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April 11 MLB DFS: Rollin’ With Nolan
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Welcome to April 11 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for April 6 MLB DFS along with our LIVE Premium Chat and cliff notes. Make sure you’re using our customizable projections tool, you’re actively participating in the live chat, and you’re reviewing the cliff notes to supplement your research and roster construction process. Very best of luck in tonight’s action!

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April 11 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
01:26 Starting Pitcher
13:50 Catcher
16:04 First Base
20:16 Second Base
23:21 Third Base
25:35 Shortstop
27:45 Outfield
32:58 Stacks

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CUSTOMIZABLE PROJECTIONS WITH VALUE RATINGS CLICK HERE

  • In cash games, we recommend focusing on value plays to build your rosters (far right hand column of Projections page linked above). Value plays are those we feel have the highest probability of out-earning their current price tag. By packing value plays into your roster, you’re creating a team with a higher floor.
  • In tournaments, we recommend building a core of the best value plays and then complementing them with players who have a high ceiling. This combination is essentially turning up the variance on a strong foundation and we believe often is the best recipe for tournament success.

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April 11 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

Starting Pitcher

For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections

Jeff Samardzija (SF) tops our projections on a potentially tumultuous slate for starting pitching. Samardzija faces a Diamondbacks offense that projects for a K Rate above 22 percent against RHP and is getting a substantial park downgrade for their offense. Samardzija may not bring the highest strikeout potential but he makes up for some of it by working consistently deep into games. Last year at home Samardzija averaged just over 6 ⅓ innings per start and the friendly pitching environment helped him post a 3.53 ERA. Samardzija has just a 3.5 implied run total against and the Diamondbacks offense should help inflate his strikeout potential. He’s our primary target as a mid-tier SP1.

After Samardzija, things get murkier. Jameson Taillon (PIT) gets the best pitching environment against a Reds’ offense that projects in the bottom half of baseball against RHP. Taillon throws hard and induces tons of ground balls (52.8 percent in his career) but he doesn’t miss a ton of bats. He’s basically a right-handed Dallas Keuchel which is OK on a slate without many top tier options. He’s a bit overpriced relative to his strikeout upside but is viable as a cash game target.

After those two the next group consists of “risk-on” starting pitchers with compelling price points and strikeout upside. The first of the group is Drew Pomeranz (BOS) who has the ability to miss bats (24.3 K Rate with Boston last year) but pitches in an awfully difficult park for facing a RH heavy offense. The Orioles offense struggled against LHP last season (26th in wRC+ with a 22.5 percent K Rate) and Pomeranz is awfully cheap ($7,300 on DraftKings, $7,800 on FanDuel) for one of the highest strikeout potentials on the slate. He’s a strong tournament target and someone those who embrace risk at SP can turn to in cash games.

J.A. Happ (TOR) gets the Brewers free-swinging offense that is historically more dangerous against LHP (thanks to incredible splits from Braun – .421 wOBA/.254 ISO, Domingo Santana – .403 wOBA/.248 ISO, Keon Broxton .393 wOBA/.216 ISO, and Jonathan Villar – .388 wOBA, .204 ISO all since 2015). Outside of Braun these guys all strikeout 25 percent or more against LHP so while they pose a big threat they also bring tremendous upside. Happ delivered plenty of strikeouts down the stretch last season (94 in final 95 ⅓ IP from July on) and generated another nine strikeout in his debut against Baltimore including a 10.1 swinging strike rate.

Matt Harvey (NYM) saw his velocity down during the spring and it carried over in the first start where his swinging strike rate also decreased. He faces a softer opponent in the Phillies but it comes with a park downgrade. Vegas is giving Harvey some credit with a 3.7 implied run total against and the price tag on both sites remains relatively soft if you give credit for the Harvey of old. We’re skeptical and would prefer exposure in tournaments.

The other potential tournament targets include: Dan Straily (ATL) – Braves really struggled against sliders which Straily uses often, Tyler Skaggs (LAA) – strikeout upside and Texas getting a big park downgrade, and Robbie Ray (ARI) – huge park upgrade and the potential for a watered down Giants lineup if Buster Posey needs a day off would boost his projection.

