Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

04/13/2017
Austyn Varney
Madison_Bumgarner_(1)

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 4/13/17

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Pitcher

Madison BumgarnerMadison Bumgarner FD 11300 DK 12500
Opponent - COL (Gray) Park - @SF
FD - 41.71 DK - 27.52

The Rockies will travel to San Fran and take on the Giants in what should be a fantastic pitching matchup. Bumgarner is the top option on the night, coming in at $11,3k on FD and $12.5k on DK. Bumgarner has pitched twice so far, going 7+ innings and scoring 37+ fantasy points. Bumgarner is extremely dominant against both sides of the plate, with ridiculous numbers against lefties. In 2016, Bumgarner held lefties to a .223 wOBA, which was a league-best. He's also one of the biggest strikeout guys in baseball, averaging 9.71 K/9 over the last 2 seasons. The Rockies are a really good team for Bumgarner to face. They are filled with strikeout-prone lefties and only a couple righties to worry about. Plus, this game is taking place in AT&T Park. Expect the Rockies hitters to have an absolute nightmare tonight. They ranked in both bottom 5 in the league against lefties on the road in 2016, sitting at a .297 wOBA. The Rockies aren't good at all outside of Coors Field and AT&T Park is the exact opposite. Bumgarner is an easy cash game play and has plenty of upside in tournaments.

Jonathan GrayJonathan Gray FD 7800 DK 10000
Opponent - SF (Bumgarner) Park - @SF
FD - 32.35 DK - 21.27

Right on the other side of the diamond, we will take a look at Jon Gray. Gray, who is much cheaper than Bumgarner, is a bit riskier and a lot more volatile of a player. Gray is a lot better than a lot of people think and Coors Field has a lot to do with that. While he actually pitched well there, he obviously struggled with the HR ball and had a few bad starts. Overall, Gray was a great pitcher in 2016. He finished with a .300 wOBA against righties and a .313 against lefties, which is incredible for a guy pitching half of his games in Coors Field. The Giants are usually not a team I love to target but this year is a bit different. They have added a few more strikeout guys and haven't been hitting all too well. Buster Posey is also on the 10-day DL, so you'll see Nick Hundley over him. Gray is a good play in all formats. With that being said, he's not on the same level as Bumgarner in cash games.

Yu DarvishYu Darvish FD 10400 DK 11500
Opponent - LAA (Nolasco) Park - @LAA
FD - 34.63 DK - 22.78

Bumgarner and Gray are the only two guys I like in cash games. There are definitely a few tournament options and we'll take a look at one here. Yu Darvish is a guy with unlimited upside at a price that will drive his ownership down. I expect everyone to pay up for Bumgarner and ignore Darvish against the Angels. The Angels have gotten a lot of love from vegas early but aren't all too good. They have one guy in Mike Trout who isn't too shabby, but outside of that, not much. Pujols is a K-happy power hitter that rarely connects anymore. They also leadoff Yunel Escobar and hit Andrelton Simmons 6th. This is a BAD OFFENSE. If you ever see Yunel Escobar in a lineup, let alone hitting 1st, ou can confirm that whatever team he's on has no clue what they're doing. He's one of the worst defenders in the league at 3rd and can't hit at all. If Darvish is able to get around Trout and limit his damage to Pujols/Cron, he could have the highest score on the night. Darvish has a higher K rate than Bumgarner and I would definitely argue for him in tourneys. Ricky Nolasco is also terrible and the Rangers should be able to put up some runs and get Darvish the W.

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Catcher

Victor MartinezVictor Martinez FD 2600 DK 3700
Opponent - MIN (Hughes) Park - @DET
FD - 9.18 DK - 6.77

On FanDuel, you know what to do. Victor Martinez is still catcher-eligible and way too cheap. He's a 4 hitter in 1 of the most lethal offenses in baseball. The Tigers face-off with Phil Hughes tonight, who's far from intimidating, especially to this lineup. Hughes was one of the worst pitchers in the league when healthy in 2016, finishing with numbers that don't even look real. Against lefties, he held a .412 wOBA to match the 5.24 xFIP and 39% hard contact rate allowed. Hughes used to be good and then age happened. He now has no velocity or movement and has trouble pinpointing his fastball. Martinez, a switch-hitter, is better against righties. He'sb been a constant pest against righties for the better part of 15 years. This season will be no different. He will see more RBI opportunities as the season moves along, as Miggy Cabrera isn't going to keep swinging like this. Just to reiterate, go ahead and play V-Mart in your FanDuel cash games.

