Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Jerry Vanderwoude

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 7/29/17

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Jacob deGromJacob deGrom FD 11200 DK 12900
Opponent - SEA (Gallardo) Park - @SEA
FD - 36.37 DK - 24.08
After a couple of days with some less than appetizing pitching selections we return to a little bit of stability today with some solid arms throwing in some good spots on both slates. Early on we get Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets headed into Safeco Field to face the Mariners. The Mets are struggling to stay afloat due to a ton of injuries in a division the Nationals have pretty much run away with, but the one constant they have been able to rely on this season has been deGrom. An impressive 12-3 record and 3.30 ERA through 20 starts for the 29 year old now in his fourth season, deGrom ranks among the top ten arms in baseball with a 27.9 K% fanning 10.3 batter per nine innings pitched, and is also sporting a top ten xFIP of 3.45. The matchup isn't ideal, the Mariners don't K a ton (20.9%) and their team wOBA .318 is ranked right about average, but with a pitcher such as deGrom on the hill in one of the games more pitcher friendly parks, I'll happily take deGrom on the short set of early games.

Corey KluberCorey Kluber FD 11900 DK 14000
Opponent - CHW (Gonzalez) Park - @CHW
FD - 45.71 DK - 30.25
If deGrom on the early slate didn't help to make up for the past few days pitching options for you, on the main slate we get one Corey Kluber and who could ask for anything more? Kluber has been dominating any offense that crosses his path since returning from the DL earlier this season. In his past seven starts he has allowed a total of seven earned runs, limiting the opposition to one run or less in six of those games, while going into the eighth inning in all but one. Oh, and in the span he has struck out 80 while walking nine. I could go on for days about how incredible Kluber has been in recent weeks, but let's not over look the match up either. Kluber steps to the hill today against the White Sox in a game in which the Indians are an early -300 favorite. The White Sox sport the sixth worst wOBA in the game at .311 and they strikeout 22.3% of the time against right handed pitching. There's not a bat in Chicago 1 through 9 that I fear against Kluber, and if the White Sox put up the three runs Vegas is giving them, I'll be surprised. I'll have CK everywhere in cash games, and I'm sure the majority will as well.

Ivan NovaIvan Nova FD 8300 DK 8600
Opponent - SD (Lamet) Park - @SD
FD - 32.52 DK - 21.5
The downside of Kluber if there is one, is that he is going to cost you a pretty penny to lock in your lineups. So, if you need a nice SP2 for your DK lineups, then give a look to Ivan Nova. Nova has the good fortune of taking on the Padres this evening in San Diego. So, while not necessarily a play we might normally consider there are several factors falling into his favor here. First we have the park factor. PetCo is one of the absolute best pitchers park in the game and is inhabited by the best offense for pitchers to face. The Padres K 25.4% of the time against right handed pitching, more than any team in baseball. They also posess a .301 wOBA as a team which is third worst in the game. Now there is some risk to this one, as Nova only strikes out 5.3 batters per nine, which is one of the worst on the slate and the Pirates are a modest -125 favorite in this one. On FanDuel, I'd limit Nova to large tournaments, but as an option for SP2 on DraftKings, I'll consider him in all formats on the merits of the Padres likely helping to boost his strikeout percentage.


Austin BarnesAustin Barnes FD 2500 DK 3400
Opponent - SF (Blach) Park - @LAD
FD - 10.19 DK - 8.07
This is an "if" play. If he is in the lineup for the Dodgers today, Austin Barnes presents a tremendous value play on both sites against Ty Blach and the Giants. Barnes saw some extra action recently in inter-league series with the Royals and the White Sox, and has performed well whenever he manages to find his way into the starting nine. However finding yourself behind Yasmani Grandal in the depth chart limits those opportunities. He homered in his last start on Sunday against Atlanta, and has made some pinch hit appearences allowing him to go 5 for his last 8 at the plate with three RBI and three runs scored. If he isn't in the lineup, then look at Wilson Ramos behind the plate in the early set.

