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FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Lineup Picks (4/7/17): MLB DFS Advice

I can't really explain how excited I am that baseball is back. This week actually feels surreal with basketball, that big golf event down at Augusta, and the boys of summer returning to the diamond. Year after year, baseball sneaks up on me - despite me anticipating it! - and I think it's due to March Madness, but nonetheless, it's here and I guess what I'm really trying to say is that we are going to have some fun together on Friday's this year.

On deck tonight we have a lovely 10 game slate. There are a couple day games to, but looking at the entry pool sizes and payouts (they're low!), it's really not worth a lot of time investing in as the returns are minuscule. If I were to play any afternoon contests, I'd probably build them around the Rockies at Coors. Yea, that seems like the easy way out to play the guys at the park that's best to the hitters, and while that's a factor, there's more to it.

Dodgers' starter Hyun-Jin Ru has had bad injuries and missed nearly all of the past two seasons and I think this talented Rockies' lineup could take advantage. The weight on-based average's of the Rockies' 2-3-4 hitters - DJ LeMahieu, Carlos Gonzalez, and Trevor Story, respectively - were all very high in 2016, with Story posting an incredible 4.12 wOBA and .299 ISO. Two big names are missing from that list in Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado. Their splits honestly aren't all too attractive, but they're talented enough where it's worth taking a shot on one if you'd like to roll out a complete stack. On top of that the Rockies Dodgers contest, of the 10 teams playing under the sun, they current have the second highest run total I've seen, in the range of 5 to 5.5 runs. Only their opponent, the Dodgers, have a higher one as theirs is somewhere just north of six runs.

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As for pitching, Max Scherzer is on the hill against the Phillies and I really can't see a "safer" pick, if their is such a thing, especially for cash games. Max is an excellent pick on most any night really, and he posted excellent numbers in 2016. The rest of the slate is really lacking. Vincent Velasquez is worth a flier in tournaments as he's an excellent strikeout artist (10.61 K/9 in 2016), but the pick certainly carries risk against a talented and top heavy Nationals lineup in Philadelphia's hitter friendly park.

Before I get into the player analysis, I like to take a look at Vegas lines and run totals, particularly ones that might be helpful when making decisions for your lineup. More particularly, this can be helpful if your strategy is to use a stack or two or know which pitchers are best avoided.

In thiss article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for FanDuel on 4/7/17. 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.


FanDuel DFS Pitchers

Let me open up this by saying navigating through these pitchers is somewhat like that of a minefield. Based on projections and looking at stats from seasons past, there isn't a ton to get excited about from a point ceiling perspective, and a "safe" pick is not really existent. At this point in the young season, no team has played more than five games, so we're seeing the very back-end of the rotation for most staffs, with the exception of Max Scherzer (who plays in the early slate).

Mike Fiers - P, vs. KC ($7,300)

As I alluded to above, tonight's slate is full of mines. At no point in any of the past seasons can I recall looking at the pitching options and seeing higher (worse) WHIP stats and lower strikeout stats than I am seeing today. That said, I am going to roll with Fiers tonight in this situation, as I believe he provides a little bit of safety relative to the rest of the slate, while also sporting some upside in the form of racking up strikeouts. He's pitching at home tonight, where he should receive solid run support, is a pretty big moneyline favorite in Vegas at -172, and in 2016, allowed a slugging percentage at home more than 50 points lower than he did on the road. In addition to that, while the Royals lineup isn't a bad one, it's somewhat top heavy and doesn't provide much in respect to power numbers. The lineup they're projected to trot out tonight has struck out in nearly 25% of their at-bats versus right-handers in the past year, while only posting a collective .274 wOBA.

Also Consider: Zach Wheeler - P, vs MIA ($6,500) and Francisco Liriano - P, at TB ($8,000)


FanDuel DFS Infielders

Evan Gattis - C, SEA ($2,900)

Like many of his Astros teammates, I am counting on Evan Gattis for big production tonight on this murky and hard-to-predict slate. Looking at the splits for all the backstops today, not a whole lot jumps out in terms of favor-ability for matchups, splits, 2016 stats, or park factors. Gattis does provide a solid blend of the aforementioned stats/factors, while also representing big tournament upside with all his power. The game being played in Houston's hitter-friendly stadium certainly helps as well, as do his 2016 splits (.247 ISO, .532 slugging %) in convincing me he's the right call to make tonight. As so many of these catchers are similarly priced, it should make for an easy pivot if you want to differentiate your lineup (or if Gattis happens to get the night of). Jonathon Lucroy is certainly in the mix for me, more as a cash game play, and Gary Sanchez, despite his slow start, is an intriguing tournament option. 