Jacob RealmutoJacob Realmuto FD 2600 DK 4200
Opponent - NYM (Gsellman) Park - @MIA
FD - 8.13 DK - 6.44

Robert Gsellman started against the Marlins just a week ago, finishing with 7 strikeouts and 3 earned runs over 5 innings. The Marlins should be able to get to him early once again and get to the Mets bullpen. Gsellman was a lot better in 2016 than expected, though the sample size could be very telling. Vegas has the Marlins with a projected team total of 4.14, which is high for the Marlins. Realmuto has been terrific to start the season, scoring at least 3 fantasy points in every contest so far. In just 7 games, Realmuto currently has 2 HR and 12 hits. Realmuto was much better against lefties in 2016, slashing a .346 wOBA to go along with strong peripherals. Realmuto is one of the faster catchers in the league, so the Marlins are able to hit him in the 2 spot. He's one of the most versatile catchers around and is way too cheap on FanDuel.

Francisco CervelliFrancisco Cervelli FD 2600 DK 3700
Opponent - BOS (Rodriguez) Park - @BOS
FD - 8.08 DK - 6.2

After a curious 2016 campaign, Rodriguez came out and disappointed mightily in his 1st start. As a guy who many thought figured it out completely, Rodriguez still has a lot of work to do. He walks far too many righties and is then forced to groove fastballs to catch up in the count. When pitching somewhere like Fenway Park, that's bad news. Righties can hit a pop-fly to left and see the ball carry over the monster. Cervelli has been phenomenal against lefties in his brief career, sporting a .401 wOBA in 2016. This is a huge ballpark upgrade for the Pirates righties, as PNC Park is one of the worst spots in the league for righty power, if not the absolute worst. Fenway is a top 5 hitting environment and I look for the Pirates to take advantage. Cervelli is cheap across the industry and has the splits well in his favor.

First Base

Edwin EncarnacionEdwin Encarnacion FD 3500 DK 5000
Opponent - CHW (Gonzalez) Park - @CLE
FD - 10.99 DK - 7.88
Carlos SantanaCarlos Santana FD 3700 DK 4800
Opponent - CHW (Gonzalez) Park - @CLE
FD - 11.12 DK - 8.14

The Indians and Red Sox are our top 2 offenses of the day. both are at home facing off with a subpar right-hander. In the Indians case, it's Miguel Gonzalez. Looking at his .300 wOBA in 2016, you may think he's not half bad. When you dig a little deeper, it's clear he ran into a lot of luck. Right off the bat, a .263 BABIP is worrisome. Gonzalez also gives up a 24% line drive rate and only strikes out 6.2 batters per 9 innings. The Indians have the 2nd highest team total on the board at 4.95 and nearly everyone in the lineup is in play. Santana and Encarnacion are both elite options at first base. Santana is a switch-hitter who hits for more power against righties and also gets on-base a lot more than Encarnacion. For that reason, I like Santana more in cash and Encarnacion in tournaments. With that being said, both of these guys can go for 2 homers or go 0-for-4 with no surprise. Progressive Field was a top 12 park for power in 2016 and both of these guys will try to take advantage. Take your pick.

Hanley RamirezHanley Ramirez FD 3400 DK 4700
Opponent - PIT (Kuhl) Park - @BOS
FD - 10.75 DK - 8.05

Hanley returned from injury 2 nights ago and has since hit about 4 rockets, with 3 dropping in for hits. He is obviously healthy and that's a big deal for Hanley Ramirez. He is one of the better hitting 1st basemen when swinging it well and he's not priced like it, giving him plenty of tournament upside.  The Red Sox currently have the highest Vegas projected team total, sitting at 5.16. The Sox hit incredibly at Fenway park and you can't expect Chad Kuhl to be the guy who steps in there and shuts them down. This entire team is in play, starting with Hanley at 1st. He hits righties well, as evidenced by his .342 wOBA in 2016. He was also much better at home with a combined .397 wOBA. Chad Kuhl saw some luck against righties in his few innings in 2016. He is worse against lefties, though his real numbers against righties aren't great. With a 4.68 xFIP, peripherals aren't looking great for Kuhl. The Sox are all in play and Ramirez is one of the biggest bats in the lineup. I definitely like Santana and Encarnacion a bit more in cash games as both of those guys are a bit more consistent than HanRam.

