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April 21 MLB DFS: Go Cubs Go
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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!

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April 21 MLB DFS Position Timestamps

01:00 Starting Pitcher
08:39 Catcher
10:41 First Base
14:24 Second Base
18:04 Third Base
21:19 Shortstop
23:12 Outfield
27:07 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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Range of Outcome Projections

April 21 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

Starting Pitcher

Chris Sale (BOS) is the clear top SP on the slate from a raw total projection. He’s also a phenomenal per dollar option, despite the high cost, but one that is tough to fit in given a Coors Field slate that lacks the vast amount of value hitters we had on last night’s full slate. Sale’s velocity is down a little bit, but given the combination of early cold weather and the results, we’re not concerned. He’s picking up where he did last year with a 36.5 K% on a currently career best 16.4 SwStr% and -6.1 Hard-Soft%. Sale gets a positive park shift from a run scoring standpoint leading to a slate low 3.1 IRTA.

Stephen Strasburg (WAS) is our next in line SP. The Dodgers represent a below average but not terrible matchup. The price tag is pretty friendly relative to Strasburg’s skills. He’s off to a solid start this year, just a few more Ks but nothing sticks out causing us to shift baselines here. We have Strasburg projected for 8 strikeouts, which is 1.1 more than any of the other pitchers remaining on the slate (not counting Sale of course). He’s a bit riskier than Sale, but provides the big K upside while helping you save some money for bats. On FD, you’re likely squeezing in Sale or dropping down to Strasburg.

On DK, you could try to fit in Strasburg, but you might be living in the mid-tier. Our top remaining value is Zack Godley (ARI). Godley had a breakout 2017 season posting strong K skills with a high GB rate. It’s only three starts, but he’s flashing the same skills this season, albeit a touch less velocity and K stuff (small sample of three starts). Godley has a really favorable matchup against the Padres, leaving him as the third largest favorite on the slate (-205) with a low 3.5 IRTA.

Dallas Keuchel (HOU) is the largest favorite on the slate and also has a 3.5 IRTA. He’ll face a White Sox team that we’re projecting as one of the worst offenses in the league. On the negative side, Keuchel faces a ton of RHBs and does it with a very unfavorable umpire. On the plus side, Keuchel’s ability to generate weak contact mitigates the weaknesses (RHBs, umpire, ballpark). Keuchel has a -5.5 Hard-Soft% thus far this season. He seems a touch overpriced (would rather go down to Godley or up to Strasburg), but if you get caught in a funny spot salary wise, he’s fine.

A final option for cash games who is a bit cheaper is Garrett Richards (LAA). Richards, kind of like Godley, can mix strong K and GB rates but is a bit wild. He’ll face a pretty tame Giants team at home and matches Keuchel as a -210 favorite with a 3.5 IRTA. He can be used in all formats. The biggest drag here is that Joe West is slated to be the home plate umpire and is very unfavorable towards pitchers.

A couple of pitchers with good strikeout upside but dealing with unfavorable umpires in hitter’s parks are Yu Darvish (CHC) and James Paxton (SEA). Both are tournament viable, and both will carry low ownership, especially Darvish.

Julio Teheran (ATL) is extremely cheap relatively speaking on FD, making him a tournament option if you want to load up on expensive bats. Teheran has struck out a combined 16 batters over his last two starts.

Catcher

Willson Contreras (CHC) is the lone positive value on DraftKings, getting the Coors Field boost and the platoon edge on Tyler Anderson. The Cubs will load up bats that excel against LHP, and Contreras is no different, posting a .382 wOBA and .220 ISO against LHP since 2015. We’ve updated our expectation of the Cubs lineup per the last few games, bumping Contreras down a spot but the park shift and platoon edge are enough to warrant his use in any format. He’s one of the cheaper ways to get exposure to the Cubs offense, but we’re also comfortable saving cap space at the position.

Insert J.T. Realmuto (MIA). He has no friends in Miami now, but Realmuto is one of the best skilled offensive catchers available. At $3,400 he saves $1,000 in salary from Contreras, and though the park is not AS favorable as Coors Field, Realmuto is still getting a big boost moving to Milwaukee. He has serviceable power (.175 ISO against LHP since 2015), but the play is largely salary infused. He’ll help us get expensive Coors bats, and top arms.

Disclaimer: We have not yet had our Robinson Chirinos (TEX) intervention. James Paxton is very tough, but Chirinos is playing at home (a negative park shift for Paxton) and has legitimate power (.235 ISO vs. LHP). At $2,900 it’s all about the Benjamins.

First Base

Paul Goldschmidt (ARI), Anthony Rizzo (CHC), and Eric Thames (MIL) are the desirable triumvirate on Saturday’s main slate.

