Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Jerry Vanderwoude

Daily Fantasy MLB Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 6/9/18

Saturday, June 9th brings us an eleven game early set of games, with just four games on the main slate. Pitching is plentiful on the early slate, with only one way to turn at night making it tough to fit those Coors Field bats we covet so much. Let's jump right into it and take a look at our projection system's top plays and see where the value falls into place.

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Jon LesterJon Lester FD 8400 DK 8200
Opponent - PIT (Nick Kingham) Park - CHC
FD - 34.48 DK - 17.98
With eleven games on the docket for the afternoon and the top arm of the day on the shorter evening set, there's a wealth of options to consider on the hill in our early slate lineups. Gio, and Wacha are both decent options in favorable matchups, and though neither break the bank, I'm going to look a little lower down on the pricing tier for our first pick, allowing us plenty of freedom to go big in the sticks. John Lester takes the hill for the Cubs this afternoon in game two of the series against the Pirates. Lester isn't the flashiest name on the slate, despite the impressive 2.44 ERA, the xFIP is at it's highest point in a decade, and the 7.84 K/9 is the lowest since 2013 in Boston. Still, there's a lot to like about Lester today as the Cubbies come into the day as strong -180 favorites. Lester started the season out with some rough outings but has been much more consistent as of late, putting together his strongest fantasy performance of the season thus far against the Mets last weekend. He threw seven shutout innings, striking out a batter per inning and allowed just five base runners on his way to the win. Pittsburgh has a .319 wOBA with a 101 wRC+, and though they don't strikeout a ton, for the price, Lester is a strong play as cash options go.

Blake SnellBlake Snell FD 9500 DK 11800
Opponent - SEA (Felix Hernandez) Park - TB
FD - 35.79 DK - 18.73
If you have the funds to spend up on the early slate, then Blake Snell is a great way to go. Snell and the Rays host the Mariners down in Tampa this afternoon, and though Snell isn't an overwhelming favorite (-130 opening line) it's reasonable enough to consider in cash games, against a Seattle team projecting for 3.6 implied runs, the lowest total on the early set. Seattle hasn't been a terrible offense this year, though they haven't been great either. They do tend to struggle more against southpaws. They have a combined .324 wOBA against the split and strikeout 20.5% of the time. Snell meanwhile hasn't given up an earned run in each of his three previous starts including last weekend in Seattle where he struck this same lineup out 12 times in 6.0 IP. This has helped him to build to an impressive 3.20 xFIP (twelfth among all qualified pitchers this season) with a K/9 over 10.0. Now in his third season, Snell is on pace to put up career-best totals in every meaningful category and is a terrific option in cash games on the early slate.

Charlie MortonCharlie Morton FD 10000 DK 12400
Opponent - TEX (Mike Minor) Park - TEX
FD - 37.1 DK - 20
The main slate gets a little trickier. We have just four games going. One is a game in Coors Field with over 12 implied runs, and another features the priciest arm of the day on both sites Charlie Morton. Morton is a strong -180 favorite pitching behind an offense projecting for Coors-like numbers (Houston is opening with an implied 5.8 run line). Morton has been a force to reckon with this season, posting a top ten xFIP (2.84), while striking out a ridiculous 11.34 batters per nine. He's coming off a rough outing against the Red Sox who took him for six runs, and it was only the second time this season Morton surrendered over three in a game. The matchup is favorable against the Rangers who have the sixth lowest team wOBA against RHP this season while striking out second most against the split. Morton is the only option on this limited slate in all formats. Fortunately, we're getting Morton priced at a point on FanDuel where we can still utilize some pricier Coors bats with some value punts while pairing him with a cheaper SP 2 on DraftKings can help offset the price there.

Strongly consider Alex Wood against the Braves. The matchup isn't ideal on paper, but the Dodgers are -180 favorites, and he's the only main slate arm after Morton worth considering on FanDuel while pairing the two on DraftKings leave us with over $3.5K to work with per bat.

