FanDuel MLB Daily Picks and Pivots – April 20

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Apr 2, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt against the San Francisco Giants during opening day at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports FanDuel MLB

Welcome to the Thursday FanDuel MLB edition of Picks and Pivots, a fantasy baseball column focused on helping you find the best core lineup for today’s Main slate which kicks off at 7:10 PM EST!

For those of you finding us for the first time, the concept behind FanDuel MLB Picks and Pivots 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 payday!

Wednesday’s winning GPP roster dropped 282.9 FanDuel points as they rolled out a 1.2% owned Joe Ross and stacked the Yankees bats with Bryce Harper, Freddie Freeman and Jay Bruce one-offs for a big DFS night! Over the first 21 slates of the FanDuel MLB season, the average winning score to take down a GPP has been 244.1 points. Looking back at last season, the winning GPP lineup on average scored 255 FanDuel points with a typical roster build that allocated 25% of your salary cap to your SP and the remaining 75% to your hitters.

Over the first 21 slates of the FanDuel MLB season, the average winning score to take down a GPP has been 244.1 points.

Wednesday’s Picks and Pivots was a great reminder of where fading the chalk paid off big time. Although Clayton Kershaw was awesome (55 points), the expected shoot-out in Cincinnati ended up playing to a 2-0 dud which left our all-out stack gasping to even reach 100 points! It is amazing that Ubaldo Jimenez was able to shut down the Reds line-up but it serves as a great reminder of how critical it is to hedge in GPP play and not go all in on chalk!

Each day we will break down our top Starting Pitcher and our top hitting stacks of the day while giving you our thoughts on roster build and lineup construction.

As always, we will look to update our picks and final lineup thought  prior to lock on our twitter account @FantasyCPR so make sure to give us a follow for all the late breaking lineup news.

Without further ado, let’s get into today’s slate!

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Jul 4, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Carlos Martinez (18) pitches to a Pittsburgh Pirates batter during the second inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

FanDuel MLB – Top Starting Pitcher Picks

Carlos Martinez ($9,300) With Noah Syndergaard getting a home start against the Phillies tonight I expect he will be the highest owned pitcher on the slate and he certainly makes for a solid cash game pitcher with obvious GPP strike out upside.

Tonight however I think we can take the $2k discount (and this is coming from a die-hard Mets fan) and lock in someone like Carlos Martinez who has similar strike-out upside and allows you more salary flexibility when building your roster!

Martinez gets to take on a Milwaukee team who has the highest strikeout rate of any team on this slate as they have struck out 10 times per game so far this season! Martinez on the other hand has a 30% K rate this season which is actually 3% higher than Thor and the highest mark of any pitcher on the Main slate!

Martinez is exactly the kind of pitcher I want for tournaments as his game log shows his massive volatility/upside as Martinez has put up double-digit strikeout games in his first three starts. However we also saw in his last game he can be wild – to the tune of 8 walks versus 11 K’s which frankly I did not think was possible!

The Brewers line-up has been hot lately, mostly because Eric Thames is insane, so this pick does is not a slam dunk but the strikeout upside of the Brewers PLUS the K upside of Martinez makes this a very tantalizing pick.

For those who like BvP (and for the record, I do) Martinez has struck out 37% of the current Brewers he has faced over 63 at-bats and in that time has limited them to only 1 double and 0 home runs! If you are going to move past the high-priced guys like Syndergaard or Stephen Strasburg today, I think Martinez is the best place to land.

If you are looking for a pivot at the same price, James Paxton ($9,000) is becoming someone we cannot ignore. In three starts this season, he has struck out 22 batters and walked only 4 over 21 innings and is averaging the most FPG over any SP on this slate.

Paxton’s 29% K rate this year is second to only Carlos Martinez and although Oakland does not strike out at a large clip, Paxton gets the benefit of pitching in a big ballpark that should limit damage!

Paxton has typically been more of a pitch to contact guy but this year we are seeing someone who is getting more swinging strikes and has also seen his velocity tick up so the strike out upside could be real and on a day where I do not intend to go 100% with Carlos Martinez, Paxton makes for an ideal pivot at the same price point!

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Apr 10, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; San Diego Padres left fielder Travis Jankowski (16) and center fielder Manuel Margot (7) and right fielder Hunter Renfroe (10) celebrate after the game against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. The Padres won 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

FanDuel MLB – Top Hitting Stacks

Arizona Diamondbacks versus LHP Clayton RichardLooking over this slate I am not sure I see a clear “chalk stack” but the one place that really catches my eye today is San Diego as both Arizona and San Diego take on very hittable LHP.

Arizona gets to face off with Clayton Richard who has surrendered a 33% hard contact rate to right-handed batters and 4 home runs in only 13 IP against RHB. Against a righty heavy lineup like Arizona this could spell trouble and with a middle of the road run projection today, this may be an under the radar place to look for hitting!

Paul Goldschmidt ($4,400) is always an elite play against a LHP and I will look to pair him with Yasmany Tomas ($3,400) who is 4 for 7 with 1 home run in his career against Richard.

San Diego Padres versus LHP Patrick CorbinThe other side of this game is one I think we should look to attack as well as the Padres young power bats are certainly in play here. Corbin is a guy who gave up 39% hard contact last season and 1.38 HR/9 to hitters from both sides of the plate.

Manuel Margot ($2,800) and Hunter Renfroe ($2,900) are both priced at a nice salary discount and provide high upside power at the top/heart of the Padres line-up!

Seattle Mariners versus  RHP Cesar ValdezValdez will be making his season debut as he is getting called up from the minors to take this start and his minor league numbers suggest a pitcher with an average 20% K rate that relies on a fastball/change-up combo with elite control.

There is nothing in his arsenal that makes me think we should avoid him here so a mini-stack with Robinson Cano ($3,400) and Kyle Seager ($3,700) is one I think we can roll out tonight in hopes the Mariners jump all over the career minor leaguer!

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Aug 13, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano (22) and third baseman Kyle Seager (15) celebrate after the two run home run against the Oakland Athletics during the fifth inning at the Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

FanDuel MLB – Top GPP lineup and Slate Overview

P: Carlos Martinez ($9,300) and James Paxton ($9,000) 

C: Punt Catcher $2k-$2.3K

1B: Paul Goldschmidt ($4,400)

2B: Robinson Cano ($3,400)

3B: Kyle Seager ($3,700)

SS: Chris Owings ($3,000)/Taylor Motter ($3,000)

OF: Manuel Margot ($2,800)

OF: Hunter Renfroe ($2,900)

OF: Yasmany Tomas ($3,400)

Slate Overview: I really like this slate today as we have a variety pf pitching options which should spread out the ownership and they all have the elite K upside we look for in GPP’s. I am interested to see what the rest of the industry has to say about hitting today as I do not see any slam dunk stack spots to this may be a day we have no “chalk” hitting environment which means we can mix and match our hitters and spread out ownership!

Best of luck on your FanDuel MLB contests today and stay tuned to Fantasy CPR on Twitter for all the late breaking lineup news and roster updates!