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MLB Fantasy Baseball DFS Fanduel Lineup Picks for 4/3

Early Games (starting at 3:05 EDT or earlier)


20120801 Travis Wood pitching croppedSP: Travis Wood vs. PHI ($5,300)

There really aren’t any attractive SP options for less than $7,000 here. However, if you’re in a jam, Travis Wood is an interesting play. He had a career year in 2013, and he also outperformed his peripherals by a fair margin. Most likely, Wood will never again be able to replicate a 3.11 ERA, but he’s more than a serviceable pitcher. This is especially true against left-handed hitters, which should help neutralize the few quasi-impact bats the Phillies have (Dom Brown, Utley and Howard). Last year, the Phils posted the sixth-worst wOBA and OPS against LHPs in the MLB. Moreover, even though the Cubs don’t have a juggernaut of an offense—or anything close to that really—nevertheless they get to face professional BP thrower Fausto Carmona Roberto Hernandez. Even the Cubs should be able to scrape together 4-5 runs and give Wood a decent shot at collecting a “W.”

That said, I think I’d pony up the extra $1700 and take Danny Salazar against the anemic Twins. I think the Twins could seriously give the Astros and Marlins a run for their money as the worst team in the MLB this year.


OF: Nate Schierholtz vs. PHI (Roberto Hernandez) ($2,900)

I’m going all-in against Roberto Hernandez with these picks. Over the last three years, Schierholtz has posted a .806 OPS vs. RHP. To put that number into perspective, look at the overall OPS of some top-tier hitters over that same period: Adam Jones (.813), Domonic Brown (.775), and Alex Rios (.745). This is a nice price for a guy with that kind of production. Hernandez’s ineptitude against lefties is icing on the cake.


C: Yan Gomes vs. MIN (Mike Pelfrey) ($2,900)

Really, just about any Indians hitter looks pretty good against Mike Pelfrey. Gomes strikes me as a guy that’s very underrated among fantasy owners. He has solid pop. He hits for a pretty good average, and he plays a position with very few fantasy studs. He may be the best option at catcher in the afternoon games.


Late Games (starting at 7:05 EDT or later)


Garrett Richards June 2013SP: Garrett Richards vs. HOU ($4,700)

When I saw his salary against the Astros, I felt pretty confident that Richards was the best pick for the late games. The Astros were a horrendous ballclub last year, and they still aren’t very good this year, though they’re certainly much better right now than they were last year. That said, they still strike out at an extremely high rate, which is especially important on FanDuel. Richards’s starts have been pretty erratic-- he completely blew up in a few games last year, but he was above-average in most of his starts. If you get the impression that I’m doing a lot of hedging because I don’t seem confident in Richards, you’re spot on. There really aren’t any attractive SPs for the night games. Phenom Gerrit Cole faces a tough Cardinals lineup. Shelby Miller is awful on the road (4.57 ERA in 2013). Tanaka may be an interesting choice, but he’s facing a tough Blue Jays lineup. For the night games, I’m rolling the dice and going cheap on pitching to finance an elite lineup against all the weak hurlers.


C: John Jaso vs. SEA (Chris Young) ($2,700)

Jaso has 1124 career PA against righties and only 181 against lefties. There’s a logical explanation for this: he’s very bad against LHPs (career OPS of .514), but pretty good against RHPs (career OPS of .792). Jaso is a top-three option at catcher for the night games, but he’s priced like a bottom-three option. Just make sure he actually starts tonight, and he should have success against Chris Young (yes, 6’ 10’’ Princeton  grad who’s only started 28 games in the last 4 seasons).


1B: Brandon Moss vs. SEA (Chris Young) ($3,300)

See above. Moss absolutely massacres right-handed pitchers. His .935 OPS against RHPs over the last three years is ninth-best in the MLB. Yet, he’s priced as the ninth-best player at his position for the night game. Whenever the A’s are facing a RHP, remember to keep John Jaso and Brandon Moss in mind.


Every right-handed hitter on the Rays vs. TEX (Joe Saunders)

Joe Saunders is the left-handed version of Roberto Hernandez, just slightly worse. I've always been surprised that no team moved Saunders to the bullpen to work as a LOOGY. He throws about 89-90 mph as a starter, so you’d imagine that he could get it up to 92-93 mph out of the 'pen. Moreover, he is pretty effective at getting left-handed hitters out (holding them to a .286 OBP and a mere .331 SLG). Anyways, my bullpen recommendation probably isn’t helpful to you, but my point is this: if Saunders is a lousy pitcher overall despite being effective against lefties, that means he must be dreadful against right-handers. And in the last three seasons, Saunders has the worst wOBA against among all starters. Try to find a way to get Longoria, Zobrist and/or Myers into your lineup.

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