Six of today’s top daily fantasy baseball picks come from north of the border.
Use Blue Jays and Orioles liberally in games such as the $3.30 Wiz Walkoff and the $15 Knuckleball. Also feel free to stick them in the Fantasy Sports Live League tonight against myself and the FSL crew.
My Pick: Jon Lester, Oakland Athletics, $20,100
2014: 25.0% K rate, 5.4% BB rate, 42.9% GB rate, 2.63 FIP
Twins vs LHP: 97 wRC+, 21.6% K rate
Adam Wainwright and Lester have both been fantastic this year, but Lester has been just a tad bit better in regards to the more controllable stats. That’s reflected in the FIP difference (Lester ranks fifth and Wainwright ranks 11th). The Red Sox have been a little worse as an offense facing a RHP than the Twins when facing a LHP, but the Twins K more often. All-in-all, it is extremely close between the two aces, but ballpark factors and K upside push Lester to the top of the heap.
Value Pick: Roenis Elias, Seattle Mariners, $12,800
2014: 21.6% K rate, 8.5% BB rate, 43.4% GB rate, 3.96 FIP
White Sox vs LHP: 94 wRC+, 22.1% K rate
Elias isn’t a stud by any stretch of the imagination. He’s solid and cheap with a favorable matchup in a run suppressing ballpark though. He’ll also be opposing Scott Carroll, who has an ugly 4.43 FIP, which should result in Elias getting the type of run support that will put him in the position for a win.
My Pick: Devin Mesoraco, Cincinnati Reds, $9,250
2014 vs LHP: 66 PA, 147 wRC+
Since 2012 vs LHP: 195 PA, 135 wRC+, .169 ISO, .371 wOBA
Mesoraco has turned into the hitter that prospect hounds and scouts projected him to be as a minor leaguer. He’s now hitting cleanup for the Reds, and he’ll be doing so today at home where the RHB park factor for HR is 139. The stud catcher will also enjoy facing T.J. House since he’s allowing a .388 wOBA to RHB this year.
Value Pick: Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals, $7,300
2014 vs LHP: 104 PA, 83 wRC+
Since 2012 vs LHP: 337 PA, 128 wRC+, .196 ISO, .361 wOBA
Perez is another catcher with a favorable lineup slot, hitting third or fourth for the Royals in every start since July 5. He’s having a quiet year against LHP, but he’s been a nightmare for them throughout his career and gets one who’s awful against RHB tonight. Vidal Nuno has allowed a .350 wOBA to RHB this year, and will get no help against them from his home park and its RHB park factors of 115 for 2B/3B, 103 for HR, and 108 for runs.
My Pick: Brandon Moss, Oakland Athletics, $8,800
2014 vs RHP: 346 PA, 128 wRC+
Since 2012 vs RHP: 997 PA, 148 wRC+, .288 ISO, .383 wOBA
Moss has been one of the best power hitters among first basemen since 2012, ranking third in ISO against RHP. He hits cleanup for the A’s, which is ideal for run production upside, and he faces one of the worst pitchers starting tonight. Yohan Pino is allowing a .358 wOBA to LHB in his first year in the majors.
Value Pick: Billy Butler, Kansas City Royals, $7,900
2014 vs LHP: 113 PA, 121 wRC+
Since 2012 vs LHP: 472 PA, 140 wRC+, .203 ISO, .378 wOBA
Butler has recently ascended to the cleanup spot for the Royals, slotting there in four straight games. He’s having a down year, but that hasn’t stopped him from continuing his career trend of assaulting LHP. As noted above, Nuno is dreadful against RHB and the park factors look juicy.
My Pick: Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners, $8,600
2014 vs RHP: 294 PA, 144 wRC+
Since 2012 vs RHP: 1,152 PA, 130 wRC+, .188 ISO, .356 wOBA
Seager’s actual position is third base, but he has more value being used at the keystone position tonight (where he’s also eligible in DraftDay games). He’ll look to provide my value pick at pitcher with some run support from fifth in the M’s order. According to FanGraphs leaderboards, his .188 ISO since 2012 would be the third highest among qualified second basemen. A soft matchup with Carroll, who has allowed a .370 wOBA to LHB, is yet one more reason to love Seager tonight.
Value Pick: Neil Walker, Pittsburgh Pirates, $8,050
2014 vs RHP: 314 PA, 143 wRC+
Since 2012 vs RHP: 1,163 PA, 131 wRC+, .197 ISO, .359 wOBA
If you clicked on the link above in Seager’s write-up, you might have noticed the guy with the second highest ISO against RHP since 2012 at the second base position is Walker. The Pirates have bounced Walker back-and-forth between fourth and fifth in the lineup, and while the cleanup spot would be ideal, fifth isn’t the worst. His combination of power and lineup spot make him well worth a cost that’s just a tick above eight grand.
