Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

06/17/2017
Jerry Vanderwoude

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

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Pitcher

Early

Stephen StrasburgStephen Strasburg FD 10900 DK 12200
Opponent - NYM (Lugo) Park - @NYM
FD - 39.7 DK - 26.13
Welcome friends to another edition of Saturday MLB daily fantasy. We have a full day of baseball ahead of us with the majority of the action beginning in the 4PM eastern hour, and only 4 games in the main slate starting with game 2 of the Cleveland/Twins doubleheader an hour later than we're used to. We'll spend the majority of our focus on the early slate starting with Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals heading in to Citi Filed. If you're going to spend up on the early slate, you have a toss up between Strasburg and Archer, and for safety I'll run with Stras. He struggled Monday against Atlanta, and has been known to do so in muggy conditions, but it should be a more comfortable night in Flushing and Washington is a clear favorite against the struggling Metropolitans with an early -155 money line. The Mets don't strike out a ton, they're actually among the bottom ten teams for strikeout percentage, but Strasburg's 10.44 K/9 is among the top ten arms in baseball and he's had double digit K performances in 3 of his last 5 outings with 6 straight quality starts before his 6 run home run derby against the Braves. I'm looking for a nice bounce back to form for Strasburg today in a game he should easily dominate.

Marcus StromanMarcus Stroman FD 9300 DK 10100
Opponent - CHW (Pelfrey) Park - @TOR
FD - 34.28 DK - 22.51
Speaking of domination, while I mentioned Chris Archer in passing earlier, and I'm sure he'll get a nod from Austyn in the pitchers article, for cash games, if you want to pivot off of Strasurg, and save some salary for the big bats, then I can't overlook Marcus Stroman. He takes to the hill against the White Sox today in Rogers Centre with Chicago sending Mike Pelfrey to the hill. Toronto is a -230 favorite in this one, about as sure a thing as you'll find and with good reason. The White Sox .302 wOBA against right handed pitching is the third worst in baseball, and they strikeout 22.8% of the time which is top ten territory. Plus, with Mike Pelfrey on the mound for Chicago, run support should be no concern, Torontos 5.6 projected runs is the second highest total outside of Coors Field, and though they're still in the basement in the A.L. east, the return of the Don and Tulo has put a little spark in to the offense as they try to turn the season around. Stroman is an excellent cash game play, with some potential upside for tournaments as well.

Main

Jake ArrietaJake Arrieta FD 9800 DK 11200
Opponent - PIT (Nova) Park - @PIT
FD - 32.36 DK - 16.88
The clear and easy play on the four game main slate is Jake Arrieta. He struggled his last time out against the Rockies, but leading in to that game he has been the definition of safety on the hill going 6 innings in 5 straight games with 5-9 Ks per game and an average of 2.2 runs allowed with 3 wins in that span. The Pirates are a bottom ten offense, with a .311 team wOBA, they've struggled mightily this season with big ticket names like McCutchen and Polanco putting up subpar performances, particularly against right handed pitching where they're sporting .288 and .316 wOBA's respectively. There may not be much in the way of upside as the team is striking out only 19.1% of the time, but with only 4 games going and the Cubbies as -130 favorites, Arrieta is perfect for cash purposes.

Catcher

Early

Yasmani GrandalYasmani Grandal FD 3100 DK 3600
Opponent - CIN (Wojciechowski) Park - @CIN
FD - 11.67 DK - 8.81
The Dodgers are in Great American (hitters) Ballpark this weekend for a series with the Reds and today Cincinnati sends Asher Wojciechowski out for his fourth start of the season and the seventh start of his career, so we have a limited sample to work on with him. We have plenty on Grandal however. Among qualified catchers, Grandal ranks fourth this season with a .323 wOBA and 102 wRC+ which climbs to .345/116 against right handed pitching with 5 of his 6 home runs this year coming against righties. Grandal comes in as the highest projected raw point total at the position today, and is seriously underpriced across the industry. I'll have exposure to him in all formats this afternoon.

