Million Dollar Musings: MLB DFS Picks for Saturday, April 13th

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CheeseIsGood, a winner of a $1,000,000 1st-place prize on both DraftKings and FanDuel, is here to give you his musings on the upcoming MLB DFS slate. Whether you are looking for the top pitchers or the best stacks, Cheese has you covered with an extensive deep dive into his MLB DFS picks.

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Happy Saturday! We’ve got an early start today, with the main slate being a big 11-gamer on DK starting at 1:10pm ET. FD is using the 7 of those games that start at 4:05pm ET as their main slate. All of the games on the FD slate are a part of the bigger DK slate, so I’ll be focusing on the DK slate with all the games included, and then I’ll add in some FD specific thoughts in the Cliff Notes.

Saturday Pitching: MLB DFS Picks on FanDuel & DraftKings

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We’ve got a very big top tier without a whole lot of salary separation. I’ll sort them as cleanly as I can, but you could go a lot of different directions on this slate.


Joe Ryan at Tigers – 29.2% K, 4.9% BB, 4.42 ERA, 3.41 SIERA
Chris Sale at Marlins – 29.5% K, 6.6% BB, 4.21 ERA, 3.43 SIERA
Nick Lodolo at White Sox – 1st start of season
Logan Webb at Rays – 22.4% K, 3.8% BB, 3.37 ERA, 3.23 SIERA
MacKenzie Gore at A’s – 26% K, 9.7% BB, 4.40 ERA, 4.17 SIERA
Ryan Pepiot vs. Giants – 25.6% K, 4.4% BB, 2.68 ERA, 3.46 SIERA
Garrett Crochet vs. Reds – 25.2% K, 10.7% BB, 2.64 ERA,4.12 SIERA
Spencer Turnbull vs. Pirates – 19.9% K, 8.6% BB, 5.36 ERA, 4.50 SIERA
Kenta Maeda vs. Twins – 26.1% K, 7.1% BB, 4.61 ERA, 3.92 SIERA
Dean Kremer vs. Brewers – 21.5% K, 7.2% BB, 3.99 ERA, 4.37 SIERA
Sean Manaea vs. Royals – 26.3% K, 8.5% BB, 4.13 ERA, 3.77 SIERA
Ronel Blanco vs. Rangers – 22.7% K, 12.2% BB, 3.49 ERA, 4.82 SIERA

For the most part, this group of pitchers has looked similar enough to expectations to just take their numbers at face value. The four pitchers here who have surprisingly seen strikeouts surge up over 30% in their first 2-3 starts are Ryan Pepiot, Garrett Crochet, Sean Manaea, and Spencer Turnbull.

Out of those four, when I add in the longer-term data we have for Manaea and Turnbull, with the pedigree and potential for Pepiot and Crochet, I have to say I’m far more willing to consider the possibility that these strikeouts are real for Pepiot and Crochet. Adding to that, both Pepiot and Crochet have swinging strike rates that are more consistent with those of 30% strikeout pitchers. I’m also the most intrigued with Crochet based on a fantastic 1.5% walk rate through 18 innings.

All four of them have matchups that offer strikeout upside as well, with Crochet and Turnbull leading the way in that department. I’m talking through these four pitchers first just to see if I can spot something that is going to make this big top tier easier to sort through, and so far, it’s not really helping all that much. My main takeaway is that I definitely want to be in on Crochet and Pepiot while their salaries are still down around $8,000 in quality matchups, knowing that if the strikeouts were to continue, they are underpriced.

Now I’m going to move on back to the top of the list, and I’ll come back and slot these four in where I see them in the overall mix.

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About the Author

Dave Potts (CheeseIsGood)

One of the preeminent baseball minds in all of fantasy, Dave Potts (aka CheeseIsGood) has won contests at the highest levels of both season-long and DFS. He is a 2x winner of a $1,000,000 1st-place prize in DFS; having won the 2014 FanDuel baseball Live Final and following that up by taking down a DraftKings Milly Maker Tournament in 2015. In addition, he’s won the Main Event championship in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship and the NFBC Platinum League, which is the highest buy-in entry league. His consistent success in the NFBC tournaments earned him a prestigious spot in their Hall of Fame. Dave can also strum a mean guitar while carrying a tune, and if you’re lucky, you’ll see him do so on one of his MLB Crunch Time appearances. Follow Dave on Twitter – @DavePotts2