Happy Friday! Nothing like starting the weekend with a 15-game daily fantasy baseball slate! Two weeks ago I took down my first GPP of the baseball season, a small turbo slate tournament, and last week I cashed across the board, so I’m hoping Fridays will continue to bring us good luck, especially for the picks I discuss with you all. Let’s get to the plays and start piecing together our lineup strategy for a winning night.
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Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks: Friday, April 21
Corey Kluber, Indians at White Sox (DraftKings: $10,900, FanDuel: $9,900)
The White Sox bats have been terrible this year, ranking 27th in runs scored. Kluber is off to his typical slow April start, but if there’s a time to bounce back, it should be tonight. I’ll admit I wasn’t thrilled to open DraftKings and find him priced higher than Jacob deGrom, Justin Verlander, and Jon Lester, but maybe the dynamic pricing speaks to how good of a matchup this truly is. I mean, the Sox are striking out i- 22.8 percent of their at-bats and have not been able generate any power, as they rank toward the bottom of the league in home runs. Plus, looking at projected lineups, I see barely any lefties in the lineup -- certainly none to be afraid of. If Kluber can string together somewhere near the eight strikeouts he had in his last outing, he should be able to keep the damage to a minimal and also capture a win in the process. The White Sox have the second lowest implied run total, so I think Kluber is a great option for your starting pitcher.
Other Options: Justin Verlander, Cole Hamels
Charlie Blackmon, OF, Colorado Rockies (DraftKings: $5,100 FanDuel: $4,300
It’s a Coors Field slate, so we have to discuss the matchup between the Giants and the Rockies out in Colorado. I love the idea of fading Coors in GPPs, as it consistently carries the highest ownerships, but going that route in cash games can be extremely dangerous if the home runs start flying. Whichever direction you go, Blackmon can be inserted as the leadoff in your stack or as the one-off to make sure you get Coors exposure. Not only is he at the top of the Rockies' order, but he is also off to nice start against righties, with a .270 iso so far this season. Blackmon is always a threat to score runs at the top of this lineup, with added stolen base upside. As usual, he makes for a very tough fade at home.
Other Options: Corey Seager, Nolan Arenado
Justin Turner, 3B, Dodgers (DraftKings: $3,700, FanDuel: $3,700)
While everyone will be focused on Coors Field, there’s also a very fantasy friendly game going on in Arizona between the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks. Turner is a very fair value on both major sites and could go overlooked on this 15-game slate. He’s a reverse-splits hitter who actually does better going up against righthanded pitchers. Turner sat out the past two games with a hand injury, but all indications are that he will return for tonight’s game. If anything, this injury may help keep his ownership numbers down. Monitor the injury closely, but do not be afraid to pull the trigger if he’s in the lineup.
Other Options: Joc Pederson, Nomar Mazara
Andrew Toles, OF, Dodgers (DraftKings: $3,100, FanDuel: $2,300)
I wanted to avoid using another Dodger, but I also want to provide you guys with my most genuine analysis, so you’re going to have to deal with this one. You are not going to get a cheaper bat in a better spot than Toles, who’s platoon splits usually have him batting leadoff against righthanded pitchers. The Dodgers are right there with the Coors' teams for highest implied run total, and the leadoff man could see the coveted extra (fifth) at-bat. As a true platoon player, there is always some risk the Dodgers light up Taijuan Walker and Toles is pulled when the Diamondbacks go to the bullpen. Luckily, Arizona only has two lefties available out of their 'pen, so Toles may stay in the game even if it does get ugly. Regardless, it’s hard to overlook Toles’ numbers in limited appearances, especially the three homers in only 40 at-bats. I don’t think you’ll find a better value play unless some unexpected news (or rest) breaks.
Other Options: Chase Headley, Elvis Andrus
Stack of the Day: Los Angeles Dodgers
You can try to jam in all of the Coors' bats and find the right value pitcher, but for GPPs, I think it makes more sense to shift to the more affordable, and hopefully lower, owned Dodgers’ offense. While Arizona may not be Coors, it’s the next best park for scoring and still a major park shift for the visiting Dodgers. Plus, it’s going to be around 40 degrees in Colorado, and 85-plus degrees in Arizona, so with the temperature factored in, this could be an even better hitters environment! walker is an extreme fly-ball pitcher and has a tendency to give up home runs. Seager-Turner-Grandal-Pederson-Puig all make for great home run candidates, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see multiple Dodgers hit one out.
Daily Fantasy Baseball Optimal Lineup Example (FanDuel contests)
*NOTE: The above lineup was created at 12 PM ET and is an example of how to plug a core into the RotoQL Optimizer and build around it. Do NOT ever play a lineup without checking injury/lineup/weather news before lock.