Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Thursday 4/7/22 - Opening Day
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Darvish saw his numbers dip a bit last season, though the 4.22 ERA definitely ran a bit bad considering the 3.75 xFIP was about a half a run lower. He still struck out closer to 11 batters per nine and walked fewer than 2.5 in that span. He’s getting one of the better matchups on the day against the Diamondbacks and is coming in at a -148 road favorite. The Diamondbacks still project to be one of the worst teams in baseball this season, though that’s a bit more on their staff than on the bats. This is still a good spot for Darvish though with the conditions.
Adam Wainwright doesn’t have the same kind of K upside from some other arms we have going on this slate which is always a slightly iffy proposition. But he does come in with easily the best win odds on the day considering the Cardinals are -205 home favorites against the Pirates. The game’s 8 over/under suggest not many runs are going up on the board and that the Pirates are going to struggle, which makes sense considering their projected lineup. Wainwright wasn’t quite as good as his 3.05 ERA would suggest with the 3.87 xFIP trailing by about three-quarters a run. But the matchup and win expectation are the best of the slate here.
The Cubs project to finish near the bottom of the NL this season and that makes for a good spot with Corbin Burnes today. Games are already getting canceled across the slate, though it looks like this one in Chicago should hold up. Burnes is coming off a 2021 Cy Young bid and the stuff was completely elite. He struck out 12.6 batters per nine and had a close to a 7:1 K:BB rate. The 2.30 xFIP is about as good as you’ll ever see as well. It was just a fantastic season. He’s coming way too cheap on DraftKings though that is now a smaller slate of games.
I don’t love the matchup here against Mahle who was very good last season, but there are other factors working in Olson’s favor for Opening Day. Olson is coming off a career year in his final season in Oakland with a .911 OPS thanks to greatly (and I mean greatly) reducing his strikeout rate from north of 25% to just 17%. And he smacked a career-high 39 home runs with that extra contact. The Braves will still have a pretty potent offense even without Freddie Freeman and Olson will be at the center of it.
You’re going to see some Brewers on this list today and will have good reason. The matchup against Hendricks works in their favor and early reports have the wind blowing out in Wrigley. That’s got the run line trending up towards 10.5, easily the highest on the slate. Tellez wasn’t able to flash quite the same power last season that he did in his first two campaigns, but he should still be a middle-of-the-order bat for the Brewers and is coming as a punt play on FanDuel.
Strongly consider Pete Alonso (FD $3600 DK $4800) here.
It’s supposed to be on the colder side in Chicago on Thursday and we always need to check in before game time to see which way the wind is blowing there. The latter is a big factor. But there’s no doubt the Brewers get one of the weaker arms on the slate facing off against Kyle Hendricks. The latter finished the season with a 4.61 xFIP, striking out just around 6.5 batters per nine. Wong should be in the leadoff slot for Milwaukee and was a tough strikeout at just 17% last season. He also had 16 home runs and 12 stolen bases in his 492 plate appearances, so there is enough power and speed here to keep the floor on the higher side.
César Hernández FD - 2B 2400 DK - 2B 2900
Opponent - NYM (Undecided) Park - WSH
FD - 9.65 DK - 7.41
I don’t mind getting out of this position a little cheaper if need be and Cesar Hernandez offers that opportunity on DraftKings especially. He should be hitting leadoff for the Nationals in this game, in front of Juan Soto, Nelson Cruz, and Josh Bell. Hernandez had a career-high 21 home runs last season though somehow at the same time dipped to his lowest OPS (.694) in three seasons. Some of that was running 60 points lower on his BABIP though.
The Mets are going to face Patrick Corbin on Opening Day and the left struggled last season, seeing the K’s drop once again with the xFIP hovering in the lower 4’s. Lindor was no great shakes either after signing the massive contract with the Mets and the power hasn’t really popped over the last two seasons. He’ll look to turn it back on this year and this is a guy who’s been better against lefties for his career with a .355 OPS And 122 wRC+.
For his career, Adames has actually been much, much better against righty pitching. In that split, he has an .838 OPS and .358 wOBA which are about 50 and 25 points higher than what he’s done against lefties. This reverse platoon could really help here facing the righty Hendricks who we’ve already established is one of the low-end arms on the slate. The FanDuel price on Adames at sub-$3K is particularly advantageous.
Machado wasn’t able to replicate his 2020 season last time around and saw the OPS did to .836, though he still smacked 28 home runs and was a tough strikeout at just 16%. And he was better against lefties once again, following a career trend that has him about 30 OPS points better against southpaws. Bumgarner is one of the worst pitchers on this Opening Day slate and I think we can targets Padres if playing the all-day slates considering they are the last game of the day.
José Ramírez FD - 3B 4300 DK - 3B 5600
Opponent - KC (Zack Greinke) Park - KC
FD - 16.99 DK - 12.83
Zack Greinke’s swing and miss stuff all but evaporated last season and he struck out at just a 17% rate, his worst numbers (by far) in more than a decade. The fastball has lost velocity and he’s just entered the twilight of his career. Meanwhile, Ramirez remains one of the toughest outs in the game. He walked (11%) nearly as much as he struck out (14%) last season and had the OPS right up and around .900 again. Simply put, he’s one of the best hitters in the game, something you will pay for in DFS. But on this slate there are some others ways to save at different positions, plus pitching isn’t coming at a total premium.
Grisham projects to hit leadoff for the Padres to open the season with Fernando Tatis on the shelf. He flashed power (15 home runs) and speed (13 stolen bases) last season, finishing with an OPS in the mid-700s. He was more than 100 OPS points better against lefties last season finishing at .824 in that split with a .359 wOBA and 128 wRC+. The price is right at a value point considering the matchup and his advantageous slot in the lineup.
Dylan Carlson FD - OF 2900 DK - OF 4800
Opponent - PIT (JT Brubaker) Park - STL
FD - 9.15 DK - 6.96
Tyler O'Neill FD - OF 3500 DK - OF 5600
Opponent - PIT (JT Brubaker) Park - STL
FD - 11.79 DK - 8.91
It took a while before we got to some Cardinals, but these guys are in a good spot here on Thursday. JT Brubaker flashed some K stuff last season, but was also susceptible to the long-ball and did finish with a 4.00 xFIP. Carlson should hit leadoff for St. Louis once again and was decent last season, putting up a .780 OPS with 18 home runs. He’s a good price on FanDuel especially and does bring the increased plate appearance expectation because of where he’s going to hit in the order.
And then there is O’Neill who broke it out of the box last season, with the power really coming around in a way that few saw as part of his profile. He smashed 34 home runs in 537 plate appearances and finished the season with an OPS over .900 thanks to the power. I do think there was some run hot for him in the HR/FB% as well as the BABIP, but there’s no doubt the Hard Contact rate was way up as well. So at least some of this should stick going into this season.
Consider Wil Myers (FD $2600 DK $3400)