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April 16 MLB DFS: Jays for Days
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Welcome to April 16 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for April 16 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 16 MLB DFS Position Timestamps

00:50 Weather Tilt
04:37 
Starting Pitcher
18:07 Catcher
20:04 First Base
23:30 Second Base
25:54 Third Base
28:05 Shortstop
31:00 Outfield
37:22 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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Range of Outcome Projections

April 16 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

Starting Pitcher

Jacob deGrom (NYM) is a very clear cut number one starter on this slate, outpacing most opponents by four-to-seven points in projection depending on the site you’re playing on. deGrom faces a Nationals’ offense that is potent but could be down Anthony Rendon and he gets them with cooler conditions at Citi Field where he’s held a career 2.32 ERA while striking out 29 percent of the batters faced. deGrom is not difficult to fit in cash games and makes for an excellent starting point on both sites. Ownership will almost assuredly condense on deGrom with such a wide gap in starting pitcher projection. This makes for an interesting tournament fade in favor of stacking with some of the high priced offenses that are facing difficult pitching matchups.

The primary value plays at starting pitcher are fairly clear cut on this slate. Blake Snell (TB) is the first value target that really stands out. He faces a Rangers’ offense that is very left-hand dependent to generate offense (Choo, Mazara, Gallo) and he gets them at home in Tampa’s spacious home park. Since the start of last season the Rangers have ranked 18th in wRC+ against LHP but most importantly for DFS purposes have posted the fifth highest K Rate (24.4 percent) against lefties. Snell’s strikeout potential is elite (23.2 percent at big league level but repeatedly 30+ percent in the minor leagues. Snell still struggles with command and with walks but the Rangers have had the 19th best BB Rate against LHP since the start of last season. With an implied total below four (3.6), Snell also has one of the lowest implied totals against on the slate. Snell is the best tournament pivot for deGrom on FanDuel while he’s a strong pairing with deGrom in cash games on DraftKings.

Daniel Mengden (OAK) is another strong value given a really cheap price tag against a strikeout prone White Sox lineup in Oakland. Mengden has adequate stuff and projected K Rates but comes with an implied total below four and a price tag below $6,000. This is a rare combination. Mengden shouldn’t carry much ownership which makes him a fine secondary starter on DraftKings in tournaments.

There are a slew of strong starting alternatives on this slate. Aaron Nola (PHI), James Paxton (SEA), Luis Castillo (CIN), Hyun Jin Ryu (LAD), and Dallas Keuchel (HOU) are all solid starters but they either come with difficult matchups or price tags. Nola, Keuchel, and Ryu are all priced above $9,000 and Ryu/Nola come with some concern on how deep they’ll be allowed to work into a game for those price tags while Keuchel faces a solid Mariners’ offense. Castillo and Paxton have big strikeout upside built into their baselines but Paxton faces an elite Astros’ offense and Castillo has a 4.5 implied total against in Milwaukee. Of this group, we view Ryu, Paxton, and Castillo as intriguing tournament targets. Our lone concern is that they may be popular given the matchups and price tags unless ownership condenses heavily on Snell and deGrom.  

Finally, Jaime Garcia (TOR) checks the boxes as a favorite with a low implied total against and a cheap price tag but the low strikeout projection keeps his overall projection in check. He’s a fine target in tournaments as a pivot off Snell who has way more K potential but also when his command falters can be prone to early exits.

Catcher

Russell Martin (TOR) represents the top projected scorer at the catcher position, followed closely in projection by Chris Iannetta (COL). Both of these hitters will have the platoon edge in their respective matchups. That’s an obvious plus for both, but Iannetta has a .200 ISO baseline in this split which is significant at the catcher position. He’ll also likely hit second like he has been vs. LHP of late. Martin gets a worse lineup spot at home, but Toronto is the best hitting environment we’ve got on the slate. Also, Martin gets a matchup against the worst SP in the entire slate (Eric Skoglund). We’re in line with our projections here – we like Martin slightly more but both are viable in all formats.

