Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Brent Holloway

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 6/13/17

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Clayton KershawClayton Kershaw FD 12500 DK 12900
Opponent - CLE (Bauer) Park - @CLE
FD - 38.78 DK - 25.45

It's Kershaw Day, so y'all know the routine. Barring an unexpected announcement that he's going to experiment with throwing right-handed (and maybe even then), he's always in play for cash games. We don't love picking on Cleveland, because there are a lot of legit dudes in this lineup -- but they haven't performed that way vs. LHP this season. They rank 19th in the split in wRC+ and wOBA, and while they don't strike out a lot, they don't face many Clayton Kershaws, either. With some exceptions on the margins, CK has been more or less his usual self in 2017. His 2.20 ERA and 2.82 xFIP each rank third among qualified starters, and though he's not quite missing quite as many bats as we're used to, he's still fanning better than 10 per 9 IP, so we see no reason for concern. That said, we've got a handful of nice options at SP for Tuesday night, so you'll have to decide if you want to pay up. But while nobody's a sure thing in DFS baseball, Kershaw's about as close as they come.

David PriceDavid Price FD 9300 DK 10100
Opponent - PHI (Lively) Park - @BOS
FD - 35.76 DK - 23.53

Speaking of no sure things, this one will require a little bit of a leap of faith, because we've only gotten a brief glimpse of vintage David Price since his 2017 debut two weeks ago. He was sharp with 7 Ks, 3 hits and 1 run in 7 IP against the Orioles in his second start, and he was OK against the White Sox in his first time out, but he was knocked around by the Yankees last week. But here's the good news: the Phillies ain't the Yanks. Or the Orioles. Or the White Sox. They rank 22nd in wRC+ vs. LHP this season, and while they've shown some pop (.190 ISO in the split), we think there's upside here for Price. His track record shows a K-per-inning arm with excellent command who has done a great job (at least until last year) of limiting the long ball. Some of the home run issues we saw last year are probably due to losing Tropicana Field as his home park, but the HR:FB rate says there's probably a little bit of luck involved, too. And still, a 1.17 HR/9 really isn't bad in the new offensive environment we've seen develop across the MLB in the last year-plus. All told, we still prefer Kershaw for cash, but if you're looking to save some salary and still have the chance to keep pace at SP1, Price is a solid option.

Marco EstradaMarco Estrada FD 8500 DK 8000
Opponent - TB (Odorizzi) Park - @TOR
FD - 32.93 DK - 21.83

Or, you could skip the half-measures and grab some real value with Estrada. Of course, there's plenty of risk here, too. Rogers Centre is a tough place to pitch, and the Rays are highly dangerous, ranking third in wRC+ and second in ISO vs. RHP this season. But they strike out a ton (2nd most in MLB vs. righties), so there's a nice ceiling here if you're willing to roll the dice, and Estrada isn't a bad guy to take a chance on. He's somehow turned himself into a top-10 strikeout pitcher this season (10.38 Ks/9), improving on the substantial gains he made last year, while improving on his walk rate. There's always danger of the long ball with a guy that gives up this many fly balls, and that's something you always have to live with when rostering Estrada -- especially at home. But he's found a way to limit the damage more often than not, holding opponents to two runs or less in eight of 13 starts this season. He's also been bombed a few times, including 5 runs in 6 IP against the Rays in Tampa about a month ago. So he's not exactly safe, but that's baked into the prices, and the projection system is high on his chances to return nice value tonight.


Buster PoseyBuster Posey FD 4000 DK 4400
Opponent - KC (Vargas) Park - @SF
FD - 10.32 DK - 7.95

Paying these prices at catcher is never a super appealing option, and it's even less appetizing when Kershaw is on the slate and the park is question suppresses offense. So, take that into consideration, but don't forget to give equal weight to the fact that Posey owns a .400 wOBA and .191 ISO vs. LHP since the beginning of last season. He's the best hitter at the position, and when it comes to excellence across the board, nobody is really that close. He's been quietly awesome in 2017, too, even by his standards, with a .347/.437/.521 triple slash, substantially more walks than Ks. Walks may not be sexy -- and if you're gunning for GPP glory, they're not all that useful -- but for cash-game purposes, they present something of a safety net, and more importantly tell us this is a hitter with supreme command of the strike zone, and thus, the ability to wait for his pitch and then do something with it. Tonight, he gets Jason Vargas. The 34-year-old's surface stats look great (2.18 ERA), but we're not fully sold. He's still a mediocre guy when it comes to missing bats, and he's benefiting from an extremely low HR:FB ratio, which explains his 4.51 xFIP. To be fair, Vargas has always pitched below the norm when it comes to allowing HRs, but even compared to his career average, it looks like regression is on the way.

