Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Austyn Varney

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 4/19/16


Welcome to Tuesday night baseball! We have some solid pitching options on the mound and a ton of gas cans. We will help you dive into your day with some solid picks for the slate. Make sure to check out the updates article as well, as it will touch on any news as well as any weather concerns. NOTE - If you feel the need to play the early slate, I would go with the route of Carrasco and stacking Minnesota and Cleveland.

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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.



Stephen StrasburgStephen Strasburg FD 11300 DK 11000
Opponent - MIA (Conley) Park - @MIA
FD - 38.76 DK - 21.61

Strasburg has been pretty good so far through 2 starts to begin this season. In both starts, Strasburg earned a quality start and a strikeout rate over 7 K/9. Tonight he will be facing off with the Marlins, a team that can struggle against righties. Strasburg has a combined wOBA of .278 over the course of his career, which is outstanding. Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, J.T. Realmuto and Justin Bour are all players with strikeout rates over 20%. Strasburg has exhibited as much upside as anyone in the league and this is a match-up where he can definitely come through. I am comfortable with Strasburg in all formats as starting pitcher is not a very deep position tonight.

Vincent VelasquezVincent Velasquez FD 9000 DK 9600
Opponent - NYM (Verrett) Park - @PHI
FD - 28.71 DK - 15.41

Velasquez went ahead and grabbed a 16 strikeout, 9 inning shutout performance last time out. No big deal. While we certainly can't expect that in this match-up, we can except a solid outing with some strikeout upside. Velasquez has a career 28% strikeout percentage. However, his peripherals suggest that will go up with low hard-hit rate and a strong 3rd pitch. He has already shown his upside this year in multiple starts. While the Mets have been swinging a hot stick, they always have the potential to shut down for a game and lose the fire. Cespedes, Dude, D'arnaud and Walker are all guys that can strikeout at a huge clip against righties. I will be using Velasquez in tournaments due to the high volatility in this match-up.

Consider - Fransisco Liriano

DFSR 705x90


Devin MesoracoDevin Mesoraco FD 2700 DK 2900
Opponent - COL (De La Rosa) Park - @CIN
FD - 11.76 DK - 9.23

Devin Mesoraco will be facing off with an average lefty in Jorge De La Rosa at home in Great American Ballpark. While De La Rosa is not a horrible pitcher, he has struggled against righties over the course of his career with a .347 wOBA in 1000 innings. In 2014, Mesoraco destroyed lefties with a .398 wOBA and 154 wRC+. This shows his upside and just how much power he possess against southpaws.

Yasmani GrandalYasmani Grandal FD 2700 DK 3000
Opponent - ATL (Teheran) Park - @ATL
FD - 9.53 DK - 7.43

Grandal came off the DL about a week ago and has flown under the radar for the most part. Grandal has looked fine at the plate with a few multi-hit games and a few shots to the warning track. I look for Grandal to get back to his old ways and start sending some into the bleachers. Tonight he will be taking on a pitcher in Teheran that has struggled against lefties throughout his career. Teheran has exhibited a .351 wOBA against lefties and his peripherals do not show any sign of improvement.

Consider - Brian McCann


Prince FielderPrince Fielder FD 3000 DK 4500
Opponent - HOU (Feldman) Park - @TEX
FD - 11.83 DK - 9.31

Fielder is in a great spot tonight against a horrible right handed pitcher in Scott Feldman. Feldman has struggled mightily against lefties with a .349 wOBA over the past 4 years. His age and peripheral stats suggest he will be worse this year than ever before. I am going to look at these Rangers lefties tonight for my cash games and tournaments as Feldman doesn't stand much of a chance. Fielder is my favorite of the bunch as he has destroyed righties to a .392 wOBA in 2015.

Eric HosmerEric Hosmer FD 3300 DK 4400
Opponent - DET (Greene) Park - @KC
FD - 12.83 DK - 10.28

Vegas had the home run prop for Hosmer set at 12 1/2 this year and I absolutely loved the over. Hosmer has made some changes to his swing and will look to hit a few more than usual out this year. This match-up is a great one as Shane Greene has really struggled against lefties. In 2014, Greene gave up a .425 wOBA in 40 innings. While that is a small sample size, his peripheral stats put him right on pace with those numbers. A 44% hard-hit rate certainly doesn't help. While Hosmer is a bit of a different hitter now, his stats vs righties have still been impressive. Hosmer hit for a .378 wOBA against righties last season, with a wRC+ of 141.

