Thirty-Eight. Kind of an odd way to start an article for sure but I assure you the number has meaning. You see, when September approaches most people are getting excited about the soon to start NFL season. I am the quite the opposite. Although I enjoy Football, Baseball is my true passion. I cannot name more than five defensive players in the NFL, well that might be a slight exaggeration, but there is some truth to it.
Which brings me back to the number thirty-eight again. This is the exact number of games my beloved Los Angeles Dodgers have left of the regular season. They should make the playoffs but they still have problems beating the San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals. I have long gone on record saying these words, “If we cannot beat the Giants or the Cardinals then we cannot win the World Series because we will see one of these teams every year in the playoffs”.
So what is a guy to do when Baseball ends? As a Daily Fantasy Sports writer I guess my only choice is to write about Football. We will all have to wait for the conclusion to the this hypothesis.
As for the world of Daily Fantasy Sports… it is growing at a tremendous rate. This upcoming weekend (As I mentioned last week) I will be at the Fantasy Sports Weekend at the Monmouth Race track. They are having an experts Football draft of some sort but to be honest I will not be paying attention. Just one of them things where I am only interested in Leagues that I actually have a team in. I my friends am going to hang out with and meet in person all the good people I have met or become friends with through writing, podcasts, Twitter, and Facebook. To me that is what this is all about. Getting to talk to other people who feel and understand what at times is a labor love. The guy you have played a Head to Head game against pretty much everyday of the season. The guy who knows what it feels like to see your Starting Pitcher surrender five runs in the first inning. So as with last week I say again, “I hope to meet some of you there as well”.
So many friendships to be made and so little time. Lenny Melnick also said he would buy everyone dinner (This might also be a slight exaggeration.)
Another quick note: Myself, Buck Davidson, Tim McLoud, and some other great people meet quite often in the chat room for Lenny’s daily podcast and talk Baseball. Message Lenny on Facebook or Twitter (@LennyMelnick) for the details, you might even get a T-shirt. On to Daily Fantasy Baseball…
Daily Fantasy Baseball tip of the day
I have been giving you tips on line up construction a lot so let’s focus this week on research. One of the hardest things to figure out when starting to play Daily Fantasy Baseball is what stats to look for. So this week let’s explore BVP or Batter Verses Pitcher. A lot of people swear by this stat, some even build entire line ups around it. Don’t get me wrong, if a batter is 37-for-70 with 6 Home Runs off of a Starting Pitcher then some sort of merit has to be given to it. But, if you see for example the name Nelson Cruz and he has great BVP, most of the time you will notice the Starting Pitcher he is facing is a lefty. This might not be anything to do with the Starting Pitcher himself, it probably has more to do with the fact he is a Left Handed Pitcher. Not to mention you do not know what the circumstances were the last time a batter faced a pitcher. Was the pitcher coming off an injury? Was there a rain delay? Maybe the pitcher just had a bad start? There is so many variables in play that it is really impossible to give this stat any weight in small sample sizes. If all the other stats point me to a player and I am still on the ropes a little I will use BVP as a tiebreaker but never in a sample size smaller than 10 at-bats.
Today’s FanDuel Strategy
It’s slightly unusual today for a Wednesday as we only have to early games.
- Houston Astros @ New York Yankees 1:05
- Oakland Athletics @ Seattle Mariners 3:40
To be honest except for maybe a few Head to Head matches on Fanduel I will not really play these games. With only two games every player is so heavily owned you could end up splitting a pot five ways. My thinking is that no-one takes these large tournaments down on a regular basis so If I am going to do it, I do not want it to be on this day. On this principle I usually avoid these small slates.
There is a lot of great starters tonight on the slate. You have David Price facing the Texas Rangers, Chris Sale facing the Boston Red Sox, Chris Archer against the lowly Minnesota Twins, and the Dread-locked warrior Johnny Cueto at home against the Baltimore Orioles.
We currently have seven games tonight with an expected point total of 8.0 or higher. They are:
- New York Mets @ Philadelphia Phillies 8.5
- Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim @ Detroit Tigers 8.0
- Los Angeles Dodgers @ Cincinnati Reds 8.0
- Milwaukee Brewers @ Cleveland Indians 8.0
- Pittsburgh Pirates @ Miami Marlins 8.0
- Toronto Blue Jays @ Texas Rangers 8.5
- St. Louis Cardinals @ Arizona Diamondbacks 8.0
This is where I usually tell you that with this many games with a high expected point total there is no need to look elsewhere for bats. Not today. There are great match ups everywhere today and I fully plan on exploiting them all if possible. 1-2-3 go!
Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks for Wednesday, August 26th
Chris Sale (12-7, 3.34 ERA) Chicago White Sox $12,500 – Have you ever just watched Chris Sale pitch? He is a Fantasy Owners nightmare. It literally looks like he is going to need Tommy John surgery after every pitch. But yet, he’s amazing. He has his bad outings like every other great pitcher does but even on them days (7/30 vs. Bos & 8/4 vs. TB surrendered 12 Earned Runs over 10.3 innings.) he strikes out 7 to 10 batters per game. By days end you end up with a good score out of him, even with some runs surrendered.
