Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Joel Bartilotta

DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Wednesday, 5/4/22

Tuesday's slate was annoying with all of the rainouts, but we finally saw some offense! It's been a struggle for most of these teams to hit through the opening month, but the weather is getting warmer, which means the bats are getting hotter. The scoring will pick up as we progress, and it'll be fun to watch some of these struggling bats turn it around. With that said, let's kick things off with one of the hottest pitchers in baseball!

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Justin VerlanderJustin Verlander FD - P 10800 DK - SP 10100
Opponent - SEA (Matt Brash) Park - HOU
FD - 41.86 DK - 23.26

I wasn't so sure how Verlander would look after a year off due to Tommy John surgery, but the future Hall-of-Famer looks as good as ever. The 39-year-old has a 1.73 ERA and 0.69 WHIp through the first four starts of the season. That's the stud we've seen for well over a decade, with JV amassing a 3.31 ERA and 1.13 WHIP for his career. It's not like Seattle is a scary matchup either, sending out a bunch of underachieving prospects night after night. That was on full display when Verlander threw eight scoreless innings against them just two weeks ago. That has him entering this matchup as a -200 favorite, with the Mariners projected for just 3.3 runs.

Freddy PeraltaFreddy Peralta FD - P 8800 DK - SP 8900
Opponent - CIN (Vladimir Gutierrez) Park - MIL
FD - 42.21 DK - 23.06

To say Cincinnati is the best matchup in baseball is a drastic understatement. Most Little League pitchers would abuse this lineup, with the Reds ranked dead-last in OBP, OPS, wOBA, and xwOBA. They literally have three wins! All of that makes Peralta one of the best plays on the board, generating a 3.19 ERA and 1.03 WHIP since 2020. His strikeout stuff is even more impressive, recording 265 Ks across those 192 innings. That should put him in line to mow down this horrific Reds lineup, with Peralta providing a 0.97 WHIP and 10.9 K/9 rate in four starts against them last season. The oddsmakers agree, making Peralta a -250 favorite, in a game with a 7.5-run total.

Elieser Hernandez (FD $7200/DK $8100) is a great punt play against an atrocious Arizona lineup.

Catcher/First Base

C.J. CronC.J. Cron FD - 1B 4000 DK - 1B 5600
Opponent - WSH (Patrick Corbin) Park - COL
FD - 14.06 DK - 10.57

The Rockies are going to be tough to fade on this slate. They're the highest projected lineup on the board, and it's easy to understand why. Hitting in Coors Field is the most beneficial ballpark, but they also have a brilliant matchup. That happens to be Patrick Corbin, with the southpaw amassing an 8.69 ERA and 2.08 WHIP this season. That's sadly the guy we've seen for years, and he's undoubtedly going to struggle in a spacious ballpark like Coors Field. Cron is the best hitter of the bunch, with C.J. compiling a .990 OPS against lefties and a 1.041 OPS at home since joining the Rockies. Not to mention, he's got a .480 OBP and 1.337 OPS over the last six games.

Rowdy TellezRowdy Tellez FD - 1B 2500 DK - 1B 3900
Opponent - CIN (Vladimir Gutierrez) Park - MIL
FD - 10.43 DK - 7.88

This is one of our riskiest plays of the day, but it's hard to understand why Rowdy is so cheap. This guy has been a fixture in Milwaukee's lineup for a few years now, pummeling right-handed pitching whenever he's in the lineup. In fact, Tellez has tallied a .476 SLG and .786 OPS against righties since 2020. That might not jump off the page, but it's all you can ask for from such an affordable player. Facing a pitcher like Vlad Gutierrez only adds to his value, with the righty registering a 7.41 ERA and 1.94 WHIP this season. Batting in a hitter's haven like Miller Park isn't too shabby, either.

Second Base

Trevor StoryTrevor Story FD - 2B 3200 DK - 2B 4600
Opponent - LAA (Reid Detmers) Park - BOS
FD - 10.83 DK - 8.21

Story has struggled mightily since joining Boston, but it's just a matter of time before he starts raking. We're talking about a hitter who's averaging 30 doubles, 26.3 homers, 75 RBI, and 16.7 steals per season. That's the stud that the BoSox signed, and we believe he's starting to turn it around, scoring at least 12 FanDuel points in five of his last nine games. The main reason we like him here is the matchup because Story has a .383 OBP, .606 SLG, and .989 OPS against lefties over the past three years. Detmers is a lackluster lefty, too, posting a 6.39 ERA and 1.47 WHIP for his career.

Brendan RodgersBrendan Rodgers FD - 2B 2600 DK - 2B 3500
Opponent - WSH (Patrick Corbin) Park - COL
FD - 12.88 DK - 9.88

If this isn't a good indicator of how bad the second base position is on this slate, I don't know how else to say it. With that said, we feel like these two guys are way too cheap for the upside they present. Rodgers is cheap for a reason because he's been one of the worst hitters in baseball. We don't expect that to continue, with Rodgers totaling a .295 AVG, .497 SLG, and .831 OPS across the final 92 games of last season. He did most of that damage outside of Coors Field, and it's just a matter of time before this top prospect starts raking in this ballpark. We already talked about how bad Corbin has been, and it also gives Rodgers the platoon advantage from the right side.


