DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Friday 4/5/19
DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Friday 4/5/19Friday's MLB action brings us two slates, some cheaper pitchers and out first game in Coors Field. That's a recipe for a fantasy bonzanza. Let's take a look at the early and main slate of games and what we can expect from a full day of baseball.
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PitchersTyler Glasnow FD 8800 DK 9700
Opponent - SF (Dereck Rodriguez) Park - SF
FD - 36.34 DK - 19.43
The Giants have started out the season much like you’d expect after taking just one glance at their Opening Day roster. They are a disaster and there isn’t much reason to expect things to get better. While they might not end up striking out a ton as a team, they have almost no power (talent) to speak of in the lineup. Glasnow transitioned from the bullpen to a starter’s role late in the season last year and opened 2019 with a solid 5IP/ 1 ER/ 4K line against the Astros. He’ll have a chance to even improve on the innings pitched in this matchup against the Giants. He’s a -125 road favorite, coming into a great pitcher’s park with a game total hovering around 7. On an evening without much in the way of big-money arms (and a game in Coors) I think we can roll Glasnow out as a safe-ish option.
Jack Flaherty FD 9500 DK 10200
Opponent - SD (Nick Margevicius) Park - SD
FD - 36.43 DK - 19.74
Flaherty was really roughed up in his first start of the season, allowing four earned runs in four innings against the Brewers. The long ball got him and he was BABIP-ed a little as well. But this is a guy who struck out 10.5 batters per nine over 151 innings in his first full major league season. The Padres improved in the offseason, but are still a very righty-heavy lineup (especially at the top of the order). Flaherty strikes out righties at an 11.5 per nine clip and has allowed a 3.23 xFIP against that split. He’s a -162 home favorite at the open which represents the best starting pitcher win odds on the slate.
Early Slate Team Cash Stacks
Los Angeles DodgersPark - COL
Opposing Pitcher - COL (Tyler Anderson)
Vegas Implied Run Total - 5.51
Potential Players to StackKike Hernandez (FD $4500 DK $4700)
Justin Turner (FD $4700 DK $5000)
A.J. Pollock (FD $4300 DK $5100)
David Freese (FD $3300 DK $4400)
We have our first Coors game of the season and it comes on a day in which no starting pitcher is more than $10K on FanDuel and there’s only one more than that number on DraftKings. That should mean that fitting some stacks on this field won’t be that much of an issue. The Dodgers, to a man, are very expensive but we shouldn’t be priced totally out of the market on their bats. They come in with a 5.6 implied run total, easily the highest of the slate and it’s looking very much like we can stack to top of their order at the very least.
Kike Hernandez has started off the season like gangbusters, swatting three home runs already and he projects to hit leadoff against the lefty. Dude’s raked southpaws for his career, putting up a 132 wRC+ and .860 OPS over about 600 plate appearances in this split.
Meanwhile, Justin Turner was among the best hitters in the league against lefty arms last season, rocking a 1.028 OPS, 16% walk rate and .433 wOBA in that platoon. Those are crazy numbers that put him near the top of the elite hitters. He should hit second behind Hernandez and they make for an excellent 1-2 stack right from the jump.
And finally, A.J. Pollock projects to hit cleanup in this spot. Dude’s struggled with injuries over the last few seasons, but when he’s healthy (and playing), he’s an elite fantasy option. He’s been slightly better against lefties for his career, and gotten off to a fine enough start this year with the Dodgers. We might not see a return to the elite stolen base numbers now, but the power should still be there. He’s been a very tough strikeout in his first 30 or so plate appearances which is a good sign moving into Coors for the weekend.
Also consider David Freese who’s been hitting around the middle of the lineup against lefties.
St. Louis CardinalsPark - STL
Opposing Pitcher - SD (Nick Margevicius)
Vegas Implied Run Total - 4.16
Potential Players to StackPaul Goldschmidt (FD $4800 DK $4700)
Jose Martinez (FD $2600 DK $4200)
Yadier Molina (FD $2500 DK $3800)
Nick Margevicius made a pretty rare leap from single-A ball all the way to the majors for his first start last week and he was effective, going five innings and striking out five. But that was against the Giants, this is a much different animal in the Cardinals and Margevicius is still a relatively unproven young arm.
The Cardinals have some righty bats at the top of the order who can really do damage in this matchup. Goldschmidt, among the best hitters in the game, has raked southpaws over his career. Last year, he put up a .966 OPS and .405 wOBA in this split. If choosing between Goldy and the bats in Coors, I’d likely go the latter but it’s tough to fade him against lefties in general.
In terms of potential savings with the bats, the rest of the Cardinals’ offense will likely provide some value. Jose Martinez projects to slot in to the middle of the lineup for the injured Marcell Ozuna and comes on the cheap. He’s an excellent price at sub-$3K on FanDuel and has been above average in this split. He had an 11% walk rate and 115 wRC+ last year which actually represented a downgrade from his career numbers. But the price and opportunity are solid here if he’s in the middle of the order.
