Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: MLB DraftKings Strategy, Primer for May 9

With a handful of aces on the board who aren't performing to their ability, daily fantasy baseball players might be better off spending their money elsewhere Saturday.

Big names like Madison Bumgarner, Clayton Kershaw and Johnny Cueto have all put together huge games and are always capable of more, but they have each been inconsistent this season. If you add some sleepers in your lineup instead of spending money on these stars, you could be better off with a deeper lineup.

Regardless of your strategy, here is a look at some quality options for your May 9 team.

 

Pitchers to Start

Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros ($8,600)

The start of the year has been as good as Dallas Keuchel possibly could have imagined. The 27-year-old pitcher currently has a 0.80 ERA in six games and hasn't allowed more than one run in the past four starts.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports thinks he has been the best pitcher in the league to this point:

It's obviously difficult to sustain this level of success, but he is showing no signs of slowing down, and fantasy owners should stay on the bandwagon as long as he's performing well.

 

Jake Odorizzi, Tampa Bay Rays ($7,500)

All six of Jake Odorizzi's starts to this point have been against the American League East, and he has survived to the tune of a 2.21 ERA. Although the Texas Rangers have come alive lately, this lineup should still be easier to face than any the pitcher has seen to this point.

With his ability to keep opponents off the basepaths (0.89 WHIP), Odorizzi should be able to keep putting up zeroes. 

 

Pitcher to Avoid

Julio Teheran, Atlanta Braves ($9,000)

The Washington Nationals struggled in the early part of the season, but the lineup is coming alive as it continues to get healthy. This is bad news for any pitcher facing them, including Saturday's starter Julio Teheran.

In six appearances, the Braves star only has three quality starts while struggling with his control. Until he gets more consistent, it might be best to avoid Teheran for the current price.

 

Hitters to Start

Yasmani Grandal, C, Los Angeles Dodgers ($4,200)

One game will make Yasmani Grandal's stats look much better as he finished Thursday with four hits, two home runs and eight RBI. However, it's important to note the catcher has been performing well for a while with a consistent approach at the plate.

Competing in the hitter-friendly Coors Field will only give him a better chance of putting up some big numbers.

 

Dee Gordon, 2B, Miami Marlins ($4,200)

It's important to see if he is starting as Dee Gordon who was held out of Friday's game with a leg injury, but if he is in the Marlins lineup you need to have him in yours.

Gordon has been incredible this season with a .437 batting average and has been even better as of late, via Ace of Stats:

Although he doesn't provide much power, his consistency and ability to steal bases makes him a great option at second base.

 

Hitter to Avoid

Edwin Encarnacion, 1B, Toronto Blue Jays ($5,200)

Boston Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly has struggled this season, which makes selecting Toronto Blue Jays hitters especially appealing Saturday. However, Edwin Encarnacion has the cost of one of the top hitters in the game without playing like it this season.

Even though he is back over the Mendoza Line, he hasn't shown much power all year and would represent a big risk to break out in his next game.

 

Team to Stack

Boston Red Sox

Drew Hutchison has not fared well over his past few starts. After allowing six earned runs in each of the last two games, the Toronto Blue Jays pitcher has a 7.47 ERA with a 1.60 WHIP. He has now allowed at least four earned runs in four of his six appearances.

In a park that has historically been a good one to hit home runs, the Boston Red Sox should be able to put up some big numbers against the struggling Hutchinson. 

 

Note: All prices courtesy of DraftKings. Unless otherwise noted, all stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com. 


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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: MLB DraftKings Strategy, Primer for May 5

While looking for upside is important for your daily fantasy baseball team, you want to pick players you can trust.

Although the first month is littered with fluke stats and small sample size results, we are now getting to see which players are for real. Whether they have had good numbers or not, you need to be able to predict the ones who will succeed in the future.

Based on what we have seen to this point, these are players to pick and avoid in Tuesday's contests.

 

Pitchers to Draft

Danny Salazar, Cleveland Indians ($8,600)

A pitcher who can rack up strikeouts makes a bad start tolerable and turns a good game into a great one. Danny Salazar has helped fantasy owners in this way so far with 28 strikeouts in 19 innings over three starts.

Considering the youngster finished last season with 9.82 strikeouts per nine innings, you can trust this to keep up as he helps out your team.

 

Michael Pineda, New York Yankees ($7,600)

While Michael Pineda hasn't exactly had huge games so far this year, he has been better than his 3.73 ERA would indicate. Thanks to a 32-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio, he has an FIP of 2.20 to rank among the best in the majors.

He has been a bit unlucky this year, but this is a chance to get great value for a talented pitcher before his price starts going up.

 

Pitchers to Avoid

Jeff Samardzija, Chicago White Sox ($8,700)

The last start was certainly a strange one. The Chicago White Sox were forced to play in an empty stadium against the Baltimore Orioles due to rioting within the city. This resulted in a miserable game for Jeff Samardzija where he allowed seven earned runs.

After explaining his disappointment from a competitive side, the pitcher told Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune his thoughts on pushing it out of his mind:

The other side of me looks at it for what it was from afar – a unique game and unique situation. For me, it was about that routine and being off for over a week, and that's why it's easy to turn the page and move on to the next one. ... You want to get back in that rhythm and get in that five-, six-day routine.

Even if he can bounce back mentally, Samardzija hasn't been great all year, allowing a lot of hits and striking few people out. Going against a solid Detroit Tigers lineup, you might as well avoid the risk.

 

Chad Billingsley, Philadelphia Phillies ($7,300)

Tuesday will be Chad Billingsley's first start of the season and his first appearance in the majors since April of 2013. Even if he pitches well, it's unlikely the staff will allow him to throw too many pitches after such a long break.

There are way too many other safer picks available at similar prices to go with this much of a risk.

 

Hitters to Draft

Lucas Duda, New York Mets ($4,000)

Although he only has two home runs this year, Lucas Duda is becoming a better all-around hitter. His batting average is up to .304 from .253 last season. It's only a matter of time before he starts knocking balls out of the park.

Against Bud Norris and his 12.18 ERA, Duda could be in for big things.

 

Stephen Vogt, C, Oakland Athletics ($3,900)

Trevor May has been a solid pitcher for the Minnesota Twins, but his 4.43 ERA is nothing spectacular. This means he shouldn't be able to slow down Stephen Vogt, one of the top hitters in baseball so far this season.

The left-handed hitter has been crushing righties this year and should be ready for another huge day at a premium position.

 

Hitters to Avoid

Ryan Braun, OF, Milwaukee Brewers ($4,500)

Although Ryan Braun has been coming alive at the plate a bit lately with his power stroke, he is still struggling with his consistency. That isn't likely to change against Zack Greinke, who has held Braun to one hit in seven at-bats against him.

 

Mark Trumbo, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks ($5,200)

Every at-bat for Mark Trumbo represents a chance for a long home run. However, the current cost puts him among the best hitters in baseball, and he simply hasn't been that this season.

If you're going to take a long-shot bet on your team, make it a cheaper one.

 

Team to Stack

Houston Astros

This has been one of the hottest teams in baseball with Jose Altuve, Jake Marisnick and George Springer putting up huge numbers. The players aren't just getting hits, they are also stealing bases and getting runs.

There is no reason for this to stop Tuesday at home against former Astros pitcher Wandy Rodriguez.

 

Note: All prices courtesy of DraftKings. Unless otherwise noted, all stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com. 


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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: MLB DraftKings Ideal Lineup Picks for May 4

In a day with a lot of high-priced talent for both hitters and pitchers, it's important to find value across the board as well.

Daily fantasy baseball competitors will remain in good shape drafting guys like Felix Hernandez, Clayton Kershaw, Paul Goldschmidt and Mike Trout, but here is a look at cheaper options who could give you some value on May 4.

 

Pitchers

Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros ($8,000)

The Houston Astros are the hottest team in baseball with 10 wins in a row, a streak that could continue against the Texas Rangers and one of the worst records in the league. They certainly will be in good shape with Dallas Keuchel on the mound, who has been incredibly consistent lately, according to Richard Justice of MLB.com:

Although he isn't likely to keep up his 0.73 ERA for the entire season, the value is there to keep betting on the red-hot player and team for as long as this lasts.

 

Carlos Martinez, St. Louis Cardinals ($7,600)

It seems Carlos Martinez is going to be sticking around in the Cardinals rotation. In four starts, the former reliever has gone at least six innings while giving up two or fewer runs each time out.

