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DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks (4/15/18): MLB DFS Lineups

We have an ace-heavy 11 game featured slate this Sunday. There are several quality pitchers on the schedule today, as well as several suspect pitchers. There aren’t many middle tier options on the mound, which means we’ll have to choose our hurlers carefully.

We’ve also got weather concerns across the country. As of writing this the CWS @ MIN game has already been postponed. The other games to watch out for are: NYY @ DET, STL @ CIN, and TOR @ CLE. COL @ WSH, MIL @ NYM, and LAA @ KC could also be in danger, but seem less likely to be postponed. That means seven of the ten remaining games on the slate have weather concerns, and there is really no way to build an optimal lineup while completely avoiding these games. As always, it’s best to check your lineups before they lock to ensure all the players you’ve selected are playing.

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for DraftKings on 4/15/18. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays. You can also read more DFS advice and lineup picks for sites like FanDuel, and other sports too. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @ElliottBaasBB.

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DraftKings Starting Pitchers

P – Noah Syndergaard NYM (vs. MIL) - $10,500

With so many pricey pitchers, Syndergaard is the best value among them. The Brewers may not be a cakewalk, but they were decidedly average against righties last season. They had a .323 wOBA and 94 wRC+ as a team. What makes this a good matchup is the strikeout tendency of the Brewers. Last season they struck out 25.6% of the time in, the highest in the majors. They’ve also struck out 22.3% of the time so far this season. The Brewers’ biggest strength as a team is the long ball, they hit the eighth most last season. Thor is not particularly susceptible to  home runs, however. He has a career 0.76 HR/9, which is good even for a high end pitcher. Syndergaard's strengths match up well against the Brewers' weaknesses. Syndergaard is the fifth most expensive starter but has the ability to rack up strikeouts and be the top performer.

P – J.A. Happ TOR (@CLE) - $8,000

Would you believe J.A. Happ has the fourth best K/9 (12.94) among starters that have made at least three starts? It’s true, and he also has a 15% swinging strike rate and 2.59 xFIP so far this season. This type of strikeout production is unsustainable over the course of the season for Happ. He has a 19.83% swinging strike rate on his fastball, which is more than double his career rate. Still, he faces an Indians team that has a .273 wOBA and .126 ISO this season. Regression is due for both sides, but it won’t happen all at once on Sunday. As a veteran he should be able to go deep into the game, something many younger pitchers haven't done much this season. Happ will get us some strikeouts and should limit scoring. That's exactly what we want from our SP2 in cash games.

Update: Looks like Happ has been pushed back due to yesterday's postponement. Another solid SP2 option is Ivan Nova PIT (@MIA) $8,800, though he's a little more expensive than Happ. Ben Lively PHI(@TB) $6,000 could be a sneaky cheap play if the Rays lineup is righty heavy. For his career lively has a .374 wOBA against lefties, but a .314 wOBA against righties.

P- Dylan Bundy BAL (@BOS) - $7,400

This is mainly a tournament play, but Bundy is a name worth mentioning on this slate. He’s been lights out to start the season with a 32.5% strikeout rate and 1.95 FIP in his first three starts. While his numbers may not stay that quite that good, Bundy’s success looks legitimate because he’s begun featuring his slider heavily. Bundy’s slider is among the best strikeout pitches in baseball with a 37.33% swinging strike rate this season. Bundy is this cheap because has two big obstacles working against him today. He’s facing a tough Boston lineup that has a .340 wOBA as a team this season, and his counterpart on the mound is Chris Sale, limiting his chances for a win. Regardless, good pitchers can shut down good offenses. Bundy put up outstanding starts already against the Twins and Astros, two strong offenses. It’s not an ideal situation, but Bundy has flashes of brilliance that make him a worthy gamble in tournament play.


DraftKings Infielders

C - Wilson Ramos, TB (vs. PHI) - $2,800

Ramos has had a slow start to the year with a .387 OPS and no extra base hits, but he put up an above average .189 ISO in 2016 and .188 ISO in 2017. On a day where we’re pinching pennies Ramos gives us power upside at a weak position without breaking the bank. Opposing starter Ben Lively gave up 1.32 HR/9 and had a 5.58 xFIP last season.

