Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 7/3/17
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Unfortunately, Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals are playing earlier in the day, exempting themselves from the main slate. It leaves us with hot garbage. There is not a single pitcher that I have cash game confidence in and I won't be playing cash games on this slate because of it. Instead, it should be a very fun tournament slate. There are a lot of different offenses to choose from and no matter what, you're taking a degree of risk at pitcher. We'll first take a look at Aaron Nola. Nola was atrocious to start his 2017 season, but we all knew it would turn around rather quickly. This is a big prospect and one that should be a pretty safe long-term number 2. He held a .307 combined wOBA in 2016 and struck out nearly 10 batters per 9 innings. He is young and somewhat risky, but also the first or second most talented pitcher on the slate. He faces the Pirates, who are all but a scary offense. They've ranked 22nd in the league against righties with a .311 wOBA and 20% strikeout rate. Citizens Bank Park is a rather average ballpark and Nola has pitched well there in his career. Like I said, nobody is safe. Just look at the game log of Nola and know he's the top option. That will give you a great idea of this slate.
Alrighty, now we get ugly. I can say a whole bunch of great things here, but I do want to make things clear. Jharel Cotton is not good and there are very few circumstances where I will target him. Unfortunately, tonight is one of them. We have about 0 good pitchers on the slate and about 100 horrible ones. Cotton is pretty average and he does see a good match-up in the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox are one of the bottom 10 teams in the league against righties. There actually worse than the Pirates who we just touched on. The White Sox have posted a.302 wOBA and have struck out at an astronomical 23% rate. They now move into Oakland and will take their swings in a bottom 5 ballpark, the ever spacious Oakland Coliseum. Cotton will likely give up 2 or 3 runs, but if he can strikeout 7 or 8 and get the win, he'll pay off his salary. On this slate, you probably won't need much.
LOL. I know. A pitcher in Coors Field. it took me about 3 hours to put Hoffman here, but I had to. I would just rather take him than Andrew Moore or Luis Castillo, who are the same price. Jeff Hoffman is one of the biggest pitching prospects in baseball and was a 1st round pick in just 2014. He may be an ace by next year and at his current price, I don't care if he's playing on the moon. The Reds are a pretty horrible team as a whole, but have a few guys that will cause problems in Coors Field. Votto and Duvall could easily hit one out, but they both K a good amount and may see an uptick while swinging for the fences. Hoffman will allow you to pay up for everyone you want on the rest of your roster and if Nola/Tanaka have bad games, it won't really matter what Hoffman does. All in all, Hoffman can easily score from 0 to 40 here. While that's every pitcher, I'm not sure there's much of an in between in this situation. Like I've said from the beginning, there isn't a single arm I like as a cash game lock.
Josh Phegley FD 2100 DK 2400
Opponent - CHW (Rodon) Park - @OAK
FD - 8.17 DK - 6.4
First of all, make sure Phegley finds his way into the lineup. He isn't the everyday catcher, but often finds himself in the order against lefties and rightfully so. Phegley survives off his ability to hit lefties, but hasn't had much of an opportunity since 2015, due to injuries and being sent down. In '15, he held a .341 wOBA and was a guy who stuck out as one of the bigger platoon catchers around. The Athletics always have a platoon situation at catcher and if you can remember, it used to be John Jaso and Derek Norris. Phegley and Vogt have taken over and while there not as good, they both do their job very well. Phegley is a very consistent bat against left-handers and I see no reason to shy away in cash games. He's extremely cheap and faces a pitcher that scares nobody. We'll touch on Rodon later, but he's a young lefty that has proven nothing, besides his ability to give up hits to righties. The A's are interesting in cash games, though I would be careful in tournaments with the spacious park.
Jonathan Lucroy FD 2700 DK 3200
Opponent - BOS (Porcello) Park - @TEX
FD - 9.95 DK - 7.68
Catcher is definitely the weakest of positions tonight, so I do hope Phegley finds a snug spot in that order. We do have some other guys to target, but they are all either expensive or in a tough match-up. Lucroy finds the middle of both of those things, facing an average pitcher at around $3k. He's been moved to the top of the order recently and has been seeing far more RBI opportunities. This is still Globe Life Park and we know the ball flies in Summer. Rick Porcello is a very average righty and one that has allowed a .373 wOBA to righties so far in 2017. He's allowed 17 homers in just over 100 innings and has been a bit more wild than normal. The Rangers are projected to score close to 5 runs, so Vegas expects them to put up some serious runs here. Lucroy is still one of the top 5 talented catchers in the league and if you can get him for this price, he's pretty safe.
