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

American League East

FanPicks examines the American League East division for the upcoming Major League Baseball season. Get started with fantasy baseball right now!

Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles always appear at a disadvantage in a division filled with big spenders. They also don’t have the prospects to swing major deals. They know who they are, and they somehow make it work. There’s no reason to believe they won’t contend in 2017, but the rotation could stand in their way. It’s filled with question marks.

Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox are all-in on 2017. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has blown up the farm system to obtain All-Stars pitchers Craig Kimbrel and Chris Sale, and he won’t hesitate to move more young talent if the Red Sox develop an obvious need before the trade deadline. Everyone from Dombrowski to manager John Farrell to ace David Price, as well as young stars Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts will be feeling the heat as the Red Sox attempt to win it all for the fourth time since 2004. Anything short of a World Series berth will feel like a disappointment.

New York Yankees

If catcher Gary Sanchez is the real deal, pitcher Luis Severino returns to form, prospects Aaron Judge and Greg Bird provide some power, and the rotation has enough depth, the Yankees could be a playoff contender with a bright future. If not, the growing pains could be ugly and again leave the Yankees sitting home in October.

Tampa Bay Rays

This is a crossroads season. Can the shuffled management team exhume the cash-strapped franchise’s record of innovation and success, or was that a proprietary product of the predecessing Andrew Friedman/Joe Maddon dream team all along? To approach its potential this season, the team must unearth two more offensive hammers. It’s an unlikely scenario even if any of the arm-for-bat trade opportunities it was seeking deep into the winter reaches fruition. For the Rays, it all start with their starting pitching. Unfortunately, it may also end there.

Toronto Blue Jays

The gap between the Blue Jays and Boston appears to only have widened. The Blue Jays will once again be heavily reliant on their pitching staff, and they’ll have precious little margin for error on that front. And the new-look offense bears watching (Kendrys Morales, Steve Pearce), as the Blue Jays can no longer count on being able to bludgeon opponents into submission. Still, they are too talented to count out, and another playoff berth is a realistic possibility.

Posted in MLB

MLB September 23, 2016 Primetime Preview

Diamondbacks (64-88) vs Orioles (82-71)

The Arizona Diamondbacks may have the Baltimore Orioles’ number during their rare interleague contests (Enter Contest), but right-hander Yovani Gallardo routinely has gotten the better of the desert dwellers throughout his career. Gallardo looks to improve upon his 7-2 mark and 2.32 ERA in 12 career starts when he takes the mound at Camden Yards.

Nationals (89-63) vs Pirates (76-76)

The Washington Nationals have an opportunity to shower themselves in champagne as soon as Friday. They can win their third National League East title in five years. Washington’s magic number resides at two.

Yankees (79-73) vs Blue Jays (83-69)

The Toronto Blue Jays’ pursuit of a wild-card spot in the American League heats up on their final homestand of the season, beginning Friday against the New York Yankees. The Yankees are three games out of the second AL wild card and four behind the Blue Jays, who stands atop the wild card. They are one game ahead of Detroit and 1 1/2 clear of the Baltimore Orioles.

Red Sox (89-64) vs Rays (65-87)

The Boston Red Sox have won eight straight games against American League East opponents for the first time in 26 years and can extend the streak to nine when they face the Tampa Bay Rays. The Red Sox pushed their lead in the AL East to 5 ½ games and reduced their magic number to five to clinch the division after sweeping four each from the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees.

White Sox (72-80) vs Indians (89-63)

The Cleveland Indians would prefer to clinch their first American League Central title since 2007 at home and have a good chance to do it this weekend against the struggling Chicago White Sox. The Indians have won five of six to trim their magic number to four and own a seven-game lead over Detroit in the AL Central as they prepare to host the White Sox.

Royals (77-76) vs Tigers (82-70)

The Detroit Tigers may be a bit tired after their sweep of a doubleheader in Minnesota on Thursday but should be ready for their final homestand of the season against the Kansas City Royals. The Tigers took over sole possession of the second wild card in the American League. They moved one-half game ahead of Baltimore with 10 games remaining to the season.