Second Base

Devon TravisDevon Travis FD 2400 DK 3900
Opponent - BAL (Gausman) Park - @TOR
FD - 8.88 DK - 6.84

Devon Travis is going to start producing. Hopefully, he does it soon before the Blue Jays find a different leadoff hitter. Travis is a good hitter and the Blue Jays obviously know that, which is why there riding him out. Over the past 2 seasons, Travis has held a .360 wOBA against righties. He hit 9 homers in 300 at-bats and also stole 7 bags. Kevin Gausman is also a righty with huge reverse splits. In 2016, Gausman gave up a .349 wOBA to righties. He backed it up with 17 homers in 90 innings. Gausman has a lot of trouble with the longball and the Rogers Centre is a scary place to have that problem. Travis may not be going for the power but we'll talk about a guy who certainly will be a little later on. As for Travis, he's a great cash game play on FanDuel and a guy I would reserve for tournaments on DraftKings.

Dustin PedroiaDustin Pedroia FD 3200 DK 4500
Opponent - PIT (Kuhl) Park - @BOS
FD - 9.88 DK - 7.6

Pedroia has a hit in every game so far, continuing his torrid 2016 pace. Pedroia has flicked a switch over the past year, sporting a .358 wOBA against righties. He has hit the ball hard on a consistent basis and is pulling the ball more than he ever has, which is good news in Fenway Park. Chad Kuhl is a righty that doesn't offer much. With an underwhelming 4 pitch arsenal, he has 1 plus pitch, his sinker. After that pitch, batters have hit a combined .416 wOBA off of his remaining pitches. The Red Sox are not a team to get shut down by a 1 pitch pitcher and I love the team stack. There is a reason Vegas has them as the highest projected team total on the night. Dustin Pedroia may not have the upside usually but gets the honor of playing in Fenway with the green monster. That gives him as much upside as anyone and his price isn't too crazy outside of DK. Don't be hesitant to plug these Red Sox bats in. They can go for double digit runs with ease whenever at home.

Jonathan VillarJonathan Villar FD 3300 DK 4700
Opponent - CIN (Arroyo) Park - @CIN
FD - 9.07 DK - 8.25

I'm going to have a hard time getting off of Villar on FanDuel. At $3300, his floor and ceiling in this match-up are too high. Jonathan Villar is legitimately a really good hitter in many different ways. He's the real deal and should no longer be looked at as they young kid who' getting lucky at the plate. He's a .370 wOBA hitter that stole more bases than Billy Hamilton last year. He's a 36% hard contact rate hitter that hit 19 homers. This guy is a DFS gem and while he's been boom or bust this season, that will not continue. He will start spreading out his hits and putting himself in base stealing spots. The Brewers have ultimate confidence in Villar and I fully agree with them. Bronson Arroyo arose from the grave last week and made his first start. It didn't turn out well, ending with 10 fantasy points on FanDuel. The brewers should be able to get to him early and Villar will be a big part of it. Keep in mind, Stuart Turner is a weaker defensive catcher and Villar gets a small bump if he's catching. Don't let that hold you back it all though. It's just a small bump, he can still steal on Tucker Barnhart quite easily.

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Shortstop

Xander BogaertsXander Bogaerts FD 3300 DK 4800
Opponent - PIT (Kuhl) Park - @BOS
FD - 9.2 DK - 7.08

Xander had a great game last night after returning from injury 2 nights, going 3-for-5  with 2 RBI. While it doesn't mean anything for his performance today, it's nice to see a player perform after returning from injury. here have been plenty of times where people return from injury too soon and don't perform at all. There's not too much more to say about the match-up with Chad Kuhl. He's an extremely average and boring pitcher that offers little to no upside in any and every category. Bogaerts was good against righties in 2016, hitting for a .340 wOBA and a .146 ISO. He also hit better at home in Fenway, which goes unsaid. The Red Sox are a team we will continue to target and you can really go anywhere from 1-8. They all have upside and the offense is far from concentrated. I will say, Bogaerts seems to be a big piece in games where the Red Sox hit well. He is going to cement himself as one of the top SS's in the league this year and he's in a great spot tonight. He is playable in all formats against Juhl and the Pirates 'pen.

