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It is hard to believe it is September already. As a matter of fact its as if the world has completely forgotten about Baseball. Last time I checked it was not over, right? If it is can someone please send me a message and tell me the Dodgers won the World Series. Everything is Football, Football, Football. Ok, I am just as guilty. I have already partaken in nine auction drafts in the Yahoo Pro Leagues. I will long go down in history as the “So Called Fantasy Expert” who paid $40 for Stephen Gostkowski. WHAT? You have to be thinking did I just read that right? Let me explain…

I was working on a blog I have been putting a few minutes work into now and then when I have a few to spare. I just so happened to be in the middle of this at the time my draft started. So, I figured, no big deal. I will do both at once. It’s an auction draft. I will just glance over and when guys I like come up I will bid, otherwise I will continue writing. Sounds easy right? Well up comes my turn to nominate. I throw out Andrew Luck which I have been doing with my first selection all draft season to try and get some people to spend way to much on him. It worked. He went for $36. I gave my self a big pat on the back and thought I was in for an easy night with this lot. Here is the problem. My cursor was still flashing in the box where you enter your bid. I look over at my unfinished thought I was writing about the lack of Baseball Cards in the year 1940. The 19 was already there. I was mid stroke when my selection came up. So I entered the “40”. Then a feeling of horror came over me. I heard the sound of a bid being registered and saw that yours truly bid $40 on Stephen Gostkowski, The New England Patriot’s kicker. Even the guy who paid $36 for Andrew Luck put a big “WTF” in the chat box. I was completely disheartened. I had $160 left and a kicker. I left the draft and figured for $20 I would let the auto-pick function take care of the rest for me. Why waste an hour and half I do not have for this? So like every competitor I got up this morning, sucked it up, and did a few add/drops to try and improve the team somewhat.

So, there it is. My worst draft mistake ever. If you have one you want to share hit me up on Twitter or Facebook. Maybe an idea for a future SCFE article.

Daily Fantasy Baseball tip of the day

Now that we are nearing the end of the season I want to stay on the research tips. So last week we did Batter Versus Pitcher, this week let’s talk about splits. The biggest mistake I believe people make is they look at and use overall numbers. Combined batting average, wOBA, ERA, Strikeouts, etc. This is useless in Daily Fantasy Baseball. When selecting hitters and pitchers you should be looking at everything match-up specific. If Mark Trumbo is facing a right-handed pitcher then you should be looking at stats pertaining to how he hits verse right-handed pitching only. If you are looking at a pitcher like lets say the left-handed David Price then you should be looking at the opposing teams numbers pertaining to his throwing arm, or how well they hit left-handed pitching. Now on to Daily Fantasy Baseball…

Today’s FanDuel Strategy

This has been a crazy week, me and my family moved last Friday and I left for the Fantasy Cup at Monmouth Park in New Jersey early Saturday morning, all while running a bar, and writing three other articles. Today the kids start school so I had to leave my office to go see them off, it is their first day. Somethings are more important than Daily Fantasy Baseball. Not many, but a few.

So the word today that sums up the schedule is “options”. There are starting pitchers galore for both cash game play and GPP. Masahiro Tanaka, Matt Harvey, Scott Kazmir, Max Scherzer, Michael Wacha, Clayton Kershaw, and Cole Hamels are all on the mound today in decent match-ups. This means the strategy of the day is to spend up on pitching and look for them key “value” bats we always talk about while trying to get a hitter or two from the Colorado game tonight in our line ups. This is where I will turn to the powers that be in Las Vegas in all their wisdom to find key bats.

We currently have seven games tonight with an expected point total of 8.0 or higher. They are:

  • New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox 8.5
  • Tampa Bay Rays @ Baltimore Orioles 8.0
  • Cleveland Indians @ Toronto Blue Jays 9.0
  • Detroit Tigers @ Kansas City Royals 8.0
  • Pittsburgh Pirates @ Milwaukee Brewers 8.5
  • Chicago White Sox @ Minnesota Twins 8.0
  • Arizona Diamondbacks @ Colorado Rockies 11.0

Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks for Wednesday, September 2nd

Starting Pitching

Sonny Gray (12-6, 2.13 ERA) Oakland Athletics $10,600 – Anyone have any complaints in yearly leagues about Sonny Gray? Anyone? Cue Crickets. He has lived up to every bit of his ADP. A lot of people were high on him and for good reason. I am sad to say that in all my leagues I missed this boat.

