Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

04/05/2017
Austyn Varney
Via Keith Allison

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 4/5/17

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Pitcher

Rich HillRich Hill FD 9600 DK 10800
Opponent - SD (Cahill) Park - @LAD
FD - 42.99 DK - 28.26

Kenta Maeda got off to a rocky start against the Padres last night and only lasted 4 innings. He did start to figure things out, but was yanked due to pitch count and fear of the big inning. The Padres remain horrible and Rich Hill will be the guy who takes advantage tonight. Hill was dominant against both righties and lefties in 2016, sporting a sub .244 wOBA against both sides. The Padres are worse against lefties, as guys like Schimpf and Solarte have more power against right-handers. Hill is expensive and rightfully so. He has ELITE numbers and gets an ideal match-up here with a Padres team that throws out by far the worst lineup in baseball. Wil Myers is the only real issue and Hill should be able to rack up the strikeouts outside of him. Hill just isn't a guy I think we look to have the same hiccups as most. In 2016, Hill only gave up 4 home runs in over 100 innings of work. Hill has ace stuff and can put it to the test at any point. The Dodgers are the biggest favorite on this slate and the Padres are slated to only score 2.59 runs. Hill is the easy cash game choice and has more than enough upside in tournaments.

Michael PinedaMichael Pineda FD 8200 DK 8400
Opponent - TB (Cobb) Park - @TB
FD - 34.85 DK - 22.96

After Rich Hill, I have no cash game comfort in anyone. There are a few more pitchers with tournament appeal, but none of them even compare to the cash game play Rich Hill is. Looking a bit more towards tournaments, Michael Pineda should be able to have success against this Rays team. They strikeout a ton and Pineda has the stuff to give them huge problems. Pineda has the tools to be a top 10 starter. With a snapping fastball and 2 other ++ pitches, Pineda has the upside to strikeout 10 batters at any time. Unfortunately, he can't locate pitches all too well, told too well by his 2.72 BB/9 in 2016. Pineda will look to contain this Rays offense with the strikeout, as that's the only way Pineda knows how to attack. If his slider is working, it could be a long day for this lineup. Pineda had plenty of good starts last year and it really just depends on how he starts out. if he is able to get a run or two lead and get off to a good start, he will roll through. He could also give up 3 or 4 in the 1st inning and be out of the game by the 3rd. Pineda is a GPP monster with plenty of upside and downside.

Chris SaleChris Sale FD 11400 DK 11200
Opponent - PIT (Taillon) Park - @BOS
FD - 40.71 DK - 26.84

Sale is obviously the "best" pitcher on this slate and in terms of strikeout upside, nobody compares. In 2016, Sale dominated both sides of the plate. He also held a 10 K/9, which ended up being in the top 10 in all of the majors. The Pirates aren't a bad team and Sale will have his work cut out for him. With that being said, there are a few weak spots. Outside of Marte and McCutchen, nobody scares me. David Freese hits lefties well, but is now completely washed up and more a strikeout machine than anything.  The Red Sox currently hold the 2nd biggest moneyline favorite, so Sale is fine in cash games as well. His price is high, so you will be forced to pay down in at least 1 or 2 extra spots. We do think Rich Hill is a better pt/$ play in both cash games and tournaments. Sale has to have an amazing game to pull off this price tag and in the first game of the year, I see no way the Sox will push him to past 95-100 pitches.

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Catcher

Victor MartinezVictor Martinez FD 3000 DK 3800
Opponent - CHW (Shields) Park - @CHW
FD - 9.29 DK - 6.86

We do have a smaller slate earlier on the day and I figured I would just touch on the slate as a whole here. With 6 average pitchers on the slate, Ian Kennedy and John lackey look to be the only guys with real appeal. Still, 2 of these 3 games have serious weather concerns. Make sure to pay attention to twitter as the day moves along and don't hesitate to fade this slate and focus on the main. V-Mart and the Tigers face off with James Shields, who use to be good. he is now a HR machine that gives up nearly a .400 wOBA to lefties. Martinez may not be the power hitter he once was from the left side but still has the poise and approach as always. I expect Martinez to have a solid year and Shields will help him start that. On FanDuel, you plug him in. He is far and away better than any other option on this slate. On Draftings, there is definitely more of a discussion. Either way, I don't think you can go wrong with V-Mart here.

Yasmani GrandalYasmani Grandal FD 2800 DK 3600
Opponent - SD (Cahill) Park - @LAD
FD - 8.76 DK - 6.29

Trevor Cahill has been a part of the Cubs bullpen for the previous 2 seasons. He has now ventured onto the Padres and found a way to join that pitiful rotation. While Cahill had decent numbers last year, I don't trust it. They were all out of the bullpen and he was never forced to see the same better 2 or 3 times. Cahill last started in 2014, when he allowed a .405 wOBA to lefties on a 34% contact rate. Grandal hit a home from each side of the plate on opening day and hopefully that will be a sign of things to come for a guy who has struggled for most of the lat couple seasons. Grandal should be able to stay healthy and this game in particular sets up quite well. Cahill is a lackluster righty that Grandal should have no problem turning on. With that being said, this is still Yasmani Grandal and he's still a tournament option.