Jonathan LucroyJonathan Lucroy FD 2500 DK 3000
Opponent - BAL (Gausman) Park - @TEX
FD - 9.93 DK - 7.7
Jonathan Lucroy is the top point per dollar play at the position on the main slate of games. He sat out Friday night's opener of the weekend series against the Orioles as a typical rest day, so he should be back behind the plate today against Kevin Gausman. Lucroy is a bargain on both sites and an excellent way to save on salary which is a necessity if you roll with Kluber as your starting pitcher. Lucroy has struggled this season but just wrapped up a nice series with the Marlins during which he went 3 for 10 with two walks, an RBI and three runs scored. Lock in Lucroy on all sites in all formats.

First Base

Kendrys MoralesKendrys Morales FD 3300 DK 3900
Opponent - LAA (Petit) Park - @TOR
FD - 11.38 DK - 8.58
First base on the early slate is a bleak proposition, as most of the top PPD plays at the position fall into the evening tilt of games, but mixed in among them we find Kendrys Morales. Morales is drastically underpriced, particularly on DraftKings, and after hitting three home runs in two games, he went 0 for 4 at the plate last night, which may have turned some people off, but you can't deny the numbers notably 20 home runs, a .331 wOBA, and a .257/.314/.467 slash line. Morales is in play in all formats.

Ryan ZimmermanRyan Zimmerman FD 3700 DK 4300
Opponent - COL (Marquez) Park - @WSH
FD - 13.14 DK - 10.03
The Nationals called their game with the Rockies on Friday night early with the threat of torrential storms in the area, so the series will open tonight as Washington will face off with German Marquez. It seemed everyone in a Washington uniform was homering against the Brewers on Thursday night, and Zimmerman led the pack with two and three RBI in 5 at bats. He had strugled with the extra base hits since the All Star break so it was nice to see him break out in a big way. Marquez has eight wins in his 16 starts this season, despite a 4.20 ERA. Washington is an average hitters park, but Marquez is allowing a 33.1 hard hit percentage. Zimmerman is going to cost you plenty, but he is well worth it.

Mike NapoliMike Napoli FD 3000 DK 3900
Opponent - BAL (Gausman) Park - @TEX
FD - 11.16 DK - 8.42
You're going to see a lot of Rangers here today, as you do on most days. The Rangers have scored the eighth most runs in baseball this season and 40 runs in just the past week. This weekend they're taking on Orioles pitching, so I would be remiss not to give them their due today. At first we have Mike Napoli. It's been a rough season for the veteran first baseman, who is carrying a .313 wOBA and 90 wRC+ as we head towards August but against Kevin Gausman, I'll put everyone in play. Gausman has seven wins under his belt, and is striking out 8.36/9 but has also struggled mightily pitching just 112 innings through 22 starts, sporting a 5.79 ERA and 4.65 xFIP. Zimmerman may be the safer bet, but if you need the added salary relief or a sneaky play in a Rangers stack, then check out Napoli.

Second Base

Logan ForsytheLogan Forsythe FD 3100 DK 3200
Opponent - SF (Blach) Park - @LAD
FD - 10.69 DK - 8.4
Chris laid out a strong case for Forsythe last night and I'm just going to echo those sentiments as once again he's facing a southpaw. Forsythe has a .427 wOBA against left handed pitching which ranks seventh at the position, he hits in the heart of the order on a team projected for 5.4 runs which is the second highest total on the early slate, and he comes in near the bottom tier of pricing allowing us to lock in deGrom as our SP. On the early slate I'll have Forsythe everywhere.

Rougned OdorRougned Odor FD 3000 DK 3800
Opponent - BAL (Gausman) Park - @TEX
FD - 10.88 DK - 8.72
We continue picking on Kevin Gausman this time with Rougned Odor. People may look at Odor's .215 avg and turn up their nose, but if you look deeper, you'll see why the system is so high on him. His 20 home runs are second at the position, and the price is right on both sites. He's got 35 extra base hits, and 53 runs scored which places him top ten at the position. Then there's the match up. Kevin Gausman. 'Nuff said? The pricing has me willing to commit to Odor in cash games, while the upside will have him in my tournament lineups as well.

