Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

04/14/2018
Jerry Vanderwoude

Daily Fantasy MLB Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 4/14/18

It's Saturday baseball, and we've got an exciting early slate with nine games, and a less appealing six-game main slate. We'll focus most of our energy on the early set today while looking at some of the more exciting plays of the evening set. It's DFSR's daily fantasy MLB picks for April 14th.

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Pitcher

Max ScherzerMax Scherzer FD 11500 DK 12400
Opponent - COL (Jon Gray) Park - WSH
FD - 44.49 DK - 24.94
Scherzer and the Nationals host the Rockies on in Washington, well away from the altitude in Colorado. Scherzer is coming off of a game, Monday night, in which he completely dominated the Braves limiting them to two hits in nine shutout innings while fanning ten with zero free passes. He's opening up the season with the second best xFIP in the majors picking up right where he left off in 2017. This Rockies team just isn't the same without some home-cookin' as their wOBA on the road dating back to the start of last season is among the worst in the game and they strike out fourth most, nearly 25% of the time. Washington has one of the best opening lines of the day at -185 and Scherzer should easily continue his dominant ways in this one. He's a strong play everywhere.

Chris ArcherChris Archer FD 8800 DK 14300
Opponent - PHI (Jake Arrieta) Park - TB
FD - 37.49 DK - 20.43
Chris Archer is one of those guys that doesn't get near the credit he deserves. He ended 2017 with just ten wins in 34 starts but that was more a reflection of the offense around him than anything he did while on the hill. I'm not saying he's in the same league as Scherzer, but for a fraction of the salary (on FD, he isn't a part of DK salary cap slates), he doesn't have to be. He still ended the season with the eleventh-best xFIP in the majors and the fifth-best K/9 (11.15). With heat like that, you have to like him against a Phillies team that strikes out 23.4% of the time dating back to last season. Philadelphia has a young, up and coming offense that is showing signs of promise but they're still letting their impatience show at the dish early and often. If he can get by young hot-shots Rhys Hoskins and Scott Kingery, who strike out a combined 21.1% of the time, he should have little trouble keeping this Phillies lineup in check. I'll have Scherzer in cash all day, but as a GPP pivot, to allow for some better bats, you have to love the spot Archer is in tonight.

Rich HillRich Hill FD 8200 DK 9700
Opponent - ARI (Taijuan Walker) Park - LAD
FD - 39 DK - 21.08
On the six-game main slate starting at 7:05 PM our MLB projection system absolutely loves Rich Hill. Hill is projecting to be one of the best points per dollar plays of the day and is third only to Scherzer and Kluber in raw point projections. The Dodgers continue their weekend series with the Diamondbacks, who like the Rockies just aren't the same team on the road with a .303 team wOBA away from Chase, the sixth worst in baseball since the start of last season. Hill has the pleasure of hosting the DBacks in Dodger Stadium tonight, a park that has ranked much more favorable to the pitcher over the last two seasons. While he may not sport a flashy top ten xFIP (his 3.88 was 36th overall last season), his K upside ranks right up there with the other two guys above. Hill struck out batters at a remarkable 11.01 K/9 clip last season. There's some risk involved here as the Dodgers have pulled Hill after just 80 pitches in each of his first two starts. If he gets into trouble early, there may be little to no chance of recovery, but if he can come out strong and dominate the team with a 23.4 K% going back to the start of 2017, then the upside knows no limits.

Strongly consider stacking Scherzer and Corey Kluber together on DK early and just punting bats.

First Base/Catcher

Ryan ZimmermanRyan Zimmerman FD 2500 DK 4200
Opponent - COL (Jon Gray) Park - WSH
FD - 10.75 DK - 8.12
I don't quite know what is going on in the FanDuel algorithm to give them the pricing on Ryan Zimmerman that they're tagging him with. He can easily pay off once he breaks loose, and lord knows he's due, but for me, I love the opportunity to get a guy who had the ninth best wOBA (.387) and twelfth best ISO (.269) among qualified first basemen last season for near minimum pricing. Jon Gray isn't a terrible pitcher, his .355 xFIP is nearly a full run lower than his ERA, and he's performed much better on the road to open the season than he did in his last game at home (which makes sense for any pitcher that calls Coors home). That being said, the Nationals know their home park, and how to hit in it, and they should put up runs on Gray today. Hitting in the heart of an order that includes Bryce Harper, Trea Turner, and Anthony Rendon, Zimm should see plenty of opportunities to drive in a few of those runs. I'll limit Zimmerman to tournaments with that DraftKings price, but for FanDuel, use him everywhere.

