Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy MLB Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 9/17/18

Hopefully you aren't feeling too down about Monday rearing its ugly head and the weekend having once again passed us by. But hey, there's baseball to look forward to today and we've got you covered with value plays for DraftKings and FanDuel.
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Patrick CorbinPatrick Corbin FD 10000 DK 11900
Opponent - CHC (Kyle Hendricks) Park - CHC
FD - 38.74 DK - 20.5
Our system really likes Patrick Corbin against the Cubs though you can count me as skeptical (and I created the projections) because Chicago is getting healthy in the middle of the lineup and are patient as a unit. That being said, Corbin’s been nothing short of fantastic this season with a 31% K% and 2.57 xFIP which ranks best in the league (you read that correctly). His 5.5:1 K:BB ratio is about as good as you'll see from any starting pitcher and he's made gains this season by getting away from the fastball (only throwing it 20% of the time) while increasing his other offerings, the sinker (29%), slide (41%) and developing a curveball this year (10%) that he hadn't thrown in the past. It's basically made him a new pitcher and he's been able to sustain the peripherals over the course of the season. Chicago comes in with a lower 3.5 implied run line. And while I'm worried about the matchup, pitching is light today and there's no question Corbin is the best overall pitcher going.

Tyler GlasnowTyler Glasnow FD 6000 DK 7900
Opponent - TEX (Adrian Sampson) Park - TEX
FD - 32.79 DK - 17.19
The park isn’t doing him any favors here with Globe Life playing about as good in the power department as any stadium not named Coors in the majors. And the Rangers’ offense can do you some damage seeing as how they rank as an above average team against righties this season. But they do strike out 25% of the time in that split and Glasnow is coming super cheap on both sites. Since being ramped up to a starter’s full pitch count, he’s averaging more than five innings per start (and that included the disastrous 0.2 IP, 7 ER game against Toronto) with about a K per inning and isn’t allowing the walks to get completely out of control. I get that this is something of a risky play considering Glasnow for sure has blow up potential in him. But I really like the price and do think there are a lot of K’s in this Rangers’ lineup.

You can also consider Andrew Suarez against the Padres as a DraftKings SP2.

First Base/Catcher

Josh BellJosh Bell FD 3000 DK 4100
Opponent - KC (Brad Keller) Park - PIT
FD - 10.13 DK - 7.7
With Gregory Polanco on the shelf with a bunch of different dislocations and such, Josh Bell did move up in the lineup on Sunday, hitting fourth for the Buckos. He has cash game appeal against Brad Keller with the latter striking out only six batters per nine and sporting a mid 4’s xFIP. Bell has an excellent 12.6% BB% and isn’t the easiest guy to put down on strikes (18% over the last couple of seasons). The power didn’t materialize this year (10 home runs, 26 last season) but that’s mostly because the Hr/FB rate regressed back to his career mean. He’s still a very good hitter priced accordingly against a weaker arm. I’m buying on him moving up in the order with the Pirates’ injury issues.

Justin SmoakJustin Smoak FD 3100 DK 4500
Opponent - BAL (Sean Gilmartin) Park - BAL
FD - 10.69 DK - 7.99
The Blue Jays will go up against the lefty Sean Gilmartin who’s been rocked since getting called up from the minors. It’s somewhat par for the course with Orioles’ pitchers this season and Gilmartin fits the mold with a 6.63 xFIP and more walks (nine) than strikeouts (eight) in his 16 major league innings, even more damning that they’re all out of the bullpen. Smoak has been slightly better against righties over the last couple of seasons, but is still fine against southpaws with a .817 OPS and .353 wOBA in that split. He does take walks 11% of the time and only strikes out 19% against lefties. He should hit third in the Toronto lineup on Monday (though they do switch things around at times). The Blue Jays, as a whole, make for a solid stack on the road in Baltimore.

At catcher on DraftKings, consider Erik Kratz against Anthony DeSclafani or Mike Zunino against Framber Valdez.


Second Base

Travis ShawTravis Shaw FD 3800 DK 4700
Opponent - CIN (Anthony DeSclafani) Park - CIN
FD - 11.84 DK - 8.89
Shaw should be in the cleanup spot against the righty DeSclafani in something of a plus matchup for the Brewers. Shaw could still reach the best power season of season of his career. He’s sitting at 29 home runs (31 is his high) and though the .812 OPS is down from last season, he’s actually become way more patient (13% BB%) while running pretty bad in BABIP (.236). This is still a solid cash game bat for these prices against a righty who strikes out less than eight batters per nine. The Brewers have one of the highest opening implied run totals on the day (5.05) and aren’t overwhelmingly expensive across the board. Shaw is bolstered even more into consideration simply because second base is such a darn weak position.

Joe PanikJoe Panik FD 2200 DK 3600
Opponent - SD (Bryan Mitchell) Park - SD
FD - 8.99 DK - 6.95
I usually don’t like recommending guys from bad teams because even if the hitter is good, the rest of the team can drag the dude down with lack of implied runs, etc. Panik doesn’t necessarily fit the *good* part of that statement, but like I said with Shaw, we could be something like stuck at the second base position with very few options. Panik should hit second in the Giants’ lineup against Bryan Mitchell who’s been a little bit of awful in his major league time this season. He has more walks (40) than strikeouts (27, positively awful peripherals) and a 5.96 xFIP. The park and lineup keep the Giants’ run line down, but Panik makes for a fine enough punt play bat simply because he puts the ball in play a lot (7.5% K%) and should see solid-ish plate appearance numbers here for his cheap price.



