Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy MLB Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 6/5/18
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Not only did we have a really small slate on Monday, we had very limited options on the mound. This is not the case tonight as we have a full slate ahead of us on Tuesday with a ton of pitching options including the return of Carlos Martinez and Madison Bumgarner from the disabled list. There are two pitchers who stand out above the rest and I don't think you can go wrong picking either of them to headline your cash game lineups tonight.
It starts with Max Scherzer who gets the better matchup against a Rays team that ranks middle of the pack in wOBA(.317) and wRC+(101) against right-handed pitching and overall, has struggled over the past 14 days scoring just 41 runs(ranked 27th) and striking out at a 22% rate. Strikeouts is what Max has done best all season as he has racked up double-digit K's in four of his last five starts and in eight of his 12 starts on the season for a ridiculous 13.56 K/9 and 17.5% swinging strike rate. The Nats are at home tonight where Scherzer has been even better there with a 1.77 ERA while holding opponents to a .196 wOBA. He is my top choice of the two.
Next, we have Corey Kluber who has seen his K rate(9.35 K/9) get back on par with his career numbers but that hasn't stopped the dominance as he sits with a 2.02 ERA and 2.69 xFIP after allowing just two earned runs over his last four starts(26.1 innings pitched) while striking out 31 and walking no batters. His matchup isn't as good as Max's as the Brewers have been pretty darn good against right-handed pitching with the 7th best wOBA(.321) and 14th best wRC+(99) but they do strike out 24.3% of the time in that split. Like the Nats, the Indians are huge home favorites(-210) and if you need to save a few dollars Kluber comes at a discount on both sites.
One mid-range option I will be looking at tonight as an SP2 in all formats on DraftKings and GPP option on FanDuel is Kyle Hendricks of the Cubs. He is averaging over six innings per start on the season and despite the lack of strikeout upside(6.92 K/9 & 19.1% K rate), he has been very consistent allowing opponents to score three earned runs or fewer in nine straight and 10 of his 11 starts on the season for a 3.19 ERA and 3.82 xFIP. Tonight, he gets a fantastic matchup against a Phillies team that ranks 20th in wOBA(.307), 21st in wRC+(92), and dead last in K rate(26.9%) against right-handed pitchers. The Cubs are also big -200 home favorites tonight which makes me feel a lot more comfortable rolling Hendricks out in all formats.
The Cubs are in a great spot offensively tonight and them being a -200 favorite likely has more to do with their offense vs. Zach Eflin than it does Hendricks as they sit with the 5th highest implied runs on the night. After a somewhat lucky start to the season(.205 BABIP) for Eflin who allowed just three earned runs in his first three starts, he has come back to Earth lately allowing five earned runs in each of his last two starts with over 40% hard contact on both. That is great news for Rizzo who has put his early-season struggles in the rearview as he is slashing .309/.409/.564 since the start of May with seven home runs and 29 RBI while striking out under 10% of the time. Considering he comes at a bit of a discount off a few of the other options at first base, he is my top option in all formats tonight.
Bird got the second game of the doubleheader off yesterday but picked up a home run in game one(second of the season) to extend his hitting streak to five games. This is great news for a player coming off multiple ankle surgeries and even better news for us as fantasy players is the fact he has been hitting out of the three-hole in the lineup between Judge and Stanton. Bird and the Yankees are in a great spot tonight as they sit with the third-highest implied runs and will face Marco Estrada who has been nothing short of a disaster this season allowing four or more earned runs in seven of his last nine starts and 12 home runs in 11 starts on the season. Bird's price has corrected on DraftKings but on FanDuel he remains in the low $3K range giving him elite PTS/$ value making him a near lock in all formats.
Catcher Consideration: Kurt Suzuki(ATL)
This is a great spot for the A's tonight who currently lead all teams in implied runs thanks to an elite matchup against Matt Moore. On the season, Moore has given up four or more earned runs in six of his 10 starts and comes into tonight with an ugly 7.85 ERA and not much better 5.52 xFIP. He has only given up six home runs on the season but the 8.8% home run to flyball rate is running a little low when looking at his 10%+ rate over the last four seasons. The A's, overall as a team, haven't been great against left-handed pitching but one player who is having success is Jed Lowrie who comes in with a .360 wOBA and 130 wRC+ in that split and leads the team overall with 42 RBI and a .481 slugging %. All things considered, Lowrie is my top play at second and safe in all formats.
The Royals have been much more productive as a team against left-handed pitching and leading the way has been Whit Merrifield who comes in with a ridiculous .488 wOBA, 214 wRC+, and 268 ISO against southpaws. He has also been very consistent lately hitting .321 with a .415 on-base percentage since the start of May and has been hitting primarily out of the two-hole on the lineup over the last couple weeks. He is more of a GPP play for me tonight as Lowrie gets the better matchup against Moore and Heaney has been serviceable this season with a 3.66 ERA/3.72 xFIP but the upside is there and he should be lower owned.
