Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Austyn Varney

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 5/29/17

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Kyle HendricksKyle Hendricks FD 9400 DK 9600
Opponent - SD (Cosart) Park - @SD
FD - 36.64 DK - 24.05

This isn't a day where you will be able to choose from a bevy of different superstars with different levels of upside. This is a day where you have to look for a guy that won't implode. Both slates do have a few options to consider, though none of which that stand out. On the early slate, we're going to take a look at Kyle Hendricks. Hendricks and the Cubs will travel into Petco Park, which is the worst park in baseball for hitting. It also houses one of the worst teams around, the Padres. The Padres currently hold the 3rd lowest wOBA in the league against righties at .291. They also strikeout 25.6% of the time, so the upside is definitely here. While Hendricks is a soft-tosser who doesn't necessarily look for K's, he can run into them. For example, he had 2 games with 12 K's last year and another couple in the double digits. He's held a .278 combined wOBA this year and has been just as good against righties as he is against lefties. Hendricks is one of the more solid pitchers in baseball and you can expect him to start having a very solid season. As for this Padres lineup, their outlook on this season is much different. Outside of Wil Myers, there isn't anyone I'm scared of. Ryan Schimpf and Hunter Renfroe definitely have power, but I'm willing to take it when they K at such an unbelievably high rate. Hendrick is the top option on this slate and the guy I will have in cash in every lineup.

Ricky NolascoRicky Nolasco FD 7500 DK 8400
Opponent - ATL (Teheran) Park - @LAA
FD - 29.61 DK - 19.49

Like I said, we don't have much to choose from. The late slate is even worse. While you can go with a Marcus Stroman for pure talent, he's in a tough spot in a tough ballpark. That forces us down the pricing spectrum, where we land on Ricky Nolasco. Trust me when I say I never thought I would roster him again. He's truly not a good pitcher and not a guy you ever want to go out of your way to play. With that being said, he's facing a putrid team that holds the 2nd lowest implied team total on the slate. They are projected to score 3.56 runs, which is just .12 higher than the Reds, who face off with the expensive Marcus Stroman. Nolasco, while better against righties, has been hit pretty well this year. Still, he eats up innings and has been garnering quite a few strikeouts. He's been over 20 FanDuel points in each of his last 10 starts and on a slate like this, I'll take that. This Braves team is absolutely atrocious and likely the worst team in baseball without Freddie Freeman. They move into Angels Stadium, which is one of the worst ballparks around, especially at night when the marine layer is prevalent. All in all, I won't be playing cash games on this slate. I simply refuse to play Ricky Nolasco in cash. With that being said, this is a pretty interesting tournament slate.


Chris HerrmannChris Herrmann FD 2300 DK 3700
Opponent - PIT (Williams) Park - @PIT
FD - 7.36 DK - 5.76

The Diamondbacks do have 3 catchers on the roster, so it's always a bit up in the air who will get the start. With that being said, Herrmann is clearly the best option against righties and they know that. He does see most starts against them, but you should always keep an eye out in a day game. Hermann and the D-Backs will travel to PNC Park and take on the Pirates. The Pirates will toss Trevor Williams at them, who has been horrible. While he's squeaked by with a low BABIP, his .380+ wOBA against both righties and lefties is a big problem. He's giving up a ton of hard contact (37%) and hasn't been able to keep the ball in the yard (9 homers in 40 innings). Herrmann, while not elite, is a really good hitting catcher against righties. Over the last 2 seasons, he's held a .341 wOBA and has run into some decent power. While PNC Park is a lot tougher than Chase Field, Herrmann is cheap enough to play in all formats. On DraftKings, they have everyone priced up. If you're looking to punt, wait until lineups come out and look for a guy in the 6 or 7 hole. The Diamondbacks are in play here as a stack and we'll touch on another lefty bat in a bit.

If Chris Herrmann isn't isn't in the lineup, you can consider Francisco Cervelli and Yan Gomes.

Salvador PerezSalvador Perez FD 3300 DK 3500
Opponent - DET (Norris) Park - @KC
FD - 9.58 DK - 7.4

While the pitching is definitely worse on this "main" or "late" slate, we don't have any offenses that stand above the rest. The Blue Jays hold the highest implied team total, but are just getting the lineup back together and always hold a ton of variance. We do have the Royals as well, who hold an implied total of 4.56. The Royals face off with the Tigers and Daniel Norris, who is a young lefty. He lives in a van and did a big youtube documentary about it. I think it's time for his arm to get a real bed to sleep on. In all seriousness (he does live in a van), Norris has struggled against righties and doesn't seem to be getting any better. He's allowed an identical .341 wOBA to righties this year as he did last year when he barely survived the rotation. Salvador Perez is actually one of the guys I roster least, as the Royals as a whole are rarely in a good spot. However, they are today and he also has the HR upside against a lefty. Perez is fairly priced on both sites and makes for a quality play in all formats. Feel free to pivot to anyone in a stack, as Perez is nowhere near a must.

