Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Brent Holloway

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 9/12/17

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Sorry we're late posting this today. Blame Irma.


Corey KluberCorey Kluber FD 11800 DK 13300
Opponent - DET (Boyd) Park - @CLE
FD - 52.88 DK - 35.21

I don't we're ready to crown a new king yet, but this is notable. Kershaw isn't the most expensive pitcher on either site -- and our projection system agrees with them. Of course, the Tigers have shed pretty much every piece they could over the last couple of months or so, and what's left isn't very good ... but it's not like the lineup Kershaw is facing is any better, plus CK has the better pitching environment. So it's clear that the primary driver of the Kluber-over-Kershaw pick is the fact that Kluber has been, bar none, the best pitcher in baseball over the last couple of months. Since June 1, he's got the best FIP (2.12), best xFIP (2.11), best ERA (1.89) and best wOBA allowed (.213). To recap, that's best, best, best and best over his last 138.1 IP. Yeah, we could quibble about arbitrary end points, but it wouldn't persuade anybody of anything, nor should it. Kluber has been utterly dominant, and against a team whose projected starters come in with a sub-.300 wOBA and +22 K% vs. RHP, he's well worth his high price in cash games as the Indians go looking for their 20th straight win.

Clayton KershawClayton Kershaw FD 11600 DK 13000
Opponent - SF (Cueto) Park - @SF
FD - 45.29 DK - 29.87

But hey, it's not like Kershaw isn't a viable option, too. Injury has limited him to about half as many innings over the span, but in those since June 1 splits we referenced for Kluber, Kershaw is the guy right behind him in most categories (2nd in xFIP, 2nd in ERA, 2nd in wOBA allowed). And considering how long CK has held the title of Greatest Pitcher in the Game, we're not ready to push him off the mountain top just yet. Since coming off the DL, he's had one good start and one bad, but we wouldn't read too much into that. And we're also not concerned with the fact that his teammates have seemingly forgotten how to play baseball, because the odds (Dodgers -248) tell us the 11-game slide ends tonight. The Giants' projected lineup has a Little Leagueian .100 ISO this season vs. LHP and the fact that they don't strike out much only slightly dings Kershaw's value. When you average 11 Ks/9, you don't need a lot of help from the opposition.

Jose QuintanaJose Quintana FD 8900 DK 10900
Opponent - NYM (Gsellman) Park - @CHC
FD - 38.35 DK - 25.18

Quintana is a fine pitcher, but he's obviously not in the same class as the two preceding guys. And honestly, I can't see going away from Kluber or Kershaw as my SP1 in cash games. But if you must, we really do like Quintana tonight, especially on FanDuel. Usually, I like to give you an SP2 option for DK in this slot, but the the projection system's enthusiam for Quintana was just too much to be ignored. Quintana has long been a darling of the stats-minded community, and though he's regressed in some ways this season (more walks, more homers), those numbers are still manageable, and he's improved in other areas (now approaching 10 Ks/9). Of perhaps equal importance: the Mets. Whoa, buddy. Have you taken a look at that lineup lately? The last time they faced a lefty, their 3-4-5 hitters were Juan Lagares (career .667 OPS), Travis d'Arnaud (.703) and Travis Taijeron (real person, I looked it up). Clearly apathy is running high in Flushing these days and Quintana should be able to take advantage.


Alex AvilaAlex Avila FD 2500 DK 3300
Opponent - NYM (Gsellman) Park - @CHC
FD - 9.98 DK - 7.39

If you're going with one of the aces at SP tonight, you're going need to find some cheap bats elsewhere, and catcher is never a bad spot to punt. Avila's numbers have mellowed a bit since coming to the Cubs, but they're still respectable (.348 wOBA, .176 ISO), and if he's slotted in the six-hole, he'll be in good position to create some runs against Gsellman, even with breeze drifting in at Wrigley tonight. Gsellman has failed to live up to his preseason hype, struggling to a 5.44 ERA and 4.97 FIP. Lefty power is especially hurting him (.355 wOBA, .198 ISO), but his numbers v. R actually aren't much better. Meanwhile, Avila comes in with a .382 wOBA and .219 ISO vs. RHP this season, and while he still whiffs a lot (32 K%), that risk is diminished against Gsellman (15.7 K% vs. L).

