Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

07/07/2017
Chris Durell

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 7/7/16

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Pitcher

Max ScherzerMax Scherzer FD 12200 DK 13200
Opponent - ATL (Dickey) Park - @WSH
FD - 45.66 DK - 30.16

Once again we get an elite pitcher and if the awards were given out today, I am pretty sure Max Scherzer would be your National League CY Young winner. He trails Clayton Kershaw in wins but has the edge in ERA(1.94) and is the only qualified pitcher below 2.0 in the NL. If he isn't the real-life CY Young, he is most definitely the daily fantasy CY Young as his 12.2 K/9 rate trails only Chris Sale of the Red Sox and Scherzer leads everyone on the planet with a sick 16.2% swinging strike rate. Tonight he faces a Braves team that ranks in the bottom third of the league in wOBA(.311) and wRC+(89) vs. right-handed pitching. With a bigger slate than last night, it gives us more value options that pop up when lineups are released to easily fit him in and he is more than safe in all formats.

Carlos MartinezCarlos Martinez FD 9400 DK 10700
Opponent - NYM (deGrom) Park - @STL
FD - 35.81 DK - 23.71

For the lineups where I will be fading Scherzer, I will be diving down to the bottom of the top tier with CarMart. He opens as a much smaller favorite facing a Mets team that strikes out just below league average but that should only help with the ownership making him an excellent GPP play. He is one of just 13 qualified starters with a K/9 rate greater than 10 for the season but has a losing record(6-7) which can be somewhat contributed to the offensive support or lack thereof this season. Before his last start where the Nats got to him for five earned runs, CarMart had gone, at minimum, six innings in 12 straight starts which is a bonus on FanDuel for the Quality Start.

Kenta MaedaKenta Maeda FD 8200 DK 7400
Opponent - KC (Hammel) Park - @LAD
FD - 33.64 DK - 22.08

If you are looking for an SP2 to pair with Scherzer on DraftKings that won't break the bank, Maeda has to be the first choice. The Dodgers open as huge -210 favorites while Maeda's price sits in the mid $7K range on DraftKings which allows you to not have to punt at every position. The risk is definitely there with his pitch count as he has only gone over 90 pitches three times since the start of May. He has shown the strikeout upside we are looking for with an 8.9 K/9 rate and elite 13.6% swinging strike rate. I think the upside he offers and the fact he helps get you to Scherzer's upside makes him a great play in all formats.

Catcher

Gary SanchezGary Sanchez FD 3500 DK 4700
Opponent - MIL (Guerra) Park - @NYY
FD - 13.24 DK - 10.18

On DraftKings, there is a case to be made against Sanchez on a slate with Scherzer as his price is $400 more than any other catcher. On FanDuel, however, I think you need to make room for him as he gets an elite matchup from almost every angle. First of all, he has crazy reverse splits and is much better vs. right-handed pitching with a .401 wOBA and 152 wRC+ and has been hot since the start of June hitting .311 with a .420 wOBA, 165 wRC+ with nine home runs and 28 RBI. Then comes the matchup vs. Junior Guerra who is arguably the worst pitcher on the slate. After a strong start after returning from a month on the DL, he has really struggled with a 7.27 ERA and 6.74 xFIP in his last five starts and has given up nine home runs(23.1% HR/FB rate). To top it off, Guerra has also struggled more against righties with a .394 wOBA against this season.
Russell MartinRussell Martin FD 2800 DK 3400
Opponent - HOU (Morton) Park - @TOR
FD - 10.07 DK - 7.64

If you want to spend up elsewhere with your bats, I don't blame you if you do, I would turn to Russell Martin who continues to hit out of the two-hole for the Jays. It has been a rough season for the veteran hitting just .217 overall but he has been stronger vs. right-handed pitching and has some pop in his bat still with eight home runs. The opportunity outweighs the risk considering you get an elite pitcher in your lineup.

