Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

07/08/2017
Jerry Vanderwoude

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 7/8/17

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Pitcher


EARLY
Stephen StrasburgStephen Strasburg FD 10800 DK 12500
Opponent - ATL (Teheran) Park - @WSH
FD - 37.18 DK - 24.58
The Nationals play host to the Braves once again in D.C. this afternoon. Washington is the only team in baseball that can lay claim to two arms that are not only among the top 15 qualified pitchers in xFIP as we approach the All Star break, but also rank among the top 10 in strikeouts per 9 innings pitched. First is Mad Max who threw last night, the other is our top choice for the early slate today, Stephen Strasburg. In addition to a 3.42 xFIP and 10.5 K/9 Stras is sporting a 3.28 ERA, walking just over 2.5/9 and allowing only .9 HR/9, not too shabby. Stras was rolling through offenses this season when he seemed to hit a bit of a speed bump early on in June, with a couple of less than stellar performances, but seems to have tuned a corner, putting up consecutive quality starts against the Cubs and Mets in his last two outings allowing 2 runs and striking out 19 in 14 innings of work. Once you get past the Nationals in the NL East, you have a bunch of teams just fighting for mediocrity. Currently leading that bunch are the Braves, who sport a .311 wOBA as a team against right handed pitching, among the worst in baseball. The Braves only strike out 19.6% of the time, but their impatience is spotlighted by their 7.3 BB% so as long as stras comes out firing he should have little trouble making them jumpy. I love Stras in cash games, and the fact that some may still be put off by the struggles a few starts back leads me think he could fly under the radar in tournaments as well.

LATE
Jeff SamardzijaJeff Samardzija FD 9000 DK 9400
Opponent - MIA (Locke) Park - @SF
FD - 36.06 DK - 23.83
On the late slate, we have some decisions to make as there is no stand out stud throwing. With the options given, the Shark comes in as the top raw projected point total play on the slate, and among the top point per dollar plays as well. Jeff Samardzija has been locked in as of late, allowing 2 free passes in his last 5 starts, and aside from getting rocked for 8 earned runs in Coors, allowing an average of 2.5 runs in the other four of those games. Samardzija is currently sitting at 9.89 K/9 on the season which is good enough to rank him 14th among qualified pitchers, but he's only managed more than 5 K's in 2 of his last 5 starts which is a little concerning. What isn't concerning is the Miami offense. While the Marlins may strike out only 20.5% of the time, they sport a .319 wOBA and 95 wRC+ which makes them just another average, non Washington NL east offense, struggling to be good enough to be considered average. Against a better offense I might approach this play with a bit of hesitation, but given the match up, and the fact that AT&T Park is among the friendliest for pitchers in the game, I'm filled with more confidence in the Shark over the fish.

Jake ArrietaJake Arrieta FD 9700 DK 8400
Opponent - PIT (Nova) Park - @CHC
FD - 31.57 DK - 20.86
This is more of a pick for DraftKings. If you have doubts on Samardzija and want to go with Arrieta on FanDuel, then have at it, but safety is not the first word that comes to mind when I think of Jake Arrieta in the 2017 season. It's not even the thousandth word. It's not even in the dictionary. Arrieta can go out there and give you 7 innings of 1 hit shutout baseball with 6 strikeout's like he did against the Reds on Sunday, but he can also give you less than 10 FD points as he did 3 times in his last 11 outings. If we look at the big picture however, we see that Arrieta is holding a 24.3 K% with a 3.88 xFIP on the season. Today he is hosting the Pirates, whose .306 team wOBA is among the bottom 5 in the game. Given the Shark is $700 cheaper on FD I'll ride with him, but on DK where Arrieta is 1K cheaper I'm good with pairing them together, or fading Shark and rolling Arrieta with a value arm if loading up on bats is your thing.

Catcher

EARLY
Russell MartinRussell Martin FD 2900 DK 3700
Opponent - HOU (Fiers) Park - @TOR
FD - 9.55 DK - 7.24
If you're going with Strasburg on the early slate you need to look for value in your bats. Enter Russell Martin. Martin's price has been on the rise somewhat since hitting near minimum a week ago, but he is still coming in as a bargain. A Top of the order catcher sporting a .345 wOBA and 113 wRC+ at a sub 3K price tag on FanDuel is hard to pass up on. Today he will face off with Mike Fiers, who is allowing a .313 wOBA against right handed bats, with a 4.37 xFIP. There's some risk involved here, but again, if you're riding with Strasburg, Martin is the best available option behind the plate.