Braves (62-91) vs Marlins (76-77)

One of baseball’s hottest teams has spent 2016 buried in the National League East basement, but the Atlanta Braves are providing plenty of optimism. They are bringing a six-game winning streak into Friday’s game at Miami. Matt Kemp slugged two homers in Thursday’s series-opening 6-3 victory and Freddie Freeman extended his hitting streak to 26 games. Atlanta has won 14 of their past 22 games and are hitting .281 since the start of August.

Phillies (69-84) vs Mets (81-72)

The New York Mets’ pitching carousel took another unfortunate turn. Starter Steven Matz experienced soreness following a 20-pitch bullpen session. His scheduled Friday start is pushed back due to a left shoulder impingement. The Mets instead will turn to rookie Gabriel Ynoa as they attempt to strengthen their tenuous hold on the first wild card in the National League versus the Philadelphia Phillies.

Posted in MLB

Friday’s Primetime Games

MLB September 16, 2016

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Rays vs Orioles

The Tampa Bay Rays are making quite an impact on the American League East race from last place and look to cause some more damage when they visit the Baltimore Orioles. The Rays have won four of their last five contests, all against teams in the chase for the division crown. Chris Archer goes to the mound Friday trying to avoid a club-record 19th loss for the Rays and attempting to keep the major league’s best home run-hitting team in check for the second straight night. The Orioles, who occupy one of the two AL wild-card spots, trail Boston by two games in the East after stranding a runner at third in the ninth inning and going without a blast on Thursday. Veteran Ubaldo Jimenez goes for Baltimore on Friday after winning each of his last two starts, including a complete-game gem at Tampa Bay almost two weeks ago.

Marlins vs Phillies

Slugger Giancarlo Stanton could make his return to the starting lineup, as the Miami Marlins look to keep their flickering postseason hopes alive versus the Philadelphia Phillies. Stanton has received limited duty since being activated off the disabled list on Sept. 6, following a near-month absence due to a Grade 3 left groin strain. Miami flexed its offensive muscle by recording seven runs in each contest of its three-game series with Atlanta, improving to 5-2 in its last seven to reside four games out in the second wild-card spot with 16 to play. Marcell Ozuna is 16-for-52 versus the Phillies this season and is batting .318 against them in his career. Philadelphia suffered its fifth loss in seven outings in embarrassing fashion, permitting five homers in Thursday’s 15-2 rout by Keystone State-rival Pittsburgh. All-Star Odubel Herrera is 5-for-9 with two doubles in his last three games overall, but just 4-for-17 with five strikeouts against Friday starter Tom Koehler.

Yankees vs Red Sox

The Boston looks to ride the momentum of just its third walk-off win of the season as it plays the second contest of a four-game series versus visiting New York. Veteran David Ortiz launched a solo shot for his 537th career homer on Thursday, passing Yankees icon Mickey Mantle for 17th place on the all-time list. The sixth win in nine outings for the Red Sox pushed their lead in the division to two games over second-place Baltimore and five over New York, which has answered a seven-game winning streak with four losses in five contests. New Yorks’s Starlin Castro collected four hits in the series opener and is 11-for-17 during his four-game hitting streak. The 26-year-old Dominican is 29-for-84 with nine RBIs and 11 runs scored in 22 career encounters with Boston.

Tigers vs Indians

The Detroit Tigers have a last-gasp chance to make a run at the American League Central Division title. They are coming off a four-game split against the AL-worst Minnesota Twins to remain six games behind the Indians and in a six-team cluster fighting for the two wild cards. Detroit will send rookie Michael Fulmer to the mound in the series opener after its starting pitching combined for only 9 1/3 innings in the last three games against the Twins. Cleveland squandered an opportunity of its own to pull away from the Tigers, but dropped three of four at the Chicago White Sox. The Indians have the luxury of turning to ace Corey Kluber, who has won both starts against Detroit this season in dominant fashion.

