Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for 4/12/21
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Tyler Glasnow has been on a slow-speed breakout for the last couple of years, blending an off-the-charts K rate with mediocre control and poor health. Well, he's healthy so far this season, and he's also walking just 1.5 batters per nine innings. The Rays are the biggest favorite on the slate against the Texas Rangers, who have struck out in a whopping 28.8% of their plate appearances this season. Glasnow blends upside and floor, here, and I like him in any format.
Two weeks into the season is often the best time get value on guys not quite performing up to their historical levels, and while Greinke's ERA looks pretty good, the strikeouts have to be somewhat concerning. After all, he's a 37-year-old starter who hasn't had a big heater in years, so what's going on? Well, Greinke's fastball is actually a hair faster than it was last year, so I'm not inclined to panic just yet. His control is as good as ever, and the line-up behind him means the Astros are huge favorites here. The hapless Tigers have a .276 wOBA this season (including a .266 OBP!), and I like Greinke as a relatively cheap ace-level pitcher here.
Maybe I'm crazy, but I'm wondering if Peralta is cheaper than he'll be at any point in the season going forward. We know the Brewers were planning on stretching him out this year, and in his last start he threw 91 pitches over 5 innings en route to 8 Ks and 0 ER against these same Cubs. While Chicago has been a scary match-up in the past, their .270 wOBA so far is absolutely dismal. While that should head back in the right direction at some point, they aren't the scary line-up of the past, and Peralta makes for an interesting upside play here.
After a brutal start to the season, Hiura belted a homer on Saturday, and is perhaps on track to realizing his potential as a multi-tool batter. Whatever you think of him, though, this price is simply ridiculous. Alzolay can look scary when he has things going, but we're talking about a guy who has walked 5.59 batters per nine innings in his young career, and who wasn't that big a prospect to begin with. If Hiura's batting second today, he could see 80%+ ownership.
Christian Walker FD - 1B 2700 DK -
Opponent - OAK (Chris Bassitt) Park - ARI
FD - 10.13 DK - 0
It will become a monotonous refrain this time of year, but slow starts to the year really are how we get bargain prices. Walker's underlying peripherals are actually slightly improving this season when you look at his walk rate and batted ball data. The only thing lagging is his BABIP, which sits at .185. That's about .130 points below his established levels, and if those balls didn't find gloves he'd nearly be the same guy he was last year. Bassitt, meanwhile, is one of the more overrated starters in DFS. His 4.49 xFIP was double his 2.29 ERA last year, and he's been even worse than that this year. I'm looking for Walker and the D'Backs to rake in their excellent home hitters' park today.
Also considered: Freddie Freeman.
Considered Travis D'Arnaud if you absolutely have to play a catcher.
I should just copy/paste the line about early season sample sizes, because it applies to Albies as well. While his batted ball data isn't at his peak levels, he's striking out at an all-time low 12.5%, so unless you think he peaked as a 22 year old, Albies is due for a break-out any minute. Alcantara is in the midst of a 12 inning break-out with a nice K total over his first two games, but history paints him as basically an average pitcher, and Albies is just far to cheap in a game where his team has a 4.25 run implied total.
José Altuve FD - 2B 3700 DK - 2B 5300
Opponent - DET (Casey Mize) Park - HOU
FD - 13.04 DK - 9.97
We're gearing up for a little Astros stack, with the resurgent Altuve sitting dead center. Altuve is basically hitting at his peak levels, batting .351 atop the deadly Astros lineup. His hard contact % is the second highest of his career, and while it's all early sample size stuff, it can't be a bad thing. Today the Astros draw Casey Mize, who just hasn't show major league stuff just yet. I think he brings plenty of floor here.
Also considered: David Fletcher.
Like Altuve, Correa is back to his old ones this season, raking to the tune of a .983 OPS on the back of his best batted ball data ever. A quick note about early season sample sizes. While we can't take them too seriously for a number of reasons (variance, strength of schedule, etc), it is still nice to see when star level players are duplicating their peak peripherals. Vegas likes the Astros for one of the highest totals on the day, so taking Correa at a discount to his real value is icing on the cake.
Eugenio Suárez FD - SS 3000 DK - SS 4900
Opponent - SF (Aaron Sanchez) Park - SF
FD - 10.75 DK - 8
Suarez might not be at peak levels, but like a lot of guys in this article, he's just too cheap for what he brings to the plate. He's walking a ton, his .280 ISO is the second-highest of his career, and his .364 wOBA is totally fine. Sanchez, on the other hand, is pretty much just bad. His days of generating ground-balls are long gone, and we're left with a perennial 5 xFIP guy. Suarez and the Reds should be in line for a great game here.
Also considered: Dansby Swanson, if you're looking super cheap.
Small early-season sample sizes strike once again! While Chapman is striking out at a higher rate in the past, there is no reason to believe that this will be a persistent issue. His bad BABIP has played a larger role in his early season struggles, and he has the opportunity to right the ship against the aged Bumgarner here. The D-Backs' southpaw hasn't seen an xFIP south of 4 since 2016, and dropped a 5.85 xFIP bombshell last season. I like Chapman and a number of A's here.
Yet another underpriced Astro who is both in the prime of his career and raking so far this season. What else can really be said here? If Mize finally finds his sea legs this stack could wind up looking bad, but I'm trusting the squaky-clean 'Stros over an unproven prospect here.
Considered: Kyle Seager.
Randy Arozarena FD - OF 3200 DK - OF 5000
Opponent - TEX (Dane Dunning) Park - TB
FD - 12.17 DK - 9.27
Austin Meadows FD - OF 3500 DK - OF 4800
Opponent - TEX (Dane Dunning) Park - TB
FD - 12.89 DK - 9.78
The Rays have one of the best young OF duos in the Majors, and we're not going to be shy about running them into Dane Dunning here. Meadows started the season with a bang, and Arozarena now has homers in each of his last two games. Dunning was not much of a prospect coming up, and while he's been better than expected at the Major League level, that amounts to him becoming maybe a league-average starter. Vegas loves the Rays here, and we do, too.
A classic early season buy-low, we're looking at a guy who topped a 1K OPS with a 35+ home pace in last year's shortened season. Ozuna prefers left handed pitching, but he's perfectly serviceable against rigthies, and at these prices he'll be in play against all but the very best.
I didn't want to leave this article without writing up at least one Philly player, so here's McCutchen. His .368 wOBA is already fine on these prices, but we get a couple of bonuses to play with as well! The first is that McCutchen is actually running about .030 BABIP points below expectation this year. The other, of course, is Peterson, a non-prospect who has limped to a 4.36 BB/9 and a 5.18 xFIP in 51 MLB innings so far. I love McCutchen at these prices with the platoon advantage in his favor.