Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

James Davis

Daily Fantasy MLB Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 9/2/18

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Carlos CarrascoCarlos Carrasco FD 10300 DK 10600
Opponent - TB (Undecided) Park - CLE
FD - 42.05 DK - 23.09
With Max Scherzer moved to Monday's game, we're left without a true #1 going on Sunday. Carrasco is a pretty damned solid back-up plan if you can't secure a true ace's ace on any given day. Like Scherzer, the man is basically replicating his excellent 2017 with fewer walks. While his 10 K/9 isn't on Scherzer's level, he actually walks fewer than 2 batters per 9, making him absurdly consistent. The Rays are a only a decent match-up, ranking in as slightly below average in terms of wOBA vs. RHP and around league average in terms of Ks. While there's no line on this game as of this writing, Carrasco will undoubtedly be one of the biggest favorites on the day, making him an excellent start in any format.

Noah SyndergaardNoah Syndergaard FD 9900 DK 9700
Opponent - SF (Chris Stratton) Park - SF
FD - 38.94 DK - 21.76
Syndergaard is basically a slightly poor-man's Carrasco, and his prices reflect almost exactly that. He walks about .2 more batters per 9 innings, strikes out about .7 fewer batters per 9, and doesn't go as deep into games on average. Still, his prices also reflect that skill gap, making him a very similar play to Carrasco for today. The biggest thing he has going for him here is a superior match-up. The Giants have been dreadful against RHP all season, and none of their roster changes should help matters. They've got the 4th worst wOBA against righties while maintaining the 6th highest K rate, giving Syndergaard an excellent ceiling and a very reasonable floor. The only knock against him here is that the Mets are only -145 favorites thanks to them being completely awful at hitting baseballs. That doesn't really matter for big tournaments, though, and Syndergaard should be a great pivot there.

Lance LynnLance Lynn FD 8000 DK 8800
Opponent - DET (Matthew Boyd) Park - NYY
FD - 42.13 DK - 21.57
It's going to be tough for me to justify saving $900 to drop from Syndergaard to Lynn, but if we're scraping for big tournament options he certainly isn't a bad one. Lynn has really struggled with the walks this season, which has depressed how deep he can go into games dramatically. Still, when he isn't missing the zone, he still has the stuff to rack up high K games. His 9.27 K/9 isn't much worse than Syndergaard's, and you can guarantee he'll have dramatically lower ownership. He also has a sneaky amazing match-up here. The Tigers are 2nd to last in the majors in terms of wOBA against RHP, which is pretty amazing considering they don't have to let their pitchers bat. They also have absurdly bad plate discipline, ranking 4th worst in the majors in terms of BB% as well. If they bail Lynn out of a few bad spots with ill-informed swings, we could be in for a big game here.

First Base/Catcher

Gary SanchezGary Sanchez FD 3500 DK 4300
Opponent - DET (Matthew Boyd) Park - NYY
FD - 12.88 DK - 9.69
Oh, it's definitely a day to run some right handed Yankees. There are actually a ton of terrible pitchers going today, but Matt Boyd is still one of the juiciest pitchers to target for big tournament purposes. His strike-out rate has climbed this year, but he's running wildly hot on BABIP allowed (.259) and still has a 4.2 ERA. His 4.70 ERA suggests that he's the bad pitcher he's always been. Sanchez obviously carries some risk since he's just been re-activated from the DL, but if the Yankees are comfortable with him, I am too. It's hard to believe they'd risk Sanchez's playoff status on a whim, and I think he'll see his full run of cuts today.

Matt CarpenterMatt Carpenter FD 4300 DK 5300
Opponent - CIN (Anthony DeSclafani) Park - STL
FD - 13.58 DK - 10.09
If you caught Friday's podcast, you'll have heard Doug and I breathlessly gush over Matt Carpenter. This season he's paired his all-world approach (16% BB rate over the last 3 seasons) with game changing power, and the 35 homers he's crushed this season seem to have pitchers deferring to him even more than usual. DeSclafani is perfectly average, and getting Carpenter against a league average righty in a positive platoon spot looks good to me.

Mitch MorelandMitch Moreland FD 3000 DK 4300
Opponent - CHW (James Shields) Park - CHW
FD - 11.82 DK - 8.9
Moreland has seen a price decrease after a few bad starts, but if he's batting in the middle of the order against the right handed Shields, he is completely playable here as a value optioon. He's batted 3rd-5th against righties for most of this season, and if the Red Sox are being patient with him, you should too. He's got an .815 OPS with 13 homers in 303 plate appearances against RHP this season, and James Shields is as delightful a match-up as ever. His 5.05 xFIP speaks to how bad he is generally, and it was very nice to see July's random K spike go away in August. Love the BoSox here if you can afford them.

Second Base

Daniel MurphyDaniel Murphy FD 3900 DK 3800
Opponent - PHI (Aaron Nola) Park - PHI
FD - 12.29 DK - 9.41
Leading off for the Cubs has done wonders for Murphy, as he's reached base twice in all but 2 of his 9 starts for them. Hitting in front of good hitters means reaching base matters in a way it didn't when he was batting 6th for the Nats, and he's probably just underpriced right now. Aaron Nola is a damned good pitcher, but Murph is probably a strict value play until his prices hit the mid 4s. Still, I'd forgive you even if you didn't want to play him in a good platoon spot here.

