Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Jerry Vanderwoude

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 7/15/17

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Max ScherzerMax Scherzer FD 12100 DK 12900
Opponent - CIN (Castillo) Park - @CIN
FD - 16.12 DK - 10.51
While the teams returned to action yesterday giving us decent, but none too stellar starting pitching options, there are some decisions to be made today. We've got several potential Cy Young candidates on the mound beginning with the NL front runner, Max Scherzer. Mad Max begins his second half in Great American ballpark against the Reds, and while this might be a knock on most pitchers, for Scherzer it's just a minor blip on the radar. Scherzer has far too much going in his favor to let a small park deter us from locking him in. He's coming into the day with a 2.10 ERA, the lowest among all qualified pitchers, while also sporting a 0.78 WHIP and 35.5 K%. He's having no problem keeping the ball in the yard this season, his 0.91 HR/9 is among the top ten in baseball as is his 10.2 HR/FB%. The Reds for what it's worth strikeout only 20.8% of the time, which is just below average at this point in the season, but it's not every day they face an arm like Scherzer, capable of striking out 12.13 batters per nine. If you run multiple lineups and want to spread your starting pitching love around then have at it, that's what I'll probably do, but if you're only doing one lineup, you can't go wrong with Max.

Corey KluberCorey Kluber FD 11400 DK 12200
Opponent - OAK (Blackburn) Park - @OAK
FD - 42.55 DK - 28.1
Speaking of Cy Young candidates, if you were popping into DFSRland over the break you saw our staff picks for MVP, biggest bust, and Cy Young winner through the first half, and my top pitcher was the other CK. Corey Kluber has had an impressive start to the 2017 season, hindered only by some missed time back in May with a back issue. Here's a little snippet of my breakdown on Kluber from the Cy Young article.

Kluber possesses the lowest xFIP among qualified starters at 2.65 and is right there with Sale and Scherzer trailing just behind them with a 33.5 K% and walking only 6.1% of the batters he faces. He hits the break with 7 wins under his belt through 13 starts and 88.1 innings pitched. Since returning from the DL on June 1st, Kluber has a 1.24 ERA, a .69 WHIP, 74 K’s, and only 8 BB in 51 innings pitched.

Those are some pretty impressive numbers no matter how you look at it. He begins the second half of his campaign against an Athletics team striking out 25.4% of the time against right handed pitching, more than any other team not named the Padres. Mad Max is the way to go, but if you need some extra bat room in your salary, then you can't really go wrong stepping down to Kluber.

Aaron NolaAaron Nola FD 8900 DK 8800
Opponent - MIL (Nelson) Park - @MIL
FD - 30.69 DK - 20.51
Sure, we could've just spotlighted Chris Sale here, He is after all the third top option on the slate, and is just as in play as the guys above. As I've already said, decisions are to be made. However, this is a spot where we prefer to give you a lower tiered play, particularly as a SP2 on DraftKings, or just a nice GPP pivot on FanDuel. Enter: Aaron Nola. Nola is settling in to the starting pitcher we expected him to be when he first came up. Through his last four starts, he's 3-0, allowing only five runs through 29.1 IP. The strikeouts are on the rise as well, through April and May Nola averaged 8.15K/9 and in June brought it up to 9.73/9. This can only lead to good things as he heads into Miller Park to take on a Brewers team striking out 24.9% of the time against right handers. At his current price I wouldn't roll Nola in cash on FanDuel, but the upside is there in tournaments and with so many name brand arms on the day he could fly under the radar as a nice contrarian play as well.


Salvador PerezSalvador Perez FD 3200 DK 4000
Opponent - TEX (Hamels) Park - @KC
FD - 9.75 DK - 7.49
Chris made a strong case for Salvador Perez yesterday, and that unfortunately didn't pan out as we had hoped, but I'm going right back to the well tonight because the fact is, even as the priciest catcher going, Perez has the stats to back up the cost and is not going to go 0 for at the plate often. Despite the 4-0 record in his injury shortened first half, Cole Hamels is not the pitcher he once was. The strikeouts are down (fewer than five batters per nine), and the xFIP is up (4.98). Deploy Perez against Hamels in all formats with confidence. If you are spooked though, there is another way you can go. Lets take a look at that.

