MLB National League Division Series

Giants vs Cubs Game 3 (2-0 for Chicago)

Madison Bumgarner looks to continue his impressive postseason success and keep the San Francisco Giants alive when they host the Chicago Cubs on Monday (Enter Contests) in Game 3 of their MLB National League Division Series. The left-hander is 5-1 with one save and a 0.88 ERA in eight contests over his last two postseasons (2014 and 2016) after shutting out the New York Mets 3-0 in the Wild-Card Game on Wednesday. He won both regular-season starts against the Cubs this year.

ABOUT THE GIANTS

Madison Bumgarner (2016 playoffs: 1-0, 0.00) baffled the Mets with a four-hitter, striking out six and walking a pair in improving his career postseason numbers to 8-3 with a 1.94 ERA and 0.86 WHIP. The 27-year-old cooled off in the second half of the regular season as well, going 5-5 with a 3.80 ERA after posting a 10-4 record and 1.94 ERA before the All-Star break. Bumgarner went 9-4 with a 2.14 ERA at home this year and has fared well against the Cubs in his career (8-2, 2.25).

The Giants, who face elimination after winning 11 straight postseason series, scored just two runs over the first two games while Chicago’s pitchers have driven in three with their bats. They’ve won nine straight elimination games, the longest such streak in major-league history.

ABOUT THE CUBS

Chicago turns to Jake Arrieta (18-8, 3.10 ERA), who went 11-3 on the road this season and split a pair of starts against San Francisco while posting a 2.08 ERA. The reigning N.L. Cy-Young winner posted a 12-2 record and 2.10 ERA through June but split his final 12 decisions, going 2-3 with a 4.60 ERA in September. Arrieta , who has 40 wins to his credit over the last two seasons, owns a 4-2 mark with a 1.82 ERA in six career starts versus the Cubs. The 30-year-old TCU product has held Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt to a combined 2-for-38.

Angel Pagan is 5-for-11 against Arrieta. Javier Baez is 3-for-6 with a homer in the series and the Cubs received a run-scoring single in the first inning of Saturday’s 5-2 win from Ben Zobrist, who is 6-for-12 lifetime against Bumgarner. First baseman Anthony Rizzo, who belted 32 homers and knocked in 109 runs during the regular season, went 0-for-7 in the first two games. Chicago has gone 2-4 in six games at San Francisco over the last two years and went 46-34 on the road during the regular season.

Posted in MLB

National League Division Series

Giants vs Cubs Game 1

The Chicago Cubs led the majors with 103 regular-season victories but that doesn’t guarantee them rare postseason success when they open the National League Division Series on Friday against the visiting San Francisco Giants (Enter Contests). Chicago was swept out of the playoffs last season in the NL Championship Series by the New York Mets and hasn’t won the World Series since 1908.

About the Cubs

Jon Lester (19-5, 2.44) will throw the first pitch in the series for Chicago. The 32-year-old was superb at home this season with a 10-2 mark and 1.74 ERA and that helped make him an easy Game 1 choice for the Cubs. Lester, who is 4-1 with a 2.25 ERA in five career starts against the Giants, dropped both turns last postseason for the Cubs but is 6-6 with a 2.85 ERA in 16 career appearances (14 starts).

The Cubs are led by budding superstar third baseman Kris Bryant, the probable NL MVP after having 39 homers and 102 RBIs in his second big-league season. Despite that, Bryant (6-for-34, two home runs) and first baseman Anthony Rizzo (6-for-32, two homers) struggled in the 2015 postseason. The Cubs won four of the seven regular-season meetings with two of their defeats coming against Giants ace LH Madison Bumgarner.

About the Giants

Giants starter Johnny Cueto (18-5, 2.79) went 4-0 with a 1.91 ERA over his final four outings to reach the third-highest victory total of his nine-year career. The 30-year-old is 2-3 with a 5.35 ERA in seven career postseason starts and struggled badly in his first three outings in last year’s postseason with Kansas City before coming up big in Game 2 of the World Series with a complete-game two-hitter in a 7-1 victory over the New York Mets. Cueto is 9-8 with a 3.24 ERA in 24 career starts against the Cubs and is 5-5 with a 3.07 ERA in 15 outings at Wrigley Field.