The 23-year-old pitcher clearly has a lot of talent, and St. Louis is going to keep taking advantage of it. Look for Martinez to try to lower his current 1.73 ERA while going for his fourth victory in a row.

 

Hitters

Alex Rodriguez, 3B, New York Yankees ($3,800)

You might not like him, but that has nothing to do with making money in daily fantasy. The fact remains that Alex Rodriguez has done a good job getting big hits this year and can be extremely productive with a home run or two.

Monday will represent a good opportunity for the veteran hitter, as he faces R.A. Dickey, a struggling pitcher who has allowed Rodriguez to go 8-for-24 against him in his career. Even the knuckleball shouldn't prevent a big game from the talented veteran.

 

Dee Gordon, 2B, Miami Marlins ($4,500)

Second base is usually a spot to save some money, especially with players like Devon Travis and D.J. LeMahieu available. However, Dee Gordon has been simply unstoppable this year and even better over the past week.

In his last eight games, Gordon has gone an incredible 20-for-31 (.645 batting average) with four stolen bases. With Jordan Zimmermann not quite pitching to his ability yet this season, Gordon can keep up his ridiculous run.

 

Joc Pederson, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers ($4,300)

Not only has Joc Pederson been absolutely crushing the ball lately, but he will now get more chances to contribute at the top of the order for the Dodgers. Just as importantly, he is focused on keeping up his recent success.

"I still need to put together quality at-bats," Pederson told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. "It's a long season. It's not how you start, it's how you finish."

With his recent power surge and a favorable matchup against Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Kyle Lohse, this could be a good chance for another big day.

 

Team to Stack: Toronto Blue Jays

New York Yankees pitcher Chase Whitley was solid in his first start of the year, holding the Tampa Bay Rays to just one run in five innings. However, his 5.23 ERA from last season shows he is unlikely to keep it up.

This could be big for the Toronto Blue Jays, who have had arguably the best offense in baseball. With power-hitting threats like Jose Bautista ($5,500), Josh Donaldson ($5,100), Russell Martin ($4,700), Devon Travis ($4,000) and others, you could end up getting a lot of points if these players go deep.

 

Note: All prices courtesy of DraftKings. Unless otherwise noted, all stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com. 


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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: MLB DraftKings Strategy, Primer for May 2

As we get deeper into the MLB regular season, it becomes easier to tell which players will be consistent performers and which were flukes. This is important to consider when filling out your daily fantasy team.

The players who succeeded in a small sample size are starting to fall back to earth, which means it might be time to avoid them. However, those who have kept up their play to this point might now be able to be trusted, especially if they are still cheap.

Value is the most important thing if you want to win, so here is a look at the best and worst picks for May 2.

 

Top Pitchers to Draft

Collin McHugh, Houston Astros ($7,900)

After a breakout season last year, Collin McHugh is proving he is for real this time around. In four starts he has a 3-0 record and a 2.92 ERA thanks in part to his 23 strikeouts to just four walks.

As good as Nelson Cruz has been to start the year, the Seattle Mariners lineup isn't all that scary. McHugh should be able to take care of business at home.

 

Dan Haren, Miami Marlins ($6,900)

It seems this season you will be in good shape most nights picking the pitcher facing the Philadelphia Phillies. The struggling squad is averaging just 2.8 runs per game and is in the midst of a four-game losing streak.

Considering Dan Haren is off to a solid start to the year with a 3.38 ERA in four games, this should be a good chance for another quality start.

 

Pitchers to Avoid

Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies ($10,000)

For this price, a starter better be a sure thing to give you a lot of points. Cole Hamels simply can't guarantee that at this stage of his career.

The 31-year-old pitcher has allowed at least four runs in two of his five starts, allowing a total of seven home runs in this stretch. Add this to the fact he is unlikely to get many wins with the Phillies this year, and this is a bet you shouldn't make.

 

Miguel Gonzalez, Baltimore Orioles ($9,000)

The Orioles are likely satisfied with what Miguel Gonzalez has provided in his four starts, especially his 10-strikeout performance against the New York Yankees in early April. However, this is the only start where he has been a true breakout fantasy player.

This makes his jump in price insane considering he hadn't cost more than $6,400 in any start to this point in the year. He would be a solid value pick in most situations, but this isn't one of them.

 

Top Hitters to Draft

DJ LeMahieu, 2B, Colorado Rockies ($3,200)

Although DJ LeMahieu probably won't bat .400 for the season, the fact he is still flirting with this average is pretty impressive. The young second baseman has been one of the biggest surprises of the 2015 season, and you should continue to ride the hot hand as long as possible.

For a ridiculously cheap price, this is worth the bet.

 

Jake Marisnick, OF, Houston Astros ($3,900)

If you don't have LeMahieu as your biggest surprise, Jake Marisnick might have that distinction. With a home run Friday, the outfielder now has a nine-game hitting streak that includes both power and speed as he racks up extra-base hits and stolen bases.

Even if opposing pitcher Taijuan Walker continues to pitch well, Marisnick should continue to put up good numbers.

 

Hitters to Avoid

Jose Bautista, OF, Toronto Blue Jays ($4,800)

With three doubles in the last two games, Jose Bautista is finally coming alive for the season. However, he still has just a .188 batting average for the season. You pretty much need a home run from him to justify his cost, and that will not be easy against Corey Kluber.

 

Alex Gordon, OF, Kansas City Royals ($4,200)

You usually want to draft a hot hitter, and Alex Gordon is as hot as they come with multi-hit games in five of his last eight starts. However, he has struggled this season against lefties and will face one of the toughest in the game in David Price.

Waiting for another day might be a better option.

 

Team to Stack

New York Yankees

Red Sox pitcher Wade Miley has struggled immensely this season, failing to make it out of the third inning in two of his four starts. He comes into Saturday with an 8.62 ERA, allowing seven earned runs in his only home start.

This is good news for the Yankees, who will get a chance to light up Miley in the hitter-friendly Fenway Park.

While you might be concerned about the amount of lefties in New York's lineup going against the southpaw, Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury are a combined 18-for-44 (.409) against lefties this year, while Chris Young has absolutely crushed them to the tune of .476 with three home runs.

 

Note: All prices courtesy of DraftKings. Unless otherwise noted, all stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com. 


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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: Best MLB DFS DraftKings Lineup for April 29

A high number of day games means you have to be prepared early for your Wednesday daily fantasy lineup.

Seven games begin before 7 p.m. ET, which means there are plenty of contests to take advantage of throughout the day. However, you get more options from all-day events, assuming you remember to check each team's starting lineup before the rosters lock.

Here is a look at one optimal DraftKings lineup with a few additional options at each position.

 

Starting Pitchers

Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners ($10,600)

After dealing with a groin injury two starts ago, Felix Hernandez is back to his dominant self. His last start was outstanding, as he struck out nine in a five-hit shutout. He thought he could do even better based on his stuff, via Greg Johns of MLB.com:

Pitching in Arlington is rarely easy, but Hernandez is just about as safe as they come for pitchers.

 

Carlos Martinez, St. Louis Cardinals ($7,200)

When you put a talented pitcher against a struggling lineup, the results can be great for your fantasy team. Carlos Martinez has allowed only three total runs in 19 innings as a starter this yearstatistics that should only improve after he faces the punchless Philadelphia Phillies.

  • Gerrit Cole, Pittsburgh Pirates ($8,800)
  • Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros ($8,200)
  • Michael Pineda, New York Yankees ($7,400)
  • Jesse Hahn, Oakland Athletics ($6,000)

 

Catcher

Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals ($3,400)

The entire Royals lineup has been hitting well this season, including catcher Salvador Perez. With three hits Tuesday, the young batter is now up to .333 for the year and always remains a threat for runs and RBI in a deep lineup.

  • Stephen Vogt, Oakland Athletics ($3,700)
  • A.J. Pierzynski, Atlanta Braves ($2,900)

 

First Base

David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox ($4,500)

Facing knuckleballer R.A. Dickey isn't easy if you haven't faced him before, but David Ortiz has shown in the past that he has no problem with the unique pitch. In his career, he has gone 6-for-18 with two home runs and a 1.178 OPS against the Toronto Blue Jays pitcher, according to ESPN.com.

Even though Ortiz hasn't been great this year, this could be a chance to break out.

  • Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers ($4,900)
  • Lucas Duda, New York Mets ($4,200)

 

Second Base

Devon Travis, Toronto Blue Jays ($3,800)

The Blue Jays are a team you might want to stack Wednesday due to the struggles of Rick Porcello, but, either way, Devon Travis should be in your lineup at second base. He has been red-hot all season long and should remain a top option as long as his production stays greater than his cost.

