Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy MLB Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 8/3/18

We've got a big, ole Friday in baseball with a ton of evening action. There are some elite arms like deGrom, Severino, and Verlander taking the mound as well as offenses in great spots against weaker arms. Let's dive in to some of the slate's value plays.
Now’s your chance to get DFSR PRO, which will give you access to our MLB optimizer and our new player lab! Get started for free by clicking the button below.

First time with MLB? Be sure to read our free MLB Ebooks on building lineups, general strategy and more. We've got you completely covered.


Patrick CorbinPatrick Corbin FD 9800 DK 10400
Opponent - SF (Chris Stratton) Park - ARI
FD - 40.77 DK - 21.58
Corbin’s coming off a rough start against the Padres on Saturday night allowing four earned runs in six innings. Things started fine, but he just couldn’t leave runners stranded. That being said, the guys still struck out eight batters in those six innings and the jump in K’s he’s experienced this season for sure looks like the real deal. He’s gotten away from the fastball some, added in a curveball (out of nowhere) and is now up to a career-high 31% K% (previous high, 22%). He’s also cut the walks down to 2.5 per nine, helping him to a career-best 2.69 xFIP. These new numbers look like they’ll stick for Corbin and on Friday he gets a rather punchless Giants’ squad ranked in the bottom third of the league against lefty pitching. Arizona opens as a -191 home favorite, the best odds on the slate. And Corbin is priced considerably less than some of the other ace-level arms on the slate. I suspect he goes under-owned again even with the 2018 gains.

Jacob deGromJacob deGrom FD 11500 DK 12400
Opponent - ATL (Anibal Sanchez) Park - NYM
FD - 41.25 DK - 22.57
You aren’t going to see the Mets as favorites a whole lot, but when deGrom is on the mound they’ve got their best chances for the win. He’s been fantastic this season with a career-best 2.83 xFIP thanks to a 30% K rate and 5:1 K:BB ratio. The only thing holding him back is the lack of wins which is more a Mets’ issue than a deGrom one specifically. From a points-per-dollar perspective, I’d much rather play Corbin on FanDuel, but among the top salary tier, deGrom seems a cut above Justin Verlander. The former has the -142 money line in his favor and a better matchup against the Braves (Verlander faces the Dodgers on the road). Sure, the Mets stink but again it’s not deGrom’s fault. The dude’s done everything he can this season and the lack of wins has actually likely kept his price down over the course of the season.

Vince VelasquezVince Velasquez FD 8100 DK 8000
Opponent - MIA (Trevor Richards) Park - PHI
FD - 35.46 DK - 18.62
Velasquez had a tough go of it last Saturday, walking five batters in five innings while only striking out four. He got away with only two earned runs allowed, but that feels more lucky than anything else. Still, this is a guy with solid peripherals priced firmly in the middle tier. He’s an excellent DraftKings SP2 option at only $8K and is one of the better money line favorites at -169. The Marlins rank as one of the bottom-feeders on offense this season, coming it at 27th in wOBA against righties. They are 26th in home runs, have very little power and there isn’t much to suggest things will turn around over the last two months of the season. Meanwhile, Velasquez has a 27% K rate and 3.90 xFIP. Neither one of those jump off the page in a total vacuum, but when combined with the price and matchup we are starting to get somewhere in terms of value.

Strongly consider Luis Severino on DraftKings at only $9200. I know he’s facing the Red Sox, but this is very cheap price for such a high K upside guy.

First Base/Catcher

Paul GoldschmidtPaul Goldschmidt FD 4200 DK 4800
Opponent - SF (Chris Stratton) Park - ARI
FD - 13.24 DK - 9.89
We much prefer playing Goldschmidt against lefties, but there are exceptions for the right matchups. Chris Stratton is one of those exceptions. The Giants’ righty strikes out less than seven batters per nine, walks almost three and a half and has an xFIP in the mid 4’s. He’s the very definition of a *meh* major league starter and it isn’t like Goldie is a bum in this split. The dude has a .909 OPS And .385 wOBA against righties over his last 838 plate appearances. This is a guy who crushes no matter the opposition. He’s a fantasy darling with the only real noticeable difference from last season being the dip in stolen bases this year. He only has three after swiping 18 bags in 2017. This is a great spot for Arizona in general and Goldschmidt’s price on FanDuel is easily a cash game play.

Logan MorrisonLogan Morrison FD 2500 DK 3700
Opponent - KC (Heath Fillmyer) Park - MIN
FD - 11.68 DK - 8.75
Joe MauerJoe Mauer FD 2400 DK 3900
Opponent - KC (Heath Fillmyer) Park - MIN
FD - 11.02 DK - 8.45
The Twins jettisoned Brian Dozier and Eduardo Escobar in trades in and around the deadline, so it isn’t like this is anything like a potent offense. But across the board, they aren’t priced like on either and the removal of those two bats has opened up more in the way of plate appearances for some guys in their lineup. Mauer remains in the leadoff role and is mostly a cash game play at this point because of the lack of power. But he does get on base 36% of the time thanks to a decent walk rate and low strikeout percentage. He’s good for a higher floor (relative to price) and makes for something of punt play on FanDuel.

