Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

08/05/2017
Jerry Vanderwoude

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 8/5/17

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Pitcher


Gerrit ColeGerrit Cole FD 9600 DK 11000
Opponent - SD (Lamet) Park - @PIT
FD - 37.1 DK - 24.38
This is one of those days where the question of sacrificing bats to pay up for pitching isn't weighed upon as heavily, as we don't have a plethora of aces toeing the rubber to consider, and the pitchers we do have to work with are a little more reasonably priced. Even with that however, we do have some good arms in favorable spots to consider. On the main slate, Gerrit Cole is the pay up pick on both sites and yet, he isn't even a 10K player on FanDuel. Even with his 11K price tag on DraftKings, there are plenty of mid tier SP2 options to balance out the cost. Since being beat up on for his first two starts of June against the Mets and Marlins for seven runs apiece, Cole has settled into a nice little groove down the stretch. Through his last nine starts, Cole has lasted six to seven innings, allowing one to two runs per game if we ignore the seven runs he surrendered to the Giants on June thirtieth in 5.1 IP. Today he has so much in his favor to lead us to expect he should continue his recent dominance. He will be facing the Padres who have the second worst wOBA against right handed pitching this season, and strikeout 25.3% of the time against righties. Just last Sunday in PetCo Park, Cole held the Padres to just one run on five hits with two free passes while fanning eight batters in a seven inning performance. He picked up the quality start and the win. Today the scene is PNC Park which ranks right up there with PetCo in terms of pitcher friendliness. I expect Cole to continue bringing the heat today in the rematch on his home turf.

Drew PomeranzDrew Pomeranz FD 8600 DK 9000
Opponent - CHW (Shields) Park - @BOS
FD - 35.24 DK - 23.17
Skipping down to the next tier we find Red Sox southpaw Drew Pomeranz in the battle of the footwear. The Red Sox are about the surest thing you'll find today as they stand out as huge early favorites from Vegas with a -286 money line and projected for nearly double the runs of their White Sox counterparts. This speaks well to expectations for Pomeranz who has held opponents to two runs or fewer in five of his last seven starts. The Chi-Sox carry a .310 team wOBA into today's contest, that does climb to .328 against left handed pitching, but they also strikeout 21.9% of the time against southpaws. Pomeranz has been dominant against right handed hitting this season limiting batters to a .289 wOBA which should favor him against the righty heavy White Sox lineup. Pomeranz is among the top 20 strikeout pitchers this season with 9.37 K/9 but has struggled to get the K's over the past month dipping down to 8.12/9 since the start of July and dipping down to 7/9 over his last three starts. That should be enough to meet our needs if Pomeranz can continue his recent form, lasting 6-7 innings while keeping the runs to a minimum.

Early only consider: John Lackey (CHC)

Catcher

Evan GattisEvan Gattis FD 2700 DK 4100
Opponent - TOR (Estrada) Park - @HOU
FD - 10.29 DK - 7.85
The Astros are hosting the blue Jays this weekend and today Marco Estrada will take to the mound for Toronto. Gattis is coming off of a rough series against the Rays where he went 2 for 14, with two doubles, an RBI and a run scored. That last sentence really sums up Gattis pretty well, he comes packaged with inherent risk, but with that risk comes substantial reward, as nearly half of his hits this season have gone for extra bases. Estrada meanwhile is allowing a .357 wOBA to right handed hitters this season.

James McCannJames McCann FD 2400 DK 4300
Opponent - BAL (Miley) Park - @BAL
FD - 8.36 DK - 6.55
With Alex Avila traded off to the Cubs, James McCann seems poised to be the man behind the plate in Motor City. friday night McCann went 1 for 3 giving him 14 straight games with a base hit and five multi hit performances in that span. I prefer Gattis more for upside, but if you need a little bit of savings, then McCann is a safe pivot down. Particularly against Wade Miley and the Orioles.

