Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Monday 7/15/19

Monday's MLB action brings us something of a shorter slate of action all things considered. Some ace-level pitchers find themselves in tougher matchups and we may be stacking only a couple of teams in cash games.

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Lucas GiolitoLucas Giolito FD - P 9100 DK - SP 11200
Opponent - KC (Jake Junis) Park - KC
FD - 37.98 DK - 19.63
After rolling through the better part of the season as one of the surprise arms of the summer, Giolito’s struggled in two of his last four games. Both against the Cubs, he allowed 6 ER in each while failing to get through the fifth inning. In the short term, the last five or so starts, walks have caught up Giolito and he’s issued 16 free passes in the last 24 innings. But the strikeouts are still there and he’s putting down close to 11 batters per nine over the season. On Monday, he’s a -130 road favorite against the Royals who rank 22nd in the league against righties in wOBA this season with a 23% strikeout rate. He’s a little expensive on DraftKings, but the FanDuel price works fine considering the strikeout upside and opponent. It’s also worth noting that the other ace-level arms on Monday are almost to a man in very tough matchups.

James PaxtonJames Paxton FD - P 9000 DK - SP 9300
Opponent - TB (Blake Snell) Park - NYY
FD - 33.74 DK - 18.48
Paxton has had a few rough outings since the beginning of June with three of his seven starts surrendering four or more runs with strikeouts three or less. But he turned things around completely last time out against these very same Rays with 11Ks in six innings. On the season, he’s still striking more than 11 batters per nine, though the walks are a bit more of an issue than they’ve ever been for him before. It’s that part of his game, plus the aforementioned flux around his outings that have him coming on the cheaper side for his skill set. I don’t love the matchup or park, but man it’s tough to get this kind of strikeout upside for less than 10K on FanDuel and DraftKings. I think that’s where I ultimately land on my willingness to roster Paxton despite some of the downside.


Catcher/First Base

Joc PedersonJoc Pederson FD - 1B 2600 DK - 1B/OF 4200
Opponent - PHI (Zach Eflin) Park - PHI
FD - 14.13 DK - 10.58
Peterson has had the tale of two seasons all wrapped up the first half of baseball. His first three months or so were out of this world with 17 home runs and a 1K OPS. But he’s hit *just* three home runs since the beginning of June with an OPS well under .600. This, of course is troubling, though the answer lies somewhere in between. He was never going to be as good as the beginning of the year, but he’s far from this bad either. BABIP and Hr/FB issues have “sapped” the power and OPS. This has led to a dramatic drop in price for a guy still hitting leadoff in a dynamic offense. I’m fine going back to the well even with the recent struggles.
Strongly consider Matt Beaty (FD $2000 DK $3300) along with Joc.

Jesus AguilarJesus Aguilar FD - 1B 2800 DK - 1B 4100
Opponent - ATL (Max Fried) Park - MIL
FD - 11.34 DK - 8.51
OK, hear me out. I know Aguilar hasn’t come close to matching the breakout 35 home runs he hit last season when he was tagging everything and everyone, especially lefties. But there are still signs of hope. He’s walking almost 13% of the time and is actually striking out less than last season. The BABIP is 30 points lower so we can hope for some regression. The hard contact rate is a little lower, but still sitting at 40% and the 14% Hr/FB rate has some room for growth considering his career number is 21%. This isn’t an ideal matchup against Fried, but I contend Aguilar is still coming well underpriced considering the profile.

Second Base

Max MuncyMax Muncy FD - 2B 3800 DK - 1B/2B 4600
Opponent - PHI (Zach Eflin) Park - PHI
FD - 12.81 DK - 9.54
Look, it’s nearly a daily theme, but the second base position continues leaving a lot to be desired from an offensive standpoint. That means we are sometimes left paying something above market price for quality bats. The positional scarcity just makes that the case. Muncy is just that kind of guy. He’s come somewhat out of nowhere over the last season plus to be one of better hitters in the game despite not really getting a solid gig until his age-27 season. But since the beginning of 2018 he has an OPS well over .900, 58 home runs and takes walks at a totally elite level. Simply put, this guy is one of the better hitters in all the game, position be damned.

Kolten WongKolten Wong FD - 2B 2500 DK - 2B 3500
Opponent - PIT (Joe Musgrove) Park - STL
FD - 8.37 DK - 6.46
I’m not all that excited about this pick, but again I’m not all that excited about the position in general. Wong is coming so very cheap on both sites and though he hits lower in the order there are some reasons to think he won’t totally kill you here. He walks around 10% of the time, has stolen 20 bases over the last two seasons, and gets a good matchup against Musgrove. This is more a price play if you don’t spend up on Muncy.