  • Dee Gordon, Miami Marlins ($4,500)
  • D.J. LeMahieu, Colorado Rockies ($3,800)

 

Third Base

Jose Iglesias, Detroit Tigers ($3,200)

The only concern for Jose Iglesias is his usual spot near the bottom of the batting order. That said, the 25-year-old has been one of the top hitters in baseball this season and is part of an elite lineup from top to bottom. He is a good bet to at least get on base a few times and provide some points for cheap.

  • Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays ($5,000)
  • Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs ($4,400)

 

Shortstop

Zack Cozart, Cincinnati Reds ($3,700)

Matt Garza got his first quality start in four chances last time out, but the Milwaukee Brewers pitcher has a 5.16 ERA on the year and is struggling to get on track. That leaves a good opportunity for all Reds hitters, including Zack Cozart. The shortstop hasn't always been the best hitter, but a current .297 batting average puts him on pace for the best season of his career.

  • Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs ($3,900)
  • Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox ($3,400)

 

Outfielders

Nelson Cruz, Seattle Mariners ($5,500)

Although he costs a big portion of your budget, it's hard to bet against Nelson Cruz at this moment. He leads the league in home runs and is as much of a threat to go deep as anyone in the league.

If you're going to spend big money on any hitter, this is the one you want.

 

Billy Hamilton, Cincinnati Reds ($4,500)

As I previously mentioned, Garza's struggles could allow Billy Hamilton to get on base. That is all that's necessary for a player who already has 13 stolen bases on the year. His ability to swipe bases and score from anywhere always makes Hamilton a threat for a big day.

 

Brock Holt, Boston Red Sox ($3,100)

This pick will depend on whether Brock Holt is in the lineup, which is not always the case. After going 0-for-7 in the last two games, a day off might not be out of the question. However, he managed to get two walks in that stretch and has a .458 on-base percentage for the year, making him a quality option for your fantasy team.

  • Kole Calhoun, Los Angeles Angels ($4,700)
  • Brett Gardner, New York Yankees ($4,600)
  • Joc Pederson, Los Angeles Dodgers ($4,000)
  • Juan Lagares, New York Mets ($3,700)

 

Note: All prices courtesy of DraftKings. Unless otherwise noted, all stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com. 


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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: Best MLB DFS DraftKings Lineup for April 29

A high number of day games means you have to be prepared early for your Wednesday daily fantasy lineup.

Seven games begin before 7 p.m. ET, which means there are plenty of contests to take advantage of throughout the day. However, you get more options from all-day events, assuming you remember to check each team's starting lineup before the rosters lock.

Here is a look at one optimal DraftKings lineup with a few additional options at each position.

 

Starting Pitchers

Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners ($10,600)

After dealing with a groin injury two starts ago, Felix Hernandez is back to his dominant self. His last start was outstanding, as he struck out nine in a five-hit shutout. He thought he could do even better based on his stuff, via Greg Johns of MLB.com:

Pitching in Arlington is rarely easy, but Hernandez is just about as safe as they come for pitchers.

 

Carlos Martinez, St. Louis Cardinals ($7,200)

When you put a talented pitcher against a struggling lineup, the results can be great for your fantasy team. Carlos Martinez has allowed only three total runs in 19 innings as a starter this yearstatistics that should only improve after he faces the punchless Philadelphia Phillies.

  • Gerrit Cole, Pittsburgh Pirates ($8,800)
  • Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros ($8,200)
  • Michael Pineda, New York Yankees ($7,400)
  • Jesse Hahn, Oakland Athletics ($6,000)

 

Catcher

Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals ($3,400)

The entire Royals lineup has been hitting well this season, including catcher Salvador Perez. With three hits Tuesday, the young batter is now up to .333 for the year and always remains a threat for runs and RBI in a deep lineup.

  • Stephen Vogt, Oakland Athletics ($3,700)
  • A.J. Pierzynski, Atlanta Braves ($2,900)

 

First Base

David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox ($4,500)

Facing knuckleballer R.A. Dickey isn't easy if you haven't faced him before, but David Ortiz has shown in the past that he has no problem with the unique pitch. In his career, he has gone 6-for-18 with two home runs and a 1.178 OPS against the Toronto Blue Jays pitcher, according to ESPN.com.

Even though Ortiz hasn't been great this year, this could be a chance to break out.

  • Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers ($4,900)
  • Lucas Duda, New York Mets ($4,200)

 

Second Base

Devon Travis, Toronto Blue Jays ($3,800)

The Blue Jays are a team you might want to stack Wednesday due to the struggles of Rick Porcello, but, either way, Devon Travis should be in your lineup at second base. He has been red-hot all season long and should remain a top option as long as his production stays greater than his cost.

  • Dee Gordon, Miami Marlins ($4,500)
  • D.J. LeMahieu, Colorado Rockies ($3,800)

 

Third Base

Jose Iglesias, Detroit Tigers ($3,200)

The only concern for Jose Iglesias is his usual spot near the bottom of the batting order. That said, the 25-year-old has been one of the top hitters in baseball this season and is part of an elite lineup from top to bottom. He is a good bet to at least get on base a few times and provide some points for cheap.

  • Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays ($5,000)
  • Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs ($4,400)

 

Shortstop

Zack Cozart, Cincinnati Reds ($3,700)

Matt Garza got his first quality start in four chances last time out, but the Milwaukee Brewers pitcher has a 5.16 ERA on the year and is struggling to get on track. That leaves a good opportunity for all Reds hitters, including Zack Cozart. The shortstop hasn't always been the best hitter, but a current .297 batting average puts him on pace for the best season of his career.

  • Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs ($3,900)
  • Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox ($3,400)

 

Outfielders

Nelson Cruz, Seattle Mariners ($5,500)

Although he costs a big portion of your budget, it's hard to bet against Nelson Cruz at this moment. He leads the league in home runs and is as much of a threat to go deep as anyone in the league.

If you're going to spend big money on any hitter, this is the one you want.

 

Billy Hamilton, Cincinnati Reds ($4,500)

As I previously mentioned, Garza's struggles could allow Billy Hamilton to get on base. That is all that's necessary for a player who already has 13 stolen bases on the year. His ability to swipe bases and score from anywhere always makes Hamilton a threat for a big day.

 

Brock Holt, Boston Red Sox ($3,100)

This pick will depend on whether Brock Holt is in the lineup, which is not always the case. After going 0-for-7 in the last two games, a day off might not be out of the question. However, he managed to get two walks in that stretch and has a .458 on-base percentage for the year, making him a quality option for your fantasy team.

  • Kole Calhoun, Los Angeles Angels ($4,700)
  • Brett Gardner, New York Yankees ($4,600)
  • Joc Pederson, Los Angeles Dodgers ($4,000)
  • Juan Lagares, New York Mets ($3,700)

 

Note: All prices courtesy of DraftKings. Unless otherwise noted, all stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com. 


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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: MLB DraftKings Strategy, Primer for April 25

With few aces in action on Saturday, we could be in for some high-scoring baseball games and a wild day in daily fantasy.

This type of schedule creates an even bigger necessity of picking the right pitcher, while there are also plenty of opportunities to stack your lineup against a weaker one. Here is a complete look at advice of who to pick and who to avoid for April 24.

 

Pitchers to Draft

Trevor Bauer, Cleveland Indians ($7,800)

Although Trevor Bauer had a few disappointing seasons after coming into the league as a highly regarded prospect, he is finally showing that potential this season, as Bob Nightengale of USA Today noted:

There are still issues with control, but he has been racking up strikeouts at a high rate and keeping runs off the board—two things that lead to a big fantasy day.

With the Detroit Tigers coming back to earth after an impressive start, this is a good chance to get a huge day for a reasonable price.

 

Shelby Miller, Atlanta Braves ($7,300)

It's easy to gain fans in a new location when you pitch like Shelby Miller. The former St. Louis Cardinals starter has allowed three runs in his first three starts for the Braves, earning victories in two of them.

Although his inability to go deep into games remains an issue, he still has an impressive 1.69 ERA and a .211 batting average against. Going up against the hapless Philadelphia Phillies lineup should allow him to continue his recent success.

 

Pitchers to Avoid

CC Sabathia, New York Yankees ($8,400)

Although CC Sabathia might not deserve his 0-3 record, he hasn't exactly set the world on fire in his first three starts. Even his most recent performance where he allowed just two runs in eight innings still featured seven hits and three walks allowed.

