Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Austyn Varney

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 8/28/17

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Corey KluberCorey Kluber FD 11200 DK 13100
Opponent - NYY (Severino) Park - @NYY
FD - 38.05 DK - 25.21

Corey Kluber and Luis Severino clash in what figures to be a battle of the heavyweights. You have 2 elite offenses against 2 elite pitchers. On one side, you have Severino and the Indians. While I think he's a throng option, I do think the Indians get to him for a few early runs. On the other side, you have Corey Kluber and the Yankees. One of the 3 best pitchers in baseball. The guy with a 12.26 K/9 and 1.89 B/9. He's held both sides of the plate to a sub .250 wOBA and is allowing hard contact just 29% of the time. Kluber is truly at a point where he can't get much better. This is his ceiling. The Yankees are a solid offense, but they K a lot and we know Kluber can provide them. I'll take Kluber 10/10 times against this offense, though the typical Sanchez/Judge can always get a hold of one. Even if they do, Kluber will go 7 innings and strikeout at least 8. He's the safest guy on the board and has the most upside. Expect him to be highly owned.

Aaron NolaAaron Nola FD 8600 DK 10200
Opponent - ATL (Sims) Park - @PHI
FD - 32.25 DK - 21.31

If you ask me who the 2nd highest raw projection is, it's Luis Severino. If you want to pay up for 2 guys and be super safe, fine. He's just nearly as expensive as Kluber and we have a pivot who we like a bit more that's a bit cheaper in Aaron Nola. Nola and the Phillies host the Braves and their 3.56 implied run total. We all know how atrocious the Braves are on the road and they will be facing off with a very lowkey, but effective pitcher. He strikes out close to 10 batters per 9 and controls both sides of the plate with a .292 combined wOBA. That goes down to a .272 in Citizens Bank Park. He's one of the brighter young arms in the game and faces off with one of the worst offenses. I don't expect a clean slate out of Nola, but 6-7 innings, 2 ER, 7 K seems like a likely line. Go ahead and target Nola in tournaments and cash games as an SP2.


Jonathan LucroyJonathan Lucroy FD 3300 DK 3600
Opponent - DET (Zimmermann) Park - @COL
FD - 8.74 DK - 6.81

On most nights, I tend to avoid Coors Field in this article. They are always in play and everyone knows it. Tonight, the Rockies stand out. I just can't ignore an offense I will have so much exposure to. Jordan Zimmerman and the Tigers come into Coors Field expected to give up 7.12 runs by Vegas. Zimmerman has been one of the worst pitchers in the entire league and has shown absolutely no signs of improving. We'll dive into the numbers a bit later, but he's struggled against both sides of the plate. Lucroy used to be a lefty-masher, but has favored righties in each of the last 2 seasons. He's held a .348 since wOBA since joining the Rockies and is looking like the hitter from a couple years back. Jordan Zimmerman is an easy target and one he should get plenty of opportunity against with runners on-base.

Alex AvilaAlex Avila FD 3100 DK 3900
Opponent - PIT (Williams) Park - @CHC
FD - 8.45 DK - 6.26

If you're worried about Jonathan Lucroy being highly owned or you just aren't a fan, there are a few other catchers to target. My favorite of the bunch comes in the form of righty-mashing Alex Avila. Avila has quietly posted a .394 wOBA with 14 homers against righties, so you need to look at him as that elite hitter he is and not the guy he's perceived to be. The Cubs face off with Trevor Williams, who is a very average pitcher. He's just an innings eater who will typically give up 3 or 4 in each start. He will also have those dominant starts against bad rams that keep him in the rotation. He should struggle with the Cubs here and Avila will be sitting right behind the likes of Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant. RBI opportunities galore.

First Base

Yonder AlonsoYonder Alonso FD 3400 DK 4500
Opponent - BAL (Tillman) Park - @BAL
FD - 9.77 DK - 7.53

First base isn't as stacked as it usually is, but that's not to take away from the options we do have. There are some elite ways to go, but there's only 2 or 3 instead of the regular 6 or 7. My favorite of the bunch is Yonder Alonso facing a Chris Tillman in Camden Yards. Tillman has been utterly deplorable on the season and I'm not sure how much more the Orioles can take. Gausman has turned it around, but he left Tillman in the dust. Against lefties, he's allowed an insane .440 wOBA. They're hitting the ball hard 42% of the time and striking out just 16%. Yonder Alonso on the other hand, may be the best hitter to hit waivers in quite some time. This is an elite hitter against righties and a fantastic addition to this Mariners lineup. He has 19 homers and a .384 wOBA on the season with most games being played in The Oakland Coliseum. He's now in Camden Yards and one of the top plays on the slate.

