Before we get to my Daily Fantasy Baseball picks, I want to let you know about a new feature we’re running on a trial basis. If people like it and find it useful, we’ll keep doing it. If not, it gets the early hook.
The new feature focuses on extreme platoon splits. The salaries on daily gaming sites are built primarily on overall stats, so if a hitter performs much better against pitchers of a given hand, they have more value on those days.
If you’ve been reading my DFS Picks columns you know I provide links to hitters to use against LHP and hitters to use against RHP. It’s a nice resource, but then you have to check it against that day’s schedule to see which hitters have the platoon advantage.
Because I’m such a nice guy, I decided to do the leg work for you and simply post the hitters from those lists that have the platoon advantages each day.
Here are the Players with Extreme Platoon Advantages for today. Let me know if it’s useful and if you have suggestions to improve it.
Now on to the task at hand. Here are my Daily Fantasy Baseball picks for Tuesday, June 23, 2015.
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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.
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FanDuel Strategy for the Day
My FanDuel strategy always starts with pitching and there are some good ones going today. For once the pitcher I like the most is also the highest salaried on FanDuel. Madison Bumgarner has not been quite as dominant as we’d probably like, but you have to like him at home against the Padres. The other two considerations in his salary range are David Price at the Cleveland and Zack Greinke in Wrigley against the Cubs.
If you’re looking to go the discount route, I do like Mike Fiers at home against the Mets and Jeff Samardzija in Minnesota.
Since my picks are geared toward 50/50 cash games, I like to go safe with pitching. For me that means one of the top three. Right now I’m leaning Madbum, but I do think Grienke is the type of pitcher who could exploit the Cubs swing and miss ways.
Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks for Tuesday, June 23, 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.
- Madison Bumgarner ($10,900) vs. San Diego Padres – We can complain about Bumgarner’s relative lack of dominance, but it’s hard to find much fault with his 2.53 home ERA. The Padres are mid-pack in scoring against left-handed pitchers and also on the road.
- Zack Greinke ($10,500) @ Chicago Cubs – Greinke’s 1.81 ERA is nice, but most of his peripherals says he’s actually taken a step back from 2014. His K/9 is down over a full strikeout to 7.89. He’s been the beneficiary of an 87.6 LOB%, a mark that would easily be a career high. His xFIP of 3.22 is probably closer to the real Greinke, but the Cubs have 60 more strikeouts against RHP than the next closest team. There’s probably a little more danger in using Greinke than Bumgarner, but the upside is there too.
- David Price ($10,700) @ Cleveland Indians – I still like Price today, but it’s worth noting that the Indians do lead baseball in scoring against left-handed pitching. I don’t expect a big blow-up, but it’s enough to push me toward Bumgarner or Grienke.
Three Pitchers to Target for Stacking
When I say target, I do not mean you want them in your lineups. Instead these are pitchers you want to think about when choosing your hitters. It’s kind of like racial profiling, but a whole lot less controversial.
- Kyle Kendrick vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – His ERA is almost 6.00, yet he somehow burns me when I stack against him. Not this time. Stack away.
- Sean O’Sullivan @ New York Yankees – Young right-handed pitcher in Yankee Stadium; gotta think there will be multiple long balls.
- Chase Anderson @ Colorado Rockies – I don’t buy Anderson’s early success anyway, but especially not in Coors.
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.
Victor Martinez ($3,300) vs. Danny Salazar (RHP) – Salazar has been just as tough on lefties as on righties this year, but this is Victor Martinez we’re talking about. Martinez has four hits and six RBIs over his last two games, and seems to be moving around a little better since returning from the DL.
Jonathan Lucroy ($3,100) vs. Jonathan Niese (LHP) – Yes, Lucroy has been struggling, but over the last five years, he’s also scored 1.824 more FanDuel points against LHP than RHP per 10 at-bats. Niese has been allowing plenty of baserunners and Lucroy is going to break out soon. This matchup is as good a time as any.
Paul Goldschmidt ($6,100) vs. Kyle Kendrick (RHP) – Not sure I can fit Goldschmidt in my lineup with one of the top three pitchers, but he might be worth dropping down to a lesser pitcher. Settling for Jordan Zimmermann or Jeff Samardzija doesn’t sound all that bad to roster Goldy in Coors.
