DFS MLB

DFS MLB Lineups for April 18, 2017 at Draftkings.com & Fanduel.com

For this baseball season, each day there’s a good slate of DFS MLB games, we’ll be writing up a group of pitchers and hitters that we’re considering for our cash and GPP lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel. We’ll also provide a list of stacks to consider, MLB start times, starting pitchers, and game run totals to give you a good idea of where the fantasy goodness might come from on a given night.

The best advice we can give this early in the season is to remember that baseball is a game of variance. You can make a really solid lineup and still fall short of the cash line. Even the best pitchers have horrible starts, and the best hitters in the game can still go 0 for 4. Baseball is funny like that. Trust the process and know that if you’re playing quality lineups, you’ll be a winner in the long term.

Another thing to remember is to always check the weather. Always. Make this something that is part of your basic routine. Baseball games can get postponed! Your players receive no points from postponed games!

4/18/17 MAIN SLATE TOURNAMENT RUNDOWN

DraftKings Home Run: $444 buy-in, $700k guaranteed  
DraftKings Mini Home Run: $4 buy-in, $175k guaranteed (20 entry max)
DraftKings Home Plate: $20 buy-in, $50k guaranteed (3 entry max)
FanDuel Rally: $7 buy-in, $77k guaranteed
FanDuel Monster: $444 buy-in, $444k guaranteed
FanDuel Squeeze: $4 buy-in, $200k guaranteed

DFS MLB START TIMES, STARTING PITCHERS & GAME TOTALS FOR TODAY’S GAMES

7:05p: White Sox (Gonzalez) @ Yankees (Severino): 7.5
7:07p: Red Sox (Johnson) @ Blue Jays (Stroman): 8.5
7:10p: Orioles (Gausman) @ Reds (Arroyo): 9
7:10p: Tigers (Fulmer) @ Rays (Andriese): 7.5
7:10p: Phillies (Eflin) @ Mets (Wheeler): 7.5
7:35p: Nationals (Scherzer) @ Braves (Foltynewicz): 7.5
8:05p: Brewers (Nelson) @ Cubs (Anderson): 8.5
8:10p: Indians (Tomlin) @ Twins (Hughes): 9
8:10p: Angels (Nolasco) @ Astros (Musgrove): 8.5
8:15p: Giants (Cain) @ Royals (Hammel): 9
8:15p: Pirates (Kuhl) @ Cardinals (Leake): 8
10:05p: Rangers (Darvish) @ A’s (Triggs): 7
10:10p: Diamondbacks (Miller) @ Padres (Cosart): 8
10:10p: Marlins (Chen) @ Mariners (Gallardo): 8.5
10:10p: Rockies (Freeland) @ Dodgers (Ryu): 8

Best DFS MLB Pitchers for April 18, 2017

Max Scherzer vs. ATL ($12.8k DraftKings, $11.4k FanDuel)
The consensus after two starts is that Scherzer looks almost fully healthy and he’s therefore one of the top 3 pitchers in the Majors without much room for debate. When it comes to strikeout potential, there aren’t many who can compete with Mad Max and tonight he faces a Braves team that’s had some success against him in the past, but is also sporting a collective 26.4% K-Rate in their careers against the Nationals ace. Atlanta has managed the fifth-fewest runs so far this season and remains relatively toothless on offense, so Scherzer offers a high floor in addition to a lofty ceiling.

Michael Fulmer @ TB ($8.9k DraftKings, $9.1k FanDuel)
It’s strange to call a sophomore SP “old reliable” but Fulmer has really become one of the premier cash game plays out there over just a few months in the Majors. He posted a sparkling .228 BAA with a solid 1.12 WHIP and 3.06 ERA over 26 starts as a rookie and he’s looked even better over two great outings to begin 2017. While he’s more of a ground-ball pitcher than a strikeout-heavy guy, the Rays are sporting the highest K-Rate (28.6%) in the Majors so far this year and Fulmer could surprise with a few more K’s while posting another Quality Start.

Mike Leake vs. PIT ($7.6k DraftKings, $7.9k FanDuel)
Something about putting on that Cardinals uniform turns mediocre pitchers into excellent arms. Leake might become the latest solid SP to suddenly post elite numbers now that he has access to the Cardinals secret treasure trove of baseball knowledge, as he’s allowed just 1 ER with 13 K’s and 1 walk over 15 IP so far this year. He could keep rolling tonight in the friendly confines of Busch Stadium against a Pirates offense that’s struggling to begin the year.

Jimmy Nelson @ CHC ($7k DraftKings, $7.8k FanDuel)
If you want to take a chance on a pitcher that doesn’t have the same floor as Fulmer or Leake, Nelson could be your guy tonight. The average DFS player might fade him because of the Cubs reputation as an elite offensive team, but he’s already held the defending champs to a single run on 4 hits over 6 strong innings to open his season and current Cubs are struggling with a combined .241 batting average (35-for-145) with a weak .658 OPS and 22% K-Rate in their collective careers against Nelson. He’s always had the talent and it seems as though he’s figuring it out in his fourth MLB campaign.

