Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 6/8/17
Didn't get enough all-day action Wednesday? Get ready as we have another full day of daily fantasy baseball in store on Thursday. It starts at 12:35 et with the Cardinals visiting the Reds to kick off the four-game early slate and the nice eight eight-game to cap off the evening. Let's jump in and take a look at some of the top plays.
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In the afternoon, it comes down to Cueto or Fulmer at the top of the salary on both sites. While a case could be made or Fulmer on DraftKings with a $1,600 discount, it is only a $300 difference on FanDuel making it Cueto by a landslide. You would think with the Angels missing the great Mike Trout they would be struggling more than they have but looking at the numbers that is simply not the case. Over the last seven days, the Angels(vs. Fulmer) sit with a .330 wOBA and minuscule 15.6% K rate while Cueto gets to face the Brewers who have a wOBA 25 points lower and a 33.5% K rate! The Brew Crew also strikes out over 5% more than the Angels vs. right-handed pitching for the season. Even looking at the individual numbers gives the edge to Cueto here. His 9.1 K/9 rate is a full two strikeouts more per nine than Fulmer's and while his ERA is higher(4.38 to 3.00), the overall xFIP is slightly lower than Fulmer's. Roll Cueto out in all formats.
Things are a bit more clear from a cash game standpoint on the main slate. Jon Lester faces a Rockies team with a .334 wOBA against left-handed pitching while David Price is still just two starts in since returning from the disabled list and is more of a GPP play tonight vs. the Yankees. These are not the only reasons to favor paying up for McCullers in cash games. He faces a Royals team that ranks 27th overall in wOBA(.299) and wRC+(82) vs. right-handed pitching and have scored the second fewest overall runs this season(206), just four more than the Padres. For McCullers, it has been a fantastic start to the season as he sits with a 6-1 record and 2.71 ERA that looks legit considering his xFIP is slightly lower(2.68). The strikeouts are slightly down from last year but the good(or great news) is that he has cut the walks in half and is still producing a swinging strike rate over 12%. More good news is that Kaufman Stadium has also been huge in suppressing run production, especially home runs, this season ranking in the bottom third in park factors. McCullers is safe in all formats tonight.
You are going to soon realize that the projection system is absolutely in love with the D-Backs today. It starts with some value at the catcher position with Chris Iannetta who is likely starting with Chris Herrman day-to-day and Jeff Mathis starting last night. He is a platoon hitter at the position and the good news is he leads the team in hitting vs. left-handed pitching with .463 wOBA and 185 wRC+ and three home runs. Although he won't likely be positioned in a great spot in the order, he allows a ton of roster flexibility from a salary cap standpoint and also come with some upside.
I will continue down the value train with the Baltimore catchers on the main slate. It is clearly not upside we are after with these two but rather opportunity and cost. They are both near minimum price and face a pitcher in Joe Ross whose struggles continued in his last start when he gave up seven hits and six earned runs. He has also given up at least one home run in all six starts this season. It will likely be Pena behind the plate with Joseph starting last night but both make fine put plays to load up on bats at other positions.
Paul Goldschmidt FD 4400 DK 5400
Opponent - SD (Richard) Park - @ARI
FD - 14.02 DK - 11.18
Even if you fit the top two pitchers in your lineup on DraftKings in the early slate you will still be able to afford Goldy. This is great news as he is the highest projected overall player in the early slate and trails only Bryce Harper on the entire day. While last year was another successful year, Goldy is much closer to his elite 2015 form. With another hot start to June, he has brought his overall average back above .300 while he sits with a .416 wOBA and 155 wRC+. Not only does he provide average, power, and run production he also provides speed that is unheard of from the first base position and has double that of any other player at the position with 12 already. He has bee more successful vs. right-handed pitching this season but it doesn't have me concerned as he sits with a career .427 wOBA and 168 wRC+ vs. southpaws.
Ryan Zimmerman FD 3900 DK 5200
Opponent - BAL (Asher) Park - @WSH
FD - 11.51 DK - 8.81
While Zimmerman has spent each of the last three seasons with time on the disabled list, he is showing us his upside while healthy early in 2017. He leads all first basemen in average, isolated power, slugging %, wOBA, wRC+ and is tied for the lead in home runs with 16 through 55 games. This has not only been good for him but the entire offense, especially Bryce Harper, who is seeing a ton more pitches with Zimmerman hitting behind him and the Nationals rank second overall in runs scored and sit with a 12 game lead in the National League East Division. He has been slightly better against southpaws but still has elite numbers vs. righties with a .445 wOBA and 178 wRC+.
Hanley Ramirez FD 3500 DK 3800
Opponent - NYY (Pineda) Park - @NYY
FD - 10.26 DK - 7.95
I definitely prefer Zimmerman over Ramirez on FanDuel for just $400 more but on DraftKings, there is a huge case to be made for rostering Hanley. While the numbers are nowhere near the same, he comes at a $1,400 discount which will lead to a much more balanced lineup. While the average is down about 30 points from last season, there is still signs of power as he has hit two home runs in his last three games(going into Weds night) and now has eight for the season. Hanley has also shown heavy reverse splits vs. right-handed pitching with an average 156 points higher and a wOBA 199 points higher. He is facing Michael Pineda who has the strikeout upside but faces a Red Sox team that K's only 18.1% of the time vs. righties, less than all but one team on the slate. He has also struggled with the long ball at times with a 22% HR/FB rate. I wouldn't completely trust Hanley in cash games but will be leaning on him in GPP's tonight.
