Daily Fantasy MLB Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 4/29/18
Now’s your chance to get DFSR PRO, which will give you access to our MLB optimizer and our new player lab! Get started for free by clicking the button below.
First time with MLB? Be sure to read our free MLB Ebooks on building lineups, general strategy and more. We've got you completely covered.
Welcome to Sunday baseball! We have a full slate of games on our hands, with 12 games on the main slate. We have a couple different pitching options, but I wouldn't call it an easy slate for pitching. The top option on the slate is Gerrit Cole, who will host the Athletics in Minute Maid Park. The A's are projected for just 3.18 runs and can struggle against right-handers, striking out 23% of the time. Cole is a guy who is absolutely disgusting against righties, sporting a .297 wOBA and 9 K/9. He struggled against lefties last year, but was still serviceable at a .330 wOBA against. If you look at the lineup, it's not hard to figure out why Vegas likes Cole. Joyce, Lowrie, and Olson are the only lefties. If he's able to get around them, the righties shouldn't be much of an issue. He's more expensive on DK than FD, but can be worth it on either site. He's pitched 7 innings in every single game and is one of the more consistent pitchers on the season.
If you're not a fan of Gerrit Cole or you just can't afford him, Jose Berrios is a solid pivot. He struggled in his last start against the Yankees but has been great otherwise. In the two starts prior, he struck out 16 over 14 innings, while giving up no runs. He'll now face off with the Reds, who aren't a very scary lineup. Sure, they have Joey Votto and he can do a lot of damage, but Scooter Gennett and Adam Duvall are the only other guys that are at all scary, which says a lot. The Reds rank 26th against righties in terms of wOBA (.291). The lineup is filled with subpar hitters that don't have much power potential. Berrios is one of the best young pitchers in the game and has shown the ability to go 7+ consistently. Personally, I like him just as much as Gerrit Cole and will have them evenly spread across my teams.
If you’d rather pay down for pitcher, Chad Bettis is the guy I’d go to. He’s not a very good pitcher and there’s no getting around that, but he often limits the damage. In five starts this season, he’s given up 0, 1, 1, 2, and 4 runs. He’s gotten through seven innings twice and has given up a combined 2 earned runs over 19.1 road innings. He now gets to see the Marlins, who offer up one of the leagues worst lineups. Against righties, they are DEAD LAST with an absolutely dreadful .264 wOBA. That’s just utterly atrocious. They basically just rely on a pitcher screwing up or Justin Bour running into a fastball. Bettis is interestingly cheap on both sites and you have to give him some attention if you think he can limit the damage for 6 or 7 innings. I’m still up in the air about paying down at pitcher, but Bettis is the surefire route I would go. Vincent Velasquez and Josh Tomlin are with considering, too. I just won’t be on them.
Moving on to the bats, we’ll kick things off in the Windy City with none other than Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo has been out of our lives for a little while this year but looks to be fully healthy and ready to play for the rest of the season. The Cubs face off with Zach Davies tonight, who they’ve seen a ton. He’s allowed a .335 wOBA to lefties and allowed 13 homers in under 100 innings of work. He’d presumably get better every year, but it’s not how things have gone for Davies. He’s as bad as ever and the Cubs should take advantage. You know you’re getting a .380+ wOBA against righties with Rizzo and the chance for 2 homers on any night. Zach Davis is the last guy to be afraid of. Rizzo is my favorite player at the position if price wasn’t a factor. You’ll find him in most of my cash game lineups.
I suppose we’ll just knock out two birds with one stone here. Facing off with Martin Perez, the Blue Jays have to be one of the top offenses on the slate. I know that the lineup looks terrible with all of the injuries, but there are some guys that can still swing the stick and we’ll touch on them. Here at C/1B, Smoak and Martin are two of the top options. Smoak, who’s at first, is obviously going to be superior, but Martin can still hit for a catcher. Smoak, a switch-hitter, brutalized lefties in 2017 to the tune of a .412 wOBA and 40% hard contact rate. He’s a guy I’m comfortable with across the board. Martin hasn’t been as good, but a .325 wOBA over the last two years is serviceable when he will be in the heart of all the action. They face off with Martin Perez, who’s one of the worst southpaws in baseball against righties. In 2017, he suffered a .363 wOBA against righties and figured out a way to allow 21 home runs in 140 innings. He’s been absolutely atrocious to start this season and things certainly don’t look to be getting any better. We’ll be on some more of these guys later.
The Pirates have called up Nick Kingham to make his first start. In the minors, he sported a 7.39 K/9 and a 4.12 xFIP. It's not bad, but it's not what you want to see in AAA. Vegas thinks he struggled today against the Cardinals and are projected to score well over 4 runs. Carpenter is way too cheap on both sites for his skill and will help you pay up while getting a true stud. He sported a .378 wOBA against righties and moves from Busch Stadium to PNC Park, which is an upgrade for lefties. Carpenter is a solid play in all formats and I'll have him in most, if not all, of my teams.
