Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

07/22/2017
Jerry Vanderwoude
Miami Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton hits a solo-home run off Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Charlie Morton in the third inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Monday, May 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 7/22/17

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Pitcher


Chris ArcherChris Archer FD 10300 DK 11100
Opponent - TEX (Cashner) Park - @TB
FD - 39.18 DK - 25.77
Chris Archer struggled with his control just a bit last Sunday walking five Angels in six innings of baseball but did not let that deter him from picking up his fifth quality start in his last six outings. The free passes combined with five hits allowed but Archer remained dominant against the Angels bats, striking out nine batters while only allowing two runs. Despite the effort Archer did not factor into the decision, keeping him from picking up a W for the third time in four starts. Archer will look to regain control tonight in Tampa, against a Rangers team that strikes out 24.3% of the time and has been struggling at the plate recently with a .295 wOBA over the past 14 days. Tampa is a modest -189 favorite with a +1.4 run differential in the early projections making Archer a solid safe pick for our cash game purposes.

David PriceDavid Price FD 9600 DK 12300
Opponent - LAA (Ramirez) Park - @LAA
FD - 35.52 DK - 23.37
David Price's left arm over the past few weeks is the living embodiment of the flame emoji. Over his last five starts, Price has allowed three earned runs in 33 innings pitched, while sporting a 34/5 K/BB in that span. He completely owned the potent lineup of the Yankees on Sunday holding them scoreless through eight innings on seven hits, cruising to an easy win. Tonight he faces an Angels team that strikes out only 20% of the time, though their .299 wOBA which dips to .291 against southpaws is among the worst in the big leagues. They do have the fortune of having that Mike Trout guy back in the lineup, who's 6 for 18 with two home runs in his first five games back, but once you get past him, there isn't much to fear about the Angels line up. I prefer Archer for the discount on DraftKings, but the upside is there for Price in FanDuel tournaments, or if you just need some bat money.

Masahiro TanakaMasahiro Tanaka FD 8800 DK 9400
Opponent - SEA (Miranda) Park - @SEA
FD - 32.09 DK - 21.2
If you're looking for a GPP pivot at a nice price point, then look no further than Masahiro Tanaka. Tanaka was on the losing end of the David price performance last week, but in any other game he could have easily walked away with a win. He allowed only three Boston runs on eight hits in 7.2 IP. While there is always the chance Tanaka can go out there and get rocked as he has done against both the Brewers and the Athletics in recent weeks, he's also quite capable of putting together a seven inning one run eight K performance as he did against the Blue Jays earlier this month. Certainly not a chance I'll take in cash games, but for the price of admission, Tanaka allows plenty of wiggle room on a Coors Field weekend if that's the route you're looking to take. The Mariners aren't a team prone to strikeout a ton (only 21.2% against right handers) but if Tanaka can keep them off the basepath and gain some run support he could put up a solid fantasy performance at a solid price.

Early only consider: Jon Lester

Catcher

Gary SanchezGary Sanchez FD 3200 DK 4400
Opponent - SEA (Miranda) Park - @SEA
FD - 11.91 DK - 9.16
Regarding that run support for Tanaka I had just mentioned, the system feels pretty good about it as you'll see several Yankee bats come in with solid projections, though like their pitcher, each comes with inherent risk. We begin behind the plate with Gary Sanchez. Sanchez came out of the All Star break on a tear, going 6 for 19 with a home run and two doubles in the first four games before cooling off with just a walk in eight plate appearances heading into Friday night's game. As he looks to get back on track he draws a nice match up against Ariel Miranda. Miranda makes his 20th start of the season tonight coming to the hill with a 4.35 ERA and 5.36 xFIP. He's allowing 1.81 HR/9 and is walking nearly one batter for every two K's he picks up.

Brian McCannBrian McCann FD 2700 DK 3800
Opponent - BAL (Tillman) Park - @BAL
FD - 11.32 DK - 8.59
The other catcher I'm giving a long look to early on is in the next tier down and in an excellent spot. The hottest offense in the game heads in to an excellent hitters park against a pitcher that loves to give up runs. Chris Tillman has the second worst ERA on the day at 7.20. It hasn't been a season to remember for the Orioles right hander. Brian McCann meanwhile opened the series up with a solo shot, launching his twelfth bomb of the season in a 1 for 4 performance on Friday night. McCann's price has come down in the short term making him even more desirable in a prime match up. McCann's wOBA is actually 30 points lower against right handed pitching, but against Tillman and his 35 hard hit % and .370 BABIP allowed, I'll take the chance.

