FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Sunday 4/7/24

Austin Swaim
Austin SwaimASwaim3
FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Sunday 4/7/24

FanDuel's game-makers did me a favor to keep Coors Field off Sunday's 11-game main slate, but how will we navigate it without a single pitcher holding a five-digit salary?

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

Jack Flaherty, Detroit Tigers ($9,700)

Sunday's pitching outlook seems to be a clear two-headed monster, leading off with Jack Flaherty ($9,700).

Any right-handed arm would be worth careful consideration against the 2024 Oakland Athletics, who have waffled to a 70 wRC+ (fourth-worst) and 29.1% strikeout rate (second-worst) in the split thus far. However, Flaherty is no ordinary righty.

The former stud St. Louis Cardinals prospect gave up just one run in six innings in his Detroit Tigers debut, headlined by a 30.4% strikeout rate and a return to 93.6 mph on his four-seam fastball. It was just one outing, but it's enough encouragement to take the plunge in such a plum spot.

FanDuel Research's MLB projections expect 31.2 fantasy points from the Tigers' hurler -- the third-most on the slate.

Chris Sale, Atlanta Braves ($9,500)

Though you'd have to give the slight edge to Flaherty in cash games due to matchup, Chris Sale ($9,500) is a stellar tournament option.

Sale's arrival to the Atlanta Braves was definitely considered a "league is fudged" type of transaction, and he did his best to instill more fear in his debut. The enigmatic southpaw amassed a 3.09 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) and 31.8% strikeout rate in his first start, which was especially impressive considering it came at the expense of the Philadelphia Phillies' solid lineup.

Last season, the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks posted just a 92 wRC+ against southpaws (eighth-worst in MLB) with a similar lineup, so it is a bit ambiguous if that number of their 154 wRC+ this season is more indicative of the type of matchup we're expecting. I'm leaning the former given Arizona's first two series with the Colorado Rockies and right-hand-heavy New York Yankees.

Sale's projection at FDR (31.4) sits just in front of Flaherty, and the two are a good bit from the rest of the pack.

Others to Consider

  • Kyle Gibson ($8,900)
    • The 0-9 Miami Marlins aren't exactly crushing it offensively, but Gibson's low strikeout rate (16.0% in 2024) is always the concern for him in DFS. I see him as a pivot expecting both other guys to get shelled.
  • Bowden Francis ($7,300)
    • Surprisingly, the Toronto Blue Jays' righty leads all hurlers in FDR's projections (36.0), but the matchup -- one that chased Kevin Gausman early on Saturday -- isn't ideal. His 16.5% swinging-strike rate suggests huge upside if you want to load up on bats.

Stacks to Target

Atlanta Braves

If you missed the Braves last night, you'll have to pay the piper (in terms of popularity) on Sunday's main slate. They're still so hard to turn down at home here.

Atlanta came from behind to post a nine spot and win on Saturday against this same D-Backs pitching staff, and right-hander Ryne Nelson doesn't inspire a ton of hope for resistance. Nelson was chased with an 8.89 SIERA in just 2.2 innings of work in his debut against the Yankees' lineup. Moreover, his 5.24 SIERA and 18.8% strikeout rate from last season were indicative that such a debut was possible.

The Bravos have crushed righties for a league-best 1.009 OPS and .249 ISO thus far. They're nearly impossible to ignore facing a weak one.

Their strongest bats in the split thus far (by OPS) are Michael Harris II ($3,300), Marcell Ozuna ($3,200), Matt Olson ($4,200), and Ozzie Albies ($4,000). The average salary of those four bats isn't even super punitive.

With the highest implied total on the board (5.08), they will be popular.

St. Louis Cardinals

When balancing matchup, ability, and popularity, the St. Louis Cards are my favorite stack of the day.

It's quite easy to pick on the Marlins at present, but that's especially true of projected starter Max Meyer on the road. Meyer's first start since 2022 earned him a 3.60 ERA in five innings, but the underlying numbers were quite frightening. 61.5% of the balls in play against him were hard-hit ones, and his 8.9% swinging-strike rate was generating very few whiffs.

St. Louis has, of course, elite bats in any matchup with Paul Goldschmidt ($3,400) and Nolan Arenado ($3,200), but they also have others ripping the cover off the ball against righties like Meyer currently. Brendan Donovan ($3,100) and Masyn Winn ($2,600) have OPS metrics north of .900 to begin the campaign.

The Cards' late start and lower 4.77 implied team total could shield them a bit in tournaments.

Others to Consider

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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.