Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Chris Durell

Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 9/2/16

After a very slow night in the major leagues we are back with a full 15 game slate on Friday. There is one game in the afternoon(Giants vs. Cubs) leaving us a big 14 game main slate starting at 7:00 pm et. Coors will once again factor into our decision making as two average at best southpaws go head to head in a game with the days highest total(11.5). Let's take a look at some top plays at each position on the main slate tonight.

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David PriceDavid Price FD 10300 DK 11900
Opponent - OAK (Triggs) Park - @OAK
FD - 38.51 DK - 25.45

The Price is right! Right when the Red Sox need it most, Price is nicely rounding into form late in the season. He has won four straight starts limiting the opposition to six total runs and  has struck out 7+ batters in three of those games. He has the #1 offense in baseball behind him and gets a huge park boost going to the Oakland Coliseum tonight. The Athletics have been poor all season ranking 25th in wOBA against southpaws and have been striking out at a high 23.4% clip over the last 14 days. Price is safe in all formats is is the top play from a raw points perspective on the optimizer.


Julio UriasJulio Urias FD 8400 DK 9600
Opponent - SD (Richard) Park - @LAD
FD - 33.04 DK - 21.25

If you are trying to fit Coors bats tonight you will most likely have to avoid Price and step down a level. A great place to start is Julio Urias who was terrific in the month of August. He went 4-0 in five starts with a 1.99 ERA and 3.22 xFIP while striking out over eight and a half batters per nine. With the Dodgers battling for the division late in the season they have let Urias get close to 100 pitches his last two starts and we could see the same tonight as he will be making what appears to be his final start before a further decision is made on his innings limit. The Dodgers are huge -195 favorites right now and although the Padres are much better against lefties, they strikeout over 24% of the time.


Marcus Stroman FD 7800 DK 9800

Opponent - TB (Cobb) Park - @TB
FD - 33.11 DK - 17.19

I originally wrote up Liriano in this spot late last night as he was originally projected to start for the Jays today. Wake up this morning and see that they have slotted Stroman in today and that makes me even happier. While the price is significantly higher on DraftKings, Stroman actually comes in $100 cheaper than Liriano on FanDuel. I will take that value all day as he gets a positive park shift from Rogers Centre to Tropicana Field and the Jays come in as early -140 favorites. Stroman has elevated his game in the second half of the season with an elite 11.08 K/9 rate that comes form his fastball command and terrifying slider. When he isn't striking batters out he is producing a crazy high GB rate that is north of 60% for the season. The Rays sit mid pack vs. right handed pitching for the season but rank right near the bottom with a 23.7% strikeout rate. Stroman is safe in all formats today.





Welington CastilloWelington Castillo FD 3700 DK 5200
Opponent - COL (De La Rosa) Park - @COL
FD - 11.46 DK - 8.86

Our first stop in Coors tonight comes at the catcher position with Welington Castillo who checks all the boxes tonight. He has been red hot lately slashing .402/.492/.577 with 20 RBI since August 8th with seven multi hit games. He also crushes left handed pitching with a .409 wOBA, 153 wRC+ and .298 isolated power. Combine that with a big park upgrade and nice matchup vs. Jorge De La Rosa who has an average K rate(7.03 K/9) and awful 4.77 xFIP on the season. Castillo is safe in all formats.

Jonathan LucroyJonathan Lucroy FD 3300 DK 4800
Opponent - HOU (Fister) Park - @TEX
FD - 9.71 DK - 7.58

Lucroy is putting together one of his best season of his career with a .298 average, .362 OBP and a career high 20 home runs. He has been even better since being traded to the Rangers with seven home runs and a 160 wRC+ in 21 starts in August. He gets a favorable matchup against Doug Fister who has been up and down this year(mostly down) with a 4.80 xFIP and K rate that is south of six. Lucroy has pretty sizable reverse splits with  a batting average that is a tick over 70 points better against right handed pitching. If you aren't using Castillo in Coors, Lucroy is your next best choice and is safe in all formats.


Chris DavisChris Davis FD 3400 DK 4500
Opponent - NYY (Green) Park - @BAL
FD - 12.74 DK - 9.53

Don't get me wrong, Crush Davis is nowhere near a safe option for cash games with his 33% K rate and .220 batting average. He does have gigantic upside for tournaments as he already has 32 home runs and 84 RBI on the season hitting in the cleanup for the Orioles. This will be back to back starts for Chad Green against the Orioles in less than a week and it was Davis doing the damage last time out with two bombs off Green in Yankee Stadium. His 10+ K/9 rate is a bit inflated as he struck out 11 Blue Jays in mid August and is currently holding on runners at an unsustainable 85% rate.