Anthony RizzoAnthony Rizzo FD 4600 DK 5300
Opponent - PIT (Williams) Park - @CHC
FD - 12.56 DK - 9.56

We looked at Alex Avila a bit ago and are right back to the Cubs here with Anthony Rizzo. Truthfully, the Cubs aren't an offense I'm going out and seeking tonight. You just can't ignore these left-handed bats that destroy righties in this park. Rizzo, similar to Avila, has posted a .382 wOBA and 20 home runs against righties. That's after mightily struggling for the first 2 months of the season. He's one of the best hitters in baseball and paying up could be worth it. Trevor Williams isn't going to get is anybody's way. His 4 pitch base arsenal has 2 + pitches (FB + CH) and Rizzo hits for a .469+ wOBA against them both. He's safe in all formats and if you can afford him, go for it.

Second Base

Josh HarrisonJosh Harrison FD 3400 DK 4000
Opponent - CHC (Montgomery) Park - @CHC
FD - 9.92 DK - 8.2

I'm not sure the Pirates will be the most popular option on the board tonight, but I absolutely love a few of these guys. They have a couple lefty mashers that don't get the respect they deserve and constantly come in under-owned. Mike Montgomery isn't the worst pitcher in the world, but he's a soft-throwing lefty that profiles perfectly for the Pirates lineup. It's why they're projected for nearly 5 runs by Vegas. Harrison, in particular, has held a .373 wOBA against lefties. He now moves into Wrigley Field and has a great shot of doing some damage. He'll lead off the order and offer a power+speed combo that's rare to find this season. Don't be afraid of the Pirates, but I'm not sure you want to stack them either.

Jonathan SchoopJonathan Schoop FD 4100 DK 4600
Opponent - SEA (Gonzales) Park - @BAL
FD - 9.33 DK - 7.11

If you have the funds to pay up a bit more, we have an expected slugfest in Baltimore. We've touched on one side with Chris Tillman and the Mariners, who are one of the top teams on the night. The Orioles are close, if not better, facing Marco Gonzales. Gonzales is a soft-tossing lefty arm who came up with the Cardinals. I watched every start of his in A+ minor league ball and he did dominate. He will eventually put things together, but has a far way to go. He's allowed a .440 wOBA to righties alongside a measly 4.21 K/9. The Orioles are going to put up some runs tonight and you have to believe Schoop will be involved. He'll be hitting in the top 3 of the order and has been better against lefties this year with a .391 wOBA, opposed to last year when he preferred righties. He's right there with Josh Harrison in all formats and may be a bit higher owned.


Tim BeckhamTim Beckham FD 3800 DK 4700
Opponent - SEA (Gonzales) Park - @BAL
FD - 10.19 DK - 8.12

I've been very happy with this Tim Beckham resurgence. If you've been paying attention to MLB for some time, Tim Beckham was a huge prospect. He was on the same level as Mike Trout, Byron Buxton, and Oscar Taveras. He then faded away in Tampa for a few years and struggled. However, he has never lost his touch against lefties. He's now grabbing some of that untapped potential and it looks like he may be that complete player we once looked for. His knack against righties is still there and he's boasted a .360 wOBA on the season. He's leading off against Marco Gonzales, who's just not good against righties at this point. Beckham is safe and has upside, giving him merit in both tournaments and cash games. Let's look at a guy who's a bit cheaper and in a similar spot.

Jean SeguraJean Segura FD 3000 DK 4200
Opponent - BAL (Tillman) Park - @BAL
FD - 9.06 DK - 7.78

We skipped Robbie Cano at 2B in hopes to not be repetitive, but you can definitely go there as well. This entire Mariners team is in play and they hold one of the highest implied team totals on the night at 5.62. Jean Segura is better against righties than lefties and also sees a better SB chance against them. Tillman has given up a .400 wOBA to right-handlers and does struggle at holding runners. Segura is one of the safest plays on the board tonight and very close with Tim Beckham. I haven't decided yet, but could end up with both in cash games. They are both leading off for extremely potent offenses that are facing not-so-good pitchers. Pick your poison.

