Welcome to April 19 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for April 19 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!
April 19 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
00:40 Starting Pitcher
11:41 First 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 19 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections
Wednesday is another Clayton Kershaw (LAD) slate as Kershaw gets the Rockies at home. Kershaw’s such a dominant and consistent producer that he’s difficult to fade even at these extreme price tags ($13,800 on DK, $12,900 on FD). Since the start of last season, he’s allowed more than two earned runs in a home start just once and he finished last season with a 1.08 ERA and .161 wOBA allowed at home while striking out 32.5 percent of batters faced. In tournaments, the price tag coupled with heavy ownership makes him a viable fade on a slate with plenty of mid-tier strikeout upside.
The mid-tier alternatives are headlined by Chris Archer (TB), Zack Greinke (ARI), and Masahiro Tanaka (NYY) who all get favorable matchups. Archer has the second lowest implied run total against on this slate (3.3 runs) and faces a predominantly right-handed Tigers lineup that has been very strikeout prone early in the season (24 percent against RHP). Greinke gets a huge park shift in his favor against the Padres who rank 22nd in wRC+ early on with a 23 percent K Rate against RHP, and Tanaka faces a putrid White Sox offense that we attacked last night with Luis Severino. On DraftKings, It’s difficult to pair one of these targets with Kershaw and have enough offense to complement the two aces. IF we get a decent number of punts available, it’s possible to take this route in cash games. On FanDuel, if you can’t quite squeeze Kershaw in for cash games, Chris Archer would represent the next best target.
When looking for complements to Kershaw on DraftKings, we’re forced down the pricing spectrum in order to form a competitive offense. Our projection like Jhoulys Chacin (SD) who is undoubtedly a bad pitcher but has been competent against RHBs in recent seasons (.301 wOBA, .109 ISO allowed with a 24.1 K Rate in 403 PA) and faces a Diamondbacks’ offense that is routinely running out lineups against RHP with seven RHBs. The game total opened up low (7.5 pushing towards seven) and Chacin is really cheap. Robert Gsellman (NYM) has more pedigree and faces a Phillies’ offense that has also struggled early in the season (21st in wRC+ against RHP with a 23.5 K Rate). Gsellman has missed bats (26 K Rate, 9.3 swinging strike rate) and generated ground balls (51.6 percent) so far but he’s allowing a ton of hard contact (40.6 percent). Cooler temperatures in NY (low 50s) should keep the implied run total against low and offer a higher upside alternative to Chacin to pair with Kershaw.
Other tournament options on this slate for DraftKings include Trevor Bauer (CLE) who brings strikeout upside in a matchup with the Twins and if you believe Jason Vargas‘ (KC) strong start to the season he’s one of the cheapest SPs available as a potential pairing with Kershaw.
Buster Posey (SF) carries the top projection at the catcher position. Posey will have the platoon edge, which is meaningful for his projection since he crushes LHP (.381 wOBA, .178 ISO in 2016; .366 wOBA, .182 ISO in 2015). Posey is a bit out of reach on FD, but on DK he’s not a difficult fit if you use a cheap second SP.
On FD, we’d rather pursue a sub $3k target like Welington Castillo (BAL). He’ll have the platoon edge tonight and he’s a part of an Orioles offense that has another big total (4.9 implied runs). Castillo has also smashed LHP. Since 2015, he’s generated a .352 wOBA and .223 ISO vs. southpaws. If you’re looking for alternatives on DK, Castillo is the best one after Posey.
Russell Martin (TOR) is cheap enough to consider as an alternative on FD.
Edwin Encarnacion (CLE) has gotten off to a very slow start (he’s been striking out a bunch, and he’s gotten off to slow starts before; .299 wOBA and .266 wOBA over L2 years), but he’s generating hard contact (48% hard hit rate) and has a favorable matchup against southpaw Adalberto Mejia (ZiPS projected ERA is close to 5). Encarnacion is our top projected first baseman in this slate and the best value on both sites.
If Encarnacion’s slow start concerns you, there are plenty of alternatives to choose from. Hanley Ramirez (BOS) (platoon edge vs. the volatile Francisco Liriano), Joey Votto (CIN) (particularly on FD – Ubaldo Jimenez is awful vs. LHBs), Carlos Santana (CLE) (not as much power potential, but great chance he sees five PAs as leadoff hitter) represent a strong bucket of alternatives in all formats.
On DK, Matt Holliday (NYY) is 1B/OF and the matchup vs. Dylan Covey is phenomenal. Covey has perhaps one of the grossest ZiPS ROS projections you’ll see all season for a SP – 5.17 Ks per 9 along with an ERA near 6. Holliday is a viable target in all formats as well.
If you need a pure punt on FD to fit Kershaw in cash games, Logan Morrison (TB) fits as a minimum priced option.
Chris Davis (BAL) (L/L matchup should put a dent in his ownership) and Greg Bird (NYY) are upside pivots to consider in tournaments.
Daniel Murphy (WSH) is the highest projected scorer at second base. Teheran is tough vs. RHBs, but he’s been vulnerable to LHBs. Since 2015, Teheran has allowed a .358 wOBA and .197 ISO to go with a 15.3 K% to LHBs. Murphy is a difficult fit on FD if you’re going after Kershaw, but he’s in play on DK where you can take a cheap second SP to complement Kershaw.