 

 

 

First Base

Edwin EncarnacionEdwin Encarnacion FD 3300 DK 4500
Opponent - DET (Zimmermann) Park - @CLE
FD - 12.6 DK - 9.41

Looking at the early projections, Encarnacion is right near the top of the PTS/$ rankings tonight and an elite play in all formats. He is on a 14-game home run drought but has been excellent since the start of June with a .402 wOBA and 152 wRC+ while scoring 27 runs. He is in a great spot to end the streak as he will face Jordan Zimmerman who has given up a home run in three straight and comes in with a 16.4% HR/FB rate on the season.

Cody BellingerCody Bellinger FD 3700 DK 4600
Opponent - KC (Hammel) Park - @LAD
FD - 11.99 DK - 9.35

The rookie has struggled in early July but the small sample size is no worry considering he is coming off his best month of the season. In June, he hit .286 with 13 home runs and 27 RBI and also added eight doubles. The 29% K rate will always keep the average down and make him more of a GPP play but the upside is through the roof. He gets a  plus matchup tonight vs. Jason Hammel who has also given up a home run in three straight starts and enters tonight with a 5.08 ERA and an xFIP of 5.29 that suggests what you see is what you get.

Albert PujolsAlbert Pujols FD 2900 DK 3600
Opponent - TEX (Hamels) Park - @TEX
FD - 9.9 DK - 7.58

If first base is not your priority tonight and you are also paying up for Scherzer, consider the future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols. The bat speed isn't quite the same in his 17th season in the majors but he still has some pop in his bat with 12 home runs and has driven in 53 runs which are impressive considering the Angels have been without Miek Trout for a good portion of the season. He is also not getting on base at anywhere near an elite rate anymore which limits him to GPP's only.

 

 

Second Base

DJ LeMahieuDJ LeMahieu FD 3600 DK 4000
Opponent - CHW (Holland) Park - @COL
FD - 13.25 DK - 10.82

Our first trip to Coors Field in the article and I turn to second basemen, DJ Lemahieu. I mentioned Junior Guerra being the worst pitcher on the slate but if anyone could give him a run for that spot it would be Derek Holland. Four times in his last six starts he has given up five or more earned runs with 10 home runs in that time. Now he has to go into Coors and faces LeMahieu who has destroyed left-handed pitching with a .410 wOBA and 137 wRC+ on the season. Bottom line, the price is too low for the park and opportunity. He is safe in all formats.

Jason KipnisJason Kipnis FD 2700 DK 3600
Opponent - DET (Zimmermann) Park - @CLE
FD - 11.38 DK - 9.08

Safe is definitely not a word we throw around with Jason Kipnis in mind as he strikes out nearly 20% of the time and comes in with a low .224 average. This limits him to GPP's only but he does provide some power upside at the position at a very low cost, especially on FanDuel. It also makes it more easy to handle considering he is facing gas can Jordan Zimmerman and his 5.58 ERA and 38.9% hard contact rate against.

 

Also Consider: Daniel Murphy(WSH)

 

 

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Shortstop

Trevor StoryTrevor Story FD 3500 DK 3900
Opponent - CHW (Holland) Park - @COL
FD - 13.35 DK - 10.5

Back to Coors to kick off the shortstop picks. The regression came fast for Trevor Story but luckily for us, he is still having success against left-handed pitching with a .392 wOBA and 125 wRC+ and 43% hard contact rate. While he hits down in the lineup, the price is just too low(uunder$4K on both sites) for the upside he brings vs. southpaws in the best hitters park in the big leagues. Everything considered I think Story is in play in all formats.

Elvis AndrusElvis Andrus FD 3200 DK 3900
Opponent - LAA (Nolasco) Park - @TEX
FD - 10.42 DK - 8.99

Another top value at the position as he comes in under $4K on both sites tonight. Andrus has been a top value all season but especially lately as he leads all shortstops in home runs, RBI, runs scored and stolen bases over the last 14 days. He has also been more than a tick better vs. right-handed pitching with a .358 wOBA and 119 wRC+ on the season. Andrus is also a great choice in all formats considering the price and high-priced pitchers available.

