Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 6/29/16
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I got quite lucky writing this Thursday as neither slate is short of elite pitching. It starts in the afternoon with Kluber who has been absolutely dominant in the month of June. He has allowed just five earned runs in 35.0 innings pitched and holds a 52:6 strikeout to walk ratio averaging 56.8 FanDuel and 34.8 DraftKings points per game. For the season, Kluber has a near identical ERA in the home/road split but has a crazy 13.5 K/9 rate at home vs. 9.3 K/9 on the road which just adds to his overall value today. Today they face the Rangers who sit mid-pack when looking at wOBA and wRC+ vs. right-handed pitching but strike out 24.1% of the time. Pay up for Kluber in all formats and don't look back in anger.
On the main slate, we get the best pitcher on planet Earth(I say Earth only as I assume another habitable planet has their own deadly left-handed pitcher). I wouldn't go as far as to say he hasn't been dominant this season but early on he didn't appear to as "Kershaw" as he was last year. Well, the good news is that his elite 12.2 K/9 rate in June has brought his season total right back to where it was at the end of last year so don't panic with the high salary just yet. The strikeout upside is much needed with his huge increase in HR/FB rate(17.7%) which is by far a career high. Today he faces an Angels team that strikes out about league average(19.0%) but ranks in the bottom third of the league vs. left-handed pitching. Roll Kershaw with confidence tonight.
If you are looking to make an upgrade in your hitters and pivot away from Kershaw, consider Archer who comes at a $2,000 discount on both sites. He hasn't been nearly as consistent as Kershaw with an ERA(3.75) just over a run worse but has shown more upside with an 11.2 K/9 rate which trails only three other qualified pitchers(Sale, Scherzer, Ray). I would definitely only consider him for tournaments tonight as most of the upside has shown up at home where he has struck out over 2.5 batters more per nine innings. Like Kershaw, he also gets a bit of a downgrade as the Pirates strike out less than 19% of the time vs. right-handed pitching but like the Angels rank in the bottom third of the league in wOBA and wRC+ increasing the win expectation.
If Avila is back in the lineup today, he is definitely the one to consider in all formats, especially on FanDuel with a sub-$3K price tag. The big thing for Avila in 2017 has been health as he has already played 55 of the team's first 77 games. He struggles with a .091 average vs. lefties but has absolutely dominated righties with an elite .455 wOBA, 189 wRC+ and .299 ISO. If he is out, James McCann makes a nice punt play on both sites and has picked up a hit in three of his last four games with a double, home run, two RBI. No matter which one you choose, you get an elite matchup vs. rookie Jakob Junis who has struggled since jumping into the rotation with a 5.68 xFIP, average K rate(7.0 K/9) and has been giving up 43% hard contact.
Also Consider: Yasmani Grandal(Heaby splits vs. right-handed pitching)
Stephen Vogt FD 2100 DK 3400
Opponent - CIN (Bailey) Park - @CIN
FD - 9.29 DK - 7.21
Vogt was picked up off waivers by the Brewers earlier in the week and after making a pinch-hit appearance on Tuesday is currently 1 for 2 with a RBI in his first start on Wednesday. He is only ever in consideration vs. right-handed pitching where he has been much better for his career and sits with a .322 wOBA and 106 wRC+ for the season. His value is the highest on FanDuel where is just above the minimum price at $2,100 and makes a perfect fit if you are rostering Kershaw or Archer tonight.
Also Consider: Russell Martin (If still hitting in the two-hole)
Miguel Cabrera FD 3800 DK 3800
Opponent - KC (Junis) Park - @DET
FD - 13.95 DK - 10.56
It's air tight between Miggy and Edwin on FanDuel this afternoon but Cabrera gets the nod on DraftKings by a long shot when looking at PTS/$ as he comes at a nice $1,000 discount. He isn't the MVP-caliber player he once was and that explains the price under $4K but he is still more than capable of driving in and scoring runs with the above average bats around him. Like I mentioned with Avila, the Tigers gets a plus matchup today vs. Jakob Junis who is giving up a crazy amount of hard contact(46.7%) and is producing just 34% ground balls. Miggy is safe in all formats.
