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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Lineup Strategy for Reds vs. Diamondbacks Showdown on April 9

Kenny Ducey gives his top lineup advice for Friday’s fantasy baseball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Reds and Diamondbacks, which starts at 9:40 p.m. ET.

A long, fun Friday MLB slate winds down in Arizona this evening, where the Arizona Diamondbacks play host to the Cincinnati Reds to begin a three-game set. The Reds offense is red-hot and has its eyes set on Taylor Widener ($10,000) as its next victim, while Tyler Mahle ($10,600) will look to feast on a weak Arizona lineup. Without further ado, let’s get into how to construct your lineups for Friday night’s game.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $35K Showdown of the Week [$10K to 1st] (CIN vs ARI)

Cincinnati Reds vs. Arizona Diamondbacks

Captain’s Picks

Tyler Mahle ($15,900 CP) - Mahle isn’t only my favorite play in this game, he is my favorite pitcher on the entire main slate on Friday. The Statcast darling gave up just two earned runs over five innings against the Cardinals in his first start of the season, striking out nine. Now he has the benefit of facing one of the worst lineups in the league and many more strikeouts should ensue. Mahle has increased his strikeout rate every year he’s been in the majors and he’s coming off a season where he posted a stellar 3.40 xERA. His fastball, slider and split should have Arizona off balance all night.

Mike Moustakas ($12,900 CP) - Moose was one of the Reds’ biggest destroyers of right-handed pitching a year ago — he possessed a 122 wRC+ within the split — and he’s actually the best remaining hitter against righties after Cincinnati’s roster turnover. He’s started the year hot with 11.3 DKFP per game, and should feast on Widener here, who had a hard-hit rate of 60% in his first start despite his stellar line. Moustakas should help Widener regress a little bit.

Value Plays

Editor’s Note: Reds OF Nick Senzel is not in the lineup for Friday’s game vs. the Diamondbacks.

Nick Senzel ($6,000) - Look, Nick Senzel isn’t that far removed from being a can’t-miss hitting prospect. He’s still 25, and he still has a ton of talent. He’s also sporting a .423 xwOBA this year to go along with a 26.3% walk rate. Against a guy that gives up a ton of hard contact, and hitting in the middle of a Reds’ order that should score a lot of runs, I like Senzel’s chances of running up at least 10.0 DKFP.

Pavin Smith ($4,800) - I said all those nice things about Mahle before, but he’s definitely not unhittable. Smith, if he plays, should have a good lineup spot tonight. He probably won’t lead off again if Josh Rojas ($9,000) is in the lineup, but Torey Lovullo has shown he wants to get Smith right in the middle of that order. At this price, he’s definitely worth a look, especially coming off a two-hit game.


Josh Rojas ($9,000) - Rojas might wind up being the best hitter in this Diamondbacks lineup, and I really like his batted ball profile. He had a great spring, and it’s easy to see why the Astros were high on him before shipping him off in the Zack Greinke deal. With that said, he’s done nothing so far this year to earn this kind of price tag, even if he’s going to be leading off. The matchup is tough against Mahle, and he’s mustered just two hits in 23 at-bats in 2021. You definitely want to take a wait-and-see approach with Rojas. There’s no reason to spend this kind of cash when you’ve got great high-priced options on the other side.

The Outcome

Widener should see some regression here, and against a red-hot lineup things could get ugly. On the other side, I don’t have many doubts about Tyler Mahle’s ability to navigate a lineup which is 22nd in wRC+ this season and has been bereft of quality contact. The Reds should run away.

Final Score: Cincinnati 6, Arizona 2

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $35K Showdown of the Week [$10K to 1st] (CIN vs ARI)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Jetsfan196) 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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