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Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

05/07/2019
Joel Bartilotta

DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Tuesday 5/7/19

After a relatively weather-free slate on Monday, Mother Nature is not being kind to us here. In fact, about half the slate has rain projected in the forecast. The cities/states that you need to keep an eye on are St.Louis, Colorado, Cleveland, New York, Baltimore, Houston and Pittsburgh. While none of them look too severe at this point, it would be silly to try to predict a full 24 hours in advance.

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Pitchers

Jon LesterJon Lester FD - P 8500 DK - SP 9000
Opponent - MIA (Caleb Smith) Park - CHC
FD - 36.4 DK - 18.64

Lester is not a guy I have much season-long stock in but it's hard to argue with his recent production. In five starts this season, Lester hasn't allowed more than two runs in any of them en route to a 1.73 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. He also has 26 Ks to match his 26 innings pitched and those ratios are hard to overlook. Facing Miami might be the best part about this play though, with the Marlins ranking 29th in xwOBA and dead-last in scoring. Opposing Caleb Smith is tough but we still project Lester to enter this matchup as a -160 favorite. 

Noah SyndergaardNoah Syndergaard FD - P 10400 DK - SP 10100
Opponent - SD (Cal Quantrill) Park - SD
FD - 37.94 DK - 20.66

Thor's first few starts definitely scared fantasy owners off but his most recent gem shows the sort of upside he presents. In that special outing, Syndergaard pitched a complete game shutout while striking out 10 batters. That game shows the sort of upside that Syndergaard has, as his 2.70 career FIP and 27 percent K rate makes him one of the most dynamic pitchers in the league. Pitching in Citi Field is huge too, as that ballpark has ranks bottom-three in total runs over the last two years. Not to mention, he faces a Padres team who sits 27th in xBA, 24th in K rate and 28th in OBP. 

Masahiro TanakaMasahiro Tanaka FD - P 8200 DK - SP 9600
Opponent - SEA (Marco Gonzales) Park - NYY
FD - 33.71 DK - 18.15

I'd be lying to you if I said that I'm excited about Tanaka here but his strikeout upside is fascinating. Not only does Seattle rank 28th in K rate, Tanaka's 24 percent K rate makes him a good bet for a big strikeout game here. Vegas really likes Tanaka too, as he enters this matchup as a -160 favorite. While Tanaka's 3.92 ERA and 1.31 WHIP are nothing special, his 3.24 xFIP indicates that he has some positive regression headed his way. 

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Catcher/First Base

Mark ReynoldsMark Reynolds FD - 1B 3100 DK - 1B 4200
Opponent - SF (Madison Bumgarner) Park - COL
FD - 12.93 DK - 9.89

It's strange to see any hitter in Coors Field priced this low. The reason for that is because Coors Field is a cheat code for DFS and any hitter can go off in the right circumstance. That's crystal clear by the fact that Reynolds has a .970 OPS at home since joining the Rockies. Another reason we like Reynolds here is because he has the platoon advantage against Bumgarner, with Reynolds posting a .348 career OBP against southpaws. 

Yuli GurrielYuli Gurriel FD - 1B 2600 DK - 1B/3B 3700
Opponent - KC (Danny Duffy) Park - HOU
FD - 10.37 DK - 8.04

It's tough to get excited about Gurriel but he makes for a nice stack with all of the other Astros righties. What we really like about Gurriel is his recent form, as he comes into this matchup in the midst of a four-game hitting streak. That's all we can ask for from someone so cheap, especially considering the fact that he has a triple, homer and three RBI in that span. Getting to face a lefty is the icing on the cake, with Gurriel posting an OPS north of .900 against lefties since the beginning of last year. 

The catchers that pop up highest on our projections are Tucker Barnhart and Robinson Chirinos

Second Base

Adam FrazierAdam Frazier FD - 2B 3100 DK - 2B 4000
Opponent - TEX (Adrian Sampson) Park - PIT
FD - 10.26 DK - 7.96

Frazier has been battling lead-off for the Pirates and it's hard to understand why he remains so cheap. Not only does he have a hit in nine of his last 11 games, he's also got five hits over his last three games in total. That makes him really attractive against Sampson, with Frazier getting the platoon advantage from the left side. The lead-off lefty has a .783 OPS against righties since the beginning of 2017 and Sampson's numbers are far from pretty. In fact, the Texas righty owns a 1.34 WHIP and .348 xwOBA this season while posting a 5.59 FIP for his career. 

