Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Chris Durell

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 5/19/17

Welcome back for another night of daily fantasy baseball. The term TGIF is definitely in play after the debacle of choosing between less than elite pitching in most of the mixed slates over the last couple days. Tonight we get treated at the top with Chris Sale in a tremendous spot and some excellent pivot options as well. Let's dive right in and take a look at some of the top plays at each position.
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Chris SaleChris Sale FD 12000 DK 13000
Opponent - OAK (Graveman) Park - @OAK
FD - 45.27 DK - 30

After a couple days of having to make pitching decisions that made our stomachs turn, we get somewhat of a slam dunk at the top on Friday night. Sale comes into tonight's matchup a winner in three straight starts and has been dominating hitters, recording double-digit strikeouts in seven of his eight starts this season. He trails only Danny Salazar with his elite 13.04 K/9 and 16.1% swinging strike rate and gets a nice boost tonight traveling to one of the best pitchers parks in the big leagues to face. He will face the Athletics who rank in the bottom third in both wOBA and wRC+ vs. left-handed pitching and have struck out 23.9% of the time. Lock Sale into your lineups in all formats.
Jacob deGromJacob deGrom FD 10400 DK 11100
Opponent - LAA (Nolasco) Park - @NYM
FD - 36.35 DK - 23.83

The next two options are both projected for about the same amount on both sites but are completely different from a safety standpoint. If you are playing cash games, deGrom is the choice as he is much more consistent having scored double-digit fantasy points in all but one start this season. He is also right up there in the top tier of strikeout leaders with his elite 12.39 K/9 rate and has double-digit K's in half of his starts. While the Angels don't strike out a whole bunch(20.4%) vs. right-handed pitching, they are one of the worst teams in the league when looking at wOBA and wRC+ splits. Outside of Mike Trout, no hitter has a league average wOBA vs. right-handed pitchers. If deGrom can avoid the danger that is Mike Trout, he should be able to easily hit value on Friday night.

Luis SeverinoLuis Severino FD 9200 DK 8800
Opponent - TB (Ramirez) Park - @TB
FD - 35.67 DK - 23.53

While Severino's projection is in the same ballpark as deGrom's tonight, the safety is nowhere near the same level.  He has shown similar upside with a 10.1 K/9 rate but the consistency has not been there. Prime example is his las start where he was rocked for six hits and three earned runs and made his exit in the third inning. This should be fresh in people's minds which is going to help keep his ownership down, especially with Sale and deGrom on the same slate. This is a matchup where we could see the upside as he not only gets a positive park shift but faces a Rays team that strikes out over 26% of the time vs. right-handed pitching. I won't be using him in cash games but think he makes an excellent high upside GPP play.


Gary SanchezGary Sanchez FD 3700 DK 4600
Opponent - TB (Ramirez) Park - @TB
FD - 11.18 DK - 8.66

The catcher position has really nice options tonight and it starts with the Yankees backstop. He impressed in a limited 53 game sample size in 2016 with 20 home runs and 42 RBI and through 15 games this season already has three home runs to go along with an elite .379 wOBA and 142 wRC+. Better yet, he has been moved up to the two slot in the lineup giving him added value with more projected at-bats overall. Tonight he faces the Rays and Erasmo Ramirez who has been nothing more than an average pitcher in his career. Sanchez has also shown very favorable reverse splits early in his career with a .432 wOBA and 177 wRC+ vs. right-handed pitchers. If you have the salary to pay up for a catcher, Sanchez is a great option in any format.

Yasmani GrandalYasmani Grandal FD 3100 DK 3700
Opponent - MIA (Nicolino) Park - @LAD
FD - 8.84 DK - 6.65

If you are looking for a bit of a discount at the position, consider Grandal who has also been one of top hitting catchers to start the 2017 season. Paying attention to batting order is much more crucial with Grandal as he has hit anywhere from the three hole to the bottom of the order. If he is back near the top of the order, he makes an elite PTS/$ play as he has been red hot in May with a .428 wOBA, 169 wRC+, one home run and 13 runs driven in.  Tonight he faces Justin Nicolino who held the Braves to one earned run in his first start of the season but posted a 27% HR/FB rate in AAA to start the year which will catch up to him soon.



