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So I’ve cashed all four weeks of the Tout Wars Challenge but Tout Wars Daily has been testing my patience. The Top 10 take home some green in this smaller tournament and last week I was sitting pretty in 11th place with Jake Odorizzi cruising along shutting out the Mariners.

Then as I’m checking in on the live scores, I notice that the game is in the sixth inning, but Odorizzi only has 4.1 innings pitched. Besides the missed points from innings pitched and additional strikeouts, this meant Odorizzi had no chance to get me the additional four points with a victory. Who says injuries can’t hurt in Daily Fantasy Baseball! Undone by an oblique.

That’s Ok, I’ve been on a nice run lately on FanDuel. After some frustrating early-season struggles, I’ve finally put a string of wins together, cashing out in 75 percent of my 50/50s over the last few weeks. Now to convert that over to Tout Wars Daily!

Here are the links you need to compete today (and every day). I’ll let you do most of the legwork, but I will warn you that the nice David Price vs. Danny Salazar matchup in Detroit could be affected by what is right now almost a 100% chance of rain.

Links for MLB Weather:

MLB Injuries:

Vegas Lines:

Probable Pitchers:

Batter vs. Pitcher: I’m not much of a believer in Batter vs. Pitcher numbers. You can read why here. Still, a lot of people use this data, so here are the two that are most useful in my opinion.

Also Check out these helpful tools:

FanDuel Strategy for the Day

Typical GPP strategy says to play contrarian a bit and look for players that won’t be on a lot of rosters. Since just being above average won’t help in a tournament, this is one way to stand out. But Tout Wars Daily has just over 40 entrants. I think it calls for a hybrid strategy somewhere between a safe 50/50 type lineup and that of a high risk – high reward GPP roster.

So today I’m still going to build a lineup that should score well in 50/50s, but I will go contrarian just a bit, and use the second tier options in a few places. Maybe that means instead of Clayton Kershaw or Felix Hernandez, I use Danny Salazar (weather pending). What I’ll do is build two lineups, one with Kershaw/Hernandez, and one with a Salazar-type pitcher and see which I like best.

I’ll share both with you at the end of the column and you can take what you want from both.

Top Stacking Options for the Day

There are a lot of questionable pitchers taking the mound today. It could be a day filled with offense. Here are the stacking options I’ll be watching.

  1. Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Kevin Correia, RHP, PHI – Correia just fits right in on this Phillies team. I like left-handed hitters Gregory Polanco, Pedro Alvarez, and Neil Walker, but don’t be afraid to use Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte either. Vegas sees two other games as being higher scoring, but this one may have all the scoring on one side.
  2. Toronto Blue Jays @ Joe Kelly, RHP, BOS – I love the Toronto bats against LHP, but they can do some damage against bad RHP as well, and Kelly has been brutal. Some people stay away from hitters on the road, but I like that this Blue Jay lineup is guaranteed nine turns at the plate.
  3. Seattle Mariners @ Brett Oberholtzer, LHP, HOU – Seattle’s lineup has not been dominating, but they have a few right-handed bats that kill left-handed pitching. Think Nelson Cruz, Mark Trumbo, Austin Jackson, Mike Zunino, and even Rickie Weeks, assuming he’s in the lineup.

FanDuel Picks for Friday, June 12, 2015

Top Starting Pitchers for the Day

The following rankings take into account skill of pitcher, quality of opposing offense, quality of opposing pitcher, ballpark factors, and of course price at FanDuel.

  1. Felix Hernandez ($11,800) @ Houston Astros – The King certainly enjoys Safeco as his home ballpark, but he’s got a 1.82 ERA on the road this season. The Astros are tied with the Cubs with 561 strikeouts on the season; 51 more than any other team. Great pitcher? Check. Good matchup for his offense? Check. Opposing team strikes out a ton? Check.
  2. Clayton Kershaw ($12,000) @ San Diego Padres  – Another great matchup. If I write too much I’ll talk myself out of Felix. Kershaw is on a roll and will be pitching in a great park, against an opposing pitcher with a 4.72 ERA. The only thing I don’t like here is a Padres lineup heavy on right-handed hitters. Yeah, weak, I know. Right-handed hitters are batting .219 this year off of Kershaw (lefties .226). If you want to roll with Kershaw I’ll completely understand.
  3. Madison Bumgarner ($10,600) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – I’m not overly high on Madbum tonight, but my other two choices (Price and Salazar) are matching up in a game threatened by rain. Bumgarner has a 4.87 ERA over his last three starts and Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock are lefty killers. Bumgarner might fit that slightly contrarian strategy, but his price tag is not all that much lower than Kershaw or Hernandez.

Top Options at Each Position

Here are two choices at each position; one is the best bet for production and the other is a lower priced option with a favorable outlook.

Catcher:

Salvador Perez ($2,700) vs. Jaime Garcia (LHP) – With nine homers, 28 RBIs and a .286 average I’m not really sure why Perez is priced below the likes of Francisco Cervelli and an injured John Jaso, but I’ll take him. Perez hits slightly better against lefties and Garcia fares slightly worse against right-handed hitters. It’s not an extreme mismatch, but at the hitter position this is what we’ve got.

Jonathan Lucroy ($2,600) vs. Jordan Zimmermann (RHP) – Again not a great matchup, but when Lucroy is priced this low, he has to be a consideration. He batted lead-off yesterday, so if nothing else we’ll get the most plate appearances possible.

