Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Jerry Vanderwoude

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 4/22/17

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Carlos CarrascoCarlos Carrasco FD 10300 DK 10900
Opponent - CHW (Shields) Park - @CHW
FD - 35.66 DK - 23.39
Carlos Carrasco is the most expensive pitcher on the main slate across the industry and with good reason. Sporting a 1-1 record he comes in to tonight's contest with the White Sox in Chi Town with a 2.33 ERA, a .84 WHIP and a 19/6 K/BB ratio. That ratio would be even better if he didn't struggle so much with his control last time out against Detroit. He actually whiffed as many as he walked in that one, 5 each. The White Sox righty heavy bats are nothing to worry about against an ace right hander like Carrasco, who struck out 1.02/9 from each side of the plate last season and was more dominant versus the right side of the plate with a .294 wOBA compared to a .313 against lefties. The tribe is heavily favored in this game and I expect to see Carrasco throwing deep in to the night. A high floor high ceiling play definitely in play in all formats.

Jacob deGromJacob deGrom FD 10500 DK 9900
Opponent - WSH (Gonzalez) Park - @NYM
FD - 33.89 DK - 22.28
deGrom was scheduled to start last night against the Netionals in Citi Field but was pushed off a day due to neck stiffness. This is one to watch closely. If cleared to start, and everything I'm reading leads me to think he will, he makes for an excellent cash game play against a Nationals team that sported a respectable, yet still league average .318 wOBA against righties last year. I'd steer clear in tournaments, as Washington only struck out 20% of the time against right handers, and toeing the rubber against Gio means the win is far from a sure thing. If deGrom is held out once again, the Mets seem likely to insert Sean Gilmartin into his spot in the rotation which would add greatly to the appeal of the Washington bats. I fully expect deGrom to make the start, and he's been sharp to start off this season sporting a .56 WHIP despite having yet to garner a win in this first month.

Michael PinedaMichael Pineda FD 9100 DK 10100
Opponent - PIT (Taillon) Park - @PIT
FD - 32.83 DK - 21.6
We're only three starts into the season and Micheal Pineda has already demonstrated how frustratingly bad he can lok at times, and how impressive he can be, and he's done both against the Rays. He got rocked in his season opener allowing 4 runs on 8 hits in a mere 3.2 innings, and then came back five days later, and held them to 1 run on 2 hits in 7.2. His third start, this time against the Cardinals, was a repeat of game two. Two runs on six hits in 7 innings and once again garnering the all important W. He's struck out an impressive 23 batters, while allowing only 1 free pass so far. The Pirates have struggled early on this season, their .304 team wOBA against right handers is among the bottom third in baseball, though to their credit, their strike out percentage of 15.2% is the best in the game against right handed pitching at this point. This could limit Pinedas upside drastically, but he is still a fine play in cash games, and if it turns out deGrom is unable to take the hill, most of my early action will land right here.

Jerad EickhoffJerad Eickhoff FD 8300 DK 8300
Opponent - ATL (Garcia) Park - @PHI
FD - 31.16 DK - 20.54
The Braves are who we thought they were. Atlanta was turning some heads early on, with some impressive hitting displays to open up SunTrust Park. Then the Nationals came down south and reminded them where their place is in the NL east. Now, they're on the road, where they've only won two games so far and spending the weekend in the city of brotherly love. I'm currently watching Jeremy Hellickson hold them to one run in the sixth inning, and if you look at their lines from last season, Hellickson and Eickhoff are nearly identical. Hoff had a just slightly better 2016, 20.6 K%, .278 BABIP, 3.65 ERA, and a .310 wOBA. The Braves, as I said are having a horrible time on the road this year, despite their .311 wOBA. Their 28.5 hard hit % is among the worst in the National League. The Phillies are slightly favored to win this one, and if the offense can get to Jaime Garcia early, the Hoff could cruise to a win here. Just as I finish bad mouthing the Braves offense, Freddy Freeman goes deep in Citizens Bank Park. Phillies are still winning, and the Braves offense still stinks, I stand by this pick.