Mitch MorelandMitch Moreland FD 2900 DK 2900
Opponent - BAL (Alex Cobb) Park - BOS
FD - 11.42 DK - 8.61
The Red Sox are going to be one of our top stacks of the day as they continue their series with the Orioles. Baltimore will send Alex Cobb to the Hill making his 2018 debut after coming over from the Rays. He'll have his work cut out for him as he heads to the hill in Fenway to face the Red Sox. Mitch Moreland stepped into first base and the three hole on Friday night with Hanley Ramirez out after suffering a wrist contusion on Thursday night. With Hanley considered day-to-day Moreland can continue to be a top consideration for the duration of the former's absence. Moreland went 2-3 following Ramirez' departure on Thursday and is 1-4 as I write this on Friday giving him four straight games with a base hit. Check the lineups, and if Ramirez remains out, and Moreland is back in the three spot, then lock and load.

Gary SanchezGary Sanchez FD 3900 DK 4300
Opponent - DET (Francisco Liriano) Park - DET
FD - 11.17 DK - 8.4
We like to give you at least one catcher in this spot, and while it may seem an obvious choice to spotlight Gary Sanchez, he's easily the top consideration going against Francisco Liriano. Now in his thirteenth season, Liriano has seen his xFIP rise over each of the last four seasons ending 2017 with a career-high 5.04, and he's on pace to post even higher this season. As for Sanchez, he got off to a slow start to the season, going 2 for 36 in his first nine games before breaking loose for a 4-9 stretch over the last two games of the Red Sox series, so it seems like he's finding his groove at the right time. Locking Sanchez against the southpaw isn't lazy; it's safe and smart.

Brandon BeltBrandon Belt FD 2500 DK 3700
Opponent - SD (Clayton Richard) Park - SD
FD - 8.85 DK - 6.64
There isn't a lot to like about the six-game main slate tonight. The run projections are low. The parks are huge. Five of the six stadiums are among the eight worst hitters parks in the game. The worst of all being PetCo where the Giants are visiting the Padres this weekend. Still, if you're playing the slate, you can consider Brandon Belt at first base hitting at the top of the Giants order and value priced across the industry. Belt has put together some excellent fantasy performances early on this season, and the sites have him priced to a point where we don't need to ask much. The Giants first baseman is coming off of a 2017 season that saw his wOBA drop 22 points from the season prior, but he did manage to post a career-high ISO (.228), his numbers are pretty even against both RHP and LHP so we can target him against southpaw Clayton Richard. Richard was sharp against the Brewers to start the season but struggled in subsequent back to back starts against the Rockies, allowing 19 baserunners and nine earned runs in ten innings total. There isn't anyone worth paying up for on the main slate so get out cheap with Belt.

Second Base

Jonathan SchoopJonathan Schoop FD 3300 DK 4000
Opponent - BOS (Hector Velazquez) Park - BOS
FD - 10.53 DK - 8.04
We're going to give much more attention to the Red Sox in this game, but that doesn't mean Baltimore can't be looked at as well. Boston is countering the Orioles with Hector Velazquez making his fifth career start. The Sox will pull Velazquez from the bullpen where he's been residing since making a start on April first in Tampa. He got the win in that game limiting the Rays to one run in 5.2IP. Jonathan Schoop has reached base safely in five straight games and is 4 for 8 with a double, two RBI and a run scored in his last two games. He's been off to a quiet start to the season, but the 2017 All-Star looks like he's starting to turn it around. The price is reasonable and it's a strong spot.

Brian DozierBrian Dozier FD 4300 DK 4900
Opponent - CHW (Miguel Gonzalez) Park - MIN
FD - 13.66 DK - 10.28
The Twins are another offense you'll see make repeated appearances in today's article, as they continue their weekend series with the White Sox who will send Miguel Gonzalez to the hill. Second baseman Brian Dozier is coming off a 2017 season that saw him come in fourth at the position with a .362 wOBA while leading the position with 34 home runs. While the right-handed hitting Dozier is usually a better target against lefties, RHP Gonzalez is equally terrible against both sides of the plate. He's opening up the season with an ERA of 8.68, and the 5.32 xFIP doesn't suggest much better. Dozier is going to cost you, but given the matchup, he's well worth the price of admission.