Also Consider: Edwin Encarnacion (.435 wOBA/175 wRC+ in June)
Justin Smoak FD 3500 DK 4300
Opponent - BAL (Jimenez) Park - @TOR
FD - 12.11 DK - 9.14
On the main slate, we are going to roll with the "Smoak Show" who has caught fire in the month of June hitting .354 with a .451 wOBA and 185 wRC+ and has hit eight home runs. The big difference for Smoak this year and what makes him cash game viable is the fact he has cut his strikeout rate almost in half which has helped raise the OBP by over 50 points. The power has always been there and could be on display tonight as the Jays get to tee off on Ubaldo Jimenez who has given up a .435 wOBA and 11 home runs vs. left-handed batters.
Also Consider: Mitch Moreland (Hits in five straight with three home runs)
Jed Lowrie FD 2800 DK 3400
Opponent - HOU (Peacock) Park - @HOU
FD - 8.51 DK - 6.59
I will continue the theme of mining for value on both slates today seeing as we have some elite pitchers to roster. On the early slate, I will lean heavily on Jed Lowrie who has consistently been hitting out third in the A's lineup and is having his best season since back in 2013. It's a tougher matchup against Brad Peacock who has been impressive himself this season but the good news is Lowrie won't break the bank and has been much better vs. right-handed pitching with a .373 wOBA and 138 wRC+ on the season.
Also Consider: Jason Kipnis (Better splits vs. right-handed pitching & great matchup vs. Cashner)
Dustin Pedroia FD 3100 DK 3700
Opponent - MIN (Gibson) Park - @BOS
FD - 11.46 DK - 9.01
Pedroia is another player who fits under the "value" umbrella on the main slate, especially on FanDuel in the low $3K range. While he hasn't provided a whole lot of upside so far this season he has been consistent with a .299 average and .370 on-base percentage. The Red Sox offense will heat up eventually and as long as Pedroia keeps putting himself in favorable situations to score runs, he will hit value more times than not and the discount off the top options is much needed tonight.
Francisco Lindor FD 3600 DK 4400
Opponent - TEX (Cashner) Park - @CLE
FD - 12.86 DK - 10.37
I think Trea Turner and Carlos Correa make great, high-upside plays and I give them strong consideration on FanDuel where the price gap is much smaller. On DraftKings, where we are trying to fit Kluber and a viable SP2, I love the $700+ discount with Lindor who sits right at the top of the chart when looking at PTS/$ values. It has been a frustrating year rostering Lindor as the average has dropped to .250 but like I have mentioned in articles past, he is more than due for regression with a career-low .247 BABIP. He has been better vs. southpaws but it will be hard to avoid a matchup vs. Andrew Cashner making his first start off the disabled list and carries a 5.44 xFIP and ultra-low 5.7% swinging strike rate into today's matchup.
Also Consider: Chris Owings(ARI)
Troy Tulowitzki FD 3100 DK 3400
Opponent - BAL (Jimenez) Park - @TOR
FD - 10.84 DK - 8.29
Another player whose struggles has been well documented and especially stick in my head as a Jays fan. The system loves him from a PTS/$ perspective as he comes cheap on both sites and has actually been heating up lately. Going into Wednesday night Tulo had picked a hit in eight of his last 10 games with three multi-hit efforts and two home runs. Again, on a slate heavy with pitching at the top, we are going to need some value plays with upside.The Jays offense, in general, provides this on Thursday night vs. Ubaldo Jimenez who is walking over four and a half batters per nine and has given up multiple home runs in back to back games and sits with a 22.2% HR/FB rate for the season.