Victor MartinezVictor Martinez FD 2700 DK 3900
Opponent - MIN (Mejia) Park - @MIN
FD - 9.55 DK - 7.04
Let me save you folks down in the comments section the trouble. Before you read any further, scroll up, click on strategy, and read Doug's "Why batting order matters" article. Adding to the fact that VMart is one of the few listed "catchers" to bat high up in the order, and he comes in at a price on FanDuel that is akin to highway robbery, today he along with the rest of the Tigers bats are going up against a Twins southpaw making his third big league start. To date Adalberto Mejia has pitched 6.2 innings in 2 starts all against the White Sox. He's allowed 11 base runners and permitted three of them to score and struck out 4 batters. Granted, it's an extremely limited sample size we're working with here, but again, low priced high in the order at a traditionally bad position to roster anyway. On FanDuel, I'll roll the dice. On DraftKings, keep on reading.

Yasmani GrandalYasmani Grandal FD 2800 DK 3500
Opponent - ARI (Ray) Park - @ARI
FD - 8.32 DK - 5.98
The Dodgers are spending the weekend in Chase Field playing the Diamondbacks. While it's no Coors Field, Chase is very hitter friendly and yet, the sites don't over correct pricing for it the way they do for Coors. This makes L.A. bats all that much more appealing. Grandal rode the bench for Thursday night's game with the Rockies in Coors after going 0-3 with a walk the night before. Though he has reached base safely in 4 straight games, Grandal hasn't had an extra base hit since opening day when he went yard twice. He'll look to turn things around against Robbie Ray, coming off of a 2016 in which he had a .321 combined wOBA and allowed 1.24 HR/9.

Buster PoseyBuster Posey FD 4500 DK 4500
Opponent - COL (Senzatela) Park - @COL
FD - 11.26 DK - 8.37
Buster Posey missed a week with a concussion, but returned to the lineup and didn't miss a step, going 4 for 9 in 2 games against the Royals. The Giants are back in the National League now, and more importantly, they're in Coors Field for a weekend of long balls and high fantasy scores. The Rockies are sending young right hander Antonio Senzatela to the hill today. Senzatela's last start was against the Giants, though that game was in AT&T Park. Once again, with a young pitcher we're looking at a sample size too small to really garner any pertinent information, but the one home run Senzatela has given up this year came in Coors to the Padres. Posey meanwhile hit righties extremely well last season, with a .411 ops, .752 slg and a .324 wOBA.

First Base

Chris DavisChris Davis FD 3000 DK 4500
Opponent - BOS (Wright) Park - @BAL
FD - 10.69 DK - 7.62
The Orioles are hosting the Red Sox, and Crush is looking to put that series in Cincinnati behind him. Today he will step into the box against Steven Wright. Wright, held a resepctable .271 wOBA against left handers in 2016 and was a much better pitcher away from Fenway, allowing just 3 home runs in 77.1 innings with a 2.09 ERA. Davis meanwhile through 14 games this season is sporting a .552 SLG, .905 OPS, and .386 wOBA with a 42.1 hard hit percentage and 5 of his 7 hits going for extra bases. I like the Orioles a lot today and it starts with Crush Davis.

Hanley RamirezHanley Ramirez FD 3100 DK 4600
Opponent - BAL (Aquino) Park - @BAL
FD - 10.37 DK - 7.77
Over in the visitors dugout of the same game is Hanley Ramirez. The Orioles have called up Jayson Aquino from AAA to make the spot start while Chris Tillman is out with a shoulder injury. We don't have a lot on Aquino. He made three appearances out of the bullpen last season, two against the Red Sox, but he only faced 8 batters, giving up 1 hit and getting 3 K's. What we do have is plenty of Hanley Ramirez against southpaws to look at. Last season Ramirez had a ridiculous .453 wOBA and hit 11 of his 30 home runs against lefties. He struck out 18.2% of the time and walked 10.5%. This is a great spot for Ramirez in one of baseballs friendlier parks for the long ball.

