Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

06/03/2017
Jerry Vanderwoude
Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera hits a three-run home run against the Cleveland Indians in the fifth inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016.  (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 6/3/17

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Pitcher

EARLY

Jon LesterJon Lester FD 10300 DK 10600
Opponent - STL (Leake) Park - @CHC
FD - 35.96 DK - 23.61
Jon Lester gets us started on the early slate hosting the Cardinals in Wrigley Field. The Cards, to their merit, strike out 20.8% of the time, which is right about league average, though that number does climb a bit to 22.2% against southpaws. The key factor here however lies in the wOBA. As a team, St. Louis is sporting a.285 team wOBA against lefties, and only 3 other teams in baseball are worse. Lester meanwhile is one of the better strikeout pitchers in the game, fanning just under 10 batters per nine with a 3.59 xFIP and a 3.86 ERA. He followed up a complete game 10 K, 1 run performance against the Giants on the 23rd by getting rocked by the Dodgers last time out, allowing 6 earned runs while not making it out of the fourth inning. Some may be scared off by that but I'm not. One outing does not make a season, and if we look at the game logs, we see Lester has been quite consistent through this point in the season, I'm ][more than willing to pull the trigger on this one.

Carlos CarrascoCarlos Carrasco FD 10200 DK 11700
Opponent - KC (Hammel) Park - @KC
FD - 35.62 DK - 23.44
If, however, you are spooked by the 1 FanDuel point Lester managed to score in his last start, then allow me to make a strong case for Carlos Carrasco. Our system loves both of these guys equally, with them projected for similar totals, and excellent point per dollar returns. Carrasco will set you back a bit more on DraftKings where there is a bit more disparity pricing, but there's a mere $100 separating them on FD. The stat book tells a similar story on each as well, while Lester throws more K's, Carrasco sports a slightly better xFIP. Also, as bad as the Cardinals are against lefties, the Royals are equally as bad against Righties. KC has a .293 wOBA against right handed pitching, and there is only one team worse than that. They also K 21.3% of the time against right handers. Personally, I will probably split my exposure on the early slate in cash games with both of these plays, but if you want to choose one over the other it's basically a coin flip.

Rich HillRich Hill FD 7900 DK 8800
Opponent - MIL (Garza) Park - @MIL
FD - 31.38 DK - 20.7
For a solid option as a second pitcher to pair with either of the guys above on DraftKings, Rich Hill is your guy. Hill is 2-2 through 5 starts this season and gets the good fortune of taking to the hill against the Brewers today. The Brewers strike out a whopping 25.4% of the time against left handed pitching. The park factor lends some concern, but Braun is back on the DL and if Hill can get around that Thames fellow, he shouldn't run in to too much trouble as he's holding a hard hit rate of 28%. His DK price is a little steep for a SP2 so I would probably pair him with the cheaper Lester, while the strikeout potential mixed with his price has me feeling GPP on FanDuel as well.

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Matt ShoemakerMatt Shoemaker FD 8700 DK 9600
Opponent - MIN (Santana) Park - @LAA
FD - 31.57 DK - 20.75
We have 5 games on the main slate, so it's a shallow pool to choose from, I went back and forth on who to spotlight here between Shoemaker and Price, as similar to Lester and Carrasco above the system has similar love for each. I'm opting for Shoemaker as Price is still shaking off the rust after making his debut on Monday. Shoemaker got knocked around by the Marlins his last time out allowing 4 ER in 4.2 innings, and unlike Lester above, Shoemaker has had a couple of those outings through his 11 starts this season, giving me some pause, but he's still striking out over 8.5 batters per nine, facing a Twins team that strikes out 22.3% of the time against right handed pitching, but still holds a .333 wOBA against righties. Both Shoemaker and Price are good plays given the slate, despite the fact that both come in with a bit of implied risk. If you wanted to take a chance on Price, especially on DK where he comes in significantly cheaper I wouldn't fault you on that, on FanDuel however I'll lock in Shoemaker.

Catcher

EARLY

Gary SanchezGary Sanchez FD 3700 DK 4700
Opponent - TOR (Biagini) Park - @TOR
FD - 11.74 DK - 9.05
If you want to get your exposure to the Yankees and BlueJays, you'll have to roll the dice on the all day slate, as both sites start their early only contests with the 2:15 game. With the majority of the games starting by 4, it's not an entirely bad idea as many lineups may be in by 1:00 anyway. With that, we can't talk about the Yankees without talking about Gary Sanchez. The kid is an absolute stud at the "throwaway" position and while we can't expect him to put up a 40 FD point performance like he did against Toronto in Thursdays series opener, we can count on him putting up solid stats by finding his way on base on the regular. While he has regressed a bit in the short term due to a 1-16 skid in the final weeks of May, he still rocks one of the best wOBA's at the position (.360) with a .270/.360/.470 slash line and those numbers climb significantly against right handed pitching, which he will get a healthy dose of from Toronto's Joe Biagini.

