Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

08/06/2018
James Davis

Daily Fantasy MLB Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 8/7/18

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Pitcher

Max ScherzerMax Scherzer FD 11900 DK 13900
Opponent - ATL (Sean Newcomb) Park - WSH
FD - 49.03 DK - 23.1
You can tell Scherzer is pitching on any given day largely based on just checking the top of our pitcher's picks article at this point. With 350+ innings of 12+ K/9 and low 2s BB/9 over the past two seasons Scherzer has repeatedly demonstrated that he's not only one of the highest upside pitchers in the game, but also one of the safest as well. This Braves match-up is slightly below average, with the Bravos clocking in the bottom third of the league in K% vs. RHP while maintaining a league average wOBA. As a -195 favorite, Scherz ranks as the second biggest favorite on the day as well. I'm not sure the DraftKings price winds up leaving enough room for him, but on FD? Get ready for some serious ownership in all formats.

Carlos CarrascoCarlos Carrasco FD 10300 DK 11500
Opponent - MIN (Adalberto Mejia) Park - CLE
FD - 38.74 DK - 21.16
If there's an argument for pivoting away from Scherzer at any point it might be for going in favor of Carlos Carrasco. He's the biggest favorite on the day at -220, and he has a similar match-up against the Twins strike out a hair more than the Braves but who have a hair better wOBA. Carrasco has also sort of been a Scherzer-lite over the last two years, with 323 innings of 10.1 K/9 and sub 2 BB/9 ball. Vegas has him projected to give up slightly more runs than Scherzer, but you're not playing Carrasco because he's just better straight up - you're playing him because of the discount in cash games or for separation in big tournaments. I think he makes a fine play for either, particularly on DraftKings.

Andrew HeaneyAndrew Heaney FD 9000 DK 8800
Opponent - DET (Jacob Turner) Park - LAA
FD - 36.85 DK - 19.68
If you wanted to go a hair cheaper for your DraftKings pitcher 2 slot I feel okay about Andrew Heaney. He's far from an elite arm, but an 8.53 K/9 and a 2.35 BB/9 are nothing to sneeze at, and the 6 IP per start he's averaged this year mean you're getting a pretty solid floor here generally speaking. Anaheim is an excellent place to pitch - one of the sneakily best pitchers' parks in all of the majors - and Vegas has Heaney favored at -179 against Jacob Turner and his truly comical line so far this season. I honestly don't even want to spoil it for you - just go look it up. The Tigers are basically on par with the Braves match-up here, ranking around league average in wOBA while being pretty difficult to strike-out. All in all Heaney is a classic safe but unexciting pitcher 2 type guy today.

Also considered: Zack Greinke.

First Base/Catcher

Willson ContrerasWillson Contreras FD 3100 DK 4100
Opponent - KC (Brad Keller) Park - KC
FD - 11.35 DK - 8.6
Catcher is pretty grim today, and if you absolutely must play one (hi DraftKings) Contreras might be a reasonably high floor option. He's crept up into the 6th spot in the order recently thanks to his very solid .821 OPS on the season, and he should have a pretty good match-up with Brad Keller today. Keller has been skating by on his excellent 55% ground ball rate, but his sub 6 K/9 and his 3.83 BB/9 peripherals paint the picture of a guy who will almost certainly have an ERA in the mid-high 4s in the near future. Taking strikeouts off the table raises the floor for any player, and that makes Contreras a solid cash option.

Anthony RizzoAnthony Rizzo FD 3900 DK 4900
Opponent - KC (Brad Keller) Park - KC
FD - 14.74 DK - 10.97
So we've already given the case against Keller, why not try the significantly higher Rizzo alongside Contreras? Rizzo's ISO is mysteriously .050 points off his very well established career levels, and he's subsequently seen a dip in his power numbers this season. Most of his poor numbers, though, are coming against lefties. Against righties he's walking more than he's striking out and maintaining a .900+ OPS with a solid .229 ISO that's more in line with his career levels. I like him to bruise a few balls off of Keller today for sure.