Catcher

Due to big pricing gaps between the sites, the C position varies quite a bit. On DK you can go cheap with either of the Coors Field options (Tony Wolters (COL) or Austin Hedges (SD)), but the most interesting name might be Jett Bandy (MIL) at a pure punt price. Bandy is not a popular name, but he’s got some pop for a punt (.175 ISO in 252 career PAs) and will hold the platoon edge in a plus hitting environment in Toronto. A road game also softens the impact of his poor lineup spot.

Some mid-low pivots are JT Realmuto (MIA) (solid skill set and great lineup spot for an SP) and Russell Martin (TOR).

On FD where pricing is soft, Realmuto and Martin are cheap enough to both be considered our top values. We give a slight not to Martin as the Jays have the highest non-Coors team total on the slate at 5.2.

The Coors guys are tournament viable on FD, but we might actually look to a couple of power upside RHBs facing fly ball oriented LHPs: Evan Gattis (HOU) and Welington Castillo (BAL).

First Base

The Coors options of Wil Myers (SD) and Mark Reynolds (COL) each carry significant upside in a game that has an 11.5 total. Now’s a good time to frame the Coors conversation a bit moor. It’s beyond just park effects. Myers and the Padres face Antonio Senzatela, who flashed some nice swing and miss stuff in the opener but also showed why he can get shelled in Coors Field: did not induce any soft contact and kept the ball in the air.

On the Colorado side, Jered Weaver is not made for success in Coors Field. He has a bad fastball and allows a lot of hard hit contact and aerial contact. While last night was a bit fluky, there were two pitchers that at times can limit hard contact and keep the ball on the ground. It looks like there are less ways this game goes “bad” as it did last night.

There are other positions with better Coors options, so if you need to go cheaper here, Kendrys Morales (TOR) sticks out on both sites. Opposing pitcher WIly Peralta has allowed a .373 wOBA and .198 ISO to LHBs since 2014. On top of the great splits matchup, Morales is underpriced for his contextual factors and skill set (power guy hitting cleanup for a good offense in a good hitting environment).

There are plenty of tournament options here given the slate, but Freddie Freeman (ATL) sticks out on both sites as someone who could go under owned simply because the context isn’t great.

Second Base

Ryan Schimpf (SD) and DJ LeMahieu (COL) are your go to Coors guys. We give the tiebreaker to Schimpf for a couple of reason. He has more individual power upside (incredible fly ball rates, albeit over a small sample), which matches up nicely against Senzatela if he struggles to limit quality aerial contact again. Secondly, there are Rockies bats that are high priorities elsewhere, so it’s an easy way to diversify.

One again a Blue Jay rates as the best cheap alternative to Coors Field as Devon Travis (TOR) has a very affordable price point for a leadoff hitter with some event upside (19 HRs, 7 SBs in 694 career PAs).

Jose Altuve (HOU) looks lost out of the gate (25.8 K% is uncharacteristic even over a small sample), but he’s tournament viable facing a subpar LHP.

Dustin Pedroia (BOS) doesn’t offer much individual upside but will carry single digit ownership despite leading off for the team with the fourth highest IRT.

Third Base

This is one of the positions we advise not sacrificing Coors Field exposure. It’s a complete mismatch between Jered Weaver and Nolan Arenado (COL). Weaver’s struggles recently have extended to same handed hitters, as he’s allowed a .357 wOBA and .215 ISO to RHBs since 2015. Arenado is so perfect for Coors because he puts the ball in play at a high rate for a power hitter (14.8 K% last season) while generating plenty of loft (FB% has risen every year of his career).

Arenado is a cash game lock for us, which makes most of the rest of this position about finding tournament pivots. Josh Donaldson (TOR) has the power upside in a good park to match Arenado’s upside at a lower cost. Manny Machado (BAL) is in Fenway Park, which is great for RHBs, facing a fly ball oriented LHP in Drew Pomeranz.

Another way to be different in tournaments is by going with a non-Arenado Coors Field option here. Yangerivs Solarte (SD) is viable in that role on both sites, but MPE brings Schimpf and LeMahieu into play on DK as well.

Shortstop

Due to positional scarcity, Trevor Story (COL) is a bit higher up our priority list than the COL outfielders who actually project better. However, some of that enthusiasm is dampened ever so slightly by a small drop in the order to sixth.