Consider - Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez


Brandon PhillipsBrandon Phillips FD 2800 DK 3300
Opponent - COL (De La Rosa) Park - @CIN
FD - 10.27 DK - 8.31

Second base is a very weak position tonight, as Brandon Phillips is your top option. As mentioned above, De La Rosa struggles against righties. Phillips will be hitting right in the middle of the Reds lineup and should be in a spot for some RBI opportunities. Phillips has sustained a very good bat against lefties as shown by his .344 wOBA over the past 4 seasons. I will be using Phillips in my cash games and tournaments due to the position scarcity.

Consider - Dustin Pedroia


Troy TulowitzkiTroy Tulowitzki FD 2900 DK 4300
Opponent - BAL (Wright) Park - @BAL
FD - 10.54 DK - 8.29

While Tulo has struggled to start the year, it is inevitable that he will turn it around at some point. Mike Wright struggled against righties in 2015 with a .361 wOBA. The Blue Jays are going to beat up on Wright today and Tulo will be the caboose of the train. Hitting 5th, it gives Tulowitzki the opportunity to come up with guys on base against an exploitable pitcher. Tulo is a great play in all formats.

Zack CozartZack Cozart FD 3000 DK 3200
Opponent - COL (De La Rosa) Park - @CIN
FD - 10.55 DK - 8.48

Cozart is a player that has worked in the off-season to improve his hitting and it certainly looks like he did so. However, Cozart has always been a good hitter against lefties and hit for a .346 wOBA just last season. I am not going to go into why De La Rosa is exploitable, as I did that above. I prefer Cozart in tournament as he usually follows the flow of the team, whether they are going off or flopping.

Consider - Jimmy Rollins



Alex RodriguezAlex Rodriguez FD 3000 DK 4100
Opponent - OAK (Surkamp) Park - @NYY
FD - 11.13 DK - 8.68

A-Rod has been decent to start the year and will now get a shot to tee off against a weak lefty in Eric Surkamp. Surkamp has given up a career .367 wOBA to righties and his 5.10 xFIP does not show any signs of improvement. Rodriguez on the other hand, hit lefties very well last season with a .389 wOBA and a 148 wRC+. This ballpark is a little above average for righties. You can expect to get some very good at-bats here from A-ROD against Surkamp.

Anthony RendonAnthony Rendon FD 3000 DK 3900
Opponent - MIA (Conley) Park - @MIA
FD - 9.78 DK - 7.81

Rendon will look to bounce back to the 2014 version of him, the last time he was healthy. In 2014, Rendon hit lefties .360 wOBA clip. Adam Conly is a below average righty who does not have a large enough sample size to use his stats. I look for Rendon to get a hold of one here and hit it out. While the stadium isn't optimal, Rendon can easily hit it out if he barrels it up. I prefer Rendon in tournaments as Rodriguez is my cash game 3rd baseman.

Consider - Maikel Franco



Carlos GomezCarlos Gomez FD 2700 DK 4000
Opponent - TEX (Holland) Park - @TEX
FD - 11.2 DK - 8.92

Carlos Gomez has been flying under the radar for about a year now and I think it's about time he shows up. Derek Holland is a pitcher that has struggled keeping righties at by for as long as he has been around. Holland and CarGo lite had a combined .344 wOBA in 2015 which favors Gomez to a great degree. Texas is a great hitters ballpark and is one that may help Gomez get one into the stands.

Michael SaundersMichael Saunders FD 2900 DK 3900
Opponent - BAL (Wright) Park - @BAL
FD - 11.32 DK - 8.89

Even though I mentioned above had bad Wright is against righties, he is even worse against lefties. Wright exhibited a putrid .392 wOBA to lefties in 2015. While Sauders is far from an elite bat, he will be right in the mix of a lethal lineup in a great spot. The Blue Jays will likely hit Saunders 7th which will give him some strong RBI opportunities. I look for Saunders to get the bat on the ball and drive some runs home.

Brett GardnerBrett Gardner FD 3100 DK 4000
Opponent - OAK (Surkamp) Park - @NYY
FD - 10.84 DK - 8.57

Brett Gardner is another player who has been pretty quiet this year, even though he has performed. While Surkamp has been bad against righties, he hasn't been good against lefties. Gardner and Surkamp have a combined wOBA of .366 over the past 2 seasons. I expect Gardner to be very low owned and has some power upside in this ballpark. Gardner is a tournament play for me as I expect him to be a low owned outfielder. Gardner is one of the few players with power and speed upside.

Consider - George Springer, Carlos Gonzalez, Jose Bautista

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25 Visitor Comments

  1. I think Saunders has the leadoff job for now Austyn. I am a Blue Jays fan and by listening to all their games, it sounds like He has it by default right now at least until Travis is healthy. Pillar is tearing it up in the 8th spot which means diddly squat for dfs in cash games anyways. I like Saunders and Tulo for sure tonight. Good picks man. Saunders will have even more value in the leadoff spot

    • Ok, thanks. If Saunders is in the lead off spot, I like him even more. I think Pillar could make his way back there tonight if they look at splits, but I doubt they do. Thank you!

