Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy MLB Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 5/23/18

Tuesday baseball brings us a split slate of action with five early afternoon games and ten main slate contests. It's going to make for an interesting day and luckily some of the value plays are split up between the afternoon and evening. We especially see that with the pitching options. Let's take a look at what Tuesday has to offer on FanDuel and DraftKings.

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Justin VerlanderJustin Verlander FD 11200 DK 12800
Opponent - SF (Jeff Samardzija) Park - HOU
FD - 46.4 DK - 25.32
Verlander comes into Wednesday as the clear cash game play on both sites. He’s a massive
-260 favorite against the Giants who have just 2.85 runs entering the contest.
Verlander hasn’t been nearly as good as his minuscule 1.05 ERA would suggest with the 3.48 xFIP nearly 2.5 runs behind. But he’s still mowing down batters at a 33% clip (the highest of his entire career). Even with the likely regression coming on the ERA, he’s still the frontrunner for cash game safety considering his body of work and the nature of the matchup. The Giants, at best, are a mediocre offense against righty pitching this season and are actually striking out the fifth-most in the league in that platoon at 25%. His price is easy to fit on FanDuel where he probably should be more around $12K. The DraftKings price will require some extra work at SP2 and with the bats, but the Astro workhorse is worth paying up for in this spot.

On DraftKings, you'd be remiss not to consider Brent Suter at only $4000. That's as cheap as you'll ever get a SP2 who isn't a complete bum. Also, if you think Kyle Gibson's early season returns are sustainable, he's in a good spot against the Tigers.

Jacob deGromJacob deGrom FD 10000 DK 13200
Opponent - MIA (Dan Straily) Park - NYM
FD - 41.43 DK - 22.51
deGrom is mispriced on FanDuel, there’s no other way to put it. For the evening slate of games, he’s the (very) easy choice at only $10K there and I expect him to be the overwhelming chalk. It’s closer on DraftKings with the price cresting over $13K though I suspect we still find a way to fit those dollars into lineups. He’s putting up elite numbers this season, striking out more than 12 batters per nine and really limiting the walks. You can also somewhat ignore the 5.6 innings per start because one game he left after four innings with an injury and the next game only pitched one inning because of a rain delay. His *real* number is something like 6.5 innings per start. Those two fluky games are likely some part of the cause of his FanDuel pricing. He gets an excellent matchup against the Marlins who come in second-to-last in wOBA against righties this season. deGrom is an easy call here.

Kenta MaedaKenta Maeda FD 8500 DK 9800
Opponent - COL (Kyle Freeland) Park - LAD
FD - 34.57 DK - 18.42
It’s always tricky when we are relying on the Dodgers’ pitch counts, but I’m encouraged that three of Maeda’s last four starts have gone 96 pitches or more. Sure, we have some mid 80’s numbers in there which are concerning, but by and large, I’m trusting the talent and matchup to win out here. He’s putting up excellent strikeout numbers, putting down 29% of batters and rocking a 4.15:1 K:BB ratio. Oh, and the Rockies stink. Even with the massive home park advantage for their bats, they still rank third to last in wOBA against righties on the season and strike out more than 24% of the time. Maeda is a little pricey on DK if you are pairing him with deGrom but I do like him coming in as a -165 favorite.

First Base/Catcher

Paul GoldschmidtPaul Goldschmidt FD 3400 DK 4400
Opponent - MIL (Brent Suter) Park - MIL
FD - 12.15 DK - 9.12
What do we do with Paul Goldschmidt folks? He’s scuffling his way to a sub .700 OPS on the season and there are legit concerns about the soft contact rate climbing and the hard contact rate falling. Yet the issues have been almost completely isolated to righty pitching. Even on such a bad season, he’s still tuning up lefties to a 1K+ OPS with a .435 wOBA. Those numbers are exactly in line with his splits from last season. I see this as the perfect time to buy considering we are buying at the mother of all discounts because of his righty splits. Against a low-K Brent Suter, you should be loading up here.

At catcher on the early slate, consider Brian McCann against Jeff Samardzija

Josh BellJosh Bell FD 3200 DK 4000
Opponent - CIN (Homer Bailey) Park - CIN
FD - 11.45 DK - 8.7
There’s a reason the Pirates are pushing up towards five implied runs heading into this game and his name is Homer Bailey. Homer seems prepared to live up to his name, allowing more than two dongs per nine innings on the short season while rocking a 5.43 xFIP. He can’t strike anyone out (less than six per nine) and still offers a ton of free passes. He’s barely hanging on as a major league arm. Bell isn’t flashing quite the power we saw last season, but you have to assume that since the hard contact rate hasn’t budged, the 6.4% HR/FB ratio will begin to round out. Great American Ballpark is just the place to make it happen considering it’s one of the best power parks in the majors. He’s a solid cash game play because of the 11% walk rate and has a ton of upside in this matchup.

