Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

06/14/2017
Austyn Varney

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 6/14/17

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Pitcher

Corey KluberCorey Kluber FD 10200 DK 12500
Opponent - LAD (McCarthy) Park - @CLE
FD - 38.95 DK - 25.63

This is a very average slate in terms of pitching. We have a few solid options and then a couple more guys you can consider in tournaments. Our top tier cash game option is going to be Corey Kluber, facing off with the Dodgers at home in Progressive Field. Kluber has been great this season, posting a .315 wOBA on a .334 BABIP. He's striking out over 10 batters per 9 innings and is holding opposing batters to a 19% line drive rate. Kluber is the true ace he was a few years back and he's been everything the Indians could possibly hope for. His opponent, the Dodgers, are not a group you want to target too often. By the numbers, they're league average against righties. However, they have guys like Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger, and Justin Turner that can do a lot of damage. They can also strikeout a lot, which is a lot more likely against the Klubot. The bottom of the order isn't something to be scared of, consisting of guys like Joc Pederson and Chris Taylor. Against Kluber, those guys are going to have a tough time hitting the ball. Kluber has been over 40 FanDuel points in 4 of his last 5 starts and likely makes it 5 of 6 here. His ownership is going to be high, but it is what it is. He's the safest option on the board and you can guarantee yourself a shot at cashing in cash games no matter how your bats perform.

Michael PinedaMichael Pineda FD 8700 DK 11100
Opponent - LAA (Shoemaker) Park - @LAA
FD - 31.44 DK - 20.73

If we're talking about pitchers who have been extremely impressive this season, Michael Pineda has to be in the top 5. He has been extremely good and even more consistent, which has always been something he craved. Pineda has been even better than Kluber when you look at wOBA, sitting at a crazy .296. He is seeing a bit more luck than Kluber and his wOBA should rise to around .320. Still, absolute dominance. He's striking out a batter per inning while walking just 2 per game. Pineda has completely revolutionized his game and could end up being one of the top pitchers in baseball by the time this season is over. He moves into spacious Angels Park, which houses one of the league's weakest lineups. The Angels rank 26th against righties with a .301 team wOBA. They strikeout a ton and often get shut down for innings on end. Albert Pujols is really the only guy with a real presence, but he strikes out almost 30% of the time and isn't nearly as good against righties.  When you remove Mike Trout, good luck. They have nobody to rely on for consistent production and it will come back to bite them. Pineda has a good shot at a big game here and his price is fair enough to make it work.

Catcher

Brian McCannBrian McCann FD 3400 DK 4400
Opponent - TEX (Cashner) Park - @HOU
FD - 10.44 DK - 7.92

The Houston Astros are coming in as one of the top offenses of the slate, as they do on a lot of days. Andrew Cashner and the Rangers head into Minute Maid Park, where the Astros hold an elite 3.27 wOBA. Brian McCann has been very impressive on the season and is holding a .363 combined wOBA. He gets a ton of RBI opportunities with the big bats in front of him and does a great job of capitalizing. The opposing arm of Andrew Cashner s one that has gone through many faces. At one point, Cashner was a good pitcher with a lot of potential. He then went into being one of the worst pitchers in baseball. At this point, he's somewhere in the middle. He's been subpar against both sides of the plate and has been blown up in multiple starts recently. The Astros are going to put up runs here and McCann should be involved. At the catcher position, he's a great option in all formats.

Matt WietersMatt Wieters FD 2500 DK 2900
Opponent - ATL (Teheran) Park - @WSH
FD - 8.82 DK - 6.82

Julio Teheran is the same guy he has always been. He's very bad against lefties and average against righties. He's allowed a .397 wOBA to lefties on the young season and it doesn't look like he is ever going to figure it out. His wOBA against lefties has decreased in 3 straight years and is on it's way to a 4th. The Nationals lineup is full of lefties and a few of them can really hit. While Wieters isn't the cream of the crop, he's cheaper than the elite options in this lineup and will come to the plate with runners on base. Wieters had an awful 2016, so it's been nice to see him bounce back so far. He's sporting a .327 wOBA and is hitting better at Nationals Park. Wieters may not have the same upside as Brian McCann, but he's way cheaper and in a lineup that is expected to score a similar amount of runs.

