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MLB DFS picks for Sunday, April 1

Here’s a crazy pitcher pick for April Fool’s Day.

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Chicago White Sox Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

So, the Yu Darvish experiment didn’t go too well last night. He was the chalk though, as he was over 50% owned in the $4 Squeeze on FanDuel. It all depends on what sort of player you are. If your mindset to not fall behind the field if the chalk hits, you didn’t fare too well last night. If, however, you aim to be way off the chalk hoping that it busts, you probably did really well last night—especially if you worked your way around to Kenta Maeda. Luckily, I had Maeda in a small tourney and in a 30-man, so last night wasn’t a total loss.

Generally I’m too chalky, though. It’s just how I’m wired. Today, I’m going to try not to be. It’s difficult for me to go against the grain, but I don’t want to endure an entire MLB season’s worth of eating the chalk. Welcome to the abbreviated Easter version of MLB DFS picks, ladies and gents. I think this pitcher will be low-owned, but who knows? Guessing ownership is an exercise in futility for me, generally.

Reynaldo Lopez ($5,900) @ Kansas City Royals

Lopez is intriguing because he has a great matchup in a great park, and because he has some promising numbers against right-handed hitters. For his MLB career—which admittedly spans less than 100 innings over two seasons—Lopez has only allowed one home run to right-handed hitters. Also over his career, Lopez has allowed hard contact only 22.8% of the time to right-handed bats, and has a minuscule 1.8% HR/FB rate against righties. In the safe haven that is Kauffman Stadium, I am inclined to take a stab at him against this weak Royals lineup.

The obvious caveat is that lefty bats make loads of hard contact (32.7%) and hit tons of fly balls (45.7%). Left-handed bats have a healthy HR/FB rate (14.5%) against him, too. Mike Moustakas is obviously a concern, but are we really worried too much about Jon Jay, Lucas Duda, and Alex Gordon?

Quick Hits

The Orioles were nearly no-hit last night and they burned the DFSers who used them (myself included). Against one of the buzziest young pitchers of the offseason (Jose Berrios) I am willing to use them. Berrios did have a lot of success against RHH last year, limiting the hard contact and allowing lots of soft contact—as well as keeping the ball on the ground more. It was lefty hitters who touched him up more, so I’m looking at leadoff Chris Davis to finally make something happen. And I’ll still take Schoop and Machado. It doesn’t seem like it makes sense, but the Orioles have the second-highest implied run total of the day according to “Vegas,” at 4.57. All those people know more than I do, so let’s see how it shakes out, eh? I’m mainly playing the contrarian game, taking good hitters in a good park, a day after they let everyone down. Maybe it’s stupid, but we’ll find out soon enough.

The Cubs (4.78) have the highest implied total against lefty Dillon Peters. I don’t need to discuss those big names. If I can weave some of them into my lineups, I will. Don’t forget about Rizzo, who fares well in the LvL split.

Lastly, I like some Nicholas Castellanos today. I’m saving lots of money by using Reynaldo, so I need to find some bats to pay up for. Kris Bryant is an obvious choice, but Castellanos is still a little sneaky. Pirates hurler Trevor Williams allows more hard contact (33.3%) and has a higher HR/FB rate (14.3%) against righty bats than he does to lefties—and I like Castellanos more than I like Miggy. Sue me. Castellanos had a .193 ISO and smacked 15 home runs against RHP in 2017. He also made hard contact 42.7% of the time and hit line drives 25.3% of the time. What’s not to love?

That’s it for me—I told you it was abbreviated! Hoppy Easter, ladies and gents. I’ll show myself out.