Welcome to April 12 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for April 12 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 12 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
- 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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Range of Outcome Projections
April 12 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
Jose Berrios (MIN) is the clear-cut top SP on this short slate. We’ve generally been lower on Berrios than the market given that the prospect hype and surface statistics haven’t quite matched up with the actual skills he’s displayed. With all that said, just because he’s been lucky in the past doesn’t mean he’ll simply pitch better in the future and mitigate the effects of regression. It’s only been two starts, but that’s what we’ve seen so far this year with 13 Ks against just 1 BB. Maybe more importantly, he has forced a ton of soft contact while limiting hard contact. We actually haven’t changed his baselines yet given the small sample, and Berrios still outpaces the field as a -170 home favorite with a 3.7 IRTA against a White Sox team that we like to pick on, especially with RHP.
Gio Gonzalez (WAS) is next in line and is tied with Berrios as the largest favorite (-170) but has a slightly lower IRTA. Gonzalez has a tougher matchup against a Rockies team that was middle of the pack in wRC+ against LHP last season, although the matchup could improve if Nolan Arenado is suspended. Gonzalez has missed bats early with a good 11.2 SwStr%. He’d be a better value than Berrios if you assumed that to continue. We don’t see good reason to change our baseline, and as a result Gonzalez projects 1.3 strikeouts behind Berrios. On DK, you likely have to choose between one of Berrios or Gonzalez.
In the mid-tier on DK we have Rick Porcello (BOS) who has some upside given how the Yankees strike out against RHP combined with his ability to work deeper into games. There’s of course a lot of run prevention risk, but the tag keeps him as a secondary play in all formats.
We’d rather go cheaper in cash games, though, and our preferred option there is Andrew Heaney (LAA), who we think will make the start for the Angels. It is possible it is Nick Tropeano, who we would not be interested in. Heaney did not start the year in the rotation due to a shoulder issue, but he threw 87 pitches in an effective rehab start. Heaney will face a pretty punchless Royals team whose best power hitters are lefties. Throw in a decent K rate, and Heaney doesn’t look all that different from the non Berrios/Gonzalez pitchers on the slate but is the cheapest.
After Berrios on DK, all the starting pitchers are within 2 points of projected value. Of the names not mentioned, the ones we prefer most for tournaments are Sonny Gray (NYY) (strong early season peripherals) and Lucas Giolito (CHW) (cheap but ugly early season peripherals).
On FD, the game out West (SF at SD) is on the slate and Chris Stratton (SF) has a favorable matchup at a punt price. He’s viable in tournaments, and may even be the best non-Berrios SP option on FD when you consider price.
Gary Sanchez (NYY) tops the catcher projections in this condensed slate. He’s a big part of our DK optimals as there’s no one else behind him that’s close in projection. The weather isn’t great in Boston once again with rain and cold temps, but it’s still a plus environment for RHBs as they get to hit shots at the Green Monster.
Chris Iannetta (COL) is the best alternative to Sanchez. He’ll have the platoon edge, which is meaningful for his projection as we have a .200 ISO baseline for him vs. LHP. He’ll be on the road so it’s certainly a negative park shift, but he’ll have a chance at hitting higher in the lineup vs. a southpaw. Charlie Blackmon has been out the last couple of days, and Iannetta hit second on Tuesday vs. a LHP.
Welington Castillo (CHW) and Jason Castro (MIN) hit towards the bottom of the lineup but they’re the only other catchers in this slate that have decent power baselines in our projections. They’re viable in tournaments.
Ryan Zimmerman (WSH) represents the top projected scorer at first base, but Logan Morrison (MIN) and Brandon Belt (SF) aren’t far behind in projection. While these three don’t carry gaudy projections, they’re exceptionally cheap. On FD, this trio of first basemen have price tags under $3k. They’re also in good matchups – Zimmerman gets the reverse splits Bettis, Morrison is facing a young pitcher (Giolito) and Belt gets to face Bryan Mitchell, who has only struck out one batter in nearly 11 innings (two starts). Zimmerman and Morrison are available on the DK main slate and represent the better cash game targets at the position.
Hanley Ramirez (BOS), Jose Abreu (CHW) and Eric Hosmer (SD) are viable alternatives in tournaments. Ramirez and Abreu carry the tougher matchups against Sonny Gray and Jose Berrios respectively but in Ramirez’s case he’s at home where he gets to hit shots at the Green Monster.
Brian Dozier (MIN) is the top projected scorer at the keystone position. With Dozier you get plenty of events upside. Last season he hit 34 home runs and stole 16 bases. The season before that, Dozier hit 42 home runs and stole 18 bases. He’s generate double digit home runs and stolen bases in five straight seasons. The $4,400 price tag isn’t overly difficult to fit on DK.
If you’re in need of salary relief, Whit Merrifield (KC) and Howie Kendrick (WSH) are cheaper options that you can consider on both sites. On FD specifically, Kendrick is just $2,800. Merrifield packs in more events upside, so we prefer him over Kendrick if you can find the extra $400 on FD.
