Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 9/22/17
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For cash games tonight, there are a lot of question marks. Justin Verlander has reached a season-high salary and faces Mike Trout and the Angels. Masahiro Tanaka has been very up and down and has struggled vs. the Jays in 2017. Even my lead pitcher Zack Grienke has some question marks facing the home run king Giancarlo Stanton and pitches in one of the worst pitchers parks but don't overlook the splits. Greinke has been lights out at home in Chase Field with a 2.33 ERA(1.28 lower at home) and has held opponents to a .250 wOBA and has recorded a 10.3 K/9 rate(8.7 on the road). He isn't going to provide us with elite K upside but has averaged over a K per inning over the course of the season and has been extremely consistent lately holding opponents to two or fewer earned runs in five straight starts. He is best used in cash games but is in play in all formats tonight.
Gray is a lot like Greinke with his splits as he has also been better at home in Coors this season(2.93 ERA to 4.32 on the road) but this spot is just too good to fade tonight. He gets to pitch in one of the best pitcher's parks in the big leagues and faces a Padres team that ranks right near the bottom in almost every offensive metric vs. right-handed pitching. Overall, Gray has been incredibly consistent holding opponents to three or fewer earned runs in 11 straight starts while posting a 2.58 ERA and 9.1 K/9 rate. Outside the Diamondbacks and Dodgers, the Rockies are the biggest favorites on the night(-170) adding to my pitch that Gray is safe in all formats.
The price is starting to come back up but Wacha remains in a value position on both sites and is in play in all formats tonight. He doesn't flash a ton of upside but is posting a career-high 8.5 K/9 rate(not counting rookie season with only 9 starts) and has been very consistent with an ERA and xFIP floating around the 4.00 mark. The key for Wacha is limiting the free passes that drive up the pitch count and if he can do that should easily get through six innings(quality start on FanDuel) giving us 15+ DK and 25+ FD points. The matchup is also a plus tonight facing a Pirates team that has struggled to the 28th best wOBA(.264) and wRC+(60) over the last 14 days.
Gary Sanchez FD 3600 DK 4800
Opponent - TOR (Estrada) Park - @TOR
FD - 12.2 DK - 9.37
If you have the salary cap to pay up at catcher tonight, or any night for that matter, the top play once again is Gary Sanchez. He has been great all year but even better in the second half where he has posted a .287/.336/.583 slash line with 19 home runs and 48 RBI. More recently, he has hits in 11 of 14 games in September with eight multi-hit efforts which give him a very high floor and ceiling. For you BvP truthers out there, Sanchez also hits on that tonight as he has taken Estrada deep four times in 13 career at-bats. Food for thought.
Chris Iannetta FD 2400 DK 3600
Opponent - MIA (Conley) Park - @ARI
FD - 12.57 DK - 9.35
As has been the case for the last couple weeks, Chris Iannetta shows up at the top of the PTS/$ ranking as he has spent a ton of time near the top of the order. He moved to the five-hole last game but his spot in the order isn't the only reason he pops as he has destroyed left-handed pitching this season to the tune of a .388 wOBA and 135 wRC+. Catcher is always a top position to punt of you are loading up with two top pitchers on DraftKings and Iannetta provides a nice salary relief with upside.
Also Consider: Salvador Perez(KC)
Paul Goldschmidt FD 4200 DK 5500
Opponent - MIA (Conley) Park - @ARI
FD - 15.22 DK - 11.98
Topping the overall raw points projections at all positions(not counting pitchers) is Paul Goldschmidt who is quietly having a career year. It has been slightly overshadowed by Stanton's home run chase and Judge's early season power but make no mistake Goldy is the MVP thus far. He has led his team at the top of the Wildcard standings with an elite .305/.410/.576 slash line with 35 home runs and 117 RBI and 110 runs scored. On top of that, he also adds speed upside(18 SB) which almost no other first basemen carry. The matchup is also a big plus tonight facing Adam Conley who has given up at least one home run in six straight and nine of his last 10 starts.
Joey Votto FD 4100 DK 4800
Opponent - BOS (Porcello) Park - @CIN
FD - 13.28 DK - 10
Not far behind in the NL MVP odds at the moment is Canadian Joey Votto who isn't exactly having a career year but just another typical Votto season. He enters tonight with a .317/.452/.578 slash line with 35 long balls, 96 RBI, and 100 runs scored. The biggest improvement he has made this year is dropping the K rate even further to just above 10% while walking nearly 20% of the time. This gives him the safety we are looking for in cash games and should be a nice lower owned pivot off Goldy making him a top play in GPP's as well. Go Canada!
Ryon Healy FD 3000 DK 3700
Opponent - TEX (Martinez) Park - @OAK
FD - 9.68 DK - 7.47
If you are taking a value approach to the position, which would be very contrarian tonight considering the talent at the top, Ryon Healy should be on your radar. He has been better v. southpaws overall this season but gets a terrific matchup vs. Nick Martinez who has given up eight earned runs over his last two starts and sits with an ugly 5.47 ERA and 5.06 xFIP on the season. We aren't looking for a lot from a sub $4K player but Healy does provide some pop in his bast with 25 home runs on the season, 18 against right-handed pitching.