Cameron RuppCameron Rupp FD 2400 DK 3400
Opponent - CIN (Finnegan) Park - @CIN
FD - 8.23 DK - 6.11

I do think Brandon Finnegan is a lot better than people give him credit for, so don't take this as a bash at him. He's a young lefty with a ton of promise that has added an electric changeup to his already great arsenal. Still, he struggled mightily against righties in 2016. In 133 innings pitched against righties, Finnegan managed to allow 27 home runs and a .334 wOBA. Camron Rupp seems to fly under the radar, but his left-handed pitching quite well. In 2016, Rupp hit lefties for a .415 wOBA last season and while I'm not sure that's necessarily sustainable, I do think he's a great play. Great American Ballpark is also very friendly and doesn't mind letting a few balls squeak out. In 2016 the ballpark ranked top 5 in terms of home runs and runs scored. Rupp is super cheap and makes for a viable play across the board. He's also good against righties, so you don't have to worry about him getting hit for if a righty comes in.

First Base

Brandon BeltBrandon Belt FD 2900 DK 4000
Opponent - ARI (Walker) Park - @ARI
FD - 10.96 DK - 8.02

This affair between the Giants and D-Backs is one we will target quite a few times tonight, with Brandon Belt being the first example. Taijuan Walker is good. Taking a stand against him is not a good idea if you want to be right. However, he's nothing special just yet against lefties. He also moves from Safeco Field to Chase Field, which is a HUGE difference. Walker will see a few bad games and the Giants are pretty good candidates to deliver one. They suffocate pitchers until they are forced to throw strikes. They then spread the ball around the field and runs on the board. Belt will likely have a big piece of whatever may happen as he seems to always be right in the mix against righties. Belt has hit righties to a +.350 wOBa for 3 straight seasons now and this ballpark helps him out a lot as well. Chase Field was 2nd in HR's over the last 5 years behind just Coors Field.

Kendrys MoralesKendrys Morales FD 2900 DK 4300
Opponent - BAL (Bundy) Park - @BAL
FD - 9.67 DK - 7.02

Dylan Bundy is a complete mystery. We, along with everyone else, have no idea how we will pitch this season. As a guy who was supposed to be an eventual CY Young winner, you have to be excited for the prospects. He has dynamic stuff and can shut down entire offenses if it's working. The problem is that Bundy rarely has it working at this point. He struggled against both lefties and righties last year, walking a ton of batters and not capitalizing when given the opportunity. The Blue Jays picked up Morales and stuck him right in the middle of this lethal offense. In 2016, Morales hit righties to the tune of a .336 wOBA. He's also a switch-hitter, whigh gives him a constsant platoon advantage. Morales is cheap acorss the industry and should be in for  abig year inside that lineup.

Tommy JosephTommy Joseph FD 2000 DK 4100
Opponent - CIN (Finnegan) Park - @CIN
FD - 10.19 DK - 7.47

If you're playing on DraftKings, ignore this. They have his price at the right spot nd I don't see a reason to play him outside of tournaments. On FanDuel however, Joseph is almost a cash game lock for me. He is dead-minimum priced and faces off against a young lefty that struggled a ton against righties. Joseph, who is also young, has been terrific in his young career against southpaws. Smashing for  a.383 wOBA in 2016, Joseph will look to hit off-speed pitches better this season and increase that number. He does make a ton of hard contact and against a finesse pitcher like Finnegan, you have to love that. The Great American Ballpark is a strong hitters park to both right and left, which is likely why this game sits with one of the higher over/unders on the day. Joseph is far too Cheap on FanDuel and I just can't see going wrong with him. Of course, you can go to either of the other guys listed as they have the same upside and will be much lesser owned. Joseph should end up being very highly-owned on FanDuel at the minimum, especially with some high-priced pitchers to like.

Second Base

Robinson CanoRobinson Cano FD 3200 DK 4400
Opponent - HOU (Morton) Park - @HOU
FD - 10.18 DK - 7.59

Charlie Morton is the epitome of an average MLB pitcher. As a right-hander, he gets it done against righties and struggles against lefties. Cano, as one of the best players in the game, will have the ability to take advantage of that. He did hit a nice double yesterday and it looks like he's fully healthy to enter the season. Cano has been a top 5 hitter against righties for a while now and ended up with a .396 wOBA in 2016. Minute Maid Park is pretty neutral for lefties and shouldn't provide any hindrance for Cano and crew. Cano is one of the best options at any position tonight and I like him in all formats. He will likely be highly owned, as the match-up and price both jump off the page. I don't see any reason to fade Cano here, outside of a large-field tourney.

