Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy MLB Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 9/11/18
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The pitching tonight is nothing to write home about and what makes it even worse is the fact Chris Sale returns and gets a nice matchup vs. the Jays but will only pitch two innings. The pitcher I will be turning to as my top option in all formats tonight is Mike Foltynewicz. He is having a career year(2.75 ERA, 27.8% K rate) and has been even better lately holding opponents to two or fewer earned runs in six of his last seven starts and one or fewer in five of those starts. What solidifies this pick is the matchup against the Giants who rank bottom five in runs scored on the season have been even worse lately ranking dead last with just 34 runs, a .256 wOBA, and 58 wRC+ over the last 14 days. Lock in Folty and move on tonight.
I had written up the Folty pick above before the Mets postponed the game on Monday night so deGrom, who was scratched on Sunday and now pushed back another day, is my top pick of the night. He has been one of the few bright spots for the Mets who are 13.5 back in the NL East and looking at the bookies, is currently the favorite to win the NL CY Young award. It makes sense as he enters the night with a league-low 1.68 ERA and supporting 2.71 xFIP. He is also operating with a career-high 31.3% strikeout rate and a whopping 15% swinging strike rate. The odds haven't been released yet but the Mets will be big favorites in a terrific matchup against a Marlins team that ranks dead last in runs scored this season and rank 28th in wOBA(.293) and wRC+(85) and dead last in ISO(.122) against right-handed pitching. As long as this game doesn't rained out again, deGrom is a near must play in all formats on Tuesday.
The mid to low tier options are somewhat limited tonight so I will turn to Jose Quintana as the Cubs are -140 home favorites tonight. I am not thrilled about it as he has been no more than average in his first full season with the Cubs with a 4.14 ERA/4.38 xFIP but he has been better lately holding opponents to two or fewer earned runs in four starts without allowing a long ball. The Brewers have done a good job taking walks(13%) over the last week which can be troubling as Quintana does walk over 3.5 per nine but they have also been striking out over 23% of the time. They are also below average against left-handed pitching on the season with a .309 wOBA and 90 wRC+. Given the other options, I am willing to plug him in as an SP2 on DraftKings for all formats and he is also a GPP play on FanDuel.
Jumping right into the Coors game to start the position players tonight. They currently have the second-highest implied run projection on the slate in a terrific matchup against Antonio Senzatela who has been up and down since jumping into the rotation with a 4.47 ERA and 4.56 xFIP and after two impressive starts in Coors in July, has given up 10 earned runs at home since. The other thing that stands out is that he has posted reverse splits this season giving up a .351 wOBA and 42% hard contact to right-handed hitters(.311 wOBA/31% to righties). For Goldy, he continues to be one of the most consistent hitters in the league with a .298/.403/.559 slash line and over the last 10 games has averaged 11.9 DraftKings/15.5 FanDuel points per game. If you are paying up for one bat tonight, Goldy is right near the top of the list.
It would be tough to consider Matt Olson as a cash game play tonight with a .241 average and .324 on-base percentage on the season but is most definitely a high upside play in GPP formats. He is second on the team in home runs with 25 on the season and one of four Athletics hitters who have a .200+ ISO on the season. The matchup lines up very nicely for him as well as Alex Cobb not only sits with a 4.97 ERA/4.50 xFIP on the season but has given up five home runs in his last three starts and 24 in 29 starts for the season for a 15.1% HR/FB rate.
Catcher Consideration: Manny Pina(MIL)
For cash games, we are always looking for consistency throughout our lineup and Merrifield provides us with just that. While he isn't showing the same power(11) as he did last year in his first full season in the big leagues, he has become much more patient at the plate by almost doubling his walk rate(4.6%-8.5%) which brought his OBP up to .366 from .324 and he is now hitting over .300 for the first time. The matchup lines up nice as Dylan Covey will jump back into the rotation with the injury to Michael Kopech and has struggled with control walking just under four per nine and sits with a 5.44 ERA/4.45 xFIP on the season. He isn't cheap, by any means, but sits outside the Top 10 in salary at the position on DraftKings and outside the Top 5 on FanDuel. He is in play in all formats.
For value at the second base position, I will turn to rookie David Fletcher who has been getting a ton of opportunities since being called up in mid-June. He comes went into Monday night hitting .282 and while he has just a .324 on-base percentage, he is only striking out 11% of the time. There is little to no upside as he has just one home run and a .089 ISO but he is now hitting at the top of the lineup ahead of some big hitters in Mike Trout and Justin Upton. He is cheap on both sites and provides salary relief to help load up at other positions which brings him into play in all formats.
