Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

08/11/2018
James Davis

Daily Fantasy MLB Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 8/12/18

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Pitcher

Noah SyndergaardNoah Syndergaard FD 9300 DK 10700
Opponent - MIA (Wei-Yin Chen) Park - MIA
FD - 39.35 DK - 21.82
Normally you check out the schedule for the day, see guys like Chris Sale and Max Scherzer, and you figure the day is taken care of. Well, with Scherzer pitching at 8 PM (and thus not being available for main slates) and Sale dealing with injury issues (more on that in a second), our pitching crop is significantly diminished. But we didn't come all this way to just chicken out, now did we? After about 2 months and then being eased back into his full run of innings, it finally appears as though we can trust Syndergaard's innings going forward. In his last 2 starts he's pitched 13 and 2/3 innings, struck out 10 batters, and walked just 2. He's still averaging better than a strikeout per inning on the season and has a terrific 3.12 xFIP. And today? It's one of those dream spots against the Marlins. They have the league's 3rd worst wOBA against right handed pitching while striking out at the 11th highest rate against them. Chen is also legit brutal, which helps Syndergaard's chances for the win. He is still cheaper than he will be soon as well, making this look like a terrific cash game spot.

Carlos CarrascoCarlos Carrasco FD 10500 DK 11100
Opponent - CHW (Dylan Covey) Park - CHW
FD - 40.07 DK - 21.95
While I like Syndergaard, Carrasco will certainly be a big competitor for that top pitching cash game slot. As you can see right away our system projects him for more raw points, and given that he's not THAT much more expensive, you could absolutely make a case for him being the top overall 50/50 play. Carrasco is still at 10+ K/9 and sub 2 BB/9, which is generally just amazing, and he's got a great spot against Covey and the White Sox here. He's a -255 favorite (the best on the main slate), and the White Sox pair their league highest K% against RHP with the league's 5th worst wOBA against righties. Another great cash game play, and honestly it sounds great to try and roster both on DK.

Trevor CahillTrevor Cahill FD 7900 DK 8000
Opponent - LAA (Undecided) Park - LAA
FD - 28.42 DK - 14.16
If you can't find a way to pay up twice at SP on DK, Cahill remains a very good option. After a few difficult starts Cahill roared back into form against the Tigers, racking up 10 Ks in 6 shut out innings. He's still sitting above 1 strikeout per inning this season, and his 3.25 xFIP is terrific for this price point. If you look at their season numbers the Angels appear to be a lot better against RHP than they actually are thanks primarily to the existence of Mike Trout. With him sidelined, this team is looking pretty toothless. Vegas has this as a pick-'em at the moment, but I'd suspect the line drifts in their favor, leaving Cahill a solid option for any format given his new found strikeout upside.

Also considered: Chris Sale, but the DL stint is obviously pretty scary for how deep he might go into the game here. With the Sox in such a good position for the playoffs it's hard to believe that Boston will take a lot of chances.

First Base/Catcher

Buster PoseyBuster Posey FD 2700 DK 4200
Opponent - PIT (Joe Musgrove) Park - SF
FD - 9.75 DK - 7.51
Catcher, as usual, is pretty rough today. I'll go ahead give my usual disclaimer that, especially on a weekend, it's usually not terrible to try and find some cheap catcher batting a little higher than usual in the lineup. That being said, if none of those avail themselves to you, Posey is a reasonable option here. He's maintained his excellent approach this season (10% BB rate, 12% K rate), he's making as much hard contact as ever (a .325 BABIP) and should still be batting in the middle of the lineup. While Posey is better against lefties, Musgrove might be unpolished enough to still provide him with a good opportunity. The Pirates' righty has tailed off significantly after a pretty hot start to his career, registering just 6 strikeouts in his last 21 innings pitched en route to his current 4.41 xFIP. I think the Giants are something of a sneaky cheap stack today.