Early only consider: Wilson Ramos (TB)

First Base

Hanley RamirezHanley Ramirez FD 3600 DK 4000
Opponent - CHW (Shields) Park - @BOS
FD - 13.25 DK - 10.32
We covered the Red Sox pitcher, now let's dig in to some of their bats. When talking about Pomeranz I noted the Red Sox were projected for nearly double the runs of their White Sox counterparts. Boston is given an early projection of 6.5 runs. That is second to only the Rockies, and more than the Phillies in Coors Field. The Red Sox are expected to massacre James Shields and we will start here at first base with Hanley Ramirez. I am writing this as last night's game is knotted at two in the 11th inning, and Hanley is currently 0 for 4 with three K's. That is the outlier with Ramirez though, as he will rarely put up no fantasy production in a game. If his current status holds, it will be just the fourth time since the All Star break that Hanley left us hanging and I'm banking on a bounce back against Shields. Shields has been worst against left handed hitters this season, but his .319 wOBA against right handed hitting is nothing to shy away from. It seems as though the sites have done some correcting on the pricing for Ramirez as he has jumped up significantly across the industry, but still comes in underpriced and fully in consideration for the money.

Mark ReynoldsMark Reynolds FD 4100 DK 5000
Opponent - PHI (Pivetta) Park - @COL
FD - 14.5 DK - 11.08
Phillies rookie Nick Pivetta makes his first career start in Coors Field tonight. Pivetta has had some stellar performances in his young career and has also been beat around at times, as young pitchers tend to do. He may not be ready yet for an offense like the Rockies in an atmosphere such as Coors. It's with this thought that the Rockies have the highest implied run total of the day and while we won't overdo it with the Colorado plays here since they're pretty much no brainers, we do need to touch on a few notes here and there. First up is Mark Reynolds who posesses excellent reverse splits against right handed pitching. Reynolds has a .404 wOBA and 132 wRC+ against right handed pitching this season to pair with a .394 BABIP and .963 OPS. Nineteen of his 23 home runs have come courtesy of right handers, with 13 of them coming at home. Reynolds is going to cost you, but is well worth it and a great play in all formats.

Miguel CabreraMiguel Cabrera FD 3500 DK 4300
Opponent - BAL (Miley) Park - @BAL
FD - 11.48 DK - 8.69
This is the one game I don't have an early read on from Vegas as of last night, but the system loves the Tigers bats regardless for one simple reason, Wade Miley. Miley has had a forgettable season, with five wins through 22 starts and a 5.60 ERA backed up with a 4.69 xFIP. He has a .377 wOBA against right handed hitters, which adds to the appeal for Miggy Cabrera. Cabrera has a .324 wOBA this season and has been crushing lefties with a .363. Consistency is not something we have been able to expect from Miggy this season, he's gone 0for at the plate twice in just the past two days, but in the right spot he can easily payoff, and tonight is feeling like one of those spots.

Early only consider: Anthony Rizzo (CHC)

Second Base

Brian DozierBrian Dozier FD 3100 DK 3600
Opponent - TEX (Hamels) Park - @MIN
FD - 11.72 DK - 9.35
The Cole Hamels of 2017 is a shell of his former self. Once a World Series MVP, Hamels now has five wins in 12 starts this season with a career worst 4.79 xFIP and an ERA over 4.00 for only the third time in his career. Most concerning about Hamels is the 2.09 K/BB with the K/9 falling below 6.00 for the first time. For some however, this is good news. Take Brian Dozier for example. He will face Hamels today as the Twins continue their weekend series hosting the Rangers. Dozier, who has a .320 wOBA which climbs to .394 against southpaws was 3 for 5 last night with two solo shots and three total runs scored. Dozier now has three home runs in his last four games tying him for fourth at the position this season with 17. For the price of admission, I love Dozier particularly on DraftKings where he is clearly under priced.

