Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Chris Durell

Daily Fantasy MLB Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 4/26/18

Welcome back baseball fans. Thursday brings a full day of fantasy fun starting with a five-game early slate followed by a four-game main slate tonight. Let's take a look at some of the top plays at each position for each slate then be sure to check out the full projections and lineup optimizer and if you have any questions be sure to join us in the chatroom.

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Early Slate

Carlos MartinezCarlos Martinez FD 9500 DK 11200
Opponent - NYM (Noah Syndergaard) Park - STL
FD - 37.11 DK - 19.33

We've got ourselves a potential pitchers duel on the early slate today and I favor Carlos Martinez and the home team who open up as slight favorites. That is definitely not the only reason for playing CarMart over Thor today as the Mets offense hasn't quite been on the same level as the Cardinals this season and the spread is even bigger when looking at the last 14 days. Since giving up four earned runs to these Mets on Opening Day, Martinez has been elite giving up just one earned in his last four starts(27.1 innings) while striking out 32 batters for a 10.54 K/9 rate. There is definitely a case to be made for both pitchers in this matchup but I will take the discount, at least in cash games, as the floor and ceiling are very similar.

Consider his opponent Noah Syndergaard though he's a little more expensive with a slightly worse matchup.


Main Slate

Chris SaleChris Sale FD 11400 DK 13000
Opponent - TOR (Marco Estrada) Park - TOR
FD - 42.51 DK - 23.91

Despite the lack of run support in the early going(which is odd as the Red Sox have the second-most runs in the league), Chris Sale is once again off to a Cy Young-like start. Even after allowing three earned runs in his last start vs. the A's he sits with a 1.86 ERA supported by an elite 2.30 xFIP and has displayed a sky-high ceiling with a 12.72 K/9 rate and 15.6% swinging strike rate. That bodes well tonight as the Blue Jays have not been their usual selves against southpaws this season with a .300 wOBA(19th) and 86 wRC+(21st) on the season with a 23% K rate. The Red Sox are -185 road favorites tonight and on this four-game slate, Sale is pretty much a lock in all formats despite the chalk.

Strongly consider Chris Archer against the Orioles. Archer's xFIP is nearly three runs lower than the ERA and he's still coming cheap for a guy with major strikeout upside. The walks are a bit troubling, but he's running bad on both xFIP and strand rate. Meanwhile, his opponent Dylan Bundy has been excellent this season with an 11.37 K/9 rate. It's probably not sustainable but there's no doubt he's improved year-over-year.

First Base/Catcher

Early Slate

Freddie FreemanFreddie Freeman FD 4500 DK 5300
Opponent - CIN (Homer Bailey) Park - CIN
FD - 13.41 DK - 10.06

The early slate gives us a couple top-tier options at first base and I lean Freddie Freeman for a couple reasons. It starts with the fact that he has been slightly better than Goldy to start the season with a .296/.431/.543 slash line and while they both have four long balls, Freeman has driven in 17 to Goldy's 11. The other big difference has been the strikeouts as Goldy is currently sitting with a 28% K rate(16.7% for Freeman). Then there is the matchup and while both have good ones, Freeman gets the edge facing Homer Bailey who has lived up to his name giving up four long balls in his last four starts with a 46.6% hard contact rate and 4.54 xFIP.

Catcher to Consider: Tucker Barnhart(CIN) 

Main Slate

Hanley RamirezHanley Ramirez FD 3900 DK 4500
Opponent - TOR (Marco Estrada) Park - TOR
FD - 11.22 DK - 8.47

The Red Sox lead the league in hitting vs. right-handed pitching and have scored the second most runs overall and Hanley Ramirez has been right int he middle of that success. After a disappointing 2017 season where he hit just .242, he has bounced back early on with a .333/.386/.507 slash line and has already driven in 16 and scored 16 runs hitting out of the three-hole. Everything lines up for that success to continue tonight as the Red Sox are big favorites with their ace on the mound and will face Marco Estrada who has been underwhelming with a 5.32 ERA/5.16 xFIP on the season. He has given up nine earned runs in his last two starts and six home runs on the season. The changeup hasn't been the same as it has been in the past and Hanley has enjoyed a ton of success against that pitch this season. All things considered, Hanley is the top first basemen on the slate and safe in all formats.

Catcher Consideration: Salvador Perez(KC) 

Second Base

Early Slate

Ozzie AlbiesOzzie Albies FD 4100 DK 4600
Opponent - CIN (Homer Bailey) Park - CIN
FD - 10.98 DK - 8.53

I am going to continue to pick on Homer Bailey here as we shift to the second base position. Albies has been a pleasant surprise for the Braves in his first full season and while he can rack up the strikeouts(18.6%) and won't be an elite OBP guy(.317), he has flashed some power with seven home runs and has added 22 runs scored hitting in front of Freddie Freeman in the lineup. It is the matchup that really stands out today as I mentioned above as Homer Bailey can be a bit of a dumpster fire at times. The Braves have the second highest implied run total of the entire day making Freeman/Albies my #1 duo for all formats.

Also Consider: Scooter Gennett(CIN)

Main Slate

Whit MerrifieldWhit Merrifield FD 3300 DK 4300
Opponent - CHW (Lucas Giolito) Park - KC
FD - 10.51 DK - 8.22

The Royals offense has been a huge disappointment overall but one player that stands out is Whit Merrifield.  He hits at the top of lineup giving him added opportunities and while the average is down he has been consistent with hits in all but four games going into Wednesday night. When we have limited options another huge consideration is the matchup and Merrifield gets a good one as Lucas Giolito looks out of his element this season giving up three or more earned runs in every start and a season-high nine last time out vs. the Astros. While you would think the 9.00 ERA should start to come down it is not all promising that he sits with an 8.43 xFIP while walking almost a batter per inning. All things considered, Merrifield is a top option at second tonight.