Yasmani GrandalYasmani Grandal FD 3100 DK 3700
Opponent - MIL (Garza) Park - @MIL
FD - 10.45 DK - 7.85
If you skip the all day, and just focus your attention to the early only set of games, then Yasmani Grandal is the way to go. He'll bring his .381 wOBA against right handed pitching to Miller Park against Matt Garza. Outside of his pinch hit appearance against the Cardinals on Thursday, Grandal has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games. As I write this, I'm just now seeing Grandal hit his sixth home run of the season last night off of the Milwaukee Bullpen to tie the game up. Garza meanwhile is allowing a .322 wOBA to batters this season, with a 4.17 xFIP and a .420 SIERA.

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Brian McCannBrian McCann FD 3000 DK 3700
Opponent - TEX (Cashner) Park - @TEX
FD - 10.15 DK - 7.66
On the evening slate, Brian McCann is far and away the clear leader in raw projected points at the catcher position. He steps into the box today against Andrew Cashner. Don't let Cashner's 2.92 ERA fool you, through 9 starts, Cashner is 2-4 with a 5.49 xFIP and 6.00 SIERA. McCann has gone hitless in his last 4 games but has drawn 5 walks in that span. Despite that recent stretch he's still holding a .337 wOBA with a 114 wRC+ on the season with a 35.5 hard hit % against right handed pitching.

First Base

EARLY

Miguel CabreraMiguel Cabrera FD 4100 DK 4000
Opponent - CHW (Gonzalez) Park - @DET
FD - 13.86 DK - 10.49
Miggy is the top overall point projection at first base today. Chris raved about him yesterday, and hopefully you took note to that as he did not disappoint, going 3-3 with 2 doubles and 4 RBI to the tune of 32.2 FD points. While I'm not guaranteeing a repeat performance, Cabrera does draw another favorable matchup, this time with Miguel Gonzalez. Through ten starts this season, Gonzalez is walking nearly 3 batters per nine, with a 5.14 xFIP and a 5.06 SIERA with a 1.40 WHIP. It could be setting up for another big game for Cabrera.

Matt AdamsMatt Adams FD 2600 DK 3500
Opponent - CIN (Feldman) Park - @CIN
FD - 9.44 DK - 7.25
If it's value you seek at first base then look to Matt Adams. Adams is finding new life in Atlanta with Freddie Freeman going down prompting the Braves to make a deal with the Cards for the 28 year old veteran. Adams went hitless last night for just the fourth time in his 11 games since joining Atlanta. The increased playing time has helped him bring his wOBA to .317 with a .362 BABIP. Today the Reds will send Scott Feldman to the hill to face Adams and the Braves, giving Adams a chance to redeem himself after his 0-5 performance against Bronson Arroyo last night as Feldman is another struggling Cincinnati right hander bringing his 3.97 xFIP and 4.26 ERA to the mound.

MAIN

Lucas DudaLucas Duda FD 2800 DK 4300
Opponent - PIT (Glasnow) Park - @NYM
FD - 10.09 DK - 7.56
Through 14 career starts over the past 2 seasons it seems pretty clear that despite showing promising numbers in the minors, Tyler Glasnow is not ready for the big show. The 4.75 xFIP and 6.03 ERA paint the picture of an arm we need to target, even with an offense that has been as lackluster as the Mets this season. Glasnow is walking over 5 batters per 9 and is sporting a 1.74 WHIP. Lucas Duda has been a bright spot for the Metropolitans this year, and his .387 wOBA and .296 ISO tell us this is an excellent spot for him. Duda's hit safely in 8 of his last 9 games with 5 of them being multi hit performances, and I see no reason why that should not continue tonight.

Hanley RamirezHanley Ramirez FD 3500 DK 4300
Opponent - BAL (Bundy) Park - @BAL
FD - 11.24 DK - 8.71
If you've got a little extra salary to spend on the main slate, then you might want to consider moving up to Hanley Ramirez batting cleanup for the Red Sox. The system likes Duda more for PPD, but for overall projection Ramirez leads all first basemen on the evening set. He'll be going up against Dylan Bundy this evening, looking for redemtption after going hitless at the plate last night. Hanley's numbers are down a bit from his career numbers, but he's still rolling with a .336 wOBA and 106 wRC+ the ISO down to .147 indicates a drop in power, but the 12.2 BB% is up 3% over his career total so, he's still finding his way on base. Then it's just a matter of what he does once he's on.

