Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Austyn Varney

Late DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Thursday 4/11/19

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Late Slate


Jon GrayJon Gray FD 8500 DK 9300
Opponent - SF (Jeff Samardzija) Park - SF
FD - 35.57 DK - 18.69

There’s no clear way to go at pitcher on this slate. Joe Musgrove is interesting, but he’s facing the team with the number one wOBA vs righties in the entire league (.406). Gausman is another interesting name, but the Mets are strong from the left-handed side and Gausman struggles with lefties. That leads us to Jon Gray, who’s going into one of the friendliest ballparks for pitching and is facing off with a Giants team that ranks in the bottom five against right-handed pitching. Gray hasn’t been excellent to start the season, but his woes should be righted in the spacious Oracle Park. Gray is a strikeout per inning arm that can go 90-100 pitches with ease. He has a legitimate second and third pitch, though they sometimes don’t have much command. There isn’t much pitching on this slate to begin with, so there’s no getting picky. Gray gets one of the best match-ups out there and is fairly priced around the industry. The Giants hold the lowest implied total of the entire day at 3.40, so Vegas agreed with all the above. He’s the top pitcher regardless of price or format.

Jeff SamardzijaJeff Samardzija FD 5900 DK 7500
Opponent - COL (Jon Gray) Park - SF
FD - 28.41 DK - 14.44

On the surface, Jeff Samardzija is nowhere near the pitcher he once was and there’s no real upside. On the other hand, he’s way too cheap and gets to face off with a bad lineup in a good ballpark. The Rockies are pitiful outside of Coors Field and Samardzija actually isn’t half bad. In 2018, he was hurt most of the season. Prior to that, he pitched 200 innings with 200 strikeouts in 3 of the last 5 seasons. He should be able to go six quality innings here and at his price, that’s more than you need. He’ll allow you to spend up for just about every bat you would like and give you a 10% owned quality pitcher. This slate doesn’t have much pitching to be confident in, but it also doesn’t have any easy and obvious offenses. Playing Samardzija will allow us to cherry pick the top bats in each order without a clear stack on the line. The Rockies are only expected to put up 3.60 runs tonight, so Vegas fully expects this game to stay low-scoring and tight. Both pitchers in this game are out top options on the main slate. A 7 total is the lowest on the day by 1.5 runs and the money is coming in on the under. Get your pitching in San Fran.

Team Cash Stacks

Boston Red SoxBoston Red Sox

Park - BOS
Opposing Pitcher - TOR (Aaron Sanchez)
Vegas Implied Run Total - 5.17
While there aren’t many arms to blow you away on this late slate, there aren’t many bats either. There is no runaway gas can of the night and there’s certainly nobody we can just stack 4 against and move along. We do have some pitchers with weakness, though, and we’ll have to take advantage. Let’s start with the Boston Red Sox. Aaron Sanchez has been pretty good to start this season, but it's not the pitcher he is. In over 100 innings in 2018, he sported a 4.98 xFIP. He was strong against righties with a .292 wOBA, but was brutalized by lefties with a .380 wOBA and insane 6.20 xFIP. Let's take a look at what bats to target.

Potential Players to Stack

Andrew Benintendi (FD $3,600 DK $4,600)

Mitch Moreland (FD $3,700 DK $4,500)

Rafael Devers (FD $3,100 DK $3,900)

J.D. Martinez (FD $4,600 DK $5,200)

We want to take advantage of Sanchez being terrible against lefties, so target Benintendi (.391 wOBA) and Moreland (.372 wOBA) on the expensive end. They'll stay in the game no matter who comes in from the bullpen and aren't overly expensive. They rake right-handed pitching and will be in every stack of mine. Rafael Devers is another lefty who's a bit cheaper, but should get some RBI opportunities and Sanchez struggles with runners on. As for your last spot, Mookie Betts and J.D Martinez are one in the same. They both rake against both sides of the plate and it really just depends on who's hot what day. I'll lean Martinez with Sanchez struggling against power, but you can go either way there.