Logan Forsythe (LAD) (on DK) and Brad Miller (TB) are viable salary relief targets at the position. They’ll both have the platoon edge in their respective matchups and might be necessary evils in a Kershaw slate.
Brian Dozier (MIN), Jose Altuve (HOU) and Jose Ramirez (CLE) are too expensive to consider in cash games but their individual upside keeps them in play in tournaments. Ramirez doesn’t have the same meaningful upside as Dozier or Altuve, but he can be included in Cleveland stacks.
Manny Machado (BAL) is once again our top projected third baseman. This time around he’ll have the platoon edge against Amir Garrett, who’s gotten good results from a run prevention standpoint but it comes with a 93% LOB and .182 BABIP. As we’ve mentioned at other positions, it’s difficult to fit pricey bats on FD if Kershaw is your priority, but on DK it’s possible to include at least one in your plans. Machado at 3B is no different.
The challenge at the position is finding cheaper targets that you feel great about (particularly on FD) after Miguel Sano (MIN), who’s not exactly cheap on either site. Sano does have the upside to compete with Machado in all formats, so he’s very much in play even in same handed matchup.
Logan Forsythe (LAD) has 3B eligibility on DK, and he’s cheap ($3.6k). He’ll have the platoon edge, and he’s been phenomenal in the past vs. LHP (.383 wOBA, .243 ISO vs. LHP since 2015). Forsythe is a strong cash game alternative on that site.
On FD, Eduardo Nunez (SF), Yandy Diaz (CLE) and Jose Reyes (NYM) (if he gets decent lineup spot) are acceptable salary relief targets though they won’t come with great lineup spots. It’s a sacrifice you’ll have to make if Kershaw is your end goal on that site.
Evan Longoria (TB) and Jake Lamb (ARI) (51.6% hard hit rate in a small sample size this season) are viable upside pivots in tournaments. Chase Headley (NYY) has shown improved plate discipline this season, and he’ll hit from the left side of the plate vs. Dylan Covey (arguably the worst pitcher in the slate). Headley is viable as part of a Yankees stack in tournaments.
The shortstop position is a bit of a nuisance from a cash game perspective since the expensive guys are the best values. Francisco Lindor (CLE) carries the top projection, followed by Carlos Correa (HOU). They’re both upside targets in great matchups, but unfortunately their price tags makes them difficult fits.
As a result, you might need to drop down to Asdrubal Cabrera (NYM) on DK and Xander Bogaerts (BOS) on FD. Cabrera is a negative value as the Mets implied run total is just 3.9 runs, but Vincent Velasquez has been more vulnerable to LHBs lately (.365 wOBA, .217 ISO allowed to the last 250 LHBs he’s faced). Most importantly, Cabrera is just cheap.
Bryce Harper (WSH) and Mike Trout (LAA) sit at the very top of our projections regardless of position. They usually occupy these spots in our projections as the best hitters in baseball, but they won’t be easy fits in this slate on FD. On DK, it’s possible to include one of these two in cash games if you’re not prioritizing Machado at 3B.
Mookie Betts (BOS) is a next in line option that can be considered in tournaments. Fun fact – Betts hasn’t been K’d through 50 PAs this season.
Billy Hamilton (CIN) is a bit more reachable as a top outfielder on both sites given the disparity in price tags. His matchup vs. Ubaldo Jimenez (.346 wOBA, 11.3 BB% allowed to LHBs since 2015) gives him a good chance of reaching base, and that’s all he needs to flash his upside.
Mark Trumbo (BAL) will be in the lineup vs. a LHP for Baltimore, and we’re likely getting a cheap target like Craig Gentry in the leadoff spot. He’ll carry PH risk, but he’s worth pursuing on FD where he’s priced like a punt. Trumbo won’t be an easy fit in cash games, but he’s a top 7 OF in this slate from a projection standpoint.
Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks (NYY) are viable value targets. We’d have a lot of interest for Hicks on DK where he’s just $3.1k if he’s in the lineup and hitting second. Matt Holliday (NYY) can be considered on FD where he’s priced similarly to these two. These outfielders are in a perfect matchup vs. Dylan Covey at Yankee Stadium.
Carlos Santana (CLE) is OF eligible on DK where he can be considered in tournaments. He’s a top 10 OF value in our projections but he’s priced too closely to other high upside bats, which should keep his ownership in check.
1) Cleveland Indians
2) Baltimore Orioles
3) New York Yankees
4) Cincinnati Reds
5) Washington Nationals
6) Boston Red Sox
7) Houston Astros
Cleveland and Baltimore headline the stack rankings as road teams guaranteed a ninth inning going up against rookie starters who our projections view as well below average league starters. Amir Garrett has had some success early on by commanding the zone and generating soft contact (26.5 percent), but a .182 BABIP and 32 percent hard hit rate still don’t align. Cleveland should be popular after their explosion on Tuesday night.
The Yankees look like one of the most intriguing cost effective stacks to pair with Kershaw. Dylan Covey is someone we attacked unsuccessfully in his first big league start where he generated a lot of soft ground balls in Minnesota but he also generated just a 3.3 swinging strike rate and walked three of the 22 batters faced.