You know what I love as much as Baseball? Baseball Cards. They have been like a bad crack addiction for me since I was bitten by the “Card Bug” when I was the wee age of eight. The year was 1982 and while the world was yet to know of the great Cal Ripken Jr. I was chasing a card that is worth fifteen cents now…the Steve Sax rookie card. The funny thing is even though that card is worthless now I managed to find a Gem Mint copy for myself. If nothing else but for my personal enjoyment.
My next favorite player was in 1986 and he was not a Los Angeles Dodger. He was what was then a California Angel. His name was Wally Joyner. If you are old enough perhaps you will remember the great Rookie Of The Year chase between Wally Joyner and Jose Canseco. I remember it well. In Los Angeles at the time Wally Joyner was the second coming of Mickey Mantle. Alas, his card is now worthless as well but I still have one for myself to cherish the memory.
What does this have to do with Daily Fantasy Baseball? It has a lot to do with it. You see, in Daily Fantasy Baseball we look at stats. Lots and lots and lots of stats. Much like we did when we were kids looking at the back of Baseball Cards. We play Fantasy Sports because this love is still in us. This love for the game we always dreamed of playing.
On most nights I break even, some nights I make a penny or two, and other nights I cry in my pillow. What keeps me coming back? It is easy, I love playing Daily Fantasy Baseball and more important I love the Daily Fantasy Community around it. I love writing this article every Wednesday for you fine readers to enjoy. I love listening to Podcasts, reading blogs, getting updates from the people I follow on Twitter, having conversations with other experts, and getting ready to head to the Monmouth Race Track in New Jersey for the Fantasy Football Weekend sponsored by the Fantasy Sports Network. Yes, I will be there Saturday 8/29 and Sunday 8/30, if you will be as well, I hope to meet you. We as a whole have a lot of work ahead of us as Daily Fantasy Sports players to help this industry grow in the right direction.
I myself have had a pretty good week in Daily Fantasy Sports and look for it to continue tonight for all of us, with all this banter over let’s get started…
Daily Fantasy Baseball tip of the day
Have you ever tried to fit Clayton Kershaw in your line up on night when his price is in excess of $12,000 on Fanduel? It is not an easy task, even for an experienced player such as myself. So let me share with you a rule of thumb on these nights when you have to spend up on high priced Starting Pitching, “Start from the bottom up”. For instance, I find the two easiest positions to start from the bottom up are Catcher and Shortstop. Simply look for the player with the best line up spot facing the worst pitcher for the lowest salary and hit select. We call this a “punt” play. This should allow you enough to get the Clayton Kershaw’s and Jacob deGrom’s of the world into your line ups with a few big bats as well. I have used Jean Segura leading off or Jason Castro behind the plate for $2200 on Fanduel so many times I lost count.
Today’s FanDuel Strategy
Horrible Starting Pitching is theme today on the slate. We have guys all over just begging to be picked on. We got lame ducks like Ervin Santana, Derek Holland, and Tom Koehler (who is horrible on the road) in the early games and in the night games we get great Starting Pitching like Joe Kelly and J.A. Happ to beat up on. With so many options it is almost overwhelming.
In the early games there really is not much to choose from. You have to pick who you think is least likely implode and let up a five run inning. In the night we have a few rays of hope to choose from in Noah Syndergaard, Corey Kluber, and of course the bearded warrior Dallas Keuchel. Clearly these are the top options on the slate.
Today we have eight games with an expected point total of eight runs or more at the time of writing this article. They are:
- Minnesota Twins @ New York Yankees 9.0
- Seattle Mariners @ Texas Rangers 9.5 (Weather Concerns)
- Miami Marlins @ Milwaukee Brewers 8.0
- Toronto Blue Jays @ Philadelphia Phillies 9.0
- Kansas City Royals @ Cincinnati Reds 8.5 (Weather Concerns)
- Cleveland Indians @ Boston Red Sox 8.5
- Detroit Tigers @ Chicago Cubs 8.0
- Washington Nationals @ Colorado Rockies 10.0
With this much to feast on today I see no need to look elsewhere for bats.
Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks for Wednesday, August 19th
Tyson Ross (8-9, 3.40 ERA) San Diego Padres – So this is the part where I am supposed to tell you how awesome Tyson Ross is. If he was on the road this would be simple. The problem is at home he has that whole “reverse split” thing going on. On the road he has an ERA of 2.71 and at home it increases to 4.40. How does this make sense at Petco Park?
Today he’s home facing the Atlanta Braves who are 25th in Major League Baseball with a .299 wOBA verse RHP. Although the Braves do not provide much upside in strikeouts (16.9% vs. RHP) he does with an elite K/9 rate of 9.58. He has eighteen strikeouts over his last 18.0 innings and contrary to popular belief he still gets a positive park shift pitching in Petco. Vegas also agrees as he is the -160 favorite pitching in a game with the lowest expected point total on the slate (6.5). He gets to face Julio Teheran who has been abysmal on the road with a whopping 6.71 ERA which should aid in the win. I see nothing to suggest anything other than Tyson Ross turning things around at home he just has too much swing and miss stuff not to. I will be using him in all cash games on the early slate and pairing him with either Nathan Eovaldi or Alex Wood on two pitcher sites.
Heading into the night slate I have to be honest. Even the elite Starting Pitching tonight all has serious blow up risk. You have Noah Syndergaard facing the Baltimore Orioles at home, Corey Kluber going up against the Boston Red Sox who if you haven’t noticed are putting up Football Scores lately, Stephen Strasburg in Colorado, and Jon Lester who gets to face the Detroit Tigers. If you read my articles you know how much I love to pick on Jon Lester. This leaves the guy who I believe to be the safest play in cash games tonight…
Dallas Keuchel (14-6, 2.36 ERA) Houston Astros – The first thing I look for when selecting starting pitching is a team who typically strikeout over 20% of the time. Strikeouts equal points, lot’s of points, on all the sites as far as I know. So if you want to compete you need to find a guy who can strikeout batters. In this area I prefer a pitcher with at least a 7.00 k/9 rate or higher.
Dallas Keuchel has been incredible this year. Without a doubt one of the “Fantasy Gems” this season as far as ADP verses value goes in this years drafts. At home he has an outstanding 1.26 ERA and faces the Tampa Bay Rays tonight who strikeout 21.4% of the time verse LHP. Over his last two games (@Oakland 8/7 & Detroit 8/14) he surrendered four Earned Runs over 14.7 innings while striking out eleven batters while only walking three. He is the -170 favorite in a game in Houston with an expected point total of 7.5. The only real negative I see is the Tampa Bay Rays have a .333 wOBA verse LHP and are hitting .321 over the last seven days. This does not scare me off as Dallas Keuchel is more than above average. I will be using him tonight in all my cash games. And pairing him with Noah Syndergaard or Jaime Garcia on two pitcher sites.
Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Tyson Ross – San Diego Padres
- Alex Wood – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Jesse Chavez – Oakland Ahtletics
- Nathan Eovaldi – New York Yankees
- Dallas Keuchel – Houston Astros
- Noah Syndergaard – New York Mets
Corey Kluber – Cleveland Indians
- Jaime Garcia – St. Louis Cardinals (Weather Concerns)
- Mark Buehrle – Toronto Blue Jays
- Keyvius Sampson – Cincinnati Reds (Weather Concerns) (Elite Tournament Play)
Josh Phegley (.269 Avg., 6 HR) Oakland Athletics – Before I begin there is a chance Josh Phegley will not play today. Typically the Athletics start him verse LHP and last night they faced Clayton Kershaw so they rested Stephen Vogt and played Josh Phegley. The thing is, at game time last night today’s Starting Pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers was Mat Latos. Apparently the Dodgers have realized how terrible Latos is because they relegated him to “bullpen” duties for the time being and bumped Alex Wood up to tonight. So I am unclear if they will play him or put Stephen Vogt in on a lefty on lefty match up. I am thinking they will play him as it is 3:35 P.M. game and he does not play on a daily basis. If he does not play I will tweet out my line up change.
