Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Jerry Vanderwoude

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 7/16/17

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Jeff SamardzijaJeff Samardzija FD 9200 DK 9500
Opponent - SD (Cahill) Park - @SD
FD - 38.91 DK - 25.68
We've got it a little easier today in the starting pitcher pool after last night's Ace's galore. There's only one pitcher over 10K on FanDuel, and four on DraftKings, but our top point per dollar play across the board comes in just under on both sites. Jeff Samardzija has run into some bad luck this season, as evidenced by his four wins and 4.58 ERA. Upon closer inspection however, we see the seventh lowest xFIP in the majors at 3.09 and a top 15 ranked 26.2 K%. Add in to the mix a San Diego offense that has been just dreadful this season, striking out 26.1% of the time and sporting a .298 team wOBA. The only thing really playing against the Shark here is the fact that the Giants are a mere -116 favorite, but the K upside more than makes up the difference, and if he does get the W, it could just prove to be icing on the GPP cake, though I'll run Shark in both cash and tournaments.

Yu DarvishYu Darvish FD 9900 DK 11300
Opponent - KC (Kennedy) Park - @KC
FD - 36.84 DK - 24.38
If you don't feel comfortable swimming with the Shark, then maybe give a look to Yu Darvish. you're going to have to spend up a little more on him, particularly on DraftKings where I question if it's even worth it, though I can see the case on FanDuel. Darvish is right on par with Samardzija in strikeout percentage trailing him with 25.9%, and has a slightly higher 3.92 xFIP. The Rangers are a -.124 favorite, so not much better there either and there really isn't much upside to speak of as the Royals strike out only 20.4% of the time. If you have salary left over after loading your bats and want to move up to Yu in cash on FanDuel, I'm all for it, in tournaments and on DK though, I just can't justify it.

Rick PorcelloRick Porcello FD 8100 DK 7400
Opponent - NYY (Mitchell) Park - @BOS
FD - 30.69 DK - 20.25
Oof. This is awkward. Earlier this week in our midseason busts article, I made the case for Rick Porcello as being the biggest bust of the season, and here I am telling you to play him in DFS. Well, let me explain, first of all my main point in claiming Porcello a bust was based on the fact that I would expect the reigning Cy Young winner to have better numbers at the All Star break than Porcello does. That said, he hasn't been terrible through the first half, and some of his numbers can be attributed to the team around him as well, as the Red Sox BABIP as a whole on defense is 20 points higher than it was last season, and Porcello is currently carrying a 4.75 ERA which is only .5 higher than his career numbers. He's also got his K/9 up to 8.22 which is not only on pace to best the 7.8 he managed in 2015, but also is 2 whole batters higher than his career average of 6.25. He's hosting the Yankees in Fenway which can be tricky as they sport the third best team wOBA in baseball at .338, but they also strikeout 22.9% of the time. I'll reserve Rick as a GPP play on FanDuel, but that deflated pricetag on DraftKings makes me think SP2 isn't out of the question either.

Chris ArcherChris Archer FD 10300 DK 11700
Opponent - LAA (Undecided) Park - @LAA
FD - 35.15 DK - 23.3
Chris Archer is going to cost you. The highest priced arm on FD and second highest on DK, the system likes Shark and Darvish better as far as raw projected points go, but that doesn't necessarily exclude him from consideration. His 3.44 xFIP is lower than Darvish and his 10.76 K/9 is the best on the slate. He's visiting the Angels in Anaheim, and though we don't have an early number from our friends in Vegas on this one, we do know Anaheim strikes out 20% of the time. If you find some value bats you feel good about, then going Archer in a large tournament could pay off. In cash however, I'll stick with the other guys.


Russell MartinRussell Martin FD 2700 DK 3600
Opponent - DET (Sanchez) Park - @DET
FD - 10.98 DK - 8.33
FanDuel has really relaxed their pricing behind the plate recently which personally I love, because you can just about punt anyone in a tournament, and even on a day like today, "spending up" at the position is easy to do with no real stud pitchers going. case in point: Russell Martin. The Blue Jays still reside in the basement of the AL East, though they're making a push to climb out and also climb above .500. The Tigers rocked them last night, to split the weekend series, and the Toronto bats look to get back on track today against Anibal Sanchez making his fifth start of the season. Sanchez has been nothing short of terrible this season, with a 5.89ERA and 4.62 xFIP. You can pick and choose at the position for tournaments on FanDuel, but for cash, I'll take the guy that tends to hit second in the order on a team projected for 5.1 runs.

