Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

09/26/2018
Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy MLB Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 9/26/18

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Pitcher

Jacob deGromJacob deGrom FD 12300 DK 13200
Opponent - ATL (Sean Newcomb) Park - ATL
FD - 42.97 DK - 23.71
You are paying top dollar for a low money line odds favorite which has basically been deGrom’s story all season. He leads all pitchers in WAR (8.3) with a 32% strikeout rate and 5.6:1 K:BB ratio. He should win the NL Cy Young (unless voters equate the lack of wins as being an indictment on deGrom) and really probably has a class-action lawsuit pending against the Mets’ offense. He doesn’t draw the best matchup here considering the Braves don’t strike out all that much as a team, but he’s clearly the best arm going on this slate.* Late in the season, we can usually find cheap, fill-in bats hitting at the top of the order, making fitting deGrom’s salary just a little easier.
*I’m caveating this by saying Chris Sale is probably the best pitcher, but I’m concerned about the pitch count at his current price point.

Shane BieberShane Bieber FD 8800 DK 8900
Opponent - CHW (Jace Fry) Park - CHW
FD - 35.8 DK - 19.04
As of this writing, Bieber is the scheduled starter for Cleveland though there’s no Vegas line on the game yet. My guess, if Bieber sticks, is we see Cleveland as something like -165* road favorites against the White Sox. Bieber has excellent peripherals on the season, sitting at a 5.2:1 K:BB ratio while striking out a batter an inning. The 3.37 xFIP is about 1.5 runs lower than his 4.80 ERA mostly because it appears he’s run bad on both BABIP (.362) and LOB% (68%). He draws a fantastic matchup against the White Sox who, over the season, have struck out 26% of the time against righties and own a bottom-third .305 wOBA in that split. The park doesn’t do Bieber any favors here, but everything else is in his favor.
*Update: It's Cleveland -190

Andrew HeaneyAndrew Heaney FD 8500 DK 8000
Opponent - TEX (Yohander Mendez) Park - TEX
FD - 34.67 DK - 18.41
The Angels’ lefty has quietly had a very nice season, striking out a batter per inning with a 3.73 xFIP in 173 innings. The 3.9:1 K:BB rate is efficient and his control has him hovering around six innings per start on the season. He’ll get a Rangers’ team significantly worse out of their comfy home hitter’s park and they do strike out 23% of the time in this split. Angel Stadium depresses power all around leaving the Rangers coming in at only 3.8 implied runs on the day. I do like the DraftKings’ price more than FanDuel where makes a very good SP2 option.

Strongly consider Masahiro Tanaka on DraftKings where he's only $9500

First Base/Catcher

Matt CarpenterMatt Carpenter FD 4000 DK 4700
Opponent - MIL (Jhoulys Chacin) Park - MIL
FD - 12.17 DK - 9.04
Carpenter has put together probably his best season yet with career-highs in OPS (.907) and home runs (36) to go along with a .379 wOBA. He walks at an elite 15% rate which should play nicely against Chacin who walks more than three batters per nine and strikes out less the 7.5 in the same span. Carpenter’s price has come down slightly in the short term, making him a reasonably-priced, high-floor cash game play on Wednesday.

Rowdy TellezRowdy Tellez FD 2500 DK 4100
Opponent - HOU (Chris Devenski) Park - HOU
FD - 9.82 DK - 7.44
The Blue Jays, late in the season, are really playing fast and loose with their lineup, moving a bunch of young guys into the top spots. Tellez is one of those guys and has hit as high as leadoff in the short term. He hasn’t walked much in his short major league stint (57 plate appearances) but did show around a 10% walk rate in the minors. The dude has come out with the power though, hitting three home runs already and sporting a 1K+ OPS (helped by BABIP for sure, but still solid). The Blue Jays are actually favorites against Devenski who will open the game and then give way to a bullpen committee.

At catcher on DraftKings, consider Erik Kratz against John Gant, Willson Contreras against Ivan Nova or James McCann against Jake Odorizzi.

 

Second Base

Logan ForsytheLogan Forsythe FD 2400 DK 3000
Opponent - DET (Matthew Boyd) Park - DET
FD - 10.25 DK - 7.77
A nice way to put Logan Forsythe’s hitter profile would be “light-hitting, on-base guy”. Of course, that’s probably being overly generous about a dude with around a .600 OPS, but he does (at times) fit a particular salary-relief need at a weaker position. He should hit higher in the order against the lefty Boyd and over the last two seasons has an excellent 13% walk rate and solid enough .709 OPS in that split. It’s clearly the platoon you want to play the guy in and his price is driven all the way down because he’s an everyday player who stinks against righties.

Joe PanikJoe Panik FD 2400 DK 3000
Opponent - SD (Luis Perdomo) Park - SD
FD - 9.82 DK - 7.6
Panik is another one of those “let’s get out of this position on the cheap and move on with our lives” plays. He should hit second in the lineup against the righty Perdomo. It’s a good matchup considering the latter is pretty damn bad with a 4.94 xFIP, 17% K% and 11% BB%. Panik makes a lot of contact (85% of the time) and is much better against righties over the last couple of seasons with a .761 OPS and .324 wOBA in that platoon. You’ll take those numbers in this matchup considering he’s coming as basically a rock-bottom price play on both sites.

