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April 2 MLB DFS: Correa-zy Good
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Welcome to April 2 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for April 2 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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March 31 MLB DFS Position Timestamps

01:15 Starting Pitcher
15:04 Catcher
17:39 First Base
21:40 Second Base
24:41 Third Base
27:15 Shortstop
30:08 Outfield
33:38 Stacks

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  • 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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March 31 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

Starting Pitcher

It’s a difficult day at the starting pitcher position, especially on DK. Luckily on FD, Charlie Morton (HOU) is priced affordably, which makes the cash game conversation pretty direct. Morton looks to be the only SP with an IRTA less than 4, and he’s also by far the heaviest favorite at -230. His home park is more pitcher friendly than you might assume. It’s a strange park where it’s tough to find a consensus on how it plays. We’re projecting it as neutral, with the Crawford Boxes in LF adding to RH HRs but being mitigated elsewhere. Additionally the lack of foul territory helps to inflate strikeout totals.

Morton had a strong 2017 as the velocity gains he made in a limited 2016 year carried over (averaged 95 mph on the fastball, 92 for his career), which led to a high 26.4 K% to go along with his always high GB rates (51.8%). These skills separate him from a weak SP pool, and the matchup is against a K-heavy Orioles lineup that has struggled mightily against RHP out of the gate.

The issue with Morton on DK, which is also the issue with the next best SP in Mike Clevinger (CLE), is an absurd price tag. It seems as if DK is pricing relative to the field. With all the good offense on this slate, it might not be worth it to pay up for these options. It’s possible to pair Morton with a cheaper SP, but we’re leaning towards building offense-out. Clevinger is particularly overpriced on DK, but his high K rate relative to the weak field keeps him in the FD GPP conversation.

UPDATE: After messing around with a few more builds, it seems like it’s a bit easier to pay up for Morton on DK in cash if willing go cheap with that second SP.

So, what to do about DraftKings if you don’t want to overpay for Morton? All of your options are going to be risky, it’s just a matter of whittling down to the best bets to make. As of writing this the top two value options are, gulp, Sean Newcomb (ATL) and Bryan Mitchell (SD).

Newcomb is prone to short outings because of his wildness (5.13 BB/9 last year). If he can make small improvements there, however, it should help his longevity a touch and obviously help on the run prevention side. Newcomb did strike out 23.7% of batters faced, and our baseline has him improving in both K rate and wOBA year two. As a result, he has the second highest K projection on the slate, and those cheap Ks make him valuable despite the run prevention risk against a quality Nats offense. If you don’t believe Newcomb makes any improvements from last year, he gets lumped in with the rest of the starting pitchers.

Mitchell is tough to figure as well. In parts of four seasons he has a career K% of just 14.3%, which is pretty bad, especially given that the majority of those innings were relief appearances. However, in 14 AAA appearances last year (13 starts) he posted a 2.18 FIP and 25.4 K%. The move out of Yankee Stadium and to Petco park should help. It’s obviously a big downgrade for a Rockies team that was among the worst in wRC+ against RHP last season. We’re giving Mitchell an 18.5 K%, but you can make arguments for it to be moved either way.

If you simply wanted to punt second SP, which is an option if stacking in tournaments or using Morton as your SP1, Trevor Richards (MIA) has some appeal. He’s just so cheap at $4,900 that the barrier to entry on a usable performance isn’t high, but obviously a blow up will hurt you no matter the price. Richards is making his MLB debut against an okay Boston offense against RHP that will lose the DH and see a big downgrade in park factor. Mitchell doesn’t have much experience, as his 14 AA starts last year mark his only professional outings above A ball. He was good, though, with a sub-3 FIP and xFIP thanks to above average skills in K rate, BB rate, and GB rate. The uncertainty here and a 5 IRTA show that there is risk of a blow up.

Matt Harvey (NYM) is a viable pivot off of Sean Newcomb. He struck out 18 batters against 6 walks in 20 IP this Spring across five starts. Spring Training is mostly useless, but the difficulty in setting Harvey’s baseline (6.70 ERA last year) has us looking there. Unfortunately, it’s a pretty middle of the road line that makes it tough to draw too many conclusions. Vegas seems to be on his side, marking him as a -130 favorite with a 4 IRTA, the best odds of any of the value pitchers we’ve talked about so far.

