Welcome to April 21 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for April 21 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 21 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
00:40 Starting Pitcher
13:31 First Base
18:50 Second Base
23:08 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 21 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections
Corey Kluber (CLE), Justin Verlander (DET), Jon Lester (CHC), and Jacob deGrom (NYM) headline the top tier starting pitching options on this slate. Kluber and Verlander rise to the top of our projections against potentially strikeout prone opponents in the White Sox and the Twins. The White Sox have really struggled against RHP early in the season (28th in wRC+ with a 24.7 K Rate that is the fifth highest in MLB). Throw in cool conditions (high 40s) and Kluber is the starter we’re most excited to deploy on this slate. Verlander slightly outpaces Kluber in initial projection due to some higher expected strikeouts and a slightly cheaper price tag but the Twins have outperformed baseline K Rate expectations early in the season (20.4 K Rate, 14th in wRC+ against RHP) and come with a slightly higher initial implied run total (3.5 vs. 3.3). We prefer both these American League Central starters over their NL counterparts. Jon Lester gets a tough park shift against the Reds and some early weather concerns with rain once again in the forecast. deGrom opens with the lowest implied total against which surprises us with the Nationals ranking 6th in wRC+ against RHP early in the season and they’re one of just six teams with a K Rate below 20 percent. If Daniel Murphy misses another game, it’s possible deGrom’s projection jumps closer to the top of this group. In cash games, this is the tier of SP, we’d prefer to focus on.
The one potential cheap starter to complement the high-end tier on DraftKings in cash games is Drew Pomeranz (BOS). Pomeranz dominated the Orioles last time out (6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K) and the Orioles are in a bit of a team slump with five of the seven regulars in our batted ball tool seeing increases in their soft contact rates of late. The Orioles have really struggled to make contact against LHP early in the season (27.7 K Rate, 22nd in wRC+) and they have shown very little plate discipline (4.8 BB Rate against LHP). Pomeranz’s biggest issue is working from behind (53.5 first strike percentage, career 55.9) which can leave him walk and homer prone. The Orioles certainly have the power to make Pomeranz pay, but the strikeout upside is meaningful and the price tag ($6,700) offers plenty of cap relief.
In tournaments, Tyler Glasnow‘s (PIT) strikeout upside remains intriguing amid command issues when the price tag is cheap. He’ll face a Yankees’ offense that is surprisingly leading the league in wRC+ against RHP with a healthy 10.5 BB Rate but gets a steep park downgrade and loses the DH. Alex Meyer (LAA) has flashed big strikeout potential in the minors (296 K in 258 ⅔ AAA innings) and the Blue Jays offense is getting a big negative park shift. They’ve also been an early season disaster (dead last in wRC+ against RHP with a .090 ISO). At a punt price tag on DraftKings, he’s a way to open up stacking Coors Field. Mike Fiers (HOU) faces a strikeout prone Rays’ offense with a favorable park shift for a historically fly ball oriented starter. Sean Manaea (OAK) and Adam Conley (MIA) are inconsistent young lefties with mid-tier price tags and get the benefit of pitching in favorable park environments. They’re acceptable secondary tournament targets.
Buster Posey (SF) carries the best projection at the catcher position and he’ll stay in this spot within the next few days as the Giants travel to Coors Field. It’s a same handed matchup vs. ground baller Tyler Chatwood and Posey is the fourth most expensive hitter on FD despite not ranking in the top 10 in projection. Posey is a spend in tournaments.
Yasmani Grandal (LAD) is a better fit in cash games on both sites. He’ll hit from the LH side vs. Taijuan Walker (.194 ISO allowed to LHBs since 2015) and he’s a part of a Dodgers offense that has an opening team total of five implied runs in Arizona. Grandal is the best point per dollar value at the position.
Stephen Vogt (OAK), Salvador Perez (KC) and Jacob Realmuto (MIA) (on FD) are pivots to consider in tournaments. Perez is in the better hitting environment (Texas), but also faces the toughest matchup (Cole Hamels).
Eric Thames (MIL) has generated a .408/.500/.959 slash line (!) through 58 PAs this season, and his price on DK hasn’t moved (sub $4k once again). He’ll have the platoon edge and hit second tonight vs. Adam Wainwright (.365 wOBA allowed to LHBs since 2015), which makes him the best value by a mile on DK and a focal point of cash games.
Thames is priced efficiently on FD, where values like Anthony Rizzo (CHC), Brandon Belt (SF) and Matt Carpenter (STL) stand out more. Rizzo faces Tim Adleman (fly ball pitcher that doesn’t miss bats in Cincinnati = recipe for disaster vs. a deep Cubs offense), Belt has the platoon edge in Coors Field and Carpenter is just $2.8k in Milwaukee facing a pitcher in Wily Peralta that struggles vs. LHBs (.378 wOBA, .212 ISO allowed to LHBs since 2015).
A deep tier of upside pivots to consider in tournaments include Freddie Freeman (ATL), Miguel Cabrera (DET), Paul Goldschmidt (ARI), Edwin Encarnacion (CLE), Adrian Gonzalez (LAD) and Mike Napoli (TEX) (on FD).
Jonathan Villar (MIL) is the top projected scorer at second base, and the price tag on FD is simply too low. For $2.9k, you’re getting a power/speed threat in a leadoff spot in a good hitting environment. He’s an exceptional play in all formats on FD.