Ian KinslerIan Kinsler FD 3200 DK 4600
Opponent - CHW (Shields) Park - @CHW
FD - 9.58 DK - 7.42

Kinsler is usually a guy we want to target against lefties. He rakes them and has a somewhat elevated price that makes him too expensive for most match-ups. On this 3-game early slate, you don't really have to worry about pricing. Kinsler is the top option at 2B against a putrid James Shields. Shields has been atrocious against righties over the last 2 years, with a combined .384 wOBA. Kinsler on the other hand, hit righties to a .340 wOBA clip in 2016 to back up his 21 homers against righties.  The Tigers are the top offense on this early slate and you better get plenty of exposure. If you're playing the all-day slate, I do like the Tigers a lot. However, they will likely be highly owned. You can get some later games at extremely small ownership. Shields will try to start off the season on a good note, against one of the best lineups in baseball. Personally, I don't think it turns out well.

Brandon DruryBrandon Drury FD 2500 DK 3500
Opponent - SF (Moore) Park - @ARI
FD - 7.75 DK - 5.87

Looking at tournaments, you want a couple guys with a lot of upside and not much ownership. Brandon Drury certainly constitutes, as he is one of the more promising youngsters and is taking on a lefty that struggles with the long ball. In 2016, Drury was 23. He hit lefties a .339 wOBA clip on his way to 6 homers in less than 60 games. Drury showed some crazy power and loves hitting in Chase Field. Drury is too cheap on both sites and I think he ends up being a guy who hits around 30 home runs this season. Matt Moore wasn't terrible against righties in terms of wOBA, but did give up 20 homers to rightie sin 2016. Drury is a tournament-only play and a great one at that. If Moore leaves one over the plate, Drury will make him pay.

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Shortstop

Brandon CrawfordBrandon Crawford FD 2400 DK 3700
Opponent - ARI (Walker) Park - @ARI
FD - 9.35 DK - 7.01

Brandon Crawford delivered his first HR of the season last night, drilling a line drive down the line off of Patrick Corbin. Crawford hits righties even better, holding a .331 wOBA in 2016. Like Brandon Belt, Crawford also gets a huge bump in Chase Field. It's much easier to get it out there than it is in San Fran, where he would have hit a big brick wall instead of seats last night. We have already touched on Taijuan Walker. He is rather average at this point against lefties and will take some time to get use to this move. Walker was pitching in one of the best environments in baseball, so you can definitely expect a few mishaps in the first couple starts. Crawford is pretty cheap on both sites and makes sense in both cash games and tournaments.

Troy TulowitzkiTroy Tulowitzki FD 2800 DK 4600
Opponent - BAL (Bundy) Park - @BAL
FD - 9.75 DK - 7.16

Once again, FanDuel has missed the mark on a price. Tulowitzki is just $2800 over there and a near lock for me in cash games. While Dylan Bundy does have a lot of hype and could be a fantastic pitcher, he's not there yet. Tulowitzki is a polished bat and will be able to see plenty of good pitches with these bats surrounding him. Tulowitzki is obviously a lot better against lefties, but that doesn't mean he can't hit righties. In 2016, Tulo sported a .326 wOBA that was depressed slightly. Camden Yards is a very nice park for home runs as it has ranked in the top 5 for 3 straight seasons. The Orioles also have a weaker bullpen this year and should struggle at times in this ballpark. Bundy was just as good against righties as he was lefties in 2016, sitting around .330 against both. I expect Tulowitzki to see 4 solid at-bats and makes for a great cash game and tournament play at $2.8k on FD.

Third Base

Maikel FrancoMaikel Franco FD 3000 DK 4500
Opponent - CIN (Finnegan) Park - @CIN
FD - 9.68 DK - 7.14

Once again, Brandon Finnegan isn't horrible. he has a lot of promise as a young lefty and I think he even shows some flashes here against the Phillies lefties. Franco however, will be a different story. As I've said multiple times, Finnegan struggles against righties in a huge way. Franco on the contrary, has mashed lefties since entering the league to a .351 wOBA. Finnegan is one of the more HR-prone lefties in the league and there is no better chance for Franco to send one yard. He's obviously more of a tournament player in general, as the guy we will touch on next makes a lot more sense in your cash games. In tournaments, you can go ahead and embrace Franco. He has 2 HR upside in any game and this ballpark will only help. Like almost everyone, DK is right on the nose and FD seems to have missed the boat on pricing Franco, who is just $3k there.

