Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Austyn Varney

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 4/9/16


Here we go again with another split-slate day of baseball! There is nothing better than 15 hours of non-stop baseball, especially when you have some quality lineups in contention for a tournament win! Let's get into the picks and win some money.

Now’s your chance to get DFSR Pro with MLB Optimal Lineups, Projections and Player Cards. Or try a free trial of our base package with projections for every player. While the seasons overlap, you'll get access to our tools for the NBA and NHL as well! Get started for free by clicking the button below.

First time with MLB? Be sure to read our free MLB Ebook on building lineups, general strategy and more. We've got you completely covered.

A quick heads up - we post an updates article every day in the early afternoon, EST, to catch everyone up on how things are changing as a result of whatever news has come through. We also have great talks in the comments of that article. Hope to see you there!

We've also launched a Stats and Research Page, which includes a lot of the individual statistics that we use to make our projections. It's free! Enjoy.



Early Slate

Joe RossJoe Ross FD 6800 DK 7500
Opponent - MIA (Koehler) Park - @WSH
FD - 29.39 DK - 14.79

Joe Ross enters into the year with huge potential as he sported a 3.62 xFIP and 8.1 K/9 in his rookie year. This game has a 8 over/under but with the Nationals -156, the Marlins only have a team total around 3.5. Nationals Park is a very average park for pitchers and is better for right handed pitchers than left. If Ross is able to get around Dee Gordon and Giancarlo Stanton, he will be able to coast through the rest of the lineup. There is plenty of strikeout upside with the Marlins as Justin Bour, Stanton and Marcell Ozuna all have a strikeout % over 22. The Nationals are expected to easily win this game which gives some more safety to Ross.

Clayton KershawClayton Kershaw FD 13000 DK 14200
Opponent - SF (Bumgarner) Park - @SF
FD - 41.08 DK - 23.42
Madison BumgarnerMadison Bumgarner FD 11200 DK 11600
Opponent - LAD (Kershaw) Park - @SF
FD - 39.91 DK - 21.98
Chris SaleChris Sale FD 12000 DK 12100
Opponent - CLE (Anderson) Park - @CHW
FD - 31.2 DK - 17.16

All of these high priced guys have some distinct pros and cons. Kershaw and Bumgarner have huge upside as both offense can struggle to score and strikeout a ton. The problem here is the fact that they are pitching against each other. This severely hurts their chance for a win. Chris Sale has as much upside as anyone in the league with a 11.9 K/9 in 2015. The Cleveland Indians are a very strong team against lefties with guys like Santana, Davis, Napoli and everyone else on the team is capable vs lefties. In conclusion, all of these guys have as much upside as ever but lack the safety they usually have on a start to start basis.

Evening Slate

Carlos MartinezCarlos Martinez FD 9000 DK 10000
Opponent - ATL (Teheran) Park - @ATL
FD - 33.01 DK - 17.23

Carlos "Tsunami" Martinez is one of the best young pitchers in the game and looks to improve this year into one of the best pitchers in the league. Martinez had a K/9 of 9.22 and an xFIP of 3.28 in 2015. You are not gonna find many pitchers with better peripherals than Martinez, especially at such a young age. This match-up with the Braves is a great one as they struggle to put together runs on a consistent basis. The Braves had 100 HR's in 2015, the least in baseball by 20. This game has a 7 over/under and the Cardinals are favored with a -145 moneyline. This tells me that Vegas expects the Braves to score about 3 runs and lose this game. Martinez is a solid option in all formats.

DFSR 705x90


Early Slate

Victor MartinezVictor Martinez FD 3000 DK 3900
Opponent - NYY (Sabathia) Park - @DET
FD - 10.53 DK - 8.42

Victor Martinez has been on fire to start the season with 2 pinch-hit HR's in the Tigers first 2 games. Martinez started last game and looks good to go from here on out. Martinez will be facing off with C.C. Sabathia and if you played MLB DFS last year, you know exactly what that means. Sabathia struggles greatly vs righties and is frankly one of the worst pitchers in the league against them. Sabathia gave up 25 homers while sporting a .370 wOBA to righties last year. His peripheral stats are not showing any sign of expected change and I will target righties against Sabathia every time out until he shows the ability to keep the ball in the park. Martinez is also a switch hitter which gives him some more safety as he will always be on the + side of the pitchers splits out of the bullpen.

