Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Brent Holloway

Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 9/22/16

We've got a 10-game slate tonight, which is about as good as we could hope for on a Thursday, and while pitching options are limited, we've got a handful of intriguing offenses that should pair well with whichever ace you choose. Let's get to it.

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Justin VerlanderJustin Verlander FD 10000 DK 12400
Opponent - MIN (Santana) Park - @MIN
FD - 37.25 DK - 24.79

If you want an ace-caliber arm tonight, there are really only two choices. Our numbers are leading us to Verlander over David Price, and it's really not that close. At least from a raw points perspective. Value-wise, we could maybe see going with Price on DraftKings, because he's significantly cheaper there, but for cash games, give us the guy in the safer matchup. And Brian Dozier's September heroics notwithstanding, we'd rather pick on the Twins than the Orioles in Camden Yard. Verlander hasn't quite recaptured his peak form, but he's coming close enough in 2016. At 9.7 Ks/9, his strikeout numbers are actually at their highest point in seven years. He's also giving up more homers than ever before, so there's some risk here, too. But we're not all that intimidated by the Twins lineup. Despite a modest uptick over the last month or so, they remain a below average offense against RHP (96 wRC+).

Seth LugoSeth Lugo FD 7700 DK 6700
Opponent - PHI (Morgan) Park - @NYM
FD - 30.75 DK - 19.8

If safety and strikeouts aren't really your thing, you could consider a flyer on Lugo. He doesn't miss a ton of bats (6.5 Ks/9), but in limited run this year he's done a solid job of keeping the ball in the park. He's actually due for some regression there, which is a big part of why his xFIP (4.49) is more than two runs higher than his ERA (2.35), but he's facing the Phillies, so he can probably keep the good fortune rolling for at least another start. Don't tell James Shields about this, but the Philadelphia offense is terrible. They rank last in MLB in overall wRC+ and wOBA and are only marginally better against RHP. They're slightly, um, not as bad in ISO, but Citi Field limits power, and that could be all the cushion Lugo needs to get out with a quality start and a W. Don't roster him if you're looking for a high ceiling, but if you've got some high-priced bat you want to fit in, he's our favorite value play among the middle-tier arms tonight.

Consider: Michael Fiers

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Buster PoseyBuster Posey FD 3400 DK 5100
Opponent - SD (Friedrich) Park - @SD
FD - 11.55 DK - 8.92

Ok. First we have to talk about Gary Sanchez. He is all things. His bat is made out of a thunderbolt the Almighty itself handcrafted especially and only for him. He is the personification of glory. He might break DFS. You have to play him. All the time in every park and in every matchup. I'm actually not even kidding. There's not a forecasting system this side of eternity built to handle a 75-homer pace kept up for more than 1/3 of a season, but for what it's worth, our algorithm likes him tonight against Blake Snell. It's rationally calling for a solid 10-point night on FanDuel. Nothing wrong with that, but it's not worth Sanchez's current price tag. Of course, Sanchez isn't doing rational things, so feel free to ignore the math and probabilities for a little while and ride the tide with a tournament lineup every night until the good times end.

Now back to our regular programming.

In the B.G. Era (Before Gary, as it will surely come to be known), Buster Posey was considered an elite hitting catcher. And he still kinda is. He's not gonna shower the bleachers with home runs balls, but even in a "down" year, you won't find much fault in his .293/.365/.444 triple slash or his elite BB:K ratio. And hidden within those numbers is the fact that he still destroys southpaws. His .388 wOBA and .196 ISO in the split this season are only slightly down from his career numbers, and that makes his matchup with Christian Friedrich an enticing one. Friedrich, if we may be brief, sucks. He's not the worst pitcher in the league by any means, but he has trouble locating the zone and tends to get slapped around a bit when he finds it. His 4.77 ERA is backed up by a 4.78 xFIP, so don't over think it. Yeah, Petco hurts Posey's chances of going deep, but we don't think we'll need a long ball to get our value returned tonight.

Yasmani GrandalYasmani Grandal FD 2900 DK 3200
Opponent - COL (Chatwood) Park - @LAD
FD - 10.13 DK - 7.68

If you're hunting upside at a discount, Grandal could be your guy. He's putting up elite power numbers this season (.244 ISO) and is even better against righties. And while Tyler Chatwood does a good job of limiting homers, he doesn't do much else well, which is why our projection system is excited about loading up against him tonight.