Wilson Ramos (TB) has gotten off to a horrendous start at the plate, but he comes with a cheap price tag on DK ($2,800) and will have the platoon edge in his matchup. Ramos is a decent option but the gap in pricing is likely not meaningful enough between him and the catchers above.

Yasmani Grandal (LAD) and Willson Contreras (CHC) are expensive and are fine fades in this slate. Grandal will get to hit from his worse side (righty) and Contreras gets the chilly temperatures in Chicago.

First Base

Justin Smoak (TOR) is the top projected scorer at first base and he carries fine price tags on both sites. Smoak gets a matchup in the best hitting environment we have in this slate against Eric Skoglund. We don’t have much data on Skoglund, but he was no good in seven appearances last year and projection systems are calling for an ERA over five. It’ll likely be a popular route, but this is one that you should feel comfortable with in all formats.

Next up in projection we have Eric Thames (MIL) and Carlos Santana (CLE). Thames is slightly cheaper than Smoak on FD where he rates as a strong value. His matchup against Luis Castillo is very Jekyll and Hyde. Castillo has electric stuff and he misses bats, but when he’s been hit in his major league career it’s the long ball that has bit him. He allowed 1.11 HR/9 last season and early in the season that mark is at 2.25. Also, Thames will be hitting in one of the better hitting environments in this slate, so we don’t have to worry about cold weather or precipitation. Thames is a fine alternative in all formats while Santana is viable in tournaments against Julio Teheran (.206 ISO allowed to LHBs since 2015).

Matt Olson (OAK) is a primary tournament target in our eyes. He gets a matchup against Reynaldo Lopez and a below average pen. Secondary options to consider in tournaments include Joey Votto (CIN), Josh Bell (PIT) and Ian Desmond (COL).

Second Base

Whit Merrifield (KC) tops the second base projections tonight. He’ll have the platoon edge against Jaime Garcia. Merrifield is coming off a season in which he hit 19 home runs and stole 34 bases. Projections systems are bullish on that type of production but they’re calling for double digit home runs and stolen bases. He’s been a big part of our optimals early on given the ease in which you can fit him on both sites.

There’s simply not much to love at second base. We have Devon Travis (TOR) as the best per dollar value at the position by a slight margin on both sites and we have him projected to hit ninth. He’d need a better lineup spot to be in consideration for cash games but he’s viable as part of Toronto stacks. We prefer Yangervis Solarte (TOR), who’s been hitting cleanup for the Jays and comes with an affordable price tag on DK.

We like DJ LeMahieu (COL) more than Travis, but he’s priced correctly for a road game. He’ll have the platoon edge and has been hitting lead off, which are things to like. He’s viable in tournaments. Yoan Moncada (CHW) has event upside and comes with a cheap DK tag ($3,400). He’s an affordable tournament option. Asdrubal Cabrera (NYM) has been hitting the ball well to begin the season and he’s also affordable on DK.

Third Base

Yangervis Solarte (TOR) represents the top projected scorer at third base and he carries this eligibility on both sites. Solarte is priced more appropriately on FD ($3,200), but the next best value is a breakeven option in Travis Shaw (MIL). Shaw is a little bit pricier and has the tougher draw (Luis Castillo). He’s viable but we prefer Solarte in cash games at a cheaper tag.

Kris Bryant (CHC) trails Solarte and Shaw in projection, which is obviously unusual. His matchup isn’t a big threat (over the hill Adam Wainwright), but the weather in Chicago isn’t good for baseball with feel like temps in the 20s. He’s viable in tournaments but we’d rather take cheaper options in cash games.

Alex Bregman (HOU) (on DK), Adrian Beltre (TEX) and Matt Duffy (TB) are decent tournament alternatives but their contexts push them towards being mostly secondary options.

Shortstop

Trevor Story (COL) carries the top projection at the shortstop position. It’s a road matchup in a very difficult park for RH power (PNC Park). He’ll have the platoon edge though and has been hitting cleanup vs. LHP of late. Story’s price tags aren’t difficult to fit on either site.

Marcus Semien (OAK) is just $3,000 on DK and he’s been hitting leadoff or second vs. RHP. He’s our top value target at the position. Semien once again projects to hit double digit home runs and steal ~10 bases this season, so this price tag is simply too cheap for a player that has that type of lineup spot and can generate events.

