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MLB DFS: Top Daily Fantasy Expert Picks for DraftKings, FanDuel (4/1/24)

Yordan Alvarez - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, MLB Injury News, DFS Lineup Picks

Welcome to the first Monday slate of the 2024 MLB season! Our first set of games saw the Yankees, Pirates, Brewers, and Tigers all sweep their series just like we all had on our bingo cards. Can the Astros get their first win of the year against Toronto tonight? Can the Tigers keep it rolling against the Mets? 

There are only seven games on the slate tonight, and there aren’t any reliable pitchers to choose from. The lack of certainty at the position provides us an opportunity to get creative with our lineups, although it’ll become apparent very quickly who the chalk of the slate is (hint: they are 4-0 and their empire is evil). Do we eat that chalk or do we fade and try to gain an advantage on the rest of the field? 

This article will provide my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for DraftKings and FanDuel on 4/1/2024 and the slate locking at 7:10 p.m. EDT. The lineup picks will range from some elite players to mid-priced options and value plays. You can also read more DFS advice and lineup picks for other sports here. Monitoring injury news and today's MLB starting lineups is also essential.

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DraftKings, FanDuel Pitchers - MLB DFS Lineup Picks

Joe Boyle vs. Boston Red Sox ($7.5K DK, $6.2K FD)

When I said that we could get creative with our lineups, I wasn’t joking. Joe Boyle only has three major league starts to his name, but they were three great starts. He struck out four and allowed no runs over three innings in his major league debut on September 17, and he followed that up with back-to-back starts of at least six innings, five strikeouts, and 23 DraftKings points. At his price point, any of those scores would be a nice return on your investment.

The expected Boston lineup has some power against right-handed pitchers, but its wOBA isn’t concerning and its strikeout rate is 25%. Combining a high strikeout pitcher (Boyle had a 25% K-rate last year) with a high strikeout offense is the kind of gold that can lead to a ceiling game for an offense. Oakland is a pitcher’s park, which is another plus in Boyle’s favor. His $6.2K price point on FanDuel will allow you to do whatever you want with your lineup; a strong advantage on a slate that’s lacking scary pitching matchups. 

Reese Olson at New York Mets ($8.2K DK, $8.7K FD)

For people not “in the know,” Reese Olson’s price tag could scare fantasy managers away from him today. He’s the second-most expensive pitcher on FanDuel and the fourth-most expensive pitcher on DraftKings. Realistically, he may be the most consistently reliable pitcher on the slate, making his price a value rather than a hindrance. 

Olson finished the 2023 season on a roll, scoring 18 or more DraftKings points in each of his last six starts. He allowed a total of six runs in those starts (1.51 ERA) while striking out at least five batters in five of those starts (8.8 K/9). Olson’s strength is keeping the ball in the ballpark (0.76 HR/9 over his last six starts of 2023); his 2:1 ground-ball to fly-ball ratio being a big part of that. The projected Mets lineup for this start struggled to get on base against righties last year, with a league-average ISO and K-rate. 

Also Consider: Triston McKenzie, Tanner Houck, Ronel Blanco

Want more MLB DFS tools and content? Our MLB Premium package includes our daily DFS Cheat Sheets, Research Station, Optimizer, and access to our Premium Discord Chatrooms, where members can chat with our MLB analysts. 

 

DraftKings, FanDuel Infielders - MLB DFS Lineup Picks

Spencer Torkelson - 1B, DET at Sean Manaea ($5K DK, $3.2K FD)

Spencer Torkelson is not a consistent player, making him more of a GPP option rather than someone to use in cash games. His strength is against left-handed pitchers, which is what he will face tonight when the Mets start Sean Manaea. In 2023, Torkelson only had a .231 batting average against lefties, but he had a monstrous .294 ISO, .524 SLG, and 11 home runs. 

Sean Manaea’s biggest weakness is power-hitting right-handed bats. In 2023, he allowed a .446 SLG against right-handers. The Tigers are sneaky good against lefties, so Torkelson could pick up some RBI or runs-scored opportunities as well if Manaea starts to struggle. It’s all or nothing for Torkelson when it comes to his fantasy production, but when you get a ceiling game out of him, it’s going to happen at a low ownership and help jump you up a leaderboard. 

