Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Austyn Varney

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 6/18/17

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Robbie RayRobbie Ray FD 10600 DK 13500
Opponent - PHI (Lively) Park - @PHI
FD - 35.64 DK - 23.63

Wow, Robbie Ray is going crazy. Ray has never profiled as a guy with this type of consistent upside, but it looks like he is the real deal. He's been undoubtedly one of the top pitchers in the entire league so far and while that may not be at all sustainable, we have a real ace in this kid. At just 25 years old, he's striking out over 11 batters per 9 innings, while holding lefties and righties to a combined .249 wOBA. Ray is complete death against lefties and has been nearly as dominant against right-handers. This move into Citizens Bank Park would be a downgrade to most pitchers, but not to Robbie Ray. Ray is used to pitching in Chase Field, which is easily the 2nd best park in baseball for hitting. There is no reason to think he won't be able to handle a ballpark that is much bigger. The actual team inside the ballpark isn't great either. Against lefties, they've held a putrid .299 wOBA against and a 23% strikeout rate. Maikel Franco and Tommy Joseph are both dangerous against southpaws, but strike out far more often and against Robbie Ray, the K's are inevitable. All in all, Ray is the top option in all formats. It's still a bit weird to look at his name, back at the price and then be ok with it, but that's part of growing with the game. It should hopefully keep his ownership just a bit.

Yu DarvishYu Darvish FD 9900 DK 12000
Opponent - SEA (Bergman) Park - @TEX
FD - 34.88 DK - 23.17

If you told me last season that Robbie Ray would be more expensive than Yu Darvish and we would still like Robbie Ray more, I would call you nuts. Still, Darvish is in a fantastic spot at home against the Mariners. Darvish has sported a .280 wOBA against both sides of the plate and is currently striking out almost 10 batters per 9. His peripherals are dream-worthy. With a 30% hard contact rate, 21% line drive rate, and 18% HR/FB rate, Darvish has actually been very unlucky. That number will return to around 10% and fewer flyballs will head out against Darvish as the season progresses. It's always interesting to see how Yu and his start goes, as it seems like he has the upside to put on a dominant show once in 5 days. This match-up with the Mariners is nothing to worry about. Sure, Robbie Cano and Kyle Seager can do some damage. Nelson Cruz can hit one 500 feet and turn the start sour. The Mariners can also strikeout 12 times in 7 innings and have trouble putting a guy in scoring position. The only negative to Darvish here is the game being played in Globe LifePark, where the ball does tend to fly quite a bit. No matter what you decide to do, both Darvish and Ray are guys I love and will have plenty of exposure to. I will be touching on a cheaper guy or two in the pitcher-specific article later in the day, so make sure you keep an eye out. Let's jump into the bats!


Yasmani GrandalYasmani Grandal FD 3100 DK 3300
Opponent - CIN (Arroyo) Park - @CIN
FD - 12.09 DK - 9.13

Let's be clear, the Dodgers are going to be one of the top offenses on the slate. We all knew it. The Reds keep finding news guys that love giving up hits and homers and throwing them out against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Up next is the one and only Bronson Arroyo. Bronson Arroyo is absolutely horrible. The worst in the MLB type of horrible. He's allowing a ridiculous .442 wOBA against lefties, which is astronomical in the first place. When you combine it with a .238 BABIP, it becomes clear just how bad Arroyo is. He's allowed 13 homers (LOL) in just 25 innings against lefties so far this year and I'm not sure he will keep his job for another month. He's giving up multiple home runs every time he takes the mound and faces one of the most dangerous offenses around with LA. Grandal in particular, is an easy way to go at a boring position. Grandal is a switch-hitter who hits righties better and has a bit more power from the left side. Great American Ballpark is a hitters park and the Dodgers hold the 2nd highest implied team total on the board. Grandal is an elite play in both formats and his price is way fair everywhere I an find.

