Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

09/08/2018
James Davis

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

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Pitcher

Jacob deGromJacob deGrom FD 11700 DK 13500
Opponent - PHI (Vince Velasquez) Park - NYM
FD - 44.07 DK - 24.37
Vince VelasquezVince Velasquez FD 6600 DK 8300
Opponent - NYM (Jacob deGrom) Park - NYM
FD - 34.54 DK - 18.18
First things first, it really is a brutal day for pitching. With no clear excellent big money option, deGrom moves his way up the list sort of by default. Now let's be clear, deGrom is a pretty damned good pitcher. The 11 K/9 and 2 BB/9 is almost on Max Scherzer level, and he's a bad Mets team away from being in Cy Young contention. He's not quite a sub 2 ERA pitcher, but his 2.71 xFIP is a career best, and it's a shame it's being thrown away for a team with no batters. But that lack of batters does bite us for cash game purposes. He's just a -170 favorite against a Phillies team that strikes out at the third highest rate against right handed pitchers.

Part of that reason is that Vince Velasquez is an underrated player. His K rate is only a tick below deGrom's, and while he's a much bigger risk thanks to a much higher walk rate, the fact remains that he's an excellent upside play. The Mets are a bottom 10 offense vs. right handed pitching themselves, and aren't really making a good faith effort to field a credible offense at the moment.

I like both sides of this game for big tournaments, and deGrom seems like a relatively easy cash game play.

Trevor CahillTrevor Cahill FD 7300 DK 7700
Opponent - TEX (Ariel Jurado) Park - OAK
FD - 32.72 DK - 16.29
If you can get the biggest favorite on the day for less than $8,000, you have to at least consider it right? Cahill has been flat out bad in his last 3 starts, so this might be a tough one to stomach for cash games, but Vegas certainly sees the A's pulling through here. If you believe in Cahill's season long statistics, he's still a very good pitcher. A respectable 8 K/9 and 3 BB/9 combined with an elite 56% groundball rate have him with a solid 3.60 xFIP. The Rangers are a below average offense with a top 5 K rate against right handed pitching, and Ariel Jurado might be the very worst pitcher in the majors that is currently taking the mound to start games. It's hard to call Cahill a high floor option after the last month or so, but the upside here looks damned nice.

Trevor WilliamsTrevor Williams FD 7600 DK 9000
Opponent - MIA (Jeff Brigham) Park - PIT
FD - 34.54 DK - 16.97
Back to back solid starts has Williams' price climbing, but Vegas is a big time believer here. He's the second biggest favorite on the day in the game with the second lowest total. The Marlins own the league's 2nd lowest wOBA against right handed pitching, and the park here is an excellent one for pitchers. Williams is really not a great pitcher necessarily, but the Marlins are so terrible that he is still a high floor option on the day.

First Base/Catcher

Willson ContrerasWillson Contreras FD 2500 DK 3800
Opponent - WSH (Erick Fedde) Park - WSH
FD - 10.6 DK - 8.03
This is squarely in the "so you have to play a catcher" territory of course, but Contreras DOES have the 4th highest wOBA of all qualified catchers this season. Vegas has the Cubs pummeling Erick Fedde, and it isn't hard to understand why. Fedde has been unlucky in his young career, but the guy does have a 7.08 ERA in the 48 innings he's pitched in the majors so far. In a league where there are so few catchers who bat outside of the 8 or 9 hole, grabbing Contreras in the 6 hole could be a steal.

Ryan ZimmermanRyan Zimmerman FD 3300 DK 4800
Opponent - CHC (Mike Montgomery) Park - WSH
FD - 12.05 DK - 9.1
While Vegas likes the Cubs to smack Fedde around, it has high hopes for the the Nats as well. With 4.5 implied runs, the Nats ought to be able to put something together here. Zimmerman has an .840 OPS this season, but a 1.231 OPS and 5 homers in his 70 plate appearances vs. southpaws. Montgomery skates by on an above league average groundball rate, but his 6 K/9 and 3 BB/9 paints a pretty accurate picture of a lousy starting pitcher. Given how great Zimm has been against lefties this year, it's hard to argue against him being an excellent cash game option here.

Matt OlsonMatt Olson FD 3400 DK 4100
Opponent - TEX (Ariel Jurado) Park - OAK
FD - 11.89 DK - 8.85
With 20 homers against right handed pitching this season, Olson is a platoon guy who can't be considered against lefties but sneaks into playability in perfect situations. Olson is really nothing special as far as first base bats go, but Ariel Jurado is a truly special match-up for opposing lefties. The man has pitched 39 innings in the majors this season and has struck out exactly 1 more batter than he's walked. That would be terrible no matter what, but the fact that he owns a 3.23 K/9 this season is truly an embarrassment. Olson should be batting 5th vs. the righty here, and given that you can essentially take striking out off the table, he should be a great option in any format.

Second Base

Brian DozierBrian Dozier FD 3700 DK 4700
Opponent - COL (Tyler Anderson) Park - COL
FD - 14.24 DK - 10.75
DJ LeMahieuDJ LeMahieu FD 3500 DK 4900
Opponent - LAD (Rich Hill) Park - COL
FD - 12.03 DK - 9.4
Second base could easily just come down to grabbing some side of this Coors game. Both Dozier and LeMahieu are in great platoon spots here - Dozier is .122 OPS points better against left handed pitching for his career (even if it hasn't worked out that way this season), and LeMahieu has been .225 OPS points better this season. Neither Hill nor Anderson are bad pitchers, but this IS Coors Field, and both are rather extreme flyball pitchers. The prices are reasonable as well, and at a position where there are very few options, it could go a lot worse to just grab a good Coors bat in a positive platoon situation and move on with your life.

