Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

04/13/2019
Joel Bartilotta

DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Saturday 4/13/19

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Early

Pitcher

Blake SnellBlake Snell FD 12000 DK 10700
Opponent - TOR (Clay Buchholz) Park - TOR
FD - 39.93 DK - 22.22
Snell took a leap last season, going from a a guy who showed flashes of K upside along with major control issues to a dude who struck out 11 batters per nine and cut the walks to 3BB/9. He's looked even better this year. He has 27 strikeouts in his first 19 innings while walking only three. Snell has turned himself into one of the best pitchers in the game, finally realizing that prospect potential he'd shown in the minors. The matchup against the Blue Jays is basically ideal. He's a -185 road favorite against a team striking out 28% of the time (slightly less against lefties) on the season.

Michael PinedaMichael Pineda FD 8600 DK 7800
Opponent - DET (Tyson Ross) Park - DET
FD - 34.81 DK - 18.46
After a lost year thanks to injury, Pineda has turned in some solid performances on a new team and in a new stadium. He threw only 40 pitches in his first game back, but was as efficient as possible with 4IP and 5K’s. They doubled the pitch count to 80 in his second start and he struck out five batters in five innings against the Phillies. That’s good for 10 K’s per nine and a 5:1 K:BB ratio. On Friday, he’ll get his easiest matchup yet against a bottom-tier Tigers’ offense, who strikes out 28% of the time this season against righties. Pineda’s price hasn’t moved enough yet, helped by having the short leash in his first two outings. If the pitch count trajectory continues, we could see him go into the sixth inning as a sizable favorite. This might be one of the last times we see Pineda at this sort of price in a matchup like this. 


Team Cash Stacks

Boston Red SoxBoston Red Sox

Park - BOS
Opposing Pitcher - BAL (Andrew Cashner)
Vegas Implied Run Total - 6.46

Stacking against Andrew Cashner is always a good idea, especially when it's a potent offense like the Red Sox. His 5.21 ERA and 1.76 WHIP this season indicates why, as his 5.29 ERA and 1.58 WHIP last season isn't much better. While Boston's offense has struggled this year, their 2018 numbers would indicate they have some positive regression headed their way. Not only did they lead the majors in runs scored last season, but they also accrued the best OPS in the league. All that is evident in this 6.5 implied run total, as that's easily the largest projection on the slate.

Potential Players to Stack

Mookie BettsMookie Betts- FD 4700 DK 5300
Opponent - BAL (Andrew Cashner)
Park - BOS

J.D. MartinezJ.D. Martinez- FD 4500 DK 5200
Opponent - BAL (Andrew Cashner)
Park - BOS

Rafael DeversRafael Devers - FD 3500 DK 4200 
Opponent - BAL (Andrew Cashner)
Park - BOS

Not much needs to be said here, as these are some of the best hitters in baseball in one of the best hitter's parks in the league. That alone would make them worth a look but facing Andrew Cashner is simply the icing on the cake. Not only did Martinez and Betts rank top-five in DK points per game last season, but they have also been much better in this current homestand. Devers in the $4,000-range is a sneaky play too, as he has the platoon advantage and should benefit from Betts and Martinez getting on base. Don't forget about Mitch Moreland if he suits up, as he too has the platoon advantage and could be right in the heart of the order.

Tampa Bay RaysTampa Bay Rays

Park - TOR
Opposing Pitcher - TOR (Clay Buchholz)
Vegas Implied Run Total - 4.22

Not many people are giving Tampa the respect that they deserve, as they've truly established themselves as one of the best teams in baseball. After an 11-run outburst on Friday night, the Rays now sit top-12 in average and OBP. What really makes Tampa Bay a good team to stack is the fact that they have numerous cheap bats. The 4.22 projected runs aren't something that jumps off the page, but that's a ton of runs from a cheap lineup who will relatively go under-owned. So, let's get into some of those cheap hitters...

Potential Players to Stack

Tommy PhamTommy Pham- FD 4200 DK 4500
Opponent - TOR (Clay Buchholz)
Park - TOR

Ji-Man ChoiJi-Man Choi- FD 3300 DK 3700
Opponent - TOR (Clay Buchholz)
Park - TOR

Austin MeadowsAustin Meadows - FD 4000 DK 4700
Opponent - TOR (Clay Buchholz)
Park - TOR

These aren't guys that you feel like will win you a tournament but DFS experts would argue otherwise. That was evident by their last three games, with the Rays scoring at least eight runs in all three fixtures. Those games actually came against better pitchers, as Tampa should succeed against a gas can like Clay Buchholz. Despite having an unbelievable season with the Diamondbacks last year, Buchholz has a Steamer projection of 5.04 for his xFIP this year. That should really be no surprise when you consider the fact that Buchholz posted an xFIP north of 5.50 in his previous two years before last year's fluke.

