Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Austyn Varney

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 9/16/17

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Zack GreinkeZack Greinke FD 9300 DK 12800
Opponent - SF (Bumgarner) Park - @SF
FD - 37.61 DK - 24.68

It does feel like Greinke has flown under the radar this year, albeit a very solid statistical season. That's because he just usually doesn't make the cut in DFS. For one, he's in Chase Field half the time. Outside of that, his division is tough for pitching and it's rare to find a dominant match-up. With that being said, he's cut through the division like cheese and has held his career numbers with no problem. He's striking out 9.66 batters per 9 and walking just under 2. He's also dominated both lefties and righties, allowing a .274 combined wOBA. He now moves into AT&T Park to face off with the worst offense in baseball at home. They've sported a .293 wOBA on the season and strikeout close to 21% of the time. This is as good of a spot as ever for Greinke and he's a prominent play in all formats. His price is fair across the board. 

Carlos CarrascoCarlos Carrasco FD 10800 DK 13300
Opponent - KC (Hammel) Park - @CLE
FD - 41.19 DK - 27.13

Well, it's over. The Royals halted the Indians insane 22 game win streak just last night. As a side note, let's stop this notion that a tie is part of a win-streak and the '35 Giants hold the longest streak ever. That team in 1935 who tied in one of their 28 games is a fraud and should not take away from a real WIN streak. Emphasis on the win part. Back to the game at hand, you have to think the Indians come back out firing. They have their ace on the mound in Carlos Carrasco and are as big as favorites as they've been all season long. Jason Hammel is a weak opponent and the win should be there. Carrasco has been a constant for these Indians and they have needed it with the injuries to the rotation. He's given up a .318 wOBA to lefties, but has shut down righties with a .276. He's striking out over 10 batters per 9 innings and faces off with a team that has struck out 24% of the time since the ASB. The Royals aren't the worst offense out there, but they struggle to put up runs and they have no issue lying over. They got the win last night and I expect the Indians to keep on rolling. This doesn't seem like a team that's going to lose hope because they lost a game after a month. Carrasco may be expensive, but he's very safe and has limitless upside.


Gary SanchezGary Sanchez FD 3700 DK 5000
Opponent - BAL (Hellickson) Park - @NYY
FD - 12.9 DK - 9.91

Surprise, surprise, Gary Sanchez is the top raw catcher of the day. As he is on most days, Sanchez is the #1 commodity at catcher and it often isn't very close. He would be an elite option on most nights in the OF, so it makes sense as to why he gets so much attention and ownership at C. He gets a solid match-up with Jeremy Hellickson today at home in hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium. Hellickson is a righty, but he's allowed a .340 wOBA and 18 homers to righties in just 83 innings. He also strikes out just 5 of them per 9 innings. He's always been a reverse-splits pitcher and things don't look to be changing. Sanchez is better against righties and one of the better bets on the day to send one out. If you can afford him, do it.


Yasmani GrandalYasmani Grandal FD 2700 DK 3300
Opponent - WSH (Cole) Park - @WSH
FD - 10.75 DK - 8.01

If you want to pay all the way down at catcher, sometimes it's necessary. Wait until lineups come out and find a cheap option that has found his way into a lineup. If you're looking for a mid-range option with some real upside that's not too expensive, look at Yasmani Grandal. Grandal and the Dodgers have Avery interesting match-up with A.J. Cole, who's allowed a whopping .397 wOBA to left-handers. He's also walked 5 batters per 9 and has allowed a 48% hard contact. Let's just say things aren't looking too hot for A.J. Cole. Grandal is no Babe Ruth, or Gary Sanchez, but he can hit righties well and he has plenty of power. The Dodgers are expected to put up close to 6 runs in this one and I doubt Grandal has nothing to say about it. 

