DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Saturday 5/1/21

DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Saturday 5/1/21

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Pitchers

Zac GallenZac Gallen FD - P 9000 DK - SP 8900
Opponent - COL (Austin Gomber) Park - ARI
FD - 38.2 DK - 20.7

It’s a lighter Saturday when it comes to the afternoon games so we will focus a little more on the evening games. Gallen comes in as a -183 home favorite against the Rockies on Saturday. The 2.16 ERA is a little run hot considering the xFIP is about two runs higher, but this is still a good spot against the Rockies. Gallen is striking out close to 11 batters per nine but does need to get the walks under control some. The Rockies are a middling wOBA team on the season and that’s not even adjusted for park. I like Gallen here.

Blake SnellBlake Snell FD - P 8800 DK - SP 9500
Opponent - SF (Anthony DeSclafani) Park - SD
FD - 37.78 DK - 20.73

Snell is a -161 home favorite going into this game against the San Francisco Giants and this one only has a 7 over/under. Snell is striking out batters at a career-high 13.5 K/9 this season with a walk rate you’d like to see a little lower. But he’s still got a 3.15 xFIP which is about .75 runs lower than than the ERA. He’s a great price on both sites and has some serious K upside if he can command his pitches a little better. The Giants are a middle-of-the-pack offense on the season and not a group of bats we need to avoid.

On the afternoon slate, don’t get worried about the ERA on Jameson Taillon (FD $7000 DK $7700). His xFIP is excellent and his peripherals have been great.

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Catcher/First Base

Freddie FreemanFreddie Freeman FD - 1B 4100 DK - 1B 5700
Opponent - TOR (Undecided) Park - TOR
FD - 11.89 DK - 8.89

The Blue Jays haven’t announced their starter yet for Saturday, but we can trust it isn’t going to be an ace or anything. In fact, it will likely be quite the opposite. Freeman has started the season basically mashing like always with an OPS in the high .800’s and the 17% walk rate higher than the 14% K-rate. He’s one of the hardest outs in the game and that should continue to be the case on Saturday.

Matt OlsonMatt Olson FD - 1B 3800 DK - 1B 4900
Opponent - BAL (Matt Harvey) Park - OAK
FD - 11.65 DK - 8.63

Olson has also come out of the box strong this season with a .943 OPS and six home runs already in just his first 91 plate appearances. He doesn’t take a ton of walks but is tough to strike out at only 17%. Matt Harvey hasn’t struck out batters at more than a eight K/9 rate in years and isn’t likely to turn it around anytime soon. This is a great matchup for the A’s on Saturday.

Second Base

David FletcherDavid Fletcher FD - 2B 3000 DK - 2B 3400
Opponent - SEA (Ljay Newsome) Park - SEA
FD - 9.74 DK - 7.61

Fletcher should still be in the leadoff spot for the Angels on Saturday, and if you are hitting in front of guys like Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon then good things are going to happen for you plain and simple. This guy just makes a ton of contact, putting the ball in play a whopping 87% of the time this season which is a career-best and really one of the highest in the majors. It’s not totally turning into on-base chances but his BABIP is running a little lower than his career averages.

Jed LowrieJed Lowrie FD - 2B 3100 DK - 2B 4700
Opponent - BAL (Matt Harvey) Park - OAK
FD - 10.07 DK - 7.68

Lowrie hit second for the A’s on Friday though that was against a lefty so there’s some chance he moves back down in the order on Saturday against the righty Harvey. But he’s coming pretty cheap on FanDuel at a bad position so even if the batting lineup placement wasn’t ideal then we could probably still suck it up. Lowrie is another one who is tough to K at only 15% and that’s a great sign for the matchup against Harvey. The ball is going to be put in play. Lowrie is working on a mid-700s OPS on the season which we’ll take out of this position.

