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Daily Fantasy Baseball - FanDuel Picks April 23, 2015


Is it weird to be the team of destiny in April? Because the Mets are looking like a team on a mission not to lose anymore. Ten straight wins have seen New York triumph in all kinds of ways, leaving aside injuries to some of its best players, blown saves, and a fanbase that knows all too well not to get too excited.

In a similar way, trying to emulate the Mets is what we all strive to do in FanDuel. And while winning 10 straight in any aspect of life will make people say that you are “due” to lose, remember that such logic is flawed and ultimately wrong. Every day presents a new opportunity to do something big, and past results only paint a small part of the picture.

Today we drift back to one of those multi-format days in daily fantasy baseball, where we can pay attention to our players seemingly all day long. In any case, I'd side with the afternoon slate as the best option, but both formats have the potential to be fun and profitable. As it always happens in this kind of day, I'll give you my best picks to cover both formats.

Thursday, April 23
Early Only – Locks: 12:35ET (Cubs @ Pirates)
Late – Locks: 7:05 ET (A's @ Angels)

Yesterday's Recap

Even as Cole Hamels didn't get the win (despite not allowing an earned run), he at least produced a decent game with an 11-point total. It was a nice building block for another solid offensive day, even as the Royals were blanked by Mike Pelfrey. The offense as constructed produced only 10.5 points, but if you had subbed Dustin Pedroia for the benched Jedd Gyorko, it went up to 17.75, which would have been really competitive. Let's hope today is better, and for both formats.

Weather Considerations

The early slate has no serious weather threats, but the games at Colorado and Washington promise to feature at least some showers and a humid kind of atmosphere. While this could work in our favor for the game in DC, watch out for the conditions at Colorado, where the ball may not fly as often as it does in warm weather. Outside of these contests, the rest of the schedule has sunny skies and slightly windy conditions.

For the afternoon, all games promise to be nice and smooth regarding the weather, so there shouldn’t be any reservations to play any player you like.

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Biggest Money Line Favorites

Yesterday, the biggest underdog of the day, the Yankees at +180, all but sealed their game by scoring 6 runs in the first inning against David Price. Price entered the game with a 0.40 ERA. So yes, baseball is silly, and betting on baseball is a harsh exercise. Still, it never hurts to check the Vegas projections.

For today, there is no runaway favorite on the calendar, with the White Sox standing on top at -140 to beat the Royals. Just a step below, the Blue Jays and Angels are also home favorites at -130. We have 3 road favorites in total, with the Reds at -120 to try and add to the misery of the Brewers.

The Picks

(EO = Early Only, L = Late)

Pitcher

EO – Bartolo Colon ($8,600)

I've sung the praises for Bartolo before, and I'll do it again. Max Scherzer is probably the best pick for today, but he is facing the Cardinals and is really expensive. On the other hand, Colon is cheap, faces the Braves, and has already averaged 15 PPG (including a 13-point effort in Atlanta). Maybe the Mets are due for a loss, but it is hard to bet against them right now.

Others to Consider: Scherzer ($11,000)

L – Chris Sale ($10,200)

For his career, Chris Sale is 7-8 against the Royals, but that run has been fueled by some lousy run support, as he sports a 2.68 ERA against them. Also, Sale has always been even more brilliant at home during his career, and is currently averaging 15.5 PPG for the season. He faces the hot Royals, but even then he is the best option for the afternoon.

Others to Consider: Jake Odorizzi ($8,300)

Catcher

EO – Kevin Plawecki ($2,300)

The early slate doesn't have many volume hitting options, as most games feature quality pitchers. Still, you could fill up on Padres-Rockies and Reds-Brewers hitters and be on a very nice position. Still, Thursdays tend to be weird in how managers choose to rest their catchers, and so should be approached with caution. This is why I'm going with the super-cheap Plawecki, who was just called up after the Mets lost their starting catcher. He hit well in his debut and then went hitless in game #2, so any kind of production will be welcome today.