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Troy TulowitzkiTroy Tulowitzki FD 2600 DK 3300
Opponent - LAA (Petit) Park - @TOR
FD - 9.15 DK - 7.01
Like Morales above, Troy Tulowitzki is a nice punt play on both sites at a position that leaves something to be desired on the early slate. The Jays face off with Yusmeiro Petit who is coming out of the pen to make his first start of the season. Petit has been solid out of the pen with a 2.70 ERA, but the 4.00 xFIP leaves open some doubt to whether he can maintain that, particularly as a starter. Tulo was lifted from last night's game early after rolling his ankle running out a ground ball to first, so if he isn't cleared to play then cross the diamond to the Angels dugout and consider Andrelton Simmons.

Elvis AndrusElvis Andrus FD 3200 DK 4500
Opponent - BAL (Gausman) Park - @TEX
FD - 10.5 DK - 9.06
One more dip into the Rangers well, then we'll leave Kevin Gausman alone. You can't talk Rangers and leave out Elvis Andrus. Andrus currently holds a .344 wOBA which is enough to place him tied seventh at the position. As I write this he is 2 for 4 with a home run, two runs, and two RBI in the first game of the series against Chris Tillman. This gives him a base hit in four straight games, and multi hit performances in four of his last seven games with six extra base hits in that stretch. We've already established Gausman's shortcomings so just lock in Andrus, particularly on FanDuel where he is severely underpriced.

Francisco LindorFrancisco Lindor FD 4000 DK 4600
Opponent - CHW (Gonzalez) Park - @CHW
FD - 11.77 DK - 9.49
I like Andrus on FanDuel, where, like I said, the price is wrong. On DraftKings, you can just as easily pivot to Francisco Lindor as they're ranked almost evenly in the system. Lindor has been a solid fantasy play all season, and is currently riding a seven game hit streak during which he also has five walks. He'll face Miguel Gonzalez who has a 4.60 ERA in 92 innings pitched. Andrus is the bargain on FD, but I give the slight edge to Lindor on DraftKings

Third Base

Evan LongoriaEvan Longoria FD 3500 DK 4400
Opponent - NYY (Smith) Park - @NYY
FD - 11.16 DK - 8.52
Caleb smith will make his second career start for the Yankees today against the Rays. He got shelled in his first start on Sunday against the Mariners who took him for four earned runs in 3.2IP. This puts Evan Longoria in a good spot. Longoria has a .329 wOBA and 108 wRC+. His 16 home runs have him ranked top ten at the position and his 0 for 3 performance last night put an end to his six game hitting streak during which he managed 10 hits and back to back home run games. The system loves Longoria and for the price, I do too.

Freddie FreemanFreddie Freeman FD 3900 DK 4600
Opponent - PHI (Eickhoff) Park - @PHI
FD - 11.65 DK - 8.94
Freddie Freeman and the Braves are in the city of brotherly love for a weekend set with the Phillies. The Braves bats were quiet for the most part, and Freeman finished the night 1 for 5. Today he will go against Jerad Eickhoff. Eickhoff, who has just two wins in 17 starts this season, has a 4.68 xFIP and 4.71 ERA, and is allowing a .368 wOBA to lefthanded batters. Citizens Bank Park presents a nice park upgrade from Sun Trust Park, so Freeman could launch his 19th home run of the season tonight. I love Freeman in all formats, and he's my pick for home run of the night.

Eugenio SuarezEugenio Suarez FD 3100 DK 3700
Opponent - MIA (Conley) Park - @MIA
FD - 9.55 DK - 7.51
I love Freeman, but logistically his salary may present some trouble when trying to work him in to your lineups, so if you're looking to spend down a bit, then look down to Eugenio Suarez. Suarez doesn't have Freeman's numbers this season, but he also won't cost you Freeman's salary. Also worth noting, when looking at PPD the system gives the slight edge to Suarez. If you can manage to work Freddie into your lineup on the main slate, then I highly recommend it, but if not then I'm good with pivoting down to Suarez particularly against the lefty who he is hitting with a .386 wOBA against.