Also Consider: Eduardo Nunez(BOS)



Early Slate

Didi GregoriusDidi Gregorius FD 5100 DK 5000
Opponent - MIN (Kyle Gibson) Park - NYY
FD - 12.24 DK - 9.43

The Yankees are tough to fit on a small slate so I will look to the cheapest of the big three, Didi Gregorius. He picked up three more hits last night with a home run and now has a long ball in four straight games and at least one hit in nine straight games. He is benefiting like no other hitting between two superstar sluggers in Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton so it comes as no surprise he is having a breakout season and entered Wednesday night with an elite .347/.442/.787 slash line and striking out under 10% of the time. New York has the highest implied run line of any team all day as they face off vs. struggling Kyle Gibson who has given up nine earned runs in his last two starts so getting exposure to Yankees is a must.

Also Consider: Eduardo Escobar(MIN) vs. Jordan Montgomery(NYY)

Main Slate

Tim AndersonTim Anderson FD 3300 DK 3600
Opponent - KC (Jake Junis) Park - KC
FD - 7.49 DK - 5.91

Anderson also comes up a little short in our PTS/$ projections as he routinely hits in the bottom half of the lineup but it is not because of his performance. He picked up two hits yesterday giving him multiple hits in three straight and at least one hit in seven straight and 12 of his last 14 games for the White Sox. He isn't going to provide the same upside as Machado but comes at a discount and gets a better matchup tonight which makes him a  viable target on this small slate.

Also Consider: Alcides Escobar(KC)

Third Base

Early Slate

Jeimer CandelarioJeimer Candelario FD 3600 DK 3600
Opponent - PIT (Ivan Nova) Park - PIT
FD - 8.6 DK - 6.55

There very well could be some fatigue in play today as these teams are coming off a double-header yesterday but at these prices, we have to consider Jeimer Candelario. He is the Tigers primary #2 hitter and has been very impressive in his first full season as he went into Wednesday slashing .277/.355/.494 and went 4 for 10 in the doubleheader with a home run and six runs scored. He is also versatile as a switch hitter and the good news for today is that he has been much better from the left side with a .399 wOBA and 152 wRC+. The matchup doesn't scream must play as Ivan Nova has been serviceable but for the price, it makes perfect sense on the small slate.

Also Consider: Miguel Andujar(NYY)

Main Slate

Yolmer SanchezYolmer Sanchez FD 3100 DK 3100
Opponent - KC (Jake Junis) Park - KC
FD - 7.01 DK - 5.45

Sanchez has been hitting at the bottom of the White Sox order for the majority of the season but was moved up to the two-hole on Tuesday and the sites have yet to adjust opening up some value if he remains there again tonight. He is another hitter that lacks overall upside but makes a nice cash play as he has been consistent and with two hits yesterday he extended his hit streak to five games which include three multi-hit efforts, two doubles, and four runs scored. He makes the perfect salary relief option on a small slate especially if you are trying to jam in the expensive Chris Sale.

Also Consider: Mike Moustakas(KC)


Early Slate
Adam DuvallAdam Duvall FD 2700 DK 3300
Opponent - ATL (Sean Newcomb) Park - ATL
FD - 10.88 DK - 8.19
Phillip ErvinPhillip Ervin FD 2200 DK 3000
Opponent - ATL (Sean Newcomb) Park - ATL
FD - 9.21 DK - 7.05
Billy HamiltonBilly Hamilton FD 2900 DK 3200
Opponent - ATL (Sean Newcomb) Park - ATL
FD - 10.16 DK - 8
The outfield isn't a bad place to save a little dough on the early slate, allowing you to pay up at pitching and some of the other positions. Duvall and Ervin come on the better side of their platoon splits facing the lefty Newcomb in one of the best power parks in baseball, Great American. Duvall owns a career .811 OPS and .342 wOBA against lefties. He should be hitting cleanup (behind Votto) in this game. Meanwhile, Ervin projects in the sixth hole. The sample size is small and BABIP-fueled, but the dude is rocking a .935 OPS against lefties in his short career. He has speed upside, stealing a ton of bases in the minors. Newcomb is no pushover and has struck out batters at a higher clip this season. Finally, Hamilton has been better against righties for his career, but tends to lead off against lefties. He's got as much speed upside as anyone in the game, if he could only get on base more. These are boom-or-bust plays but you'll take them coming at punt prices.

Strongly consider Ender Inciarte and Odubel Herrera in the middle tier. Also, the Yankees' OF trio of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Brett Gardner will cost you but could put up a lot of scoring against Kyle Gibson.

Main Slate
Jon JayJon Jay FD 2600 DK 3200
Opponent - CHW (Lucas Giolito) Park - CHW
FD - 9.4 DK - 7.36
Jorge SolerJorge Soler FD 2700 DK 3400
Opponent - CHW (Lucas Giolito) Park - CHW
FD - 9.88 DK - 7.42
The evening slate of games is very thin pickins' on the offensive side of things considering you have so many quality arms going in only four games. And if you want to roster Sale then you are really going to need to save salary. This season Lucas Giolito has been, oh what are the words I'm looking for, oh yeah a steaming pile of @#$%@$ wrapped up in a blanket of @#$@#$. In 20 IP dude's walked twice as many as he's K'd (19 BBs, 9 Ks) and it's not like the 66 innings over the two previous seasons point to a guy with a lot of room for improvement. Jay and Soler aren't world beaters, but they are cheap and project to hit leadoff and sixth respectively.

Consider the Red Sox OF if you want to spend up. Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi and J.D. Martinez have a good matchup in Marco Estrada.


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