Early only consider: Buster Posey

First Base

Joey VottoJoey Votto FD 3800 DK 5100
Opponent - MIA (O'Grady) Park - @CIN
FD - 13.61 DK - 10.37
Joey Votto continues his MVP worthy season against the Marlins in Cincinnati tonight. Votto ranks first at the position in home runs, in a four way tie with 26. His patience at the plate is unparalleled with a K/BB of 46/69, for a +23 walk differential, the best in baseball. Among the top tier plays at first base today, Votto stands out in a match up against Marlins rookie Chris O'Grady. O'Grady will make only his third career start today, with 10.1 innings under his belt, so we don't have a lot to go on with him outside of a career minor leaguer who spent several years in the angels system before being dealt to the Marlins. O'Grady had promising numbers through his stint in the minors, but has been knocked around through his first two big league starts for six earned runs on 10 hits in 10.1 innings. I'll have Votto in all formats.

Mark ReynoldsMark Reynolds FD 3900 DK 4700
Opponent - PIT (Kuhl) Park - @COL
FD - 13.71 DK - 10.48
He's no Joey Votto, but Mark Reynolds has his own attributes in his favor as we take our first look at Coors field for the day. Coors Field and it's prime park factor is of course, one of the things in Reynolds favor. While Votto is playing in his own hitter friendly home field, Reynolds takes on Chad Kuhl in the friendliest of hitter friendly parks. The match up is another thing in Reynolds favor. While Votto will be taking on a rookie with not much of a sample size to go on, Reynolds is taking on a second year pitcher with a career 4.56 ERA and 4.59 xFIP. Kuhl is allowing a 32.3 hard hit % and has a .322 BABIP this season. The system has both of these guys ranked almost smilarly on FD where only $100 separates them, but on DK the clear advantage goes to Reynolds for the significant discount.

Eric ThamesEric Thames FD 3500 DK 3900
Opponent - PHI (Hellickson) Park - @PHI
FD - 13.08 DK - 10.22
Last weekend when the Phillies were in Milwaukee, Eric Thames had a good showing, walking twice and going 2 for 9 with two doubles an RBI and a run scored. This weekend the Brewers travel into Citizens Bank Park and Thames opened the series meekly going 1 for 4 against Aaron Nola. Today Philly sends Jeremy Hellickson to the hill with his league worst 5.44 xFIP. It's been a roller coaster season for Thames, who hasn't set off any fireworks since his two home run performance on July fourth against the Orioles, it's a short shot to the porch in Philly so the potential is there, I'll stick primarily with the above two guys, but keep Thames in consideration for salary relief, particularly on DraftKings.

Early only consider: Anthony Rizzo

Second Base

Dee GordonDee Gordon FD 2900 DK 3800
Opponent - CIN (Undecided) Park - @CIN
FD - 10.28 DK - 9.85
We have several projected high scoring games, but this one is marked for the most outside of Coors with 11.2 total runs evenly split between the two teams. So of course it stands we want to spotlight some of the top plays from both dugouts. When we're talking about scoring runs, and the Marlins, we have to look to Dee Gordon. Gordon is third in Miami with 56 runs scored, which also puts him third at the position. Gordon isn't one of those players we target for his bat so much as for his legs. His 32 stolen bases lead the positon, and ranks third overall in baseball. He's got a .335 OBP, a .333 BABIP, and today will have plenty of opportunity against Robert Stephenson making his first start of the season after 13 games out of the pen. Stephenson made eight starts last season and finished with a 6.08 ERA and hasn't been any more impressive in his relief appearances this year. Gordon is priced at the point where all he has to do is get on base and he can make the fantasy value accumulate, making for an excellent cash option.