The icing on the cake here is these Tampa prices though, with all of these studs bats being below $5,000, which ultimately makes it easy to get a full team stack into your build. Meadows is easily my favorite play, as he's 10-for-15, with four homers, two doubles, three walks, six runs and nine RBI across his last three games

Late Slate

Pitcher

Merrill KellyMerrill Kelly FD 8300 DK 8500
Opponent - SD (Matt Strahm) Park - SD
FD - 24.54 DK - 12.57
Trying to find a starter in these early games is like picking your favorite vegetable. There's just not much out there honestly but we're going to go with Kelly because of his recent form. While he only picked up a minimal quality start in his first game of the season, Kelly threw eight one-run innings against the Boston Red Sox in his most recent outing. That's hard to overlook, especially considering he collected nine strikeouts. While San Diego has improved, they still rank in the bottom half of the league in average, OBP and OPS. That becomes particularly intriguing in a pitcher's park like Chase Field, ranking as one of the friendliest pitcher's parks in the league since the humidifier. The simple fact is, many of these other options aren't trustworthy. Danny Santana won't pitch five innings, Sean Newcomb walks everyone and Adam Wainwright has been done for years. Those are the other pitchers in the top-five and you'll notice by our stacks that we can't trust anyone below them. 

Strongly consider Justin Verlander (FD $10500 DK $11100) here. I know he is facing the white-hot Mariners. But Verlander is still a big road favorite on a slate short on pitching options.

Team Cash Stacks

Atlanta BravesAtlanta Braves

Park - ATL
Opposing Pitcher - NYM (Jason Vargas)
Vegas Implied Run Total - 5.07

I always target left-handed pitchers against the Braves, especially guys like Jason Vargas. The reason for that is because Atlanta really thrives against southpaws, as their lefties really don't have bad splits either. Players like Nick Markakis and Freddie Freeman thrive against left-handers while righties like Josh Donaldson and Ronald Acuna blow up southpaws. That's evident by the fact that the Braves are posting a .533 SLG and .877 OPS against left-handers this year, which both ranks top-10 in the majors.

Potential Players to Stack

Freddie FreemanFreddie Freeman- FD 4400 DK 4800
Opponent - NYM (Jason Vargas)
Park - ATL

Josh DonaldsonJosh Donaldson- FD 3500 DK 4100
Opponent - NYM (Jason Vargas)
Park - ATL

Ronald AcunaRonald Acuna- FD 4800 DK 5300
Opponent - NYM (Jason Vargas)
Park - ATL

While Donaldson and Acuna have gotten off to slow starts this season, a matchup with Vargas may be just what the doctor ordered. Not only has Vargas allowed a career .755 OPS against right-handed batters throughout his career, but he's also really struggled on the road. In fact, Vargas allows a .796 OPS away from home for his career while his strikeout rate is nearly cut in half. That should help guys like Acuna and Donaldson, who have made minced meat of southpaws throughout their careerw. Freeman will also be under-owned considering he's a lefty but his righty/lefty splits are really not a factor at all. 

Texas RangersTexas Rangers

Park - TEX
Opposing Pitcher - OAK (Marco Estrada)
Vegas Implied Run Total - 5.26

This 5.3 projected run total is one of the highest on the board and it's easy to understand why. Not only did Texas rank as the best hitting park in the majors last season, Estrada is notorious for allowing a lot of long balls. In fact, Estrada's 1.42 HR/9 rate for his career is one of the worst in the majors and that spells disaster in a ballpark like this.

Potential Players to Stack

Shin-Soo ChooShin-Soo Choo- FD 3400 DK 4200
Opponent - OAK (Marco Estrada)
Park - TEX

Joey GalloJoey Gallo- FD 4300 DK 5000
Opponent - OAK (Marco Estrada)
Park - TEX

Rougned OdorRougned Odor- FD 2600 DK 3800
Opponent - OAK (Marco Estrada)
Park - TEX

This is definitely the way to go, as we want to get as many lefties in there as possible against Estrada. The reason for that is because all three of these guys traditionally destroy right-handers. In fact, Choo owns a .393 OBP and .884 OPS against right-handers while Gallo has posted a .328 OPS and .511 SLG versus righties throughout their respective careers.

Odor's .757 career OPS against righties is also a huge jump from his career averages and a recent slump has lowered his price to this tempting number. I wouldn't be surprised to see all of these guys provide at least three runs scored and three RBI between the three with at least one dinger, considering these splits and superior matchup. Not to mention, this is the highest total on the slate.

Additional Late Slate Value Plays

Khris DavisKhris Davis- FD 4800 DK 5400
Opponent - TEX (Adrian Sampson)
Park - TEX

While this isn't much of a value, it's a tough guy to fade. Davis not only leads all hitters with 10 dingers this season, but he's absolutely scorching right now. In fact, Davis has five homers over his last three games, averaging 27 DK points per game in that span. That's an average more indicative of an NBA player and it makes Davis tough to fade. The matchup is hard to overlook too, with Davis owning an absurd 1.171 OPS against the Rangers throughout his career and a 1.243 OPS in Globe Life Park. Not to mention, he faces Adrian Sampson, who really hasn't shown much in his short time in the league. 

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