Twins vs Mets

Locked in a three-team battle with San Francisco and St. Louis for the two wild cards in the National League, the New York Mets couldn’t ask for a more favorable schedule entering their final 16 games. The Mets kick off a 10-game homestand against the Minnesota Twins, owners of the worst record in the majors. New York could use a boost from outfielder Jay Bruce, who is batting .192 in 36 games since he was acquired from the Cincinnati Reds. Winners of eight of their last 11, the Mets send 43-year-old Bartolo Colon to the mound Friday in search of his 14th victory. Minnesota is coming off a four-game split at Detroit but has lost 21 of its last 27 games overall.

Pirates vs Reds

Andrew McCutchen has powered his way out of a pronounced slump with three homers in his last two contests. The 2013 National League MVP looks to keep the Pirates’ faint hopes for a fourth straight postseason berth alive against the Cincinnati Reds. McCutchen was mired in a 2-for-22 slump before belting a homer on Wednesday and two more to highlight a three-hit performance in Pittsburgh’s 15-2 triumph over Keystone State-rival Philadelphia. The Pirates’ fourth victory in 17 outings moved the team within 5 1/2 games of the second wild-card spot with 17 to play. Cincinnati is long removed from contemplating its postseason chances, although it has won five of six overall. Veteran Brandon Phillips recorded back-to-back three-hit performances to conclude the last series against the Pirates and is 12-for-24 in his career versus Friday starter Ryan Vogelsong.

Nationals vs Braves

The Washington Nationals continue to close in on the National League East title, and their dominance of the Atlanta Braves is a big reason why. The Nationals won 14 of the 16 meetings with the Braves this season, and start the weekend with a 10-game lead over the New York Mets and a magic number of seven to clinch the division crown. Washington appears to be peaking at the right time, winning eight of its past 10. Rookie infielder/outfielder Trea Turner hit .364 during the Nationals’ 10-game homestand and has at least one hit in 43 of 53 games since the All-Star break. Atlanta, which trails the Nationals by 31 games, has allowed 31 runs in its last four games and has held opponents to fewer than five just once in its past nine contests. First baseman Freddie Freeman brings a career-best 20-game hitting streak into the series, hitting .333 in that span with four homers and 17 RBIs.

Posted in MLB

August 11 Fantasy Baseball Preview

Thursday Evening Matchups

FanPicks has your august 11 fantasy baseball preview to get ready for today’s MLB contest. Get the info you need and play right here!

Yankees vs Red Sox

Alex Rodriguez will make his final appearance at Fenway Park and has a chance to lead the New York Yankees to a series win this Thursday. Rodriguez, who is set to play his final game for the Yankees at home on Friday before being released, got into Wednesday’s win as a pinch hitter and is expected to play a bigger role in the finale. He flied out in his lone plate appearance on Wednesday but New York managed to even the series at one win apiece by picking on the Red Sox bullpen for five runs in the seventh and three more in the eighth en route to a 9-4 triumph.

The Red Sox need to win every game at this point to keep pace in the American League East and AL wild card races and may be without All-Star slugger David Ortiz. The veteran designated hitter had to be helped off the field after fouling a ball off his right leg in the ninth inning on Wednesday and was sent for x-rays.

Angels vs Indians

Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez extended his hitting streak to 14 games in impressive fashion, collecting two singles and a double for his third straight multi-hit performance in Wednesday’s 7-4 setback at Washington. The 23-year-old Dominican is batting .391 with runners in scoring position but is hitting just .188 (6-for-32) in 10 career encounters with the Angels. Los Angeles saw its offense limited to just one run for a third consecutive contest and sustained its season high-tying sixth straight loss with Wednesday’s 3-1 setback against the red-hot Chicago Cubs. Mike Trout is 1-for-12 with eight strikeouts in his last three games, and his 1-for-11 performance versus Thursday starter Corey Kluber doesn’t inspire much confidence, either.

