Daily Fantasy MLB Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 4/11/18
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This early slate isn’t the greatest in terms of pitching. We definitely have some solid options, but nothing that really stands out. Lance McCullers has pitched well to start the season but just has to iron out some wrinkles. Over just 10.1 innings, McCullers has struck out 17 batters and given up four runs. He can put 10 K’s in the box with ease and this match-up is another favorable one. The Twins have ranked 21st against righties this year and while its way too early to use that number, the lineup backs it up. They have a lot of volatile bats and while they can hit homers, they can also go down easy and give away a game. McCullers is also volatile, but he at least has those 6+ strikeouts guaranteed. He’s my favorite play in all formats on the slate and I’ll probably have him everywhere. The only other way I could see going is James Paxton, but I hate his pitch count for the match-up he’s in. I’ll stick to the best curveball in baseball.
The top point per dollar play on the night is Zack Wheeler. If you're looking to pay up, Lester, Tanaka, Price, and Wood all have upside. They are just not in great match-ups and could easily bust. Wheeler is facing the Marlins, whose putrid lineup has an identical run total to those that the stars are facing, if not even lower (3.76). Wheeler was one of the biggest prospects in baseball for a few years and just kept getting injured. He's always electric when pitching and will sometimes just lose control. If he's on his game against the Marlins, 7+ strikeouts is easy. The leash is around 90-100 pitches and the price is just too low. Look at this lineup. Outside of Justin Bour and Dietrich, they have zero above average hitters against righties. The ballpark is huge and the ball doesn't fly all that well at night. Wheeler is a great option in all formats and is too cheap on both sites. There's always a risk with Zack Wheeler, but find me a pitcher without blow-up risk tonight.
Freddie Freeman is an easy way to start things off. He's one of the absolute best hitters in baseball and is often under-owned. Tonight, he faces off with A.J. Cole, who can be targeted without much thought vs lefties. In 2017, Cole allowed a .414 wOBA vs lefties and six homers in just over 20 innings. It's hard to trust those numbers, but he has never been any better than that. Freeman, on the other hand, has sported a .422 wOBA over the past year. His price is always going to be high, but he can hit two homers on any night and will very rarely kill you in cash games with a 0. Freeman is one of the safer plays on this early slate and shouldn't be too tough to fit in with places to pay down elsewhere. Let's look at a super cheap option if Coors Field is on the slate you're playing.
If you need to pay down at catcher, Tony Wolters will likely be in there against a righty. He isn’t exactly a great hitter by any means, but he’s expected to be eventually and is just 25 years old. He’s also in the bottom of the order in Coors Field, so you can guarantee at least one or two serious RBI opportunities. The Rockies face off with the Padres and Luis Perdomo, who’s worse against lefties. He sported a .349 wOBA against over the last two season and that’s with most games being played in Petco Park. Coors Field is once again projected for 10+ runs and it’s a game you just can’t avoid. Wolters isn’t as exciting as the above names, but he’s safe for the price and gives you some solid Coors ownership.
Flores is basically a lock for me when facing an average or worse than average lefty. Jarlin Garcia is a bit worse than average. He allowed a .338 wOBA against righties last season and this Mets team can beat up lefties. Flores held a .351 wOBA against lefties last season and it was a down-season. He's typically around .400 and I bet he gets back there this year. He went deep for a lot us last night and I'll be doubling down. His price is very low and he'll be in the three or four hole. Flores is probably the easiest way to pay down on this entire slate.
Yoan Moncada FD 3400 DK 4200
Opponent - TB (Undecided) Park - CHW
FD - 10.12 DK - 7.72
Second base is an odd spot on this early slate. There are a lot of big names, but none of them are in optimal match-ups where you’re comfortable paying so much money. You can double down on the Braves with an affordable Ozzie Alvie’s if you want, but let’s take a look at a different lineup. This White Sox team may be ugly, but they’re facing an even uglier Yonny Chirinos. He’s been serviceable against Boston, but isn’t profiled to be a good pitcher yet. Expect the White to put up at least a few early runs. Yoan Moncada is the second best player on this team after Abreu and he’s quickly asserting himself as one of the better 2nd basemen in all of the league. He has speed, power, and will rarely kill you when the White Sox bust. Today, I like him over any of the expensive options. I wouldn’t call him cheap, but you can make him worth it while paying up elsewhere with no issues. Like I said, if you must go elsewhere, I like Ozzie Albies as well. They are somewhat similar plays at their price and facing off against horrid righties that can be run on.
The Angels are a team that deserves a whole lot of attention tonight. Of course, Mike Upton and Justin Upton are going to be some of the more popular plays, but I like an Angel at just about every position. We skipped them over at C/1B, but I love both Pujols and Marte for the savings. Here we have Zack Cozart, who figures to be in the leadoff hole. Cozart mashed lefties to a .440 wOBA in 2017, which is just a little bit ridiculous for a 2B. He gets to face off with Matt Moore, who's one of the worst lefties in baseball at this point. We'll dive in more later, but a 5.65 xFIP tells you enough for now. Cozart is easily my favorite play at the position and you can call me a liar if he's not in 100% of my lineups. He's a bit more expensive on DK, but I've been able to afford him with a very comfortable lineup around him.