Today he faces the Los Angeles Angeles of Anaheim who have a low .308 wOBA verse RHP. If you do not think this is low I will put it in perspective, they are tied for 21st with the Chicago White Sox. I am not sure what is going on with them right now but they are in a hell of a slump. Over the last 14 days they are only batting .236 with a pathetic .281 wOBA.

Sonny boy continues to pitch well. Over the last 14 days he has 2.70 ERA with 14 strikeouts over 20 innings. He has a 7.43/K9 rate and 2.13 Ground Ball to Fly Ball ratio. He gets a positive park shift pitching at home in Oakland. He gets my call in the early slate cash games.

Cole Hamels (8-8, 3.69 ERA) Texas Rangers $10,700 – Everyone is going to own Clayton Kershaw tonight. He is on fire right now. The problem is, as a Dodger fan I feel the woes all too often of being bashed by the San Francisco Giants when you least expect it. But without a doubt he is the top option today if you can afford him. I cannot. I might also add the Giants are 27th in Major League Baseball in strikeouts verse LHP.

I always get beat up on by the San Diego Padres. One of the worst teams in Baseball seems to pound my starting pitching every time I go against them. This cannot go on forever. The San Diego Padres are fourth in the bigs in strikeouts verse LHP doing so at a rate of 23.2% and have a low wOBA of .294. Today they face Cole Hamels who over the last 14 days has a 1.93 ERA and 12 strikeouts over 14 innings. It is simple math. You take a 9.37/K9 rate and mix in a team with a 23.2% strikeout rate, and you get lots of points. For the discount I am rolling him out in all my cash games tonight.

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Early Slate

  1. Sonny Gray $10,600
  2. Masahiro Tanaka $9,300
  3. Raisel Iglesias $8,200 (Tournament only)

Late Slate

  1. Clayton Kershaw $13,300
  2. Cole Hamels $10,700
  3. Max Scherzer $10,800
  4. Matt Harvey $11,500
  5. Michael Wacha $9,400
  6. Scott Kazmir $9,600
  7. Taijuan Walker $6,700 (Tournament Only)

Catcher

Josh Phegley (.262 Avg., 7 HR) Oakland Athletics $2,700 – It feels like I just made this pick a week or two ago. Not much in the early slate in the way of catchers. Phegley has slumped a bit lately batting only .143 over last seven days but he has a .354 wOBA and bats .297 verse LHP. Today he faces Andrew Heaney who has allowed 8 earned runs over his last 9.3 innings.

Victor Martinez (.237 Avg., 9 HR) Detroit Tigers $2,300 – Can you believe how cheap he is? Well it probably has something to do with 3-for-26 slump with two walks. He has been horrible at the plate as of late but we know he gives us huge upside. He faces the RED HOT Yordano Ventura today who I believe is due for a bad outing. Martinez is designed to be more of a “punt” play tonight to save money on a position I do not see any need to spend up on. He is also 4-for-10 lifetime with two home runs off of Ventura if that sways you.

First Baseman

Joey Votto (.315 Avg., 26 HR) Cincinnati Reds $4,600 – Jason Hammel has been good lately. As a matter of fact over his last two starts he has allowed 5 earned runs over 11.3 innings while striking out 13. Today he faces the hotter Joey Votto who is batting .450 with two home runs over the last seven days. He has .435 wOBA and is batting .306 verse RHP. Lack of selection bumps him to the one spot.

Paul Goldschmidt (.322 Avg., 27 HR) Arizona Diamondbacks $5,500 – Amazing that I am paying this much for any player. The fact is he provides the highest upside on the board tonight in my opinion and is almost a must play in Coors Field facing Jon Gray who has allowed 10 earned runs over his last 6 innings. Do I really need to mention the .408 wOBA and .306 batting average verse RHP?

Second Baseman

Skip Schumaker (.223 Avg., 0 HR) Cincinnati Reds $2,200 – This is a great punt play today, you have a guy who bats .291 verse RHP in a platoon advantage today for the minimum price. He usually bats towards the top of the order and is swinging the bat well batting .357 over the last seven days. He usually starts these early games and should today.

Kelly Johnson (.259 Avg., 12 HR) New York Mets $2,200 – What’s not to love about this match up. He is dirt cheap facing Aaron Nola who has pitched well above his means. Tonight he faces the New York Mets red hot bats. Johnson is minimum priced and gets the platoon advantage today. He has a .316 wOBA verse RHP and on a day when you are looking for value he is a great option.