Astros vs Twins

The Astros made a bold personnel decision by designating Carlos Gomez for assignment and hope the transaction can be looked back on as a courageous factor in their wild-card push. Houston, who trail Boston, Detroit and Seattle in the battle for the American League’s second wild card, decided they no longer could live with the sub-par performances of Gomez. The two-time All-Star center fielder made two key defensive miscues on Monday in his final start for Houston and batted a disappointing .210 with five homers and 100 strikeouts this season. Minnesota has won seven of its last 10 games and Brian Dozier is on a tear with six homers and 13 RBIs during the stretch.

Cardinals vs Cubs

Chicago’s pitching staff has been dominant of late, allowing two or fewer runs in 10 of the last 13 games as the Cubs have gone 12-1 over that stretch. Left-hander Jon Lester looks to continue that trend as he takes on hard-throwing right-hander Carlos Martinez. Lester is 6-2 with a 1.99 ERA in 10 home starts, while Martinez has excelled on the road, going 6-1 with a 2.28 ERA in nine outings.

White Sox vs Royals

Left-hander Danny Duffy routinely has brought smiles to the faces of his teammates, and for good reason, considering that the Kansas City Royals have emerged victorious in each of his last eight trips to the mound. The 27-year-old looks to win his third straight start and improve to 7-0 in his last nine outings on Thursday.

Royals Rookie Cheslor Cuthbert had an RBI double in Wednesday’s 3-2 win in 14 innings and is 10-for-27 during his six-game hitting streak. The 23-year-old Nicaraguan is 15-for-46 in 12 career encounters versus the White Sox and 1-for-3 against Thursday starter Miguel Gonzalez. The right-hander has had his troubles, however, with Jarrod Dyson, who tripled to lead off the 13th inning on Wednesday and is a blistering 8-for-10 in his career versus the hurler.  Chicago’s J.B. Shuck continued his strong series by highlighting his second two-hit performance with a solo homer to improve to 19-for-52 in his career versus Kansas City.

Posted in MLB

August 10 Fantasy Baseball Preview

Wednesday Evening Matchups

FanPicks has your august 10 fantasy baseball preview to get ready for today’s MLB contest. Get the info you need and play right here!

Padres vs Pirates

Out of the starting lineup for three games due to a sore shoulder, Gregory Polanco provide a jolt in his return for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Polanco’s three-run homer was the decisive blow in Tuesday’s 6-4 triumph for Pittsburgh against San Diego. Penciled in at the cleanup spot for the first time in his career, Polanco continued his breakout campaign with his 16th homer to keep the Pirates 2 1/2 games behind Miami for the second wild card in the National League. Andrew McCutchen showed signs of breaking out of his funk by reaching base four times, including a season-high three via the walk.

Padres rookie Jabari Blash went 2-for-4 with a homer on Tuesday and is 7-for-24 since his recall from the minors after batting .120 during his first stint with the team earlier in the season. San Diego sents Edwin Jackson to the mound to oppose Ryan Vogelsong in a matchup of veteran right-handers.

Rays vs Blue Jays

J.A. Happ has provided quite the return on the Toronto Blue Jays’ investment this season. Signed to a three-year, $36 million deal in the offseason, Happ puts his string of a career-high nine straight victorious decisions on the line Wednesday versus the Rays. The 33-year-old’s 15 wins this season have comfortably surpassed his previous best total in 2009, although none have come at the expense of Tampa Bay. Happ settled for a pair of no-decisions versus the Rays in April before getting shredded for a career high-tying eight runs on seven hits in a 13-2 shellacking on May 16. Evan Longoria, who is batting .385 in his career against Happ, collected three hits and as many RBIs in Tuesday’s 9-2 victory over Toronto. The 30-year-old is 6-for-15 with two homers, five RBIs and four runs scored in his last four games.

Yankees vs Red Sox

The Yankees are trying to balance moving the youth onto the roster while gracefully shuffling the veterans out the door, and Alex Rodriguez did not get into the game on Tuesday. The 14-time All-Star, who is set to be released by New York after Friday’s game, is expected to at least play on Thursday and could get an at-bat or two on Wednesday.

