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Daily DraftKings Picks: Friday, Aug 1

Yesterday I used the Official Lineup as my entry into Day 2 of the three-day survivor tournament. The lineup scored 129.70 points and finished 118th-of-750, so I’m moving on to the third and final day! Johnny Cueto and Yordano Ventura set the tone with a combined 59.70 points, and we received solid contributions up and down the lineup, save for Colby Rasmus who was a late scratch.

My three hidden players were Cueto (32.75 points), Neil Walker (19.00 points), and Adam Jones (5.00 points).

I also constructed an elite pitching, bargain basement offense lineup based around owning Cueto and Clayton Kershaw. That lineup scored 127.10 points and kept pace pretty well. My three lineups from yesterday are below.


A Hutchison-based lineup (left), the Official Lineup (center), and the pitching-based lineup (right)

Today is Day 3 of the survivor tournament where all 150 participants cash and someone will win a $50,000+ prize package to the DraftKings Championship later in the season, so wish me luck! A far as weather goes, SEA@BAL, PHI@WAS, and COL@DET are all listed as having a 40% chance of rain at some point tonight. I won’t let it affect my picks yet, but I’ll monitor each situation.

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Thursday’s Official DraftKings Lineup

Note: Lineup subject to change due to weather and released MLB lineups. Check back before contest lineups lock for our final lineup.

Sale is pretty much a lock to dominate. In his last five starts the fewest points he’s scored is 22.4 and he’s twice been over 40. One of those 40-point efforts was his last start, which was against these same Twins. It’s tough allocating this much money to a pitcher, but Sale should be good for 25ish points (likely a little more) and hopefully I can pair that with a pitcher in the $6K-$7K range with a 20-point outing as well. I expect Sale to be picked heavily today, but I like a lot of the hitter values so I’m OK spending here.

I’ll have to see today’s Red Sox lineup to know if I’m selecting Craig, but right now I like the idea of him facing the left-handed Chris Capuano in Fenway Park. It’s a new situation so we really don’t know what to expect, but the upside is too high given the price point. I also feel the same about Bogaerts, who’s turned things around over the last few weeks but still sits under $3.5K.

Gyorko has been on a tear since returning from the DL (7-for-14, 2 HR, 1 2B, 2 K)  and he’ll draw the left-handed, fly ball-prone Mike Minor. I love picking against Minor, but this game is in San Diego so it’s not ridiculous to think Minor escapes with several warning track fly outs and a solid stat line.

Taylor is just $2.4K (I had to save somewhere!) and represents a phenomenal value. He’s not really a HR threat, but he has a history of fantastic walk rates in the minors with average strikeout rates, he has some speed (20+ SB potential), and he’ll bat right near the top of a lineup with some RBI guys sitting behind him (Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager). Selecting Taylor represents an interesting concept in lineup construction — whether it’s better to spread savings across several lower-priced players or save at once with one really cheap guy. What do you think?

Detroit faces the left-handed Franklin Morales and I really wish I could force Victor Martinez, Miguel Cabrera, J.D. Martinez, etc into today’s lineup. Unfortunately I can’t, not with Sale, but Davis and Hunter are great options themselves. Davis will bat in Detroit’s top two, especially with Austin Jackson gone, and he’s much better against LHP: .373/.404/.578 this year, .303/.340/.462 for his career. For reference, his SLG against LHP for his career is 91 points higher than against RHP. Hunter is having another great, underappreciated season and he’s slashing .313/.333/.495 against LHP this season with consistently more production against southpaws than RHP for his career.

I’m excited for these players today but things may change as I had to leave off a lot of other players I really like!

Safe Matchups for H2H and Double-Up Play

If you only need to finish in the top 50%, safer plays are the way to go.

High-Risk, High-Upside Matchups for Multi-Player Play

You don’t win the big bucks without hitting on a few lottery ticket picks!


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  • gerg

    Any thoughts on a Cleveland stack today against Jerome Williams? And is Fister a safe play today? Thanks Prof!

    • Obviously a Cleveland stack would be nice if you can afford it because Jerome Williams is just a bad starter. I don’t think Fister is “safe” but he’s a sub-3.00 guy at home against a bottom-third offense so it’s definitely safer.

      • gerg

        This is my original lineup I put together earlier. Gray, Fister, Zunino, Swisher, Kipnis, Carlos Santana, Taylor, Brantley, Craig, Jones. It’s different than yours obviously with only 2 players the same. Does this look like a solid lineup to you? Any input would help, I have been dying lately.

        • Gray: Solid and reliable, though could have low-K outing vs KC
          Fister: Again, solid
          Zunino: Good buy
          CLE Stack: High upside. Not sure Brantley is worth the money right now but he’s not super overpriced
          Taylor/Craig: Obviously I support them
          Jones: I like him vs LHP, but beware Elias’ ground ball tendecies

  • Jecarl2

    Wait a minute, Isn’t Minor a Lefty? Gyorko is hitting .119 against leftys. I do like Solarte though.

    • He is. Just a typo. Nice catch.

    • Regarding Gyorko’s .119 BA, that’s in 42 AB. I don’t think you can draw anything meaningful from 42 AB. He’s also batting .199 against RHP. Last year he was better vs LHP than against RHP.

  • Brendan

    Love the Chris Taylor pick, I have him in pretty much all my lineups tonight. It turns out that Austin Jackson and Dustin Ackley are backing Taylor up for tonight’s game, which is probably better than having Cano and Seager. Cano is 4-22 (.182) and Seager is 1-14 (.071) against Chen, so I’m not sure you could rely on those guys driving home Taylor.

    • Haha that’s some good rationalizing of a guy batting 9th! I’d much rather he bat 2nd with Seager and Cano behind him despite their bad numbers against Chen. BvP data should be taken with several grains of salt due to sample size and how spread apart those PA are across multiple seasons (spanning different eras in each players’ development and career arc). That said, I still like the pick because of the cost and Taylor’s minor league profile. Just wish he wasn’t batting last!

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