And finally, Yadier Molina gives you your catcher option on the afternoon slate. He should hit 5th, is coming very cheap and is coming off a season with an .801 OPS and 118 wRC+ against lefties.
Also consider Tyler O’Neill if he’s hitting in the middle of the order.
PitchersNick Pivetta FD 9100 DK 7700
Opponent - MIN (Jake Odorizzi) Park - MIN
FD - 34.52 DK - 18.4
We’ve been waiting a couple of seasons now for Pivetta’s ERA to come more in line with his xFIP. For his career he has a 5.37 ERA but a 3.78 xFIP. A lot of that has to do with what seems like an unsustainable HR/FB rate, but famous last words on that because dude now has a lot of innings of giving up an inordinate amount of bombs. But he’s also struck out almost 10 batters per nine for his first 300 innings. Pivetta is coming very cheap on DraftKings where he makes a solid option on a slate that’s a bit short on arms. The matchup in the AL against the Twins isn’t ideal because he doesn’t get the auto-out in the pitcher’s slot, but I’m still willing to run him in cash games because I think this is the year he really turns the corner.
Shane Bieber FD 8900 DK 9300
Opponent - TOR (Trent Thornton) Park - TOR
FD - 35.03 DK - 18.68
Bieber made his first appearance this season out of the bullpen and my only concern with his first start of the year is how many pitches the Indians let him throw. It didn’t seem something they were all that concerned about with Trevor Bauer on Thursday, letting him press towards 120 pitches, but this is a whole new day of course. Bieber has some of the best control in the game with his first 116 innings of pro ball rocking a 5.2:1 K:BB ratio. He’s struck out more than a batter an inning and last year averaged nearly six innings per start. The Blue Jays have been nearly no-hit multiple times this season (yesterday by Bauer, earlier in the week by David Hess) and have really struggled out of the gate. Bieber makes for an excellent cash option if you think he can press to 85+ pitches in this outing.
Main Slate Team Cash Stacks
Pittsburgh PiratesPark - PIT
Opposing Pitcher - CIN (Sonny Gray)
Vegas Implied Run Total - 4.17
Potential Players to StackAdam Frazier (FD $3500 DK $3800)
Starling Marte (FD $4100 DK $4200)
Francisco Cervelli (FD $3200 DK $3600)
Josh Bell (FD $3400 DK $3800)
Sonny Gray had a disaster of a first outing with the Reds, lasting less than three innings, walking four, striking out zero and taking the loss. Considering how bad he was, only two earned runs feels like something of a miracle. He’ll have a chance to bounce back here against the Pirates, but I do like the value we are getting out of Pittsburgh especially if Gray continues to struggle.
As a team stack, I much prefer them on DraftKings where basically the entire top of the order is coming less than $4K. Frazier makes for an excellent leadoff option against a Gray who struggles with control. The former walks 8% of the time, makes contact (12% K rate) and even showed some flashes of power last season (10 home runs).
Meanwhile, Cervelli and Bell make for middle of the order bats who won’t break the bank. The former gives you a catcher option on DraftKings (more than you can usually ask from the position) and is coming off a low .800’s OPS season in 2018 with 12 home runs and a 13% walk rate. He’s just a good hitter and comes at a position where one is often struggling to find anything in the way of competency at the plate.
And finally, Bell has shown excellent patience at the plate in his first 1300 plate appearances. He has a 12% walk rate while striking out *only* 18% of the time. The power was a disappointment last season after he hit 26 home runs in 2017, but this is still a guy in his age-26 season with plenty of room for upside. The price is coming very cheap on DraftKings.
Other ConsiderationsMike Trout FD 5000 DK 5600
Opponent - TEX (Lance Lynn) Park - TEX
FD - 14.74 DK - 11.01
It’s a little disingenuous to call Trout a *consideration* considering dude is the best hitter in the game, but it’s sometimes tough to stack him with the rest of his team because the Angels are almost total garbage except for Trout. But on an evening in which pitching won’t kill in salary, Trout stands to be a popular play even at these higher prices. Frankly though, he’s still coming weather *cheap*, especially on FanDuel. He homered on Thursday, and is, well, just the best. I don’t need to write a long, winding explanation of why it’s worth it to play the guy except to reinforce that I do think we are getting him at something of a bargain.
Ryan Braun FD 3200 DK 4200
Opponent - CHC (Jose Quintana) Park - CHC
FD - 11.12 DK - 8.49
The Brewers, as a team, are coming a little expensive but Braun (if he’s in the middle of the order) is still on the cheaper side against the lefty. Quintana isn’t a total pushover, but has struggled with control over the last two seasons and the ERA has hovered above 4. Braun isn’t the PED-filled hitter of old, but still gets the job done against lefties. He had an .863 OPS and .360 wOBA in that split last season with a 12% walk rate and 125 wRC+. It lines up as a plus spot against a lefty who is on the downward career trend.
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