First Base

Hanley RamirezHanley Ramirez FD 3400 DK 4500
Opponent - CHW (Holmberg) Park - @CHW
FD - 12.69 DK - 9.83

If you were on the Red Sox yesterday, you probably aren't too happy with them. I was one of you and I can't stand looking at half of these guys right now. However, we can't let something like that get in the way of a smart decision. The Red Sox are facing off with a bad lefty in a hitters ballpark. You have to take notice. Hanley was a top 3 hitter in the league against lefties last year and arguably the best when you look at the numbers. He sported a .453 wOBA against them and an impressive 26% line drive rate. He may have played over his head last year, but he's obviously elite against lefties. He's my favorite HR pick of this early slate and is a guy I will have 100% exposure to. Dylan Holmberg has had 10 good innings this year and with the White Sox so desperate, they are giving him a chance to start. He's been given 12 opportunities to do so since 2013  and hasn't been able to ever take advantage. We'll touch on him more a bit later, but he's not good. This entire Red Sox offense is in play and you have to love Hanley in all formats.

Edwin EncarnacionEdwin Encarnacion FD 3700 DK 4400
Opponent - OAK (Mengden) Park - @CLE
FD - 12.65 DK - 9.42
Carlos SantanaCarlos Santana FD 3400 DK 4200
Opponent - OAK (Mengden) Park - @CLE
FD - 13.53 DK - 10.28

The Indians are going to be right there with the Red Sox and Rockies on this slate. They face off with an absolutely horrible pitcher in Daniel Mengden. Mengden is bad against everyone. He's held a .355 wOBA against both sides of the plate and has been walking nearly 5 batters per 9 innings. The Indias hold a 5.56 implied team total and are expected to put up the 3rd most runs on the day.Once the Indians get past Mengden, they won't have much to worry about in the bullpen. Outside of the few backend guys (CL and SU), they have nobody. Both Santana and Encarnacion hit righties well, sporting +.361 wOBA's over the last 3 seasons. Both also hit 30 homers against righties and have just as much upside as the other. In cash games, I'll take Santana due to the slight price decrease. In tournaments, however, give me Encarnacion. He seems to hit 2 HR at least a few times every year and is also going to be lower owned than Santana, due to the pricing. Both of these guys deserve appeal and make sense in both formats. Hanley is still my favorite option at 1B.

Miguel CabreraMiguel Cabrera FD 3900 DK 4800
Opponent - KC (Hammel) Park - @KC
FD - 12.53 DK - 9.49

The Tigers are going to be one our top offenses on this later slate, facing off with the ever-regressing Jason Hammel. Yes, Hammel does have a .391 BABIP against righties. No, that's not an excuse to hold a putrid .421 wOBA against them. Righties are destroying the ball almost every at-bat and Hammel can't get good ones out. Miguel Cabrera is probably considered "good", at least in most places. In fact, he is still one of the best hitters in the game. He just stays under the radar and isn't nearly as flashy as some of the younger guys. Miggy has held a combined .371 wOBA so far this year, so there is nothing to worry about with age or injury. Cabrera is keeping this team afloat and while he has been worse than normal against righties, it makes sense why. He's holding a .264 BABIP while hitting the ball hard 53% of the time. LOL. There would have to be about 20 fielders on the field for that number to be maintained. Cabrera is not too expensive on either site and makes for an elite play in all formats. Without any expensive ways to go at pitcher, you should have no problem paying up at first base.

Second Base

Robinson CanoRobinson Cano FD 4300 DK 5100
Opponent - COL (Chatwood) Park - @COL
FD - 11.68 DK - 8.95

I know, how obvious. Second base isn't too good on this early slate and I thought this was a good spot to knock out the Mariners. They head into Coors Field and will face-off with Tyler Chatwood. While not horrible, he's also not nearly as good as a lot of people touted him to be. He's a below average pitcher and has allowed a .380 wOBA in Coors Field. In this short season, he's allowed a .348 wOBA and a very high HR/9 rate. While I don't think the Mariners are a team that needs to be stacked, the option is a good one. They will be very low-owned and could easily put up double digits in Colorado. Cano is the heart against righties and hasn't missed a beat. So far in 2017, he's sporting a .421 wOBA against righties and has already hit 8 homers off of them. He is still the elite 2B of years past and we don't want to ignore him in Coors Field. Cano is an easy choice in all formats.

