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You there! Stop! Freeze!

Slowly step away from the pigskin. Keep your hands off the keyboard where I can see them.

Yeah, I know there was a football game this Sunday. And yeah, I know Gonos went out and published the SCFE Staff Rankings for the Quarterback Position. I don’t care. There are real baseball games going on and the first week of exhibition games can hardly be called football. Keep your focus on baseball!

What? Oh, you saw that I wrote a little article about Position Scarcity and Running Back Value in Fantasy Football.

Ok, maybe I’ve taken a few peeks at the early Fantasy Football Rankings, but you know what? I’m here right now and so are you. There’s still plenty of baseball to be played and the Tout Wars Challenge is still happening. With many of the industry experts (so-called) doing double duty, there’s no better time than now to take their money. Just $2 and all you have to do is finish in the Top 45 (out of 100) and you double your money… Oh, and here’s a little nugget for you, last week the contest didn’t fill up and there were only 63 entrants. That means almost 75% of the players doubled their money. That’s called overlay boys and girls.

So give me 15 minutes of your time and we’ll build a Daily Fantasy Baseball lineup that should have the Touts running for football even earlier than they expected. Let’s do it!

First of course, here are the links I’ll be using to build my lineups.

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 in cash games like the Tout Wars Challenge require a safe approach. So even though there are a lot of intriguing cheaper pitchers going today, we’re going to focus on the top four options.

Zack Greinke has been almost flawless this year and pitches at home against Washington. Madison Bumgarner gets the start at home against the Astros. His overall stats aren’t quite where we’d like them, but that 2.43 home ERA warms me up a lot. Everyone in New York is busy talking about how Matt Harvey isn’t what he was before Tommy John surgery, but I look at the numbers (1.57 ERA since the All-Star Break) and I think maybe they expect a little too much. Finally we get to Carlos Carrasco, a personal pet of mine. He just got his season ERA under four a couple starts ago, but every peripheral number you look at says he’s been one of the top pitchers in baseball.

So for me today, it’s one of these four. If you’re doing a tournament today, a Joe Ross or Luis Severino might be a decent risk, but we want safety.

FanDuel Picks for Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015, 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. Matt Harvey ($11,200) vs. Colorado Rockies – Yes, the strikeouts are down a bit, but are you going to complain about a 2.76 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. The Rockies are third in baseball in scoring, but away from Coors they drop to 24th. They’re also without Troy Tulowitzki. If Harvey can navigate around a red hot Carlos Gonzalez, I think he’ll dominate the rest of this lineup. The real clincher here though, is Harvey’s mound opponent, Chris Rusin. Rusin obviously earned the right to call himself a Rockie pitcher by posting a 6.29 ERA in Triple-A. Not to worry though his career MLB ERA is much better at 4.84. Enough said.
  2. Zack Greinke ($12,400) vs. Washington Nationals – Yeah Greinke’s 1.71 ERA is tough to beat, even if his 3.15 xFIP says he’s pitched a bit over his head. This is still a pretty nice matchup. The only reason I rank Harvey a bit higher is because of the salary and the fact that Greinke matches up against Joe Ross today. It’s only 45 innings, but Ross has a nice 2.80 ERA backed up by a 2.48 xFIP. The Dodgers have also lost four games in a row. Roll with Greinke if you want. I’ll take Harvey and the extra salary.
  3. Madison Bumgarner ($11,900) vs. Houston Astros – Bumgarner has been lights out at home, but he’s opposed by Scott Kazmir, who has allowed one earned run in 20.1 innings as an Astro. The Astros are also sixth in baseball in runs scored against left-handers. Finally the Giants, like the Dodgers, have lost four in a row.

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:

Travs D’Arnaud ($2,800) vs. Chris Rusin (LHP) – As usual D’Arnaud has had trouble getting in a real groove because of injuries. He’s had hits in four of his last five games and last night hit his first homer since returning from the DL. The matchups for the top catchers are not pretty so going cheap at catcher today seems to be the way to go.

Jonathan Lucroy ($2,500) vs. Dan Haren (RHP) – Let me promise you that anytime Lucroy is cheaper than Tuffy Gosewisch, he’ll be on my radar. Every time I think Lucroy is ready to break out, he falls back into a slump. Regardless, I say he has a couple RBIs in today’s game. If not he’ll look a lot like a lot of more expensive catchers.

First Base:

Prince Fielder ($3,900) vs. Kyle Gibson (RHP) – Fielder continues to pound RHP to the tune of a .361 batting average. Kyle Gibson is mediocrity personified. You don’t target him, but he’s not someone to avoid either. With the top first basemen in questionable matchups, I’m happy to ‘settle’ for Fielder.

