Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

04/19/2019
Joel Bartilotta

DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Friday 4/19/19

Now’s your chance to get DFSR PRO, which will give you access to our MLB and NBA optimizers and our new player lab! Get started for free by clicking the button below. We have a fascinating full slate ahead of us. There is an Arizona-Chicago game that we're going to eliminate, as that happens to be the one day game with Wrigley Field years behind the rest of the league. But with nearly a full schedule ahead of us, let's take a quick look at the weather. The games we need to keep an eye on are the SF-PIT, NYM-STL, MIN-BAL, KAN-NYY, CWS-DET and ATL-CLE games. That's a ton of rain in the forecast and it'll be critical to know what the weather looks like in these matchups prior to first pitch. Baltimore is definitely the most concerning when looking at early forecasts and it's a wonder if they'll even play. With that ugliness behind us, let's get into some of our favorite pitchers.  ad

Pitchers

Justin VerlanderJustin Verlander FD 10800 DK 10400
Opponent - TEX (Drew Smyly) Park - TEX
FD - 38.94 DK - 21.87
Using pitcher's in Texas is always dangerous but Verlander is hard to fade on any slate. The statistics speak for themselves, with Verlander posting a 3.20 xFIP, 1.04 WHIP and 31.3 percent K-rate this season. Those are the standards we've become accustomed to with Verlander and he's clearly in mid-season form. Despite this being arguably the toughest ballpark in the majors, Verlander has had success against the Rangers throughout his career. In fact, Verlander owns a 2.98 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in 26 starts against Texas, striking out 170 batters across 160 innings. Not to mention, Verlander enters this matchup as a monstrous -210 favorite. 

Jose BerriosJose Berrios FD 10400 DK 10800
Opponent - BAL (Alex Cobb) Park - BAL
FD - 37.28 DK - 19.98
While the weather is concerning in this game, it's hard to overlook Berrios' upside if we get the green light to play. What we really like here is his strikeout upside, with Berrios owning a 27.5 percent K-rate this season. It's not just the strikeout rate that makes Berrios intriguing, as he's posted a 2.30 ERA and 0.73 WHIP in four starts this season. That becomes particularly beneficial in a matchup like this, with Baltimore ranking near the bottom of the league in nearly every offensive statistic. In fact, the Orioles sit 23rd in OBP, 22nd in OPS and 27th in xwOBA. Much like Verlander, Berrios enters this matchup as a huge favorite too, with Minnesota being projected as a -210 favorite in this tasty matchup. 

Carlos RodonCarlos Rodon FD 8800 DK 8300
Opponent - DET (Jordan Zimmermann) Park - DET
FD - 32.98 DK - 16.73
Rodon has been one of the breakout pitchers in the early going and he should continue that success in this stellar matchup. In four starts this season, Rodon has accrued a 3.27 ERA and 1.14 WHIP while striking out 29 batters across 22 innings. That strikeout total and WHIP are what's really encouraging, as it appears Rodon has made leaps and bounds with his command this season. That alone makes him an enticing option but facing Detroit is simply the icing on the cake. Not only do they rank 29th with a .263 wOBA, the Tigers also rank dead-last in OPS and 11th in total strikeouts. Pitching at Comerica Park is beneficial too, as that's one of the best pitcher's parks in baseball.  

Team Cash Stacks

Houston AstrosHouston Astros

Park - TEX
Opposing Pitcher - TEX (Drew Smyly)
Vegas Implied Run Total - 5.28

Houston is always worth a look but there are so many factors here making them the best stack of the day. Hitting at Globe Life Park is the biggest factor, as that ballpark ranked number-one in total runs last season and fifth so far this year. That's why Houston is projected for 5.3 runs, as they also get the benefit of facing a southpaw. Houston currently ranks fifth in the majors with a .915 OPS against lefties this season and that should be no surprise when taking a look at all the righties we're about to recommend. This is a lefty we want to stack against too, with Smyly allowing an ugly .405 xwOBA en route to a 7.15 ERA and 1.85 WHIP so far this season

Potential Players to Stack

Alex BregmanAlex Bregman FD 4000 DK 4600
Opponent - TEX (Drew Smyly) Park - TEX
FD - 14.92 DK - 11.24
George SpringerGeorge Springer FD 4200 DK 4900
Opponent - TEX (Drew Smyly) Park - TEX
FD - 14.2 DK - 10.74
Jose AltuveJose Altuve FD 4600 DK 5100
Opponent - TEX (Drew Smyly) Park - TEX
FD - 13.57 DK - 10.51

Smyly's dominance against lefties makes his career numbers look better than they actually are, as he's struggled against righties. In fact, Smyly has allowed a .445 SLG and .328 wOBA to right-handed batters throughout his career. Almost all of that came in pitcher's parks like Comerica Park and Tropicana Field, as he's found tough sailing so far in Globe Life Park. That alone makes these stud righties tough to fade, as Houston leads all teams with a 5.28 projected run total. To further show the dominance of these hitters, here's their xwOBA's so far this season:

Altuve=.384
Springer=.375
Bregman=.361

Not to mention, they've all traditionally been better against southpaws throughout their careers with all three players owning an OPS near 1.000 in Texas for their respective careers.

