MLB DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Friday, April 12

MLB DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Friday, April 12

This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.

We've got a full 12-game slate to sort through Friday evening, with first pitch at a standard 7:05 p.m. EDT.

Only two arms are priced in five-figures, but curiously we don't have a game with a double-digit run total. The high point is Rangers - Astros at 9.5, who seemingly are playing each other every day to start the year. The low totals and low priced arms suggest we'll be able to find bargain options on the bump and pay for bats. 

We're looking relatively dry Friday, with Yankees - Guardians seemingly being the only spot to monitor. Wind however looks like it could be a factor as a system moved through the eastern half of the country. Baltimore, Boston, New York and Chicago all could see some long balls aided by a stiff breeze.

Pitching

Kevin Gausman, TOR vs. COL ($10,000): As the intro states, paying up for pitching Friday is not necessary, and that makes Gausman an ideal target for GPPs if you can find enough value offensively. He's not in great form, but faced two decent and familiar foes in the Yankees and Rays previously, neither of which are the Rockies outside of Coors Field. Colorado comes in with a 26.9 percent K rate and a below average 81 wRC+ off righties thus far. Gausman's numbers are frankly horrible, but if there's any consolation, he has a 9.53 ERA and 4.45 xFIP. He's been decimated by allowing homers, but is overdue a bounceback and this is the spot for it.

Max Fried, ATL at MIA ($8,800): Take everything said about Gausman above and apply it to Fried. He's been absolutely awful to start the year, particularly in the first inning, but the Braves left him out their in his last start and forced him to sack up, and he responded. It's time to see some of the dog in Fried we've seen in prior years' postseasons. Miami is putrid against lefties, currently posting a woeful .056 ISO, .216 wOBA and 32 wRC+. They don't strike out a ton, which is a tad ironic given that Fried's Ks are up this year despite his struggles. If he can navigate Josh Bell and Jesus Sanchez, who are a combined 11-for-24 off him (and make for reasonable value plays), the rest of the Marlins lineup is 4-for-26 off Fried. 

Andrew Abbott, CIN at CWS ($8,400): Abbott certainly hasn't had elite results through two starts, so this is a matchup play only and comes with an elevated if not uncomfortable price tag. But the White Sox are arguably the worst lineup in the league that seems to lose another regular nightly, and come with a 31.0 percent strikeout rate, .260 wOBW and 68 wRC+ off lefties. If you're backing the metrics from his first two starts, Abbott should not be considered. He's at a career-low 7.0 K/9 and his 3.48 ERA isn't backed by a 5.19 xFIP. But the matchup against a depleted lineup suggests its a one-time spot to back him.

Top Targets

Ronald Acuna ($4,200) is priced "down" for him as he's topping the heck out of the ball and showing no power or lift. But he also historically owns the Marlins. Ozzie Albies ($4,200) is priced up to an uncomfortable number but has shown well out of the gates and rakes lefties. These two are a combined 10-for-27 off Marlins' starter Trevor Rogers, so take your pick based on positional needs.

Christian Yelich ($3,900) is enjoying a power resurgence with four homers in his last seven games. I don't trust the rest of this lineup enough to stack them, but it's certainly a consideration. With heavy winds blowing left to right, Yelich can go warehouse hunting and with a 1.146 OPS, we don't need to rely solely on power as a few in the gap work fine too.

Bargain Bats

Toronto bats present as obvious targets with no bat priced above $3,300. But Rockies' starter Ryan Feltner hasn't been awful this season, missing bats at a high clip. No matchup advantage, but it's a great spot to grab high-end names at a discount spot. Bo Bichette ($2,900) is my preference for a safe floor/high ceiling option.

We can't chase power in Boston as it's been lacking, and Angels' stater Reid Detmers hasn't allowed a long ball all year. But with wind a factor here, Tristan Casas ($3,000) and/or Rafael Devers ($3,200) are priced low enough we can dream on potential fly balls, even in a lefty vs. lefty matchup.

Stacks to Consider

Diamondbacks vs. Steven Matz (Cardinals): Christian Walker ($3,700), Lourdes Gurriel ($3,500), Eugenio Suarez ($2,900)

Arizona has just crushed lefties through two weeks of the season, so we can jump in and take whatever shares we like agaisnt Matz, who has been far tougher on same-handed bats than opposing handed hitters. Suarez' presence here balances the budget, and he has a robust .483 wOBA, 203 wRC+ and .222 ISO off southpaws to date. Walker sits at .437/172/.292 and Walker .405/152/.048. Walker seems overdue to break out of the power funk, and this group gives us a traditional 3-4-5 lineup stack to capitalize on the more expensive Arizona options hitting in front of them.

Reds vs. Chris Flexen (White Sox): Jonathan India ($3,000), Christian Encarnacion-Strand ($2,800), Jeimer Candelario ($2,800)

Elly De La Cruz is warming up, and makes for a terrific stand alone play here, but he continues to hit sixth in the order, making it difficult to build a stack around him. This trio may be a bit unconventional in price, but not in lineup position as they'll likely hit 1-2-4, giving us cheap shares atop the order. The wind is expected to be blowing out heavily in Chicago, and Flexen has a 43.2 percent fly ball rate through two starts. We can't take huge stock in his home/road splits through those two, as the home start came against a potent Atlanta lineup, but he's the slate's lowest-priced pitcher for a reason. Minimal to no BvP numbers here, as current Reds have faced Flexen 13 times total, but Cndelario is 3-for-4 off of him. There's plenty of value here and we can adjust once lineup cards are in, and perhaps include De La Cruz if he's bumped up in the order.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Chris Bennett plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: k30kittles, DraftKings: k30kittles.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Bennett
Bennett covers baseball, college football and college basketball for RotoWire. Before turning to fantasy writing, he worked in scouting/player development for the Atlanta Braves and Montreal Expos. He's also a fan of the ACC.
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