Yasmani GrandalYasmani Grandal FD 3100 DK 3400
Opponent - CLE (Bauer) Park - @CLE
FD - 9.62 DK - 7.26

If you're spending up for pitching, playing Posey is gonna stretch you pretty thin. In that case, the first place we're turning is Grandal, who comes with a higher ceiling and a much more doable price tag. He's a completely different type of hitter than Posey, but in terms of overall production, he's still top-shelf at catcher. Since the beginning of last season, he's carrying a .352 wOBA and .244 ISO vs. RHP, and the pitcher/park combo is also intriguing. Trevor Bauer is fanning dudes at an elite rate this season (11 Ks/9), but it's coming at a cost. His already-troublesome walk rates have climbed incrementally, and he's giving up far more HRs (1.6/9). This plays into Grandal's strengths as a patience/power guy. It could also expose his weakness (26.6 K% vs. RHP since 2016), but we're OK with taking that chance when we're getting the kind of ceiling Grandal offers.

First Base

Hanley RamirezHanley Ramirez FD 3200 DK 3600
Opponent - PHI (Lively) Park - @BOS
FD - 12.51 DK - 9.7

We really hope everybody takes a look at Ben Lively's 2.57 ERA in his first two starts and decides to stay away from the Red Sox tonight, because we think it's a mirage. Look, Lively might have a fine career ahead of him, but he's fighting against the odds. Scouts peg him as an average arm, and there aren't many of those types with substandard K rates who strike much fear in us. Sure, he's kept the Braves and Giants at bay, but that's setting the bar pretty low, and in those 14 IP, he's fanned just three guys while walking five. So we feel confident in the fact that the Red Sox, who have the third-best K% in baseball vs. RHP, are going to be slapping the ball around Fenway tonight, and against a fly-ball guy like Lively, there's a solid chance one or two will find their way over the Green Monster. Hanley isn't matching last season's offensive pace, but he's still doing solid work against righties. Since the beginning of last year, he owns a .343 wOBA and .181 ISO against RHP -- and at Fenway those numbers climb to .362/.197.

Paul GoldschmidtPaul Goldschmidt FD 4600 DK 5400
Opponent - DET (Farmer) Park - @DET
FD - 12.85 DK - 10.24

We prefer Hanley for the value, but for raw points, nobody at first base is projected for more than Goldschmidt tonight. I don't even know where to start with Goldy. Dude is a maniac. He's on pace for another 30 steals, and the power is back up -- his .269 ISO would represent a career high if it held. Not that there was anything wrong with last year's 24 HRs and .192 ISO, but right now we're looking at one of the top all-around offensive players in the game -- and he's actually done his best work against RHP this season with a .457 wOBA and .312 ISO in the split. Buck Farmer has looked pretty good (ok, really good) in his two starts this season, but really, our only hesitation here is the price.

Consider: Jose Abreu.

Second Base

Robinson CanoRobinson Cano FD 3100 DK 4400
Opponent - MIN (Gibson) Park - @MIN
FD - 11.91 DK - 9.15

It seems odd that Kyle Gibson makes a living throwing baseballs, because as it turns out, he's not actually very good at it. Since the beginning of last season, he's got a 5.43 ERA (backed up by a 4.64 xFIP) and a .362 wOBA allowed. Against lefties, we're looking at a .383 wOBA and 4.97 xFIP, which obviously bodes well for Cano. Following up on 39 HRs in 2016, the 34-year-old is showing no signs of slowing down, posting a .374 wOBA and .236 ISO vs. RHP this season. That's a steal at his FanDuel price.

Dustin PedroiaDustin Pedroia FD 3300 DK 3800
Opponent - PHI (Lively) Park - @BOS
FD - 11.67 DK - 9.18

It looks like Vegas is siding with the projection system in the anti-Lively camp, because the Red Sox opened up as a -229 favorite with a 9.5 total and both appear to be growing. That (probably) won't equate to Monday's massive implied total, but it's closing in on 6, which is plenty large. And if the Red Sox are scoring runs, Pedroia stands a good chance to be in the middle of it. His No. 2 slot in the order along carries plenty of value in a matchup like this alone, and though the power numbers haven't been there this season, he's still getting the job done with a .364 OBP and more walks than Ks. He's more attractive at his DraftKings price, and much more suited to cash games given a limited ceiling, but the projection system has him as one of the top values at 2B on both sites tonight.

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Trea TurnerTrea Turner FD 4400 DK 5400
Opponent - ATL (Dickey) Park - @WSH
FD - 13 DK - 11.83

Here's another guy who's gonna stretch you thin if you're playing Kershaw, but the projections are just too high to pass him by completely. The early Vegas line has the Nationals as one of the highest implied totals on the board going against Dickey, and we tend to agree. Knuckleballers are notoriously tough to predict, but Dickey is clearly on the decline. Since the beginning of last season, he's got a 4.93 xFIP with a .344 wOBA allowed, and he'll be facing one of the best lineups in baseball tonight. At top of that lineup, Turner is proving that last year's half-season breakout wasn't a fluke. He's not quite matching 2016's torrid pace, but in 238 PAs this season, he's up to 6 HRs with 21 steals (only caught three times), so the power/speed combo is elite. It's worth noting here that Dickey does a good job of holding runners, so that could keep Turner's multi-steal upside in check. But then again, the Braves catchers have thrown out just 24 percent of runners this season, so don't be surprised if Turner puts them to the test.

