Fridays are in my head. They’re playing games with me. You see, I drew the honor of posting my FanDuel picks on Tuesdays and Fridays. It just so happens that Tuesday is also the day of the Tout Wars Challenge, where you regular peasants get a chance to compete against us Fantasy elite. And Fridays are home to Tout Wars Daily, where us Fantasy blue bloods get to compete against each other to prove just how good we are (sometimes not very).
I’ve used the same process for both days, but the results have been vastly different. I’ve cashed more often than not on Tuesdays, even finishing in the Top 5 spots a few times. The Challenge is a 50/50 contest so that didn’t help.
On Fridays I’ve had my struggles. I did finally cash in “big” ($12) a couple of weeks ago, but for the most part it’s been an exercise in futility.
The strange part is my FanDuel picks have been solid on both days of the week. My recommendations are probably at a 65-75 percent success rate, and if you know Daily Fantasy Baseball, that’s pretty solid. On Fridays I just seem to always play the few that put up stinkers. I’m the guy who’s used Felix Hernandez one time the entire year. Guess what day I used him?
I share my Friday struggles with you for one reason. Daily Fantasy Baseball is a game about odds. You make the right decisions and over the long haul you see success. If you struggle for an extended period, things can even out in a hurry. I’m saying that payback comes tonight. I will not go gentle into that good night. Tonight I will not vanish without a fight.
But before I go all Dylan Thomas (or President Whitmore) on some Tout ass, we’ve got some work to do. Here are the links I’ll be using to build my lineups.
Links for MLB Weather:
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 we’ve got four aces taking the hill today, along with a few other intriguing options.
The aces are Corey Kluber at the Twins, David Price at home against the Yankees, Max Scherzer in San Fran, and Dallas Keuchel at home against Detroit. I’m not in love with any of these options.
Scherzer jumps out as me as the ace to play, but he was pretty human in July and has been outright bad in August. In fact over his last four starts he’s posted a 4.50 ERA.
Kluber really hasn’t pitched much differently than last year, but that Indians offense isn’t doing much.
Price has started to roll, but I’ve seen him get pounded by the Yankees.
Keuchel, the cheapest of the aces, may be the way to go.
There are two other pitchers I’m looking at though.
The first is Jaime Garcia. He’s not a big strikeout pitcher and he’s injured most of the year, but when he’s been healthy, he’s been a great Major League pitcher. He also pitches at home against a Marlins offense that is now last in the majors in runs scored. I like his matchup with the Cardinals a heavy favorite, but his price tag is still over $8,000.
The other pitcher I’m considering is a huge long shot and most people have never heard of him. His name is John Lamb, and he’ll be making his MLB debut tonight in Los Angeles. He, along with Mike Montgomery, were the two left-handed starters that were going to take Kansas City to the top a few years back. Both those lefties have moved on and the Royals found another way.
After some injuries and ensuing struggles, Lamb seems to be back on track. He was 9-1, with with a 2.67 ERA and 9.16 K/9 in Triple-A this year. The Dodgers are 22nd in baseball in runs scored against left-handers and have lost five of their last seven games.
Do I have the cajones to start Lamb? I’m not sure, but I’m going to build a team with his $4,600 salary and see how much the offense makes me tingle.
FanDuel Picks for Friday, Aug. 14, 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.
- Max Scherzer ($11,400) @ San Francisco Giants – I know, I just shared with you his recent struggles, yet here I am ranking him No. 1. Sorry, you judge a pitcher by his body of work, not a few starts. Scherzer still has the no-hit stuff and potential to put up 15 Ks every time out. He hasn’t averaged 15.3 FD points per game on accident.
- Corey Kluber ($12,000) @ Minnesota Twins – Kluber just pitched against the Twins last time out and threw a complete game , allowing just three hits while striking out 10 batters. Klubers road ERA is 4.16, so maybe today will be a different story, but I still think close to 10 Ks is a lock. He also matches up against Trevor May, who is making a return to the starting rotation after getting knocked into the bullpen.
- Dallas Keuchel ($10,700) vs. Detroit Tigers – Keuchel is for real boys and girls. I had my doubts last year, but he’s done nothing but get better this year. His strikeouts are on the way up and he’s posted a 1.26 ERA at home. The Tigers offense still ranks pretty high overall, but they are 28th in runs scored in the month of August. You think trading away David Price and Yoenis Cespedes had an affect on morale?
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 ($3,200) vs. Dallas Keuchel (LHP) – Irresistible force or immovable object? I love Keuchel today, but I’m not doing my job if I don’t mention V-Mart. His overall numbers look bad, but he’s still a great hitter from the right side, batting .348 vs. LHP in 2015. I won’t use Martinez if I use Keuchel, but he’s definitely an option if I don’t
Derek Norris ($3,600) vs. Yohan Flande (LHP) – Norris is a mediocre low average, high power catcher… except against left-handers he’s hit .288 over his career. FanDuel bumped his salary up for the trip to Coors, but I may still take a bite. Flande has been outright not terrible in his 32-inning Major League career, but his 7.11 ERA in Triple-A has me thinking the roof could fall in real quick today.