Cheap - Willson Contreras, Cameron Rupp

First Base

Matt CarpenterMatt Carpenter FD 3300 DK 3800
Opponent - MIL (Davies) Park - @STL
FD - 11.48 DK - 8.78

Zach Davies was once known as a reverse-splits righty, meaning he was worse against right-handed bats. That's clearly no longer the case. He has sported a .359 wOBA against lefties and a .364 against righties. While still worse against righties, he's been pitiful against everyone. He's also holding onto a .275 BABIP against lefties, so we have some expected regression on the horizon. All in all, Davies has lost all hope for the season and is now just trying not to get called down. Matt Carpenter is one of the more pure hitters in baseball and this is a fantastic match-up for him. He's holding a .360 wOBA against righties and has already hit 10 home runs in just 15o at-bats. Busch Stadium is very average for lefties and Carpenter has been great there for years now. While he never has the same upside as some of these other firstbaseman, Carpenter is one of the safest options on the entire slate and isn't priced anything like it. If you're paying up at pitcher, Carpenter is an elite option and one I'll personally have a tough time getting off of.

Eric ThamesEric Thames FD 3000 DK 4200
Opponent - STL (Leake) Park - @STL
FD - 11.45 DK - 8.95

Mike Leake has been really good this season, but a .250 BABIP has more than a lot to do with it. He is going to see a ton of regression very soon and you will want to be on the opposing offense when it happens. Dating back to 2015, Leake has been worse against lefties. He allowed a .324 wOBA and 13 homers in 83 innings of work in 2016. He's a very average right-hander and he throws pretty softly, which can result in some excess homers. Eric Thames has been a lot better against righties and is currently holding a .410 wOBA against them. He's hitting the ball hard 45% of the time and pulling it only 48%. Thames is driving the ball to all parts of the field and will continue hitting well throughout the season. He makes for a great GPP play here at first base and may be cheap enough to consider in cash as well. With Matt Carpenter being the preferred cash game option, understand you're downgrading safety for lower ownership and increased upside.

Cheap - Kennys Vargas

Second Base

Jose AltuveJose Altuve FD 3600 DK 4700
Opponent - TEX (Cashner) Park - @HOU
FD - 11.78 DK - 9.88

In years past, Jose Altuve has been MUCH better against lefties. He has always hit the ball harder against them and had power numbers that were impressive for 4 hitters. This year, that's changed. While Altuve is still good against lefties, he's  been even better against righties, Holding a .379 wOBA and already hitting 6 homers, Altuve is doing something different against righties. The guy he faces tonight is one that can easily be taken advantage of. Andrew Cashner has held even splits, so you can target him with both lefties and righties. Altuve brings a rare speed and power combo that only one guy (Trea Turner) in the league can match. The Astros are one of the top stacks of this entire slate and deserve to be mentioned at almost every position. Carlos Correa and Josh Reddick are 2 guys that will go under-owned and have a ton of upside.

Daniel MurphyDaniel Murphy FD 3700 DK 4200
Opponent - ATL (Teheran) Park - @WSH
FD - 10.96 DK - 8.62

You have to love these Washington Nationals. Vegas currently has them as the highest projected team, sitting at an implied team total of 5.33. We've touched on Julio Teheran and we will do so a lot more. He has been a lot worse against lefties for years now and has still been incapable of developing a quality changeup or any other pitch that can contain lefties. He's sported a .397 wOBA against them so far this season and there is no reason to think anything is going to ever change with Teheran. Daniel Murphy on the other hand, has done a whole lot of improving over the last few years. He has bounced back from his insane year with another one. He's holding a .391 wOBA against righties and holds the highest OBP in the NL. He is one of the premier hitters in all of baseball and is priced very fairly on both sites. He hits well in Nationals Park and I have yet to find a single negative about this match-up. Altuve and Murphy are very close for me and it comes down to personal preference and pricing. Murphy should be slightly lower owned.