 

St. Louis CardinalsSt. Louis Cardinals

Park - STL
Opposing Pitcher - NYM (Jason Vargas)
Vegas Implied Run Total - 4.86

If you haven't seen the strange Jason Vargas interview from last week where Vargas looks like a 50-year-old history teacher being questioned by a George Washington look-a-like, go check it out. Aside from his looks, Vargas is actually pitching like a 50-year-old history teacher. In fact, Vargas owns a 14.21 ERA and 2.84 WHIP in three starts this season. Those are laughable numbers and it's only a matter of time before he's out of the rotation altogether with his ridiculous .534 wOBA backing up those ugly statistics. What makes that worse is the fact that he's going to face a Cardinals lineup stacked with righties who enter this matchup scorching. 

Potential Players to Stack

Paul GoldschmidtPaul Goldschmidt FD 4200 DK 4800
Opponent - NYM (Jason Vargas) Park - STL
FD - 14.07 DK - 10.6
Marcell OzunaMarcell Ozuna FD 4600 DK 4900
Opponent - NYM (Jason Vargas) Park - STL
FD - 12.09 DK - 9.25
Paul DeJongPaul DeJong FD 4100 DK 4900
Opponent - NYM (Jason Vargas) Park - STL
FD - 11.86 DK - 9

Let's start with Ozuna because he's arguably the hottest hitter in the league. Over his last 10 games, Ozuna is hitting .324 with eight homers and 15 RBI. That's obviously absurd but he's been even better against southpaws throughout his career. In 654 at-bats against lefties, Ozuna owns a .300 AVG and an .854 OPS. DeJong isn't far behind in terms of temperature level, as he owns a .452 AVG and 1.270 OPS across his last eight games. Both those guys have an xwOBA north of .400 and it's hard not to imagine them continuing that success against a gas can lefty like Vargas.

Not much needs to be said about Goldschmidt either, as he's simply one of the best hitters in the game and has obliterated southpaws throughout his storied career. 

Colorado RockiesColorado Rockies

Park - COL
Opposing Pitcher - PHI (Vince Velasquez)
Vegas Implied Run Total - 5.25

This is a pretty simple one, as it's always worth stacking Rockies in Coors Field. Not only does Coors Field rank as the best hitting park in the majors this season, the Rockies always perform better at home. That was evident last season when they led the league with an .852 OPS at home and they should have no problem abusing an average arm like Vince Velasquez here. While it's a small sample, Velasquez owns a 6.14 ERA and 1.97 WHIP in three starts at Coors Field in his career. 

Potential Players to Stack

Nolan ArenadoNolan Arenado FD 4600 DK 5400
Opponent - PHI (Vince Velasquez) Park - COL
FD - 14.39 DK - 10.84
Charlie BlackmonCharlie Blackmon FD 3500 DK 5000
Opponent - PHI (Vince Velasquez) Park - COL
FD - 13.81 DK - 10.61
David DahlDavid Dahl FD 3900 DK 4600
Opponent - PHI (Vince Velasquez) Park - COL
FD - 13.24 DK - 10.14
Trevor StoryTrevor Story FD 4400 DK 5200
Opponent - PHI (Vince Velasquez) Park - COL
FD - 13.21 DK - 10.03

You're going to have to pay up for this stack but it's hard to fade. Their 5.3 projected runs are pretty much tied with the Rangers for the highest total on the slate and that seems like the floor in my opinion.

The two-best plays here are Blackmon and Dahl, with Velasquez allowing an .807 OPS against left-handed batters throughout his career. That would make Blackmon and Dahl worth using anywhere, but specifically at a hitter's haven like Coors Field. Dahl's peripherals are hard to overlook too, as he's one of the league leaders with a .411 xwOBA. The pricing is what's really hard to believe, with both players being priced below $4,000 on FanDuel. That's simply absurd value and it's nearly impossible to fade.

Story and Arenado speak for themselves, as their two of the best hitters in the majors and traditionally own an OPS around 1.000 at home. 

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