Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Chris Durell

DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Friday 4/16/21

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We have made it through another week and it's time to get ready for a big weekend with a huge 14-game main slate. Let's jump in and have a look at some of my top plays at each position for FanDuel and DraftKings.


Jacob deGromJacob deGrom FD - P 11000 DK - SP 11000
Opponent - COL (Chi Chi Gonzalez) Park - COL
FD - 51.71 DK - 30

The Mets/Phillies game was postponed due to rain on Thursday so we get deGrom headlining this huge 14-game Friday slate. It has been a typical deGrom run here to start the season as he has struck out 43% of batters he has faced, given up just one solo homer, and has yet to get a win in two starts. I don't get it and it will be talked about forever but we can't fade him on this slate against a Rockies team that ranks 2nd to last in team wRC+(64) while striking out 26.5% against right-handed pitching. Fire up deGrom and hope the Mets can put up some runs(seriously give the man a ONE run) in Coors.

**Update - The Mets/Rockies game is postponed**

Anthony DeSclafaniAnthony DeSclafani FD - P 8200 DK - SP 8100
Opponent - MIA (Undecided) Park - MIA
FD - 34.43 DK - 18.31

I always try to keep my pitcher allotment on DraftKings to $20K or less(40% of cap) so if using deGrom at Sp1 I am headed down to the mid to low range of salary. The one name that stands out is Anthony DeSclafani who is coming off a rough season with the Reds but with a fresh start in San Fran he has looked much better to start the 2021 campaign. Over his first two starts, he has only given up one run on 10 hits while striking out 12 and that K rate could have some room to grow as he has also generated a 14.4% swinging-strike rate. The Marlins are league average overall but looking at the splits, most of their success has come against lefties(134 wRC+) while they have struggled against righties(86 wRC+) and lacked power(.103 ISO). DeSclafani is my favorite SP2 on DraftKings and an excellent salary saver for GPP builds on FanDuel.


Catcher/First Base

Yuli GurrielYuli Gurriel FD - 1B 2900 DK - 1B 3900
Opponent - SEA (Yusei Kikuchi) Park - SEA
FD - 9.5 DK - 7.29

The Astros have been crushed with injuries(or COVID) as Altuve, Bregman, and Alvarez were three of five players placed on the IL Wednesday. This opens up a ton of value as we get players moving up the lineup and it starts at first base with Yuli Gurriel. First of all, he comes in ht with hits in five straight and nine of 12 games on the season and has already has nine hits in 19 at-bats vs. left-handed pitching. He and the Astros also get a great matchup against Kikuchi who has given up 12 hits, five earned runs, three home runs, and an ugly 13.3% barrel rate over his first two starts. From a PTS/$ perspective, Gurriel is easily my top play at first in all formats.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr.Vladimir Guerrero Jr. FD - 1B 3800 DK - 1B 4900
Opponent - KC (Mike Minor) Park - KC
FD - 11.25 DK - 8.53

I am a Jays' homer through and through but it's hard to ignore what a difference Vladdy has made in his entire game coming into the 2021 season. The hard work has paid off in a big way as he comes into tonight with hits in 12 of 13 games and multi-hit efforts in six of his last eight. He struggled vs. lefties a year ago but one thing that pops early is he has already drawn four walks in six plate appearance after walking just eight times in 66 PA's a year ago. The price is rising and the matchup may not look great at first glance but Minor has opened the year with a 1.30 WHIP and 5.73 xFIP. There is a good chance the Jays are low owned and I totally get it but I also like the upside here for GPP and it starts with Vladdy.

Second Base

DJ LeMahieuDJ LeMahieu FD - 2B 3500 DK - 2B/3B 5000
Opponent - TB (Michael Wacha) Park - NYY
FD - 10.43 DK - 8.06

I love tracking trending prices like the stock market and always looking into buy low and sell high. That is the case with LeMahieu tonight and while he is still $5K on DraftKings, it is his lowest price of the season in a plus matchup vs. Michael Wacha and he is also the 5th highest price play at the position on FanDuel. Price isn't the only thing to like as he is one of the best hitters in the league winning a batting title in both leagues and gets the pleasure of hitting leadoff in front of Judge and Stanton. If paying up at the position, the decision is easy for me tonight.