Mitch MorelandMitch Moreland FD 3200 DK 4100
Opponent - TOR (Marcus Stroman) Park - TOR
FD - 11.53 DK - 8.67
Moreland is chugging along doing Mitch Moreland things this season, claiming the clean-up spot against right handers much of the time and putting up an .800+ OPS in the excellent company of his Red Sox compatriots. Like Rizzo his numbers will look a lot better against right handed pitching, and his .844 OPS against righties represents a pretty solid bang for your buck here. Stroman is sort of a rich man's Brad Keller - he's got an even better groundball rate (60%!) and adding more strikeouts while walking fewer batters. He still gives up a decent number of homers thanks to the amount of hard hit balls he allows, but the heavy groundball production means Moreland is more of a cash game play than a big tourney option in my opinion.

Second Base

Dee GordonDee Gordon FD 2700 DK 4200
Opponent - TEX (Bartolo Colon) Park - TEX
FD - 12.32 DK - 9.89
I always feel a little guilty recommending a player with a 1.6%(!) walk rate, but I mean, it's second base, man. For real though, I actually really like Gordon here. Colon really doesn't walk anyone anyway, so missing the walks here is no big deal, and the fact that Colon doesn't strike anyone out (5 K/9) means you are kind of getting Gordon's plate appearances for free here. Gordon's upside comes from his legs, of course, but assuming he's in the leadoff spot he looks like a fantastic play in any format to me on FanDuel in particular.

Gleyber TorresGleyber Torres FD 3600 DK 4100
Opponent - CHW (Reynaldo Lopez) Park - CHW
FD - 11.85 DK - 9.03
If we're talking about DraftKings, though, Torres looks like he's in a great spot here. Comerica is a solid park to hit in, but the opposing pitcher is really what we're after here. Reynaldo Lopez's 5.68 xFIP is the 2nd highest in all of the major leagues, and even more miraculously, he is somehow staying on the field for 6+ innings per start. That means we're fairly likely to get several cuts out of our favorite Yankees against one of the league's very worst starting pitchers. In other words, it's a dream spot. Torres, meanwhile, is just excellent for the position. He's threatening a .900 OPS with excellent power for the position, and again, the upside he packs in this lineup in this match-up has to be higher than Gordon's.

Also considered: Jonathan Villar.

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Shortstop

Chris TaylorChris Taylor FD 2600 DK 3900
Opponent - OAK (Sean Manaea) Park - OAK
FD - 10.37 DK - 7.91
In my younger years I was more of a sucker for platoon plays than I am these days, but I am pretty happy to make an exception for Chris Taylor. At just $2,600 you'd expect some dude who bats 7th and generally sucks - which is exactly what Taylor is against right handed pitching. Against lefties, though? You can probably get him out of the leadoff spot. While his career numbers look platoon neutral, the less than 2:1 K:BB ratio againts lefties this year has me dreaming on him being something more. He's serviceable enough on righties that he won't get pinch hit for here in all likelihood as well. Just seems like a great spot against the basically league average Manaea.

Jean SeguraJean Segura FD 3200 DK 4500
Opponent - TEX (Bartolo Colon) Park - TEX
FD - 12.21 DK - 9.57
Another guy you can run out there against Bartolo Colon, particularly if you want to stack him with Gordon for cash. We've already made the case for Colon as the classic batting practice pitcher - low Ks, low BBs, plenty of homers - and Segura should be set to capitalize as well. With 8 homers and 16 SB this year he's well on his way to a 10+/25+ season, and like Gordon, his lack of walks aren't really punished by Colon, who doesn't walk anyone anyway. He just seems like an excellent high floor cash game option with upside in GPPs if his teammates help him out.

Also considered: Jose Peraza against Jason Vargas.

Third Base

Adrian BeltreAdrian Beltre FD 3200 DK 3600
Opponent - SEA (Felix Hernandez) Park - TEX
FD - 11.04 DK - 8.44
Third base is making my stomach turn today, and when that's the case, I tend to want to get away from the position somewhat cheaply. If some cheap dude creeps to the top of his lineup against a reasonable pitcher, I'll play that guy. If I'm stuck having to middle out the position, I guess I can think about Beltre? There's plenty to not like about Beltre this year - his K rate is up 7%, his ISO has been cut by more than half, and he's quite simply looking old. So what are you getting for your investment? Well, he's still a relatively high floor option on the back of the hard contact he does make. His .345 BABIP is not out of bounds compared to previous seasons, and his hard contact rate is actually at a career high. This suggests that we should see a bounce back of the power at some point. Speaking of old, have you seen the former King Felix? His 4.6 xFIP suggests that last year's semi-bounceback was a mirage, and Texas in general looks like a reasonable stack here.

