Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

07/11/2018
Chris Durell

Daily Fantasy MLB Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 7/12/18

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Pitcher

Max ScherzerMax Scherzer FD 12000 DK 13300
Opponent - NYM (Steven Matz) Park - NYM
FD - 50.15 DK - 28.27

Max is coming off his worst start of the season after giving up three long balls to the Marlins and striking out just three but he is in a terrific rebound spot tonight. The last time and only other time this season he gave up four earned runs(also against Miami) he responded with eight shutout innings while striking out 12. With just one start to go before the All-Star break, he is the leading candidate for the NL CY Young with an impressive 2.33 ERA, 2.99 xFIP while sitting with a crazy 35.4% K rate and 17% swinging strike rate. He now gets to face a Mets team that ranks 28th in runs scored overall and 23rd in wOBA(.306), 20th in wRC+(94) against right-handed pitching. Despite the big price gap down to the next options tonight, I see no reason not to load up on Max in cash games and he also gives us the most upside for GPP formats.

Blake SnellBlake Snell FD 10500 DK 11700
Opponent - MIN (Kyle Gibson) Park - MIN
FD - 35.53 DK - 18.65

If you are looking to go the value route at starting pitcher tonight, Blake Snell fits the bill. Not only does he come at a big discount from Scherzer but he has been lights out this season. He has held opponents to just two earned runs in his last four starts while going at least seven innings in each start and he has also held opponents to two or fewer earned runs in 16 of his 19 starts for an elite 2.09 ERA. He can sometimes have issues with control as he is walking 3.41 batters per nine but more than makes up for it with a 10.24 K/9 and 13.6% swinging strike rate. The matchup also stands out tonight as the Twins rank in the bottom third in overall runs scored and have but much worse against left-handed pitching with a .296 wOBA(24th), 84 wRC+(25th), and 24.3% K rate. In GPP's Snell makes an excellent pivot off Scherzer on DraftKings to help get some bigger bats in your lineup and he is definitely in the "all formats" conversation on FanDuel.

Ross StriplingRoss Stripling FD 9200 DK 9100
Opponent - SD (Tyson Ross) Park - SD
FD - 43.17 DK - 23.2

Dipping down even further tonight, we get another pitcher who has been money all season and gets a plus matchup. Since jumping 100% into the rotation at the start of May, Stripling has posted an impressive 2.19 ERA that is backed up by 2.31 xFIP. He has given up a home run in six straight starts but walks under a batter per nine and has also provided us with upside striking out 10.8 batters per nine with a 11.3% swinging strike rate. He has also produced a slate-low 28.1% hard contact rate and gets a matchup vs. a Padres team that sits 27th in runs scored overall and dead last in wOBA(.286) and wRC+(81) against right-handed pitching with a 25.9% K rate. He is another option I would consider for all formats on FanDuel if you don't want to play a punt pitcher as SP2 on DraftKings I think you could pair Snell and Stripling adn still have an average of $3,650 for your bats.

First Base/Catcher

Steve PearceSteve Pearce FD 3500 DK 4500
Opponent - TOR (J.A. Happ) Park - BOS
FD - 11.56 DK - 8.75

Pearce will face Toronto for the first time since being traded in late June and has been en fuego since joining the Red Sox. In eight games going into Wednesday night, he has recorded five multi-hit games and has a .458 average with a home run and five RBI. Even better news tonight is that he gets to hit in his best split against lefties who he has crushed this season to the tune of a .419 wOBA, 170 wRC+, and .991 OPS. He will face struggling J.A. Happ who has given up 20 earned runs over his last four starts with six long balls and sits with a 4.44 ERA and 13.8% HR/FB rate on the season. All things considered, Pearce is my top first basemen in all formats.

Josh BellJosh Bell FD 2800 DK 3500
Opponent - MIL (Wade Miley) Park - PIT
FD - 9.58 DK - 7.28

Bell is definitely not having the sophomore season he or the Pirates expected with a .250 average and just five home runs but he makes a nice value GPP play at the position tonight. He has bounced around the lineup hitting everywhere from leadoff to ninth so his ceiling is definitely reliant on the lineups coming out but he gets a matchup in his best split as he has hit lefties to the tune of a .357 wOBA and 126 wRC+(.295 wOBA, 84 wRC+ vs. RH). Tonight, he faces Wade Miley who is making his return from an oblique injury and is coming off back to back season where he posted a 5+ ERA and 16%+ HR/FB rate.

Catcher Consideration: Sandy Leon(BOS) or Francisco Cervelli(PIT)

Second Base

Eduardo NunezEduardo Nunez FD 2900 DK 3800
Opponent - TOR (J.A. Happ) Park - BOS
FD - 9.85 DK - 7.69

Second base is a wasteland on this seven-game main slate tonight so we might as well go the value route which helps us get to Scherzer tonight. Nunez has shown some reverse splits this season as he has struggled a bit against lefties but is coming off a full season where he hit .290 against southpaws so I am not overly concerned especially considering he is facing a struggling J.A. Happ who has been a dumpster fire lately allowing 20 earned runs in his last four starts. He isn't going to win you a tournament but did go into Wednesday night with hits in 12 of his last 14 games with two doubles and two home runs. He is a nice one-off in cash games to help load up on Scherzer or as a part of a Red Sox stack as they have the highest implied runs on the main slate.

