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Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

08/01/2018
Jerry Vanderwoude

Daily Fantasy MLB Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 8/1/18

The calendar has turned to August, and we've got six afternoon games and six evening games today in the major league for our Wednesday DFS action. With no true aces throwing we'll have to dig around to find the value on the pitcher's mound, but will that free things up with the bats? Let's break down the top picks as determined by our projection system and see where the pieces fall, shall we?

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Pitcher

Early
Sonny GraySonny Gray FD 8500 DK 8500
Opponent - BAL (Alex Cobb) Park - NYY
FD - 34.76 DK - 17.79
On the early slate our MLB projection system loves Sonny Gray on the hill. He's one of the top points per dollar options for the day, and though Carlos Carrasco projects for more raw points, Gray is significantly cheaper across the industry. The Yankees open as -265 favorites against the Orioles in the Bronx this afternoon. There is a chance of light rain. As of this writing, it doesn't look like anything we should be worried about, but keep an eye on the sky. The Orioles offense has been terrible this year with a bottom five team wOBA, and there is no chance of that changing now that they've sent their best hitter out west to the Dodgers. They strikeout 24.1% of the time against RHP which is good news for Gray who has struggled a bit in that category with just 8.55 K/9. It's an improvement over last season, but still not exactly elite. For the price, Gray is a fantastic play given the matchup, and will likely be chalk on the early slate of games.

Main
Rich HillRich Hill FD 10000 DK 9600
Opponent - MIL (Chase Anderson) Park - LAD
FD - 34.77 DK - 18.89
The Dodgers host the Brewers in the last game of the evening. L.A. is a modest -158 favorite. Not overwhelming odds, but enough to consider Rich Hill as our top arm on the night set. Hill is coming off of seven shutout innings against the Braves and now comes home to spacious Dodger Stadium to take on a team possessing a bottom ten wOBA against left-handed pitching this season. Although the Brewers strikeout 24.1% of the time overall, they only strikeout 21% in the split. Hill has been dominant however striking out over ten batters per nine for the sixth straight season, fanning 26.2% of the batters he's faced. He's got a 3.88 xFIP backing up a 3.82 ERA. Hill has allowed two earned runs or less in five of his last six starts and is a fantastic play in all formats tonight.

Nick TropeanoNick Tropeano FD 7500 DK 7100
Opponent - TB (Undecided) Park - TB
FD - 28.54 DK - 14.49
Yeah, I'm not in love with this play, but looking at the main slate, after Hill, there isn't a whole lot to love from a pitching perspective. Anibal Sanchez has been anything but reliable lately. Cole Hamels, who struggled in Texas, is making his Chicago debut. So here we are, with Nick Tropeano. Tropeano comes into the day with a 4.67 xFIP, and just 7.71 K/9. He gave up five runs in three of his last four starts. He does get a positive matchup today against the Rays, who are average at best with a .315 team wOBA. There is no opening line as Tampa just traded away their starter Chris Archer, so Vegas is waiting to see who they announce as their starter, but whoever Tampa counters with, Tropiano can say he has the better offense behind him. I don't think I'd touch him on FanDuel, but as an SP2 on DraftKings, Tropiano, sadly, is one of the better options tonight.

If Tropiano concerns you that much, or you're looking for a solid GPP play on FanDuel, consider Nick Kingham (PIT). He got rocked for six earned runs by the Mets his last time out, but before that limited opponents to three runs or less in seven of his previous eight. He's a +107 dog against the Cubs, who are a top five offense with a bottom ten strikeout rate, so it's not a cash play by any means, but if he can limit the Damage and Hamels implodes in his debut with his new team, he could pay off in a tournament.

First Base/Catcher

Early
Yuli GurrielYuli Gurriel FD 2500 DK 3300
Opponent - SEA (Wade LeBlanc) Park - SEA
FD - 8.97 DK - 6.89
The powerhouse that is the Astros offense just continues to crush opposing pitching, putting up monster numbers in the process. They're at their best with a southpaw on the hill, and get that today in the form of Wade LeBlanc. As a team, Houston is ranked at least top ten in every major category against LHP, and are top five in wOBA and OPS. Yuli Gurriel in his career, has a .339 wOBA against the split and is a tremendous value hitting in the top of the Houston order and commanding less than $3.5K across the industry. With base hits in 16 of his last 21 games, I'll have Gurriel everywhere on the early set.