Cheap - Scooter Gennett

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Shortstop

Trea TurnerTrea Turner FD 4600 DK 5600
Opponent - ATL (Teheran) Park - @WSH
FD - 12.04 DK - 10.96

While Julio Teheran is a guy you usually want to target with lefties, he is nothing to avoid against right-handers either. Sporting a .3o6 wOBA, Teheran has allowed 5 homers to righties in less than 40 innings. He's giving up a 23% line drive rate and a 34% hard contact rate. Trea Turner will be in the leadoff spot and is quickly concreting his name as one of the best young players in all of the league. He has insane power and speed that is only matched by the before mentioned Jose Altuve. Personally, I think Turner ends up being better than Jose Altuve when all is said and done. Turner is far better against righties, sporting a .378 wOBA against them since the start of his career. Over the course of 125 games dating back to 2016, Turner has stolen 54 bases and hit 19 homers. Those are some extremely elite numbers. His price is high, but it's for good reason Turner is going to be one of the top options on this entire slate and if you can afford it, he's the top option at the position in both formats.

Xander BogaertsXander Bogaerts FD 3500 DK 4400
Opponent - PHI (Hellickson) Park - @PHI
FD - 11.01 DK - 8.8

We haven't touched on the Red Sox just yet, but they're always in play when facing an average or subpar pitcher. Jeremy Hellickson certainly qualifies. He has been a very reverse-splits pitcher this season, sporting a .349 wOBA and a 5.04 xFIP against righties. While I do think he will be worse against lefties by the end of the season, he hasn't been able to get any righties out so far and his BABIP doesn't suggest any improvements looming. Xander Bogaerts, like Hellickson, is a reverse splits hitter. He has sported a .360 wOBA that is backed up by extremely strong peripherals and batted ball rates. The Red Sox move into Citizens  Bank Park, which was a top 10 ballpark in 2016 for right-handed power. Bogaerts is cheaper than Turner and should be a lot lower owned. He makes sense in both formats and on FanDuel, is an elite cash game play.

Cheap - Aledmys Diaz, Eric Sogard

Third Base

Miguel SanoMiguel Sano FD 3900 DK 4600
Opponent - SEA (Gaviglio) Park - @MIN
FD - 13.88 DK - 10.37

The Minnesota Twins have an implied team total of 5.31, so we have to pay attention. We are starting to know that Miguel Sano is going to be an elite hitter for a very long time. He's basically hitting lasers all across the field and has been destroying pitchers that would be striking him out in past seasons. Sano has sported a .404 wOBA against righties so far in 2017 and holds a ridiculous 52% hard contact rate. Sam Gaviglio is probably the most average pitcher out there. He's 27 years old and is just seeing his first major league action. He hasn't been great in the minors and is expected to struggle for the foreseeable future. He has been a bit worse against righties and shouldn't last any longer than 4 innings. Miguel Sano is clearly the top 3rd baseman on the slate and he is one of my top priorities after pitching. His price isn't crazy and you should be able to fit him in both formats without much of a problem.

Wilmer FloresWilmer Flores FD 2700 DK 3300
Opponent - CHC (Montgomery) Park - @NYM
FD - 10 DK - 7.81

The Mets are facing a lefty, so Wilmer Flores is squarely in play. He is a huge lefty masher and is relied upon by the Mets for run production against left-handers. Mike Montgomery is a subpar lefty and has had some problems keeping the ball in the park against righties. He moves into Citi Field and while I doubt the Mets destroy him, they should work in 2 or 3 runs and knock him out by the 5th inning or so. The Cubs bullpen is average and Flores will still have opportunities to produce when Montgomery leaves the game. However, we're hoping he gets it done against the lefty. He's holding a .443 wOBA against lefties this season and while that may be a bit inflated, he's quite obviously a fantastic lefty masher. He's cheap enough on both sites and makes sense in both formats if you can't afford Sano.

