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Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

04/17/2019
Chris Durell

DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Wednesday 4/17/19

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Early

Pitchers

Walker BuehlerWalker Buehler FD 9300 DK 9300
Opponent - CIN (Sonny Gray) Park - LAD
FD - 35.28 DK - 19.25

The pitching on this early slate is nothing to write home about making it easy to roll with the most talented pitcher in the best situation. The Dodgers are the biggest favorites(-185) on the slate facing a Reds team that went into Tuesday having scored just 55 runs with a 75 wRC+, both ranking 25th overall. They have also struck out just over 25% of the time overall and have been much worse against right-handed pitching.

It has been a rough start for Buehler who has given up five earned runs twice in three starts but he did look good in his other start where he held the Rockies to one run in Coors. It comes down to getting ahead in the count with his 96 mph fastball and letting the slider do the rest to rack up the K's. More good news as he has only given up one home run and is giving up just an average of 86 mph exit velocity on batted balls which has resulted in a low 28% hard contact rate. All things considered, he is my top pitcher in all formats on the early slate.

Also Consider: Jake Arrieta(PHI)

Listen to "MLB Podcast 4 17" on Spreaker.

Team Cash Stacks

Kansas City RoyalsKansas City Royals

Park - CHW
Opposing Pitcher - CHW (Lucas Giolito)
Vegas Implied Run Total - 4.32

Looking at the implied runs, it is very close between multiple teams on the early slate but the Royals get the edge as my top team for cash games. They sit at the bottom of the AL Central division but the good news is that the offensive production has out-performed the record. They also get one of the best matchups on the entire day facing Lucas Giolito who has already given up 11 earned runs in just 16 innings(three starts). While his xFIP is much lower than the ERA, I am still not buying into his positive regression as he is giving up an average exit velocity of 91.7 mph(330th out of 387 pitchers) and a 42% hard contact rate(% of batted balls with a 95+ mph exit velo).

Potential Players to Stack

Whit MerrifieldWhit Merrifield FD 4200 DK 4900
Opponent - CHW (Lucas Giolito) Park - CHW
FD - 10.83 DK - 8.48
Hunter DozierHunter Dozier FD 4300 DK 4100
Opponent - CHW (Lucas Giolito) Park - CHW
FD - 7.86 DK - 6.01
Alex GordonAlex Gordon FD 3900 DK 4500
Opponent - CHW (Lucas Giolito) Park - CHW
FD - 8.94 DK - 6.86

Whenever talking about the Royals it always starts with Whit Merrifield who has been their most consistent hitter since the start of the 2018 season. So far in 2019, he is slashing a cool .314/.347/.500 with 14 runs and has added five stolen bases while striking out just 10.7% of the time. He will be the first hitter into my cash lineups.

Hunter Dozier is a former first-round pick(2013) and has been a pleasant surprise lately and went into Tuesday night with multi-hit games in five straight and hits in seven of his last eight and has spent the last two games hitting inside the Top 4 in the lineup. Even if he is back down in the six-hole he is in play in this matchup against Giolito on a small slate.

In the outfield, Alex Gordon is off to a career-best start slashing .352/.439/.630 with 13 RBI and 13 runs scored and is sitting with a 42% hard contact rate.

Philadelphia PhilliesPhiladelphia Phillies

Park - PHI
Opposing Pitcher - NYM (Zack Wheeler)
Vegas Implied Run Total - 4.69

With the Brewers and Royals likely the chalk on the early slate, I think the Phillies make a great target in all formats. They have consistent players at the top of the order and high-upside players who are perfect for GPP formats. They also get a decent matchup against a struggling Zach Wheeler who has been hit hard early with 13 earned runs against in 15.2 innings while giving up a 42% hard contact rate.

Potential Players to Stack

Andrew McCutchenAndrew McCutchen FD 4300 DK 4600
Opponent - NYM (Zack Wheeler) Park - PHI
FD - 12.3 DK - 9.29
Jean SeguraJean Segura FD 3800 DK 4400
Opponent - NYM (Zack Wheeler) Park - PHI
FD - 10.71 DK - 8.43

I love Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins(if back in lineup) for upside in GPP formats but for cash games, I will be turning to the top of their order. Both have proved to be tremendous additions early on as McCutchen has hits in 12 of his first 16 games with a .437 OBP and 14 runs scored while Segura is hitting .323 with a .380 OBP with 12 runs scored. They set the table for the big hitters and will be core plays for me in cash.