Main

Sandy LeonSandy Leon FD 2300 DK 2900
Opponent - HOU (Paulino) Park - @HOU
FD - 7.33 DK - 5.73
Also making his fourth start of the season tonight is the Astros David Paulino. With just 4 games going on the main slate, we're going to see a lot of Boston here in the picks today, starting with Sandy Leon as a nice punt play behind the plate. He will probably be hitting down in the order which hurts, but with names like Benintendi and Bradley hitting just ahead of him the RBI opportunities will be there for him, and his salary provides the opportunity to spend up for Arrieta while loading up on some of the bigger names at other key positions. There's some risk, but for the price, it's minimal.

First Base

Early

Eric ThamesEric Thames FD 3600 DK 4300
Opponent - SD (Lamet) Park - @MIL
FD - 13.09 DK - 10.24
Eric Thames came out like a lion early in the season, turning a lot of heads in the DFS world with rising salaries and sky high ownership, then he fell off like a lamb (not Jake) and the hype died down along with the salary. Now we are seeing a second coming of Eric Thames, who last night homered in his third straight contest in walk off fashion and the salaries have yet to correct. Thames is 7 for his last 14 with 6 RBI and 4 runs scored. In the last 7 days he has a .367 wOBA and today he will face rookie Dinelson Lamet who in 4 starts has allowed 6 of the 19 hits he's surrendered to go over the wall. Thames could very well be looking at his fouth home run in 4 games today, and I plan to have a piece of it when it happens.

Edwin EncarnacionEdwin Encarnacion FD 3700 DK 4700
Opponent - MIN (Mejia) Park - @MIN
FD - 12.11 DK - 9.04
The Indians will take the field against the Twins in a day night doubleheader today with the first game falling in to the early and all day slates, and the Twins sending Adelberto Mejia to the hill. Edwin Encarnacion, who has already walked, homered, scored 2 runs and driven in three in the series opener as of this writing, has really begun to look a lot more like himself after struggling early on in his debut season with the tribe. In addition to that giving him 2 straight games with a home run, he was 4 for 9 in the recent series with the Dodgers, and reached base safely in 6 straight games going in to the weekend, with three multi hit performances in that span. If this type of performance keeps up it wont be long before we see that salary start to spike, so get in now while he's still coming on the cheap.

Main

Mitch MorelandMitch Moreland FD 3400 DK 4400
Opponent - HOU (Paulino) Park - @HOU
FD - 10.64 DK - 8.1
Mitch Moreland is nestled in to the cleanup spot for the Red Sox which is a pretty good place to find a mid 3k priced first baseman on FanDuel, and the DraftKings Salary is pretty hard to argue against as well. Moreland had a nice series against Philadelphia going 5 for 14 with a homerun and 2 runs scored, and he's currently 1-3 with an RBI in the series opener as I'm writing this. His .361 wOBA is just outside the top ten among qualified firstbasemen, and it climbs to .374 against the split. There are other plays with higher projected point totals on the evening tilt, but for the price, Moreland is clearly the top PPD play for the slate.

Second Base

Early

Jose PirelaJose Pirela FD 2800 DK 4000
Opponent - MIL (Anderson) Park - @MIL
FD - 8.85 DK - 7.24
Since making his debut 11 days ago Jose Pirela has put forth some impressive fantasy performances. While Draftkings have caught on and adjusted the pricing, the FanDuel price is a bargain, especially if San Diego continues to keep him in the leadoff spot. While he has gone hitless his last two times out, his patience at the plate and effective baserunning has kept him in the conversation. Now 10 games in to his big league career Pirela has reached base in all but his debut, with 2 home runs, 6 runs scored, 10 walks, and last night he swiped his first bag. There may be other options that pop up on Draft Kings, but I'll have 100% exposure on FanDuel until the pricing catches up.

