MLB DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Thursday, April 18

MLB DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Thursday, April 18

This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.

Thursday slates always tend to be lighter because they're travel days for these MLB teams, but this is one of the smallest slates we'll see all season. We only have five games in total, with three of them taking place during the day. We're going to include all of these games in this write-up so that you guys can choose which slate you want to play. With that in mind, let's dive into this Thursday card! 

Pitching

Logan Webb, SF vs. ARI ($9,300) 

The pitcher pool is slim on this tiny slate but Webb is undoubtedly the best option on the board. The righty really struggled in a matchup with the Dodgers last week, but we're willing to overlook that because everyone struggles with that dominant lineup. In his other three starts, Webb has a 2.25 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. That's close to what we've seen over recent years, with Webb accruing a 3.07 ERA and 1.11 WHIP over the last three years. The best part is that he gets a home start in ORACLE Park, posting a 2.56 ERA and 1.13 WHIP there in that span. Not to mention, Webb recorded a quality start in all four matchups with the D'Backs last season! 

Jack Leiter, TEX at DET ($8,700) 

Leiter was considered the top pitching prospect in baseball when he was drafted in 2021, and he's set to make his debut here. The righty was remarkable at Triple-A to earn this call-up, providing a 3.77 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 44 percent K rate. That sort of strikeout stuff makes him enticing against Detroit, with the Tigers ranked 24th in K rate, 26th in OBP and 27th in wOBA. Comerica Park is also one of the most spacious ballparks in baseball, with the Motor City Kitties projected to score just four runs. 

Top Targets

Corey Seager, TEX (vs. Kenta Maeda) $3,600

Seager hasn't gotten his power stroke going yet, but it's just a matter of time. The shortstop still has a .304 AVG and .400 OBP through the opening weeks and had a .327 AVG, .390 OBP and 1.013 OPS last season. We expect his OPS to regress back to that lofty number and it's more likely against a weak righty like Maeda. Seager had a 1.075 OPS against right-handers last year and has a .441 OBP against righties so far this season. That's bad news since Maeda has a 6.00 ERA this year and surrendered 11 baserunners in his one matchup with Texas last season. 

Rafael Devers, BOS (vs. Carlos Carrasco) $3,200

It's been a disastrous start to the season for Devers, but we want to take advantage of this price drop. He's $500 cheaper than we're accustomed to, and at some point he will return to being the All-Star player we know and love. Devers has not finished below a .350 OBP or .851 OPS over the last three years and will inevitably go on a tear to return to those averages. It could begin against Carrasco, and we'll look at his ugly statistics later on. In addition, Devers has a .893 OPS against righties in that same three-year span! 

Bargain Bats

LaMonte Wade, SF (vs. Ryne Nelson) $2,800

Wade has been cheap all season, and it's hard to understand why. This guy always bats second or third for San Fran against righties, with Wade registering a .368 OBP and .795 OPS against right-handers since 2022. That looks even better when looking at his early-season numbers, tallying a .471 OBP and .893 OPS. We don't want to fade that form against Nelson and we'll get into his numbers later on! 

Richie Palacios, TB (vs. Griffin Canning) $2,500

The Rays always pull these random guys out of nowhere, but Palacios has become a valuable piece for them. He's actually hit third in the last four games that Tampa has faced a righty, with Palacios providing a .395 OBP and .784 OPS against right-handers this year. That's no surprise since he had a .415 OBP and .871 OPS at Triple-A for Memphis, making him an intriguing option against Canning. The Angels righty has a 9.88 ERA and 1.83 WHIP in a nightmarish start to the season. 

Stacks to Consider

Boston Red Sox vs. (Carrasco): Devers ($3,200), Triston Casas ($3,100), Jarren Duran ($3,200)

Cookie Carrasco used to be one of my favorite pitchers, but he's just not the same anymore. The 37-year-old has a 6.40 ERA and 1.69 WHIP since the start of last season. That makes it hard to believe he still has a spot in this rotation, and he could struggle against a strong Boston lineup. The last time he faced the Red Sox, Carrasco allowed 12 baserunners across 2.1 horrific innings. 

We already talked about how we believe Devers will regress to the mean, but Casas has already been doing some damage. He's up to five homers this season and has hit a dinger in three of his last four fixtures! We can't overlook Duran in this stack because he's the everyday leadoff hitter for the BoSox. He's one of the league leaders with six steals, thanks to his .300 AVG and .359 OBP. If Tyler O'Neill ($3,600) is able to return to the lineup, don't forget about him and his seven homers! 

San Francisco Giants vs. (Nelson): Michael Conforto ($3,500), Wade ($2,800), Mike Yastrzemski ($2,300)

The Giants are always a sneaky stack because this lineup always seems to outperform its projections. There aren't many daunting bats, but they always finish in the middle of the pack. Wade is their best on-base guy, but Conforto does most of the damage. Conforto has a .295 AVG, .574 SLG and .922 OPS through 16 games this year and always kills right-handers. Yaz is right there with him, totaling a .353 OBP and .831 OPS against righties last year. 

These three guys are all way too cheap, and they should have success against a pitcher like Nelson. The Diamondbacks righty had a 5.31 ERA and 1.42 WHIP last year and currently has a 5.27 ERA and 1.61 WHIP this season. This might not be the most exciting stack on the board, but using these guys should allow you to build your lineup however you want with how cheap they all are.

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. Joel Bartilotta plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: Joelbartilotta Yahoo: Joelbartilotta.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joel Bartilotta
Joel has 20 years of Fantasy experience, and can recall riding a young Daunte Culpepper to a championship in the 2003-04 season in his inaugural fantasy year. He covers NBA, NFL, daily fantasy, EPL, and MLB for RotoWire.
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