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Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

04/28/2019
Doug Norrie

DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Monday 4/30/19

Monday's MLB action brings us some stud arms like Verlander and Corbin, but also some above average guys on the mound as well who could make things dicey when it comes to stacking offenses.

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Pitchers

Patrick CorbinPatrick Corbin FD - P 9700 DK - SP 10200
Opponent - STL (Michael Wacha) Park - WSH
FD - 36.21 DK - 19.54
Corbin draws a tough matchup against the Cardinals on Monday, but he might just be the best overall arm going on the slate. He’s following up a career year in 2018 with a new contract and numbers that look very much the same. Dude is striking out almost 11 batters per nine and walking only 1.6, good for a 6.5:1 K:BB ratio. Again, the Cardinals do pose some serious righty threats in the middle of the lineup with Goldschmidt, Ozuna and company. But I think we can buy Corbin at something of a discount just because of the insane peripherals.

Zack WheelerZack Wheeler FD - P 8600 DK - SP 9300
Opponent - CIN (Tanner Roark) Park - NYM
FD - 34.02 DK - 17.9
Wheeler has five starts on the season. Two were great, two were serviceable and one was a complete train wreck. It’s spelled something of an up and down year so far, but you have to like the overall peripherals. He had a seven walk nightmare against the Nationals, but in his other four starts he has 31 strikeouts in 25 innings and a 4.4:1 K:BB ratio. The Reds are running bad in the offensive department this season, but they still aren’t all that prolific of an offense. Wheeler makes for a very solid value on both sites and though there are a number of quality arms on this slate, he could top out as the best cash game option.

After these two guys, I can make cases for a number of other starting pitchers on this slate. Yonny Chirinos (FD $7600 DK $7900) draws a good matchup against the weak-hitting Royals. Chirinos has been given longer leashes in his last two starts.

Kenta Maeda (FD $8900 DK $9700) has maybe the best matchup of the day against the Giants. I’m just always a little concerned how far the Dodgers will let him go in games.

And finally, there’s some temptation to pay all the way up for Justin Verlander (FD $11300 DK $10800) here but I don’t love the matchup against the Twins.

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Catcher/First Base

Jesus AguilarJesus Aguilar FD - 1B 2000 DK - 1B 3300
Opponent - COL (Kyle Freeland) Park - MIL
FD - 12.13 DK - 9.09
Aguilar is having a nightmare start of the season, leaving his price firmly in the basement on both sites. It makes sense from an output perspective where he’s rocking an OPS under .400 (yikes!) and has yet to hit a homerun in 82 plate appearances. The .173 BABIP isn’t helping and it’s worth mentioning that his hard contact rate is down a little since last season. But this guy is a year removed from an .891 OPS. He is still taking walks and was much better against lefties last season. I’m still willing to punt with Aguilar as long as he’s around the middle of the order against the lefty.

Ji-Man ChoiJi-Man Choi FD - 1B 2700 DK - 1B 4000
Opponent - KC (Brad Keller) Park - KC
FD - 10.12 DK - 7.62
Choi might not offer a ton of power (11 home runs in his last 300+ plate appearances) but he’s a middle of the order hitter with good patience (12% walk rate) whose power to the alleys gets the OPS into the upper .800’s. Brad Keller continues to show he’s a below average major league arm with a career K/9 around 6.35 and an xFIP in the mid-4’s. Choi makes for a good cash game play with a higher floor because of his contact rate and patience.

At catcher, consider Welington Castillo (FD $2200 DK $3600) against the lefty Means. Or grab Mike Zunino (FD $2400 DK $3900) on the cheap.

Second Base

Ozzie AlbiesOzzie Albies FD - 2B 3900 DK - 2B 4500
Opponent - SD (Nick Margevicius) Park - ATL
FD - 12.99 DK - 10.05
Over his first 1+ major league seasons, Albies has tuned up lefty pitching to a .904 OPS, 139 wRC+ and .384 wOBA. He’s very tough to strike out in this split (13%). Freeland isn’t a bad arm, but this is something of a theme for Monday’s shorter slate. We are probably going to have to run some bats into average (or maybe even above average) arms and Albies’ price in this platoon, hitting at the top of the Braves’ order does seem like the way to go.

Hernan PerezHernan Perez FD - 2B 2000 DK - 2B/SS 4000
Opponent - COL (Kyle Freeland) Park - MIL
FD - 9.74 DK - 7.61
The Brewers are going to be something of a theme in this article because, almost to a man (not you Yelich) they are coming a bit underpriced relative to their expected performance in this matchup. Perez isn’t going to hit all that high in the order and dude is striking out like all the time this season (41%, eesh). But this guy has been solid for his career against lefties and last season had a high-.700’s OPS in that split. For near the minimums, he makes a way to fit in some of the higher-priced arms on this slate.