His ability to pitch deep into games allows him to remain a safe bet in fantasy lineups, although he is unlikely to put together huge efforts anymore. This is especially true against the red-hot New York Mets.

For his price, it might be best to avoid the former All-Star.

 

Ian Kennedy, San Diego Padres ($8,000)

After missing the past couple of weeks with a hamstring injury, Ian Kennedy will return to the Padres rotation against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The problem is he will be difficult to trust right out of the gate, especially against a quality team like the Dodgers.

Look for Kennedy to be on a limited pitch count and struggle to put up big fantasy numbers in a shortened outing.

 

Hitters to Draft

Buster Posey, C, San Francisco Giants ($4,600)

Jorge De La Rosa has only made one start this year for the Colorado Rockies, and it was simply awful. He allowed nine runs (seven earned) in just two innings before being removed. Whether his groin injury is still an issue or not, it's clear he is not quite ready to compete at a high level.

With Buster Posey just getting out of his mediocre start, he could be in for a big day against the left-handed starter, especially in the batter-friendly Coors Field.

 

Devon Travis, 2B, Toronto Blue Jays ($3,600)

The price hasn't gone up too much for Devon Travis, but it's time to get on the bandwagon. The second baseman has been one of the best hitters in baseball this season and should continue to rake over the weekend against the Tampa Bay Rays' shuffled rotation.

While some might question Travis' start as a fluke, ESPN's Mark Simon notes the balls he is hitting into play have been hit hard:

He isn't likely to flirt with a .400 batting average all season, but there is no reason to expect an immediate decline anytime soon.

 

Hitters to Avoid

Ryan Braun, OF, Milwaukee Brewers ($4,400)

The Milwaukee Brewers did finally snap the eight-game losing streak, and Ryan Braun has had a few multi-hit games this year. However, the all-around struggles of the lineup will limit opportunities for both runs and RBI, especially without hitting many home runs this year.

Most importantly, betting against Adam Wainwright is usually not a smart move.

 

Ian Desmond, SS, Washington Nationals ($4,700)

His work at the plate has been much better than in the field this year, and he remains one of the more consistent hitters in the league. The problem is the cost as the most expensive shortstop in the early contests.

Fantasy owners could use this position to save in their budget and grab some players who have been even more successful this year like Zack Cozart or Jose Iglesias.

 

Team to Stack

Atlanta Braves

David Buchanan has improved each start this season, but that is a low bar considering he currently has a 9.22 ERA through three games. He is yet to make it out of the sixth inning and is simply struggling to keep runners off the bases.

This is good news for the Atlanta Braves, who have the opportunity to put up big numbers in a hitter's ballpark.

Fantasy owners can have a big day if they especially focus on lefties like Freddie Freeman, Nick MarkakisA.J. Pierzynski and others.

 

Note: All prices courtesy of DraftKings. Unless otherwise noted, all stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com. 


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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: Best DraftKings MLB Pitcher Picks for April 24

A loaded list of probable pitchers on Friday will make for some tough decisions when it comes to your daily fantasy baseball lineup.

The two starting pitcher spots can make or break your team, so you have to make sure to get the right players on the right night. However, a few aces and other big names create some questions about whether you want to spend big or find value.

No matter what you want to do with your team, here is a look at the top options at various price ranges for April 24.

 

Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners ($11,300)

This certainly qualifies as an obvious pick, but you don't have to be sneaky to win money. Sometimes the best answer is right in front of you the whole time.

After a quad issue limited him in his April 12 start, Felix Hernandez bounced back with an impressive performance against the Texas Rangers, allowing just two hits in seven innings while striking out 12. Pitching at home against a Minnesota Twins lineup that has struggled all year should present another opportunity for a huge day.

Just be ready to save money elsewhere in your lineup.

 

Jordan Zimmermann, Washington Nationals ($8,300)

The last two games have been very uncharacteristic for Jordan Zimmermann.

First, he was rocked by the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park, allowing eight runs in 2.1 innings. In his most recent start against the Philadelphia Phillies, he only allowed two earned runs in 6.1 innings but walked four in a loss.

The good news is that control has never been a real issue for Zimmermann, and it shouldn't be a lingering problem. Additionally, his next start will be against the Miami Marlins in a ballpark that doesn't allow many home runs

Zimmermann is too talented to let these poor starts pile up, so you can expect a turnaround for a decent price.

 

Andrew Cashner, San Diego Padres ($8,100)

After a 1-2 start, Andrew Cashner should have plenty of issues with the defense behind him. Out of the 12 runs allowed in 17 innings, seven of them have been unearned.

On the plus side, the pitcher still has a solid 2.65 ERA and 20 strikeouts through three starts. Most importantly, he will return home to spacious Petco Park, where he has a career ERA of 2.01, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

It won't be easy outdueling Zack Greinke of the Los Angeles Dodgers, but Cashner has the tools to put together a strong outing, win or lose.

 

Carlos Martinez, St. Louis Cardinals ($7,200)

The St. Louis Cardinals have a habit of finding quality pitchers seemingly out of nowhere. Well, they did it again with Carlos Martinez, who moved from the bullpen to become an effective starter so far.

Martinez has gone six innings in each of his first two starts while allowing a combined seven hits and three runs. Although it might not always be smooth sailing as a member of the rotation, don't expect much trouble in his next start against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Considering Milwaukee comes into the series with just three wins and an average of 2.9 runs per game, Martinez should be just fine on Friday.

 

Shane Greene, Detroit Tigers ($7,100)

DraftKings is finally starting to raise the price for Shane Greene (he cost $6,000 in his last start), but he still remains a bargain if he continues to pitch at his current level.

ESPN's Buster Olney noted how well the 26-year-old pitcher has fared to start the season:

In three starts, Greene has totaled 23 innings with just one earned run. While you can wait for him to fall back to earth if you want, don't be afraid to ride the hot streak for as long as it lasts. With the Detroit Tigers providing plenty of run support, he should be a solid bet to earn his fourth win.

 

Chris Heston, San Francisco Giants ($4,900)

If you are really looking to save money Friday and want a bargain at pitcher, it makes sense to take a chance on Chris Heston.

The 27-year-old rookie currently ranks second in the National League with a 0.87 ERA through three starts, and he will face a Colorado Rockies offense that has slowed down significantly since the first week of the season.

Although it is always a risk betting on a pitcher at Coors Field, the extremely low price might make it worth the chance.

 

Note: All prices courtesy of DraftKings. Unless otherwise noted, all stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com. 


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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: Best DraftKings MLB Pitcher Picks for April 24

A loaded list of probable pitchers on Friday will make for some tough decisions when it comes to your daily fantasy baseball lineup.

The two starting pitcher spots can make or break your team, so you have to make sure to get the right players on the right night. However, a few aces and other big names create some questions about whether you want to spend big or find value.

No matter what you want to do with your team, here is a look at the top options at various price ranges for April 24.

 

Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners ($11,300)

This certainly qualifies as an obvious pick, but you don't have to be sneaky to win money. Sometimes the best answer is right in front of you the whole time.

After a quad issue limited him in his April 12 start, Felix Hernandez bounced back with an impressive performance against the Texas Rangers, allowing just two hits in seven innings while striking out 12. Pitching at home against a Minnesota Twins lineup that has struggled all year should present another opportunity for a huge day.

Just be ready to save money elsewhere in your lineup.

 

Jordan Zimmermann, Washington Nationals ($8,300)

The last two games have been very uncharacteristic for Jordan Zimmermann.

First, he was rocked by the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park, allowing eight runs in 2.1 innings. In his most recent start against the Philadelphia Phillies, he only allowed two earned runs in 6.1 innings but walked four in a loss.

The good news is that control has never been a real issue for Zimmermann, and it shouldn't be a lingering problem. Additionally, his next start will be against the Miami Marlins in a ballpark that doesn't allow many home runs

Zimmermann is too talented to let these poor starts pile up, so you can expect a turnaround for a decent price.

 

Andrew Cashner, San Diego Padres ($8,100)

After a 1-2 start, Andrew Cashner should have plenty of issues with the defense behind him. Out of the 12 runs allowed in 17 innings, seven of them have been unearned.

On the plus side, the pitcher still has a solid 2.65 ERA and 20 strikeouts through three starts. Most importantly, he will return home to spacious Petco Park, where he has a career ERA of 2.01, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

It won't be easy outdueling Zack Greinke of the Los Angeles Dodgers, but Cashner has the tools to put together a strong outing, win or lose.

