Welcome to April 20 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for April 20 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 20 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
01:10 Starting Pitcher
13:38 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 20 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections
Noah Syndergaard (NYM) is our top ranked SP as his skill set separates him from the rest of the pack. He posted a 2.29 FIP last season as increased velocity led to a K% and GB% increase in the same season. Stud. Through three starts, he’s posted a 0.80 FIP as his GB rate is even higher (57.7%), and he has struck out 20 batters without walking one. It’s wild stuff. He did leave last start early due to tearing his fingernail, but that sounds like a one time issue. Against a below average PHI lineup, the IRTA Syndergaard is a slate low 2.8 runs. We like building around Syndergaard on a 2-SP site like DK, but on FD there’s a value play option that allows you to save some money.
That value play option is Carlos Martinez (STL), who gets a negative park shift pitching in Milwaukee. More importantly, though, his K rate expectation gets a big boost based on matchup. Only the Rays have struck out more than the Brewers (26%) against RHP to start the season. Martinez has generated an impressive 13.8 SwStr% through three starts, which has led to an uptick in K% (30.0) to start the season.
Stephen Strasburg (WAS) rates similarly to Martinez, but his price tag is much closer to Syndergaard’s. He’s a tournament pivot only.
If you want to squeeze in some more expensive bats on DK, you could pair Martinez with a James Paxton (SEA). Paxton broke out last season as both his K% and BB% saw meaningful improvement. Thus far in 2017, the K% has taken another step forward (29.3%) at no expense to his BB%. It’s a small sample size, but it is supported by a 14.8 SwStr% currently. One area where Paxton struggled last season was allowing a high 19% Hard-Soft%; through three starts that’s at 6.1%. Paxton is a solid -157 favorite against an Oakland lineup with a 3.6 IRT (note they are without Marcus Semien).
Mid-tier tournament options include Aaron Nola (PHI) and Danny Duffy (KC). Nola is a heavy underdog against a power hitting Mets team throwing out Thor. However, a meaningful 2.2 mph increase in fastball velocity early on has led to more Ks, and the 3.7 IRTA is tame. Duffy is in a scary Texas hitting environment, but this team is 25th in wRC+ against LHP to start the season with a hefty K%, which meshes with our baselines.
If you’re looking for a cheaper tournament option, Patrick Corbin (ARI) has some appeal. Corbin’s skills leave much to be desired, and his K rate is ugly to begin the year (9.1 K%). This is all about park shift, opponent, and price.
Catcher is again a wasteland. Salvador Perez (KC) and Welington Castillo (BAL) both do their best to present a semblance of value though. Perez will be receiving a nice park shift in his favor, traveling to a warmer Texas environment. Andrew Cashner has had no command early this season and the Royals are tied for the highest implied run total (4.7).
Castillo shares a similar foundation for tonight’s slate, getting a great ballpark with an exploitable matchup against Scott Feldman. Beef, as he’s affectionately known, and Perez both rate in the top five of all catchers in our Hard% hard hit tool at DailyRoto.com. The pair are the clear top options on FanDuel, but on DraftKings where Chris Iannetta (ARI) is just $2,900, he comes into play as more of a punt option. He has posted a .356 wOBA and .177 ISO against LHP since 2014.
Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) and Chris Davis (BAL) project as our top two scoring first basemen. Goldschmidt gets the platoon edge on Clayton Richard and though he’s receiving a negative park shift, it’s difficult to ignore a .435 wOBA and .215 ISO against LHP since 2014. Davis comes with a much cheaper price tag, and great upside getting the platoon edge in Great American Ball Park. Since 2014, Davis has posted a .270 ISO against right-handed pitchers.
When searching for more tangible value (particularly on FD), another duo pops in our model – Matt Carpenter (STL) and Eric Hosmer (KC). Carpenter is just $3,000 on FanDuel and will get a nice park boost and matchup with Zach Davies, who struggles to get left-handed hitters out. Hosmer, like Perez, will take advantage of a park shift in his favor and a solid implied run total for the Royals. Hosmer’s teammate Brandon Moss (KC) should draw tournament consideration as well.
Would a slate of MLB be possible without mentioning Eric Thames (MIL)? Thames has an absurd 41.7% Hard% so far this season and has been absolutely mashing in the power department (already seven home runs). He’s moving back to his home park and though he draws a tough matchup with Carlos Martinez, he’s a viable in all formats on DK with tremendous upside.
Back to another position with little depth overall. In familiar fashion, Jonathan Villar (MIL) and Daniel Murphy (WSH) lead the way. Much like Thames, Villar draws a difficult matchup with Carlos Martinez, but his power/speed upside and the park continually put him in play. Murphy is a better play for cash games, but fitting him in alongside top starting pitching options might be difficult to do. He’s just $3,400 on FanDuel – but on DraftKings the $4,500 is more difficult to swallow.
The tighter pricing on DraftKings might push us into the punt direction. A few sub-$3,000 options are on the table for pure punts. Raul Mondesi (KC) actually rates as the best second baseman on the slate from a value perspective, but the lineup spot is not ideal. Jed Lowrie (OAK) will get a better lineup spot, but a much more difficult matchup with James Paxton. Furthermore, Lowrie’s teammate, Adam Rosales (OAK) slid into the second spot of the order yesterday. If he hits two once again, he’s a potential punt option.
