4/14 MLB DFS Picks: Struck by an Archer
DailyRoto’s MLB Solo Shot Host, Logan Hitchcock, gets you headed in the right direction with his 4/14 MLB DFS Picks. Check out where his mind is at today when it comes to roster construction at FanDuel and DraftKings.
Where To Focus?
Is there a game at Coors Field today? Yep.
Should we focus on using hitters from that game? Yep.
Coors Field will condense ownerships and make for an easy tournament stack today, but it’s paramount that you have some exposure, particularly in cash games. Matt Cain and Jorge de la Rosa pose no real threat to hitters here and with implied run totals well over five for each team, Vegas agrees. Matt Cain is well beyond his prime and is a flyball pitcher that has largely been aided by his home park in his career. He gets no edge today, seeing an extreme negative park shift against this heavily left-handed Rockies lineup. Last season, left-handed hitters put together a .404 wOBA against Cain as he allowed 2.00 HR/9 to guys from the left-handed batters’ box. On the other hand, de la Rosa has had to put up with Coors Field his entire career and his numbers show it. Despite being tough on left-handed hitters, de la Rosa has struggled against righties, allowing nearly a 33% hard hit rate to right-handers in his career to go with a .347 wOBA against. Should Buster Posey find himself in the lineup today, he’s perhaps the top hitter on the slate and at the very least the top catcher. I’d put together a list of players I’ll be using from this game, but it would just be composed of the starting lineups from each team. Literally every player is in play here.
If Not Coors, Where?
Ideally the piece wouldn’t be broken down like this, but I’m forced to treat Coors Field as if it is in a different league for hitters (which it essentially is). If you’re trying to embrace contrarian life or are just looking to find other viable hitters, there are other places you can shift your eyes. Whenever Wily Peralta is pitching, it is a good bet the opposing team is shaping up for a nice game. Peralta faces the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium today and while the park shift is in favor for Peralta, I’m not opposed to sliding a couple Cardinals in lineups. Left-handed hitters put together a .376 wOBA against Peralta last year and Matt Carpenter and Jeremy Hazelbaker both will have the platoon advantage in their favor at the top of the order today. Hazelbaker is due for regression and is priced up around the industry, but makes for a solid secondary option to pair with Carpenter or to fill in a stack. Carpenter on the other hand put together a .394 wOBA to right-handers last season and flexed his guns, showing off a .249 ISO while generating 42% flyballs against right-handers last season. Despite the suppression of power that comes with Busch Stadium, I like his chances for a great day.
If looking for stacks outside of Coors Field – I’d rank the following contrarian stacks as my favorites.
- Cardinals (Early)
- Nationals (Early)
- Rangers (Late)
- Blue Jays (Late)
- Astros (Late)
Baseball fans are being spoiled today as more than a few of the game’s best young pitchers are taking the mound. Once again, I’m going to rank the top five pitchers that I’ll be focusing on for cash games and then give a little bit of information about each of the five. Luckily today, as opposed to Tuesday, there is more than one option!
Stephen Strasburg ****
The first two options, Archer and Strasburg, are my favorite cash game anchors today. Archer has a solid matchup with the Cleveland Indians who are inheriting a negative park shift at Tropicana Field. The Trop suppresses power to both sides of the plate and Archer is an elite strikeout pitcher. Last season, his K/9 was 10.70, and while he projects just below ten again this season, there is plenty of upside to go with an incredibly safe strikeout floor. Strikeouts are king in daily fantasy baseball and Archer will be leading the way today.
Strasburg was scratched with an illness yesterday and the Washington Post reported that Dusty Baker was hoping he could pitch today. Keep your eyes on the situation, obviously if Strasburg does not pitch, we will not be using him. However, if he does toe the rubber against the Braves, he makes for a solid cash game pitcher. The Braves contact oriented ways will limit his strikeout upside and hamper his floor just a bit, but from a run prevention standpoint, Strasburg is the best of the group today. There is some additional risk given that he is coming off an illness, so it is perfectly fine to relegate him to a tournament only status should you wish to spend elsewhere!
Gerrit Cole and the Pirates are -144 favorites against this potent Tigers offense today and I like Cole, who will be taking advantage of the negative park shift the Tigers are enduring. Cole doesn’t possess the strikeout upside that any of the other pitchers on the slate possess, but he’s pitching in a spacious park and will take away the platoon advantage for nearly the entire Tigers lineup. The other reason he gets a bit of a bump in my standings is his price tag. You’ll need to pay for one of these top pitchers today, but which one you choose depends on how much Coors Field you wish to get exposure to. Cole comes at a bit of a discount and still provides you with a nice strikeout floor and upside.
From a pure rankings perspective, I had to put Velasquez fourth but he is my favorite middle tier option and should be a lock for your SP2 on two pitcher sites. The Padres lineup is awful – there is really no way around it. This season against right-handed pitchers, the Padres are striking out 26.4% of the time (6th most in the league) and Velasquez has strikeout stuff. He dominated the Mets in his first start of the year and despite his flyball ways, I’m fully attacking the Padres with him today. Both ZiPS and Steamer project him at over ten strikeouts per nine innings this year and when you’re getting that baseline for his price, he’s an easy roster. Even if Velasquez allows a long ball or two, the fact that he’s going to strike out so many hitters mitigates an earned run troubles.
Salazar will square off with Archer in what should be a fun pitcher’s duel at Tropicana Field. Much like Archer, Salazar possesses a high strikeout ceiling and floor, averaging over a strikeout per inning last season and projecting for even a bit better this year. He is a bit of a flyball pitcher, but as I mentioned with Archer, power is heavily suppressed in Tropicana Field and this mitigates a bit of risk that might be attached to Salazar. Given that he is every bit as expensive as Strasburg and Archer and he is a dog in this fight, I’ve bumped him down a couple of notches but I love his upside for tournaments.