MLB

FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Saturday 4/13/24

Austin Swaim
Austin SwaimASwaim3
FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Saturday 4/13/24

Saturday's main slate lacks any pitcher over $10,000, but there are quality options. How will we be different using plenty of salary -- as most will -- on the day's top stacks?

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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.

Note: All MLB odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook. All stats come from FanGraphs and Baseball Savant unless noted otherwise.

MLB DFS Picks

Pitchers to Target

Chris Sale ($9,700)

Without much doubt, Chris Sale ($9,700) is going to crack most lineups against baseball's punching bag at present.

The 2-12 Miami Marlins aren't very good in a lot of respects, but they've been downright inept against left-handed pitching so far. Miami's 29 wRC+ is dead last in MLB by a mile, and it's come with an equally laughable .424 OPS. Regression to the mean is coming, but it's unlikely it's overwhelmingly against the Atlanta Braves' lefty today.

Sale's first two starts couldn't have gone much better, amassing a 2.58 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) and 31.0% strikeout rate. He's posted at least 31 FanDuel points in both outings despite an apparent cap on pitch volume, which could be fading as the season progresses.

The lone path to failure for Sale could be that Miami's 20.9% team K rate against lefties doesn't leave a ton of upside for whiffs, but FanDuel Research's MLB projections peg Sale for 36.1 projected fantasy points today -- most on the main slate.

Ryan Pepiot ($7,800)

In tournaments, there could be a great reward if Sale's fantasy production doesn't go as planned. My top alternative is Ryan Pepiot ($7,800) of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Tampa seems to crank out 20-something-year-old stud righties by the dozen, and Pepiot appears to have taken the leap to bonafide starter in 2024. Through two appearances, Pepiot has totaled a 3.18 SIERA and 31.8% strikeout rate that can go step-for-step with Sale's marks.

He's got a good matchup, too. The San Francisco Giants have a 75 wRC+ against righties (fourth-worst in MLB), and their 22.1% strikeout rate in the split provides a bit more projected upside on paper than Sale's opponents.

In one of baseball's best parks for pitching, Pepiot's 34.6 projected fantasy points (from FDR) only trail Sale on the slate. He's also at home while Sale visits Miami, so I'd be inclined to turn to him in a single-entry tournament for the sake of differentiation.

Others to Consider

  • MacKenzie Gore ($8,000)
    • I could easily see Gore as most's top alternative in tournaments given the Oakland Athletics' general awfulness, including a .591 OPS and 26.2% strikeout rate against southpaws. I don't have any qualms with him, either.
  • DL Hall ($6,400)
    • Hall has struggled through two starts, but so have the opposing Baltimore Orioles (50 wRC+ versus lefties). His 28.3% strikeout rate from last year implies some semblance of a ceiling if you want to go bananas at high-salaried stacks.

Stacks to Target

Atlanta Braves

One of the reasons I might shy away from Sale is to allow room for a fourth Braves hitter when stacking their elite offense.

Miami's outlook to stop the Bravos from scoring is even more grim than their offense's. Max Meyer has a 4.33 SIERA and middling 17.1% strikeout rate this season, and he'll now be forced to find a way to halt an Atlanta offense that is demolishing right-handed pitching. ATL's 154 wRC+, .947 OPS, and .222 ISO in the split comfortably lead baseball in each category.

Plus, the Fish's bullpen has followed suit. They've got the seventh-highest reliever xFIP (4.79) in MLB to begin the campaign.

Against righties, there really isn't a wrong answer in the Braves' order, but Marcell Ozuna ($3,900), Michael Harris II ($3,500), Matt Olson ($4,300), and Ozzie Albies ($4,200) all carry a wRC+ north of 150 thus far and fill a variety of key positions.

It gets a bit boring after a while, but I'll be spending top dollar on Atlanta's hitters again on Saturday.

Boston Red Sox

In baseball's second-best hitter's park, I'm turning to a team that got shut out on Friday for a bounce-back effort.

The Boston Red Sox had no answers for lefty Reid Detmers last night, but righty Griffin Canning should be a different story. Canning has stumbled out of the gates with a 5.99 SIERA, 13.0% strikeout rate, and 45.4% hard-hit rate to this point in 2024. As was also the case with Miami, the Los Angeles Angels' bullpen likely won't resurrect these issues considering they've got the 11th-worst team reliever xFIP (4.79) in the early going.

Days off for Tyler O'Neill and Rafael Devers complicated matters a bit to target this lineup with elite pieces, but Jarren Duran ($3,600), Triston Casas ($3,100), Masataka Yoshida ($2,800), and Reese McGuire ($2,600) all have a career (or season) wRC+ north of 100 in the split.

If you're looking for a stack with a bit more value to jam in Sale rather than Pepiot, Boston is a fine solution. Their 5.25-run implied team total is gigantic.

Others to Consider

  • Houston Astros
    • The 'Stros lit up Andrew Heaney for six earned runs in his last start, and I'd expect that trend to continue with their 133 wRC+ versus lefties (third-best in MLB) this season. Heaney's 50.3% flyball rate is a homer waiting to happen.
  • Philadelphia Phillies
    • High salaries and an overall positive matchup with Marco Gonzales (4.66 SIERA) make the Phils another appealing way to allocate salary in this one. Gonzales' six straight seasons with a hard-hit rate below 37.5% make monstrous outings a little hard to project moving forward, though.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.