MLB PrizePicks for Friday, April 7, Featuring Christian Walker, Paul Goldschmidt, More
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images. Pictured: Paul Goldschmidt
We have a stacked 14-game slate of baseball on Friday, which means there are plenty of entries to sift through on PrizePicks. A quick refresher if you aren’t familiar with PrizePicks: you can combine up to five different player squares to payout up to 10x your entry.
You can do a Flex Play or a Power Play. A Flex Play gives you lesser odds, but you can win money if you do not nail every pick. A Power Play is all-or-nothing.
Here’s how I would approach Friday’s MLB slate.
What is PrizePicks? A daily fantasy operator — meaning they’re available in more states (30) than sports betting is! — PrizePicks offers a unique opportunity for action on player picks in which you combine two or more entries together.
Christian Walker Hitter Fantasy Score More Than 5
An NL West series continues on Friday evening with the ArizonaDiamondbacks hosting the Los Angeles Dodgers. Slated to take the mound for Los Angeles is future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw, who we are going to (somewhat) fade.
Backing a couple of Arizona’s hitters to record a fantasy score of at least five is a slight fade of Kershaw, although you can reach five fantasy points from just a mere single and a walk. The left-hander looked sharp in his season debut against the Diamondbacks last week, allowing just one run on four hits through six innings while striking out nine.
However, that one run came via Christian Walker’s solo home run to kick-off the second inning. Historically dominating his matchup against Kershaw, Walker now boasts a .333 BA, .833 SLG and .486 wOBA through 31 career plate appearances the left-hander.
His underlying metrics over that stretch are just as dominant and suggest regression is unlikely, posting a .318 xBA, .826 xSLG and .480 xwOBA. When facing left-handers since 2021, Walker’s numbers jump by approximately 4% to a .258 BA, .424 SLG, and .779 OPS.
Ketel Marte Hitter Fantasy Score More Than 5
The other Arizona hitter we are backing in this contest is Ketel Marte. Although the switch-hitting second baseman struggled in the first matchup against Kershaw this season, there should be some optimism that he bounces back on Friday.
Marte’s poor surface-level thus far are a bit misleading, and primarily due to some poor luck at the dish. Marte has hit the ball hard, but has just struggled to find the gaps through the first week of the season.
In 2023, he ranks in the 91st percentile in Average Exit Velocity and 71st percentile in HardHit%. Perhaps this luck can turn around against Kershaw, a guy Marte has fared well against previously.
Through 41 career plate appearances against the left-hander, Marte possesses a .250 BA, .550 SLG and .339 wOBA. Like Walker, Marte is a stronger hitter against left-handers.
Since 2021, his numbers jump by roughly 34% to a tremendous .324 BA, .584 SLG, and .966 OPS when facing left-handed pitchers.
Nolan Arenado Hitter Fantasy Score Less Than 7
Riding a five-game win streak, the Milwaukee Brewers open a three-game series at home against the St. Louis Cardinals. Right-hander Brandon Woodruff takes the mound for Milwaukee in this contest and should be an excellent candidate to back.
In his season debut against the Chicago Cubs, Woodruff allowed just one run on three hits through six innings while racking up eight strikeouts. Woodruff’s stuff was incredible that game, and while it is only a one-game sample size, he currently ranks in the 86th percentile or higher in xERA/xwOBA, xBA, xSLG, K%, and Chase Rate.
This promising start should not be surprising from one of the best pitchers baseball, a guy who has posted an ERA south of 3.06 in each of the last three seasons. Against this dominant right-hander, we are going to fade both of St. Louis’ stars, starting with Nolan Arenado.
While Arenado’s surface-level stats are strong to begin the year, his underlying metrics thus far suggest some regression is around the corner. This season, he possesses a .256 xBA, .325 xSLG and .271 xwOBA.
This regression could hit against Woodruff, a pitcher he historically struggles against. Through 20 career plate appearances against the right-hander, Arenado possesses a mere .167 BA, .222 SLG and .219 wOBA.
Paul Goldschmidt Hitter Fantasy Score Less Than 7
We are also going to fade the other Cardinals star, Paul Goldschmidt. There is no denying that Goldschmidt has been on an absolute tear to begin 2023, although he may struggle once again against Woodruff.
In a similar fashion to Arenado, Goldschmidt typically struggles against the Brewers’ right-hander. Through 33 career plate appearances against Woodruff, Goldschmidt possesses a .250 BA, .375 SLG and .268 wOBA.
His underlying metrics over that span are even worse, producing a mere .188 xBA, .326 xSLG, and .218 xwOBA. He struggles to even make contact, striking out 11 times over that stretch while posting a 31.1 Whiff%.
While Goldschmidt’s splits are tremendous no matter which way you slice them, his numbers drop by a whopping 37% when facing right-handed pitching since 2021.
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