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FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Lineup Picks (4/4/17): MLB DFS Advice


Good morning, fellow RotoBallers. It's the first Tuesday of the season. What we have on deck tonight is a lovely slate of baseball - specifically, daily fantasy baseball, for our purposes. The eight-game Main contest begins at 7:05 tonight, so get those lineups locked and loaded before your East coast guys take the field. FanDuel has answered my prayers and added feature of Late Swap for 2017, meaning your players aren't necessarily locked into their respective slots until their game begins. That's important to know for a number of reasons, but a big added bonus of this feature is having to worry less about guys being scratched late and the dreaded rain-out. Another thing to keep in mind about this feature is that it will certainly impact ownership percentages. Having West coast players in your lineup at the time the Main contests begin will give players the flexibility to change their mind and swap players once play has already begun on the East coast - just something to think about.

Before we get into the player selections and analysis, let's take a quick look at Vegas lines that could be of interest to us - especially if you're looking to stack a team or two. From a run total standpoint (alternatively, the over/under) line, there isn't a whole lot to love. The Giants at Diamondbacks line of nine runs is somewhat intriguing, and after that, there are a trio of games with a line of 8.5 - Mariners at Astros, Indians at Rangers and Rockies at Brewers. As for moneyline favorites, the biggest ones for the Main contest are the Dodgers (-235), the Astros (-163) and the Indians (-140).

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for FanDuel on 4/4/17. The DFS lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays on FanDuel. You can read our DraftKings and Yahoo DFS lineup picks as well. Let's get to it, shall we?

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our season-long articles, 15 in-season lineup tools and over 200 days of expert DFS research/tools. Sign Up Now!

 

FanDuel DFS Pitchers

Kenta Maeda - P, vs SDP ($8,600)

It's of my opinion that Kenta offers the safest option tonight among all pitchers while also owning a pretty high ceiling thanks to a number of factors. Vegas tends to agree, in that the Dodgers are far and away the biggest favorite of the day at -265 on the moneyline as of this writing on Monday night. A number of projections I've looked at tend to agree as well, namely because of the safe matchup that is the San Diego Padres and their paltry lineup. In addition to having no real pop and this game being played in a hitter's park, the Padres trotted out a lineup at the end of last season that struck out in nearly 30% of all at-bats against right-handed pitching. Combine that strikeout rate with Maeda's impressive 9.38 K/9, and you have the recipe for a high upside matchup. Thanks to his fair price, too, I think  is somewhat of a value here. Maeda is in play in both cash and tournament formats.

Lance McCullers - P, vs SEA ($8,800)

Cash game players, feel free to look away here and head on down to the infielders. As for you who like to play in tournaments, I think McCullers is an option you always at least consider, but today he is a little more attractive than usual since the rest of the slate is lacking in strikeout potential. Make no mistake, McCullers can wild (1.584 WHIP in 2016), but he also can rack up strikeouts at an incredible rate (12.09 K/9 in '16). He's in a position to surpass value tonight so long as he can stay out of trouble. The Mariners will trot out a team with roughly a 25% strikeout rate, which certainly projects well for McCullers. The key for him hitting and surpassing value will be limiting the free passes. At this price, he's also a nice pivot from your cash game lineups, if you roll with Maeda there.

Also Consider: Carlos Carrasco - P, at TEX ($9,900) 

 

FanDuel DFS Infielders

Jett Bandy - C, vs COL ($2,400)

Unless a player blows me away with their matchup on that given day, I normally like to hunt for value at this position - specifically those with home run upside. On Tuesday, Bandy fits that profile as he comes in close to minimum price and in 2016, he owned a .222 ISO and .424 slugging percentage against left-handed pitching. Those numbers aren't fantastic, but they're strong for the price point and when you take the differentials into consideration, you can see the upside. Bandy's .222 ISO split against lefties is nearly 100 points lower and on the pitching side of the equation, Tyler Anderson allowed a .460 slugging percentage to right-handed batters -  a figure that is nearly 160 points higher than his left-handed batter split.