Ozzie AlbiesOzzie Albies FD 3900 DK 4100
Opponent - CHC (Jose Quintana) Park - CHC
FD - 11.71 DK - 9.1
If you need some savings off of Dozier, then consider dropping down a bit to Ozzie Albies. After making 57 appearances last season, the young Braves second baseman is making a name for himself early on this season. Through 12 games Albies is sporting a .395 wOBA and has four home runs which are tied for third overall with the likes of Judge, Machado, and Dozier as mentioned above. He's 17 for 59 to open the season and including those four home runs, 10 of his 17 hits have gone for extra bases. Today the Cubs send Jose Quintana to the hill, which we normally wouldn't target, but with Albies hitting southpaws to the tune of a .473 wOBA in his young career we can certainly make an exception.


This position is absolutely terrible on the main slate. Consider Jonathan Villar against Matt Harvey unless someone cheap pops up in the top of an order somewhere.

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Shortstop

Eduardo NunezEduardo Nunez FD 2900 DK 3400
Opponent - BAL (Alex Cobb) Park - BOS
FD - 11.29 DK - 8.81
Eduardo Nunez has spent most of the early parts of this season hitting in the middle-bottom of the Red Sox lineup, but that hasn't stopped the ninth-year shortstop from producing some solid fantasy value early on. Through his first 11 games, Nunez is 11 for 44 with five doubles, a home run, three RBI, eight runs, and two walks. He's continuing on strong from a 2017 campaign that saw him hit a career-high in wOBA (.342). He'll step into the box today against Alex Cobb making his debut with Baltimore after a 2017 in Tampa that saw him post a 4.24 xFIP over 29 starts. The Red Sox have one of the highest run projections of the day at 5.4 and should be able to rattle Cobb early on. For the price, Nunez is a consideration in all formats.

Carlos CorreaCarlos Correa FD 4400 DK 5100
Opponent - TEX (Mike Minor) Park - HOU
FD - 13.43 DK - 10.12
In addition to Boston and Minnesota, we'll be looking at several options from the Astros today, beginning with Carlos Correa at shortstop. Correa has the season off to a strong start with a .377 wOBA and 147 wRC+. Correa is a volatile play, he's only gotten a base hit in six of thirteen games, but five of those six were multi-hit efforts with Correa stretching extra bases in all but one of those. It's, for this reason, I'll likely look elsewhere in cash games, but in tournaments, no one can deliver more upside at the position. Especially with Mike Minor on the hill for the Rangers.

Marcus SemienMarcus Semien FD 3600 DK 3200
Opponent - SEA (Marco Gonzales) Park - SEA
FD - 10.94 DK - 8.34
On the main slate, we can consider Marcus Semien as a reasonably priced option at shortstop hitting in the Oakland leadoff spot. Semien is 0 for 3 in Friday night's game as I write this. If that continues, it will be just the second time this year the Semien failed to reach base, and end a nine-game hitting streak. He's opening up his sixth season as money in the bank. Seattle will counter Semien and the A's with Marco Gonzales making his 17th career start through four big league seasons. Gonzales sports a career 4.45 xFIP and is allowing a .375 wOBA to the right side of the plate. It's a great spot for Semien who projects as one of the top plays in the night set of games.

Third Base

Alex BregmanAlex Bregman FD 3800 DK 4500
Opponent - TEX (Mike Minor) Park - HOU
FD - 13.37 DK - 10.18
Alex Bregman struggled at the dish to open up his 2017 season but turned things around and turned in a strong effort for his first full season. So despite a cold open to the 2018 campaign, we can have faith that he'll put things together, and Wednesday in Minnesota he gave hope that he could be turning a corner, going 4 for 6 with a double, home run, RBI, and two runs scored. He struggled last night against Cole Hamels but will look to get back on track tonight with Mike Minor on the hill. After five years starting for the Braves, Minor took a spot in the Kansas City bullpen last season but is now starting once again this time for the Rangers. He started against the Astros in Houston to open the season and only lasted 4.2 innings allowing two earned runs on five base runners. For his career, Minor is allowing a .314 wOBA against to right-handed hitters. Bregman hits second in one of the most powerful lineups in the majors but isn't priced like it. Consider him in GPP's as part of a Houston stack, or as a stand-alone play in cash.

Anthony RendonAnthony Rendon FD 3400 DK 4400
Opponent - COL (Jon Gray) Park - WSH
FD - 11.6 DK - 8.75
Anthony Rendon has opened up the season strong, with base hits in all but two games with three multi-hit efforts in his last seven. Usually, we're all over Rendon when there's a lefty on the hill, but a righty like Jon Gray shouldn't scare us off. Rendon had an impressive .377 wOBA off of RHP last season and is starting this season off at .369 off of righties. Rendon has been bouncing between the two-hole and cleanup over the last few games, but with this Nationals lineup, it doesn't matter, any spot is a threat to light it up. Consider Rendon everywhere. Note: Rendon left last night's game after fouling a ball off his toe. The X-Ray came back negative, but be sure to verify his status before locking him in today.

