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Daily Fantasy Baseball: Fanduel Strategy and Picks — Friday, 4/10

One of the great things about Daily Fantasy Baseball is the instant gratification. You can enter a contest at 6:00 PM, and celebrate a victory by midnight. The victories are quick and joyous.

You never hear anyone acknowledge the other side of the coin though. Losing a league (and your money) can happen just as fast. It can be tough when you spend a couple hours researching your entries and then spend five hours hanging on every pitch in 12 different games, only to find out that you lost a big chunk of your bankroll. The bad news is for even the best players that can happen two days in a row on occasion. You have to develop thick skin if you’re going to play Daily Fantasy Baseball.

I’m still working on that. I shared My FanDuel Strategy and Picks on Tuesday and took some heat. A lot of my recommendations panned out. Each of my Top 5 pitchers pitched well, even if they didn’t get a win. I hit it pretty big with a few hitting picks and struck out with others. The problem was in the lineup that I built and shared with you. I used only players from my FanDuel recommendations, but completely picked the wrong combination of players and the result was a complete dud. I got a comment about being the worst “So-Called Fantasy Expert” in existence… or at least that’s the way it felt.

Here’s the thing though. If presented with the same schedule, I would end up with the same recommendations again. The process is sound and over time, I’ll come out ahead in my 50/50s. I don’t tell you this to rationalize away my bad day. I tell you it to encourage you to trust your process, whatever it might be. Whether you’re reading my recommendations or anybody else’s, look at the logic and thought process that went into them. If the process makes sense to you, add your touch to your lineups and stick to it. Especially in the 50/50s I encourage all beginners to start in, the odds will eventually move in your favor if your process is sound. Enough blabber. On to the FanDuel strategy and picks.

My FanDuel Strategy and Picks for Friday

There’s a full slate of games in MLB today, but with entries in the $750K MLB PB Mansion Qualifier #6  and the MLB Grand Slam 25 Dollar Entry, I’m going to limit my strategy and picks mainly to the slate of games beginning at 7:05 ET.

The first thing you notice when you look at the day’s schedule is that there really isn’t a bonafide ace on the mound today. Gio Gonzalez is probably the biggest name going and his matchup against the Phillies is pretty nice. It’s either a matchup you have to take to keep up with the crowd or it’s one you need to avoid in order to differentiate yourself from what will probably be a pretty high percentage of the daily players. You’re going to have to determine your philosophy on issues like this. You’ll see which way I go a little further down the page.

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Offensively I see quite a few opportunities to pick on sub-par pitching. A few of the pitchers are homer prone, and a couple are just flat out bad. Kyle Kendrick and Colby Lewis have burned me this year, but I’m pretty sure there will be a couple implosions tonight.

So I’ll stick with what has generally worked for me on FanDuel. I’ve got a low-priced, high upside pitcher in mind, and I’ll be looking to pick on a few pitchers I think will be giving up crooked numbers.

Top Stacks at FanDuel

There are numerous stacking opportunities on this day, but these are my Top 3.

  1. St. Louis Cardinals vs. Jason Marquis – You can thank the Reds for using Marquis instead of Tony Cingrani. I’m not a fan of using more than three hitters from the same team, so the bats I’m looking at belong to left-handed hitters Jason Heyward, Matt Adams, and Kolten Wong. All the prices are reasonable and the forecast is clear.
  2. Washington Nationals vs. Jerome Williams – Normally I’ll try and stick to platoon advantages even in my stacks, but I like all the Washington bats to wake up in this game. The three I’m focused on tend to hit consecutively. Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, and Wilson Ramos should see plenty of at-bats with men on base. Harper’s price is a little steep, but with the five early games, the outfield pool is a bit thin in elite options.
  3. Los Angeles Angels vs. Jason Vargas – Vargas probably deserves more respect than I give him. He’ll get over it. It’s gonna take a decent chunk out of your salary, but Mike Trout and Albert Pujols should have some pretty good at-bats against the soft-tossing lefty. Want to save a little bit of cash? Try subbing C.J. Cron in for Pujols and spending your cash at other positions. Chris Iannetta is another budget play, who offers much more value against left-handed pitching.

Top 5 Starting Pitcher Plays

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

  1. Gio Gonzalez ($9,400) vs. Philadelphia Phillies – Sometimes the obvious pitcher is still a good play. The Phillies have scored just six runs in their three games, and Gonzalez being left-handed negates the speed of Ben Revere and Odubel Herrera for the most part. But the big item in his favor is opposing pitcher Jerome Williams. Williams has had moments of decency in his career, but I believe those moments are gone.
  2. Taijuan Walker ($7,400) vs. Oakland Athletics – Yeah, I’m buying into the great spring, not because of the numbers, but because it’s obvious Walker is healthy and firing bullets. I have a feeling this will be his coming out party. Look for a very good game with 7-plus strikeouts. The one thing I don’t like about this matchup is that Walker will be facing…
  3. Drew Pomeranz ($6,800) vs. Seattle Mariners – It irks me to no end when two pitchers I like for the day match up against each other. In the end I think the right-handed bats of Seattle have a better chance against the left-handed Pomeranz than the A’s do against Walker. Doesn’t mean Pomeranz isn’t a solid play. I might do a lineup with each of them.
  4. Brandon Morrow ($5,900) vs. San Francisco Giants – Looking to go low=priced at pitcher? Morrow is the guy. Spring reports were glowing and he’ll be at home in Petco. He opposes Tim Lincecum whose wild ways may not be cured by the friendly dimensions. If Morrow is indeed healthy and back to his 2012 form, there will be plenty of strikeouts. He’s probably a better tournament play, but the matchup has real possibilities.