Ryan HowardRyan Howard FD 2600 DK 4300
Opponent - ATL (de la Cruz) Park - @PHI
FD - 9.83 DK - 7.44
Tommy JosephTommy Joseph FD 2300 DK 4300
Opponent - ATL (de la Cruz) Park - @PHI
FD - 10.07 DK - 7.72

The projection system is in love with the Phillies this week, especially on FanDuel where the value is sky high. Both Howard and Joseph sit in the mid $2K range and have home run upside in one of the best matchups of the night. Joel De La Cruz is somehow still pitching in the majors despite his 5.17 xFIP and disgustingly low K rate(4.84 K/9) and high walk rate(2.98 BB/9). Since jumping back in to the rotation at the end of July De La Cruz has yet to make it through the 6th inning giving way for Howard and Joseph to get some late hacks against one of the worst bullpens in baseball as the Braves sit with a 4.23 bullpen ERA. Depending on batting order tomorrow either of these guys could be considered for cash games on FanDuel but at a price north of $4K on DraftKings they should be reserved to tournaments only.


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Jason KipnisJason Kipnis FD 3900 DK 5000
Opponent - MIA (Cashner) Park - @CLE
FD - 11.19 DK - 8.98

Despite seeing a dip in average in the month of August, Kipnis continues to get on base and score runs hitting out of the two hole. He also added four home runs and 14 RBI in the month with four stolen bases. The matchup against Cashner adds value tonight as he has really struggled on the road this year with a 6.45 ERA while surrendering a .385 wOBA to opponents offenses. Although his game logs look pretty good his last two starts(1 ER in each) he has been getting lucky walking six batters while only striking out five. Look for Kipnis and the Indians bats to balance out the BABIP tonight as they are heavy -210 favorites with a 8.5 total.


Matt CarpenterMatt Carpenter FD 3900 DK 4500
Opponent - CIN (DeSclafani) Park - @CIN
FD - 11.69 DK - 8.98

After a monster first half of the season Carpenter's numbers have fallen off the face of the Earth in the second half. He appears to be snapping out of the prolonged slump with hits in seven of his last eight starts including two doubles and two home runs. The matchup isn't ideal as Desclafini is coming off his best career start with a complete game shutout but has been average this season with a 3.87 xFIP and slightly above average 8.01 K/9 rate. The price is trending down on both sites opening up a nice buy low situation making Carpenter a safe play in any format tonight.


Jonathan SchoopJonathan Schoop FD 3200 DK 4400
Opponent - NYY (Green) Park - @BAL
FD - 9.69 DK - 7.51

Schoop is coming off a decent August with hits in 22 of 29 starts with four home runs, 11 RBI and 14 runs scored. His value largely depends on the spot in the order as he has bounced around between the two and eight hole in the Orioles lineups. He gets a matchup vs. Chad Green who got roughed up by these O's less than a week ago and Schoop has positive splits against right handed pitching with a .88 average and 114 wRC+. Stay tuned during the day for the release of the O's lineup card.



Francisco LindorFrancisco Lindor FD 3600 DK 4900
Opponent - MIA (Cashner) Park - @CLE
FD - 9.99 DK - 8.28

Like I mentioned with Kipnis the Indians are in a great spot to put up runs on Friday and Lindor and another middle of the order guywho does it all for the 6th ranked offense in the majors this season. He has been hot in August slashing .341/.352/.455 with 16 runs scored and three stolen bases. Looking at the splits there are a few that stand out. He is slightly better against right handed pitching with a .354 wOBA and 121 wRC+ and significantly better at home this season with a .389 wOBA and 144 wRC+. Get him in your lineups against Cashner who can't keep anyone off the base paths on the road this season.


Jhonny PeraltaJhonny Peralta FD 2900 DK 2900
Opponent - CIN (DeSclafani) Park - @CIN
FD - 9.27 DK - 7.16

If it's pure value you are after tonight shortstop is always a nice spot to find it. Johnny Peralta isn't going to wow us with his bat anymore but has been consistent enough to consider in cash games as he has picked up hits in 10 of his last 13 games with three extra base hits and seven runs scored. At a sub $3K price tag on both sites we can live with a 1 for 4 with a run. It's more about what he allows us to roster at other positions.



Nolan ArenadoNolan Arenado FD 4400 DK 5600
Opponent - ARI (Ray) Park - @COL
FD - 14.48 DK - 11.12

Easily the top option at third base tonight, regardless of price, is Nolan Arenado. He tops the projections in raw points and has everything tilting his way tonight. He gets an excellent matchup at home in Coors against a lefty and has been red hot lately. Over the last 14 days he has put up a crazy high .575 wOBA with six home runs and 18 RBI. There is enough value at pitcher and other positions to get the top Rockies option in your lineup today.


