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

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


Jake Arrieta (20100/10500/10400) – I’m going to come right out and say it: I know that these three are the top three pitchers on the slate in terms of price. They are also the least likely to screw you over. I also believe that this early in the season you aren’t exactly pressed to find as much value as when the season goes on and prices level out. Arrieta is coming off another solid campaign and is taking on a dangerous Cardinals lineup. He’s my least favorite of the three on the list today, but he still has a really safe floor, so I think in cash games he’s a full go. We already saw Lester hold this Cardinals team at bay, so don’t be surprised if Arrieta does it as well.

Johnny Cueto (19800/9200/10200) – Cueto is my preference of the two over $10k tonight, and I think even in a hitter’s park in Arizona he should be just fine. He’s got good strikeout stuff and he pretty much has all the type of stats [wOBA/HH%/FB%/HR-FB%] that make him a good pitcher on any slate. He’s pitched around Goldschmidt well through the years, and really the only two guys here I think that could give him some problems would be A.J. Pollock and Jake Lamb. That quite frankly just isn’t enough to get me to not play him tonight. I think he’s a good bet for a nice outing.

Kenta Maeda (18400/8600/9600) – If you want to save even more cash, $600 on both FanDuel and DraftKings, then I think it is a logical move to put Maeda into your lineups. There is a good chance he makes my cash games all around due to this matchup, and I will have him as one of my cash games pitchers on two pitcher sites as well. I think he’s got a great chance at both a win and a quality start, shouldn’t give up many runs and should have all the run support he could need around him. That’s enough for me to consider using him tonight.


Gary Sanchez (7800/3400/4000) – Gary Sanchez didn’t come through for his owners on Sunday afternoon, but I’m expecting Monday night to be a completely different story. Jake Odorrizi has a high wOBA vs righties [.343], a high FB % [41%] and a high hard hit $ [33.9%]. It doesn’t hurt that Sanchez has already taken a few out of the park against him. This sets up a great spot for Sanchez tonight in a matchup he should be able to win in a big way.

Willson Contreras (6400/2900/3200) – Typically with Wainwright, we want to look for lefty bats, but you are a crazy person if your philosophy is going to hit “X” next to each of the righty bats of the Cubs. So let’s say Wainwright goes 85 pitches deep by the fourth and gets pulled. What about the bullpen? Contreras couldn’t profile well against them? I am not going to play like that. Most of the reason he’s on here is because of his price, but he is a capable hitter who could certainly end up putting up another big game tonight.


Anthony Rizzo (8800/4100/4500) – Rizzo definitely didn’t do his owners any favors on Sunday night in a “favorable” matchup. It was favorable because the slate was awful and we had to grasp at straws. Tonight is a little bit different. As I eluded to above with Contreras, Wainwirght was markedly worse against left-handed hitting with an inflated wOBA [.361] and higher than normal FB% and HH%. Rizzo has another chance to give back to those he didn’t get the chance to on Sunday, so he’s a guy I want in my lineups.

Logan Morrison (5600/2300/2900) – It will be interesting to see if Morrison gets the start or not on Tuesday night. This is a lefty/lefty matchup, but digging into the data, I think it’s one Morrison could do well in. C.C. didn’t have an awful season last year, but one must wonder when the other shoe drops on his career. Morrison also tends to be a streaky hitter, so I want to use him building off a strong Opening Day performance. I would only use him in tournaments, but he’s someone on my list.


Jose Altuve (8700/4100/4400) – I think Altuve is going to come in today as my top play of the day. I cannot imagine Hisashi Iwakuma having any amount of success against the Astros lineup, especially at Minute Maid Park. Iwakuma’s numbers are dreadful – high wOBA’s, FB%, Pull % and HH %. That’s enough to make me load up on the Astros tonight, and I think they make a really nice stack to boot.

Robinson Cano (8100/3400/4100) – I think Cano is a little too cheap on FanDuel, and that in itself is enough to make me take a second look at him. Lance McCullers is a high upside pitcher, who would have been fourth on this list tonight. Cano is still one of the better hitters in the league, so I am not going to avoid him in most matchups. McCullers did have slightly bigger struggles with lefties, with increased wOBA’s and HH %.


