Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Monday 8/5/19

Monday's baseball main slate brings us a few borderline aces taking the mound for the main slate, but also the Red Sox and Indians with very high opening run lines. That's going to possibly make for some tougher decisions about lineup building. Let's take a look at some of the top plays for FanDuel and DraftKings Monday baseball action.

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Lucas GiolitoLucas Giolito FD - P 9800 DK - SP 11000
Opponent - DET (Undecided) Park - DET
FD - 38.43 DK - 19.97 With deGrom going in the early game of the Mets/Marlins doubleheader we need to turn our attention to a couple of other big money pitchers going for the evening slate. Much to most people’s surprise, Giolito has been able to maintain the rather unbelievable strikeout gains that surfaced this season. Like we’ve said before this year, the biggest change came from ditching the sinker he threw 20% of the time last season and is now strictly a fastball, changeup, slider dude. It’s worked. With no early line on this game, it’s safe to assume Giolito will be a favorite against a Detroit team ranked second-to-last against righties this season and firmly in the tank for the rest of the year. The FanDuel price feels like something of a joke all things considered with the DraftKings price a little of a tougher decision.

Charlie MortonCharlie Morton FD - P 10100 DK - SP 10700
Opponent - TOR (Jacob Waguespack) Park - TB
FD - 37.73 DK - 21.12 Morton and Giolito are close on this slate in terms of projections with the former striking out 11 batters per nine on the season and in a decent matchup against the Blue Jays. Toronto’s gone full youth movement in the short term which usually would represent a great opportunity but they do have a little pop at the top of the lineup with Bichette/Biggio/VladJr. But Morton is a massive -230 favorite with an 8 over/under.


Catcher/First Base

Eric ThamesEric Thames FD - 1B 2500 DK - 1B 4000
Opponent - PIT (Dario Agrazal) Park - PIT
FD - 9.25 DK - 6.94 The Brewers will switch their lineup around quite a bit so it’s never obvious ahead of time exactly where guys will land, but Thames should at least be in the top 6 for this matchup against the Pirates and that’s fine enough against Dario Agrazal. The latter has some terrible peripherals through his first 37 major league innings with four K’s per nine and an xFIP in the 6’s. Thames’s big issue is the strikeout, but that won’t be an issue in this matchup. If he’s in the top 7 then the FanDuel price is looking like an easy play.

Brandon BeltBrandon Belt FD 2900 DK 3100
Opponent - WSH (Erick Fedde) Park - WSH
FD - 11.29 DK - 8.52 While only sporting a mid-.700’s OPS on the season, Belt remains one of the more patient hitters who’s just running a little bad on BABIP. He has a 14.7% walk rate with the batted ball numbers coming in around 50 points lower than his career average. The Giants will likely slot him in the leadoff position again and facing off against Erick Fedde gives Belt a great chance at reaching base. The former has a 5.32 xFIP and a nearly 1:1 K:BB ratio. It’s not always easy recommending Giants (outside of when they play in Coors) but this is one of those spots because of the opposing arm on the mound.

Strongly consider Sam Travis (FD $2400 DK $3400) if he’s hitting in the middle of the order against the lefty Montgomery.

Second Base

Adam FrazierAdam Frazier FD - 2B 2500 DK - 2B 3600
Opponent - MIL (Jordan Lyles) Park - PIT
FD - 9.5 DK - 7.37 Frazier should offer us another chance at a leadoff hitter coming at near-punt prices on both sites. He makes a lot of contact (82% of the time) and the OPS is just creeping over .700 for the season. From a fantasy perspective, the biggest win you’re getting here is the plate appearance expectation against Jordan Lyles who has some K stuff in him this season, but also has the ability to get absolutely rocked. In three of his last five games he’s allowed seven or more earned runs. Again, Frazier isn’t a dynamic fantasy guy, but the leadoff spot would win the day in this matchup.

Look, second base is almost a nightly issue for MLB DFS and Monday is no different. That’s how you end up with Adam Frazier as a freaking top play. After him, we might need to wait on some value to open up depending on how teams release their lineups. If Derek Dietrich (FD $2500 DK $3800) can find his way back into the lineup then he’d be a great cheap play. Or just fill in guys like Yolmer Sanchez (FD $2200 DK $2700) would just be a way to punt away the position and consider it a loss.