Chris TaylorChris Taylor FD 4100 DK 4800
Opponent - SF (Blach) Park - @LAD
FD - 11.33 DK - 9.4
Kike HernandezKike Hernandez FD 2300 DK 3600
Opponent - SF (Blach) Park - @LAD
FD - 10.05 DK - 7.81
I noted earlier, the Dodgers are projected for the second highest run total in the early returns from our friends in Vegas. Sure, the Astros are an obvious choice, but I wanted to give you another way to go should you choose to. So on the early set lets look at the Dodgers outfield, particularly Taylor and Hernandez. Kike comes in as one of the top PPD plays not only on the slate, but on the day at the position, and like his teammate Logan Forsythe has been a monster against left handed pitching. his wOBA jumps from 2.64 against right handed pitching to .424 against southpaws. Oh, and he is oh so very cheap, even at the bottom of the order I'll show him some love. Then we've got Chris Taylor. The system isn't as high on Taylor from a PPD perspective, so if you're just looking for one play, I would go Kike, but that's not to discount Taylor, particularly in a Dodgers stack. Taylor has been finding himself consistently in the leadoff spot, and today will kick things off against Ty Blach and his 4.71 xFIP, .303 BABIP, and 4.50 ERA. Taylor is going to cost you more, particularly on FanDuel, but he has been putting up some consistently solid fantasy performances since the break.

Ben ZobristBen Zobrist FD 3100 DK 4300
Opponent - MIL (Guerra) Park - @MIL
FD - 11.78 DK - 9.03
Kyle SchwarberKyle Schwarber FD 3200 DK 4100
Opponent - MIL (Guerra) Park - @MIL
FD - 11.52 DK - 8.79
We can't ignore the Cubs. They are after all projected for 5.6 runs, the highest total on the slate. So, stacking their outfield is an excellent idea in both cash and tournaments. Ben Zobrist did not start Friday night against the left hander but should return to his spot at the top of the order against right handed Junior Guerra. Zobrist has a .317 wOBa against right handed pitching this season and all but one of his home runs have come against righties. Schwarber, who also sat out the series opener against Brent Suter should also return to the lineup against the right hander, who he has a .323 wOBa against. Guerra has made 12 starts this season and has a 5.22 ERA and 5.92 xFIP. He's walking nearly as many batters as he's striking out, and allowing a whopping 2.45 HR/9. BenZo, Schwarber and even Jason Heyward all make for nice pieces in a Chicago outfield stack.

Bradley ZimmerBradley Zimmer FD 3500 DK 4900
Opponent - CHW (Gonzalez) Park - @CHW
FD - 10.99 DK - 9.33
Michael BrantleyMichael Brantley FD 3800 DK 4900
Opponent - CHW (Gonzalez) Park - @CHW
FD - 11.4 DK - 9.16
The Cubbies are the biggest favorite on the main slate with their 5.6 projection, but not far off behind them are the Indians at 5.1. Another excellent outfield stack would be Zimmer and Brantley from Cleveland, you can consider Austin Jackson in the bottom of the order, but primarily I'm looking at these two. Zimmer is much more desirable in the leadoff spot, as he bounces between that and the eight hole. He sat out last night against the lefty, but I would fully expect to see him back in that lead off spot today. Pair him with Brantley, who is eight for his last 24 heading into this series, with a double and two home runs. Miguel Gonzalez who has never been a good pitcher, has really stumbled in his sixth season. His 5.58 xFIP is the worst of his career, has a 33 hard hit % and he's allowing home runs at an alarming 1.74/9 rate. The Indians could tee off on him, and it could get out of hand quickly. On the main slate, I would mix and match between the Indians and the Cubs outfielders until you find the combo that works for the rest of your lineup.



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2 Visitor Comments

  1. K. Gausman has shown improvement. Not so sure I would pick on the O’s tonight.

  2. Steve you were right

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