LATE
Buster PoseyBuster Posey FD 3100 DK 4300
Opponent - MIA (Locke) Park - @SF
FD - 10.15 DK - 7.81
Although the value is not as necessary on the evening set as there are no pitchers coming over 10K on either site, it's still good practice to pay down for a clean up catcher with a resume such as the one Buster Posey posesses to allow more salary at the positions where it will be needed. Sure only $400 separates Posey from the most expensive play on the slate, but $400 can make all the difference when deciding between outfielders or first basemen. Posey has been quiet as of late, going 0-8 in three games in Detroit, with last night's game just getting under way as I write this. On the season though, Posey is tops among qualified catchers with a .386 wOBA and 143 wRC+ and today takes on Marlins team that is struggling on the hill this season.

First Base

EARLY
Luke VoitLuke Voit FD 2600 DK 2500
Opponent - NYM (Montero) Park - @STL
FD - 8.32 DK - 6.36
Yet another excellent value play on the early slate to pair with Strasburg. Luke Voit is coming in at the top of the heap among PPD plays on the early slate, and his near minimum pricing across the industry presents us with a great opportunity. It's still early to tell what the Cards have with Voit, but in his limited time up he has put up 0 fantasy production twice in 12 games, most recently last night's series opener with the Mets. Over his last 5 games however, he has 2 multi hit games, 2 doubles, and 2 home runs. I wouldn't bank on that becoming a common occurrence, but the good news is with his salary we don't have to.

LATE
Paul GoldschmidtPaul Goldschmidt FD 4100 DK 5500
Opponent - CIN (Castillo) Park - @ARI
FD - 11.86 DK - 9.44
Paul Goldschmidt doesn't come in at the top of the PPD heap for tonight's slate, but we're choosing to spotlight him here anyway, because he is the top raw point projection, and also, with the lack of a 10K pitcher on the evening slate, and the value that pops up elsewhere, we have to spend up somewhere and where better to than Goldy? Goldy homered last night, though it was his only hit, an the tenth straight game in which he failed to give a multi-hit showing. He has however homered twice in that span with a double and triple also mixed in, and six walks. Today he'll take on Luis Castillo making his fourth career start. Goldschmidt has been crushing righties this season to the tune of a .452 wOBA and 176 wRC+.

Brandon BeltBrandon Belt FD 3300 DK 4500
Opponent - MIA (Locke) Park - @SF
FD - 10.28 DK - 7.89
Brandon Belt doesn't appear here often, perhaps because he spends most of his time in a pitchers park, perhaps because there are splashier names, like Goldschmidt, Thames, and Votto. Whatever the reason, Brandon Belt is a nice, under the radar type of play. He's been paying excellent value recently, with 3 of his last 6 games resulting in double digit FD points, and 2 of those over 30 FDP. In his last six games he has 8 hits, including 2 doubles and 2 home runs. We're expecting Miami to throw Jeff Locke out on the Hill tonight, with his 8.16 ERA, .355 BABIP, and 4.99 xFIP. I love Belt in all formats tonight.

Second Base

EARLY
Brian DozierBrian Dozier FD 3200 DK 3900
Opponent - BAL (Miley) Park - @MIN
FD - 11.18 DK - 8.92
You'll see a lot of love for the Twins here today on the early slate against Wade Miley, starting with Brian Dozier. Dozier went 0-4 in the series opener on Thursday, but has bounced back with a triple and run scored in 4 AB so far on Friday as I write this. Dozier's power numbers seem to be down from last season when he hit a career high 42 HR. He's only got 13 approaching the break. He is however showing more patience at the plate as his BB% is up nearly 2 points from last season. Wade Miley meanwhile is walking 5.20 batters per 9, while sporting a 5.20 ERA as well. There are no early returns from our friends in Vegas on this game, but given Miley's track record this season, I would expect Minnesota to be heavily favored as one of the higher scoring offenses for the slate.

