MLB Sim Sports Picks for 4/27/20 on FanDuel

Mike Clevinger is an elite arm in a high-strikeout matchup, making him the top option for Monday's simulated MLB DFS slate. Which other players should we consider on FanDuel?

In daily fantasy -- whether real or simulated -- all you can ask for is to have options.

When there aren't enough viable routes on a slate, you're pigeon-holed into either going where everyone else goes or taking a sub-optimal route. Neither of those options are all that appealing, and you'll lose that sweet tingly feeling you get when you submit a lineup you love.

Today's simulated MLB DFS slate gives you multiple paths, and none of them are all that bad. Here are the starting pitchers, along with their numbers in starts last year. The opposing strikeout and wRC+ marks are based on current active rosters against pitchers of that handedness.

Pitcher Salary Opponent SIERA Strikeout % Walk % Opp. K% Opp. wRC+
Mike Clevinger $11,500 TAM 3.31 33.9% 7.4% 24.3% 99
Eduardo Rodriguez $9,700 TOR 4.31 24.8% 8.7% 24.7% 94
Lance Lynn $9,300 OAK 3.83 28.1% 6.7% 22.8% 109
Carlos Martinez $9,000 SDP -- -- -- 25.0% 88
Mike Soroka $8,700 CIN 4.28 20.3% 5.9% 24.3% 95
Luis Castillo $8,500 ATL 3.95 28.9% 10.1% 22.4% 100
Joey Lucchesi $7,900 STL 4.48 23.0% 8.2% 22.4% 96
Jose Quintana $7,700 PIT 4.55 19.9% 5.9% 21.3% 85
Vince Velasquez $7,300 SFG 4.42 24.6% 7.9% 24.0% 89
Brad Keller $7,000 BAL 5.23 17.2% 9.9% 21.5% 86
A.J. Puk $6,900 TEX -- -- -- 26.4% 97
Drew Smyly $6,800 PHI 4.73 24.2% 10.4% 23.9% 109
Tanner Roark $6,600 BOS 4.57 21.9% 7.1% 19.9% 105
Ryan Yarbrough $6,500 CLE 4.21 20.9% 3.2% 20.8% 104
Derek Holland $6,100 CHC 5.16 25.0% 14.3% 24.5% 94
Wade LeBlanc $5,500 KAN 5.01 16.9% 5.1% 21.7% 88

We have multiple avenues for goodness in both our pitchers and our stacks. Hallelujah. Let's break both down and see how we should attack this slate.


Any time Mike Clevinger ($11,500) is on a slate and not in a final-boss-level matchup, you're going to be drawn his way. He's the ideal starting spot for this discussion.

Clevinger was superb yet again last year, posting a 2.71 ERA with a 3.31 SIERA while striking out 33.9% of his opponents. That strikeout rate is five percentage points higher than any of the other starters, so with the elevated salary comes an elevated ceiling.

The matchup here isn't a gimme by any means, but it's doable. The Tampa Bay Rays' active roster had a 99 wRC+ and 24.3% strikeout rate against righties in 2019, and that strikeout rate will give an additional nudge to Clevinger's upside. That makes him our top option.

Lance Lynn ($9,300), though, checks in at $2,200 cheaper and also has a path to a big game. Lynn went nuts down the stretch of last year and finished with a 28.1% strikeout rate. That's in addition to pitching deep into games, something for which the simulations do account.

Lynn's matchup is tougher than Clevinger's, which is why we should be more inclined to pay up. Lynn is facing the Oakland Athletics, who have the top opposing wRC+ on the slate at 109. Still, they're not a super low-strikeout team, so we can justify some extra risk as a pivot off of Clevinger.

There's risk around Luis Castillo ($8,500), too, which is again why Clevinger sits atop our list. But Castillo finished 2019 with a 28.9% strikeout rate, meaning it's within his range of outcomes to be the highest-scoring starter of the night. His 10.1% walk rate gives us additional incentive to favor either Clevinger or Lynn. Still, the Atlanta Braves are down a slugger with Josh Donaldson out of town, so it's a matchup he could potentially overcome. Castillo gives us a third palatable option at pitcher, this one checking in at just $8,500.


Just as we had multiple outlets at pitcher, we've got a couple of solid offenses we can stack. The top one seems to be the Chicago Cubs against Derek Holland.

Holland was limited to eight starts this year, which makes this a small sample, but that happened because of how much he struggled when given the chance to start. He had a 5.16 SIERA along with an 8.10 ERA, putting the Cubs in a plus spot.

The Cubs are a tough team to afford if you're using Clevinger, as none of the top six hitters in their lineup has a salary lower than $3,100. If you decide to roll with Lynn or Castillo, though, you should be able to make this one happen. Kris Bryant ($3,700), specifically, shapes up as a strong play after he finished 2019 with a .333 isolated slugging percentage against lefties.

When you're looking for that value option in Clevinger lineups, an unlikely hero emerges from the mist. The Baltimore Orioles may actually be a stacking candidate rather than a team we pick on with the opposing pitcher.

They're facing Brad Keller, who had a 5.23 SIERA thanks to his 17.2% strikeout rate last year. The Orioles should put the ball in play, which is both a deviation from the norm and something we should always seek out with stacks.

It's also not as if this team is completely devoid of pop. Trey Mancini ($3,000), Renato Nunez ($2,600), and Anthony Santander ($2,300) all had an isolated slugging percentage of at least .200 against righties in 2019, and all three are batting in the top four spots in the order. Austin Hays ($3,000) also had strong numbers in a limited sample. The Orioles ain't great, but they're cheap and make affording Clevinger a breeze, so you could do a lot worse.

The other side of that game isn't too shabby, either, with the Kansas City Royals facing Wade LeBlanc. LeBlanc had a 5.71 ERA for the full season and a 5.01 SIERA in the rotation, putting the Royals' offense in position to post some runs.

The big downside for the Royals is -- thanks to the park and the matchup -- they aren't exactly cheap. However, you can get Whit Merrifield ($2,800) and Maikel Franco ($2,500) for bargain salaries, and both had good power numbers with the platoon advantage. Loading up on the Royals' and Orioles' hitters may make you want to throw up in your mouth, but in these matchups, it's kinda hard to say no.

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.