In tournaments on DK, you can spread exposure out among those SPs since it’s difficult to take a huge stance on any one of them. You can additionally include Reynaldo Lopez (CHW) (huge risk but Jays project to strike out so much against RHP that there’s upside at the tag) and Brian Johnson (BOS) (“feels” safer than some of the above SPs given a -160 line and 4 IRTA but the K projection is one of the lowest, so perhaps this is actually more of a cash fallback than tourney play, unless you’re just betting against everyone else).

Of the pitchers mentioned as potential values on DK, Newcomb and Mitchell hold the best value as potential cheap tournament plays on FD, and you can also include an incredibly cheap Jaime Garcia (TOR) (-150 favorite, 4.3 IRTA) and Chad Bettis (COL) (big positive park shift pitching in Petco against a bad Padres offense).

Catcher

A putrid day of starting pitching would typically push a few “respectable” catchers into our feed. Yet, we’re left with not much. Russell Martin (TOR) rates as the top value on DraftKings at just $3,000. He’s a fine play for the savings, but they aren’t necessary and Reynaldo Lopez is surprisingly one of the better arms on the slate.

That has us shifting our attention to Evan Gattis (HOU) and Brian McCann (HOU). The Astros duo come with much better overall context, playing in their home ballpark with an implied run total of 5.7 runs. Gattis will come with the better lineup spot – and can take advantage of some of Tillman’s reverse splits (.215 ISO, .353 wOBA since 2015 against RHB). Given you don’t need the cap space, we much prefer paying for one of the two.

Yasmani Grandal (LAD) and Welington Castillo (CHW) should be seen as some potentially lower owned tournament pivots with the platoon advantage on Monday.

First Base

A day removed from double-donging, Justin Smoak (TOR) holds the top spot as far as value on both sites. Smoak will get to hit from the left-handed batter’s box against Reynaldo Lopez and he’s much more of a consistent power threat from that side of the plate. He’s posted a .241 ISO against RHP since 2015. Lopez is a young arm that projects to be a solid starter as he ages, but he’s a flyball arm that struggled with the long ball last year and has Steamer projection of 1.67 HR/9 this season. He’s easily accessible on both sites and should be a cash game option in both places.

Smoak is followed by Joey Gallo (TEX), Cody Bellinger (LAD), and Matt Olson (OAK) in the value rankings. Gallo swings into the rankings with an even cheaper price than Smoak in both places – but is particularly appealing at $2,600 on FanDuel (though his savings might not be necessary). Gallo’s struggles are primarily with putting the ball in play, so grabbing a matchup with Andrew Triggs (17.7% K% last season) is a positive. He’s moving away from his home park, grabbing a downgrade in Oakland – but he’s still a major power threat.

Bellinger will draw the most difficult matchup of this group with Taijuan Walker, but he’s the most supremely gifted of the group. His .314 ISO against RHP last season is absurd and likely unsustainable, but speaks to his legitimate power upside. Perhaps the lull in the Dodgers offense over the first few games will keep people off his name, making him a compelling tournament target at still rather affordable prices. Olson will draw Bartolo Colon. Colon fell off the rails with the long ball last season (1.76 HR/9) and projects similarly this season. Not sure even the Colosseum can help him.

Freddie Freeman (ATL) is a name that could get lost in the midst of all the value, but he’s an excellent option against right-hander Tanner Roark. Roark is a middling arm that is difficult to pick on, but Freeman is an elite bat and is still sub $5,000 on DK.

Second Base

Second base splits up fairly depending on the site you’re playing. On DraftKings, Jose Altuve (HOU) is very accessible given the likelihood of spending down at both starting pitcher spots. Altuve and the Astros have the highest implied run total on the slate, and his skills speak for themselves. Not to mention, he’ll get the reverse splits of Chris Tillman on the other side of the matchup.

If not spending up, you’ll likely shift your eyes to Devon Travis (TOR) or Yangervis Solarte (TOR). The Toronto bats have the second highest implied run total on the slate and both hit in the top four of their lineup. Travis is $400 cheaper on FanDuel, but $300 more expensive on Draftkings and regardless is the higher upside player of the two. Travis should have the tiebreaker if deciding between the two given the leadoff position.

