Welcome to our MLB DFS Building Blocks, DraftKings and FanDuel picks for 4/13/22! In this article, I’ll break down by top overall plays for today’s main slate. Last year was an extremely big year for the Karma team in MLB, and we are looking to continue that success in 2022. I will be providing Core Plays for every main slate (and day baseball) this season — you can gain access to that as well as our premium discord here. You can also try out the Core Plays package with a $5 daily pass. Let’s get to the plays…
Aces Up Top
We are loaded with aces at the top of today’s slate in Max Scherzer, Aaron Nola and Clayton Kershaw. The problem here is the weird weather across the board, and that’s something we are goin to have to factor in when making lineup decisions. Overall, you don’t need to to break down and cite stats from these three guys when we know they are all elite strikeout pitchers. Max has the toughest match-up of the bunch against the Phillies, followed by Nola against the Mets and Kersh against the Twins. Kershaw has most questionable workload of the trio today, but also is the one with the most certainty around no rain delays in his game. He was able to throw mid-70’s pitches in his last simulated game, which means we should get five innings of him if he’s effective. That being said, we could easily get six plus innings of Max/Nola but they are dealing with the weird weather. It’s a tough decision! I don’t have firm choices here as of now, but I will likely be selecting one of these guys to pair with one of my next two arms…
Yikes! We have tons of good strikeout pitchers on this slate and I’m writing up Kyle Hendricks…what gives? For starters, he is one of the few pitchers that doesn’t really have any weather to deal with so we know we will be getting his usual innings from him. He also has the best match-up on the board against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He’s priced below $7,000 on DraftKings, and did strike out seven guys in his Opening Day start. We have loads of long term data that suggests he’s not that guy as a pitcher, but he did post a 37% CSW% in that first start, which would be significantly higher than any mark for a season in his career. He was dominant with his change up in that start, generating a 59% whiffs with the pitch. Pittsburgh has a team has pretty average numbers vs the pitch, so if he’s on again today he could be a great value at this price tag.
And now we get to the upside. There is some weather here, but this is a decision about whether or not to lock in the safety of Hendricks, or chase the upside with Lodolo making his major league debut. This is not your every day prospect call-up, Lodolo is legitimately one of the best pitching prospects in baseball with elite strike out stuff on his minor league resume. Typically when we see these guys get called up, they have electric stuff but struggle to control it…not Lodolo. He has been very good when it comes to walks in his minor league career and gets above-average ground balls as well. Cleveland has been hot as an offense over the last few days, but I’m not a long-term believer in this team. Outside of a few pieces, it’s a pretty bad lineup that could certainly struggle with electric stuff they haven’t seen before. Lodolo is more of a tournament play, but I think he is 100% an option at this price, as long as the weather holds up.
NOTE: I also would consider Nathan Eovaldi in play, but he is dealing with suspect weather as well. If the game looks good to go, he will make my pitcher pool.
Olson was my MVP pick to begin the season in the NL, while we haven’t seen his power stroke yet, he’s been seeing the ball well. His exit velocity is 98.6% to start the year with over 60% hard hit% as well. He’s seeing the ball well and hitting it hard, and the homers will soon come. Today would be a great day for that to start against Josiah Gray and the Nationals bullpen. Gray allows over a .300 ISO and 50% fly balls to left-handed batters — playing into Olson’s batting profile. He also throws mainly fast ball / curve ball which are two pitches Olson has had success against in his career. He’s expensive, but the Braves are the top spot yet again today and Olson is my top overall bat on Wednesday.
Happ is someone I feel like people hate rostering, but he was amazing for the Cubs late last season. If you isolate his numbers to after the All-Star, his wOBA was just south of .400 and we know he’s always had huge raw power. Zach Thompson is one of the Pirates promising pitchers, but he has yet to figure out left-handed batters. Over his last 100 PA’s, he’s allowing above-average power, hard hits and line drives to lefties. Happ is one of the best hitters on this team vs right-handed pitching and has looked locked in at the plate to begin 2022. If you plan on spending up for pitching, he is my favorite value bat on both sites.
Matt Olson double dongs!
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)