Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

James Davis

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

Happy Thursday! Today might be the worst pitching day in recent memory, and we get to spread all this bad pitching across 2 separate slates! Just so you're aware, we're going to be covering the late slate only in today's picks article. If you'd like early slate plays, it's a great time to grab a free trial of our projection system. Let's do it!


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No one
And I mean, I'm only kind of kidding here. But since they'll physically force you to play someone at pitcher, let's have a go.

Tanner RoarkTanner Roark FD 9000 DK 10300
Opponent - SD (Johnson) Park - @SD
FD - 31.85 DK - 16.81
He's been fairly feast or famine this season, but looks a lot more like the 2014 Roark than the 2015 version. His K/9 is over 8 for the first time since double A ball in 2010, and he's generating ground-balls at a career best 52.5% rate. He's also got the very best match-up possible for a right handed pitcher - the San Diego Dads. They've put together a putrid, league worst .277 wOBA against righties this year while also striking out at the 4th highest rate and walking at the 2nd lowest rate. All of this to say - they really stink at hitting the baseball. Throw in a fantastic pitcher's park, and I'm prepared to call Roark the cash game start of the day.

Scott KazmirScott Kazmir FD 8800 DK 8500
Opponent - MIL (Guerra) Park - @LAD
FD - 33.76 DK - 18.04

Kazmir was pretty damned bad his last time out, but... that's this slate for you. While Kazmir isn't the same pitcher he's been the last two years, he at least has some relevant fantasy skills, which is more than what you can say for most of the guys pitching today. He's still striking out better than a batter per inning, and while his command has slipped, the primary factor in his increased ERA is a hopefully unsustainable 15.8% HR/FB ratio. For a frame of reference, his career number is 9.6%. If that regresses to the mean, we're looking at a much worse pitcher.

And then there's the Brew Crew. They've had a tough time offensively this season, and have the 11th worst wOBA against left handed pitching and the 12th highest K rate in the majors against them. Neither of those are eye-popping or anything, but the Brewers are solidly bad, and Kazmir will also be pitching in a nice pitcher's park.

Also considered: Junior Guerra? Seriously, this is a digustingly bad slate. Some will make a case for Justin Verlander, but the Royals are very tough to strike out, and I'm not going to spend up for a guy in a bad match-up when I can get guys in good match-ups.


Victor MartinezVictor Martinez FD 2800 DK 4400
Opponent - KC (Duffy) Park - @KC
FD - 9.98 DK - 7.69
The resurgent Martinez stands head and shoulders above the other catcher options (on FanDuel) for me today for a couple of reasons. First of all, his .833 OPS against lefties this season is more than respectable, and while he's been better against righties this season, I have faith that his career .040 OPS advantage when hitting left handers is a more significant sample to use than this season's numbers. And yes, Danny Duffy has been great this season... but with such slim pickings, it can't be that bad to take Martinez in a positive platoon spot here against a pitcher who I'm still prepared to call an unknown quantity.

Jonathan LucroyJonathan Lucroy FD 3300 DK 3600
Opponent - LAD (Kazmir) Park - @LAD
FD - 8.58 DK - 6.67
Lucroy just continues to spray lasers all over the field, and while Kazmir is one of the strongest pitchers going today, Lucroy is still a very strong play here. Like Martinez, he's been worse against left handed pitching this season, but he's .070 OPS points better against southpaws for his career, so I'm not especially concerned. Another very solid option, particularly on FanDuel.

Matt WietersMatt Wieters FD 2800 DK 3500
Opponent - BOS (Rodriguez) Park - @BOS
FD - 9.74 DK - 7.51
Superman himself! I have a feeling we're going to see a fair pile of Orioles in play tomorrow, simply because they're rocking a great ballpark and an even better pitcher match-up. For all of Wieters' considerable warts, he's still got an .806 career OPS against left handed pitching. Eduardo Nunez, the guy he's facing, has pitched horrendously across both Triple A and the Majors this season, failing to strike out better than 6 guys per nine innings. Wieters makes for a solid off-beat play, but I'll take the above guys at similar prices.