Francisco LindorFrancisco Lindor FD - SS 4000 DK - SS 5400
Opponent - TEX (Ariel Jurado) Park - CLE
FD - 11.95 DK - 9.12 The Indians open with the second-highest expected run line on the Monday slate (6.05) against Mike Minor and the Rangers. On a per-plate-appearance rate, Lindor’s power numbers are right in line with what he’s done over the last couple of seasons and the .893 OPS is the best of his career. He’s been better against lefties this season with a .368 wOBA and 129 wRC+. He’s walked more and struck out less in that split. There are some expensive bats that won’t be easy to pair with the two top arms which will make some of the decisions on this slate a little tougher.

Xander BogaertsXander Bogaerts FD 4100 DK 5300
Opponent - KC (Mike Montgomery) Park - KC
FD - 15.15 DK - 11.57 Speaking of higher run lines, the Red Sox come in with the highest (7.07) at home against the lefty Mike Montgomery. The 26-year-old Bogaerts is reaching his prime and having easily the best season of his career with a .951 OPS, 25 home runs and a 12% walk rate. All of those are his best numbers yet. While he’s been better against righties this season, for his career Xander is better in his lefty platoon with a .364 wOBA and .846 OPS, but about 10% higher than what he’s done against righties. The big question we’ll have today, especially on DraftKings is whether we should pair the two top pitchers or stack Red Sox/ Indians. The pricing will make it tough to do both.

Third Base

Matt CarpenterMatt Carpenter FD - 3B 3000 DK - 3B 3700
Opponent - LAD (Tony Gonsolin) Park - LAD
FD - 10.77 DK - 8.02 Carpenter is back off the DL and in the leadoff spot for the Cardinals. This isn’t a great matchup for them against Gonsolin, but Carpenter is coming on the cheaper side which is going to help at a weaker 3B position for Monday. He’s definitely had some major drop off this season after a career 2018 campaign and we can’t expect anything close to the same power numbers. But he still draws walks 13% of the time. Again, I’m mostly looking at him in terms of a price play hitting leadoff without the expectation that he’s the Carpenter of old.

Evan LongoriaEvan Longoria FD 2700 DK 4200
Opponent - WSH (Erick Fedde) Park - WSH
FD - 10.01 DK - 7.69 Typically, if at all, we want to target Longoria against lefties. But I’m willing to make the exception against a guy like Fedde because the latter just doesn’t have strikeout stuff at all and the Giants are in position to put up some runs on Monday. Longoria has 13 home runs on the season and a mid-.700’s OPS. He’s actually been platoon neutral this season which is moderately encouraging and is coming cheap enough on FanDuel to start thinking about paying up at the other positions.


Mookie BettsMookie Betts FD 4300 DK 5500
Opponent - KC (Mike Montgomery) Park - KC
FD - 17.09 DK - 13 J.D. MartinezJ.D. Martinez FD 4200 DK 5100
Opponent - KC (Mike Montgomery) Park - KC
FD - 16.91 DK - 12.69 Here’s where things start really getting interesting regarding how we’re going to pay up for bats or pitchers on Monday. Both Betts and JD are very expensive but just in phenomenal spot against the lefty Montgomery. J.D. has murdered lefty pitchers for his career with a .974 OPS and .406 wOBA for his career. Those numbers haven’t been much different this season and he remains one of the best hitters in this platoon over the last few seasons.

Meanwhile, Betts isn’t putting up the same numbers as his MVP campaign from last season, but this is still a guy who walks as much as he strikes out (14.7% each), has a high .800’s OPS and is platoon neutral for his career. The Red Sox have the highest run line for a reason and the Betts/ Xander/ JD combo is going to be very tempting to stack even if it comes at the cost of losing one of the expensive pitchers.

Josh VanMeterJosh VanMeter FD - OF 2600 DK - OF 3900
Opponent - LAA (Patrick Sandoval) Park - CIN
FD - 9.48 DK - 7.26 VanMeter has had a scorching start to his major league career with an .881 OPS through his first 100 plate appearances. The .350 BABIP is a little run hot, but the 13.6% walk rate, 22% K rate and power (4 HR) / speed (4 SB) combo looks like they are moderately sustainable. He should be hitting in the middle of the Reds’ order still with Yasiel Puig out of the picture and is still coming cheap enough on both sites. He’s just the kind of bat that will help us fit some of the more expensive plays on this slate.

Speaking of Yasiel Puig (FD $3100 DK $4300), I think we can consider him against Mike Minor.


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