Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

James Davis

DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Saturday 6/29/19

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Justin VerlanderJustin Verlander FD - P 11500 DK - SP 11500
Opponent - SEA (Yusei Kikuchi) Park - HOU
FD - 45.97 DK - 26.63
Well it's a six game slate with a Coors game, so we're happy to get any aces we can find. And Verlander? He certainly qualifies. He's shaved a strikeout per 9 off last year's ridiculous rate, but his 11+ K/9 with a sub 2 BB/9 is really all you need here. Verlander's extreme fly-ball tendencies mean you're going to get some variance when you play him, but I don't think you can worry too much about that on such a small slate. The Mariners are a polarizing match-up as well, with a top ten wOBA against righties but a top ten strikeout rate as well. Verlander is by far the biggest favorite on the slate at -265, and is a great option for cash game or big tournaments.

Zack GreinkeZack Greinke FD - P 9500 DK - SP 9500
Opponent - SF (Drew Pomeranz) Park - SF
FD - 35.26 DK - 18.73

The decision as to whom to write up second at pitcher tonight was a tough one, and a classic DFS decision: do we chase a big ceiling, or settle for a high floor? In Greinke we're doing the latter. With a sub 8 K/9, he doesn't look the part of an ace, but a career best 1.25 BB/9 almost makes up for it. The issue with running low strikeout pitchers is that you really need them to go deep into games, but the good news is that Greinke does just that. His 6.35 innings pitched per start this year are excellent, and facing the Giants in San Francisco should give him the opportunity to keep that trend going. Oracle Park is one of the best pitcher's parks in the majors, and the Giants have combined a league average strikeout rate with a dismal .290 wOBA that is good for the third worst in the Majors. If you don't feel like you need to chase upside, Greinke should be an excellent option.

Brandon WoodruffBrandon Woodruff FD - P 9100 DK - SP 8100
Opponent - PIT (Jordan Lyles) Park - MIL
FD - 36.83 DK - 19.83
And here's your upside option. Woodruff has essentially replicated his success as a reliever last season in a starting role this year, trading a few ground balls for strikeouts and exactly matching last season's 3.36 xFIP. The ERA hasn't cooperated, which just leaves him a little cheaper for us here. Vegas has the Brew Crew has a -190 favorite, which makes them the second biggest favorites on the slate. The match-up with the Pirates isn't an elite one - they don't strike out much and have a league average wOBA vs. righties - but on a small slate Woodruff still has the highest upside of any pitcher not named Verlander.


Catcher/First Base

Yasmani GrandalYasmani Grandal FD - C 3300 DK - C 4400
Opponent - PIT (Jordan Lyles) Park - MIL
FD - 13.41 DK - 10.01
Grandal has been getting appearances at the leadoff spot for the Dodgers recently, and if he pulls that spot again he's an obvious inclusion at the catcher spot on the basis of his batting order spot alone. If you're uninitiated to DFS baseball, the extra plate appearances from batting first are just so important. It doesn't hurt that Grandal has been great this season, either. With a .900+ OPS he's been one of the best hitting catcher in the league, and he still isn't priced that way. Lyles has had a decent start to the year, but the 4.19 xFIP tells the tale of a slightly below league average pitchers. I'm not scared of running any Brewers here.

Eric ThamesEric Thames FD - 1B 2700 DK - 1B 4200
Opponent - PIT (Jordan Lyles) Park - MIL
FD - 11.63 DK - 8.72
Speaking of Brewers, Thames is very cheap for a guy who could continue to bat fifth against right handed pitchers. While he's had injury problems the last couple of years, and he strikes out a lot, he's still got that 30+ homer pop that he flexed in 2017. If he's batting fifth again you grab him at these bargain basement prices and don't overthink it.

Joc PedersonJoc Pederson FD - 1B 4100 DK - OF 5000
Opponent - COL (Jon Gray) Park - COL
FD - 16.18 DK - 12.12

The first of many Dodgers in Coors. Pederson still has the same comical lefty/righty splits that he had when I wrote this article last week, where his OPS against right handers is almost six hundred points higher than it is against lefties. He'll likely lead off against Gray here, and while the Rockies will probably throw a lefty at him at some point, he's still plenty playable for those first handful of plate appearances. Gray has been a lot less unlucky this year than he was last year, and he's a solid pitcher in and outside of Coors. He's no ace, though, and the Dodgers have by far the highest implied total on the slate. I'm happy to stack them here and hope that Gray doesn't go off.

Second Base

Jose AltuveJose Altuve FD - 2B 4000 DK - 2B 4100
Opponent - SEA (Yusei Kikuchi) Park - HOU
FD - 15.16 DK - 11.74
It's safe to say by now that the hype surrounding Kikuchi's arrival into American baseball was a bit much. The Japanese import has been nothing short of horrible since arriving stateside, surrendering nearly 2 home runs per 9 innings and striking out just 6.57 per 9. Altuve has had something of a rough go of it when you look at his season long triple-slash line, but you can't count on his BABIP staying .090 points off of last season's numbers for long. Things turned around for him in June, when he posted a .312 AVG and an .819 OPS, and his 1.275 OPS against lefties this season is simply insane. I love Altuve as a great high-floor play on either site.

Max MuncyMax Muncy FD - 2B 4400 DK - 1B/2B 5400
Opponent - COL (Jon Gray) Park - COL
FD - 14.67 DK - 10.92

More Coors guys. It's a bit of a yawner, but that's just the reality today. Muncy has followed up last year's breakout campaign with more of the same, where his line would be nearly identical if not for a .034 drop in slugging percentage. Muncy has been a hair better against lefties during his major league at bats, but his underlying K% and BB% are better against righties, and I think we'll see him shake out as a standard platoon guy as his career progresses. Grab him against Gray if you can afford it, though it might not be easy to afford all of these guys if you spend up at pitcher.