Second Base

EARLY

Chase UtleyChase Utley FD 2600 DK 4100
Opponent - MIL (Garza) Park - @MIL
FD - 9.21 DK - 7.21
Let's keep picking on Matt Garza and the Brewers. Chase Utley has been pretty hot lately. Despite going 0-5 last night in the weekend opener, Utley has hit safely in 6 of his last 9 games, with three home runs, a double and a triple in that span. He's been hitting rather low in the Dodgers order lately, which hurts, but it could provide gpp separation, and he's still averaging 4 plate appearances per start. We've already established where Garza is at this point in his career, so no need to beat on that. Utley comes in at an incredibe value and has flashed monster upside over the past couple of weeks.

Ian HappIan Happ FD 2800 DK 3700
Opponent - STL (Leake) Park - @CHC
FD - 9.23 DK - 7.07
Happ got off to a red hot start following his call up in mid May, but has come quickly down to earth. That said, there is hope for the young switch hitter. He moved into the leadoff spot last night and went 1-4 with a double. While that's not taking down any tournaments, it could light a fire for the 22 year old, leading to more time on base with names like Bryant, Rizzo and Zobrist to bring him around to the dish.

MAIN

Neil WalkerNeil Walker FD 3000 DK 4400
Opponent - PIT (Glasnow) Park - @NYM
FD - 10.39 DK - 8
Neil Walker opened the weekend up going 1-3 with a triple, a walk, 2 runs scored and 1 RBI. Today, he faces Tyler Glasnow, who we already established, should not be throwing on a major league mound. Since he is though, we get to take full advantage. The switch hitting Walker, will bring his .322 wOBA to the box today and look to continue to bounce back from a disappointing series against the Brewers that ended a 7 game streak during which he managed 11 hits.

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Shortstop

EARLY

Troy TulowitzkiTroy Tulowitzki FD 2900 DK 3700
Opponent - NYY (Montgomery) Park - @TOR
FD - 10.53 DK - 8.04
Oh, was that ever a painful month for the BlueJays, but they can breathe easier now, they have Tulo back, and while he may not be performing up to his career numbers, (his .288 wOBA is about 80 points off) he has been making his presence in the lineup felt. He went 2-4 with a double in the second game of the series last night, and with the sub .300 wOBA comes a sub 3K price tag on FD, meaning we are getting Tulo at a bargain. Remember, this game is only available on the all day slate, so if you want a shortstop that is early slate eligible, read on...

Corey SeagerCorey Seager FD 3300 DK 4300
Opponent - MIL (Garza) Park - @MIL
FD - 11.33 DK - 8.79
The Dodgers 23 year old short stop came into Miller Park this weekend with the 5th best wOBA at the position (.363) and an equally impressive 130 wRC+ and a .280/.383/.456 slash line. Today he will face off with Matt Garza who is struggling with left handed batters this season, allowing a .343 wOBA, 1.34 WHIP and 2.89 BB/9. Seager's got 5 walks in his last 7 games and his 14.1 BB% is the best at the position, so his patience at the plate could pay off handsomely today.

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Xander BogaertsXander Bogaerts FD 3600 DK 4900
Opponent - BAL (Bundy) Park - @BAL
FD - 10.7 DK - 8.57
Xander Boagerts has the third best wOBA (.368) and BABIP (.389) of all shortstops this season. Today he brings it to the plate against Dylan Bundy. Bundy has a 2.89 ERA but is due up for some serious regression looking at his 4.84 xFIP and 4.78 SIERA. Bogaerts has been hitting the ball rather well as of late, finally notching his first dinger of the season on Tuesday and going 6 for his last 17 at the plate.

Third Base

EARLY

Josh DonaldsonJosh Donaldson FD 4000 DK 4700
Opponent - NYY (Montgomery) Park - @TOR
FD - 14.18 DK - 10.75
Another one for the all day slate, the Don like Tulowitzki, has returned to the Toronto lineup to help turn things around, and he has been swinging the lumber, going 7 for 25 with three home runs (2 last night) in his first 5 games back. Today he will try to keep the fire going against Jordan Montgomery. Montgomery, making his tenth start, has a 4.26 SIERA and a 4.51 xFIP and he has struggled more with right handed hitters, allowing them a .304 wOBA with right handed hitters accounting for 17 of his 19 walks allowed. If you play the all day, it's definitely beneficial to try and fit the Don's salary in to your lineup.