David OrtizDavid Ortiz FD 4100 DK 5600
Opponent - BAL (Wilson) Park - @BOS
FD - 13.67 DK - 10.27
Hanley RamirezHanley Ramirez FD 3400 DK 4000
Opponent - BAL (Wilson) Park - @BOS
FD - 10.79 DK - 8.5
It's the game with the highest total by a full run as of this writing, and it makes sense. The Red Sox are putting up video game numbers, and Tyler Wilson has averaged negative fantasy points in his last 2 starts on DraftKings. Wilson has struck out FOUR guys per nine innings in his 95 major league innings. He's just... no. Both Papi and Hanley can simply crush right handed pitching, and it's hard to imagine Wilson making it through 5 innings here.

Miguel CabreraMiguel Cabrera FD 3800 DK 4900
Opponent - KC (Duffy) Park - @KC
FD - 12.01 DK - 9.12
But if you want to fade the Big Sox, no one will make fun of you for getting Miggy with it today instead. Vegas isn't giving this one a high total at all, but Cabrera's never been shy about abusing left handed pitching. While his BABIP against lefties has been lousy this year, his 13 Ks to 12 BBs shows me he's seeing the ball as well as ever against them, and this could be a game where he begins to turn it around.

Byung-ho ParkByung-ho Park FD 2800 DK 3300
Opponent - NYY (Sabathia) Park - @MIN
FD - 10.49 DK - 8.06
Just an upside play obviously, but you could do a lot worse than a .234 ISO guy against a pitcher well past his prime for less than $3k on FanDuel. Park is still an enigma to me, but even if this is exactly what he is (a low OBP, high upside slugger) he's worth a flyer in big tournaments from time to time. Sabathia's ERA is less than half of what his xFIP would have you believe his true talent is, and he's yet to be plagued by the long ball that defined his 2014 and 2015 season. Don't be surprised if Park brings that number up a bit.

Cheap Nerds:
There's a handful of guy who could see the field at very cheap prices today that are at least worth a look. Ike Davis wound up being a big play in cash games on Wednesday when he was surprise-started by the Yankees, and I don't see why they wouldn't start him again today. He's a great value at these prices even if he's less than a great first baseman. James Loney is in a similar boat, even though he's about the least exciting fantasy commodity going. Spending cheap at any position means spending up elsewhere... but I'll be targeting more expensive guys here since pitching is so cheap.

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Daniel MurphyDaniel Murphy FD 3800 DK 5000
Opponent - SD (Johnson) Park - @SD
FD - 10.33 DK - 8.24
I get that it's a bad park, but have you seen Erik Johnson pitch? He's now managed more than 100 innings as a major league pitcher with a 5+ xFIP. That's no small feat, since most pitchers as bad as him never get a chance to even see the big leagues. Petco can only do so much for this guy, and his major weakness (giving up hard contact) happens to be Murphy's greatest strength. Phenomenal cash game play, here.

Chase UtleyChase Utley FD 3200 DK 4000
Opponent - MIL (Guerra) Park - @LAD
FD - 8.85 DK - 7
It's fairly large drop off in the safety department after you get away from Murphy today, but Utley's a reasonable consolation prize. He's peppered right handers for an .804 OPS this season, and remains very reasonably priced on FanDuel in particular. Guerra has shown flashes of talent this season, but his 4.31 xFIP paints a picture of a guy who's not quite there yet. I like the veteran Utley as a solid high floor play.

Brian DozierBrian Dozier FD 3400 DK 3800
Opponent - NYY (Sabathia) Park - @MIN
FD - 10.45 DK - 8.26
Did you think I'd deny you the chance at some upside? Dozier's had a rough year overall, but all that does is give us a little bit of opportunity in the price department. He's posted an 1.011 OPS against lefties in a limited sample this season, and he looks like the most likely guy on the slate to give you tourney-winning level production if you need it.

Another solid upside stack play: Ian Kinsler, but it feels risky to go all out stacking against Duffy given how solid he's been this year.



Manny MachadoManny Machado FD 4100 DK 4800
Opponent - BOS (Rodriguez) Park - @BOS
FD - 11.36 DK - 8.96
Super solid big money option today. High total, great park, and terrible left handed pitcher on the mound. Yes, Machado has shown a reverse platoon split over the course of his young career, but he's been destroying lefties to the tune of a 1k+ OPS this season. And that's all lefties, not just bad ones like Rodriguez. Love him today in any format.