Scooter GennettScooter Gennett FD 2700 DK 4200
Opponent - STL (Lynn) Park - @CIN
FD - 10.04 DK - 7.96
This is more of a pivot play on FanDuel. I'll have 100% exposure to Dozier on DK, but if I find myself needing to save a few hundred in salary on FD, I'll look into a drop down to Scooter Gennett. Gennett is quietly having himself an impressive season, capped off with a career high 18 home runs in only 92 games played. His .379 wOBA is ranked eighth at the position and his 60 RBI are top five. Today he steps into the box against Lance Lynn of the Cardinals, after going 0for at the plate for the second straight night. Lynn has struggled more this season with left handed hitters, to the tune of a .342 wOBA. I'm going to do all I can to make Dozier work tonight, but for the price, I wont flinch if I have to make the switch to Scooter in my FanDuel lineups.

Early only consider: Brad Miller (TB)

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Shortstop

Xander BogaertsXander Bogaerts FD 3100 DK 3700
Opponent - CHW (Shields) Park - @BOS
FD - 11.83 DK - 9.45
Xander Bogaerts is severely underpriced and at a position that can be tough to find value and upside that is a wonderful thing. Bogaerts ranks in the top ten at the position with a .319 wOBA. After riding an 0 for 18 skid last week, which likely contributed to the deflated salary, Bogaerts is currently riding a seven game hitting streak during which he has gone 8 for 30 with a double a walk and three runs scored. As we've already established, James Shields is ripe for targeting from either side of the plate, in a game that is expected to be an offensive onslaught by the Boston bats, so consider Xander in all formats at the price.

Marcus SemienMarcus Semien FD 3400 DK 3300
Opponent - LAA (Skaggs) Park - @LAA
FD - 10.06 DK - 8.01
Marcus Semien missed most of the first half of the season with a wrist injury, but is making up for the lost time. Despite a .235 batting avg. and .311 wOBA he carried a .330 wOBA through July and is currently sitting at .328 in the second half after a .288 first half. He's got hits in nine of his last ten games, with three multi hit games and two home runs including a grand slam on Monday. Today Semien and the Athletics are in Anaheim to continue their series with the Angels, who send Tyler Skaggs to the hill. Through five starts so far this season Skaggs has proven himself a serviceable pitcher, with a 3.99 ERA and 4.01 xFIP. The system likes Semien a lot today, and while I prefer Xander, I will look to Semien as a tournament pivot with upside.

Early only consider: Corey Seager (LAD)

Third Base

Nolan ArenadoNolan Arenado FD 4700 DK 5400
Opponent - PHI (Pivetta) Park - @COL
FD - 16.56 DK - 12.64
This will be our only other trip to Colorado today, but it is just unavoidable. Look at that projection. The top raw point projection of the day is Nolan Arenado, and with good reason. I just watched Arenado Tee off on the Phillies bullpen for a home run in Friday night's opener, and today he will welcome rookie Nick Pivetta to the mile high altitude of Coors Field. The young Phillies right hander has made 15 starts this season and to date has a less than impressive 5.42 ERA and 4.47 xFIP. He's allowing a .408 wOBA to right handed hitters, with nearly a third of the hits surrendered to righties going out of the park. Arenado will go yard tonight. Possibly twice. Have him everywhere. I will.

Nolan ArenadoNicholas Castellanos FD 2600 DK 3700
Opponent - BAL (Miley) Park - @BAL
FD - 10.08 DK - 7.81
I'll take Arenado 10 times out of 10 straight up, but here in DFS world we have salary caps to consider and sometimes that means we have to sacrifice the pricier bats and pivot down in the name of points per dollar. It's with that that Nick Castellanos comes in to play. While Arenado has the top projected point total of any position player on the day, for PPD purposes, Castellanos leads the pack at the hot corner. Castellanos has been relatively mundane this season with his .316 wOBA and 95 wRC+ but gets a nice boost tonight in Camden Yards against the Orioles Wade Miley. Castellanos, much like Miguel Cabrera above, is one of those frustrating plays that can easily leave you with a big fat 0 at the end of the night, but when considering the price and the match up we can't be too quick to dismiss. We've already established Miley has been bad this season, particularly against right handed hitters, and Castellanos has been hitting southpaws even better than Miggy, with a .399 wOBA and 152 wRC+. Again, I love me some Arenado tonight, and with the pitching available, I think we can just about work him in nine out of 10 lineups, but for that tenth one, if you need to pivot, then it could be worth it to drop all the way down to Nicky C.