There’s nothing else we like in cash games at the position. In tournaments, Trea Turner (WSH) and Aledmys Diaz (TOR) are viable. Turner has the tougher draw (deGrom) but that should create a low ownership scenario. Diaz is viable as a cheap part of Toronto stacks.

Outfield

Steve Pearce (TOR) carries the top projection in the outfield. You read that right. We have Pearce projected to hit leadoff vs. LHP and we have a .342 wOBA and .222 ISO baseline for him in this split. Also, he’s in one of the better hitting environments in this slate (we only have like two good ones) and Eric Skoglund isn’t any good. Teoscar Hernandez (TOR) carries the second highest projection in the outfield as a two hole hitter vs. LHP. These two are really cheap on both sites and are a big part of our optimals everywhere. Randal Grichuk (TOR) lags a little bit more in projection as he hits sixth in the lineup but he’s just $2,100 on FD and will have the platoon edge. Our top optimals on that site are led by the the entire Blue Jays outfield.

It’s not difficult to fit Michael Conforto (NYM) on either site despite the appropriate price tags. He gets a matchup against Jeremy Hellickson, who’s allowed a .200 ISO to LHBs since 2015. It’s a very strong matchup for a very good hitter vs. RHP.  

Adam Duvall (CIN) (on FD), Billy Hamilton (CIN), Matt Joyce (OAK) and Yasiel Puig (LAD) (on FD) are acceptable options in all formats as complements to the options above. Duvall in particular is exceptionally cheap on FD ($2,400) but his salary relief is less necessary on that site since the Blue Jays OFs are so cheap. He’s a strong alternative as he’ll have the platoon edge in Miller Park and hit in a good lineup spot.

George Springer (HOU) and Bryce Harper (WSH) are deservingly priced up and have difficult matchups. There’s enough salary relief in this slate to play them as one offs but we prefer that route in tournaments. Khris Davis (OAK) can be used as a one off or as part of Oakland stacks in tournaments. The appeal with Davis is very obvious – he hits for tons of power (coming off back to back 40+ home run seasons). He also has a much friendlier matchup against Reynaldo Lopez (most projection systems are projecting a 4.80 ERA) and a below average pen.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Toronto Blue Jays

If our overnight guess at implied totals (4.8) holds, the Blue Jays are the class of this slate. We’re not entirely sure they’ll be treated that way without Josh Donaldson but the matchup with Erik Skoglund is a good one. Skoglund projects as one of the weakest starters in the big leagues who is also homer prone (5.18 ZiPS rest of season ERA and 1.52 HR/9). Finally, the Jays have the advantage of playing at home where we expect the cold conditions will keep the roof closed and create one of the few plus hitting environments on the entire slate.

Tier Two

2) Milwaukee Brewers
3) Oakland Athletics
4) Colorado Rockies
5) Pittsburgh Pirates

The second tier is a tightly congested group with most of the teams in this group pushing implied totals in the 4-4.5 range and facing below average opposing bullpens. Of this group, the Brewers and Athletics are the most intriguing given their power upside against starters with electric stuff but are backed up by bad bullpens and vulnerable to blow up starts.

Tier Three

6) New York Mets
7) Los Angeles Dodgers

The Mets and Dodgers are talented offenses with plenty of power against below average starters. They come with slightly lower implied totals but face historically homer prone opposing starters.

Contrarian Stacks:

Houston Astros – The Astros were nearly no-hit by Bartolo Colon on national television and frankly under-performed all weekend in favorable matchups against Texas’ weak starting staff. Now they face an upper tier starter in James Paxton who matches up well with their offense as he’s historically stronger against RHBs than LHBs. This is a spot where the Astros will come in low owned and they’re in a controlled hitting environment which automatically makes it one of the better ones on the slate. They’re also vastly overpriced and with everyone jamming in deGrom, they’ll be forgotten. Any time you can get one of the best offenses in baseball at sub 10 percent ownership, they’re a terrific play – even against above average starters.

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