Rougned OdorRougned Odor FD 2700 DK 3700
Opponent - TB (Ramirez) Park - @TEX
FD - 10.72 DK - 8.64

Erasmo Ramirez is a guy you want to strictly target with lefties. In 2016, he allowed a .364 wOBA to lefties while giving up 7 homers in just 32 innings. He now moves into Globe Life Park, which is a huge hitter ballpark. This Rangers team is one that's always an interesting GPP stack, due to the power and speed scattered throughout. Odor embodies the power, holding a .340 wOBA and jacking 26 homers off of righties in 2016. He has struggled to start the season, but won;t hold a .233 BABIP forever. He's going to stat hitting the ball better again and we want to be on that train when it departs. On a late slate without many options, this is a good spot to give Odor a chance. He has as much upside as anyone at the position and is fairly priced across the industry. Erasmo Ramirez is also used to pitching in Tropicana Field, where fly balls die. It will be interesting to see how he can adapt to an environment where balls fly out of the park. All in all, Odor is as risky as you can get, though an elite option in tournaments. Don't flee because of the weird stats 1/4 through the season.

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Xander BogaertsXander Bogaerts FD 3900 DK 4900
Opponent - CHW (Holmberg) Park - @CHW
FD - 11.87 DK - 9.51

Bogaerts, like the rest of this lineup, disappointed a ton of people yesterday. There were the team with the highest projected run total and ended up with a fat goose egg. They take on a guy who may be worse than Christian Bergman and his name is David Holmberg. He's allowed a .396 wOBA to righties in over 50 innings since entering the league. He's also allowed 15 home runs and a 35% hard contact rate. If you don't go back to the Red Sox righties tonight, you're doing it wrong. Last night has nothing to do with tonight and these are still the same guys who will end up having great seasons. They won't have many better match-ups than this. Bogaerts in particular, is better against lefties. He's posted  a.351 wOBA in his career against them and has a lot more power as well. He is the top option at SS on this early slate, though not by a wide margin. There are a whole lot of elite SS's on the slate, who are in play by default. Let's take a look at 1.

Trevor StoryTrevor Story FD 3700 DK 4600
Opponent - SEA (Gaviglio) Park - @COL
FD - 5.99 DK - 4.73

While we haven't touched on the Rockies just yet, they are very much in play. They actually hold the highest implied team total on the day at 6.06. Sam Gaviglio will get the start and is no match for Coors Field. He has been in the majors for just 11 innings, so go ahead and ignore those. In the minors, Gaviglio was nothing special. He struck out less than 8 per 9 and struggles to keep runners from scoring (71% LOB). He is not any type of big prospect and I'm really not too sure why they are throwing him in the fire here. Trevor Story is a guy you always want to take a look at when at Coors Field. While much better against lefties in general, a 48% hard contact rate against rightis is nothing to scoff at. He has 40 HR power and has the type of upside to win you a tournament. His price is pretty fair and on a day with so many options at SS, shoudl be about 10-15% owned. Story is a great way to look in tournaments and in Rockies stacks.

Third Base

Jake LambJake Lamb FD 4000 DK 5200
Opponent - PIT (Williams) Park - @PIT
FD - 10.46 DK - 8.06

If this game was in Chase Field, Lamb would be about 50% owned on this slate. He absolutely demolishes righties (.391 wOBA over last 3) and has been very good all season long. However, his numbers dip a lot on the road. Why? Because Chase Field is a haven for left-handed hitting. With that being said, Lamb is the same hitter in every park. He already has 6 homers on the road this year and nobody would be surprised to see him hit his 7th tomorrow, to put his season total at 15. He's going to have to do it against Trevor Williams, who is as good of a candidate as any. He's sported a .380 wOBA against lefties since coming into the league and has had trouble not allowing the HR. Lamb may be expensive, but you can easily go there on this slate without any insanely expensive pitching options. He could easily end up being worth it and be a must for tournament contention. His ownership should be a bit lower in PNC Park, which gives him a bit more tournament appeal. This is a position with quite a few options, so let's take a look at Jose Ramirez as a cost-efficient option.