The White Sox aren't a team we're going to focus on, but you can certainly target a few of these guys against Ian Kennedy. Kennedy was terrible in 2017, giving up a .343 wOBA against lefties with peripherals that don't suggest any improvement. He's now 33 years old and his velocity is on a steady decrease. The White Sox are obviously a weak lineup and it's tough to find anyone that stands out, but Yoan Moncada certainly fits the bill. He's been all we can ask for against righties, sporting a .444 wOBA with 6 home runs and a 54% hard contact rate. He's not only an HR threat but also has 4 stolen bases and is starting to run more by the day. He's going to cost you a pretty penny, but this is a super talented youngster who's living up to all the hype. I would rather save some funds and grab Carpenter but will have some teams with Moncada as well.
If the Orioles do end up trading this guy, they can certainly thank him for how much trade value he will bring to the start of this season. He was already one of the more valuable players in the league and a top 10 hitter and fielder. Now; he’s sporting a .450+ wOBA against both sides of the plate and playing better defense than ever before. He has 9 home runs and a ludicrous .400 ISO. These aren’t sustainable numbers, but it does show how explosive of a hitter Manny Machado is. Tonight, he's matched up with a lefty in Daniel Norris. Norris was a pretty big prospect, but he’s all but panned out at this point. He allowed a .350 wOBA to righties in 2017 and walked nearly 4 batters per nine innings. This Orioles offense isn’t all that scary as a whole, but Machado alone is one of the top plays on this slate and a leading candidate for a homer.
If you're not able to pay up for Manny Machado, Eduardo Escobar and the Twins are in a very good spot today. On the surface, this pretty average lineup is expected to score 5.20 runs by Vegas. Escobar is going to be hitting right behind Escobar and Sano, putting him in at least an RBI opportunity or two. He's fairly priced on both sites and has a lot of upside. Escobar smacked 21 homers (14 vs righties) and stole 5 bases in 2017. He sported a .330 wOBA and has been even better so far in '18. The Twins are one of my favorite under the radar teams today and I expect to have a lot of exposure in all formats. Machado is clearly the top option, but I like Cole and
We don’t often target Nolan Arenado outside of Coors Field, but there are certain times when it’s very necessary. Tonight, you can make that argument. The top-end of 3B is going to give you a ton of names, but none of which really stand out. If I was forced to ignore Arenado, Bryant and Shaw are the only others I even have interest in. Fortunately, nobody is forcing me off Nolan Arenado. The Rockies face off with Caleb Smith tonight, who’s been somewhat impressive as rookie. With that being said, he’s still being brutalized by righties and he’s given up 3 homers in under 20 innings. We don’t have many innings to go off of, but Smith is not a guy that’s expected to be a long-term option for the rotation. As for Arenado, he boasted a .520 wOBA against lefties on the road in 2017. That’s away from Coors Field. If you have the funds, he’s one of the top options on the slate and should go under-owned outside of Coors.
We just looked at Machado here and Valencia is a guy I love pairing with him. He’s always been a lefty-masher and he ended up sorting a .343 wOBA against lefties. While still solid for a cheaper guy, he has typically been around the .400 mark vs southpaws and I expect him to get back there this season. He’s facing off with Daniel Norris, who’s been pitiful in the majors and has huge HR issues. The game is also in Camden Yards, which is heave to hitters compared to Comerica Park in Detroit. The O’s are an interesting stack tonight and the combo of Machado and Valencia is one I’ll have a bit of in tournaments. Let’s move on to the outfield once and for all.
Fortunately for Martin Perez, the Blue Jays are just a shell of themselves without the lefty-mashing Josh Donaldson. We touched on Justin Smoak and Russell Martin at C/1B, but have ignored them since. Martin Perez is still atrocious against righties and gives up more homers than any other lefty in baseball. Steve Pearce and Teoscar Hernandez are somewhat unknown to the casual MLB fan, but both can hit lefties. They have each posted wOBA’s against lefties between .335 and .360, so they aren’t elite but are hitting in the top of the order in a great ballpark against a guy that gives up a ton of production to right-handed bats. The Jays are a team you want exposure to and these guys are obvious ways to get it. I slightly prefer Pearce and his power, but Hernandez can put one in the seats as well. Outfield is a bit wild tonight and here are two guys you can grab under 15% owned.
The Cubs are a team with limitless upside and it gives you the ability to stack them just about every night. Tonight, they face off with a subpar Zach Davies and bullpen. Davies, who’s allowed a .343 wOBA to lefties, has been just as bad to righties. He should struggle with the Cubs as a whole in this ballpark. Schwarber is the better hitter of the two and has posted a .360+ wOBA since entering the league. He’s hitting the ball better than ever and is one of my favorite outfielders on the slate. Ian Happ is a bit more boom or bust, but has posted a .371 wOBA vs opposing righties and has extreme power. Vegas doesn’t expect Davies to control the Cubs and I have to agree. Both of these guys are premier plays at an OF position that’s typically a bit more juiced.
We looked at Eduardo Escobar at SS, but the Twins aren’t a team we’ve focused on all that much. We’ll finish off the outfield with them and their best lefty bat in Eddie Rosario. Rosario has historically dominated righties, sporting a .377 wOBA and 35% hard contact rate. He also jacked 27 homers. They face off with Tyler Mahle tonight, who’s nothing to run away from. While just a short stint, Mahle has allowed a pitiful .405 wOBA against lefties. Vegas expects the Twins to put up more than a few runs and I have to agree. Rosario is my favorite of the bunch, but I don’t hate targeting a low-owned stack with huge upside. Good luck tonight and feel free to comment below with any questions or thoughts!