If you're looking for an early slate catcher, consider Tucker Barnhart (CIN). It's a favorable split against Mike Fiers, who's just not striking anyone out these days, and allowing a 36.8% hard-hit rate.

Main
Lucas DudaLucas Duda FD 2600 DK 4100
Opponent - CHW (Dylan Covey) Park - CHW
FD - 10.71 DK - 7.97
There's plenty of value to be had at first tonight, so don't feel like you have to spend up. Lucas Duda, for example, is quite the value on FanDuel and reasonably priced on DraftKings as well in a solid matchup against Dylan Covey of the White Sox. Covey is one of the White Sox better starters this season, in that his xFIP hasn't risen over 5.00 yet. At 4.42 does it matter though? Covey brings a 5.40 ERA to the hill today, with a 36.6% hard-hit rate, 9.7 BB%, and just a 16.2% K rate. Duda has been solid since the All-Star break, with a .347 wOBA, and .836 OPS and two home runs. With a career wOBA of .360 against the split, you have to love Duda in this one.

Matt DavidsonMatt Davidson FD 2600 DK 3700
Opponent - KC (Jake Junis) Park - CHW
FD - 10.31 DK - 7.76
If you're not a fan of Duda, then you can stick with this same game and look to Matt Davidson of the opposing White Sox against Jake Junis. For the same price on FanDuel and significantly less on DraftKings, you get a guy who is having an excellent 2018 campaign. Davidson came into Tuesday night slashing .221/.327/.439 with a .333 wOBA, 15 home runs, and a 12.5% walk rate. Junis meanwhile has been near as bad as anyone on the White Sox rotation. His 4.51 xFIP is among the 20 highest in baseball, he's allowing a crazy 41.5% hard-hit rate, and walking nearly three batters per nine. I'll take Davidson on DraftKings for the savings alone, on FanDuel, I'll likely go with Duda in cash and Davidson in tournaments.

Kurt SuzukiKurt Suzuki FD 2700 DK 3700
Opponent - MIA (Pablo Lopez) Park - ATL
FD - 9.71 DK - 7.44
Behind the dish you can consider Kurt Suzuki, still going strong twelve seasons in with a .333 wOBA, .025 points above his career average, and slashing .265/.335/.433. Suzuki has reached base safely in 14 of his last 16 and faces the young Marlins rookie Pablo Lopez at home in a game Vegas likes the Braves for 5.2 runs in.

If Suzuki doesn't do it for you, you can go bargain basement with Austin Barnes (LAD), who isn't quite as reliable but has a nice matchup against Chase Anderson who has been very generous to right-handed hitters in his career with a .340 wOBA allowed.

 

Second Base

Early
Gleyber TorresGleyber Torres FD 3700 DK 4300
Opponent - BAL (Alex Cobb) Park - NYY
FD - 12.35 DK - 9.41
The Yankees project for 5.7 runs today against Alex Cobb and the Orioles, which is far and away the highest projection of the day. So, you will see plenty of Bronx bombers spotlighted moving forward. First up we have the rookie, Gleyber Torres. Torres spent some time on the DL earlier this month, but is back in the heart of the order now, and though he has been unremarkable in his first handful of games back (3 for 16, two walks, two runs, two RBI, and a double), he has been quite impressive in his debut campaign. Torres came intoTuesday night with a .371 wOBA, .879 OPS, and 15 home runs. He strikes out a ton, but the price reflects that, and Torres gives us cheap exposure to the Yankees lineup allowing us to save up for the big bats when we need it.

Main
Sean RodriguezSean Rodriguez FD 2200 DK 3100
Opponent - CHC (Cole Hamels) Park - PIT
FD - 8.31 DK - 6.29
Sean Rodriguez came off the DL just a couple of weeks ago in Cincinnati with a boom, going 6 for 12 with two home runs, a double, five RBI and six runs scored in the series. He hasn't done a whole lot since then. He is still a dirt cheap option at a position with not a whole lot to offer in the slate. He had the night off last night, so he should most likely be back in the lineup tonight as Cole Hamels makes his Cubs debut. Hamels has had eight days of rest since his final start with the Rangers saw him give up seven earned runs in five innings against the A's. Rodriguez, who prefers the lefties, is cheap enough to take a flier in cash, with plenty of upside potential in tournaments.

