Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 7/27/16
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We talked heavily in chat in Max's last start and warned the matchup was not good in a bad ballpark. While he did strike out nine, he last just five innings and gave up five earned runs including back to back to back home runs in the first inning. Well, that spot has passed and Mad MAx is back in an elite spot and a no-brainer on a three-game early slate today. He enters the night with an elite 12.40 K/9 rate and 16.1% swinging strike rate and faces a team in the Brewers who have struck out more than any other team in the league(991) overall and carry a 25% K rate vs. right-handed pitching into tonight. Did overthink this spot, play Max in all formats.
Also Consider: Marcus Stroman (TOR)
The main slate gives us two pitchers over $10K and neither really has a matchup that stands out. I lean Lester for a few reasons starting with the fact he faces a White Sox team that has scored the 24th most run in the league. The story all season has been how good they are against left-handed pitching but have definitely slipped lately since losing Todd Frazier via trade. They rank just 8th in wOBA and more telling, they rank 18th in Isolated Power. Lester has had some bumps in the road this season but has the upside we are looking for with a 9.22 K/9 rate and has 16 K's over his last two starts while holding the Braves and Cards to just six hits and three earned runs combined. He is safe in all formats.
Also Consider: Chris Archer (TB)
We get a real small slate this afternoon and my preference in this situation is to punt the catcher position, especially with an elite arm on the mound. Martin isn't a sexy pick, by any means, but he does get opportunity hitting second in the Jays lineup and faces an average pitcher in Manaea who enters Thursday walking over three batters per nine with a 4.18 xFIP on the season. It's all about fitting Scherzer in this afternoon.
Also Consider: Matt Wieters (WSH)
Willson Contreras FD 3400 DK 4800
Opponent - CHW (Pelfrey) Park - @CHW
FD - 12.26 DK - 9.53
The system once again loves the Cubs bats vs. their cross-town rivals, the White Sox. The game has the highest projected total of the slate and it makes sense as the White Sox send Miek Pelfrey to the mound to face the defending World Champs. Pelfrey has been better lately holding opponents to just one earned in his last two starts but never goes deep into games thanks to an ugly 4.46 BB/9 rate that drives up the pitch count. He also doesn't scare anyone with a 5.95 K/9 rate and is giving up a 13.3% HR/FB rate. Contreras has been swinging a hot bat in July with a .347 average and seven home runs as the Cubs cleanup hitter. His value is much better on FandDuel but he is in play on both sites.
Also Consider: Yadier Molina (STL)
Kendrys Morales FD 3000 DK 3300
Opponent - OAK (Manaea) Park - @TOR
FD - 11.4 DK - 8.6
It's a love affair with the Jays and Cubs today on small slates and it makes sense as both are in great spots. My favorite Jay of the group today is Kendrys Morales who is once again on pace for his sixth 25+ home run season in the last eight season(injured in 2010, only 51 games). While he doesn't look overly consistent on the surface he has been very consistent against left-handed pitching with a .333 average, .385 wOBA and 142 wRC+. The Jays are one of four teams with an early 5+ implied run total so get your hands on as many as possible, especially at these prices.
Also Consider: Luis Valbuena (LAA)
Joey Votto FD 3600 DK 5100
Opponent - MIA (O'Grady) Park - @MIA
FD - 11.45 DK - 8.73
I will start off by saying that if you can afford Rizzo, go ahead and get him in your lineup as he and Kris Bryant are practically breaking the projection system today. If you need the discount to load up with the two top tier pitchers or possibly planning on fading the Cubs, I think Joey Votto and the Reds are in a great spot as well tonight. Joey Votto is the epitome of safety with his incredible patience at the plate. He is posting an on-base percentage greater than .400 for the third straight year and eighth time in his last nine seasons. He also provides upside as he comes in with 26 home runs on the season, has been better vs. right-handed pitching and faces a pitcher in Chris O'Grady who has given up three earned runs in each of his first three starts(limited innings). Votto is safe in all formats on FanDuel but it is probably best to pay the extra $200 on DraftKings and roll with Rizzo.
Also Consider: Anthony Rizzo (CHC)
Jed Lowrie FD 2500 DK 3000
Opponent - TOR (Stroman) Park - @TOR
FD - 8.93 DK - 6.85
So here is the thing with the early slate. If you are paying up for Scherzer, it will be unlikely you can afford Murphy and even Jose Ramirez is $4,800 on DraftKings. After that, you get Eric Sogard vs. Scherzer(umm no) and that leaves us with Jed Lowrie who at least comes at punt prices on both sites. He does hit fifth in the lineup and even though the matchup isn't ideal vs. Stroman, he has been much better against righties with a .343 wOBA and 119 wRC+(.290/82 vs. LH).
Also Consider: Jose Ramirez (CLE)
Dee Gordon FD 3500 DK 4300
Opponent - CIN (Stephenson) Park - @MIA
FD - 9.75 DK - 9.34
Matt Carpenter and Dee Gordon top the salary on FanDuel at the position but on DraftKings with multiple position eligibility, there are four other options more expensive than Gordon. Three of them are Cubs and with their high implied run total, you can expect them to be high owned paving the way for Gordon as a great value. He has been red-hot in July hitting .310 with 18 runs scored and seven stolen bases and even hit a home run last night. I know right? I don't expect another home run for a year or so but at his price, he can easily reach value vs. Robert Stephenson who has given up 11 earned runs in his last two starts(7.1 IP).
