Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Chris Durell

Daily Fantasy MLB Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 6/12/18

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Aaron NolaAaron Nola FD 9500 DK 12000
Opponent - COL (Jon Gray) Park - PHI
FD - 37.05 DK - 19.66

We have a full 15-game slate tonight and while there are no pitching options in the elite tier on the bump tonight, Aaron Nola is at the top of the next tier and makes a great starting point tonight. He is off to a fantastic start in 2018 with a 7-2 record while holding opponents to two or fewer runs in 10 of his 13 starts for an impressive 2.35 ERA and 3.20 xFIP. He has dialed back the fastballs and curveballs to an extent this year and thrown a few more changeups which has increased his ground ball rate to 53.7%  and while the K's are down a bit, he has still flashed that upside with an 8.54 K/9 rate and 11.5% swinging strike rate. The good news on that front is that the Rockies rank in the bottom third of the league on the road and against right-handed pitching and strikeout over 23% of the time in both splits. His price is near a season-high on both sites which is relative to the other options available tonight but is our highest projected pitcher and comes with a high floor making him a great play in all formats.

Mike FoltynewiczMike Foltynewicz FD 9000 DK 11800
Opponent - NYM (Zack Wheeler) Park - ATL
FD - 34.52 DK - 17.79

Folty comes in second in our projections tonight and it ultimately comes down to the floor as he is averaging close to a full inning less per start(5.7) than Aaron Nola(6.5). The reason he rarely goes deep into games is the fact he is walking just over four batters per nine which fortunately for him is well above his career mark so the upside is there if he can command the strike zone. Outside of that, he has been fantastic this season holding opponents to two or fewer earned runs in six straight and 12 of his 13 starts resulting in a 2.31 ERA and 3.49 xFIP and has flashed some nice upside striking out 10.7 batters per nine. The best about this pick is the matchup as he faces a Mets team that has scored the third-fewest runs(237) in the league this season and has really struggled over the past 14 days with a team .265 wOBA and 68 wRC+ while striking out 24.4% of the time. I am comfortable running Folty in all formats tonight.

Chris StrattonChris Stratton FD 6600 DK 7900
Opponent - MIA (Trevor Richards) Park - MIA
FD - 29.26 DK - 14.62

The value range for pitching is a little thin tonight so I will lean more on the matchup than the overall quality of the pitcher. Not that Stratton has been terrible but he does have a 4.63 ERA and 4.41 xFIP which can be attributed to his lack of control as he is walking just under four batters per nine and doesn't exactly have the strikeout stuff(7.68 K/9) to get out those jams. While he has been inconsistent he has flashed upside with six starts where he has record 15 or more DraftKings points and seven starts where he has recorded 20 or more FanDuel points. He has a great shot to add to that as he faces a Marlins team that has scored a league-low 224 runs and struggles much more against right-handed pitchers as they rank dead last in wOBA(.284), 29th in wRC+(79), and 22nd in strikeout rate(24%). He makes a nice option as an SP2 on DraftKings or GPP play on FanDuel to help stack some big bats.

First Base/Catcher

Joey VottoJoey Votto FD 4300 DK 4300
Opponent - KC (Ian Kennedy) Park - KC
FD - 13.49 DK - 10.06

The power is lacking for Votto this season as he has just six home runs but that has not stopped him from being one of the most consistent bats for fantasy. Coming into tonight, he has put together seven straight double-digit DraftKings points games and over the last 14 days has put together a .413/.534/.500 slash line pushing his season average to .310 and he sits second in the league with a .433 on-base percentage. The Reds come in with a top 5 implied run projection tonight as they face Ian Kennedy who has been beat up on all season(5.76 ERA) but has been even worse over his last six starts as he has given up five or more earned runs four times along with eight long balls and a 40.6% hard contact rate. Considering the high floor and the price in the low $4K range on both sites, he is a great play in all formats.

Greg BirdGreg Bird FD 3400 DK 3700
Opponent - WSH (Tanner Roark) Park - NYY
FD - 13.49 DK - 10.04

The matchup is not quite as juicy here with Bird but his price still sits in the $3K range on both sites which immediately brings him into the conversation from a PTS/$ perspective. After picking up hits in seven of his first eight games since returning to the lineup, he cooled off with just one hit in his last 15 at-bats but as long as he continues to hit third in one of the most powerful offenses in baseball, he will be on the radar on a nightly basis as his price will skyrocket once he hits his stride. He is a nice one-off piece if you need some salary relief in cash games or a great addition to a high upside Yankee stack in GPP formats.