Joey Votto ($3,600) vs. Colin Rea (RHP) – Votto’s price tag perplexes me. He does everything you’d want in a hitter;  he’s hit .392 since the All-Star break; and he’s facing a rookie with no pedigree whatsoever. Rea will be making his Major League debut. He had some decent numbers in Double-A, but posted a 4.39 ERA in Triple-A. He doesn’t strike out a lot of hitters and profiles more as an innings eater type. Votto and his .432 OBP should be posting positive numbers today.

Second Base:

Robinson Cano ($3,800) vs. Chris Tillman (RHP) – Man did that salary climb up there fast. I guess his July numers (.337 with 7 HRs) were too hard to ignore. People see Cano as a professional hitter who can hit all pitchers, but even in his best days he hit RHP much better. Tillman has rebounded after a horrible start to the season, but he’s not a pitcher to avoid.

Dee Gordon ($3,000) vs. Steven Wright (RHP) – I have to be honest, I don’t use Gordon much. As he did last year, he’s slowed down in the second half. I do like him today though. Wright is a knuckleballer and they are typically easy to run on. If Gordon can scratch out a hit or two, multiple stolen bases is entirely possible.

Third Base:

Maikel Franco ($3,500) vs. Jeremy Hellickson (RHP) – There’s really not much to complain about with Franco (10 errors, so what). His average has come down of late, but his .256 second half is not too far off what we should have expected. The power has continues and he hits RHP better than LHP. Hellickson has been exactly who I thought he was. He works excruciatingly slow and gives up plenty of homers. Sounds great for Franco, just as long as I don’t have to sit through Hellickson.

Miguel Sano ($2,800) vs. Yovani Gallardo (RHP) – Sano has average 2.8 points a game under the FanDuel scoring system. Matt Carpenter has averaged 2.9.  Carpenter is $1,100 more expensive. Sano is a value. On a day where Josh Donaldson and Nolan Arenado aren’t facing lefties, I’ll take value.

Shortstop:

Xander Bogaerts ($3,300) vs. Justin Nicolino (LHP) – Bogaerts isn’t what a lot of people wanted him to be, but he is enjoying somewhat of a breakout year. He’s really turned it on of late, hitting .333 in the second half. Better yet, he’s hitting .390 against left-handers on the season. Nicolino is a control artist without dominant stuff. Bogaerts should get some good swings.

Jhonny Peralta ($2,600) vs. Jeff Locke (LHP) – Peralta has slight reverse splits for his career so facing a lefty is not an advantage. Facing Locke however is. Every year Locke spends a month or two pretending to be a Major League pitcher and then falls apart. His 5.48 ERA in the second half is no fluke.

Outfielders:

Mike Trout ($4,700) vs. Carlos Rodon (LHP) –  I put Trout here because I never do. He’s too obvious. But today he’s the fifth highest salaried outfielder on FanDuel and  that’s just ridiculous. If any player can be a bargain at $4,700 it is Mike Trout.

Jay Bruce ($3,000) vs. Colin Rea (RHP) – Bruce is quietly putting together a mild rebound. His splits are neutral and he’s not the perfect 50/50 play, but he should put up some good swings against a rookie pitcher with mediocre stuff.

Christian Yelich ($2,900) vs. Steven Wright (LHP) – Yelich has spent so much time digging out from his terrible start that some people haven’t noticed. He’s hitting .304 in the second half and has 14 stolen bases on the season. I expect the Marlins to run every chance they get, so everything is pointing to a strong game for Yelich tonight.

Josh Reddick ($2,500) vs. Drew Hutchison (RHP) – Reddick could be the poster boy for using platoon splits in Daily Fantasy Baseball. Against lefties he’s a non0entity, hitting just .193 (.253 OBP) with two homers. Slot him in against a right-hander though and you get a .311 (.259 OBP) hitter with 11 home runs in 280 at-bats. Those are Adrian Gonzalez numbers at $2,500!

My FanDuel Lineup for Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015

FanDuel lineup for Tuesday, August 11, 2015Here’s my first draft of a lineup for tonight. I went with Harvey as I like the Mets chances to win tonight. Carrasco’s lower salary kept tempting me, but I think the lineup I put together with Harvey should be able to do some damage.

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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Doug "RotoDaddy" Anderson

Doug Anderson took on the moniker RotoDaddy with the birth of his son in 2003. He's a veteran of the industry and has been playing Fantasy Baseball for over 20 years. His work has been seen on RotoExperts.com, SI.com, Yahoo, USAToday.com and also in the pages of various Fantasy magazines. He's currently also in charge of aggregation efforts at The Fantasy Sports Network and represents them in the LABR Mixed Experts League.
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