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Underdog Fantasy MLB Pick ‘Em Picks: Friday (4/21)

Underdog Fantasy MLB Pick ‘Em Picks: Friday (4/21)

Friday is always an excellent opportunity to get in the Underdog Fantasy MLB pick ’em streets. There’s only one afternoon contest and 14 beginning at 6:35 pm ET or later, giving gamers a plethora of pick ’em options to mix and match. The following picks include a mix of hitters and pitchers and higher and lower choices.

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Friday’s Top Underdog Fantasy MLB Pick ‘Em Picks

Aaron Judge: 10.5 Fantasy Points – Higher

Judge is in a smash spot against a lefty who can’t handle righties. According to FanGraphs, 411 right-handed batters who’ve faced Yusei Kikuchi since last year have had a .360 OBP, .527 SLG and .382 wOBA. Meanwhile, since 2021, Judge has had a 386 OBP, .308 ISO and 163 wRC+ against lefties. Judge is also ripping the cover off the ball this year. In 81 plate appearances in 2023, Judge has 16 runs, six homers, 11 RBI, a .383 OBP, .303 ISO, 162 wRC+ and two stolen bases.

Finally, Judge has crushed Kikuchi. Per Baseball Savant, he’s had two homers, four walks, a .827 xSLG and .508 xwOBA against Kikuchi in 19 plate appearances. So, Judge should pile up fantasy points tonight.

Noah Davis: 4.0 Strikeouts – Lower

Davis had five strikeouts in five innings in his first start this year. So, Davis can strike out more than four batters. However, his underlying data and numbers in the minors encourage taking his under. First, Davis’s plate discipline numbers are dreadful. In an admittedly small sample of 6.0 innings in the majors, he’s had a 21.4 O-Swing%, 89.2 Z-Contact% and 6.3 SwStr%.

In addition, Davis had an 11.8 SwStr% in Double-A and 10.0 SwStr% in Triple-A last season. The righty’s Double-A swinging-strike rate was satisfactory, but the big-league average this year is 11.0%. So, he was slightly better than the major-league average in the minors, and it dipped as he moved up the ladder. Additionally, Davis’s 6.4 SwStr% in Triple-A this season was dreadful. Davis had two, three, and one strikeout in three Triple-A starts this season.

Finally, his horrendous control could result in a quick hook. He’s had a 10.3 BB% and hit 17 batters in 30 starts in the upper minors since last season. So, take Davis’s under for 4.0 strikeouts.

Hunter Brown: 5.0 Strikeouts – Higher

Brown has started five games in the majors, two last year and three this season. He’s struck out at least five batters in all of those starts. In 39.0 innings in The Show, Brown has had 9.0 K/9, a 25.5 K% and 29.4 CSW%. He also has above-average pitch modeling numbers, sporting 109 Stuff+, 103 Location+ and 105 Pitching+ this year.

Meanwhile, the Braves strike out frequently. Their 24.5 K% against righties this year is the 10th-highest mark. Additionally, Ozzie Albies‘s 19.9 K% against righties since 2021 is the lowest mark among their projected starters tonight. Six hitters have had at least a 22.3 K% and four have had at least a 24.1 K%.

Christian Yelich: 7.5 Fantasy Points – Higher

Nick Pivetta has pitched poorly. Yet, he’s also been lucky. The veteran righty’s 4.50 ERA in 2023 is lower than his 6.08 xERA and 5.21 xFIP. The Brewers can hasten the regression process tonight, and Yelich gets the first crack at him from the leadoff spot.

Yelich doesn’t resemble the player who won NL MVP hardware in 2018. Still, he’s had a .373 OBP, .172 ISO and 122 wRC+ in 415 plate appearances against right-handed pitchers at American Family Field since 2021. When the Brewers rough up Pivetta tonight, Yelich should have a prominent role.

Shohei Ohtani: 7.5 Strikeouts – Higher

I’ve already discussed my infatuation with Ohtani’s over for 7.5 strikeouts for Props. So, instead of plagiarizing my work, I suggest checking that piece out for the full analysis of why I like his over. In short, Ohtani’s struck out 27 batters in 21.0 innings this year, tallying 32.0 CSW%. He also has a mouthwatering matchup against the Royals since they’re ill-equipped to test his shaky control and strike out regularly against righties. Kansas City has had a 6.7 BB% and 25.0 K% against righties this year. So, Ohtani should slice through them like a hot knife through butter tonight.

Whether you’re new to fantasy baseball or a seasoned pro, our Fantasy Baseball 101: Strategy Tips & Advice page is for you. You can get started with our Sabermetrics Glossary or head to a more advanced strategy – like Maximizing Your Potential in Multi-Lineup Contests – to learn more.


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Josh Shepardson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Josh, check out his archive and follow him @BChad50.

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