Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy MLB Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 8/13/18

Monday's MLB action brings us aces facing off against each other in an interesting slate of baseball. When there a fair amount of decent arms on a smaller slate of games, we get some greatly reduced options on offense. But let's not get bogged down in the details here. Let's get to the picks.

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Luis SeverinoLuis Severino FD 10300 DK 11800
Opponent - NYM (Jacob deGrom) Park - NYY
FD - 40.78 DK - 22.23
We have some interesting decisions to make at pitcher for Monday. The (arguably) two best pitchers on the slate are taking on the (arguably) third and fourth best pitchers respectively. Severino is one of those cases, facing up against Jacob deGrom and the Mets. Severino had something of a bounce-back start in his last game, striking out eight through seven innings against the White Sox. He allowed three earned runs on seven hits, but didn’t surrender a walk. This is an even better matchup against the lowly Mets who rank 24th in wOBA against righties this season and are trotting out a demonstrably weaker lineup in the short term. Severino went through a rough patch but still owns a 10 K/9 rate and 3.20 xFIP. The -165 money line puts him up there with among the best win expectations on Monday and the Mets come in at 3.02 implied runs, the second-lowest on the slate. I think Severino, coming a bit cheaper than Kershaw on FanDuel is the play there. But on DraftKings I’ll likely go with the latter.

Clayton KershawClayton Kershaw FD 10800 DK 10000
Opponent - SF (Madison Bumgarner) Park - LAD
FD - 42.49 DK - 23.83
I mentioned Kershaw in the previous writeup mostly to highlight just how close these two guys are on the Monday slate. My concern around Kershaw basically comes down to one thing: pitch count. He’s reached 101 pitches only once in his last three games despite some pretty damn efficient pitching. Sure, the K’s weren’t there against the A’s last game, but over his last three games he owns a 8:1 K:BB ratio and only three earned runs in his last 19.2 innings. Despite facing off Bumgarner, Kershaw is still a slate-best -200 home favorite. The Giants are a bottom-third team against lefties this season despite bringing over guys like McCutchen and Longoria in the off-season. They are a weak offense in general and Kershaw does have a great park in terms of reducing power. Again, it mostly comes down to how long you think he lasts in this game. At these prices, 100 pitches means he needs to be ultra-efficient and the Giants aren’t a huge strikeout club. The DraftKings price makes things a little easier though.

Andrew HeaneyAndrew Heaney FD 8600 DK 8400
Opponent - SD (Clayton Richard) Park - SD
FD - 35.18 DK - 18.8
Heaney had a rough go of it last time out when he faced the Tigers and allowed five earned runs in five innings. The strikeouts were there (six) but he ran bad all around with BABIP, LOB% and Hr/FB. One doesn’t make a sample size and this guy’s had a solid (if unspectacular) 2018 campaign. A solid 3.5:1 K:BB ratio and 41% ground ball rate have him averaging more than six innings per start. We’ll take that kind of efficiency at his DraftKings price against a team like the Padres. San Diego isn’t quite the bottom-feeder against lefties they are against righties, but still, rank in the bottom-third and strike out 24% of the time in that split. Heaney is only a slight road favorite (-122) but gets to pitch in Petco which knocks down power about as much as any park in baseball.

Strongly consider Sean Manaea against the Mariners

First Base/Catcher

Jose MartinezJose Martinez FD 2900 DK 4600
Opponent - WSH (Tommy Milone) Park - STL
FD - 12.08 DK - 9.24
Over the last two seasons, Jose Martinez is one of the best hitters in the league against lefty pitching. He owns a .998 OPS and .419 wOBA in that split over 162 plate appearances. He’s back in the middle of the Cardinals’ order and should slot into the third spot on Monday. Tommy Milone has 18 innings of pretty damn good pitching this season with 19 strikeouts and no walks. It’s a lot different than his 2017 where he posted a 2.7:1 K:BB rate and 4.92 xFIP. Sure, he’s changed some of his pitch profile, but I’m going to still fall back on the bigger sample size until we see more of Milone posting peak-Kershaw numbers (hint: it won’t continue). Martinez is coming so cheap on FanDuel on a day there saving for pitching will really matter.