Reds vs Cardinals

Billy Hamilton is running wild on the basepaths and looks to increase his major league-leading steals total. The speedy Reds center fielder has stolen nine bases over his last three contests, including five in the first two games of this series, to increase his season total to 48. Hamilton, who is 6-for-11 with four walks and six runs scored during his three-game spree, is an astounding 20-for-22 stealing against Cardinals star Yadier Molina, who is considered one of the top throwing catchers in the game. Hamilton reached base four times and scored three runs to fuel Tuesday’s 7-4 win, which occurred one day after St. Louis staged a five-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning to post a 5-4 victory. Molina went 2-for-4 with a homer on Tuesday to improve to 7-for-14 over his last four games and has reached base in each of his last 22 contests.

Rockies vs Rangers

Prince Fielder, in his third season with the Rangers, is walking away from the game after undergoing neck surgery on July 29. It is the second surgical procedure on his neck in a 26-month span. The Rockies were without right fielder Carlos Gonzalez for the past two games. He’ll likely be held out once again on Wednesday.

Angels vs Cubs

Jason Hammel will be activated from the bereavement list to make the start and looks to improve upon his 6-1 record and 2.24 ERA at home. He has won four straight starts to set a career-high for wins after tossing six shutout innings against Miami on Aug. 2. The 33-year-old has allowed four runs and 16 hits in 24 innings during the winning streak and hasn’t given up more than two runs in a start since July 1. Hammel is 1-3 with a 6.59 ERA in six games (five starts) against the Angels, with the last meeting in 2013.

Astros vs Twins

Dallas Keuchel tossed his first shutout of the season in his last turn and looks to post a second consecutive strong outing. The reigning American League Cy Young Award winner gave up just three hits in a 5-0 victory over the Texas Rangers while recording his fourth career shutout. Keuchel has experienced a bumpy campaign and was rocked for seven runs in five innings by Detroit in his previous turn. Astros All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve went 4-for-4 in Tuesday’s 7-5 victory over the Twins after being rested Monday to end his consecutive games streak to 202. Minnesota has won seven of its last 10 games behind the red-hot Brian Dozier, whose solo shot and two RBIs on Tuesday gave him six homers and 13 RBIs during the stretch.

Braves vs Brewers

Braves Erick Aybar carries a 14-game hitting streak. He has provided a breath of fresh air for his cellar-dwelling club. Aybar collected two singles in Tuesday’s 2-1 victory for Atlanta, which has won four in a row and six of seven overall. The 32-year-old Dominican traditionally has struggled versus the Brewers, going 8-for-36 in nine career encounters and 0-for-3 versus Wednesday starter Chase Anderson. Ryan Braun went deep on Tuesday for the fourth time in seven outings, during which he has recorded 11 RBIs.

White Sox vs Royals

Jose Quintana has won nine games in each of the last three seasons and will look to reach double-digit victories for the first time against the Royals. He lost six consecutive starts while receiving a total of eight runs of support earlier this season, but he is 4-0 since July 3 thanks to some increased offensive support. Losers of 12 of its last 17 overall, Kansas City sends Ian Kennedy to the mound to face Quintana.

Orioles vs Athletics

Baltimore had just three hits in Tuesday’s 2-1 loss with the run coming on a homer by center fielder Adam Jones, who has five hits in the series and is 11-for-22 during a five-game hitting streak. Orioles All-Star right fielder Mark Trumbo, who is tied for the major-league lead with 31 homers, is just 7-for-57 with one blast over his past 15 contests.

Tigers vs Mariners

Two former American League Cy Young Award winners will square off in Seattle. Detroit sends 2011 winner Justin Verlander, who also was the AL MVP that season, to the mound against Seattle ace Felix Hernandez, who captured the Cy Young the previous year. Verlander has won each of his last five decisions and recorded at least nine strikeouts in four of his last five outings overall, while Hernandez is 2-0 in four turns since returning from a calf injury that landed him on the disabled list.