Luis Severino vs CWS ($6.5k DraftKings, $7.7k FanDuel)
Not a lot to write here. Severino gets the White Sox. The White Sox have scored 4+ runs in a game exactly twice in their last 10. Severino is also coming off a 7 inning, 11 strikeout performance against the Rays. The White Sox might actually be worse than the Rays right now, especially if Todd Frazier remains out. Bottom line, Severino is far too cheap for his upside in this matchup.

Other pitchers to consider: Yu Darvish, Shelby Miller, Jason Hammel, Kevin Gausman

Best DFS MLB Hitters for April 18, 2017

Francisco Lindor vs. MIN ($4.7k DraftKings, $4.1k FanDuel)
Simply the best option at SS for lineups in any format, Lindor has been crushing it across the board with a .415//478/.805 slash line and 4 homers to open the season. He’s walked 5 times and only struck out 7 times, which shows you how well he’s seeing the ball and tonight he faces a RHP in Phil Hughes, who pounds the strike zone with alarming regularity. That’s not an approach that works against Lindor, as evidenced by the fact that he’s 3-for-4 with a walk over a very small sample size against Hughes and he’s absolutely scalding the ball with a 41.5% Hard Contact Rate on the year.

Nolan Arenado @ LAD ($4.4k DraftKings, $4.4k FanDuel)
It’s pretty clear off the bat that Arenado is under priced on DraftKings and Dodgers SP Hyun-Jin Ryu is over priced on the same DFS site. The southpaw has been knocked around in both of his appearances this year, and while those came at hitter-friendly Coors Field and at Wrigley, it’s easy to question Ryu’s health after his 2016 campaign was derailed by an arm injury. He’s not the type of pitcher that can overcome control issues with elite stuff and Arenado is more than capable of making him pay for mistakes with his career .370 wOBA against the platoon and .533 mark with 2 homers over 16 at-bats against lefties this year.

Brian McCann vs. LAA ($3.3k DraftKings, $3k FanDuel)
Here’s an example of BvP splits simply jumping off the page and forcing your consideration. Not only has McCann seen Nolasco over 71 career plate appearances, he’s tagged the vulnerable starter for 23 hits, including 5 doubles and a whopping 8 homers in his career. The Astros rested their backstop on Monday, presumably to get him ready for a plus matchup against a righty that’s allowed LHB to post a .338 wOBA and struggled with a 1.42 WHIP and 4.28 FIP against the platoon throughout his career.

Other hitters to consider: Ryan Braun, Wil Myers, Mark Trumbo, Lorenzo Cain, Matt Holiday, Jake Lamb, Chase Headley, DJ LeMahieu, Nomar Mazara, Michael Conforto 

4/18/17 STACKS

Orioles vs Bronson Arroyo
Are the Reds playing a joke on their fan base by trotting out a 40-year-old Bronson Arroyo for multiple starts? He predictably coughed up two more homers and 5 ER to take a second loss in as many appearances and that came against a top-heavy Brewers lineup. Now he faces an O’s squad with power from top to bottom, led by slugger Mark Trumbo and inconsistent power-hitter Adam Jones. Jonathan Schoop is a good bargain to consider towards the bottom of that lineup while Welington Castillo could work as a good option at catcher.

Twins vs Josh Tomlin
You may want to consider Twins starter Phil Hughes simply because of how bad Tomlin’s been, as he’s coughed up 13 ER on 15 hits over two appearances so far this year. That’s hardly a coincidence considering he posted the second-highest HR/FB ratio (17.7%) amongst qualified pitchers last year and continues to decline at the age of 32. Brian Dozier is the Twins batter with the most upside, but Max Kepler is coming on strong with the platoon advantage in this matchup and Miguel Sano is a good GPP play to consider as well. Those three could form a mini stack that may pay off tonight.

Royals vs Matt Cain
The Giants veteran surprised most by turning in a Quality Start against a D’Backs lineup that’s owned him in the past, but that doesn’t mean you have to respect his abilities at this stage in his career. He’s still ripe for the picking and the Royals could make his life hard beginning with red-hot dual threat Lorenzo Cain. Mike Moustakas and Alex Gordon are intriguing additions to that stack with the platoon advantage while Salvador Perez could flash some upside for a catcher.

Other Stacks to consider:
Astros vs Ricky Nolasco
Nationals vs. Mike Foltynewicz
Yankees vs. Miguel Gonzalez
Cardinals vs. Chad Kuhl
Diamondbacks vs. Jarred Cosart

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Nate Weitzer
Nate Weitzer is a successful DFS player with numerous tournament wins in NBA and NFL contests. He's been writing about DFS for several years, specializing in NBA advice while continuing to build his bankroll on several sites. When he's not playing DFS, Weitzer is often covering high school sports in the greater Boston area for outlets such as ESPNBoston and MassPrepStars.com, or playing basketball himself. Follow Nate on Twitter @Nweitzer7.