DKNG Stock – DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks (4/18/21): MLB DFS Lineups
Rise and shine, Rotoballers, we’ve got a fun slate on tap this Sunday afternoon. The DraftKings main slate features nine games and nine hundred ways to go about creating lineups. Two of the best pitchers will toe the rubber as Shane Bieber will take on the Reds in his first start since his nine-inning, 11 strikeout masterpiece against the White Sox. In New York, the Yankees will deploy Gerrit Cole to try and turn around their miserable start against a Rays team that has tortured the Bronx Bombers dating back to last year.
Elsewhere, we’ve got Freddy Peralta priced above Aaron Nola and Stephen Strasburg. I love Peralta in season-long fantasy but it is a tad premature to price him over the more consistent hurlers below him. On the hitting side of things, no team is implied for a crazy run total, but the Nationals, Yankees, and Brewers (value bats!) will be popular with implied totals over five. With nine games on tap there’ plenty of ways to go about constructing lineups so lets dig into some of my favorite targets to help end the weekend on a high note.
This article will provide you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for DraftKings on 4/18/2021. The lineup will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays. You can also check out today’s FanDuel MLB DFS lineup picks and read more DFS advice and lineup picks for other sports too. It’s also important to monitor injury news and today’s MLB starting lineups. If you have any questions or comments, contact me on Twitter.
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DraftKings DFS Starting Pitchers
Gerrit Cole – P, NYY vs. TBR ($10,400)
Cole is the highest-priced pitcher on the slate but he’s my pitcher of choice if paying up for an ace. Bieber is great, but he’ll be very popular after throwing a nine-inning shutout with 11 K’s against the White Sox on Tuesday. There just isn’t value in chasing a pitcher like that in his next start. At best, he does it again and you share those points with lots of competitors. At worst, he doesn’t have it today (pitchers are human, after all) and you wasted $10K.
For my money, give me Cole who I believe has the highest floor/ceiling combo on the slate and should be rostered less as he’s priced $400 above Biebs. The 30-year-old righty has been dominant to start the season posting a 41 percent strikeout rate through his three starts and hasn’t posted less than 8 K’s in a start yet this year. Tampa Bay is a good offense, but they have some swing-and-miss in their game, especially against righties. The Rays rank seventh in K:BB ratio against RHP so fire up Cole in a get-right game for the scuffling Yankees.
Stephen Strasburg – P, WAS vs. ARI ($7,200)
**UPDATE** Stephen Strasburg was placed on the IL Sunday morning and will NOT start.
John Means ($8,000 @ TEX) is my favorite pivot at a similar price point.
Strasburg got hit hard in his last start but is in a great bounce-back spot against the lowly Diamondbacks. Strasburg allowed three homers in his last start but was great before that posting eight strikeouts in six shutout innings. He’s a bit of a forgotten man after barely pitching in 2020, but let’s not forget how good Strasburg was during the Nats’ World Series run in 2019. That may feel like a lifetime ago but we’re just one pandemic-shortened season removed from Strasburg delivering a 3.18 ERA, 3.17 xFIP, 1.04 WHIP, with a 29.8 percent strikeout rate. Arizona is in the bottom-10 in OPS versus RHP so the matchup is right for Strasburg to blow his price tag out of the water on this slate.
Pablo Lopez – P, MIA vs. SF ($6,200)
I don’t always scratch my head at a player’s price but I was ready to check my scalp for fleas after staring at Lopez for only $6,200. He got hit hard in his last start versus the Braves but, like Strasburg, is in a great bounce-back spot at home. Maybe Lopez hates hotels, maybe it’s his pitcher-friendly home park but Lopez has some pretty extreme home/road splits in his career. The 25-year-old righty sports a 3.14 career ERA at home compared to 6.41 on the road. He allows opposing hitters to bat just .232 with a .276 wO(BA) at home compared to a .275 average and .348 wO(BA) on the road. Take the discount in price after the Braves hit Lopez hard in Atlanta. A less-daunting Giants lineup is in for a tougher task in South Florida.
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DraftKings DFS Infielders
Kyle Higashioka – C, NYY vs. TBR ($3,000)
It’s not often I get to write up Higgy so when I saw Cole pitching for the Yankees I knew his personal catcher would be in this article as well. Higashioka blasted two homers last Sunday (catching Cole) and has a surprising amount of fantasy upside. He posted a 38.7 hard-hit rate in his last decent sample size (2019) and posted a 13 percent barrel rate in the 2020 season. Higashioka could be a low-end fantasy catcher if he wasn’t a backup because he’s got some pop in his bat with respectable plate discipline metrics. Gary Sanchez is day-to-day after taking a foul tip off his bare hand yesterday so Higgy could get some run here as the starting catcher in New York.