Hanley Ramirez FD 3500 DK 4200
Opponent - TEX (Perez) Park - @TEX
FD - 6.17 DK - 4.8
The Red Sox are coming in as the top offense on this slate, so go ahead and expect some more of them before this one is over. It all starts with Hanley, who is the team's most powerful hitter against lefties. He did sport a .456 wOBA against lefties in 2016, though I would say it's a bit inflated. Still, you don't run into those numbers by accident. Hanley is a monster against left-handed pitching and now moves into Globe Life Park, where the ball flies. He's had a pretty rough start to the season, but is seeing the ball exceptionally well as of now. While "streaks" aren't something I ever look at in MLB DFS, Hanley is one of the few guys, along with Justin Upton and Ryan Braun, that I do pay attention to in terms of "hot" and "cold" I just think thy are slightly more predictable than other guys. The Sox are facing off with Martin Perez, who is a very familiar name to those who have been playing DFS for a while. We'll dig deeper in a bit, but he's a lackluster lefty with some HR issues. The Sox are going to put up runs and I think Hanley is a big reason why. His price is fine, though you aren't seeing any crazy savings.
Joey Votto FD 5000 DK 5800
Opponent - COL (Hoffman) Park - @COL
FD - 13.16 DK - 10.03
I know we touched on Jeff Hoffman and he is definitely a good pitcher, but we have to at least touch on the Reds in Coors Field. They still have an implied team total over 5 and should put up a few runs. Joey Votto is obviously the best hitter in the lineup and his insane price tag is certainly justified. He has sported a .400+ wOBA against righties over the past 3 seasons and also barely strikes out, which is hard to find at 1B. The jump into Coors Field will be a huge boost for Votto, who isn't really a power guy on most nights. Hoffman is a good arm, but still worse against lefties and worse in Coors Field. Votto is way priced up on both sites, so it's going to come down to who you have at pitcher. If you're paying down and have extra funds to spend, Votto can easily hit 2 out and will be pretty low owned. When you can get Joey Votto in Coors Field for under 15%, I don't care who's pitching.
Dustin Pedroia FD 3200 DK 4200
Opponent - TEX (Perez) Park - @TEX
FD - 11.91 DK - 9.37
Pedroia has nowhere near the flash or upside that Hanley Ramirez does, but is just as good of a play in his own right. Pedroia is a very safe bat against lefties and does a fantastic job in these types of match-ups. He is excellent at keeping rallies going and doing whatever it takes to get on-base. He also gets a little bit of HR upside in Globe Life. The ball travels like crazy in the summer there. Pedroia had a career year in 2016, so I don't think it's far to use those numbers as a baseline. He's a .330-.350 wOBA hitter against lefties and holds one of the lowest strikeout rates around at 7.8% (Wow). Martin Perez has been a gas can against righties for a while now and sported a .362 wOBA against righties dating 5 years back. He gives up a ton of homers and rarely lasts past the 5th or 6th inning. Tonight should be no different and Pedroia will likely be involved. He's fairly priced and won't make a huge impact on your roster limits.
DJ LeMahieu FD 3500 DK 3900
Opponent - CIN (Castillo) Park - @COL
FD - 12.89 DK - 10.53
We're looking at 2 pretty safe 2nd baseman here, with the 2nd being D.J. LeMahieu. While Pedroia is still the preferred option, LeMahieu is right on his tail. The Rockies are one of the top offenses of the slate and are currently implied to score over 6 runs. LeMahieu is a constant threat in the 2 hole and always seems to play a part in the offensive success. He's struggled a bit against righties to start the season, but sported a .390 wOBA against them last year, so I'd expect things to start turning for the positive. They take on Luis Castillo, a young righty that is not ready for the majors. With the Rockies being projected for easily the most runs on the day, you have to pay attention to everyone and not just the power bats. LeMahieu is extremely safe in Coors Field and has plenty of upside due to the ballpark alone.
Trevor Story FD 3600 DK 3700
Opponent - CIN (Castillo) Park - @COL
FD - 12.53 DK - 9.85
Admittedly, Trevor Story is very risky. The next guy we look at in Xander Bogaerts is much safer and a better cash game option. However, Story has a great shot at hitting one out tonight. First things first, the game is in Coors Field. Coors Field is by far the best ballpark for hitting and you will rarely see an over/under sitting below 11. Tonight is no different with the Rockies projected to score close to 7 runs (6.88). Luis Castillo is not a good pitcher and he's going to have a ton of trouble in this ballpark. He's been equally bad against both sides of the plate and didn't show any distinct splits in the minors. He brings a 4 pitch arsenal to the table with a very strong fastball and 3 other "blah" pitches. Story does hit lefties better as a whole. but holds better power numbers against righties. He's hit the ball hard 52% of the time in Coors Field and it's resulted in a .411 wOBA. Story is cheaper than Bogaerts and has the best chance to hit an HR at the position.
Xander Bogaerts FD 3600 DK 4600
Opponent - TEX (Perez) Park - @TEX
FD - 12.82 DK - 10.25
If you'd rather lean off of the boom or bust Trevor Story, I get it. He is risky and can give you a 0 with relative ease. Bogaerts will have a pretty tough time grabbing a 0 here, though he's definitely done worse for me in the past. Bogaerts has been fantastic this season, though his power has barely graced the surface. He's posting a .340+ wOBA against both sides of the plate and forcing his way into the top SS argument. He faces off with Martin Perez, who is obviously one of the worst lefty pitchers in the league. He's held a .356 wOBA and allowed 8 homers to righties so far, while striking out just 14% of them. He's in a horrible spot here and the Sox should be able to take advantage. Bogaerts is going to be in the 3 or 4 hole and has as much upside as anyone. Although his power numbers have certainly dipped in 2017, they will return and they will return with vengeance. Shortstop is relatively solid for the slate and you have a couple solid options to choose from.