 

Carlos Martinez, St. Louis Cardinals ($7,200)

The St. Louis Cardinals have a habit of finding quality pitchers seemingly out of nowhere. Well, they did it again with Carlos Martinez, who moved from the bullpen to become an effective starter so far.

Martinez has gone six innings in each of his first two starts while allowing a combined seven hits and three runs. Although it might not always be smooth sailing as a member of the rotation, don't expect much trouble in his next start against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Considering Milwaukee comes into the series with just three wins and an average of 2.9 runs per game, Martinez should be just fine on Friday.

 

Shane Greene, Detroit Tigers ($7,100)

DraftKings is finally starting to raise the price for Shane Greene (he cost $6,000 in his last start), but he still remains a bargain if he continues to pitch at his current level.

ESPN's Buster Olney noted how well the 26-year-old pitcher has fared to start the season:

In three starts, Greene has totaled 23 innings with just one earned run. While you can wait for him to fall back to earth if you want, don't be afraid to ride the hot streak for as long as it lasts. With the Detroit Tigers providing plenty of run support, he should be a solid bet to earn his fourth win.

 

Chris Heston, San Francisco Giants ($4,900)

If you are really looking to save money Friday and want a bargain at pitcher, it makes sense to take a chance on Chris Heston.

The 27-year-old rookie currently ranks second in the National League with a 0.87 ERA through three starts, and he will face a Colorado Rockies offense that has slowed down significantly since the first week of the season.

Although it is always a risk betting on a pitcher at Coors Field, the extremely low price might make it worth the chance.

 

Note: All prices courtesy of DraftKings. Unless otherwise noted, all stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com. 


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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: Best DraftKings MLB Pitcher Picks for April 19

Whether you want to spend big or look for value, choosing the right pitchers is the key to success in daily fantasy baseball.

With two spots in a DraftKings lineup and likely a high percentage of your budget going to the men on the mound, the pitchers can make or break your team each day. This means if you want to be successful on Sunday, you would be smart to lean toward one or two of these players for your roster.

 

Matt Harvey, New York Mets ($9,900)

If you are going to pick a high-priced pitcher on April 19, you would be much better off going with Matt Harvey than Stephen Strasburg ($10,100). Strasburg has obvious ability, but he hasn't made it out of the sixth inning this year and has allowed 19 hits in two games.

On the other hand, Harvey has picked up right where he left off before his Tommy John surgery with two wins and just three earned runs allowed in 12 innings. He also has an incredible 17-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

As he gets more comfortable, look for the New York Mets to ease the pitch count a little more as Harvey continues to dominate the National League.

 

Gerrit Cole, Pittsburgh Pirates ($8,400)

How good was Gerrit Cole in his last start? He beat the Detroit Tigers.

Considering the squad has just two losses on the year after falling on Saturday, that's quite a feat on its own.

Cole is a talented young pitcher who can not only keep opponents off the scoreboard, but he can also earn strikeouts at a high rate. Going against the inconsistent Milwaukee Brewers offense should allow him to have another strong outing on Sunday.

 

Michael Pineda, New York Yankees ($8,100)

You can be concerned about Michael Pineda's current 5.11 ERA, but an FIP of 1.86 indicates this could be headed on the way down. While two starts is obviously a small sample size, he does his best to help himself in every outing.

Daniel Barbarisi of The Wall Street Journal noted the strong play last game:

Not only does this provide hope for more success in the future, but these ancillary statistics are also valuable for you daily fantasy team. This will help give you points no matter the score.

 

Shane Greene, Detroit Tigers ($6,000)

Although it's unlikely Shane Greene ends the season with his current 0.00 ERA, you might as well enjoy the ride while he remains the hottest pitcher in baseball.

The former Yankees starter has put together two outstanding starts, totaling 16 innings with just seven hits and no earned runs allowed. Even his Cy Young Award-winning teammate was impressed:

While the Chicago White Sox finally saw their bats come alive with 12 runs on Saturday, Greene and his changeup should be able to quiet them again in the upcoming game. For this price, you can get a whole lot of value.

 

T.J. House, Cleveland Indians ($5,900)

This pick would certainly represent a risk, especially considering T.J. House's struggles in his first start. The left-hander allowed six runs in just 1.1 innings before being removed in a loss to the Tigers.

However, he will get an easier matchup this time around in the form of the Minnesota Twins, a squad averaging just 2.9 runs per game. The squad has been held to three runs or fewer in eight of its 11 games.

Assuming House can locate his pitches better in his second start, this could be a quality sleeper selection.

 

Note: All prices courtesy of DraftKings. Unless otherwise noted, stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com. 


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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: MLB DraftKings Strategy, Primer for April 18

Every selection in daily fantasy baseball requires careful consideration for a number of factors. You only get one day to make your mark, so you don't want to waste a pick at any position.

With a full set of games Saturday, the key will be to take advantage of the best matchups both at the plate and on the mound. It's tough to predict the future, but you can give yourself a great chance of having success by following this strategy.

Also, remember to check lineups before the game to ensure each player is set to play.

 

Top Pitcher Picks

Jordan Zimmermann, Washington Nationals ($8,700)

If you had Jordan Zimmermann in your lineup in his last start, you likely won't ever pick him again. The right-hander allowed eight runs (seven earned) in just 2.1 innings against the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park.

However, the All-Star is too good to get rocked two games in a row, especially with the next start coming against the struggling Philadelphia Phillies. Returning to his comfort zone in Nationals Park (plus no more designated hitters) will allow him to bounce back for a quality start.

 

Jake Odorizzi, Tampa Bay Rays ($7,600)

While grabbing a stud pitcher like Felix Hernandez always makes sense, you can save some of your budget by instead going after a lesser-known pitcher like Jake Odorizzi.

The 25-year-old starter is off to an outstanding start with just one run allowed in 14.2 innings pitched. Going up against a New York Yankees lineup that has been very inconsistent this year should allow him to keep up his momentum.

 

Pitchers to Avoid

Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees ($10,200)

Although Masahiro Tanaka got the win in his last start, he was far from his old self. He has now allowed nine runs (seven earned) in nine total innings over two games. Zach Braziller of the New York Post summed it up:

Tanaka has a decreased velocity on his fastball and simply can't get swinging strikes at the same rate he was last season. Until he fixes his problems, it might be best to avoid the Japanese star.

 

Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox ($10,500)

This is not a slight against Chris Sale, who is one of the top pitchers in baseball. However, when you spend big money you want a guarantee the starter will come through with a dominant performance. You simply cannot do that against the Detroit Tigers.

The Tigers are currently 9-1 and have a loaded lineup full of right-handed hitters who could be tough on Sale. While he might still have a strong game, you might be better off picking a safer option for cheaper.

 

Top Hitter Picks

Freddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta Braves ($4,200)

Going up against a knuckleballer like R.A. Dickey is usually a scary proposition, especially if you have never seen him pitch before. However, Freddie Freeman has plenty of experience against the former New York Mets pitcher.

The first baseman is 10-for-21 in his career against Dickey with two home runs and four doubles. Look for more of the same on Saturday.

 

Adam Jones, OF, Baltimore Orioles ($5,100)

Stick with the hot streak. Adam Jones has been one of the top hitters in baseball over the past couple of weeks and there is no reason to expect this to stop in his trip to Fenway Park.

The outfielder is always a threat for home runs, which also brings in runs and RBI at a high rate. If he gets the opportunity, he could be in line for a huge day at the plate.

 

Hitters to Avoid

Adrian Beltre, 3B, Texas Rangers ($3,700)

Although he still has the price of one of the top hitters at his position, Adrian Beltre has not performed at this level so far in 2015. Going up against Felix Hernandez usually isn't the way to cure a cold streak either.

He actually has had moderate success against the former Cy Young award winner (.294 in 34 at bats), but this doesn't seem like a smart bet at this time.

 

Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Colorado Rockies ($4,500)

Tulowitzki is clearly one of the best shortstops in baseball, but he has struggled lately to provide fantasy players with much besides singles. Playing away from Coors Field against a solid starter in Zach Greinke does not indicate he will have much more success in his next game.

For the price, you might be better off finding someone else at the position.

 

Team to Stack

New York Mets

Miami Marlins pitcher Mat Latos has been awful to begin the year. You really can't sugarcoat it any better when a pitcher has just 4.2 innings pitched in two starts. He probably will improve upon his current 17.36 ERA, but he isn't all of a sudden going to turn into an ace.