DJ LeMahieuDJ LeMahieu FD 3600 DK 4500
Opponent - PIT (Kuhl) Park - @COL
FD - 12.43 DK - 10.15
Back to Coors we go, where the Pirates are putting a beating on the Rockies as I write this. Colorado will look to return the favor in game two of the series against Chad Kuhl. DJ LeMahieu is the seventh most expensive second baseman on the main slate, in spite of being in Coors Field and some impressive hitting performances in recent weeks. Since the All Star break, LeMahieu is 9 for 24, with two doubles, two RBI, three walks and nine runs scored. I prefer Gordon in cash games for the cost, but LeMahieu has flashed plenty of upside, and the potential is there again tonight. I'm not opposed to LeMahieu in cash if you have the salary to spend, but in tournaments I would suggest you definitely make the allowance to fit him in.

Starlin CastroStarlin Castro FD 2700 DK 3600
Opponent - SEA (Miranda) Park - @SEA
FD - 9.51 DK - 7.44
Starlin Castro has been anything but reliable at the plate lately. This pick is quite simply a case of price and opportunity. Castro's struggles has dropped his cost down to the lower tier of pricing which gives us a middle of the order play on the cheap in a nice match up. Miranda has been worse against right handed hitting this season, allowing a .312 wOBA and 90% of his home runs to the right side of the plate despite the fact that lefties are hitting him harder. I feel much better with the guys above but if you need that salary relief in a tournament then give some consideration to Castro.

Early only consider: Joe Panik

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Shortstop

Zack CozartZack Cozart FD 3300 DK 4300
Opponent - MIA (O'Grady) Park - @CIN
FD - 11.79 DK - 9.25
Zack Cozart may be overshadowed by his teammate Joey Votto, but the veteran shortstop is having an impressive season all his own. He leads all qualified shortstops with a .405 wOBA. His 11 home runs are enough to tie him for fifth at the postion, his BABIP (.357) ISO (.245) and avg. (.321) all rank among the top 5 at the position as well. Today he steps in to the box against a Marlins rookie making his third start, and while he is currently 0-3 at the plate Friday night as I write this, Cozart has scored double digit FD points in three of his last 6 games including back to back 30+ point performances. I love Cozart everywhere.

Corey SeagerCorey Seager FD 3900 DK 4800
Opponent - ATL (Teheran) Park - @LAD
FD - 11.68 DK - 9.01
Corey Seager extended his current hitting streak to ten games Friday night, doubling and scoring a run in the first game of the series hosting the Braves in L.A. This followed up a strong series in Chicago against the White Sox in which he was 4 for 8 with a double, home run and had three RBI and scored 2 runs. the home run was his 15th of the season placing him second behind the injured Carlos Correa and his .385 wOBA has him placed third behind Correa and the aforementioned Zack Cozart. The system prefers Cozart from both a raw points projection and points per dollar, and I am inclined to agree, but if you wanted to pivot to Seager, I wouldn't fault you at all.

Early only consider: Addison Russell

Third Base

Manny MachadoManny Machado FD 3500 DK 4500
Opponent - HOU (McHugh) Park - @BAL
FD - 12.97 DK - 10
It took half the season, but it seems Manny Machado has finally stopped being that guy who makes your head explode when he appears in the optimal lineups. Through three weeks, his July wOBA is .389 which is 60 points higher than the .329 he sported through the first month of the season which was his best month to date. Since the start of the month, Machado has hits in 14 of 17 games, with six multi hit performances. The power numbers are down, as he only has three home runs, but as long as he is making his way on base and finding his way home, the fantasy production is there, meanwhile the power will come back around eventually. Today Houston sends Collin McHugh to the hill for his 2017 debut.

Mike MoustakasMike Moustakas FD 3400 DK 3700
Opponent - CHW (Pelfrey) Park - @KC
FD - 11.84 DK - 9.05
The Royals and White Sox are currently knotted in the tenth inning with six runs apiece as I write this. Mike Moustakas is currently 1 for 5 with a home run. This gives him back to back games with solid fantasy performances. Thursday night in Detroit he was 3 for 4 at the plate with three RBI and a run scored. This is a welcome change for a player who followed up a strong first half performance by going 6 for 23 with only two RBI in the first six games back from the break. Today the White Sox send Mike Pelfrey to the hill. Pelfrey, who has only three wins in 15 starts with a 4.64 ERA and 5.29 xFIP is just the type of arm Moustakas needs to face to keep the momentum swinging in his favor. Moustakas wOBA against right handed pitchers is nearly 50 points higher and 18 of his position leading 25 home runs have come against the split.

