FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Saturday 4/20/24

Austin Swaim
Austin SwaimASwaim3
FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Saturday 4/20/24

Saturday's main slate includes bad weather at Coors Field and no defined "top" option at pitcher? How can we stay smart but get different?

Our daily fantasy helper is available every day to analyze FanDuel's main slate and help give you a starting point when you're building lineups.

Be sure to also incorporate numberFire's great tools into your research process, including daily projections, the latest starting lineups and weather, and batting and pitching heat maps to find the best matchups.

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.


Pitchers to Target

Corbin Burnes ($11,200)

On a slate that's muddy -- to say the least -- for pitching, betting on talent usually isn't a bad idea.

Corbin Burnes ($11,200) is arguably the most talented pitcher in the AL at present, so he's a great place to start. Burnes' first season with the Baltimore Orioles couldn't have started better, amassing a 2.28 ERA that's well-supported by a 2.98 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) to this stage. Plus, Burnes' 27.2% strikeout rate provides upside in DFS in most matchups.

Though the Kansas City Royals have surprisingly started well against right-handed pitching, a potential regression to expectation could always be coming. While there's no nitpicking K.C.'s 11th-best OPS (.724) and 8th-lowest strikeout rate (20.8%) in the split to this point, there isn't a pitcher that checks every box of matchup, form, and environment on Saturday.

Therefore, turning to Burnes' excellency in a matchup we expected to be soft to begin the year isn't a terrible place to start.

Luis Castillo ($9,700)

Using a pitcher at Coors Field is harrowing, but Coors isn't bearing its usual teeth today. Windy, cold, and damp conditions should make for a tough environment for both of these offenses that are already struggling.

The Colorado Rockies have been one of the worst offenses in baseball for both splits, but against righties, they've waffled to an 88 wRC+ (seventh-worst in MLB) and 27.4% strikeout rate (third-worst). That's not ideal news to score against a pitcher the caliber of Luis Castillo ($9,700).

After a rocky outing on Opening Day, Castillo has stabilized to an excellent 3.03 SIERA and 27.3% strikeout in three starts. The Seattle Mariners' ace has allowed just a 35.8% flyball rate, which couldn't be more perfect for tonight's park.

If he weren't in Coors Field and still facing the Rockies, he'd be the consensus top pitcher on the board. I'll take this salary and popularity decrease when Coors isn't expected to be a huge issue on Saturday.

Others to Consider

  • Graham Ashcraft ($9,500)
    • Matchups are pretty brutal across the board, but the Los Angeles Angels' 94 wRC+ and 24.1% strikeout rate against righties isn't that scary. Ashcraft's 50.0% groundball rate also helps eliminate concerns of his home park.
  • Dakota Hudson ($7,000)
    • Seattle's 30.5% strikeout rate against righties is the highest in MLB. This might be the lone time I'll consider Hudson in Denver all year due to a low strikeout rate (15.9%), but a punt-level salary in a pristine matchup could still work if high-salaried stacks explode in conjunction.

Stacks to Target

Cincinnati Reds

With Coors looking more like Lambeau Field, the best hitting environment is in "Great American Smallpark" between the L.A. Angels and Cincinnati Reds.

Plus, the Redlegs draw a lefty today, and that's a huge demarcation for their young offense. Cincy's 90 wRC+ and .312 wOBA against righties leaps to a 97 wRC+ and .322 wOBA against lefties.

It should help that Patrick Sandoval is a gettable one. Holding a 4.30 SIERA, Sandoval isn't perfect, and he's due for regression despite getting groundballs at a decent clip (48.1%). He hasn't surrendered a homer this year despite a 9.1% HR/FB ratio a year ago.

The best performing Cincy bats against left-handed pitching at the moment are Jeimer Candelario ($2,700), Spencer Steer ($3,600), and Stuart Fairchild ($2,500) -- all of whom have started the year with a .750 OPS or better in the split.

To me, they're a favorite stack behind Castillo with a long ball -- or two -- knocking on Sandoval's door.

Texas Rangers

The Texas Rangers and Atlanta Braves are going to combine for a lofty total any time the stellar batting attacks match up, and Saturday is a no different with a 9.0-run total in the ATL.

Texas will likely have an easier time at the dish facing Charlie Morton. The 40-year-old's age is showing just a touch to begin the 2024 campaign as he's clanked his way to a 5.29 ERA -- though a 4.07 SIERA suggests better days could be ahead soon. Morton's 38.6% flyball rate has been the genesis of the issues; that mark would currently set a new career-high.

It's hard to believe those "better days" begin in earnest when facing a Texas offense that's slugged a .754 OPS (fifth-best) and 17.7% strikeout rate (lowest in MLB) against orthodox hurlers. Nothing is easy.

If there's a high-salaried stack worth the price of admission, it's probably this one. Adolis Garcia ($4,200), Marcus Semien ($4,000), and Corey Seager ($3,600) have lived up to their lore at the dish with at least a 140 wRC+ in the split each.

Others to Consider

  • Atlanta Braves
    • Again due to contractual obligation, I have to write up the Bravos' offense in some capacity. There will be easier tests for their sky-high salaries than Nathan Eovaldi (3.72 SIERA), though.
  • Toronto Blue Jays
    • Toronto is a sneaky option in the nightcap facing Randy Vasquez, who has struggled to a 5.12 xFIP with Triple-A El Paso prior to this emergency start. Better ballparks elsewhere and a so-so 4.11 implied total are hiding the worst pitcher on the slate.

Looking to build some MLB DFS lineups? Check out FanDuel’s daily fantasy baseball lobby to see all the offerings for today’s slates.

Sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook and FanDuel Daily Fantasy today!

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.