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FanDuel MLB DFS Picks – April 16th

My last stop in daily fantasy baseball did not produce a winner. Rich Hill looked great initially, but ended up imploding at home against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Pivoting off of the chalky Jameson Taillon (just 28 fantasy points) was still the right move, but the arm I chose just didn’t work out.

The bats weren’t really there for me on Saturday, but they also didn’t exactly cripple you. Khris Davis (22) and Hunter Renfroe (28) both went yard and guys like Ryan Braun (9), Travis Shaw (12), Robinson Cano (6) and Justin Bour (6) all at least got on the board.

Rich Hill (9) and Eric Thames (0) were the only true gaffes of the night. Hopefully you scoffed at Hill and went elsewhere with your pitcher. If so, there may have been enough offense in Saturday’s MLB DFS picks to get you in the green.

After taking a break on Sunday, it’s back to the grind on Monday with a fun 10-game MLB slate to work with.

Keep in mind a few injuries have popped up and weather has been atrocious across the states lately. That being said, let’s dive into my favorite GPP squad for FanDuel on Monday night:

SP: Luis Castillo – Cincinnati Reds ($7k)

Eventually Castillo’s elite K rate is going to shine through and when it does, you’re going to get one heck of a steal. Today I think there’s a good chance that happens, as Castillo gets a Brewers lineup that is banged up and strikes out as much as anyone.

To be specific, neither Eric Thames or Ryan Braun are locks to start tonight’s showdown at Miller Park. The Brewers do have power and they’re at home in a hitter’s park, but Castillo has monster K upside in this setting.

I understand the risk here, but beyond Jacob deGrom tonight, the pitching isn’t great. It’s not like deGrom is a lock, either. He faces the Washington Nationals and James Paxton is probably the next best arm and he battles the Houston Astros.

Yeah, I’m looking for elite pivots.

That brings me to Castillo, who absolutely destroyed the Brewers (19 Ks, 1.98 ERA) across two starts in 2017. He might give up a dong or two, but he’s going to deliver eventually and tonight gives him probably his best shot thus far in 2018.

If you’re not down for the risk, consider L.A.’s Ryu against the Padres or just pay up for deGrom.

C/1B: Matt Olson – Oakland Athletics ($3.5k)

I always am willing to try Olson as an elite late-game hammer and I’m all for using him tonight against a beatable righty in Reynaldo Lopez.

Lopez has been really good to get 2018 going, but he has issues against lefty bats (53% fly ball rate!) and Olson crushes righties (.434 ISO!).

This could a be a fantastic double-dong spot for Olson, who has really yet to truly explode this year.

2B: Asdrubal Cabrera – New York Mets ($3.9k)

This is a very steep price for Cabrera, but virtually every viable 2B option is really expensive at FD tonight. I’m game for taking the dive regardless, as Cabrera and the Mets will be taking on a very volatile arm in Jeremy Hellickson.

Hellboy has flashed some ability in the past, but he gives up loads of hard contact (35 HR in 2017!) and specifically struggles against left-handed hitters (49% fly ball rate!). Cabrera can bat from either side and I wouldn’t be shocked if he ripped it up in this one.

3B: Adrian Beltre – Texas Rangers ($3.1k)

I do not love 3B tonight. Josh Donaldson is on the DL and Kris Bryant is just too pricey for my liking. I’ll take the value via Beltre, who is still very efficient and boasts solid power despite climbing the ladder in age.

He is not in a good park tonight and Blake Snell is a pretty talented arm, but the splits are in his favor. Not only does Beltre offer a decent discount here, but he mashes southpaws (.458 wOBA, .250 ISO). It doesn’t hurt that Snell struggles slightly more against right-handed hitters, either.

SS: Trevor Story – Colorado Rockies ($3.1k)

I normally don’t love Story for two reasons; he really only wrecks at Coors and he’s pretty much a home run or nothing hitter.

Still, anytime he’s facing a beatable lefty, you have to consider him due to disgusting splits (.432 wOBA, .364 ISO). Story also has the luxury of taking on southpaw Steven Brault, who has a harder time against righty bats.

Not only does Brault’s ground ball percentage dip by 10%, but he offers a 39% fly ball rate and a 36% hard contact rate. The park is a major downgrade for Story, but he might have a chance at a deep ball in this one.

OF: Michael Conforto – New York Mets ($4k)

You can fire up Jay Bruce at a cheaper rate and consider a lot of Mets tonight, but I’m aiming high with an elite masher in Conforto. He’s obviously got the same dreamy matchup Cabrera does, while he carries nasty splits (.419 wOBA, .290 ISO) against right-handed hurlers. I don’t need much more of a sales pitch than that.

OF: Steve Pearce – Toronto Blue Jays ($2.7k)

Much like Story, Pearce is another guy that is always in play anytime he’s going up against a left-handed pitcher. Pearce has been cranking out some solid power to start off 2018 and tonight he’s in a fine spot against a weak pitcher in Eric Skoglund.

Skoglund got rocked by the Mariners in his lone start this year and could be in big trouble tonight against the Jays. Pearce’s nasty splits (.227 ISO) are a big reason why, while Skoglund sees his K rate dip by 9% while coughing up a 39% fly ball rate to righties.

This is a bad spot for Skoglund and likely a great time to load up on Jays. I’m just biting on the one-off with Pearce tonight, however.

OF: Brandon Nimmo – New York Mets ($2.8k)

Are you noticing a trend here? Hellickson has major contact problems and I’ll want to target him from the left side. I love a full Mets stack tonight, but I’ll stop at three with Nimmo, who is batting .400 to start the year and just donged in his last game. I wouldn’t be shocked at all if he went yard again in this one.

Util: Rhys Hoskins – Philadelphia Phillies ($4.6k)

I’ll wrap things up with the efficient and potent Hoskins, who has been on fire this year with a .326 batting average and two homers. The power is going to erupt soon for him and I like his chances to add to that category against Julio Teheran tonight.

Teheran has not been in great form this year and he really isn’t special against either side of the plate. It’s dangerous pitching at his home park, too, while Hoskins murders right-handed pitching to the tune of a .426 wOBA and a .341 ISO. He hasn’t taken Julio deep yet in eight plate appearances, but I’m betting he does tonight.

In the end, I’m paying down at pitcher tonight and grabbing some bats in amazing spots. If you want to pay up over Beltre and/or Cabrera tonight, just drop from Hoskins and see what you like down low at the Utility spot. Jay Bruce is certainly in the mix there, while the aforementioned Jays also make a lot of sense.

There are other routes to take tonight, but this is my favorite team right now. Remember, you do not have to take this team as it stands. If you disagree with a few picks, just mix and match them with your own and see if that works better for you. Regardless, I wish you all well in your MLB DFS contests tonight!

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