Shortstop

Xander BogaertsXander Bogaerts FD - SS 3300 DK - SS 5400
Opponent - TEX (Jordan Lyles) Park - TEX
FD - 12.68 DK - 9.6

Bogaerts has an OPS that’s pushing up to .900 on the season with a .386 wOBA. He remains one of the very best offensive shortstops in the game which is saying something because there’s actually a lot of talent at this position right now in the major leagues. Jordan Lyles is rocking a low-5’s xFIP and even worse ERA through his first 20+ innings on the mound this season and the Red Sox are in one of the best spots on the slate in this matchup.

Trea TurnerTrea Turner FD - SS 4000 DK - SS 5300
Opponent - MIA (Paul Campbell) Park - WSH
FD - 11.68 DK - 8.98

It looks like the Nationals are going to get to face off against Paul Campbell on Saturday whose struggled in his first 10 major league innings out of the bullpen this season. The minor league numbers weren’t anything to write home about either leaving Washington in a position to put up some runs in this matchup. Turner has spiked the strikeouts a bit this season, up to 24% which is much higher than his career numbers, but it could be an early blip. From a fantasy perspective, he already has six home runs and five steals in less than 90 plate appearances. The price is high on both sites, but for a good reason.

If Christian Arroyo (FD $2200 DK $2700) is back in the leadoff slot then he’s an almost instant play.

Third Base

Rafael DeversRafael Devers FD - 3B 3700 DK - 3B 5300
Opponent - TEX (Jordan Lyles) Park - TEX
FD - 13.49 DK - 10.22

Like I said with Bogaerts, it’s easy to like the Red Sox on this slate of games going up against Lyles. Devers is back to the form he showed in 2019 with a low-.900s OPS thanks to six early long balls and an improved walk rate that is pushing up to 10%. He’s also swinging and missing less than he did last year as well leaving all of the numbers heading in the right direction for the 24-year-old. Think about stacking him and Xander together especially if they are hitting back-to-back in the order.

Josh DonaldsonJosh Donaldson FD - 3B 3000 DK - 3B 5300
Opponent - KC (Danny Duffy) Park - MIN
FD - 11.31 DK - 8.37

If you are getting in on the afternoon’s action then Donaldson has to be a target in this matchup. He’s back off the IL now and 40+ plate appearances deep on the season with almost no strikeouts. Duffy has been good this season, but not nearly as good as the 0.39 ERA would suggest. The xFIP is in the mid-3’s. Donaldson has crushed lefty pitching for his career with a .402 wOBA and .949 OPS in that split. I’ll take that even against an above-average arm.

Outfield

Ronald Acuña Jr.Ronald Acuña Jr. FD - OF 4300 DK - OF 6000
Opponent - TOR (Undecided) Park - TOR
FD - 13.07 DK - 9.8

Like I said with Freeman, this is going to almost definitely be a great matchup for the Braves against a yet-to-be-announced starting pitcher for the Blue Jays. Acuna has started the year basically as the best (or one of) hitters in all of baseball. The OPS is over 1.100 and he’s already crushed eight home runs with a minuscule 13% strikeout rate. The price is through the roof, but so are his skills.

Jesse WinkerJesse Winker FD - OF 4400 DK - OF 4900
Opponent - CHC (Zach Davies) Park - CIN
FD - 12.81 DK - 9.64

Winker has come out of the gate scorching hot to start the season with a 1.123 OPS and .476 wOBA. Some of it is run-hot with the BABIP sitting well above .400, but he also already has six home runs and is striking out less this season. Oh, and Zach Davies stinks, walking more batters than he’s struck out this season and having a truly awful 19 innings to start the season.

Alex VerdugoAlex Verdugo FD - OF 3200 DK - OF 4700
Opponent - TEX (Jordan Lyles) Park - TEX
FD - 11.46 DK - 8.83

He shouldn’t hit any lower than second in this lineup against Lyles on Saturday and is probably still coming too cheap on both sites. He’s doing his best to make Red Sox fans not miss Mookie Betts all that much (nearly impossible) by rocking a .900 OPS to start the season by putting the ball in play about 80% of the time. He’s got three home runs and stolen a couple of bases to start the season as well.

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DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Saturday 5/1/21