It was a solid night for last night’s FanDuel MLB DFS Picks as I was able to cash all my double ups on the evening, leading to a very profitable night as expected.
Using Walker Buehler was certainly the right move. The strikeout regression we looked for arrived as Buehler punched out nine Padres across seven innings of two-run ball, and while he was unable to get the win, his 46 FanDuel points was a nice foundation for our lineup.
Now, the Red Sox didn’t exactly mash the Mariners’ Justin Dunn, but thanks to that stolen-base upside, a couple of our guys had big nights. Rafael Devers had the biggest night as he homered, but also stole a base, added a single and an additional run scored. Alex Verdugo tripled, but also stole two bases and added a single as well. Unfortunately, J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts combined for just two singles and a walk.
Once again, Pete Alonso went yard for us, although Francisco Lindor provided just one walk. Darin Ruf doubled, knocked in a run and scored one himself, although Wilmer Flores went 0 for 4 on the night.
All told, it was a real solid night despite the tough nights from some of our players, but that stolen-base upside against Dunn really helped out.
Now, we’ll turn out attention to a big 14-game main slate as we roll our some GPP-aimed picks in search of getting our weekend started on the right note!
FanDuel MLB DFS Picks – April 23, 2021
P – Jacob deGrom (NYM) – $12,500 vs. WSH
Whether you are playing GPPs or cash games or not, deGrom has to be your guy as there are more than enough cost-efficient bats on this slate to facilitate getting the world’s best pitcher into your lineup.
This guy is just insane. deGrom has posted FanDuel scores of 67 and 70 over his last two starts in which he struck out 14 batters on both occasions, giving him a cool 15.75 K/9 on the season against just 1.35 walks per nine innings as well. He checks in with a 0.45 ERA on the season, but also a 1.35 FIP, 1.61 xFIP and 1.77 xERA. He’s also averaging 98.7 mph on his four-steam fastball, the exact same figure he posted in the 2020 season.
Honestly, this has very little to do with the Washington Nationals. It’s a lineup without their best bat in Juan Soto, however, and one that has hit for little power in the form of a .131 ISO that ranks 25th league wide. They don’t strike out a ton, but we need not worry about that as deGrom brings plenty of that strikeout potential on his own.
Hopefully deGrom can get deep into this one and rack up plenty more strikeouts, but regardless he’s just simply a plug-and-play pitcher right now as there’s no where else to look on this slate other than the Mets’ right-hander.
C/1B – Ryan Mountcastle (BAL) – $2,400 vs. OAK
I’m running out a pair of GPP stacks in this lineup, the first and longest of which is the Baltimore Orioles as they take on left-hander Cole Irvin and the Oakland A’s.
Irvin just hasn’t been any good as a big-leaguer so far. He’s only worked 61 innings in his career across parts of three seasons, but also owns a 6.20 ERA, 4.89 FIP, 4.83 xFIP and a 4.71 SIERA.
Additionally, his Statcast metrics are putrid. Irvin ranks in the league’s 8th percentile in average exit velocity, 11th in hard-hit rate, 4th in xBA, 2nd in whiff rate, 1st in fastball spin and 6th in curve spin. He’s been able to avoid barrels so far, but man those are some lowly metrics.
Add in the fact that the A’s bullpen has a been a bottom-third group so far and we could have something here with the Orioles in the hitter-friendly Camden Yards.
Enter Mountcastle who is certainly scuffling this season. He is hitting just .169 with one homer on the season, and his underlying numbers aren’t much better. That said, he’s hitting .300 off of lefties this season with that lone homer coming off a southpaw. His huge debut in the 2020 season was going to be unsustainable as he hit .333 with five homers across 140 trips to the plate, but that also came with a .398 BABIP that was always going to regress. That said, his mark of .238 right now is also unsustainably low and he clearly has an excellent matchup here with Irvin.
Add it up and I don’t mind having him in here, especially given that his lowly production will simply lower his ownership tonight.
2B – Ty France (SEA) – $3,200 vs. BOS
Man, I just can’t help but target Martin Perez as he gets the nod for the Red Sox tonight against France and the Mariners.
Now, it’s been a big season so far from France. The former Padre is hitting .333 with three homers, a .212 ISO and huge 166 wRC+ on the season. He’s also clobbering left-handed pitching as he has hit two of his three homers on the season off of left-handed pitching while he owns a career .220 ISO off of lefties, albeit in a small sample so far.
There’s once again a notable breeze blowing out to right field, but for the righty-swinging France against the southpaw Perez, we’re targeting the Green Monster here. After all, Perez has not been very good at Fenway in his career, posting a 5.89 career ERA across 12 starts there spanning 62.2 innings, although his HR/9 is a reasonable 1.01 at Fenway as well.
Still, Perez has yielded an .847 OPS and .374 wOBA to right-handed hitters so far this season and has allowed seven earned runs across just 8.2 innings at home this season.
France doubled and knocked in a pair in last night’s win over the Red Sox, but he’s got himself a fine matchup that should yield excellent GPP results on a big slate.
3B – Maikel Franco (BAL) – $3,000 vs. OAK
Next man up in our four-man Orioles stack is Franco who has consistently been superior versus left-handed pitching throughout his big-league career.
He’s had a solid, yet unspectacular start to his Orioles tenure as Franco is hitting .235 with a pair of homers across 75 trips to the plate and his 101 wRC+ suggests he’s been roughly league average so far this season. However, he has been well above league average in his career against left-handed piching,
Franco is hitting a superior .278 against lefties this season with three of his five doubles coming off southpaws. His 114 wRC+ versus lefties suggests he’s been 14% better than league average while his .760 OPS off lefties is surely superior to his .684 mark off righties. Last season, he hit .318 with an .830 OPS, .361 wOBA and 128 wRC+ off lefties.