First Base/Catcher

Yonder AlonsoYonder Alonso FD 3600 DK 4000
Opponent - DET (Mike Fiers) Park - DET
FD - 11.46 DK - 8.65
The Indians are one of two team projecting for over five runs on the early slate as they go up against the Tigers who will send Mike Fiers to the mound. Fiers has been wildly inconsistent in his first season with Detroit, and it shows in his 4.83 xFIP, at it's highest point since his rookie campaign. Yonder Alonso should find himeself in his usual spot in the five hole today with the right hander on the hill. Alonso has faired much better off RHP in his career with a .334 wOBA and 113 wRC+ against the split, and an OPS pushing .800. He's reasonably priced across the industry and projects as one of the top PPD plays in our MLB projection system. Alonso has produced in nine of his last ten games and is a strong consideration in all formats this afternoon.

Russell MartinRussell Martin FD 2100 DK 2800
Opponent - BAL (Kevin Gausman) Park - TOR
FD - 9.65 DK - 7.21
With the new C/1B combo position on FanDuel, I don't tend to play catchers unless I am in desperate need of some value. DraftKings however, still requires a backstop, so there I'll consider Russell Martin against Kevin Gausman. After posting a career-high 4.33 xfIP in 2017, Gausman has been more on pace with his career numbers this season, which is better but still isn't very good. Gausman has a 4.63 ERA, 3.67 xFIP, a .323 BABIP and is allowing 1.67 HR/9 the worst rate of his career. He's surrendered five long balls, and 18 total earned runs in his last three starts. Martin struggled against the Yankees earlier this week but is currently 2 for 4 with a home run, a walk and 2 RBI as I write this. He holds a .347 wOBA against RHP in his career and for the price is an excellent option behind the plate.

Adrian GonzalezAdrian Gonzalez FD 2200 DK 3200
Opponent - NYY (Domingo German) Park - NYM
FD - 7.54 DK - 5.74
On the main slate, we want to look for some value where we can find it, to free up space for the Coors bats where we need them. We can do that at first base with Adrian Gonzalez. A-Gon has relocated to the big apple, joining the Mets for his fifteenth major league season. It's a subway series weekend as the Mets host the Yankees in Citi Field. The Yanks will send Domingo German to the hill tonight. German has five starts under his belt now and has been nothing short of terrible. He's posting a 4.16 xFIP, walking over four batters per nine, and giving up 1.31 HR/9. After shutting out the Indians through six in his debut, German has gone on to allow 19 earned runs in 21 IP through his next four starts. Gonzalez has always thrived in the split, with a .374 wOBA for his career against RHP. Priced for little risk, Gonzalez is a fine cash game play to allow us to spend up in the spots where we need to.

Consider Yasmani Grandal with a career .341 wOBA against RHP in the catcher spot on DraftKings against Anibal Sanchez (ATL).

Second Base

Ian KinslerIan Kinsler FD 3100 DK 3600
Opponent - MIN (Kyle Gibson) Park - MIN
FD - 10.49 DK - 8.01
The price on Ian Kinsler has finally eclipsed the $3K mark across the industry, now that he has spent the better part of the past month hitting leadoff after spending much of the early part of the season towards the bottom of the order. Despite the increase in cost, Kinsler is still a remarkable value hitting ahead of Mike Trout, Justin Upton, and Albert Pujols. That is a ton of run scoring potential for the second baseman. Though his numbers are down across the board in his first season with the Angels, Kinsler, who is striking out less than any qualified second baseman at just 9.4% has base hits in eight of his last 11 games with five multi-hit efforts. There's still a long way to go before Kinsler is priced out of consideration, for now, deploy him at will.

Jose AltuveJose Altuve FD 4500 DK 4900
Opponent - TEX (Mike Minor) Park - TEX
FD - 15.39 DK - 11.9
On the main slate, we don't just have the game in Coors between the DBacks and Rockies, we also find the Astros in a sweet matchup against Mike Minor. We'll touch more on Minor and what makes him such a great target in a moment, but first, let's take a look at the first of several Astros we'll spotlight this evening. Jose Altuve has the second best wOBA among qualified second basemen this season and is ranked top five in most offensive categories. While never a big power guy, the four home runs to this point is still a bit concerning, but what he lacks in power numbers he makes up for in speed with nine bags swiped already providing for some upside potential. Altuve crushes lefties with a career .382 wOBA and should be considered a top option on the slate regardless of the cost.