Mitch GarverMitch Garver FD 2300 DK 3100
Opponent - SD (Wood) Park - @MIN
FD - 10.07 DK - 7.63
Chris GimenezChris Gimenez FD 2200 DK 2700
Opponent - SD (Wood) Park - @MIN
FD - 9.08 DK - 6.87

We don't know which Minnesota catcher will be getting the start, and obviously we don't care (probably Giminez, but whatever). And whichever guy gets the call, they'll probably be hitting eighth. Again, don't care. As long as it's a righty, we're rolling out a Twins catcher, taking the salary relief and moving on to the next position. Obviously, this pick is all about Travis Wood, owner of a 15 K%, .384 wOBA and .193 ISO allowed vs. R this season. Both Vegas (5.64 implied run total) and our projection system foresee a nice night for the Minnesota offense, so while neither Gimenez or Garver are all that exciting on their own, the matchup is right and they should have chances to drive in some runs.

First Base

Anthony RizzoAnthony Rizzo FD 3900 DK 5000
Opponent - NYM (Gsellman) Park - @CHC
FD - 14.39 DK - 10.95

We'd be more willing to try to squeeze Rizzo into our lineups if the wind were blowing out, but it shouldn't that big of a factor tonight either way, so if you've got the salary flexibility, don't overlook him. As mentioned earlier, Gsellman's got issues, and Rizzo has been excellent again this season. Against righties, he's got a .384 wOBA, .239 ISO and more walks than Ks. That DK price won't be easy to fit, but we've got him as our top overall producer at the position tonight.

Ryan ZimmermanRyan Zimmerman FD 3200 DK 4400
Opponent - ATL (Teheran) Park - @WSH
FD - 11.8 DK - 9.05

You've got some cheaper guys you could go with here, but none feel as safe as Zimmerman. Teheran's struggles with lefties are well-known, but that auto-analysis means the fact that righties are hitting him almost as well (.335 wOBA, .187 ISO) is often going overlooked. Meanwhile, Zimmerman has been mashing RHP in his renaissance season, with a .372 wOBA and .242 ISO. It's actually just another way in which he's returned to form; from 2009-2014 he handled RHP quite well (.360 wOBA, .202 ISO).

Second Base

Brian DozierBrian Dozier FD 4200 DK 5000
Opponent - SD (Wood) Park - @MIN
FD - 14.37 DK - 11.34

If you've got a rightly in the Twins' lineup you like, go ahead and dial him up. And as long as you can afford him, Dozier should be the first one you're looking at. He's always been a beast against southpaws, and he's taken it to another level over the last couple of years. In 2017, he's posting a .421 wOBA and .275 ISO while significantly decreasing his Ks and increasing his BBs.

Neil WalkerNeil Walker FD 3000 DK 3500
Opponent - PIT (Cole) Park - @MIL
FD - 11.56 DK - 8.77

Gerrit Cole's name value continues to exceed his actual production. Not that he's bad. His 3.93 ERA and 4.08 FIP this season put him solidly above average. But he's struggled badly against lefties over the past two years (.349 wOBA, .196 ISO), and in a hitter-friendly park that makes him somebody we can take some shots at. Walker's price makes him a prime candidate, because he's always been at his best from the left side of the plate and is having one of the best seasons of his career in the split in 2017 (.362 wOBA, .209 ISO).

Consider: Jose Ramirez. The system is all over him at his FD price, but he's super expensive on DK, so I figured we'd write up a cheaper option instead.


Carlos CorreaCarlos Correa FD 3400 DK 4400
Opponent - LAA (Richards) Park - @LAA
FD - 11.53 DK - 8.73
Correa hasn't done an awful lot since coming off the DL, but that's fine. It's resulted in a pretty nice discount (especially on FanDuel) and we're happy to take it. He'd have the best wOBA in the majors among qualified shortstops if he qualified, and I have to think that he's still the same underlying guy he was pre-injury. It seems unlikely that the Astros would take a risk with his health if he weren't, so I'm willing to roll the dice here. As for Richards, he's only thrown 10 innings at any level this season, and while he's been an effective pitcher in the past he doesn't present a lot for Correa to worry about here.

