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Are you sick of all the articles starting off talking about how excited they are that the baseball season has started? Well, I’ll try to avoid all that feel-good crap as I make my FanDuel picks for Wednesday, 4-6-2016. I thought first I’d talk about something you don’t care about – my relationship with FanDuel!

Last summer, I joined the FanDuel content staff and wrote for them through the baseball and football seasons – and had an awesome time! Their Manhattan office (they’ve since moved to new offices) was the old Pandora office, and it had a great “website company” feel to it! They had free snacks, which Emack and I partook of frequently, and they overlooked Union Square, with all the chess-playing dudes.

Then – some idiot at DraftKings ruined everything for everyone. I don’t remember his name or all the details, but I remember he was apparently plus $300K when he posted a link to stuff he shouldn’t have had access to. So the DFS world (rightly so) reacted harshly, and then it came down that no FanDuel employees can play DFS.

So now – I had to write articles about a game I wasn’t allowed to play. FUN! We did staff leagues on the side for free, just so we always had easy access to the game and pricing, etc., but it just wasn’t the same. None of the writers had access to ownership percentages, but the site had to react to what that idiot did. (FYI, had I qualified and played in the FanDuel WFFC, my lineup would’ve placed SECOND – and I’d be $1.5 million richer … I need to go lay down.)

To make a short story long, I didn’t win millions, and the company was suddenly not as profitable as they’d hoped because of bad public reaction, New York unable to play DFS, and the company’s idiotic decision to proliferate every media with a bazillion annoying ads. So they laid me off a few months ago – along with Emack and several other content providers. Booooooo! Let’s make some money with some FanDuel picks for Wednesday, 4-6-2016!

Wednesday’s Weather Notes

Games start at 1:10pm today (TOR at TB), and there is one other 1pm game, a 2pm game, a 3:40pm game, a 4:55pm game and a 6pm game, before we get to the seven nighttime games. By the time I get this article gets written and posted, it’s pretty useless for the early game players, so we’ll be focusing on the nighttime games. (There are five 7pm games and two games after 9pm.)

There are some games that have good chances of rain, which makes tonight a tricky endeavor! There are actually a couple games with a 50-percent chance of precipitation (or higher).

  • Philadelphia at Cincinnati: 92% chance of precipitation
  • Washington at Atlanta: 60%

Vegas Lines: I’m a bigger fan of using VegasInsider.com to check  which games have heavy favorites, and which games have the highest expect run totals (over/under lines).

Of the seven nighttime games, there are no spreads with a 9.0 O/U line or higher. (For daytime peeps, the Seattle-Texas game has a 9.5 O/U line, and the Colorado-Arizona game has a 9.0 O/U line.) The other games with lines all range between 7 and 8.5 O/U, so about average. (The Minnesota-Baltimore game is expected to be the highest scoring of the night, with an 8.5 O/U line.)

Probable Pitchers: Doug usually shares a link to ProbablePitchers.com where you can keep up to date on tonight’s hurlers. And you can check FanDuel for that info as well.

Batter vs. Pitcher: Doug and I are in the same boat on how this information has become noise in the industry – although, we were both slow to convert. He wrote a great piece last season on why batter vs. pitcher stats aren’t something you should pay much attention to. But if you’re still into reading about BvP stats, you can check DailyBaseballData.com for that fix.

Rather than target hitters against certain pitchers, look at hitters vs. right- or left-handed pitchers.

FanDuel Strategy for the Day

FanDuel catches a lot of flak for not having late-game changeouts available, in case a player is hurt or a game gets postponed or canceled. But the smart DFS players are happy about this because they post ownership percentages on late games if you are playing in an early game.

So fill out a lineup in a $1 tournament this afternoon, and then you’ll see the ownership percentages for all of the players chosen by your opponents, including in any of the nighttime games. Then, you can get a great idea of what the sharks and regular players think about the nighttime contests.

If you’re playing in some 50/50 cash games, then load up on the high-percentage owned players! If you’re in a big nighttime tournament, consider fewer of the high-percentage owned players, for a bigger variance against your competition.

One other important note about FanDuel – they changed their scoring all around. Basically, they tripled the points they rewarded for hitting and pitching previously, and an out is no longer a negative point. I actually loved the old scoring – so I’m kinda grumpy about this. (Shocker!) With this new scoring, you’ll want to target about 140 points in a 50/50 game.