Miguel SanoMiguel Sano FD 3900 DK 4600
Opponent - DET (Zimmermann) Park - @MIN
FD - 13.13 DK - 9.81
I prefer Moustakas on DK, on FD however you can pick and choose your way through any of these three plays. For raw projected points, the system like Miguel Sano. Sano will face off today with Jordan Zimmermann. Zimmermann's 38.7 hard hit% is among the highest on the slate, and that can spell big trouble when throwing to a power hitter like Sano. Sano's 23 home runs are second to only Moustakas among third basemen. Against right handed pitching Sano has a .361 wOBA, a .357 BABIP and .245 ISO. In his last 4 games, Sano is 6 for 16 with one double and two home runs, Target Field is just behind Coors Field and Chase Field for park factor, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Sano send one out tonight.

Early only consider: Kris Bryant

Outfield

Giancarlo StantonGiancarlo Stanton FD 4300 DK 5400
Opponent - CIN (Undecided) Park - @CIN
FD - 15.42 DK - 11.54
Can we just stop for a second and take a look at that projection? It's not often the system puts out a projection that high, let alone a projection that high for a player outside of Coors Field. This is telling you the system loves it some Giancarlo Stanton today, and you should too. Stanton doubled last night with a run scored in three AB and a walk, in game one of the series, after a phenomenal series in Philly where he hit four home runs in 11 at bats. Since the break, Stanton is 6 for 24 with six extra base hits, six RBI and six runs scored. As I noted earlier, the early projection from Vegas has this as the highest scoring affair outside of Denver, and if that happens, Ginacarlo will be at the center of it. Make sure you have a piece of the action.

Josh ReddickJosh Reddick FD 2900 DK 4300
Opponent - BAL (Tillman) Park - @BAL
FD - 12.59 DK - 9.88
Josh Reddick is just too cheap to pass up on FanDuel. His .358 wOBA ranks him among the top 20 outfielders in the game, and while the home runs may be down, the .329 BABIP and .193 ISO this season are up over his career numbers. The Astros are in Camden Yards this weekend beating up on the Orioles struggling pitching staff, continuing tonight against Chris Tillman who has only one win in 12 starts, is walking nearly 5 batters per 9, and is allowing a .417 wOBA against the split. You can consider Reddick in cash on DK, but in FD it's open season in all formats. Load up on Reddick.

Matt HollidayMatt Holliday FD 2700 DK 3500
Opponent - SEA (Miranda) Park - @SEA
FD - 11.22 DK - 8.48
As with the other Yankees bats we've discussed already, Matt Holliday has not been the epitome of reliability in recent weeks. Today against Miranda however, he's ranked among the top raw point projections in the outfield which for the price, makes him a top PPD play as well. It's hard to ignore the pricing on some of these Yankee bats, and they could pair well for some balance with a Coors stack. Despite the recent struggles at the plate, Holliday is having a solid season in his debut with the Yankees heading in to the weekend with a .346 wOBA, a .242/.340/.472 slash line and his 20 home runs have him on pace to put up numbers he hasn't seen since his days in Denver. Holliday makes a solid GPP play with the potential to shatter his ppd projections given the cost.

Brandon MossBrandon Moss FD 2500 DK 3200
Opponent - CHW (Pelfrey) Park - @KC
FD - 9.76 DK - 7.36
If you're loading up on Coors bats, Stanton, and high priced pitching, you need might need to dip into the bargain bin for your last outfielder, allow me to make a case for Brandon Moss. Moss paid nearly 4X his price on FD last night with just a 1 for 4 performance, a run scored and a walk. This was his worst showing in his last three games, following a two game stint against the Tigers where he went 5 for 9 with two doubles, a home run, six RBI and three runs scored. That was more an anomaly than the norm for Moss, but points to the upside that he presents in the lowest tier of outfielders, and stepping into the batters box and seeing Mike Pelfrey standing on the hill, the potential for upside is always there.

Early only consider: Kyle Schwarber, Denard Span

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