Kyle SeagerKyle Seager FD 3500 DK 4100
Opponent - HOU (Morton) Park - @HOU
FD - 9.7 DK - 7.17

Seager, like Cano, has been phenomenal against righties over the last couple years. In 2016, Seager sported a .390 wOBA against righties to go along with a stupid 40.9% hard contact rate. Seager is absolutely the real deal against right-handers and is just as good as Cano in this match-up. Charlie Morton is extremely average and has nothing to scare you away from these perennial bats. Seager is the safest option at 3B and I love him in cash games. This Mariners team is one I like in tournaments as these lefties are in a good spot and the bullpen isn't very strong. The Mariners stack could be an interesting one here if Morton gets beat up early. As for Seager alone, you can confidently plug him into your cash games.

Nolan ArenadoNolan Arenado FD 4100 DK 5000
Opponent - MIL (Peralta) Park - @MIL
FD - 10.35 DK - 7.56

Nolan Arenado is facing off with Wily Peralta, who is really bad. Hee gives up A LOT of home runs and is not good at all against righties. As one of the most HR prone pitchers in the league, I have to take a look at Nolan Arenado. I'm always hesitant to target Arenado outside of Corrs Field, as he is priced up and will rarely see the same numbers he does in Colorado. Still, this match-up was too much to ignore. In 2016, Peralta sported a .365 wOBA against righties and gave up 10 homers in just 60 innings. Arenado hits righties and lefties both well and should have no problem connecting with Peralta. Arenado should go under-owned here and I love him in tournaments. Miller Park is a strong environment for hitters and especially righties who tend to pull.

Outfield

Hunter PenceHunter Pence FD 2500 DK 4200
Opponent - ARI (Walker) Park - @ARI
FD - 10.69 DK - 7.96

Pence is a fine play on DraftKings, but by no means a must. FanDuel has found a way to keep Pence at $2500, as I guess they like an OF being 50%+ owned. Either way, I'm gonna keep playing him. He is hitting 3rd in one of the better offenses in baseball that has one of the higher team totals on the slate tonight. Walker is good against righties, so I see the merit for fading. I'm still extremely hesitant to not have nearly 100% exposure to Pence, as he's just too good of a hitter for that price. While he is better against southpaws, Pence has sported a +.320 wOBA against righties for 5 straight years. Nobody would be batting an eye if Pence was one of the most expensive outfielders on the slate. Instead, he's one of the cheapest. There's a ginormous difference between fading in tournaments and fading Hunter Pence in cash at $2.5k. Don't do the latter.

A.J. PollockA.J. Pollock FD 3500 DK 4100
Opponent - SF (Moore) Park - @ARI
FD - 10.1 DK - 8.36
Yasmany TomasYasmany Tomas FD 2900 DK 3900
Opponent - SF (Moore) Park - @ARI
FD - 9.84 DK - 7.41

A.J. Pollock is one of the best players in baseball. If you don't believe me, just wait about a week and you will. Like a mini-Trout, Pollock does EVERYTHING well. He can hit it 450 feet, steal a bag, or hit one in the gap. As such a versatile hitter, Pollock has obliterated lefties. In 2015, his last full season, Pollock sported a .389 wOBA against lefties. He is an elite cash game and tournament play at outfield. Tomas, who is a bit more boom or bust, has a great match-up as well. Tomas hit lefties well in 2016 with a .364 wOBA and 11 homers against. Like Drury, you can bet Tomas will pay if Moore makes a mistake. As a guy who is prone to homers, I think a Diamondback or a few will connect tonight in hitter-friendly Chase Field. I don't like this spot one bit for Matt Moore. Consider stacking this Diamondbacks team in tournaments.

George SpringerGeorge Springer FD 3900 DK 4400
Opponent - SEA (Paxton) Park - @HOU
FD - 11.35 DK - 8.63

Springer is never gonna be the safest play on the. board. He can strikeout 3 times against anyone in the league and then hit 3 HR's against them the next. It's simply unpredictable at times. However, we know he's a lot better against lefties. Springer sees James Paxton tonight, who is a promising youngster. With that being said, he's struggled at times against righties. Dating back to last season, Paxton has sported a .310 wOBA against righties. Springer ended up with a .400 wOBA against lefties in 2016, so you deifnitely want to take him seriously in tournaments.

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7 Visitor Comments

  1. keep tabs on the Philly/Cincy game, rain in forecast at present.

  2. Sox/Detroit game already cancelled for today

  3. welcome to baseball in early April, the weather is a crap shoot!!!!

  4. You have Hill as the easy cash game play, but in the Pitchers article you say he’s fragile and hard to trust for cash games??

    • I didn’t write the pitchers article today.

      • I understand that but you guys are on the same site and I would think the information would be somewhat consistent. Not completely opposite from one article to the next.

        • I think you’ll find virtually every sports site with multiple authors has multiple viewpoints.

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