Kike HernandezKike Hernandez FD - 2B 3400 DK - 2B/OF 4100
Opponent - ATL (Max Fried) Park - LAD
FD - 10.88 DK - 8.21

Hernandez will likely occupy the Dodgers’ leadoff spot on Monday against the lefty Max Fried. The former is having a solid season with a mid-.800’s OPS. He’s becoming more of an everyday player, but still does most of his damages against southpaws. In that split over his career he has a 133 wRC+, .863 OPS and .366 wOBA. The price is up some on Hernandez since the beginning of the season which is to be expected as he gets more chances to hit against righties. But this is still a solid price on both sites for the matchup.

Shortstop

Trevor StoryTrevor Story FD - SS 4600 DK - SS 5500
Opponent - SF (Madison Bumgarner) Park - COL
FD - 15.66 DK - 11.89

If you fade Story at home against a lefty, you probably haven't played much DFS over the last two years. Not only does Story own a 1.038 OPS against lefties since being called up, he also has a .940 OPS at home. In all, Story has an OPS approaching 1.500 against southpaws at home since he was called up and it's really no surprise considering the Coors Field cheat code. Bumgarner is not really a pitcher we need to fear either, with Bumgarner posting a FIP north of 4.00 since the beginning of last season. 

Corey SeagerCorey Seager FD - SS 3000 DK - SS 3700
Opponent - ATL (Max Fried) Park - LAD
FD - 9.72 DK - 7.41

Ok, let’s get the part where shortstop is terrible on this slate out of the way. Because it is. It’s probably the weakest position on the slate and I think we are going to want to get out of it as cheap as possible. Luckily Seager is priced way down on his early season struggles. His OPS is sub-.700 and he only has four home runs over his last 250+ appearances. But he’s still hitting near the top of the Dodgers’ order even against lefties and that leaves him in the cash game discussion for sure.

Fransisco Lindor remains too cheap on both sites and has a fantastic matchup against Lucas Giolito

Third Base

Colin MoranColin Moran FD - 3B 2200 DK - 3B 3700
Opponent - TEX (Adrian Sampson) Park - PIT
FD - 9.35 DK - 7.19

Moran makes for a nice stack with Frazier and Polanco, as we want to get as many lefties in there as possible against Sampson. Moran's numbers against righties are really impressive, with Moran posting a .783 OPS against right-handers since his call-up. That's all you can ask for and he's usually right in the heart of the order whenever a righty takes the mound. The aforementioned Sampson numbers only add to Moran's intrigue. 

Justin TurnerJustin Turner FD - 3B 2900 DK - 3B 3700
Opponent - ATL (Max Fried) Park - LAD
FD - 11.03 DK - 8.38

Turner's had some real struggles this season in just about every department but especially with the power. He has only one home run in his first 141 plate appearances. The ground ball rate is up some, which isn't a fantastic sign, but so his hard contact rate is the best of his career up until this point. This is still a guy who tuned up lefty pitching to .433 wOBA last season with a 1.028 OPS. I'm still willing to buy in this matchup knowing the price is way down thanks to the early season issues.

Nolan Arenado gets to hit at home and gets the platoon advantage against Madison Bumgarner, who he's owned throughout his career. 

Outfield

Gregory PolancoGregory Polanco FD - OF 2800 DK - OF 4200
Opponent - TEX (Adrian Sampson) Park - PIT
FD - 10.86 DK - 8.27

Polanco is the final piece to our Pittsburgh stack but he's arguably their most valuable piece. While he has struggled in his first week, Polanco has too much upside to be priced this cheaply. His upside was on full display last season when Polanco posted career-highs with an .839 OPS, .245 ISO and .353 wOBA. That's a huge indicator of a breakout and this guy is too talented to fade in this sort of matchup. For his career, Polanco owns a .797 OPS against right-handers. 

Yasiel PuigYasiel Puig FD - OF 2700 DK - OF 3900
Opponent - OAK (Mike Fiers) Park - OAK
FD - 10.84 DK - 8.23

Puig got off to a terrible start with the Reds but recent results would indicate that he's getting out of his slump. His last two games are what's really impressive, with Puig going 5-for-10 at the plate while collecting four runs, a steal and two RBI. A slow start is pretty typical for Puig too, as he actually got off to an even worse start last season. Facing Mike Fiers could definitely keep Puig's hot streak going too, with Fiers posting a .365 wOBA to match his 6.81 ERA and 1.49 WHIP. 

Nelson CruzNelson Cruz FD - OF 3700 DK - OF 4800
Opponent - TOR (Aaron Sanchez) Park - TOR
FD - 12.36 DK - 9.3

While Crus' statistics don't jump off the page, his hitting profile should. In fact, Cruz ranks 14th among all hitters with a .432 xwOBA. That simply means that he's hitting the crap out of the ball and his recent form backs up that impressive xwOBA. Over his last 15 games, Cruz is hitting .304 while accruing six homers, five doubles, 13 runs and 12 RBI. Aaron Sanchez has nasty stuff but his 1.49 WHIP is nothing to write home about. 

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