Million Dollar Musings: MLB DFS Picks for Tuesday, April 2nd

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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 Tuesday! Congrats if you had Ronel Blanco on your bingo card as the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter this season. I did not have that, but as always, today is a new day with a new puzzle to solve.

Today’s puzzle is partly about some ace pitchers back on the mound and partly about some wonky weather that appears likely to lose us a game, if not more than one, from this 9-game slate. Based on Roth’s early weather report, I’m skipping over the DET/NYM game but will include the ATL/CWS and COL/CHC. After we get some more clarity this afternoon, I’ll add any updates about those games that affect my plans for the night.

With that, let’s dive in and start deciphering what to make of some interesting stat lines from the opening starts of these aces.

Tuesday Pitching: MLB DFS Picks on FanDuel & DraftKings

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We are back to the top of most rotations, but as we’re going to continue to see as a running them all season, the league is really lacking true elite pitching talent from a DFS perspective.

TOP TIER ARMS

This slate gets a little wonky right out of the gate with Shane Bieber having been the only ace to post an elite first start. He struck out 11 batters with a 21.7% swinging strike rate in 6 scoreless innings. It comes with a little grain of salt, as that start was in Oakland, but still, that’s just fantastic pitching. We haven’t seen the strikeout version of Bieber since 2021, but he’s only 28 years old, so maybe he can revive himself to that level where he was a 33% K pitcher. The difference in velocity was subtle, but he was up about 1 mph higher than last season in his first start, which turns out to be about the same velocity he was at in 2021. He also completely dropped his curveball in that first start, so there is at least some chance that he’s going to do things a bit differently this season. Very officially, I cannot just take one start and say this is a different pitcher than the guy who was a very bland 20.1% K pitcher last season. My lean here is to say that he is the cash game SP1 on DK and someone where I want to be at least at the field, if not a little above in tournaments, just in case it’s real. I am not going to stress myself out if I can’t quite get to him on FD, where he’s the only pitcher over $10,000. If not factoring in salary or potential ownership, I’ll call him the SP1 on both sites.

Now let’s talk about the anti-Bieber’s. These are not people who don’t enjoy a good karaoke version of Never Say Never. These are guys who are proven aces but stumbled out of the gate.

Luis Castillo has been a far better DFS pitcher than Bieber the last couple of years, but he saw a disturbing 5.5% swinging strike rate, which came with a very slight drop from his normal velocity. My best guess here is that he was just not quite ramped up for the season, and he should get there soon, like quite possibly tonight. It’s not a great strikeout matchup, but a solid spot overall for innings and run prevention. I do not expect to get any massive ownership discount here, but we should get some with Bieber projecting ahead of him. As great as that first Bieber start was, if I can play a 27% strikeout pitcher at lower ownership than Bieber based on one start, I’m going to do exactly that.

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About the Author

CheeseIsGood
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