The entire pack will make you pay, but rightfully so. Goldy and the DBacks will have the roof open in the hot Arizona sun where he’ll face left-hander Clayton Richard. Goldschmidt might get lost on the slate given Rizzo’s in Coors, but his numbers against left-handers thrust him into the cash game conversation, particularly on DraftKings at $4,800. Goldy has posted a .425 wOBA and .247 ISO against LHP since 2015.

On FanDuel, Rizzo is $500 cheaper. The left-on-left nature of the matchup might make people squeamish, but Rizzo is a stud against both handedness. Rizzo continues to get better against LHP, and has posted a .360 wOBA and .210 ISO against LHP since 2016 (.199 ISO since 2015). On DraftKings it might actually be necessary to save the $200 on someone like Goldschmidt, but we’d prefer to take the savings on Rizzo on FanDuel.

Thames is the cheapest of the group but still has an excellent matchup with Jose Urena. Urena struggles with LHB (.186 ISO allowed since 2015), and Thames has excellent power numbers against RHP. He’s only $100 cheaper than Rizzo on FD, where we’d use him as a pivot – but on DK he’ll save you an extra $100 from Goldschmidt.

We want to focus on the aforementioned trio, but you might need to go much cheaper on DK. Dan Vogelbach (SEA) and Justin Bour (MIA) open up the salary cap at just $3,100 each. Vogelbach is an intimidating presence at the plate, but he’s struggled in his early career. He projects around a .160 ISO, and will get the pleasure of facing Bartolo Colon, while getting a park upgrade. We’d prefer him over Bour – who won’t have the platoon edge on Brent Suter.

Second Base

We’ll be looking to save at second base as Javier Baez (CHC) has received the Coors Field/ White Hot price bump. At $4,700 on both sites, Javy is more in play on DraftKings but we’ll likely just pay that price in tournaments.

Robinson Cano (SEA) is more reasonably priced, but isn’t quite a “steal” in price. He’ll get a big park boost and the luxury of facing Bartolo Colon in Texas. Don’t be fooled by Colon’s last start, he projects at more than 1.50 HR/9 and an ERA near 5. Cano is a stud (.367 wOBA, .211 ISO vs. RHP since 2015). Plus if you take him you’ll get to watch fluidity in motion. The dude is smooth. He’s very affordable at $4,200 on DK, on FanDuel he’ll be a more difficult to fit.

Ketel Marte (ARI) brings an even cheaper bat to the equation. We’ve talked about the lack of flash from Marte, but he continues to hit in a great spot at a weak position. At $3,100 on FanDuel and $3,500 on DraftKings, he opens up the cap to spend at the more. On DraftKings, teammate Chris Owings (ARI) is second base eligible. At $3,200 he’s an excellent spend should he be back in the lineup after colliding with AJ Pollock.

Starlin Castro (MIA) and Jonathan Villar (MIL) both merit some secondary cash game consideration on FanDuel and DraftKings respectively as they square off in Miller Park at cheap tags.

Third Base

Kris Bryant (CHC) would be a luxury spend on this slate. KB has been a stud against LHP in his career (.396 wOBA, .257 ISO) and he continues to get even better at the plate. Bryant is now swinging outside the zone even less, and making contact in the zone even more. Oh and when he hits it, it’s hit hard (36.5% Hard%). You’ll have to pay for him, but he’s worth it.

Kyle Seager (SEA) would be the drop for pure salary savings. Seager and teammates will get the exploitable Bartolo Colon and he’s very cheap at $3,000 on FanDuel and $3,600 on DraftKings. The Mariners implied run total is closing in on five runs in Texas, a place with not a huge discrepancy in context from Coors.

Travis Shaw (MIL) is priced in the middle of Seager and Bryant, but is more of a tournament play. He’s posted a .206 ISO versus RHP since 2015, and we’ve already touched on Jose Urena‘s struggles with LHB. The Brewers are one of more than 6 teams with an implied run total of at least five. Nolan Arenado (COL) deserves tournament consideration as well. The matchup with Yu Darvish isn’t super enticing, but he’s still in Coors Field and Yu has struggled a little bit with the long ball (1.80 HR/9 thus gofar).

Adrian Beltre (TEX) is still very cheap and will get the platoon edge, despite not a great matchup with James Paxton. Anthony Rendon (WSH) could fill a similar void, though for a higher cost.

Shortstop

Shortstop is another way to get cheap exposure to the Cubs. Addison Russell (CHC) is notably better against LHP than RHP (.190 ISO since 2015) and is just $3,400 on FanDuel and $3,800 on DraftKings. The Cubs have the highest implied run total on the slate, and LHP Tyler Anderson has allowed a .192 ISO against RHB since 2015. Getting exposure to the road team in Coors for cheap is deployable in cash games or tournaments.