Ian Kinsler FD 3300 DK 4200
Opponent - LAA (Ramirez) Park - @DET
FD - 10.28 DK - 8.24
He is now two games back from the disabled list after skipping a rehab assignment altogether. While he has just one hit in those games, the projection system does not really factor small sample sizes rather looks at the overall talent of the player and the matchup. It also bumps players who sit with more opportunity via batting order. Kinsler is the leadoff hitter on a Top 10 offensive team and faces a rookie pitcher who is having trouble missing bats(8.6% swinging strike rate) and is giving up a 36.7% hard contact rate for the season. I fully expect the Tigers, who have won five of their last six games, to stay hot on Thursday.
Brandon Phillips FD 2700 DK 3300
Opponent - PHI (Lively) Park - @ATL
FD - 9.25 DK - 7.75
On the main slate, I love going right to the value with Brandon Phillips who has almost everything going for him. The veteran in his first season with the Braves has impressed with a .299 average and .351 OBP in his first 49 games and is now comfortably sitting in the two-hole in the batting order. He comes into tonight with hits in four straight including three multi-hit games and while the upside is no longer there, he comes with a value price tag that allows you to load up at other positions.
I already forsee the future and my Thursday morning. "Why so many D-Backs?". I know, they rank in bottom third of the league vs. southpaws this season but hear me out. It is a relatively small sample size after nearly the same roster lead the league vs. left-handed pitching in 2016. On the positive side this year, Ahmed and Owings sit at the top of the team with a .449 and .346 wOBA respectively vs. lefties. Which one gets the biggest bump in value depends on where they end up in the order on Thursday as both have bounced around from top to bottom. The price on DraftKings warrants a GPP only tag while both are in play in all formats on FanDuel with a sub $3K price tag.
Carlos Correa FD 4300 DK 5500
Opponent - KC (Hammel) Park - @KC
FD - 11.78 DK - 9.23
On the main slate, we will turn our attention to the hottest hitting team in the league, not only in the last 30 days but all season. They have surpassed the Nationals as the highest scoring team in the league lead by their All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa who sits behind only Francisco Lindor at his position. He has built off two successful season to start his career and already has half of his career high in home runs with 11 and an elite .391 wOBA and 150 wRC+. He is the primary cleanup hitter on an explosive team facing a pitcher who has not only given up 3+ earned runs in nine of his 11 starts but has also given up at least one home run in six of his last seven starts. Look for Correa and the Astros to live up to that big Moneyline tonight.
Jedd Gyorko FD 3300 DK 3900
Opponent - CIN (Feldman) Park - @CIN
FD - 10.81 DK - 8.32
After seeing a salary in the mid to high $4K range at the end of May, Gyorko is back in a range that makes it a lot more manageable to roster. He has been consistent all year hitting .295 or better in all three months and comes into tonight Thursday's action with a .381 wOBA on the season with eight home runs, 22 RBI and 22 runs scored. While those numbers don't completely stand out, you have to take into account the team around him that has been cold offensively ranking in the bottom five of the league in runs scored. On a short slate, he makes a nice pivot off the top priced options allowing us to pay up at pitcher or other positions.
Miguel Sano FD 4200 DK 4900
Opponent - SEA (Bergman) Park - @SEA
FD - 11.68 DK - 8.7
From a PTS/$ perspective, Sano doesn't show up at the top tonight which is going to most likely keep him out of the optimized lineups but is still an excellent play. He is second to only Kris Bryant in raw points projections and could come at a big ownership advantage in tournaments. In less than half the games played as last season he is already well over halfway to career highs across the board with a .424 wOBA, 169 wRC+, 14 home runs, 43 RBI and 37 runs scored. He is also coming into tonight red hot with hits in eight straight games including multi-hit efforts in four of his last six.
With the Diamondbacks and Cardinals coming in with the highest implied totals in the afternoon slate it could leave the Tigers slightly under owned and that is exactly what I am looking for from a GPP perspective. The price on J.D. Martinez might also scare some people off but if you can fit him in I highly advise it. He has been scorching hot since returning to the lineup in early May with a .460 wOBA, 195 wRC+ and has 10 home runs in just 23 games played. He started to cool down at the end of May but has picked it back up in June with hits in four of five games with two home runs. If you are playing the Tigers, I advise stacking them and with Martinez so expensive it makes sense to punt with his super utility teammate, Andrew Romine. The upside is limited with Romine as he will be falling down the lineup with Kinsler back but he should be able to carry some of the momentum over as he has recorded a hit in six of his last seven starts.
The Astros lead all teams today in implied runs with just over 5.2 so it's fitting I get more of them in the article. George Springer comes at a very high-cost tonight but hits leadoff for the top offensive team in the league and is putting up closer numbers to that of a cleanup hitter. He is currently sitting with a career-high .281 average and has already provided 16 home runs, 38 RBI and 45 runs scored through 54 games and has only attempted three stolen bases. For fantasy purposes, I am just fine with the power over speed, especially when paying top dollar. If you can't afford Springer or just can't stomach the price in cash games, take a look at his teammate Josh Reddick who has been a top value in the projection system since back in mid-April. It has everything to do with price and opportunity as that is when he was moved up to the top of lineup and since then he has hit .273 with a .345 wOBA, 119 wRC+, six home runs, and 29 runs scored. Hard to argue with a hitter under $4K on both sites who hits at the top of a lineup with Springer, Altuve, and Correa!
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- Paul Goldschmidt: AP Photo/Matt York