Jonathan LucroyJonathan Lucroy FD 2800 DK 3600
Opponent - SEA (Bergman) Park - @TEX
FD - 10.86 DK - 8.39

Christian Bergman may be the cousin of Bronson Arroyo or something. Either that or he's been attending some off-season camps hosted by Bronson and crew. In all seriousness, Christian Bergman is just not too great. In just 40 innings this season, Bergman is allowing a .380 combined wOBA and has given up 10 homers. The move into Globe Life Park certainly won't help, as it does rank in the top 10 for power for both lefties and righties. Bergman is in a lot of trouble here and Vegas recognizes it, giving the Rangers an implied run total approaching 6. Lucroy should be in the heart of the order and will be a key in anything this offense can put together. Lucroy used to have strong lefty splits, but those are completely gone.l He's an above average hitter against righties and will have some opportunities with ducks on the pond. If he can come through, Lucroy can have a huge night with just a few base knocks.

Cheap - Russell Martin, Chris Herrmann

First Base

Carlos SantanaCarlos Santana FD 3300 DK 3400
Opponent - MIN (Gibson) Park - @MIN
FD - 12.75 DK - 9.63
Edwin EncarnacionEdwin Encarnacion FD 3700 DK 4900
Opponent - MIN (Gibson) Park - @MIN
FD - 12.62 DK - 9.43

The Cleveland Indians are currently holding the highest implied team total outside of Coors Field, at an impressive 5.81. Vegas expects them to rough up Kyle Gibson and I can't disagree. Once a guy with some real potential, Kyle Gibson has taken a dive. He has sported a .414 wOBA against lefties and a .387 against righties, so he is basically horrible against everybody. Target Field is very neutral, if not positive, and the Indians should have no issues putting together some runs. Both Encarnacion and Santana hit righties well and they are both elite plays in all formats. Santana is aways a bit more consistent and is a bit safer in cash games and a switch-hitter. Encarnacion is a lot more expensive and a guy I will have exposure to in GPP's. In cash games, stick with Santana and the immense savings. The Indians are one of the top offense son the slate and Kyle Gibson is very easy to target.

Matt CarpenterMatt Carpenter FD 3900 DK 4500
Opponent - BAL (Jimenez) Park - @BAL
FD - 11.64 DK - 8.9

With so many amazing offenses on this slate, it's pretty tough to gauge who will be highly owned and who will go over-looked, at least this early in the process.We do see a 10.5 over/under out of this STL @ BAL game, which definitely catches the eye. With 1 decent pitcher in Lance Lynn on one side, I'll be focusing on the Cardinals in Camden Yards. Matt Carpenter is the top of the bunch and controls this order against right-handers. He's held a .380+ wOBA against righties for years now and we know the hitter he is. He is usually not a guy you look at for much upside, but that's not the case in Camden Yards, where he can easily hit one out. Ubaldo has allowed a .423 wOBA against lefties and while that's hopefully not sustainable there aren't any numbers to tell us this. Jimenez is probably in his last season as a starter and the Cardinals should put another dent in his resume. Carpenter is a top cash game 1B option and will go way under the radar in tourneys. If you are in the position, take a shot on Carp in Camden Yards.

Cheap - Lucas Duda

Second Base

Jason KipnisJason Kipnis FD 3100 DK 3600
Opponent - MIN (Gibson) Park - @MIN
FD - 11.73 DK - 9.36

Thi sone is pretty cut and dry. Jason Kipnis is way too cheap for the match-up and he will likely take advantage. We just touched on Kyle Gibson, who is all but a prospect at this point. He;s giving up monstrous numbers to both sides of the plate and hasn't shut don an offense all year long. The Indians are going to put up some runs here and with a somewhat concentrated offense, you have to love these top guys. Kipnis, as a lefty, hits righties much better. Over the last 2 seasons, he's posted a .383 wOBA and has also shown a great combo of power and speed. For whatever reason, Kipnis is priced down on both FanDuel and DraftKings. He makes for an elite play and should be VERY popular. Kipnis is one of the best hitting nd basemen in the league and I would be willing to pay almost $4500 in this match-up. We'll get to some more Indians, don't worry. They should be only 10-15% owned with all of the strong offenses on the slate and have one of the top expected outcomes. If this Indians team goes off, you will be in a crazy good spot for tournaments.