Jonathan VillarJonathan Villar FD 3300 DK 3800
Opponent - LAD (Kazmir) Park - @LAD
FD - 8.48 DK - 7.75
But if you don't to spend up at a traditionally weak offensive position, Villar makes a fine silver medalist at the position. With three straight games with 10 DraftKings fantasy points, Villar has been making the most of the increased opportunities he's seeing out of the lead-off spot. His 23 steals speak to his very solid positional upside, and his .800+ OPS speaks to his consistency. Yes, the BABIP is high, but on FanDuel in particular the price is just unspeakably low for what he can get you out of the 1 spot.

Eduardo NunezEduardo Nunez FD 3400 DK 4500
Opponent - NYY (Sabathia) Park - @MIN
FD - 9.44 DK - 8.12
This one feels like a little bit of a stretch to me on FanDuel, but I'm more open to it on DraftKings. While it's somewhat BABIP fueled, he's doing his best to show that he's not the glove-only guy he was projected to be coming up in the Yankees' organization. Speaking of which - #revengegame! But seriously, you could do worse than investing in him against CC Sabathia in a positive platoon spot, but I think you'll do better grabbing the above guys.



Jung-ho KangJung-ho Kang FD 3000 DK 4300
Opponent - NYM (Colon) Park - @NYM
FD - 8.67 DK - 6.81
Hung's playing time is fairly erratic, but when he's gotten out there this season he's seriously produced. Known more as a lefty killer when he came over to the states, Kang has put up an impressive .959 OPS against right handers this season, and has been .050 OPS points better against righties for his brief American career. Bartolo Colon, meanwhile, has all the appearance of a balloon fixing to burst. His sub six K/9 looks a lot more like the 4.12 xFIP guy he is than the 3.08 ERA he's cobbled together, and he could be in for a world of pain against a solid Pirates lineup.

Anthony RendonAnthony Rendon FD 3000 DK 4100
Opponent - SD (Johnson) Park - @SD
FD - 10.06 DK - 8
I'm talking myself more and more into this Petco stack. God help me. Rendon has certainly been better against lefties for his career, but he's no slouch against right handed pitching, and the price is so attractive against a bad pitcher that I'm at least intrigued at a terrible day for the position.

Nick CastellanosNick Castellanos FD 3000 DK 4800
Opponent - KC (Duffy) Park - @KC
FD - 9.67 DK - 7.53
I, too, am getting a little weary of this all-in Tigers stack. But I'm not sure what else you're supposed to do today. Castellanos should be batting near the middle of that healthy Tigers lineup, and he's been about .060 OPS points better against southpaws for his career. On a day like today, that might just make him the defacto upside grab of the day on FanDuel.

DraftKings note: There are a number of more reasonable plays at 3B on DraftKings, like Manny Machado, or Eduardo Nunez. Unfortunately the lack of multi-position eligibility on FanDuel leaves us in a much tougher spot.

If he plays: Travis Shaw is a very viable option in a high scoring game.



Bryce HarperBryce Harper FD 4000 DK 5100
Opponent - SD (Johnson) Park - @SD
FD - 14.08 DK - 10.86
If you're reading this, you'll know by now that Bryce Harper is the featured picture in the article. And, frankly, how could he not be. FanDuel in particular has a ridiculous park correction on Harper's price here, and getting a monster like this for $4,000 is going to be correct even when he's facing solid pitchers in many circumstances. Today he happens to be facing a guy who's on the shortlist for worst regular starter in the majors. So, yeah, I'm playing him.

Ryan BraunRyan Braun FD 3600 DK 4000
Opponent - LAD (Kazmir) Park - @LAD
FD - 10.42 DK - 8.38
After a routine day off on Wednesday, Braun is scheduled to return for this game against Kazmir and the Dodgers. While he's not "back to his old self again," Braun is still a heck of a lot more than a $2,800 player when he's in a positive platoon spot. He's embarrassed left handed pitching for a near 1.100 OPS this season, and while Kazmir is solid, he's definitely not enough to spook me off Braun here.