Consider Robinson Cano (FD $3400 DK $4000)

Shortstop

Corey SeagerCorey Seager FD - SS 3500 DK - SS 3900
Opponent - SF (Jeff Samardzija) Park - SF
FD - 10.56 DK - 8.05
Don’t be all that fooled by Jeff Samardzija’s 3.00 ERA this season. The xFIP is still 4.75 and he’s shown only modest gains in his K and BB rates. And while he’s isn’t as bad as some past seasons, this is still a spot to possibly stack the Dodgers. Seager’s had some power issues over the last two seasons (he was hurt last year) and only has 4 home runs in his last 228 plate appearances after back-to-back 20+ homer seasons. It’s led to something of a price dip even though he’s still hitting at the top of the Dodgers’ lineup. The 12% walk rate is encouraging for sure and I don’t mind buying a bit low on him here.

After Seager, shortstop just isn’t all that clear to me. You can either pay all the way up for guys like Xander Bogaerts (FD $3900 DK $4500) or Carlos Correa (FD $3900 DK $4800). Or you can really punt with bottom of the order guys like Willy Adames (FD $2300 DK $3300)
or Richie Martin (FD $2000 DK $2800).

Third Base

Josh DonaldsonJosh Donaldson FD - 3B 3900 DK - 3B 4600
Opponent - SD (Nick Margevicius) Park - ATL
FD - 13.34 DK - 9.97
Donaldson has made a career feasting on lefty pitching. Over more than 800 plate appearances in this split he has a .960 OPS and .407 wOBA. That’s about as good as you’ll see in a platoon over that kind of sample size. Stacking him Albies makes for a great 1-2 punch in cash games that won’t necessarily break the bank on you.

Daniel RobertsonDaniel Robertson FD - 3B 2300 DK - 2B/3B 3200
Opponent - KC (Brad Keller) Park - KC
FD - 8.07 DK - 6.17
Robertson doesn’t necessarily light the fantasy world on fire, but he is often around the middle of the lineup for the Rays (who are dealing with some injuries. And on Monday they face one of the weaker arms on the slate in Brad Keller. The guy can take a walk (11% this season) and did push up against an .800 OPS in 340 plate appearances last season.

Outfield

Lorenzo CainLorenzo Cain FD - OF 3600 DK - OF 4700
Opponent - COL (Kyle Freeland) Park - MIL
FD - 12.67 DK - 9.87
Ryan BraunRyan Braun FD - OF 2800 DK - OF 4500
Opponent - COL (Kyle Freeland) Park - MIL
FD - 12.1 DK - 9.24
Cain was a lefty killer last season, walking (12%) more than he struck out (9%) in the platoon and rocking a .979 OPS which was good for 18th in the league among batters with more than 50 plate appearances in that split. He’s not going to hit for a ton of power, but the speed on the base paths plus moderate pop make him a nightly consideration in this Brewers’ lineup.

Braun, like his teammate Aguilar, is struggling to start the season with a sub-.700 OPS thanks in large part to a BABIP well below his career (or even recent) numbers. He still has a 44% hard contact rate and five hime runs on the season though a declining walk and uptick in strikeouts does have me concerned the inevitable decline is setting in for Braun in his age-35 (and no PED) season).

Michael ConfortoMichael Conforto FD - OF 3900 DK - OF 4800
Opponent - CIN (Tanner Roark) Park - NYM
FD - 10.02 DK - 7.52
Jeff McNeilJeff McNeil FD - OF 3300 DK - 3B/OF 4200
Opponent - CIN (Tanner Roark) Park - NYM
FD - 10.01 DK - 7.82
Brandon NimmoBrandon Nimmo FD - OF 3000 DK - OF 3900
Opponent - CIN (Tanner Roark) Park - NYM
FD - 9.13 DK - 6.92
I don’t mind stacking some Mets against Tanner Roark on Monday. Roark, in my estimation, represents one of the weaker arms on the slate with a 4.60 xFIP and walk rate near 10% on the season. The Mets do put their three outfielders up near the top of the order with McNeil likely hitting leadoff (though they’ve had Nimmo there as well) and Conforto in the cleanup spot.

Conforto is starting with a season we’ve been waiting for out of the dude. He has 6 home runs in his first 118 plate appearances and a .929 OPS. He’s taking a ton of walks (16%) and really just become the patient/ power threat we’ve been expecting.

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