Alex BregmanAlex Bregman FD - SS 4200 DK - 3B/SS 5100
Opponent - SEA (Yusei Kikuchi) Park - HOU
FD - 17.07 DK - 12.87
If you're starting to see a theme in terms of the teams we're recommending you stack today, you aren't alone. We already gave you the scoop on Kikuchi, so let's just zero in on Bregman. He's built upon last year's MVP level campaign with an OPS just .001 points lower than last year's stellar figure, and like Altuve, he's in a great platoon spot here. Bregman's .930 career OPS against lefties is .063 points higher than what he's done against righties, and he should have his way with Kikuchi's offerings here.

Paul DeJongPaul DeJong FD - SS 3400 DK - SS 4000
Opponent - SD (Chris Paddack) Park - SD
FD - 10.18 DK - 7.73

Well you can't pay up everywhere, and you can make a strong case for paying down for DeJong at shortstop here. He's not an offensive talent on Bregman's level, but he's considerably cheaper and brings plenty of floor as well. He's got an excellent approach - a 18.8% K rate and a 10.9% BB rate - and packs more power than you might think with his .216 ISO. It's not all roses, of course. It sucks to hit in Petco, and Chris Paddack is a lot better than most rookies you haven't heard much about. He's run a little bit hot on his ERA if you look at his xFIP, but he's a real prospect with serious strikeout stuff. Still, I won't be too disappointed if I wind up with DeJong in my cash game lineups tonight.

Third Base

Justin TurnerJustin Turner FD - 3B 4000 DK - 3B 4700
Opponent - COL (Jon Gray) Park - COL
FD - 15.04 DK - 11.44

Nolan ArenadoNolan Arenado FD - 3B 4100 DK - 3B 5000
Opponent - LAD (Clayton Kershaw) Park - COL
FD - 15.76 DK - 11.87
Heyyy, more Coors bats! I won't go too deep on Turner here, other than to say he's shown plenty of promise against righties for his career. The interesting decision will surround Arenado. I'm not sure if I've ever not recommended Arenado against a lefty in Coors, but if I failed to, it was probably because he was facing Clayton Kershaw. You know what, though? Kershaw's just not the same guy at 31 that he was at 25. He's got excellent control with a sub 2 BB/9, but his K/9 has dipped below 8 for the first time at any stop throughout his professional career. Throw a declining K rate in Coors Field, and you could see some fireworks, right? I like the Rockies as a sneakier stack than usual given that they are playing in Coors.

Matt CarpenterMatt Carpenter FD - 3B 3200 DK - 3B 4100
Opponent - SD (Chris Paddack) Park - SD
FD - 10.65 DK - 7.93

Another high floor Cardinal, if that's your thing. Carpenter has run bad with his .265 BABIP this season, but the power outage might be real considering his .166 ISO is very much in line with the guy he was in the earlier part of the decade. Carpenter has been almost .100 OPS points better against right handers for his career, and he should be able to get balls in play even against a good pitcher in Paddack. Throw in his lower power with a tough hitters' park and I won't be counting on him for upside, though.


Mike TroutMike Trout FD - OF 4700 DK - OF 5600
Opponent - OAK (Brett Anderson) Park - LAA
FD - 16.39 DK - 12.24
We've made it to the outfield before mentioning a single player in the barn burner scheduled in Anaheim, but Trout is as good a place to start as any. I won't spend too much time on Trout - you're getting him in a platoon positive spot against Brett Anderson, and if you can afford him, you'll play him. I don't know that you'll be able to prioritize him with the Coors game today, but the Angels look very tasty against Anderson. The A's lefty owns simply dismal peripherals this season. He has struck out just 4.57 guys per nine innings, while walking 3.15 per nine. He gets by on an elite ground ball rate, but he's absolutely still capable of a blowout. I like the Angels for big tournaments if only because you're guaranteed balls in play here.

Stephen PiscottyStephen Piscotty FD - OF 2900 DK - OF 3300
Opponent - LAA (Tyler Skaggs) Park - LAA
FD - 10.19 DK - 7.74
The other side of this game doesn't look too bad, either. Skaggs has pretty good strikeout numbers, but his 36% ground ball rate means he's leaving lots of balls up in the zone, which makes the A's righties look pretty interesting here. Piscotty is a guy you can only consider against southpaw, but if you can get him at bargain basement prices toward the middle of the order against a lefty you should consider it. The 28 year old slugger's .857 career OPS against lefties is more than serviceable at the near-minimum, and he helps you pay for the more expensive stacks you'll really want exposure to.

Michael BrantleyMichael Brantley FD - OF 3800 DK - OF 4400
Opponent - SEA (Yusei Kikuchi) Park - HOU
FD - 13.17 DK - 10.14
Ryan BraunRyan Braun FD - OF 2900 DK - OF 4200
Opponent - PIT (Jordan Lyles) Park - MIL
FD - 13.01 DK - 9.93
A couple more good options in games we've already dissected. Brantley will be hitting lefty vs lefty, and while he's been much better against righties for his career he's been plenty good against southpaws this year with an .899 OPS. Braun is what he is at this point - a league average player with a little pop - but like Piscotty above he's got plenty of upside at a sub $3,000 price tag in a good match-up with Lyles.


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