On DK, the top options are all priced efficiently, which makes you look for salary relief if it’s available. Jed Lowrie (OAK) is $2.7k on that site and he’s been hitting third for Oakland. Lowrie isn’t as skilled as any of the top options above, but he’s cheap and has a great lineup spot.
Kris Bryant (CHC) is in Cincinnati facing a fly ball pitcher that’s vulnerable to power. If you’re spending top funds at the position in cash games, Bryant is our preferred choice.
Turner has a same handed matchup, but he’s been a monster vs. RHP. Since 2015, Turner has generated a .401 wOBA and .236 ISO vs. RHP and he’s in a better park for his power stroke (Chase Field). The price tag on DK is very strong ($3.7k) relative to the skills and context. Turner wasn’t in the lineup on Wednesday, so we’d like to confirm that he’s in the lineup before deploying. Castellanos offers more salary relief on FD where he’s $3.1k.
Nolan Arenado (COL) and Manny Machado (BAL) have the power upside to compete with any hitter in this slate, but their matchups are difficult and they’re priced appropriately. They’re viable in tournaments.
Corey Seager (LAD) carries the top projection at the shortstop position and he’s not a difficult fit on FD.
Crawford is too expensive on DK but if you want to jam Giants in Coors it’s possible to include him on FD. If you want an elite SS in cash games on DK, Lindor for $3.9k fits the bill. The matchup vs. Jose Quintana isn’t great, but the price tag is accounting for this.
Aledmys Diaz (STL) is $2.8k on FD and he’s in Milwaukee (much better hitting environment than St. Louis). Diaz is the best salary relief target at the position on FD.
If you need to go cheaper at the position on DK, Dansby Swanson (ATL) is viable in cash games though keep in mind that he has struggled this season.
Elvis Andrus (TEX) can be included as part of Rangers stacks in tournaments. He’s been hitting second lately and Karns is more vulnerable to RHBs.
Mike Trout (LAA) and Kyle Schwarber (CHC) represent the top projected scorers in the outfield before getting into a slew of Coors Field options. Charlie Blackmon (COL), Hunter Pence (SF), Carlos Gonzalez (COL), and Denard Span (SF) all join the projection fray but have been priced aggressively on both sites. With the exception of Schwarber’s softer price tag on FanDuel ($3,600) we’re more likely to attack high priced outfielders in tournaments. It’s viable to find one big spend in the outfield on DraftKings but the position is more likely to be filled with value alternatives.
For cheap value, Andrew Toles (LAD) feels like a lock on both sites. He’s the leadoff hitter for a Dodgers offense in Chase Field that has a team total of five runs. Toles has posted an impressive .362 wOBA and .202 ISO against RHP in his big league career and his minor league production comes with intriguing ISOs at the upper levels. With Toles priced as a punt play on both sites, he’s a core cash game target. Carlos Gomez (TEX) is another leadoff hitter in an elite hitting environment against an opposing starter who has been vulnerable to power (.342 wOBA, .191 ISO allowed to RHBs over his last 500 PAs). The Rangers have a healthy implied total (five runs) and the Royals weaker bullpen should be worn down after a 13 inning game last night.
From there, we’re largely looking at site specific value plays. On DraftKings, you may need more salary relief if emphasizing the top tier starters. If so, cheaper platoon players like Matt Joyce (OAK), Corey Dickerson (TB), and Josh Reddick (HOU) offer salary relief albeit in difficult offensive environments. A.J. Pollock (ARI) remains cheap for his career production against LHP (.357 wOBA, .210 ISO in his career). The same can be said for Nelson Cruz (SEA) as he’ll face another LHP in Oakland in Sean Manaea. If you’re looking for more exposure to the Rangers hefty implied total, Nomar Mazara (TEX) is priced reasonably as well though Karns has been good against LHBs (.300 wOBA, .101 ISO last 500 PAs).
On FanDuel, the pricing is soft enough to shop around in that top tier once you get past Toles and it’s less necessary to rely on other cheap platoon type players.
1) San Francisco Giants
2) Chicago Cubs
3) Los Angeles Dodgers
4) Colorado Rockies
5) Milwaukee Brewers
6) Detroit Tigers
7) St. Louis Cardinals
8) Texas Rangers
9) Cleveland Indians
The stack rankings are fairly congested on this full slate. Along with the Coors Field game (which has an unusually low total due to some good GB pitchers and cool temperatures – mid 40s), two top offenses get favorable park shifts against teams that project to have a weak bullpen. The Dodgers and Cubs are two of the deepest and most skilled offenses in the league. When guaranteed nine innings in a plus offensive environment, they grade out well. The Dodgers and Cubs are both easily accessible on FanDuel where overall pricing is super soft.
When price adjusting on DraftKings, Detroit’s RH power bats get to face an extreme fly ball pitcher (career 48.6 percent FB Rate) who has allowed a 41.8 percent hard hit rate early in the season. The bottom of the order is pulling the overall team pricing down in our stack rankings btu Castellanos-Upton-Kinsler all have reasonable price tags for their power upside. Cleveland and Milwaukee are also very reasonably priced on DraftKings and make for compelling tournament stacks.