San Francisco won three World Series crowns this decade and earned the trip to Chicago by blanking the Mets 3-0 in Wednesday’s NL wild-card game. Third baseman Eduardo Nunez (hamstring) isn’t ready to return, so wild-card game hero Conor Gillaspie (decisive three-run homer) is expected to start.

Posted in MLB

August 18 MLB Rundown

Thursday Evening Matchups

FanPicks has your August 18 MLB rundown to get ready for today’s fantasy baseball contests. Get the info you need and play right here!

Astros vs Orioles

Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, who reached 1,000 hits against the Cardinals on Tuesday, has had a lot of success against Baltimore, just not recently. In Houston’s three-game sweep of the O’s earlier this season, Altuve went 1-for-13.

Dodgers vs Phillies

Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager has hit safely in eight straight games, going 15-for-36. Teammate Adrian Gonzalez is 18-for-40 with 11 RBIs and 12 runs scored during a 10-game hitting streak.

White Sox vs Indians

Cleveland’s first baseman Carlos Santana has a career batting average of .364 (4-for-11) off Rodon. Santana is the only Cleveland batter with double-digit career at-bats vs. the southpaw hitting over .200.

Marlins vs Reds

Veteran second baseman Brandon Phillips returned to the Reds lineup on Wednesday after missing the previous two contests due to injury and delivered the key hit with a go-ahead, two-run double in the seventh.

Nationals vs Braves

Nats outfielder Jayson Werth has reached base in 45 consecutive games. He has a chance to tie the franchise record if he reaches base on Thursday.

Twins vs Royals

Twins rookie right-hander Tyler Duffey goes for his second win over the Royals in six days.

Mariners vs Angels

Fourteen game winning pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma has dominated the Angels’ two biggest threats in large sample sizes. Mike Trout is hitting just .214 (9-for-42) and Albert Pujols only .133 (3-for-45) vs. Iwakuma.

Padres vs Diamondbacks

Arizona right fielder Yasmany Tomas isn’t having any issues at the plate as he went 3-for-4 with two homers and a career-best six RBIs in Wednesday’s 13-5 victory over the New York Mets. Tomas has slugged 12 homers in his past 19 games and has seven multi-homer games while belting 25 this season.

Mets vs Giants

Giants ace Madison Bumgarner has been superb against the Mets in his career by going 4-0 with a 1.03 ERA and 0.91 WHIP in five career outings. Mets counter-attacks with their ace Jacob deGrom, who is 3-0 with a 0.84 ERA in three career starts against the Giants. Pitching duel to be expected.

Posted in MLB

MLB Daily Fantasy Baseball News

FanPicks (click to play) has you covered with Thursday’s MLB Daily Fantasy Baseball News!

Clayton Kershaw sidelined for 2 weeks.

The Los Angeles Dodgers placed the name of ace Clayton Kershaw on the 15-day disabled list due to a back injury. In his last start Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates, he got the worst of it allowing 4 runs on 9 pitches. It was his second worst start this season.

Kershaw, who has been getting at-least 30 starts in six of his last seven season, is having one of it’s best campaign ever. Even with the Sunday’s loss, he shows a record of 11-2 and leads the National League with a 1.79 ERA. He’s also first in innings pitched (121), strikeouts (145), walks allowed per innings (WHIP, 0.727) and walks allowed per games (0.7). The Dodgers hold a record of 14-2 when Kershaw is on the mound and 29-35 when he’s not.

The O’s are on fire!

With Mark Trumbo’s 23rd home run of the season, the Orioles collected their 55th total since the start of June. It equals an MLB all-time June record held by the Oakland Athletics. They recorded 55 long balls in 29 June games back in 1996.  Trumbo pushed back over the wall one of Padres Christian Friedrich pitch in the fourth inning Wednesday. Manny Machado was on-base on that play and two runs were scored. Baltimore won the game 12 to 6. The O’s will have the opportunity to break the A’s record on Thursday night against the Seattle Mariners. This will be their 28th game in June.