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Shortstop

Andrelton SimmonsAndrelton Simmons FD 2700 DK 4000
Opponent - TEX (Yohander Mendez) Park - TEX
FD - 8.45 DK - 6.58
The Angels come into this game with an implied run line pushing up to five thanks to the matchup against Yohander Mendez. The Rangers’ lefty sports a 5.66 xFIP along with terrible peripherals (6% K%, 4.4% BB%) and Simmons makes for an excellent shortstop play for his price point. He should hit near the middle of the lineup (fifth) with the lefty platoon much better for him in terms of rate stats. He’s actually walked (10%) more than he strikes out (8%) against southpaws over the last two seasons with a .319 wOBA and 102 wRC+. The latter two numbers won’t overwhelm you, but they are above average for a shortstop who stands to see better than normal plate appearances in this matchup.

Jorge PolancoJorge Polanco FD 3100 DK 4100
Opponent - DET (Matthew Boyd) Park - DET
FD - 10.12 DK - 7.78
The main (and maybe only) reason to consider Polanco on this main slate is just how high the Twins hit him in the order. He stands to hit second against the lefty Boyd, and though Polanco’s splits are much better when facing righties, the plate appearance expectation might win the day in this matchup. Minnesota comes in right around 4.5 implied runs at home and since coming back from the PED suspension, Polanco has a .760 OPS. He’s not the easiest guy to strike out (18%) and is coming cheap enough to consider if he’s hitting that high in the order.

 

Third Base

Nolan ArenadoNolan Arenado FD 4600 DK 5000
Opponent - PHI (Nick Pivetta) Park - PHI
FD - 14.46 DK - 10.9
The Rockies are clearly a spot to pay up for on Wednesday, coming in with (by far) the best implied run total of the day (5.7) against Nick Pivetta. The Phillies’ righty can strike people out, but the dude also gives up the long ball allowing 1.3 home runs per nine. Look, I’m kind of a Pivetta believer on the peripherals and do think he’s run extraordinarily bad this year, but there is a reason the Rockies are coming implied to score more runs than any other team. Arenado is clearly better against lefties for his career, but this guy still has a .344 wOBA and .820 OPS against righties. Worse for sure, but still is hitting cleanup for the team in the best park as the odds-on favorite to score the most runs on the slate.

Todd FrazierTodd Frazier FD 3000 DK 3600
Opponent - ATL (Sean Newcomb) Park - ATL
FD - 10.36 DK - 7.75
I’m not completely in love with the matchup considering Newcomb has flashed strikeout stuff this season and the Mets are coming in at a shade less than four implied runs on the day. What I do like is that Frazier shows a lot of patience against lefties (13% walk rate over the last two seasons) with a .720 OPS in that time frame. That works especially well on DraftKings where he’s coming close to punt play pricing and should hit around the middle of the order against the lefty. And Newcomb does have control issues, walking more than four batters per nine. That plays real well against Frazier’s profile and though I’m typically adverse to playing Mets (because they stink) this is one I can talk myself into.

 

Outfield

Mike TroutMike Trout FD 5000 DK 5700
Opponent - TEX (Yohander Mendez) Park - TEX
FD - 15.07 DK - 11.19
Kole CalhounKole Calhoun FD 2900 DK 3300
Opponent - TEX (Yohander Mendez) Park - TEX
FD - 10.43 DK - 7.92
You’re for sure paying a premium on Trout but there’s a chance to offset the cost with a mini-stack including Calhoun. The two should hit 1-2 in the lineup against the lefty Mendez who is clearly one of the worst arms going on the main slate. The isn’t the split you love buying Calhoun in but he does walk 11% of the time against lefties over the last couple of seasons with some BABIP issues (likely partly because of the shift) driving down the OPS. But hitting in front of Trout in a plus matchup has its distinct advantages. Namely, that the latter is about as good as they come from the plate. He’s crushed lefties to a .961 OPS over the last two seasons with a .404 wOBA and 161 wRC+. It doesn’t take much in the way of analysis to make the case for Trout, that much is clear. The dude’s put together another MVP-type season. The question mostly becomes, can you pay for him? He’s expensive for sure but makes for the highest-upside bat on the slate.

Robbie GrossmanRobbie Grossman FD 2800 DK 3700
Opponent - DET (Matthew Boyd) Park - DET
FD - 9.18 DK - 6.96
He’s another cheap, middle of the order bat for the Twins and is coming in at the much better side of his platoon split against the lefty Boyd. Over the last two seasons, Grossman has a .771 OPS and .346 wOBA against southpaws with a very cash-game-friendly 17% walk rate. Those numbers would imply a higher floor at his current price point. And while Boyd isn’t necessarily a pushover, the dude is worse against righties, allowing a .301 wOBA to that split this season.

Strongly consider David Dahl if he’s back in the middle of the lineup for the Rockies again on Wednesday. Additionally, whoever hits leadoff for the Giants, Hunter Pence or Gregor Blanco would be an okay punt play against Perdomo. And finally, Jonathan Davis would make for another cheap leadoff punt if he’s at the top of the Blue Jays’ order again.

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