Brian McCannBrian McCann FD 3000 DK 3600
Opponent - MIN (Gibson) Park - @HOU
FD - 11.18 DK - 8.48
On DraftKings they're not quite as generous with the catcher pricing, so we have to be a little more picky, Martin is well in play, but if you want another option to consider, at the same price point we have Brian McCann. McCann is more a middle of the order guy, generally finding himself in the six hole, and statistically his numbers this season rival Martins. His 11 home runs are 2 more than Martin has, and his .328 wOBA and .256 BABIP fall just shy of Martin. It pretty much comes down to which match up you feel better about. McCann will step into the box against Kyle Gibson, who is walking near as many batters as he strikes out, is allowing 1.77 HR/9 with a ridiculous 21.1 HR/FB%. You really can't go wrong with either of these guys.

Consider: Yadier Molina

First Base

Anthony RizzoAnthony Rizzo FD 4000 DK 4900
Opponent - BAL (Jimenez) Park - @BAL
FD - 15.32 DK - 11.69
Anthony Rizzo knocked home run number 21 last night in a drubbing of the Orioles in a 1 for 5 performance. It was his third home run in July, and the eighth time in ten games that he made it on base. A lot of people may look at the .259 avg. and be turned off, especially with a player in the top tier at such a powerful position, but what Rizzo lacks in consistency, he makes up for in power. He's now tied for fifth at the position in home runs with a .505 slg and .375 wOBA. Today he faces Ubaldo Jiminez, another in a long list of pitchers we want to be sure to target today. The Cubbies put up ten yesterday, and that may have just been a precursor to what could come today.

Eric ThamesEric Thames FD 3700 DK 4600
Opponent - PHI (Hellickson) Park - @MIL
FD - 13.71 DK - 10.72
Thames had a roller coaster ride through the first half of the season, and is getting the second half started the right way, doubling twice in last night's win against the Phillies. Today Philly sends Jeremy Hellickson to the hill. Hellickson has the distinction of carrying the highest xFIP among qualified pitchers at 5.59. His 1.76 HR/9 is also enough to rank him among the top ten most generous pitchers with the long ball. The system love Thames in a great spot against a bad pitcher and he's an elite play in all formats.

Miguel CabreraMiguel Cabrera FD 3800 DK 3200
Opponent - TOR (Estrada) Park - @DET
FD - 13.57 DK - 10.27
Miggy went off last night in the Tigers easy win over the Jays, going 3 for 4 at the plate with a home run, a walk, three RBI and two runs scored. It was a welcome performance from a slugger who has had his share of struggles through the first half of the season. Today he'll try to keep the fire going against Marco Estrada. Estrada can put up a few K's but has struggled this season with a 5.17 ERA and 4.54 xFIP. Miggy is coming in on the cheap on DK, but that FD price will keep me committed to tournaments only.

Consider: Carlos Santana

Second Base

Ian KinslerIan Kinsler FD 3000 DK 3500
Opponent - TOR (Estrada) Park - @DET
FD - 11.03 DK - 8.81
Kinsler sat out Friday's game with flu like symptoms, but was back in the line up last night. Perhaps he still wasn't feeling 100% as he went hitless but did manage to draw two walks and came around to score a run. Kinsler went on a power surge in June hitting four home runs in seven contests and posting his best monthly wOBA of the season at .362. He has struggled some early on in July, but will look to get the second half started off against Marco Estrada, who as we noted above, has been rather unimpressive this season. I like Kinsler better on FanDuel than on DraftKings based on the price, so that is where I will use him.

Asdrubal CabreraAsdrubal Cabrera FD 3000 DK 3600
Opponent - COL (Hoffman) Park - @NYM
FD - 9.75 DK - 7.66
Asdrubal drew a walk and came around to score last night after a 2 for 5 performance with three RBI and a walk to open the second half on Friday night. This is a welcome change from the 1 for 19 slump he rode into the break and hopefully lends itself to a second half resurgence for the second baseman. He'll look to build on his performance in this weekend series as the Mets close it out against Jeff Hoffman. We don't have a large sample size on Hoffman. With 15 starts under his belt, Hoffman has a 4.41 ERA and 4.66 xFIP. He's given up 12 home runs on 86 hits. Cabrera is a nice mid tier play that could provide separation in a tournament and is also in play for cash given the price.

