FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks and Helper: Saturday 4/27/24

Austin Swaim
Austin SwaimASwaim3
FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks and Helper: Saturday 4/27/24

Luckily, we dodged the highest total in MLB history from Mexico on tonight's main slate.

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

Aaron Civale, Tampa Bay Rays ($10,100)

With any decent option, it's hard to pass up picking on the Chicago White Sox. Aaron Civale ($10,100) definitely meets that threshold.

Civale's 3.42 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) to begin the 2024 campaign has been fairly impressive, and he's currently building upon what would be a career-high strikeout rate (24.6%), as well. Now, in the future, I'm a bit concerned Civale's 9.7% swinging-strike rate will bring the punchout totals down, but Chicago isn't really the matchup to worry about it happening.

The Pale Hose have a league-worst 72 wRC+ and .588 OPS against right-handed pitching, and from a DFS perspective, their 24.3% strikeout rate (ninth-worst) will certainly suffice.

The Tampa Bay Rays' righty is projected for 36.1 median points by FanDuel Research's MLB DFS projections, which is the second-highest total of the day. However, his matchup is definitely softer than he who currently ranks #1.

Jordan Hicks, San Francisco Giants ($8,600)

I was skeptical of the San Francisco Giants' plan to start Jordan Hicks ($8,600) after such a successful career as a high-leverage reliever, but you can't argue with Hicks' results so far.

The fireballer has a 1.61 ERA through five starts, and while his pitcher-friendly ballpark will always suppress that raw result, a 2.75 expected ERA (xERA) shows plenty of hope it sticks. Honestly, I believe there's room for improvement from a fantasy perspective when his 16.7% punchout rate is well behind the previous lowest result of his career (22.7%).

That could begin today in a friendly matchup with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Pittsburgh hasn't hit righties in a half decade, and it hasn't changed with the sixth-worst wRC+ in the split to begin 2024 (85). The Buccos also have the 13th-highest strikeout rate (23.1%) against right-handers.

Hicks is FDR's second favorite value arm, projecting him for 35.4 fantasy points and 6.08 strikeouts this afternoon. If he can top six punchouts, it'll be a new career-high mark.

Others to Consider

  • Dylan Cease, San Diego Padres ($10,500)
    • Cease is the top projected pitcher above Civale, but the Philadelphia Phillies are eighth in MLB in OPS against right-handed pitching (.718) with an above-average strikeout rate (21.7%). When Civale's opponent is so soft, I have no choice but to rank him on top.
  • Chris Paddack, Minnesota Twins ($7,800)
    • Paddack is the only value arm projected for more fantasy points per dollar than Hicks, and the Los Angeles Angels have a mediocre 92 wRC+ against righties. Coming off a 10-strikeout game, you have to wonder if he's scratching the surface of rediscovering his 2019 form.

Stacks to Target

Tampa Bay Rays

An optimal lineup could be heavy on Rays. In addition to Civale, their offense is in a phenomenal spot, too.

Chicago's Jonathan Cannon has mightily struggled in his rookie season. The lefty has a 7.27 ERA that's been largely earned, per a 6.27 xERA. He's only generated a whiff on 6.5% percent of his pitches, and 55.2% of the balls in play against him have been hard-hit ones.

Entering today, the Rays are oddly struggling in this split. They've totaled the league's seventh-worst OPS (.636) and third-highest strikeout rate (26.8%) against them. That's a huge gap from last year's .784 OPS against them with a similar roster, so I'm still a buyer.

Nonetheless, there are individual Rays still getting it done. Isaac Paredes ($3,300) and Amed Rosario ($3,000) both have a wRC+ north of 130 in the split, and Randy Arozarena ($2,900) has an ISO still getting the job done (.129) despite struggling to get on base.

At value salaries against the slate's worst pitcher, Tampa will be popular. Fade with caution.

Atlanta Braves

Beyond the Rays, the second-best stack is "Ol' Reliable".

The Atlanta Braves are in a solid spot, so they're going to be relevant on this slate. Atlanta's dominance of both splits is uncanny, but they've been especially reliable against right-handed pitching. The Bravos lead baseball in OPS once against facing orthodox hurlers (.838) with the league's third-best ISO (.185) in the split.

Facing Tanner Bibee of the Cleveland Guardians seems to be an average task -- at worst. Bibee's 5.52 xERA is downright poor, and he's allowed a pedestrian 38.9% hard-hit rate. Entering the lion's den, Bibee has also ceded 1.48 HR/9 to begin the season.

The priority names are a bit different than last year for Atlanta. Marcell Ozuna ($4,100) has an absurd 1.107 OPS against right-handers, and Michael Harris II ($3,300) isn't far behind (.944). None of the Braves' top seven have a wRC+ lower than 110 against righties, so you can't really go wrong here.

Atlanta's 4.76 implied team total only trails the Rays on Saturday.

Others to Consider

  • New York Yankees and Milwaukee Brewers
    • The 8.5-run total in MLB's seventh-best park for homers is interesting. However, Joe Ross has a solid 3.44 xERA for the Brew Crew, and they've also struggled badly with lefties an offense. I have a hard time loving either.
  • Minnesota Twins
    • In addition to liking Paddack, Jose Soriano has a 4.59 xERA that's significantly higher than his ERA (3.34) so far, and the Angels' bullpen has struggled. Minnesota's 90 wRC+ against righties is just tough to trust compared to alternatives.

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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.