Rougned OdorRougned Odor FD 3400 DK 3900
Opponent - SEA (Bergman) Park - @TEX
FD - 11.71 DK - 9.39

Rougned Odor is never the 2nd best 2nd baseman in cash games. I don't care who he's facing, Odor can strikeout 4 times and look like a fool at the plate. He can also hit 1 homer and strikeout another 3 times, which is what we're hoping for. Odor is one of the most powerful 2nd basemen in the league and sees one of the ideal match-ups in all of the game. Bergman is just as bad against lefties as he is against righties and I'm not sure what else there is to say about him. He's 29 years old and has no hope to become any better, at least not in the near future. Bergman is moving from Safeco Field to Globe Life Park, which could have some real consequences. Odor has always been better against righties and he hit 30 home runs against them last season. Like I said, Odor is an animal and can turn one into the stands in no time at all. If you're looking to avoid Kipnis or want to pay up for a guy with a ton of upside, Rougned Odor is a great way to go.

Cheap - Chase Utley


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Corey SeagerCorey Seager FD 3500 DK 4500
Opponent - CIN (Arroyo) Park - @CIN
FD - 13.03 DK - 10.05

Now for my favorite play of the night, Corey Seager. We all know how good Seager is and he is one of the top youngsters in all of the game. He has a chance to be the best SS around and against righties, he might be the best right now. He's currently holding a .373 wOBA, but that number will inevitably rise. POissibly the most impressive of all, Seager is holding a 47% hard contact rate and a 27% line drive rate against right-handers. Those are HOF type of numbers and not ones you can just ignore. With the move from Dodgers Stadium to Great American Ballpark, the entire Dodgers lineup sees a boost. Bronson Arroyo is as bad as they get and he is almost guaranteed to give up at least 3 or 4 early runs here. Corey Seager is the top option on this offense against righties and while baseball can be nuts, I find it hard to imagine a scenario where Seager completely busts.  He's my favorite position player at any position and is a guy I will have a ton of exposure to in all formats.

Francisco LindorFrancisco Lindor FD 3400 DK 4300
Opponent - MIN (Gibson) Park - @MIN
FD - 12.31 DK - 9.93

When a pitcher like Kyle Gibson is on the mound, you have no other option than to highlight a few guys from the opposing lineup. Francisco Lindor comes in after Encarnacion, Santana, and Kipnis. He's on the same level as those guys and sees a friendly price tag for the most part. Lindor, a switch-hitter, has been better against righties with a .361 wOBA dating back. We've touched plenty on Kyle Gibson and there isn't much else to say. He is absolutely pitiful against both sides of the plate and has a big problem with stolen bases. If Lindor is able to get on-base with an open 2nd, expect him to run. Depending on who takes the catcher spot for the Twins, it could me a marathon on the base paths. All in all, this is an offense with immense upside and safety. All of these guys mentioned are fantastic plays as 1-offs, but can also make great trios and stacks in the right spot. If you want to get away from Corey Seager for whatever crazy decision, Lindor is a great pivot.

Cheap - Troy Tulowitzki, Addison Russell

Third Base

Justin TurnerJustin Turner FD 3600 DK 4500
Opponent - CIN (Arroyo) Park - @CIN
FD - 12.51 DK - 9.7

Surprise, another Dodgers bat against Bronson Arroyo. If the Dodgers can somehow remain at all low-owned, it will be a miracle. Arroyo is easily the worst pitcher on this entire slate and while he has been worse against lefties, his numbers against righties are certainly nothing to write home about. In fact, a .392 wOBA against is in the bottom 15 for qualified starting pitchers against righties. He has also given up another 9 homers to righties in just 45 innings. Like I said, I want to make it clear just how bad Arroyo is. He's like Jered Weaver with a cork in the ball. Justin Turner, who hits from the right side, has always hit righties better. In 2016, he held a .385 wOBA against lefties and hit 22 homers. The move from LA to Cincy is a huge one and the ballpark should play a huge factor. Great American is a tiny park and these Dodgers bat can flick homers out of here. The hit 4 last night and I wouldn't be surprised to see another 4 in an even better match-up.