Cheap - Maikel Franco, Nick Castellanos

Outfield

Seth SmithSeth Smith FD 3000 DK 3700
Opponent - CHW (Gonzalez) Park - @CHW
FD - 12.06 DK - 9.17
Mark TrumboMark Trumbo FD 3500 DK 3800
Opponent - CHW (Gonzalez) Park - @CHW
FD - 12.19 DK - 9.26

Miguel Gonzalez showed some flash last year. He held a sub .300 wOBA against both sides of the plate and looked to have some potential as a starting pitcher. This year, nope. He fell off a cliff and is having trouble getting anyone out. Against lefties, Gonzalez is sporting a .364 wOBA. He's already allowed 6 homers and has always been a bit worse against them. Against righties, Gonzalez is holding a .333 wOBA and has also given up 6 homers in just over 30 innings. This game is being played in Guaranteed Rate Field, which is the former U.S. Cellular. It ranked in the top 10 for 3 straight seasons for both lefties and righties. Both Mark Trumbo and Seth Smith hit righties well, but Trumbo obviously brings a lot more power to the table. Smith will be in the leadoff spot and makes a lot more sense in cash games, where you're looking for a bit more safety. They are both quality plays in all formats and I think Trumbo is an elite GPP tournament option. The prices are fair and they won't inconvenience you elsewhere.

Bryce HarperBryce Harper FD 4600 DK 5500
Opponent - ATL (Teheran) Park - @WSH
FD - 13.86 DK - 10.7
Brian GoodwinBrian Goodwin FD 2500 DK 3400
Opponent - ATL (Teheran) Park - @WSH
FD - 9.42 DK - 7.77

These guys may not have much in common, but they both make for good plays tonight against Julio Teheran. As we know, Teheran stinks against lefties. He is sporting a .387 wOBA against them and has actually gotten a bit lucky with a .256 BABIP. Nationals Park is very average, though Teheran does tend to struggle more on the road. Both Goodwin and Harper hit from the left side, albeit with much different approaches. Goodwin is a slap/contact hitter who is focused on getting on-base and creating runs. It looks like he has taken over for Wilmer Dif in the 2 spot and I am very glad, as Difo has to be one of the worst hitters I've ever seen. It just seems like the Nats could put up 38 runs and he can go 0-fer. The point of that is to say he is very safe. He has a great chance of being driven in once on-base and should see 5 at-bats in the match-up. He has been bouncing around the order a bit, so make sure he is in that 2 hole. As for Harper, you know the drill. He's a top 5 power hitter in baseball and faces a righty he has dominated before. It's not because of BVP, it's because Julio Teheran is absolutely horrible against lefties. Both Goodwin and Harper make sense in both formats and the Nationals as a whole are one of the top stacks of the night.

Dexter FowlerDexter Fowler FD 3000 DK 4000
Opponent - MIL (Davies) Park - @STL
FD - 11.07 DK - 8.78

Zach Davies has been horrible against lefties and has been getting a bit lucky as well. With his BABIP being deflated, his numbers should end up even worse against left-handers. Davies is currently holding a .359 wOBA against them and has allowed 7 homers in just over 30 innings of work. This Cardinals team is very good against righties and Dexter Fowler is a big reason why. He is a leadoff man with power and speed that gives him a floor and ceiling that you love in all formats. Fowler, as a switch-hitter, hits better from the left side. He sported a .361 wOBA over the last 2 seasons and is one of the top OF options of the night. His ownership shouldn't be too high and this Entire Cardinals team could be interesting in a tournament. Davies has a tendency to blow up and with so many quality offenses on the slate, you should be able to find the Cardinals around 5-10% as a whole.

Cheap -Hunter Renfroe, Aaron Altherr, Carlos Gonzalez, Kyle Schwarber, Ben Gamel

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