LATE
DJ LeMahieuDJ LeMahieu FD 3400 DK 4100
Opponent - CHW (Quintana) Park - @COL
FD - 9.37 DK - 7.65
It's a Coors Field weekend, and we can't ignore that, particularly on a split slate. With 8 games going on the main slate, we have to take a look at some Coors bats. We will do so by picking on Jose Quintana, and we will kick things off with DJ LeMahieu. LeMahieu has been dealing with a groin injury as of late, but while it has kept him out of the lineup on occasion, it hasn't affected his performance while on the field. Through his last 10 starts LeMahieu has hits in 7 games, including 5 multi hit performances, going 2-4 with a home run last night in the series opener. Quintana brings a 4.45 ERA and 4.22 xFIP to the hill today and most lethal of all, trouble with the long ball. His 1.18 HR/9 is the highest of his career and his 30.5 hard hit % is bad news for a pitcher heading in to Coors Field. LeMahieu could be in store for a big outing today and is in play in all formats.

Robinson CanoRobinson Cano FD 3500 DK 4700
Opponent - OAK (Smith) Park - @SEA
FD - 10.39 DK - 7.98
Robinson Cano has been on fire these past few weeks, with base hits in 10 of his last 14 games, and 6 home runs in that stretch. So far hs is 3-6 in the series against Oakland with 2 walks and three runs scored. Chris Smith will be making his first major league start, with 63 career appearances out of the pen dating back to 2008. Smith has a career 4.58 xFIP to match his 4.58 ERA, with 1.85 HR/9 allowed.

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Shortstop

EARLY
Troy TulowitzkiTroy Tulowitzki FD 2900 DK 3300
Opponent - HOU (Fiers) Park - @TOR
FD - 8.68 DK - 6.64
Just as with Martin above, this is a clear value bat play to pair in with Strasburg. Tulo takes a knock as a middle of the order guy, and has had his struggles early on after returning from the DL, but he has been clicking over the past week, hitting safely in 7 of his last 8 games, including a solo home run last night, his sixth of the season. Tulowitzki is among the top PPD plays at the position today, and is a clear favorite of the system in the early set of games.

LATE
Elvis AndrusElvis Andrus FD 3200 DK 4000
Opponent - LAA (Chavez) Park - @TEX
FD - 8.91 DK - 7.69
This is just a clear case of underpricing across the industry. Elvis Andrus is a top value play in the system, when considering PPD and total raw projected points, Andrus runs away as the hot play at short. He's burning up the stat sheet this season and is getting even better as the season goes along with 4 of his 11 home runs coming in his last 10 games. He's rocking a .350 wOBA which is fourth at the position, and squares up today against Jesse Chavez, a 33 year old right hander who prior to this season, was primarily a bullpen arm, which is probably where he belongs. At his given price point, Andrus is an elite option in all formats.

Trevor StoryTrevor Story FD 3600 DK 4000
Opponent - CHW (Quintana) Park - @COL
FD - 9.44 DK - 7.42
I'm not sure why the Colorado bats are coming in so cheap in a Coors game particularly on FanDuel, but I will gladly take advantage. All it takes is one swing of the bat for these players to pay value, and with no stud arms to eat up the salary it should be very easy to fit one or two Rockies bats if not a full stack into your roster. One of those should most definitely be Trevor Story. The Rockies shortstop may not be the safest play around and has put up several goose egg performances in recent weeks, and his wOBA while respectable at .303 is down significantly from the .380 he posted last season. As we already established Jose Quintana could run into trouble in the high altitude of Colorado and the balls may start flying so I'm fine with taking a flier on Story, particularly in a Rockies stack, but even as a standalone play as well.

Third Base

EARLY
Miguel SanoMiguel Sano FD 3600 DK 4600
Opponent - BAL (Miley) Park - @MIN
FD - 11.45 DK - 8.55
We return to Minnesota, this time for Miguel Sano. This is the third day in a row we're highlighting Miguel here, and I'm not sure what more I can say about him that Chris and Austyn haven't already covered. He's a clear cut MVP candidate who has been on an absolute tear lately. He's got a .380 wOBA, a .392 BABIP, a .263 ISO. He's third among all third basemen with 20 HRs. As I write this he is currently 1-4 with 2 runs scored against Kevin Gausman, and today he draws just an even juicier match up in the form of Wade Miley. I love Sano today and will have him everywhere on the early run.

