Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Chris Durell

Daily Fantasy MLB Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 5/8/18

Tuesday baseball gives us one elite arm, some mid-tier options, a game in Coors and whole lot in between. It's going to make for an interesting slate of games which plenty of ways to take your lineups.

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Corey KluberCorey Kluber FD 11400 DK 13600
Opponent - MIL (Wade Miley) Park - MIL
FD - 40.67 DK - 22.31

Kluber hasn't been quite as good as he was at the end of his CY Young winning season in 2017 but pretty darn close. Coming into tonight, he has won five straight starts, striking out 10 or more twice bringing his K/9 rate up to 9.11 for the season and for context, is striking out 27.5% of the batters he faces with a 10.9% swinging strike rate. Tonight, he gets another great matchup against a Brewers team that sits in the bottom third of the league in almost all offensive categories including wOBA(.300), wRC+(85), ISO(.145), runs scored(132), and K rate(23.4%). Despite striking a bit less as of late(21.4%), they have been worse overall in the last 14 days with a .273 wOBA(29th), 67 wRC+(30th), and .121 ISO(29th) so all things considered, you can fire up Kluber as your top pitcher in all formats tonight.

James PaxtonJames Paxton FD 9500 DK 11000
Opponent - TOR (Marcus Stroman) Park - TOR
FD - 32.86 DK - 17.49

The price has taken a huge jump going into tonight's matchup but for good reason as Paxton has been en fuego lately. After posting just one double-digit strikeout game in each of the last two seasons, he already has three in 2018 including a career-high 16 last time out vs. the Athletics who are a Top 10 hitting team against southpaws. There are even signs that he will get better as the season progresses as he is running a very high .349 BABIP and xFIP(3.10) that is a full run lower than his ERA(4.19). He now gets to face a Blue Jays team that ranks in the bottom half of the league vs. lefties(.313 wOBA, 94 wRC+) so fire up Paxton in all formats tonight.

Dylan BundyDylan Bundy FD 8900 DK 7800
Opponent - KC (Danny Duffy) Park - KC
FD - 36.65 DK - 18.8
Pitching is pretty thin for such a large slate on Tuesday and we don't have a ton of options to consider "safe". After coming out of the gates red hot with the strike outs, Dylan Bundy struggled in his last two starts, failing to get through five in each and allowing 12 total earned runs. This is a bounce back spot against a Royals team ranked 26th in wOBA against righties with a dreadful bottom of the order. They don't strike out much in this split (16.6% of the time) which does reduce Bundy's K expectation. But he's now coming cheaper on both sites as a -150 favorite. It's not a perfect play, but again options are thin on this slate.

Strongly consider Aaron Nola as a solid deal on FanDuel. He's the same price as Bundy and is coming in as an overwhelming -200 favorite against the Giants.

First Base/Catcher

Edwin EncarnacionEdwin Encarnacion FD 3600 DK 4700
Opponent - MIL (Wade Miley) Park - MIL
FD - 12.26 DK - 9.08

After struggling early in the season, Encarnacion broke out to start the month of May with eight hits in 16 at-bats vs. the Rangers and Blue Jays before getting shut down by the Yankees. Today, the Indians start a  two-game set vs. the Brewers who will be putting Wade Miley on the bump to make his second start. Don't be fooled by his first start where he allowed just one earned run as he only struck out four while walking three Reds batters. He is coming off back to back seasons where he posted a 5+ ERA and now faces a very powerful Indians offense. Fire up EE in all formats, especially on FanDuel where he comes at a big discount from the top options at the position.

Ian DesmondIan Desmond FD 3500 DK 3900
Opponent - LAA (Andrew Heaney) Park - COL
FD - 13.07 DK - 10.04

The Rockies offense has been pretty terrible to start the season and by pretty terrible I mean bottom three in the league and that isn't even park adjusted. They did, however, start to heat up at the end of their latest road trip and enter tonight with a five-game win streak. They were also productive to close out their last homestand in Coors as they scored 18 runs in three games vs. the Padres. Tonight, they start a series with the Angels in Coors Field and one first basemen that stands out from a PTS/$ perspective is Ian Desmond. He is hitting under the Mendoza line overall but is always a top target when facing a lefty as he sits with a .383 wOBA and 129 wRC+ on the season and also comes under $4K on both sites.