Today he gets the Boston Red Sox who have been knocking the ball around quite a bit lately. Putting up Football scores is more like it. They are 23rd in Major League Baseball in Strikeouts verse LHP doing so at 18.8% and have a .325 wOBA, .275 batting average, and 48.5% Ground Ball rate. As you can see Chris Sale does not come without risk. So let’s talk about him.
Chris Sale has been stellar lately. In his last three outings (8/10 LAA, 8/16 ChC, & 8/21 @ Sea) he has only given up 5 Earned Runs over 21.3 innings while striking out 26 batters. His ERA over the last 14 days is only 1.93. He has an amazing k/9 of 12.16, a 94.5 MPH Fastball, an elite WHIP of 1.03, and home ERA of 2.95. He gets my call against anyone pretty much anytime and should cool down the Red Hot Red Sox.
Gio Gonzalez (9-6, 3.98 ERA) Washington Nationals $9300 – I like Gio Gonzalez. I mean, I have seen him pitch at Citi Field more than any other pitcher. It seems every year when I go watch Nationals it ends up on Gio’s turn in the rotation. He always looks like he is thinking about something other than Baseball. Then he strikes out the side. Or used to anyway.
Today he gets the San Diego Padres who I used to think were easy to pick on along with Philadelphia Phillies but it seems when I do I get burned. Well I am also in my second marriage so apparently I am used to it. The Padres are 3rd in Major League Baseball in Strikeouts (23.1%) and carry a low .296 wOBA verse LHP. Even if they are hitting better as of late I do not see this continuing today.
Gio Gonzalez has not looked so good as of late. He has surrendered 10 Earned Runs in his last two starts (8/15 @SF & 8/21 Mil) while only striking out 6 batters. This is where you are saying, “Is this guy nuts? Why on god’s green Earth would he ever tell me to take this guy?”
Before the last two starts he only gave up 4 Earned Runs over 22.7 innings while striking out 24 batters. Here is another little tidbit, he only given up 1 Home Run over his last six starts. He gets a positive park shift at home where is ERA is a decent 2.98. The Math: 8.04 k/9 + Padres 23.1% Strikeout rate = Points. I will be using him in some cash games and pairing him with Chris Sale on two pitcher sites.
Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Chris Sale $12,500
- David Price $11,700
- Chris Archer $11,800
- Johnny Cueto $11,500
- Gio Gonzalez $9,300
- Wei-Yin Chen $7,900
- Shelby Miller $8,300
- Tyson Ross $8,700
- Jimmy Nelson $8,000
- Justin Verlander $8,000
- Patrick Corbin $6,800
- Tyler Duffey $5,900
Miguel Montero (.239 Avg., 14 HR) Chicago Cubs $2,800 – It would appear the Cubs have decided that Schwarber is now an Outfielder clearing the way for Miguel Montero. He has a .338 wOBA and SLG .438 verse RHP. He is batting .368 with 3 Home Runs and 9 RBI’s over the last seven days. He should bat 4th or 5th against against Jake Peavy who has allowed 9 Earned Runs over his last 11.7 innings. I love to have that “late bullet” in my line up.
Buster Posey (.314 Avg., 16 HR) San Francisco Giants $3,100 – You can tell the Giants woes as of late by the $3,100 price tag for Buster Posey. This is a bargain beyond belief in Daily Fantasy Baseball. Posey is batting .326 with a .373 wOBA verse RHP and faces Kyle Hendrick who has allowed 8 Earned Runs over his last 8.3 innings. I may not like the Giants but I sure do love me some Posey tonight.
Ryan Howard (.240 Avg., 21 HR) Philadelphia Phillies $3,300 – Remember when we thought he was a dud? He strikes out to much, he batting average is to low, whine, whine, and more whining about how bad Ryan Howard is. Over the last month he is batting .290 with 5 Home Runs and 24 RBI’s. I would hate to have that in my line up. He also has a .358 wOBA verse RHP and faces Bartolo Colon who has allowed 8 Earned Runs over his last 10.7 innings and does not miss many LHB.
Mike Morse (.227 Avg., 4 HR) Pittsburgh Pirates $2,200 – I figured since we talked BVP earlier I would use it in a tournament line up today. Who better to use in a “Punt” play then Mike Morse. He is minimum priced on Fanduel and is 6-for-9 with 3 Home Runs off of Chris Narveson lifetime. It’s not my usual 10 at-bat sample but close enough for the price in a tournament line up.
Enrique Hernandez (.294 Avg., 6 HR) Los Angeles Dodgers $2,200 – This is simple. Compare price verse value and upside. Enrique Hernandez is batting .381 with 3 Home Runs and a .486 wOBA verse LHP. Tonight he faces David Holmberg who has allowed 12 Earned Runs in his last 7 innings. Low price, great match up, and I believe he will be bumped up in the batting order today as well. I absolutely love the Dodgers as my favorite stack of the night.
