MLB Wild Card Games

Twins vs Yankees Preview

The New York Yankees have traditionally dominated the Minnesota Twins in the postseason and hope to continue that trend when the teams meet Tuesday night (8 p.m. ET on ESPN) in the American League Wild Card Game at Yankee Stadium. Want to be part of this wild card game, go to FanPicks and enter this contest!!!

New York defeated Minnesota in the AL Division Series in 2003, 2004, 2009 and 2010, claiming 12 of 14 contests in that span.  This encounter will be the first taste of October for the Yankees’ “Baby Bombers,” putting MVP candidate Aaron Judge – who led the AL in homers (52) and walks (127) – on a big stage in the Bronx that has played host to many legends.

The Twins authored one of the great turnarounds in baseball history by going from 59 victories in 2016 to 85 this year, but must overcome the pressure of past postseason failures, having lost 12 straight playoff games and 19 of their last 21 dating to the 2002 ALCS. Ervin Santana, who is 0-5 with a 6.43 ERA in six career starts at Yankee Stadium, gets the start for Minnesota opposite New York ace Luis Severino.

PITCHING MATCHUP:

Twins RH Ervin Santana (16-8, 3.28 ERA) vs. Yankees RH Luis Severino (14-6, 2.98)

Minnesota Twins

Santana tied Cleveland’s Corey Kluber, the AL Cy Young Award favorite, for most shutouts (three) and complete games (five) in the AL in an All-Star campaign in which he posted the second-lowest ERA of his 13-year-career. The 34-year-old finished the regular season with three straight road starts, including a tough loss at Yankee Stadium on September 18 in which he allowed two runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. Judge went deep in that one against Santana, who owns a 5.66 ERA in 20 career starts versus New York — his highest mark against an AL team.

New York Yankees

Severino finished his breakout regular season by going 3-0 with a 2.10 ERA in five September starts, during which he allowed 15 hits and struck out 38 in 30 dominant innings. The one outliner in that stretch was a three-inning, three-run outing against Minnesota on September 20, when the 23-year-old was pulled following a 46-pitch third inning. That was the only career meeting with the Twins for Severino, who was 8-5 with a 3.71 ERA at home this year.

Rockies vs Diamondbacks Preview

Two teams make their long-awaited return to the postseason when the Colorado Rockies visit the Arizona Diamondbacks for a battle of National League West rivals in the NL Wild Card Game on Wednesday night (8 p.m. ET on TBS). If you want to make your mark during mlb post-season action, enter this wild card game contest featured at FanPicks.com.

The Diamondbacks are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2011 and had an 11-8 record this year against the Rockies, who make their first postseason appearance since 2009. Arizona went 52-29 at Chase Field this year and boast a powerful middle of the lineup as J.D. Martinez launched 29 homers in 62 games after being acquired from Detroit while Paul Goldschmidt knocked in 120 runs, but the first baseman finished the regular season by going 0-for-17.

Colorado had to battle its way into the playoffs, edging Milwaukee by one game for the final spot, but led the NL in runs (824) while featuring the NL batting champ Charlie Blackmon (.331), the major league runner up in RBIs Nolan Arenado (130) and a red-hot Carlos Gonzalez, who was 9-for-15 in his last four games with five extra-base hits. Arizona’s starting pitcher Zack Greinke has given up five home runs in 42 at-bats to Gonzalez in his career but is 13-1 with a 2.87 ERA at home in 2017, while the Rockies will go with fellow hard-throwing righty Jon Gray, who finished the season with four straight wins – one of them against the Diamondbacks.

PITCHING MATCHUP:

Rockies RH Jon Gray (10-4, 3.67 ERA) vs. Diamondbacks RH Zack Greinke (17-7, 3.20)

Colorado Rockies

Gray became a key part of the rotation after the All-Star break while going 8-4 with a 3.65 ERA over 15 starts, and allowed seven runs across 30 innings in his last five outings. The 25-year-old Oklahoma native also struck out 10 to win at Arizona on June 30 and is 2-2 with a 4.75 ERA lifetime versus the Diamondbacks. Martinez is 2-for-6 with a pair of homers and David Peralta 6-for-13 with a triple against Gray, who has 112 strikeouts in 110 1/3 innings in 2017.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Greinke reached 17 victories for the third time in four seasons, but struggled in his last home start against Miami on September 22 when he permitted eight runs over four innings. The 33-year-old Orlando native, who ended the regular season by limiting Kansas City to two runs over four innings Friday, is 9-5 lifetime against Colorado after going 2-1 with a 3.41 ERA in five outings this season. Mark Reynolds and Trevor Story have homered four times apiece against Greinke.

