Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Thursday 4/25/19
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The game of the night takes us to Houston where we have a pitchers duel between Trevor Bauer and Gerrit Cole. For fantasy purposes, I am easily leaning Cole as my top pitcher on this small slate despite getting blown up in his last start. Before that start, he had been solid holding opponents to three or fewer runs in all four starts while striking out 36.7% of batters. Since joining the Astros before the start of last season, he has firmly placed himself in the elite class posting a 3.17 ERA, 2.99 xFIP, 1.05 WHIP, and 35% K rate. The other reason I am leaning Cole here is the Astros lineup is much scarier than the Indians at the moment. Yes, they got Lindor back but over the last seven days they are still striking out just over 27% of the time and overall sit bottom 10 in the league in almost every offensive category.
For value, I will be turning to Marco Gonzalez tonight as he gets a favorable home matchup against the Texas Rangers. They do sit Top 10 in runs scored early in the season but have all the splits going against them today. First of all, they have been much better at home, especially the power department(.238 ISO at home, .132 ISO on the road). They have also been much worse against left-handed pitching with a .303 wOBA, 80 wRC+, and 25% K rate. For Gonzalez, he isn't going to provide much K upside but he has been averaging over six innings per start and has been very consistent holding opponents to three or fewer earned runs in every one of those starts. He makes an excellent SP2 on DraftKings and is also in play in all formats on FanDuel.
The Mariners went into Wednesday ranked #1 in runs scored(163), 25 more than any other team and they also lead the league with a whopping 56 home runs. They are easily my top offense tonight as they now get an elite matchup against Adrian Sampson who has now made two starts this season giving up 15 hits and nine earned runs with a 47% hard contact rate overall. For the last three seasons, Vogelbach has gone back and forth between Seattle and Tacoma(AAA) but with his hot start is forcing himself in the lineup on a daily basis. Through 19 games, he is slashing an impressive .321/.466/.821 with eight long balls, 14 RBI, and 13 runs scored. Looking at the advanced stats, he is averaging a 94 mph exit velocity which is Top 10 in the league and backs it up with a 50% hard contact rate. He is in play in all formats.
The price has recently been adjusted on both sites but Narvaez has proven to be one of the better fantasy catchers in 2019 as a part of this very deep Mariners team. He comes into tonight slashing .310/.380/.549 with five home runs(hit career-high nine in 2018), 12 RBI, and 18 runs scored. While these numbers don't look sustainable for Narvaez his BABIP is just slightly higher than his career averages but either way, we should ride the hot streak for him and the Mariners offense. He is best used on DraftKings where you are required to use a catcher but also makes a nice GPP pivot off of a first basemen on FanDuel.
Also Consider: Luke Voit(NYY)
On this small slate, the middle infield positions are tough to fill but one player I like at first glance is Ronny Rodriguez of the Tigers. He didn't get called up until mid-April and has only made five starts but plays both shortstop and third base which will get him in the lineup more often provided the bat stays hot. He went into Wednesday night with hits in each of his first four games including four doubles and a home run. The Tigers get a p[lus matchup against a struggling Rick Porcello and while the price is getting up there on DraftKings he is still in play a=nd most certainly on FanDuel in the mid $2K range.
LeMahieu's numbers mirror his final season with the Rockies in 2018 and don't jump off the page but considering he is sub $4K on both sites on this small slate, he deserves some consideration. The good news is that he is getting more opportunity with all the injuries to the Yankees and has been hitting leadoff in four straight games. I would reserve to GPP on DraftKings and pay down for Rodriguez but on DraftKings he is $1,000 cheaper and in play in all formats if back in that leadoff spot.
Shortstop is one of the toughest positions to fill tonight with two of the best options in Correa and Lindor going head to head in equally tough matchups. This has me turning to Xander Bogaerts who has been arguably the most consistent Red Sox hitter early in the season. He has always been a patient hitter with a sub 20% K rate and has started this season getting on base at a .371 clip and has scored 14 runs and driven in 13. He also gets one of the best matchups for any shortstop facing Jordan Zimmerman who was terrific to start the year but has fallen off fast allowing 14 earned runs in his last three starts with five long balls against. All things considered, Bogaerts is my favorite shortstop and safe in all formats.
The .238/.315/.313 overall slash line looks terrible but things are looking up from a fantasy perspective. He went into Wednesday with hits in seven of his last nine games and for the time being, has been moved up into the leadoff position adding more value. Today the Tigers take on the Red Sox and Rick Porcello who has struggled early in the season and while the ERA(8.47) is not sustainable, the xFIP(5.72) is not a whole lot better. On top of that, he is walking over 14% of batters early in the season and that plays right into Candelario and he should get his opportunities to get on base and score. At these prices on this small slate, he is a great PTS/$ in all formats.
Rafael Devers FD - 3B 2800 DK - 3B 3800
Opponent - DET (Jordan Zimmermann) Park - BOS
FD - 11.97 DK - 9.1
Devers hasn't gotten off to the start he, the Red Sox, or fantasy owners had hoped for after being one of the top breakout candidates. This is a tough slate and we are going to have to sacrifice in a few spots and this will be one I turn to. Despite not yet hitting his first home run of the season, Devers has been getting on base consistently at a .363 clip as he struck out just 16% of the time. That is enough for me at these prices especially considering the Red Sox appear to be heating up.
Also Consider: Maikel Franco(PHI) in GPP Formats
I mentioned earlier that the Mariners are my favorite team to target tonight as they are in a great spot against Adrian Sampson. Haniger has been hitting leadoff or second in the lineup for the majority of the season and it has paid off in a big way as he has already scored a league-leading 26 runs and added seven home runs and 18 RBI. The price has slowly jumped up into the top tier(DraftKings) but for a player on a top offense who contributes in almost all areas, it is more than worth the price of admission.
David Fletcher FD - OF 2600 DK - 2B/OF 3100
Opponent - NYY (Masahiro Tanaka) Park - LAA
FD - 8.15 DK - 6.41
For value in the outfield, I will be eagerly awaiting the Angels lineup to see where David Fletcher is hitting and it matters as he has either hit 9th or leadoff. Nothing really jumps off the page but he is hitting .297 with a .342 on-base percentage and has been solid against righties with a .398 wOBA, 156 wRC+, and sub 10% K rate. If he is back in the leadoff spot, he will be a core play for me in all formats.
Also Consider: Clint Frazier(NYY) who has posted a .410 wOBA, 159 wRC+, and .310 ISO against righties to start the year or Mookie Betts/Andrew Benintendi(BOS) who have both been much better against righties to start the year