With the New York Mets having plenty of lefties like Daniel Murphy, Curtis Granderson and the red-hot Lucas Duda, fantasy players could get a lot of production from this lineup.

 

Note: All prices courtesy of DraftKings. Unless otherwise noted, stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference. 


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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: Best DraftKings MLB Pitcher Picks for April 17

The aces are back in action, which creates the perfect opportunity to rack up the points in Friday's daily fantasy baseball contests.

While there are certainly days when the list of probable starters is full of unrecognizable names and bottom-of-the-barrel options, that won't be the case Friday, as you get to choose from a wide variety of top pitchers. 

You can still find some value in your lineup if needed, but here is a look at the top choices at pitcher for April 17.

 

Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals ($11,700)

Clayton Kershaw is still arguably the top pitcher in the game, but he hasn't looked like himself in his first two starts of the season. To this point, he has allowed eight earned runs in 12.1 innings to equal a 5.84 ERA.

While there isn't much to worry about in regular fantasy leagues, there is little reason to take a chance for $12,600 in daily fantasy.

If you want to grab a big-named pitcher, it is smarter to go after Max Scherzer for a slightly cheaper price tag. The Washington Nationals ace has done well in his first two National League starts (0.66 ERA), even if he is yet to get a win.

Although it is a bit scary for a pitcher to face the same offense two starts in a row, the Philadelphia Phillies represent very little threat with one of the worst lineups in baseball. This is a safe bet for big points Friday.

 

Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds ($9,700)

After Michael Wacha and the St. Louis Cardinals handed Johnny Cueto a loss last week, the two pitchers will battle again Friday night in what will certainly be an entertaining game.

Although Wacha represents a solid option to keep the score low again, what makes Cueto a better option is his ability to earn strikeouts. He has 14 already this season and finished fifth in the majors a year ago with 242.

The Cardinals aren't necessarily a free-swinging team, but Cueto remains a safe option with his ability to rack up points through strikeouts.

 

Sonny Gray, Oakland Athletics ($8,300)

After two losses in a row, the Kansas City Royals aren't quite as terrifying as they were during the 7-0 start. This provides a good chance for Sonny Gray to keep up his own great start with just one earned run allowed in 15.1 innings, including a no-hit bid on Opening Day into the eighth inning.

Competing in the spacious Kauffman Stadium will also ensure the ball stays in the park. This is more than you can say about Julio Teheran, who costs around the same price on DraftKings ($8,500) but could struggle against the Toronto Blue Jays in the Rogers Centre.

Similar-priced options like Jake Peavy and Jered Weaver also lack the consistency to be reasonable picks this week.

 

Bartolo Colon, New York Mets ($7,000)

You can make your jokes about Bartolo Colon, but when he is good, he is usually very good. He had nine starts last season of at least seven innings and either one or zero earned runs allowed.

This year, he is also off to a relatively good start with a 2.77 ERA and a 2-0 record in his first two appearances. Last game he even hit an RBI single to help his own cause (although you shouldn't count on this in the future).

The Miami Marlins have gotten off to a slow start to the year, and Colon has the tools to take advantage of this for another win in this matchup.

 

Ubaldo Jimenez, Baltimore Orioles ($6,000)

This is admittedly a huge risk considering his track record. Ubaldo Jimenez struggled throughout most of 2014 and could easily revert back to his problems in his next start. However, he was nothing short of brilliant his last time out, with no runs and just one hit allowed in seven innings.

He noted his success was based on his ability to locate his fastball, via Jon Meoli of The Baltimore Sun:

That’s the number one thing, to command the fastball and then you can throw your breaking ball off the fastball. I’ve been doing the same in the bullpen, working on the two-seam fastball, breaking balls, all the same work. [...]

If I’m able to locate my fastball and keep it down in the strike zone, I’m going to get people out.

The former All-Star has the potential for another big game against the Boston Red Sox and for the price, it might be worth the risk.

 

Note: All prices courtesy of DraftKings. Unless otherwise noted, stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference. 


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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: Best DraftKings MLB Pitcher Picks for April 17

The aces are back in action, which creates the perfect opportunity to rack up the points in Friday's daily fantasy baseball contests.

While there are certainly days when the list of probable starters is full of unrecognizable names and bottom-of-the-barrel options, that won't be the case Friday, as you get to choose from a wide variety of top pitchers. 

You can still find some value in your lineup if needed, but here is a look at the top choices at pitcher for April 17.

 

Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals ($11,700)

Clayton Kershaw is still arguably the top pitcher in the game, but he hasn't looked like himself in his first two starts of the season. To this point, he has allowed eight earned runs in 12.1 innings to equal a 5.84 ERA.

While there isn't much to worry about in regular fantasy leagues, there is little reason to take a chance for $12,600 in daily fantasy.

If you want to grab a big-named pitcher, it is smarter to go after Max Scherzer for a slightly cheaper price tag. The Washington Nationals ace has done well in his first two National League starts (0.66 ERA), even if he is yet to get a win.

Although it is a bit scary for a pitcher to face the same offense two starts in a row, the Philadelphia Phillies represent very little threat with one of the worst lineups in baseball. This is a safe bet for big points Friday.

 

Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds ($9,700)

After Michael Wacha and the St. Louis Cardinals handed Johnny Cueto a loss last week, the two pitchers will battle again Friday night in what will certainly be an entertaining game.

Although Wacha represents a solid option to keep the score low again, what makes Cueto a better option is his ability to earn strikeouts. He has 14 already this season and finished fifth in the majors a year ago with 242.

The Cardinals aren't necessarily a free-swinging team, but Cueto remains a safe option with his ability to rack up points through strikeouts.

 

Sonny Gray, Oakland Athletics ($8,300)

After two losses in a row, the Kansas City Royals aren't quite as terrifying as they were during the 7-0 start. This provides a good chance for Sonny Gray to keep up his own great start with just one earned run allowed in 15.1 innings, including a no-hit bid on Opening Day into the eighth inning.

Competing in the spacious Kauffman Stadium will also ensure the ball stays in the park. This is more than you can say about Julio Teheran, who costs around the same price on DraftKings ($8,500) but could struggle against the Toronto Blue Jays in the Rogers Centre.

Similar-priced options like Jake Peavy and Jered Weaver also lack the consistency to be reasonable picks this week.

 

Bartolo Colon, New York Mets ($7,000)

You can make your jokes about Bartolo Colon, but when he is good, he is usually very good. He had nine starts last season of at least seven innings and either one or zero earned runs allowed.

This year, he is also off to a relatively good start with a 2.77 ERA and a 2-0 record in his first two appearances. Last game he even hit an RBI single to help his own cause (although you shouldn't count on this in the future).

The Miami Marlins have gotten off to a slow start to the year, and Colon has the tools to take advantage of this for another win in this matchup.

 

Ubaldo Jimenez, Baltimore Orioles ($6,000)

This is admittedly a huge risk considering his track record. Ubaldo Jimenez struggled throughout most of 2014 and could easily revert back to his problems in his next start. However, he was nothing short of brilliant his last time out, with no runs and just one hit allowed in seven innings.

He noted his success was based on his ability to locate his fastball, via Jon Meoli of The Baltimore Sun:

That’s the number one thing, to command the fastball and then you can throw your breaking ball off the fastball. I’ve been doing the same in the bullpen, working on the two-seam fastball, breaking balls, all the same work. [...]

If I’m able to locate my fastball and keep it down in the strike zone, I’m going to get people out.

The former All-Star has the potential for another big game against the Boston Red Sox and for the price, it might be worth the risk.

 

Note: All prices courtesy of DraftKings. Unless otherwise noted, stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference. 


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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: Best MLB DFS DraftKings Lineup for April 12

Although we are just a week into the MLB regular season, we are already starting to see some impressive performances both on the mound and at the plate. If you want to be successful in daily fantasy, you have to find a way to get these big-time efforts onto your team at the right time.

There are multiple ways to be successful each day, but here is a look at an optimal lineup for Sunday's action along with a few other top choices at each spot.

Note: Remember to check lineups when they are available to make sure each player is starting. All prices are courtesy of DraftKings. Unless otherwise noted, all stats courtesy of Baseball Reference.