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Posted in MLB

MLB Post-Season Team-by-Team Outlook

After six months and a calendar of 162 games, we are ready for the major baseball series. FanPicks will cover all the daily fantasy baseball post-season games. What are you waiting for? Reserve your spot for the upcoming wild cards matchups between the Twins and the Yankees, and the Rockies versus the D-Backs on the National side. It’s starting Tuesday Night. Here’s an outlook of every team who made it in.

Minnesota Twins

The surprise team of the year. They are young, dynamic, dashing and barely have enough output from their starting pitchers to qualify in the playoffs. They are the potential cinderella’s of the post-season story.

New York Yankees

A dangerous formation. Undoubtedly the most formidable big bats staff in the playoffs. The catch is that they have to take the lead in the first five innings. Aaron Judge will need the support of his teammates. Jacoby Ellsbury had a good end of the season, which is reassuring.

Boston Red Sox

For the first time in their history, the Red Sox have won the title of their section two years in a row. They did it without much power, which is far removed from their usual identity. The pitchers held the fort throughout the season, but the relief proved less effective after Joe Kelly’s injury.

Cleveland Indians

They are even more formidable than last year as they pushed the world series in seven games in the absence of starters Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar. This year, they are healthy and Trevor Bauer is among the elite. The Indians have a depth that few teams can boast, both on the mound and on the attack.

Houston Astros

The Astros have a devastating attack made up of young people who are hungry for a championship ring. Carlos Correa is finally back a 100 percent healthy. Getting Justin Verlander in the rotation was the missing piece they needed.

Colorado Rockies

The Colorado pitching staff is largely underestimated, led by a gang of young starters (German Marquez, Kyle Freeland and Antonio Senzatela).

Arizona Diamondbacks

Among the teams drafted, the D-Backs are maybe the one that has the best chance of going all the way. JD Martinez came in to support Paul Goldschmidt after his acquisition of the Detroit Tigers. And Zach Greinke is no longer alone. Robby Ray and Patrick Corbin, the latter with a good second half of the season, give depth to the mound.

Washington Nationals

A strong team on paper, but with a lot of question marks. Is Bryce Harper ready? What about Max Scherzer? The lack of control of Gio Gonzalez on the big occasion is not very reassuring, especially against the Chicago Cubs, whose attack has been the best of the National League since the break.

Chicago Cubs

The World Series champions are back in series. Quietly entering in the playoff picture, they have been consistent since early July with an attack that produced as expected. They have several challenges on the mound though. Another trip to the world series is not out of the question.

Los Angeles Dodgers

How can a team that plays for, 800 for more than a month can have a sequence of 1-15 thereafter? The Dodgers are an enigma and even with a season-end of 8-2, doubts remain. Who will support Kershaw? Seager, Bellinger and Turner can not do it alone.

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Posted in MLB

MLB 2017 Season Preview

National League West

FanPicks examines the National League West division for the upcoming Major League Baseball season. Get ready for fantasy baseball.

Arizona DiamondBacks

The D-backs have the core of a strong offense with do-it-all Paul Goldschmidt, power bats in Jake Lamb and Yasmany Tomas and speed/power guy A.J. Pollock, whose absence had a lot to do with the team’s unexpected struggles a year ago. For the D-backs to have any kind of chance in the stacked NL West, however, their young starters behind Zack Greinke will need to take another step forward, and signed free-agent Fernando Rodney must thrive as the closer.

Colorado Rockies

Being in contention is realistic if the young rotation continues to improve and the bullpen, unlike last year, becomes an asset. And the bullpen should be better with the addition of Mike Dunn and the return of Jairo Diaz as well as young pitching prospects like Jeff Hoffman, German Marquez and Kyle Freeland, who could be moved temporarily to the bullpen to fortify that area.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Going into the offseason, the Dodgers’ goal was simple — keep as much of the roster intact as possible. They went 3-for-3 in the most important parts of that process, re-signing Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner and Rich Hill. Given the likelihood of better health this year, another year of maturity for the young players like Corey Seager and the fruits of a loaded farm system, the Dodgers appear to be the most obvious threat to the Chicago Cubs’ reign over the National League.

