MLB DFS DraftKings.com & FanDuel.com Lineups & Picks for April 7, 2018
Baseball is back with a full slate of MLB DFS games scheduled for Saturday, 4/7/18. The main slate on DraftKings includes five games starting at 7:05 p.m. EST, while FanDuel’s main slate also includes five games starting at 7:05 p.m. EST.
For today, we’re listing our top MLB DFS pitchers, hitters, and stacks to target in Cash and GPP lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel. The info below can also be used for crafting your daily fantasy baseball strategy at FantasyDraft.
Please note the advice below is relevant for daily fantasy purposes. A player or team might be better or worse from a fantasy perspective than in real life due to matchup, price, and lots of other factors. This is important to consider when constructing a roster. Remember that more than in other sports, variance is a huge part of baseball. Even Paul Goldschmidt can go 0-for-4 on a given night, and Max Scherzer can get lit up by an unsuspecting team.
Weather can also play a huge role in MLB DFS on a nightly basis, and lineups are constantly shifting. So always, always check the starting lineups and weather reports when playing for an MLB slate.
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Best MLB DFS Pitchers for April 7, 2018
Gerrit Cole vs. SD ($12.3K DraftKings, $9.1k FanDuel)
Oof, Cole is expensive on this main slate, leading all pitcher’s as the only one with a $10K+ salary on DraftKings. But that’s to be expected after the right-hander’s Houston debut gem, in which he shut down the Texas Rangers with 11 strikeouts over seven innings of one-run ball. The San Diego Padres, Cole’s opponent this evening, strike out one out of every four at-bats. I expect Cole to see roughly 27 opponent plate appearances over six or seven innings. TLDR; his strikeout floor is sound. Sure, he’s extremely expensive everywhere, but Cole is a safe play with upside, and I think many will fade given the salary crunch Cole’s massive price tag causes.
Chad Kuhl vs. CIN ($7.2k DraftKings, $6.3k FanDuel)
Now to Gerrit Cole’s former squad, the Pittsburgh Pirates. Chad Kuhl takes the mound today at home against the Cincinnati Reds. Combined, this Reds team has had 45 at-bats against Kuhl, striking out at a rate slightly greater than 25%. Kuhl looked mediocre in his first start of the season, but the Reds have scored five runs over their last three games, and 17 runs over six games this season. With two rainouts already this season, I don’t think Cincinnati is anywhere near where they hoped to be, and their .316 wOBA is the second worst on the slate. Kuhl is a tournament option who shouldn’t be highly owned and has a better matchup than other pitchers on this slate, including Mike Minor who will be very chalky against a Toronto team that is the road favorite.
Marcus Stroman @ TEX ($9.7k DraftKings, $7.9k FanDuel)
The Rangers are averaging fewer than three runs a night, and they strikeout at a rate of 29%. Now, Stroman looked pretty pedestrian in his first start of the 2018 season, going five innings, racking up eight strikeouts, but allowing four runs. That implies there is some risk in rostering him. But the strikeout upside is real against this bad Texas team, and Stroman is drastically cheaper than Cole. Further, this current Rangers roster is just 6-for-33 against Stroman. Small sample size, but the Rangers’ recent struggles suggest that Stroman has the advantage. And I can’t forget his 2.59 ERA in night games last season compared to his 4.11 ERA in day games. Look to Stroman (moreso on FanDuel than DraftKings) in tournaments. He allows too many runs for me to feel strong about rostering him in cash games.
Other pitchers to consider: Andrew Triggs, J.C. Ramirez (who I’ll have some exposure to as a hedge in case Oakland fails me)
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Best MLB DFS Hitters for April 7, 2018
Nolan Arenado vs. ATL ($5. DraftKings, $5.2 FanDuel)
Over the last three seasons, the right-handed Anibal Sanchez has allowed a .908 OPS to opposing right-handed batters, a staggering statistic considering his .684 OPS allowed to righties in 2014. Needless to say, Sanchez isn’t what he once was in Detroit, and now on the Atlanta Braves, he’ll presumably attempt to rebuild his career. A trip to Coors Field may not be the right venue for that progress to continue, and Arenado, who has never faced Sanchez previously, hit right-handers to the tune of an .843 OPS last season, and boasted an OPS of 1.036 at home. Arenado has GPP-winning upside, and GPPs are where I like him best.
Matt Joyce @ LAA ($3.1k DraftKings, $2.6k FanDuel)
Joyce is one of the only good left-handed bats the Athletics have on their roster, and tonight he gets a matchup against J.C. Ramirez, who historically has struggled against lefties. Over the past three seasons, the Angels starter allowed batters of the opposite handedness to rack up an .OPS of .789 and hit for extra bases at a rate of more than 33% (XBH/Total Hits). Joyce just so happens to crush right-handed pitchers to the tune of a .795 OPS (compared to a .555 OPS against left-handers). Joyce is dirt cheap across the industry, and though he is 0-for-2 against Ramirez lifetime, the splits suggest we’re in store for correction. Joyce is a very strong GPP play, as he shouldn’t draw too much of tournament fields.
