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Daily Fantasy MLB Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 4/22/18
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Welcome to Sunday baseball! We have a full slate of games on our hands, but only 9 games made it to the main slate. We have a clear top option on the slate and he’s going to cost you a fortune, but could very well be worth it. Corey Kluber and the Indians will go into Camden Yards with the Orioles holding just a 2.73 implied run total. You rarely see that with Kershaw. The Orioles rank 26th in baseball in terms of wOBA and dead last in strikeouts at close to 30%. The Ballpark doesn’t help Kluber, but you can’t hit it out if you can’t hit it. This Orioles lineup is packed full of strikeouts and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kluber coast over that 10 mark tonight on his way to an easy W and 7+ innings. If you have the funds and are a fan of some cheaper bats, Kluber is the easy choice.
If you’re looking to save some funds and find yourself looking in the $8k’s, I think you have another extremely easy choice. Lance McCullers has his best outing of 2018 last time out and ended up striking out 11 Mariners. He went seven innings and gave up just one solo homer in the 1st inning to Robbie Cano. When his pitches are working, McCullers is as effective as anyone in baseball. He’s facing off white a White Sox lineup tonight that is one of the least intimidating in baseball. They rank in the bottom 10 against righties and strikeout 26% of the time. There are obviously 2 or 3 bats to be scared of, but the rest are absolutely horrid. McCullers has been priced down a bit and is in a phenomenal spot to go 7 innings with 10 strikeouts once again.
Strongly consider David Price as a -134 favorite against the A's. It's not the best matchup in the world but he's coming rather cheap these days after an uneven start to the season. Patrick Corbin also deserves a nod against the Padres, though the park isn't doing him any favors.
This is a position that’s typically stacked. We certainly have plenty of options, but none of which really stand out on the high-end. We’ll instead elect to pay down a bit, where you’ll find Jesus Aguilar in a very friendly match-up. Aguilar and the Brew Crew are facing off with Caleb Smith, an atrocious young Marlins lefty. We’ll touch on him later, but he’s been pitiful against both sides of the plate (.362 wOBA) and has walked 5+ batters per 9 innings. Aguilar isn’t the biggest name, but he’s code to automatic against southpaws. In 2017, he sported a .372 wOBA against them with 16 total homers on the year. The Brewers are expected to put up over five runs and are one of the best offenses on the entire day. Aguilar is cheap and makes sense as a cash game and tournament play.
Right along with the Brewers, the Indians are one of the top offenses on this slate. Facing off with Andrew Cashner, they're projected to put up 4.58 runs. On the surface, Cashner had a pretty solid 2017. Once you dig a little further, you see a 4.73 xFIP vs righties and a 5.96 against lefties. He also walked over four batters per nine and only struck out 4.81. We know this Indians lineup is scrappy and seems to always get under the skin of below average pitching. Yonder Alonso isn't one of the guys in the heart of the order, but he should have a ton of RBI opportunities in the 6 or 7 hole. Alonso was dynamic against righties in '17, going for a .380 wOBA and totaling 28 homers on the season. He, like most guys in good match-ups, is cheap on FD and way priced up on DK. He can be played in all formats and is right there with Jesus Aguilar in my book.
We'll stay in Camden Yards with the Indians here. Jason Kipnis is way too cheap on both sites and will in the 2-hole against Andrew Cashner. Kipnis hasn't shown much of his power off this year, but he's been extremely consistent. He fell off a bit in 2017, but a .317 wOBA isn't all that terrible with the speed + power combo. He's right in the heart of the order and is almost forced to produce when the Indians put up runs. He's cheap enough where you don't even have to consider him a spend and are able to pay up elsewhere. He has a ton of upside to add to the safety in Camden Yards with it being one of the more friendly environments in baseball for hitting. Andrew Cashner was a horrible pitcher in 2017 and skated by with a ton of luck. You bet on what will happen, not what has. He's expected to struggle mightily against lefties (5.96 xFIP) and Kipnis should be in line for a minimum of 5 at-bats tonight. He's my favorite second baseman and it's not that close.
If a cheap Jason Kipnis doesn't float your boat, I'd pay up for Asdrubal Cabrera. The Mets aren't one of our main focuses on tonight's slate, but the lefties have to be in play against Mike Foltynewicz. He allowed a .375 wOBA and 11 home runs in just 69 innings of work in 2017. His 5.34 xFIP doesn't suggest there was anything unlucky about his numbers and he hasn't been any better to start this season. Cabrera is going to sit in the 3 hole and has held a .325 wOBA over the past two seasons. SunTrust Park is a bit more friendly than Citi Field and Vegas thinks the Mets put up 4.5+ runs. Cabrera is solid in all formats if Kipnis doesn't fit the mold.
Shortstop isn't the position you get excited about tonight. You find a guy with upside and hope he doesn't hurt you. The Mariners aren't a team we're all over tonight, but I love the stack. They're moving from Safeco Field, a pitcher's haven, to Globe Life Park in Arlington, where the ball tends to fly. They face off with Martin Perez, who has always struggled against righties and especially power guys. In 2017, he gave up a .362 wOBA to righties and 21 homers in just under 150 innings. Jean Segura isn't the guy you lean on for power, but he posted a .353 wOBA in 2017 against southpaws and is going to be right between the likes of Cano, Seager, and Gordon. He's plenty cheap on both sites and won't kill you even in a worst-case scenario. Segura is too talented for his price and has power + speed versatility that's not easy to find. He's my favorite in all formats and I don't think he gets over 20% owned.