San Francisco Giants

The Giants remain one of the league’s most stable and successful franchises. They should receive plenty of quality innings from their rotation along with clean defensive games from a dynamic infield — a great recipe for getting leads, winning series and marching back to October.

San Diego Padres

Petco Park is a great place for fans to enjoy craft beer and good food. Sadly, good baseball doesn’t appear to be on the menu anytime soon as the Padres trot out a young team. Yes, it’ll be great for fans who like to see top prospects. Manager Andy Green suggested late last year that everyone “embrace the process.” That’s not exactly what most fans want to hear after watching too much losing ball over the decades. There will be far more growing pains than big moments.

Posted in MLB

August 8 MLB Preview

Monday Late Matchups

FanPicks has your august 8 MLB preview to get ready for today’s fantasy baseball contests. Get the info you need and play right here!

Rangers vs Rockies

Rangers scheduled starter Cole Hamels fell to 3-1 with a 1.59 ERA in four starts since the All-Star break following Wednesday’s loss at Baltimore in which he permitted three runs on four hits and four walks over seven innings. The rough road outing was a rare one for the 2008 World Series MVP, who still holds a sparkling 8-2 record and 1.90 ERA in 12 turns away from Rangers Ballpark. Hamels split his two starts versus the Rockies last season as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies and is 4-4 lifetime with a 3.21 ERA against them.

Orioles vs Athletics

O’s third baseman Manny Machado became the second player in history to homer in each of the first three innings when Baltimore dominated the rubber match with a 10-2 win at the Chicago White Sox on Sunday. Machado drove in a career-high seven runs in the win and finished up the weekend 7-for-15 with nine RBIs and five runs scored to lead the Orioles offense.

Tigers vs Mariners

Seattle’s second baseman Robinson Cano sat out the Sunday’s contest to rest and gear up for stellar Detroit rookie Michael Fulmer, who opposes Hisashi Iwakuma in the series opener.

Phillies vs Dodgers

The Philadelphia Phillies face an old friend for the first time when they begin a three-game road series against Chase Utley and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 37-year-old Utley was the heart and soul of the Phillies for more than 12 seasons after making his major league debut in 2003, helping the franchise capture its second World Series title — and first in 28 years — in 2008 before being traded to Los Angeles on Aug. 19, 2015. The six-time All-Star and second baseman on Sports Illustrated’s All-Decade Team for the 2000s has batted .250 with seven home runs and 32 RBIs in 93 games this season for the Dodgers.

Posted in MLB

Fantasy Baseball MLB August 5 Preview

Friday Late Matchups

FanPicks has your MLB august 5 preview to get ready for today’s fantasy baseball contest. Get the info you need and play right here!

Blue Jays vs Royals

The Toronto Blue Jays have won three games in a row and eight of 11 to pull within a single percentage point of the number one spot in the American League East. The surging Blue Jays look to continue their torrid stretch, opening a three-game series versus the reeling Kansas City Royals.

Braves vs Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals are getting healthy but are looking for a push in their battle for a National League wild-card spot against the Atlanta Braves. Leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter is expected to participate in the opener after missing 29 games with a strained right oblique. They’ve already had backup earlier this week, when infielders Jhonny Peralta and Brandon Moss came off the disabled list.

Marlins vs Rockies

The Miami Marlins have had a day off to recover from a catastrophic defeat and will try to turn things around against Colorado Rockies. The Marlins kicked off their six-game road trip with three straight losses to the Chicago Cubs, none as bad as Wednesday’s 5-4 defeat.

Brewers vs Diamondbacks

The Arizona Diamondbacks want to end a disappointing run of pitching performances. They’ll host the Milwaukee Brewers for the next few day’s in three-game series set. The bottom-place Diamondbacks have given up 46 runs during a four-game losing streak. Their opponents, on the other hand, recorded nine tallies per contest over the last seven.

Cubs vs Athletics

Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell once dreamed of playing at Oakland Coliseum. Dream will become a reality for him when his squad begin a three-game interleague series against the Oakland Athletics. A former A’s prospect, Russell has blossomed into a key player for the major league-best Cubs. Chicago has now four straight victory and won seven of their last eight.

Red Sox vs Dodgers

The Boston Red Sox are set on closing out a 11-game West Coast trek with a winning record. They will be begin a three-game series against the host Los Angeles Dodgers. Boston is 4-4 on the trip. Versatile Brock Holt delivered the tiebreaking RBI single in the 11th inning of Thursday for a 3-2 victory over Seattle, which split even the four-game series.