Main

Dustin PedroiaDustin Pedroia FD 3200 DK 4000
Opponent - HOU (Paulino) Park - @HOU
FD - 10.35 DK - 8.14
Like his teammate Mitch Moreland over at first, Dustin Pedroia is knocking on the door of top ten territory for wOBA among qualified players at his position. His .327 is twelfth at the position with a wRC+ sitting at 98. While his numbers this season to date are coming in just below his career totals, he's still holding a .296/.365/.379 slash line. He closed out the series with the Phillies going 0-4 ending a streak of 5 multi hit games, and already has 2 hits in tonight's series opener. On a short slate with limited options, Pedroia makes for an excellent cash game play.

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Shortstop

Early

Francisco LindorFrancisco Lindor FD 3400 DK 4200
Opponent - MIN (Mejia) Park - @MIN
FD - 11.73 DK - 9.46
Chris gave high praises to Lindor despite his average here in this spot yesterday, and I'm going to echo that sentiment. He went 1-5 with a double and 2 walks in Cleveland's drubbing of the Twins last night, outperforming our projections, and things certainly seem to be trending upward for him. Today in the first part of the double header, the Twins send another southpaw to the hill in the form of Adelberto Mejia, who has only 1 win in 8 starts this season. He possesses a 5.75 ERA and the 4.98 SIERA doesn't suggest much better. He's struggling with both his control and the long ball, walking 4.75/9 and allowing 1.75 HR/9. The drubbing could very well continue in the early afternoon today in Minnesota, with Lindor playing a big part of it.

Main

Addison RussellAddison Russell FD 2700 DK 3700
Opponent - PIT (Nova) Park - @PIT
FD - 8.46 DK - 6.56
The Cubbies are in PNC Park this weekend for series with the Pirates, and look to take 2 in a row from the Pirates who will counter with Ivan Nova. Nova has had a solid start to the 2017 campaign, going 6-4 in 13 starts. The 2.83 ERA is impressive, but the 4.34 SIERA tells a deeper story. Addison Russell comes in at a bargain on both sites, and is a complete steal if he's batting cleanup, especially since the RBI's come easily when you're batting behind guys like Bryant and Rizzo. Russell has hits and RBIs in 4 of his last 5 games and has come around to score himself in three of those. For the price, I love him in all formats.

Third Base

Early

Nolan ArenadoNolan Arenado FD 4800 DK 5500
Opponent - SF (Cain) Park - @COL
FD - 16.37 DK - 12.5
If you're new to DFSR it's important to know we generate our projections the night before, but constantly update right up to the last minute before lineups lock. I'm pointing this out because though numbers rise and fall throughout the day, it's not too often that our early projections for a position player even in Coors Field is 16 FDP. Even at a near 5K price tag, Nolan Arenado is coming in as a top PPD play and an excellent play in all formats against Matt Cain. Arenado has a .372 wOBA this season with a 113 wRC+. His numbers aren't defined by Coors as there's only a .001 point difference in home/road split, and he actually has nearly twice as many home runs away from Coors than he does at home, though the Rockies have also played more road games to this point. Matt Cain is a 32 yr old right hander whose numbers this season show his career is clearly on the decline, his 5.22 ERA, 5.40 SIERA, and 33.6 hard hit percentage are all worse than his career averages. I'm sure the Rockies will see love in the stacks writeup, but for our cash picks purposes we're putting the spotlight on Arenado who is an excellent play.

Miguel SanoMiguel Sano FD 4200 DK 4300
Opponent - CLE (Merritt) Park - @MIN
FD - 12.51 DK - 9.35
If you can't quite work Arenado in to your lineups, then look to Miguel Sano for some savings though with slightly less impressive PPD projection. While Arenado is going against a veteran on the decline, Sano is stepping in to the box in game one today against a young kid making his second career start. Ryan Merritt made 1 start and had 3 appearances out of the pen last season for Cleveland allowing 6 hits and 2 earned runs in 11 innings of work. Sano meanwhile has the best wOBA at the position at .411 with 16 Home runs and a .297/.397/.590 slash line. If you need the extra salary Sano makes for a fine move down from Arenado.