Jose MartinezJose Martinez FD 2900 DK 3900
Opponent - KC (Jake Junis) Park - KC
FD - 11.98 DK - 9.16
If you don't think 1B is very good today, you could also just duck the position and go for a bit of value. Martinez has been batting third for the Cards recently, and is nothing if not steady. He's given back a little bit of last season's power, but also cut his strikeout rate by 4%, raising his floor on a day to day basis. While it hasn't been that way for his entire career, Martinez has actually been a reverse platoon split guy this year, so the right handed match-up shouldn't scare us off too much. Junis is an improving young pitcher, but obviously still has a ton to work on, as his 1.68 HR/9 allowed through his first 210 major league innings would suggest.

Second Base

Logan ForsytheLogan Forsythe FD 2200 DK 3400
Opponent - DET (Matthew Boyd) Park - DET
FD - 9.21 DK - 6.98
A strict platoon and opportunity play, assuming that Saturday's lineup stretches into Sunday. Forsythe drew the 2 hole against Liriano, and given that Boyd is an even better match-up than Liriano, I think you can happily consider Forsythe at a pretty bad position here. It hasn't worked out this way this season, but for his career Forsythe is a solid .130 OPS point sbetter against left handed pitching. While he isn't necessarily the best hitter over that stretch, at these prices getting a guy who can do anything at all at the top of the lineup against a pitcher like Boyd is worth something. Boyd has boosted his K rate this season, but his ~3 BB/9 and 32% ground ball rate have him floundering with a high 4s xFIP once against. Lots of Twins in good spots here if our system is to be believed.

Niko GoodrumNiko Goodrum FD 2300 DK 3800
Opponent - MIN (Adalberto Mejia) Park - DET
FD - 9.98 DK - 7.74
It's cheap second basemen bingo! If you have Niko Goodrum on your card, you're in luck. Goodrum is another case of a not so great hitter who is quite a bit better against left handed pitching. Goodrum strikes out 31% of the time while walking just 7% of the time against righties, but against lefties those numbers change to 18% and 9%. While the OPS hasn't followed, that kind of approach means the Tigers' decision to bat him 2nd against lefties should likely bear some fruit soon. Mejia is quite simply one of the worst starters in baseball regardless of what his ERA would have you believe. His 5.24 K/9 and 3.63 BB/9 are just bad, and his 5.39 xFIP would be a bottom 5 figure in the majors if he pitched enough innings to qualify. It's too bad the Tigers suck generally, but Goodrum is still a good one-off here if he's batting toward the top of the lineup as we expect him to.

Also considered: Jason Kipnis, assuming he's batting at least 6th.

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Shortstop

Didi GregoriusDidi Gregorius FD 4200 DK 4800
Opponent - TEX (Martin Perez) Park - NYY
FD - 13.29 DK - 10.23
If you assume you're going a little bit cheap at SP today, you can start seriously considering running a little Yankees stack. The Rangers have a veritable stable of terrible left handed pitchers, and Martin Perez could very well be the worst of them all. With 5.64 K/9 and 3.93 BB/9, Perez is having a Hell of a time keeping his team in games this year. His 5.18 xFIP would be a bottom 5 figure in the league if he pitched enough innings to qualify, and I'm excited to see the Yankees do work on this guy. SS is pretty weak, as usual, and the nearly platoon neutral Gregorius should be a high floor and high ceiling option.

Xander BogaertsXander Bogaerts FD 3900 DK 5000
Opponent - BAL (Alex Cobb) Park - BAL
FD - 12.08 DK - 9.3
Is it expensive shortstop day? Our system seems to think so. It's always a little rough to take guys against their natural platoon split, but when the pitching is this bad you can make an exception. Cobb's peripherals keep heading in the wrong direction - he's down to 6.06 K/9 and up to 2.39 BB/9 - moving him ever closer to Bartolo Colon batting practice territory. Bogaerts has actually been .122 OPS points better against right handers this season, and striking out less against them as well. Against a guy like Cobb who doesn't strike anyone out Xander seems like a strong play for any format.

Third Base

Miguel AndujarMiguel Andujar FD 4000 DK 4500
Opponent - TEX (Martin Perez) Park - NYY
FD - 12.41 DK - 9.59
Another logical piece in the Yankees stack puzzle. Andujar is now occupying the cleanup spot on a lot of days with Judge out of the lineup, and the 23 year old righty has been more than up to the challenge. He's been basically platoon neutral so far this year, but that wasn't the case in the minors, and he should be in prime position to own the terrible Martin Perez. His rock solid .834 OPS will absolutely play here, and since Perez can't really take advantage of his unrefined approach, he should be a great play regardless of what format you're in.