  2. Oh ya and I think we can count the Reds as tourney plays only for the rest of eternity lol

    • They made Jordan Lyle’s look like a superstar!!

  3. The optimizer has not been good to me lately !!

  4. Me either but U will get better. Ha yes Lyles is God Awful. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while I guess. Next start hd is gonna give up like 12 runs so don’t give up faith in his awfulness, just keep realizing how crappy the Red are
    That was pathetic

  5. I meant it will get better ha. And u and I hopefully also. I’m not giving up. It’s early in the season

  6. U betcha Austyn. Pillar is under too much pressure in the lead off spot. He may hit there again someday but I don’t think that they will ruin a good thing with him #8

  7. 2 things I’ve recently learned: So far this season, the optimizer/lineup tool has sucked for baseball. I know it’s early, but the projections haven’t been all that good. Maybe as the season continues it will get better.
    Second, the optimizer/lineup tool is not the same for playoff NBA as it was for regular season. The projections and “optimal lineup” have been rather weak. In NBA, one dud in a lineup pretty much ruins that lineup. The “optimal lineup” has had 2-3 duds every slate during the playoffs.
    I expect things to improve for MLB at some point, but screw playoff NBA – imma go back to using my grandma’s picks.
    Have a profitable day!

  8. I think anytime Houston faces off vs an average lefty, Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve should fill up your MI.

  9. The optimizer cashed me last night. Two nights ago, from what I could tell was just an error in minute projections, which who in the blue hell can lock that down night after night. When the minute projections hit, the optimizer is unbeatable.

  10. I see a lot of people are concerned with the start of baseball. Baseball is by far the most variant sport out there. Let’s compare it to the NBA. Mike trout against a lefty has the same exact floor as Kurt Suzuki against Clayton Kershaw. Does Lebron have the same floor as Ryan Hollins? Absolutely not. To sum it up, baseball DFS is not for the weak-hearted. You gotta stick it out as you will have some low lows and high highs. Hope everyone has a great and profitable Tuesday! Any questions?

    • Austyn, I agree another thing is you could target right team like the angels last night only to get poor results because the bottom of order did most of the damage and you rostered top half

  11. I’m new to using the optimizer so what is it when y’all say the “optimal lineup”? Thank in advance.

    • It’s the Optimal Lineup projected by the Pro tool.

      • Ok that would make sense since I don’t have pro, only classic. Appreciate the response!

  12. Who are tonights top cash plays?

  13. Who’s better stack Astro or Jay’s?

    • Jays for me. Have a hard time seeing a few of those guys not putting up a big game.

  14. Baseballs a nightmare, I dont think you can trust the optimizer fully for baseball because its so volatile. Mike Trout can just have an off night against the Kyle Kendricks of the world and go 0fer and theres all that salary out the window. You can assume which players are going to do well and hope youre right but as far as optimizing a score I dont think so. Id use the optomizer more so to round out your lineup, pick the names you like and let the optimizer spend out your remaining salary. Of course Ive lost my shirt so far this season so maybe Im not the best to offer my 2 cents lol. Im with Todd on NBA though. Screw the playoffs. I went to sleep at the start of the GS game anywhere from 13th – 18th out of 100 in 5050s and woke up in the 80s. Im still going to fight it out on baseball but Im done with NBA.

    I said once before that the optimizer seems to be at its best on 5-7 game slates. Not enough games in the playoffs IMO and only going to get worse as teams get eliminated. tonights 2 game slate, not touching it. So of course the optimizers going to win someone a tournament lol.

    • In my opinion, you are off with your reasoning. Your goal should be to play the players with the best chance of succeeding. If you do that more than the field, you will win more than the field. Maybe not over a 20 game sample size, but when you turn that into 162 slates, you get results.

      • When I said pick names you like I don’t mean pick Trout because you like seafood or stack Phillies because it’s your home team, obviously I mean names that project to do well based on their match up, park factors etc. of course there’s research to do. I’m saying don’t just hit optimize and run that lineup expecting results. Lock in names, they can be names mentioned here, then click. It’s still hit or miss. Which in its essence is what baseball is.

  15. Which combo for cash games tonight?
    Seager/Carlos Gonzalez

  16. Man I don’t know what to do about pitchers. I must not be picking right. I look at who people like for the day and stats and yet I still get burned. I’ve gotten knocked out by pitchers almost every single day since the season started. What are the important stats to look for in a pitcher? Anyone can pick the obvious plays but they’re usually so expensive that it leaves you little salary. Cheap guys are usually difficult to pick from.

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