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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Lineup Strategy for Astros vs. Mariners Showdown on April 17

Zach Thompson gives his top lineup advice for Saturday’s fantasy baseball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Astros and Mariners, which starts at 9:10 p.m. ET.

MLB: Houston Astros at Seattle Mariners Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Saturday night Showdown game on DraftKings this week is an AL West matchup between the Seattle Mariners and the Houston Astros. The Mariners took the first game of this series, 6-5, on Friday night in dramatic fashion, handing the Astros their sixth-straight loss. Seattle improved to 9-5 with the win and now sits atop the division.

Zack Greinke ($10,600) will try to serve as the stopper for the Astros as he makes his fourth start of the season. He has been far from lights out to this point, giving up 18 hits and eight runs over 17 23 innings. He’ll be opposed by Chris Flexen ($9,400), who the Mariners brought back to the U.S. after an impressive showing in the KBO last season followed by a strong spring training. He was hammered by the Twins in his most recent appearance, allowing six runs in five innings but looked sharp against the Giants in his season debut.

DraftKings Sportsbook has the over/under for this game at 8.5 runs with the Astros as slight -135 favorites. Houston’s lineup is expected to remain without José Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez and Martín Maldonado for the rest of this road trip since those players are all still in the COVID-19 protocols.

Let’s jump right into how to construct your DraftKings lineups for Saturday night’s Showdown contest.

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Captain’s Picks

Mitch Haniger ($12,000 CP) - Haniger is surprisingly affordable at only $12K as a Captain’s Pick. His career has been derailed by injuries multiple times, but when healthy, he has been very productive. He seems to be fully healthy to start the year and has gone 19-for-53 (.358) with four doubles, four home runs, 10 runs scored and 10 RBI. He has a well-above-average 177 wRC+ due to his .421 wOBA along with a .281 ISO, which would be a new career-high if he can maintain it throughout the season. He also has what would be a career-high 12.8% Barrel rate and a 44.7% hard-hit rate, per Statcast.

Haniger typically hits leadoff for the Mariners, putting him in a prime run production spot and has been able to reach base safely in every one of his 13 games this season. He has gone 2-for-4 with a double in his past meetings with Greinke. Greinke has allowed righties to post a .365 wOBA so far this season after allowing a .354 wOBA to them last year, so lean toward righties like Haniger in Seattle’s lineup where possible.

Yuli Gurriel ($12,300 CP) - The Astros have gotten a hot start from Gurriel, who is 19-for-45 (.422) with four doubles, a home run and 12 walks in his 13 games this season. Part of that production is due to an extremely high .462 BABIP, but he also has an impressive 52.5% hard-hit rate, showing that his BABIP is a result of hitting the ball well in addition to finding the right spots. Gurriel has at least 5.0 DKFP in six straight games and will continue to shoulder the load in a lineup depleted by multiple absences.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB Showdown $5K Extra Inning [$1K to 1st] (HOU vs SEA)

Value Plays

Ty France ($7,800) - France has been locked into the second spot in the Mariners’ lineup right behind Haniger and was the hero in last night’s walk-off win over the Astros. He went 2-for-4 with two doubles and 16 DKFP in the series opener and ended all four of his plate appearances with batted balls of over 100 miles per hour. He is now 14-for-48 (.292) with a .375 wOBA and 145 wRC+. France has seen a huge jump from his 29.8% hard-hit rate last season to a 41.7% hard-hit rate so far this year and is hitting the ball up the middle instead of pulling everything. The change in approach has helped the former Padre put together a great start to his first full season with the Mariners after coming to Seattle in the Austin Nola trade.

Alex De Goti ($4,600) - Filling in for Altuve at 2B, De Goti made his MLB debut on Friday night and went 2-for-4 with an RBI and 12 DKFP. Before spending last year at the alternate site, the versatile infielder hit .277 in Triple-A with 15 home runs, 70 RBI, a .166 ISO and .339 wOBA. He isn’t one of the top prospects in the Houston system since he doesn’t have outstanding speed or power, but he does typically makes good contact and should continue to get opportunities while the Astros remain shorthanded.


Carlos Correa ($10,200) - Correa is the most recognizable star left in the Astros’ lineup right now, but he’s very pricey over $10K. He has only reached double-digit DKFP in one of his past six games, though, going 6-for-24 (.250) with only one extra-base hit. He hasn’t been awful with a 41.5% hard-hit rate on the season, but there are much more attractive option to stack across your lineup if you leave him, Greinke and Kyle Seager ($10,800) alone at the top of the salary structure and go with a more balanced approach.

The Outcome

The Astros’ lineup is depleted and Greinke hasn’t been great. While the Mariners may not have the staying power to remain in the race all season, I do like the young team playing well at this point of the season. Flexen looked great against the Giants in his one home start this year, so I think there’s a good chance he bounces back from his rough start against the Twins. I’m starting my showdown lineups with Haniger and France and building a balanced roster focused on offense in what should be a close game tonight.

Final Score: Mariners 6, Astros 4

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB Showdown $5K Extra Inning [$1K to 1st] (HOU vs SEA)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

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