 
Also Consider: Jean Segura(SEA)

 

 

Third Base

Nolan ArenadoNolan Arenado FD 4700 DK 5200
Opponent - CHW (Holland) Park - @COL
FD - 17.09 DK - 13.04

This pick was a layup tonight as I have not personally seen such a high projection. Not often does one of the highest priced players on a slate also sit right near the top of the PTS/$ ranks as well. It is a perfect storm tonight as Arenado leads all hitters on the planet in wOBA(.519), ISO(.386), OPS(1.258), home runs(7), runs(22), and RBI(23) vs. left-handed pitching. Then he gets to face one of the worst lefties in Derek Holland who has given up 5+ earned runs in four of his last six starts. If you are paying up for one hitter tonight, make it Arenado in Coors Field.

Miguel SanoMiguel Sano FD 3500 DK 4600
Opponent - BAL (Gausman) Park - @MIN
FD - 12.79 DK - 9.55

Stepping down to the next tier on both sites you can get one of the hottest players at the position. Sano comes into Friday night's action with an eight-game hit streak including a double and two home runs. Like Austyn mentioned yesterday, Sano is in the MVP race according to the odds makers and it is due to his huge upside as he comes in with 20 home runs, 60 RBI, and 50 runs scored. With Sano, there is always risk as he strikes out 34.5% of the time but reward makes it worth it.

 

Also Consider: Maikel Franco(PHI)

 

 

 

Outfield

Mark TrumboMark Trumbo FD 3300 DK 3900
Opponent - MIN (Jorge) Park - @MIN
FD - 12.22 DK - 9.28
Adam JonesAdam Jones FD 2800 DK 3100
Opponent - MIN (Jorge) Park - @MIN
FD - 12.16 DK - 9.43
Seth SmithSeth Smith FD 2800 DK 3300
Opponent - MIN (Jorge) Park - @MIN
FD - 12.08 DK - 9.18

The entire Orioles outfield ranks among the top plays from a PTS/$ perspective tonight. The game has had the second highest Vegas total behind the Coors game and the O's are projected for over 5.3 runs as they get a terrific matchup vs. Felix Jorge who is making just his second start of the season after making the jump straight from AA. He had an 8-1 record in 14 starts in the minors this season before being promoted but had almost zero upside with a poor 6.4 K/9 rate. It showed in his first MLB start as he struck out just two in five innings while giving up three earned runs. Take you pick between the three as they all have similar splits vs. right-handed pitching and all come with 30%+ hard contact rates. For upside, I would say Trumbo is the pick as he has the better power profile of the three but the prices of Jones and Smith will be hard to avoid in cash games tonight.

Aaron JudgeAaron Judge FD 4900 DK 5600
Opponent - MIL (Guerra) Park - @NYY
FD - 16.28 DK - 12.34

It isn't likely you will fit him with Scherzer tonight but in tournaments, there are some nice value pitchers on the bump that could very well allow you to play Judge and Arenado together and get some monster upside. Judge is, hands dow, the MVP going into the All-Star Break with some ridiculous numbers. he is currently sporting a .468 wOBAm 198 wRC+ with 29 home runs, 65 RBI, and 74 runs scored. Those are the kinda numbers like 90% of the league would take over the course of a season. Like I mentioned with Gary Sanchez, the Yankees get an elite matchup vs. Junior Guerra and his slate leading 20% HR/FB rate. He also walks over 5.5 batters per nine which should give the big bats plenty of opportunities to drive in runs.

David PeraltaDavid Peralta FD 2900 DK 3900
Opponent - CIN (Adleman) Park - @ARI
FD - 12.34 DK - 9.94
Gregor BlancoGregor Blanco FD 2400 DK 4000
Opponent - CIN (Adleman) Park - @ARI
FD - 10.94 DK - 9.17

The Diamondbacks outfielders are top values tonight on FanDuel making them excellent plays in all formats. They hit one/two in the lineup but if you are looking for consistency, Peralta would be my top choice as he comes in with a .356 wOBA and 113 wRC+ with 48 runs scored and also has more upside with eight home runs. Blanco and his $4K price tag are almost unplayable on DraftKigns considering he is hitting just .255 with a .313 wOBA but for $2.4K on FanDuel he makes a decent punt play with an opportunity to score runs hitting in front of Peralta, Goldy, and Lamb.

 

Also Consider:  Carlos Gomez(TEX)

 

 

 

 

 

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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

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