Adam JonesAdam Jones FD 3300 DK 4300
Opponent - BOS (Rodriguez) Park - @BOS
FD - 10.15 DK - 7.86
Mark TrumboMark Trumbo FD 3600 DK 5000
Opponent - BOS (Rodriguez) Park - @BOS
FD - 11.06 DK - 8.44
Just more right handed Orioles bats that you can jam in the highest total game of the day. Jones has been better against righties for his career, but he's mostly better against bad pitchers, which defines Rodriguez perfectly. Trumbo is more of a classic platoon hitter, with a +.070 OPS split when facing left handed pitching. Both look like fine parts of any O's stack, to me.

Yoenis CespedesYoenis Cespedes FD 3500 DK 4400
Opponent - PIT (Nicasio) Park - @NYM
FD - 10.65 DK - 8.27
Curtis GrandersonCurtis Granderson FD 3400 DK 4500
Opponent - PIT (Nicasio) Park - @NYM
FD - 10.43 DK - 8.08
Another team that's had a lot of guys in my personal "also considered" category - those New York Mets. Since leaving Coors Nicasio hasn't seen any real improvement in his real life or fantasy production, and he's looking more and more like a guy you just want to pile it on against. To me that means taking a huge upside (and low floor) guy like Curtis Granderson, and the more solid AND spectacular guy in Cespedes. Granderson has platoon advantage here, yes, but if you wanted to pick a guy for your 50/50 purposes Cespedes looks like a more solid option. He's been as close to platoon neutral for his career as you can be (.814 OPS vs. right, .815 vs. left), so we're just looking for bad pitchers when considering playing him. And, Look! we found one!

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!

28 Visitor Comments

  1. Since you guys aren’t writing up early slate, could one of you guys give me 2 stacks for the early slate?

    • Hey Zac, I personally am not looking at the early slate as one that needs to be stacked. However, I like the Reds and Athletics most.

  2. Yeah guys, please talk about the early slate on the podcast. This is where I’m playing hardest. Need that stack insite before I crack up the projection system! ?

    • Hey Cory, if you have any individual questions you could just post them here or you can ask me on twitter @VarneyDFS, Either way, someone will definitely get back to you quickly!

      • Thanks Austyn. When they gonna let you back on the podcast?!

  3. I see Braun at $3800 and Harper for $4000 … Not sure if the logic still holds on usage?

  4. You have Harper @ $3500 on FD but I’m seeing him at $4000. Am I missing somethimg?

  5. These prices came in last night and didn’t update. Fixed – logic still holds.

  6. Souza JR is on the DL. System has him projected for points. Thanks

      • Thanks Doug. Also Carl Crawford was released on Monday.

        • Thanks. I am actually now checking in with our data feed why these things aren’t updated. We rely on third party info on this to automate. Will check the disconnect.

  7. Snell coming up in all optimal lineups for early slate…?

    • Speaks more to the uncertainty of the slate than the safety of the pitcher. It’s Paxton on FD fwiw

  8. Who the hell is that where Kang’s picture should be? Is that some random pitcher ?

    • That is Nick Goody……pitcher. I think…..

  9. Doug, Beltre keeps showing up in the early optimizer. He is showing as DTD. We sure he’s going to play? Productive if he does play hurt?

    • I’m under the impression he’s going to play, but that’s the risk of playing a slate when all info isn’t available.

  10. Or instead of giving your entry fee away…you could punt the entire slate, take a walk or take your girl out! See you fantasy guys tomorrow.

  11. Same with V Mart and Conforto for all day

  12. Is the optimizer sponsored by Bryce Harper and Joey Bats? Everyday with these guys

  13. Joe E, at least it has stopped spitting out Stanton!! Optimizer has been killing it all week!!

  14. Great call on V Mart!!! Less than 50% owned in every league I’m in!! He’s covering for JD Martinez since he left injured.

    • Yup looking great! He was under-owned in cash games tonight making it took even stronger.


  16. Doug, y’all be safe on the road tomorrow! Still hoping you get a podcast in! When you go position by position giving a few options for each… Been killing it!!!

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