Posted in MLB

August 9 Fantasy Baseball Preview

Tuesday Primetime Matchups

FanPicks has your august 9 fantasy baseball preview to get ready for today’s MLB contest. Get the info you need and play right here!

Padres vs Pirates

Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen, benched for three games last week, is 3-for-21 over his last six contests. To make matters worse, right fielder Gregory Polanco has not started in each of the past three games due to a sore left shoulder. Padres left fielder Alex Dickerson homered Sunday to extend his hitting streak to five games.

Indians vs Nationals

Max Scherzer will toe the slab for the Nats, and he’s undefeated in his last five appearances. Scherzer (12-6, 2.87 ERA) allowed three runs on four hits, striking out 11 in eight innings in an 8-3 win at Arizona his last time out. He absolutely owns the Indians, with a record of 4-0, 3.46 ERA in his last eight starts against them.

Rays vs Blue Jays

Devon Travis is doing his best to carve out a full-time role as the Toronto Blue Jays’ leadoff hitter. The 25-year-old looks to follow up a career-best four-hit performance in the opener and give manager John Gibbons added incentive to keep him atop the lineup. Travis, who is 12-for-22 with three homers and seven RBIs during his five-game hitting streak, drove in a run in Monday’s 7-5 triumph and has four homers and eight RBIs in his 12 games as the club’s leadoff hitter. Brad Miller, who recorded a two-run double on Monday for the Rays, is 10-for-25 with three homers and nine RBIs during his seven-game hitting streak.

Yankees vs Red Sox

The modern chapter of the rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees kicked into high gear in the offseason between 2003 and 2004, when Alex Rodriguez was at the center of the controversy. Rodriguez, who ended up with New York that winter, will begin his final series in Boston Tuesday. Rodriguez has 696 career home runs but is suffering through the worst season of his career at age 41 and has no place in the Yankees future after the team elected to go younger at the trade deadline and start inserting the youth into the major league roster.

Giants vs Marlins

Brandon Crawford did his best to give ailing manager Bruce Bochy quite the get-well gift by recording Major League Baseball’s first seven-hit performance in 41 years in the series opener. With Bochy  expected to exit the hospital and return to his post in the dugout, Crawford will look to continue the hit parade on Tuesday. He collected a triple, a double and five singles, with his last base hit plating Brandon Belt in the 14th inning for an 8-7 victory. The 29-year-old recorded only six hits in his previous 11 games for the Giants. Miami’s Christian Yelich fell a triple shy of the cycle on Monday but improved to 17-for-40 with 12 RBIs and eight runs scored in his last nine games.

Diamondbacks vs Mets

Zack Greinke’s return from an oblique injury that forced him to miss more than a month should help Arizona’s struggling staff, and the former Cy Young Award winner declared himself ready to go after a rehab start at Triple-A Reno last Wednesday. Greinke surrendered three or fewer runs in six straight starts, including an abbreviated two-inning stint on June 28 before being placed on the disabled list. He is 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA in six career starts against the Mets.

Posted in MLB

Fantasy Baseball August 5 Preview

Friday Primetime Matchups

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

Indians vs Yankees

The Cleveland Indians used the long ball to avoid a sweep. They are swinging the power bats at the perfect time as they begin a three-game series against the host New York Yankees. Yankee Stadium possess the highest home run rate of any American League park. It will be hard-pressed to contain the Indians, who have hit 15 shots over their previous seven games.

Giants vs Nationals

Riding some momentum after wrapping up a road trip with a dominating sweep at Arizona, the Washington Nationals will receive the San Francisco Giants in the opener of an eight-game homestand. Washington gathered 32 runs in a three-game set against the Diamondbacks to finish 6-3 on the nine-game trek.

Reds vs Pirates

Struggling Andrew McCutchen is expected to return to the lineup when the slumping Pittsburgh Pirates open a three-game stand against Cincinnati Reds. McCutchen was benched for the whole three-game series versus the Atlanta Braves. The Pirates lost two of three and have fallen back to .500 on the season.