If you're playing on a slate with Trevor Story, he's the top option. I just don't want to fill this entire article with bats from Coors Field. We'll instead look at a cheaper option in Jean Segura, who's in a great match-up and should come in lower owned. Danny Duffy was once a pretty good pitcher, but he's now a guy I love targeting hitters against. He's still elite against lefties, but a .330 wOBA and 4.65 xFIP vs right-handers can be targeted. Jean Segura was dominant in '17 with a .317 average and .353 wOBA. He has a solid combo of power and speed and seems to always be involved when these guys are scoring. The ballpark is horrible for power, but he has triple speed and can steal bags against lefties. His price is fair on both sites an I'll have close too 100%. If Coors Field isn't on your slate, Jean Segura is the top option.
Simmons is definitely more of a defensive player, but I don't mind targeting him at all here. He did hit 15 home runs last year and posted a .326 wOBA, so he's far from bad. He's going to be sandwiched in between a bunch of righties in this Angels lineup that's expected to score 5.17 runs. He's fairly priced on both sites and has one of the friendlist match-ups on the night. Matt Moore has been horrible for a few years now, but a 5.65 xFIP in 2017 put him at a new low. The ballpark is a huge upgrade for these Angels and I think they are my favorite team to stack on this main slate.
Matt Carpenter FD 3100 DK 3300
Opponent - MIL (Guerra) Park - STL
FD - 10.31 DK - 7.7
Third Base isn't all that great on this early slate. We'll look to pay down for a guy in Matt Carpenter that really should not be this cheap. Believe it or not, this one of the better hitters in the league against righties. He held a .378 wOBA against righties in '17 and was even better in years past. He gets to match-up with Junior Guerra tonight, who sported a .350 wOBA against lefties in 2017. The Cardinals have a 4.2 projected total and you have to think Carpenter gets more than involved. If you have the funds to pay up for and want to for whatever reason, I like Shaw over Sano or Rendon. Arenado is obviously the best of the best if you're playing on a slate with him.
If you want to pay up at third base, you can obviously go Coors Field. I just think Kris Bryant is an even better play. He boasted a .405 wOBA against lefties in 2017 and is looking even better early on this year. His match-up tonight with Steven Brault is a juicy one. A youngster at just 25, he was plastered by righties in ‘17 and was fortunate to end with just a .353 wOBA. The peripherals say much worse. His K/9 is just over 5 batters and he walks over 3. The Cubs are expected to be on of the higher-scoring offenses on the night and it’s not hard to see why. Bryant is the top dog of it all and going to be a nightmare to southpaws for 10 years plus. Tonight, he’s up there with Trout and Blackmon as a top play on the entire slate.
Charlie Blackmon FD 4900 DK 5700
Opponent - SD (Luis Perdomo) Park - COL
FD - 16.3 DK - 12.51
Carlos Gonzalez FD 3800 DK 4500
Opponent - SD (Luis Perdomo) Park - COL
FD - 13.45 DK - 10.2
Gerardo Parra FD 2900 DK 3500
Opponent - SD (Luis Perdomo) Park - COL
FD - 11.81 DK - 9.18
We’ve skipped past a lot of these Coors bats that you can use. Luis Perdomo is not as bad against righties as he is lefties, but it’s close. He posted a .349 wOBA against lefties and it figures to be closer to .400 in a ballpark like Coors Field. Charlie Blackmon was scratched last night, but is a top 3 play on the slate if in the lineup. CarGo and Parra are cheaper, but either can hit an HR with ease given the match-up. Both held .345+ wOBA’s against right-handers and Parra is a lot better than most assume. All three of these guys are top plays and it really just comes down to the price and if you’re able to afford them. Personally, I plan on having a fair share of Blackmon and Gonzalez. I’ll sacrifice elsewhere. Perdomo is a bad pitcher and we’re going to see another big run game come out of Colorado tonight. Make sure Blackmon is in there. He was scratched before the game yesterday.
We've ignored the Houston Astros up to this point, but you can definitely stack this team against Kyle Gibson. Gibson has been bad against both righties and lefties, posting a .358 wOBA and allowing 24 home runs in just 140 innings. You then get to a Houston Astros team that can beat the hell out of any pitcher, let alone one that struggles against everyone. Both Josh Reddick and George Springer are elite against righties and top candidates to hit a homer tonight. The Astros hold a 4.76 run total, which is the highest on the slate if you remove Coors Field. Vegas thinks Kyle Gibson has a lot of trouble and the MLB optimizer agrees. Springer and Reddick are both elite options at very similar price tags. I personally prefer George Springer and will go with him as my home run of the day.
Here are two of the more obvious plays on this entire slate. TheAngels got to face off with Martin Perez last night, who they ate up and spit out. They now get an even worse lefty in Matt Moore tonight, who is utterly atrocious against everyone. His wOBA has him being worse against lefties in 2017, but a 5.65 xFIP against righties suggests otherwise. Trust the xFIP as it considers a whole lot more. Mike Trout is obviously a top 3 hitter in baseball and he brutalized lefties to the tune of a .397 wOBA in 2017. Justin Upton was way better, sporting a ridiculous .472 wOBA. Both of these guys are top plays on the night and I will have both in 100% of my cash games. I can guarantee that.
We looked at Wilmer Flores at C/1B and Yoenis Cespedes has pretty similar numbers against southpaws. In 2017, he posted a .366 wOBA and hit 17 homers in just about 100 games. His price is admittedly too high on DraftKings, but it's too low on FanDuel and he becomes an elite play in all formats because of it. Jarlin Garcia held a 5.76 xFIP vs righties, so his wOBA was just a bit lucky at .336. Cespedes is in play in all formats and one of my favorites. You can also play Juan Lagares in the OF if you want to stack the Mets. He's good against lefties and very cheap. Good luck tonight and make sure you comment below with any questions!