MLB Sim Sports Picks for 4/14/20 on FanDuel

To Buehler, or not to Buehler? That is the question.

Thankfully, this ain't Hamlet, and things in the virtual world are much easier. You're gonna want some Walker Buehler in your life, taking arms against a sea of fake Cardinals.

Buehler is the headliner of today's simulated MLB DFS slate on FanDuel, checking in at $11,800. He's good, the matchup is delicious, and hitter salaries on the sim slates have been forgiving. Lock and load him in. The true questions begin after that.

For an overview of the slate, here are the starters and their numbers from last year in starts they made in the big leagues. The opposing strikeout numbers are based on the opposing each team's current active roster against that pitcher's handedness.

Pitcher Salary Opponent SIERA Strikeout % Walk % Opp. K%
Walker Buehler $11,800 STL 3.50 29.2% 5.0% 23.6%
Zack Greinke $10,200 TAM 3.96 23.1% 3.7% 24.3%
James Paxton $9,600 TEX 3.93 29.4% 8.7% 26.4%
German Marquez $9,600 SDP 3.85 24.3% 4.9% 25.0%
Zack Wheeler $8,600 MIL 4.20 23.6% 6.0% 22.8%
Kenta Maeda $8,600 TOR 4.22 26.2% 8.4% 25.2%
Luke Weaver $7,800 PIT 3.84 26.5% 5.4% 20.1%
Tyler Glasnow $7,800 HOU 3.18 33.0% 6.1% 16.3%
Joe Musgrove $7,700 ARI 4.32 21.9% 5.5% 21.8%
Dallas Keuchel $7,500 KAN 4.39 18.7% 8.0% 21.7%
Marcus Stroman $7,500 ATL 4.41 20.5% 7.5% 22.4%
Jesus Luzardo $7,500 BOS -- -- -- 19.7%
Max Fried $7,500 NYM 3.83 24.6% 6.4% 23.4%
Jakob Junis $6,500 CWS 4.63 21.3% 7.5% 25.6%
Dakota Hudson $6,400 LOS 5.06 18.0% 11.3% 20.2%
Zach Davies $6,400 COL 5.43 15.2% 7.6% 22.5%
Mike Minor $6,200 NYY 4.51 23.2% 7.9% 23.6%
Adrian Houser $5,900 PHI 4.08 24.2% 7.5% 24.5%
Chase Anderson $5,900 MIN 5.00 20.2% 8.4% 20.9%
Brian Johnson $5,700 OAK 5.92 13.9% 10.2% 19.9%

Based on those numbers, how should we play the slate for both our pitchers and stacks? Let's check it out.


Again, you want to start things here with Buehler. He's worth the coin.

Buehler's 29.2% strikeout rate is third-best on the slate, trailing only James Paxton ($9,600) and Tyler Glasnow ($7,800). Buehler, though, paired his strong peripherals with a 3.26 ERA and faces a Cardinals active roster that had just a 95 wRC+ against righties last year. He's the top option, and we should feel comfortable prioritizing him.

Paxton -- now healthy in our blissfully ignorant simulations -- has upside on par with Buehler's thanks to his matchup with the high-strikeout Texas Rangers. The reason we should prefer Buehler is that Paxton is pitching on the road in the Rangers' new park while Buehler is at home. As long as you're okay with the increased risk, Paxton is a fully serviceable alternative.

If you want to spend down, Max Fried ($7,500) is a great value. He's pitching on the road, but he gets a New York Mets team that struck out 23.4% of the time against lefties. Fried made gains as the season went along and finished with a 3.83 SIERA and 24.6% strikeout rate. It's hard to beat that for a salary in the mid-$7,000s.

With Buehler, Paxton, and Fried, you've got quality outlets in each salary tier for the slate, so you can play things however you wish. The main attraction, though, is still Buehler.


Under the assumption we're rolling out Buehler, it's time to hunt for some value stacks. Oddly enough, Buehler's teammates fit that search well.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are facing Dakota Hudson. Hudson is a worm-killer who used his wicked ground-ball rate to post a 3.35 ERA last year. However, he projects to allow a lot of base-runners, which will give the Dodgers additional trips to the plate. For a low-salary stack, that's desirable.

We can even get salary savings in the heart of the Dodgers' order. Max Muncy ($2,700) and Corey Seager ($2,700) will bat in the five and six spots, and both carry the platoon advantage over Hudson. Plugging in those two along with Justin Turner ($2,900) should allow you to afford one of Mookie Betts ($3,200) or Cody Bellinger ($3,700) with relative ease.

The two mid-tier stacks for the slate are the Minnesota Twins and Oakland Athletics. Both lineups are filled with players in the $3,000 range, which works well in a lineup that starts with Paxton at the top.

Stacking the Twins gets us access to one of the more favorable parks on the slate as they are up in Toronto to face Chase Anderson. We also get Jorge Polanco ($3,000) in the two hole after he posted a .207 isolated slugging percentage versus righties last year. Josh Donaldson ($3,400) and Miguel Sano ($3,400) are other affordable avenues for power.

The A's are facing lefty Brian Johnson, who struggled mightily in a limited sample as a starter last year. Matt Chapman ($3,000) was a menace versus southpaws with a team-leading .279 isolated slugging percentage. He's a key part of any A's stack, though as you can see, third base is a loaded position on this slate. Regardless, Chapman, Turner, and Donaldson are all top-tier options and make plugging a third baseman into your utility slot an optimal route.

Both the Twins and A's fit if you're using Fried because they have some spendier studs who are easier to access in that scenario. You can also spend up for the New York Yankees against Mike Minor, though.

Minor finished the season with a 3.59 ERA thanks to a spicy early-summer run, but his SIERA was less enthusiastic about his outlook at 4.51. With health now on their side, that's something the Yankees' studs can exploit, especially with the platoon advantage almost entirely in their favor. As long as you're locking in Fried as your pitcher, the salaries here shouldn't be a roadblock to rostering them.

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.