Anthony RendonAnthony Rendon FD 3700 DK 4700
Opponent - ATL (Sean Newcomb) Park - WSH
FD - 12.04 DK - 9.08
If you're interested in actual good players, perhaps I can interest you in a little Anthony Rendon. He's cooled off a bit after last year's .936 OPS season, but he's still hitting very respectably in the middle of a potent Nats lineup. He's too cheap on FanDuel in general, and in a spot against a league average lefty? Seems pretty juicy. Rendon is blistering left-handed pitching this year to the tune of a 1k+ OPS, and is now sitting just under a .900 OPS against lefties for his career. Newcomb looks promising, but the 3.23 ERA should not be taken as a sign that he's a fully developed pitcher just yet. He's still walking more than 4 batters per 9 innings, and has only shaved .2 off of last season's pretty poor 4.5 xFIP. Rendon actually looks pretty great for big tournaments or double-ups from where I am sitting.

Outfield

Brett GardnerBrett Gardner FD 3400 DK 4300
Opponent - CHW (Reynaldo Lopez) Park - CHW
FD - 12.45 DK - 9.53
Giancarlo StantonGiancarlo Stanton FD 4700 DK 4900
Opponent - CHW (Reynaldo Lopez) Park - CHW
FD - 16.02 DK - 11.9
Just a couple handy options for the inevitable Yankees stack, though you're obviously going to have to pay for it. I will say that both of these guys look a little cheap to me on DraftKings, and Gardner looks like an especially great deal on FanDuel. You love the power upside of Stanton here against a pitcher like Lopez who shouldn't strike him out quite as much, and a Yankees stack in general should be one of the more popular big tournament options on the day.

Lorenzo CainLorenzo Cain FD 2800 DK 4700
Opponent - SD (Clayton Richard) Park - MIL
FD - 13.03 DK - 10.11
Cain at $2,800 is just a solid peanut-butter and jelly sandwich. You're unlikely to race home and tell your friends about the dining experience you just had, but chances are good you'll leave feeling satisfied. His .389 OBP fueled .800+ OPS represents the very definition of safety on these prices, and the already bad Clayton Richard won't look any better when you get him out of Petco. Cain has always been better against left handed pitching, and this year he's almost eclipsed the 1k OPS mark against them. Chances are good he'll be batting atop the Brewers lineup here, and that he'll be one of the highest owned outfielders in any format on FanDuel.

Shohei OhtaniShohei Ohtani FD 3100 DK 4400
Opponent - DET (Jacob Turner) Park - LAA
FD - 11.42 DK - 8.63
I'm singling out the left-handed Ohtani here, but really the Angels as a whole make for an excellent stack today. By now you've heard Ohtani's remarkable story, and if you follow DFS you probably also know that he's pretty likely to bat 2nd when there is a right hander on the hill for the opposition. Ohtani is something of a pinch-hit risk thanks to his .526 OPS against lefties, but his 1k+ OPS against righties makes the juice worth the squeeze. And, okay, I know I said I'd make you look up Jacob Turner's season so far, but it really is something to behold. This year he's given up 10 earned runs in 5 and 2/3 innings pitched. He's walked 5 batters and struck out just 2 of the 35 total batters he's faced. And this was all out of the bullpen! Granted, the bulk of this came in one particularly terrible appearance against the Phillies, but still. I'm ready for an Angels pile-on here.

Shin-Soo ChooShin-Soo Choo FD 3600 DK 4900
Opponent - SEA (Felix Hernandez) Park - TEX
FD - 12.79 DK - 9.63
Another PB&J too cheap outfielder for you before we go. Choo will likely be batting leadoff against Hernandez, and he is just so damned solid that it simply feels good to click the + sign next to his name. His .397 OBP against righties this season paints most of the picture for you, but he's also provided 18 homers in 349 plate appearances against them as well. He should be in line for a number of trips to the plate here, and I for one will be happy to have him on my side.

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3 Visitor Comments

  1. Cain is 3K in FD. It would not hurt to check pricing on FD before submitting article guys. Good job today though.

    • Man, if you’re here for accurate pricing, you’re here for the wrong reason.

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