Kris BryantKris Bryant FD 4100 DK 4500
Opponent - STL (Leake) Park - @CHC
FD - 12.08 DK - 9.36
The Cubs continue their weekend series hosting the Cardinals who send Mike Leake to the hill today. The 29 year old right hander will have his hands full with Kris Bryant. Bryant has the second best wOBA (.397) and wRC+ (1.47) at the position. He hit his 11th home run of the season last night, for his third straight game with a hit and 5th straight game reaching base. Leake is sporting a 2.24 ERA through ten starts, with a 3.52 xFIP and a 3.79 SIERA.

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Manny MachadoManny Machado FD 3400 DK 3800
Opponent - BOS (Price) Park - @BAL
FD - 11.57 DK - 8.93
The Orioles have struggled some in May after a solid opening month to the season. Manny Machado, who struggled early on and then seemed to find his swing a couple of weeks in, ended May with a whimper going 0-14 against the Yankees. With the Red Sox now in town he seems to be showing signs of a second coming, going 3-8 through the first 2 games of the 4 game weekend set. I touched on David Price a bit in the pitcher section, and while I didn't give him a full endorsement, he is worthy of consideration. However, if you aren't sold on him being ready to mount a full comeback yet, and are riding Shoemaker in the main slate, then Machado is an excellent play at the hot corner.

Outfield

EARLY

Kevin PillarKevin Pillar FD 3000 DK 3300
Opponent - NYY (Montgomery) Park - @TOR
FD - 10.74 DK - 8.95
Jose BautistaJose Bautista FD 4000 DK 4600
Opponent - NYY (Montgomery) Park - @TOR
FD - 12.75 DK - 9.58
We've presented several options from the Yankees/Jays game today for the all day slate, and while I would definietly make sure to get exposure to that game if playing that slate, I wouldn't recommend overexposure. Any of these plays are certainly in consideration though, including Joey Bats and Kevin Pillar. Bautista got off to a terrible start to the season, struggling throughout April, but he has really turned things around in May, hitting 9 of his ten home runs in the month. Pillar meanwhile has struggled mightily as of late, going hitless in 6 of his last 12 games, but with Jordan Montgomery on the hill for the Yanks he and his .332 wOBA are in an excellent spot today.

Jayson WerthJayson Werth FD 2800 DK 3300
Opponent - OAK (Mengden) Park - @OAK
FD - 10.49 DK - 8.13
Bryce Harper is still serving his suspension after his slight overreaction Monday against Hunter Strickland, this means Jayson Werth remains the desirable outfielder for the Nationals for at least one more game. An absolute bargain across the industry, Werth has struggled throughout the month of May, and as I write this he is currently 1-2 in the series opener in Oakland. Today the A's will send Daniel Mengden to the mound for only his second start of the season. Mengden lasted a mere 3.1 innings in his debut against the Indians on Monday, allowing 5 runs on 7 hits, three of which were home runs. Things won't be any easier for him today as he faces the best team in the National league. Werth is a near must play batting in the top of the order coming in right around the 3K mark on both sites.

Kyle SchwarberKyle Schwarber FD 2600 DK 3600
Opponent - STL (Leake) Park - @CHC
FD - 11.33 DK - 8.63
With Ian Happ moving into the Cubbies leadoff spot, that led Kyle Schwarber to the 7th slot, his lowest spot in the lineup this season. While the position in the order isn't ideal, Schwarber is priced at a point that we can still keep him in consideration, while hoping the lower lineup spot leads to better pitches to hit, with him following behind the likes of Bryant, Rizzo, and Zobrist increasing his RBI opportunities.

MAIN

Josh ReddickJosh Reddick FD 3600 DK 4300
Opponent - TEX (Cashner) Park - @TEX
FD - 11.66 DK - 9.1
Josh Reddick had just three hits in his last 5 games leading into Friday night's series opener for the battle of the Lone Star state, yet he averaged 11.8 FanDuel points over the span thanks to 5 walks, 5 runs scored, 2 RBI, and 3 of those 4 hits going for extra bases. Fantasy baseball isn't all about the hits, it's about getting on base, and then what you do once on base, and Reddick does it all well. We have already discussed Cashner so I won't bore you with more on him, just rock Reddick into your evening lineups and watch him perform.

Andrew BenintendiAndrew Benintendi FD 2900 DK 3800
Opponent - BAL (Bundy) Park - @BAL
FD - 10.85 DK - 8.69
The 22 year old left handed hitter in the Boston outfield is still trying to find his way through the big leagues. He's currently riding a 3 game hitless streak, pinch hitting appearances aside, but on this shorter 5 game evening slate, it's looking like the Red Sox are a team we want to target, and Benintendi bats in the top of that highly volatile order, so it's hard to ignore his pricetag, particularly on FanDuel. Sure there's some risk with this one, but on the shorter slate, the potential reward makes this a risk worth taking.

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