Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy MLB Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 5/2/18
Welcome to Wednesday baseball! We have a full day of games on our hands with two very different slates on both sites. We’ll get to the early slate first, which is a bit more cut and dry at pitcher.
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Sure, some will go Carlos Martinez against the White Sox, but Corey Kluber is the easy choice. Even after struggling and giving up three earned runs to the Mariners, he went 8.2 innings and struck out 10. Kluber is an absolute workhorse and you can expect him to be in there for up to 111-120 pitches if things are clicking. He’s been right up there as one of the best in baseball, sporting opponent wOBA numbers that below .240 against both sides of the plate. Wednesday, he faces off with the Texas Rangers. The same Rangers squad that ranks 26th against righties and strikes out 25.5% of the time. They have some big boppers, but they all strike out a ton and Kluber isn’t the guy to mess with. He has 12+ K upside and can single-handedly separate the field on this slate. He’s an easy choice in all formats and I don’t think ownership is all too much of a worry.
On to the main slate! There are actually a ton of different ways to go on this slate and the ownership should be pretty spread out. On the super high-end, we are looking at DeGrom and Severino. Both are in play, but I much prefer paying for Strasburg, who sees a strong match-up with the Pittsburgh Pirates. They aren’t a bad team by any means but rank 18th against righties with a .312 wOBA. They K 20% of the time and are simply one of the more underwhelming offenses around. If you can find your way past Gregory Polanco and Corey Dickerson, you have a whole lot of subpar bats that are barely capable of hitting the ball to the warning track. Strasburg pitches much better at home and Dusty Baker is a manager who's known for stretching out his starters. The price is fair on both sites and his last performance should keep a lot of people off. It was just simple variance. Strasburg is a 9+ K/9 pitcher who is finally figuring out his command. He’s my favorite way to pay up at pitcher and I like him a lot more than Severino or DeGrom.
After you get past that upper tier, you run into Godley, Bundy, Nola, Keuchel, Paxton, and Nova. We’re focusing on our favorite here, but outside of Nola, I have interest in Godley and Paxton. They are both solid match-ups and are pitchers with tons of upside. I still don’t like either as much as Nola, though, who gets to match-up with one of the worst teams in the last decade. Or century. Take your pick. On the season, they rank dead last against righties with a .266 team wOBA. The addition of Realmuto will help a little, but not all that much. Nola has been has been underperforming his strikeout rate this season but is following up a 2017 where he allowed a .318 wOBA to lefties and .270 to righties. He struck out a batter an inning last season and I'm expecting his 2018 numbers to tick back up. Today's matchup is a good place to start.
We’ll kick things off on the early slate with one of the more productive catchers in the league. The Cubs have been somewhat disappointing as of late, but the wind is still blowing out and Vegas thinks it’s going to be a high-scoring affair (again). They’re facing off with another bad lefty in Tyler Anderson and are projected for nearly six total runs. Contreras was phenomenal in 2017 against lefties with a .385 wOBA and 21 total homers. We’ll dive into Tyler Anderson more later, but he’s a southpaw that’s struggled with right-handed power. There’s always a lot to love at this position and Contreras is a solid option in all formats. You could throw Anthony Rizzo into the mix as well, as he hits lefties extremely well and will be sub-10% owned. Both are in good spots if the wins is still blowing out and make for great plays in all formats.
Hanley Ramirez FD 4100 DK 4300
Opponent - KC (Danny Duffy) Park - BOS
FD - 13.79 DK - 10.41
Hanley Ramirez has been on fire to start this season and has looked like an entirely different player than he did in 2017. I'm not expecting the .400+ wOBA to stick around against lefties, but he's always been good against them and is playing at peak performance. He has as much power in his bat as ever and has the upside to hit two homers in Fenway Park. The Red Sox face off with Danny Duffy tonight, who's sported a .330 wOBA against righties. I don't think the Red Sox are a team to stack down the lineup, but a 1-off Hanley Ramirez or J.D. Martinez is a great option in tournaments. The price is up there and I might end up paying down, but Hanley is the guy to pay for if you have the funds.
Matt Adams has been hitting the ball like a monster over the past week. He has nine hits and three homers over the past five games (two yesterday). Hot streaks aren’t a thing to rid solely, but he’s always streaky. He now gets a solid match-up with Ivan Nova, who’s always struggled with lefties. In 2017, Nova allowed 16 home runs and a .361 wOBA to left-handers. He’s been great so far this year, but it’s only been a few starts and the peripherals obviously don’t line up. Nova isn't a big K guy which helps. Matt Adams is super cheap and an elite option in all formats.
Consider Wilmer Flores if he's in the lineup against the lefty Newcomb
Second base is a pretty weak spot on this early slate. With the Cubs game available, you can go Javier Baez or LeMahieu, but I still like Carpenter more, sitting in this fantastic match-up with Lucas Giolito. Giolito, while a top prospect, has been utterly terrible. It’s hard to use a .380 wOBA when he was good last year, but he hasn’t shown any signs of improvement and Vegas has the Cardinals projected for 4.5+ runs. I think Giolito is an overall good youngster, but he’s struggling and faces an offense that doesn’t get shut down easily. Carpenter posted a .370 wOBA against righties in a ho-hum 2017 and will be around the same in ‘18. The Cardinals aren’t a team we’re all over tonight, but definitely, have a few pieces to consider and Matt Carpenter is a table-setter for the offense. He’s my favorite in both cash games and tournaments.