Also considered: Joe Panik, but only if he is batting leadoff. In that case he makes for an excellent punt play.

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Shortstop

Javier BaezJavier Baez FD 3800 DK 4800
Opponent - WSH (Erick Fedde) Park - WSH
FD - 12.98 DK - 9.87
Trea TurnerTrea Turner FD 3700 DK 4600
Opponent - CHC (Mike Montgomery) Park - WSH
FD - 12.24 DK - 9.54
We've given you the case against both of these pitchers already, but here you're getting two of the very best offensive options at another shallow position in a nice match-up against the opposing team. You can't do a whole lot better in the upside department that going with Baez, a natural 30/20 guy at a sub $4,000 price tag. Turner is no slouch himself, with an OPS .070 points higher against left handed pitching, and 10 more steals than the next highest shortstop. You can't pay up at every single position, but it wouldn't shock me if our lineup optimizer winds up calling one of their names.

Hernan PerezHernan Perez FD 2400 DK 3900
Opponent - SF (Madison Bumgarner) Park - MIL
FD - 9.46 DK - 7.38
If you're looking for a cheaper option, you might be in a position to grab a little Hernan Perez action today. He often bats fifth against left handed pitching, and getting a guy in the heart of the order for $2,400 is not an opportunity we should take lightly at this point in DFS history. Perez is actually quite solid against lefties in spite of a tough season line - his .800 OPS is actually an incredible value here. Bumgarner is a scary name, but his best years are well behind him at this point. With a sub 8 K/9 and a BB/9 north of 3, he is looking likely a mostly league average pitcher at this point. Perez is solid for every format, if only so you can make other options work.

Third Base

Nolan ArenadoNolan Arenado FD 4500 DK 5200
Opponent - LAD (Rich Hill) Park - COL
FD - 15.2 DK - 11.46
So you want to make some big money plays work, eh? Well, when Arenado is facing a lefty it's tough to make an argument for other big money spots. The guy has a 1.224 OPS against lefties this season, and Hill's breaking stuff should have a little bit of difficulty in the thin air. Arenado should be a top priority even if Hill is an above average pitcher.

Kris BryantKris Bryant FD 3600 DK 4300
Opponent - WSH (Erick Fedde) Park - WSH
FD - 13.44 DK - 10.06
Another piece of the Cubs stack puzzle. Bryant has been a pretty dramatic platoon guy this season, but for his career he's only about .100 OPS points better against lefties. He bat second on Saturday night, and if he's that high in the order today he perfectly blends safety and upside.

Outfield

A.J. PollockA.J. Pollock FD 3300 DK 4100
Opponent - ATL (Touki Toussaint) Park - ARI
FD - 11.93 DK - 9.18
David PeraltaDavid Peralta FD 3700 DK 4800
Opponent - ATL (Touki Toussaint) Park - ARI
FD - 11.93 DK - 9.11
Grabbing a couple of value D-Backs outfielders at the top of the order against a young pitcher? Sure. Peralta is having a great season by any standard, but he's been particularly excellent against right handed pitching. His .954 OPS and 19 homers in 379 plate appearances against right handers are just great, and you're getting him at a fairly deep discount to his abilities on FanDuel. Pollock is also a discount play, but mostly because he's run a bit bad this season. He's still a power/speed threat and a fine addition as you're filling out salary. As for Toussant, he's not a bad pitcher, but he's too young to be nervous about him. He's blended a lot of Ks with a lot of walks in the minors, and that level of inconsistency doesn't usually bode well early in a pitcher's career. Still, he can be viewed as a high variance match-up thanks to his strikeout potential.

Brett GardnerBrett Gardner FD 3000 DK 4400
Opponent - SEA (Erasmo Ramirez) Park - SEA
FD - 10.8 DK - 8.26
I could written up a half a dozen Yankees for this picks article, but I'll just highlight Gardner to give you a brief glimpse. Gardner in his own right is like a cheaper version of AJ Pollock witha better platoon spot, and arguably a better match-up as well. Erasmo Ramirez is your classic high upside match-up. He strikes out around 6 batters per 9 innings, and walks almost no one as well. This means we'll see a lot of balls in play for a dynamic Yankees offense, and Gardner should be considered an excellent part of any Yankees stack.

Kyle SchwarberKyle Schwarber FD 3200 DK 4600
Opponent - WSH (Erick Fedde) Park - WSH
FD - 11.54 DK - 8.56
Khris DavisKhris Davis FD 4000 DK 4600
Opponent - TEX (Ariel Jurado) Park - OAK
FD - 13.57 DK - 10.13
Two match-ups we've already addressed, so I won't go too deep here. Just know that you can run as many A's and Cubs as you want today, assuming you can make the money work. I'd be a little wary of Davis for cash games here just because you're paying up a lot, but I have a feeling that the A's are going to be an under the radar stack just because of their relative lack of big upside fantasy names. Jurado really is thatGRAB A FREE TRIAL OF OUR PROJECTION SYSTEM, AND CHECK OUT DFSR PRO!

1 Visitor Comment

  1. Here We Go Again. First Sunday of NFL and FanDuel lets there MLB tournaments go to crap. Very few tournaments and very low payouts. Hard to believe that rheycan just trash the season 5 months in just because the NFL started. They have become an absolute joke. Constantly changing buy-ins and payouts on a daily basis. The Squeeze gpp used to pay $15,000 first today at pays 1000. Total crap!

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