Angels vs Mariners

The Seattle Mariners are seeking to make up ground in the American League wild-card race. They are entering a stretch in which seven of their following 13 games are against the soaring Los Angeles Angels. Seattle is just 2-4 versus the Angels this season and Los Angeles is a 12-7 since the All-Star break.

Phillies vs Padres

Philadelphia’s Jeremy Hellickson was a prime candidate to be moved prior to Monday’s trade deadline, but the veteran right-hander will be staying around after-all. He’ll take the ball in Friday’s three-game series opener against the Padres in San Diego. Hellickson stretched his unbeaten streak to three starts (2-0) despite giving up three runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings of a 9-5 victory in Atlanta on Saturday.

 

Posted in MLB

MLB August 4 Preview

Thursday Late Matchups

FanPicks has your MLB august 4 preview to get ready for today’s fantasy baseball contest. Get the information you need and enter right here!

Blue Jays vs Astros

J.A. Happ looks to win his ninth consecutive decision when the Toronto Blue Jays conclude their four-game set against the host Houston Astros on Thursday. Happ has allowed a total of two runs in his last four victories and has set a career high with an American League-leading 14 victories. Toronto won two of the first three games of the series, including a 3-1 victory on Wednesday in which Josh Donaldson homered twice and Jose Bautista went deep once. Troy Tulowitzki has yet to appear in the series due to a chip fracture in his right thumb and is questionable to play in the finale.

Dodgers vs Rockies

The Dodgers will turn to right-hander Kenta Maeda on an extra day’s rest in hopes of reinvigorating their ailing rotation as they face off against Tyler Chatwood and the Rockies on Thursday. The Rockies (54-53) have won 11 of their past 13 games and are a major-league-best 14-5 since the All-Star break. Starting pitching is at the root of the Rockies’ surge. Colorado starters are 10-0 with a 2.00 ERA in the past 13 games. Tyler Chatwood, who is 10-6 with a 3.50 ERA in 19 starts, seeks to win his third consecutive start while reducing his walks in the process.

Red Sox vs Mariners

Seattle will get its first look at Wade Miley’s return investment when left-handed rookie Ariel Miranda makes his Mariners debut in the series finale against the Boston Red Sox. Coincidentally, Miranda’s only other big-league action also came at Safeco Field, where he threw two innings of relief for the Baltimore Orioles in a July 3 game against the Mariners. Boston is likely to play Thursday’s game without first baseman Hanley Ramirez, who hurt his wrist in a dugout fall late Tuesday night and was wearing a brace Tuesday.

Posted in MLB

MLB Fantasy Draft Top Picks

June 15th 2016

The Yanks’ and the Rox’ will start Wednesday MLB scheduled lineup starting at 3PM EST time. All 30 team’s will follow in on the action. Make your MLB fantasy draft picks early to enjoy the league wide contest, as four games will be played in the early evening. Rest easy though, eleven more games will start at 7PM EST time and FanPicks has those late evening contest prepared for you, as well (click to join). Check out Wednesday schedule and the top draft picks available for them contest!

