Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Austyn Varney

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 4/24/17

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Chris ArcherChris Archer FD 9500 DK
Opponent - BAL (Jimenez) Park - @BAL
FD - 33.55 DK - 22.23

We have an interesting 9-game slate on our hands without any real safe pitching option. On a slate that doesn't offer any guaranteed 7 innings, 7K guys, you have to look towards the strikeouts. While strikeouts are typically looked at for upside, there is also a floor there with a guy like Archer. Even when he struggles, he tends to strike out at least 7 guys and end up with a decent line. When his stuff is working well, he can't be hit. In 2016, Archer sported a .304 combined wOBA along with a 10.3 K/9 and a 12.2% swinging strike rate. The Baltimore Orioles are the perfect match for Archer. They do strikeout a lot and they hit a lot of homers. Guys like Chris Davis, Schoop, Castillo, and Trumbo all held 22%+ K rates in 2016, with Davis and Trumbo topping 30%. While I certainly don't expect a clean slate here, Archer should be able to rack up plenty of strikeouts and get the win. On a slate without any pitching, it's gonna be tough fading a guy who can outscore the field by 3x.

Amir GarrettAmir Garrett FD 7700 DK
Opponent - MIL (Garza) Park - @MIL
FD - 28.02 DK - 18.62

Man, this guy is something. While he is just a rookie and every sample we have on him is small, he's been phenomenal. In 3 starts, he's struck out 21 batters and allowed just 4 runs. He struck out 12 Orioles in his last start and saw an insane SwStr%. He's also held a .088 wOBA against lefties and a .252 against righties. While neither are likely sustainable, I have a hard time staying away at this point. The Brewers are mostly right-handed, but do strikeout a lot and have less HR potential against southpaws. Even though the Brewers have been on fire lately, they still hold the league highest 27.5% k rate. Garrett is a bit too cheap on both sites and lets you pay up for a few extra Coors bats. Without the only real opportunity cost being Archer (a similar pitcher) who is more expensive, Garrett should end up being popular. Either way, he's a phenomenal option in tournaments and I haven't ruled him out for cash games.



Jonathan LucroyJonathan Lucroy FD 2900 DK 4300
Opponent - MIN (Hughes) Park - @TEX
FD - 8.78 DK - 6.57

Phil Hughes hasn't been good since 2013. He's slowly gotten worse and it looks like this could be his final year. H's giving up a ton of hard contact and not missing any bats. This Rangers team is a really good one and there is no way Hughes lasts more than 5 in this one. Over the last 2 seasons, Hughes has posted a .351 wOBA against righties and 36% hard contact rate. Jonath Lucroy, a righty, has been much better against righties. In 2016, he sported a .371 wOBA that was backed up by a 27.5% LD rate and a 129 wRC+. Hughes also moves from Target Field (average) to Globe Life Park, which is one of the top hitting parks in baseball. The ball has been flying as of late and tonight should be no different. With most eyes being on Coors Field and rightfully, this game in Glob Life is very sneaky. We have 2 home prone pitchers against lineups that are very streaky. Lucroy is at one of the weaker overall positions and makes a lot of sense in cash games, as well as tournaments.

Matt WietersMatt Wieters FD 2900 DK 4400
Opponent - COL (Anderson) Park - @COL
FD - 8.6 DK - 6.36

If you're not going to go with Lucroy against Hughes, you might as well look towards Coors Field. Wieters has played in most games against lefties and should be in there against Tyler Anderson. Anderson hasn't been good this year at all. He hasn't gone more than 6 innings and has allowed at least 2 ER in all 4 of his starts. The Nats bats are going to be our top stack of the night and catcher is always a spot that lacks depth. Wieters has plenty of upside in Coors and is a similarly priced to Lucroy, who should still be a bit more popular. Wieters truthfully isn't that great of a hitter but he's in a lethal lineup in an environment like no other. He will see a couple RBI opportunities and should be able to come through a time or two. In cash games, I definitely prefer Lucroy. Hughes is worse than Anderson and Wieters will see the bottom of the order.