He’s projected to hit out of the cleanup spot tonight, so a big night from Franco likely means a big night for this Orioles stack.
SS – Niko Goodrum (DET) – $2,500 vs. KC
After filling in my Orioles and Mariners stacks, I had a shortstop position open and $2,800 to fill it. Of the players in that price range, give me Goodrum who matches up with Royals left-hander Mike Minor quite well.
The switch-hitting Goodrum has hit for more power in his career from the left side of the plate, but his bat on the whole has been significantly better against left-handed pitchers.
So far this season, Goodrum is hitting .286 with a homer and a double across 16 plate appearances against left-handed pitching, good for a .286 ISO, .946 OPS and 165 wRC+ in that small sample. Last season, the versatile Goodrum hit .333 with a monstrous .364 ISO, 1.075 OPS, .435 wOBA and 179 wRC+ off lefties, and in 2019 it was a .361 average, .927 OPS, .388 wOBA and 142 wRC+ off of left-handed pitching.
He has certainly hit lefties well of late, and Minor is struggling. The southpaw enters this one sporting a 5.17 ERA, 5.20 FIP and 5.37 xERA. He’s allowed 1.72 HR/9 across his 15.2 innings so far and is not missing any bats with a tiny 6.89 K/9 as well. It’s a continuation of his struggles from 2020 that saw him post a 5.56 ERA between the Rangers and A’s.
Add in the fact he’s the team’s confirmed leadoff hitter and it would appear Goodrum is in a real nice spot here to deliver at low ownership.
OF – Trey Mancini (BAL) – $3,200 vs. OAK
Next man up in our four-man Orioles stack is Mancini who has hit for plenty of power this season despite not hitting for much in terms of batting average.
He’s hitting just .194 with an 88 wRC+ on the season, but he has also hit four homers and three doubles, good for a powerful .224 ISO — a figure a little above his .210 career mark. After all, this is a guy that launched 35 homers in the 2019 season before missing all of 2020 while undergoing cancer treatments.
He’s hit lefties for a .208 ISO so far this season, but also crushed them for a .267 ISO, .910 OPS and 136 wRC+ in that 2019 campaign. For his career, Mancini has actually posted superior numbers versus righties, but owns a quality .198 ISO, .786 OPS, .332 wOBA and 108 wRC+ versus left-handed pitching, grading around 8% above league average versus southpaw pitching.
Add it up and Mancini is a fine play here right in the heart of that Orioles lineup.
OF – Mitch Haniger (SEA) – $3,400 vs. BOS
Haniger has missed plenty of time over the last couple of seasons due to a variety of ailments, but the guy has not missed a beat here in 2021.
Despite playing in just 82 games since the beginning of 2018 and missing all of 2020, Haniger has come bursting out of the gates here in 2021 with a .316 average, five homers, a .289 ISO, .954 OPS and 166 wRC+. He’s also clobbering left-handed pitching to the tune of a .389 ISO, .967 OPS, .393 wOBA and 161 wRC+. In 2019, it was a .263 ISO, .918 OPS, .383 wOBA and 144 wRC+ off of left-handed pitching while he now owns a career .204 ISO, .836 OPS, .354 wOBA and 126 wRC+. It’s actually good news that his career splits are pretty much dead-even while his .354 wOBA is identical against both lefties and righties. Guy is matchup proof, in other words.
Haniger played some long ball in the series opener last night, so let’s see what he can do for an encore in this one tonight.
OF – Kyle Lewis (SEA) – $2,400 vs. BOS
Completing our three-man Mariners stack here is Lewis who had the beginning of his season delayed due to injury as he’s played in just two games so far in 2021.
He’s hitless across eight trips to the plate this season, but produced a .262 average, .801 OPS, 11 homers and a 126 wRC+ en route to AL Rookie of the Year honors in 2020. He hit both lefties and righties very well last season, but the power was far superior versus left-handed pitching.
Lewis put forth a .224 ISO, .805 OPS, .351 wOBA and 127 wRC+ versus left-handed pitching last season. He was extremely similar versus righties, but his .155 ISO off of righties was far inferior to his power numbers off lefties, so that’s good news as well.
Lewis also stole five bases last season and Perez has shown an inability to control the run game in the past, but due to the presence of Christian Vazquez behind the plate for the Red Sox, I wouldn’t suggest betting on any stolen-base upside here. Nonetheless, the power is very real and as noted, Perez struggles mightily at Fenway Park.
It’s been extremely interesting to see the Red Sox bullpen sitting in the league’s top five this season after finishing in the bottom five in 2020. Aside from Adam Ottavino, there weren’t many major additions to the group, but rather some under-the-radar arms doing yeoman’s work at the moment. I wish we had a more targetable bullpen here, but the staring pitcher is extremely targetable here, so let’s watch this Mariners offense get to Perez early and often tonight.
UTIL – Pedro Severino (BAL) – $2,100 vs. OAK
Of the four Orioles in this lineup, my hopes are highest for Severino — at least from a value perspective — who has manhandled left-handed pitching of late.
I mean, he’s struggled on the whole so far this season, but not against lefties as he’s hit them for a .333 average with his lone homer of the season coming at the expense of a left-handed pitcher. He didn’t have a great season in 2020, but did hit lefties for a solid .189 ISO. The bigger sample size comes from the 2019 season in which he pummelled lefties for a .217 ISO, .812 OPS, .339 wOBA and 111 wRC+.
I mean, there hasn’t been a ton of production to speak of this season aside from that lone homer off a lefty. That homer accounted for his only RBI of the season in 13 games and he’s scored just three runs as well. He does own a quality41.9% hard-hit rate, as per Statcast, and given the hitter-friendly nature of Severino’s pull field to left in this venue, that hard-hit clip should lead to some production in this one.