Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Jerry Vanderwoude
Via Keith Allison

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 8/12/17

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Max ScherzerMax Scherzer FD 11800 DK 14000
Opponent - SF (Samardzija) Park - @WSH
FD - 44.18 DK - 29.18
Looking at the Saturday pitcher pool on Friday night there are three standouts as clear favorites in the eyes of Vegas, and we will give each his due in this spot. We begin where we tend to every five days or so with Max Scherzer of the Nationals against the Giants in the Distrct of Columbia. What more is there to say about Mad Max? Pick any relevant pitching statistic and look at the top three and you will invariably see Scherzer listed right along with Sale and Kluber. Of course the price is hard to swallow and certainly forces us to look for bargain plays at nearly every offensive position, but in cash games it's hard to go wrong with Scherzer. Short of neck spasms, you can pretty much guarantee 6+ innings, a minimum of 8 K's and usually 3 earned runs at the most, when rostering Max and today he gets the added bonus of facing off with the Giants who have the worst team wOBA in baseball of .293. Scherzer is strictly a cash play between the price and the fact that as bad as the Giants may be, they do not K all too often but as cash plays go he leads the pack. So, now it seems Max was pushed to Sunday, $#@!$ weather! The next two guys remain top plays, and for a few more options check the starting pitcher spotlight here.

Carlos MartinezCarlos Martinez FD 9200 DK 11200
Opponent - ATL (Sims) Park - @STL
FD - 39.19 DK - 25.83
Next up, we have Carlos Martinez. Martinez and the Cardinals open as -250 home favorites against Atlanta. The Braves may not be the Giants, but they are a bottom five offense, particularly against right handed pitching where they sport a .307 team wOBA. Also like the Giants, Atlanta doesn't strike out often, only 19.6% of the time, again, hurting potential upside. At a significant discount compared to Scherzer however, I wouldn't rule Martinez out of a tournament line up though I do like him more as a cash game pivot, if there are pricier bats you just have to have in your lineup. Martinez has been pretty sharp lately, lasting 6 or more innings while allowing 3 earned runs or less in four of his last five starts, and striking out at least seven in his last three straight. There is always the underlying risk that Martinez could implode at any given moment, but against the Braves offense, I'm not too concerned.

Hyun-Jin RyuHyun-Jin Ryu FD 8200 DK 9700
Opponent - SD (Chacin) Park - @LAD
FD - 37.64 DK - 24.7
Lastly we head to Los Angeles where the Padres travel in to Chavez Ravine to take on the Dodgers and Hyun-Jin Ryu. The Dodgers, like the Nationals, are huge -260 early favorites according to Vegas, and that in part is due to yet another weak offense in the form of the Padres. San Diego's .301 wOBA is second worst in baseball and unlike the offenses we've targeted above, they also strikeout 25.2% of the time which is third most in the game. As the cheapest of the bunch here there is alot to love about Ryu in tournaments, as well as paired with CMart in cash on DraftKings. Following a five game stretch where he only made it out of the fifth inning once, Ryu has lasted seven in each of his last two starts while allowing 0 earned runs which is promising, though he still feels a little risky for me to consider in FanDuel cash. I love the upside he presents.

Also consider: Luis Severino (NYY)


Victor MartinezVictor Martinez FD 2300 DK 2400
Opponent - MIN (Berrios) Park - @DET
FD - 10.02 DK - 7.64
As I said above, if rostering Scherzer we need to find the cheap plays where we can, especially at catcher where we traditionally look to pay down anyway. This makes Victor Martinez an enticing play as he comes in at an absolute bargain across the industry. Contributing to the drop in price is the recent series in Baltimore where he finished 0 for 13 after going 2 for 4 in the first game, more recently however he turned it back on going 2 for 4 with a double and RBI against the Pirates Thursday night. Now in his 15th season VMart is clearly on the decline but still has the potential to piece together a multi hit game here and there, while batting in the middle of the Detroit order behind guys like Miggy and Nick Castellanos always leads to potential RBI opportunity. The early runs of the system have Martinez as one of the top PPD plays of the day and is a perfect pairing with the "Max" priced pitching option.

Gary SanchezGary Sanchez FD 3800 DK 4700
Opponent - BOS (Pomeranz) Park - @NYY
FD - 11.8 DK - 9.07
The top raw projected point total of the day goes to Gary Sanchez. The Yankees haven't been too happy with what Sanchez has done behind the plate this season with 12 passed balls leading the majors, but you can't argue with his performance at the plate which is all that matters for our purposes. Sanchez currently sports a .354 wOBA and 122 wRC+ and sits second among all catchers with 18 home runs. Today he faces Drew Pomeranz in one of the friendliest parks on the slate for hitters.