Others to Consider: Jarrod Saltalamacchia ($2,400)/ Jacob Realmuto ($2,200) – check to see who starts for the Marlins

L – Dioner Navarro ($2,500)

Having only 4 games to choose from, one clearly stands out for offense: Orioles-Rays, and that should be the primary stacking option. Also, the Rays should get some chances to produce, and the Angels get to face the enigmatic Jesse Chavez at home, so they could be intriguing. Dioner Navarro doesn't play every day, but has gone 5-for-14 against Chris Tillman for his career, so he should get at least a spot at DH today.

Others to Consider: Tyler Flowers ($2,700)

First Base

EO – Joey Votto ($4,800)

The savings at catcher and pitcher allow us to go for the alpha dog, as Votto enters today as the top FanDuel first baseman. He gets to face Kyle Lohse, against whom he owns an 8-for-24 career mark. Hitting second in the lineup has worked wonders for Votto, and today he gets a chance to continue raking.

Others to Consider: Pedro Alvarez ($3,300), Mike Morse ($3,400)

L – Chris Davis ($3,500)

For his career, Davis has loved hitting at Rogers Centre, with 10 homers in 32 games played in Canada. This season hasn't gone as smoothly for Davis, but he has shown his massive power from time to time. Today bodes well for a big game.

Others to Consider: Allan Dykstra ($3,000)

Second Base

EO – Jedd Gyorko ($3,200)

It's not time to give up on this high-scoring series, and Gyorko remains a nice upside play that can flex his muscles at Coors. Just make sure he gets the start, as he sat yesterday.

Others to Consider: DJ LeMahieu ($3,500), Danny Espinosa ($2,300)

L – Devon Travis ($2,800)

This is almost a no-brainer in the afternoon, as Travis has returned to full health and hit a big homer to hand the Jays the win yesterday. He is still criminally cheap, so he deserves to keep getting chances until regression kicks in.

Others to Consider: Dustin Pedroia ($3,200)

Third Base

EO – Todd Frazier ($3,800)

The bad news is that Frazier has only 3 career hits in 24 tries against Lohse, but the good news is that Lohse is a shell of his former effective self, and the Brewers as a whole are as deflated as it can be. Frazier has power, speed, and hits behind Joey Votto. It should work out fine.

Others to Consider: Nolan Arenado ($4,700), Kris Bryant ($3,900)

L – Manny Machado ($3,200)

Machado has 10 extra-base hits in 17 career games in Toronto. He is 3-for-8 against Drew Hutchison. It all looks good for him in a Baltimore offense that doesn't need that much help to score in bunches.

Others to Consider: Evan Longoria ($3,300)

Shortstop

EO – Wilmer Flores ($2,700)

We need to be frugal with our shortstop today, and any given day you could do worse than Wilmer Flores. He doesn't have much power, but gets on base at a decent clip, helping the Mets in this remarkable run.

Others to Consider: Yunel Escobar ($3,200), Freddy Galvis ($2,500)

L – Jose Reyes ($3,700)

For the afternoon, the pricey Reyes deserves consideration, as he is 9-for-24 against Chris Tillman, and is always a threat to steal bases and score many runs atop the Toronto lineup. Even as we'll have to feature a cheap outfield, Reyes' potential for today will offset that.

Others to Consider: Asdrubal Cabrera ($2,400)

Outfield

EO – Wil Myers ($4,000), Gregory Polanco ($3,200), Khris Davis ($2,400)

Davis is 7-for-18 against Homer Bailey, and is just waiting for his power breakout. Polanco has power and speed potential, and the Pirates give him a lot of protection around the lineup. Finally, Myers was as good as advertised yesterday, and getting to hit leadoff at Coors is something that must be exploited.

Others to Consider: Matt Kemp ($4,700), Bryce Harper ($4,400), Joc Pederson ($3,500)

L – Dalton Pompey ($3,200), Mark Canha ($3,000), Alejandro de Aza ($2,900)

After going with expensive players all around, we are left with a cheap outfield. Still, it is not without upside. Pompey and de Aza are here to full commit on the Orioles-Jays game, and they have the speed and supporting cast to produce some points in a high-scoring affair. Remember that we always need to have players from at least 3 different teams in the lineup, and so Canha comes in. He has cooled a bit after his torrid start, but he remains a fixture in Oakland's lineup.

Others to Consider: Adam Jones ($4,900), Steve Souza ($3,900), Melky Cabrera ($2,700)

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