Welcome to April 23 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 23 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
00:41 Starting Pitcher
09:41 First Base
12:59 Second Base
14:49 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 23 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections
Danny Salazar (CLE) is our clear-cut top ranked SP. He doesn’t quite pop as a value in our projections due to his cost, but the range of outcomes here is enticing. Additionally, the White Sox poor start (dead last in MLB in Hard%) might mean our projection is on the conservative side. Salazar does have some volatility and will be chalky, so we understand a small fade position in GPPs. However, his K skills trump everyone else on the slate (35.5 K% through three starts, 27.8% last season), as does the matchup. The White Sox are second to last in wRC+ in RHP to go with the fourth highest K% in that split. Salazar is the largest favorite on the slate (-175) with the second lowest IRTA (3.7).
On DK we’re left with a slew of similarly valued mid-low priced options to complement Salazar, although no one currently stands out from the rest of the pack. Our preferred option is Joe Musgrove (HOU), who seems to have the best combination of safety and upside, although no one in this group should be considered “safe”. Musgrove gets the high risk/reward matchup against the Rays that we often reference. The downside (Rays have power LHBs versus RHP) is somewhat mitigated by a favorable pitching environment, and the upside is how often the Rays swing and miss (second highest K% against RHP). Musgrove’s skills are…average. We project him to be near league averages in K and GB rate but to have better than average control.
Following Musgrove is Mike Leake (CIN), who is in a similar high risk/high reward matchup against a Brewers team that strikes out at a higher rate than any other team against RHP, is middle of the pack in wRC+, and is first in ISO against RHP. One of the negatives for Leake is the park shift, moving from a good pitcher’s park to a negative one. Leake himself has a nice combination of control and GB rate but doesn’t miss many bats. He has done a really good job of limiting quality contact early this season (-6.2 Hard-Soft%).
If you’re fed up with these pitching options, you have the ability to go cheaper. Eduardo Rodriguez (BOS) faces an Orioles team that’s surprisingly fantasy friendly for opposing LHPs (22nd in wRC+ with a high 26.3 K%). Kyle Gibson (MIN) has a home start against a heavily right handed Tigers team that will be without Miguel Cabrera.
A couple more expensive mid-tier options to consider are Michael Fulmer (DET) and Ivan Nova (PIT). We view Fulmer as overpriced, and Vegas does not seem to be buying him (4.2 IRTA, just a slight favorite). However, he’s outpitched decent peripherals early in his career and has K upside as strong as anyone outside of Salazar on the slate. Nova has the lowest IRTA on the slate (3.6) at home in pitching friendly PNC Park against a Yankees team losing the DK. The issue with Nova from a Fantasy perspective is the lack of K upside. He has just a 10.1 K% and 5.1 SwStr% through three starts.
The catcher position is one we’re looking to fill out last in this slate.
Our top ranked catchers are Willson Contreras (CHC) and Welington Castillo (BAL). Their power upside in their respective matchups is great, but they’re priced very efficiently on DK, especially when you consider that they don’t hit better than sixth in their offenses. On FD, these two are cheap enough to consider them in all formats. On DK, we’re only pursuing them in tournaments.
Victor Martinez (DET) has struggled to generate hard contact this season (only 12% hard hit contact in our batted ball tool), but he’s really cheap on FD. He’s viable on that site as well.
Anthony Rizzo (CHC) and the Cubs are finishing a trip in Cincinnati, and get the privilege of facing 40 year old Bronson Arroyo and his 84 MPH fastball. Arroyo has allowed five HRs in 15 IP this season (at least one in each start), and he can’t keep the ball in the ground (36.5 GB rate). If it wasn’t obvious before – the Cubs have the highest implied team total in this slate (five implied runs), and Rizzo has been smashing in this series. You know what to do.
This is an eight game slate, and there’s still really nice depth at first base. Freddie Freeman (ATL), Edwin Encarnacion (CLE) and Eric Thames (MIL) are viable pivots in all formats on both sites. Sorry if we’re being repetitive, but Thames remains cheap on DK ($4.2k).
Our focus on both sites is to go cheap at second base, but the talent level at a cheap price is very different on each site.
On FD, we’re still getting Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Jonathan Villar (MIL) at $2.8k and $3k respectively. That’s too cheap for Zobrist relative to his awesome context, and too cheap for Villar relative to his speed/power upside.