I have yet to touch on the Red Sox who sit atop the implied run projections tonight which makes them a terrific pivot off the Coors Field game. While I like Mookie Betts and JD Martinez who are seemingly fighting each other for the AL MVP award, they are both very expensive so I will instead turn to Bogaerts, at least for cash games. The good news is that he hits cleanup in this league-leading offense and is having one of, if not his best, season as a major leaguer. He comes in with a .291/.363/.528 slash line and has tied his career high with 21 home runs and set a career high with 93 RBI. The matchup is the other big factor tonight as the Red Sox will face Ryan Borucki who doesn't strike fear into any team with a 14.5% K rate and 7% swing strike rate. He as also struggled lately as well giving up 23 earned runs in his last 26.2 innings(six starts). The Red Sox should roll over the Jays tonight so get as much exposure as possible.
More value may pop up as lineups are released tonight but at this point, it is very thin at the shortstop position. Mondesi has only been hitting at the top of the lineup since the start of September but both sites caught on real fast as his price has hit a season-high making him best utilized in GPP formats. The good news is that he has been red-hot lately with hits in eight of his last 10 games and in that time has averaged 13.2 DraftKings/15.8 FanDuel points per game. The Royals offense has been one of the worst in the league this season but are in a good spot tonight and the top of the lineup is where you want to target.
Also Consider: Amed Rosario(NYM)
Camargo has taken a huge step in his second season with the Braves giving us safety as he is hitting .278 with a .359 on-base percentage and he has also flashed upside with 18 home runs and 70 RBI. He has been even better down the stretch hitting .317 with a .379 on-base percentage and has spent the last four games hitting out of the two hole which is a huge boost in value considering the mid-tier price tag. The matchup also stands out as rookie Andrew Suarez has struggled against right-handed batters giving up a .359 wOBA and 43% hard contact(.229 wOBA and 30% hard contact to lefties) and hasn't struck out more than five batters since the start of July. The team total for the Braves is low tonight but I am not buying it and will have a ton of exposure to Acuna and Camargo at the top of the lineup in all formats.
The Mariners sit just outside the Top 5 in implied runs tonight and while "safe" is not a word I would use with Kyle Seager, he does make a terrific value play with a ton of upside. He is hitting just .214 on the season but has once again hit 20 home runs(7th straight season) and has added a 72 RBI which is third on the team behind Haniger and Cruz. He and the Mariners will face Bryan Mitchell who has been bouncing around between the pen and rotation and is having a season to forget with a 6.58 ERA/6.06 xFIP and overall has given up 40% hard contact. It is more than worth a shot in GPP's if you are stacking Mariners.
Also Consider: Yolmer Sanchez(CWS)
Ronald Acuna FD 4600 DK 5300
Opponent - SF (Andrew Suarez) Park - SF
FD - 10.9 DK - 8.28
Looking back at the beginning of August when odds were posted to win the AL Rookie of the Year, it was Juan Soto slightly favored over Acuna. Since then Acuna has been on an absolute tear with a .333/.420/.707 slash line with 14 home runs, 26 RBI, and 34 runs scored. He has a terrific matchup to keep things rolling tonight facing Andrew Suarez of the Giants who has also flashed as a rookie but struggled in the second half with a 5.01 ERA/4.13 xFIP and has also given up 11 home runs in those nine starts for an ugly 25% HR/FB rate. It is a park downgrade for the Braves but fading Acuna right now might be a big mistake. He is definitely in the conversation of top bat tonight in all formats.
I am going right back to the Athletics in the outfield as they are in a terrific spot tonight against Alex Cobb. He has been better in August with a 2.51 ERA but the xFIP has still been just about two full runs higher and he has given up five home runs in his last three starts and seven in his last seven games. For cash games, I will lean on the rookie, Ramon Laureano, who has really impressed in his first 31 games hitting .292 with a .373 on-base percentage and that has earned him a move to the leadoff role for the playoff-bound A's. Khrush Davis is a little more expensive and makes a nice GPP pivot tonight with all the other high priced players in good spots. He doesn't hit for a high average(.248) but has a very high ceiling as he has recorded 40+ home runs and 100+ RBI in three straight seasons now. The other good news in this matchup is that both hitters have reverse splits and have hit right-handed pitching much better this season. Lock and load.
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- Paul Goldschmidt: AP Photo/Matt York