outcome badness. Hence, he's never posted an xFIP better than 4.31. As for Harper, we're not sweating the sagging batting average. His BABIP is more than .80 points off his career number, so he's due for a major correction, and he's still getting on base (.409 OBP) and hitting for power (.520 slugging).

Andrew McCutchenAndrew McCutchen FD 3900 DK 5100
Opponent - COL (Bettis) Park - @COL
FD - 14.01 DK - 10.92

Gregory PolancoGregory Polanco FD 4100 DK 5600
Opponent - COL (Bettis) Park - @COL
FD - 13.37 DK - 11.23

Good luck trying to choose between the two. If fact, I don't think I would. Play both or fade both, because the projection system sees very little difference in their expected outcomes. All the factors mentioned with other Pirates picks are of course in effect here. We think the Pirates can get to Bettis, and as one of the top offenses in the NL, they should be pushing some runs across tonight. Polanco's having the better year, and his speed could give him the edge in upside, because it looks like McCutchen's wheels are starting to desert him. But despite Cutch's substandard showing so far in 2016, we're not panicking. He needs to regain his typical command of the strike zone and limit the pop ups, but the skills that made him elite are still there, and his track record say both adjustments are manageable.

Seth SmithSeth Smith FD 2900 DK 3300
Opponent - CLE (Tomlin) Park - @SEA
FD - 10.85 DK - 8.26

For a bargain, we're turning to Smith, despite the fact that he'll be swinging in one of the few parks that doesn't favor hitters tonight. You can probably find better upside elsewhere, but for safety, Smith does all the things we look for to raise the floor: lots of walks, solid contact and respectable pop at spot high in the order. And against righties, he supplies more power than you might guess. He owns a .202 career ISO in the split, as well as a .359 wOBA, and those numbers are tough to beat in this price range. Josh Tomlin is putting up nice surface numbers over the last two seasons, posting a 15-3 record in his last 20 starts, including an 8-1 mark this year. But the projection system isn't impressed. While he does a great job of limiting walks, most low-K, high-HR guys don't hold the kind of results Tomlin is seeing over the long term.

Consider: Mike Trout, Nomar Mazara, Michael Conforto

So yeah, baseball season! And we've got some goodies you can take with you. At the end of the post, we have our MLB eBook that you really ought to check out before setting even a single daily fantasy MLB lineup. It's free, below.



And Daily Fantasy MLB Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings every day!

image sources

  • andrewmccutchen: AP Images

18 Visitor Comments

  1. This is the ugliest pitching slate in the history of DFS. Throw a dart and load up on Coors in the all day slate.

    • I agree. Not a single worthwhile choice when Gio is the number 1 option

  2. I’d bet light today ladies and gents . Btw love the picture of jh kang lol

  3. Great night last night, Thanks DSFR!!! STL/NYY stacks went off. Came in 22nd in Big Tourney. Would’ve come in 1st if I had Peralta over Diaz at SS. So tonight I will go Diaz over Peralta, lol.

  4. I realize its not the ideal situation, with Coors field / Rockies lineup.. But im going to roll a few with Jeff Locke. Last time he was in this situation (may 25) he went 6 struck out 8 and put up 29.3pts in Coors vs the Rockies.. Its like in golf league when I go in and know I beat the guy down the last time I played him, you go in with confidence.. Here’s to hoping Jeff goes in the same way. LOL Disclaimer: Im only rite 40-45% of the time.. 🙂 good luck guys

  5. Can you get Ty Kelly into the projection system?

  6. Enjoy draft kings while you can everyone is newyorkers will be back for our top spots soon! Lol

  7. Great call on NYY/STL stack last night. Cashed out nicely in a gpp! Thank you.

  8. Hope the NY bill passes so I can stop driving to Pa to enter my line ups! Tonight’s slate is crazy! I feel the pitchers will decide tonight more than ever. Someone has to have a good night.

  9. Being in NY has been tough, can not wait to be back at full strength.

  10. So here is my 3rd comment ever posted to DFSR and my 1st to praise you(i’m not slways an A hole) I took much of your advice……Yankees and Cards, threw in Gennett and Stanton(who scares the crap out of me) and you mentioned the Twins bats so my final pick was Plouffe and I was shocked at the output. 8th in $1 GPP and top 90 in $3 GPP. Best finish in MLB thus far. So i simply want to say thank you.

  11. Jhonny Peralta is not starting today.

  12. How do you not take into account that the Pirates had to go to Denver right in the middle of a homestand? Gotta factor that in bud.

    • What metric would you use to factor this in? Implied odds didn’t suggest there would be any issue here

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