Good morning. Yes, I’m a morning person and I do most of my writing starting at 5:00 in the morning. I always wonder how many people do their DFS research in the mornings and how many get home from work and get prepped in the two hours before games begin.
I always write my FanDuel Strategy pieces in the morning as I’m building my lineups for the day’s action. I like to do this because it ensures my picks are based in reality. I’m not just pulling some hot names or cool stats out of my ass and wowing you with fancy numbers. Any player I recommend is honestly a very serious consideration for my own lineups.
I’m writing my column here at 6:30 in the morning and trying to get ready for the Tout Wars Challenge ( for $2 you can beat up on a bunch of “experts” in the industry), and as luck would have it, FanDuel was down for scheduled maintenance and had me a little nervous. Never fear, it’s back up again and you’ll get the very best DFS recommendations I have in me.
First of course, 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 start with pitching and boy do we have some aces today. It’s awful easy to just go with Max Scherzer and his K-riffic ways, but can I pass up Chris Sale against an anemic Tampa Bay offense? Of course Sale matches up against Chris Archer, who flirted with a no-hitter his last time out. Then you’ve got Jake Arrieta, who has been as good as any pitcher in baseball over the last month or so. And of course I’m still on board with Carlos Carrasco, but Shelby Miller is a lot cheaper… You get the point. There are a lot of options tonight.
The Tout Wars Challenge is a 50/50 contest, so my pitching has to be safe. For me the two pitchers with the best mix of upside and safety are Arrieta and Sale. I’ll have an inner debate between the two and you can see which direction I went in my lineup at the end of the article.
FanDuel Picks for Tuesday, Aug. 4, 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.
- Chris Sale ($11,500) vs. Tampa Bay Rays – What’s not to like? The Rays offense is in the bottom four in baseball in runs scored and in the top four in strikeouts. Sale’s 3.20 ERA looks human, but his 2.45 xFIP is a better indicator of how he’s pitched. The only negative in this matchup is that he faces off against Chris Archer, and the White Sox have actually scored one less run than the Rays. Still double-digit strikeouts is likely for Sale, making his floor pretty high.
- Jake Arrieta ($10,200) @ Pittsburgh Pirates – I like to use pitchers in their home parks, but Arrieta’s 2.21 road ERA eases those concerns. He also just finished July with a 1.90 ERA and has given up more than two earned runs just once in his last eight starts. In terms of pure upside I like Sale better today, but the extra $1,300 I’d save by using Arrieta is enticing.
- Max Scherzer ($12,500) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – Scherzer has given up five earned runs in two of his last five starts. Ok, that’s the best I could do in finding things to nitpick with on Scherzer. He hasn’t been as dominant as he was earlier in the season, but my only real beef with him is the salary. With a mul;titude of other options, I just can’t see spending that much on one pitcher. That doesn’t mean he won’t go out and strike out 14 batters today.
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.
Yasmani Grandal ($3,400) vs. Jerome Williams (RHP) – Did you realize Grandal is hitting .292? Over his career Grandal has scored more than a point per every 10 plate appearances more against right-handed pitchers. Williams is not a very good right-handed pitcher.
Victor Martinez ($2,600) vs. Danny Duffy (LHP) – Martinez may be struggling this year, but not against lefties, against whom he’s hitting .361. That’s a pretty good buy for the price.
Chris Davis ($4,200) vs. Chris Bassitt (RHP) – Hot streaks can generally be ignored in Daily Fantasy Baseball. I’ll set that thinking aside though, when it comes to Davis. We’ve seen him go on power binges like few other players can. He’s hit five home runs in his last seven games and faces a rookie pitcher who was 2-7 in Triple-A.
Prince Fielder ($3,800) vs. Dan Straily (RHP) – Didn’t the Astros just trade for two starting pitchers? And Straily still gets a start? That’s a good thing for Prince, who’s hitting .368 against RHP this season. Everything seems aligned for Texas to score plenty of runs today and Fielder will likely be right in the middle of it.
Anthony Rendon ($3,100) vs. Patrick Corbin (LHP) – Rendon has spent most of the year on the DL and hasn’t really gotten in any kind of groove. He did just hit his first homer and he batted .313 against left-handed pitchers in 2014. Corbin has looked good over his last few starts, but I still like Rendon to do some damage.
Kolten Wong ($3,000) vs. Anthony DeSclafini (RHP) – Wong is quietly putting together what will come close to a 20/20 season, and it’s almost entirely based on what he does against right-handed pitching. Ten of his 11 homers have come against RHP, to go along with a .288 average.
Note: I’m not going to cover Todd Frazier or Nolan Arenado, but with both playing in Colorado tonight, they obviously deserve serious consideration.
Nolan Arenado ($4,800) vs. Vidal Nuno (LHP) – This year his splits are more neutral, but over his career Arenado has punished left-handers. He struggled to the tune of a .228 average in July, but is off to a hot start in August. Bel;ieve it or not his career stats back that up. Arenado is a career .232 hitter in July and .327 in August… Fluke or does Arenado get thrown off by the All-Star break? The world may never know.
Kyle Seager ($2,700) vs. Jon Gray (RHP) – It seems like you never hear Seager’s name, but his stats are right where we’d expect them to be. Gray is a fine prospect, but Coors overrides everything else. I look for Seager to go yard for a second consecutive day.
Jose Reyes ($3,300) vs. Vidal Nuno (LHP) – Reyes hits better off of right-handers, but I’ll roll with him in his first series at home as a Rockie. He’s not the player he used to be, but at $3,300 he still looks like a bargain to me.
Starlin Castro ($2,200) vs. J.A. Happ (LHP) – Castro can’t really be this bad… Can he? He has hit .250 against LHP, so he’s got that going for him… Ah, who am I kidding. This is a pure salary play. I expect the Cubs to do some damage against Happ, and I’m hoping Castro can get involved in some way. Besides, I’m not a fan of the matchups for the top few shortstops, and the rest of the field is no great shakes.
J.D. Martinez ($3,800) vs. Danny Duffy (LHP) – Martinez has hit .276 against both lefties and righties over his career, so this isn’t about splits. It’s just about a very good hitter and a pitcher that just isn’t that great. This is just simply a good matchup.
Adam Jones ($3,100) vs. Chris Bassitt (RHP) – Much like Martinez, this is just a case of the price being right. Jones is a better play against left-handers, but against a rookie pitcher with unimpressive stuff, Jones should have some good at-bats.
Rajai Davis ($2,600) vs. Danny Duffy (LHP) – In the FanDuel scoring system, Davis has scored more than 2.0 points more against LHP than RHP over the last five years. The trade of Yoenis Cespedes pretty much ensures Davis will be in the lineup.
Chris Young ($3,200) vs. Henry Owens (LHP) – All you need to do is look at the splits. Young is a non-entity against RHP, but a solid play anytime he faces a southpaw. FanDuel has priced him at the very edge of where I’m comfortable with Young. It’s your call.
My FanDuel Lineup for Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015
Here’s my first draft of a lineup for tonight. As you can see I went with Sale. When all was said and done, I couldn’t pull myself away from his high-strikeout potential and the mess that is the Tampa Bay offense. I may roll with Arrieta in some other contests, and I might even throw Patrick Corbin out there in a tournament, but Sale is the top 50/50 play for the day.
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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