Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

James Davis

Daily Fantasy MLB Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 7/29/18

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Corey KluberCorey Kluber FD 10600 DK 12000
Opponent - DET (Jordan Zimmermann) Park - DET
FD - 43.47 DK - 23.96
Let's get the bad news out of the way first - Kluber has definitely taken a step back from a fantasy perspective this season. He's down from 11+ K/9 to below 9 K/9, and his 3.18 xFIP in considerably higher than last year's 2.52 number. But you know what is a lot lower for Kluber this year? His price. He's not priced like the ace we know he has the potential to be, and it looks like a buying opportunity to me. Some people we scared off by his terrible performance against the Pirates, but he struck out 9 Yankees the game before that, so I am not overly concerned. The Tigers have simply been awful this season - their .288 wOBA against righties is the second worst in the majors, and just .003 ahead of the lowly Padres.

Ross StriplingRoss Stripling FD 9600 DK 8500
Opponent - ATL (Sean Newcomb) Park - ATL
FD - 36.21 DK - 19.37
Stripling has been one of the breakout pitchers in all of the major leagues this season, coming from relative obscurity to drop an outrageous 10.26 K/9 and a 1.26 BB/9. I'm not sure if you can count on that to happen for the rest of his career or anything, but it's been a fun ride nonetheless! He has a relatively uninspiring match-up with the Braves here, who are basically league avrage in terms of both strike outs and wOBA against righties, but if you are concerned that Kluber is too volatile and want to grab a guy pitching in a National League game, Stripling is there for you.

Joe MusgroveJoe Musgrove FD 7200 DK 7300
Opponent - NYM (Zack Wheeler) Park - PIT
FD - 31.83 DK - 16.66
As I'm picking through the pitcher 2 scrap heap on DraftKings my eyes keep returning to Joe Musgrove. We just ran a Pirate against these lowly Mets a couple of nights ago in Nova, and while that didn't go amazingly, I think we can return to the well here. Musgrove is a better fantasy option than Nova, with nearly 8 Ks per 9 innings and a sub 4 ERA this season. The Mets strike out at a roughly league average rate, but their wOBA ranks 24th in the league against right handed pitching, making them a solid match-up for opposing righties. The Buccos are slightly favored here as well, making this a nice pitcher 2 spot at a very reasonable price.

Another interesting punt option: Dylan Bundy. The ERA and xFIP on the season are less than incredible, but it's pretty rare to find upside like this at bargain basement prices. Bundy is a classic risk/reward option, as he's up to nearly 10 Ks per 9 on the season while also allowing almost 2 home runs per 9. The Rays are a slightly above average match-up for opposing right handed pitchers, ranking in the bottom half of the league in wOBA and K%. There's no money line for this game yet as the TB pitcher is as yet undecided, but it shouldn't matter much - this is a play you run because you're going for upside.

First Base/Catcher

Justin SmoakJustin Smoak FD 3500 DK 4000
Opponent - CHW (Carlos Rodon) Park - CHW
FD - 11.73 DK - 8.77
There are three or four teams in absolutely incredible spots today, and no true stud pitchers, which means we are going to have a lot of opportunity to spend up on the bats today. While we often do that at first base, tonight might just be a night where we want to go a little cheaper here. My favorite cheapish option? The Smoak Monster. He hasn't been the world beater he was last year, but his last month has been a big step in the right direction, and he is in an excellent spot here. Rodon has given up more than 2 Ks per 9 this season while making very little gains elsewhere, and the young lefty simply seems lost. The switch hitting Smoak has always been a bit better against righties, but it's nothing out of hand, and I think he should have a very high floor on the price point here.

Joey VottoJoey Votto FD 4000 DK 4500
Opponent - PHI (Zach Eflin) Park - CIN
FD - 13.12 DK - 9.81
With so many great ways to spend up today, you might not realistically be able to afford Votto, but that might just make him a stand out big tournament option. I'm an unabashed Joey Votto lover, and while Eflin is not a terrible pitcher, that might just create the opportunity we're looking for. Votto has arguably the best approach in the majors - walking more than he has struck out over the course of the last 6 years. He's not the power threat he once was, but Eflin's 36% ground ball rate means Votto should have more opportunity than usual to put a ball in the air.

Also considered: Greg Bird, if he bats 5th again.

Some catcher options: Evan Gattis against the left handed Mike Minor, or Russell Martin if you can catch him at a reasonable spot in the order against a lefty as well.

Second Base

Scooter GennettScooter Gennett FD 3500 DK 4800
Opponent - PHI (Zach Eflin) Park - CIN
FD - 12.07 DK - 9.21
As usual, second base is sort of a problem tonight - so why not just grab a high floor option at a reasonable price? Gennett represents just that. Unlike most of his second base peers, Gennett actually bats toward the top of the lineup (2nd on most days), and he's actually been kinda nuts this year. He has a .902 OPS against right handed pitching, and his 16 homers are fifth in the majors for second basemen. Just a rock solid play at a very reasonable price.

Gleyber TorresGleyber Torres FD 3600 DK 4400
Opponent - KC (Burch Smith) Park - NYY
FD - 12.96 DK - 9.88
Full disclaimer - get used to seeing Yankees from this point forward. Torres is just a fantastic value generally right now given that he's occupying the hole Judge left in the lineup, and his price is still based on what he was doing prior to Judge's injury. His .889 OPS is simply incredible for a 21 year old second basemen, and this star in the making has a fantastic match-up against Burch Smith and the Royals. Smith is an erratic pitcher at best, putting up 4.32 BB/9 over 50 innings pitched this season - many of which came out of the bullpen. His strike out numbers (9.32 K/9) look pretty good, but again he has just 3 starts and 24 relief appearances this season, leading me to believe that number will come down as he starts more games. It'd be tough to go wrong playing almost any Yankee today, and Torres should be featured front and center if he's batting in the middle of the order again.