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Shortstop

Early
Didi GregoriusDidi Gregorius FD 3800 DK 5100
Opponent - BAL (Alex Cobb) Park - NYY
FD - 13.49 DK - 10.39
Back to the Yankees we go with Didi Gregorius. Gregorius is continuing on from his remarkable 2017 campaign, posting a .335 wOBA, tying last year's career high mark, while his ISO and BB% are both up. Didi continues to prove his daily fantasy value with tremendous upside potential, not only is he on pace to break last seasons career high 25 home run mark, but the ten stolen bases he has is already a career mark, equaling the past two season totals combined. Alex Cobb has relatively even splits, though he has slightly favored the left handed hitters with a career .312 wOBA allowed. He's really struggled this season, posting his highest xFIP yet, allowing three runs or more in four of his last six starts. Gregorius has hits in 16 of his last 20 games, scoring double digit FanDuel points in nine of those. He's a tremendous play in all formats.

Marwin GonzalezMarwin Gonzalez FD 2500 DK 3000
Opponent - SEA (Wade LeBlanc) Park - SEA
FD - 9.23 DK - 7.06
Like Yuli Gurriel who we discussed earlier, Marwin Gonzalez is another cheap way to get exposure to the Astros lineup, and if you're going to try to fit some of those higher priced Yankees bats, then we need the value we're getting here. Gonzalez isn't quite as appealing as Gurriel, hitting in the middle, and on occasion, the bottom of the order. Still, he sees the same matchup against LeBlanc, who is posting a 4.34 xFIP and has surrendered three earned runs or more in five of his last seven starts. The switch-hitting Gonzalez has relatively even splits from both left and right-handed pitchers and has reached base safely in nine of his last twelve. I prefer Gregorius, but we can only have so many Yankees, so if I have to, I'll take Marwin for the discount.

Main
Paul DeJongPaul DeJong FD 3100 DK 4000
Opponent - COL (Kyle Freeland) Park - STL
FD - 10.8 DK - 8.23
Kyle Freeland has looked significantly improved in his sophomore campaign. He has shaved nearly a run off of his ERA while adding nearly a batter to his K/9. He's also keeping his HR/9 below 1.00 which is impressive for a guy who throws a lot of games in Coors. Still, his xFIP remains above 4.00, and he struggles with the right side of the plate. Paul DeJong meanwhile crushes southpaws with a .357 wOBA, 123 wRC+, .259 ISO, and an OPS approaching .900 against the split. This play would be much more appealing if it were in Coors, but DeJong is reasonably priced, and the matchup is favorable regardless, especially with DeJong being one of those rare shortstops we can get hitting in the top of the order, and Vegas liking the Cardinals for 4.2 runs tonight.

 

Third Base

Early
Alex BregmanAlex Bregman FD 4000 DK 5000
Opponent - SEA (Wade LeBlanc) Park - SEA
FD - 11.84 DK - 9.01
Alex Bregman just continues to get better year after year. The 24 year old is posting a career best .390 wOBA and slashing .274/.382/.529 this season. The wOBA leads the astros, as does his 22 home runs, while his eight stolen bases are enough for second best on the team. Bregman is an all around threat and a tremendous upside play who crushes left handed pitching with a .396 career wOBA in the split. Hitting in the two-hole, Bregman brings a safe floor, with a litmitless ceiling. I'll have him in all formats.

Main
Nolan ArenadoNolan Arenado FD 4300 DK 4900
Opponent - STL (Luke Weaver) Park - STL
FD - 11.72 DK - 8.83
It's not a regular thing to target Nolan Arenado against a righty, but we're outside of Coors this week, and on the road, Arenado has relatively even splits which are still among the best in baseball. Throughout his career, Arenado is sporting a .332 wOBA against RHP, with a .782 OPS, and .216 ISO. He's also hit nearly three times as many home runs on the road off of RHP. The Cardinals send Luke Weaver to the mound tonight. Weaver has struggled here in his third big league season, with a career-high 4.25 xFIP, and 33.8% hard-hit rate. Arenado has homered three times in the last four games going into Tuesday night's matchup, including a grand slam to open the series here in Busch Stadium. You don't necessarily have to spend up on Arenado in cash, but he's always an exciting GPP play.

If it's value you're looking for, David Fletcher (LAA) has been bouncing all around the Angels lineup lately, if he bounces back into the leadoff spot tonight, then he's a terrific value alternative finding his way on base in eleven straight.