Catcher Consideration: Wilson Ramos(TB)

Second Base

Cesar HernandezCesar Hernandez FD 3400 DK 3700
Opponent - SF (Derek Holland) Park - PHI
FD - 10.1 DK - 7.87

Hernandez seemingly has everything going his way tonight starting with a price that comes under $4K on both sites. He leads off for the Phillies which also gives him the DFSR bump in projection and while he has been just average on the season hitting .273, he is getting on base a high rate with a .395 on-base percentage and has scored 22 runs to this point. On top of that, he is a switch hitter that has absolutely crushed southpaw pitching this season to the tune of a .431 wOBA and 177 wRC+ and now faces a gas can in Derek Holland who has given up three or more earned runs in five of his six starts with five home runs and sits with a 5.70 ERA, 4.54 xFIP. Hernandez can be considered a solid play in all formats.

Ian KinslerIan Kinsler FD 3300 DK 3900
Opponent - COL (Jon Gray) Park - COL
FD - 11.31 DK - 8.69
The Angels are underdogs here in Coors, but are still projected for around five runs against Jon Gray. Kinsler feels like a bargain on both sites where he's sub 4K and should be in the leadoff slot. He’s simply too cheap for the ballpark even with the slow (read: very, very slow) start to the season. Simply put: he’s been awful and I fret about even posting the stats because they are such a train wreck. But some of it is BABIP issues and there was an injury or two thrown in there. It’s kept the price extremely depressed and we are buying on the cheap now in a great spot. Don’t hesitate to roll him out there in cash games at these prices in such a great power park.

Strongly consider Robinson Cano as a GPP pivot. He’s facing Marcus Stroman who’s allowing a ton of hard contact this season.



Trevor StoryTrevor Story FD 3800 DK 4300
Opponent - LAA (Andrew Heaney) Park - COL
FD - 14.58 DK - 10.98
This one is pretty easy and I suspect you see him with significant ownership on both sites. The issue of course is whether paying up for pitching allows this kind of play at shortstop. But Story strikes me as one of the bats to go overboard on. Shortstop has such a positional scarcity and when we get a lefty-killer, hitting in the middle of the lineup in Coors at middle-tier pricing then we have to pay the piper. Story owns a career .993 OPS and .411 wOBA against lefties and has basically owned this platoon split since jump street. Andrew Heaney could stuggle in this ballpark and the Rockies have the highest implied total by a sizeable margin.

Jose PerazaJose Peraza FD 3300 DK 4200
Opponent - NYM (Jason Vargas) Park - CIN
FD - 11.26 DK - 8.96
Peraza typically hits near the top of the order against lefties (Monday he hit second against Conlon) and we can project that kind of lineup placement again on Tuesday. Jason Vargas has flashed some K stuff at times, but he’s also flashed a hell of a lot of walk stuff as well. He has an xFIP hovering around five for his last 200 or so innings and the guy is barely hanging on as a major league pitcher. The Reds have the third-highest implied run line of the day behind the Rockies and Rangers. It makes sense considering the ballpark and the matchup. Peraza isn’t a great hitter by any means, but again getting him near the top of the lineup in a game where the Reds should put up runs makes up for some of those ills.

Strongly consider Jurickson Profar against Mike Fiers. Fiers has been a garbage pile this season and the Rangers are coming in at the second-highest implied run line of the day. Profar’s been hitting in the three hole for the Rangers and is coming cheaper than the two guys above. Hell, maybe I should have written him up instead.

Third Base

Nolan ArenadoNolan Arenado FD 5100 DK 5600
Opponent - LAA (Andrew Heaney) Park - COL
FD - 16.26 DK - 12.25
It doesn’t take some nuanced system, or a million different inputs to recommend Arenado in this spot. He’s one of the true lefty killers in the game and gets to face off against one in Coors Field on Tuesday. Arenado has a career .978 OPS and .405 wOBA against lefties though of course some of that is home park-aided. No matter, he’s in that spot on Tuesday against Heaney. The real question of course is what kind of price you can pay to have him in the lineup. Rostering Kluber and/or any other competent arm means making tougher choices on the offensive side of things. Namely: it gets tough fitting all of the salaries. Pitchers generally have a lower standard deviation than hitters, so in cash games favor the arms. But it’s a scary prospect fading Nolan against a south paw in Coors.

Danny ValenciaDanny Valencia FD 2300 DK 3100
Opponent - KC (Danny Duffy) Park - BAL
FD - 10.06 DK - 7.7
If you are looking to save some bucks, then Valencia offers a nice punt play on the right side of his splits. He’s typically hitting in the fifth hole against lefties and he should be. Dude’s crushed this split for his career. He owns .371 wOBA and 135 wRC+ against southpaws and Danny Duffy isn’t exactly a shut down lefty. The latter has major walk issues and an xFIP hovering in the mid 4’s over the last 150 innings. Valencia is the perfect option if you are paying up for pitching on this slate.

Strongly consider Kyle Seager in a stack with Robinson Cano (above) against Marcus Stroman.