Xander BogaertsXander Bogaerts FD - SS 3600 DK - SS 4900
Opponent - LAA (Reid Detmers) Park - BOS
FD - 11.45 DK - 8.7

It feels like we have Bogaerts in here every day, but he's always a bit too cheap. This guy has quietly been one of the most consistent hitters in baseball for a while now, accruing a .301 AVG, .373 OBP, .521 SLG, and .894 OPS since 2018. His worst season in that stretch was a .863 OPS, and it's clear that he's one of the most dangerous bats around. He's even more lethal against left-handers, collecting a .385 OBP against them in that same span. Detmer's 6.39 ERA only adds to Bogaert's intrigue, with the Red Sox being one of the highest projected offenses on this slate.

Javier BáezJavier Báez FD - SS 3300 DK - SS 4900
Opponent - PIT (Dillon Peters) Park - DET
FD - 11.87 DK - 9.09

It was bizarre when the Tigers gave this guy a big contract, but he puts butts in the seats. His flamboyant style of play is the main reason, but this guy produces from a fantasy perspective. In fact, Javy has been averaging 29.3 homers, 15 steals, and 89.5 RBI over the last four full seasons. That makes him one of the best fantasy producers at this position and a fantastic value with the price drop. The biggest reason we love him here is the matchup with a lefty, with Baez accumulating a .350 OBP, .519 SLG, and .868 OPS against them in that span. Peters won't be able to slow him down, pitching to a 5.06 ERA and 1.48 WHIP for his career.

Third Base

Nolan ArenadoNolan Arenado FD - 3B 4000 DK - 3B 6100
Opponent - KC (Kris Bubic) Park - KC
FD - 10.75 DK - 8.15

This is one of the easiest plays on the board. Everything is leaning in Arenado's direction in this spot, entering this majestic matchup in superb form. Nolan ranks fourth on this slate with 10.2 DraftKings points per game, generating a 1.095 OPS through the first month of the season. That form makes him a good option, but Arenado also has a .560 SLG and .885 OPS against lefties since 2020. That should be easy to duplicate against a bad arm like Bubic, pitching his way to a 10.50 ERA and 2.08 WHIP this season. Don't forget about Tyler O'Neill and Paul Goldschmidt in the same matchup as well!

Josh DonaldsonJosh Donaldson FD - 3B 3300 DK - 3B 4300
Opponent - TOR (Yusei Kikuchi) Park - TOR
FD - 10.68 DK - 7.96

Part of me thinks that Donaldson is over the hill, but another part of me wants to use him whenever he faces a subpar southpaw. That's certainly the case here, with Kikuchi compiling a 5.52 ERA and 1.91 WHIP this season. That has the Yanks as one of the highest projected lineups on the slate, and JD would have to be part of that in the heart of this order. His career splits are the most encouraging thing, with Donaldson donning a .381 OBP, .556 SLG, .287 ISO, and .937 OPS in 1,114 at-bats against lefties. Good luck finding that sort of steady production from such a cheap player!


Aaron JudgeAaron Judge FD - OF 4600 DK - OF 5900
Opponent - TOR (Yusei Kikuchi) Park - TOR
FD - 13.02 DK - 9.74

We just discussed that the Bronx Bombers are one of the best stacks on this slate, and if that's the case, then Judge is one of the best hitting options out there. He's the straw that stirs the drink for this offense, totaling a .674 SLG and 1.035 OPS this season. That's pretty much the guy we've seen throughout his career, but his recent form is truly ridiculous. Over the last 10 games played, Judge has a .976 SLG and 1.363 OPS. All of that is horrifying for Kikuchi, especially since Judge has a 1.032 OPS against lefties since 2020! Why is Judge not the most expensive player on this slate?

Randal GrichukRandal Grichuk FD - OF 3800 DK - OF 5100
Opponent - WSH (Patrick Corbin) Park - COL
FD - 12.14 DK - 9.25

Grichuk is going to be a breakout player for the Rockies this season. This guy already has a career ISO sitting around .200, and we know he will have a .500 SLG in a place like Coors Field. He's already doing that in his debut season, registering a .333 AVG, .382 OBP, .507 SLG, and .889 OPS through the opening four weeks. His numbers against lefties are truly absurd, accruing a .579 AVG, .789 SLG, and 1.389 OPS against them this year. That's obviously a small sample size, but it makes it hard to understand why Grichuk isn't $500 more on each site in such a premium matchup.

Nelson CruzNelson Cruz FD - OF 3000 DK - OF 4000
Opponent - COL (Austin Gomber) Park - COL
FD - 12.42 DK - 9.38

Cruz and Donaldson are in the same boat. It's possible that both of these guys are done, but it's just as likely that they'll crush left-handers for the remaining time they have left. Nelson has been slaughtering southpaws for two decades now, tallying a .382 OBP, .563 SLG, and .945 OPS, with the platoon advantage in his favor throughout his career. That's over 2,000 plate appearances of dominance, and he's actually posted similar splits over the last three years. That makes him one of the best values in a place like Coors Field, particularly against a pitcher with a 4.12 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. The pricing is the most mind-boggling thing because Cruz should be $1,000 in a spot like this.




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