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
02:12 Starting Pitcher
11:24 First Base
16:57 Second Base
18:49 Third Base
- 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.
April 12 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections
With no Coors Field in the main slate and a lack of top tier starting pitching, it’s easy to pay for whoever you want. We have Marcus Stroman (TOR), Vincent Velasquez (PHI), and John Lackey (CHC) all projected very closely.
Our preference is for Stroman. The matchup could mask his weaknesses and mitigate the strengths of the opposition. As for as Stroman’s weaknesses, he possesses just a league average K rate expectation. As we’ve noted several times this year, this Brewers team will swing and a miss ton. They’ve struck out a ridiculous 31.9% of the time thus far this season (will be higher after last night’s numbers are reflected), which is 5.3 points higher than any other team. As for the Brewers’ strengths, they’re a power oriented team. It’s a good park for their power, but Stroman can limit it if he’s able to keep the ball on the ground (60.1 GB rate last season).
Velasquez faces a Mets team that has tons of power against RHP, so it’s a bit terrifying in hitter friendly Philadelphia. However, his strikeout ability gives him the most upside at the position on the slate. He struck out 27.6% of batters faced last season and then in a rocky opener (wild and hit very hard), he was still able to strike out 10 batters in just four innings with an absurd 18.1 SwStr rate. This start could go in a couple of different directions, but those who are risk tolerant should side with Velasquez’s upside.
Lackey is a boring option. He doesn’t offer the same upside as Stroman or Velasquez, who could possibly breakout skill wise and thus are baselines would be conservative. However, he pitches deep into games with an above average K rate and a good enough combination of K/BB ratio and GB rate to keep his ERA under 4.00. It’s a very cool evening at Wrigley with the wind blowing in slightly, which should help keep run scoring down.
All three pitchers have IRTs against just under 4.0 and are favorites. Stroman is the largest favorite (-188).
Despite allowing 5 ERs in 4 IP, Zack Wheeler (NYM) had an encouraging debut, with a 4 K/BB ratio and 50% GB rate. He also induced a ton of soft contact, meaning he was really unlucky. We prefer him in tournaments, but if for some reason you needed a touch more cap relief in cash games, you could drop down to Wheeler.
The catcher position is once again a spot where we are more concerned with cheap value and macro environment than anything else. However, with that value lacking, only Russell Martin (TOR) and Stephen Vogt (OAK) stand out as positive values on both sites. Martin has been mired in a horrid start to the season, but at just $2,500 on FanDuel and $3,800 on DraftKings he’s a nice value considering a decent lineup spot and a 5.2 implied run total for the Blue Jays.
Vogt’s overall matchup isn’t quite as juicy but he might come with a bit more of a stable floor than Russell Martin. He’s produced a .335 wOBA and .173 ISO against right-handed pitchers since 2014 and like Martin carries a lower level price tag that will allow you to gain exposure to positions with higher priority bats.
Kyle Schwarber (CHC) does hold catcher eligibility on DraftKings and he rates as a positive value there, but is more of a GPP play.
At first base there is a little more depth overall and particularly more value on FanDuel. The most valuable first baseman in our model is Eric Thames (MIL). Thames draws a matchup with Marcus Stroman (one of our favorite pitchers on the slate) but holds immense power upside and is still priced very cheaply on the sites. Stroman has a propensity for keeping the ball on the ground, but Thames is a fine option for value in any format, although not a necessity.
Around him the group of Chris Davis (BAL), Kendrys Morales (TOR), and Mitch Moreland (BOS) all hold viability in tournaments and as potential cash game plays. Crush Davis gets the enigma that is knuckleballer Steven Wright, but in a healthy ballpark for offensive players and a price tag of just $3,300 on FD he is a great power upside play. Morales is part of a Blue Jays offense that we really like against right-hander Chase Anderson. He’s posted a .191 ISO against right-handed pitchers since 2014 and will get a great lineup spot and a cheap price. Moreland enjoys the lowest price of the trio on both sites and gets a good matchup with Ubaldo Jimenez who has allowed a .348 wOBA and .175 ISO to left-handed hitters since 2014. The Red Sox hold the second highest implied run total at open and are a great offense to grab exposure to in cash games and tournaments.
The position holds more depth but after the initial values, it becomes more site dependent. Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) gets a big negative park shift but an exploitable matchup with Matt Cain. The baselines in our model might be a bit aggressive on Cain, so there is even more room for Goldschmidt’s projection to grow. He’s one of the lone options that is more valuable on DraftKings where he is priced less than on FanDuel. Freddie Freeman (ATL) and Anthony Rizzo (CHC) find themselves priced similarly to Goldschmidt and both will hold the platoon advantage. Each could be used as a great tournament pivot.
Far and away the top second baseman in our model is Devon Travis (TOR). Travis leads off for the Blue Jays and draws a matchup with reverse splits oriented Chase Anderson. Since 2014, Anderson has allowed a .366 wOBA and .204 ISO to right-handed hitters. At just $4,000 on DraftKings and $2,400 on FanDuel, Travis gets you exposure to a top offense in a premier lineup spot. He’s an excellent option in all formats.
Steve Pearce (TOR) is another Toronto hitter that has struggled out of the gate but he’ll get to take advantage of Anderson’s reverse splits while holding second base eligibility on DraftKings.