Marcus SemienMarcus Semien FD 3300 DK 4100
Opponent - KC (Danny Duffy) Park - OAK
FD - 11.98 DK - 9.13
Marcus Semien isn't the flashiest name going on the slate, but there is still a lot to like about the A's shortstop. Despite a middling .294 wOBA and 85 wRC+ this season, Semien is in a positive matchup this afternoon against Danny Dufy, a southpaw. Semien holds a wOBA .037 points higher against the split for his career with a .779 OPS and .188 ISO. He's expected to hit leadof this afternoon for Oakland, who project for 4.7 implied runs, the third most on the early set. I'm not in love with the price on DraftKings, but I think we save enough on pitching that it wont kill us to go there. There's no question however where I'll be allocating my shortstop dollars on FanDuel. I'll have Marcus everywhere.

Trevor StoryTrevor Story FD 4200 DK 4800
Opponent - ARI (Matt Koch) Park - COL
FD - 14.08 DK - 10.6
Despite just three other games on the main slate, this is our first look at Coors Field. With several Astros also projecting well, and some strong value plays, I don't know that we need to go overboard with the Coors bats tonight. We can't if we lock Morton on the hill, but we certainly want to have some exposure. We'll begin with Trevor Story. Story hits in the heart of the Rockies order expected to put up the most runs of the night. The opening line has Colorado implied for 6.5 runs against Matt Koch. Koch has made nine of his 11 career starts in 2018. He's got a career 4.78 xFIP, with just over 5 K/9 and a 42.2% hard-hit rate which can spell big trouble for a pitcher in the mile high city. Story once again is putting up impressive numbers now in his third season, .340 wOBA, .229 ISO, .788 OPS among them. Story is of course much better against lefties, but with a .316 career wOBA, we can rock him against the righty as well.

Consider Carlos Correa as a slightly cheaper option if he returns to the lineup after leaving Wednesday night's game with right side discomfort and subsequently missing last night's game. If he is in the lineup, I prefer him over Story for the slight discount.

Third Base

Miguel SanoMiguel Sano FD 3700 DK 4000
Opponent - LAA (Tyler Skaggs) Park - MIN
FD - 13.02 DK - 9.67
The Twins host the Angels this weekend who will send Tyler Skaggs to the hill for Saturday's contest. Skaggs sports a less than impressive 3.73 xFIP, doesnt tend to go too deep into games, and can easily be taken for multiple runs. He's got a 38% hard hit rate which could spell trouble in a place like Target Field which tends to favor hitters. This is where Miguel Sano comes into play. Sano's a beast against southpaws, posting a .362 wOBA. .858 OPS, and .252 ISO against the split. He's a heart of the order guy that won't break your bank.

Rafael DeversRafael Devers FD 2900 DK 3500
Opponent - CHW (Carlos Rodon) Park - BOS
FD - 13.19 DK - 10.09
Carlos Rodon will make his return to the bump this afternoon following shoulder surgery in September. Through three big league seasons, Rodon is an average arm with an ERA and xFIP just under 4.00. He's got solid strikeout stuff, though he can struggle with control issues from time to time. The southpaw will make his return in Fenway against the Red Sox with no restrictions. Rafael Devers has been average himself, with a career .256/.309/.440 slash line and 19 career home runs. He has excellent reverse splits, however, with a .367 wOBA in just over 100 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers. Devers has base hits in four straight games with three doubles in that time and is a solid mid-range priced play in a favorable matchup. I prefer Sano, but if you need to save some salary here's how you do it.

Jake LambJake Lamb FD 3900 DK 4500
Opponent - COL (Chad Bettis) Park - COL
FD - 12.68 DK - 9.49
We looked at Trevor Story from the Rockies, and now we'll look at one of the Diamondbacks bats. The Arizona players are much more reasonably priced compared to their host city counterparts, and though the Rockies are projected for more runs tonight, we can still look to Arizona for Coors exposure with salary relief to let us lock Charlie Morton in our pitcher's spot. Jake Lamb has been solid at the plate this season with a .336 wOBA and .760 OPS, though the power, however, has been lacking early on. Lamb went yard last night for just the third time this season, though the good news is it was the second time in the past ten days, and what better place to finally start hitting dingers then when in Colorado? Tonight he'll go against Chad Bettis who though he sports a 1.13 HR/9 which is pretty damn impressive for a pitcher who throws most of his games in Coors, is still easily targetable with a 4.39 xFIP this season. For the price, Lamb is a strong play to get our Coors exposure.