Mets vs Tigers

The red hot Detroit Tigers continue their pursuit of the top spot in the American League Central when they host the New York Mets. Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander, who was unbeaten in six starts last month, will takes on Mets fireballer Noah Syndergaard.

Twins vs Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays and Minnesota Twins have been competing much better than their current lot in the standings would indicate. The cellar dwellers in the American League East and Central divisions, respectively, look to continue their rock solid play of late at the other’s expense.

Orioles vs White Sox

Chicago White Sox right-hander Miguel Gonzalez likely won’t need extra motivation heading into the opener of a three-game series versus the Baltimore Orioles. After spending his first four seasons with the Orioles, the 32-year-old Gonzalez was let go by the club in late March. He posted a 1-4 mark with a bloated 9.78 ERA back in spring training with Baltimore.

Rangers vs Astros

The Texas Rangers will try to extend their dominance of in-state rival Houston. Texas is 9-1 versus Houston this season. They have won seven of the eight match-ups decided by fewer than three runs.

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

MLB Opening Day Daily Fantasy Lineup

The day is finally here. The major league baseball season is now officially upon us, so Fanpicks is here to present to you our MLB Opening Day Daily Fantasy Lineup.

As everyone is starting off fresh, field players range between the $4800 and $2000 range. Mike Trout is the only exception to the rule at $5000.

Of course, pitchers are the gold mine of the sport ranging anywhere from Clayton Kershaw‘s $11000 cap hit, to Wily Paralta‘s $4300.

I opted for a slightly cheaper David Price instead of big-money Kershaw. The Red Sox new ace has a nice matchup against the not-so potent Cleveland Indians at 1 pm, so I’m looking to start off the season with a bang from my most expensive peice.

Take a look at the rest of my MLB Opening Day Daily Fantasy Lineup.

mlbopeningday

Bryce Harper is the “highest-paid” bat in my lineup. With a steady dose of up-and-comers, I needed to balance the risk of inconsistency out with a star veteran.

Cincinnati’s Joey Votto was also selected for the same reasons, and a strong spring leads me to believe he may start this season off with a bang.

While he may not have a ton of power, Jason Heyward should be a nice fantasy option this season. He is expected to bat second on Opening Day,  and should remain behind Dexter Fowler, and in front of some combination of Ben Zobrist, Anthony Rizzo, and Kris Bryant, so expect him to score a lot of runs this year.

Posted in MLB

Cubs Slide–Loss on Wednesday is their 6th in 8 Games. Starters Taxing Bullpen

The Cubs rallied to tie the Reds with two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to tie the game at 4-4. Then in the top of the ninth the Cubs surrendered three runs to Cincinnati to fall 7-4. Things were looking great for Chicago’s playoff chances. After a bad west coast trip and some shoddy play at home Chicago has fallen to 76-57 with 30 games left and has a six game lead over the San Francisco Giants for the final playoff spot. Good thing for Chicago that the Dodgers have played well in their series with San Francisco or the Cubs lead would be shorter. The Chicago pitching has to raise some concern. They have allowed 24 runs in three games to the Reds. They get an off day on Thursday then welcome Arizona into town on Friday.

Jason Hammel: The Cubs starter on Wednesday had another short stint on the mound. In five innings he allowed four earned runs and seven hits as he escaped with a no decision. Last Friday night in LA Hammel worked just five innings in a loss. He had trouble with his command walking three.

Dan Haren: The veteran taxed the Cubs bullpen on Tuesday pitching just five innings before getting yanked out of the game and he received a no decision for his efforts.

Kyle Hendricks: There was no off day for Chicago following the conclusion of their west coast trip on Sunday night baseball. So they returned to work on Monday with Kyle Hendricks taking the hill for the Cubs. This began the trend of starters taxing the bullpen. Hendricks lasted just five innings allowing three earned runs and walking three. Cincinnati then went on to push across ten runs on the Chicago bullpen.

The Bronx Bombers Put up Double Digits for the 3rd Time in 6 Games.

