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MLB DFS picks for Sunday, April 8

Heath chats up the main slate of games on FanDuel.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Philadelphia Phillies Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Sunday, ladies and gents. There are several quality pitching options on this slate, and the weather outside is frightful (or cold, at least). No game on this slate has a projected starting temperature of over 44 degrees. Yikes. The fun begins at 1:05pm ET and is comprised of 10 games. Let’s hop to it.

Elite Pitcher: Jameson Taillon ($8,600) vs. Cincinnati Reds

Taillon checks every box. He’s at home. He’s coming off of a stellar first game (5.1 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 9 SO, 2 ER, 1 W, 43 FDP). His opponent, the Reds, have a 78 wRC+ against right-handed pitching, the eighth-worst mark in the league. They strike out 22.2% of the time and have a minuscule .085 ISO. Only the Marlins, Dodgers, and Royals have been weaker vs. right-handers in 2018. The run total for this game is 7.5 for good reason.

Mid-Range Pitcher: Luke Weaver ($7,700) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks

Weaver managed a solid 27 FDP in his first turn against the red-hot Mets. That game was in New York, but now he returns home to face Arizona, who have a .107 ISO against right-handed pitching, the fifth-worst mark in the league (right behind the Reds). Arizona does have a healthy walk rate against RHP—second best in the league in fact, at 12.8%—but Weaver had a solid 6.8% walk rate in 2017 and has a career mark of 7.3%. The Cardinals have hit more home runs against right-handers (11) than any team on this slate and get to face Taijuan Walker today, who had a poor outing against the Dodgers in his first turn. I think there’s a solid chance that Weaver is pitching with the game in hand today.

Value Pitcher: Tyler Mahle ($6,800) @ Pittsburgh Pirates

Yes, Mahle opposes Taillon, who I already picked. But this is one of those scenarios where it seems viable to use both pitchers in the same game if you’re playing on a two-pitcher site. Mahle is coming off of a strong outing against the Cubs, where he compiled a 7:2 K:BB ratio and picked up the win and a quality start (49 FDP). Even without a win today, he could reach value due to his friendly salary.

Elite Stack: Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa will have a “bullpen-day” today, starting Andrew Kittredge. Of note, Tampa’s bullpen is tied for the league lead in home runs allowed, with five so far. The Red Sox (and Fenway in general) have their deficiencies with regard to power, but it appears that J.D. Martinez is heating up and that Xander Bogaerts is all the way back from injury. I like the Sox as a full stack today. Also of note, both of Kittredge’s appearances have come against Boston this year, for a combined line of 5 23 IP, 5 H, 3 BB, 2 SO, 2 ER. I do not think the third time is the charm.

Mid-Range Stack: Chicago White Sox vs. Mike Fiers

I’ll be honest, I had no idea Fiers was still lingering around the league. I’m glad for it, though, as the White Sox are the most powerful team overall according to ISO and the most powerful team against RHP (.254 ISO, .382 wOBA) so far in 2018. My favorites are Yoan Moncada, Avisail Garcia, Jose Abreu, and Matt Davidson (or the top four hitters). Feel free to weave in Tim Anderson in GPPs, though his batting order slot isn’t ideal for cash game scenarios (and he’s far more powerful against left-handed pitching). Fiers is bad against both handedness of hitting, too, in case you were wondering.

Value Stack: Philadelphia Philles vs. Trevor Richards

Depending on how you stack it, this could be a very affordable grouping today. We’ll also have to see how the lineup shakes out, and whether or not Scott Kingery ($2,600) gets another start. Aaron Altherr ($2,300) and Maikel Franco ($2,700) are affordable as well. Only Rhys Hoskins ($4,300) is going to cost you, but with so many value options surrounding him, I think this squad fits the format today. Richards looked outmatched in his MLB debut against the Red Sox, allowing five earned runs and eight hits over 4 13 innings. I’m erring on the side of this Phillies squad is better than their league-average performance thus far, and last night’s 20-run barrage against the Marlins speaks to that. I expect the team ISO of .153 against RHP (16th in MLB) to continue to climb.


Given that there are many attractive pitching options, I’ll spend more time than usual attempting to identify the hitters I like today, and then I’ll see who I can make it work with at pitcher. I know that’s a bit backwards on a one-pitcher site like FanDuel, but it seems like today could be a low-scoring day overall. We shall see.