Adrian GonzalezAdrian Gonzalez FD 3000 DK 4000
Opponent - COL (Chatwood) Park - @LAD
FD - 11.04 DK - 8.38

Let's talk more about Mr. Chatwood. He's eeked out a decent 2016 by coaxing a high number of ground balls, which is imperative to his survival as a guy who makes half his starts in Coors Field. Those kinds of pitchers can be tough to stack against, but if you've avoided picking on Chatwood for that reason, you've missed out on some money, especially lately. The thing is, ground balls are nice, but they're nicer if you don't walk a guy every other inning. Chatwood's proclivity for the free pass (and inability to miss bats) has landed him on thin ice often, and recently he's been unable to skate by. He's given up four runs or more in four of his last six starts, and his xFIP (4.45) says more correction could be coming. As for Gonzalez, you know what you're getting here. The power has dropped substantially in 2016, but that's baked into his price, and he remains a solid dude (.360 wOBA vs. RHP) with a nice spot in a lineup we think could make some noise tonight.

Justin BourJustin Bour FD 2900 DK 3800
Opponent - ATL (de la Cruz) Park - @MIA
FD - 10.86 DK - 8.31

Despite what his prices might imply, Bour is actually a pretty legitimate source of power. He's backed up last year's 23 HRs in 129 games with 15 bombs in less than half a season's worth of at bats this year. He's also dropped his strikeout rate and raised his walk rate significantly, while posting a .343 wOBA and .223 ISO. See? Not bad. He should have a chance to pad those numbers tonight, squaring off with Josh Collmenter, a righty with fly-ball tendencies and a 4.68 xFIP over the last two seasons.

Consider: David Ortiz, at least on FanDuel. Over on DraftKings he's priced like a starting pitcher.

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Scooter GennettScooter Gennett FD 3300 DK 4100
Opponent - PIT (Vogelsong) Park - @MIL
FD - 10.89 DK - 8.84

Gennett's a decent ballplayer, but the fact that he's coming in so high in our projections today is really about two things: park and matchup. Miller Park is one of baseball's best venues for offense, and not many pitchers boost expected offensive output quite like Ryan Vogelsong. The 39-year-old has been in decline for a while now, and with an xFIP over 5.00 this season, it looks like we could be nearing the end. Lefties have been hitting him especially hard, with a wOBA over .380 and nearly 2 HRs/9 over the last two seasons.

Chase UtleyChase Utley FD 2400 DK 3800
Opponent - COL (Chatwood) Park - @LAD
FD - 10.02 DK - 7.87

You already know how we feel about the matchup with Chatwood, and Utley's price and spot at the top of the Dodgers order are just too good to ignore. Utley's obviously nowhere near the guy he once was, but he's still serviceable against RHP (.327 wOBA in 2016).

Consider: Dee Gordon


Carlos CorreaCarlos Correa FD 3600 DK 4600
Opponent - LAA (Nolasco) Park - @HOU
FD - 11.49 DK - 9.22

It's mild disappointment that after Correa put up 22 HRs and 14 stolen bases in 99 games as a 20-year-old rookie last year that he's merely matched those numbers over a full season in 2016. Don't let that obscure the fact that those are still pretty good stats. Also interesting: Correa's regression has come almost exclusively against lefties, as his .359 wOBA is virtually identical to what he did in the split last year. He's still a long way from reaching the stabilization point for platoon numbers, but it's safe to say that all the evidence we've seen so far says Correa can hit big-league righties. And in case you were wondering, that still includes Ricky Nolasco, despite how Angels fans might wish otherwise.

Francisco LindorFrancisco Lindor FD 3400 DK 4400
Opponent - KC (Vargas) Park - @CLE
FD - 10.78 DK - 8.93

Lindor's 2015 rookie season was perhaps even more revelatory than Correa's considering he was billed as a glove-first guy. But his sophomore campaign has more than proved he's no fluke with the bat, with a .308/.357/.439 triple slash to go along with 14 homers and 18 steals. He's also shown little difference in R/L preferences, so we're not hesitating to use him tonight against southpaw Jason Vargas, who will be making just his second start since returning from Tommy John surgery. Vargas was lifted after three innings in his return last week, but we've seen enough of the 33-year-old over the course of his career to know we won't shy away from picking on him or his 4.55 career xFIP.