Evening Slate

Derek NorrisDerek Norris FD 3000 DK 4000
Opponent - COL (De La Rosa) Park - @COL
FD - 10.99 DK - 8.72

Derek Norris is in a terrific spot tonight against a lefty in Coors Field. There is absolutely no better situation for Norris than the one he is in here. He is a notorious lefty killer and last year held a .348 wOBA and 125 wRC+ against southpaws. Coors Field is by far the best hitting park in baseball and is evidenced by the 10.5 over/under in this one. Jorge De La Rosa is a very average pitcher that has been awful at Coors Field over the course of his career. You can expect a ton of runs in this one and there is a good chance Norris is right in the middle of a few.

Jason CastroJason Castro FD 2200 DK 3300
Opponent - MIL (Peralta) Park - @MIL
FD - 10.05 DK - 7.88

Jason Castro is sitting at a very intriguing price around the industry and is in a prime match-up. Castro has been a much better hitter against righties over the course of his career as shown by his .307 wOBA to lefties and .230 to righties. Castro will be facing off with Wily Peralta who is an average pitcher that has struggled keep the ball in the park. Peralta gave up 9 homers and had a .376 wOBA to lefties in 2015. Miller Park will only help as it had the most home runs in 2015. Castro is a great tournament play as he gives you some power upside at a very low price.



Early Slate

Mark TeixeiraMark Teixeira FD 3400 DK 4400
Opponent - DET (Pelfrey) Park - @DET
FD - 12.18 DK - 9.44

Tex and the Yankees have started out on fire this year and will look to keep it going against gas can Mike Pelfrey today. Pelfrey sported a 4.45 xFIP and a .367 wOBA to left handed hitters last year and has shown no signs of improvement. I expect him to actually be worse this year due to his age and experiencing some velocity problems during spring training. Teixeira is in a terrific spot here as he will be right in the middle of a bunch of lefties and will certainly have some speedsters in scoring position a few times. Tex displayed a .399 wOBA vs righties last year which only solidifies how great of a situation this is for him.

Evening Slate

Logan MorrisonLogan Morrison FD 2200 DK 3700
Opponent - BAL (Wright) Park - @BAL
FD - 14.42 DK - 11.34

LoMo is a very tough player to profile as he has been up and down for his entire career. It looks like that may change this year as the Rays have shown some huge confidence in him. Morrison hit all 17 of his homers against righties last year and will be facing off against a horrible on tonight in Mike Wright. Wright had an astounding .392 wOBA to lefties last year and managed to maintain an xFIP of 5.52. You can target LoMo here with confidence that he will get some pitches to hit in a very good ballpark. Camden Yards is a bandbox, especially for lefties.



Early Slate

Ian KinslerIan Kinsler FD 3400 DK 4100
Opponent - NYY (Sabathia) Park - @DET
FD - 10.9 DK - 8.78

Ian Kinsler is another guys for the Tigers that has started the year on fire and has gotten a minimum of 2 hits in each game so far. Kinsler has historically crushed lefties as evidenced by his .345 wOBA last year. This situation is a recipe for success for Kinsler as Sabathia severely struggles against righties and Kinsler crushes homer-prone lefties. Vegas is expecting 9 runs in this one and I am expecting most of those to come from the Tigers righties. Do not be afraid to lock and load these guys into your lineup.

Evening Slate

Scooter GennettScooter Gennett FD 2800 DK 3300
Opponent - HOU (Fister) Park - @MIL
FD - 10.02 DK - 8.16

Gennett finally got moved up to second in the lineup after destroying right handed pitchers for a year and a half. If Gennett is hitting second again, he is easily my favorite 2nd baseman on the docket. Gennett sported a .305 wOBA to righties last year which included the couple months he was battling some leg injuries. I expect Scooter to have an even better year this year as he finally has a full season under his belt and has matured his swing. He will be facing off with Doug Fister who is a very average pitcher as shown by his .317 wOBA to lefties. Gennett is a safe option if he is in a good lineup spot as he will have some great RBI and run opportunities.

If Gennett is in a bad lineup spot consider DJ LeMahieu and Logan Forsythe


Early Slate

Jimmy RollinsJimmy Rollins FD 2700 DK 3700
Opponent - CLE (Anderson) Park - @CHW
FD - 10.22 DK - 8.16

Jimmy Rollins has been a very consistent hitter over the past decade. Cody Andersen is a below average pitcher who sported 4.58 xFIP and a .309 wOBA vs left handed hitters. Rollins is going to be in a top 6 lineup spot and will have some great RBI opportunities in this one. Rollins is going to be a very low owned option that is very safe and has very nice upside. Rollins has 158 career home runs against righties with a .262 batting average.