Yoan Moncada‘s (CHW) event upside brings him into play as a potential tournament option as a road leadoff hitter. Jason Kipnis (CLE) is oddly cheap on FanDuel at $2,900. He’s another top of the order hitter with some upside.

Third Base

Not surprisingly, the Astros and Blue Jays push their respective third basemen to the top of our rankings. Alex Bregman (HOU) and Josh Donaldson (TOR) are the main considerations for cash games on Monday. The pricing discrepancy on FanDuel will perhaps push us to utilizing Bregman there for cash games as he’s $600 cheaper at $3,200. Bregman will likely drop back down to the 5th spot in the order against a RHB, but the affordable pricing on a major component of the Astros lineup is a great recipe for cash games and tournaments.

Donaldson projects as the higher scorer, but we’ve made some slight negative adjustments to him given his health. Nevertheless, the previously mentioned longball woes of Reynaldo Lopez, and the lineup spot and still permeating skill of Donaldson make him a primary target. It can sometimes get lost just how good he’s been against both handedness, as he’s posted a .254 ISO against RHP since 2015. At $4,100 on DraftKings he’s actually $200 cheaper than Bregman and is an easy fit if you’re not comfortable with essentially full stacking Astros in cash games.

It’s basically a two man show, but Anthony Rendon (WSH) slots just behind as he’ll grab the platoon advantage on Monday. Rendon will no longer be gifted GABP, but a .196 ISO and .379 wOBA against LHP since 2015 will allow him to stand fine in Atlanta. Jose Ramirez (CLE) is another piece of the Indians’ lineup that rates “decently well” but gets lost in the shuffle due to more obvious options. He should be considered for tournament play or as a part of an Indians stack.

Shortstop

Carlos Correa (HOU) is the top shortstop option on Monday. Despite a fair price tag on both sites, he’s rather accessible and will be another cog from the Astros that we’ll want to grab a fair share of exposure to in both cash games and tournaments. Much like superstar counterpart Manny Machado, Correa is nearly always an option in DFS because of his even keel splits against both handedness. He’s posted a .212 ISO against RHP since 2015 and is the star we’ll look to at a shallow position.

Corey Seager (LAD) doesn’t get the same draw (much more difficult matchup, less enticing park) but he’s much cheaper than Correa. If you’re looking to differentiate, or perhaps just spending up in other spots, you should feel fine dipping down to $3,400 on FanDuel and $4,100 on DraftKings and snagging someone of his caliber. Seager has posted a .384 wOBA against RHP since 2015 and even with the humidor, he’ll be getting a park boost.

Francisco Lindor (CLE) is another of the young stud shortstops that find themselves with some value on Monday. He should be the least owned of the group, but comes with nearly the same overall event upside (when considering his prowess on the basepaths). Oh by the way, in case you didn’t know – he hit 33 home runs last year.

Marcus Semien (OAK) should draw some consideration given he’ll face Bartolo Colon. Though he feels like simply a tournament play and an unnecessary piece for cash games given the ease of affording Correa or Seager. Manny Machado (BAL) perhaps gets lost given Charlie Morton is the best pitcher on the slate. But hey, it’s still only Charlie Morton.

Outfield

George Springer (HOU) and Mike Trout (LAA) unsurprisingly are the top two projected scorers in the outfield. What might be surprising is that it’s actually possible to fit both in the same lineup – particularly on DraftKings where you can save on starting pitchers quite easily. Both come with event upside and in the case of Springer, an implied run total of 5.7 runs. Trout will draw a less compelling park and a better arm and bullpen, but he is Mike Trout after all. If deciding between the two, Springer is the cash game option you’ll want, but Trout should be an excellent pivot in tournaments where he’ll draw some lower ownership.

Value is abundant in the outfield as well. Curtis Granderson (TOR), Matt Joyce (OAK), and Josh Reddick (HOU) all will fill serviceable lineup spots and in the case of Granderson and Reddick they are pieces of our top two offenses. Both will draw the platoon advantage and good scoring environments – but it’s Granderson who will come with some more upside. He’s posted a .234 ISO against RHP since 2015. Reddick should slide into the second spot against a RHP and at $3,300 on DraftKings he’s a compelling value if trying to slide up and grab Morton (.180 ISO, .362 wOBA against RHP since 2015).