Jose RamirezJose Ramirez FD 2600 DK 3700
Opponent - OAK (Mengden) Park - @CLE
FD - 10.84 DK - 8.92

If you don't want to pay a premium for Jake Lamb on the road, I guess I get it. He is expensive and this is a slate where you have a few offenses to target. If you need to pay down at third, look no further than Jose Ramirez. He's been hitting the ball well, though his price has dropped considerably. He was around $3500 on FD and $4500 on DK just a few weeks ago, while also being around 20% owned on a regular basis. He's a switch-hitter who can hit from both sides and has considerable power from the left. He'll be there today, facing off with a righty in Daniel Mengden. Mendgen has allowed a .355 wOBA to lefties and moving from O.Co to Progressive, things should only get worse. Ramirez sported a .351 wOBA against lefties in 2016 and followed it up with solid peripherals. He's a better hitter at home and a guy I'll be targeting on lineups with other expensive stacks.


Mookie BettsMookie Betts FD 4500 DK 5100
Opponent - CHW (Holmberg) Park - @CHW
FD - 13.41 DK - 10.93
Chris YoungChris Young FD 2600 DK 3500
Opponent - CHW (Holmberg) Park - @CHW
FD - 10.56 DK - 8.25

These are 2 guys with drastically different prices and drastically different games. Mookie is an all-around stud and a guy with MVP talent. He can go on insane runs (10 home runs in 6 games) and also has the consistency to remain in play all season long. Chris Young, on the other hand, is going to ride the pine until a lefty shows up. He's horrid against righties and is rightfully the lefty masher of the OF. He is elite against lefties, however, so you can definitely target him. Both Betts and Young have sported .360+ wOBA's against lefties over the last 2 years and see a slight ballpark bump here to right and center. We've touched on Dylan Holmberg plenty and there isn't much else to say. He's a lefty without much potential, who struggles against righties and will be back in the bullpen very shortly. The Red Sox are once against one of the top teams on the slate and deserve a lot of ownership. both of these guys will be in most of my cash games.

Charlie BlackmonCharlie Blackmon FD 4700 DK 5700
Opponent - SEA (Gaviglio) Park - @COL
FD - 13.48 DK - 11.19
Carlos GonzalezCarlos Gonzalez FD 3700 DK 4900
Opponent - SEA (Gaviglio) Park - @COL
FD - 13.19 DK - 10.09

Good luck Sam Gaviglio. For a guy who has struggled with AA hitters for years now, I don't understand how they expect him to walk into Coors Field and last any longer than 3 innings. These are MLB bats that will be hitting in an environment that is far worse for pitching than he has ever pitched in. Both Carlos Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon are going to be popular and rightfully so. On FanDuel, CarGo is the first move I'll be making. He is going to have some opportunities today and I don't see him passing them up. He's also $1k cheaper than Blackmon and just as good of a play. Both of these guys hold +.400 wOBA's against righties when healthy and have been quite good recently. Ian Desmond is also in play here, but more so in tournaments. These 2 guys are the relied upon bats in the lineup against righties and should do the job today. In cash games, it's going to be very difficult to pick between these 4 bats (Red Sox, Rockies). As of now, it looks like either Betts or Blackmon will lose a seat.

J.D. MartinezJ.D. Martinez FD 3800 DK 5200
Opponent - KC (Hammel) Park - @KC
FD - 11.05 DK - 8.44
Tyler CollinsTyler Collins FD 2400 DK 2700
Opponent - KC (Hammel) Park - @KC
FD - 4.15 DK - 3.29

J.D. Martinez is the guy who really stands out here, with Tyler Colling being a pure price play. Collins sees the top of the order a lot against righties and that's because he's very solid against them. He posted a .334 wOBA last year and is going to see similar numbers this year once everything settles down. He's also extremely cheap on both sites and should get to the plate with a few ducks on the pond. Now for the big play, J.D. Martinez. Martinez has to be one of the best young OF's in baseball. There aren't many guys with the batting prescense of J.D. Martinez. He's intimidating to pitch to not only because of his size, but the insane bounce off of his bat. Think of Aaron Judge with a bit more stability. He can hit the ball to all fields and against Jason Hammel, you have to love his chances. Hammel, like Martinez, is a rever-splits guy. He's worse against righties and is only going to get worse with age. Martinez and Collins are both in play here, with the addition of Upton in tournaments.




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2 Visitor Comments

  1. If anyone has any questions, I’ll be checking here throughout the day. Thanks, guys!

  2. Tyler Colllins was DFA’d yesterday btw!

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