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First of all , welcome back. It’s a nice little break for if you write about baseball, but I’m ready to get back to the grind.

I have to be quick with the picks today. Long story short, my family ‘vacation’ continues and I’ve moved on to my sister’s house in Northern Illinois.

I’m in a pop-up camper with two kids and three dogs, one an 85 pound American Bulldog. My sister has dogs and they don’t like other dogs. One of them also likes to bite people.

So, my dog’s have mostly been stationed in the camper, and my son is afraid to go in the house as well. Oh, and it’s also been raining almost the whole time, so the dogs get wet when we take them outside. You don’t want to smell the camper at this time.

Oh, I almost forgot, my sister told me she had wi-fi, but she was talking about tethering with her phone and she’s taken her phone with her to work every day. So, here I sit at the closest McDonald’s at 5:00 in the morning, smelling like the Shaggy D.A., while my kids are hopefully making sure the dogs get out before they make a mess in the camper.

I can’t decide if I’m Clark Griswold or Cousin Eddie.

Anyway here are the usual links to help you build your own lineups. They’re also the main tools I use to build mine.

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 start with pitching and you’d think the first day back after a four day break would feature a lot of aces. Today is not so. There are only two pitchers I’d put in the ace category, and one of them is making just his third start back following Tommy John surgery. Oh, and he already costs $10,500 on FanDuel. Yes, it’s Jose Fernandez and despite all those yellow flags, I’m leaning heavily toward using him today. After all, he is facing the fearsome Phillies.

The other ace going is Sonny Gray, and he also has a nice matchup, pitching at home against the Twins.

The only other pitcher I’m really considering is Lance Lynn, who faces a struggling Mets offense in St. Louis.

What I’ll do is build a lineup with Fernandez and if I like the offense I’ll stick with it. If not, I’ll downgrade to Lynn and add a little firepower.

FanDuel Picks for Friday, July 17, 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. Jose Fernandez ($10,500) @ Philadelphia Phillies – Yes, it’s only been two starts, but that last one was vintage Fernandez. It won’t be surprising to see a few bumps in the road for Fernandez, but it looks like the high octane stuff is still there.
  2. Sonny Gray ($9,900) vs. Minnesota Twins – Gray is the safe play here and seems to be fully recovered from an illness that affected him for a couple of starts. He’s also been a model of consistency this season, allowing more than three earned runs in just two of his 18 starts. If you’re playing 50/50s today, Gray is your best bet.
  3. Lance Lynn ($9,300) vs. New York Mets – Lynn got knocked around in his last start, but the rest should help. The Mets offense can’t hurt either, as only the White Sox and Phillies have scored fewer runs.

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:

Buster Posey ($4,400) vs. Robbie Ross (LHP) – It seems like it’s been a quiet year for Posey, but his numbers are right where you’d expect them. His splits are reversed this year, but for his career Posey has been a better hitter against left-handers. I’ll take his career splits and nine innings of at-bats in Chase Field and run with them.

Stephen Vogt ($3,000) vs. Ervin Santana (RHP) – Vogt has cooled off a bit lately, but is still a .300 hitter against right-handers. The catcher position is a big pile of mediocrity, and Vogt is one of the better options for today.

First Base:

Anthony Rizzo ($4,000) vs. Julio Teheran (RHP) – Rizzo has actually hit lefties better this year, but his career splits say that he does Ok with right-handers as well. Teheran, meanwhile, has been battered by left-handed hitters, giving up an average almost 70 points higher. His being right-handed also means better odds of Rizzo adding to his 12 stolen bases.

Chris Davis ($3,500) vs. Anibal Sanchez (RHP) – Davis has quietly lifted his average to an almost respectable .235 and the power is right where you’d expect it to be. Sanchez has had a rough year and it hasn’t gotten any better over his last four starts where he’s allowed 14 earned runs and six home runs in 27.2 innings.

Second Base:

Robinson Cano ($3,000) vs. Masahiro Tanaka (RHP) – Second base is a tough position right now, with injuries thinning out the list of solid options. The top options have poor matchups today, so I’m looking cheap. Cano has shown no signs of life, but I say he gets up for Yankee Stadium and takes Tanaka down the line for a homer… Yep, a gut call here.

Jedd Gyorko ($2,200) vs. Jorge De La Rosa (LHP) – Now if you really want to go cheap… Gyorko has hit .300 in July and has always  had extreme splits favoring use against LHP. For the money has as good a selection as most today.

Third Base:

Alex Rodriguez ($3,700) vs. Mike Montgomery (LHP) – You don’t have to admire what Rodriguez has done this year, but we do have to acknowledge it. He does tend to have trouble against good fastballs though, so Montgomery’s left-handed junk should fit Arod well.

Adrian Beltre ($2,600) vs. Colin McHugh (RHP) – I’m not in love with the matchup, but Beltre seemed to be heating up entering the All-Star break. If you watch McHugh pitch, you’d think he’d be tough on right-handers. You’d be wrong, as right-handed hitters bat almost 60 points higher. Most days I like to spend a bit more at third base, but the matchups may push me down to Beltre.

Shortstop:

Troy Tulowitzki ($4,200) vs. Jorge De La Rosa (LHP) – I don’t like to pay for Tulo and I rarely use him on the road. Today may be the exception. He’s batting .397 vs. lefties this year and that’s a trend right in line with his career numbers. Shortstop today is either one of the top options or just grab a low priced speed guy.

Carlos Correa ($3,600) vs. Martin Perez (LHP) – It’s hard to find fault in Correa’s game, but he has hit just .238 against right-handed pitchers this year. Of course today he faces a lefty and he’s batting .340 against them. Perez is making his first start back from Tommy John and it’s hard to know what he’ll have.

Outfielders:

Note: Mike Trout and Bryce Harper have fine matchups today. You decide if you can fit their salaries in. My recommendations will focus on lower priced options.

Hanley Ramirez ($4,100) vs. C.J. Wilson (LHP) – Considering his move to Boston, it seems to have been a quiet year for Ramirez despite his 19 HRs. He’s hitting .300 against LHP this season and .306 for his career. Wilson has been all over the map this year. Let’s hope today is one of his off days.

Josh Reddick ($2,900) vs.Ervin Santana (RHP) –  Check out Reddick’s splits and you quickly know he’s one of the better options in baseball when he faces a right-handed pitcher. Santana has had command issues since his return and has always struggled with left-handed hitters. Reddick will help continue that trend.

Adam Jones ($3,200) vs. Anibal Sanchez (RHP) – Jones is a better play against LHP, but at this price I find it hard to keep him out of my lineups. Feel free to play the splits a little more, but Jones is as consistent as any player in baseball.

My FanDuel Lineups for Friday, July 17, 2015

FanDuel Lineup for Friday, July 17, 2015Here’s my first draft of a lineup for tonight. Right now I’m leaning toward using Jose Fernandez in the hopes that many others will stay away due to his price tag and concerns about his return from Tommy John. Then again maybe that’s what everybody else is thinking. Sometimes it’s hard to be contrarian. I feel like the Dredd Pirate Roberts getting in a battle of wits with a Sicilian.

Even if I do swap out a few players, 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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