Second base is the ugliest position on this main slate. You have a lot of big names up top, but they are either in bad match-ups or just way too expensive. We’ll end up settling on Cesar Hernandez, who’s admittedly a bit too expensive. We just don’t have any other options until lineups come out and we see what’s going on. Hernandez and the Phillies will face off with Jose Urena tonight, who’s been bad against lefties with a .350 wOBA allowed. He also has trouble holding runners on first base. Hernandez sported a .351 wOBA dating back 2 years against righties and has a ton of upside with the speed. He’s going to be right in the heart of this order that expected to get 4+ runs against Urena and the Marlins porous bullpen. Hernandez isn’t sexy by any means, but he often gets it done and shouldn’t be all that popular next to such big names.
Consider Howie Kendrick
We’ve managed to ignore the Indians up to this point, but they’re clearly one of the top offenses on his early slate. They have the honor of facing off with Matt Moore, who’s one of the worst lefties in all of baseball. He was actually worse against lefties in 2017, but his peripherals suggested the numbers will regress to a regular platoon split. They’ve evened out since, with Moore allowing a .365 wOBA so far to righties this season. The Indians are projected for well over five runs and Lindor is going to be in the heart of it all. As a switch-hitter, Lindor is better against righties with a .381 wOBA over the last two seasons, but this matchup is fine to take him on the worst side of his platoon. Matt Moore is one of the pitchers you want to proactively target and Lindor is an easy choice at SS.
We’ve ignored the Cincinnati Reds up to this point, but they’re absolutely one of the top offenses on this entire slate. They’re facing off with Wade Miley, who’s one of the easier pitchers in the league to figure out. Against righties, he gave up a .374 wOBA and 24 home runs in just 130 innings of work. Sign me up. He’s a bottom 10 pitcher in baseball and shouldn’t last very long in Great American Ballpark. As for Jose Peraza, he’s been a gem.his hitting is always inconsistent, but he’s held a .300+ wOBA and still has the wheels. He’s been over 20 stolen bases in two straight seasons and barely played in both. He’s going to be in the heart of the order and sandwiched between Hamilton and Votto.
Once again, if you’re playing on a slate with the Chicago Cubs game involved, Kris Bryant is the top option and it’s not all that close. If available, he will be in 100% of my lineups against Tyler Anderson and his slow left-handed delivery. If the Cubs are left off the slate like they are in most cases, we have a great pivot in Jose Ramirez. He’s the Indians best pure hitter and is even more effective as a switch-hitter. Against lefties, he’s posted a .395 wOBA and hit 29 total homers in ‘17. Ramirez isn’t as flashy as a Kris Bryant or Arenado, but he has more homers than them and is just as consistently producing. Ramirez and the Indians are top plays on the entire slate and you can play them in any format.
This is personally the easiest play on the slate for me. We just touched on Wade Miley and how atrocious he is against righties. .374 wOBA and 24 home runs in 130 innings may ring a bell. He now moves into Great American Ballpark, which has ranked in the top 5 for power for years in a row. Vegas has the Reds putting up 4.5+ runs and with a lefty on the mound, Votto isn’t the centerpiece. Eugenio Suarez belted lefties to the tune of a .385 wOBA in 2017 and hit 26 total homers. The ballpark is tremendous for power and I don’t love the position as a whole. Suarez is a legitimate bat that’s just too cheap for his expected output. You’re going to want exposure to this Reds offense and I think Suarez is the best way to do that. I plan on having him in 100% of lineups.
We’re back on the Cardinals in the outfield and it doesn’t take too long to figure out why. For a position that’s typically stacked to the brim, it’s a bit thin. There are always going to be some options, but they just don’t seem as plentiful as usual. The Cardinals ever-changing OF now has an elite Tommy Pham, who’s literally been one of the best hitters in baseball. He’s dominated both sides of the plate and can be played in all formats. Marvell Ozuna has been somewhat underwhelming to start the year, but we know the player he is and the upside he brings to a lineup like this. They face off with Lucas Giolito, who has been worse than pitiful on the year. He has upside as a youngster but has a lot more things to put together before being comfortable in this league. The Cardinals are a chippy offense and should be able to put up more than a few runs against him and the bullpen. Ozuna and Pham are both elite options in all formats, with Ozuna giving you a huge and worthwhile discount.
The Reds are a team we're all over and we're finishing them off in the outfield. If you want to stack, I don't even mind a lefty in Votto with most of the Brewers bullpen pitching from the right side. We know the starter, Wade Miley, is bad. We've touched on him a ton, but to sum it up, he's given up a .374 wOBA to righties over the last season. He has huge HR issues and is now moving into one of the top power parks in the league. Adam Duvall sported a .382 wOBA against lefties and hit 31 total homers in '17. Billy Hamilton isn't going to give you any power, but you know he will score if he gets on base and has a ton of stolen base upside, even against a lefty. Both of these guys are too cheap on both sites and are my favorites in both cash games and tournaments.
Giancarlo Stanton FD 4400 DK 4800
Opponent - HOU (Dallas Keuchel) Park - HOU
FD - 14.01 DK - 10.35
Even with Stanton somewhat struggling, he's still dominated lefties to the tune of a .450 wOBA. In 2017, he held a .480 wOBA with 15 homers and 59 total. He's one of the three best hitters in the league against lefties and should be considered against everyone not named Kershaw. Dallas Keuchel is definitely a solid pitcher, but he gave up a .300 wOBA to righties over the last two seasons and has averaged 1 HR/9. Stanton won't have to do much to get it out in Houston and he's my pick for homer of the night. I know it's isn't much of a stretch, but I never said it had to be. Good luck tonight and feel free to comment down below with any questions!