Evening Slate

Alcides EscobarAlcides Escobar FD 2300 DK 3800
Opponent - MIN (Milone) Park - @KC
FD - 9.43 DK - 7.8

Alcides Escobar is a guy that always seems like a great play, I know. The thing is you have to give him a look due to the price around the industry and the offense he is in. Escobar is a very consistent option and has gotten a hit in each game so far. Tommy Milone is a pitcher that struggles against righties as shown by his .331 wOBA and 14 home runs given up last year. Escobar is an average .290 wOBA hitter vs lefties with home run upside at the shortstop position.

Brad MillerBrad Miller FD 2200 DK 3600
Opponent - BAL (Wright) Park - @BAL
FD - 12.93 DK - 10.28

Brad Miller is a player who has one of the best power bats at the shortstop position, and at a low price is an excellent option. As mentioned above, Mike Wright is an atrocious pitcher that cannot seem to keep the ball in the park. Camden Yards is a top 5 ballpark for home run hitters and I don't see a scenario where a few Mariners Hitters don't hit a few over the fence. Miller has exhibited a .348 wOBA to right handed pitchers in 2015 which shows just how high his upside is in this match-up.



Early Slate

Anthony RendonAnthony Rendon FD 2900 DK 4100
Opponent - MIA (Koehler) Park - @WSH
FD - 11.31 DK - 9.02

Rendon was a top 5 prospect back in 2012 and has finally showed his upside last year in 2015. Rendon and the Nats will be facing off with Tom Koehler who has exhibited some troubling peripheral stats against righties. Koehler had a 4.58 xFIP and a .313 wOBA to right handed hitters last year. Rendon had a .310 wOba which puts a combined .311 wOBA into play here. Nationals Park is an average park and it is not difficult to get it out of the park. Rendon is a safe option with high upside in a lethal lineup.

Nick CastellanosNick Castellanos FD 2500 DK 3600
Opponent - NYY (Sabathia) Park - @DET
FD - 9.84 DK - 7.89

Nick Castellanos showed some high upside last year as evidenced by his .414 wOBA against lefties. As mentioned above (a few times), Sabathia is absolutely atrocious against righties and will certainly give up some home runs in this one. I am not going to go into how bad Sabathia is once again. Just go read up to Victor Martinez and Ian Kinsler. Castellanos is a strong hitter who can hit the ball out of the park.

Evening Slate

Luis ValbuenaLuis Valbuena FD 2400 DK 3800
Opponent - MIL (Peralta) Park - @MIL
FD - 11.78 DK - 9.18

Valbuena is left handed hitter that can hit for power and a somewhat high average year in and year out. Valbuena showed his upside last year with his 20 homers and .348 wOBA vs righties last year. Wily Peralta is a pitcher you can target, especially with power hitters. Peralta has struggles to keep the ball in the park as shown by his 1.16 HR/9 rate. Go ahead and target these guys in tournaments and cash gash games as they have a strong floor and ceiling.



Early Slate

Jacoby EllsburyJacoby Ellsbury FD 3400 DK 4500
Opponent - DET (Pelfrey) Park - @DET
FD - 13.08 DK - 10.56
Brett GardnerBrett Gardner FD 2900 DK 4200
Opponent - DET (Pelfrey) Park - @DET
FD - 12.29 DK - 9.8

You should have seen a trend by now and that is targeting hitters against Sabathia, Wright and Mike Pelfrey. Ellsbury and Gardner are guys that can score in so many different ways. They hit for average, can steal bases and can hit some homers. Pelfrey is horrible at hitting holding runners which only heightens their upside in this match-up. Ellsbury and Gardner have wOBA's of .292 and .323 vs righties. I am definitely going to have some Yankees stacks today. These guys are great plays in both cash games and tournaments here.

Evening Slate

Kevin KiermaierKevin Kiermaier FD 2600 DK 3800
Opponent - BAL (Wright) Park - @BAL
FD - 12.14 DK - 9.78
Corey DickersonCorey Dickerson FD 3200 DK 3900
Opponent - BAL (Wright) Park - @BAL
FD - 14.43 DK - 11.47

Kiermaier and Dickerson are a great combo to pair together as Kiermaier is the speed guy and Dickerson is the power outlet. You can expect to see Kiermaier in scoring position with Dickerson up to bat at least once in this one. Mike Wright struggles to hold runners as well as keep the ball in the field of play. These 2 guys have similar upside as both can hit home runs and Kiermaier is a near lock to steal a base if he gets on first with nobody in front of him.