Willson ContrerasWillson Contreras FD 3200 DK 3700
Opponent - BAL (Miley) Park - @BAL
FD - 12.01 DK - 9.34
The Cubbies are in Camden Yards this weekend for some inter-league action with the Orioles. Baltimore sends Wade Miley to the hill for game two of the series. Miley is an unimpressive, run of the mill pitcher, who isn't terrible but never seems to excel either. He'll strike some guys out, but he'll also give up runs. Usually in bunches. For the past three seasons his ERA has steadily risen, though this season he is on track to better his finish from last year. He's also struggling a lot with his control this season walking nearly twice as many batters per nine. This puts Willson Contreras in a nice spot. Contreras tends to bounce around a lot in the Cubs order, so he could be anywhere in the top six spots, and clearly we like him more in the top of the order, but even in the middle I feel he's in good position to do some damage with his bat. He hit the break with base hits in seven of his last eight games, including two home runs. On FanDuel where they're both the same price, I'll lock Perez, but if you're looking for some savings on DK then Willson is your play.

Consider: Gary Sanchez

First Base

Paul GoldschmidtPaul Goldschmidt FD 4100 DK 5100
Opponent - ATL (Foltynewicz) Park - @ATL
FD - 13.15 DK - 10.48
Paul Goldschmidt went 2 for 5 at the plate last night in game one against the Braves, with a solo home run. It was Goldy's first multi hit performance since June 25 against the Phillies. Goldschmidt is still putting up All Star worthy numbers, his .417 wOBA is second among qualified players at the position, and he ranks among the top five in avg (.312), obp (.428), slg (.577) and BABIP (.359). Today the Braves send Mike Foltynewicz to the mound and Goldy has been crushing righties this year with a .448 wOBA and 18 of his 20 homeruns coming off of right handers.

Edwin EncarnacionEdwin Encarnacion FD 3700 DK 4900
Opponent - OAK (Blackburn) Park - @OAK
FD - 11.59 DK - 8.66
Edwin Encarnacion's first season in Cleveland may not be going quite as he had hoped, he's striking out at over 20% for the first time since his rookie season, and his offensive stats are down from his final season in Toronto. While he may not be having a career season, his stats this year are on pace with his career numbers. Today he faces an Athletics pitcher in Paul Blackburn making his third career start. With 13.2 innings under his belt Blackburn has given up 11 hits to 52 batters faced and the only earned run he has allowed has come off a solo home run, so we don't have much to go on with him, what we do have, is Encarniacion hitting right handed pitchers with a .347 wOBA and 115 wRC+ with a .225 ISO. If you can fit Goldy then do it, but in the top tier, if you need to save some salary, then consider Encarnacion.

Justin SmoakJustin Smoak FD 3500 DK 3900
Opponent - DET (Fulmer) Park - @DET
FD - 10.07 DK - 7.6
If you still require even more savings, then consider the starting first baseman for the AL in the All Star Game. Justin Smoak is having a breakout season. His .389 wOBA is over 70 points higher than his career average, he's on pace to set career highs in home runs, RBI, and runs scored. Michael Fulmer is doing well in his second season, with a 9-6 record through 17 starts, allowing only .54 HR/9 while drawing a 49.3 GB%. Smoak is quite adept on the basepaths and should have no problem putting the ball in play and letting his legs do the work.

Consider: Ryan Zimmerman

Second Base

Daniel MurphyDaniel Murphy FD 3800 DK 4900
Opponent - CIN (Castillo) Park - @CIN
FD - 11.23 DK - 8.84
Jose altuve had a slightly better first half, but from a point per dollar perspective, the system suggests taking the savings on Daniel Murphy in a match up against Luis Castillo and the Reds. Castillo will be making his fifth career start against the Nationals, through 25 IP Castillo has allowed 32 of the 98 batters he has faced to reach base, allowing eight earned runs and nearly one in every five hits he's allowed have left the park. Murphy's 14 HR are third best at the position, and one more than Altuve has. Against the young right hander I'll take a play on Murphy in all formats.