Brandon Phillips (.288 Avg., 10 HR) Cincinnati Reds $3,200 – What’s not to love about this match up. The back end of the Dodger’s rotation is lackluster to say the least and lately they have been hitting Phillips in the clean up spot. He is thriving there as in the last 7 days he has .364 batting average with 2 Home Runs and 5 RBI’s. He is also batting .307 with a .326 wOBA average verse LHP. You could almost build a whole line up today out of Dodgers and Reds.
Todd Frazier (.263 Avg., 29 HR) Cincinnati Reds $2,800 – What do you get when you combine a .407 wOBA, .667 SLG%, and .966 OPS verse LHP? Todd Frazier. Combine this with Brett Anderson who has allowed 13 Earned Runs over his last 17 innings and you got “Fantasy Gold”. Frazier has also picked it up as of late batting .370 with 5 Doubles over the last 7 days. No Home Runs though. I say he gets one today.
Jake Lamb (.271 Avg., 5 HR) Arizona Diamondbacks $2,400 – Looking for a great tournament play? How about Jake Lamb. On a night when everyone will be on Kris Bryant, Todd Frazier, and Josh Donaldson you can grab Jake Lamb batting near the top of the order. He gets the platoon advantage in a hitters park at home in Arizona. He also faces John Lackey who struggles on the road with a 4.40 ERA. He is batting .277 with a .328 wOBA verse RHP and is due for a Home Run. Its been a few weeks.
Adeiny Hechavarria (.283 Avg., 5 HR) Miami Marlins $2,500 – I do not see a lot of value today at the Shortstop position. Lot’s go great starters on the board. But you know who is not a great starter? Jeff Locke on the road. He has a 6.02 ERA when traveling and has allowed 7 Earned Runs over his last 10.3 innings.
Adeiny Hechavarria has a .373 batting average and .406 wOBA verse LHP and is near minimum price. I will be using him in cash games today.
Xander Bogaerts (.313 Avg., 4 HR) Boston Red Sox $3,100 – You want to go contrarian in a GPP? It does not get more contrarian than taking Xander Bogaerts against Chris Sale at home. Although I am using Sale in my cash games there is still runs to be cashed in on. Who better to cash in on them with then our favorite Shortstop verse Left Handed Pitching. Xander Bogaerts has a .382 batting average, .398 wOBA, and low 12.5% strikeout rate verse LHP. If you are going to go against Sale this is a great option.
Chris Colabello (.332 Avg., 13 HR) Toronto Blue Jays $3,300 – My man. Chris Colabello. You know how I roll. Me and Colabello go way back this season in Daily Fantasy Baseball. His price has stayed fair all season which has allowed me to get him into my line ups as much as needed. Like tonight. Chris Colabello has .383 wOBA and is batting .337 verse RHP. He is also batting .545 over the last 7 days with 2 Home Runs. For the price verse Colby Lewis who is overdue for a bad game in a hitters park…I am all in in all formats on Colabello.
Yasiel Puig (.253 Avg., 10 HR) Los Angeles Dodgers $2,700 – It would appear someone has lit a firecracker under Puigs rear end. He is starting to hit again and I even saw him steal a base. Today he gets the platoon advantage against the horrible David Holmberg in the Great American “Small” Park. He has a .378 wOBA verse LHP and is batting .316 over the last seven days. I see a bat flip in the near future. I will be using him in all cash games today.
Andrew McCutchen ( .299 Avg., 19 HR) Pittsburgh Pirates $4,900 – Chris Narveson who? That is what McCutchen will be thinking as he returns to the dugout after a three-run shot. Andrew McCutchen abuses Left Handed Pitching to the tune of a .407 wOBA and .313 Batting Average. He is also red hot batting .400 with 1 Home Run over the last 7 days. The price is high but a great tournament play if you can afford him.
Curtis Granderson (.255 Avg., 22 HR) New York Mets $3,300 – With the way the New York Mets are scoring right now you have to get one in your line ups. The sample size is small for Jerad Eickhoff but he is facing an offensive juggernaut in a hitters park in Philadelphia.
Curtis Granderson is batting .286 with a .390 wOBA and .237 ISO verse RHP this year. He is also swinging the bat well right now batting .346 with 2 Home Runs over the last 7 days. He bats at the top of the order and should have a good day today.
Other Outfielders to look at:
- Mike Trout (Always)
- Charlie Blackmon
- Carlos Gonzalez
- Jose Bautista
- Scott Van Slyke
- Melky Cabrera
- Avisail Garcia
- Yoenis Cespedes
- J.D. Martinez
- Dexter Fowler
- Kyle Schwarber
- Los Angeles Dodgers
- Toronto Blue Jays
- Cincinnati Reds
- Pittsburgh Pirates
- Miami Marlins
- Chicago Cubs
- Philadelphia Phillies
- Chicago White Sox
- Milwaukee Brewers
Well guys that is for me for this week. Good luck and I hope we all win tonight. Unless it comes down to me and you. Then I hope I win.
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