It becomes a bit more murky on DraftKings after the two Blue Jays options, but on FanDuel there is plenty of value to go around at the position. Jose Altuve (HOU), Jonathan Villar (MIL), Rougned Odor (TEX), Dustin Pedroia (BOS) and Robinson Cano (SEA) are all priced below $3,500 and hold great matchups, skillsets or a combination of both. It is conceivable that any of these options could be used as secondary cash values if not taking the value presented by Devon Travis.
Though we’re waiting to see if he actually makes his way back into the lineup, Josh Donaldson (TOR) is the preferred option at the hot corner. Much like Travis at second base, Donaldson stands head and shoulders above other options in our model’s value column on DailyRoto.com. He wanted to play yesterday and expects to play today and if that is the case he is the best “spend up” option for all hitters. Since 2014, Donaldson has posted a .371 wOBA and .220 ISO against right-handed pitchers.
DraftKings slings a slew of mid-tier values into the rankings, boasting lower prices for Mike Moustakas (KC), Justin Turner (LAD) and Alex Bregman (HOU). The trio has frequently found their way into a similar spot and are all secondary cash game values should Donaldson not find his way into the lineup. Moustakas (.173 ISO against RHP since 2014) will hold the platoon edge on young right-hander Andrew Triggs. Turner will be able to show his strength against RHP (.399 wOBA, .213 ISO since 2014) and Bregman gets an exploitable matchup with Yovani Gallardo.
While you might be selecting between the aforementioned trio on DraftKings, again on FanDuel you can roster just about whoever you’d like if Donaldson is unable to go. Manny Machado (BAL) rates as the second strongest value on the site. Kris Bryant (CHC) and Jake Lamb (ARI) are also an excellent GPP pivots.
No surprise, but Troy Tulowitzki (TOR) tops our shortstop model as another viable Blue Jay.
Jordy Mercer (PIT) should slide into the leadoff spot against a left-hander (.344 wOBA against LHP since 2014). He doesn’t have the same macro environment as Tulowitzki but is a secondary cash game target against a young left-hander.
Marcus Semien (OAK) has found himself in the leadoff spot the last three games for the Oakland Athletics. He carries a middling price tag on both sites and a matchup with Jason Hammell who has allowed a .170 ISO against RHB since 2014. As a road leadoff hitter, he holds GPP merit though we prefer one of Tulo or Mercer for cash games.
Carlos Correa (HOU) isn’t an easy spend alongside other high priority bats, but he holds GPP viability in a high event, high upside Astros offense.
There are a lot of potential outfield options on this slate. In terms of value though, Matt Joyce (OAK), Jose Bautista (TOR), Andrew Benintendi (BOS) and Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) are among the top four options on both sites. Joyce is the extreme cheap option of the group, holding the least enviable offensive environment but a cheap matchup with the platoon advantage.
Joey Bats is a foundational piece of Blue Jays stacks and a great cash game option that will give you exposure to our top stack offense on the slate. Benintendi has seen his price rise as he’s performed near the top of the Red Sox order. In a small sample size he’s posted a .390 wOBA and .229 ISO against right-handed pitchers. Stanton possesses the most upside of the group and will hold the platoon edge on ground ball specialist Jaime Garcia. Though regression projection systems like ZiPS don’t project him to be as bad as last year, getting Stanton with the platoon edge is always an acceptable position. He’s posted a .428 wOBA and .336 ISO against left-handed pitchers since 2014.
George Springer (HOU) and AJ Pollock (ARI) continue to hold up a middle ground of outfielders and they’ll both have matchups to potentially exploit against Yovani Gallardo and Matt Cain, respectively. Springer in particular won’t stop hitting homers and gets a matchup with Gallardo who saw his groundball rate dip and allowed 1.22 HR/9 last season.
1) Toronto Blue Jays
2) Boston Red Sox
We hit on the Jays a bunch in the positional analysis, and their righty heavy lineup with power seems like a perfect fit against Chase Anderson. The Jays have the highest IRT on the slate.
The second highest IRT goes to the Red Sox. This offense is incredible and leads MLB in Hard% early in the season. Ubaldo Jimenez is prone to blowup starts.
3) Houston Astros
4) New York Mets
5) Baltimore Orioles
The Mets are once again a solid tournament stack. We saw the upside materialize last night, and when things go right for this team, it goes super right for your lineups due to all the power.
The Orioles face a knuckleball pitcher in Steven Wright. These matchups can be difficult to evaluate, but when knucklers go bad we see walks, stolen bases, and big flys.
Additional Tournament Stacks
-Arizona Diamondbacks: Our baseline on Matt Cain is something we’re going to look into. The big park hasn’t helped him the last two seasons, in which he’s posted 5-plus ERAs (over 5.50 in fact) in limited time. Cain is very fly ball oriented, which he once got away with but not allows an elevated hard hit rate. He waked as many as he struck out in his opening start, while allowing two HRs to a Padres offense that is not good.
-Pittsburgh Pirates: We’ve noted we like the Pirates against LHP previously thanks to the upside of all three outfielders, with two RHBs that project fairly well (McCutchen and Marte) and a LHB in Polanco who should be sub-5% owned. Additionally Jordy Mercer leads off as a cheap SS.
-Oakland Athletics: This As team has plenty of power and Jason Hammel, who is backed up by a bad bullpen, allows hard hit contact. Guys like Vogt and Semien in good lineup spots allow you to cover scarcer positions.