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The Fourth of July is over and the All-Star break is nearing. That means one thing to me. Family vacation time. Except for me, family vacation time means driving 14 hours to visit other family. Such is the price you pay when you decide to settle down four states away from your nearest relative.

The trip had become too easy as my kids have gotten older, so this year we decided we should bring not only our two small dogs, but also my 80 pound American Bulldog. In order to make room for him, we packed all of our luggage in the pop-up camper that was hooked onto our back bumper.

Amazingly the trip went pretty well and I’m sitting here in Southern Illinois with most of my sanity intact. In fact this trip went even better than the year my wife flew in ahead of time and I drove up with two toddlers, two dogs, a cat and a ferret. If you’ve ever smelled a ferret, then you can empathize. If not, think about a skunk dipped in sauerkraut and you get a pretty good idea.

Now that I’ve hopefully made you feel better about your life, let’s get on to the business at hand. I now present to you my FanDuel Strategy and Picks for Tuesday, July 7, 2015. If it smells a little bit like a dog, please do not attach any symbolic meaning. I do some of my best work when I’m miserable. The year my son was born and decided to sleep one hour a night I dominated every league I played in. Staying up 23 hours a day proved to be quite an advantage.

Here are the links you’ll need to build the best lineups possible.

Links for MLB Weather:

MLB Injuries:

Vegas Lines:

Probable Pitchers:

Batter vs. Pitcher: I’m not much of a believer in Batter vs. Pitcher numbers. You can read why here. Still, a lot of people use this data, so here are the two that are most useful in my opinion.

Also Check out these helpful tools:

FanDuel Strategy for the Day

My FanDuel strategy always starts with pitching and there’s a nice selection today. Of course my Tuesday picks are always geared toward 50/50 contests. To be specific, I’m building the lineup I’ll use in today’s Tout Wars Challenge, where for a measly $2 you get to play against some of the best analysts in the industry and all you have to do is finish in the Top 45 (it’s capped at 100) and you double your money.

With being 50/50, I always like to use one of the few top options and today it boils down to either Max Scherzer at home against the Reds, or Corey Kluber, also at home vs. the Astros. Johnny Cueto and Sonny Gray would normally be nice options, but Cueto is on the road facing Scherzer and Gray is in New York against the Yankees. Gray’s recent sickness also has me a little concerned.

The other pitcher I might consider is Francisco Liriano. He’s been mostly consistent this year and will pitch at home vs. the Padres. What I’ll do is create two lineups. One with Scherzer and his $12,500 price tag, and the other with Liriano and a couple thousand more spent on offense. You can borrow what you want from those lineups and my recommendations below. And remember, don’t feel bad when I double your score. You can still beat the rest of the field… Hopefully you’ve fallen for my false smack talk and will now enter the contest just to prove me wrong. Diabolical, I know.

Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks for Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Top Starting Pitchers for the Day

The following rankings take into account skill of pitcher, quality of opposing offense, quality of opposing pitcher, ballpark factors, and of course price at FanDuel.

  1. Max Scherzer ($12,500) vs. Cincinatti Reds – Scherzer had a down game last time out and ‘only’ scored 15.33 points. That’s down from 17, 23, and 29 the previous three starts. The thing with Scherzer is that even if he doesn’t have a great game, you know you’ll still get the Ks. In his last 12 starts, only once has he had less than six strikeouts. In that same span he’s reached double-digits six times.
  2. Corey Kluber ($11,000) vs. Houston Astros – I would have felt a lot better about using Kluber against the Astros before they realized they could hit. Sure they lead all of baseball in strikeouts by fifty-some Ks, but they’re also second in baseball in scoring. Still even if Kluber gets dinged up a bit, this matchup has double-digit strikouts written all over it.
  3. Francisco Liriano ($10,200) vs. San Diego Padres – The San Diego offense is not the push-over it once was, especially when they hit the road. Still, you have to like what Liriano has done this year. He’s been more consistent than at any time since his magical 2006 season and there’s nothing in his peripherals that says it’s a fluke.

Top Options at Each Position

Here are two choices at each position; one is the best bet for production and the other is a lower priced option with a favorable outlook.

Catcher:

Jonathan Lucroy ($3,300) vs. Manny Banuelos (LHP) – Lucroy is slowly digging himself out of the hole he dug. The surprising thing is much of his current .249 average can be pinned on a 3-for-31 line against left-handers. Don’t let that fool you. Over the past five years, Lucroy has scored 1.794 more points (FanDuel scoring) per 10 plate appearances against lefties than right-handers. I say he ends the power outage with a long ball today as well. Just mark it down. Consider it done.

Stephen Vogt ($$3,100) vs. Nathan Eovaldi (RHP) – The salary is down, now that Vogt’s batting average is inching closer to where it should be. Don’t be fooled though, Vogt is still one of the better options at catcher. Especially when you consider that left-handed batters are hitting .352 against Eovaldi and Vogt gets to shoot for the short porch in Yankee Stadium. I’m tossing a coin between Vogt and Lucroy tonight.