Brian Dozier FD 3900 DK 5200
Opponent - DET (Norris) Park - @DET
FD - 11.39 DK - 8.98
A couple familiar faces at the second base position and it starts with Brian Dozier. He isn't going to provide you with a ton of safety with his .259 average and 19.9% K rate but does give you power upside, especially vs. left-handed pitching where he holds a .419 wOBA and 162 wRC+ on the season. Dozier went into Thursday's game with hits in five of his last six games and has recorded five home runs in September and he gets a plus matchup vs. Daniel Norris who is back in the rotation for the Tigers. He struggled mightily in his last stint as a starter giving up five earned runs in each of his last three starts in late June/early July. With his upper tier price tag, I will be using Dozier in GPP only tonight.
Ian Kinsler FD 3400 DK 3800
Opponent - MIN (Gibson) Park - @DET
FD - 10.04 DK - 8.06
Kinsler let us down last night but I am going right back to the well on Friday. It's been a struggle overall this season but Kinsler has provided excellent value lately as prior to Thursday's game, he had recorded at least one hit in 11 of his previous 14 games with six home runs. He, like most of the Tigers, have been much better vs. left-handed pitching but I am willing to somewhat ignore that tonight considering the price in the sub $4K range on both sites.
Also Consider: Whit Merrifield(KC)
Marcus Semien FD 3800 DK 4400
Opponent - TEX (Martinez) Park - @OAK
FD - 11.29 DK - 8.99
If you want to pay up at the shortstop position tonight I would recommend playing Correa or Lindor but don't feel we need to go there, at least in cash games. I will instead be turning to a pair of second tier options and it starts with Marcus Semien who recently moved up and has taken over the leadoff role for the A's. He isn't a high upside player but has been steady for the price with hits in 12 of his last 17 games including seven multi-hit efforts and while the park has been historically been a pitchers haven, the Oakland Coliseum has surprised this season as it ranks as a Top 10 hitters park.
Paul DeJong FD 3300 DK 4500
Opponent - PIT (Nova) Park - @PIT
FD - 10.56 DK - 8.2
Rookie Paul Dejong is the other mid-tier value I will be rostering in most of my lineups tonight. I wrote him up last night and while he let us down with an 0 for 5 in a top matchup, I will be getting right back on the horse tonight as he gets another top matchup. Tonight it's Ivan Nova he will be facing who has lost four straight and six of his last seven starts while giving up 26 earned runs(6.27 ERA) and at least one home run in six of those seven starts for an ugly 17.4% HR/FB rate.
Also Consider: Elvis Andrus(TEX)
Evan Longoria FD 3200 DK 4200
Opponent - BAL (Jimenez) Park - @BAL
FD - 11.32 DK - 8.72
Longoria has hovered around the top of the PTS/$ rankings all season thanks to his value price, especially on FanDuel in the low $3K range. The lower price does have a lot to do with the lack of power in Longo's bat these days as he is likely to record his lowest total since 2012 but he has still been a steady run producer for DFS with 82 RBI on a bottom feeding team(27th in runs scored as a team). He shows up in the article tonight as he has been better vs. right-handed pitchers this season with a .330 wOBA/107 wRC+(.284/75 vs. LH) and faces off against Ubaldo Jimenez who has been a punching bag all season with a 6.57 ERA and 20.3% HR/FB rate.
Mike Moustakas FD 2800 DK 4100
Opponent - CHW (Lopez) Park - @CHW
FD - 11.74 DK - 8.88
The Royals offense came back down to Earth last night but Moustakas once again tops the PTS/$ rankings on FanDuel even with a $300 jump in his price. He has been solid for fantasy all year setting career highs in home runs(37), RBI(83), runs scored(73), and slugging %(.532). I would prefer if he moved his way back up the lineup where he was in the first half but at a sub $3K price tag on FanDuel, he should be on a short list of players to consider in all formats.
Also Consider: Rafael Devers(BOS)
A.J. Pollock FD 4200 DK 4800
Opponent - MIA (Conley) Park - @ARI
FD - 12.68 DK - 10.74
For the most part, I am avoiding the top priced players at each position as pitching on DraftKings is likely going to cost around 40% of our salary cap. The first player that stands out in the next tier down is A.J. Pollock despite being moved to seventh in the order in two of his last three games. It hasn't affected his play at all as he has three home runs in his last two games with five RBI and four runs scored. If he is moved back up the lineup tonight he will be a great play in all formats but if he remains near the bottom is still in play in GPP formats.
Jay Bruce FD 3400 DK 3900
Opponent - SEA (Ramirez) Park - @SEA
FD - 11.54 DK - 8.76
Jay Bruce shows up near the top of the PTS/$ ranks tonight thanks to a value price under $4K on both sites. Don't confuse his projection with safety, however, as he sits with a .257 average and 22% K rate on the season but has provided excellent run production with a .352 wOBA and 119 wRC+ with 34 home runs and 95 RBI. he even got rewarded in early August and got traded from a bottom of the barrel offense to the Indians who rank Top 10 in overall runs scored. This adds a nice boost to his daily outlook with plenty of extra opportunities to drive in runs.
Austin Hays FD 2500 DK 2700
Opponent - TB (Cobb) Park - @BAL
FD - 4.66 DK - 3.61
The value of this punt play will completely rely on the Orioles batting order but he is a near must play if back in the leadoff spot. Hays made his way to the Orioles as a September callup and hasn't even stepped foot on a AAA diamond yet in his professional career. He impressed in both A and AA with a .300+ average and 16 home runs at each level. With two more hits last night, Hays now has hits in five of his last six games with four multi-hit efforts. Keep an eye on those starting lineups this afternoon.
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- Paul Goldschmidt: AP Photo/Matt York