Heading into the middle of the week, we have another fantastic opportunity to watch some baseball and try to earn some fantasy money in FanDuel. The best part is that even if you haven't tried it yet, literally any day can be the best opportunity to start. As always, we hope our picks are helpful and profitable.
Today has a weird scheduling mix, as we have an early slate that starts at noon ET and covers only 4 games, with the other 11 taking place during a more traditional window. Considering the difficulty that could be preparing and researching for a roster before lunchtime, we will only present a short snippet for the Early Only leagues, and instead focus on the afternoon games.
Wednesday April 15
Locks: 7:05 ET (Yankees @ Orioles)
Matt Harvey's pedestrian day (15 points) and high price led the way to a modest 24.5-point day with our preferred lineup. The Cubs failing to hit a lick didn't help either. However, monster value pick Odrisamer Despaigne produced 13 of his own at a fraction of the price, and definitely allowed for better offensive results overall. Anything above 30 points on any given day gives you a chance, so let's hope today gets better.
The early slate has the Atlanta-Miami game again with high rain threats, as the series has been marked by damp conditions and delays. However, the game has such an early start that any concerns should be limited to the pitching side. The rest of the contests look to have great baseball weather. The Texas-Angels game in particular appears to be forecasted for excellent homerun weather in Arlington.
Turning to the afternoon games, there are no particular threats for rain or any type of weather issues. The games at Citi Field and Wrigley could get a little windy, but nothing to be worried about.
Biggest Money Line Favorites
There are no massive favorites for today, as moth pitching matchups are projected to be rather even. The Mets stand at -160 to beat the Phillies, while both Pittsburgh over Detroit and St. Louis over Milwaukee stand at -145. In what is turning out to be a weird early-season quirk, only one road team is favored for today: the red-hot Royals over the lowly Twins.
Early Only Quick Picks
The early slate is projected to be stacked with high-scoring games, as most of the lineups involved are full of quality bats. With this in mind, it comes down to personal preference to pick a pitcher. Miami @ Atlanta looks, by far, as the lowest-scoring game on the slate, and so the decision should be made to go with the visitor (Dan Haren - $7,500), or the home hurler (Eric Stults - $6,300). Personally, I'd side with Haren, as even with his low upside on K´s, he´s facing the softer offense.
These low prices will allow you to fill up on Rangers, Nationals, Red Sox, Indians, and Angels in any way you please. Remember that Mookie Betts is on fire right now, and that the Nationals are starting lefty Wade Miley, which should bode well for the likes of Wilson Ramos, Ian Desmond, and Ryan Zimmerman.
Pitcher – Jon Niese ($7,800)
There are no clear-cut aces among today's options, and actually we have Edinson Volquez as the most expensive pitcher, so something must be wrong here. Yesterday's logic translates to today, as Niese gets to face the punchless Phillies. The Phils put up a nice fight against Matt Harvey, but most of the damage came from their lefties, whom Niese tends to neutralize.
Others to Consider: Tim Lincecum ($6,900), Drew Pomeranz ($6,800)
Catcher – Brian McCann ($3,400)
As stated before, with so many middling pitchers slated for the evening, the runs should come in buckets. Amongst them, my favorite stacks are the Yankees, Royals, Cubs, Blue Jays, and even the Pirates. With this in mind, we have McCann, who is second among catchers on a PPG basis. The friendly conditions of Camden Yards and getting to face Bud Norris should help the Yankees as a whole, and mostly their lefties.
Others to Consider: Miguel Montero ($3,100), Francisco Cervelli ($2,600)
First Base – Pedro Alvarez ($3,600)
Alvarez started the season with a lot of concerns regarding his move to first base and the lousy 2014 he had. However, the slugger has started to come around recently, showing his traditional mix of power and strikeouts. Today he gets to face Alfredo Simon, who doesn't strike out a lot of people and depends on many other factors to succeed. I like the Pirates in this game, and count on their power potential.
Others to Consider: Eric Hosmer ($3,500), Kendrys Morales ($3,000)
Second Base – Stephen Drew ($2,700)
It seems as if Drew is remembering how to play baseball after his terrible 2014. On Monday, he hit a pinch-hit grand slam, and is slated to be the Yankee second baseman for most games. Facing a homer-prone righty should help Drew's chances, and he does provide a ton of upside at this price. However, it your budget allows it, you could go with a more predictable option.
Others to Consider: Ben Zobrist, Neil Walker ($3,700)
Third Base – Mike Moustakas ($3,100)
Moustakas is hitting second for the undefeated Royals, and now appears to be a key cog for a surprisingly productive offense. Facing a bat pitcher and after a day of rest, the Moose could be a tremendous value play at this price. We are yet to see if 2015 is finally the breakout year we have long expected from Moustakas, but for now let's just enjoy the ride.
Others to Consider: Josh Donaldson ($3,900), Chase Headley ($3,200)
Shortstop – Jose Reyes ($3,800)
Erasmo Ramirez at Rogers Centre sounds like an unfair proposition, and that is why stacking Blue Jays is almost a must for today. Reyes' presence as the table-setter, potential for stealing bases, and ability to drive in some runs from Toronto's improved bottom of the lineup make for a nice package. The price is steep, but he should be worth it.
Others to Consider: Starlin Castro ($3,700), Brandon Crawford ($2,500)
Outfield – Jorge Soler ($4,100), Starling Marte ($3,700), Khris Davis ($2,700)
Our three outfielders have favorable matchups, nice weather, and a ton of power to hand us big results. Davis' inclusion may be controversial as the Brewers are not really hitting, but he is coming off a full day of rest. Milwaukee will not be good as a team, but their offense is certainly promising and full of power. As for Soler and Marte, they already have had some success to start the year, so let's continue in that direction.
Others to Consider: Matt Kemp ($3,700), Lorenzo Cain ($3,600), Dexter Fowler ($3,500)