Jean Segura (SEA) is really the only other enticing value option. Segura and company fill the necessary voids where a Cub is far too expensive, getting a matchup with Bartolo Colon. Segura projects as a 30+ HR+SB guy and will have the potential to add to both against the RHP Colon. Where he’s $400 cheaper than Russell on FanDuel, he might actually be pushed into cash games, but at just $100 cheaper on DraftKings we want to pay for Russell.

Nick Ahmed (ARI) and Ketel Marte (ARI) act as cheap shortstop values on DraftKings. Both get the platoon edge on Clayton Richard. Carlos Correa (HOU) is one of many Astros that get bumped out of the top values because of their expensive price tags. At a position with few high upside options, he needs to be considered in tournaments against Lucas Giolito.

Outfield

Albert Almora (CHC) is as close to a lock as you can get in baseball. He should be in the leadoff spot (barring any crazy Joe Maddon “vibey feels”) in Coors Field, but he’s not priced as such. At $3,200 on FanDuel and $3,000 on DraftKings, he’s very affordable and he’s been excellent against LHP in his career – posting a .375 wOBA and .185 ISO.

Mike Trout (LAA) is an absurdly rated value despite the price tag and the poor park. He’ll get the gas can left-hander, Derek Holland, and he’s the best player in the game not named Javier Baez. With Coors on the slate, it’s likely that he’ll be a bit lower owned than normal but he warrants consideration in all formats.

Christian Yelich (MIL), Cameron Maybin (MIA), and Ryan Braun (MIL) all represent great values on both sites from the Milwaukee game. Braun and Maybin are the more affordable options (particularly on FanDuel). We’re projecting Maybin in leadoff spot against Suter, but it’s been a long time since the Marlins have faced a left-hander. Assuming he’s in there, while the skills aren’t incredibly desirable the price tag opens up a lot of room ($2,300 on FD, $2,900 on DK).

Nelson Cruz (SEA) and Dee Gordon (SEA) both get the Bartolo Colon effect, and have middling price tags. AJ Pollock (ARI), Justin Upton (LAA), and Michael Conforto (NYM) will all grab meaningful platoon edges. They also all have similar price tags on both sites.

There are even more Coors bats to talk about. Ian Happ (CHC) could find his way back into the Cubs lineup. While we prefer him from the left-side, he’s affordable on both sites. Gerardo Parra (COL), Carlos Gonzalez (COL), and Charlie Blackmon (COL) don’t rate particularly well but will get to be a low owned Coors team. Any time you can get Coors Field bats in a contrarian manner, it’s wise to grab some exposure, especially if MME’ing.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Chicago Cubs

The Cubs have a slate high team total, which isn’t surprising in Coors Field against Tyler Anderson, who has struggled with control. Most notably, though, Anderson has just a 19.6 GB rate through four starts. That’s rather alarming given that it’s been his GB skills that have allowed him to survive the last two seasons (sub-4 xFIPs). After last night’s explosion and now a smaller slate, the Cubs likely will be extremely chalky.

Tier Two

2) Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers came through for us in a big way last night and now have another favorable home matchup against a bad RHP. This time it’s Jose Urena, who has a career 4.92 FIP. He’s a bit above average in GB rate, but that’s mitigated by allowing a lot of hard contact. Then he comes in with a subpar ability to miss bats and things get ugly.

Tier Three

3) Houston Astros

4) Los Angeles Angels

5) Seattle Mariners

6) Colorado Rockies

The Astros went surprisingly low owned last night. On a condensed slate after a big night, it’s unlikely they go overlooked again. Still they could play second fiddle to the top two tiers of stacks. Lucas Giolito has been a complete mess to start the season (7.30 xFIP, -4.9 K-BB%) and has a tough umpire. The Astros are a team you can stack up and down the lineup.

The Angels may be our favorite contrarian stack as the park and less recent success should really deflate ownership. However, Joe West is one of the most unfavorable umpires for SPs in the league. The Angels have been patient against LHP and haven’t struck out much whiel entering the contest fourth in overall team Hard%. Holland has been one of our favorite SPs to pick on the last few years because he’s been so homer prone with a deteriorating K rate.

The Mariners face Bartolo Colon in Texas. The End.

Tier Four

7) Arizona Diamondbacks

Tier Five

8) New York Mets

9) Miami Marlins

In general we wouldn’t full stack anyone outside of the top four tiers given the significant drop off in team projections and the ability to grab lower ownership among the tier three/four stacks given the likely popularity of the Cubs, Brewers, and Astros to an extent.

MLB MLB Daily Analysis

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