Also consider: Cameron Rupp (PHI)

First Base

Eric HosmerEric Hosmer FD 3400 DK 4200
Opponent - CHW (Shields) Park - @CHW
FD - 12.31 DK - 9.56
Eric Hosmer might be tough to pair with Scherzer, but for cash game purposes it's hard to argue against his implied safety. He sits just outside the top ten at the position with a .366 wOBA and 128 wRC+. Coming off a four game series against the Cardinals during which he was only three for 15, yet one of those hits was a home run, and while he also managed to draw three walks helping him to come around to score a run in each of those games. While not the power hitter we tend to consider when thinking of first basemen, the home run was his second in two games, and his 18th of the season. Even without the power though it's evident Hosmer manages to find other ways to make good things happen. If you pivot off of Scherzer, Hosmer is a great option at first, if you can find a way to play both then even better.

Eric ThamesEric Thames FD 2600 DK 4000
Opponent - CIN (Feldman) Park - @MIL
FD - 11.91 DK - 9.21
So, if we can't fit Hosmer in with Scherzer as our starting pitcher, we can look to a different Eric. Eric Thames, at least on FanDuel is just what we are looking for, a value first baseman with some pop. I know the flame on Thames has fizzled out and he isn't the commodity he was early on, but he still is tied with Hosmer with a .366 wOBA, and gets a nice match up against Tim Adleman a right hander in his second season who has shown us nothing to deter us from targeting him. Adleman comes into today's game with a 5.35 ERA and 4.98 xFIP, while allowing a disastrous 2.06 HR/9. His splits are even worse against left handed hitters who he's allowing a .378 wOBA against.

Justin SmoakJustin Smoak FD 3600 DK 3900
Opponent - PIT (Williams) Park - @TOR
FD - 11.45 DK - 8.53
The Blue Jays are hosting the Pirates this weekend for some inter-league action and today Pittsburgh will send Trevor Williams to the hill. With 17 starts under his belt this season Williams has shown little to impress us, with his 4.37 xFIP and striking out just over 6 batters per nine. Justin Smoak comes in as a nice low owned GPP option with plenty of upside at a position just packed with choices on the early slate. Smoak is one of the only good things about this Toronto lineup this season, with 31 home runs in just 113 games played, and a .396 wOBA which ranks behind only Votto and Goldschmidt at the position.

Second Base

DJ LeMahieuDJ LeMahieu FD 2900 DK 4000
Opponent - MIA (Nicolino) Park - @MIA
FD - 9.17 DK - 7.49
Price, meet opportunity. Here's another excellent cash game play way underpriced on FanDuel. DJ LeMahieu hasn't been mashing the ball this season, but he has been one of the best at putting the ball in play as evidenced by the .316 batting average which ranks tenth overall among all qualified players at any position. If we look a little deeper it get's even better. Today against the Marlins, LeMahieu will face Justin Nicolino, and against southpaws he's hitting .402 which is fourth best overall in the game. Add to that the fact that through five starts Nicolino has a 5.31 ERA, a .343 BABIP and 4.75 xFIP and you have to love DJ everywhere today.

Robinson CanoRobinson Cano FD 3800 DK 3600
Opponent - LAA (Ramirez) Park - @SEA
FD - 11.58 DK - 8.9
LeMahieu is clearly the cash game play on FanDuel, and I do love him everywhere, but if you want (or need) to pivot on DraftKings then I present to you, Robinson Cano. The Mariners are at home this weekend against the Angels who will trot JC Ramirez out to the hill tonight. Ramirez has 10 wins through 21 starts this season with a 4.21 ERA. Cano meanwhile, has been quite reliable down the stretch, hitting safely in nine of his last 11 with six multi-hit performances in the span. Despite a home run drought dating back to July 22nd, Cano has managed to put up double digit scores on DraftKings in six of the 16 games since then.

Also consider: Ian Kinsler (DET)

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Marcus SemienMarcus Semien FD 3300 DK 3500
Opponent - BAL (Bundy) Park - @OAK
FD - 10.31 DK - 8.22
Chris wrote up Marcus Semien last night, and I am going to ride him into this evenings slate as well. Semien had a slow start back after returning from the wrist injury that held him out of most of the first half, but has returned to form quite nicely. He's managed 11 hits in his last ten games with four going for extra bases and came around to score 6 times. Semien is a nice mid range priced play on both sites against the Orioles' Dylan Bundy.

Trevor StoryTrevor Story FD 2400 DK 3800
Opponent - MIA (Nicolino) Park - @MIA
FD - 9.19 DK - 7.22
Gather 'round, it's Story time. Just like DJ LeMahieu above, there's a lot to love about Trevor Story today against the lefty Nicolino. Story is another great value on FanDuel with incredible splits against left handed pitching. His wOBA against southpaws this season is .403 and his wRC+ climbs 90 points against the split to 132. Nicolino has given up 5 home runs this season in only 20.1 IP, and three of those have come in spacious Marlins Park, so this Story could end with a bang.

Also consider: Didi Gregorious (NYY)

Third Base

Kris BryantKris Bryant FD 3900 DK 4500
Opponent - ARI (Corbin) Park - @ARI
FD - 13.67 DK - 10.53
Kris Bryant in the best hitters park available this weekend? Yes please. His numbers may be off from the MVP performance he put up last season, but he is still Kris Bryant, and this is Chase Field. Add to the mix Patrick Corbin who has been unimpressive this season with a 4.76 ERA and .354 BABIP and Bryant (who is currently 3 for 4 with a run scored and RBI in Friday's opener) should continue his eight game hitting streak.