Main Slate

Pitchers

Cole HamelsCole Hamels FD 9000 DK 9400
Opponent - MIA (Sandy Alcantara) Park - MIA
FD - 35.79 DK - 18.78

The system is really close at the top between Carrasco and Hamels but I lean Hamels for a couple of reason starting with the matchup. They are early -165 favorites getting a huge park upgrade in Miami against a Marlins team that ranks near the bottom of the league in almost all hitting categories including strikeout rate(26.2%). Hamels doesn't give us a ton of upside striking out under a batter per inning for his career but he has been solid since a rough first start holding the Brewers and Angels to a combined three earned runs while striking out 11. Hamels is my top pitcher in all formats tonight.
Jake OdorizziJake Odorizzi FD 7600 DK 7700
Opponent - TOR (Trent Thornton) Park - MIN
FD - 30.75 DK - 15.89

For value, I will be turning to Jake Odorizzi who despite being inconsistent to start the year is in a great spot from a PTS/$ perspective. He has given up seven earned runs in his last 5.1 innings pitched which is concerning but flashed a ton of upside in his opening start against the Indians striking out 11 and allowing just one hit in six innings. There is a good chance we see that upside again as Odorizzi faces a Jays team that leads the league with a crazy 28.5% strikeout rate. At these prices, I am willing to take the risk in all formats.

Team Cash Stacks

Texas RangersTexas Rangers

Park - TEX
Opposing Pitcher - LAA (Matt Harvey)
Vegas Implied Run Total - 5.78

The Rangers will get one of the worst arms in the slate in one of the best power parks in baseball. Last year Globe Life Park yielded the third-most home runs per game in baseball and the most runs per game. Clearly, some of that had to do with the Rangers’ pitching staff, but this is still a bandbox especially as the weather keeps getting warmer. Matt Harvey continues his descent into oblivion after a moderate bounce back last season. This year is much like his 2017 season with the xFIP (after 14 innings) sitting above 5.00 (ERA is over 10.00) and the strikeout rate less than seven K’s per nine. He’s a gas can and I love the Rangers’ stacks today.

Potential Players to Stack

Shin-Soo ChooShin-Soo Choo FD 3800 DK 4500
Opponent - LAA (Matt Harvey) Park - TEX
FD - 13.07 DK - 9.9
Joey GalloJoey Gallo FD 4300 DK 5300
Opponent - LAA (Matt Harvey) Park - TEX
FD - 14.18 DK - 10.45
Nomar MazaraNomar Mazara FD 3700 DK 4300
Opponent - LAA (Matt Harvey) Park - TEX
FD - 12.08 DK - 9.2

Harvey’s high walk rate should play well with Shin-Soo Choo who has a 13% BB rate over the last two seasons. He had a .892 OPS against righties last season with a .382 wOBA. He’s a patient hitter who does have some power in the bat. He hasn’t gone yard yet this season but has back-to-back seasons of 20 (or more) home runs.

Joey Gallo could see heavy ownership on this slate despite the price climbing on both sites. He’s coming off back-to-back 40 home run seasons (41 in 2017) and has exhibited a bit more patience this season with a 20% walk rate. His biggest downfall is the swing and miss (38% for his career) but that’s mitigated to a great degree by Harvey’s repertoire. This is a smash spot for Gallo.

Finally, Nomar Mazara could represent some value in the middle tier, coming in the mid-$3K range on FanDuel and low $4K-range on DraftKings. The 23-year-old has basically done the same thing over his first 3+ MLB seasons. That means a mid-.700’s OPS and some decent power.

Minnesota TwinsMinnesota Twins

Park - MIN
Opposing Pitcher - TOR (Trent Thornton)
Vegas Implied Run Total - 4.84

As a Jays fan, I was really excited about Thornton after his first two starts giving up just five hits and two earned runs with 15 strikeouts. It was concerning given he faced the Tigers and Indians who both rank near the bottom of the league in strikeouts among other offensive categories. He then faced a Rays team that sits atop the American League and gave up five earned runs(3 HR). Overall, Thornton has given up an average exit velocity of 93.3 mph(364th out of 387 pitchers) with a 54% hard contact rate. The Twins provide upside at an affordable price and make a perfect stack if you are paying up for pitching.

Potential Players to Stack

Jorge PolancoJorge Polanco FD 4200 DK 4500
Opponent - TOR (Trent Thornton) Park - MIN
FD - 10.99 DK - 8.52
Eddie RosarioEddie Rosario FD 4000 DK 4500
Opponent - TOR (Trent Thornton) Park - MIN
FD - 11.45 DK - 8.82
Mitch GarverMitch Garver FD 3600 DK 4300
Opponent - TOR (Trent Thornton) Park - MIN
FD - 9.22 DK - 7.03

Jorge Polanco is the choice if you are playing cash games. He doesn't provide much upside but has been incredibly consistent to start the year with hitting .420 with a .464 OBP while hitting out of the two-hole.

Eddie Rosario is the Twins everyday cleanup hitter in 2019 and has delivered with three home runs and 11 RBI with .844 OPS through 14 games. Like most lefties, he has also been much better against right-handed pitching with a .240 ISO in the split since the start of the 2017 season.

Easily my top catcher on the night is Mitch Garver who is solidifying himself as the full-time catcher in 2019. Not that this pace is sustainable but is hitting a whopping .423 to start the year with a 1.329 OPS. Spending up at catcher is not my regular strategy in cash games but he will definitely be in more core for GPP lineups tonight.

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