Consider: Jed Lowrie

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Addison RussellAddison Russell FD 2600 DK 3800
Opponent - BAL (Jimenez) Park - @BAL
FD - 10.08 DK - 7.82
There are eight teams today with advanced projections over 5 runs as of last night. The Cubs lead the pack at 5.7 projected runs, and after last night's performance against Wade Miley, I think that's being generous against Ubaldo Jiminez. Addison Russell has been a frustrating play this season, with several hitting droughts making it hard to stomach locking him in, but that has worked to our advantage in the decreased pricing, and with home runs in back to back outings in Camden Yards, Russell could be getting hot at the right time. Would I prefer Russell more if he hit higher in the order? Of course, but if the Cubs put up as many runs as I feel they're capable of today, Russell will see more than enough at bats to justify his price tag regardless of where he bats.

Troy TulowitzkiTroy Tulowitzki FD 2900 DK 3400
Opponent - DET (Sanchez) Park - @DET
FD - 9.98 DK - 7.63
The system loves Toronto today against Anibal Sanchez. We've already covered Russell Martin, now lets talk Tulo. Troy Tulowitzki has had a bit of a roller coaster season in his second full year in Toronto. Through the first three months of the season he sported wOBAs of .284,.344,and .275. He's currently at .330 to this point in July, so he's back on the upswing. Since the start of the month he's got base hits in eight of 11 games with two home runs, five RBI and three runs scored. He's reasonably priced across the industry, and makes an excellent value play in a Toronto stack and is especially enticing on DK where he's priced cheaper than Russell.

Trevor StoryTrevor Story FD 2700 DK 2800
Opponent - NYM (Matz) Park - @NYM
FD - 9.21 DK - 7.24
Trevor Story came into Friday's opener against the Mets as a pinch hitter going 0 for 2. He was back in the lineup last night, and finished 1 for 4 with a double. Story's numbers are down a bit this season, though his .300 wOBA still ranks in the top 15 at the position, and his 11 home runs is tied for fourth. He'll step in today against Steven Matz making his seventh start of the season for the injury plagued Mets. Matz has looked good early on with a 3.05 ERA, though the 4.92 xFIP tells us he is due for some regression, and he has been slightly more generous to opposing right handers, allowing a .297 wOBA. Story is a bargain across the industry and is in consideration in all formats.

Third Base

Josh DonaldsonJosh Donaldson FD 3700 DK 4100
Opponent - DET (Sanchez) Park - @DET
FD - 13.2 DK - 9.96
Next up on our mission to take advantage of Anibal Sanchez is the Don. Josh Donaldson has the highest projected point total at third base today, and is one of the top PPD plays as well. Sanchez is allowing 2.03 HR/9 with a 16.9 HR/FB% which makes you question how he's even permitted to stand on a major league pitchers mound. Donaldson only has nine HR at this point in the season, but if ever a time for number ten, this is it. Also worth noting is Donaldson is walking 16.2% of the time which leads the position, so if the power doesn't come in to play, the patience could very well pay off. Don is a must in a Toronto stack and certainly an excellent cash option as well.

Manny MachadoManny Machado FD 3500 DK 4400
Opponent - CHC (Quintana) Park - @BAL
FD - 12.27 DK - 9.46
We've spent a lot of time today focusing on the Chicago side of this matchup, but we definitely don't want to ignore the Orioles. So let's take a look into Manny Machado. Austyn did a piece during the break on the luckiest and unluckiest hitters in the game, and to no one's surprise, Machado was one of the unluckiest hitters through the first half of the season. Perhaps part of that was due to the fact that the O's had him hitting third throughout much of the first half. Since moving to the two spot in mid June, he has seen an increase in production, yet still sees a reduced price tag. Since the move he has seen his wOBA climb from .314 in June to .420 in July. If this type of production continues, it won't be long before we see the price climb to the top tier, so be sure to get in on Machado now while he's coming at a bargain.

Kyle SeagerKyle Seager FD 2800 DK 3600
Opponent - CHW (Holland) Park - @CHW
FD - 10.36 DK - 7.92
Kyle Seager has two hits this weekend with a double on Friday followed by a home run against Mike Pelfrey last night. Seager was solid through the first half of the season, with a .308 wOBA and 10 home runs. Today he is taking on Derek Holland. Through 91.2 innings, Holland carries a 5.01 ERA, giving up an astounding 1.87 HR/9 and a .307 BABIP. This is a clear cut case of price and opportunity as Seager comes near minimum pricing particularly on FD hitting in the heart of a lineup projected for 5 runs today.