Third Base

Nolan ArenadoNolan Arenado FD 4900 DK 5300 
Opponent - DET (Zimmermann) Park - @COL
FD - 12.33 DK - 9.42

If you're paying up at pitcher, it's going to be tough to fit in some of these guys. With that being said, Arenado may be the 1 guy you try your hardest to fit. The Rockies are the top offense of the night (Mariners still favorite stack) and Nolan Arenado is the heartbeat to it all. He's raked against both righties and lefties at Coors Field with a .468 wOBA and dominated almost every arm that makes an entrance. Jordan Zimmerman is one of the absolute worst that he will face all year long and it's quite evident by the numbers. Against righties, Zimmerman has allowed a .365 wOBA and 13 home runs in 71 innings. He now moves into Coors Field and I highly doubt he makes it out of the 4th or 5th inning. Arenado is the safest bat on the slate and I don't think he will be too popular with the inflated price tag.

Kyle SeagerKyle Seager FD 3400 DK 4400
Opponent - BAL (Tillman) Park - @BAL
FD - 9.95 DK - 7.59

If you couldn't tell, I'm a big fan of these Mariners tonight. They are my favorite stack and I'm hoping they won't be over 20-25% owned. Fingers crossed. Kyle Seager is one of the steadiest bad in this Mariners lineup and you can always count on him against righties. With the majority of his AB's coming in Safeco Field, Seager has posted a .364 wOBA against righties over the last 2 years. He's struggled a bit this year, but has turned it around in the last month. You can expect the Mariners to get on-base quite a lot tonight and Seager will have the opportunity drive guys in more than a time or two. He's not safer than Arenado, but it's the way to go if you're stacking.


Andrew McCutchenAndrew McCutchen FD 2800 DK 3700
Opponent - CHC (Montgomery) Park - @CHC
FD - 11.36 DK - 8.82

If you're looking to go cheap at OF, I don't think McCutchen is a must. I'll preface with that. Now with that being said, he is for me. He's a guy I will have in 100% of lineups. He is mentally the best hitter in baseball against lefties and when that rare physical peak hits every couple years, production like this happens. He's held a .456 wOBA against lefties with a .270 BABIP and 45% hard contact. The real deal. Mike Montgomery is just a blank piece of paper lefty and does nothing that should scare you away from Cutch. It's always difficult to roster McCutchen when you know he's capable of being so bad, but he is one of those guys with predictable hot streaks that last a few months at a time. He's undoubtedly in one and I'm willing to jump on board and go down with the ship.

Charlie BlackmonCharlie Blackmon FD 4800 DK 5500
Opponent - DET (Zimmermann) Park - @COL
FD - 11.55 DK - 9.41
Carlos GonzalezCarlos Gonzalez FD 3100 DK 3700
Opponent - DET (Zimmermann) Park - @COL
FD - 9.84 DK - 7.58

If you need safety, here you go. Jordan Zimmerman is at Coors Field and that's all that really needs to be said. He's one of the worst pitchers in baseball and is likely in his last season as a starter. He's given up a .442 combined wOBA on the year and hasn't shown a sign of changing that. Charlie Blackmon is right up there with Nolan Arenado as a top play on the slate, though he is absolutely priced like it. CarGo is a bit cheaper and may be the more sensible way to go in cash games. He has struggled, however, and the possibility to bust is always there with him. With that being said, I see the odds as pretty slim against Zimmerman. You can target whichever Rockies OF'er finds his way into LF as well.

Rhys HoskinsRhys Hoskins FD 4500 DK 4700
Opponent - ATL (Sims) Park - @PHI
FD - 11.28 DK - 8.58

Boy Oh boy. If you remember back, I wrote up Hoskins as a punt with HR upside. He played 2 games and was 1-for-8. However, being such a big prospect, we held on and it has certainly paid off. The man has now hit 8 HR's in his last 9 games. Yes, you're reading that correctly. He has had some cupcake match-ups, but has also hit a few off of touch righties like Kyle Hendricks and Dan Straily. He's already one of the premier power hitters in the game and while he will obviously slump at some point, I'm certainly not banking on it to be against Lucas Sims. Sims is an underwhelming young righty who has shown a whole lot of nothing with a .358 wOBA. Go ahead and target Hoskins, while penciling in at least 1 HR. Possibly 3 or 5. Note the price is now insane and he will only be in a few of my tournaments. The HR upside is real, however, and he will be low-owned. Nick Williams is some sharp OF exposure to this game as well.




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2 Visitor Comments

    • It looked like Edwin Jackson would be on the mound when I was doing this write-up. Scherzer against Miami is a VERY SHARP play and I like him everywhere. Right up there with Kluber for me.

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