Josh HarrisonJosh Harrison FD - 2B 2600 DK - 2B/3B 3900
Opponent - ARI (Taylor Widener) Park - WSH
FD - 9.33 DK - 7.19

Since returning from the COVID list, Josh Harrison has provided a bit of an offensive spark for the Nats lineup. He has hits in all four games including three straight multi-hit efforts and has moved up into a very favorable five-spot in the lineup which has also helped him tally five RBI. Second base is a mess tonight so I will be hunting for value and Harrison is right at the of the list.


Xander BogaertsXander Bogaerts FD 3200 DK 5200
Opponent - CHW (Dylan Cease) Park - CHW
FD - 11.28 DK - 8.54

As of now, and like most nights, the shortstop position is a pay-up spot for me unless some value arises when lineups drop. The position is absolutely loaded and while Xander is still $5K on DraftKings, he is 7th in pricing, and considering his start to the season that is a bit of a bargain. He comes into tonight with hits in five straight and eight of his last nine games and while he is waiting on HR #1 he does have four doubles and six runs scored. The consistency has him a great cash game play and we already know the upside so I feel you can gamble on that power coming sooner than later, as well.

Carlos CorreaCarlos Correa FD - SS 3200 DK - SS 4800
Opponent - SEA (Yusei Kikuchi) Park - SEA
FD - 10.19 DK - 7.66

It has been a very solid start to the season for Correa as he has tallied hits in 10 of 12 games while posting a .292/.346/.542 slash line and 151 wRC+. The downside and reason for lower projection on a daily basis is that he hits down in the Astros order but with five players being placed on IL, there is a good chance he moves up a spot or two. He also faces a lefty and has posted an elite .309 average, .381 wOBA, and 145 wRC+ in the split since the start of the 2019 season.

Third Base

Justin TurnerJustin Turner FD 4000 DK 5200
Opponent - SD (Ryan Weathers) Park - SD
FD - 9.85 DK - 7.44

If paying up at third base, Justin Turner is the clear #1 for me tonight. Through his first 11 games in 2021, he has already tallied seven multi-hit efforts and has already matched his home run total(4) from last year in a quarter of the games. He gets a matchup vs. a rookie pitcher who has been solid out of the bullpen in three appearances and is now getting his first start. There is some risk here but Turner has been excellent vs. lefties .379 wOBA and 139 wRC+ in the split since the start of the 2019 season.

Evan LongoriaEvan Longoria FD 3000 DK 4700
Opponent - MIA (Undecided) Park - MIA
FD - 9.33 DK - 7.12

If you are looking to save some salary at the position Evan Longoria is always on my radar when facing a left-handed pitcher. He is playing more of a platoon role this season almost splitting at-bats and has been deadly vs. southpaws with seven hits including four home runs in 17 at-bats. Tonight, he faces Daniel Castano who has had trouble with control(11 walks) and sits with an xFIP(5.51) that is over 2.5 runs higher than his ERA. If starting and hitting in the 4/5 spot, Longoria is in play for me in all formats.


Brandon NimmoBrandon Nimmo FD - OF 3900 DK - OF 4100
Opponent - COL (Chi Chi Gonzalez) Park - COL
FD - 11.89 DK - 8.9
Dominic SmithDominic Smith FD - OF 3700 DK - OF 5000
Opponent - COL (Chi Chi Gonzalez) Park - COL
FD - 10.81 DK - 8.19

It's a deGrom start so I shouldn't even be mentioning any Mets bats but I love the matchup, especially for the lefties. They face Chi Chi Gonzalez who has walked(6) more than he has struck out(5) and has really struggled vs. lefties with a 1.78 WHIP and 5.87 xFIP since the start of the 2019 season.

Nimmo is right at the top of my list in terms of PTS/$ value in the outfield hitting in the leadoff spot and has been extremely consistent with hits in six of eight games with four multi-hit efforts. In play on both sites but his best value easily comes on Draftkings in the low $4K range. Dominic Smith has also been consistent to start the year with hits in six of seven games but provides a little more pop in his bat. That and his much higher price on DraftKings has him on my GPP only radar tonight.

**Update - The Mets/Rockies game is postponed**

Myles StrawMyles Straw FD - OF 2100 DK - OF 2700
Opponent - SEA (Yusei Kikuchi) Park - SEA
FD - 9.43 DK - 7.37

We have already touched on half the Astros' starting lineup hitting the IL and that had Myles Straw pushed up to the leadoff spot last game and to the top of our PTS/$ rankings. He is projected to stick there for the time being and while the underlying numbers aren't great the opportunity and near min prices make him hard to avoid in all formats.


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