Consider: Corey Seager. We don't love the value quite as much as the two guys above, put his projected point total is up there.


Yulieski GurrielYulieski Gurriel FD 3000 DK 2900
Opponent - LAA (Nolasco) Park - @HOU
FD - 11.09 DK - 8.9

We've only got about a month's worth of MLB at-bats to go off of with Gurriel, but so far they've only confirmed what the scouts told us: Dude can hit. He doesn't walk and the power hasn't totally materialized yet, but he's making contact with virtually everything and has a .290 average and .441 slugging percentage through about 100 PAs. He's also holding down an enviable spot between George Springer and Jose Altuve in the Astros order, which makes his price tag pretty appealing, especially on DraftKings.

Jung-ho KangJung-ho Kang FD 3600 DK 5100
Opponent - MIL (Anderson) Park - @MIL
FD - 11.04 DK - 8.65

After bottoming out in July, Kang has re-emerged in the second half, showing impressive power. Despite a DL stint, he has eight homers in August and September, raising his season total to 19 in just 331 PAs. That's translated to a .370 wOBA and .259 ISO, with the vast majority of the damage coming against RHP. That alone makes him worth his price on FanDuel, and when you factor in Miller Park, he might even be worth the steep cost on DraftKings. He'll be facing Chase Anderson, a fly-ball guy who has struggled to a 4.75 xFIP with 1.66 HRs/9 in 2016.

Consider: David Freese


Gregory PolancoGregory Polanco FD 3400 DK 5500
Opponent - MIL (Anderson) Park - @MIL
FD - 11.8 DK - 9.87

Given Anderson's troubles keeping the ball in the yard and the favorable park, we're liking the looks of a Pirates stack tonight. If you're going that route (or even if you're not) Polanco should get strong consideration in your lineups, because while Anderson owns reverse splits, we like what the Pirates cleanup hitter brings to the table. His power has surged in his third season, resulting in 22 homers and a .215 ISO, and he's also a threat to run, with 14 steals in 2016 after swiping 27 bags last year.

Rajai DavisRajai Davis FD 3100 DK 4700
Opponent - KC (Vargas) Park - @CLE
FD - 11.01 DK - 9.9

Davis typically gets the leadoff spot against lefties, and if he's there tonight, we think you're going to want him in most of your lineups, especially on FanDuel. He's a far more effective hitter against southpaws (.343 career wOBA), and he's shown an increase in power over the last couple of years, including a career high 12 HRs this season. And even at 35 years old he remains an elite basestealer. He's got 40 on the season, and we wouldn't be surprised to see him turned loose against Vargas, who struggles historically at controlling baserunners.

Josh ReddickJosh Reddick FD 2900 DK 3700
Opponent - COL (Chatwood) Park - @LAD
FD - 10.77 DK - 8.41

Reddick struggled badly after coming over to the Dodgers at the trading deadline, but has returned to form recently, so we're not sweating the August slump so much. Over the course of his career, Reddick has transformed himself from an all-or-nothing power guy with speed to an elite contact hitter with respectable pop. Even with some sporadic difficulties this year, he's still putting up very good numbers against RHP (.320/.386/.479). Much of that slugging percentage has been driven by singles, so he's probably better suited for cash games. But if he can creep back into the middle of the order tonight, we're OK with that, given the run-producing opportunities we're expecting against Chatwood.

Consider: Hunter Pence

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7 Visitor Comments

  1. Ha Brent I enjoyed reading this. A like the humour mixed in, especially with the Gary Sanchez, buster stuff. Keep up the good work. Your picks look good too

  2. Why would you even consider playing Sale at his price tag yesterday. I think that was just a mistake on your part and not his. I would pick him next time because an elite pitcher of his caliber “WILL” bounce back somewhat.

  3. That’s what I thought too. Until I looked deeper and saw how bad the Phillie’s have been in that split and recently as well. Plus Sale has been lights out and going deep in games. Add to that the ridiculous Bvp numbers sale had against them and i mean dude had a 48% k rate and a negative xFIP. I’d never seen that before. I rolled the dice.

  4. I have news for all of you. The top fantasy players in the world (aka sharks) were all on Sale last night. It happens. He will probably be back to being dominant next start while you sit him because he “screwed you.”

    • 🙂 I didn’t have him in one line-up…Ridiculously priced. Way better options….

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