LATE
Nolan ArenadoNolan Arenado FD 4700 DK 4900
Opponent - CHW (Quintana) Park - @COL
FD - 12.08 DK - 9.23
He went yard last night in the series opener, finishing out the day with a 3-5 performance, adding a double, 5 RBI and 2 runs scored to the HR, but Nolan Arenado is my pick for home run of the night tonight as well. Arenado is having himself a year, capitalizing with a .368 wOBA and a .298/.349/.540 slash line. His 15 HR are 15th at the position and have him on pace for his lowest total in three years but there is still time for him to turn on the heat as the Rockies have played more games on the road through the first half of the season so some second half home cookin' could be just what he needs to get them power numbers back up. Even if he doesn't send one over the wall tonight, I expect enough out of him to easily pay value and with no expensive arms going tonight, I will make sure he fits in to the plan.

Eugenio SuarezEugenio Suarez FD 2900 DK 3700
Opponent - ARI (Walker) Park - @ARI
FD - 8.92 DK - 7.02
Taijuan Walker is having a solid start through 13 games so far this season with a 6-3 record and 3.30 ERA. That said we're still going to consider Eugenio Suarez coming from a good hitters park to an even better hitters park. Earlier this week he put up some nice performances in Coors without even taking advantage of the home run factor, going 5-16 with 2 walks, 2 RBI, and a double. Now we get him in just as good an environment without the inflated salary. Suarez' .350 wOBA and .446 SLG this season are well above his career totals and on top of that, he's also managing a 12.4 BB% with a .187 ISO. If for some reason you can't manage Arenado in your lineup, then pivot down to Suarez.

Outfield

EARLY
Robbie GrossmanRobbie Grossman FD 2900 DK 3600
Opponent - BAL (Miley) Park - @MIN
FD - 9.35 DK - 7.28
One more play to throw in the pick on Wade Miley pile. The top of the Twins order is an excellent way to go for stacking today, you can even throw Max Kepler in at cleanup if you want to go full on. Our focus here however will be Robbie Grossman. Grossman bounces around the lineup for the Twins, but generally tends to stick in the two hole, which keeps him surrounded by some excellent company if you've been reading all the way through to this point. With a sub 3K salary on FanDuel and 3600 on DraftKings, Grossman is an excellent value play and his 16.2 BB% is the mark of patience and the sign of a player who knows how to make his way on base, and his 38 runs scored show he knows how to work his way around the base path once he's on. He also has excellent reverse splits which will come into play against Miley. We've already established why we want to target Wade Miley. Grossman presents an inexpensive way to do so and capitalize on it.

Mark TrumboMark Trumbo FD 3500 DK 4200
Opponent - MIN (Mejia) Park - @MIN
FD - 10.47 DK - 7.96
Mark Trumbo started the season off quietly, but looks to be heating up at the right time. He's heading in to the break having hit three homers in his last 8 contests, with 7 of his last ten hits going for extra bases. Today he steps in against Adalberto Mejia with his 4.32 ERA and 5.20 xFIP. Mejia is allowing 1.54 HR/9 with a 33.3 hard hit %. If Trumbo keeps bringing the power look for him to continue his extra base hot streak here. I like Trumbo in both cash and tournaments.

LATE
Shin-Soo ChooShin-Soo Choo FD 3100 DK 4500
Opponent - LAA (Chavez) Park - @TEX
FD - 10.31 DK - 8.06
Nomar MazaraNomar Mazara FD 3000 DK 4300
Opponent - LAA (Chavez) Park - @TEX
FD - 9.67 DK - 7.5
We already looked at Elvis Andrus, now let's take a look at the guys that surround him in the Rangers lineup. Mazara and Choo have both struggled a bit as of late. Mazara had only 3 hits in the 8 games heading into the weekend series against the Angels, but had a fantastic outing to open the series going 2-3 with 2 walks, a HR, 3 RBI, and three runs scored. Choo meanwhile went 0-4 at the plate, but drew a walk and came home to score. He has reached base safely in six straight now and has 2 multi hit performances in the span. Andrus is my stand alone play, but with the Rangers projected for 6.1 runs you can't go wrong sandwiching him in between these two guys in a stack, especially since we've already established why we want to target Chavez.

David PeraltaDavid Peralta FD 3100 DK 4000
Opponent - CIN (Castillo) Park - @ARI
FD - 10.59 DK - 8.53
Peralta took the day off on Wednesday against the lefty, and it seems it may have helped. Last night he went 1-3 with a double, a walk, an RBI, scored a run and even swiped a bag for good measure. It was his best fantasy performance in a week and he will look to build on it against Castillo making his fourth career start. Peralta is hitting righties better this season with a .358 wOBA and 115 wRC+ and 6 of his 8 HR coming off of right handers.

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