Curtis GrandersonCurtis Granderson FD 2800 DK 3600
Opponent - BAL (Kevin Gausman) Park - TOR
FD - 11.81 DK - 8.84
Curtis Granderson is a name you will see in all of my lineups this afternoon. He is severely underpriced on FanDuel, and even that DraftKings price is questionable. The Grandyman will hit leadoff today against the right handed Kevin Gausman in the Rogers Centre. Despite the .215 AVG, Granderson has been posting some impressive fantasy performances this season thanks to a .328 wOBA, 106 wRC+, and an elite 15.6% BB rate. He's striking out a ton, but the matchup is favorable with a .366 career wOBA against RHP and for the price you can't argue against Granderson in any format. The Floor is solid and the upside is through the roof.

J.D. MartinezJ.D. Martinez FD 4600 DK 5400
Opponent - CHW (Carlos Rodon) Park - BOS
FD - 15.86 DK - 11.9
J.D. Martinez is having an M.V.P. caliber start to the 2018 campaign. His .425 wOBA is ranked third overall among qualified outfielders, and he leads the majors with 20 home runs in 60 games. Martinez sat out last night's game after leaving Thursday's game with back tightness. It looks as though he is trending towards playing today's game, and if so he should return to his usual spot in the three hole. If he's in the lineup, he's a top consideration against Rodon, making his 2018 debut in his return from surgery.

Tommy PhamTommy Pham FD 3500 DK 4600
Opponent - CIN (Luis Castillo) Park - CIN
FD - 12.11 DK - 9.11
The Cardinals are in Cincinnati this weekend for a series against the Reds in Great American Ballpark. Today Tommy Pham and the Cards will face off with Luis Castillo who has been far from intimidating in his young career with a 3.66 xFIP 32.8% hard-hit rate, and 1.38 HR/9 surrendered. Tommy Pham has got strong splits against both left and right-handed pitching, and though his numbers are stronger against southpaws, we can still look to him as a strong play with a .369 wOBA against RHP. Pham has reached base safely in six of his last eight with three multi-hit efforts in that span. That DraftKings price is pushing the limit but isn't unreasonable, the FanDuel price, on the other hand, is quite reasonable. With the value pitching options on this slate, we can consider Pham across the industry and he's a play in all formats.

George SpringerGeorge Springer FD 4100 DK 4900
Opponent - TEX (Mike Minor) Park - TEX
FD - 16.32 DK - 12.28
George Springer is ridiculously expensive. It's especially rough on a night when his pitcher, Charlie Morton, the highest priced arm on the slate is also the only one worth considering. Springer is crushing all projections in our system tonight though, as not only one of the best points per dollar choices of all position plays, but the third highest overall raw point projection as well. The price on Springer is certainly justified, as he is putting up some ridiculous numbers this season. He's posting a wOBA over .370 for the second consecutive season, with a .289/.361/.506 slash line and a .217 ISO. The OPS is approaching .900, and if that's not enough, there's the matchup. Springer will step into the box today against Mike Minor, who is posting a 4.53 xfIP through his first 11 starts with Texas while allowing a 40.1% hard-hit rate and 1.67 HR/9. Globe Life Park is a hitters haven, and Springer is my long ball pick of the day outside of Coors.

David PeraltaDavid Peralta FD 3500 DK 4300
Opponent - COL (Chad Bettis) Park - COL
FD - 11.51 DK - 8.88
We'll close out with one more play from Coors Field. We looked at Trevor Story of the Rockies, and Jake Lamb of the DBacks already, now we'll look at another Arizona bat. The price on David Peralta like Lamb is too low for a Coors bat in a game projecting for 12 runs. Peralta homered last night for his eleventh of the season. It was his fourth in the last seven games. He's on pace to crush his career high of 17 hit back in 2015. The matchup is favorable for Peralta as well, with the right-handed throwing Chad Bettis on the mound. Peralta crushes RHP with a .365 wOBA in his career and an OPS over .850. All things considered, if we want to lock Charlie Morton in as our pitcher on this short slate, we need to find value in these games with the higher implied run totals, and Peralta allows us to do that quite easily. I'll have a ton of Peralta in my lineups tonight.

Consider Joc Pederson on FanDuel where he's ridiculously cheap, on DraftKings, not so much. There, consider Jay Bruce with excellent splits against the right-handed throwing Domingo German.

Thanks for reading, and as always best of luck out there today. Look for the pitchers/stacks article coming shortly and feel free to drop any questions or comments below. Cheers!


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