Matt KempMatt Kemp FD 4000 DK 5200
Opponent - COL (De La Rosa) Park - @COL
FD - 13.35 DK - 10.67

Matt Kemp had a huge game last time out and should do the same here. Kemp has always crushed in Coors Field as most players do. You can expect his ownership to be high, but rightfully so. Jorge De La Rosa is not a good pitcher in Coors and is horrible against right handed hitters. De la Rosa gave up a .328 wOBA and 14 homers to right handed hitters. Kemp is a great option in both tourneys and cash games due to the high team total for the Padres.

So yeah, baseball season! And we've got some goodies you can take with you. At the end of the post, we have our MLB eBook that you really ought to check out before setting even a single daily fantasy MLB lineup. It's free, below.



And Daily Fantasy MLB Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings every day!

image sources

  • Ian_Kinsler_on_May_14,_2014: By Keith Allison on Flickr (Originally posted to Flickr as "Ian Kinsler") [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

23 Visitor Comments

  1. Goooooodddd morning. I broke even thank god yesterday after my boy Archer tanked on me. I’ll be doing some early tournaments today as an all or nothing stand point. There is alot of wind today and I’m going to try this lineup in an early slate let me know how you feel about it.
    P – Ross
    C- V. Martinez
    1B- Smoak
    2B- D. Murphy
    3B- Castellanos
    SS- Tulowitzki
    OF- Polanco
    OF- McCutchen
    OF- Harper

    • Definitely a nice lineup and should be unique enough for tournaments.

  2. I put in 20, was left with 2.98. WTF am I doing wrong with the optimizer? LOL.

    Really want to give it a shot. Rolling with my 2 bucks today.

    I’m seeing guys projected high on the optimizer but they’ve had 0’s the last couple of games. Safe plays or go with the stats from Fanduel?

    • Looking at the box score is not a good way to project success. We are looking for players that will do well today, not the past 3 days. If you have any questions about that, let me know!

      • Thank you Austyn. Do you have an email I can write you to. Looking to really lock this down and baseball is a little more confusing than basketball.

  3. If u had to take one of these pitchers, who do u like best for evening slate… Ian Kennedy, Drew Smyly, or Nathan Kharns? Thanks

  4. What’s up with the optimizer today? It’s saying its unavailable.

  5. It’s snowing hard in detroit. Game cancelled for sure. If not they are dumb

    • Definitely something to keep an eye on.

  6. Who are your guys top cash plays for the early slate? Im worried about Dodgers/Giants game and Nationals/Marlins game due to weather concerns.

    • If the Tigers game plays, them. If that game snows out, I would move most of my exposure to the Blue Jays game in cash.

  7. Shaw bats cleanup today w Ortiz out I like that price too

  8. Yeah so far Im leaning Holt an Shaw for sure and probably McCann since he is starting for Detroit at catcher today. Need more reasonably priced bats though so that I can stack some solid pitchers in early slate. What other bats do you guys like today for cash?

  9. I live in DC and I can tell you the weather here is crappy. Overcast, low visibility, rain/snow mix and cold. That’s as of 11:15 AM this morning so we will see if it improves.

  10. I don’t have any real worry about the weather in DC. I’m in MD and it’s supposed to be fine this afternoon. Doug, what are your thoughts on the LAD game? Too risky to touch in cash? It sucks with the top pitchers being in that game.

  11. Anyone like McCutchen for cash today?

  12. WTF isn’t LeMahieu even listed on your projection list when he has been a top second baseman so far this year…. plus that fact that he is a second baseman period and you endorsed him in your picks for 2b yet he isn’t in the projections….

    • Thanks for the comment Kyle. I am working to correct now. Naming issues are a big problem with baseball DBs. D.J. as compared to DJ can throw things off. He will be in projections again shortly.

  13. Due to inclement weather, the Nationals-Marlins game has been postponed.
    Today’s game between the Marlins and Nationals has been postponed due to unseasonably cold weather. The game has been rescheduled and will be a part of a doubleheader on May 14th.

  14. This statement had me confused for a good 10 minutes = (Brad Miller. I don’t see a scenario where a few Mariners Hitters don’t hit a few over the fence.) Was looking for Seattke players until I realized Miller plays for the RAYS.

  15. Well half my lineup gone with the Baltimore Tampa game being postponed… Wasn’t able to check in on my lineups until now…Smh

Post a Reply




Our free NBA and MLB eBooks, and picks to your inbox every day!

Your eBooks are on their way!