First Base

Edwin EncarnacionEdwin Encarnacion FD 3900 DK 5200
Opponent - KC (Hammel) Park - @CLE
FD - 13.53 DK - 10.11
Carlos SantanaCarlos Santana FD 4200 DK 4900
Opponent - KC (Hammel) Park - @CLE
FD - 12.11 DK - 9.08

Starting us off at first is the versatile duo of Carlos Santana and Edwin Encarnacion. After finally losing, we could see everyone get a day off. Just be cautious of that and make sure you have a confirmed lineup before lock. If Encarnacion and Santana are in there, both make great play plays across the board. Jason Hammel isn't a gas can, but he's certainly below average and has been getting lucky, at least according to the 5.17 xFIP. He moves into a tough Progressive Field and faces an Indians team projected up to put up 5.64 runs, sitting behind just Coors Field and 1 other team. Both Santana and Encarnacion hit righties to a .384+ wOBA and Encarnacion has a bit more power, but Santana can still hit 2 at any time. If you forced me to choose, I'll take the cheaper option. They are both elite and I will make sure my exposure is spread evenly. 

Jesus AguilarJesus Aguilar FD 2300 DK 4200
Opponent - MIA (Conley) Park - @MIA
FD - 11.51 DK - 8.65

When the Brewers face a lefty, it's the same song and dance every time. Jesus Aguilar gets plugged into the cleanup spot and immediately becomes one of the top value plays of the night. Tonight is no different, facing off with Adam Conley in Marlins Park. Marlins Park isn't the friendliest park for righties, but Conley isn't very good either. He's allowed a .350 wOBA to right-handers and an astounding 10 homers in just 68 innings. That's pretty tough to do when you pitch in Marlins Park half the time. As for Aguilar, he's sported a .373 wOBA against lefties and has plenty of power to go along with it. He'll be hitting in-between some slammers and should have plenty of opportunities to drive in runs. He's not nearly as safe as the more expensive options, but the upside is identical.

Second Base

Jose RamirezJose Ramirez FD 4100 DK 5500
Opponent - KC (Hammel) Park - @CLE
FD - 12.97 DK - 10.6

We'll stick with the Indians here at second, though it'll be the last one we look at. Just make sure you keep in mind that all of these guys are in play and the OF'ers are all elite. Jose Ramirez was one of the bigger reason for the win streak and he's simply one of the best players in baseball. I'm not an Indians fan in the slightest, but it's hard not to appreciate what he has brought to the plate as a switch-hitter and to the field as a guy who can play almost every position. He's hit righties better than lefties, poking a .413 wOBA and38% hard contact rate. Jason Hammel is nothing special and the Indians should have no problem getting to the lackluster bullpen by the 4th or 5th innings. Ramirez is one of the safest plays on the board and while he's nowhere near a must, leaving him off is scary. 

DJ LeMahieuDJ LeMahieu FD 4600 DK 4700
Opponent - SD (Lyles) Park - @COL
FD - 13.24 DK - 10.8

We're just now getting to the Colorado Rockies, but they are probably the top overall offense on the day if salary cap wasn't a thing. They are implied to score over 6 runs and have a lineup that can hit Jordan Lyles from 1-7. Lyles has been a lot worse against lefties, but a .360 wOBA against righties isn't very impressive either. This is a guy who used to actually pitch for the Rockies, so it'll be interesting to see how he does in the return to Coors Field. My guess would not too hot. Lyles has lost all control of his stuff and is having trouble putting away a team for more than 2 or 3 innings without a severe hiccup. In Coors Field, that's just not going to work. D.J. LeMahieu is a versatile 2B that can hit righties well and has plenty of power in the ballpark. The Rockies will cost you a ton on both sites, but nearly all of them are worth the dime or close to it in this match-up.