Third Baseman

Todd Frazier (.262 Avg., 30 HR) Cincinnati Reds $2,500 – $2,500? Are you kidding me. How can you possibly pick any other player at this position with this value? He provides double digit scoring upside and remains a great play this week just like the last. He has a .334 wOBA and has picked it up a little batting .304 with one home run over the last 14.

Jake Lamb (.270 Avg., 5 HR) Arizona Diamondbacks $3,600 – Trying to find some Coors fields bats to get a piece of that 11 point over/under? Well here is a great option at third base. He bats fifth most nights tonight in the best hitters park in baseball. He gets the platoon advantage and is fair priced. He has a .277 batting average and decent .321 wOBA verse RHP. Against Jon Gray? In Colorado? Must play.

Shortstop

Eugenio Suarez (.280 Avg., 11 HR) Cincinnati Reds $2,700 – I do not see a lot of value today at the Shortstop position. But I do see a lot of value in the Reds today. Call it a hunch but I just feel like they are in a for a big game so I am trying to get as much exposure to them as possible. Suarez has been a real pleasant surprise batting at the top of the order. He provides a big bat for little money. He has a .323 wOBA and is batting a cool .282 verse RHP this year. He is in a bit of slump batting only .100 with 2 home runs in the last seven days. I would not be surprised if today makes three.

Alcides Escobar (.260 Avg., 3 HR) Kansas City Royals $2,200 – There is not a ton to say here. He bats lead off and historically hits lefties well. For the minimum price on a night like tonight when you are trying to save seems to easy. Why not take a flyer facing an old man like Randy Wolf? Did I mention he has two home runs in the last 30 days? Take a chance.

Outfielders

Chris Young (.245 Avg., 14 HR) New York Yankees $3,000 – It seems whenever the Yankees face a Lefty you have to play Chris Young. He has .331 batting average and incredible .417 wOBA verse LHP. He should bat at the top of the order somewhere facing the young Henry Owens who has been way better than he should be.

Dexter Fowler (.257 Avg., 15 HR) Chicago Cubs $3,700 – Now typically you want to play Fowler against LHP as his batting average is almost .100 points higher (.321 LHP, .236 RHP). I also like Raisel Iglesias today as a GPP play. So why take Fowler today? Iglesias is prone to the big inning. He gets a ton of strikeouts but will allow four earned runs. Fowler is red hot batting .364 with 1 home run over the lat 7 days. As a matter of fact he has 5 home runs in the last month and he will bat lead off which gives you the chance at an extra at-bat.

Ender Inciarte (.301 Avg., 4 HR) Arizona Diamondbacks $3,800 – The Arizona Diamondbacks without a doubt have one of the best outfields in Major League Baseball. They just keep pounding opposing pitchers. Inciarte has a .328 batting average and .348 wOBA verse RHP facing Jon Gray tonight. He is also red hot batting .379 with four RBI’s over the last seven. He should hit clean up and will be in all my line ups both GPP and cash.

Joc Pederson (.213 Avg., 24 HR) Los Angeles Dodgers $2,200 – Talk about a slump. This kid went from hitting a home run almost every day to just being an absolute train wreck. With all the injury he is back in mix again. He is minimum priced and has been getting into the six spot in the order. He gets the platoon advantage at home verse Jake Peavy who has allowed 10 earned runs in his last 18 innings and RHB are batting .286 off of him. Lot’s of upside on this play or an 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

Other Outfielders to look at:

  • Jay Bruce
  • Kyle Schwarber
  • Mark Canha
  • Jose Bautista
  • Chris Colabello
  • Gregory Polanco
  • Ryan Braun
  • Melky Cabrera
  • A.J. Pollock
  • David Peralta
  • Charlie Blackmon
  • Carlos Gonzalez
  • Mitch Moreland
  • Andre Ethier

Stacks

  1. Arizona Diamondbacks
  2. Colorado Rockies
  3. Cincinnati Reds
  4. Toronto Blue Jays
  5. Milwaukee Brewers

Sneaky Stacks

  1. Oakland Athletics
  2. Minnesota Twins

Well guys that is for me for this week. Good luck and I hope we all win tonight. Unless it comes down to me and you. Then I hope I win.

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Jerry Colvin

So Called Fantasy Expert, writer at www.fantasyalarm.com, bar owner, father, husband, sports card investor, and in his spare time he answers questions for www.draftvalet.com.
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