Didi GregoriusDidi Gregorius FD 3800 DK 5300
Opponent - KC (Burch Smith) Park - NYY
FD - 14.16 DK - 10.9
And we're back with more Yankees! Gregorius is not a guy you can play when you run the risk of facing a lefty, but he's a terrific option on FanDuel at these prices against a right handed pitcher. in 300 plate appearances, Didi has an .847 OPS and 16 homers. Stick him between Stanton and Torres and you just have a terrific spot at a terrible position otherwise.

Tim AndersonTim Anderson FD 2800 DK 4300
Opponent - TOR (Ryan Borucki) Park - CHW
FD - 11.28 DK - 8.9
Marwin GonzalezMarwin Gonzalez FD 2900 DK 3300
Opponent - TEX (Mike Minor) Park - HOU
FD - 11.1 DK - 8.49
A couple of platoon based options for you. If Anderson bats leadoff against the left handed Borucki, he will be a very highly owned player. Unplayable against righties, Anderson has a mid .700 OPS against lefties, and a bad one like Borucki presents a great opportunity for a sneaky Whitesox stack. Don't be fooled by Borucki's low ERA - the guy hasn't given up a home run this year, which is utterly unsustainable. His 4.25 xFIP paints a much better picture of his actual ability, making it a great spot. As for Gonzalez, he will likely be batting 6th against the lefty today, and his extremely low price point means he makes a good guy to slot in around your more expensive options. I like Anderson better if you're picking between the two, but Mike Minor is awfully bad and Gonzalez should be a part of your Astros stacks.

Third Base

Alex BregmanAlex Bregman FD 4200 DK 5500
Opponent - TEX (Mike Minor) Park - HOU
FD - 14.24 DK - 10.84
Here's an Astro we can really sink our teeth into. The 24 year old Bregman is having a break out year, dropping a .900+ OPS and more homers (21) through 102 games than he had (19) in 155 games last year. The man is absolutely carving up lefties this year as well, putting up a 1.035 OPS that actually looks sustainable to me. Mike Minor, meanwhile, is the very definition of a batting practice pitcher. His 7.25 K/9 and 2.17 BB/9 aren't the world's worst, but he gives up so much hard contact that his 36% ground ball rate means he'll give up a lot of huge innings. Bregman is a guy worth spending up for even on a night where we don't lack for options to do so.

David FletcherDavid Fletcher FD 2900 DK 3200
Opponent - SEA (Marco Gonzales) Park - LAA
FD - 9.87 DK - 7.56
Another cheap platoon option, if you get the opportunity to stick him in there. Fletcher has been batting leadoff against left handed pitching, and the increased plate appearances that come from being in the leadoff spot make him a great value here. His incredible contact rate (just an 11% K rate in this, his rookie year, means you're going to see a lot of balls in play on those increased plate appearances. While he only bats leadoff against lefties, he's actually been perfectly serviceable against righties, so he shouldn't lose his plate appearances if they bring in relief help to try and cut him off. Marco Gonzales is not a bad pitcher, but not a guy that should scare you off an elite value play either.


Brett GardnerBrett Gardner FD 3200 DK 4700
Opponent - KC (Burch Smith) Park - NYY
FD - 13.62 DK - 10.42
Giancarlo StantonGiancarlo Stanton FD 4200 DK 5000
Opponent - KC (Burch Smith) Park - NYY
FD - 17.52 DK - 13.01
The outfield, where we can probably just spend up like madmen today. You actually just get Gardner for free here on FanDuel, so you'll probably play him without hesitation assuming he's leading off. As for Stanton, he represents a high risk/high reward option. With a 30% K rate there is certainly downside risk if Smith's K numbers are legit, but I tend to thing that he should be able to punish the mistakes Smith should inevitably make. These two need to be rocks in any Yankees stack.

Charlie BlackmonCharlie Blackmon FD 4100 DK 5600
Opponent - OAK (Frankie Montas) Park - COL
FD - 16.75 DK - 12.87
Carlos GonzalezCarlos Gonzalez FD 3400 DK 5500
Opponent - OAK (Frankie Montas) Park - COL
FD - 13.64 DK - 10.34
Were you aware that there is a game in Coors today? There is! With an absurdly high 12 over/under you're going to see A's and Rockies in droves, and I didn't really feel like jamming the entire article with all the players from these two teams, but I wanted to highlight these two guys as excellent stacking options. Both are just at joke level prices for any Coors game, much less one against Frankie Montas. Montas' 5.57 K/9 will already land him among the league's worst, and that number shouldn't improve in Coors. Grab Blackmon and Gonzalez for all formats, with the possible exception of big tournaments where they will have incredibly high ownership.

George SpringerGeorge Springer FD 4000 DK 5200
Opponent - TEX (Mike Minor) Park - HOU
FD - 14.9 DK - 11.24
More Astros! Poor Springer is running absurdly bad this season, but that hasn't stopped him from dropping an .865 OPS against left handers with great power and reasonable speed. He's dropped .030 points off his career BABIP levels, and unless you think a 28 year old should mysteriously lose all his power, his career worst .175 ISO should rebound as well. He won't have the high ownership of a lot of the big money payoff guys tonight, which makes him an excellent big tournament target.


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