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FanDuel DFS MLB picks for Saturday, April 15

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Heath takes a looks at the early slate of games on FanDuel.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Chicago White Sox Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

FanDuel’s Early Only slate has six games and begins at 1:05pm ET. I do not love the smaller slates, but the early one is one game bigger than the main slate, so we will focus on the early one. It’s still early, after all.

Expect a wee bit of a shift in format here at FakeTeams. In an effort to cover MLB daily fantasy each day we will be focusing on a pitcher to target and a pitcher to stack against. Anything you glean beyond that is just icing on the proverbial cake. Without further ado, let’s see what is up with the Early Only slate...

Target: Ervin Santana ($8,200) vs. Chicago White Sox

Ervin Santana looks sneaky today. He does well against right-handed hitters, which is what the White Sox “threaten” with. If you call Tyler Saladino, Timothy Anderson, Jose Abreu, and Todd Frazier “threats.”

Left-handed hitters get to Santana somewhat (30.8% hard and .332 wOBA) but the Sox literally have no lefty bats to threaten with. Plus, Minnesota’s park limits lefty bats anyway. The park is better for right-handed power, but Ervin’s strength is against those guys. Santana is off to a hot 2-0 start as well. I think he keeps it going today.

Stack Against: Brandon Finnegan ($7,400) with the Milwaukee Brewers

Jonathan Villar (.236 ISO, .393 wOBA), Domingo Santana (.240 ISO, .381 wOBA), Ryan Braun (.289 ISO, .433 wOBA), and Keon Broxton (.226 ISO, .386 wOBA) might as well be a death sentence for Finnegan. I do not know why the Reds are slight favorites in this game, but I think it has something to do with Zach Davies not getting enough credit for his ability to command his pitches. This is not a great park for Davies but the Reds lineup is not threatening to a guy who has a healthy 49 percent ground ball rate to right-handed hitters. Finnegan, meanwhile, allows hard contact 35.7% of the time to right-handed hitters and 1.59 HR/9 to righties. All of the aforementioned Brewers are (you guessed it) right-handed. Just beware in tournaments...the Brew-Crew went bonkers last night and they will be highly-owned today.

Other quick thoughts:

I want no part of Marco Estrada in Toronto against those powerful Baltimore right-handed hitters. Estrada is an extreme fly ball pitcher who gives up hard contact a whopping 36.4 percent of the time to right-handed bats. Estrada is only favored in this one because a wet-behind-the-ears Alec Asher is getting the start for Baltimore. Adam Jones, Mark Trumbo, Manny Machado, Welington Castillo, Jonathan Schoop...any of these make sense as a one-off play or as a part of a mini-stack today.

Jose Quintana is a very good pitcher but right-handed hitters get to him slightly more. Brian Dozier is a lefty-masher (.237 ISO) with a healthy 46% fly ball rate and 31.9% hard contact rate against them for his career. Miguel Sano (.258 ISO and 45.6% hard) is the other power threat but he also strikes out 35% of the time against southpaws. If I use Ervin Santana in a tourney I will probably incorporate one of these guys into my lineup. It would take a big game from one of them for Santana to get the win. I like Dozier over Sano.

The wind blowing out in Wrigley (19 mph right now) gives me a reason to try to fade Arrieta, who I personally never like to use. It also gives me reason to love the Cubs offense today. Tyler Glasnow is a hard-throwing rookie with control issues, and it is going to be around 80 degrees in this one. A lot of balls could leave the yard in Chicago today. You can literally use any iteration of the Cubs lineup that you want to...but give me Willson Contreras if I can get him. He is more powerful than Addison Russell and can round out your Cubs stack after the big three (Rizzo, Bryant, Schwarber).

Sample Lineup

Ervin Santana, Welington Castillo, Anthony Rizzo, Brian Dozier, Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Kyle Schwarber, Domingo Santana, Kevin Pillar

Not a lot of Brewers in there, which makes me nervous. But they are an obvious play. I am going for (slightly) less obvious with similar upside. The Cubs represent that in Wrigley against the struggling Glasnow. They will be popular as well but I think the Brewers in that RvL split will be even more so. We shall see.

Who do you love today?