 

Outfield

Early
Giancarlo StantonGiancarlo Stanton FD 4400 DK 5100
Opponent - BAL (Alex Cobb) Park - NYY
FD - 16.69 DK - 12.39
Brett GardnerBrett Gardner FD 3500 DK 4500
Opponent - BAL (Alex Cobb) Park - NYY
FD - 12.97 DK - 9.93
Aaron HicksAaron Hicks FD 3600 DK 4800
Opponent - BAL (Alex Cobb) Park - NYY
FD - 12.62 DK - 9.54
We've looked at the Yankees on the mound, as well as a couple of their bats already, but here's the meat and mashed potatoes of it all. The outfield. We begin with Giancarlo Stanton. The former Marlin isn't hitting 59 home runs again this year, but he has still contributed significantly to this already potent lineup with a .360 wOBA, .280/.344/.510 slash line, 24 home runs, 64 RBI and 64 runs scored. Stanton eats southpaws for breakfast with a career .429 wOBA and 1.040 OPS against the split. Cobb will have no answer for this one, and Stanton is the runaway leader for raw points projection among position players in our system today. It isn't even close.

After Stanton, we have Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks, while Stanton stands alone, these two are a little more interchangeable. Gardner is slightly cheaper across the industry, and our system likes him just a tad more, likely due to his position in the leadoff spot. Hicks does, however, fare better against RHP, with a career .353 wOBA against the split, compared to Gardner's .324 this season, with Gardner striking out less in the split. Stanton is a play I will try to fit in all of my lineups today, while the others I will likely split depending on my salary needs elsewhere. I'll try to pair all three in some lineups if I can. Gardner has proven more reliable at the plate down the stretch, and will likely be my guy in cash, while Hicks will be my high upside tournament play.

Main
Joc PedersonJoc Pederson FD 3100 DK 4500
Opponent - MIL (Chase Anderson) Park - LAD
FD - 11.41 DK - 8.5
I mentioned earlier that Chase Anderson was more generous to the right-handed hitters, but that's not going to stop Joc Pederson. The Dodgers know what the young slugger likes, and that's the righties. Look for Pederson to take his rightful spot in left field, hitting leadoff tonight with the right-handed Anderson on the hill. Joc mashes right-handed pitching to the tune of a career .363 wOBA 132 wRC+, .243 ISO, and an OPS approaching .850 while walking 14.2% of the time in the split. Pederson has been solid with hits in 8 of his last ten starts. In spite of his solid reverse splits, Anderson has been pretty tough to watch this season, with an xFIP just under 5.00, a 36% hard-hit rate, contributing to a 1.49 HR/9, and walking over three batters per nine (9%). It's an excellent spot, and the price on Pederson has him in consideration in all formats.

Ronald AcunaRonald Acuna FD 3800 DK 4800
Opponent - MIA (Pablo Lopez) Park - ATL
FD - 12.72 DK - 9.93
We'll close out with a rookie vs. rookie matchup with Ronald Acuna and the Braves hosting Pablo Lopez in SunTrust Park. The Braves moved Acuna into the leadoff spot less than two weeks ago, and seem to have caught lightning in a bottle in the process. In ten games as a leadoff man, Acuna has a .449 wOBA, with a 12.2 BB%, and an OPS over 1.000. Now, that's a limited sample size (41 plate appearances going into last night), but it is quite promising, and though the price was quick to rise, Acuna is still an excellent option in the outfield. Speaking of limited sample sizes, Lopez has just five starts under his belt, and in that time he is holding a 4.02 xFIP, walking nearly 2.5 batters per nine, allowing a 32.2% hard-hit rate, surrendering five home runs.

Thanks for reading, as always best of luck out there today. Cheers!

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4 Visitor Comments

  1. Sonny Gray was trash throw the whole projection system away

  2. Don’t knock the process over one result. It was a great spot for Gray. Projections system and picks are just fine. Don’t think so? Check out dailyoverlay where DFSR is #1 in SP and #3 in hitters.

    Thanks for reading!

  3. Anyone who says “Oh, don’t consider the pitcher who’s facing the team that’s 40+ games back, without their star SS” is on meth. Sonny was in a great spot. He’s volatile, yes, but he was in a good spot. If you’re taking a player ONLY because an article tells you to, stop playing DFS. Better yet, join my contest.

  4. Amen to that Billy!!!!

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