FanDuel DFS MLB Picks | 4/3/18

Bryce Harper

My DK losing streak is at two games, but the FD winning streak is rolling right along at six straight (still undefeated for the season).  We’ll keep it going tonight with a nine-game main slate, and the biggest surprise to start it off is the fact that Clayton Kershaw is NOT my top choice for the pitcher.  We’ll be working hard for you tonight in FTA+ chat, as our MLB slate is joined by a 13-game NBA card (which could be crazy with all the tanking teams/resting players).  Join us tonight, and follow me on twitter @jac3600.   STARTING PITCHER TOP PLAY Justin Verlander, HOU ($10,300) Yup, we’re going with Verlander over Kershaw tonight.  Of course, if you disagree, you won’t get any argument from me if you want the elite skillset of Clayton, but I’m saving the money for a better context on Verlander.  He’s facing an Orioles team who have been horrendous to open the season (especially against RHP), and he comes in as a -230 favorite (highest on the slate) and a 3.4 IRTA (second lowest by 0.1 runs).  The Orioles will have at least six RHB in their lineup (hopefully seven), and this is the clear route I’m rolling in cash. Other options- Clayton Kershaw Mid-tier options – Chase Anderson   VALUE PLAY J.A. Happ, TOR ($7100) Happ is a fun tournament play tonight at $7100.  The White Sox have been fairly strong out of the gate but they don’t project that way long term.  Happ struck out a batter per nine innings last season and posts pretty neutral splits (doesn’t really get hammered for hard contact by RHB).  He’s a solid -170 favorite tonight, and a QS and/or win would really help his total. Other options – Garrett Richards, Zack Godley, Matt Harvey, Jack Flaherty, Julio Teheran   CATCHER/FIRST BASE TOP PLAY Freddie Freeman, ATL ($4200) Freeman tops the rankings at the 1B position today with his .400 wOBA and .268 ISO against RHP the last three years.  He gets to face A.J. Cole who was once a top prospect but has walked five batters per nine innings in his career and struggled with lefty power.  A Braves snack could be very sneaky if Cole struggles with command, and Freeman is the centerpiece. Other options – Jose Abreu, Cody Bellinger, Justin Smoak   VALUE PLAY Eric Thames, MIL ($2800) Thames is a solid value on FD today at under 3k.  It’s tough to get a beat on Jack Flaherty as an attack point, but Milwaukee is one of the better hitting environments on the slate and Thames had a .390 wOBA and .286 ISO against RHP last season.  You can also still use him in the UTIL spot if you want to lock in one of the big first basemen above. Other options – Joey Gallo, Ryan Braun, Marwin Gonzalez, Chris Davis Catcher punts – Brian McCann, Welington Castillo, Russell Martin   SECOND BASE TOP PLAY Jose Altuve, HOU ($4300) Altuve remains viable in all formats, and his price is actually down a couple hundred dollars from yesterday.  The issue is the fact that there are once again solid cheap plays at the 2B position, but the Astros are currently tied for the highest IRT at 5.1 runs (should go up if Correa returns to the lineup).  Altuve has come out of the gate firing with ten hits in his first five games, and his power/speed combo is a great floor for cash games. Other options – None   VALUE PLAY Devon Travis, TOR ($2500) I love Travis as a money-saving cash value tonight.  The Blue Jays also have an IRT of 5.1 runs, and they get to take aim at Miguel Gonzalez who is one of my favorite DFS attack points.  Gonzalez has allowed a career 1.31 HR/9 to same-handed hitters and Toronto is one of the better hitting environments in the early going of the season.  Travis has also displayed reverse-split tendencies, posting almost a .200 ISO against RHP the last two years, and he should remain in the leadoff spot. Other options – Yangervis Solarte, Ozzie Albies, Asdrubal Cabrera, Rougned Odor   THIRD BASE TOP PLAY Josh Donaldson, TOR ($3900) I’ve already gotten several questions about whether Donaldson is worth it due to his “dead arm”.  It’s important to understand that while this certainly affects his defense, it’s done nothing to inhibit his bat as Donaldson has posted a 44% hard hit rate out of the gate so far.  He gets the reverse-splitting Miguel Gonzalez, and Donaldson has a .254 ISO against RHP over the last three years. Other options – Nolan Arenado, Anthony Rendon, Travis Shaw   VALUE PLAY Alex Bregman, HOU ($3100) Bregman remains too cheap on FD, especially if he continues to bat second against righties like he did yesterday.  It’s possible we even see him shift to the 3/4 spot if Carlos Correa sits this one out (he left with a toe injury yesterday and ruined my #DFSHRcall).  Bregman is one of many event players on the Astros, and their stacks can rack up fantasy points in a hurry. Other options – Matt Carpenter, Adrian Beltre, Chase Headley   SHORTSTOP TOP PLAY Carlos Correa, HOU ($4600) I’ll keep this brief – even if Correa plays there are better ways to spend your money in cash, but he’s an elite GPP option and a key piece of an Astros stack (if he’s in there, of course). Other options – Trea Turner, Elvis Andrus   VALUE PLAY Marcus Semien,  OAK ($2800) Semien is a perfectly acceptable way to gain access to the SS position in cash.  Oakland’s spacious ballpark never makes for a whole lot of DFS upside, but Semien has a .202 ISO against LHP over the past three seasons and Cole Hamels was just not the same pitcher last year.  He had a 4.83 xFIP and his K rate dropped to a career low 6.39 K/9 Other options – Corey Seager, Paul DeJong, Aledmys Diaz   OUTFIELD TOP PLAY Bryce Harper, WAS ($4600) Bryce Harper headlines a loaded OF position today.  He’s absolutely locked in to start off the season with three homers, seven RBI, and a 6:0 K/BB ratio (yes, he has not struck out yet).  Harper had an insane .442 wOBA and .332 ISO against RHP last season and faces off against Julio Teheran who has allowed 1.66 HR/9 to the position since 2015.  Harper has broken 40 FD points in two straight games, and looks primed to do it again. Other options – Mike Trout, Charlie Blackmon, George Springer, Adam Eaton, Lorenzo Cain, Justin Upton, Christian Yelich, Yoenis Cespedes   VALUE PLAY Curtis Granderson, TOR ($2000) Grandy continues to be a gift on FD, and now he’s down to the bare minimum price.  Miguel Gonzalez is one we generally attack with same-handed hitters, but it’s not like he blows away lefties (1.18 HR/9 allowed).  Granderson has a .234 ISO against RHP over the past three years and will hit fifth for a team that is tied for the highest IRT on the slate.  You could do much worse at the stone cold minimum. Other options – Marcell Ozuna, Tommy Pham, Yasiel Puig, Jay Bruce, Ender Inciarte, Avisail Garcia, Wil Myers, Josh Reddick, Randal Grichuk, Dexter Fowler, Manuel Margot Fantasy Baseball

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