MLB Sim Sports Picks for 4/11/20 on FanDuel
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FanDuel's MLB Sims Sports, a new free-to-play format that simulates the baseball games that were originally scheduled for play each day. Starting pitchers and batting orders are announced in advance, and then games will play out through numberFire's custom simulator.
Starting pitchers will have a simulated pitch count that we won't know beforehand but should be roughly based on their performance last season. Hitters will play the whole game, so there's no fear of pinch hitters and the like.
Best of all, the simulation is meant to replicate real life, so all the usual things you typically analyze in MLB DFS -- things like player skills, matchups, park factors, and platoon splits -- are in play here, so you can approach this in much the same way you would on a real baseball slate.
Here's the breakdown for today's slate.
Dinelson Lamet ($9,600) is my top pitcher on the slate. He posted a 33.6% strikeout rate across 73 innings in 2019, a clip which was backed up by a sterling 14.0% strikeout rate. He's got a home matchup with the San Francisco Giants, who owned the third-worst wOBA (.295) a year ago. This game being in Petco is another plus in Lamet's corner, and he offers as much upside as any hurler on the slate.
Mike Soroka ($10,000) is the slate's most expensive arm, and he's got a money matchup with the Miami Marlins. Soroka had just a 20.3% strikeout rate and 10.3% swinging-strike rate in 2019, so he doesn't give us the same type of strikeout upside Lamet does. But you could argue Soroka's floor is just as good -- maybe better -- and a lot of that is tied to the matchup. Miami had an MLB-worst .288 wOBA last season to go along with a 24.3% strikeout rate, the eighth-highest mark.
Eduardo Rodriguez ($9,400) gives us another expensive option worth considering. E-Rod had a 24.8% strikeout rate and 11.7% swinging-strike rate in 2019, and he gets a park-factor boost tonight at T-Mobile Park. The Seattle Mariners had the fourth-highest strikeout rate (25.5%) in 2019, and their .314 wOBA was a bottom-10 clip. There are some other decent pitchers on this slate, but these three have the best floor/ceiling combinations.
If you want to pay down, Jose Urquidy ($6,300) jumps out to me. I like him a lot as a sleeper in season-long formats, and his price is way too cheap given his numbers. In 70 Triple-A frames in 2019, he recorded a 32.1% strikeout rate, 16.6% swinging-strike rate and 5.5% walk rate. Once he got to The Show, Urquidy spun a 24.0% strikeout rate, 12.0% swinging-strike rate and 4.2% walk rate over a small sample of 41 innings. A road matchup at the Texas Rangers isn't ideal, but Texas did carry the fifth-highest strikeout rate (25.4%) last year. Paying down at pitcher is always risky, but if a cheap pitcher blows up tonight, there's a good chance it's Urquidy.
For me, the best stack of the night is the Arizona Diamondbacks against Antonio Senzatela. The Colorado Rockies' right-hander struggled to a 5.50 SIERA last season, with a horrible 13.1% strikeout rate across 124 2/3 frames. Load up on dem D-Backs.
Lucky for us, no Arizona bat is above $3,400 and only four are more than $3,000, which is perfect for those of us who want to spend up at pitcher. Starling Marte ($3,400), Ketel Marte ($3,400) and Eduardo Escobar ($3,400) occupy the first three spots in the lineup. Starling had a career-best 23 homers last year and offers stolen-base upside. Ketel -- a switch-hitter who has pretty even numbers from both sides -- broke out in a huge way in 2019, finishing with a 42.1% hard-hit rate en route to 32 homers and a .405 wOBA. Escobar is better from the other side of the dish, but he still had a 44.4% fly-ball rate and respectable .333 wOBA against righties last year.
David Peralta is hitting clean-up and is one of the better point-per-dollar plays of the night. While 2019 campaign was a down one for him, Peralta's .352 wOBA and 42.3% hard-hit rate versus right-handers was pretty darn good.
As always, the Dodgers give us a slew of appealing bats from which to pick. Cody Bellinger ($4,300) is at the top of the list, and he tagged righties for a .392 wOBA, 44.5% hard-hit rate and 42.9% fly-ball rate last year. Max Muncy ($3,600) and Joc Pederson ($3,500) also sport the platoon advantage, and Pederson is atop the order. A year ago, Joc posted a .377 wOBA, 45.9% hard-hit rate and 43.1% fly-ball rate in the split.
While everyone in LA's lineup is in play, I wanted to give special mention to Gavin Lux ($2,600). Rostering a guy hitting in the eight hole isn't fun, but Lux is a top-shelf prospect who pummeled minor-league pitching at every stop in 2019, hitting 13 jacks with a 14.2% walk rate over 232 Triple-A plate appearances. Plus, the salary comes in handy.
The Boston Red Sox are on the road to take on lefty Marco Gonzales. Boston has a few lefty mashers we can zero in on, starting with J.D. Martinez ($3,700). Martinez has a long history of mauling southpaws, with a .413 wOBA and 42.4% hard-hit rate in the split for his career.
Xander Bogaerts ($3,000) and Michael Chavis ($3,000) are hitting second and fifth, respectively, and will have the platoon advantage. Bogaerts put up a .374 wOBA and 46.6% hard-hit rate against lefties in 2019. And don't sleep on Christian Vazquez ($2,000) at the minimum. He's slotted sixth and registered a .365 wOBA and 42.1% fly-ball rate with the platoon advantage a year ago.
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.