Matt CarpenterMatt Carpenter FD 3100 DK 4700
Opponent - MIL (Anderson) Park - @MIL
FD - 9.51 DK - 6.93
The Cardinals are in the midst of a 4 game weekend series at Miller Park with the Brewers. Two games through Matt Carpenter is 3-8 with a double and a solo home run. He's currently riding a six game hit streak and today steps into the box against Chase Anderson. Anderson held a .289 wOBA against left handed swingers last season. He did struggle a bit with his control at the plate giving up over 3 walks per 9 and a 36.6 hard hit percentage, the highest of his young career. The Cardinals are projected for 4.4 runs by Vegas and that should come primarily from the top of their order as it takes a hit the further down you go.

Second Base

Ben ZobristBen Zobrist FD 2800 DK 4800
Opponent - CIN (Reed) Park - @CIN
FD - 9.17 DK - 6.86
You just knew it couldn't be too long before we got to the Cubs. Ben Zobrist's recent struggles have driven his price to a very unZobrist level. The thing is, we know Zobrist is better than what we've seen lately and he's going to come around sooner rather than later. The Cubbies held him out last night against the Reds, so he'll come in refreshed today against Cody Reed, drawing his first start of the season after several bullpen appearances. Last season in ten starts he went 0-7, had a .383 wOBA, allowed 3.59 BB/9 and a ridiculous 2.27 HR/9. This could mean big things for Zobrist in the cleanup spot, particularly in Great American Ballpark. The bottom line here is we've got the 2016 World Series MVP in a bullpen game for less than 3K on FanDuel, sign me up!

Brian DozierBrian Dozier FD 3500 DK 5000
Opponent - DET (Boyd) Park - @MIN
FD - 10.91 DK - 8.29
Matt Boyd takes the hill for the Tigers tonight. Boyd ended last season with a .341 wOBA against right handed batters allowing 1.57 HR/9. This year he seems to be struggling with his control early on as he's walking nearly as many as he's punching out. He'll face Brian Dozier and the Twins tonight. Dozier finished last season with a .370 wOBA, .397 against lefties, who he had a hard hit rate of 39.5% off of, and walked 9.4% of the time. The DraftKings price is a little too steep for my taste, but on FanDuel I can see locking him in at a rather weak position overall.

Dustin Pedroia left last night's game in the eighth with a leg injury. If he's okay to play today, strongly consider him against the rookie Aquino in his debut.

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Addison RussellAddison Russell FD 2700 DK 4100
Opponent - CIN (Reed) Park - @CIN
FD - 8.24 DK - 6.13
Everything I said above about Ben Zobrist holds true for Addison Russell as well. We have a young pitcher coming out of the pen to make a spot start, generous with the long ball in a hitter friendly park. Russell hit southpaws particularly well last season with 9 home runs and a .343 wOBA. Just like Zobrist, Russell is coming in way underpriced, particularly on FanDuel and I will take full advantage of that. I'll hold him to cash game on DraftKings, but he's in play everywhere on FD.

Aledmys DiazAledmys Diaz FD 2900 DK 4500
Opponent - MIL (Anderson) Park - @MIL
FD - 9.18 DK - 6.99
Aledmys Diaz was riding an 0-16 slump before being brought in to pinch hit against the Pirates on Wednesday. Since that at bat, he's gone 3 for 10 with a double in the first two games of the series with Milwaukee. Today he will face Chase Anderson. Anderson was much worse against right handed bats last season than he was lefties with his wOBA jumping from .289 to .394 from one side of the dish to the other. Look for Diaz to continue his new approach to the plate and if he can continue to make contact he can make it a long night for Anderson.

Trevor StoryTrevor Story FD 3900 DK 4300
Opponent - SF (Moore) Park - @COL
FD - 10.75 DK - 8.3
Since these picks are geared towards cash games, we won't see much Coors Field love here, although there is definite upside, the safety just isn't implied. I think we can make an exception for Trevor Story though. The price on both sites is rather reasonable for a power hitter in home run heaven, Story homered last night, his third one this year. He had 27 last year, 16 in Coors, though only 9 came courtesy of southpaws such as Matt Moore. I'll reserve most of my Coors exposure for tournaments, but in both cash and tournament, it;s Story time.

