MLB Sim Sports Picks for 4/5/20 on FanDuel

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FanDuel's MLB Sims Sports, a new free-to-play format that simulates the baseball games that were originally scheduled for play each day. Starting pitchers and batting orders are announced in advance, and then games will play out through numberFire's custom simulator.

Starting pitchers will have a simulated pitch count that we won't know beforehand but should be roughly based on their performance last season. Hitters will play the whole game, so there's no fear of pinch hitters and the like.

Best of all, the simulation is meant to replicate real life, so all the usual things you typically analyze in MLB DFS -- things like player skills, matchups, park factors, and platoon splits -- are in play here, so you can approach this in much the same way you would on a real baseball slate.

Here's the breakdown for today's slate.


We know it's important to spend up at pitcher, but we can't spend up all that much on this slate, with no pitchers over $8,700. It's just a meh pitching slate overall, so if you have some bats you really want, it's one of the rare times when spending down on the bump is easier to stomach.

For me, the hurler with the most upside is Carlos Martinez ($8,500). He's definitely a wild card since he was a full-time reliever a year ago, but in his last full season as a starter -- granted it was was back in 2017 -- he had a 25.3% strikeout rate. The matchup is a massive plus, too, as he's at home versus the Baltimore Orioles, owners of a measly .308 wOBA a year ago. And the O's will be without a DH in this one.

I also love me some Alex Wood ($7,800) in a game at pitcher-friendly San Francisco. The 2019 campaign was a lost year for Wood, but he had respectable numbers in 2018 (21.2% strikeout rate, 6.3% walk rate and 10.6% swinging-strike rate). San Fran was horrible on offense last year, sporting the third-worst wOBA (.295).

There are two bargain-bin options who stand out.

Yonny Chirinos ($6,000) has plenty of appeal at this dirt-cheap price. He posted a 21.5% strikeout rate and 5.3% walk rate last season and is on the road to face a Texas Rangers squad that struck out at the fifth-highest rate (25.4%) in 2019. And Josh James doesn't have much experience as a starter, but he had some gaudy strikeout numbers in the minors and amassed a sparkling 37.6% strikeout rate last season working mostly as a reliever. His matchup with an improved Los Angeles Angels lineup is a tough one, however.


Well, if the pitching on this slate kinda stinks, it stands to reason it should be a great day for offense.

Coors is on the slate, and the pitching matchup is Jeff Hoffman versus Dinelson Lamet. You can feel good about stacking both the Colorado Rockies and San Diego Padres, but I prefer the Padres in this one -- mostly because Hoffman is bad (5.08 SIERA over 209 1/3 career frames). Hoffman has had reverse splits, too, with right-handed hitters tagging him for a .410 wOBA over his career. Fernando Tatis Jr. ($4,300), Tommy Pham ($3,900) and Manny Machado ($3,900) make a lot of sense, and they're hitting 1-2-3 in the lineup. You can also plug in Wil Myers ($3,300) at an easy-to-like price.

Trent Thornton wasn't that bad in 2019, but he's not nearly good enough to push us off the New York Yankees today in the Bronx. Thornton had a 5.42 xFIP on the road last year, compared to a 4.30 clip at home. It's the usual suspects with the Yankees -- Aaron Judge ($4,200), Giancarlo Stanton ($3,700), Gleyber Torres ($3,600), DJ LeMahieu ($3,500) and Gary Sanchez ($3,400) are all enticing plays, with the first four occupying the top four spots in the lineup. Aaron Hicks ($2,800), who is hitting fifth, is one of the better point-per-dollar options on the slate.

The Philadelphia Phillies are a stack I like today, and they could fly under the radar a bit. They're at home versus lefty Eric Lauer, who recorded an ugly 8.3% swinging-strike rate in 2019 while surrendering a 42.3% hard-hit rate and 40.6% fly-ball rate to righties. Rhys Hoskins ($3,600) has to be part of any Phils stack today, and Philly has a few other righties worth checking out: J.T. Realmuto ($3,400), Andrew McCutchen ($3,300) and Scott Kingery ($2,800). Bryce Harper ($3,900) was better against lefties (.391) a year ago than he was with the platoon advantage (.354), so don't sleep on him.

The author of this article has no involvement with the MLB Sim Sports simulations powered by numberFire and has no knowledge of the results of tonight’s contest.