Yoan Moncada (CHW) is viable in tournaments on DK where he’s just $3,300. He carries 20-20 upside this season. Zack Cozart (LAA) is a viable part of LAA stacks but he’s pricey on both sites.
Anthony Rendon (WSH) carries the top raw projection at third base. Chad Bettis has allowed a .362 wOBA and .203 ISO to RHBs since 2016 and it’s backed up by a 15.3% K rate. This is a very strong matchup for Rendon and the Nationals’ RHBs. He’s a strong target in all formats.
Miguel Sano (MIN) is a viable alternative in all formats to Rendon, particularly on DK where he’s affordable ($3,900). The Twins have the highest IRT (4.8) in the slate at the moment, and Sano is their biggest power threat. He’ll need to cut the strikeouts, and if he does this is a hitter with 40 home run upside in a full season.
If he’s in the lineup (awaiting potential suspension), Nolan Arenado (COL) would be facing a lefty though it’s a quality southpaw and it’s away from Coors Field. He’s viable in tournaments – in cash games we prefer Rendon.
Luis Valbuena (LAA) is another viable tournament option. Valbuena gets a matchup against Ian Kennedy, who struggles mightily with the long ball (allowed nearly two home runs per nine innings last season).
The shortstop position is pretty underwhelming past Trea Turner (WSH) and perhaps Trevor Story (COL) in this slate. We certainly prefer Turner if you can get up to him on both sites. He has the softer matchup (Bettis) and is part of a Nationals’ team that has an IRT of 4.5 runs. Story is the free swinger but there’s also plenty of upside when he connects. He’s hit 24 and 27 home runs over the last two seasons.
If you need salary relief, Pat Valaika (COL) (on DK) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) (on FD) are decent targets.
Andrelton Simmons (LAA) is a viable piece of Angels stacks in GPPs. The same goes for Didi Gregorius (NYY) as part of Yankees stacks. Didi is the better hitter but has a tougher matchup and is pricier.
Mike Trout (LAA) is the unsurprising top projected scorer in the slate regardless of position. The best hitter in baseball gets a road matchup against Ian Kennedy, who’s allowed a .191 ISO to RHBs since 2016. You want to play Trout tonight on both sites. It’s even possible to use Giancarlo Stanton (NYY) alongside Trout in cash games around the industry. Stanton hasn’t had a great start to the season with all the Ks, but he’s in Fenway Park once again and we have a .354 ISO baseline for him vs. RHP.
Bryce Harper (WSH) is more expensive than Trout and Stanton on both sites. We love Harper’s upside but we prefer him in tournaments tonight.
The cheaper bats we like in the outfield are Brett Gardner (NYY) (leadoff hitter in Fenway Park), Kole Calhoun (LAA) (awesome power upside matchup and hits in the middle of the lineup), Eddie Rosario (MIN) (price tag is down to $2,900 on DK, which is simply too low for a middle of the order hitter with power upside and the platoon edge), Brian Goodwin (WSH) ($2,600 on FD and leading off for the Nationals with Eaton on the DL) and Franchy Cordero (SD) (minimum priced on FD and he’s replaced Margot, who’s now on the disabled list, in the leadoff spot). Justin Upton (LAA) is pricier than the hitters on this list on FD but he hits in an excellent lineup spot (third) behind Trout and is a part of one of our favorite stacks in this slate.
Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez (BOS) and Aaron Judge (NYY) are other upside bats that should be considered in tournaments despite carrying appropriate price tags.
1) Washington Nationals
The Nationals are the top stack on this small slate given their impressive offense, even without Adam Eaton. Most of the options in this lineup either have power or speed upside, and opposing pitcher Chad Bettis has a ZiPS projected 5.11 ERA, granted he is out of Coors Field for this matchup.
2) Los Angeles Angels
Ian Kennedy‘s homer problems (1.99 HR/9 last season, above 1.50 for three straight years) are always something to take advantage of on a smaller slate, where a few big flies can have an enormous impact.
3) New York Yankees
It’s a mixed bag for the Yankees against RHP as the depth of this stack improves since most of the ancillary pieces are left-handed, but the big power trio has their skills somewhat mitigated. Porcello has posted Hard percentages north of 30 for three straight seasons.
4) Minnesota Twins
5) Colorado Rockies
6) Boston Red Sox
A day after laying the smackdown on Lance McCullers, the Twins face Lucas Giolito who has some name value as a former top prospect who posted a 2.38 ERA in seven starts last season. However, in his small MLB career he has a 5.21 xFIP, struggling in all three skill categories – strikeouts, walks, and home runs.
With the addition of JD Martinez and resurgence of Hanley Ramirez, the Red Sox feel like they’ve been a bit more event oriented but still rank below average in HRs and SBs. They’ve benefitted from a .421 wOBA. So while there’s upside here, they may me more popular than they should be.
Additional Tournament Stack:
-San Francisco Giants: Bryan Mitchell has been wild and completely unable to miss bats (1 K against 9 BBs, just a 3.7 SwStr%). There’s definite disaster start potential here even if the event upside isn’t huge for the Giants.