4/28 MLB DFS FantasyDraft Picks: Building Stacks with a Carpenter
DailyRoto’s MLB Solo Shot Host, Logan Hitchcock, gets you headed in the right direction with his 4/28 MLB DFS Picks. Check out where his mind is at today when it comes to roster construction at FantasyDraft.
Public Service Guidance:
Two starting pitchers? Check.
Unique lineup construction? Check.
Larger payout zones? Check.
If you’re looking for a friendlier daily fantasy option, look no further than FantasyDraft. In the first few weeks of the season, I’ve been suggesting plays simply based on relative value around the industry, however, moving forward I’ll be tailoring all of the analysis towards the salaries and roster constructions featured at FantasyDraft.
But now to baseball!
Where to Focus?
Today features a pair of four game slates, but unfortunately Mother Nature is threatening in more than half of them. Given that the small slates condense ownership and that there is an increased weather risk today I’d recommend scaling back on your usual volume or at least shifting your allotment to feature more of an emphasis on tournaments.
In the early slate, chalk is plentiful thanks to the games in Coors Field. Weather looks like it will play a role here, but the threat of precipitation is less than in other games and shouldn’t keep us from using the hitters we want to target.
Neither Tyler Chatwood or Juan Nicasio should keep you from loading up on Rockies and Pirates bats and given that this is a day game following a night game, the rosters might shake up enough to provide plenty of value should we wish to reach up for Jake Arrieta (if the weather permits).
I’d prefer focusing on the Pirates bats, most notably John Jaso ($7,500) and Andrew McCutchen ($10,400), but if Matt Joyce finds himself in the lineup ($5,100) he’s nearly a must play in all formats.
The Rockies bats are more expensive as a whole, but if given the opportunity, Ben Paulsen ($6,600) will provide enough value to allow you to reach up and grab their big bombers in Carlos Gonzalez ($9,900) and Nolan Arenado ($10,200). As is always the case with Coors Field though, everyone is in play.
Should the weather be too much of an issue in Colorado, attacking Chris Bassit with Detroit Tigers bats, or Taylor Jungmann with Chicago Cubs hitters are also great options.
The late slate appears to be less likely to be affected by weather and provides more opportunity in terms of solid run scoring environments.
The Baltimore Orioles are back home at friendly Camden Yards and get an awesome matchup with the woeful John Danks. Danks displays extreme flyball tendencies and is a below average strikeout pitcher that will allow a lot of hard contact. In each of his last four seasons, Danks has allowed more than one home run per nine innings and given the power from top to bottom in Baltimore, I expect one or more homers off him tonight. Manny Machado ($8,800) is way too cheap and it is easy to fit in Mark Trumbo ($8,800), Adam Jones ($8,100) and Chris Davis ($8,400) as well.
The games in Boston and Arizona are the two other games to focus on offensively. Rubby De La Rosa has been unable to get left-handers out in his career (.377 wOBA for opposing lefties in his career) and the Cardinals will be able to provide a lot of left-handed value in a huge positive park shift for their team.
Matt Carpenter ($8,700) is an elite cash game option and should Brandon Moss ($7,200) find himself a spot in the lineup, he is in the same boat. Moss has flexed his muscles to a career .224 ISO against right-handers in his career and the Cardinals implied run total of 4.6 runs makes him even more enticing.
The Red Sox get to face journeyman Jhoulys Chacin in a home matchup that will ensure that David Ortiz is in the lineup tonight. Ortiz ($9,300) enjoyed his return to the lineup last night and with his elite skills against right-handed pitchers in his career (.420 wOBA, .305 ISO) he makes for an awesome cash game and tournament play.
On the Bump…
I should note that aside from the risk of postponement, weather effects pitchers even more. The threat of long delays increases the chances of a pitcher not returning and whether or not we want to inherit that risk is something that needs to be evaluated closely up until first pitch.
Given that there are not a lot of viable options in either slate, I’ll rank the top three pitchers from each and provide a brief analysis of them to aid in your pitcher selection. Keep in mind, the rankings I’ll be using assume that weather is a non-issue, but as the forecast shows this is most likely not the case today.
Jake Arrieta ($26,400)
Tanner Roark ($15,200)
Aaron Nola ($16,800) /Anibal Sanchez ($15,600)
Arrieta is the clear top option on this early slate. He was bumped back a day due to a postponement last night and has a home matchup with the hapless Milwaukee Brewers. I probably don’t need to bring up his early season exploits, but over the course of the last two seasons he has been arguably the best pitcher in baseball. The Brewers are striking out the second most times in the league and are in the bottom third in terms of wOBA. Arrieta is an expensive, but necessary play should the weather hold.
Roark dominated in his last matchup, but don’t expect the strikeouts to follow again today. This is merely a play on the fact that the Philadelphia Phillies are well below average offensively and the Nationals are big favorites. The Phillies have an implied team run total of just 3.2 runs and using Roark will allow you to easily fit Arrieta and Coors Field bats.
Should you be forced to move off Arrieta or Roark due to weather, both Sanchez and Nola are usable third options. Neither have remarkable matchups but both possess marginal strikeout baselines and are better options than forcing in a pitcher from Coors Field.
Kenta Maeda ($19,500)
Jose Fernandez ($22,200)
Clay Buchholz ($15,600)
How about Kenta Maeda so far? The guy has exceeded early expectations and gets a fantastic matchup against the Miami Marlins tonight. Maeda projects right around eight strikeouts per nine innings (above average) and is a slight favorite against Fernandez and the Marlins. Better yet, he’s even cheaper than Fernandez and allows you to plug in all of top offensive bats that you wish to gain exposure too. The Marlins are third worst in the league in terms of ISO against right-handed pitchers and are in the bottom third of wOBA as well. Maeda is as safe as they come.
Jose Fernandez is equally enticing tonight against the Los Angeles Dodgers. You’ll limit your upside a bit by taking Maeda and Fernandez but given the low total on this game, it is a feasible strategy tonight. Fernandez has the highest strikeout baseline on the slate and he’s facing a Dodgers team that is in the bottom five in the league in terms of ISO against right-handed pitchers. With a lot of great run scoring environments on this late slate, there isn’t reason to get cute and avoid Fernandez.
Buchholz has never become the type of arm Red Sox fans expected but his matchup with the Atlanta Braves can’t be overlooked. The Braves finally snapped a 15 game homerless streak last night but are still worst in the major leagues in terms of ISO against right-handed pitchers. Buchholz has struggled with his command so far this season, but he provides an average strikeout baseline for a really accessible price tag. I’d prefer just using both Maeda and Fernandez but can’t fault you for using Buchholz.
Lots of players at DailyRoto have begun transitioning their play to FantasyDraft. Check them out tonight and see if it’s a good fit for you.