Delino DeShieldsDelino DeShields FD 3300 DK 3800
Opponent - DET (Mike Fiers) Park - TEX
FD - 11.98 DK - 9.27
Shin-Soo ChooShin-Soo Choo FD 3000 DK 3700
Opponent - DET (Mike Fiers) Park - TEX
FD - 12.35 DK - 9.34
Joey GalloJoey Gallo FD 3500 DK 4500
Opponent - DET (Mike Fiers) Park - TEX
FD - 13.03 DK - 9.6
Look, there are a lot of bad pitchers you can pick on for Tuesday. There’s the possibility of a ton of runs going up on the board which is going to make a lot of stacks viable even for cash games. Our system likes the price points and upside on the Texas outfield. Vegas has them around 5.3 implied runs against Mike Fiers who’s struggling to get any strikeouts going in his first 27 innings this season. Guy’s been rocked to a 5.11 xFIP and over the last two seasons is allowing around two home runs per nine (a brutal number). Deshields and Choo should hit 1-2 in the lineup and could do damage here. Delino is running hot with the BABIP making his OBP a little inflated. He can swipe a bag when on base, but he isn’t all that patient at the plate. I still like the prices on both sites.

Choo’s walk rate has dipped some this season but he still has some pop in his bat and is much better against righties for his career. And Gallo is the ultimate boom or bust candidate. The guy has more home runs than singles for his career. Sure he strikes out a lot, but also has a mid .800’s OPS on the season with 12 home runs in his first 145 plate appearances. If you think Fiers is going to continue struggling to miss bats then this is the perfect opportunity for the big lefty.

Adam FrazierAdam Frazier FD 2500 DK 3200
Opponent - CHW (Lucas Giolito) Park - CHW
FD - 10.49 DK - 8.22
We still want to throw out some cheaper options if you're considering rostering Kluber at such an elevated price tag. Frazier should hit lead off and is coming at near punt prices on FanDuel. Lucas Giolito has been one of the worst pitchers in the majors this season, sporting a 6.94 xFIP (oof) while walking more batters than he's struck out (23 to 18). Dude's been just legit the bottom of the barrel. I don't see much changing on Tuesday an Frazier is looking at a big park upgrade with the game in Chicago. Again, he's simply a price play projected to hit near the top of the order, but this is the time to roster these guys on the plate appearance expectation.

Adam DuvallAdam Duvall FD 2900 DK 4100
Opponent - NYM (Jason Vargas) Park - CIN
FD - 11.87 DK - 8.94
He's a little pricey on DraftKings, but the FanDuel price is tough to pass up in GPPs. Duvall's big issue is strikeouts and that's generally not an issue when one is facing Jason Vargas. The former hasn't been a big platoon guy for his career, trending toward even splits over the last few seasons. But he obviously has big power in the right matchup and the Reds do project for runs on Tuesday. Duvall has dropped his K rate every season and this year's numbers look bad thanks in some part to the awful .171 BABIP. That fit for some regression going forward and we are buying low on his FanDuel price for sure.




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8 Visitor Comments

  1. Last night was just another example that PvB is a REAL THING. A.Gon had 6 jacks off of H Bailey with a 1.7+ OPS and was in GABP and not a peep about him. All I read/hear about is sample size is not sufficient. HA! What is a “sufficient” sample size?? 40, 50, 60 PA’s? Ain’t happening. You’re gonna ignore 4 dingers out of seven PA’s because it doesn’t compute into your algorithm “sample size”. Please do. Guru elite has it right and computes PvP into algorithm. BvP is a real thing. Slumps are a REAL thing. Hot streaks are a REAL thing. The game is played by humans, not robots.

    • Thanks for reading. Batter vs. Pitcher stats, in our estimation, will never reach anything close to a relevant sample size as far as baseball statistics are concerned. Some stats normalize “quickly”: ground ball rates as an example. But BvP will just never get there. That being said, Homer Bailey sucks and A-gon a fine play because of the matchup, park, etc. The same factors for him applied to why we wrote up Nimmo, Bruce, Conforto yesterday. Just didn’t get that far down the Mets’ lineup. Again, thanks for reading and commenting.

  2. Any other options besides Darvish since he’s been put on the DL?

  3. I like Bundy vs KC.. 48 Ks in 40 2/3 innings.. good ERA at 3.76.. only down side to him is he may struggle to get the W.. Baltimore bats suck..

    PS can we get more stack write ups in the future??

  4. GPP pitchers and stacks article out shortly.

  5. I’m struggling with bats and looking to pay down more at pitcher… with that said, Love or Hate – Rich Hill?

    • Hate! Dbacks Own LA
      Rather take Duffy…his Velo is increasing and Bal bats have been terrible…could have a big day.

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