MLB Sim Sports Picks for 4/8/20 on FanDuel

Luke Weaver brings strikeout upside at a low salary to Wednesday's simulated MLB DFS slate, allowing us to spend up on hitters. Who else stands out on FanDuel?

Wednesday's simulated slate for daily fantasy baseball gives us good practice for when the regular season (finally? eventually? hopefully?) gets underway.

To Coors, or not to Coors?

We get the Colorado Rockies hosting the Texas Rangers in Denver, and we'll want to be all up in that business. The FanDuel simulated slates do account for park factors, so it's full steam ahead on all the bats there.

The problem is that we also have stud pitchers in desirable spots. Here are the starters on today's slate, sorted by salary. The pitchers' numbers are from starts they made in 2019, and the opposing strikeout numbers are based on current active rosters against that pitcher's handedness.

Pitcher Salary Opponent SIERA Strikeout % Walk % Opp. K%
Stephen Strasburg $11,500 MIA 3.49 29.9% 6.7% 24.4%
Walker Buehler $10,600 STL 3.50 29.2% 5.0% 23.6%
Jacob deGrom $10,000 HOU 3.29 31.7% 5.5% 16.3%
Zack Greinke $8,900 NYM 3.96 23.1% 3.7% 21.5%
Dallas Keuchel $8,600 SEA 4.39 18.7% 8.0% 23.4%
Kyle Hendricks $7,900 PIT 4.38 20.6% 4.4% 20.1%
Luke Weaver $7,700 SFG 3.84 26.5% 5.4% 24.0%
Joe Musgrove $7,300 CHC 4.32 21.9% 5.5% 23.5%
Mike Minor $6,900 COL 4.51 23.2% 7.9% 24.1%
Griffin Canning $6,800 OAK 4.31 25.3% 7.8% 22.8%
Jeff Samardzija $6,700 ARI 4.92 18.9% 6.6% 21.8%
Jon Gray $6,600 TEX 4.28 23.7% 8.4% 25.5%
Jesus Luzardo $6,500 LAA -- -- -- 19.8%
Dakota Hudson $6,400 LOS 5.06 18.0% 11.3% 20.2%
Jordan Yamamoto $6,200 WAS 4.71 25.2% 11.1% 21.5%
Justus Sheffield $6,000 CWS 4.57 22.1% 9.1% 23.8%

Virtual Stephen Strasburg ($11,500) is facing the Miami Marlins, and Walker Buehler ($10,600) faces a high-strikeout St. Louis Cardinals team. We're making things tough from the get-go.

How should we play this virtual slate, and where can we find value both at pitcher and hitter? Let's check that out now.


Strasburg's matchup with the Marlins is fun for sure. But with his salary being $900 higher than Buehler's, Buehler is the top option among the studs.

The Cardinals are absolutely a better offense than the Marlins, and that matters. But with the Marlins' offseason additions, their active roster wRC+ against righties -- 95 -- is actually a tick higher than the Cardinals' of 94. Add in a 23.6% strikeout rate and Buehler's filthy 29.2% strikeout rate, and you get a guy who's worth his hefty salary.

The issue is that the Rockies aren't all that cheap, nor are the Rangers. It may be tough to load up on them if we're rocking with Buehler at $10,600. So we should discuss lower-cost alternatives, as well.

On the other end of the park-factor spectrum from Coors is Luke Weaver ($7,700) in San Francisco to face the Giants. Weaver has plenty to offer.

Weaver lost a lot of 2019 due to injury, but he was effective when healthy with a 26.5% strikeout rate, highest among any starting pitcher today with a salary under $10,000. His matchup is spicy, and he'd let you flood your lineup with Rockies and Rangers. If that's the route you decide to take, Weaver stands above the rest.


Clearly, things here revolve around the Rockies and Rangers, and it's for good reason.

The Rockies face Mike Minor. Minor had a solid season last year, but his play declined as the season went along, and he doesn't get enough strikeouts to stay out of trouble at a place like Coors. The obvious options -- Nolan Arenado ($4,200), Trevor Story ($4,100), and Charlie Blackmon ($3,800) -- all are among the top plays on the slate.

We can get some lower-cost exposure to the Rockies via Ian Desmond ($3,100) and Garrett Hampson ($3,000). They're batting fifth and seventh, respectively, and both carry some stolen-base potential. Because they're cost-effective, we should give them consideration when using Buehler so as to not ignore Coors entirely.

The Rangers get Jon Gray, who finished last year with a 3.84 ERA and 4.35 SIERA. Our preference should be the Rockies' side of this one, but the Rangers stand out, as well.

The simulations do account for platoon splits, which makes the Rangers' lefties elite options as Gray let up a .272/.361/.457 slash to left-handed batters last year. This allows Joey Gallo ($4,300) to chill in the same tier as Arenado and Story while putting Rougned Odor ($3,200) and Willie Calhoun ($3,200) firmly on the map as value plays.

With Desmond, Hampson, Odor, and Calhoun being affordable, we can get Coors exposure when using Buehler. We'll need another full stacking option, though, which is where the Washington Nationals come into play.

They will square off with Jordan Yamamoto, who finished his rookie season with a 4.46 ERA and 4.71 SIERA. Take him out of Marlins Park and ship him up to the nation's capital, and we've got the recipe for some offense.

The rules of the simulations benefit Eric Thames ($3,200) quite a bit. There's no pinch-hitting, which means he's not going to leave for a defensive sub or when there's a lefty on the mound. His .275 isolated slugging percentage against righties makes him a high-upside play within this stack.

Neither Adam Eaton ($2,900) nor Victor Robles ($2,800) is all that exciting, but they're both value options hitting at the top of the order. If we want to use Buehler, we've got to sacrifice somewhere. Eaton and Robles will at least give us volume and the chance for upside via stolen bases, so we should look their way when trying to spend down.

The author of this article has no involvement with the MLB Sim Sports simulations powered by numberFire and has no knowledge of the results of tonight’s contest.