MLB DFS Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings – 4/16/17

Welcome to another edition of ResearchFantasy’s MLB Breakdown. These picks are what I consider to be the best play of the day, relative to their price. One of the most important things we must consider in daily fantasy is how many points a player gets per dollar. It helps us identify value plays to pair with studs that we know will produce in order to maximize our potential points in lineups. I also try to identify plays that can be used in either cash games or tournaments. Typically, when I build my cash games, I am looking for players that have the best floor combined with good upside. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let us know!

Prices listed are FantasyDraft/FanDuel/DraftKings


Jon Lester (21900/10300/11300) – I like a lot of the pitching options today! I like a lot of the pitching options today! It’s so nice, I had to say it twice! Yesterday, the pitching options just didn’t look like they were going to cut the mustard, but today more than makes up for it. Lester takes on a Pirates team that struck out a lot and didn’t have a high ISO against left-handed pitching in 2016, though they did end up hitting them hard and well. Lester is a good enough pitcher that I’m not worried about all that, and will gladly pay the price for the ace of the slate.

Gio Gonzalez (15600/9300/8000) – I feel like I am just setting myself up with failure on this one, as Gio has done extremely well for himself the last two times he’s pitched. I think he could do just fine against a Phillies team that was just about as bad as it gets in 2016 against left-handed pitching. Then again, he could easily go out there and get himself into trouble. For the time being, I am going to say that he should be in good shape, and I feel like you are getting a discount on him on DraftKings.

Drew Pomeranz (15000/7800/7500) – Pomeranz was a guy I really used a lot in San Diego in 2016 until he was traded to the Red Sox and fell apart. He looked pretty sharp in his first outing, and now takes on a Rays team that we know can be beat. The Rays didn’t do poorly against left-handed pitching last year but they did strike out a ton, so that increases his upside in that department. I am willing to take a look at him in tournaments in what should be another chance for a good outing for him.


Travis d’Arnaud (5600/3200/2900) – The catcher position might be the only one I don’t like tonight, so I’ll roll will some guys just hitting the ball well. One of them is Travis d’Arnaud. We’ve seen him do this over the past few years, but I always feel like they end up ending in injuries. Fortunately, we only have to worry about him for one day, and I think he can beat Dan Strailey today.

Manny Pina (6000/2200/3000) – It looks like the Reds/Brewers game could be the place to go for fantasy goodness once again. Pina isn’t priced for what he has done thus far this season, so we are getting a discount. I don’t think his upside is as good as d’Arnaud’s, but he’s still worth a look today.


Miguel Cabrera (9600/3600/5000) – Carlos Carrasco isn’t a bad pitcher, and isn’t someone I am going to go out of my way to target. Even if I was, he’s significantly worse against lefties than righties. So why is Miguel Cabrera on here? Well, after starting the season off depressingly bad, he’s coming around. When Miggy is hot, watch out. The price on FanDuel isn’t close to where it should be, and I’m in on Miggy today.

Eric Thames (7800/2800/4000) – Thames right now is about $1k underpriced and on an absolute tear. He’s crushing the ball, and he’s taking on a righty in Sal Romano. This could be a great time to run out Thames – except for the fact that the Romano is undercover good. No, he hasn’t pitched in the big leagues yet, but he showed some pretty good stuff in the spring, as well as in Double-A last year. I think that the Brewers could get to him in his first outing, and Thames is one of the guys I want to look at.


Daniel Murphy (8700/3800/4500) – Daniel Murphy has been awesome to start the year, though this series against the Phillies hasn’t been his greatest. Our model has this team scoring 5 runs tomorrow, which is 6th most on the slate. I think he’ll be able to get to Jerad Eickhoff, who has shown extreme splits thus far. The price is fair, considering he isn’t the first or second priced player at the position on DraftKings.

Cesar Hernandez (6300/2900/3200) – I am bummed to report that Hernandez went yard Saturday. I didn’t have my GameChannel open when I was researching and thought this could be a good option to go yard. While I like Gio tonight, it’s no secret that he hasn’t been great against righties. I think these are tournament plays only, but I don’t hate it.