Maikel FrancoMaikel Franco FD 2500 DK 2000
Opponent - ATL (de la Cruz) Park - @PHI
FD - 10.91 DK - 8.42

While Howard and Joseph make tremendous low end values on FanDuel, there are a pair of Phillies who are minimum price on DraftKings and make great punt plays tonight. Maikel Franco is one of these players and although he struggled in August with a .224 average and three home runs, he hits in the middle of the lineup and gets a favorable matchup vs. De La Cruz and the Braves tonight. With a OBP south of .300 I would only consider Franco in tournaments either as a stand alone punt option or as a part of a full Phillies stack.


Adrian BeltreAdrian Beltre FD 3400 DK 4500
Opponent - HOU (Fister) Park - @TEX
FD - 11.13 DK - 8.53

Everything is bigger in Texas! Even the home runs and Beltre has providing his share over the last month. He hit nine in August while driving in 24, scoring 19 runs and recording an elite 177 wRC+. He has been extremely consistent getting on base at an above average to great .349 clip this season which makes him an excellent candidate for a cash game play.



Jose BautistaJose Bautista FD 3800 DK 4400
Opponent - TB (Cobb) Park - @TB
FD - 12.96 DK - 9.78

Joey Bats projects out as a top option from a raw points and PTS/$ perspective today making him my top play in the outfield. Since returning from injury on August 25th he is slashing .310/.364/.621 with a 155 wRC+ and has hit a home run in two of his last three games. The Jays take a downgrade in park factor today traveling to Tropicana Field but with Bautista getting extra opportunities hitting leadoff, he is a safe play in any format at a discounted price.



Odubel HerreraOdubel Herrera FD 2400 DK 2000
Opponent - ATL (de la Cruz) Park - @PHI
FD - 9.62 DK - 8.13

The second Phillies hitter who is in an odd situation tonight. He comes in at minimum price after being priced as high as $5K in the last couple weeks. Take the value and run and hope a majority of your opponents miss the ball. Even if they are high owned they allow you a ton of flexibility when constructing lineups. If they go off tonight we are going to see some high scores in tournaments. Herrera has hits in three straight and seven of his last eight games pushing his OBP up to a season high .359 making him a safe option for cash games with a clear path to crush his value tonight.



Ryan RaburnRyan Raburn FD 3000 DK 3100
Opponent - ARI (Ray) Park - @COL
FD - 12.25 DK - 9.42

Raburn has been in and out of the lineup and mostly used as a pinch hitter recently but that has helped keep his price down. He always makes a nice GPP option when facing left handed pitching as he has had very strong splits over the last two years. This season he has recorded a .367, 11 wRC+ and elite .244 Isolated Power against southpaws. When he has started he gets a bump in value as he is usually hitting out of the five hole for the Rockies. Stay tuned for the lineup card tomorrow afternoon.

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image sources

  • Nolan Arenado: By Keith Allison (Flickr: Nolan Arenado) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

5 Visitor Comments

  1. I sometimes see your top play is the worst, or close to the worst play, according to RotoGrinder’s lineup optimizer. Julio Urias is dead last in DK value out of all pitchers that are playing tonight according to Roto. Although I doubt he will end up being the worst value on the night like they think, I find it hard to see him paying off nicely at nearly 10k salary when we know he never goes deep into games. He might very well have a decent game, but doesn’t have the innings upside at his high price tag. He always gets pulled after 5-6 innings, or sooner if he is having a bad game. I think the truth lies somewhere in between DFSR and Roto as far as his value.

    • Good. Don’t play him then.

  2. Chris….. not sure when you posted but REAL important to remember just about every optimizer out there doesn’t begin to get “massaged” until mid-day when lineups start to roll in. Factor that with optimizers not doing any sort of hot/recent play factoring and a new guy like Urias will always start out at the bottom of just about any optimizer. Urias on Rotogrinders is currently slated as 4th best in terms of points and currently they have him as a better value then guys like Carasco and Thor. I typically pick my pitchers in the morning and don’t even look at lineups till 5pm or so. Best of luck tonight!!!! 🙂

    • I agree Thomas 100%, play Thor tonight. I am a Mets fan and I see him getting hit.

  3. Locked Carrasco in 70% of lineups and looks like he is going to finish with 38.4 DK points with the win 🙂

    We will see if Urias can match that value…not!!

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