I haven’t gotten a lineup out since Friday as the Easter weekend was dedicated elsewhere, however the first two lineups of the season have delivered some big results as we’re out of the gates hot.
We’ll start getting lineups out nearly everyday moving forward, but for now let’s get into this eight-game main slate and see if we can nail down some GPP picks and keep rolling!
FanDuel MLB DFS Picks – April 6, 2021
P – Lucas Giolito (CWS) – $9,600 vs. SEA
There are some real nice options at the top of the pitching chart here tonight, but I will go with Giolito who is a trendy pick to win the AL Cy Young here in 2021.
His first start of the season went well as he yielded two earned runs in 5.1 innings of work, but had the strikeout stuff going with eight punchouts in that one, continuing a trend that is two years running.
In the 2018 season, Giolito not only posted the league’s worst qualified ERA at 6.13, however he also posted just a 6.49 K/9 that season. However, he not only enter star-caliber status in 2019, but also posted a monster 11.62 K/9 that year followed by a big-time 12.07 mark last season.
He’s coming off a 3.48 ERA/3.19 FIP from last season while his 3.04 xERA and 3.51 SIERA indicate that he was indeed dominant in the 2020 campaign. He’s without the services of Tim Anderson and Eloy Jimenez as part of the run support dynamic here, but the White Sox should be able to score runs in this one, if not off of starter James Paxton — who shouldn’t last long — but also a Mariners bullpen that was one of the worst in the game last season.
Add it up and Giolito is a fine play regardless of what format you’re using tonight.
C/1B – Nate Lowe (TEX) – $3,300 vs. TOR
The Rangers appear to be a fine-looking GPP stack tonight as they take on the Blue Jays and right-hander Tanner Roark who endured some serious struggles in the shortened 2020 season.
Roark worked to a 6.80 ERA across his 11 starts last season, but also a 6.86 FIP, 6.53 xERA and 5.36 SIERA that all back up the fact he struggled mightily. He’s also posted a 5.03 xERA and 4.67 FIP in the 2019 season, so his 2020 season wasn’t exactly an outlier. Roark has also struggled with the long ball of late, yielding a monstrous 2.64 HR/9 last season and a 1.52 mark in the 2019 campaign.
Few hitters have began the season hotter than Lowe who has homered as part of a .333/.333/.556 slash line and .387 wOBA to get things started. Power is nothing new for the former Tampa Bay Ray as he posted a .209 ISO with four homers in just 21 games with Tampa last season, but also posted big power numbers throughout his minor-league career in the Rays organization.
Lowe owns a career .204 ISO and 110 wRC+ against right-hander pitching and Roark has generally fared much worse against left-handed bats. He will technically clean up for this Rangers stack out of the projected five-hole tonight, so let’s look for some run-producing opportunities for Lowe tonight.
2B – Mike Brosseau (TB) – $2,100 vs. BOS
By now, the word is out that Brosseau absolutely destroys left-handed pitching, but it’s potential suicide to leave him out of a Rays stack, especially if you’re going with a four-man stack against Red Sox lefty Martin Perez tonight.
Brosseau was a postseason hero last fall after sending the Rays to the ALCS with a Game 5 home runs off Yankees left-handed closer Aroldis Chapman. That was just an extension of his work from the regular season in which he pummelled lefties to the tune of a .333 average, .405 ISO, 1.121 OPS, .455 wOBA and 198 wRC+. Sure, we’re looking at fairly small sample from a shortened season, but Brosseau now owns a .313 average, .277 ISO, .939 OPS, .389 wOBA and 151 wRC+ for his big-league career off of southpaws across 120 trips to the plate.
And then there’s veteran Martin Perez. The lefty is been mediocre throughout his big-league career, but I just don’t like him in this ball park. For his career, he owns a 5.67 ERA across 10 starts and 54 innings at Fenway and he also owns a 5.63 ERA against these Rays for good measure.
Perez is coming off a 4.50 ERA/4.88 FIP from last season and a 5.12 ERA/4.66 FIP from the 2019 season. His shortened 2020 season was actually his best since the 2016 campaign while with the Rangers. He too has struggled with home runs of late, and I don’t believe Fenway Park in Boston helps that as a lefty
Finally, Brosseau has gone 4 for 10 with a homer and three doubles in his career against Perez, good for a 1.400 OPS, .575 wOBA and .600 ISO in that time. Not too shabby.
Add it up and four right-handed Rays look good to me tonight.
3B – Yandy Diaz (TB) – $2,600 vs. BOS
Next man up in this stack is the righty-swinging Diaz who has also enjoyed success in his career against Perez.
Diaz is off to a nice start by going 3 for 10 with a double and a walk so far on the season, beginning the 2021 season in a similar fashion to how the 2020 campaign went.
Diaz didn’t hit for much power at all last season with just two homers and a .079 ISO in his 34 games, but also hit . 307 with a .367 wOBA and 138 wRC+ while he owns a 139 wRC+ in a 12 plate-appearance sample so far this season.
Against lefties last season, Diaz posted a .356 wOBA and 130 wRC+ after clobbering lefties for a .311 average, .272 ISO, .976 OPS, .402 wOBA and a huge 158 wRC+ against southpaws. For his career against lefties, Diaz has posted a .289 average, .841 OPS, .363 wOBA and 129 wRC+ to go along with a big 41.7% hard-hit rate according to FanGraphs.
Additionally, he’s gone 5 for 15 (.333) with two doubles in his career against Perez and also owns a .909 OPS with two homers in 66 plate appearances for his career at Fenway.