Evan Longoria (7600/3200/4000) – If Altuve isn’t my favorite play today, then Evan Longoria might be. Even on a short slate, he didn’t have huge ownership, so on a slate like this, his ownership could be suppressed even further. I’m convinced that Sabathia isn’t going to end up having a very good night, and I think Longoria will be a big part of that. Nothing really sticks out with Sabathia having poor stats, but I think Longoria is going to come through for us.

Jefry Marte (5700/2500/2900) – I think Sean Manaea could be a sneaky option tonight against a bad-other-than-Trout Angels team, but here and there, they have some guys who could end up with good nights. Marte was one of my favorite value plays all of last year, and tonight looks no different. He’s got power and Manaea struggled at times with righties last year, so he’s worth a look in tournaments tonight.


Carlos Correa (8400/3900/4400) – I was actually happy to see Correa hit a home run on Opening Night, because he seems to be streaky with him home run production. I’m reasonably convinced that Iwakuma is going to give up a long ball or two tonight, and I think Correa is going to be one of the guys who takes him out of the part. I’ve gone through his profile with Altuve, and I think the both of them make a great mini-stack.

Brandon Crawford (6600/2600/3400) – Crawford might seem odd to be on this list, but Patrick Corbin actually profiles out pretty well against lefty bats. It’s not normal that we go after a lefty vs. lefty, and it’s not something I really want to go after in cash games [who knows, I’m pretty risky there too], but in tournaments, I think there is some upside to him. Corbin is essentially giving up a home run to a left every 15 at bats or something like that, and Crawford has two off of him in his career.


Mike Trout (9300/4900/4800) – Mike Trout is someone that we are going to want in our lineups more times than we don’t and I really like him when we can take him against a lefty. I really don’t think Manaea is necessarily a low-end lefty or anything like that, but I do think he is someone that Trout can have some success against tonight. The price tag on him is high, but he’s got the safe floor/high ceiling combo you get with the price as well.

Khris Davis (6800/3000/3500) – I will admit: I am a little shocked at Davis’ price tonight. In almost every way, Shoemaker profiles worse off against right-handed hitting, except with his HH%. We know that Davis is not a guy who can hit for average, but winning tournaments is all about the long ball, unless something really crazy happens one night. Davis had 42 of them in 2016 and that is a number I think he can approach this year. He’s not someone you want in your cash games, but I’ll use him a lot in tournaments.

Steven Souza Jr. (6400/2700/3200) – Souza was really the only one who didn’t get in on the party on Sunday, but I think he can have his own party on Tuesday night. The price on him is really low, and he’s a guy that we were putting into our lineups any time he went up against left-handed pitching over the last few years. Again, I won’t use him in my cash games, but I’ll have some shares in tournaments.

Franklin Gutierrez (6000/2600/3000) – Gutierrez is a player somewhat in the mold of Souza: you only want to use him against lefties. Well, here we are two games into the year, and he gets his first crack at it. Richard has a high wOBA [.345] against righties, to go along with increased percentages in every other category. He isn’t a big time fly ball pitcher, so that does diminish some of the upside, but I think he’s worth a look at this price tonight.

Hunter Pence (7600/2500/4000) – FanDuel, what’s up here??? I mean, lock and load all day on FanDuel with Pence, and there’s no questions asked. I’m expecting sky high ownership in both cash games and tournaments. He’s more realistically priced otherwise, and he’s someone that I like a lot tonight. Corbin is going to have a hard time keeping him in the park tonight, and Pence is one of my favorite options on the slate.

Slate Strategy

Most likely for me, it’s going to be spending up at the pitching position and finding value bats to get me to the promised land.

That won’t be hard, especially on FanDuel. Just put Hunter Pence in your lineups over there, as he is far too cheap. He’s still playable on DraftKings, it’s just that the price is a little less attractive.

In terms of hitting, I think I am going to put Gary Sanchez in my lineups first. I think he’s worth a long look tonight. I also think that Evan Longoria is too cheap on FanDuel, and I don’t mind using him at that price on DraftKings either.

Outside of that, I think you can look to Houston for some strong plays.

Top Stacks

Houston Astros [Springer/Bregman/Altuve/Correa]

San Francisco Giants [Posey/Pence/Crawford]

Tampa Bay Rays [Longoria/Souza Jr./Beckham/Weeks Jr.] – low owned

New York Yankees [Sanchez/Judge/Carter/Headley]

Texas Rangers [Gomez/Odor/Lucroy/Napoli]


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