Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

09/23/2017
Jerry Vanderwoude

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 9/23/17

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Pitcher

Early
Carlos CarrascoCarlos Carrasco FD 10200 DK 12800
Opponent - SEA (Moore) Park - @SEA
FD - 38.51 DK - 25.29
We've got split slate action here as we approach the final week of the season and boy is it ever split. The main slate has batters aplenty with some questionable pitching and the early slate has some nice arms with questionable bats. It's always a nice slate for pitching when Carlos Carrasco is included. He hit a season high in salary last time out and has come back down a bit following a four run outing against the Royals on the heels of a four game stretch where he allowed just two runs in 29 innings pitched. Another piece to this dominant Cleveland pitching staff, Carrasco is coming in just under 10 K/9 with a 3.35 xFIP which is ranked eleventh among qualified pitchers. Today he takes on a Seattle team that has lost six straight heading into this weekend series and while not eliminated just yet, have little hope of seeing the postseason. They don't strikeout a ton, just 20.5% of the time. As the largest favorite going today with an opening line of -210, Carrasco is an excellent cash option that can be used in tournaments as well.

Charlie MortonCharlie Morton FD 9200 DK 8700
Opponent - LAA (Norris) Park - @HOU
FD - 32.26 DK - 21.39
Also on the early slate we have Charlie Morton, Morton's price has been slowly on the rise but I still think there's some value to be garnered here. Particularly against the Angels, who rank among the bottom third in baseball with a .316 team wOBA vs RHP.
The Angels are another team that tend to be stingy with the strikeouts, 19.6% vs RHP, but like Carrasco above, Morton has a knack for exploiting a teams weakness at the plate and compiling K's with ease. Through his last six starts Morton has averaged 10.70 K/9 while holding opponents to two runs or fewer in all but two of those. Another solid favorite in Vegas, Morton has the luxury of throwing in the friendliest park in baseball against an Anaheim team on the outside looking in at the last wildcard spot. These two pair together nicely on DraftKings and either one stands alone as a solid FanDuel play.

Main
Stephen StrasburgStephen Strasburg FD 11300 DK 13300
Opponent - NYM (Syndergaard) Park - @NYM
FD - 35.75 DK - 23.7
Yeah, I said pitching on the main slate was a little more suspect, and while under normal circumstances I wouldn't dare classify Stephen Strasburg as suspect, The price tag, coupled With the Nationals seemingly content sending out triple A lineups now that they have their spot in the postseason secured gives me just a little pause. That said, looking at the options going tonight, this is still Stephen Strasburg and if there's an arm I have faith in it's his. Stras has picked up four straight wins, thrown six straight quality starts, and struck out at least eight batters in all but one of those. His ERA on the season is down to 2.60 which is behind only Kershaw, Kluber and his teammate Scherzer in rankings. The Mets are dead in the water going 2-8 in their last ten games leading up to the weekend series, they strikeout 20.9% of the time with a .323 team wOBA and 101 wRC+. Noah Syndergaard is the listed starter for the Mets, but will only go an inning before being replaced by Matt Harvey, so even with a lineup of bench players, the Bats should still be able to put enough runs on the board to help Stras to win number 15. All things considered, Stras is my play in all formats on the main slate.

Lance LynnLance Lynn FD 7600 DK 7100
Opponent - PIT (Cole) Park - @PIT
FD - 29.41 DK - 19.36
On DraftKings, I'll pair Strasburg with Lance Lynn as a nice low end SP2 option. Lynn has seen his DK price come down significantly with two straight subpar showings, but this is still the same Lynn that pieced together 11 quality starts in the previous 12 outings. He has been solid since the All Star break holding a .294 wOBA against through the second half of the season. He's been much better against right handed hitters so as long as he can work around Frazier, Polanco and Bell he should sail through this righty heavy Pittsburgh lineup. If you're bothered by Strasburg price I can see a case for pivoting down to Lynn on FanDuel, but on DraftKings, I'll have both of them paired together everywhere.