Yonder AlonsoYonder Alonso FD 3100 DK 4200
Opponent - CIN (Homer Bailey) Park - CIN
FD - 11.01 DK - 8.3
I’m actually a little surprised the Indians enter Monday at only five implied runs. They’re taking on Homer Bailey who brings in a 15% K rate and 4.85 xFIP. Plus, the park is about as good as any place in the league for boosting power all around. I just thought we’d see Cleveland with more implied runs coming in. Regardless, Alonso is a solid cash game play at these prices. Over the last two seasons, he has a .857 OPS thanks to an elite 12% walk rate and the .363 wOBA isn’t too shabby either. He’ll likely slot into the fifth spot in the lineup with plenty of opportunities to drive in runs. The Indians are among the most patient teams in the league facing a pitcher with terrible peripherals in a great hitter’s park. What’s not to like here?

Strongly consider Paul Goldschmidt against Bartolo Colon. The only thing holding me back from the full write-up was the big price tag on a day where spending up for pitching is likely the way to go.

At catcher, Alex Avila looks like a solid play against Bartolo Colon. James McCann doesn’t look bad facing up against Reynaldo Lopez.


Second Base

Yoan MoncadaYoan Moncada FD 3000 DK 3900
Opponent - DET (Artie Lewicki) Park - DET
FD - 10.95 DK - 8.23
The White Sox and Tigers face off in a totally meaningless game that actually carries with it some fantasy implications because of who is on the mound on Monday. Chicago gets to face Artie Lewicki who brings in a modest 18% K rate and 4.33 xFIP. Moncada should be up in the leadoff spot and has incredible fantasy upside when things are clicking. The power should have him pushing up to 20 home runs before the season is over and he has double-digit steals as well. The biggest issue for the young second baseman is that strikeout rate (35%) which is mitigated some in this matchup. I’ll take the upside on the leadoff spot and the power/speed combo for Moncada.

Niko GoodrumNiko Goodrum FD 2200 DK 3800
Opponent - CHW (Reynaldo Lopez) Park - DET
FD - 9.85 DK - 7.63
The Tigers do shift their lineup around quite a bit, so there’s no guarantee Goodrum will land high enough in the order to warrant a cash game play. But in the short term, they’ve moved him into both the leadoff and third slot in the lineup. Goodrum has flashed power this season with a .203 ISO and 12 home runs in 347 plate appearances. He doesn’t get on base a ton but this is Reynaldo Lopez we are talking about. Lopez is among the worst regular starters in baseball, sporting a 5.65 xFIP thanks to a low 16% K rate and 10% walk rate. He’s much worse than the 4.30 ERA would suggest. The Tigers’ lineup will tell something of the story about Monday’s slate because they have some very cheap bats against a weak arm.


Paul DeJongPaul DeJong FD 3600 DK 4200
Opponent - WSH (Tommy Milone) Park - STL
FD - 10.99 DK - 8.37
He should hit fifth against the lefty on Monday and is coming well in the realm of value in this matchup. I mentioned before why I think we could see some regression on Milone’sshort-termm strikeout gains and DeJong plays well in this split. Over his last 166 plate appearances against lefties, the Cards’ shortstop is sporting a .837 OPS and .348 wOBA to go with a 117 wRC+. He strikes out a lot (30% of the time) but has been able to increase his walk rate this year from 4% to 8%. He won’t see the kind of power numbers he put up in his rookie campaign, but he’s still a solid bat hitting in the middle of the order on the better side of his split.

Jose IglesiasJose Iglesias FD 2200 DK 3400
Opponent - CHW (Reynaldo Lopez) Park - DET
FD - 9.99 DK - 7.85
Because they stink, the Tigers have taken something of a devil-may-care attitude with their lineup. And why not? Again, they stink. That’s led to Iglesias getting work in the lineup’s two spot at times over the last few games. He’s never been much of a hitter, though is having one of his personal best seasons this year. He has about (eesh) a .700 OPS and will raise the fantasy floor from time-to-time with stolen bases (14 on the year). It also helps that he makes a log of contact (86% of the time) even if it is weaker in nature. Again, the major value add for Iglesias at these prices is hitting near the top of the order. Because shortstop can be a thinner position anyway, we’ll take increased plate appearance expectation on the cheap whenever possible. Against Reynaldo Lopez, we are looking at one such occasion for Iglesias.