Chris DavisChris Davis FD 2100 DK 3100
Opponent - CHW (Dylan Covey) Park - CHW
FD - 10.53 DK - 7.8
Here we pit the no-K Dylan Covey with the only-K’s Chris Davis. It’s an interesting spot. After starting the season as the Orioles’ leadoff hitter, he’s steadily moved down the batting order because the results haven’t been there (by a long shot). But buying here at close to the minimum could be the play considering Covey is one of the worst starters you’ll see take the bump in the big show. Davis greatly reduces the K expectation and should be free swinging against the righty. I like him as a GPP play.

At catcher, strongly consider Robinson Chirinos against the lefty Sabathia.


Second Base

Brian DozierBrian Dozier FD 3800 DK 3800
Opponent - DET (Michael Fulmer) Park - MIN
FD - 11.97 DK - 9.04
You have to trust me, I didn't want to write up Dozier in this spot. I really didn't. I know he's struggled over the short term (read: most of the season) and he isn't exactly coming cheap on the worse side of his splits against Fulmer. And yet second base is just so thin on the early afternoon slate of games that you almost have to take the guy considering he's going to hit leadoff and the Twins are projected to put up runs. The Twins opened at 4.8 implied runs at home against Fulmer who isn't exactly a bottom feeder. The guy can turn up a K or two. This is a spot where I'm hoping someone like Jonathan Villar or maybe even Ketel Marte can move up the order on the cheap. Otherwise, we are sitting in a weird spot with second base. This one remains a TBD.

Jonathan SchoopJonathan Schoop FD 3000 DK 4000
Opponent - CHW (Dylan Covey) Park - CHW
FD - 11.58 DK - 8.84
Josh HarrisonJosh Harrison FD 2900 DK 3900
Opponent - CIN (Homer Bailey) Park - CIN
FD - 11.08 DK - 8.64
I grouped these two guys together because they are nearly identical in pricing and have almost the exact same projections according to our system. It’s tough to go wrong with either one around $3K on FanDuel considering they both hit at or near the top of the order (Harrison 1st or 2nd, Schoop typically cleanup). As I said with Bell above, Homer Bailey is for sure a pitcher to target on just about any slate, and these Pirates are coming reasonably priced all the way around. Same goes for Schoop against Covey. Both have mid-to-upper .700s OPS numbers over the last season plus against righties so the reverse platoon side isn’t as big a concern. Even their K and BB numbers are remarkably similar in the righty splits so it’s not like one stands out as a better cash game play. Just know that they reduce the K downside because of the gas cans taking the bump against them.



Carlos CorreaCarlos Correa FD 3700 DK 4500
Opponent - SF (Jeff Samardzija) Park - HOU
FD - 12.9 DK - 9.72
Though we are likely paying up for Verlander on the early slate, shortstop is definitely a place to spend up considering the scarcity of talent at the position. Correa doesn’t have quite the numbers of his 2017 campaign, but he’s still sporting a mid .800’s OPS and over the last two seasons has put up a .374 wOBA against righties. We aren’t overly worried about the reverse platoon matchup against Samardzija. This is almost for sure a buy-low opportunity on Correa who, before Monday’s game, was only 5-37 over his last nine games. It’s caused his price on both sites to dip and I doubt that trend continues.

If you want to go on the cheaper side, consider just punting with Orlando Arcia</strong

Didi GregoriusDidi Gregorius FD 3800 DK 4600
Opponent - TEX (Doug Fister) Park - TEX
FD - 13.44 DK - 10.35
The Yankees have moved their lineup around some recently, but you still have to love this spot for Didi. Much like Correa, shortstop is definitely a spot to pay up for because the difference between the “cans” and “cannots” is wider than any other position. You are essentially choosing between the 3-4 shortstops who hit in and around the top of the lineup, or just completely punting with some loser who hits last. Gregorius has steadily increased his power numbers over the last two seasons plus, and this year looks to be the best of them all. He already has 10 home runs in his first 184 plate appearances and has more than doubled his walk rate from last year. Even with a BABIP 60 points lower than his career average, he’s putting up a .851 OPS. It’s all good with Didi and this is a cash game spot against Fister.


Third Base

Matt CarpenterMatt Carpenter FD 3600 DK 3700
Opponent - KC (Jake Junis) Park - STL
FD - 12.35 DK - 9.22
He’s way too cheap on DraftKings where he’s likely to be one of the chalkier plays on the slate because of the multi-position eligibility. Considering you can play him at either second base or third, there’s almost no reason to get around him at these price points. Over the last season plus (622 plate appearances) Carpenter owns an elite 17% walk rate and .368 OPS against righties. He’s one of the toughest outs in the game in this split and is a big favorite to have the ball in play against Junis who doesn’t possess big-time K stuff and rarely walks batters. Again, Carpenter should be highly-owned on this shorter early slate of games.

Consider Eduardo Escobar for around the same price as Carpenter on FanDuel. Escobar also qualifies as a SS on DraftKings which could really help fill out lineups.

