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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Lineup Strategy for White Sox vs. Angels Showdown on April 4

Pearce Dietrich gives his top lineup advice for Sunday’s fantasy baseball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the White Sox and Angels, which starts at 8:37 p.m. ET.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Los Angeles Angels Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

It’s easy to expect this game to be an offensive battle, but the stats are slightly misleading. This will be the fourth game of the series, so the counting numbers are a bit higher than other teams. An explosive ninth inning on Friday night where the teams combined to score seven runs further skews the data. The offenses have been good, but not great. Tonight those offenses face wild cards on the mound. The starters can be explosive or implosive.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $150K Sunday Night Showdown Premiere [$50K to 1st] (CWS vs LAA)

Captain’s Picks

Dylan Cease ($15,600 CP) - This is the classic young pitcher’s tale. Cease has nasty stuff, but he hasn’t put it together yet. The reports out of spring training are that he is starting to reach his potential. In his final spring training game, he struck out 11 batters. Cease only allowed two earned runs through 17 innings pitched in the spring, but don’t start the party yet. His Achilles heel — walking too many batters — was still present in the spring. It’s risky, but there’s a lot of K upside with Cease. He was a high-strikeout pitcher in the minors and the Angels have opened the season with a 30% K rate.

Mike Trout ($15,300) - What’s wrong with Mike Trout? Nothing. He has a .514 wOBA and nearly a 40% BB rate. He’s not chasing, that’s a good thing. Trout has put three balls into play and two were hit with an exit velocity of 109 mph. A Mike Trout home run is right around the corner. As good as Cease looked in spring training, it’s just spring training. Cease has a decent fastball, but it does not have a lot of movement. Last season against fastballs from right-handed pitching, Trout averaged a 95.6 mph exit velocity with a launch angle of 23 degrees. His first home run of the season happens tonight in the first inning.

Value Plays

Yermin Mercedes ($4,800) - Who has the most consecutive hits to start a season? It’s Yermin, who is off to an 8-for-8 start on the year. These aren’t seeing-eye singles; they’re blasts. The average exit velocity on each hit is 96.3 mph, that’s just shy of the speed required for a barreled ball. Throughout his time in the minors, Yermin was not a player that walked. He’s up there to take hacks, and his .302 average in the minors proves that each cut is a smart one. Five of Mercedes’ hits have come with two strikes. Walks are great, but DFS players need ceiling games, and walks won’t get us there. Mercedes has a bat and wants to use it. Who knows how long this will last, but this wave has momentum and there is no reason to bail out now.

Albert Pujols ($5,000) - On a full slate, he might as well be retired. On a Showdown slate with an onus on finding value, Pujols is in play. The early results aren’t great, but Pujols’ approach is what DFS players want. On his seven batted balls this season, the average exit velocity is 91.8 mph with a launch angle of 25 degrees. Flyouts are better than ground outs because sometimes they go for home runs, and one did for Pujols on Friday night. In the spring, the 41-year-old said he was feeling healthy and strong in his legs, so he added a leg kick to his swing. This combined with a role platooning this season could add pop to his bat. Cease allowed 1.9 HR/9 last season, so the opportunity is there.


Shohei Ohtani ($14,400 CP; $9,600) - His bat looked good in the spring, but his pitching was a different story. Ohtani had a 12.19 ERA in the spring with four home runs allowed over 10 13 innings pitched, but Angels manager Joe Maddon was not worried. It’s funny, if a player struggles in the spring, then it’s just spring training. If they do well, then it’s just spring training. In his last start of the spring, Ohtani developed a blister on his pitching hand. We’re told not to worry and that he’ll be alright, but we’ve heard this before. Making matters worse is that Maddon is going full throttle with Ohtani this season. For the first time in his MLB career, Ohtani is going to play the day before and after he pitches, and he will bat in the games that he pitches. What could go wrong? This price is way too high for a science experiment with blistering issues facing an explosive White Sox lineup.

The Outcome

Both pitchers will get their strikeouts, but both pitchers will give up their fair share of long balls. Trout is the obvious pick to do damage, and Jose Abreu ($15,900 CP; $10,600) is another unsurprising stand out. Against LHP last season, Abreu produced an outstanding stat line with a .414 wOBA, .283 ISO and a 168 wRC+. For those concerned about sample size, Abreu’s career numbers vs. LHP are nearly the same. This will be a game filled with fireworks — home runs and strikeouts — and the White Sox will prove to be more explosive.

Final Score: White Sox 6, Angles 5

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $150K Sunday Night Showdown Premiere [$50K to 1st] (CWS vs LAA)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Greenflagradio2) 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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