On DK, Zobrist and Villar are priced efficiently, and Cesar Hernandez (PHI) is $3.5k. It’s not a punt price by any means and Hernandez isn’t as skilled of a hitter, but he can run (17 and 19 SBs over L2 seasons) and has a positive hard hit delta in our batted ball tool.
Kris Bryant (CHC) vs. Bronson Arroyo. In Cincinnati. Bryant has generated a .376 wOBA and .216 ISO vs. RHP since 2015. These Cubs write themselves today. On FD, you’ll likely have to prioritize which expensive Cub you want, but on DK it’s possible to play the big three.
As far as alternatives go, no one will look as great as Bryant in this slate (he’s our top projected hitter regardless of position). Manny Machado (BAL) with the platoon edge in Baltimore for $3.6k is a strong pivot on FD.
On DK, Nick Castellanos (DET) and Miguel Sano (MIN) are cheaper alternatives with power upside but they’re not cheap enough to prioritize them ahead of Bryant in cash games. This trio represent the main alternatives to Bryant in tournaments.
Travis Shaw (MIL) is a little bit cheaper than the group above on DK. He’s viable in tournaments as well.
$2.7k for Addison Russell (CHC) on FD is egregious. He’s a middle of the order bat for the Cubs with improving power skills, and the cheap price makes him a lock in cash on that site.
On DK, Russell is priced close to our top projected scorer at the position, Francisco Lindor (CLE). Lindor is facing Derek Holland, who’s very susceptible to RHBs (.357 wOBA, .205 ISO, 13.2 K% to his last 500 RHBs he’s faced).
If you need to go cheaper at the position on DK, Jordy Mercer (PIT) should be leading off and he’s just $3.2k. Mercer is even cheaper on FD (almost minimum priced) but he’s not necessary in cash given that Russell is just $500 more.
Aledmys Diaz (STL) is cheap on FD where you can consider him in all formats, but an efficient price on DK makes him a better pivot in tournaments.
On both DK and FD Kyle Schwarber (CHC) rates as our top overall raw scorer and value in the outfield. Arroyo has an absurd .383 wOBA baseline against LHBs, and Schwarber has mashed RHP over his short career (.390 wOBA, .254 ISO). Schwarber is additionally inside our top-10 ranked hitters in Hard%.
Mookie Betts (BOS) trails Schwarber in raw projection, but the upside is just as significant if not more meaningful given that Betts can hit for power and run. He’s the upside pivot in tournaments.
After Schwarber, you’re better off saving some money in the outfield. Brandon Guyer (CLE), Josh Reddick (HOU) and Tyler Collins (DET) are cheap around the industry and rate as some of our best point per dollar targets. They’ll allow you to pay up for Salazar and get some exposure to the Cubs, which are the priorities in this slate.
Carlos Santana (CLE) is a bit more expensive than the outfielders above, but if you have the space for him on DK it’s viable to use him in cash games. He’ll hit leadoff vs. Derek Holland, so there’s a strong chance here for 5 PAs.
The Philadelphia outfielders in general are viable secondary values in all formats given Mike Foltynewicz‘s bad start (velocity down, peripherals out of whack early on) and horrific splits (.361 wOBA and .218 ISO to LHBs since 2015).
1) Chicago Cubs
The massive upside of the Cubs was on full display yesterday afternoon as they hung a 12 spot on the Reds. This is the best offense in the league getting a meaningful park shift playing in Cincinnati, on the road where we favor our stacks (guaranteed ninth inning). The weather is also a bit warmer than the past couple of days. Bronson Arroyo can be frustrating to pick on at times, but the absurdly high HR/9 expectations for him and a depleted Reds bullpen (that isn’t good) adds to the upside of this stack.
2) Cleveland Indians
3) St. Louis Cardinals
4) Atlanta Braves
5) Milwaukee Brewers
6) Baltimore Orioles
Cleveland has the second highest IRT on the slate.
Atlanta is a fun tournament stack because the perception around this team often leads to them being overlooked. Anchored by stud Freddie Freeman, they’re in a great spot today. The park shift in Philadelphia is positive, and opposing pitcher Zach Eflin is the type of SP you like to stack against: homer prone, wild, and contact oriented.
The Brewers, as we often reference, are an event based team offering SB and HR upside. They face a contact oriented pitcher in their friendly home hitting environment and lead MLB in ISO against RHP.
The Orioles are a high risk/reward offense that possesses a high 4.7 IRT, which is the third highest on the slate.