Prize Picks: Optimal Lineups - April 17
Steve Pimental takes a look at Prize Picks props for the PGA's RBC Heritage Tournament and Wednesday night's MLB slate!
If there was ever a time I was happy to be wrong about a call I made, it was last week for the Masters. I was a bit disappointed Tiger Woods’ first-round struggles at the Masters did not continue this year, but I was happy to see it result in a win on Sunday. I’m still rooting for him to break Jack Nicklaus’ record for major wins, even if I don’t think it’s particularly likely to happen.
Tiger is sitting out this week, but we have a very top-heavy field for the RBC Heritage this week, which means choosing players to go Under will again be a challenge. Fortunately for us, we don’t have to choose any players to go Under for MLB picks. There are a lot of weak starting pitchers on Wednesday’s slate, so I’m going over on all of my MLB picks. As always, my picks are listed in order of confidence, so proceed accordingly.
Steve’s PGA Picks for Thursday, April 18:
Projected Fantasy Points: 18.0
Kuchar has finished no worse than T-23 in his last five starts at Harbour Town, and he leads the PGA Tour in Round 1 Scoring Average this season. Kuchar ranks fifth on Tour in Bogey Avoidance and 21st in Par 4 Scoring Average. Kuchar has finished in the top 12 in each of his last three starts.
Projected Fantasy Points: 17.0
One of these things is not like the others. Rafael Cabrera-Bello is no doubt a good player, but he hasn’t been lately. He has finished outside the top 20 in four straight tournaments, and he has just two top-10s in 11 starts this season. RCB ranks 154th in Bogey Avoidance, 165th in Putting Inside 10 Feet and 148th in Round 1 Scoring Average. He also missed the cut in his only start here in 2017.
Projected Fantasy Points: 17.5
It’s awfully hard to go under on any of the PGA projections, but Kokrak makes it easier by ranking 149th in Round 1 Scoring Average. Kokrak has missed the cut in each of his last two tries at Harbour Town, and he ranks 123rd in Putting inside of 10 feet.
Projected Fantasy Points: 17.5
Cantlay has finished seventh and third in two tries at Harbour Town. He ranks first on Tour in Par 4 Scoring and eighth in Bogey Avoidance, and he has finished 24th or better in four of his last five tournaments.
Steve’s MLB Picks for Wednesday, April 18:
Ronald Acuna Jr. vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (Zack Godley, R)
Projected Fantasy Points: 8.0
Ronald Acuna Jr. has a .382 wOBA in his career against righties, and Zack Godley’s career platoon splits are nearly identical. Godley has allowed four home runs in three starts this season, and if Acuna gets one in this game, he will go over pretty easily.
Justin Smoak at Minnesota Twins (Jake Odorizzi ®
Projected Fantasy Points: 6.5
Remember when Jake Odorizzi was one of the better young pitchers in baseball? He hasn’t had an ERA under 4.00 since 2016 and he has allowed nine walks in 11.1 innings in 2019. Justin Smoak has more walks than strikeouts this season, and he enters this game on a four-game hitting streak.
Evan Longoria at Washington Nationals (Jeremy Hellickson, R)
Projected Fantasy Points: 5.5
It was even longer ago that Jeremy Hellickson was good. Longoria has a six-game hitting streak and he hit his second home run of the season Tuesday. Hellickson has six strikeouts and four walks in eight innings. And that’s not going to get it done.
Austin Meadows vs. Baltimore Orioles (David Hess, R)
Projected Fantasy Points: 7.5
Meadows is 13-for-26 with four home runs, 11 RBI and two stolen bases over his last six games. David Hess has allowed 26 home runs in 122.1 big league innings, and Meadows doesn’t necessarily need a home run to go over.