Trea TurnerTrea Turner FD 3800 DK 4800
Opponent - MIA (Trevor Richards) Park - MIA
FD - 12.56 DK - 9.79
Turner always brings a lot of fantasy upside appeal because his ability to swipe bags, combined with the flashes of power give him that *big game* ability we’re looking for in a play. He has 39 stolen bases on the season and 17 home runs. He walks at a 9% clip, helping the OBP to stick in the .340 range and he hits in front of a potent lineup for the Nats. Trevor Richards has some K potential (about a strikeout per inning) but also struggles with control (4.18 BB/9) and sports a 4.53 xFIP. The only thing holding back the Nats’ run chances on Monday is the ballpark in Miami which plays as a pitcher’s haven. But I still like them as a stack because of the matchup and Turner should slot right into the second spot in the lineup again.

Jorge PolancoJorge Polanco FD 3100 DK 3600
Opponent - DET (Jordan Zimmermann) Park - DET
FD - 9.27 DK - 7.12
Jordan Zimmermann’s been just fine this season but isn’t exactly a guy we need to avoid when it comes to the opposing bats. He doesn’t walk many batters, but has a lower K rate (7.71 per nine) and mediocre 4.21 xFIP. Polanco’s real value comes in his plate appearance expectation considering he’s slotting between the leadoff and two spot in the Twins’ lineup these days. The .714 OPS is acceptable without being anything close to overwhelming and he makes a decent amount of contact against righties. He’s sporting a .772 OPS over the last two seasons (547 plate appearances) in that split with a 15% K rate. Those are solid numbers for a guy still coming very cheap, especially on DraftKings.


Third Base

Eugenio SuarezEugenio Suarez FD 3500 DK 4700
Opponent - MIL (Wade Miley) Park - MIL
FD - 9.91 DK - 7.49
Few other hitters in the game have been as good against lefties as Suarez over the last two seasons. In his last 313 plate appearances in that split, the dude has a .995 OPS and .418 wOBA. He’s walking 15% of the time in that platoon with a 160 wRC+. He’s in line for plenty of contact against Miley who owns a 5.90 K/9 rate on the season and is significantly worse than the 2.23 ERA would suggest (the xFIP is two runs higher at 4.30). Don’t be fooled by Miley’s *success* this season. The dude is average at best. Suarez is coming at a firm middle-tier value play because of the success in this split.

Mike MoustakasMike Moustakas FD 3600 DK 4500
Opponent - CIN (Anthony DeSclafani) Park - MIL
FD - 11.22 DK - 8.52
The Brewers shuffle their order around at times, making it hard to predict where certain guys will bat well in advance of first pitch. For instance, Moustakas hit sixth on Sunday, but second on Saturday. Honestly, either way he rings in as a value against DeSclafani on Monday. The latter owns a low 4’s (4.06) xFIP and is striking out batters only 21% of the time this season. He’s been tuned up by lefties this season with a .377 wOBA against and 4.61 xFIP in that split. The park isn’t quite as bad as pitching in Cincy, but Milwaukee still works advantageously for hitters. Moustakas isn’t exactly cheap, but I do really like the matchup and he’d get a moderate bump if he found himself in the top four of the order.



Starling MarteStarling Marte FD 3300 DK 4700
Opponent - KC (Brad Keller) Park - KC
FD - 11.23 DK - 8.74
Despite a low K rate (6.15 per nine), Brad Keller has been able to avoid getting totally bombed because of a very high groundball rate (55%%). But he isn’t as good as the 3.04 ERA would suggest with the 4.23 xFIP sitting more than a run higher. I do like some of the Pirates today in this matchup even though the park doesn’t do them any favors in the power department. Marte has big-time fantasy upside with 19 home runs on the season to go with 32 stolen bases. Those rate stats make up for his lower walk rate (5%) and lower (for a middle of the order bat) .765 OPS. He’s been fine against righties though with a .794 OPS and .342 wOBA over his last 677 plate appearances in that split. If playing Marte you can consider stacking Adam Frazier and Corey Dickerson right along with him.

Gregor BlancoGregor Blanco FD 2100 DK 3100
Opponent - SD (Bryan Mitchell) Park - SD
FD - 8.77 DK - 6.79
The Giants stink. That much we know. But they seem to want to hit Gregor Blanco leadoff and, for that, we can be moderately grateful. He’s coming super cheap across the board, basically at the minimums on both sites. Blanco’s major upside here is if he hits leadoff for the Giants on Monday. He will take a walk every once in a while (11% over the last two seasons against righties) But again, his major value prop is getting to hit at the top of the Giants’ order. Bryan Mitchell, as we mentioned, has been horrendous this season. If the Giants were anything close to a major league team we’d be writing up so many more guys from this team in this matchup. Blanco, much like Panik, is here because we are getting top of the order bats in at/or near minimum pricing against arguably the worst arm on the slate.

Lorenzo CainLorenzo Cain FD 3700 DK 4600
Opponent - CIN (Anthony DeSclafani) Park - CIN
FD - 11.68 DK - 9.06
Cain is just having another fantastic fantasy season with an .828 OPS and .366 wOBA. He will add some power here and there (10 home runs) but it’s really his ability to get on base (12% BB%, .401 OBP) that give him so much value. He adds speed (28 stolen bases) to the mix which gives him such a high floor on a nightly basis. This is the worse side of his split for sure (he’s much better against lefties) but doesn’t get such a downgrade even in the reverse platoon. He still walks 10% of the time against righties with a 114 wRC+ over his last 1K plate appearances.

Strongly consider Curtis Granderson if he’s hitting leadoff but the Brewers are anything but consistent with that lineup placement.


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