Catcher Consideration: Willson Contreras(CHC)

Second Base

Brian DozierBrian Dozier FD 4100 DK 4300
Opponent - DET (Blaine Hardy) Park - DET
FD - 11.95 DK - 9.03

Our projection system has never seen a day where it didn't love Brain Dozier against a left-handed pitcher. He comes in as the second-highest projected bat at the position tonight and while he has been slightly better against righties this season, we always try and look at a much larger sample size and Dozier has been way more consistent against southpaws for his career. He has also been much better as of late getting on base at a .362 clip while scoring 11 runs over the last 14 days. Tonight he and Twins will face soft-throwing lefty, Blaine Hardy, who is striking out just six batters per nine this season and since joining the rotation has put up a 3.77 ERA and much worse 4.71 xFIP with 34% hard contact rate. The floor may not be quite as high as others at the position(Albies, Altuve) but he is cheaper, especially on DraftKings, hits leadoff, and has enough upside to pay off his price.

Ian KinslerIan Kinsler FD 3400 DK 3700
Opponent - SEA (Mike Leake) Park - SEA
FD - 9.35 DK - 7.14

We can't discuss hitters who have been much better lately without talking about Ian Kinsler. He went into Monday night with hits in four straight and 10 of his last 13 games including seven multi-hit efforts and over the last 14 days is hitting .377 with a .421 on-base percentage and has added six home runs, 11 RBI, and 12 runs scored. He hits leadoff in front of arguably the best hitter in the game in Mike Trout and the Angels get a terrific matchup against Mike Leake and his 4.46 ERA, 4.28 xFIP and poor 5.58 K/9 rate. If you are looking for some salary relief in the middle infield Kinsler provides it along with some safety for cash games and upside for GPP's.

Also Consider: Josh Harrison(PIT)




Francisco LindorFrancisco Lindor FD 4900 DK 5000
Opponent - CHW (James Shields) Park - CHW
FD - 13.46 DK - 10.31

Lindor let us down last night in a prime spot against Lucas Giolito but gets another elite matchup to make up for it as the Indians will face "Big Game" James Shields. While Shields did well limiting the home runs allowing just four over his first 10 starts, he has more than made up for lately allowing six over his last two starts and comes into tonight with a 4.92 ERA, 5.08 xFIP, and career-low 6.23 K/9 rate. That is great news if you are targeting the Indians as they sit with the second-highest implied runs on the slate. Doug mentioned it last night that shortstop is a scarce position making it worth paying up for and Lindor is an elite option. He is having a fantastic season with a .291/.363/.533 slash line with 14 home runs, 35 RBI, and 48 runs scored and is now hitting in the cleanup spot adding to the upside. He is the top play at the position tonight and safe in all formats.

Marwin GonzalezMarwin Gonzalez FD 2600 DK 3200
Opponent - OAK (Daniel Mengden) Park - OAK
FD - 8.95 DK - 6.85
Carlos CorreaCarlos Correa FD 2700 DK 4700
Opponent - OAK (Daniel Mengden) Park - OAK
FD - 12.09 DK - 9.11

If it's salary relief you are after at the position, I think we need to take a strong look at the Astros shortstops tonight. First of all, Carlos Correa is expected back in the starting lineup tonight and once again FanDuel has failed to price returning players correctly as he comes in severely underpriced and is a near lock in all formats. He may not be providing the same safety as years past as he is hitting just .264 but still comes with a ton of upside with 10 home runs, 39 RBI, and 36 runs scored with an 811 OPS. If he is out again, Marwin Gonzalez will likely start in his place and ranks high in our projection system from a PTS/$ perspective on both sites. He has a much lower floor than Correa overall but has benefited from hitting in a high-powered offense and has already driven in 30 runs this season. Even if Correa is back, Gonzalez can still be considered as he is only eligible as a 1B/OF on DraftKings and can be slotted in as a UTIL on FanDuel if you are stacking Astros.

Also Consider: Brandon Crawford(SF)

Third Base

Eugenio SuarezEugenio Suarez FD 3700 DK 4800
Opponent - KC (Ian Kennedy) Park - KC
FD - 10.89 DK - 8.23

The Reds are one of my favorite teams to target tonight as they face off against gas can, Ian Kennedy, and the Kansas City Royals. He has given up four or more earned runs in six of his last 10 starts and while he has been slightly worse against lefties, he hasn't been great against righties either giving up a .367 wOBA, seven home runs, and a 39% hard contact rate. Suarez is currently on pace for a career high in almost every category as he enters tonight with a .301/.386/.568 slash line with 12 home runs and 48 RBI. He has been better against lefties but also pretty good against righties with a .369 wOBA, 133 wRC+, and .252 ISO. He provides a high floor with a ton of upside in this matchup and is safe in all formats.