The record for most homers hit in a single month is held by both the Orioles and Mariners, who knocked 58 long balls back in May 1987 and 1999 respectively.

A first in 40 years.

For the first time in 40 years, one team has chosen to not go with a designated hitter on purpose. Giants manager Bruce Bochy revealed that pitcher Madison Bumgarner will take the spot in an interleague game versus the Oakland Athletics Thursday night. It is the first time that an MLB manager makes this call since 1976. It’s not suprising though that this happens with Bumgarner, as he’s in a class of it’s own when it comes to solid pitching and hitting. No other MLB daily fantasy baseball pitchers is has talented as him with the bat. Since the beginning of his career, the 26 year-old pitcher picked up 13 home runs and 45 runs-batted-in.

New York, night of reunion .

The Mets and the Cubs will go head-to-head for the first time since the National League Championship series last October. The Mets will send Steven Matz (7-3) to the mound to start this four game series. In the Cubs side, they will hand the ball to John Lackey (7-4). The Mets have been underwhelming this season. They present a 40-37 record, which is good for third in the N.L. East division behind the Nationals and Marlins. The Cubs, on the other hand, are having an amazing year, standing above all 29 MLB teams with a 51-26 record.

Posted in MLB

MLB Fantasy Baseball Draft Top Evening Picks

June 14th 2016

 Major League Baseball resumes with all 30 team in action this Tuesday. The Toronto Blue Jays are hosting the Philadelphia Phillies in an early morning matchup, while the rest of the games will begin at 7PM ET tonight. There will be a clash at Fenway, as two of the top pitchers this season will face-off. O’s Chris Tillman will go for win number 9, but he’ll have to out-duel Boston’s ace David Price. Also, Brew’s Crew pitcher Matt Garza will make his return from injury for the first time this season in San Francisco . He will have a lot on his plate, as he go’s against the leagues third best ERA pitcher Madison Bumgarner. Here is the MLB fantasy baseball draft top picks (click to draft):

Players Pos Team Opp Last Game FP Last Two Games FP Avg Last Four Games FP Average Last Ten Games FP Average
Madison Bumgarner P SF MIL 60.5 45.2 46.3 40.4
Adam Jones OF BAL @BOS 55 19 14.4 17
Chris Iannetta C SEA @TB 54 19.8 17.2 9.2
John Lackey P CHC @WAS 51 42 38.7 33.1
Drew Pomeranz P SD MIA 50.5 33.3 35.3 34.6
Chris Carter 1B MIL @SF 50.5 19.3 17.4 9
Brandon Moss 1B STL HOU 48 29 21.5 13.2
Xander Bogaerts SS BOS BAL 48 28.8 21.8 15.9
DaeHo Lee 1B SEA @TB 47.5 17.3 11.6 13.1
Robinson Cano 2B SEA @TB 47.5 22.5 14.3 13.5
Nelson Cruz 1B SEA @TB 47.5 25.5 20 15.7
Justin Upton OF DET @CWS 46 21 14.2 10.3

MLB Fantasy Baseball Draft Notables

  • With Chicago Cubs Jorge Soler on the disabled list, rookie Albert Almora Jr. is likely to start in left field against Washington’s left-handed pitcher Gio Gonzalez. Known primarily for his defense, Almora has three hits in 10 at-bats since being called up earlier this month.
  • New York Mets outfielder Michael Conforto is expected to return to the lineup Tuesday after sitting out Sunday due to wrist soreness.
  • By the time Jacob deGrom starts Tuesday’s series opener with the Pirates, the Mets’ right-hander will have had a week off between outings.
  • Detroit Tigers pitcher Jordan Zimmermann is 2-0 with a 1.83 ERA in three career starts against the White Sox.
  • It’s possible that Astros shortstop Carlos Correa will return Tuesday against the Cards. He was out of the lineup for all three games of Houston’s series against Tampa Bay after spraining his left ankle last Thursday against Texas.
  • New York Yankees hurler Nathan Eovaldi is 6-0 with a 3.86 ERA over his last nine starts, the longest winning streak by a Yankees pitcher this season.
  • Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre is not expected in the lineup for a sixth straight game because of a strained left hamstring, though he will be available as a pinch-hitter.
Posted in MLB

MLB Baseball Fantasy Picks

June 8th 2016

The Cubs and Phillies start a full lineup of daily fantasy baseball and FanPicks (click to play) has your top MLB baseball fantasy picks. With all the commotion that happened yesterday in Baltimore, it doesn’t look like it disturbed O’s Mark Trumbo. He clubbed his 20th home run of the season, leading the league in the category.  The final matchup of the evening pits two high end pitchers against each other. San Francisco Bay host this duel between Red Sox David Price and Giants Madison Bumgarner. See who ranks higher.