If Brock Holt finds his way again into the lineup on Monday then I don’t mind punting with him either.


Francisco LindorFrancisco Lindor FD - SS 4000 DK - SS 4900
Opponent - DET (Daniel Norris) Park - CLE
FD - 15.35 DK - 11.71
Already in his fourth full season, it’s easy to forget Lindor is *only* 25 years old. The young shortstop already has more than 100 career home runs under his belt and is nearly on pace for another 30 dinger campaign if he can pick it up just a bit in the second half. As a switch-hitter, he’s been better against lefties for his career with an .863 OPS and .367 wOBA in that split. Both are about 5% higher than his work against righties. The matchup against lefty Daniel Norris is fine here considering the latter is slightly worse than league average and doesn’t have much in the way of strikeout stuff.

Leury GarciaLeury Garcia FD - SS 2800 DK - OF/SS 3800
Opponent - KC (Jake Junis) Park - KC
FD - 9.86 DK - 7.79
Garcia’s main point of value comes from when he’s slotted in the leadoff spot for the White Sox. He has dribs and drabs of speed sure, and I suppose the .700 OPS isn’t terrible considering the position, but the plate appearance expectation out of the top spot could be what ends up winning the day. The lefty will face Jakob Junis who sports a 4.69 xFIP and walks more than three batters per nine. Garcia isn’t a favorite to take a free pass (walks 3% of the time) but it’s more to speak that Junis is an arm we can target cheap bats against.

Third Base

Justin TurnerJustin Turner FD - 3B 3100 DK - 3B 4300
Opponent - PHI (Zach Eflin) Park - PHI
FD - 13.14 DK - 9.99
Over his career, Turner has actually been better against righty pitching with a 131 wRC+ and .837 OPS in that split, both better than his lefty platoons. This season, on the whole, he’s right in line with his overall career averages sporting an .834 OPS even with the walks down a bit and the K’s up. Zach Eflin has been a full run worse than his ERA with a 4.78 xFIP. I’m not concerned with him rolling through the Dodgers’ order at all and think LA will be one of the more popular stacks on Monday.

Matt CarpenterMatt Carpenter FD - 3B 3000 DK - 3B 3800
Opponent - PIT (Joe Musgrove) Park - STL
FD - 12.04 DK - 8.97
Carpenter has struggled this season after rocking an .897 OPS in 2018. Now, last season he ran a bit hot relative to his career averages in both BABIP and Hr/FB so I don’t suspect a full return to that form, but this guy simply isn’t a .700 OPS dude. The good signs are he continues to take walks (13%) and has a 42% hard contact rate. We should see some bounce back in the power department considering he’s still getting the ball in the air and Joe Musgrove doesn’t have anything close to elite strikeout stuff.


Mookie BettsMookie Betts FD - OF 4200 DK - OF 4800
Opponent - TOR (Trent Thornton) Park - BOS
FD - 17.3 DK - 13.16
Andrew BenintendiAndrew Benintendi FD - OF 3300 DK - OF 4300
Opponent - TOR (Trent Thornton) Park - BOS
FD - 14.92 DK - 11.4
We haven’t spent too much time on the Red Sox despite them coming them coming into Monday with the highest implied run line at just a hair over six. They’ll face Trent Thornton who is striking out more than a batter per nine but still has an xFIP in the high fours. Betts, like some of the other guys I mentioned above is well off the mark from his 2018 campaign but this dude is still very much a superstar hitter. He’s walking (16%) more than he’s striking out (14%), has a 41% hard contact rate with an ISO hanging near .200. Look, it’s likely that 2018 was something of an outlier, but there’s still very much a power/speed combo we don’t always find from guys even at this higher price point.

Meanwhile, Benintendi is rounding out to maybe just an above average major league hitter rather than getting to that next level. We now have 1800 plate appearances with an OPS under .800. Fenway Park kind of kills lefties so some of that is to the expected, but he’s also dipped his walks this season and ticked up the strikeouts. That being said, if he’s hitting second in the Red Sox order at these prices then you have to strongly consider him for cash games.

Jordan LuplowJordan Luplow FD - OF 2500 DK - OF 3900
Opponent - DET (Daniel Norris) Park - CLE
FD - 11.91 DK - 9.05
Luplow mostly just gets his looks against lefty arms and that’s a good thing. On the season, he has an OPS a tick over .800 but against lefties it’s 1.108 with a 181 wRC+ and .450 wOBA. Those numbers aren’t going to be sustainable of course, but there’s still so much to like when he’s hitting in this split. In fact, it’s his struggles against righties that keep the price fully in check and why he’s sub 3K on FanDuel and sub 4K on DraftKings. So when he gets in that optimal platoon we can buy him as something of a punt play.


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