SS – Francisco Lindor (NYM) – $3,800 vs. PHI
Lindor is going to see some ownership tonight, but by the time I had my stacks in I had plenty of money for my shortstop position and I like Lindor here against Phillies right-hander Chase Anderson.
Anderson won a spot in the Phillies’ rotation despite a horrendous 2020 showing. In 10 appearances, seven starts and 33.2 innings with the Blue Jays in 2020, Anderson worked to an ugly 7.22 ERA/6.16 FIP with a 6.45 xERA to boot. He allowed home runs at a massive 2.94 HR/9 clip while inducing ground-balls just 36.5% of the time. His career ground-ball rate is just 37.7%, so his career 1.141 HR/9 isn’t all that surprising.
The Phillies added to their bullpen in the offseason and they’ve been real good so far, but they were also the worst in baseball last season, so we’ll see how that plays out as the season moves along.
For his part, Lindor’s Mets tenure is all of one game old. He went 1 for 4 with a walk in last night’s loss, but one would figure he’s in for a bounce-back season. His .157 ISO was well under his .202 career mark last season, and also well under the .232-.242 marks he had posted in each of the previous three seasons. He also posted a 102 wRC+ well under his 118 career mark.
Here’s a guy with 32-38 homers in each of his last three 162-game season, and he also stole at least 22 bases in each of the previous two. Anderson has been susceptible to the steal over the last three seasons, so the stolen base potential is here to be sure.
Let’s look for his first breakout game with the Mets in this one tonight.
OF – Joey Gallo (TEX) – $4,100 vs. TOR
The epitome of the three true outcomes is Joey Gallo. In other words, an overwhelming amount of his at-bats end in either a walk, strikeout or home run. Clearly, we’re in search of the latter against a guy who gave up a ton of long balls last season.
Gallo already has a homer to his credit this season to go along with identical 26.3% walk and strikeout rates. I told you! He’s hitting .385 in the early going as he’s also knocked in four runs, scored four runs and stolen a base. For a big guy, Gallo can run, so there’s a hint of stolen base upside here.
That said, we’re here for the light-tower power. Gallo owns a career .290 ISO and has a pair of 40-homer seasons under his belt from both 2017 and 2018. He’s deal with injuries since, but still hit 10 in just 57 games last season, although his ISO dipped all the way to .197 after a .344 mark in 2019.
Gallo also ranked in the 98th percentile in average exit velocity last season and 89th in xwOBA, so the metrics were quite good even if the surface numbers were down some.
There appears to be a heavy wind as a high as 19 mph blowing out to left at Globe Life Field in Texas tonight, and while he’s a pull hitter, he certainly has the power to go opposite field as a left-handed bat tonight.
OF – David Dahl (TEX) – $3,200 vs. TOR
Despite a very poor, shortened 2020 season that saw him hit zero homers and just .183 overall, one of the more curious decisions of the offseason was the Colorado Rockies non-tendering a 26-year-old Dahl who has posted very good numbers previously.
I mean, he’s still a 286 career hitter with a .206 ISO, and while Coors Field has something to do with that, Dahl posted wRC+ figures of 113, 111, 110 in his age 22-25 seasons. Keep in mind the wRC+ stat includes park factors into the equation, so he was 10-13% above league average in his first three seasons in the league.
Dahl is off to a fine start this season, hitting .294 with a pair of doubles across his first 19 trips to the plate, scoring five runs in the process. He has some speed that he’s shown in the past with 15 steals in 268 career games to boot.
More than anything, he owns a .224 ISO, .857 OPS, .359 wOBA and 109 wRC+ in his career against right-handed pitchers, so look for him to get to Roark in this one tonight.
OF – Randy Arozarena (TB) – $3,300 vs. BOS
Remember this guy? Arozarena took the baseball world by storm late in the 2020 season before exploding for a historic postseason that saw him take home ALCS MVP honors while setting postseason home run records all over the place.
Still technically a rookie, Arozarena is off to a nice start here in 2020, hitting .364 with a run scored in three games so far with a 362 wOBA to boot. This on the heels of a 2020 regular season that saw the Cuban hit seven homers and steal four bases in just 23 regular-season games, posting a .359 ISO and 176 wRC+ in the process.
All he did against lefties last season was hit .400 with a .600 ISO, 1.478 OPS and 292 wRC+ across a small 23 plate-appearance, but he also homered four times in those 20 at-bats.
There’s a serious power/speed combination here and while we aren’t going to see him hit at the same pace he did last season, this nonetheless appears to be a star player just hitting his stride, one that delivers cross-category upside in this matchup with the iffy Perez.
UTIL – Manuel Margot (TB) – $2,800 vs. BOS
I’m interested to see Margot ownership in this one as I believe he could be in for a surprisingly productive season here in 2021.
Margot struggled during the 2020 regular season, but was also a big part of the Rays’ run to the 2020 World Series, hitting .276 with an .896 OPS, homering five times and stealing two bags across his 65 postseason plate appearances.
Keep in mind Margot is just 26 years old, despite having already played 479 big-league games. He’s off to a nice start this season with a homer as part of his .385/.429/.769 slash line with a 220 wRC+ so far across 14 trips to the plate. Margot has already stolen at least 17 bases in two of his last three full regular seasons and actually stole 12 in just 47 games in the shortened 2020 season. Perez also allowed a whopping 13 steals in the 2019 season, so perhaps Margot is in for some stolen base upside tonight.
Margot has been better versus lefties throughout his big-league career with a .273 average, .763 OPS and 104 wRC+ and 16 steals to boot. Finally, he’s projected to be the Rays’ leadoff hitter in this one, so let’s look for Margot to set the table and stay hot tonight.