Player Pos Team Opp Last Game FP Two Game FP Avg Four Game FP Avg Ten Game FP Avg
Madison Bumgarner P SF BOS 60.5 45.2 46.3 40.4
Max Scherzer P WAS @CWS 55 40.7 50.6 37.7
John Lackey P CHC @PHI 51 42 38.7 33.1
Drew Pomeranz P SD ATL 50.5 33.3 35.3 34.6
Chris Carter 1B MIL OAK 50.5 19.3 17.4 9
Nelson Cruz OF SEA CLE 47.5 25.5 20 15.7
Justin Upton OF DET TOR 46 21 14.2 10.3
Noah Syndergaard P NYM @PIT 46 39.8 43.1 39.9
Billy Hamilton OF CIN STL 42 13.3 11.7 14
Archie Bradley P ARI TB 41.5 35.7 21.7 14
Eduardo Nunez SS MIN MIA 41.5 35.3 26.6 18.3
Jose Altuve 2B HOU @TEX 40.5 18.3 14.8 13.8
Daniel Murphy 2B WAS @CWS 39 12.8 16 14.5
Anthony Rendon 3B WAS @CWS 39 21 17.3 12.3
Brandon Moss 1B STL @CIN 39 20 11.5 8.7
Mark Trumbo OF BAL KC 39 22.5 21.1 18.4
Desmond Jennings OF TB @ARI 39 13 8.8 4.3
Chase Anderson P MIL OAK 37.5 25.2 27.6 19.3
Paul Goldschmidt 1B ARI TB 36 22.2 16.3 16.6
RA Dickey P TOR @DET 35.5 22.3 26.8 20.7

MLB Baseball Fantasy Picks Notables

  • Chicago Cubs Albert Almora could see his first Major League start on Wednesday. The former first-round pick grounded out in his first at-bat, pinch-hitting for Kyle Hendricks in the sixth inning of Tuesday’s game. Almora was hitting .318 with 10 stolen bases in 54 games with Triple-A Iowa.
  • Detroit’s Justin Upton is slowly hitting his way out of a slump. He is riding a five-game hitting streak in which he is batting .400, with extra-base hits in his last three games.
  • Former Braves prospect Christian Bethancourt will likely serve as the Padres’ catcher in the series finale. Bethancourt has hit four homers in 64 at-bats and has been charged with three passed balls in 129 innings behind the plate.
  • In the first round of the 2010 MLB Draft, 36 spots separated Jameson Taillon and  Noah Syndergaard. The Pirates took Taillon No. 2 overall, and the Blue Jays drafted Syndergaard at No. 38 in the supplemental first round. Their paths have since diverged, but the former elite pitching prospects will clash Wednesday as the Pirates and Mets finish their series.
  • Twins left fielder Robbie Grossman, who doubled in his first at-bat and hit a game-ting homer on Tuesday, has now reached base safely in 16 of 17 games since joining the club on May 19. Grossman, who has slowly moved up in the batting order since then, batted second on Tuesday.
  • Mariners pitcher Taijuan Walker is making his fourth career start vs. Cleveland. He’s 3-0 with a 0.45 ERA against the Indians, having given up one earned run in 20 inning and striking out 20 batters.
  • Giants catcher Buster Posey is questionable for Wednesday’s game. He didn’t start Tuesday’s game with irritation in his right thumb.
Posted in MLB

