MLB Sim Sports Picks for 4/24/20 on FanDuel
Do you miss baseball? Yeah, we do, too.
Maybe you can't quite fill that sports void in your heart, but FanDuel has been coming up with new contests to keep us entertained during these strange times.
Enter MLB Sim 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 -- 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.
Below are the starting pitchers for Friday's slate, which locks at 7:30pm ET. Stats are from 2019 and limited to just games started, so you may see slight changes in the overall numbers of some players who made appearances out of the bullpen. Opposing strikeout rate and wRC+ are last year's numbers against a given pitcher's handedness using updated active rosters, per FanGraphs.
|Pitcher||Salary||Opp.||SIERA||K%||BB%||Opp. K%||Opp. wRC+|
|Justin Verlander (R)||$12,000||OAK||2.95||35.4 %||5.0 %||22.8 %||109|
|Jack Flaherty (R)||$11,400||MIA||3.68||29.9 %||7.1 %||24.4 %||95|
|Jacob deGrom (R)||$10,500||@ATL||3.29||31.7 %||5.5 %||22.4 %||100|
|Dinelson Lamet (R)||$9,300||@DET||3.61||33.6 %||9.6 %||25.6 %||82|
|Matthew Boyd (L)||$8,800||SDP||3.61||30.2 %||6.4 %||24.5 %||107|
|Caleb Smith (L)||$8,000||@STL||4.58||26.0 %||9.3 %||22.4 %||96|
|Cole Hamels (L)||$7,900||NYM||4.55||23.2 %||9.1 %||23.4 %||114|
|Julio Teheran (R)||$7,700||CWS||5.11||21.5 %||11.0 %||25.6 %||107|
|Dallas Keuchel (L)||$7,400||@LAA||4.39||18.7 %||8.0 %||19.8 %||102|
|Johnny Cueto (R)||$7,200||WAS||5.49||19.4 %||13.4 %||21.5 %||96|
|Joe Ross (R)||$7,000||@SFG||5.24||19.8 %||11.5 %||24.0 %||89|
|Frankie Montas (R)||$6,800||@HOU||3.76||26.1 %||5.8 %||16.3 %||129|
|Jake Odorizzi (R)||$6,700||BOS||4.14||27.1 %||8.1 %||19.9 %||105|
|Brandon Woodruff (R)||$6,500||@COL||3.6||29.0 %||6.1 %||22.5 %||86|
|Jordan Lyles (R)||$6,400||SEA||4.53||24.4 %||9.2 %||25.9 %||88|
|Martin Perez (L)||$6,200||@MIN||5.01||17.8 %||8.4 %||20.4 %||123|
|Justus Sheffield (L)||$6,000||@TEX||4.57||22.1 %||9.1 %||26.4 %||97|
|Jeff Hoffman (R)||$5,500||MIL||5.11||21.6 %||10.8 %||22.8 %||102|
To help get you started, let's go through some of the top pitchers and stacks on tonight's nine-game slate.
The first five hurlers in the chart immediately stand out for their high strikeout rates, with all of them at around 30% or better.
However, of the five, Matt Boyd ($8,800) arguably can be taken out of the running. Despite his strong peripherals, his real-life results were mediocre (4.56 ERA), and he had middling numbers across the board in prior seasons. As a result, season-long projections see his punchouts take a step back (Steamer gives him a 26.3% rate), with an ERA once again over 4.00. The Padres also have some potent bats in their lineup that could cause the left-hander some issues.
Flaherty and Lamet stand out in particular, though, due to their respective matchups against the Marlins and Tigers. Detroit's active roster has the lowest wRC+ versus righties in the entire league, so Lamet arguably gives you the most bang for your buck. If salary is less of a concern for you, then Flaherty is the slate's top overall choice.
It will be tough to keep up with that group, but should you dip into the bargain bin, Caleb Smith ($8,000) might be the way to go. He projects kind of like a poor man's Matt Boyd but comes with an $800 discount and a less dangerous matchup.
It's a Coors Field slate, and you don't need me to tell you that between the Colorado Rockies and Milwaukee Brewers, the latter squad gets the far easier matchup against Jeff Hoffman, who owns a 6.11 ERA and 1.59 WHIP across four seasons with the Rockies. Christian Yelich ($4,500), Keston Hiura ($3,900), and Justin Smoak ($3,500) are your best bets to knock one out of the park.
The Minnesota Twins also stand out and are criminally cheap against DFS punching bag favorite, Martin Perez. Although Perez doesn't allow a ton of fly balls (29.3%), that's about where the good news ends for him, and an offensive juggernaut like the Twins should be able to take advantage of his poor strikeout rate. Nelson Cruz ($3,000) and Miguel Sano ($2,900) should be popular at their prices facing a lefty, and Josh Donaldson ($3,300) is inexpensive, as well.
For a more contrarian stack, you could actually consider rolling with the San Diego Padres against Matt Boyd. As noted earlier, Boyd could be overvalued based on last season's peripherals, and he really struggled with home runs, too, allowing 1.89 per nine innings off a 40.7% hard-hit rate and 44.9% fly-ball rate. Fernando Tatis Jr. ($3,700), Tommy Pham ($3,400), and Manny Machado ($3,200) are a formidable trio at the top of the order, and Wil Myers ($2,300) is a fantastic value out of the five hole. Although Myers was disappointing in 2019, he still mashed lefties with a .279 ISO and .368 wOBA.
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.