People like to think the Oakland Athletics cannot hit lefties. This is not true. Did you know they have five players on their active roster with a wOBA over .300 verse LHP? Well they do and Josh Phegley is at the top of the list at .366. He also has a .315 batting average with four of his 6 Home Runs coming off of lefties. Today he faces Alex Wood who has allowed 10 Earned Runs over his last 17.7 innings pitched. Add in an early start and I am all in on Phegley today against my Dodgers.
Russell Martin (.244 Avg., 15 HR) Toronto Blue Jays – You cannot ignore the Toronto Blue Jays in Daily Fantasy Baseball. They score and they score and then in the ninth inning when they are beating up on a team 11-5 they will put up four more runs just to say, “We are the Blue Jays, take that”.
Russell Martin hits Lefties very well. And by “well” I mean he crushes them to the tune of a .424 wOBA and .310 Batting Average. Today he faces Adam Morgan who has allowed 16 hits and 8 Earned Runs over his last 17.0 innings. Martin is in a bit of slump as of late batting just .218 over the last thirty days but I expect him to bounce back tonight and will be using him in all my cash games. I mean he’s due for big game right?
Adam Lind (.279 Avg., 17 HR) Milwaukee Brewers – The thing about Adam Lind is it seems when I play him he goes 2-for-4, all singles. Then when I do not take him he has a monster night where he goes 4-for-5 with 2 doubles, 2 Home Runs, and 6 RBI’s. I find this a very frustrating aspect. But today he gets a great match up against Tom Koehler who has allowed 11 Earned Runs over his last 17.3 innings. Lind is batting .316 at home with 9 Home Runs this season and I believe he will get another today batting clean up. He had the day off yesterday, he gets my call in cash games today.
Ryan Zimmerman (.224 Avg., 9 HR) Washington Nationals – I am loving me the Washington Nationals tonight. You have a game with a huge expected point total of 10.0. You have a Left Handed pitcher in Jorge De La Rosa who currently has a 6.62 ERA at home. You add these together and it spells “STACK”.
Ryan Zimmerman has been batting clean up lately behind Bryce Harper. He has a .365 wOBA verse LHP and .313 average lifetime with one Home Run off old Jorge. He hasn’t exactly been tearing the cover off the ball lately hitting only .136 over the last seven days but we know he is a way better hitter than this. A little slump might scare some off but it tells me he’s due. For the price of $3900 on Fanduel I am all in.
Scooter Gennett (.256 Avg., 5 HR) Milwaukee Brewers – This goes back to the “punt” play strategy I touched on at the top of the page. We got a minimum priced second baseman in a great match up. He usually bats around the six or seven spot in the line up and hits a respectable .278 verse RHP with a .311 wOBA. He is red hot right now as well batting .500 over the last seven days with three doubles. He may not be Phil Rizzuto but he is the modern day “Scooter” for sure.
Danny Espinosa (.252 Avg., 12 HR) Washington Nationals – You have to admit, we all thought this guys career was dead. I mean he absolutely stunk last season (.219 Avg., 4 HR in 2014). But he has really stepped up and fought hard to secure a playing spot. He is batting .273 with a .339 wOBA verse LHP this year and is also batting .385 with 2 Home Runs over the last seven days. In Colorado tonight? Verse Jorge De La Rosa? Too easy.
Chase Headley (.272 Avg., 9 HR) New York Yankees – Last night I took Alex Rodriguez and walked away with a Grand Slam to secure my 50/50 and other cash games. I still love Alex Rodriguez today but not the price. I do however feel the need to exploit Ervin Santana today who has allowed a whopping 13 Earned Runs in his last 8.3 innings. This is not a typo.
Chase Headley is batting .264 with 6 Home Runs off of RHP this season and carries a .311 wOBA. He is playing in a great hitters park in Yankee stadium and is batting .273 with 3 Doubles and 4 RBI’s over his last seven days. For $2800 on Fanduel I cannot resist.