Also Consider: Scooter Gennett (CIN)
Troy Tulowitzki FD 2600 DK 2800
Opponent - OAK (Manaea) Park - @TOR
FD - 10.86 DK - 8.3
The options are seriously slim if you are seeing Troy Tulowitzki in the write-up. I am even a Jays fan and have been steering clear even with the low salary. On a three-game slate where we will want a piece of Scherzer and his enormous price, Tulo makes sense under $3K on both sites. I do prefer Lindor as he is younger, has a faster bat, and more upside but the price is a little steep on this slate unless you are fading Mad Max. On the plus side, he has been much better in July hitting .300 with seven multi-hit efforts.
Also Consider: Francisco Lindor (CLE)
Paul DeJong FD 3100 DK 3800
Opponent - ARI (Godley) Park - @STL
FD - 7.72 DK - 6.11
The main slate is even scarier at shortstop with the top dog Zach Cozart dealing with an injury. The system loves Addison Russell and, like I said before, all Cubs hitters but I have a hard time stomaching Russell who now hits near the bottom of the lineup and is hitting south of .240 on the season. I will turn to Dejong who is making the most of his opportunity at the plate. In 49 games with the club, he has already belted 13 home runs with an impressive .295 average despite a strikeout rate over 30%. He also has been hitting in the top third of the lineup and if there again, makes a top value at the position tonight.
Also Consider: Addison Russell (CHC)
Anthony Rendon FD 3700 DK 5400
Opponent - MIL (Garza) Park - @WSH
FD - 10.48 DK - 8.19
I am going to deviate from the system a bit here as I have probably already over loaded you with Blue Jays for the early slate. It honestly comes down to price as Max is approaching $14K on DraftKings and $12K on FanDuel. Donaldson provides a big discount on DraftKings but on FanDuel I prefer Rendon who is having a much better season to this point. He enters Thursday's matchup with an elite .315/.422/.584 slash line all while hitting 6th in the order. Today he gets a decent matchup vs. Matt Garza who isn't striking anyone out(6.12 K/9) and holds a poor 4.71 xFIP.
Also Consider: Josh Donaldson (TOR)
Evan Longoria FD 3300 DK 3900
Opponent - NYY (Sabathia) Park - @NYY
FD - 11.22 DK - 8.57
On the main slate, there are two studs in Kris Bryant and Jake Lamb right at the top of the position but the high salaries really limit their PTS/$ value on the projections. Enter Evan Longoria who comes at a nice discount sitting in the next tier of pricing and has been a lefty killer throughout his career(.370 wOBA, 136 wRC+). With three hits last night, he now has a five game hit streak and is hitting over .325 in the month of July. You can most definitely expect Longo to be chalky tonight, especially in the BvP circles as he has gone 30 for 74 with seven home runs in his career against Sabathia with just seven strikeouts.
Also Consider: Wilmer Flores (NYM)
I don't advise jumping off the Indians bandwagon today, especially considering there are only three games on the early slate. They look to sweep away the Angels and enter the day on a six-game win streak that has seen them score 50 runs(8.3 per game). For cash games, I prefer Zimmer who is hitting leadoff and comes cheaper, especially on FanDuel. He was called up in May and had a good first half hitting .285 with five home runs and 25 RBI. It appeared he was cooling off in the second half but he quickly put a stop to that talk with hits in four straight and six of his last eight games with three doubles, two home runs, and 10 RBI. For Brantley is has been a long road back to health but he is once again producing at a very consistent level. Through 77 games in 2017, he is hitting .301 with a .367 on-base percentage and still has the speed with 11 stolen bases. The only issue and risky part of the high salary is the decline in power. On a small slate where the Indians are once again in a prime spot to produce, I am not at all worried about using either player.
Also Consider: Jose Bautista (TOR)
Ben Zobrist FD 3200 DK 4400
Opponent - CHW (Pelfrey) Park - @CHW
FD - 13.04 DK - 10
Back to the Cubs to cap off the article in the outfield. Zobrist and Schwarber top the PTS/$ values tonight when looking at the early projections but I much prefer Zobrist. Both have struggled this season with ugly batting averages but Zobrist has been the more consistent of the two and has been trending up, even if slightly, since the All Star game. He has picked up a hit in seven of his last nine games with four doubles, seven runs scored, and nine RBI. On a small slate, it will be hard to fade the affordable price tag in a matchup vs. Mike Pelfrey.
Christian Yelich FD 3600 DK 4000
Opponent - CIN (Stephenson) Park - @MIA
FD - 11.42 DK - 9.09
Hopefully the Marlins saved some runs for tonight. If you missed it, they churned out 22 runs in a winning(obviously) effort last night and everyone but one starter picked up multiple hits. Yelich exploded with four hits including three doubles and a home run bringing his impressive season average up to .291 to go with 11 home runs and 52 RBI. I favor him over his teammate Stanton strictly due to the savings on a small slate, especially if trying to roster Lester. No Lester? No problem stacking the Marlins as you will get a ton of savings.
Also Consider: Tommy Pham (STL)
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- Max Scherzer: AP Photo - Eric Risberg