Jose Peraza (CIN) gets caught in pricing limbo a little bit, but he rates well from a per dollar perspective on DK thanks to lineup spot, team total, and speed upside against an SP who has had BB issues to start the season.
Robinson Cano (SEA) deserves consideration as a tournament option, or a secondary cash game play where cheap on FanDuel.
The third base position is dominated by Manny Machado (BAL) and Mike Moustakas (KC). Machado has yet to take advantage of this trip to Great American Ball Park, but there is no reason to stop rostering him. Feldman has shown reverse splits in the power department, allowing a .160 ISO to RHB since 2014 (as compared to .127 for lefties). Moustakas is the cheaper of the two at just $3,200 on FD and $3,700 on DK. Cashner has been roughed up by LHB since 2014, allowing a .353 wOBA and a .197 ISO to them.
After the top two, the focus shifts to Eugenio Suarez (CIN) and Anthony Rendon (WSH). Suarez will hold the luxury of the better ball park and the platoon advantage, but it’s Rendon who is cheaper and comes with a better lineup spot. Suarez in particular holds the fourth highest Hard% in the last fifteen days for third basemen. The Reds and Nationals hold similar implied run totals and both make compelling cases as contrarian stacks.
With not much depth, the shortstop position is site specific today. Chris Owings (ARI) stands out as the best value on DraftKings, while Aledmys Diaz (STL) holds that honor on FanDuel. Owings should slide back into the second spot in the order against a left-hander in Clayton Richard. We noted the park shift against the Diamondbacks, but Owings makes it work with his legs as well. Diaz is getting a positive park shift in his favor, traveling to Milwaukee to face Zach Davies. In his short career, Diaz has been great against same handed pitchers, posting a .372 wOBA and .234 ISO against RHP. He holds cash viability on both sites, but the $1,000 discrepancy between he and Owings on DraftKings makes the needle move towards Owings side.
Zack Cozart (CIN) holds some tournament appeal (.192 ISO against LHP since 2014) in a matchup with Wade Miley. Elvis Andrus (TEX) rates well in our model, but we’re not excited at the thought of picking on Danny Duffy, he’s more of a tournament play.
Harper is the most expensive outfielder on the slate and draws the enigmatic R.A. Dickey, but his ceiling is not matched on this slate. Gordon and Smith are comparable for the slate as both are expected leadoff hitters on the road, in great offensive environments. Seth Smith left the game two nights ago and did not play last night, so his playing status is currently up in the air – but should he hit leadoff, he’s an excellent value.
Hamilton and Pollock fill out the middle range. Hamilton is still underpriced given his potential upside on the base paths. Pollock though, will draw a matchup with left-hander Clayton Richard. He’s been tough to left-handed pitchers since 2014, posting a .368 wOBA and .222 ISO in that time.
Dexter Fowler (STL) is just $3,000 on FanDuel and is viable in all formats at the top of the Cardinals order. Jarrod Dyson (SEA) remains too cheap given his speed potential at the top of the Mariners order.
1) Baltimore Orioles
2) Kansas City Royals
The Orioles have disappointed in Cincinnati, but this is a strong hitter’s park with another pitcher on the mound who yields upside to the opposition. Scott Feldman has a ZiPS projected 1.38 HR/9.
The Royals, along with the Orioles, share the slate’s highest IRT at 4.7. Hitting in Texas is a significant park upgrade, especially for left-handed power (Hosmer, Moustakas, Gordon). Punt options like Raul Mondesi at the bottom of the order at least carry some speed upside, while allowing you to stack alongside top-tier starting pitching.
3) Washington Nationals
4) Cincinnati Reds
5) St. Louis Cardinals
6) Arizona Diamondbacks
The Reds fly under the radar because they aren’t a sexy offense, but you’re provided with a ton of speed at the top of the lineup followed by a great overall hitter in Votto and then power in Adam Duvall. Behind Duvall, Suarez has a good Hard%, and Cozart has strong power numbers against LHP. Wade Miley has been volatile to start the season, missing plenty of bats but also issuing walks and lots of quality contact.
A slow starting Cardinals offense is pretty affordable and finds itself in a great spot – receiving a major positive park shift and facing a subpar RHP and bullpen. Especially on FD, this stack provides a ton of bang for its buck if you want to move off the chalkier, higher team total stacks.
The Diamondbacks may be overlooked given the severe negative park shift. However, they lead all teams in the main slate with a 32.8 Hard% as a team to start the season, and can be very difficult against LHP. Pollock, Goldschmidt, and Tomas all possess significant upside.
Additional Tournament Stacks
-San Diego Padres: The Padres will get eight RHBs in the lineup against a southpaw, and Corbin is struggling to miss bats early on – walking as many as he has struck out while posting a tiny 6.1 SwStr%. Hitters aren’t chasing, but are jumping on everything in the zone (70.4% Z-Swing%).