Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

08/08/2018
Doug Norrie

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

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Pitcher

Early
Patrick CorbinPatrick Corbin FD 10000 DK 11100
Opponent - PHI (Vince Velasquez) Park - ARI
FD - 42.48 DK - 22.55
From an earned run perspective, Corbin’s last two starts were no great shakes, but he was BABIP-d and LOB%’d hard in both. He still struck out 16 batters in 12 total innings keeping alive the K surge he’s displayed this year thanks to a slight overhaul to his approach. Corbin is working with a slightly different pitch arsenal (reduced the fastball, added a curveball) and it’s producing fantastic results. He’s striking out batters at a 31% clip and the 2.66 xFIP is the best of his career. The Phillies are a bottom-third offense against lefties this season and strike out 23% of the time. Corbin is a modest -150 opening home favorite with the over/under dropping from 8 to 7.5 almost immediately. For the early slate, he’s the best arm going.

On DraftKings, I actually don't mind pairing Corbin with Vincent Velasquez in cash games. The latter comes cheap for a guy posting career-high 10.2 per nine strikeout stuff. It's not a great GPP strategy because you negate the win in a matchup against each other, but I think it's in play for cash.

Main
Luis SeverinoLuis Severino FD 9400 DK 11900
Opponent - CHW (Lucas Giolito) Park - CHW
FD - 44.62 DK - 24.8
It’s something of a concern that Severino hasn’t gone more than 5.2 innings in any of his last five starts. But it was encouraging that he at least went 115 pitches in the last one. The reason I mention it is the Yankees seem to have worked their pitchers less in the short term with quicker hooks. It’s also a little troubling that he’s allowed 23 earned runs in his last 25 innings. He’s just struggled in the short term. On Wednesday though he gets a chance for a bounce-back game. Severino comes in as the day’s best money line favorite at -270 on the road against the White Sox. They rank in the bottom third of the league against righties this season and strike out 26% of the time in that split. The recent performance has Severino’s price way down on FanDuel but you are still paying something of a premium on DraftKings. I’m fine playing him cash in both spots.

Mike ClevingerMike Clevinger FD 9600 DK 9500
Opponent - MIN (Jake Odorizzi) Park - MIN
FD - 37.06 DK - 19.01
Clevinger is just cheap enough on DraftKings that possibly pairing him with Severino as a SP2 doesn't have you punting away all of your bats. I still prefer Severino on FanDuel for around the same price, but Clevinger does have some things working in his favor on Wednesday. He's a big-time -197 home favorite against the Twins who jettisoned some of their better bats at the trade deadline. Minnesota has a total strikeout machine in Sano in the middle of the lineup and a very weak group in the bottom third of the order. Clevinger isn't striking out batters at the 10 per nine clip he'd shown in the past but mitigates that some by a reduction in the walk rate. It's allowed him to average 6.33 innings per start this season, an elite number that does help raise his fantasy floor.

First Base/Catcher

Early
Mitch MorelandMitch Moreland FD 3200 DK 4100
Opponent - TOR (Mike Hauschild) Park - TOR
FD - 12.08 DK - 9.09
The Blue Jays will trot out Mike Hauschild on Wednesday for his second game of work since being called up. He’s a journeyman 28-year old who’s pitched a grand total of 14 major league innings. So the dude isn’t really any kind of prospect and the Red Sox are in a spot to put up runs. Moreland is having his most patient season with a 10% walk rate with modest power as well. He has 13 home runs on the season (Fenway is tough on lefty power bats) and should hit third in the lineup against the righty. The Red Sox come in at 5.2 implied runs, one of the higher lines on the slate and could get to Hauschild early. Moreland is one of the few Boston bats who isn’t priced well into the upper tier and gets a boost hitting in between guys like Betts and Martinez.

Strongly consider Albert Pujols against the lefty Hardy even though the former has stunk in that split this season.

At catcher, strongly consider Mike Zunino even hitting at the bottom of the order for the Mariners. We’ll get to plenty of Seattle guys here in a second, but he’s coming very cheap on both sites.