Miguel SanoMiguel Sano FD 4000 DK 4300
Opponent - CHW (Miguel Gonzalez) Park - MIN
FD - 13.47 DK - 10.01
Miguel Sano is another pricy bat in the Twins lineup but one well worth considering against Miguel Gonzalez. Like his teammate Brian Dozier who we covered earlier, Sano has a better wOBA against southpaws, but with a .354 against RHP, we can consider him here as well. Sano has also shown more power off of RHP with over 75% of his career home runs coming against the split. Gonzalez is weak, and this Minnesota lineup will eat him alive. I'm eyeing some twins stacks in GPP's tonight, and Sano will play a big part in them.

This position isn't much better than second on the main slate, but I suppose you could consider Evan Longoria.

Outfield

J.D. MartinezJ.D. Martinez FD 3800 DK 5000
Opponent - BAL (Alex Cobb) Park - BOS
FD - 14.87 DK - 11.16
We've already looked at Mitch Moreland and Eduardo Nunez as two value options to gain access to one of the most lethal offenses on the slate. Now let's look at the heart of the Red Sox order with cleanup hitter J.D. Martinez. Martinez has had a grand opening to the 2018 campaign, including a grand slam against the Yankees on Wednesday, his second long ball of the season. While he's been better against southpaws over his career, his .355 wOBA against RHP means we can consider him regardless of who is on the hill. If you need further proof of what we're dealing with here, Martinez posted a career-high .430 wOBA last season, which tied him among outfielders with Aaron Judge for second, just behind Mike Trout. That's some pretty lofty company, but Martinez will cost you just a fraction of what those guys will.

Eddie RosarioEddie Rosario FD 3000 DK 3100
Opponent - CHW (Miguel Gonzalez) Park - MIN
FD - 11.53 DK - 8.87
We've looked at two studs in the top of the Minnesota order already in Dozier and Sano. Now we'll round out our Minnesota exposure with Eddie Rosario. Rosario, hitting in the cleanup spot of the powerful Twins lineup is a cheaper play than his teammates which will help us round out our Minnesota stack. He also bats from the left side of the plate, and although we established Gonzalez can be targeted from either side, he's much worst against left-handed hitters, allowing a .360 wOBA in 2017. The 26 yr old Rosario sports a .355 wOBA against RHP with 45 of his 51 HR coming off the split.

George SpringerGeorge Springer FD 3900 DK 5100
Opponent - TEX (Mike Minor) Park - HOU
FD - 14.77 DK - 11.11
We've looked at Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman, now let's close out our Houston coverage with their leadoff hitter George Springer. Springer, who hit two solo shots last night, got off to a quiet start to the season. His wOBA is over 100 points lower than where it was at the end of last season, and last night's home runs were his first since opening day. The matchup tonight is even better with Mike Minor on the hill. Springer loves hitting southpaws, as evidenced by his .393 wOBA against the split for his career. Last night's performance could be a sign that things are starting to gel for Springer, and we want to have exposure if that is the case. Reserve Springer for tournaments on DraftKings, but for the price, consider him everywhere on FanDuel.

Ryan BraunRyan Braun FD 2800 DK 4600
Opponent - NYM (Matt Harvey) Park - NYM
FD - 10.74 DK - 8.16
The Brewers are in Citi Field for a weekend set with the Mets. Ryan Braun opened the series with a bang going yard in Friday night's series opener. It was a welcome change for Braun who saw a stretch of several games going hitless or just hitting a single after opening the season with home runs in two of his first four games. Braun will look to stay back on track tonight against Matt Harvey who opened his season by dominating Philly, before getting rocked by Washington for four runs on nine hits in just five innings in his second go around. Despite having a wOBA 50 points higher against southpaws, Braun still butters his bread against RHP with a .371 wOBA and 214 of his 304 career home runs coming off of RHP. Bats on the main slate are so terrible, so I'll consider Braun in all formats on all sites, regardless of the difference in pricing.

Thanks for reading, and as always good luck tonight. Feel free to drop any questions or comments below. Cheers!!

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2 Visitor Comments

  1. This slate is full of bad weather – lots of these picks are bad

  2. Bad weather doesnt make them bad picks

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