Todd FrazierTodd Frazier FD 2700 DK 3700
Opponent - MIA (Wei-Yin Chen) Park - MIA
FD - 10.47 DK - 7.84
Miguel SanoMiguel Sano FD 2400 DK 4100
Opponent - DET (Matthew Boyd) Park - DET
FD - 11.2 DK - 8.33
Let's be real, both of these guys are going to be terrifying to roster on any given night. But both of these find themselves in this article for the same reason - they are in excellent platoon spots against guys who are not totally capable of capitalizing on their weaknesses. Frazier should be batting third against the left handed Chen, and Sano should be batting 4th or 5th against the left handed Boyd. Fraizer probably has a higher floor, but Sano's ceiling is truly absurd. Both are also excellent cheap options on a day where you might want to chase big money plays elsewhere. Just wanted to keep both of them on your radar.

Outfield

Giancarlo StantonGiancarlo Stanton FD 4900 DK 5400
Opponent - TEX (Martin Perez) Park - NYY
FD - 17.87 DK - 13.27
Aaron HicksAaron Hicks FD 4400 DK 4700
Opponent - TEX (Martin Perez) Park - NYY
FD - 14.79 DK - 11.11
And here are the big payoffs for your Yankees stack, both of whom are playable in any format as well. If I had to be prioritizing Yankees, I'd certainly grab this duo and their considerable power in positive platoon situations. The power upside (48 combined homers) is undeniable, and while Stanton is a huge strikeout risk, Perez really isn't at risk to strike anyone out. Love these two, and they don't leave you a lot of room to look elsewhere unless you're just super strapped for cash from other position. I don't think that will be the case given how cheap pitching looks for the main slate.

Curtis GrandersonCurtis Granderson FD 3100 DK 4000
Opponent - TB (Tyler Glasnow) Park - TOR
FD - 11.18 DK - 8.37
Nicholas CastellanosNicholas Castellanos FD 3100 DK 4000
Opponent - MIN (Adalberto Mejia) Park - DET
FD - 12.15 DK - 9.29
Two more solid platoon-based options for you. Granderson is strictly a platoon player at this point in his career, and his speed has long since left him, but his near .800 OPS and reasonable power is a fair investment on this FanDuel price. Saying Glasnow has had a checkered past as a starter would be incredibly generous. The man walked 6.39 batters per nine innings last season, and things haven't looked a whole lot better this year. He does have the stuff to generate strikeouts, which increases the Grandy-man's risk, but I just can't be scared of a guy who walks more than a batter every other inning.

As for Castellanos, he's basically the one good hitter on an otherwise lousy Tigers team. But have you seen how this man has hit against lefties this season? He has a 1.089 OPS while batting .400 against southpaws this season, and the generally terrible Mejia makes that dela look even sweeter. He's a much stronger cash game play than Granderson, even if Curtis has more upside.

Lorenzo CainLorenzo Cain FD 3400 DK 4300
Opponent - ATL (Sean Newcomb) Park - ATL
FD - 11.25 DK - 8.72
One more platoon split guy for you before we go. Cain has an absurd 1.019 OPS against lefties this season while walking 15 times and striking out just 9 times. Newcomb, meanwhile, is also considerably worse than his 3.15 ERA would suggest. His 4.32 BB/9 means it will be really tough for him to maintain an ERA under 4, and Cain's excellent approach should give him a sky high floor here. If that even makes sense.

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image sources

  • Noah Syndergaard: By Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA (Noah Syndergaard) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

4 Visitor Comments

  1. I would be careful with Syndergaard today. The meys, well are the Mets and Chen for Miami is awesome at home, horrible away…..

  2. The Mets i meant.

  3. Small sample for Chen at home overall. Regression likely do as he posted a 6.75 ERA at home last season and 5.49 season before.

  4. Small sample ??? Dudes gave up as many homeruns on the road as runs at home… A small sample is 3 home starts thats not the case here… He’ll Mattingly bumps him back just so he can pitch in Marlins park…

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