First Base

Mike NapoliMike Napoli FD 3000 DK 4300
Opponent - MIN (Hughes) Park - @TEX
FD - 9.73 DK - 7.07

Napoli entered 2016 as a guy with huge splits. He basically destroyed lefties and wasn't very good against righties. That all changed last season. His wOBA against lefties dipped to .352 and his wOBA against righties rose to .338. He also held a career-high 35%  hard contact rate. Phil Hughes, as mentioned, is worse against righties than he is lefties. He has no putout pitch and is unable to strikeout anyone. Napoli is way too cheap on FanDuel and I just don't see how you can avoid him. On a slate with Coors Field, there are plenty of spots to pay up for. Ryan Zimmerman isn't one of my priorities in Coors, so I don't mind finding him if it means I can get an extra solid OF'er from the game. Napoli projects a tad bit higher and is cheaper around the industry. He's already hit 3 homers this season against righties and will look to make it number 4 against the washed-up Phil Hughes. Globe Life Park should do it's part for Napoli as long as he puts the barrel on it.

Ryan ZimmermanRyan Zimmerman FD 3900 DK 4900
Opponent - COL (Anderson) Park - @COL
FD - 9.95 DK - 7.32

I think Ryan Zimmerman is back. After having a horrid 2016 season, he came into spring training with a few adjustments to his swing. He had a productive spring and has transitioned exceptionally into the season. He has already hit 5 homers and dominating pitchers from both sides of the mound. He's historically been better against lefties and has always had a lot of HR power. He's still in the heart of the Nats order and you can almost guarantee he will have some RBI opportunities with Harper, Rendon, and Murphy ahead of him. He's pretty cheap on FD and still not as priced up as a few other Nats on DK. If you're not a fan of Napoli, I like Zimmerman in all formats. Tyler Anderson is worse against righties (.343 wOBA in 2016) and has evident trouble with the longball last season. He might not have the same flashiness as some others in this lineup but all fantasy points count the same and Zimm is in a good spot to put up quite a few.

Second Base

Brian DozierBrian Dozier FD 3600 DK 5300
Opponent - TEX (Perez) Park - @TEX
FD - 10.74 DK - 8.16

Dozier and the Twins will travel to Globe Life Park and hopefully have some fun here. They face off with Martin Perez, who is one of the league's worst HR-preventing pitchers. He allowed 17 homers to righties last year and has already allowed 2 so far this season. You can lock in an HR or two for the Twins here and Dozier is a great candidate. He obliterated lefties in 2016, hitting 11 home runs and sporting an elite .397 wOBA, playing half of his games in Target Field. Globe Life Park is a bam box and this game has the 2nd highest over/under on the day behind just Coors Field. The Twins are projected for the 4th highest run total on the day and they have a rather concentrated offense, at least power-wise. Dozier is an elite cash game option, as well as a top tourney option on the board. With Jacob Turner now pitching for the Nats, LeMagieu should be highly owned. If Dozier ends up being low owned, he could win you a tournament. Remember, he hit 42 home runs last year. This guy can hit.

DJ LeMahieuDJ LeMahieu FD 3700 DK 4800
Opponent - WSH (Turner) Park - @COL
FD - 9.73 DK - 7.96

I originally wrote this with the assumption of Joe Ross being the pitcher on the opposite side. Jacob Turner has now been announced the starter. I talk a bit about him in the outfield, which I actually ended up writing before this. He's pitched just 20 innings in the majors since 2014 and those innings were laughably awful. He allowed 6 homers and a combined wOBA over .450. He has been worse against righties since 2012, allowing a career .3711 wOBA and a 36% hard contact rate. Leahieu is a very good all-around hitter and gets the added power potential in Coors Field. He posted a .455 wOBA at home against righties in 2016 and his peripherals supported it. He makes for a very strong cash game play and a fine tournament option. On a slate without much pitching, I don't mind paying up for a guy like LeMahieu in cash. He bolsters your lineup and gives you a solid piece of the Rockies high-upside lineup.