Main

Kris BryantKris Bryant FD 3900 DK 5000
Opponent - PIT (Nova) Park - @PIT
FD - 11.81 DK - 9.1
Kris Bryant wasn't in the lineup last night for the opener with Pittsburgh, but he did find his way in to the game late, going 0-1 with a walk and run scored. It was a routine rest day for the all star third baseman who is carrying a .394 wOBA into today's contest, second at the position to that Sano guy we just mentioned. Bryant is one of the pricier plays that we're giving you for the evening slate, but should be easy enough to fit in with all the value around at other positions. Last night aside, Bryant has hits in 4 of his last 6 games, with 7 walks and a home run. While he may be much better against southpaws, his .364 wOBA against righties means he is still fully in play against Nova especially since there aren't many other options at the position on the 4 game night slate.

Outfield

Early

Giancarlo StantonGiancarlo Stanton FD 4100 DK 4700
Opponent - ATL (Garcia) Park - @ATL
FD - 13.45 DK - 10.07
Giancarlo Stanton against a southpaw? Yes please. He had a bit of a scare last week when he took a fastball to the wrist, but it doesn't seem as there are any lingering effects, as he's gone 4-14 with a home run, 2 runs, 3 walks, and 4 RBI since then. Today the Marlins will face Jaime Garcia, who is 2-5 through 12 starts since coming over from St Louis, with a 4.30 xFIP and 4.63 SIERA. Stanton is crushing lefties this season with a .570 wOBA, 22 walks and 11 home runs against the split. Giancarlo is an excellent play in all formats.

Nelson CruzNelson Cruz FD 4300 DK 5000
Opponent - TEX (Perez) Park - @TEX
FD - 13.72 DK - 10.36
Nelson Cruz is another play that is going to cost you, but the system loves him both as a raw point play and for points per dollar projection. Cruz and the Mariners continue their series in Texas this weekend. Cruz will look to bounce back against his former team after getting pounced in last night's opener. Despite the loss, Cruz came through with 2 hits and a RBI. He'll look to build on that against Martin Perez. Perez has only 2 wins through 13 starts this year, which is understandable given his 4.53 xFIP and 4.91 SIERA He's walking 3.55 batters, and allowing just over a home run per nine innings.

Main

Mookie BettsMookie Betts FD 3900 DK 5400
Opponent - HOU (Paulino) Park - @HOU
FD - 12.94 DK - 10.58
Andrew BenintendiAndrew Benintendi FD 3600 DK 5100
Opponent - HOU (Paulino) Park - @HOU
FD - 10.6 DK - 8.58
We're going to close out with a little Boston B&B, that being Betts and Benintendi. Mookie Betts sets the table for one of the best 1-9 lineups in the big leagues, while Benintendi is emerging as a top young star. Benintendi was much better in the home half of the split 4 game series with the Phillies going 6-10 in Fenway before a 1-6 run in Citizens Bank Park. Betts meanwhile has put up double digit FanDuel point performances in 4 of his last 6 games. We don't have much to go on with David Paulino, but what we do know is through three starts this season, he's only thrown 13.2 innings, allowing 19 hits and 10 earned runs. He's got an impressive 10.54 K/9 early on, but as long as Boston can put the ball in play they should be able to knock him around early and often.

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image sources

  • Nolan Arenado: By Keith Allison (Flickr: Nolan Arenado) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

1 Visitor Comment

  1. Awful awful picks once again. Red Sox are trash and you and your system were so “high” on them… lmao.. not just one of your Red Sox picks but all of them sucked.. and don’t get me started on Grandal.. throw the system in the garbage

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