Alex BregmanAlex Bregman FD 4400 DK 4200
Opponent - OAK (Daniel Mengden) Park - OAK
FD - 10.06 DK - 7.66

When looking for a safe play for cash games, I also seem to click on Alex Bregman as he seemingly gets a hit every single day. Don't believe me? Check out the box scores as he has picked up at least one hit in 31 of his last 34 games and while the average only sits at .266 for the season he is doing his job getting on base at an elite .375 rate. That is what the Astros want to see as they have him hitting second in a lineup surrounded by George Springer, Carlos Correa, and Jose Altuve. Daniel Mengden was overdue for regression as he strikes out under six batters per nine and sits with a low .242 BABIP and it started to come in his last outing as he allowed a season-high six earned runs thanks to four long balls. I don't think it will be that bad but the potential is there for a big night form the Astros bats making Bregman a top candidate at the position.

Also Consider: Jake Lamb(ARI)


Andrew BenintendiAndrew Benintendi FD 4700 DK 5700
Opponent - BAL (David Hess) Park - BAL
FD - 12.68 DK - 9.59
J.D. MartinezJ.D. Martinez FD 5000 DK 5500
Opponent - BAL (David Hess) Park - BAL
FD - 14.73 DK - 11.05
Mookie BettsMookie Betts FD 4500 DK 5800
Opponent - BAL (David Hess) Park - BAL
FD - 15.53 DK - 11.74

After a 2-0, 12 inning victory last night, the league's top scoring team(343 runs) has just nine runs over its last four games. I do not expect this to continue and will be targeting them heavily tonight as they sit third in implied runs on the slate. They have arguably the most deadly outfield in baseball as all three of Betts, Benintendi, and Martinez sit Top 10 in wOBA, SLG %, and wRC+ at the position. As much as I would like to stack all three it is pretty unrealistic seeing as they are all priced near the top of the salary so I will be looking to go with combinations of two of them in GPP formats and at least one of them in my cash game lineups. For cash games, it starts with Benny who has been on an absolute tear lately as he has at least one hit in 14 of his last 16 games(eight multi-hit efforts) with six doubles, two triples, six home runs, 14 RBI, and 16 runs scored. Next up is Martinez who is having a monster year as he leads baseball with 21 home runs while posting a .316/.376/.654 slash line. Mookie Betts returned from injury on Monday night and recorded a hit in the low scoring affair and until he is a few games back, I will be reserving him for GPP only despite his MVP-like start to the season. The matchup may not look great on paper as David Hess has allowed just two earned runs in his last three starts but is running with some crazy luck with a .239 BABIP and xFIp(5.32) that is over two runs higher than his ERA(3.07) while striking out less than four per nine. Look for the Red Sox to get back in the run-scoring column on Tuesday night.

Marcell OzunaMarcell Ozuna FD 3600 DK 3800
Opponent - SD (Matt Strahm) Park - STL
FD - 11.07 DK - 8.41

Like mentioned yesterday, we were patient with Ozuna early in the season as he struggled and it is now paying off as he has been red-hot lately. He picked up two more hits including his seventh home run of the season and now has hits in 14 of his last 18 games including nine multi-hit efforts pushing his season average up to .282 going into tonight's action. He has also been more productive against left-handed pitching with a .342 wOBA and 117 wRC+ and gets a plus matchup tonight against Matt Strahm who is another pitcher running on the lucky side this season. He has come primarily out of the pen this season but will be making his second straight start tonight and comes in with a very unsustainable .186 BABIP{ and an xFIP(6.07) that is three runs higher than his ERA(3.07). Considering the matchup, spot in the batting order, and price under $4K on both sites, I will be targeting Ozuna in all formats.

Jesse WinkerJesse Winker FD 2900 DK 3600
Opponent - KC (Ian Kennedy) Park - KC
FD - 11.55 DK - 8.84

To help us get closer to stacking some of the big boys tonight(Astros, Red Sox, Indians), I will take one more shot at Ian Kennedy and ride the value with Jesse Winker. He has moved back to the six spot in the order but overall has provided some safety(for the price) this season with a .369 on-base percentage with 23 runs scored and has been better against righties with a .334 wOBA and 109 wRC+ in the split. We shouldn't expect much here as the upside is capped but from a PTS/$ perspective, he is very close to an every lineup player tonight when looking at the optimized lineups.

Also Consider: David Peralta(ARI), Teoscar Hernandez(TOR)


1 Visitor Comment

  1. A Reds stack, you gotta be kidding me. All did well and took your advice on a Reds stack and blew the whole thing up. I should have had at least a $100 winner. Great analysis!! Gotta look someplace else as your picks haven’t done crap over the last month!!!

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