Main
Greg BirdGreg Bird FD 2800 DK 3800
Opponent - CHW (Lucas Giolito) Park - CHW
FD - 12.02 DK - 8.91
The Yankees moved Bird to the fifth spot on Tuesday, but that was without Brett Gardner in the lineup. I suspect we see the former back in the sixth hole on Wednesday, but that’s still advantageous against a guy like Lucas Giolito. You could bat 12th against this dude and still be in a pretty good spot. Giolito is among the worst regular starters in baseball and has been allowed to pitch 120 innings at a 5.98 xFIP. Bird is running awful with a .218 BABIP against righty pitching for his career despite a 45% hard contact rate in that split. He’s still coming very cheap for a middle(ish) of the order Yankee bat in a game where they have one of the highest implied run lines of the slate.

Strongly consider Yonder Alonso if he’s hitting fifth for Cleveland against Odorizzi

At catcher on DraftKings, strongly consider Michael Perez who’s been solid for the Rays since being called up.

 

Second Base

Early
Dee GordonDee Gordon FD 2800 DK 4200
Opponent - TEX (Yovani Gallardo) Park - TEX
FD - 12.85 DK - 10.32
It’s been kind of boring writing about the Mariners for the last few days, and it isn’t going to get any more exciting for the rest of this article. But that’s what you get when you have a super cheap team visit a park like the one in Arlington against a pitching staff like the one the Rangers trot out there on a nightly basis. Gordon should be in the leadoff slot against Gallardo who, well, sucks. I’ll get to the case against him shortly when we talk about some of the other M’s bats. But suffice to say, this is a good spot for Seattle. Gordon doesn’t take walks, but the sheer plate appearance expectation at these prices is worth the price of admission.

Main
Travis ShawTravis Shaw FD 3000 DK 4600
Opponent - SD (Brett Kennedy) Park - SD
FD - 12.2 DK - 9.16
When Mike Moustakas came over before the trade deadline, the Brewers shifted their infield around and moved Shaw to second base. From a fantasy perspective, it added depth at something of a weaker position. He did move down in the order to the fifth spot against righties but has still been one of the best hitters in baseball in that split over the last two seasons. He has a 131 wRC+ and .895 OPS over his 780 plate appearances with a 12% walk rate and only strikes out 19% of the time. He's a near-elite hitter and now we get to roster him at second. The Brewers come in with one of the top run lines for the main slate at 5.2 and the park helps boost power all around.

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Shortstop

Early
Jean SeguraJean Segura FD 3200 DK 4500
Opponent - TEX (Yovani Gallardo) Park - TEX
FD - 12.74 DK - 9.99
Segura got the day off on Tuesday but should be back in the lineup against Gallardo on Wednesday. The Mariners' shortstop has actually been something like platoon neutral over the last couple of seasons and has a .761 OPS and 109 wRC+ against righty pitching. So I'm not worried about rostering him in a righty-righty matchup. There's a reason the Mariners have the highest implied run line of the early slate: they are taking on the worst pitcher in a park that plays really only behind Coors in terms of power. Segura has a little pop in the bat (eight home runs) but also tacks on points with speed (18 stolen bases). The only question now isn't if you are going to max Seattle bats, but which ones to actually play.

Main
Didi GregoriusDidi Gregorius FD 4000 DK 5000
Opponent - CHW (Lucas Giolito) Park - CHW
FD - 12.96 DK - 9.98
The Yankees are still dealing with a ton of injury issues, but the top of their lineup is relatively safe at this point. Didi’s locked into the third or fourth slot in the lineup depending o the night and this is one of those nights you want to roster the guy. Like I said in the Bird write up, Lucas Giolito is just #bad and Gregorius is so clearly better against righty pitching for his career. This season the Yankees’ shortstop is on pace for the best power numbers of his career and he’s dramatically improved his walk numbers (doubling from 4% to 8% on the season). He’s expensive on both sites, but SS is awfully thin for the evening slate of games making this a nice spot to pay up at the position.

 

Third Base

Early
Kyle SeagerKyle Seager FD 2900 DK 4000
Opponent - TEX (Yovani Gallardo) Park - TEX
FD - 13.06 DK - 9.87
Seager was uber-chalk on FanDuel Tuesday and he paid off by going yard in the second inning. I suspect he’s something like chalk again on Tuesday. Seager is basically platoon neutral over the last couple of seasons, equally *productive* against both lefties and righties. Seager has moderate power for sure, but he’s been shifted against over the last couple of seasons leading to a lower BABIP. But this is Gallardo we are talking about. The latter has a 5.37 xFIP this season against lefties with a paltry 15% K rate. I think Seager is the highest-owned third baseman on this slate, especially on FanDuel where he’s coming way too cheap.