Third Base

Eduardo EscobarEduardo Escobar FD 3900 DK 4600
Opponent - TEX (Bartolo Colon) Park - TEX
FD - 12.82 DK - 9.83
We haven’t talked too much about the Diamondbacks yet, which feels nuts considering they get to face Bartolo Colon in Globe Life Field. Let’s remedy that now. After hitting cleanup on Friday and Saturday, Escobar was in pinch-hit duties on Sunday. I think he returns to the middle of the order on Monday against the Rangers. He’s spent the better part of the last couple of seasons with the Twins, but in that time has been solid against righty pitching with a 119 wRC+ and .844 OPS. Colon continues treading water as a major league pitcher with a 4.62 xFIP and insanely low 13% K rate. These numbers just don’t cut it and there’s a reason the D-Backs have the highest opening implied run line on the day at 5.6. Of course, let’s wait for the lineup, but if he’s hitting cleanup then roll Escobar without hesitation.

Jedd GyorkoJedd Gyorko FD 2900 DK 4100
Opponent - WSH (Tommy Milone) Park - STL
FD - 10.91 DK - 8.25
Gyorko should hit fifth or sixth in the lineup against the lefty on Milone on Monday and I’m willing to buy him in either slot. He’s one of the best hitters in the league over the last couple of seasons against lefty pitching with a crazy-high .988 OPS and .411 wOBA. These are completely elite numbers in this platoon and if he’s near the top of the lineup then we are getting him at a total bargain. Gyorko’s price is held down because of his struggles against righties, but that just means we are buying low in a better situation. He’s tough to strike out in this split (13%) and takes a ton of walks (10%). Things are lining up very well for the Cardinals’ bats especially if you believe Tommy Milone’s recent performance is a bit smoke and mirrors.



A.J. PollockA.J. Pollock FD 3600 DK 4900
Opponent - TEX (Bartolo Colon) Park - TEX
FD - 13.51 DK - 10.4
David PeraltaDavid Peralta FD 3700 DK 5700
Opponent - TEX (Bartolo Colon) Park - TEX
FD - 11.98 DK - 9.25
Again, this is Bartolo Colon on the mound. Now, we are going to have some issues paying up for Arizona bats if going anything like expensive at pitching, so that’s a moderate concern. But it’s going to be tough fading these two bats near the top of the Diamondbacks’ order. Pollock is having the best OPS season of his career (.844) though there’s been some injury issues in there. Still, in 289 plate appearances, he has 15 home runs, 45 RBIs and 10 stolen bases. He’s better against lefties, but doesn’t take a massive downgrade in the reverse split, hitting righties to a .812 OPS over the last two seasons. He’s still quite affordable on FanDuel if hitting third in the lineup.

Meanwhile, Peralta alternates in and out of the leadoff slot, but I think he’ll be back there on Monday after Escobar got the day off on Sunday. This is his best season since 2015 with a .881 OPS and he’s already set a career power mark with 20 home runs. The .221 ISO is the best of his career though it’s worth mentioning that he’s running the hottest of his career in Hr/FB. I still like him in this matchup simply because Colon is one of the worst pitchers on the slate and Peralta’s biggest issue (K’s) isn’t nearly a problem with the big guy on the mound.

Nicholas CastellanosNicholas Castellanos FD 2900 DK 3800
Opponent - CHW (Reynaldo Lopez) Park - DET
FD - 12.63 DK - 9.66
I get that Castellanos is much better against lefties for his career, but you make exceptions for a guy when he’s facing Reynaldo Lopez. As explained, the latter is just so bad relative to other major league arms and it’s one of the rare times you’ll see this lowly Tigers club coming in at more than five implied runs (5.31 at open). This number is just way out of the box for such a bad team but it’s because the arm on the mound is worse. Castellanos has struggled against righties this season, actually hitting at a low .700s OPS in that split. But I’m willing to live with the ding in platoon multiplier just to get some of the increased plate appearance expectation because of the matchup.

Strongly consider Jon Jay if he finds himself back in the leadoff spot for the Diamondbacks. Also, consider Melky Cabrera coming cheap for the Indians.


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