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

Brian McCann ($3,100) vs. Wade Miley – Just don’t think Miley will do well with the short right field porch in Yankee Stadium.

Travis D’Arnaud ($3,000) vs. Eric Stults – D’Arnaud has looked very good so far and facing the lefty should ensure he’ll be in the lineup. Just keep an eye on the weather as rain is possible in Atlanta.

Two others I like – Chris Iannetta and Yasmani Grandal

First Base

Albert Pujols ($4,000) vs. Jason Vargas – Pujols looks refreshed in the early going and though his platoon splits are basically non-existant, I like him against a lefty with less than dominant stuff.

Mark Teixeira ($3,300) vs. Wade Miley – Miley is a perfectly decent Major League pitcher… who gives up a lot of long fly balls… the kind that leave ballparks.

Two others I like – C.J. Cron and Matt Adams

Second Base

Kolten Wong ($3,100) vs. Jason Marquis – Wong is off to a bit of a slow start, but he offers speed and pop, and the price tag is not a real big hit on your salary.

Jace Peterson ($2,200) vs. Jonathan Niese – Peterson has nice speed and I’ve got to think the Braves will let him run. If you have to go cheap here, Peterson is rock bottom priced and has the ability to swipe a couple of bags.

Two others I like – Dustin Pedroia and Dee Gordon

Third Base

David Wright ($3,300) vs. Eric Stults – Wright seems to have regained some bat speed and the power that goes with it. Again check the weather, but Wright is a player that looks like a bargain at this reduced price.

Alex Rodriguez ($2,900) vs. Wade Miley – Hey, I don’t like it any more than you do, but Arod seems to be swinging the bat well and his price tag will help you swallow your pride. He just went deep for the first time on Thursday and I have a feeling No. 2 could follow close behind.

Two others I like – Juan Uriber and Aramis Ramirez

Shortstop

Jimmy Rollins ($3,700) vs. Chase Anderson – Talk about looking revived, Rollins is bouncing around like he’s 23 again. Anderson is a decent pitcher, but the Dodger bats will get to him and Rollins should be in the middle of it.

Asdrubal Cabrera ($2,600) vs. Dan Haren – Cabrera is not the hitter he was a few years back, but the Rays are batting him third. The Tampa offense has actually shown a bit of spark and should be able to do some things against Haren.

Two others I like – Chris Owings and Wilmer Flores

Outfield

Bryce Harper ($4,300) vs. Jerome Williams – Harper should get some very good swings against Williams and with a bunch of baserunners potentially on base ahead of him, I like his chances for a monster day.

Carlos Gomez ($4,300) vs. Jeff Locke – I don’t know which Jeff Locke we’ll get, All-Star or Quad-A, but I do know that Gomez is due to make some noise and I’m betting it will be against this unintimidating lefty

A.J. Pollock ($3,100) vs. Brett Anderson – I like Brett Anderson in most parks, but the right-handed hitters in Arizona should have a shot at doing damage and Pollock can do it with his bat or legs.

Yasiel Puig ($4,000) vs. Chase Anderson – I just don’t think Anderson has the stuff to shut down hitters like Puig. It also doesn’t hurt that Puig will likely have red hot Adrian Gonzalez hitting behind him. They’re not going to pitch around Puig.

Mark Trumbo ($3,300) vs. Brett Anderson – At this price I’ll be using Trumbo any time he faces a less than elite left-handed starter.

My FanDuel Lineup

I wouldn’t be much of a “So-Called Fantasy Expert” if I didn’t put my money where my mouth is. Below are the only lineups I will be playing on FanDuel for the day. I like Taijuan Walker to dominate and used him in two of the lineups, but also wanted to use the obviously great matchup of Gio Gonzalez against Jerome Williams and the Phillies.

I’ll play this in the tournaments I mentioned earlier and also in a bunch of 50/50s. I like to use 50/50s to help support the big tournaments on Friday nights. Not a fan of the odds in these tournaments, but Daily Fantasy Baseball is also supposed to be fun, and I can’t imagine a better way to spend a Friday night than skipping from game to game on MLB.TV… well, unless Jennifer Love Hewitt is stopping by..

FanDuel Strategy for April 10, 2015

Good luck with our Fanduel Strategy and Picks for Friday, 4/10/2015!

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