Xander BogaertsXander Bogaerts FD 3700 DK 4500
Opponent - PHI (Lively) Park - @BOS
FD - 12.14 DK - 9.7

Pretty simple, guys. The projection system hates Ben Lively. We're pretty sure it's personal, but nobody wants to ask. Just about everything we said about Pedroia holds true for Bogaerts. Plus, Bogaerts is younger, faster, better etc. So, count that in your equation. He's slashing .302/.359/.445 vs. RHP since the beginning of last season, and he's running more this year, with 8/8 on steal attempts. The DK price is a little more than I'd like to pay for a guy without much power upside, but the projection system has him second only to Turner in terms of both raw points and value, and it's smarter than I am.

Consider: Zack Cozart. He's been wrecking lefties dating back to last season, and though the sample size is small, the numbers are absurd this year (.470 wOBA). The system prefers the two guys above, but Cozart deserves a look.

Third Base

Kris BryantKris Bryant FD 4000 DK 4300
Opponent - NYM (Wheeler) Park - @NYM
FD - 12.44 DK - 9.58

Dude's a stud. Despite a BABIP lagging .40 points off of last year's pace, he's been virtually the same guy when it comes to overall production (.396 wOBA in 2016, .395 this year). That's largely due to continued improvement in K:BB, which paired with a .264 ISO serves to make him one of the most consistent/potent offensive performers in baseball. We love him against lefties, but at these prices, he's in play against pretty much anybody. He's got a .376 wOBA and .239 ISO vs. RHP, so while Zack Wheeler is fine, he's overmatched here.

Manny MachadoManny Machado FD 3800 DK 4100
Opponent - CHW (Holland) Park - @CHW
FD - 13.29 DK - 10.25

Speaking of studs, it looks like Machado is finally coming around. He was finally coming out of a two-month slog when he was sidelined for nearly a week by a wrist injury, but he returned last night with a pair of hits and a steal, so we're comfortable rolling him back out there. When he's right, he rakes lefties. Despite the poor results in 2017 dragging down the numbers, he's got a .375 wOBA and .219 ISO vs. southpaws since the start of last season. And as for those 2017 results, it looks like he's due for some positive regression. He's holding a .351 xwOBA compared to a .301 wOBA, and a .420/.345 split vs. southpaws.

Consider: Eugenio Suarez (at least on FanDuel).


Bryce HarperBryce Harper FD 4500 DK 5300
Opponent - ATL (Dickey) Park - @WSH
FD - 14.97 DK - 11.56

Man, you might have a real chance to catch a Nats stack at low(ish) ownership tonight, based on the prices and the presence of attractive high-dollar pitching. But that's a topic we'll touch on in a few hours. For now, Bryce Harper. Good at baseball. Almost never a bad play in any format. We're not even gonna talk about RvR here, because knuckleballers are typically split-agnostic, and Dickey is no exception. Instead, let's just look at brute, gross numbers. Dickey in 2017: .358 wOBA allowed, 5.35 xFIP, 1.5 HRs/9. Braves bullpen: 4.51 xFIP. Bryce: .426 wOBA, .294 ISO. On a 15-game slate, it probably won't be necessary to pay these prices in cash games, but if you can afford him, play him.

Mookie BettsMookie Betts FD 3700 DK 4600
Opponent - PHI (Lively) Park - @BOS
FD - 14.59 DK - 11.93

The downside to all these Red Sox picks is that they haven't been hitting for power this season, and Lively has a pretty strong track record of keeping the ball in the park throughout his minor league career. So don't go stacking these guys necessarily expecting bombs away. On the other hand, that minor-league fly ball rate Lively has looks pretty good for any righty with pop and/or the ability to lift one. Aside from that, what's up with this FD price? We said it Monday, and we're riding with it again. Just too low. Before he went 4-for-6 with 3 doubles last night, Mookie had a .377 wOBA and .202 ISO vs. RHP since the beginning of last season.

Mark TrumboMark Trumbo FD 3400 DK 3400
Opponent - CHW (Holland) Park - @CHW
FD - 12.7 DK - 9.64

And here's your DK price-enforcement play. Trumbo is pretty close to split-neutral over the course of his career, but whatever. The park is great and the matchup is almost as nice. Derek Holland is giving up 1.86 HRs/9 in 2017, with a .381 wOBA vs. righties. Every right-handed Oriole has to be considered, and at this DraftKings price, Trumbo might be chief among them.

Consider: Gregory Polanco




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2 Visitor Comments

  1. Who would u recomend for a fanduel big tornament pitcher? I personally suck when i pay top $ for pitching

  2. Good read, but somewhat unhelpful today. Most bats that are written up are over 3,500k and then recommending CK. Are you able to provide some value options when there is such expensive pitchers?

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