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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Lineup Strategy for Reds vs. Giants Showdown on April 12

Garion Thorne gives his top lineup advice for Monday’s fantasy baseball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Reds and Giants, which starts at 9:45 p.m. ET.

Cincinnati Reds v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Coming into 2021, it seemed like all the buzz in the NL Central revolved around three teams: The Cubs, the Cardinals and the Brewers. Well, after the first two weeks of the season, it’s actually the Cincinnati Reds in control of the division, as the club has been a non-stop hitting matching so far in April.

Can an equally surprising San Francisco Giants squad slow down the Reds’ hot bats on Monday night? Let’s break it all down from a Showdown perspective.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB Showdown $8K Rally Cap [$2K to 1st] (CIN vs SF)


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Captain’s Picks

Mike Moustakas ($15,300 CP) - For as good as Aaron Sanchez ($10,400) looked in his first start of the season, there were also some serious red flags. The veteran, who once averaged 97.1 mph on his fastball in his rookie campaign, was struggling to even hit 90 mph last Tuesday, as injuries have clearly taken their toll. That doesn’t necessarily mean Sanchez can’t be effective; yet we are talking about a pitcher that possessed an ugly 5.08 xFIP from 2017 to 2019, so it’s not like Sanchez was in a great place prior to missing the entire 2020 season. He’s also been known to struggle with LHBs, which is where Moustakas comes into play. The 32-year-old is slashing .333/.472/.556 over his first 36 plate appearances, complimenting that amazing stat line with just an 8.3% strikeout rate. If Moustakas is going to make this much contact, opposing pitchers are in trouble.

Evan Longoria ($12,900 CP) - At some point, the Giants are going to stop drawing left-handed starters and Longoria is going to stop hitting like it’s 2010. Still, in the meantime, I’ll continue to go back to the well. Wade Miley ($15,900 CP) threw six scoreless innings in his first outing out 2021, however it has to be noted that that success came against the hapless Pirates. San Francisco is a much better team in general and it has many platoon bats that thrive versus southpaws — with Longoria being the best example. In fact, in the 231 plate appearances the veteran has had within the split since the beginning of 2019, Longoria is sporting a .923 OPS and a 143 wRC+. In that same span against RHPs, those figures drop to a .695 OPS and an 84 wRC+. Pretty drastic stuff.


UTIL Plays

Tyler Naquin ($8,000) - Naquin is obviously a very interesting name right now in fantasy baseball circles. After posting an anemic wRC+ of 63 in 2020, the former Cleveland outfielder is currently tied for the league-lead in home runs (5). Regression is undoubted coming, but that doesn’t change the fact that he has value on tonight’s slate. Not only has Naquin hit leadoff for the Reds in their past two games versus a right-handed starter, but he’s left-handed — a trait that has plagued the aforementioned Sanchez. To wit, the RHP faced 551 left-handed batters from 2018 to 2019 and, in that span, those specific opponents managed a massive .367 wOBA. Jesse Winker ($9,000) falls into a similar category if he ends up starting and hitting atop Cincinnati’s order.

Donovan Solano ($6,200) - The dangerous aspect of exploiting the Giants cheap platoon bats is late-game substitutions. With notable left-handed bats on the bench like Brandon Belt ($5,600), Tommy La Stella ($7,000) and Alex Dickerson ($4,600), assets like Darin Ruf ($6,000) and Wilmer Flores ($7,600) might be limited to just two or three plate appearances. I have less worry when it comes to Solano, who happens to be hitting .320 with a respectable 114 wRC+ against RHPs dating back to the start of 2019. Is he a better hitter versus southpaws? Sure, and that’s why he’ll likely bat third in tonight’s lineup with Miley on the mound for the Reds. Yet, unlike some other San Francisco pieces, Solano can hold his own regardless of handedness.


Fades

Aaron Sanchez ($10,400) - Even back when he was leading the American League in ERA, Sanchez was never a pitcher whose skill-set translated all that well to fantasy. His career numbers for strikeout rate (18.7%), chase rate (26.3%) and swinging strike rate (8.2%) are below average, he’s always had control issues and, as mentioned above, he’s lost an incredible amount of velocity since we’ve seen him last. I’m just not sure I see the appeal, especially with the Reds currently leading baseball in ISO (.228) and wRC+ (137).


THE OUTCOME

This is a contest where I don’t see either starter working particularly deep, though I would definitely consider rostering Miley before touching Sanchez. Cincinnati has been swinging the bats exceedingly well through its first nine games of the season and I don’t see that coming to a halt against a right-handed still finding his footing post-injury. Give me the Reds as slight road underdogs.

Final Score: Cincinnati 6, San Francisco 4

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB Showdown $8K Rally Cap [$2K to 1st] (CIN vs SF)


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) 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.


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