First Base:

Jose Abreu ($3,300) vs. Matt Boyd (LHP) – Feel free to spend big on the first basemen priced above Abreu. I like many of their matchups. However, unless you’re going off the grid with a starting pitcher, I find it hard to build a balanced lineup if I spend close to $5,000 on one player. Abreu’s splits are neutral, but this pick is more about Boyd and hisstruggles so far at the Major League level.

Wilin Rosario ($3,400) vs. Andrew Heaney (LHP) – Can we put him at catcher FanDuel? Please! Even if FanDuel won’t let you play Rosario at catcher, he’s still worth a look. Just check out my 50 Hitters to Use Against Left-Handed Pitchers article. Per 10 plate appearances, Rosario score more than 3.3 more points against left-handed pitchers. If nothing else use Rosario on a site where he still has catcher eligibility.

Second Base:

Devon Travis ($3,300) vs. Jose Quintana (LHP) – The Blue Jays will be scoring some runs tonight. Travis’ salary is a little high for my liking, but the matchups for the upper crust of second basemen are not ideal today. Travis is the next best thing. I think I’m going to be saving some money with my pick at second though.

Jedd Gyorko ($2,300) vs. Francisco Liriano (LHP) – Please don’t look at his overall stats for 2015. They hurt. Just know that against left-handed pitchers he’s a much better hitter. For his career he has 10 HRs in 263 at-bats against LHP. That’s like a 20-plus HR hitter. Yeah, that’s the ticket… and he’s cheap.

Third Base:

Josh Donaldson ($4,100) vs. Jose Quintana (LHP) – There may not be a better hitter in baseball against left-handed pitching. Over the last five years he’s scored almost 8.5 points per every 10 plate appearances. Just use him…

Kris Bryant ($3,500) vs. Tyler Lyons (LHP) – Unless of course you use this guy. $3,500? Are you serious FanDuel? Sorry he’s not quite on pace to steal 20 bases or 100 RBIs. Bryant hits for a slightly better average against lefties and his power is immense no matter who he’s facing. Lyons is a better pitcher than his numbers show, but numbers can only lie so much. Bryant is a damn nice fallback if you can’t fit Donaldson’s salary in your lineup.

Shortstop:

Troy Tulowitzki ($4,400) vs. Andrew Heaney (LHP) – Just check out Tulo’s splits for this year and for his career. Then notice he’s facing a rookie left-hander in Coors Field. Any questions?

Wilmer Flores ($2,600) vs. Matt Cain (RHP) – Unless you’re going with Tulo or Carlos Correa, I see no reason to spend money at shortstop. Flores has 10 HRs and is swinging the bat well lately, hitting .500 for the month of July so far. He’s the best of the rest at the shortstop position.

Outfielders:

Nelson Cruz ($3,300) vs. Kyle Ryan (LHP) – Cruz has certainly cooled off since his incredible start to the season. Not so much against left-handed pitchers though. Cruz is hitting .364 against southpaws this season and his career splits back that up. Cruz might give you the most bang for your buck in today’s matchups.

Michael Brantley ($3,100) vs. Vincent Velasquez (RHP) –  Yes, we’d like more power. No, he’s not quite matching last season’s numbers either. That’s OK. He still scores points in a multitude of ways and the matchup is solid.

Josh Reddick ($2,800) vs. Nathan Eovaldi (RHP) – Reddick’s overall numbers look solid, but they’re all carried by what he does against right-handed pitching. He’s hitting .172 high against RHP this year and his career splits are in agreement. You only use Reddick against RHP, and you use left-handed hitters against Nathan Eovaldi. This is about as close to a perfect storm as you can get in DFS.

Jorge Soler ($2,500) vs. Tyler Lyons (LHP) – I have to admit my expectations were probably too high for Soler coming into the season. The strikeouts have been more of a problem than I thought they would be and his power has been slow to come. With that said, he hits lefties better than righties and his price is depressed after being out for awhile with an ankle sprain.

My Tuesday July 7th Lineup for FanDuel

My FanDuel lineup for Tuesday, July 7, 2015Ok, as you see I downgraded on the pitching front to Taijuan Walker. I just could not pass up the hitting matchups in Donaldson and Tulowitzki. Walker has been very good over his last seven starts, never allowing more than three earned runs and always providing at least six strikeouts. The Detroit lineup also looks a little more manageable without Miguel Cabrera in there.

Scherzer or Kluber may be the better 50/50 play, but I love this offense. I’m gonna run with this in the Tout Wars Challenge, and I’ll probably toss it in a few tournaments as well. If Walker has abig day, I could see 50-plus points out of this lineup.

Either way, I’ll be visiting RotoWire and BaseballPress.com to make sure all of my recommendations take the field tonight. If one of my picks isn’t in the lineup, I’ll try to select options from my other recommendations. And of course I also reserve the right to tweak things if I hear other news during the day.

I hope my Daily Fantasy Baseball picks get you pointed in the right direction. Follow all of Doug Anderson’s columns on SoCalledFantasyExperts.com

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