Josh HarrisonJosh Harrison FD 2800 DK 3800
Opponent - STL (Lynn) Park - @PIT
FD - 9.49 DK - 7.89
This is simply a play to save some salary. Josh Harrison has been quite the hit or miss play lately, going hitless in six of his last ten games, including an 0 for 5 performance last night in the first game of the series with the Cardinals. The Pirates are projected for 4.5 runs against Lance Lynn, and a near minimum priced top of the order play is always in play. Sunday against the Cubs Harrison went 3 for 5 with three runs scored, two RBI, and a home run, and it's that potential that makes him an excellent gpp play.

Consider: Brian Dozier

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Corey SeagerCorey Seager FD 3800 DK 4600
Opponent - MIA (Urena) Park - @MIA
FD - 11.36 DK - 8.77
Corey Seager comes in among the top point per dollar plays at shortstop, after knocking his 14th home run of the season last night in the first game back to help the Dodgers towards a win. Seager's .369 wOBA against right handed pitchers this season will serve him against Jose Urena, who through 34 career starts carries a 4.93 ERA and 5.11 xFIP. Seager sport's an impressive .297/.394/.508 slash line and is an excellent option in all formats particularly on DraftKings where he is priced below our other option at the position.

Jean SeguraJean Segura FD 3700 DK 4900
Opponent - CHW (Holland) Park - @CHW
FD - 10.52 DK - 9.03
Seager and Segura are both coming in similarly ranked in the system, the only real difference being the pricing on the sites. While Seager comes in slightly cheaper on DraftKings, on FanDuel, you get your savings with Segura. Segura opened the second half of the season with a two hit, two run performance, including a double Friday night. This follows a 2 for 4 performance with two doubles against Oakland last Saturday. Segura and the Mariners are projected for 5.3 runs tonight, only the Cubs are projecting higher. At a position that is usually a throw away, if you can get a leadoff hitter for a team with one of the highest projected runs totals on the day who has been seeing the ball pretty well lately, you have to jump all over that.

Consider: Chris Owings

Third Base

Kris BryantKris Bryant FD 3700 DK 5100
Opponent - BAL (Miley) Park - @BAL
FD - 14.25 DK - 10.98
Kris Bryant went into the All Star break with a .391 wOBA and 142 wRC+, which were both good enough to place him third among qualified third basemen. With a .269/.399/.529 slash line, Bryant is severely under priced on FanDuel, where they are practically begging you to play him. Particularly in a match up with Wade Miley, who we've already established is not a pitcher to shy away from. On DraftKings, you can possibly do a little better, and we'll look into that in a moment, but for the bargain, there's one clear choice at the hot corner on FD.

Adrian BeltreAdrian Beltre FD 3700 DK 4300
Opponent - KC (Vargas) Park - @KC
FD - 11.77 DK - 9.05
On FanDuel, Bryant is the play in cash. On DraftKings however Adrian Beltre comes priced at a significant discount that can't be ignored. Beltre homerd for the third time in four games last night going 2 for 3 with three RBI and a walk. It was Beltre's third multi-hit showing in his last six games. Today the Royals send Danny Duffy to the mound. Duffy has a 3.76 ERA and is allowing a .336 BABIP through 13 starts this season. Duffy's allowing a .336 wOBA to right handed batters. Beltre is an excellent option on DK and a nice GPP pivot on FanDuel as well.