Manny MachadoManny Machado FD 3700 DK 4600
Opponent - OAK (Manaea) Park - @OAK
FD - 12.8 DK - 9.87
I prefer Bryant, especially on DraftKings where he comes in $100 cheaper, but even on FanDuel if it's possible to fit him in. That said, there is definitely a case for Manny Machado against Sean Manaea today in Oakland. Manaea, who was a rather serviceable pitcher through the first half of the season with a 3.76 ERA and .290 wOBA against has really struggled lately throwing just 6.1 innings over his last two starts combined, with seven runs surrendered on 15 hits. Machado meanwhile has been on the upswing seeing his wOBA climb from .312 in the first half to .351 in he second half. Machado is currently 2 for 4 as of this writing in Friday night's game, after going hitless for two straight. Prior to that he had hits in 10 of his last 11 with three home runs in that span. Machado could definitely provide some upside pop in a tournament.

Tyler SaladinoTyler Saladino FD 2300 DK 2700
Opponent - KC (Kennedy) Park - @CHW
FD - 8.89 DK - 7.49
Tyler Saladino returned to the White Sox starting lineup last night after riding the bench for the last two games against the Astros. He was 0 for 4 but as a value play, if he remains in the lineup batting second which is where he's primarily found himself when starting then he is definitely in consideration as a value play across the industry. Since being reinstated after the All Star break after missing most of the first half with back issues Saladino has seen more time in the starting nine and more often than not has put up some type of fantasy production when given the chance.

Also consider: Nick Castellanos (DET)


Mark TrumboMark Trumbo FD 3100 DK 3400
Opponent - OAK (Manaea) Park - @OAK
FD - 11.64 DK - 8.84
Adam JonesAdam Jones FD 3100 DK 3700
Opponent - OAK (Manaea) Park - @OAK
FD - 11.55 DK - 8.96
The system loves the Orioles today and with good reason. We've already touched on Manny Machado, and discussed why he is in a good spot against Sean Manaea, now lets look at the Baltimore outfield, particularly Jones and Trumbo. Jones has six home runs dating back to July 19th, and five multi-hit games over his last ten. He opened the series in Oakland Thursday night with a home run and double, three RBI and a run scored. Trumbo also homered Thursday night, and is currently 1 for 4 with a walk in Friday night's game as I write this. This certainly bodes well for the struggling slugger who could be turning a corner at the right time, and facing Manaea tonight gives him the chance to keep the streak alive. As a cash play I feel safer with Davis, but stacking both with Machado and maybe some Crush Davis in a tournament could pay off if Manaea's struggles continue.

Melky CabreraMelky Cabrera FD 3500 DK 4400
Opponent - CHW (Shields) Park - @CHW
FD - 11.44 DK - 8.91
The former White Sox player returns to the Windy City this weekend with the visiting Royals and today gets the juicy match up of facing James Shields. Shields, who has just two wins through 12 starts this season with a 6.03 ERA and xFIP has been a primary target in these write ups all season long and we aren't about to stop now. Shields is allowing nearly two and a half home runs per nine innings and allowing a 35% hard hit rate. Melky meanwhile has hit safely in every game in August except one, and has four multi-hit performances in the stretch with four doubles, two home runs, and a triple. I'm a big fan on FanDuel, but can see why you would want to draft him on DraftKings as well. A solid cash option with upside for days.

George SpringerGeorge Springer FD 3700 DK 5300
Opponent - TEX (Undecided) Park - @TEX
FD - 10.82 DK - 8.4
We can't close out and not show any love to the Astros can we? I don't have an early read on this one from Vegas, most likely because Texas didn't have a pitcher announced, though it would appear Tyson Ross will be heading to the hill after a short stint on the DL. Springer isn't far removed from the DL himself, going 3 for 12 since his return with a home run last night in game one of the weekend Lonestar state series. As for Ross, he has made seven starts so far and has yet to make it out of the sixth inning, and while his 5.78 xFIP would suggest he's slightly better than his 7.52 ERA, it's not by much and he stands to have his hands full dealing with an Astros lineup back to full strength.

Also consider: Gregory Polanco, Starling Marte (PIT), Brett Gardner (NYY)



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4 Visitor Comments

  1. Looks like max is pitching Sunday

  2. Unfortunately that’s the downside to doing these picks the night before. Game was still in a delay when I started and Max was still listed as a SP option when I published. The other two are still great options and while not as sure as Max they’re huge vegas favorites that also allow for better bats. Also Austyn should have his pitchers post out shortly with a few more options.

  3. I just don’t know about these picks today!
    I’m seeing a lot better

  4. CMart 40 FDP
    Sanchez 28.2 FDP
    Hosmer 21.7 FDP
    Thames 30.7 FDP
    Cano 12.2 FDP
    Bryant 22FDP
    Machado 19.2 FDP
    Castellanos 15.9 FDP
    Trumbo 12.2 FDP
    Jones 25.7 FDP
    Melky 22.2 FDP

    Sorry, next week I’ll try to step my game up.

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