It was another run outburst for the New York Yankees as they pushed across 13 runs in their victory on Wednesday against the Boston Red Sox. Back on August 30th the Yankees scored 20 runs on the Braves. Two days earlier on the Braves, New York had scored 15 runs. They get an off day on Thursday before hosting the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night.

Stephen Drew: After a huge two RBI double which was key to the win on Tuesday, Drew had a three hit and three RBI game on Wednesday. He hit his 17th homer of the year.

Alex Rodriguez: The DH was mired in a huge slump in August. On Wednesday ARod contributed with a hit and two RBIs.

Carlos Beltran: The veteran right fielder added a home run and two RBIs in the victory.

Didi Gregorius: The Yankees shortstop has shown great improvement at the plate in recent months. His batting average is up to .272 after two hits with a solo home run on Wednesday.

Gregory Bird: The first baseman now has his average up to .254 with a two hit game and two RBIs in the victory. Bird had his third homer of the season.

Posted in MLB

Fantasy Baseball – MLB Weekend Recap 8/31

It’s hard to decide the most impressive performance over the past weekend. For me it comes down to the Yankees scoring 20 runs in their victory over the Braves, Edwin Encarnacion hitting three home runs in Toronto’s 15-1 victory over the Tigers, or Jake Arrieta’s no hitter to shut-out the Dodgers in the last game Sunday night. Statistically, a three run day is the most scarce event of the three but in the daily fantasy sports world, each of the events could have been leveraged into cash in your pocket.

Yankee’s Stack

Let’s say you just happened to decide Saturday was the day to implement a Yankee’s batters stack against a weak Brave’s Pitching roster. Well that would have been the value pick of the night and put you leagues ahead the competition in any One Day MLB Fantasy Tournament. If you just so happened to draft Greg Bird at first base, Stephen Drew at second, Chase Headley at third, and Ellsbury in the Outfield, those four positions alone would have earned you 165 fantasy points!

Between the four of them came 3 home runs, two doubles, 11 total hits, and 13 RBIs. On the other side of the ball however, a lineup with Teheran at pitcher was doomed from the start. He pitched 4.1 innings allowing 9 hits and 8 runs, 3 of which were homers.

Edwin Encarnacion

Also on Saturday, the Yankee’s biggest divisional rival, the Blue Jays, tallied a total of 15 runs, 9 of which were a result of Encarnacion’s performance. At 5 at bats, he had 3 hits, all of which soared over the outfield fence. There three homers alone earned him 45 fantasy points. Additionally he brought in 9 runs and earned 4 runs himself for a total of 84 fantasy points! Just imagine how happy the user is who switched out Bird and put in Encarnacion at first. Take away Bird’s 27 and add Encarnacion’s 84, and you have a total of 222 fantasy points between those 4 positions now. That puts you in serious money in and MLB Cash Draft.

No Hitter against the Dodgers

Lastly we saw Jake Arrieta unstoppable from the mound. He pitcher the entire 9 inning game for a nice 18 point cushion to start. He combined that with 12 strike outs (24 fantasy points), the complete game shutout bonus (2 fantasy points), the no hitter bonus (5 fantasy points), the complete game bonus (4 fantasy points), and the winning pitcher bonus (5 fantasy points). However, be sure to subtract that half a point for the one walk he did allow. In the end, this totals to 54.5 points. That is about the highest you can ever expect a pitcher to score.

This somewhat ties into strategy differentiation between 50/50 contests and tournament structured fantasy mlb contests. Pitcher’s usually perform reliably and according to their value (low risk) however they have less high end potential since it is almost impossible for a pitcher to hit the point total Encarnacion scored this weekend unless he pitches 27 strikeouts. That being said, their consistency is ideal for head to head or 50/50 contests where you don’t need to hit huge point totals but you want reliable point totals. The opposite strategy works for tournaments. Since you need a serious point total get into the money you should invest higher in hitters and hope they can make contact with the ball.

 

Image courtesy of: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports
Posted in MLB