1B - Albert Pujols, LAA (@KC) - $3,500

Shohei Ohtani may be on the mound for Anaheim, but it’s the Angels’ hitters we want in our lineup today. The Angels take on Royals rookie lefty Eric Skoglund. Skoglund only has 22.2 career innings, but they couldn’t have gone much worse. He owns a career 9.53 ERA, 5.78 FIP, and 1.07 K/BB ratio. His 4.46 FIP and 1.25 HR/9 at Triple-A as a 24-year-old last season aren't impressive either, and don't suggest that a rapid turn-around is near. He’s also gone five innings just once in his career, which means we’ll see a lot of the Royals' bullpen. The Kansas City relievers have a league worst 6.99 ERA and second worst 5.46 FIP as a unit this season. Pujols may not be the superstar he once was, but he gives us exactly what we need at this price: cheap power. Pujols has three home runs and six extra base hits thus far, and makes a good addition to an Angels stack as their cleanup hitter.

2B - Ian Kinsler, LAA (@ KC) - $3,900

Kinsler has a career .378 wOBA and .205 ISO against lefties, and even though he’s gotten older his strong performance against lefties has held in recent seasons. He’ll be leading off for the Halos, which should give him 4-5 plate appearances and plenty of run-scoring opportunities. The Angels are the team to stack today, let’s just hope for clear skies in Kansas City.

3B - Matt Carpenter, STL (@ CIN) - $3,500

Matt Carpenter has a good matchup against Reds righty Homer Bailey on Sunday. Bailey may have had a nice start last time out against the Phillies, but that doesn’t erase the three years of injuries and horrid performances. Bailey last posted an ERA below 5 in 2014. His velocity is also at a career low, and he still has a 2.00 K/BB ratio this season. Carpenter loves to hit righties, with a career .375 wOBA and .193 ISO against right-handed pitching. He’s makes for a nice play in the hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark.

SS - Dansby Swanson ATL (@ CHC) - $3,400

This one is mainly a price play, as there aren’t any shortstops worth paying up for today relative to other positions. Swanson has had an impressive start to the season with a .340/.377/.560 slash line and eight extra base hits thus far. This isn’t sustainable, but there’s no reason to think he’ll slow down against Tyler Chatwood. Chatwood always had poor control, but he has unraveled in his first two starts. Chatwood has walked seven batters in 11 innings and has a 4.91 ERA and 4.42 xFIP. Remember how Chatwood had a good road ERA and Coors Field was blamed for his struggles? Forget about that, because despite a 3.28 ERA Chatwood had a 4.43 xFIP and 1.48 K/BB away from Colorado. He’s someone that can be targeted, and Swanson makes for a cheap play against him.


DraftKings Outfielders

OF - Mallex Smith, TB (vs. PHI) - $3,000

Phillies starter Ben Lively can’t get lefties out. Left-handed batters have a .375 wOBA against Lively for his career, and this season lefties have a .408 wOBA. Smith doesn’t have any power upside, but he’s always a threat to swipe a bag or two. Both Phillies catchers Jorge Alfaro (27%) and Andrew Knapp (23%) have slightly below average career caught stealing rates, so Smith can run freely on either of them.

OF - Mike Trout, LAA (@ KC) - $5,500

We can’t have an Angels stack without Mike Trout, and the Halos are definitely the top option of the day. Not much needs to be said about Trout, he’s the best player in baseball. In case you need a little convincing Trout owns a career .402 wOBA, 162 wRC+, and .237 ISO against left-handed pitching.

OF - Justin Upton LAA (@ KC) - $4,600

Upton has slayed left-handed pitching in his career. He has a .381 wOBA, .243 ISO, and 137 wRC+ against southpaws all time. He’s an important piece to add to our Angels stack Sunday, since he hits third and is the Angels second-best hitter besides Trout.


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