Third Base

Miguel SanoMiguel Sano FD 3500 DK 4300
Opponent - DET (Boyd) Park - @MIN
FD - 10.05 DK - 7.23
Miguel Sano is off to a torrid start to this season. He's currently sitting on a .414 wOBA and slugging at .588. He;s striking out 33.8% of the time, which is to be expected from power hitters, but he's also walking 21.8% of the time, demonstrating extreme patience at the dish. He's leading the Twins in just about every offensive category, with 4 home runs, 12 runs and 13 RBIs. While I like the price on DraftKings, I think it's actually right, leaving little upside, but the FanDuel price is way too low for a player of Sano's caliber. I'll have exposure on both sites, but I'll have him everywhere on FD at a bargain.

Manny MachadoManny Machado FD 3600 DK 4700
Opponent - BOS (Wright) Park - @BAL
FD - 10.8 DK - 8.11
We touched on Steven Wright earlier with Chris Davis. Wright is a decent pitcher, who had a respectable season last year, but has looked shaky so far this season and is now in Baltimore to face one of last seasons more potent offenses. Machado, like Davis had a rough time in Cincinnati and is looking for some home cooking this weekend against Boston. Wright was not as effective against right handed bats last season as evidenced by his .303 wOBA, and so far this season 50% of the hits he has allowed to right handers have gone for extra bases. I'm still weighing my options for my top stacks today, but I'm leaning heavily to the Orioles, and Machado is a guy I will target in both cash games and tournaments.

Consider Evan Longoria against the Astros.


Justin UptonJustin Upton FD 3400 DK 4600
Opponent - MIN (Mejia) Park - @MIN
FD - 9.93 DK - 7.46
We've covered what little there is to cover on Adalberto Mejia up on Grandal's write up. Justin Upton returned to the Tigers lineup last night after missing a couple of games with a bone contusion in his wrist, and seems to be just fine. So far this season against southpaws he's slugging .222, has a .522 OPS, and a .247 wOBA. Last night against Hector Santiago he went 1-4 with a double and drove in a run. It's safe to say J-Up is back, and it' going to get hot Upton here!

Dexter FowlerDexter Fowler FD 3100 DK 4600
Opponent - MIL (Anderson) Park - @MIL
FD - 9.19 DK - 7.17
Earlier we touched on the Cardinals two and three spots, now we get their lead off man. Fowler hasn't had the best series so far against the Brew crew, but persistence is everything both for a hitter and for DFS owners. The Brewers are sending Anderson, another righty to the hill, which contributes to Fowler's floor and to his ceiling. Yes, we established that Anderson was better last season against lefties, but Fowler switches, so he can attack from whichever side he is feeling more confident with, plus once on base, he's much more likely to swipe a bag with a righty throwing. You have to like Fowler's appeal in all formats tonight.

Yasiel PuigYasiel Puig FD 3200 DK 3900
Opponent - ARI (Ray) Park - @ARI
FD - 9.7 DK - 7.36
You've got to love the Dodgers in this spot. Chase Field presents us with a lot of the upside you would get with Coors without the inflated price tag. Added bonus for Yasiel Puig is being a right handed hitter in a lefty heavy line up, against Robbie Ray who was significantly worse against right handed hitters last season with a .343 vwOBA and giving 21 of his 24 home runs surrendered to the right side of the plate. I'll like Puig a lot more if he's high in the order, but I wont let it deter me if he's hitting seventh.

Jose BautistaJose Bautista FD 2900 DK 4100
Opponent - LAA (Skaggs) Park - @LAA
FD - 10.4 DK - 7.48
Once again for the commenters, I get it. He's like 0 for forever, but he's still Jose Bautista. He's still batting in the top of the order. He's going up against Tyler Skaggs who three games in to the season is already allowing 1.56 HR/9 and has a .326 wOBA against righties, and most importantly, look at that price!! I mean on DraftKings, yeah, we're not even having the conversation. On FanDuel however, you have to see the potential here. If you need further convincing, Here is Doug's post on batting order.



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image sources

  • Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco (59): By Keith Allison on Flickr [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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