Carlos CorreaCarlos Correa FD 3300 DK 4200
Opponent - SEA (Ramirez) Park - @HOU
FD - 12.48 DK - 9.45
Marwin GonzalezMarwin Gonzalez FD 2900 DK 3900
Opponent - SEA (Ramirez) Park - @HOU
FD - 9.97 DK - 7.84

The Astros usually see an implied total over 5, so it's a bit worrisome to see them sitting at 4.7. With that being said, they still rake against righties and they have 2 SS's who deserve a ton of consideration. Erasmo Ramirez is a very average pitcher, but he's been a lot worse against left-handers with a .346 wOBA and 34% hard contact rate allowed. He's not good against righties, either, but lefties are certainly his kryptonite. Carlos Correa is still a bit of a better play due to his talent and insane .400 combined wOBA. He's been injured for most of the season, but still has 20 homers in just over 400 at-bats. Marwin Gonzalez on the other hand, is a bit more affordable and in a positive splits match-up. He's held a .393 wOBA against righties and is a strong play in both cash games and tournaments. Personally, I'll take Marwin Gonzalez. He's cheaper and should have just as many opportunities with runners on-base.

Freddy GalvisFreddy Galvis FD 3300 DK 2900
Opponent - OAK (Graveman) Park - @PHI
FD - 9.77 DK - 7.94
J.P. CrawfordJ.P. Crawford FD 2400 DK 2600
Opponent - OAK (Graveman) Park - @PHI
FD - 3.86 DK - 3.11

I know, I don't want to roster the Phillies either. You just have to take notice when they face-off with a bad pitcher and have a couple guys who are a bit too cheap. We're not sure where Galvis and Crawford will end up in the order, but I suspect they will each fall into the top 5 or 6. We know who Galvis is, as a switch-hitter sporting a .313 wOBA across the board. He has power and speed, giving you some versatility for cheap. J.P. Crawford is more of an unknown, but he's also one of the top 8 prospects in all of baseball. I had the honor of watching a bunch of his performances in A+, and wow, he can play. He is all over the field and hits line drives like nobodies business. His price is still low and you can be sure his price will rise like bread in '18. Depending on where he ends up in the lineup, Crawford could be a solid play in all formats.  He has a ton of power and the speed to steal a bag or two.

Third Base

Josh DonaldsonJosh Donaldson FD 3600 DK 4800
Opponent - MIN (Mejia) Park - @MIN
FD - 13.35 DK - 10.03

Starting us off at 3rd is Josh Donaldson. While there are plenty of options to choose from, Donaldson and Arenado stand far above the rest in my opinion. When talking point per dollar, it's clearly Donaldson. He's a lot cheaper on both sites and has similar HR upside. Adalberto Mejia has been on the mound all year long for the Twins and he's given us a strong idea of who he is. Against righties, a .365 wOBA and 8 home runs in 70 innings isn't too impressive. We know Donaldson destroys southpaws and you can be assured that nothing has changed this year with a .386 wOBA. Target Field isn't the best park in the world, but it's slightly above average for righty power. Donaldson is one of the best hitters in the league against lefties and you have to get exposure in this match-up with a lowly Mejia. I don't love the Blue Jays as a full stack, but pairing Donaldson with Morales could be a solid combo that goes under-owned.

Nolan ArenadoNolan Arenado FD 5200 DK 5500
Opponent - SD (Lyles) Park - @COL
FD - 17.36 DK - 13.27

If you must, there is always the option of paying down. I just don't see that being a viable way to take down 3B on this slate. I'll be paying up and I would recommend everyone else does as well. If Josh Donaldson doesn't float your boat, you can get really high-end and go with Nolan Arenado. I had 100% Arenado last night against the lefty and it paid off. I may not have 100% tonight, but 50 sounds about right. Arenado is a bit better against lefties, but he's still posted a .385 wOBA against them, compared to the .550 against left-handers. This Jordan Lyles character has been around quite some time, but he's never seemed to improve. He was better than this a couple years ago and has been in a steady downfall. A .360 wOBA and a 2.52 HR/9 are numbers you don't want to see in this ballpark. He's now in San Diego and holding onto the starting job for dear life. I highly doubt Lyles makes it out of the 3rd or 4th inning. Arenado is the top play at 3B if price wasn't a thing, but Donaldson is still preferred with the strong discount. Get as many Rockies as you can into your lineup and move on.