Derek DietrichDerek Dietrich FD 2800 DK 3800
Opponent - ATL (Foltynewicz) Park - @ATL
FD - 8.87 DK - 6.81

I tried to get someone in here with some savings to their name, so here is Derek Dietrich. Dietrich may not be the cheapest of all, but he is priced down and I love the match-up. In 2016, Dietrich held a .370 wOBA against righties. He was a guy I leaned on a ton in these type of match-ups and it usually paid off. This is one of those exact match-ups. The Marlins are facing a pitcher in Mike Foltynwicz that is simply bad against lefties and good against righties. Mattingly has hopefully grown a brain in his head by now and he will have Dietrich towards the top of the order. You can then factor in the ballpark. Marlins Park is one of the most spacious around and a place where offenses go to starve. SunTrust Park doesn't have many games at all played in it, but it has definitely played as a hitters park and an extreme one for lefties. We have a cheap, solid hitter in a match-up that gives him plenty of upside. If you need to pay down from Turner, Dietrich won't be popular and should be.


Michael ConfortoMichael Conforto FD 3200 DK 4400
Opponent - WSH (Ross) Park - @NYM
FD - 11.4 DK - 8.72
Jay BruceJay Bruce FD 3000 DK 4700
Opponent - WSH (Ross) Park - @NYM
FD - 10.66 DK - 8.12

While we haven't touched on the Mets just yet, all of the lefties are in play. Joe Ross is really not too tough to figure out. He is awesome against righties and sucks against lefties. It's always been that way and I don't see it changing anytime soon. So far in this season, Ross is sporting a .416 wOBA against left-handers. He's allowed 6 homers in just 19 innings and is having an extremely tough time getting any lefty out. When those lefties are Michael Conforto and Jay Bruce, give me some exposure. Both Conforto and Bruce have held .365+ wOBA's against righties over the last year and some may argue Conforto is a top 5 hitter against righties when healthy. I don't think it's crazy, though I would like to see a slightly larger sample size. Bruce is more of a boom or bust hitter, but won't always swing for the fences if the situation calls for it. All in all, this Mets team is going to be extremely lo-owned and you can likely get these 2 guys for around 5% owned. We all know the type of upside they have an in this match-up, I don't know how bad the floor is either.

Cody BellingerCody Bellinger FD 3900 DK 5300
Opponent - CIN (Arroyo) Park - @CIN
FD - 11.31 DK - 8.84
Yasiel PuigYasiel Puig FD 2900 DK 4000
Opponent - CIN (Arroyo) Park - @CIN
FD - 10.95 DK - 8.67

You guessed it, go Dodgers! I talked about the Dodgers as one of my favorite stacks yesterday in tournaments and they definitely came out to play. Bellinger hit a homer and Puig hit 2, which could make these guys a bit elevated in terms of ownership. Still, I think the price makes them fly a bit under the radar and they have more than enough upside. Bellinger is definitely the preferred option, as he is a stud against righties and could be a reliable 30-40 homers once he settles down. Yasiel Puig is a bit more erratic and surely a lot hard to predict. He can keep his streak up and hit another homer, or go 0-for-4 and try to break his bat over the knee, just to fail miserably. The one big bonus for these guys is the ballpark and I can't stress it enough. Dodgers Stadium has a very suffocating feeling with flyballs and the move into Great American has made a big difference. Both Bellinger and Puig can be played in all formats, but be careful as they are pricey.

Christian YelichChristian Yelich FD 3600 DK 4100
Opponent - ATL (Foltynewicz) Park - @ATL
FD - 10.94 DK - 8.71

Of course, Stanton and Ozuna can connect on one here as well. Folty is by no means a shutdown pitcher to anyone and these righties definitely have a shot of some production, Still, you're looking for lefties when Mike Foltynewicz is on the mound. He's allowed a .397 wOBA to lefties and has already given up 6 homers. He is going to struggle against lefties for his entire career and unless he learns a change-up, probably won't be long for a starting rotation. Christian Yelich is one of the most low-key, dominating players in the NL. He constantly puts up quality at-bats and ends a lot of them with base hits. He ended up with a .386 wOBA against rightie sin 2016 and we'll see his numbers head that way anytime now. All in all, the Marlins are going to be ignoed with so many good offenses on the slate. You can get yourself a guy in Yelich for 5% owned with a ton of upside and safety.

Cheap - Alex Presley, Gregor Blanco, Lonnie Chisenhall, Matt Joyce




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