Morrison meanwhile, is up to the cleanup role in the *new look* Twins’ lineup though dude has definitely struggled this season. The .665 OPS is obviously a trainwreck though he does has 14 home runs in his 335 plate appearances. He’s running terribly with a .203 BABIP (low even for him) despite the best hard contact rate of his career (39%). They are both coming so cheap on both sites and the Twins do make for an interesting stack on DraftKings because they are underpriced across the board. Heath Fillmyer hasn’t looked anything close to major league competent in his 27 innings this season with a 4.89 xFIP and 1.25:1 K:BB rate. The Twins aren’t a great offense, but this is a nice time to buy low.

At catcher on DraftKings, you are likely looking to straight punt the position with very cheap, bottom of the order bats. James McCann and Jonathan Lucroy are just two of the uninspiring options.


Second Base

Jonathan VillarJonathan Villar FD 2400 DK 3300
Opponent - TEX (Ariel Jurado) Park - TEX
FD - 10.42 DK - 8.02
Villar came to Baltimore in the Jonathan Schoop trade and promptly hit leadoff for the Orioles on Thursday evening. Here’s the hoping that spot in the lineup sticks for at least the short term. Baltimore has struggled to find anything on offense this season (outside of Machado who they traded) and have worked the lineup and the leadoff spot a thousand different ways since the start of the season. It’s been something like shifting the deck chairs around on the Titanic but I suppose if Villar can at least look competent (no guarantee) he could stick. He went 2-5 on Thursday, so at least it started off on a positive note. At these prices, in the leadoff role, he’s a pretty easy cash play even with the sub .700 OPS this season. He’ll still swipe bags (14 SBs this year) and will trickle in the power from time-to-time. Mostly, we are buying a leadoff hitter at punt prices in a great hitters park against a below replacement level starting pitcher in Jurado. Now let’s just wait for the Orioles’ starting lineup.

Travis ShawTravis Shaw FD 2800 DK 4400
Opponent - MIL (German Marquez) Park - COL
FD - 10.79 DK - 8.1
The Brewers are somewhat new-look now that they added Mike Moustakas and Jonathan Schoop in and around the trade deadline. They haven’t faced a righty with this new team so it remains to be seen how exactly they’ll work their lineup, but I suspect it’s similar to Tuesday night when Shaw hit fifth. The big change here is that with the Moustakas addition, Shaw is now second base eligible. For a weaker position, this is a nice addition to the player pool. Shaw is a solid cash game play with a .806 OPS this season and very low 17% K rate. Against righties, he walks about 12% of the time and over the last two seasons has a .375 wOBA in that split. This isn’t a great matchup against German Marquez who’s putting up the best strikeout numbers of his career, but I’m loving Shaw’s FanDuel price and the relative positional scarcity.



Jorge PolancoJorge Polanco FD 2600 DK 4100
Opponent - KC (Heath Fillmyer) Park - MIN
FD - 10.96 DK - 8.48
When it’s all said and done, I’m not sure I’ll be comfortable with how many Twins are going to end up in these picks (and lineups) but it’s tough to ignore a team with the second-highest opening implied run line of the day (5.3). That’s what you get when you face a guy like Fillmyer who’s negatives got a cursory mention in the writeups for Mauer and Morrison. With Polanco, you get a shortstop who, for some reason, gets to hit third for the Twins. I don’t make those kinds of decisions for a team, but rather take advantage when his name appears that high up the lineup order. He served a PED suspension after a .723 OPS season (13 home runs) and it sure looks like he could do with another cycle. He hasn’t gone long in his first 108 plate appearances since reinstatement which has kept the price low. But man, it’s tough to pass up this spot in the order for a shortstop against this kind of pitcher.

Jose PerazaJose Peraza FD 2600 DK 3700
Opponent - WSH (Gio Gonzalez) Park - WSH
FD - 10.02 DK - 7.97
Peraza should slot into the Reds’ leadoff role on Friday against the lefty Gio Gonzalez. The latter continues a multi-year decline in peripherals with a career-low K rate (21%) and career-high walk rate (11.5%). The xFIP is also headed in the wrong direction (4.31) and we are safe to target hitters against him. Peraza hasn’t been all that good against lefties over the last couple of seasons but he’s been competent in general this year with a .710 OPS and 17 stolen bases. Since the Reds don’t have a ton of other options at the top of the order (against lefties) we can assume he sticks here and is coming at a cheap enough price to look past some of the other warts. Like I said at the outset, don’t get too scared with Gio on the mound. This isn’t the same guy as in years’ past.

