MLB Picks: PrizePicks Plays and Strategy for Thursday, April 18

MLB Picks: PrizePicks Plays and Strategy for Thursday, April 18

This article is part of our PrizePicks MLB series.

There are only five games scheduled to be played across baseball Thursday. Three of them have early start times. Let's dig into the options on PrizePicks and highlight four that stand out.

Griffin Canning, LAA at TB: More Than 2.5 Earned Runs Allowed

Canning wasn't terrible last season, but his 4.32 ERA and 4.29 FIP were nothing to write home about. His problem was keeping hitters inside the ballpark, allowing 1.6 HR/9. He allowed a 9.8 percent barrel rate and has given up an 8.9 percent barrel rate for his career.

In his three starts to open this season, Canning has allowed five home runs across 13.2 innings. That resulted in him giving up at least four earned runs in each outing. Not only is he giving up home runs, but he has allowed 21 hits already. The Rays don't have the most potent of lineups, but with how poorly Canning is pitching, he could easily give up at least three earned runs.

Yandy Diaz, TB vs. LAA: More Than 6.5 Hitter Fantasy Score

Diaz had a breakout campaign in 2023, batting .330 with a .192 ISO and a .402 wOBA. He showed an excellent eye at the plate, recording a 15.7 percent strikeout rate and a 10.8 percent walk rate. One of his biggest improvements came in the power department, as he posted a career-high 22 home runs.

It has been a rough start to this season for Diaz, who is batting .211 with a .092 ISO and a .257 wOBA. His strikeout rate still sits at 15.7 percent, so that hasn't been the issue. His hard-hit rate is 50.0 percent, compared to his 54.0 percent mark last season. He has been hitting the ball on the ground more, and he's not pulling the ball as much. Still, he is a talented hitter and has a great matchup against Canning, which leaves him with a favorable opportunity to have a productive afternoon. 

Jameson Taillon, CHC vs. MIA: Less Than 4.5 Pitcher Strikeouts

Taillon is not an overpowering force on the mound. He posted a 21.4 percent strikeout rate last season, which was in line with his career mark of 21.6 percent. He has never finished a season with a strikeout rate higher than 23.2 percent.

Taillon will be making his first start of the season after returning from a back injury. It's a great matchup against the Marlins, who have struggled to score runs. However, they are middle of the pack in terms of striking out. Also, Taillon could be under a pitch limit in this game. In his final rehab outing, he only made it up to 68 pitches. If he is capped at around 80 pitches in this game, it will make it even more difficult for him to rack up strikeouts.

Mike Trout, LAA at TB: More Than 0.5 Home Runs

This is a risky option, but it comes with a Demon. Entries containing a Demon qualify for higher payouts, which can be up to 100X. Trout has already launched eight home runs this season, two of which have come in this series against the Rays.

Trout will be facing Ryan Pepiot, who has had home run issues. He has been taken deep three times over 16.2 innings this season and has allowed 1.5 HR/9 over 95 career innings in the majors. Across 155.2 career innings at Triple-A, he was taken deep 26 times. Given the increased payout with this, taking a chance on Trout to hit yet another home run could be worth it.

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. Mike Barner plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: mbarner, DraftKings: mbarner51.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Barner
Mike started covering fantasy sports in 2007, joining RotoWire in 2010. In 2018, he was a finalist for the FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. Mike also won the 2022-23 FSGA NBA Experts Champions league. In addition to RotoWire, Mike has written for Sportsline, Sports Illustrated, DK Live, RealTime Fantasy Sports, Lineup Lab and KFFL.com.
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