Also Consider: Jason Kipnis(CLE) who still has a mid $3K price tag and has heated up with hits in 12 of his last 14 with five multi-hit efforts
I haven't touched on the Red Sox yet but it is probably a good idea seeing as they have the second-highest implied runs on the slate in a great spot. They will face Artie Lewicki who started out in AAA for the Tigers and underwhelmed with a 5.06 ERA and hasn't been much better in six relief appearances in the big leagues with a 3.60 ERA and 4.46 xFIP. He will now make his first start of the season and while he is not likely to go deep into the game, that may be good news for the Sox as the Tigers have one of the worst bullpens in the league(4.46 ERA, 4.42 xFIP). One player I will be looking to is Bogaerts who comes at a bit of a value relative to his teammate's prices and has been consistent all season with a .281/.337/.515 slash line. He has been hitting out of the two-hole and in a great spot making him playable in all formats tonight.
While I will be using Bogaerts a ton in my cash game lineups with his consistency, I feel Gregorius is a great pivot with upside for GPP's at a likely lower ownership level. Consistency is not a word we would dare use with him as he has been on a roller coaster ride this season starting out red hot in April then seeing his numbers fall off a cliff in May. The good news is that it appears he is back on the upturn as he comes into tonight with hits in six straight games including three multi-hit efforts and could even see a move back up the lineup in the near future. The matchup is definitely in his favor as he faces struggling Marco Estrada.
Also Consider: Jose Peraza(CIN) on the cheap who comes in with a seven-game hit streak
The system has seen very few days where it didn't like the Cardinals and especially Matt Carpenter. I agree with it tonight as he sits near the top of the PTS/$ ranks at the position as his price has once again dipped back into the $3K range on both sites. He does come in hitless in his last three games but he has come a long way since his early season struggles and is slashing .333/.400/.625 since the middle of May and is back hitting leadoff for the Cards. The matchup is above average as Jose Urena has been less than impressive in 2018 with a 4.41 ERA/3.98 xFIP while giving up just over 41% hard contact. On a night with some high-end pitchers, it is worth rostering Carpenter in all formats with a sub $4K price tag.
Another PTS/$ play I am looking at rostering tonight is Anthony Rendon. He doesn't really stand out in any one area but has been consistent as of late hitting out of the three hole and over the last two weeks is slashing .275/.333/.510 with six doubles and two home runs. Tonight the Nats face Nathan Eovaldi who made his return to a major league mound last Wednesday after Tommy John Surgery and while he looked excellent allowing no hits through six innings, he doesn't strike many out and is likely to regress back to his career numbers which sit around a 4.00+ ERA and xFIP. Like Carpenter, it's more about the PTS/$ value and salary relief to help get to the top pitchers tonight.
Also Consider: Danny Valencia(BAL)
Back to the Red Sox as we turn to the outfield position tonight and it starts with Andrew Benintendi who has taken over the leadoff role with Mookie Betts on the disabled list. He has performed admirably in that role as well with 12 hits in 36 plate appearances(.375 average) while getting on base at a .444 clip pushing his overall slash line to .296/.381/.537 for the season. Not only has he provided a high floor but also a ton of upside with nine home runs and 41 RBI on the season and like I mentioned with Bogaerts, gets a great matchup vs. Artie Lewicki and the Tigers awful bullpen. The fact that Betts is on the DL and Martinez is day to day is back spasms and the Red Sox still have the second-highest implied runs says a lot about the matchup meaning I will consider Benintendi in all formats.
I am going right back to the Cardinals here for a couple reasons starting with the value as they provide excellent savings on both sites on a slate when we are going to want to pay up for one of the two stud pitchers. Like Carpenter, Ozuna got off to a very slow start this season but has come on strong lately hitting .296 with a .378 on-base percentage since the start of May. He hasn't yet shown us the same power upside we seen the last couple years with the Marlins but at this price, I am fine with the consistency, especially in cash lineups.
One more trip to Oakland as I look to punt one of my outfield positions and tonight it's Mark Canha. There is not a whole lot of safety here as he enters tonight with a .236 average and .301 on-base percentage and another knock against him is that he hits near the bottom of the order on most nights. So what is there to like? First of all, he gets a terrific matchup vs. gas can Matt Moore and second, he crushes left-handed pitching to the tune of a .415 wOBA, 167 wRC+, and 345 ISO. If he were to find his way into the Top 6 of the lineup he would be a near lock if you are rostering Kluber or Scherzer tonight.