Marcus SemienMarcus Semien FD 2700 DK 3600
Opponent - KC (Vargas) Park - @KC
FD - 9.37 DK - 7.17

Marcus Semien is a pure tournament play. He's the epitome of a boom or bust hitter. In 2016, Semien hit 27 home runs and held .343 wOBA against lefties. He also strikes out a lot and doesn't hold a huge OBP. Jason Vargas, the opposing pitcher, is a guy without much to offer. Vargas hasn't pitched more than 50 innings since 2014, when he allowed 17 homers to righties. He' 3 years older now and 34, which is pretty damn old for a pitcher who relies on delusion on his fastball. He puts righties away ith his changeup and if the fastball isn't working, that's not possible. Semien has a chance to jump on one here and send it out. In cash games, stick to Bogaerts or Mercer. In tournaments, Semien is in play almost every slate. He's a shortstop that hit 27 homers at $2700 and $3600 respectively. Never be hesitant to give this guy a run.

Jordy MercerJordy Mercer FD 2100 DK 3500
Opponent - BOS (Rodriguez) Park - @BOS
FD - 9.36 DK - 7.07

Yes please! if you've been playing DFS MLB for a couple years, you know the drill. This little shortstop in Pittsburgh is an absolute stud against lefties and they know it. He will be at the top of the order and he will hit a couple balls hard. If he's able to pull them, the upside is there. Dating back to 2015, mercer has sported a .389 wOBA against left-handers. He has a 38% hard contact rate and a 24.6% line drive rate. Fenway Park is extremely favorable to Mercer, who pulled the ball 50% of the time against lefties in 2016.  Rodriguez, as mentioned, is a lefty who has had some struggles with the HR ball. The Pirates are a pretty interesting stack as a whole and Mercer, in particular, is fantastic. Make sure he's in the top half of the lineup for cash games.

Third Base

Josh DonaldsonJosh Donaldson FD 3600 DK 4600
Opponent - BAL (Gausman) Park - @TOR
FD - 10.61 DK - 7.74

With Kris Bryant, Manny Machado, and Josh Donaldson all being in favorable spots, I don't think Donaldson is too highly owned here. He comes in a bit too cheap on both sites as he's usually $500-$600 more. Kevin Gausman, as mentioned, is a big reverse splits righty. He allowed a .349 wOBA to right-handers in 2016 and 17 home runs in 90 innings. While Donaldson is better against lefties, he's a top 3 hitter in the world against lefties. He's still great against righties. In 2016, he mashed them for a .432  wOBA in the Rogers Centre. I can almost guarantee a ball will be hit to at leas the warning track by Donaldson. Our tilt will be decided on whether is a fly out or a 450-foot bomb. Donaldson aims for the fences every swing and Kevin Gausman doesn't have the stuff to put him down on strikes. Donaldson is by far our favorite 3B in terms of FP per dollar at the expensive tier. Donaldson already has 2 homers on the young season and I wouldn't be surprised to see him get his 3rd tonight. He's an elite option in both cash games and tournaments. On a slate with no gas cans, Donaldson may be my highest priority after Bumgarner in cash games.

Mike MoustakasMike Moustakas FD 2900 DK 3400
Opponent - OAK (Hahn) Park - @KC
FD - 9.54 DK - 7.03

When I saw Jesse Hahn was pitching, I remembered him being a pretty average pitcher. When I went to look at his numbers, I was blown away. He's no good. I was remembering the 2015 version that held righties to a .223 wOBA over 50 innings. He then got hurt and returned as an awful pitcher. In 2016, he allowed a ludicrous .443 wOBA to lefties in 20 innings. That was with half of his games in the Oakland Coliseum, which is somehow worse than Kaufmann. Mike Moustakas has been hitting well to start the season and he's always hit well against righties. In his last full season, he rocked them for a .386 wOBA. He took a dip last season but looked to get unlucky in a few different ways. Moustakas is a bit too cheap across the industry and this match-up is just too good. My problem is going to be getting exposure to all 3 of these 3rd basemen, as I like them all a lot. Moustakas should go under-owned and his upside is plentiful. Make sure you get some exposure to Moose Tacos if you're running out multiple lineups.