Yolmer SanchezYolmer Sanchez FD 2700 DK 3300
Opponent - BAL (Alex Cobb) Park - CHW
FD - 7.68 DK - 5.97
Yolmer won’t light your hair on fire with his offensive production, but there’s still a great deal to like about rostering him for the evening slate. He’s nearly locked into the second slot in the order for the White Sox and has a respectable .772 OPS and 106 wRC+ against righties over the last season plus. Those numbers are perfectly acceptable for a guy coming very cheap on both sites. It helps too that Sanchez’s biggest weakness (the strikeout) is mitigated against Alex Cobb who K’s less than five batters per nine this season. I like third base as a spot to get away from cheap on the main slate and as long as Yolmer is hitting second against a terrible arm like Cobb you get a higher floor without spending all that much.

Consider Miguel Andujar even around the bottom of the Yankees’ lineup


Tommy PhamTommy Pham FD 3900 DK 4400
Opponent - KC (Jake Junis) Park - STL
FD - 12.96 DK - 9.75
Marcell OzunaMarcell Ozuna FD 2800 DK 3200
Opponent - KC (Jake Junis) Park - STL
FD - 12.13 DK - 9.21
Dollar-for-dollar I think Ozuna remains one of the best day-in-day-out values around. His price is massively deflated thanks to some BABIP issues, but mostly because the HR/FB rate is off a cliff despite the hard contact rate way up over his career numbers. I’ll keep buying at these lower prices simply because it would appear regression on the power numbers could be on its way. There’s nothing to suggest he’ll continue a prolonged run without hitting home runs.

Meanwhile, Pham is just one of the better hitters in the game. He’s already closing in on 10 home runs and steals (8 each), walks at an elite 15% rate and the .900 OPS from last season doesn’t look anything like a fluke. He’s on pace for an even better season this time around. Jake Junis is merely an average pitcher, so this isn’t an overwhelmingly positive matchup for the Cards’ OF. But I do think they are trending each on the cheaper side for a smaller slate of games.

Strongly consider Dexter Fowler if you are stacking Ozuna and Pham. Additionally, take a look at Robbie Grossman on the cheaper side if he can crack the top five of the Twins’ lineup.

Brett GardnerBrett Gardner FD 3100 DK 4300
Opponent - TEX (Doug Fister) Park - TEX
FD - 12.92 DK - 9.89
Gardner is reasonably priced on FanDuel in a game where the Yankees come in with close to 5.75 implied runs. That’s pretty much the long and short of the reasoning here. Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge are of course also in the mix but their prices are so far into the stratosphere that it’s unrealistic to think about paying for cash game pitching AND being able to afford the big boppers. But Gardner’s pricing is in the sweet spot against Fister who strikes out less than seven batters per nine and walks more than three. He could be in real trouble against the Bombers here. Gardner, like his teammate Didi, is also seeing a surge in walk rate (15% up from 10% last season). And despite a similar hard contact rate is only at 2% HR/FB ratio. He’s not a huge power guy, but one has to assume at least some power is heading down the pike if that number creeps back anywhere close to normal.

Trey ManciniTrey Mancini FD 3100 DK 3700
Opponent - CHW (Dylan Covey) Park - CHW
FD - 11.77 DK - 9.05
Adam JonesAdam Jones FD 3300 DK 3600
Opponent - CHW (Dylan Covey) Park - CHW
FD - 11.55 DK - 8.88
Both are coming under $4K on DraftKings and will likely hit first and second in the lineup. Both have fared well over the last couple of seasons against righties. Mancini has a .811 OPS and Jones a .788 OPS in the reverse split. Neither cares to walk all that much, but still, have .wOBA’s in the mid .300s. Against Covey we can target them for cash games on the plate appearance expectation. The Orioles are projected for just a little over five runs in this contest, which is only behind the Yankees on the evening slate of games. Considering, across the board, they are cheaper than their fellow AL-East mates, I’m fine taking them at a discount. The matchup and park are almost too good to pass up.

Strongly consider Aaron Altherr if he’s hitting in the top five of the Phillies’ lineup against the lefty Gohara. Also, it’s too early for a run line, but Ben Zobrist is coming cheap across the board if he’s hitting leadoff again against Plutko.


5 Visitor Comments

  1. Good write up today. At the time of this post, Goldschmidt has already gone yard. But as a Yankee fan, I would not jump on Gregorious. He was a .379 hitter in late April and now is in the mid .200’s. Maybe an injury he is playing through? IDK, but he has been ice cold in May.

  2. I’m taking Daniel Gossett. Idgaf Nashville Sounds baybay!!!

  3. 1st Thank you Chris for all the work you do, it has really helped me with my daily picks…. I was wanting to ask what you thought about David Price an Skaggs just to fad DeGrom cause of his high price…. Still real question is do you trust Mr. Price tonight I know he been inconsistent to say the least.

  4. Ha! Didi goes over the fence. Shut my mouth.

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