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

James Paxton is one of the few aces on Monday's simulated MLB DFS slate, and he gets a plus matchup to boot. Who else should we target on FanDuel?

Monday's simulated daily fantasy baseball slate would be a stacker's delight.

Of the 14 starting pitchers, only 3 finished 2019 with a skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) lower than 4.00 in games that they started. That's the same number as those who had a SIERA over 5.00, squarely in the stack zone. Giddy up.

Here is that list of starters along with their numbers from starts they made last year. For Taijuan Walker, that sample is just one game. The opposing strikeout column is based on the opposing team's current active roster's strikeout rate versus pitchers of that handedness.

Pitcher Salary Opponent SIERA Strikeout % Walk % Opp. K%
Trevor Bauer $10,800 STL 4.14 27.8% 9.0% 23.6%
James Paxton $10,000 DET 3.93 29.4% 8.7% 24.9%
Zack Greinke $9,800 TAM 3.96 23.1% 3.7% 24.3%
Tyler Glasnow $8,700 HOU 3.18 33.0% 6.1% 16.3%
Kenta Maeda $8,600 SEA 4.22 26.2% 8.4% 25.9%
Dylan Bundy $8,400 BAL 4.54 23.1% 8.3% 21.5%
Reynaldo Lopez $7,800 KAN 4.88 20.9% 8.0% 22.1%
Aaron Civale $7,500 BOS 4.74 20.3% 7.1% 19.9%
Taijuan Walker $7,100 MIN 4.10 25.0% 0.0% 20.9%
Adam Wainwright $6,700 CIN 4.70 20.5% 8.6% 24.3%
Jakob Junis $6,500 CWS 4.63 21.3% 7.5% 25.6%
John Means $6,300 LAA 5.19 17.9% 5.8% 19.8%
Ivan Nova $6,000 NYY 5.16 14.1% 5.8% 23.4%
Brian Johnson $5,500 CLE 5.92 13.9% 10.2% 20.8%

We've got the whole spectrum here with pitchers we can stomach as our starters and some we can load up against. Let's dissect who belongs in each category.


Because we have options in our stacks, we can afford to spend up at pitcher. That makes James Paxton ($10,000) a worthy target.

The simulation overlords have blessed us with a healthy version of Paxton, who had a 3.82 ERA and 3.93 SIERA last year. His 29.4% strikeout rate means he has the ability to post a high-end score, and that upside gets a boost against the Detroit Tigers. Their active roster struck out 24.9% of the time against lefties last year. A great pitcher in a plus matchup makes this one an easy selection.

The second pitcher discussion is a bit more complicated. Not many of the cheaper options bring strikeout juice to the table. One route is Dylan Bundy ($8,400) in a revenge game, but Kenta Maeda ($8,600) seems just a hair more enticing.

Maeda's matchup is the big allure here. He's facing the Seattle Mariners, who project to have a doggy-doo order this year and had a 25.9% strikeout rate against righties in 2019. This game is in Maeda's new play place of Target Field, which should give him an additional boost thanks to the home-field advantage.

In starts he made with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Maeda had a 4.14 ERA and 4.22 SIERA. It's certainly not ace-level stuff, but he did have a respectable 26.2% strikeout rate. On a slate like this, that's enough to make him the discounted option if you decide not to roll with Paxton.


The lone downside of using Paxton is that it makes today's top stack -- the Cleveland Indians -- tougher to afford. We should at least give it a swing, though, because they are in a great spot.

Cleveland's facing Brian Johnson, who had a 5.09 ERA and 5.92 SIERA across seven starts last year. He's also a lefty, which means most of the Cleveland big boppers will have the platoon advantage. Put it up in Fenway Park, and there's a good recipe for some runs.

When you're using Paxton, you can still use two powerful bats in the middle of the order: Franmil Reyes ($3,200) and Domingo Santana ($2,800). Both players had at least a .238 isolated slugging percentage versus southpaws and get a safety boost thanks to Johnson's low strikeout rate. The rest of the lineup isn't easy to afford if you're going Paxton, but they at least ensure you can get a mini stack going here, and we can filter in the rest when using Maeda.

Getting the top-end Los Angeles Angels hitters will be tough, but they do bring some value for the Paxton lineups. You just have to accept that you might not be able to get Mike Trout ($4,500).

The Angels are facing John Means, whose peripherals (5.19 SIERA) are much more stack-friendly than his results (3.73 ERA). His 17.9% strikeout rate and 5.8% walk rate, though, help ensure we'll see balls in play, which is a boon.

The key cog in the lineup is Albert Pujols ($2,200), who will potentially give you the flexibility to get either Trout or Anthony Rendon ($4,000). Pujols isn't a stud anymore, obviously, but he did have a .255 isolated slugging percentage against lefties and a 12.2% strikeout rate. He, David Fletcher ($2,900), and Justin Upton ($2,700) are all $2,900 or cheaper and batting in the top six in the lineup, so this is a great place to search if you want some value.

The New York Yankees as a team probably aren't affordable, but they do give a cheap one-off bat in Aaron Hicks ($2,500). Hicks is batting fifth against Ivan Nova and had a .261 isolated slugging percentage against righties last year. Between Hicks, Pujols, and Santana, we should have enough value here to get both Paxton and some of the studs on each respective team. That seems to be the ideal formula for attacking this offering.

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.