Also Consider: Gary Sanchez - C, at TBR ($3,400)

 

Anthony Rizzo - 1B, at STL ($4,100)

Anthony Rizzo, a guy worth your consideration most days of the week, had a splendid 2016 campaign in which he hit 32 home runs and had a .928 OPS. Tonight, he's worth your consideration in cash games, as his .400 wOBA and .273 ISO splits from 2016 are excellent numbers and Adam Wainwright is not the pitcher he once was. On a relatively thin slate for first basemen, I'll take Rizzo and his optimal spot in the order in a powerful Cubs' lineup that could afford him plenty of RBI and run scoring opportunities.

Also Consider: Brandon Belt - 1B, at ARI ($2,900) value play; Mike Napoli - 1B, vs TEX ($3,000) GPP only

 

Logan Forsythe - 2B, vs SDP ($2,800)

I have a feeling Forsythe is going to be a popular cash game option all season - and for good reason, too. The second basemen is often priced at a level where he can easily surpass value, he hits at the top of the order, and related to my prior point, he's hitting ahead of a talented lineup. He should be in line for a lot of runs so long as his can keep his weighted on base average at a respectable figure. As for tonight, he gets a matchup with one of the least intimidating pitchers taking the bump Tuesday in Clayton Richard and on top of that, he owned a .329 wOBA and .191 ISO split against southpaws in 2016.

Also Consider: Robinson Cano - 2B, at HOU ($3,400)

 

Jonathan Villar - 3B, vs COL ($3,600)

Villar had a pretty strong 2016 campaign and it's one he can build on as we enter 2017. Villar, more importantly, also has a good matchup today and is my favorite of all those manning the hot corner. Hitting in the leadoff spot, he has the upside of potentially five or even six at-bats, and he also has good splits against left-handed pitching. It's certainly the pitcher arm-side he delivers most of his extra-base hits against, as suggested by the .395 wOBA and .238 ISO split last year. On top of all that, he is a strong base runner and is a threat to steal a base or two.

Also Consider: Alex Bregman - 3B, vs SEA ($3,300)

 

Jean Segura - SS, at HOU ($3,200)

Of all the hitters I've suggested, Segura has one of the more difficult matchups facing Lance McCullers and his nasty off-speed stuff. Still, I think he presents one of the best (if not flat out best) options for cash games on Tuesday night at the position. For all his talents, McCullers can give of his fair share of hits, and if that's the case, Segura will likely get his share. In 2016, Segura posted impressive splits against right-handed pitching with his .386 wOBA and .524 slugging percentage. It's the aforementioned splits and favorable price that have me riding with Segura tonight.

Also Consider: Trevor Story - SS, at MIL ($3,600) tournament play

 

FanDuel DFS Outfielders

Hunter Pence - OF, at ARI ($2,500)

Everyone's favorite quirky outfielder is in a pretty damn good spot today. First off, he's a steal at this price level and he normally hits in an optimal place in the order, the three hole. He gets a park upgrade as this game is taking place in Arizona, and his splits suggest he'd much prefer facing left-handed pitching. His 2016 ISO split of .243 is more than 110 points higher than his split against right-handed pitching. Unfortunately for Patrick Corbin - but fortunately for you and me - Corbin struggles with right-handed hitters and in 2016, he allowed a .543 slugging percentage to righties at home in Chase Field.

Charlie Blackmon - OF, at MIL ($4,000)

It's no Coors Field, but hitters certainly enjoy their surroundings quite often when they're at Miller Park. In fact, it's one of the most hitter friendly parks of the night, and Blackmon (more importantly than the park factors) has a strong matchup against Zach Davies. Davies doesn't exactly strike fear in me (and he struggled mightily to begin the season last year with a .468 wOBA in March/April) and Blackmon's strong splits from 2016 help justify having to pay the 4k price tag. Blackmon owned righties last season, posting a season long .404 wOBA to go with an impressive .277 ISO and .596 slugging percentage.

Franklin Gutierrez - OF, vs SDP ($2,600)

I'm sure many of you are familiar with Franklin. For those of you who aren't, however, Franklin Gutierrez is a name you'll want to get to know this season - particularly when the Dodgers face off against left-handed pitching. He's an incredible value tonight, especially when you consider what excellent splits he posted in 2016 against southpaws - .377 wOBA, .235 ISO - and that he should be hitting right in the meat of this order against a pretty weak pitcher in Clayton Richard. Honestly, I can't believe he wasn't priced up higher because of the matchup. Nonetheless, I think he's a pretty optimal tournament play on this eight game slate.

Also Consider: Michael Brantley - OF, at TEX ($3,200)

 

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