The Starting 5: Featuring pitcher and hitter MLB DFS picks for FanDuel & DraftKings cash game lineups on Thursday, April 19, 2018 (4/19).
Sharing articles with picks and advice to help you build winning MLB lineups on FanDuel (FD) and DraftKings (DK).
Welcome to the Starting Five MLB edition. In this article, we will give you a pitcher to consider and three hitters in each salary range. The hitters will be broken down into the following categories stud ($4,000 plus in salary), midrange ($3,000 to $3,900 in salary) and value hitter (below $3,000 in salary). We will use FanDuel’s pricing as a reference. To end the article we will give you our top player of the day regardless if that player is a hitter or pitcher. These picks will also come from the main slate of games on FanDuel each day and may not include all games played that day.
Manning the Mound
SP to Target: Zack Greinke, ARI
I would be okay if I didn’t have to play a pitcher tonight as none of the pitchers taking the mound jump out to me as good plays. Unfortunately, we are forced to roster pitchers on all sites. Since I have to choose a pitcher at this moment the pitcher I like the best is Greinke. Greinke has been awful his past two starts allowing nine runs in 11.1 innings of work but still has shown the upside with the strikeouts and lack of walks as this season he has 21 strikeouts to just one walk in 17 total innings. The match-up is also a nice one for Greinke as the Giants don’t hit right-handed pitching well at all and after ranking dead last in team wOBA against them last season they have started off this season in the bottom ten of that category while having a team K rate of 24.9%.
The Batter’s Box
Stud Bat to Target: OF, Justin Upton, LAA
I am a big fan of Eduardo Rodriguez as a pitcher and think he is one of the better pitchers on this slate. The issue I have with Rodriguez tonight is he is left-handed and he has to face Justin Upton. Upton is one of the best hitters in baseball against left-handed pitching. Last season, Upton had an OPS of 1.155, an ISO of .384 and a wOBA of .472 against lefties. Upton ranked in the top five in all three of those categories as well as wRC+ of all qualified hitters against left-handed pitching last season.
Mid-Range Bat to Target: OF, Ender Inciarte, ATL
Inciarte is someone that I have been looking at in cash games all season long as he is as consistent as they come. Inciarte has reached base safely in all but one game this season. Inciarte is not only consistent but he also gives you upside as he has the speed to steal a base anytime he is on-base. With Matt Harvey taking the mound for the Mets, Inciarte should easily reach base safely again tonight and I would be shocked if he did not have his third straight multi-hit game.
Bargain Bin Bat to Target: 1B, Jesus Aguilar, MIL
I love Aguilar tonight for a couple of reasons. The first is he gets to take on a bad left-handed pitcher in Dillon Peters. Aguilar is excellent against lefties and since the start of last season, Aguilar has an OPS of .926, an ISO of .223 and a wOBA of .390 against lefties. The second reason why I love Aguilar is his salary as he is dirt cheap on both sites at only $3,100 on DraftKings and $2,400 on FanDuel.
Top Play of Day
OF, Chris Owings, ARI
This is a total gut call but I love Owings tonight at home against Ty Blach. Blach is an awful left-handed pitcher that struggles against right-handed hitting. In his career, Blach is allowing righties to slug .470 with a .344 wOBA. Owings is not the greatest hitter in the world and has gotten off to a slow start this year but he has crushed left-handed pitching at Chase Field in the past. Last season at home against lefties, Owings had an OPS of .941, an ISO of .209 and a wOBA of .392. I am going to call my shot with Owings and say that he takes Blach deep.
Best of luck in your contests today!