My Pick: Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds, $9,100
2014 vs LHP: 105 PA, 128 wRC+
Since 2012 vs LHP: 415 PA, 122 wRC+, .222 ISO, .353 wOBA
Frazier offers another opportunity to get a crack at House in homer friendly Great American Ballpark. He’s a RHB with above average thump, and I can’t pass that up as one of my top daily fantasy baseball picks. The former Little League World Series hero has the fifth highest ISO against LHP among qualified third basemen since 2012.
Value Pick: Juan Francisco, Toronto Blue Jays, $7,250
2014 vs RHP: 232 PA, 141 wRC+
Since 2012 vs RHP: 748 PA, 115 wRC+, .241 ISO
Francisco’s biggest issues as a hitter are obvious, as is his greatest strength, which is literally his strength. The all-or-nothing slugger ranks sixth in average HR and FB distance this year, and among third basemen with a minimum of 700 PA against RHP since 2012 he ranks third in ISO. In addition to loving the Rogers Centre LHB HR park factors of 132 for 2B/3B, 129 for HR, and 106 for R, I love a showdown with Miguel Gonzalez. The Orioles starter has a 5.30 FIP this year and has allowed a .355 wOBA to LHB.
My Pick: Jose Reyes, Toronto Blue Jays, $9,350
2014 vs RHP: 291 PA, 108 wRC+
Since 2012 vs RHP: 1,137 PA, 112 wRC+, .138 ISO, .341 wOBA
After reading Gonzalez’s stats and the Rogers Centre park factors cited above, it probably seemed odd that there hadn’t been other Blue Jays highlighted as top daily fantasy baseball picks. Have no fear, as Reyes makes for a great option against him. The switch-hitting shortstop will get to take advantage of the dreamy park factors and Gonzalez’s ineptitude against opposing hitters from the leadoff spot.
Value Pick: J.J. Hardy, Baltimore Orioles, $6,550
2014 vs LHP: 112 PA, 65 wRC+
Since 2012 vs LHP: 483 PA, 97 wRC+, .162 ISO, .316 wOBA
At first blush,Hardy’s numbers above seem a little strange to be earning a tout. However, his ISO number since 2012 is what should stand out, and that power gets a boost at the Rogers Centre where the RHB park factors are 124 for 2B/3B and 118 for HR. Furthermore, facing J.A. Happ is outstanding for his outlook tonight since the pitcher has allowed a .344 wOBA to RHB this season. The .338 wOBA he’s allowed since 2012 is the 12th highest mark in that time frame.
My Pick: Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays, $11,150
2014 vs RHP: 370 PA, 137 wRC+
Since 2012 vs RHP: 1,087 PA, 138 wRC+, .238 ISO, .378 wOBA
Fun fact about Gonzalez, as bad as he’s been against LHB this year, he’s been worse against his same-handed foes allowing a .360 wOBA. Bautista took advantage of a great matchup at home last night delivering 54 points in DraftDay games. Another offensive onslaught is likely tonight for the man with the fifth highest ISO against RHP among qualified outfielders since 2012.
Middle of the Pack: Steve Pearce, Baltimore Orioles, $7,000
2014 vs LHP: 78 PA, 202 wRC+
Since 2012 vs LHP: 253 PA, 140 wRC+, 228 ISO, .380 wOBA
Pearce’s price point would make him a fine value pick in today’s top daily fantasy baseball picks, but there is another cheaply priced option I like so you get two cheap plays in the outfield today. The Orioles slugger is tied for the 16th highest ISO against LHP among outfielders with a minimum of 250 PA since 2012. That kind of power looks nifty against Happ at the Rogers Centre.
Value Pick: Scott Van Slyke, Los Angeles Dodgers, $6,700
2014 vs LHP: 90 PA, 204 wRC+
Since 2012 vs LHP: 192 PA, 148 wRC+, .288 ISO, .381 wOBA
I’ll start by cautioning that Van Slyke isn’t a set it and forget it option, as it’s possible he could sit tonight even if that wouldn’t be an optimal lineup move for Don Mattingly to make. That said, I expect him to play, and if he does, his silly power and extreme patience (14.6% BB rate) against LHP looks like a steal at under $7,000. C.J. Wilson has been good against RHB in the past, but his wOBA has increased every year since 2011, and it sits at .347 this year.
Wild Card: Nelson Cruz, Baltimore Orioles, $9,350
2014 vs LHP: 116 PA, 168 wRC+
Since 2012 vs LHP: 392 PA, 147 wRC+, .221 ISO, .393 wOBA
The outfield top daily fantasy baseball picks are wrapped up with another pricey power hitter who, given some of the cheap options I’ve touted today, can be squeezed onto lineups with Joey Bats. Cruz is a terror for LHP, and Happ is a bad one who’s tasked with keeping him in the yard in a ballpark that greatly enhances power. Cruz has a perfect storm of his platoon advantage meshing perfectly with the opposing pitcher’s platoon weakness.
Join the Fantasy Sports Live League by entering tonight’s “Five Guys” contest now!
All salaries listed use DraftDay pricing
Batted ball data and splits information comes from that which is provided at FanGraphs unless otherwise stated, and ballpark factors are those found at StatCorner and are for a three-year rolling average.
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