Lonnie Chisenhall (.244 Avg., 6 HR) Cleveland Indians – I bet you thought Lonnie Chisenhall was gone didn’t you? I did. Well he is back and hitting fairly well. Today he faces Joe Kelly who stinks. He has pitched better of late giving up only 3 Earned Runs over his last 11.3 innings while striking out 13 batters but still has a horrible home ERA of 5.74. Lonnie is batting .438 with 1 Home Run, 1 Double, and 5 RBI’s over the last seven days. Lock him in.
Didi Gregorious (.257 Avg., 5 HR) New York Yankees – It is hard to pass up on a player facing Ervin Santana in a great hitters park for the low price of $2300. Didi is batting .278 with 4 Home Runs verse RHP and has a .302 wOBA. He is in a bit of slump as of late batting only .154 over the last seven days but can you think of a better day to have a break out game? I can’t.
Nick Ahmed (.222 Avg., 7 HR) Arizona Diamondbacks – Did you think I would do an entire line up and not get at least one Arizona Diamondback in verse a horrible lefty like J.A. Happ. If you guessed no you were right. J.A. Happ has allowed 16 hits and 5 Earned runs over his last 9.7 innings. I cannot think of a better time to take Ahmed than today. He has a .349 wOBA verse LHP and gets a great hitters park in PNC (11th in MLB in Home Runs at 1.072) for the near minimum price across the industry.
Delino DeShields Jr. (.263 Avg., 1 HR) Texas Rangers – Delino DeShields has been a pleasant suprise for the Texas Rangers. He gets on base, knocks in runs, and steals bases. He also bats lead off tonight verse Mike Montgomery who has been horrible as of late allowing 12 Earned Runs over his last 6.3 innings. DeShields has a .337 wOBA verse LHP and is batting .240 over his last seven days with 1 Home Run and 3 Stolen Bases. Don’t let the low Batting Average fool you, I expect him to be on base and often today.
Nelson Cruz (.321 Avg., 36 HR) Seattle Mariners – Bad left handed pitching equals put Nelson Cruz in your line up. He has a .371 Batting Average and .479 wOBA verse LHP this season and faces the Horrible Derek Holland today in Texas. He has 3 Home Runs in the last week. This is a no brainer.
Jason Werth (.190 Avg., 3 HR) Washington Nationals – First off, we all know that Jason Werth is a much better hitter than .190. As usual a string of injury has left him on and off the field this season. He historically crushes Left Handed pitching (2013 .350 Avg. & 2014 .331 Avg.). Tonight he gets to hit in Colorado facing a Jorge De La Rosa who he is batting .286 lifetime with 1 Home Run off. This years numbers are not great but with such a high expected point total tonight I have to play him in all formats.
Starling Marte (.284 Avg., 14 HR) Pittsburgh Pirates – You know what, I like Robbie Ray. I have him on several of my yearly teams. He pitches well at home and even better on the road. This thing is, I like Starling Marte verse LHP more. Verse lefties he has a .383 wOBA and is batting .297 with 5 Home Runs. I will agree he could get a better match up I just cannot pass him up for the price ($3,000 on Fanduel). I also think with so much going on elsewhere tonight people might look past him which makes him a great tournament play as well. I will be using him in all formats tonight.
Other Outfielders to look at:
- Jacoby Ellsbury
- Brett Gardner
- Carlos Beltran
- Austin Jackson
- Mark Trumbo
- Ryan Bruan
- A.J. Pollock
- David Peralta
- Chris Colabello
- Jay Bruce
- Michael Brantley (If he plays)
- J.D. Martinez
- Rajai Davis
- Jorge Soler
- Preston Tucker
- Michael Taylor
- Charlie Blackmon
- Carlos Gonzalez
- Mike Trout (Always)
- Washington Nationals
- Toronto Blue Jays
- Cleveland Indians
- Colorado Rockies
- St. Louis Cardinals (Weather Concerns)
- Detroit Tigers
This was my first week writing in my new office (Pictured Above) and I have felt a bit out of sorts. Good Luck tonight and I will see you next week for some more Daily Fantasy Baseball picks.
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