If you’re not going for Coors, you might as well grab some cap relief. Troy Tulowitzki (TOR) gives you affordable Blue Jays exposure. Dansby Swanson (ATL) may have conservative baselines (not much of a sample on him) and will hit second on the road. Jhonny Peralta (STL) provides some pop with the platoon edge against Gio Gonzalez.

Higher upside tournament pivots off of Swanson include Jonathan Villar (MIL) and Carlos Correa (HOU). Villar’s price is actually favorable enough on DK that he merits cash game consideration as a road leadoff hitter that possesses plenty of event upside.

Outfield

The obvious top plays and the names we’d like to squeeze into cash games are Charlie Blackmon (COL) and Carlos Gonzalez (COL). There are upper tier pivots in tournaments, but they lag meaningfully behind in overall projection – Bryce Harper (WAS), Mookie Betts (BOS), and Mike Trout (LAA).

The best value in the OF resides in the MIL lineup, where a cheap Keon Broxton (MIL) and Domingo Santana (MIL) get the platoon edge on the road against JA Happ, who has flashed some very good swing and miss stuff but still has a below average GB rate and Hard-Soft%. Both Broxton and Santana possess power and speed upside. Broxton will run much more frequently, while Santana has a career .186 ISO in 509 PAs, with ZiPS and Steamer calling for that mark to be just shy of .200 this season.

Travis Jankowski (SD) is a pretty affordable Coors Field piece. He’ll run plenty and the two hole road lineup spot in Coors often rolls over to a sixth PA. Another two hole hitter, Andrew Benintendi (BOS), gives you access to a high total offense. Dylan Bundy looked phenomenal in his debut against the Blue Jays, but this is a much tougher Red Sox lineup that won’t swing and miss as much. If Gerardo Parra (COL) hits fifth again, we’d feel better about him in cash games as another way to get access to Colorado. Even in the sixth spot he’s a secondary value in all formats.

Some pure punts in good lineup spots on FD are Joey Rickard/Craig Gentry (BAL), Delino DeShields (TEX), and Mitch Haniger (SEA). Josh Bell (PIT), depending on lineup spot, enters the punt conversation at a sub-$3k tag on DK.

Some other options in tournaments include lefty smashers George Springer (HOU) and Ryan Braun (MIL). The Pirates outfielders will go overlooked due to park and opportunity cost, but they face Rookie Davis who turned in a disaster start in the opener and has a ZiPS projected ERA of 5.25.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Colorado Rockies – The Rockies once again lead the way at Coors Field against a fly ball oriented starter who now throws 83 mph. The Rockies have been struggling offensively but Weaver should be a cure. He allowed a 34.7 hard hit rate and 48.2 fly ball rate last season. Those numbers can’t survive in Coors Field.

Tier Two

2) San Diego Padres – Antonio Senzatela had a successful debut against the Brewers but the underlying batted ball peripherals were shaky (0 percent soft contact, 40 percent hard contact and generated just a 7.5 swinging strike rate. The big park shift for the Padres further inflates their value.

3) Toronto Blue Jays – The second highest implied total on the slate but the likelihood of losing the ninth inning pushes them down a bit. Wily Peralta is arguably the worst starter on the slate and he has to deal with pitching in the AL against the DH. The expensive Blue Jays bats will come lower owned with sharing all the same positions as the premier Rockies bats, making them a fine pivot in tournaments.

Additional Tournament Stacks

-Milwaukee Brewers: Unique power-speed combination against LHP with a few softer price tags in the outfield make them stackable. The low team total and J.A. Happ‘s reliance on fly balls makes them an interesting contrarian target.

-New York Mets: The Mets disappointed as a run-scoring stack with Jay Bruce eating all of the production last night, but the same concept applies again on Tuesday. Clay Buchholz had a tough spring and was knocked around in his first start. He only generated a 3.9 percent swinging strike rate and his velocity was down. The Phillies bullpen has two good arms they use when playing from ahead but are vulnerable when playing from behind and the Mets offense relies heavily on middle of the order power.

2 Comments

  1. relater

    April 11, 2017 at 6:23 am

    Are the subscriptions not working today? Logged in but only says click to purchase which I did already I think. Thx

  2. relater

    April 11, 2017 at 6:27 am

    My mistake I decided to wait till after vacation. Sorry for the false alarm.