Strongly consider Marcus Semien if he’s hitting leadoff against Blaine Hardy.


Third Base

Miguel SanoMiguel Sano FD 2400 DK 4200
Opponent - MIN (Heath Fillmyer) Park - KC
FD - 12.57 DK - 9.35
Sano got sent down to the minors to work out whatever was ailing him to start the season and got called back up when the Twins traded away a decent amount of their lineup at the trade deadline. Things haven’t been a whole lot better for Sano since coming back to the bigs. He’s still striking out a ton and only has four hits in his last 18 plate appearances (0 home runs). So what do we do with the guy? He’s still only a season removed from an .859 OPS and 28 home runs. But this year’s been a nightmare of strikeouts. In the matchup against Fillmyer, I’m less concerned with the latter because the Royals’ righty doesn’t have much in the way of put away stuff. And Sano is coming so damn cheap on FanDuel for a cleanup hitter than we almost have to wing-and-prayer it in cash games. I’m a little less bullish on DraftKings at more than $4K. Sure, there are concerns, but this is the kind of matchup to throw relative caution to the wind.

Eugenio SuarezEugenio Suarez FD 3800 DK 5000
Opponent - WSH (Gio Gonzalez) Park - WSH
FD - 11.04 DK - 8.34
On DraftKings, there are a number of different cheap options to consider if you want to really pay up for pitching. Kyle Seager and Colin Moran come to mind. But if you really want to go expensive then Suarez could be your man. Over the last two seasons, the Reds’ third baseman is one of the very best in the league at hitting lefty pitching. He has a 1.019 OPS and .428 wOBA in that split over his last 261 plate appearances. He takes a ton of walks (15%) which is great against a guy like Gio who’s always struggled in that department. Again, he’s expensive on DraftKings, but the platoon numbers make it almost warranted and not out of consideration even for cash games.



Eddie RosarioEddie Rosario FD 2900 DK 4700
Opponent - KC (Heath Fillmyer) Park - MIN
FD - 12.71 DK - 9.71
This is the law Twin, I swear. I helps that we are out of positions. The Twins struggle to score runs this season, but you really can’t put it on Rosario who has a .839 OPS 19 home runs and 69 runs scored (15% of the Twins’ total runs). He’s been one of the better hitters in the league against righties over the last couple of seasons with a .905 OPS and .378 wOBA in that split. We’ve already been through the case against Heath Fillmyer and Rosario should hit second in the lineup in this matchup. He’s coming way too cheap on FanDuel and I don’t even mind the DraftKings’ price.

Nicholas CastellanosNicholas Castellanos FD 2900 DK 4100
Opponent - OAK (Brett Anderson) Park - OAK
FD - 10.98 DK - 8.4
We don’t talk too often about the Tigers because, well, they stink. But you can’t put their ills on Castellanos who is having the second-best season of his career. He has a .827 OPS with 15 home runs and is especially potent against lefty pitching. Over the last two seasons, Castellanos is in the top ten of the league against lefty pitching (minimum 200 plate appearances) with a fantastic .420 wOBA and 166 wRC+. These are elite numbers and his overall projection is only driven down because of the other bats around him in the lineup. Brett Anderson has one of the lowest strikeout rates of any regular starting pitcher (4.79 per 9) with a 4.78 xFIP. If this were any other team I’d have written up a lot more bats against the A’s lefty, but the Tigers leave us with fewer options.

Bryce HarperBryce Harper FD 4300 DK 5300
Opponent - CIN (Anthony DeSclafani) Park - WAS
FD - 13.52 DK - 10.07
Adam EatonAdam Eaton FD 2900 DK 4500
Opponent - CIN (Anthony DeSclafani) Park - WAS
FD - 11.38 DK - 8.79
The Nationals have the highest opening implied run line of the day (5.5) against Anthony DeSclafani. Eaton figures to hit leadoff and brings with him one of the best on-base percentages in the league (.393) thanks to a great contact rate and ability to take walks (10% of the time). Eaton doesn’t offer a ton of power, but hitting in front of the rest of this Nationals’ lineup really helps especially with his ability to get on base.
Meanwhile, Harper’s *struggles* are well-documented but this is still a guy with a .869 OPS, 26 home runs and nearly 19% walk rate. His 41% hard contact rate is tied for the best of his career with the .253 BABIP really causing him some issues over the short term. I’m still a firm believer in his superstar upside. It’s easy to malign a guy for not putting up historic numbers season after season which seems to be Harper’s main fault among the masses. But this is still a good spot to buy.


1 Visitor Comment

Post a Reply




Our free NBA and MLB eBooks, and picks to your inbox every day!

Your eBooks are on their way!