Matt Chapman - 3B, SF vs. James Paxton ($4.4K DK, $3.1K FD)

Like Sean Manaea, James Paxton’s biggest struggles come against right-handed power hitters. In 2023, righties had a .457 SLG against Paxton. He struggled in general to finish off 2023, with a 2.35 HR/9 over his last 10 games of the season. Meanwhile, Matt Chapman hit lefties hard last year. He compiled a .307 AVG, .208 ISO, .515 SLG, and 147 wRC in just over 100 AB. Those are some decent power numbers for a relatively small sample size. Chapman already had one game of two home runs this year, and he’s gotten a hit in three of four games in 2024. 

Austin Wells - C, NYY at Ryne Nelson ($3.5K DK, $2.5K FD)

It’s not often that I’d recommend a catcher in the mid-$3K range, but Austin Wells will be a tournament-winning play at times this year. He was a beast against right-handed pitching last year in limited playing time. Over 69 at-bats, he totaled four home runs, 13 RBI, a .531 SLG, and .281 ISO (which was second on the team against righties). He’s played in two games so far this year and has two hits, three runs scored, and three walks. He’s paid off his price tag in both games, and today gets to face Ryne Nelson, who is awful against left-handed bats.

In 2023, Nelson had a slate-high .531 SLG and .375 wOBA against lefties. He also had a penchant for giving up the long ball, with a 2.08 HR/9; second worst on the slate behind James Paxton. We want to attack Nelson with lefties tonight.

 

DraftKings, FanDuel Outfielders - MLB DFS Lineup Picks

Juan Soto - OF, NYY at Ryne Nelson ($6.4K DK, $4.1K FD)

Speaking of attacking Ryne Nelson, let’s get at him again with Juan Soto. The young lefty has a swing that’s perfect for Yankee Stadium, and although this game is on the road, I don’t think it’s going to be a problem given the cavernous outfield in Arizona.

Soto has started 2024 on fire with three multi-hit games and an RBI in all four games. He was great against righties last year, with a .273 ISO, .556 SLG, 166 wRC+, and a higher walk rate than strikeout rate. Soto is nasty against righties, and he’s a top option for cash games tonight with one of the highest floors of any bat on the slate. He’s a particular steal on FanDuel at just $4.1K. 

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. - OF, ARI vs. Luis Gil ($4.9K DK, $3.5K FD)

There haven’t been too many bats who have started the 2024 season hotter than Lourdes Gurriel Jr. In just four games, he’s already produced three home runs, 10 RBI, six runs scored, and a .471 AVG. Gurriel is surprisingly strong against right-handed pitching, with a .220 ISO and 20 home runs in 2023. He’s stronger against lefty arms, but given how hot he’s been to start the season, it’s hard to pass on him in another plus matchup.

Luis Gil hasn’t had a major league start since the 2022 season, and although he looked great in spring training, he’s always struggled against right-handed bats. In that 2022 season, he allowed a .455 SLG and .356 wOBA against righties. Facing off against a hot Diamondbacks offense may not be the welcome back to the majors that Gil was hoping for, as they are loaded with power from the right-hand side of the plate. 

Seth Brown - OF, OAK vs. Tanner Houck ($3.5K DK, $2.5K FD)

Tanner Houck has a bright future, but his struggles against left-handed bats shouldn’t be ignored. He allowed a .502 SLG against lefties in 2023, which is the second-worst number on the slate behind only Ryne Nelson. Seth Brown does one thing well, and that’s hit right-handed pitching. Last year, he posted a .210 ISO and 103 wRC+ with a .444 SLG against righties. Those numbers aren’t eye-popping, but at his value price, there is some upside that you can grab while being able to fit in a higher-priced bat elsewhere into your lineup.

 

DraftKings, FanDuel MLB DFS Stacks

1. New York Yankees at Ryne Nelson

2. St. Louis Cardinals vs. Matt Waldron



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