Rougned OdorRougned Odor FD 4000 DK 4600
Opponent - MIN (Kyle Gibson) Park - TEX
FD - 12.49 DK - 9.52
Our other expensive option comes with a bit more risk, but arguably more upside as well. Odor is a power/speed threat, with 17 homers and 10 steals, and his about .080 points better against right handed pitching. Gibson is a funny match-up here. If you take his full season line he looks pretty average, but did you see that August? Ew. Gibson appeared to give back all of his early season gains, falling apart in spectacular fashion with a 6.5 K/9 and a 4.6 BB/9 while having a difficult taime making it 5 innings. Putting him in the best hitters' park this side of Coors almost seems unfair, and I'm expecting the Rangers to pound him today. Odor should be featured front and center in that process.



Elvis AndrusElvis Andrus FD 3000 DK 3600
Opponent - MIN (Kyle Gibson) Park - TEX
FD - 11.73 DK - 9.06
You could almost list Andrus alongside Odor, because we're playing him for the exact same reasons. Andrus is a pretty bad hitter with almost no power or speed, but hitting 3rd in a lineup in a game projected for 10+ runs just means you're worth more than $3,000 at a god-awful position. It's a less than exciting reason to play him, but gosh darnit, it's the truth.

Trea TurnerTrea Turner FD 3400 DK 4900
Opponent - MIL (Junior Guerra) Park - WSH
FD - 12.8 DK - 9.98
And here's the rich man's opportunity play. Turner is too expensive on DK, but on FanDuel this price is almost a joke. Shortstop is an historically terrible position this season, and Turner is one of the very few real offensive players at the whole position. He's got 9 more steals than the 2nd best shortstop, and his 16 homers are good for 8th at the position. Junior Guerra's 3.61 BB/9 means he should have more opportunity than usual to get on base and work his magic, and his 4.39 xFIP accurately describes him as a solidly below average major league starter. Turner looks great for cash games and big tournaments.

Third Base

Nolan ArenadoNolan Arenado FD 4300 DK 4900
Opponent - SD (Jacob Nix) Park - SD
FD - 13.39 DK - 10.09
It's sort of amazing that it's taken this long to write someone up against Jacob Nix, but that'll happen when Petco is involved. But seriously, have you seen this guy's season line? In 20 innings pitched this season the man has seven strikeouts. Seven! And 5 walks to go with them. He is coming off a start where he pitched into the 9th inning and didn't strike out a single batter. Arenado is unquestionably better against lefties, and obviously better in Coors than Petco, but I just have a terrible time believing that some team isn't going to completely dumpster Nix in the very near future, and I'm betting on today.

Miguel SanoMiguel Sano FD 3400 DK 4000
Opponent - TEX (Bartolo Colon) Park - TEX
FD - 12.69 DK - 9.44
If I don't recommend bats in San Diego often, I probably recommend Sano against right handed pitchers even less. But here we have a classic case of the stoppable force (Colon) against the movable object (Sano vs. RHP). This season Colon has registered a 5.14 K/9 against righties while allowing a .911 OPS against them. Yes, he turns all right handed hitters into All-Stars. So what of Sano? If you take his Ks away the guy is an absolute monster. And hitting in Texas! But can we really do that, even against Colon? I say yes, and have a hard time seeing Sano as anything other than one of the very best big tournament plays possible.


Giancarlo StantonGiancarlo Stanton FD 4800 DK 5000
Opponent - DET (Matthew Boyd) Park - NYY
FD - 17.39 DK - 12.92
Andrew McCutchenAndrew McCutchen FD 3800 DK 4300
Opponent - DET (Matthew Boyd) Park - NYY
FD - 14.29 DK - 10.82
Another two members of an easy Yankees righty stack today. McCutchen bat leadoff on Saturday, and should absolutely do so again against the left handed Boyd. Stanton needs no introduction here. Getting Boyd into Yankee Stadium should punish his 31% ground-ball rate even further, and running Cutch/Sanchez/Stanton will be a hugely popular big tournament stack.

Shin-Soo ChooShin-Soo Choo FD 3900 DK 4600
Opponent - MIN (Kyle Gibson) Park - TEX
FD - 13.7 DK - 10.31
Nomar MazaraNomar Mazara FD 3300 DK 4100
Opponent - MIN (Kyle Gibson) Park - TEX
FD - 12.28 DK - 9.35
We're stacking Yankees righties and Rangers lefties, boys. Mazara has been .095 OPS points betters against righties this season, and he's .120 points better at home vs. righties as compared to his road splits. Choo is an underrated platoon option himself, popping a .929 OPS vs. righties compared to his a sub .700 OPS against lefties. Both should be set to feast vs. Gibson here.

Max KeplerMax Kepler FD 2500 DK 4000
Opponent - TEX (Bartolo Colon) Park - TEX
FD - 10.73 DK - 8.16
With Rosario injured, Kepler has been batting 5th at absolute bargain basement prices. Kepler isn't a stud, but he should be absolutely serviceable at the minimum price against a brutal pitcher in A) the league's second best hitter's park and B) a platoon positive match-up. Should be a chalk play assuming he bats 5th once again.


image sources

  • Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco (59): By Keith Allison on Flickr [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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