Ryan BraunRyan Braun FD 3500 DK 3800
Opponent - MIA (Conley) Park - @MIA
FD - 12.42 DK - 9.85
Domingo SantanaDomingo Santana FD 3000 DK 3700
Opponent - MIA (Conley) Park - @MIA
FD - 12.49 DK - 9.68

Both of these guys got some rest the other night and have bounced back nicely, looking fresh in the process. They finally get a lefty now in the form of Adam Conley. Conley isn't in the bottom tier of pitchers in the league, but he's right above it. He's posted a weak .350 wOBA against righties and does have a huge HR issue (2.11 HR/9). Ryan Braun hasn't been the MVP version of himself this year, but a .356 wOBA is nothing to scoff at. Santana has posted a .386 against lefties and makes for a great play in FD cash at just $3k. These guys are in play everywhere and should probably be a bit more expensive. This Brewers team is pretty interesting as a stack, as they can put together a strong lineup against lefties that isn't too expensive. They're projected to put up over 5 runs and make a lot of sense as a cheap cash game stack.

Justin UptonJustin Upton FD 3400 DK 4500
Opponent - TEX (Hamels) Park - @LAA
FD - 10.73 DK - 8.36
Mike TroutMike Trout FD 4800 DK 5400
Opponent - TEX (Hamels) Park - @LAA
FD - 12.92 DK - 10.08

If you're looking for safety, there are some other guys in the OF who are a bit safer for the price. They aren't too difficult to find. Instead, we'll touch on some guys who may go a bit overlooked. The first pair is Mike Trout and Justin Upton. Cole Hamels isn't a pitcher I love to pick on, but he has been pretty blah against righties with a .315 wOBA allowed and 13 homers in under 100 innings of work. He is approaching 34-years-old and it only makes sense for this slight regression to come through. It will only get worse as his velocity drops and K's follow. Mike Trout is obviously the GOAT and you can play him anywhere. He has held a .430+ wOBA on this season and is easily the best hitter in the league. As for Upton, he's a lefty masher. He has held a .387 against them over the last 2 years and has been hitting much better in LA. This combo should only be around 5-10% owned and while they are pricey, they have as muh upside as the OF'ers in Coors Field.

Jose PirelaJose Pirela FD 3800 DK 4000
Opponent - COL (Anderson) Park - @COL
FD - 10.56 DK - 8.62
Jabari BlashJabari Blash FD 3700 DK 3200
Opponent - COL (Anderson) Park - @COL
FD - 10.48 DK - 8.11

Most people will be on the other side of this OF (me included), but the Padres deserve some respect too. Tyler Anderson has been pretty atrocious on the season and he;s actually allowed a .384 wOBA and a monster 10 home runs in under 50 innings. These Padres are moving from Petco Park to Coors Field, which is the biggest ballpark bump possible. Jose Pirela has been in the 3 hole for a while now against lefties and he's certainly backed it up with a .389 wOBA and some decent power. Jabari Blash on the other hand, is swinging for the fences. Every time. He's better against lefties and you have a decent shit at an 2 HR game anytime he's on the field. You have an even better shot at an 4K game. All in all, this Coors Field game is going to get attention, but most will come on the Rockies side. Don't forget the Padres that are guaranteed 9 at-bats and facing a weak lefty.


image sources

  • Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco (59): By Keith Allison on Flickr [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

3 Visitor Comments

  1. I need serious help here. I’m on Giants losing streak. If I pay up for Arenado, Carrasco and Ramirez who are some value picks to balance it out besides JP Crawford? Anytime I win anything it’s because of advice here and nowhere else. This is my one stop shop for daily fantasy in all sports for two years now

  2. The Marlin’s game tonight against the brewers is actually being played at Miller Park in Milwaukee even thought it’s technically a home series for the Marlins.

  3. dear Justin,
    You clearly need huggies pullups and believe that you are a big kid now.

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