Catcher

Early
Gary SanchezGary Sanchez FD 3600 DK 5300
Opponent - TOR (Biagini) Park - @TOR
FD - 12.36 DK - 9.49
I know, you're probably as tired of reading about Gary Sanchez this season as we are writing about him, but as I said earlier, batters are tough on this slate, and I was considering Brian McCann in this spot, but as you'll soon see, we're going to get a healthy helping of Astros bats further down, and we also just got done talking up their pitcher. Offensively Sanchez is the best backstop in the game, leading in wOBA (.371), wRC+ (132), ISO (.257), and HR (32). If you need salary relief you can go McCann and fade one of the other guys we'll mention, though to be honest, particularly on FD the pricing isn't so extreme that it's worth fading him. On DK he may be more of a GPP play though.

Main
Chris IannettaChris Iannetta FD 2400 DK 3600
Opponent - MIA (Peters) Park - @ARI
FD - 12.74 DK - 9.48
Chris Iannetta has spent time down the stretch in the five hole and the two hole. Either way, at these prices he's an absolute bargain tonight against the lefty Peters. Clearly he's much safer if batting second, but with a .388 wOBA and .348 BABIP vs LHP value meets upside in a match made in heaven helping to alleviate some of the Strasburg spending.

Salvador PerezSalvador Perez FD 3200 DK 3900
Opponent - CHW (Covey) Park - @CHW
FD - 11.33 DK - 8.64
Sanchez leads all catchers in just about every offensive category, but right behind is is Sal Perez. With 26 home runs, Perez is second at the position, and is in the top five in wOBA (.326) ISO (.224) and will bring that power to the plate today against Dylan covey. Covey has yet to pick up a win through 10 starts and several bullpen appearances this season. He takes the hill with a 5.78 xFIP and a ridiculous 26.1% HR/FB rate. Perez went into last night's contest with two home runs in his last five games and could easily put one out tonight. Immediately after posting this article, I saw the news about Perez taking a foul tip to the jaw and being removed from Friday night's game early. He's currently listed as day to day so make sure to check the lineup and verify he's starting before locking him in.

First Base

Early
Carlos SantanaCarlos Santana FD 3600 DK 4600
Opponent - SEA (Moore) Park - @SEA
FD - 11.55 DK - 8.67
As hot as the Indians have been in this final month of the season, Carlos Santana, has been not so much. That said, Santana is the definition of a boom or bust play, as when he produces he tends to do so in a big way. With hitting being questionable in the early set, I'm looking to Santana to bring the boom against Andrew Moore making just his ninth start of the year, possessing a 5.40 ERA and allowing a .325 wOBA against. Santana provides a cheap way to get exposure to the Indians lineup and opportunity to spend up elsewhere.

Main
Paul GoldschmidtPaul Goldschmidt FD 4200 DK 5600
Opponent - MIA (Peters) Park - @ARI
FD - 15.44 DK - 12.15
The Diamondbacks are once again in a great spot tonight. The Marlins send young left hander Dillon Covey to the mound in Chase Field against a Diamondbacks team that crushes southpaws. Once again Paul Goldschmidt leads all position players in projected points, just as he did last night. Since Friday's game is just getting underway as I write this, I'm just going to repeat what Chris had to say about Goldy yesterday in this spot.

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.

All things considered, Goldy is an excellent play in all formats.

Lucas DudaLucas Duda FD 2700 DK 3500
Opponent - BAL (Hellickson) Park - @BAL
FD - 12.92 DK - 9.57
If you need a cheaper alternative at first base, look no further than Lucas Duda. Duda and the Rays will take on Jeremy Hellickson in Camden Yards as they continue to push for that last wildcard spot. As a Phillies fan who has suffered through many a Hellickson start, I can tell you he is bad. Really bad. If it's statistical proof you're looking for, allow me to point out his 5.58 xFIP is the highest among all qualified pitchers. He's allowed six runs or more in four of his nine starts in a Baltimore uniform. Duda, who has familiarity with Hellickson from his time in New York, is hitting RHP with a .366 wOBA.

Second Base

Early
Brian DozierBrian Dozier FD 3900 DK 5100
Opponent - DET (Boyd) Park - @DET
FD - 13.85 DK - 10.92
You're going to see a lot of the same plays recommended yesterday popping up again here today. At this time of year it's unavoidable as we have to whittle down to the teams that still have something left to fight for, and the bats that should find themselves in the starting lineups. So, yesterday Chris wrote up Brian Dozier and I'm returning right to the well again today. Among qualified second basemen, Dozier ranks top ten with a .347 wOBA and after hitting home run number 32 last night he is now tied with Jonathan Schoop for the lead at the position. Tonight he'll step into the box against Matt Boyd, a plus match up as he possesses a .419 wOBA against southpaws this season. Given the price and the matchup, I like Dozier everywhere.