Rene Rivera ($2,200) vs. John Danks (LHP) – With the current state of the catcher position there’s an argument for going as cheap as possible. Rivera hasn’t hit anybody hard this year, but last year he hit .280 with six homers against LHP. I can also guarantee you he’ll be in the lineup; the Rays just designated backup Bobby Wilson and have a middle infielder as their emergency catcher.

First Base:

Paul Goldschmidt ($5,600) vs. Madison Bumgarner (LHP) – Yes Bumgarner is good and the D’Backs won’t like leaving Chase Field, but in my piece, 50 Hitters to Use Against LHP, you can see why Goldy is always a top option against southpaws. His salary may not fit in a lineup with Kershaw or Felix, but I’ll get him in there with a cheaper pitcher if I can.

Adam Lind ($2,600) vs. Jordan Zimmermann (RHP) – If you like the list of hitters to use against LHP, try out 70 Hitters to Use against RHP. You’ll find Lind there and the numbers are mind boggling. In 2014 Lind scored 6.36 more points per 10 plate appearances vs. RHP than he did against LHP. It’s more of the same this year, though not quite as extreme. Lind is an elite option when he faces RHP and his salary is especially helpful in fitting King Felix in my lineup.

Second Base:

Brian Dozier ($3,900) vs. Wandy Rodriguez (LHP) – Dozier may have worked his way up to the top tier against any pitcher, but he’s most certainly an elite option when he faces a lefty. I’m not a fan of the price, but he’ll be in my lineup if I end up using a cheaper pitcher.

Neil Walker ($2,700) vs. Kevin Correia (RHP) – Check out Walker’s splits and you’ll see that his struggles this year have mostly come when he hits right-handed. He’ll be batting left-handed tonight against human BP machine Kevin Correia… Note to self: Saying stuff like this almost guarantees a Correia shutout.

Third Base:

Evan Longoria ($3,100) vs. John Danks (LHP) – Longoria is not the offensive force he once was, but he still pounds left-handed pitching pretty well. Danks holds left-handed hitters to a .224 average, but righties hit .318 off him. In fact tonight may be your only chance all season to use a Tampa Bay stack. Have you got the balls?… I don’t.

Maikel Franco ($3,100) vs. Jeff Locke (LHP) – Not really a fan of the matchups for third baseman today, but Franco has shown his bat is ready, and in his small sample size has hit .313 with two HRs in 16 at-bats against left-handed pitchers. Locke has an ERA of 5.37 and has been dinged up by left-handed and right-handed hitters alike.

Shortstop:

Jose Reyes ($4,100) vs. Joe Kelly (RHP) – Could we just leave the shortstop slot empty and use the salary somewhere else? Since we have to fill the slot, I’ll give a little love to Reyes, who is temporarily healthy and playing like the Reyes of old. I’d like more power, but he is running and I like the Blue Jays’ chances of scoring a bunch of runs tonight. If you have the salary room feel free to go back in time with Jose Reyes.

Marcus Semien ($2,300) vs. Hector Santiago (LHP) – Semien is another hitter who’s best used against left-handed pitching, and who scores much higher than the players around him in the FanDuel salaries. Santiago has pitched a bit over his head this year and this matchup is a nice value play considering the other options at shortstop.

Outfielders:

Bryce Harper ($5,500) vs. Mike Fiers (RHP) – You pretty much have to consider Harper anytime he’s facing a right-handed pitcher. I can’t fit the salary in with Kershaw or the King, but if I go contrarian, Harper is a nice option.

Starling Marte ($3,800) vs. Kevin Correia (RHP) –  Toss Andrew McCutchen in here too if you want. Marte could walk a bit more, but he does everything else you’d want and Kevin Correia will get bombed tonight… Note to self: Saying stuff like this almost guarantees a Correia shutout.

Nelson Cruz ($3,600) vs. Brett Oberholtzer (LHP) – Cruz has hit 14 of his 18 homers this year on the road. Cruz is hitting .472 this year against LHP and .480 against LHP on the road. Cruz is facing a left-handed pitcher on the road tonight. Cruz has missed a couple games with back spasms, but reportedly sat out Thursday’s game only as a precaution. If he’s in the lineup I’m using him.

Steven Souza Jr. ($3,300) vs. John Danks (LHP) – Souza has been pretty much hit or miss this year, but he’s got a .935 OPS against LHP and Danks has given up nine HRs to right-handed hitters in just 45 innings. Souza may be the perfect selection for a smaller tournament like Tout Wars Daily.

Kole Calhoun ($2,700) vs. Jesse Chavez (RHP) – Calhoun had a career day for me on Tuesday so maybe I’m playing favorites, but a $2,700 hitter who bats clean-up behind Mike Trout and Albert Pujols is going to have plenty of opportunities to do damage.

Lorenzo Cain ($2,500) vs. Jaime Garcia (LHP) – There’s no doubt that Cain has slowed down after a hot start, but he’s still pounding lefties to the tune of a .344 batting average and can add value through the stolen base. In a lineup with an expensive pitcher, tonight be a night where Cain comes in handy.

 

My Lineup(s) for the Day

Here are the two lineups I’ll be considering tonight. One uses Felix Hernandez and focuses on platoon advantage to exploit offensive value.  In the other I went with Hector Santiago pitching at home and upgraded a few of my hitters. Of course I’ll be visiting RotoWire and BaseballPress.com to make sure all of my recommendations take theFanDuel Picks for Friday, June 12, 2015 field tonight. If one of my picks isn’t in the lineup, I’ll try to select options from my other recommendations.

And of course I also reserve the right to tweak things if I hear other news during the day. Right now there are no huge weather concerns, so this is my likely lineup as of now.

 

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