Early only consider: Kris Bryant (CHC)

Outfield

Andrew BenintendiAndrew Benintendi FD 3700 DK 4600
Opponent - CHW (Shields) Park - @BOS
FD - 13.68 DK - 11.07
Mookie BettsMookie Betts FD 4400 DK 5300
Opponent - CHW (Shields) Park - @BOS
FD - 15.49 DK - 12.67
Jackie Bradley Jr.Jackie Bradley Jr. FD 2700 DK 3700
Opponent - CHW (Shields) Park - @BOS
FD - 10.49 DK - 8.12

I love the Boston outfield, especially on FanDuel where for what it's worth, if you lock in Gerrit Cole and the three B's of Beantown, you still have just under $3k per position for your infielders. Bradley and Benintendi are both among the top ten PPD plays in the system's early run with Betts just outside the top ten and having the top raw point projection at the position. Bradley and Benintendi also hit from the left side, which Shields is sporting a .445 wOBA against. Shields has really struggled over the past few weeks, allowing four runs or more in five of his last seven starts, and six runs in four of those. The 35 year old who just two years ago sported a 3.91 ERA and 3.70 xFIP with the Padres has seen a sharp decline this season with a 6.19 ERA, 6.17 xFIP, 2.38 HR/9 and 4.76 BB/9. Boston meanwhile has really turned on the heat recently, with the top team wOBA in the past week and the second most runs scored. If you don't play the whole Boston outfield, I prefer them in order the way they're listed above.

Derek FisherDerek Fisher FD 2700 DK 3700
Opponent - TOR (Estrada) Park - @HOU
FD - 10.72 DK - 8.79
Since being recalled on July 25th, Derek Fisher has bounced around the Astros lineup, but has primarily been hitting in the leadoff spot. It's with the assumption that that's where we will find him today that the system loves him as the top point per dollar play in the outfield. Fisher has a .373 wOBA which climbs to .396 against right handed pitching during his limited time up with the big club this season. Since his second call up, Fisher has reached base safely in all but one game, with three extra base hits, and five RBI. With word the Astros plan to keep Fisher up in the big leagues for the remainder of the season, it won't be long before the salary starts to climb, so get him now while he's still a bargain commodity setting the table for one of the most powerful offenses in the majors.

David PeraltaDavid Peralta FD 3400 DK 3300
Opponent - SF (Stratton) Park - @SF
FD - 11.61 DK - 9.35
We'll close things out tonight with David Peralta and the Diamondbacks in AT&T Park against the Giants. Peralta hit a rough 0 for 16 skid in series with the Cardinals and Cubs before going 1 for three with a walk and two runs scored on Wednesday in Chicago, then after taking Thursday off, he got back at it last night in the series opener going 1 for 4 with a double, walk, and a run scored. Today the Giants send Chris Stratton to the hill for his second career start. We don't have a lot to go off with Stratton, a limited 24 inning sample size shows us a right handed pitcher walking nearly as many batters as he strikes out, with a 6.00 ERA backed up by a 5.39 xFIP. Peralta is much better against right handed pitchers, who he has a .354 wOBA and 111 wRC+ against.

Early only consider: Howie Kendrick, Adam Lind (WSH)

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image sources

  • Nolan Arenado: By Keith Allison (Flickr: Nolan Arenado) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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