MLB Picks and Pivots – FanDuel Picks April 15

Apr 9, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zack Greinke (21) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Chicago Cubs at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Picks and Pivots – FanDuel Picks April 15

Welcome to the Friday edition of Picks & Pivots, a daily fantasy column focused on providing analysis for the upcoming MLB FanDuel slate. The purpose of this column is to first identify key building blocks that can be used for any roster construction and then identify pivot points to help differentiate your lineup in hopes of a big pay day!

Follow me on Twitter @2lockSports and feel free to pose questions each day as you work to construct your DFS roster on FanDuel!

Although there is one afternoon game in Chicago, the main slate kicks off at 7:05PM EST with 14 games allowing us the ability to play multiple styles of FanDuel games on such a large slate.

I have fielded a few questions for MLB around “target scores” and what value multiple gamers should target as I had done in my NBA Picks and Pivots article. With the new FanDuel scoring this year, I have been actively tracking my performance and the performance of top finishers in each GPP I have been playing to try and understand the trends and wanted to share this data with my readers over the last week:


  • Average Top GPP Finish Points Scored: 225 Points
  • Average SP Salary: $7,900
  • Hitter/Pitcher Percentage of Salary Spent: 23/77
  • $ Value Per Point: $6.44


This is a small sample size of a week and captures multiple entries/slates as this past week I have been playing a combination of early only/main only and all day. However what struck me was that the only winning pitcher over $10k in entries was during Noah Syndergaard’s electric performance against the Marlins so in the early going its been more beneficial to utilize a higher percentage of your budget on your lineup.

I will continue to track this and reference in my picks, but this gives you a good benchmark for the early season with the new scoring.

Now on to the picks…

Apr 2, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Joe Ross (41) throws to the Minnesota Twins during the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Starting Pitcher

  • Zack Greinke ($10,400) – The top end of the pitching options are loaded Friday night with Clayton Kershaw, Chris Sale, Madison Bumgarner and Dallas Keuchel in action but Grienke is the ace I am looking to pay up for and the reason is simple – he’s facing the San Diego Padres offense. The Padres offense has been brutal lately and the Phillies starting pitchers over the last 3 games put up massive scores against this offense:

Greinke was not sharp in his opening day start but rebounded in his last start to strike out 8 in a no decision against the Cubs. Greinke has dominated pitching in San Diego in his career to the tune of a 1.57 ERA in 46 career innings and studying the Batter Versus Pitchers splits there is not a single Padres hitter who has Grienke’s number.

The matchup is ideal, the strikeout upside is through the roof and with so many other aces on the bump it may artificially drag down the ownership of Arizona’s Right Hander in large field tournaments. Greinke is my key building block in all formats Friday night!


  • Joe Ross ($7,200) – If you want to pay down and fade the top end pitchers, the one mid-range option that has the ability to return the 6-7x value we are looking for is Ross as he squares off against the Phillies. Ross was a popular sleeper heading into this season and put up 45 points in his first start (6.2x) in a 7 inning win against the Marlins.


With so many aces on the slate, I would prefer to pay up for my starter on this evening but Ross is in a favorable matchup to get the win and if he can return 40-45 points we could gain ground strategically fading the top end pitchers if they falter.

Apr 13, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion (10) greets right fielder Jose Bautista (19) as they celebrate a 7-2 win over New York Yankees at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports


  • Toronto/Boston Stack – With a game at Fenway and RA Dickey versus Rick Porcello, this game opens with one of the highest projected run totals and there are viable stacks across both teams. From a BvP perspective you will find the usual suspects on both sides so this is a great game to attack with both offenses:
    • Jose Bautista – 13 for 38 with 3 homeruns
    • Edwin Encarnacion – 10 for 29 with 1 homerun
    • Justin Smoak 7 for 16 with 3 homeruns
    • Xander Boegaerts – 11 for 30 with 1 homerun
    • David Ortiz9 for 34 with 3 homeruns


Be careful not to blindly stack this game however as players like Jackie Bradley, Russell Martin & Troy Tulowitzki have historically struggled against these pitchers.

With so many ace pitchers on the mound tonight, I will look to this game as my foundational stack and utilize value plays as lineups are announced as you will want exposure to at least 1-2 of the big bats from Toronto/Boston and will need some key punt plays especially if paying up for Zack Grienke.

Make sure to review the lineups as they are announced before locking in your lineups! Have a great day gamers!