Schedule

MATCHUP TIME  (ET) PITCHING MATCHUP

New York

Colorado

3:10 PM Ivan Nova vs Chad Bettis

Miami

San Diego

3:40 PM Justin Nicolino vs Luis Perdomo

Los Angeles

Arizona

3:40 PM Clayton Kershaw vs Patrick Corbin

Milwaukee

San Francisco

3:45 PM Jimmy Nelson vs Johnny Cueto

Chicago

Washington

4:05 PM Jason Hammel vs Stephen Strasburg

Baltimore

Boston

7:00 PM Kevin Gausman vs Steven Wright

Toronto

Philadelphia

7:05 PM Marco Estrada vs Jeremy Hellickson

Cincinnati

Atlanta

7:10 PM Anthony DeSclafani vs Bud Norris

Pittsburgh

New York

7:10 PM Jeff Locke vs Noah Syndergaard

Seattle

Tampa Bay

7:10 PM Nathan Karns vs Drew Smyly

Houston

St. Louis

7:15 PM Collin McHugh vs Adam Wainwright

Detroit

Chicago

8:10 PM Mike Pelfrey vs Chris Sale

Cleveland

Kansas City

8:15 PM Corey Kluber vs Ian Kennedy

Minnesota

Los Angeles

10:05 PM Tyler Duffey vs Hector Santiago

Texas

Oakland

10:05 PM Derek Holland vs Sonny Gray

Top MLB Fantasy Draft Picks

Player Pos Team Opp Last Game FP Last 2 Games FP Avg Last 4 Games FP Avg Last 10 Games FP Avg
Clayton Kershaw P LAD @ARI 62 47.3 52.9 49
Corey Kluber P CLE @KC 56.5 38.3 40.3 35.5
Adam Jones OF BAL @BOS 55 19 14.4 17
Josh Donaldson 3B TOR @PHI 54 25.7 19.6 17.5
Corey Dickerson OF TB SEA 44.5 14.3 18.1 11.8
Khris Davis OF OAK TEX 44.5 18.5 11.6 8.6
Stephen Strasburg P WAS CHC 43.5 36 41.7 41.5
Steven Wright P BOS BAL 43 40.5 39.3 35.8
Carlos Gonzalez OF COL NYY 42 24.5 16.6 16.1
Joc Pederson OF LAD @ARI 42 24.8 16.7 10.5
Bud Norris P ATL CIN 41.5 12.5 13.5 12.2
Johnny Cueto P SF MIL 39.5 32.3 43.1 40
Jose Abreu 1B CWS DET 39 22 17.2 13.5
Justin Upton OF DET @CWS 39 17.5 13.7 13.8
Freddie Freeman 1B ATL CIN 38.5 16 13.7 9.7
Matt Carpenter 3B STL HOU 38.5 23.8 20.9 18.3
Adam Wainwright P STL HOU 37 31.7 29.9 21.2
Kyle Seager 3B SEA @TB 36.5 14.2 16.3 9.3
Adeiny Hechavarria SS MIA @SD 36 12 11.3 8.9
Martin Prado 3B MIA @SD 36 19.7 17.2 13.2
Posted in MLB

Cash Draft MLB Top Picks

June 9 2016

The Astros/Rangers series at Arlington comes to a close this Thursday. It’s the first game of the day and it starts at 2PM ET. The Pirates and Rockies meet in a makeup game for a rainout that happened back in April. A total of eight games are slated to be played. Here are the cash draft MLB top picks of the day (click to play)!

Player Pos Team Opp Last Game FP Last Two Game FP Avg Last Four Game FP Avg Last Ten Game FP Avg
Chris Iannetta C SEA CLE 54 19.8 17.2 9.2
Chris Parmelee 1B NYY LAA 53 17.7 10.6 6.8
Chris Carter 1B MIL NYM 50.5 19.3 17.4 9
Brandon Moss 1B STL @CIN 48 29 21.5 13.2
Josh Donaldson 3B TOR BAL 48 19.8 14.7 15.3
Nelson Cruz OF SEA CLE 47.5 25.5 20 15.7
Carlos Beltran OF NYY LAA 42 31.5 20 15
Billy Hamilton OF CIN STL 42 13.3 11.7 14
Jayson Werth OF WAS @CWS 42 18.5 16.3 12.9
Eduardo Nunez 3B 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
Mark Trumbo OF BAL @TOR 39 22.5 21.1 18.4
Danny Espinosa SS WAS @CWS 36 16.7 14 14.1
Jacoby Ellsbury OF NYY LAA 36 15.8 13.8 11
Jhonny Peralta 3B STL @CIN 36 20.7 13.9 8
Trevor Plouffe 3B MIN MIA 36 12.7 10.4 7
Mike Trout OF LAA @NYY 36 16.2 10.2 15.3

Cash Draft MLB Notables

  • Houston Astros pitcher Colin McHugh will take the mound against the Texas Rangers. Since Aug. 1, 2014, only Jake Arrieta (35), Clayton Kershaw (32) and Zack Greinke (32) have won more games than McHugh (31).
  • The Pirates are scheduled to play five games in four days over approximately 78 hours against three teams. That stretch began with a doubleheader against the Mets on Tuesday and will end as the team returns to Pittsburgh for a three-game series with the Cardinals on Friday.
  • New York Yankees outfielder Carlos Beltran notched his third home run in as many days on Wednesday.
  • Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista is two home runs shy of No. 300 for his career.
  • Mets  plan to use the four-game series in Milwaukee as an opportunity to give four of his regulars a day of rest each. First up is slumping left fielder Michael Conforto, who will sit out Thursday against Jimmy Nelson.
Posted in MLB