Yandy DiazYandy Diaz FD 2100 DK 3000
Opponent - CHW (Gonzalez) Park - @CLE
FD - 8.22 DK - 6.51

If you need to pay down somewhere, this is a GREAT way to go. Yandy Diaz has been hitting in the heart of an Indians order that is firmly in play today. Facing Miguel Gonzalez, the Indians should be able to get to the White Sox lackluster bullpen early. We don't have much on Diaz but he did hit .325 in AAA last year and belted 9 homers. He obviously has a good bat or he wouldn't be dropped in the middle of the reigning AL Champions order. He also swiped 11 bags, which gives this kid a whole different level of versatility. Both Miguel Gonzalez and Geovany Soto are subpar at holding runners, which could benefit both Yandy Diaz and Francisco Lindor. Diaz is a fantastic punt in cash games and makes a lot of sense in tournaments as well.

Outfield

Michael BrantleyMichael Brantley FD 3200 DK 5000
Opponent - CHW (Gonzalez) Park - @CLE
FD - 10.12 DK - 7.84
Tyler NaquinTyler Naquin FD 2300 DK 3900
Opponent - CHW (Gonzalez) Park - @CLE
FD - 1.98 DK - 1.55

The Indians are a team we have targeted already and touched on for the most part. Miguel Gonzalez is a very average right-hander that will presumably struggle against both righties and lefties in Progressive Field. He's followed by a bad bullpen that has been incredibly lucky to start the season. Brantley looks to be back to his old-self driving the ball in nearly every at-bat. He was an MVP contender in 2015 and could return back to that level of hitting. Tyler Naquin was a guy who was quietly a great hitter last season. Against righties, Naquin sported a .378 wOBA. He can really hit the ball and he can hit it far as evident with 14 homers in 300 at-bats. Depending on where Naquin ends up in the lineup, he may be my favorite cash game play on FanDuel. He is just stupid cheap and is way too talented to be close to the minimum. Both of these guys are playable in all formats on both sites. They are expensive on DraftKings but so is everyone in a good spot.

Rajai DavisRajai Davis FD 2500 DK 3900
Opponent - KC (Vargas) Park - @KC
FD - 6.77 DK - 5.58
Khris DavisKhris Davis FD 3400 DK 4100
Opponent - KC (Vargas) Park - @KC
FD - 9.38 DK - 6.81

I'm assuming Rajai Davis hits leadoff here. If they do something weird and put him in the bottom of the order, I'll keep him to tourneys. If he does end up in the 1 spot, Rajai is a lock in my cash games. He absolutely rocks left-handed pitching and can also steal on lefties like crazy. Over the last 2 years, Rajai has sported  a.324 wOBA and has hit 13 homers off of lefties.  While an HR might be a little tough here in Kaufmann, a triple is cool. I'll take a single too, as he will turn that into a triple with one steal. As for Khris Davis, he's an animal against left-handed pitching. He finished with a .363 wOBA against lefties in 2016 and hit 42 home runs overall. Davis is a 2-HR threat anytime he takes the field and tonight is a great chance. Jason Vargas is extremely unintimidating and Davis will be aiming for the seats. Both of these guys are great plays everywhere and I think they go under-owned in this ballpark.

Alex GordonAlex Gordon FD 2700 DK 3900
Opponent - OAK (Hahn) Park - @KC
FD - 9.06 DK - 6.86

When a guy has a .443 wOBA against lefties, you have to get exposure. Jesse Hahn was atrocious against left-handers in 2016 and I will continue to target him until he shows a change. Alex Gordon is a very underrated hitter and rakes against righties. Since 2014, Gordon has sported a .351 wOBA in KC against righties. He will be in the heart of the order and see one of the best match-ups possible in Jesse Hahn. Gordon has a fair price on both sites and makes sense everywhere. He is typically a cash game type of player but against Hahn, he's fine everywhere. The Royals are a team that will go under-owned and I could see a team stack taking down a tournaments. they have a few bats in Brandon Moss and Eric Hosmer plus the 2 we have mentioned that can put a hurting on Hahn. The outfield is stacked and Alex Gordon isn't a flashy player. I expect 10-20% in tournaments and close to 35% in cash.

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