 

Starting Pitchers

Yordano Ventura, Kansas City Royals ($8,200)

While plenty of fans were scared Yordano Ventura had suffered a serious injury in his last start, it turned out to only be a cramp. Manager Ned Yost explained why this isn't a problem to worry about in the future, via Andy McCullough of The Kansas City Star:

You’re focused and you forget to hydrate,” Yost said. “And, again, part of opening day, it just takes you out of your routine. And once your routine gets going, you’re hydrating, you’re doing all your stuff that you normally do. But there’s so much stuff that goes into it, there’s so much excitement. He probably just didn’t hydrate enough.

When healthy, Ventura has the talent to be a dominant pitcher and should have success even against a solid Los Angeles Angels lineup.

 

Clay Buchholz, Boston Red Sox ($6,800)

The New York Yankees always want to beat the Red Sox, but this is not the same lineup that scares opposing pitchers. After pitching seven scoreless innings against the Philadelphia Phillies in his first start, Clay Buchholz should be able to keep up his solid play with another strong performance Sunday night.

  • Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners ($11,400)
  • Alex Wood, Atlanta Braves ($9,300)
  • Chris Tillman, Baltimore Orioles ($7,100)
  • Hector Alvarez, Miami Marlins ($6,400)

 

Catcher

Carlos Santana, Cleveland Indians ($4,600)

No matter what position he actually plays for the Cleveland Indians, DraftKings allows you to start Carlos Santana as a catcher, and you should take advantage of this opportunity. The power hitter is consistent at the plate with both hits and walks and is always capable of knocking one out of the park.

  • Devin Mesocraco, Cincinnati Reds ($4,400)
  • Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants ($4,000)

 

First Base

Adam Lind, Milwaukee Brewers ($4,700)

Off to a great start and has a great matchup against inexperienced Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Casey Sadler. For those looking to stack a lineup and have money to spare, the Milwaukee Brewers might be a smart option starting with Adam Lind.

  • David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox ($4,400)
  • Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves ($4,300)

 

Second Base

Dee Gordon, Miami Marlins ($4,800)

Whenever he gets on base, Dee Gordon is always a threat to be on the move with a stolen base or two. He already has three steals this season and should have a good chance to add more with a favorable matchup against Nathan Karns of the Tampa Bay Rays.

  • Scooter Gennett, Milwaukee Brewers ($4,400)
  • Ian Kinsler, Detroit Tigers ($4,500)

 

Shortstop

Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies ($6,000)

Obviously this selection takes away a big portion of your payroll, but Troy Tulowitzki has been worth it this season. He is clearly the most consistent option at shortstop and should be able to keep it up with another home game against the Chicago Cubs.

The difference between him and any other player at the position makes this worth the price.

  • Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs ($4,900)
  • Wilmer Flores, New York Mets ($3,600)

 

Third Base

David Wright, New York Mets ($3,900)

Alex Wood is a solid pitcher, but David Wright has crushed lefties in his career to the tune of a .341 batting average and 1.008 OPS. There is no reason to expect anything less from the talented third baseman on Sunday.

  • Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds ($4,600)
  • Pablo Sandoval, Boston Red Sox ($4,400)

 

Outfielders

Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals ($4,700)

The Washington Nationals should be able to have a big day offensively against journeyman pitcher Sean O'Sullivan. This starts with Bryce Harper, who is clearly the team's best hitter at this point of the year and could be a threat to go deep a few times.

 

Anthony Gose, Detroit Tigers ($3,300)

While the recent strong play is likely going to wear off eventually, Anthony Gose has been impressive this season. CBS Sports described his highlight from Saturday's game:

Home runs against reigning Cy Young award winners isn't all he can do. He also has a .450 batting average this year and should get plenty of more chances to remain near the top of the quality Detroit Tigers lineup.

 

Brock Holt, Boston Red Sox ($2,900)

In Saturday's win over the New York Yankees, Brock Holt went an impressive 4-for-5 with three RBI from the leadoff position. Don't be surprised to see the young player get more chances to shine somewhere on the field for the Boston Red Sox.

Considering Masahiro Tanaka's struggles in his first start (four earned runs allowed in four innings), he is not as intimidating of an option as early last season.

  • Corey Dickerson, Colorado Rockies ($6,000)
  • Khris Davis, Milwaukee Brewers ($4,700)
  • Billy Hamilton, Cincinnati Reds ($4,600)
  • Steve Pearce, Baltimore Orioles ($4,200)

Daily fantasy baseball is going strong at DraftKings! Get FREE entry into a $10,000 MLB contest today.

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Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for daily fantasy advice and various sports-related nonsense.

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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: MLB DraftKings Strategy, Primer for April 11

A full day of action creates a lot of opportunity to make some money in daily fantasy baseball, but you have to make sure you grab the right players for your team.

With so many top pitchers available, you shouldn't be afraid of spending a high percentage of your budget on the big names while saving money elsewhere. Just make sure you don't end up wasting it on the wrong options.

Here is a look at the best and worst picks available for Saturday.

Note: All prices courtesy of DraftKings. Unless otherwise noted, stats courtesy of Baseball Reference

 

Pitchers

Top Picks

David Price, Detroit Tigers ($10,600)

Did you see how in control he was on Opening Day? David Price finished his first start one out away from a complete game shutout, instead totaling 8.2 scoreless innings in a winning effort.

His teammate Joba Chamberlain summed it up after the game:

While the Cleveland Indians have a few more intimidating hitters than the Minnesota Twins, Price has a good chance to put together another stellar performance and carry fantasy teams in the process.

 

Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels ($8,000)

Although Jered Weaver didn't have a great showing in his first start with four runs allowed in six innings, he should be able to bounce back Saturday.

Returning home to Anaheim will be a blessing for Weaver, who has fared much better in his own ballpark throughout his career. His 2.66 ERA at home compared to just a 3.94 mark on the road is a massive difference, and it was even bigger in 2014 (2.68 home ERA vs. 4.70 road ERA).

No matter what the issue, all you have to worry about is him getting back to his dominant form against the Kansas City Royals.

 

Avoid

Doug Fister, Washington Nationals ($7,800)

For most of the season, you will be in good shape grabbing Washington Nationals pitchers as the group has the best rotation in baseball. When the team is healthy, there should be a lot of wins up for grabs.

Unfortunately, the lineup is missing a few key hitters and until players like Anthony Rendon and Jayson Werth return from injury, the Nats will struggle to score. Against Cole Hamels, you can't expect much run support.

To make things worse, Doug Fister does not add too many strikeouts with just 98 in 164 innings last season. This makes him a weak fantasy option going forward.

 

Hitters

Top Picks

Bryce Harper, OF, Washington Nationals ($4,100)

Most are quick to avoid lefty vs. lefty matchups for hitters, but a deeper look shows why Bryce Harper can still succeed. Primarily, opposing pitcher Cole Hamels has never been especially hard on lefties as his fastball-changeup approach hurts both types of hitters equally.

Additionally, Harper has fared well against Hamels in his career, hitting .320 in 25 at-bats. The two also have some bad blood between each other, making every at-bat interesting.

With Harper showing his ability against just about every pitcher in baseball, he remains a solid pick for your team.

 

Travis d'Arnaud, C, New York Mets ($3,600)

Julio Teheran is a pretty tough matchup for opposing hitters, but Travis d'Arnaud has fared well against all comers so far this year.

The young hitter already has RBI hits against ace-level pitchers in Max Scherzer, Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg, so the Atlanta Braves starter shouldn't be any scarier on the mound.

Finding a good catcher is difficult in fantasy baseball, but d'Arnaud could provide some quality production without breaking the bank.

 

Avoid

Robinson Cano, 2B, Seattle Mariners ($4,200)

While the lack of top second-base options makes Robinson Cano so valuable at the position, this is not the time to splurge on the Seattle Mariners star. He is going up against Sonny Gray, who is coming off a spectacular outing in his first start where he allowed just one hit in eight innings.

With Cano still not showing the power stroke he had with the New York Yankees, a lack of upside makes this pricey hitter a poor bet.

 


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Link:  https://www.draftkings.com/gateway?s=681617098

 

Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for daily fantasy advice and various sports-related nonsense.

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Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: Best DraftKings MLB Pitcher Picks for April 10

Picking the right pitcher can either save your daily fantasy team or put it over the top in search of big money.

While there is a lot of uncertainty at this early part of the season, these players should exceed their value with big games Friday.

 

Gio Gonzalez, Washington Nationals ($9,100)

It's always difficult to trust a pitcher like Gio Gonzalez, who has put together some outstanding seasons in his career but is always capable of exploding on the mound. Last year, he had four starts where he allowed five earned runs or more.