Jose Abreu ($3,400) vs. Mike Pelfrey (RHP) – Most players would love to be “struggling” the way Abreu is. Abreu has hit in seven straight games and has seven hits over his last four games. He had zero RBIs in that span, but you have to think Pelfrey will allow some baserunners as he returns to reality.
Kolten Wong ($2,900) vs. Jose Urena (RHP) – I’m gonna just keep trotting Wong out there as long as FanDuel keeps his salary where it’s at. He’s hitting for average. He’s scoring runs. And he’s on pace for a 15/15 season. Urena has a 4.63 xFIP and has struck out a whopping 3.62 batters per nine. Yeah, I like this matchup.
Brandon Phillips ($2,500) vs. Jeff Locke (LHP) – Phillips has been dealing with a groin issue, but should be in the lineup against Locke, who has taken his lumps this season. I’m not a fan of the matchups for the top tier of second basemen, so if you need to save some cash, Phillips’ matchup makes him a valid option.
Nolan Arenado ($4,400) vs. Chase Anderson (RHP) – Arenado very quietly has 16 home runs and surprisingly 11 of them have come on the road. I’ll still take this matchup even with the “handi-cap” of Coors Field working against Arenado.
Maikel Franco ($2,900) vs. CC Sabathia (LHP) – When is the price going to catch up with the production? Franco has a bit of a reverse split so far in his young career, but it’s Sabathia’s splits that make this a good matchup. Right-handed hitters have hit .327 off of Sabathgia, with 14 HRs in 62.2 innings. There are some good matchups for third base today, but it’s hard to pass up Franco at this price.
Troy Tulowitzki ($4,400) vs. Chase Anderson (RHP) – Can I fit Tulo and Goldschmidt in my lineup? It’s worth a shot. He certainly hasn’t earned his salary this season, but anytime Tulowitzki is at home in Coors, he has to be a consideration.
Wilmer Flores ($2,400) vs. Jonathan Niese (LHP) – Flores has hit lefties slightly better than righties this season, but this is mainly about Niese and saving some cash. If you don’t use Tulowitzki, then there’s really no reason to spend at SS and Flores is as good a bet as any to go deep.
Ryan Braun ($4,700) vs. Jonathan Niese (LHP) – Didn’t realize I’d be picking on Niese so much, but the Brewers have a lot of players with extreme splits vs. LHP. Braun is not the player he was a few
viles years ago, but he’s still a .333 career hitter against left-handed pitchers. I feel a big day coming on.
Starling Marte ($3,700) vs. Josh Smith (RHP) – Marte is a must-play against LHP, but he’s underpriced even when he faces right-handed pitching. Smith is making his MLB debut. He’s been decent in the minors, but his 6.56 K/9 in Triple-A, tell me he doesn’t have the kind of stuff that should give Marte problems. Whether it’s power or speed, I like Marte’s chances to post positive numbers in this matchup.
Alex Rios ($2,300) vs. Mike Montgomery (LHP) – Rios has started to show signs of life with hits in eight of his last nine games. Rios has always hit lefties for more power and a higher average, but yeah, right now this qualifies as mostly a salary play.
Byron Buxton ($2,200) vs. Jeff Samarzija (RHP) – Not the best matchup, but the talent and the price are enticing. With his struggles I’d also expect Buxton to be very agressive on the bases if he gets on.
Alex Guerrero ($2,200) vs. Jason Hammel (RHP) – You’ll have to make sure he’s in the lineup, but it’s pretty hard to argue with what Guerrero has done on a per at-bat basis. His platoon splits are pretty neutral, so it’s just a matter of if he is in the lineup. The price is definitely right.
My Tout Wars Challenge Lineup
My Daily Fantasy Baseball picks are always geared toward 50/50 contests, which is nice since you have the opportunity to compete against me in the Tout Wars Challenge. For just $2 you get to get thumped by me. The good news is, even when I beat you, you can still finish in the top half and make some cash. Anyway here’s the lineup I’m planning on using.
And yes, after touting those top three starters, I’m rolling with Mike Fiers. I just couldn’t resist trying to fit Goldschmidt and Tulo in the same lineup. Probably not a smart play in a 50/50 contest, but a guy’s gotta have some fun.
Of course 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.
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