Adam Lind ($3,500) vs. Adam Morgan (RHP) – I’m not sure there’s a more black and white player than Lind. He’s useless against LHP and he’s a borderline elite option against RHP. All 17 of his homers this year and 142 of his 163 career homers have come off of right-handed pitching. He also hits .213 off LHP and .293 off RHP. Morgan. He’s just a replacement level pitcher (at best) who happens to throw with his right hand.
[Editor’s Note: RotoDaddy is an idiot and made a mistake when he looked up Adam Morgan. Morgan is a left-handed pitcher, which means Adam Lind is the last player you want to use today. You may however want to use Ryan Braun in your outfield. His value takes a huge leap against lefties. Also give Prince Fielder a look at first base.]
Kendrys Morales ($3,100) vs. Jered Weaver (RHP) – I really don’t like the matchups today for any of the top first basemen. Morales has middling power, but he just keeps driving in runs for the Royals. On a day like today, I just might save a few bucks on the corner and pay for some elite outfielders.
Robinson Cano ($3,700) vs. Joe Kelly (RHP) – You look at Cano’s numbers for July and August and tell me he’s through. The salary is starting to get up there, but Cano will be one of the best options at second base for the remainder of the season.
Neil Walker ($2,800) vs. Bartolo Colon (RHP) – It’s been a very streaky year for Walker, but the numbers are finally about where we should have expected them to be. He got them there by bouncing back a bit against lefties, but all of his power still comes against right-handers. Walker hit .294 in July and is at .306 for August. For the price, I’m not sure there’s a better option.
Todd Frazier ($3,100) vs. Alex Wood (LHP) – In terms of batting average, Frazier’s splits are pretty neutral, but he definitely hits for more power vs. lefties (1 HR every 16.9 ABs vs. LHP, 1 HR every 22.6 ABs vs. RHP). He’s hit the skids in July and August, but the price and matchup are in his favor tonight.
Evan Longoria ($3,100) vs. Martin Perez (LHP) – Longoria is not the elite hitter we thought he was going to be and his FanDuel price tag shows that. He is however hot (.333 in August) and has hammered left-handers to the tune of a .337 average this year. Perez has the velocity back, but not much else. In his five games since returning from Tommy John he’s posted a 5.81 ERA. The Rays offense is on fire (relative term) and they score well against left-handers. I smell a homer and three ribbies for Longo tonight.
Jhonny Peralta ($2,600) vs. Tom Koehler (RHP) – Peralta usually hits for either power or average in a given year. This year he’s doing a little of both, and most of his damage is coming against RHP (.296 avg.). I’m not sure what FanDuel has against him. He averages as many points per games as all but the top few shortstops. I’ll take it.
Jimmy Rollins ($2,700) vs. John Lamb (LHP) – You know the story. A once great player plays just a little bit too long and loses bat speed, rendering him almost useless. Well that’s Rollins… against right-handed pitching. Rollins is still plenty useful against lefties, with a .301 average this year.
Carlos Gonzalez ($5,000) vs. Tyson Ross (RHP) – Cargo may want to consider giving up that whole switch-hitting thing. He’s batting .168 from the right side and .308 from the left. All but two of his homers have come from the left side as well. Ross’s splits last year were extremely skewed in favor of Petco. This year they’re reversed. All I know is this game is in Colorado and that’s a good thing for any hitter.
Bryce Harper ($4,500) vs. Matt Cain (RHP) – Harper’s power output has slowed just enough to bring his price down to a manageable number. Even with the power outage he’s hitting .339 in August. Though he’s hitting lefties much better, he still produces more against RHP, with a .339 average and 24 of his 29 homers. I don’t use Harper a lot because of his price, but everything looks good for this matchup tonight.
Billy Burns ($2,700) vs. Ubaldo Jimenez (RHP) – Though there are worse pitchers going today, I think a mini-stack against Jimenez could pay off big today. Burns hits lefties slightly better, but as you would expect 20 of his 23 stolen bases have come against RHP.
Josh Reddick ($2,300) vs. Ubaldo Jimenez (RHP) – Reddick (what’s the derivation of that last name?) is a streaky hitter and August has been unkind so far. He’s always a threat against right-handed pitchers though, with splits very similar to those of Adam Lind. Jimenez is having a nice rebound season, but he’s still had his bad starts. At $2,300 I’ll take a gamble on Reddick contributing to another one.
My FanDuel Lineup for Friday, Aug. 14, 2015
Here’s my first draft of a lineup for tonight. As you can see I went with Keuchel. I just couldn’t bring myself to start a guy making his MLB debut. Poor matchups for many of my favorite high-priced players also deterred me.
Also, this particular lineup is for Tout Wars Daily, and it is a small tournament. If I was doing multi-entry in a larger tournament, I think I’d toss a lineup with Lamb in there.
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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