Arcia did twist his ankle on Friday night, but it looks like he should be back tonight. Obviously pay attention to the lineup and adjust accordingly. Shortstop really isn’t all that great as I’ve said and Arcia is going to give you a righty in this Brewers offense that has a huge implied run total. Arcia didn’t hurt lefties in 2017, but a .312 wOBA and 15 home runs are fine for a shortstop at this price. Especially when he’s expected to dramatically improve this year. Caleb Smith is one of the worst pitchers in baseball and a .362 combined wOBA will back that up. It’s going to take some more innings of work to see who Caleb Smith really is, but I think it’s safe to say he’s not very good. The Brewers are going to do damage tonight and you’ll want exposure. Make sure Arcia is in the lineup and don’t be afraid to punt.
Chirinos was pretty lucky in his first few starts, but it all came crashing down against the Rangers with 6 ER. He doesn't profile as a great pitcher and should struggle in his first season. He struck out just over six batters per nine innings in 2017 and that wasn't even in the majors. He also posted close to a .350 wOBA, which is troubling. This Twins team isn't one I love to target bats from, but Sano is a guy you'll find as a one-off on a lot of my teams. He's a lot better against lefties, but posted a .346 wOBA against righties and 21 home runs against righties in 2017. He's always pretty expensive, but can hit 2 homers on any slate and can't be held back by any ballpark. Third base isn't all that fun on this slate, but Sano has a ton of upside and Vegas thinks the Twins put up 4+ runs. He's a solid option in all formats.
Jose Ramirez FD 4300 DK 4600
Opponent - BAL (Andrew Cashner) Park - BAL
FD - 12.09 DK - 9.27
We're right back to the Indians here with a pretty weak 3B. Jose Ramirez is always worth a look in the 3-hole of this lineup and especially when we're all over the offense as a whole. Andrew Cashner is a guy we've touched on plenty, but to sum him up, he way over-performed in 2017 and posted a pitiful 5.96 xFIP against left-handers. Jose Ramirez, on the other hand, was one of the more consistent batters in '17 and ended up with a .397 wOBA against opposing righties. The Indians now move into Camden Yards, which is a huge upgrade over that of Progressive Field. Ramirez is a safe option in all formats and I like him just a bit more than Miguel Sano if the price wasn't a thing.
Giancarlo Stanton FD 4800 DK 4900
Opponent - TOR (Jaime Garcia) Park - NYY
FD - 17.19 DK - 12.7
As DFS players, we have to do our best to remain as objective as possible. It’s not all that easy when a guy is in the Bronx, but is still doable. The Yankees face off with a southpaw in Jaime Garcia tonight, meaning you play as much Giancarlo Stanton as you can possibly fit. Stanton is right there with Trout as the best hitter in baseball against lefties, sporting a .480 wOBA vs lefties and cranking 59 total home runs. He faces Jaime Garcia tonight, who Stanton has done plenty of damage against in the past. Garcia has always struggled against the long ball, but is now giving up a .340+ wOBA as well to righties. The Yankees are projected to put up 5.64 runs and Stanton is easily my favorite bat in the lineup. Let’s get to another southpaw masher.
We looked at Jean Segura, but haven’t been on these Mariners all that much. It has less to do with the match-up and a lot more to do with all the lefties in this Mariners order. I’m fine with everyone if you want to stack, but the righties are the only guys I’m comfortable with in cash games. Martin Perez is absolutely pitiful against righties and held a .362 wOBA in ‘17 against them. As for Nelson Cruz, he’s one of the bigger bats in baseball against lefties. He fell of a bit in 2017, but a .400+ wOBA in 3 straight years prior does more than enough. He’s too cheap and one of the best candidates on the night for a home run.
Lorenzo Cain FD 3700 DK 4300
Opponent - MIA (Caleb Smith) Park - MIL
FD - 13.48 DK - 10.45
Ryan Braun FD 3200 DK 4600
Opponent - MIA (Caleb Smith) Park - MIL
FD - 13.92 DK - 10.58
Hernan Perez FD 2500 DK 2600
Opponent - MIA (Caleb Smith) Park - MIL
FD - 10.98 DK - 8.57
These are just the three that I think find a way into the order. If Domingo Santana replaces any of them, he’s just as strong of a play. Facing off with Caleb Smith, a crappy lefty with a 5+ BB/9 and .362 wOBA, the righties should have a lot of fun. Caleb Smith has also had HR issues dating back to the minors, which should help in Miller Park. Braun and Cain are both in the .350-370 wOBA range against lefties, while Perez held a .334. This Brewers team is one I love to target against lefties and there’s a lot of different ways to do it. Personally, I like 3 OF and Aguilar. If you want to be contrarian, bet on Caleb Smith being an early exit and play Thames or Shaw. Either can easily hit a home run off one of the worst bullpens of the past five years. This Brewers team is going to put up runs and I can’t see a scenario where I don’t want any exposure on a lineup. This just doesn’t seem like a spot to bust in my opinion. Good luck tonight and feel free to comment down below with any questions or feedback! Thanks!