Also Consider: Xander Bogaerts(BOS)
Jake Lamb FD 3700 DK 5000
Opponent - STL (Lynn) Park - @ARI
FD - 11.75 DK - 9.03
The third base position is a little shallow short on value on both slates making it a prime spot to pay up for some big bats. It starts with Jake Lamb on the early slate who has taken a big leap in almost every category this season. The most noticeable from a consistency standpoint has been the patience at the plate as he is walking about 3% more than a year ago and sits with an elite .383 on-base percentage. He is also currently on pace to top his career-high home run total of 29 last year with 17 through 74 games. Lance Lynn has been able to keep his ERA under 4.00 this season thanks to his near dominance of right-handed bats but the good news is he is giving up a .356 wOBA with 10 home runs against left-handed bats. Cue up Jake Lamb in all formats.
Also Consider: Mike Moustakas
Travis Shaw FD 3800 DK 4800
Opponent - CIN (Bailey) Park - @CIN
FD - 10.97 DK - 8.54
I am going to jump on board the recency bias bandwagon on the main slate and roll with Travis Shaw who has now hit a home run in three straight games. It has been a continuation of what has been a breakout season for Shaw who now has a career-high 17 home runs to go along with a .283 average, .375 wOBA and 127 wRC+. He also gets a plus matchup vs. Homer Bailey who got beat up in his first start of the season giving up eight earned runs in just 1.2 innings pitched. After elbow surgery in the winter forced him to miss spring training and the first two and half months of the season, I fully expect the struggles to last a little while longer as he finds his rhythm making Shaw and the Brewers top targets tonight.
Also Consider: Josh Donaldson
I will not have a stacks article for the early slate but will be heavily targeting the Diamondbacks lefties vs. Lance Lynn. Like I mentioned with Lamb, he has been near dominant vs. righties and given up a wOBA 86 points higher vs. left-handed bats with a 5.91 xFIP. Peralta has been the more consistent option and also carries more upside with his .370 and 123 wRC+ on the season. He also comes in red hot with hits in 15 of his last 18 games with four home runs, 12 RBI, and 18 runs scored. He will most likely be back in the two-hole ahead of Goldy where he provides the most value. If Blanco is back in the leadoff spot once again, he provides some nice value, especially on FanDuel in the mid $2K range. The Diamondbacks sit with one of the highest implied run lines of the afternoon which also boosts Blanco's value making him viable in all formats(provided he is leadoff).
Also Consider: Josh Reddick
I get it, you are probably getting sick of hearing about the Red Sox but once again they show up heavy in the optimal lineups, at least from an early look the night before. I can definitely see an argument for fading their high prices on DraftKings, especially if you are playing Kershaw but on FanDuel they are still under priced for the opportunity and upside they bring to the table on a slate where the Red Sox lead the way from an implied run standpoint. Betts continues to run cold on BABIP in June but the good news is the hard contact rate of 37.5% is a career-high so I fully expect the positive regression to continue. As for Benintendi, he got the night off last night vs. a lefty and comes in with hits in seven of his last eight games and has shown some big improvement in 2017 lowering his strikeout rate but 6% while adding to his run production with 10 home runs, 40 RBI, and 38 runs scored. It all comes down to the matchup tonight vs. Kyle Gibson who is walking the ballpark and is giving up over 1.5 home runs per nine innings.
Curtis Granderson FD 3300 DK 4000
Opponent - MIA (Urena) Park - @MIA
FD - 8.54 DK - 6.55
If the Red Sox just aren't your style you might as well pivot to one of the hottest hitters on the planet. After a slow two-month start to the season, he has caught fire in June with a .475 wOBA and 201 wRC+ and has been promptly moved back into the leadoff role where he brings big value today. He faces a pitcher in Jose Urena who has been a bit lucky with the wins(6) and ERA(.333) as he is running a BABIP of .245 and an xFIP of 5.57. Be careful with Granderson and only use him in GPP's as Urena has been much better against left-handed batters so far this season.
Also Consider: Adam Jones
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