Fantasy Baseball Best Picks of the Day – September 29th 2015

There are sparks flying everywhere in the MLB, as we inch closer to post-season’s daily fantasy sports contests. Tension is in the air in California. Both San Francisco and Los Angeles are vying for the N.L. west top spot. They will play their 2nd game of a 4 games series. Giants are sending their ace Madison Bumgarner to the mound, but the Dodgers respond with their own all-star, Clayton Kershaw. A win for the Dodgers allows them to clinch a playoff entry. Also on the bracket is the N.L. central division matchup between St-Louis and Pittsburgh. The Cards will try to claim the title for the third straight year with a win over the Pirates today. Can you feel the heat, because these are the fantasy hot picks:

P Madison Bumgarner – San Francisco Giants

Season: 18 W, 8 L, 2.88 ERA, 228 Ks, 38 BBs

Bumgarner won against Kershaw twice this season. After losing his last two starts, he’ll look for redemption and the chance to keep his team’s playoff hopes alive. The lefty will also pitch at home where he holds a 1.80 ERA. A crowd cheering for him is all the motivation he’s going to need to win.

C Carlos Perez – Los Angeles Angels

Season:  .248 AVG, 3 HRs, 18 RBIs, 16 Runs, 2 SBs

The L.A. Angels are in the middle of a battle with the Houston Astros for top spot in the A.L. west. They need contribution from all their players. Perez has been doing his part, hitting .444 in his last 8 games.

1B Adam Lind – Milwaukee Brewers

Season: .284 AVG, 20 HRs, 86 RBIs, 70 Runs

The Brewers will introduce minor league pitcher of the year Jorge Lopez to the MLB. Given that he’s the future hope of a struggling Milwaukee team, the squad will need to step up their game. Adam Lind is having a pretty good season. The 32 years-old also has Tyson Ross number. He’s batting a career .833 with 1 home run and 3 RBI’s in 6 at-bats against the righty.

2B Andres Blanco – Philadelphia Phillies

Season: .287 AVG, 6 HRs, 23 RBIs, 29 Runs

He has shown that you don’t need to be in a bad team to perform well. The Venezuelan had a game winning homer on Sunday against the Nats. It came the inning after an altercation in the Washington dugout between Bryce Harper and Jonathan Papelbon. Blanco knows how to take up on opportunities when they presents themselves.

3B David Freese – Los Angeles Angels

Season: .257 AVG, 13 HRs, 53 RBIs, 49 Runs, 1 SB

Freese had back-to back dingers over the weekend. It shows that from top to bottom of the Angels lineup, everybody is contributing for the playoff push. The 2011 World Series MVP knows how to win when it matter.

SS Alexei Ramirez – Chicago White Sox

Season: .249 AVG, 10 HRs, 60 RBIs, 54 Runs, 17 SBs

He was not in the lineup for Sunday’s matchup against the Yankees. This gave him a two day rest before his team meets up with the Royals in a three game home stand. He will face Johnny Cueto today, and that is no problem for him. The Cuban is averaging .750 with 1 home run in 8 at-bats against Cueto.

OF Carlos Beltran – New York Yankees

Season: .275 AVG, 18 HRs, 63 RBIs, 53 Runs

The Yankees are facing their eternal rivals Red Sox. The Yankees lost the first one. They will need to rebound so that they can get closer to a post-season entry. If all goes well today, Beltran should have plenty of fantasy points at cleanup.

OF Charlie Blackmon – Colorado Rockies

Season: .290 AVG, 17 HRs, 56 RBIs, 90 Runs, 41 SBs

The man with the beard just closed out a terrific series against the Dodgers. He had 4 hits including a triple and a home run, while scoring one run or more in every game. Now, it’s time for him to show what he can do against the Diamondbacks.

OF A. J. Pollock – Arizona Diamondbacks

Season: .317 AVG, 19 HRs, 75 RBIs, 106 Runs, 37 SBs

Pollock is having a tremendous season for the D-Backs. He will have no problem elevating those numbers today, as he faces off against Colorado’s Christian Bergman. He has 4 hits in 7 at-bats against him.

