Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Sunday 4/19/21
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Bieber is *only* a -155 road favorite against the Reds on Sunday, but rings in with the highest projection of the early games. That’s what happens when you put up video game stats for your last 100 innings pitched. In that span, Bieber is averaging 14.5 strikeouts per nine with an xFIP in the low 2’s. He’s one of, if not the, best pitchers in baseball. The Reds have been a very good offense to start the season so this isn’t a total layup for Bieber, but the strikeout upside is nearly in a class of its own.
Nola comes at a price point a bit cheaper than some of the other stud arms on this slate, but he’s also one of the better pitchers in the league. The righty has a 6:1 K:BB ratio to start the season and has been in command of the strike zone for the better part of two seasons now. He’s a -170 home favorite against the Cardinals who’ve been a bottom-third offense to start the season and are striking out 25% of the time as a team.
Gant has been a reliever for most of his career but shifted to a starter this season. The ERA is fine but the 4.85 xFIP and six walks through nine innings show a guy struggling some with control. Hoskins meanwhile has been very patient for his career but has barely drawn any walks to start the season. Something has to give here and I’m leaning Hoskins in this matchup. He could round out to a .900 OPS guy again if the peripherals tick up some and this is a matchup to get going with.
Chad Kuhl has been pretty terrible this season and he wasn’t all that great last year either. Hiura’s biggest issue is the strikeout and he goes down swinging a lot. But that’s not as big a concern against Kuhl who hasn’t struck out more than eight batters per nine for his career and has been worse than that number to start this season. With Yelich out Hiura moves up in the lineup and he’s coming very cheap on FanDuel.
Madison Bumgarner hasn’t been good for a few seasons now and it doesn’t look like it’s going to turn around for the lefty. He’s been sporting a mid 4’s xFIP for the last 300+ innings and that number is headed in the right direction. Meanwhile, Castro should be in the fifth slot for the Nationals on Sunday and for his career has been much better against lefties. He has a 112 wRC+ and .788 OPS in that split which is about all you can ask for from most second bases in fantasy.
Semien should still be around the top of the order even against the righty Singer. The latter has struck a lot of batters out to start the season but is basically a 4.00 xFIP guy for his career. Meanwhile, Semien isn’t likely to return to the big power numbers he put up two seasons ago, but he’s been mostly tough to strike out for his career and has been running bad on BABIP over the last two years. The numbers should be in at least the mid-700s OPS range if the batted ball numbers regress to a normal rate.
Turner has had a nice start to the year and remains one of the best fantasy shortstops season-over-season because of his power and speed combo. He already has two home runs and two steals in his first 28 plate appearances this season and remains very difficult to strikeout. Turner is a platoon neutral hitter for his career so he’s not in a huge advantage facing the lefty Bumgarner on Sunday, but he’s still priced as a value on FanDuel hitting leadoff. It’s a bit closer on DraftKings where it will get tough to pay up for two stud pitchers with Turner in the lineup.
Rosario got a shot in the leadoff slot on Saturday and it will be interesting to see if he can stick there going forward. He’s been showing a lot of patience to start the season with four walks through his first 31 plate appearances and for his career he’s been significantly better against lefties. In fact, he has a 117 wRC+, .342 wOBA, and .806 OPS in that split. Those are excellent numbers for a guy who could be in the top slot and is coming at about the minimum on FanDuel and very cheap on DraftKings.
José Ramírez FD - 3B 3000 DK - 3B 5200
Opponent - CIN (Wade Miley) Park - CIN
FD - 12.79 DK - 9.61
You can see that the Indians could be shaping up to be the cash stack on the early slate. It makes sense in that they are rolling in a great hitter’s park against a low-K pitcher in Wade Miley. The latter strikes out fewer than eight batters per nine and has a mid-4’s xFIP over the last 4-5 seasons. Ramirez has put the ball in play almost 80% of the time to start the season and this is a great matchup for his profile. He simply won’t strike out (relatively speaking) and has power upside with the park.
The young prospect is hitting in the middle of the order for the Phillies and projects to be an excellent hitter at the major league level. He’s started slow this season but had an .880 OPS through his first 180 plate appearances last season. The rough beginning of the season has the price stuck in place but he’s a total bargain right now on both sites. If you don’t want to pay up for Ramirez, this is the way to go on the early slate.
Soto is rolling into the lefty-lefty matchup here, but that platoon hasn’t been much of a problem for him in his short, but MVP-level career. In fact, he has a .376 wOBA and .900 OPS against lefties over more than 400 plate appearances in that split. So you don’t need to be worried about him facing Bumgarner here. If you can afford it, these Nationals especially the ones at the top of the order are an excellent stack against the shell of Madison.
Yarbrough is the listed starter but the Rays could choose to spot start a righty for the first run-through instead of having the lefty face the top of this order out of the box. But if they do stick with Yarbrough, then Stanton is a great play at these prices. Health has been a major issue for the guy over the last few seasons, but when healthy he’s been among the best lefty killers in baseball. For his career, he has a 1.013 OPS And .419 wOBA in that split. He just crushes southpaws and is coming in the middle pricing tier on both sites.
Aaron Hicks (FD $2600 DK $3600) could pair with Stanton in a mini-Yankees stack.
If he’s around the top of the order against Bumgarner then Victor Robles (FD $2400 DK $3600) would make a good, cheap play.
I don’t mind Andrew McCutchen (FD $3100 DK $3900) against Gant at these prices.
Jackie Bradley Jr. (FD $2400 DK $3300) has been hitting in the leadoff spot of late for the Brewers and is coming very cheap on both sites.