Rougned OdorRougned Odor FD 3200 DK 4700
Opponent - MIN (Hughes) Park - @TEX
FD - 9.63 DK - 7.43

In cash games, I will be sticking with LeMahieu or Dozier. They are both a bit more consistent and aren't nearly as reliant on the HR ball. Odor is a 2B who swings for the fences and because of that, he's almost always a phenomenal GPP option. Today, he is an exceptional one. Phil Hughes is a righty without a changeup and an underwhelming fastball. he's allowed a .351 wOBA to lefties over the last 3 years and has no signs of anything but getting worse. Odor on the other hand, is a 23-year-old kid who is only getting stronger and better. In 2016 at just 22 years old, Odor sported a 340 wOBA and a 38.6% hard contact rate. Globe Life Park is great for lefty power and it certainly won't hurt anything in the air. While I want to make it clear that odor is a tournament option, he's a great one.

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Trea TurnerTrea Turner FD 4500 DK 5500
Opponent - COL (Anderson) Park - @COL
FD - 11.1 DK - 9.69

Turner returned from injury just 3 games ago and has already put up some solid games. This guy is one hell of a baseball player and his hitting at age 23 is spectacular. He raked both lefties and righties in 2016 and ended up hitting 13 homers in less than 100 games. Turner is one of the more powerful SS in the game and his upside in Coors Field is monumental. He figures to slide into the 2 spot ahead of Bruce Harper, which guarantees him good pitches to hit, as nobody wants a man on 1st with Harper at the plate. Anderson won't have that luxury with Turner as he will capitalize if the mistake is made. Anderson posted a .343 wOBA against righties in Coors last year and hasn't made any apparent changes. He's been horrible to start the season and hasn't had any promising signs. The Nats bats are very expensive and that includes Turner. However, you can definitely make it work with the pitching option on the slate.
Jordy MercerJordy Mercer FD 2300 DK 3200
Opponent - CHC (Anderson) Park - @PIT
FD - 7.2 DK - 5.43
Addison RussellAddison Russell FD 2700 DK 3700
Opponent - PIT (Kuhl) Park - @PIT
FD - 8.41 DK - 6.25

These 2 guys are in the same game and kind of fit in the same category. On FanDuel, Russell is probably enough of price savings. The salaries over there are not nearly as strict and you should be able to fit in plenty of guys you want. Russell gets a solid match-up with Chad Kuhl, a right-handed youngster who held an inflated .295 wOBA against righties in 2016. He throws a good fastball and has trouble with his off-speed pitches clicking. Joe Maddon keeps Russell right in the heart of that lineup and he consistently produces. it's hard not to when you have people in scoring position in what seems like every at-bat. Russell doesn't see a little bit of an HR potential decrease in PNC Park, as it has an extremely deep left field. As for Mercer, he may be necessary on DK. He's one of the cheaper options of any position that actually make sense. Brett Anderson is a lefty who is very average. He last pitched a full season in 2015 and posted a .320 wOBA against lefties along with 17 homers in 12 innings. Mercer is along-known lefty menace and he's already shown it a few times this season. He may not hit the same upside as a guy like Russell often but he does get involved against lefties and should be in that leadoff spot. All in all, both of these guys are a step-down from Treat Turner but make for quality plays in all formats.

Third Base

Anthony RendonAnthony Rendon FD 3700 DK 5200
Opponent - COL (Anderson) Park - @COL
FD - 10.69 DK - 8.1

When healthy, Anthony Rendon is an elite bat against lefties. He has sported a .400+ career wOBA and hits the ball hard 43% of the time. In Coors Field, I can't even imagine what his numbers translate to. He should either be hitting in front of Harper or behind Zimmerman. Either way, he will be right in the middle of the action and one of the guys Anderson should be very scared of. The Nationals currently hold the highest team total of the night at 5.63, with the Rockies at 5.37. I've touched on Tyler Anderson plenty of times by now, so I'll save your time. He's a youngster still trying to figure it out and he hasn't done it yet. We will keep targeting him in Coors Field until he shows the same level of consistency as some of these other Rockies pitchers. Rendon is an elite cash game play and obviously has plenty of tournament upside. The Nats will be popular in tournaments tonight and there is a guy I like at third with HR power. Let's take a look.