Fantasy Baseball Picks Recap

 P Madison Bumgarner – San Francisco Giants

C Carlos Perez – Los Angeles Angels

1B Adam Lind – Milwaukee Brewers

2B Andres Blanco – Philadelphia Phillies

3B David Freese – Los Angeles Angels

SS Alexei Ramirez – Chicago White Sox

OF Carlos Beltran – New York Yankees

OF Charlie Blackmon – Colorado Rockies

OF A.J. Pollock – Arizona Diamonbacks

Posted in MLB

MLB Weekend Recap: The weekend of Double Homers

This weekend in the MLB showed some very volatile Fantasy Performances which means huge point totals (and huge profits) if you put together the right mix of players. In the fantasy world, pitchers benefit from low scoring games and hitters benefit from high scoring games so it is rare to see Fantasy MLB contests where both hitters and pitchers thrived, however that was the case this weekend.

Pitchers

The bluechip pitchers who got the start this weekend were Madison Bumgarner, Zack Greinke, and Max Scherzer pitching for the Giants, Dodgers, and Nationals respectively. Starting with the biggest performance, Bumgarner managed to provide fantasy value despite the huge premium that came with including him your lineup. He pitched a complete game, allowing only one hit and pitching 9 strikeouts in the Giants win over the Padres. This earned him a total of 61.5 fantasy points.

Greinke fell just short of these numbers against the D-backs but it was still enough for the win. Zach Greinke pitched for 8 innings with 8 strikeouts, allowing 3 hits, 2 walks, but no runs. His bullpen almost lost it in the last inning as the Dodgers won in a close 4-3. Greinke totaled 54.5 fantasy points.

Lastly, Scherzer earned 49.5 fantasy points in 8 innings against the Marlins accumulating 6 strikeouts. The Nationals won the game 5-0 and Scherzer delivered 49.5 fantasy points to your MLB Daily Fantasy Contest lineup.

Also performing well on the weekend for a lower salary level was Anthony DeSclafani with 52.0 fantasy points, Kyle Gibson of the Twins with 51.0 fantasy points, Rich Hill with 50.5 fantasy points, and Drew Smyly with 50.0 fantasy points. Though the focus always seems to be on the spotlight pitchers, these are the pitchers that win high stakes tournaments due to the fantasy value they deliver. If you can spend only 8000 on a pitcher like this as opposed to 14000 for Greinke, that allows you to attain higher quality hitters.

Hitters

The trend in MLB Fantasy consistency is that pitchers are reliable, yet hitters provide a high end value. With a pitcher, you can usually predict their point total within 10 points, however, hitters may end the day with all strikeouts and negative points, and they may end the day with 2 homers and 70 fantasy points.

This weekend had a couple players really blow up at each position. The first notable was Corey Seager of the Dodgers. He had a homer and double on his four hits against the Diamondbacks, totaling up 48 fantasy points and leading Short Stops on the weekend.

There were some big performances in the Outfield. Brett Gardner of the Yankees totaled 54.0 points on Saturday with 2 homers and 6 RBIs. On the opposing team, Jose Bautista hit two homers of his own for 53.5 fantasy points. The Yankees and Blue Jays had a double header on Saturday however so these point totals were in different games (meaning different MLB Daily Fantasy Tournaments). Also, relevant was Chris Coghlan of the Cubs who hit a homer and two triples all in the same game for 51.0 fantasy points.

Although this weekend may stand to argue, two homers in one game is not a normal statistical occurrence. David Ortiz added to the list of players who accomplished that feat on Saturday as he hit a couple out of the park and earned himself 51.0 fantasy points.

Yet the list still isn’t over. Add to that a couple third basement. Mike Moustakas of the Royals hit a couple homers with 9 RBI’s, leading the weekends fantasy totals with 68.5 fantasy points! Adrian Beltre hit two of his own but that only amounted to 50.5 fantasy points for him.

At second base, Jonathan Schoop hit two homers for 44.5 fantasy points on Sunday and at first base, CJ Cron from the Angels hit two of his own for 41.5 fantasy points. These two players provided huge fantasy value hitting those numbers as they came at such a low salary level. Surprisingly, no catchers were able to accomplish that feat as we usually see power hitting catchers such as Russell Martin, Brian Mccann, Nick Hundley, or Evan Gattis.

Posted in MLB