Also Consider: Jonathon Lucroy - C, SEA ($3,000)

Carlos Santana - 1B, at ARI ($3,800)

Believe it or not, Santana's price has already started climbing in 2017 after only three games. The rise is certainly justified, though, as Santana has been absolutely scorching the ball and hitting triple his value with ease this week. Tonight, Santana gets a juicy matchup against Shelby Miller out in Arizona, a favorable park for hitters and upgrade for Santana and his Indians teammates. Santana hits right atop this order - one I'm quite enthralled with and will certainty deploy a stack or two with this evening - and posted excellent splits against right-handers last season, with a .380 wOBA and .279 ISO. Santana, a switch-hitter, is much stronger from the left side and his opposition, Mr. Miller, allowed a .400 wOBA and .541 slugging percentage to lefty bats last season.

Also Consider: Paul Goldschmidt - 1B, vs CLE ($4,500)

Rougned Odor - 2B, vs TEX ($3,200)

For such a small guy in stature, Odor certainly doesn't let his physical attributes rob him of impressive power hitting numbers. Odor has already knocked two home runs this season in three games, and his price has only risen a chunk of change in that time. As such, he's got a great chance to hit and surpass his price implied total today. Why? A few reasons, namely the platoon advantage, favorable spot in the middle of the order, an inexperienced and exploitable opposing starter and a .346 wOBA, .257 ISO split over the past 365 days.

Also Consider: Brian Dozier - 2B, at CWS ($3,600)

Jake Lamb - 3B, vs CLE ($3,100)

It's a little too early - check that, way too early - to look at this seasons' statistics and make any decisions based entirely on those numbers. That said, I'm not keen on jumping on anyone that had a terrible spring and/or is off to a cold start. Lamb is someone that has entered his 2017 campaign with a bang, is priced very favorably, and has a nice matchup tonight in a great hitter's park. Lamb hits right in the meat of this order, posted excellent splits in 2016 against right-handed pitching (.377 wOBA, .291 ISO) and faces a mistake prone pitcher in Josh Tomlin. In 2016, Tomlin allowed 1.64 home runs per nine innings to left-handed batters.

Also Consider: Miguel Sano - 3B, at CWS ($3,100)

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

Segura burned me once to start the season, so he owes me in this spot. In all seriousness, though, he's in an even better matchup than he was on Tuesday, he's priced at a point that wont cripple your wallet, and he offers a very high floor. That floor is so high thanks to his slate-best .378 wOBA split (among shortstops) and due to his speed on the base-paths. Segura is a threat to steal any time he reaches, and his .21 stolen bases per game is top 10 on this slate and best among shortstops. A steal has risen in value this year in FanDuel's new scoring model, as it was given equivalent value to hitting a double. In addition to his positive numbers, Segura and his Seattle teammates get to face off against the lowly Jesse Chavez.

Also Consider: Carlos Correa - SS, vs KC ($3,900)


FanDuel DFS Outfielders

Nomar Mazara - OF, vs. OAK ($3,100)

Mazara and his long, beautiful swing are off to a hot start this season, as the young outfielder has collected at least two hits in each game he's played this season, while driving in three runs. Tonight, he has a pretty strong matchup at home in Arlington - a favorable hitters park - against a pitcher in Raul Alcantara that has little experience at the major league level. For what experience he's had, let's say that it has been less than memorable for him. Mazara owns the platoon advantage here, hits in a great spot in the order, and is in prime position to take advantage of Alcantara, who allowed a .612 slugging percentage to left-handed hitters in 2016. 

Khris Davis - OF, at TEX ($3,200)

On the opposing side of this Oakland - Texas game we have value in the outfield position as well. Considering that he's already done some damage to baseballs this season and that he's in favorable spot tonight, I was expecting to see him priced much higher. Nonetheless, he gets a park upgrade tonight, faces a right-handed pitcher (last season, he had nearly double the wRC against right-handed pitching as compared to when facing left-handers) and Rangers' starter AJ Griffin is prone to giving up the deep fly. Last season, Griffin allowed more than two home runs per nine innings and 1.44 per nine against right-handed hitters.

George Springer - OF, vs KC ($4,100)

Springer is another bright young star that is off to a hot start and happens to find himself in another favorable spot this evening. His matchup against Jason Vargas is one he can certainly take advantage of, and I can see him leaving the yard tonight. He hits atop a very talented Astros order, posted a .371 wOBA and .289 ISO against southpaws over the past year, and, frankly, Vargas is a mediocre pitcher at best. If you need any other convincing points, Springers' ISO split is top three among all outfielders in competition tonight.

Also Consider: AJ Pollock - OF, vs CLE ($3,600) and Seth Smith - OF, vs NYY ($2,600)


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