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Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

09/18/2019
Chris Durell

DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Thursday 9/19/19

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Pitchers

Early
Eduardo RodriguezEduardo Rodriguez FD - P 9300 DK - SP 9800
Opponent - SF (Madison Bumgarner) Park - BOS
FD - 33.3 DK - 17.53

We have two small slates today but the good news is that the pitching is actually pretty good. It starts with the early slate and Eduardo Rodriguez who checks almost every box. He and the Red Sox are are early -175 home favorites in a plus matchup against a Giants team that has posted a league-low .276 wOBA and 70 wRC+ over the last month while striking out just over 25% of the time. ERod has also been red-hot down the stretch holding opponents to one or fewer earned runs in five of his last six starts and has also ramped up the swings and misses with 29 K's over his last three starts. He is our top projected pitcher on the early slate and with a price tag under $10K on both sites, is the top play in all formats.

Also Consider: Madison Bumgarner(SF) vs. a Red Sox team that could be without both Mookie Betts and J.D> Martinez once again
Main
Mike ClevingerMike Clevinger FD - P 11800 DK - SP 11400
Opponent - DET (Daniel Norris) Park - CLE
FD - 47.88 DK - 26.53

We don't exactly get a discount for the top pitcher on the main slate as Mike Clevinger is $11K+ on both sites but what we do get is an elite ace in a must-win situation as the Indians as in a tight race with the Rays for the final Wildcard spot. Clevinger is a huge reason the Indians are in this position as he has been one of the best pitchers in baseball in the second half holding opponents to two or fewer earned runs in 11 of 13 starts(2.17 ERA/3.18 xFIP) and has also provided a ton of upside striking out 33% of batters with a ridiculous 15.4% swinging-strike rate. Enough value plays should arise where we can load up on Clevinger in all formats.

Also Consider: Jack Flaherty(STL) as a GPP pivot off Clevinger or J.A. Happ(NYY) against an Angels team without Trout

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Catcher/First Base

Early
Jose OsunaJose Osuna FD - 3B 2800 DK - 1B/OF 4100
Opponent - SEA (Yusei Kikuchi) Park - PIT
FD - 9.1 DK - 6.98

The pickings are extra slim on this small, three-game slate especially considering four of the six pitchers are above average to elite arms. The theme for bats is most definitely game stack the Mariners/Pirates game and let's start with the Pirates. They are extra thin due to injuries but that is creating adding opportunity for others and the good news is that stacking them is very cheap. He went into Wednesday nights game with three straight multi-hit games and hits in five of his last six and with the injuries is hitting cleanup at the moment. That is more than enough more me on this slate to consider him in all formats. Also, keep in mind he is OF eligible on DraftKings as well and third-base eligible on FanDuel.

Also Consider: Whichever SEA catcher(Narvaez or Murphy) starts
Main
Mitch GarverMitch Garver FD - C 3000 DK - C 5600
Opponent - KC (Mike Montgomery) Park - MIN
FD - 15.44 DK - 11.77
Roberto PerezRoberto Perez FD - C 2800 DK - C 4000
Opponent - DET (Daniel Norris) Park - CLE
FD - 9.47 DK - 7.15

On the main slate, there are two catchers I will have a lot of exposure to tonight. It starts with Mitch Garver who is finally getting a shot to be the everyday catcher and is proving he deserves it with 30 home runs in 87 games and has assaulted lefties to the tune of a .464 wOBA, 195 wRC+, and 55% hard contract rate. He will be tough to fit in cash on DraftKings in an elite price tier but is most definitely in play in all formats on FanDuel at just $3K.

Roberto Perez hasn't been as dominant as Garver against lefties but has more than held his own with a .357 wOBA, 119 wRC+, and 44% hard contact rate in the split. He also comes in with hit is nine of his last 13 games including six multi-hit efforts. He is my favorite DraftKings catcher and is also in play in an Indians stack on FanDuel.

Also Consider: Carlos Santana(CLE) in all formats or Justin Smoak/Rowdy Tellez(TOR) as GPP plays

Second Base

Early
Shed LongShed Long FD - 2B 2800 DK - 2B/OF 4100
Opponent - PIT (Joe Musgrove) Park - PIT
FD - 8.91 DK - 6.83

On the Mariners side of things, I am looking to the top of the lineup where we not only get a value play but also a player who has been red-hot. Long comes into this game with hits in six straight and 12 of his last 13 starts including five multi-hit efforts in his last six. While Joe Musgrove has been a serviceable arm for the Pirates(4.52 ERA/4.39 xFIP), he has had some struggles with lefties giving up a .340 wOBA, .508 SLG, and 38% hard contact. If Long remains in the leadoff spot, he is a great play in all formats on this slate.

Also Consider: Ozzie Albies(ATL) as a GPP pivot 

Main
Gleyber TorresGleyber Torres FD - 2B 4100 DK - 2B/SS 4700
Opponent - LAA (Andrew Heaney) Park - NYY
FD - 10.73 DK - 8.18

The Yankees are an expensive team to stack which is why I have mostly left them out of the article but definitely have not forgotten about the upside. Torres has been one of the few Yankees bats to stay relatively healthy all season and he not only leads the team in games played(138) but also leads them with 38 home runs and is second to only DJ LeMahieu in RBI(90) and runs scored(96). He and the Yankees also get a plus matchup against a struggling Andrew Heaney who has given up 14 earned runs(5 HR) over his last three starts. Fire up Torres in all formats.