Pittsburgh PiratesPittsburgh Pirates

Park - CHC
Opposing Pitcher - CHC (Jose Quintana)
Vegas Implied Run Total - 3.66

There isn't much to pick on here, so we'll look to take advantage of the struggles Quintana has against righties with power. I don't think you necessarily need to stack this entire Prates team, but two or three guys is a solid idea in hopes of a homer or two. In 2018, Quintana allowed a .323 wOBA and allowed 20 homers in just over 130 innings. The Pirates will mix their lineup around and should end up with 4 or 5 lefties in the heart of it. They shouldn't be highly owned and give you a ton of upside for a solid price.

Potential Players to Stack

Starling Marte (FD $3,400 DK $3,800) Francisco Cervelli (FD $2,500 DK $3,200)

Here are my two favorites in the order. Marte is the Pirates best hitter and has held a .340 wOBA over the last couple years against southpaws. As for Cervelli, he's very affordable and is great against lefties (.360 wOBA). Quintana does have some holes in his game (power righties) and these guys can take advantage. As we sit, the wind is blowing out 13 MPH in Wrigley Field. That will only help the right-handed power bats. Neither of these will be very popular plays as I think Quintana is believed to be better than he is. As a Cubs fan, he's a guy I like picking on when things aren't perfect for him. He's a volatile pitcher and it only takes a mistake or two for him to unravel.

Josh Bell (FD $3,400 DK $3,600)

Jung-Ho Kang (FD $2,600 DK $3,300)

Pablo Reyes (FD $2,000 DK $2,800)

These guys are a little more hit or miss, but they won't be popular and have a lot of upside. Josh Bell prefers hitting from the left side, but will still get some at-bats against bullpen arms and is still fine from the right side. Kang has a weird sample size, but he's held a .330 wOBA against lefties and 6 homers in just over 100 at-bats. He's cheap and has real HR upside if the wind is blowing out in Wrigley. As for Pablo Reyes, he's minimum priced and has been a solid hitter in the minors. It's yet to be known how he'll hit in the majors, but he should have runners on-base and doesn't have much of a profile to pitch against. He's a great value play if you're looking around.

Additional Late Slate Plays

David PeraltaDavid Peralta FD 3700 DK 4300
Opponent - SD (Undecided) Park - ARI
FD - 0.12 DK - 0.09

It looks like Pedro Avila will be starting for the Padres tonight, which is more than interesting. He held a 2021 ETA just a couple weeks ago, but here we are. He's been a great pitcher through the minors, leaning on a dirty fastball that can strikeout 9+ per 9 innings. With that being said, he's still 19 and will have some growing pains with major league lineups. David Peralta is a well-known menace against righties, sporting a .385 wOBA dating back to '16. He's the Diamondbacks best hitter and a guy I always make sure to plug in when facing a right-hander. He doesn't have as much lethal power around him as he once did, but Jones and Walker have provided solid protection. Peralta is one of my favorite one-offs on the slate and his elevated price tag should keep the masses off. If you're playing Samardzija, you won't care about salary.

Josh DonaldsonJosh Donaldson FD 3800 DK 3900
Opponent - NYM (Steven Matz) Park - ATL
FD - 12.18 DK - 9.1

I almost went with the Braves instead of the Pirates, but Matz can be a very good pitcher. He just gets in his own head sometimes and can't escape a few walks without giving up a bunch of runs. He's been solid so far this year, but righties did take advantage of him a bit with 23 homers in 120 innings with a 4.15 xFIP. We all know Josh Donaldson is a lefty-masher and he's kept it up this year with a .409 wOBA against (.385 in '18). He's protected by all-star hitters and has been seeing a ton of pitches to hit with runners on-base. He's affordable on both sites and shouldn't be popular with a bunch of other options at 3B. Good luck tonight and feel free to reach out with any questions below!


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