Jose AltuveJose Altuve FD 4100 DK 5400
Opponent - LAA (Norris) Park - @HOU
FD - 12.69 DK - 10.64
I told you we were going to talk a lot about the Astros today as one of the most promising offenses going in the early set of games, so we begin at second base with Jose Altuve. The Astros stand out today among other reasons because they're facing Bud Norris returning where it all began in what will most likely be a bullpen game. Norris has spent the last few years going from one team to another after spending the first four seasons of his career in Houston. Primarily a bullpen arm these past few seasons, Norris will be making only his second start for the Angels this season after only going two innings last week in a start against the Rangers. Altuve has had the makings of a MVP campaign this season, he tied last years career high of 24 home runs earlier this week against Chicago. He's also posting career highs in wOBA (.407), ISO (.210), and wRC+ (160).

Main
Jed LowrieJed Lowrie FD 4200 DK 3700
Opponent - TEX (Gonzalez) Park - @OAK
FD - 10.26 DK - 7.86
Those athletics have really seen their prices skyrocket, and rightfully so, outside of Cleveland, no team has been hotter at the dish in September. The A's are all but eliminated, with little hope of making the wildcard, but they've been playing some inspired baseball down the stretch. enter, Jed Lowrie. The Oakland three hole hitter has base hits in all but two games this month, with two home runs in just the past week. His recent surge has propelled him to a top five wOBA at the position of .351. That DraftKings price is just screaming at me and I will have Lowrie everywhere there. On FanDuel he's more of a tournament play.

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Shortstop

Early
Carlos CorreaCarlos Correa FD 3200 DK 4400
Opponent - LAA (Norris) Park - @HOU
FD - 13.2 DK - 9.99
There was a time when Carlos Correa was the top of the top tiered price plays, then he got injured. Since returning from the DL Correa hasn't had a full return to form. That said, he is still Carlos Correa, and for the talent he possesses and the numbers he's capable of putting up he is just way too cheap to pass on. Correa got the night off on Friday, and was hitless in his last three starts, but with Anaheim pitching a bullpen game today, it could help provide Correa with the spark he needs to finally get back on track.

Main
Yangervis SolarteYangervis Solarte FD 2600 DK 3500
Opponent - COL (Bettis) Park - @SD
FD - 9.07 DK - 7.07
If you want to escape shortstop without spending a hefty chunk of salary, then look to Yangervis Solarte. The Padres cleanup hitter has been quietly flying under many radars because, well, he plays for the Padres. He's hit a career high in home runs with 17 and has base hits in 11 of his last 14 games. He gets the nod here because he will be facing up with rockies right hander Chad Bettis, and he has hit RHP with a .332 wOBA this season, while Bettis has been terrible through seven starts this season posting a 6.23 ERA and 4.82 xFIP.

Third Base

Early
Kris BryantKris Bryant FD 4300 DK 5300
Opponent - MIL (Suter) Park - @MIL
FD - 13.89 DK - 10.64
Kris Bryant looked like the reigning NL MVP Thursday night against the Brewers going 3 for 4 at the plate including a two run home run in the tenth to give the Cubs the go ahead. Despite the big night it's been a less than stellar follow up to Bryant's 2016 MVP campaign. He's 11 shy of the career high 39 home runs he hit last year and his ISO is 20 points lower. That said it hasn't been all gloom and doom for Bryant this year. The .398 wOBA he's posting represents a career high. He'll face Brent Suter today making his thirteenth start after starting the season in the pen. Suter dazzled his last time out against the Pirates throwing five shutout innings. He'll have to bring his best stuff against Bryant who carries a .413 wOBA against southpaws this season. I'm more inclined to play Bryant in tournaments only, but on this shallow early slate we may need him to carry our cash games as well if a solid value play doesn't show itself.