Miguel SanoMiguel Sano FD 3500 DK 4700
Opponent - TEX (Perez) Park - @TEX
FD - 9.89 DK - 7.12

Do yourself a favor and watch this guy hit. When he puts the barrel on the ball, Giancarlo Stanton is the only comparable hitter. The ball shoots off his bat like a cannon and it's quite evident by his 60% hard contact rate so far. He's moving into Globe Life Park here and the HR upside is huge. I would say he has the same type of HR potential as most of the Coors Field elite bats. Martin Perez is a southpaw who has always struggled against righties. He allows a lot of hard contact and in Globe Life Park, a lot of home runs. He's a pitcher who tries to beat you with his stuff. Sano can't be beaten by the fastball and if he gets challenged, he will win. While Rendon is the guy I may end up on in cash games, I will make sure to have a lot of Sano exposure in tournaments. He's a guy with unlimited upside and on a slate like this, he will be way under-owned.


Carlos GonzalezCarlos Gonzalez FD 3900 DK 5300
Opponent - WSH (Turner) Park - @COL
FD - 10.35 DK - 7.69
Charlie BlackmonCharlie Blackmon FD 4500 DK 5500
Opponent - WSH (Turner) Park - @COL
FD - 10.28 DK - 8.45

Welp, it just got announced that Jacob Turner will be starting instead of Joe Ross. Instead of deleting the other position players I talked about and adding the Rockies, let's talk about them here. Jacob Turner only saw 20 innings of work last season and they were atrocious. He gave up 6 homers and held wOBA's in a different stratosphere. Before that, his last action came in 2014, when he allowed a .370  combined wOBA and a 37% hard contact rate. This entire lineup is in play and these 2 OF's are the top 2 options. Blackmon has been on a power tear and is one of the best hitters in DFS. In Coors Field, his upside is just as high as anyone as he can hit an HR and steal 2 bases. Gonzalez is a pure power hitter but I'm not sure how you can't like him here. Turner doesn't miss any bats and his one good pitch, a changeup, won't move the same here. Turner is a 26-year-old who has pitched 20 MLB innings over the last 3 seasons. He will now step into Coors Field and face-off with the hot Colorado Rockies. Good luck Jacob Turner.

Jayson WerthJayson Werth FD 3600 DK 5000
Opponent - COL (Anderson) Park - @COL
FD - 10.45 DK - 7.72
Bryce HarperBryce Harper FD 5500 DK 6100
Opponent - COL (Anderson) Park - @COL
FD - 12 DK - 9.02

Werth has been a lefty masher for years now and he's a very safe cash game play. He'll be hitting behind the heart of the order and have numerous chances to drive in runs. He's the cheapest Nats outfielder and has just as much upside as anyone in Coors Field. he is a line drive hitter, which is who tends to benefit most in Coors. The outfield is huge and I would expect quite a few Jayson Werth XBH in this series on top of the Hr or two. As for Bryce Harper, he's more of a tournament option. While still elite against lefties, he's insanely expensive and isn't in the platoon advantage. With that being said, Harper is obviously an elite tournament play. He can hit 3 homers here and not a single person would be surprised. We also expect these Nats to get to Anderson early, which in turn would give us the bullpen by the 4th or 5th inning. The Rockies bullpen only has 1 lefty ready to throw and he's not very good. Harper should see at least 2 AB's against a righty and if you fade him, those AB's will be nerve-wracking. If you have the money, you should play Harper in cash games. I just don't think this is a spot where you get off of a pitcher you like for him.

Kyle SchwarberKyle Schwarber FD 3600 DK 4500
Opponent - PIT (Kuhl) Park - @PIT
FD - 11.24 DK - 8.2

We've only seen Chad Kuhl pitch 30 innings against lefties so far. While it's not nearly enough of a sample size to gauge a pitcher's skill, it's better than nothing. He's sported a .363 wOBA and a 37% hard contact rate. Against the Cubs, he better be careful. The horror will start early for Kuhl, as Kyle Schwarber will come up to start the game. He is an elite hitter against righties and will consistently be a cash game option when the Cubs face average pitching. Neither FanDuel or DK have priced Schwarber up too highly and he shouldn't be over-owned with the game in Coors Field. Schwarber has posted a career .383 wOBA against lefties and should only improve from here. Schwarber has one of the best "floors" on the slate and has an incredible amount of upside. While PNC Park is generally bad for hitting, it's a bit more friendly for lefties.




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1 Visitor Comment

  1. just watch the weather forecast in Baltimore tonight. Current forecast has pretty solid chance of rain from 4pm on through the game.

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