Josh Bell – 1B, WAS vs. ARI ($3,300)
The Nationals got a late start to their season and it appears the pricing algorithm is still catching up on the three-hole hitter in DC. Bell is batting just .105 through five games but he’s taking his walks and making good contact with a 42.9 percent hard-hit rate so it’s only a matter of time before the hits start to fall. A matchup against Madison Bumgarner should do the trick. MadBum is a shell of his former self as he’s allowed five or six runs in all three of his starts this season and hasn’t pitched past the fifth inning. The Nationals bats are the top stack for me today and the switch-hitting Bell is an important piece of that.
Whit Merrifield – 2B, KC vs. TOR ($5,400)
Merrifield is the highest-priced second baseman on the slate but he’s actually $500 less than he’s gone for on other slates and I’m willing to pay up for the Royals leadoff hitter against the notorious R.A.Y. Yes, Robbie Ray has been a target for DFS players for a while thanks to his generosity in handing out free-passes (11% career walk rate) and allowing homers (2.26 HR/9 last year). Stack up the Royals versus Ray and be sure to include their best player.
Alec Bohm – 3B, PHI vs. STL ($3,400)
The Phillies are a solid stack against John Gant and Bohm continues to be mispriced despite batting fourth or fifth for a potent Phillies lineup. Bohm only has one homer on the year but that should change as he’s making hard contact at a 48.6 percent rate and has a strong 92.1 MPH average exit velocity, so the power will come. The Phillies should be resting J.T. Realmuto in a day game so expect Bohm to bat fourth right behind Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins. Bohm should see multiple at-bats with men on base against Gant and a slew of Cardinal relievers.
Trea Turner – SS, WAS vs. ARI ($5,700)
It’ll take some deep pockets to pay up for Turner but I’m not NOT playing Trea against Bumgarner. The Nationals lineup is fair value with Bell and Kyle Schwarber (if he’s playing vs a LHP) cheap enough to squeeze Turner (maybe even Juan Soto $6,000) into lineups. Turner has seven hits in his last four games and has a stolen base in back-to-back games. Turner sports a .305 career average against left-handed pitching so he should be able to score some points in likely three at-bats versus MadBum.
DraftKings DFS Outfielders
Luis Robert – OF, CWS @ BOS ($4,500)
Robert is on a tear and has as much upside as any outfielder on the slate, yet is priced down at $4,500. The White Sox phenom has multiple hits in three-straight games and is doing a little bit of everything for fantasy managers with six runs, five RBI and two steals this season. Tanner Houck is not a daunting matchup and Robert gets a nice park-shift playing in Fenway. The 23-year-old has as high of a floor as you can ask for in cash-game lineups. The White Sox aren’t my primary stack today, we’ll get to the Royals outfield in a second, but Robert is too hot and has too good of a matchup to not have exposure today. The only thing that could stop Robert is those hideous yellow uniforms the Red Sox are wearing to honor the five-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing.
Andrew Benintendi – OF, KC vs. TOR ($3,300)
Benny Nintendo isn’t tearing the cover off the ball in his first season with Kansas City, but he’s quietly produced from the two-hole of a surging Royals lineup that gets to feast on Ray today. Benintendi has hits in nine of his last 11 games and has driven in a run in three straight while racking up three steals already this season. As we mentioned with Merrifield, Ray is a gas can on the mound with a FIP over six dating back to last season. Benintendi’s low price tag makes it very easy to stack him with Merrifield and Soler.
Jorge Soler – OF, KC vs. TOR ($3,400)
Unlike his teammates mentioned above, Soler is not hitting much to start this season. He’s got just a .154 batting average and is striking out 38 percent of the time. When he does make contact, it’s usually good contact as he’s got a 50 percent hard-hit rate in the early going this season. Soler was in the top-two percent in barrel rate dating back to 2019 so when he hits the ball it goes far as evidenced by his 48 homer season in 2019. Ray is a bit of a slump buster so look for Soler to hit one a long way on Sunday.
DraftKings DFS Stacks
- Washington Nationals vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (Madison Bumgarner, LHP)
- Kansas City Royals vs. Toronto Blue Jays (Robbie Ray, LHP)
- Sneaky Stack: Milwaukee Brewers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (Chad Kuhl, RHP)
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