Jean SeguraJean Segura FD 3300 DK 4300
Opponent - TEX (Gonzalez) Park - @TEX
FD - 10.96 DK - 9.42
Segura is 5 for his last 31 with just 3 extra base hits, which is why his price has fallen to these levels. Given that just 2 of the 26 outs he made came via the strikeout, I think we can safely say that he's been unlucky rather than bad. He's still leading off, and still one of the better hitting shortstops at a very affordable price. With 5.7 K/9 and a 5.60 xFIP, Gonzalez is still among the worst pitchers going in spite of September call-ups. I like Correa better simply because he IS better, but Segura is a reasonable pivot.

Consider: Tim Beckham

Third Base

Kris BryantKris Bryant FD 3800 DK 4500
Opponent - NYM (Gsellman) Park - @CHC
FD - 13.87 DK - 10.62
Bryant was touted as a generational power talent when he was coming up, and hasn't really turned into that thus far in the majors. The weird thing? He's probably better for it. He's traded some power and strikeouts for a higher batting average and more walks, and it makes him a better player overall. He's turned into a high floor DFS option with plenty of upside, and his price reflects the consistency he's presented throughout the season. I've given the case against Gsellman already so I won't repeat myself, but if you can pay for it, Bryant is a great option.

Mike MoustakasMike Moustakas FD 3000 DK 3900
Opponent - CHW (Covey) Park - @KC
FD - 12.3 DK - 9.3
Moustakas has been showing up a lot in the picks recently thanks to his tier 1 power for the position. Like a lot of power hitters, Moustakas is prone to slumps - he's 1 for his last 15 - but there is absolutely no reason to think he's anything other than the same guy he's been all season. At just $3,000 on FanDuel, you're getting an incredible deal for the upside here. Dylan Covey, meanwhile, is on a short list for worst pitchers in the majors. How he's managed to stay on the major league club while giving up 8.08 earned runs every 9 innings is beyond me, but that he's given up totals like that is no surprise. His 5.33 K/9 and 4.22 K/9 are terrible, and the 3.12 HR/9 he's allowed is a number you might never see again over a 48 inning sample.

Consider: Jake Lamb


Giancarlo StantonGiancarlo Stanton FD 4700 DK 5700
Opponent - PHI (Pivetta) Park - @PHI
FD - 15.06 DK - 11.31
Stanton's .363 ISO is .023 higher than Gallo's 2nd place figure, and more than .100 points above 13th place. He's a power generator unlike anyone else in the majors this season. And, you have to pay a ton for it. But where else are you going to spend up if your goal is to tap into the highest upside of any bat in the major leagues? Philly is a nice hitter's park, and Pivetta has allowed 1.78 HR/9. There's some risk built in here since Pivetta actually can strike people out, but for big tournaments, Stanton is an easy gamble.

Melky CabreraMelky Cabrera FD 3000 DK 3800
Opponent - CHW (Covey) Park - @KC
FD - 11.55 DK - 9.08
Cabrera is a little unexciting, but I've already given you Covey's terrible credentials, and Vegas loves the Royals as one of the highest scoring teams of the day. If Cabrera brings his high floor package to the #2 slot there you should see a very steady performance that handily pays this price.

Curtis GrandersonCurtis Granderson FD 2700 DK 3600
Opponent - SF (Cueto) Park - @SF
FD - 11.36 DK - 8.74
Cueto's taken a step back this season, and Granderson's price has fallen thanks to a slump since coming to LA. It might not feel amazing, but it's a great way to grab a favorable lefty/righty spot for very cheap to help you pay up elsewhere.


image sources

2 Visitor Comments

  1. Napoli and Alonso dirt cheap in an O/U of 11.5

  2. I like Napoli if he is playing

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