Kyle Seager FD 2700 DK 4300
Opponent - KC (Kennedy) Park - @SEA
FD - 10.55 DK - 8.07
With so many quality offenses to choose from, the Mariners don't really stand out in Safeco Field. They ar projected to put up nearly 5 runs, however, and do deserve some attention. Ian Kennedy is not a good pitcher and he does deserve to get picked on. He's allowed a .325 wOBA and 8 homers in just 34 innings against lefties. He does induce some ground balls, but that actually plays into the approach of Seager, who hits ground-ballers better. Seager is also much better against righties and arguably elite, sporting a .390 wOBA in 2016 and a .376 the year before. He hits well at home and does have over 50% of his home runs there. His price is far too low on FanDuel and the top cash game option. At just $2,700, you can treat Seager like a savings option while getting an elite bat in a lineup that can put up runs with the best of them. On DraftKings, it's a different story. Seager is still in play, but not much better than the likes of Sano, Arenado, and Gyorko.
Miguel Sano FD 3700 DK 4600
Opponent - LAA (Meyer) Park - @MIN
FD - 13.23 DK - 9.89
Boy oh boy, Miguel Sano is awesome. If you haven't been able to sit down and watch a few of his at-bats with focus, do yourself a favor and tune it tonight. He hits the ball hard what seems like every at-bat but still finds a way to work counts and drive up pitch counts. Sano has posted a .380 wOBA so far against righties and has hit an effortless 16 home runs. I've actually spoken to Sano face to face and I will say the only guys who have ever compared personally are Stanton and Pujols in his prime. He has a certain build to his body that screams home run. He'll face off with a very average pitcher in Alex Meyer tonight that has struggled as of late. Meyer isn't horrible against righties, but a .300 wOBA in 40 innings isn't something that will scare me away from Miguel Sano. Sano is my personal pick for HR of the night and he should go around 10% owned, which is way too low in my opinion. Sano is naturally more of a tournament play, but I will have my fair share of cash game exposure on DK.
We'll touch on a few duos here in the outfield and start with the safest of them. The Rockies, as previously mentioned, are expected to put up 6.88 runs by Vegas. It's the highest of the day by a good margin and not a number you should ever ignore. With Carlos Gonzalez out, we'll take a look at Blackmon and Desmond. Desmond, a righty, has typically held a wOBA from .330-.360 against righties. He also steals bases and has a lot of power. The Rockies invested $70 million dollars into Desmond and they look to get some production back. As for Blackmon, I don't need to tell you how great he is. As a speedy lefty, he hits for a .370 wOBA, he'll hit 30 homers and steal 30 bags. His price is high and rightfully so as one of the best cash game plays on the entire slate. Luis Castillo is not ready for the majors, let alone Coors Field. The Rockies are a team you will want exposure to and both of these guys are great ways to go. As a note, this situation as a whole is very cloudy. Desmond left with a precautionary ailment yesterday, but is expected to be just fine. CarGo has also hoped to play tonight, but may not be able to. Just keep an eye out on Twitter and be prepared to adjust accordingly.
When facing a bad lefty, you can always expect these 2 guys to see the OF section in this article. They both rake on the road and are brutal against southpaws. Chris Youngnowherehere near the player Betts is, but is a better pure hitter against lefties. He has sported a .400 wOBA against them plenty of times and is currently a .360-.380 hitter. He has plenty of HR upside and I would literally pay just as much for Young as I will for Betts. As for Betts, he's more expensive, but also has some crazy upside. He had 8 RBI's just yesterday and as we know, don't mess with Mookie when he gets going.He'll be leading off and is an integral part of a Sox stack. All in all, Young is a must for me in cash games. Betts isn't a must anywhere, but currently sits in my cash games as well. Martin Perez is absolutely horrible and there isn;t much else to say about the guys. The Red Sox as a team are the top option and are my favorite stack in both cash games and tournaments.
we're going to finish our trio of duos with another pair of righties facing a weak lefty. Carlos Rodon and the White Sox will enter into Oakland and face an A's team that hits lefties rather well. Rodon is a prospect by definition, but has A TON of way to go. He has been absolutely horrible against righties, sporting a .346 wOBA since entering the league. He's also allowed 32 homers in just 200 innings, which is a lot more than average. Rajai Davis will grab the leadoff spot and has been a dangerous bat against lefties for what seems like 20 years. He isn't as lethal as he once was, but still holds a .330-.350 wOBA. Khris Davis on the other hand, is in his prime. He's going to hit 40 home runs for a 2nd straight year and remains one of the premier power bats in the league. He has been better against righties, but hits more HR/AB against southpaws. The A's are an interesting team as a whole, but lose some upside as a stack with the spacious Oakland Coliseum. In cash games, I love both of these guys.
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- Dustin Pedroia: (AP Photo/Ben Margot)