Also Consider: Cavan Biggio(TOR) as a high-end option or Jonathan Schoop(MIN) as a value play in a wrap-around Twins stack

Shortstop

Early
Kevin NewmanKevin Newman FD - SS 3200 DK - 2B/SS 4700
Opponent - SEA (Yusei Kikuchi) Park - PIT
FD - 8.14 DK - 6.43
Erik GonzalezErik Gonzalez FD - SS 2100 DK - SS 2800
Opponent - SEA (Yusei Kikuchi) Park - PIT
FD - 6.92 DK - 5.42

I am going back to the Pirates at shortstop and more good news as we have targets at two separate price points. Let's take a look at a clip of what I wrote about Newman for last night:

With a hit last night, he extended his hitting streak to 19 straight starts and has been producing in a huge way during that time averaging 18.5 FD/14.2 DK points per game.

As of writing this, he has extended that streak to 20 and as long as he remains in the leadoff spot he is a core target in all formats. Gonzalez is punt play at the position if you are looking to pay up in other spots. He is another Pirate who is getting some opportunities down the stretch and he enters tonight with hits in three straight.

Also Consider: J.P. Crawford(SEA) hitting second for the Mariners

Main

As of writing this, shortstop is a pay-up position for me with Bo Bichette, Francisco Lindor, and Jorge Polanco at the top my of my list. Polanco is at the top from a PTS/$ perspective as he is the cheapest of the three and on the Twins who lead all teams in implied runs(6.7) on the main slate. He also comes into tonight with hits in seven of his last eight starts. More value could pop up when lineups are released so be sure to check the projections and lineup optimizer closer to lock this afternoon.

Third Base

Early
Josh DonaldsonJosh Donaldson FD - 3B 3300 DK - 3B 4400
Opponent - PHI (Aaron Nola) Park - ATL
FD - 10.67 DK - 7.97

The one place I will turn for exposure after the Mariners/Pirates game is the Braves offense. At third base, that player is Josh Donaldson who is doing his best to ensure he gets a paid and paid well once he becomes a free agent at the end of the season. While the average isn't exactly where he would like it, he has got on base at a .381 clip and provided a ton of upside in the cleanup spot with 37 home runs, 89 RBI, and 94 runs scored. The matchup doesn't pop off the page but Nola has had his bumps in the road, especially against the Braves in their last two meetings. All things considered on this slate, Donaldson is a nice PTS/$ value in all formats.

Also Consider: Kyle Seager(SEA) or Evan Longoria(SF)
Main
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.Vladimir Guerrero Jr. FD - 3B 2900 DK - 3B 4100
Opponent - BAL (Gabriel Ynoa) Park - BAL
FD - 12.83 DK - 9.83

As a Jays fan, I am extremely excited about the future and think it ws huge to have a season where the kids get to play without the pressure of winning(although in Toronto that will change fast). The tough part tonight is fitting them all in while still getting exposure to Clevinger so, for the most part, I am looking to Vlad Jr. who is near the top of the PTS/$ rankings on both sites. All the talk has shifted to Bo Bichette since his callup and for good reason as he has been near elite(.310/.356/.583 slash line) but Vlad has been no slouch in that time with a .295/.358/.479 slash line of his own in that time. The power numbers have been down recently but I will take the consistency at this price and as we know from watching him through the minors and at the Home Run Derby this summer, he has tremendous power. I will have exposure in all formats.

Also Consider: Miguel Sano(MIN) if paying up or Tommy Edman(STL) as a value play

Outfield

Early
Bryan ReynoldsBryan Reynolds FD - OF 3300 DK - OF 4600
Opponent - SEA (Yusei Kikuchi) Park - PIT
FD - 8.51 DK - 6.51

Kyle Lewis

Back to the Pirates/Mariners game one more time to cap off the early slate. I will start with Reynolds who hits out of the two-hole for the Pirates and has been a very consistent in his rookie season as he went into Wednesday night with a very impressive .322/.385/.517 slash line with 16 home runs, 67 RBI, and 83 runs scored. All of this on a below-average offensive team. Kyle Lewis is the newest rookie making waves in the majors as he has hits in six of his first eight games including five home runs. The price is going up but like I said last night, there is still room on the hype train. Both outfielders are in play in all formats.

Main
Oscar MercadoOscar Mercado FD - OF 2900 DK - OF 4700
Opponent - DET (Daniel Norris) Park - CLE
FD - 12.08 DK - 9.25
Ryan LaMarreRyan LaMarre FD - OF 2100 DK - OF 3200
Opponent - KC (Mike Montgomery) Park - MIN
FD - 7.80 DK - 5.90

If we are to fit Clevinger in our lineups we are going to need some value and the good news is that we don't have to venture far off our top projected offenses to find it. The price is fair on Mercado on DraftKings but he is greatly underpriced on FanDuel where I will have most of my exposure tonight as he comes in under $3K. He has also been consistent lately with hits in eight of his last 10 games with five multi-hit efforts for an average of 14.6 FD/9.2 DK points per game. Ryan LaMarre is a speculative play at the time of writing this but with the injuries in the Twins outfield, he should get another start against a lefty. If he does get in the lineup, I love the Twins wrap-around stack with Schoop, LaMarre, and Garver which helps a ton in getting a ton of exposure to Clevinger.

Also Consider: Nelson Cruz(MIN), Jordan Luplow(CLE), Marwin Gonzalez(MIN)

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