Evan LongoriaEvan Longoria FD 3200 DK 3800
Opponent - LAA (Ramirez) Park - @LAA
FD - 10.53 DK - 8.04
We've got to save salary somewhere, so if you don't have the space to lock in either of the two guys above, then pivot down to the lower tier and give some love to Evan Longoria. Longoria and the Rays are in Anaheim this weekend to face the Angels, and is currently 1 for 2 with a home run giving him a base hit in nine of his last ten games played. Today the Angels send JC Ramirez to the hill for his 18th start. Ramirez has a 4.46 ERA and 4.31 xFIP. Longorias power numbers are down this season, with 12 HR and a .169 ISO, but he has been producing more consistently, improving his average month over month this season while currently posting a ,314 wOBA and 97 wRC+.

Consider: Manny Machado


Bryce HarperBryce Harper FD 4700 DK 5500
Opponent - CIN (Castillo) Park - @CIN
FD - 14.21 DK - 10.97
As I'm writing this, Bryce Harper has already homered twice in five at bats in the series opener in Cincinnati. Don't be surprised if he tacks one or two more on tonight. Harper is on pace to have a career year to rival his 2015 numbers and is second to only Aaron Judge among outfielders in just about every major statistic you can think of. He's got a .422 wOBA and 161 wRC+, with a .364 BABIP. Look for him to give Luis Castillo one of the biggest challenges yet in his young career and lock him into your lineup regardless of the format.

Nelson CruzNelson Cruz FD 4200 DK 4800
Opponent - CHW (Holland) Park - @CHW
FD - 13.74 DK - 10.37
Nelson Cruz was 0 for 2 in Tuesday's All Star game, then last night when it counts, (at least for DFS purposes) he returned to action going 1 for 3 with a walk in the Mariners win in game one of the weekend series. Cruz had a solid first half of the season, finishing at the break with 17 HR, and 70 RBI, and will look to build on his numbers today against Derek Holland. Through 91.2 innings, Holland carries a 5.01 ERA, giving up an astounding 1.87 HR/9. Though only 4 of his home runs have come off of southpaws, Cruz is still hitting better against them with a .385 wOBA.

**Update: Mike Pelfrey is starting for the White Sox lowering the value of Cruz a bit.**

Corey DickersonCorey Dickerson FD 3500 DK 4100
Opponent - LAA (Ramirez) Park - @LAA
FD - 10.57 DK - 8.29
Another guy who was 0 for 2 in the Midsummer Classic, Dickerson is also currently 0 for 2 as I write this during game one of the series against the Angels Friday night. Dickerson's performance leading into the break has been spotty at best, as he has three games in his last seven in which he hasn't made it out of the batter's box. Don't let that dissuade you though. I mean the guy was named an All Star for a reason right? Dickerson's having a career season with a .376 wOBA and 139 wRC+, .361 BABIP and .236 ISO, all of which are above his career numbers. His 17 home runs has him well on pace to shatter his career best of 24, and today he is facing JC Ramirez, who struggles against left handed hitters. Ramirez is allowing a .381 wOBA against lefties, and 13 of his 17 HR allowed have come off of left handed bats. I might limit Dickerson to GPP on DK due to the price, but on FanDuel, he is in play in all formats.

Josh ReddickJosh Reddick FD 3300 DK 4300
Opponent - MIN (Santana) Park - @HOU
FD - 12.11 DK - 9.5
Josh Reddick is ranked among the top point per dollar plays in the system tonight. A value bat hitting in the top of one of the most potent offenses in recent memory, today Reddick and the Astros will face Ervin Santana after opening the second half of his season with a 2 for 4, 2 RBI performance. Reddick has reached base safely now in 10 of his last 11 games and is an excellent value cash option.


Consider: Steven Souza Jr., David Peralta







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3 Visitor Comments

  1. Cannot possibly go back after Castillo with the recent times he’s pitched well and burned me in stacks. He’s to the point where I have to actually see him stink, before I go back to the well.

  2. To be fair. He gave up five home runs in his first three starts and then had one good start. He has upside for sure but walks get him in trouble and he is very prone to giving up HR which gives WSH a ton of upside seeing as they a Top 5 offensive team.

  3. Great article , however wish there were a couple more value plays for cash given the aces tonight

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