Matt Joyce carries some pinch hit risk, but getting even two near-guaranteed at-bats against Bartolo Colon might be worth it. He fits in between Grandy and Reddick as far as price, but fittingly that’s where his upside lies. He’s posted a .213 ISO against RHP since 2015.

Jay Bruce (NYM) and Yoenis Cespedes (NYM) both rate as top fifteen values on each site. In 15 starts last year, Ben Lively pitched to a lot of contact and posted a 5.58 xFIP. A flyball arm that struggled with the longball doesn’t jive particularly well with Bruce’s .268 ISO against RHP. At $3,100 on FanDuel, Jay Bruce is a solid cash game option.

Yasiel Puig (LAD) and Randal Grichuk (TOR) fill out some of the top value ranks. Puig draws the more difficult matchup, but at $2,800 on FanDuel is a great value hitting in the middle of the Dodgers lineup. He doesn’t have a large discrepancy in handedness splits, but he’s actually been a bit more powerful against RHP, posting a .191 ISO against them since 2015. Grichuk is a big strikeout guy, but he comes with a ton of power. He’s posted a .252 ISO against RHP since 2015, but also a 31.5% K%. Reynaldo Lopez has shown flashes of potential with the strikeout, but projects to be fairly average in that department thus far in his career. Grichuk is a solid tournament piece alongside his other Blue Jay companions.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Houston Astros

The Astros have a 5.7 IRT, a half run higher than Toronto, the next closest team on the slate. The Astros are so event oriented top to bottom, that they often rate as the best stack even when they don’t have the highest IRT, so they wipe the floor with everyone in our stack rankings for tonight. Opposing Chris Tillman was a complete and utter disaster last season, posting a 6.93 FIP and 2.32 HR/9.

Tier Two

2) Toronto Blue Jays

The Jays were somewhat frustrating this past series, but it’s important to keep in mind that they were a bit unlucky, posting the fourth lowest BABIP despite a league-average Hard%. The prices on the Jays are so affordable around the industry, but that’s particularly important on DK where you can stack them alongside Morton. You may need to do that mini-stack in cash games if forcing a spend up to Morton.

Tier Three

3) Los Angeles Dodgers

Ownership will likely be high on the first two stacks as they likely represent the consensus top overall stack (Astros) and value stack (Blue Jays). That could leave ownership light n the Dodgers. Taijuan Walker showed skill improvements in K and GB rates last year, but that was counteracted by a higher BB rate and career worst Soft and Hard percentages. In other words, the composite result (xFIP) was nearly unchanged, but he was more volatile, which is good to target in tournaments.

Tier Four

4) Oakland Athletics

5) New York Mets

6) Washington Nationals

The Jays are way too underpriced, but if you want a less popular value stack, look to Oakland. Somehow, big, bad Bartolo Colon still finds himself with a starting role. He had a 6.48 ERA across 28 starts last year and is projected for an ERA north of 5 by pretty much everyone to go with a HR/9 pretty close to last year’s 1.76 mark. Oakland has a surprising amount of power in their lineup between Semien, Davis, Olson, and Chapman.

The Mets face Ben Lively who had a 5.58 xFIP last year and was a fun pitcher to stack on – one that allows lots of balls in play (low K and BB rates), and those balls are in the air (38 FB%). Gabe Kapler is quick to go to his bullpen, which brings more volatility into play. That’s fine for tournaments, especially given that we’re projecting Philly to have one of the worst bullpens in the league.

The Nationals have a deep, good offense with LHBs that likely go underowned in Harper and Eaton. While we like Newcomb for his strikeouts, he’s wild.

Tier Five

7) Boston Red Sox

8) Chicago White Sox

The White Sox are an interesting contrarian stack in case our baselines are too low on them. They do get incredibly right-handed against LHP, and they’re participating in one of the best offensive environments given some pitcher’s parks and cooler weather in play elsewhere. In our giant sample of two White Sox games, they lead the MLB in Hard%

Want to help fight blood cancer and compete for World Series tickets? Learn about the mission of DKMS and compete nightly for World Series tickets this MLB season on FantasyDraft. All for FREE. Sponsored by FNTSY and DKMS, learn about their mission and access the daily contests at dailyroto.com/dkms.

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