Strongly consider Adrian Beltre 

Main
Mike MoustakasMike Moustakas FD 3100 DK 4100
Opponent - SD (Brett Kennedy) Park - SD
FD - 12.03 DK - 9.14
In the offseason, Moustakas took a one year deal despite coming off a career season. Things haven't necessarily improved for the third baseman, but he at least has to be happy about getting out of Kansas City and on to a team in the playoff hunt. He's tough to strike out with only a 14% K rate and has a .347 wOBA against righties over the last two seasons. Brett Kennedy is making his major league debut and showed dribs and drabs of K stuff in the minors, but I'm still targeting Brewers on this slate against a young arm. Moustakas, if he hits third in the lineup, is a fantastic value on both sites and doesn't stop you from paying up at pitching.

 

Outfield

Early
Justin UptonJustin Upton FD 2900 DK 4000
Opponent - DET (Blaine Hardy) Park - DET
FD - 11.27 DK - 8.45
With Mike Trout out of the lineup, the Angels have moved Upton up in the order. He hit second on Tuesday and figures to land in the three hole against Blaine Hardy on Wednesday. Without their superstar, the Angels' run lines have been lower than normal but they still open at 4.8 in this matchup. Hardy is just a below average arm with a mid 4's xFIP and sub 20% K rate. Upton's numbers this season against lefties look really bad, but if you take his last two seasons in that split he has a .915 OPS and .386 wOBA. I'm still slightly bullish on him from that side of the plate and think he makes for a stronger early slate play.

Mitch HanigerMitch Haniger FD 3300 DK 4700
Opponent - TEX (Yovani Gallardo) Park - TEX
FD - 13.63 DK - 10.31
Denard SpanDenard Span FD 2600 DK 4300
Opponent - TEX (Yovani Gallardo) Park - TEX
FD - 10.87 DK - 8.46
These are the last Mariners, I swear. I mean it helps that we are basically out of positions for the early slate, but still. We've already presented the case against one Mr. Yovani Gallardo. There really isn't a whole lot more to say about how much worse he is than the average pitcher. Haniger has actually been better against righty pitching over the last two seasons, so there's no concern about the reverse platoon splits here. And Span's value will depend on where he falls in the lineup. He's hit as a high as third for the Mariners but we will need to wait until lineups are released. Either way, stacking Seattle is the order of the day.

Main
Jason HeywardJason Heyward FD 3300 DK 4200
Opponent - KC (Heath Fillmyer) Park - KC
FD - 10.41 DK - 7.96
Kyle SchwarberKyle Schwarber FD 3800 DK 4400
Opponent - KC (Heath Fillmyer) Park - KC
FD - 11.67 DK - 8.66
Ian HappIan Happ FD 2900 DK 3800
Opponent - KC (Heath Fillmyer) Park - KC
FD - 10.61 DK - 7.93
The Cubs enter Wednesday with one of the highest implied run lines of the day at 5.5 and it's for good reason. They'll square up against Heath Fillmyer who is sporting the unbelievably bad 1.2:1 K:BB ratio and an xFIP pressing up towards 5.00. He's one of the worst pitchers going and the lefty-heavy Cubs' OF should be in a spot to do damage here. Heyward is having his best season in some time with an OPS finally back to the mid .700s. He rarely strikes out and even with the shift, the BABIP is back up to over .300.

Schwarber is back to showing good patience at the plate. He has a .363 OBP thanks to a 15% walk rate and has 20 home runs on the season. This is the perfect matchup for his hitting profile (I mean Fillmyer is good for every hitter, but you get the point) seeing as how contact shouldn't be a concern but he also has a high floor because of the walks.

And finally, Happ also posts an elite 16% walk rate and from a statistical perspective, looks very similar to Schwarber. The Cubs, across the board, are good plays on Wednesday especially considering pitching isn't going to cost all that much.

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