Yangervis Solarte (6600/3000/3400) – The Padres are a team I certainly want a piece of tonight. I do not believe in Bartolo Colon. I will not be shocked if he ends up getting torn to shreds today. Solarte is a good hitter that does possess some power, and his price is at a spot where I think you need to consider him as a tournament option against Colon tonight.

Maikel Franco (7800/3300/4000) – Franco is never going to be a great hitter, but he’ll crack some log balls. Like I mentioned with Hernandez, if I was going to pick on Gio, it would be with right-handed power bats, and that is exactly where Franco falls. The upside is pretty big, and while I won’t have a lot of him, I’ll have enough in tournaments.


Francisco Lindor (8400/3900/4400) – Shortstop was another position where I just didn’t see a lot of great options. When that happens, I’ll have no hesitations to go with a guy like Lindor. He’s off to such a great start to the season, and I am not exactly afraid of Matthew Boyd. I think Lindor could end up with a big game here, and I’ll do what I can to get him in my lineups.

Addison Russell (6800/2700/3400) – Russell is another guy that I like to use. He stays cheap and flies under the radar. He’s got some pop in his bat so he will hit some home runs, and he has a good eye for the ball to boot. He isn’t going to be the sexiest option on most slates, but I’ll have exposure to him tonight.


Bryce Harper (9600/4600/5000) – Harper didn’t have a great day at the plate yesterday, but here’s to hoping we see a much different result on Sunday. Jerad Eickhoff does have some pronounced issues with left-handed bats, and Harper is one of the best in the game. The price is steep, but I think you can make him work.

Steven Souza Jr. (7600/2800/4000) – Drew Pomeranz is a guy I am going to use a lot today, but where I don’t have him, I’ll have some Steven Souza Jr. He’s off to a great start to the year, and he’s doing it against all types of pitching, not just lefties which is what he’s been known for. The price on FanDuel is too good to pass up for me.

Andrew Benintendi (7600/3300/3800) – Benintendi is a guy that really pops in our models tonight, so I want to have some exposure to him. He’s pretty cheap on DraftKings considering how they price, and not a guy I’m going to avoid on FanDuel either. I think he’s got a good bet for a big game in him. After all, he hasn’t left the yard since Opening Day.

Scott Schebler (7200/2900/3700) – Schebler falls into the category of a guy I really wanted to play until I saw he went deep today, but I feel far more confident that he can do it on back-to-back days. His power is huge and I love the matchup against Wily Peralta. If Peralta is able to put up a good game today, I’ll start to believe in the hype.

Brandon Guyer (6400/2000/3300) – Guyer has been awful to start the year. Matt Boyd has some really big concerns against righty bats. The reason Guyer was brought to Cleveland was to hit lefties, and he needs to start to do it. If you need a punt play with power upside, here it is.

Slate Strategy

This will be a nice slate for Easter Sunday. The pitching options are pretty solid, and I think there are any number of ways you can go. One of my favorite tournament combinations on DraftKings is Gio Gonzalez and Drew Pomeranz. That combo allows you to spend $4.3k on every other position. That really allows you to do whatever you want anywhere with hitting. Of course, that’s not considering you have other high upside pitchers like Jon Lester, Carlos Carrasco and Matt Harvey. If you are really bold, you can try to get ahead of the game by playing Sal Romano, though I don’t think we need to go there yet.

In terms of hitting, there is plenty of that too! I really like using some Padres bats against Bartolo Colon, who I think is not going to have a great going in 2017. Miguel Cabrera looks to be seeing the baseball well right now, which is huge because when he gets rolling, it’s hard to slow him down. I also love the Nationals lefties tonight after they didn’t have a great game on Saturday.

Good luck!

Top Stacks

San Diego Padres [Margot/Myers/Solarte/Schimpf/Renfroe]

Washington Nationals [Eaton/Harper/Murphy]

Cleveland Indians [Encarnacion/Lindor/Guyer/Ramirez]


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