First Base

Paul GoldschmidtPaul Goldschmidt FD 4700 DK 5200
Opponent - SD (Weaver) Park - @SD
FD - 12.08 DK - 9.58

The park is not ideal but the matchup is as good as it gets at the position tonight. That's right, it's another pick on Jered Weaver night. He has given up 46 hits in 41.2 innings pitched this season and has given up 14 home runs for an awful 26.4% HR/FB rate. That is bad news for Weaver tonight as he faces one fo the best hitters in the game. After another impressive 2016 season, he has gotten off to a hot start with a .309 average, 10 home runs, and 30+ RBI and runs scored. While he has shown strong splits vs. southpaws for his career, he has been elite vs. right-handed pitching this season with a .461 wOBA and 181 wRC+. He is my top overall player on the Friday night slate.

Jose AbreuJose Abreu FD 3800 DK 4000
Opponent - SEA (Miranda) Park - @SEA
FD - 10.46 DK - 7.99

From a PTS/$ perspective, Abreu is right up at the top of the ranks tonight as he comes at a nice discount from Goldy. To start his career he has put up three straight 25+ home run/100+ RBI seasons and is once again on that pace. Through 37 games he has seven long balls, 21 runs and RBI and almost every metric matches his career marks. The only dip this season has been the average but with a career-low BABIP that is over 50 points lower than his career average, I fully expect some positive regression. The splits are in Abreu's favor tonight facing a lefty as he comes into tonight with a .444 wOBA and 187 wRC+ vs. southpaws.

Kendrys MoralesKendrys Morales FD 2900 DK 4100
Opponent - BAL (Tillman) Park - @BAL
FD - 10.67 DK - 8.09

On DraftKings, I will take Abreu all day in the same price range but on FanDuel where Morales comes in under $3K, he is one of the top PTS/$ values of the night. He hasn't gotten off to the best start from an average standpoint(.236) but has provided some nice extra-base power with six doubles and seven home runs. He has been the primary cleanup hitter for the Jays who's offense has been trending in the right direction lately as they get healthier. If you are paying up for Sale on FanDuel, you are left with an average of $2,875 per position making Morales a perfect fit.

Second Base

Jose AltuveJose Altuve FD 4100 DK 4900
Opponent - CLE (Bauer) Park - @HOU
FD - 11.27 DK - 9.57

If you are paying up at the position, there is no one better than the all-around threat that is Jose Altuve. He is getting on base at an elite .386 clip, has scored 26 runs, added 19 RBI, stolen eight bases, and also added six home runs. This gives him a higher floor than almost any other player at any position as well as a ton of upside if you are playing tournaments. Today he matches up against the Indians Trevor Bauer who has been an excellent target all season. He has swing and miss upside(10.1 K/9) but is walking nearly three and a half batters per nine and has already given up eight home runs and a 37% hard contact rate through seven starts. The Astros should be a top three projected offense on Friday and if you are targeting them, Altuve is where you start.

Carlos SanchezCarlos Sanchez FD 2800 DK 2300
Opponent - SEA (Miranda) Park - @SEA
FD - 6.2 DK - 5.1

Back to the value which is what we are going to need if we are planning on rostering the high priced Chris Sale tonight.  Carlos a.k.a. Yolmer Sanchez has been shifted way up the batting lineup for the White Sox and has impressed. Not counting Thursday (currently in play), Sanchez comes into tonight with hits in six straight and eight of his last nine games with five multi-hit efforts. He is a top salary relief option on both sites but his best value comes on DraftKings where is near minimum price.



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Corey SeagerCorey Seager FD 3700 DK 4500
Opponent - MIA (Nicolino) Park - @LAD
FD - 10.37 DK - 8.07

You can really make a case for about five or six different shortstops tonight but I have chosen to take the discount and dip into the second tier. That says a lot about the strength of the position when a talent like Seager comes at a $500 discount on DraftKings and $700 discount on FanDuel. He has cooled off a bit in May hitting .232 but has at least one hit in 12 of 14 games he has started. On the season, he has hit six home runs, 10 doubles, and has scored 27 runs and is getting on base at a .376 clip. The Dodgers are one of the top projected scoring teams of the night vs. Justin Nicolino making Seager a safe play in all formats.

Zack CozartZack Cozart FD 3600 DK 3800
Opponent - COL (Anderson) Park - @CIN
FD - 9.68 DK - 7.65

Cozart is having a career-best start to his season as he is currently hitting .350 with a tremendous .438 wOBA through 33 games. The biggest difference in his game is that he has doubled his walk rate and while the .437 OBP isn't sustainable, he can still be productive with Joey Votto and Adam Duvall hitting behind him. Another thing that has changed is his success against southpaws as he is currently hitting .417 with a .474 wOBA and 192 wRC+ vs. left-handed pitching and faces a pitcher who has given up 10 home runs through eight starts. At a price under $4K on both sites, Cozart is in play in all formats.