Dee GordonDee Gordon FD 3100 DK 3600
Opponent - LAA (Tyler Skaggs) Park - LAA
FD - 9.23 DK - 7.41

The price on Gordon seems too cheap considering he went into Wednesday night hitting .284 with 41 runs scored and has also added 22 stolen bases. He also gets the benefit of leading off for the Mariners in front of some productive hitters in Segura, Cruz, Haniger, and Seager. As I write this, the Angels announced that lefty Tyler Skaggs will be on the bump Thursday but that does not concern me a whole lot considering Gordon has hit better in this split with a .306 average in 106 plate appearances. For him to hit value at these prices he just needs to get on base a couple time which will give him an opportunity to steal bases and score in front of some lefty mashers. He is a nice value play in all formats.

Also Consider: Josh Harrison(PIT)ff-baseball100openingdayfreeroll-728x90

Shortstop

David FletcherDavid Fletcher FD 2300 DK 3600
Opponent - SEA (Undecided) Park - LAA
FD - 7.01 DK - 5.37

He has been playing a platoon role with Valbuena at third base but if he gets the start for a second straight day, he is another nice value play to help get Scherzer or a combination of Snell and Stripling in your lineups. The good news is that when he has been in the lineup, he has hit leadoff in four of his last five starts. He isn't going to provide us with power but was very consistent at AAA this season hitting .350 with a .394 on-base percentage and scored 55 runs in 58 games. Stay tuned for lineups closer to lock.

Jean SeguraJean Segura FD 3800 DK 4100
Opponent - LAA (Tyler Skaggs) Park - LAA
FD - 9.26 DK - 7.26

If you are playing Dee Gordon tonight it makes sense to include Segura in the same lineup as most of their fantasy value is tied to each at the top of the lineup. He has been very consistent all season with the fourth-best average(.329) in the league and he also sits top 10 in runs scored with 62. Like I mentioned with Gordon, I was in the middle of writing up these two players before a pitcher was announced for either team and while Skaggs has been good lately, the split favors Segura. For the season, he is hitting .354 with a .389 wOBA, 154 wRC+, and .916 OPS against lefties. More good news for Segura as his price has dropped to its lowest point on DraftKings since back in mid-May.

Also Consider: Trea Turner(WSH)

Third Base

Anthony RendonAnthony Rendon FD 3900 DK 4700
Opponent - NYM (Steven Matz) Park - NYM
FD - 11.57 DK - 8.72

The raw points projections are very close at the top of the third base position between Rendon and Jose Ramirez but I give the slight lean to Rendon who has a better matchup and is considerably cheaper on FanDuel. He has been very consistent lately as he comes into tonight with hits in 20 of his last 23 games(.311 average) with 10 doubles, seven home runs, 17 RBI, and 16 runs scored. He will face lefty, Steven Matz, who has been up and down this season but the good news for Rendon is that he has crushed in this split with a .376 wOBA, 135 wRC+, and .916 OPS on the season against southpaws. If you are looking to pay up at third base tonight, Rendon is my top option for all formats.

Matt DuffyMatt Duffy FD 3400 DK 4100
Opponent - MIN (Kyle Gibson) Park - MIN
FD - 9.09 DK - 7.07

There is little to no value at third base once again tonight but we can grab a little relief from the top tier with Matt Duffy of the Rays. He gets the bump in projection hitting out of the two-hole and while the upside is limited, he has been consistent this season with a .307 average and .362 on-base percentage. He has also had reverse splits this season and been much better against righties with a .329 average, .356 wOBA, and a 130 wRC+ and will face Kyle Gibson who has struggled a bit lately giving up 11 earned runs in his last three starts. With his consistency, Duffy can be considered in all formats.

Also consider Travis Shaw(MIL) as a high upside GPP play

Outfield

Joc PedersonJoc Pederson FD 3300 DK 4300
Opponent - SD (Tyson Ross) Park - SD
FD - 11.32 DK - 8.42
Andrew TolesAndrew Toles FD 2000 DK 3700
Opponent - SD (Tyson Ross) Park - SD
FD - 8.59 DK - 6.7

The Dodgers have the third-highest implied runs on the main slate tonight and are a nice source of value for our lineups. It starts with Joc Pederson who will likely be back in the leadoff spot vs. a righty and while he is never considered consistent, he is running a K rate of 15.6% which is the first time in his career he has it below 20%.  What he does provide us is power upside and if batting leadoff gets a chance at more implied plate appearances. Andrew Toles is a little pricey for me on DraftKings as he has hit at the bottom of the order but I willing to wave that on FanDuel where he is still minimum price. He has made brief appearances for the Dodgers in each of the last two seasons hitting .314 and .271 and was tearing up AAA before being called up with a .326/.363/.500 slash line. What intrigues me the most with the Dodgers tonight is the matchup vs. Tyson Ross who has fallen off a cliff lately allowing 15 earned runs in his last two starts with six home runs over his last three.

Starling MarteStarling Marte FD 3900 DK 4800
Opponent - MIL (Wade Miley) Park - PIT
FD - 9.97 DK - 7.77

If you are fading Scherzer and going the value approach at pitcher, by all means, pay up for Betts or Martinez in the outfield. Chances are you will want some if not a lot of exposure to Scherzer and if so a nice target in the outfield to make it work is Starling Marte. He comes in red-hot with at least one hit in seven straight games with two doubles, two home runs, six RBI, and four stolen bases. He has been better against righties this season but gets a nice matchup vs. Wade Miley making his return from the DL and like I mentioned with Bell is coming off back to back seasons posting a 5+ ERA and 16%+ HR/FB rate.

Also Consider: Adam Eaton(WSH), Christian Yelich(MIL)

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image sources

  • Max Scherzer: AP Photo - Eric Risberg

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