I’ll add two more things that you can take or leave. J.C. Ramirez, from 2015 thru 2017, has been bad at home, with an ERA of 5.27, 56% higher than his road ERA. I think that stat is important. Next, his 4.48 ERA in night games is marginally higher (18%) than his day game ERA of 3.88. The latter isn’t as compelling as the former, but, seriously, everything seems to be working against J.C. in this one. And he just got lit up by Cleveland a week ago. All I’m saying is, I’m against Vegas on this one! I’m calling a big blowup from Ramirez and a strong outing for a normally bland Oakland lineup. Great stacking opportunity and should draw low ownership.
Justin Smoak @ TEX ($4.7k DraftKings, $4.2k FanDuel)
Mike Minor has returned to the starting rotation of an MLB team, and even though he’ll be chalky today, I think he’s an interesting fade, if only for the leverage you’ll get on 15% of the field (give or take). After all, he isn’t a good pitcher. In his first outing this season, he managed to go 4.2 innings while striking out five and allowing just two runs against the Houston Astros. That’s not enough to make me a believer. Minor is wildly better at facing left-handers than he is right-handers, but the Blue Jays have only one active player who hits only from the left side of the plate. I expect Minor to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of right-handed bats he has to face.
That bodes well for a few bats, but I’m most interested in is Justin Smoak. Last season, Smoak boasted a .978 OPS against left-handed pitching. In 2018, he’s faced a lefty just six times, hitting safely three of those times. That all adds up nicely, and the fact that he hasn’t taken one out of the park from the right side of the plate is something we could see corrected sooner rather than later. But Smoak’s not the only Blue Jay I like.
Yangervis Solarte @ TEX ($3.5k DraftKings, $3.0k FanDuel)
That’s right, Yangervis Solarte. There isn’t a ton to support this play, other than Minor’s woes against right-handed bats, and the fact that Solarte is a career 4-for-7 against his fellow veteran. Now, Solarte boasts little upside as he lacks power or the ability to contribute in a lot of ways. But he’s hit safely in all but one game this season, and he’s gotten on base in every game this season. With the Blue Jays expected to score 4.8 runs, Solarte should have opportunities to score, knock runs in, or both. He’s a punt option, specifically in tournaments. I wouldn’t recommend the 30-year-old in cash.
Josh Reddick vs. SD ($4.0k DraftKings, $3.5k FanDuel)
Up against a right-handed pitcher, Reddick stands to benefit the most as no one on this Astros team has a greater split in terms of performance against righties vs. lefties. After going 0-for-7 to start the season, Reddick has five hits in his last 10 at-bats. He hits in the core of one of the fiercest offenses in the game. He just cracked two home runs in a single game earlier this week. With a soft arm in Bryan Mitchell for the Padres, coupled with Reddick’s .118 ISO Differential, and I’d say we’re working with some real upside here. Reddick is a strong play off of the more chalky Houston guys, especially in GPPs. I also like him in cash, considering his strong play over the past three games.
Kurt Suzuki @ COL ($3.2k DraftKings, $2.5k FanDuel)
Everyone will flock to Freddie Freeman and the other usual suspects in Atlanta as they travel to Coors Field. But Chad Bettis is actually better against lefties. Over the past three seasons, he’s allowed a .722 OPS to opposing left-handed bats compared to a .839 OPS to opposing righties. Now, I still like Freeman, Nick Markakis, and even maybe Ender Inciarte in this one, but I don’t love them. That led me to Suzuki, who is 2-for-5 career against the Rockies’ starter Chad Bettis, hitting a double and a home run. The veteran catcher knows how to hit Bettis hard, and the fact that he’s already taken him long before is a great sign. If you are hard-pressed to save cash and/or need to punt at catcher, Suzuki is interesting dice roll in GPPs only. I only imagine he’ll see three at-bats, and consider this your friendly reminder to check that he’s actually in the lineup. But even if he gets just two at-bats against Bettis, I like his chances at these prices.
Other hitters to consider: George Springer, Nick Markakis, Zack Cozart, Kendrys Morales, Adam Frazier, Marwin Gonzalez, DJ LeMahieu, Ian Desmond, Dansby Swanson, Mike Trout, Carlos Correa, Matt Olson
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MLB DFS Stacks to Consider for April 7, 2018
Astros vs. Bryan Mitchell (Padres)
Blue Jays vs. Mike Minor (Rangers)
Athletics vs. J.C. Ramirez (Angels)
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