On the plus side, he can make up for it with a high strikeout rate. If he had pitched enough innings to qualify, Gonzalez would have ranked 12th in the majors last year with 9.19 strikeouts per nine innings.

Against an inferior Philadelphia Phillies lineup, the Nationals star should put together a solid outing with plenty of strikeouts. If things go well, he should also come through with a win.

 

Jonathon Niese, New York Mets ($7,500)

The Atlanta Braves are off to a better start than many anticipated thanks to a series sweep against the Miami Marlins. However, they are going to come back down to earth eventually, and that could happen Friday against Jonathon Niese. 

Niese finished last season with a 3.40 ERA, which matched his career best. Most importantly, the southpaw should have plenty of success against a lineup which relies heavily on left-handed hitters.

Between Freddie Freeman, Nick Markakis, Jace Peterson and others, the Braves will have to either adjust the lineup or end up with tough matchups as Niese gets the advantage.

 

Taijuan Walker, Seattle Mariners ($7,300)

Spring training doesn't necessarily mean much, and the statistics that come out of it count for literally nothing. However, it's hard to ignore what Taijuan Walker did during the exhibition season, as noted by Baseball Tonight

The 22-year-old pitcher is extremely talented and possesses the pure stuff that will allow him to shut down opposing lineups at this level. Although he has just eight starts in his career, the upside is too great to ignore.

In reality, there might not be too many chances to get Walker into your lineup for so cheap.

 

Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants ($7,600)

Although Tim Lincecum is not quite the pitcher he was earlier in his career, the 30-year-old starter is still a quality pitcher for the San Francisco Giants. He can also be extremely valuable when he faces the San Diego Padres.

Throughout his career, the former Cy Young winner has dominated the division rival, posting an 18-6 record with a 2.27 ERA. Last season, he finished with a 5-0 mark and a 1.40 ERA in six appearances against the Padres.

Petco Park is one of the most pitcher-friendly stadiums in the majors, and Lincecum should take advantage of it once again on Friday.

 

Jeff Locke, Pittsburgh Pirates ($5,700)

The Milwaukee Brewers have a solid lineup on paper, but it has struggled to start the season, producing just six runs in three games. This is a major reason why the club is 0-3 after the first series.

Although Jeff Locke isn't going to blow people away with his pitches, he knows how to take advantage of matchups and keep opponents off base. Fantasy players should expect six or seven solid innings and a good chance of bringing home a win, which will be just fine for this price.

 

Note: All prices courtesy of DraftKings. Unless otherwise noted, stats courtesy of Baseball Reference. 


Daily fantasy baseball is going strong at DraftKings! Get FREE entry into a $10,000 MLB contest today!

 

Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for daily fantasy advice and various sports-related nonsense.

Follow TheRobGoldberg on Twitter

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: Best DraftKings MLB Pitcher Picks for April 10

Picking the right pitcher can either save your daily fantasy team or put it over the top in search of big money.

While there is a lot of uncertainty at this early part of the season, these players should exceed their value with big games Friday.

 

Gio Gonzalez, Washington Nationals ($9,100)

It's always difficult to trust a pitcher like Gio Gonzalez, who has put together some outstanding seasons in his career but is always capable of exploding on the mound. Last year, he had four starts where he allowed five earned runs or more.

On the plus side, he can make up for it with a high strikeout rate. If he had pitched enough innings to qualify, Gonzalez would have ranked 12th in the majors last year with 9.19 strikeouts per nine innings.

Against an inferior Philadelphia Phillies lineup, the Nationals star should put together a solid outing with plenty of strikeouts. If things go well, he should also come through with a win.

 

Jonathon Niese, New York Mets ($7,500)

The Atlanta Braves are off to a better start than many anticipated thanks to a series sweep against the Miami Marlins. However, they are going to come back down to earth eventually, and that could happen Friday against Jonathon Niese. 

Niese finished last season with a 3.40 ERA, which matched his career best. Most importantly, the southpaw should have plenty of success against a lineup which relies heavily on left-handed hitters.

Between Freddie Freeman, Nick Markakis, Jace Peterson and others, the Braves will have to either adjust the lineup or end up with tough matchups as Niese gets the advantage.

 

Taijuan Walker, Seattle Mariners ($7,300)

Spring training doesn't necessarily mean much, and the statistics that come out of it count for literally nothing. However, it's hard to ignore what Taijuan Walker did during the exhibition season, as noted by Baseball Tonight

The 22-year-old pitcher is extremely talented and possesses the pure stuff that will allow him to shut down opposing lineups at this level. Although he has just eight starts in his career, the upside is too great to ignore.

In reality, there might not be too many chances to get Walker into your lineup for so cheap.

 

Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants ($7,600)

Although Tim Lincecum is not quite the pitcher he was earlier in his career, the 30-year-old starter is still a quality pitcher for the San Francisco Giants. He can also be extremely valuable when he faces the San Diego Padres.

Throughout his career, the former Cy Young winner has dominated the division rival, posting an 18-6 record with a 2.27 ERA. Last season, he finished with a 5-0 mark and a 1.40 ERA in six appearances against the Padres.

Petco Park is one of the most pitcher-friendly stadiums in the majors, and Lincecum should take advantage of it once again on Friday.

 

Jeff Locke, Pittsburgh Pirates ($5,700)

The Milwaukee Brewers have a solid lineup on paper, but it has struggled to start the season, producing just six runs in three games. This is a major reason why the club is 0-3 after the first series.

Although Jeff Locke isn't going to blow people away with his pitches, he knows how to take advantage of matchups and keep opponents off base. Fantasy players should expect six or seven solid innings and a good chance of bringing home a win, which will be just fine for this price.

 

Note: All prices courtesy of DraftKings. Unless otherwise noted, stats courtesy of Baseball Reference. 


Daily fantasy baseball is going strong at DraftKings! Get FREE entry into a $10,000 MLB contest today!

 

Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for daily fantasy advice and various sports-related nonsense.

Follow TheRobGoldberg on Twitter

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB DFS 2015: Breaking Down the ‘Perfect’ Lineup

What does it take to win one million dollars in daily fantasy?

Besides a lot of luck, you need to come up with a great strategy to create the best possible lineup in key contests. While the lineup doesn't necessarily need to be perfect, it has be good enough to top your competition by grabbing the right players on the right day.

Peter Jennings was able to take home $1 million in daily fantasy baseball with this Aug. 26 lineup:

Pos. Name Points
P Johnny Cueto 18.85
P Alex Wood 17.55
C Carlos Santana 11
1B Mike Napoli 25
2B Dustin Pedroia 32
3B Brock Holt 12
SS Mookie Betts 7
OF Jose Bautista 18
OF Yoenis Cespedes 11
OF Allen Craig 18
Total Fantasy Points: 170.40

This group of players is hardly intimidating at first glance, but on this day it was the best of the competition.

So what made each pick so smart? Let's take a look at the different strategies used to create this lineup and maybe you have similar success in the future.


 

Ready for baseball?  DraftKings is hosting a $15,000 FREE contest for MLB Opening Day. Spots are limited so get in now!

Begin Slideshow

MLB DFS 2015: X-Factors for Daily Fantasy Baseball

The start of baseball season not only indicates the beginning of warm weather across the country, it also means there is another sport to compete in daily fantasy.

With competitions just about every day of the regular season, Major League Baseball represents a fun way to compete and potentially make money on a consistent basis.

Of course, it takes a lot of work to be successful in this sport. Even the top hitters and pitchers can have bad games, so you have to figure out how to find players with the best chances to succeed while staying within your budget.

Each day will feature new possibilities, but here is a look at some of the most important factors to look for when filling out your team.

 

Note: Daily fantasy scoring based on DraftKings rules. All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference unless otherwise noted.

Begin Slideshow

MLB DFS 2015: X-Factors for Daily Fantasy Baseball

The start of baseball season not only indicates the beginning of warm weather across the country, it also means there is another sport to compete in daily fantasy.

With competitions just about every day of the regular season, Major League Baseball represents a fun way to compete and potentially make money on a consistent basis.

Of course, it takes a lot of work to be successful in this sport. Even the top hitters and pitchers can have bad games, so you have to figure out how to find players with the best chances to succeed while staying within your budget.

Each day will feature new possibilities, but here is a look at some of the most important factors to look for when filling out your team.

 

Note: Daily fantasy scoring based on DraftKings rules. All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference unless otherwise noted.

Begin Slideshow