Freddie FreemanFreddie Freeman FD 4000 DK 5100
Opponent - ARI (Godley) Park - @ATL
FD - 12.3 DK - 9.44
Zack Godley makes his twelfth start of the season in Atlanta's Sun Trust Park. The Brave's don't present the most intimidating of lineups, but there is a hump to get over at the heart of the order starting with the three spot and Freddie Freeman. Freeman was hitless at the plate last night, after a 2 for 4 performance to open the second half on Friday with a home run in his second straight game and 2 RBI. Godley only has three wins this season mostly due to lack of run support, as he's got a 2.58 ERA. His wOBA against left handed batters is 40 points higher than against right handers, so if anyone in the Braves lineup is going to get to him it's going to be Freeman.


Jason HeywardJason Heyward FD 2700 DK 3700
Opponent - BAL (Jimenez) Park - @BAL
FD - 10.79 DK - 8.62
Ben ZobristBen Zobrist FD 2900 DK 4000
Opponent - BAL (Jimenez) Park - @BAL
FD - 11.47 DK - 8.8
You say you want more Cubbies? Well, I'm here to deliver. With 13 starts under his belt this season, Ubaldo Jiminez has a career worst 6.67 ERA and 4.97 xFIP. He's giving up 2.04 HR/9 and walking 4.52/9. With a pitcher that bad and the highest projected run total on the day, FanDuel is begging you to play JaHey and BenZo. Heyward did not homer last night (slacker), but did manage a triple among his 2 hits with three RBI and two runs scored. Zobrist took off last night after a two hit performance on Friday to open the second half of the season consisted of a double and a home run with two RBI and two runs scored. I don't know that their DK pricing makes them as necessary in cash games, but on FanDuel, the pair are about as must have as you can expect to find.

Adam JonesAdam Jones FD 3100 DK 4200
Opponent - CHC (Quintana) Park - @BAL
FD - 11.02 DK - 8.55
On the other side of that game we have Adam Jones. While the Cubs have the day's highest projection, the Orioles are looking at 4.9 runs against Jose Quintana making his Cubs debut, which is none too shabby and means a game stack could be the way to go. If that is your plan of attack, these three could fill your outfield nicely. Jones is hitless so far in nine at bats this weekend, coming off a two home run showing against the Twins last Sunday. Quintana has had his share of struggles this season while with the White Sox, so today could be the day Jones kicks off his second half. I don't know that I'd go with Jones in cash, but as a GPP play, he is definitely in the conversation.

Josh ReddickJosh Reddick FD 3400 DK 4500
Opponent - MIN (Gibson) Park - @HOU
FD - 12.44 DK - 9.76
With so many offenses projected for 5 or more runs today, you may choose to stack a team other than Houston, should you do that, maybe you still want to gain exposure to the offense that leads the majors in runs scored, and an easy way to do that would be to hit up Josh Reddick. Reddick is more value priced compared to say a Springer, or a Correa, so you can gain access to the top of the order in one of the best lineups around without breaking the bank. Reddick not only ranks among the top PPD plays in the outfield today, but the system also has him behind only Joey Bats in raw projected points at the position. Kyle Gibson has been flat out bad this season and I expect the Astros to hit him around easily, and as such, I'll have exposure to Reddick in all formats

Jose BautistaJose Bautista FD 3800 DK 3700
Opponent - DET (Sanchez) Park - @DET
FD - 13.16 DK - 9.85
One last dip into the Blue Jay well. Jose Bautista, as I noted above, is the top overall projected point play at the position against Anibal Sanchez. I can't really say any more about how bad Sanchez has been this season, so let's focus on Bautista. Bats was 0 for 2 with a walk in last night's loss, following friday night's 2 run HR with a walk and two runs scored in three at bats. Like Tulowitzki, Bautista has seen his season performance fluctuate with poor showings in April and June, but a solid performance in May, and currently a .351 wOBA and .318 BABIP to kick off July. The Blue Jays are definitely an offense to target today, and Joey Bats is an elite play in all formats.

Matt KempMatt Kemp FD 2700 DK 3600
Opponent - ARI (Godley) Park - @ATL
FD - 10.89 DK - 8.41
Matt Kemp is coming in as the top PPD play in the outfield against Zack Godley primarily because he is just so cheap. We've already established Godley's numbers this season are pretty impressive, and freddie Freeman is the primary target in the Braves lineup against him, but Kemp, who's rocking a .349 wOBA with a .292/.339/.483 slash line at clean up is another target to consider purely for the value he presents. Kemp can easily go 0 for at the plate on any given day, so I would limit him to tournaments only.

Consider: Shin-Soo Choo, Dexter Fowler



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