Top Stacking Options for the Day

  • Baltimore Orioles vs. RHP Kyle Gibson: As we mentioned, the Orioles-Twins game is expected to be relatively high-scoring game, and since it’s on the road, Gibson gave up about half-a-run more away from Target Field last year.

FanDuel Picks for Wednesday, 4-16-2016

Top Starting Pitchers for Wednesday

You still have to get a win from your pitcher to compete on FanDuel, so I’m spending money on the mound today.

Stephen Strasburg RHP, Washington at ATL ($11,300): Yeah, he’s super expensive (most-expensive player today) and he’s pitching on the road in his season opener. But he’s facing a Braves team that scored the fewest runs in the National League against right-handed pitching last season.

Kenta Maeda RHP, L.A. Dodgers at SD ($7,200): Maeda was excellent this spring, with close to a strikeout per inning and a 2.35 ERA in six games (23 IP). I like the fact that the Japanese import is starting his MLB career on the road – in one of the best pitcher’s parks in the game. (Only three teams had a worse OPS against righties than the Padres (.689) last season.)

Brandon Finnegan LHP, Cincinnati vs. PHI ($6,100): Look, Finnegan is no prize, and he got bounced around this spring, but for FanDuel tournaments, he’s a nice bargain pick – at home, against a Phillies team that ranked fourth in AB/HR vs. LHP last season.

Top Hitters for Wednesday, April 6

Here’s my favorite pick at each position leaning toward the lower-priced options with favorable outlooks.

Catchers

Francisco Cervelli, Pittsburgh ($2,400): One of our favorite surprises from last season, Cervelli is off to a decent start again in 2016. He hit .291 with the third-most hits against RHP among catchers last season, and he faces RHP Mike Leake at PNC Park.

First Basemen

Byung-Ho Park, Minnesota ($2,600): The big fella has power to spare, and I’m not crazy about most of the other options. Joey Votto has a great matchup, but he costs nearly 50-percent more than Park. The Korean slugger will hit in Camden Yards tonight, and in 2015, Oriole Park gave up 2.85 HR per game, the highest rate of any team in baseball (including Orioles hitters, obviously).

Second Basemen

Jonathan Schoop, Baltimore ($2,400): Schoop hit .301 with 13 HR in just 217 at-bats against RHP last season! One of the biggest detractors from taking Schoop in Daily Fantasy Baseball was that he didn’t walk much – and he struck out a little too much. But with just seven strikeouts in 62 spring at-bats, he’s obviously working on it. A second baseman with punch, for the ninth-highest price, is a bargain. (Also a bargain is his counterpart in that game, Brian Dozier, for just $3,000).

Third Basemen

Matt Carpenter, St. Louis ($3,400): Carpenter was a $4K player for a while last season, hitting .292 with 20 of his 28 HR coming against RHP last season. He’s not one of the regular big hitters at third base, but he does reach base often (led all 3B vs. RHP with .385 OBP last season).

Shortstops

Carlos Correa, Houston ($4,300): This position is really ugly tonight, so spending big on last year’s stud rookie shortstop makes sense – especially since we’re saving so much at other positions. He hit his first home run of the year Tuesday night, and Michael Pineda gave up 12 HR to right-handed hitters last season. Yankee Stadium also allowed the second-most HR per game (2.70) last season.

Outfielders

Bryce Harper, Washington ($5,200): The reigning NL MVP against a mediocre right-hander like Bud Norris in Atlanta? Yes, please! Harper smacked 35 HR against RHP last season – with a 1.160 OPS to lead all hitters vs. RHP. Even with this high-priced hitter, we’ve saved at other positions, and still have money to blow on big outfielders.


Adam Jones, Baltimore ($3,200): The aging veteran had a .209 ISO against right-handed pitchers last season, and he’s hitting at home – where he hits for way more power than on the road. Last season, Jones hit 17 HR at home (in 66 games) compared to just 10 HR away from Camden Yards (in 71 games).

Billy Burns, Oakland ($2,400): The switch-hitter had a .356 OBP against left-handers last season, and while he’s not a power guy, hitting in Oakland won’t affect him as much. While a lot is expected out of second-year SP Carlos Rodon, he’s still just 23 years old, and his ERA was a half-run higher against right-handed hitters last season.

Hopefully, we hit more homers than GIDPs with our FanDuel picks for Wednesday, 4-6-2016, and you come out a winner!

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