Third Base

Todd FrazierTodd Frazier FD 3100 DK 3700
Opponent - SEA (Miranda) Park - @SEA
FD - 10.09 DK - 7.92

If you fade Sale you are likely going to be spending up at third base and targeting Nolan Arenado who is a top three projected player tonight. For the large majority of you who will be locking in Sale, at least in cash games, you are going to need some value across your lineups and it can be found at the third base position without giving up too much upside. It starts with the Toddfather who hits in the middle of a White Sox lineup that has crushed left-handed pitching on the season(ranked 4th with a 113 wRC+). Frazier is far from safe hitting below the Mendoza line this season but has double dong upside that can win you a tournament.

Jedd GyorkoJedd Gyorko FD 3600 DK 3700
Opponent - SF (Moore) Park - @STL
FD - 9.68 DK - 7.44

If you are looking for that value play at third that you can slip into your cash lineups and forget about it, Gyorko is your man tonight. He has not only picked up where he left off in 2016 where he hit 30 home runs, he has even improved sitting with a .331 average and .413 wOBA through 33 games. He has been extremely consistent all year and comes into tonight with hits in four straight and 11 of his last 12 games.


J.D. MartinezJ.D. Martinez FD 4000 DK 4700
Opponent - TEX (Martinez) Park - @DET
FD - 11.18 DK - 8.48

The Tigers are another team in a great spot on Friday night and the value starts with J.D. Martinez in the outfield. After missing over 30 games to start the season with a foot injury, Martinez has stepped right back in and is red hot. He has recorded a hit in five of his six games and has already hit five home runs with nine walks in 25 plate appearances. While these elite numbers are not sustainable, he gets another plus matchup on Friday vs. Nick Martinez who has failed to miss bats this season and has given up seven home runs in just five starts. He has also made his way up the order with Miguel Cabrera sidelined. Lock Martinez into your lineups in all formats.

George SpringerGeorge Springer FD 3600 DK 4500
Opponent - CLE (Bauer) Park - @HOU
FD - 12.36 DK - 9.33

Sticking in the mid-range of salary we find another top value in George Springer. After a slow start to the season in April, he has really started to heat up with hits in 13 of 14 games in the month of May for a .379 wOBA and 145 wRC+. He is the primary leadoff hitter for an Astros team that has jumped out to a sizeable 7.5 game lead in the American League West due to their elite balance of pitching and offense. They have scored the fourth most runs(211) of any team and sit in a great spot to build on that total tonight vs. Trevor Bauer and his 20% HR/FB rate and ugly 6.92 ERA. Springer is another player that is safe in all formats.

Avisail GarciaAvisail Garcia FD 3500 DK 3600
Opponent - SEA (Miranda) Park - @SEA
FD - 9.08 DK - 7.02

I mentioned Todd Frazier at third base but we can't talk about targeting White Sox vs. southpaws without mentioning Avisail Garcia. The Sox sit fifth overall in wOBA vs. left-handed pitching and Garcia leads the way with a .481 wOBA and 213 wRC+. It is a limited sample size(35 at bats) but very positive to see in a great matchup. Miranda made a late jump into pro baseball and although he has impressed with an 8-4 record through two seasons, he sits with a less than impressive 4.26 ERA and 4.82 xFIP with a steady 14% HR/FB rate. Look for Garcia to possibly get a bump back up into the cleanup spot tonight which adds even more value to the pick.







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4 Visitor Comments

  1. Wow u pick sales
    And not one player under 3 k. What’s ur salary 50k
    Good thing u have a day job

  2. Actually 2 players were selected under 3k for FD, 1 for DK…the point of the article is to give you which picks are the best…if you need help finding value from there, a lot of times looking at the team with the highest implied run total of the day (not hard to research) would give you a great way to find value…for example, yesterday, Baez was my value guy I selected (didn’t have to pay up for pitching though too), and he actually performed the best on the team with one of the highest implied run totals that day….


    You could actually pay money for the Pro LU tools and make money instead of complaining about free articles…

  3. Wasn’t complaining
    Made a factual statement is all
    Do you really feel using the pro lu is a good tool and earns your investment back

    • Had it 3 days and tripled my money already…came in 2nd in a 3 dollar tourney…

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