Main
Evan LongoriaEvan Longoria FD 3100 DK 3900
Opponent - BAL (Hellickson) Park - @BAL
FD - 11.68 DK - 8.99
Here's another repeat from last night, but again, at this time of year we have to look at teams that are still fighting for something against teams that have all but given up on the season, while it's likely neither the Rays or the Orioles will see the postseason this year, both still have a mathematical shot at that last wildcard spot, the difference being Baltimore just doesn't seem to have the rotation to get them there, as they keep trotting out one weak arm after another. Tonight it's Jeremy Hellickson who we covered earlier and who has no right standing on a major league mound. Ironically, Chris highlighted Longoria's lack of power as the reason for his value pricing and Longoria answered by going yard on Ubaldo Jimenez. That said, I'm not going to hype up Longoria as having potential to go yard again off of Hellickson, he's only got 19 this season and last night was his second of September. But even when keeping the ball in the yard, Longoria is consistent enough to get the ball in play, and then make things happen on the base path. At the price, the opportunity is there for Longoria to easily pay value and then some tonight. I love him in all formats.

Mike MoustakasMike Moustakas FD 2700 DK 4400
Opponent - CHW (Covey) Park - @CHW
FD - 12.2 DK - 9.22
Once again Mike Moustakas is the top points per dollar play at the hot corner as a cheap value in a great match up. He let us down last night going 0 for 4 at the dish, but until that FanDuel price corrects itself, I'll keep returning to the well on this one, even hitting in the six spot Moustakas is completely underpriced. While not as drastically underpriced, the DraftKings price even has me giving a second look, hitting career highs in home runs (37), RBI (83), runs scored (73), Moustakas is in play in all formats against Dylan Covey.

Outfield

Early
Josh ReddickJosh Reddick FD 3600 DK 4400
Opponent - LAA (Norris) Park - @HOU
FD - 12.71 DK - 9.99
George SpringerGeorge Springer FD 3300 DK 5100
Opponent - LAA (Norris) Park - @HOU
FD - 13.22 DK - 10.26
More Astros! We'll end our trip to Houston with a pair of outfielders. You'll have to check the lineups to see if Josh Reddick is good to go, after he left last night's game with back discomfort after starting the game 1 for 2 with a double. Reddick has been hot lately, hitting safely in seven of his last ten games with five extra base hits. If Reddick is unable to go, we still have George Springer. Springer is posting career high numbers this season with a .377 wOBA, 140 wRC+, .240 ISO, and despite playing 30 fewer games this season, he has eclipsed his 2016 career high of 29 home runs, hitting 32 this season. Again, check the lineups, but if both are starting, then they're excellent cash game plays against Bud Norris and the Anaheim bullpen.

Main
Lorenzo CainLorenzo Cain FD 3500 DK 4400
Opponent - CHW (Covey) Park - @CHW
FD - 11.47 DK - 9.49
Melky CabreraMelky Cabrera FD 2900 DK 4200
Opponent - CHW (Covey) Park - @CHW
FD - 11.45 DK - 9
The Royals are being given one of the highest projected totals on the day at 5.5 runs against Dylan Covey, and make for an excellent value stacking option. We just discussed Mike Moustakas, now let's take a look at a pair of outfielders in Lorenzo Cain and Melky Cabrera. Cain is having a nice return to form this year, hitting double digit home runs for the second time in his career and posting a .349 wOBA which is well above his career number. He's got hits in eight of his last 10 games, including six multi-hit showings. Cabrera has been equally solid down the stretch, going 7 for 10 in his last three games with four RBI and three runs scored. They'll look to keep the bats hot against Dylan Covey in a prime matchup.

A.J. PollockA.J. Pollock FD 4200 DK 5100
Opponent - MIA (Peters) Park - @ARI
FD - 12.86 DK - 10.89
Another solid offense in a great spot, though slightly more costly than the Royals are the Diamondbacks. AJ Pollock and company will take on rookie Dillon Peters making his fifth career start. Peters has been making his way through the Miami farm system since 2015 and has looked good, though we have an extremely limited sample size to go off of as a major leaguer. He has made four starts, three of them in spacious Marlins Park, so it'll be interesting to see how he handles himself in the constricted confines of Chase Field. He also has looked progressively worse in each start, most recently getting rocked by the Brewers for eight earned runs in just 3.2 innings. AJ Pollock has a .363 wOBA against southpaws, so this may be a test Peters isn't ready to take. Pollock is a great play in all formats.

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