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April 24 MLB DFS: DeShields Is A Steal
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Welcome to April 24 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for April 24 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 24 MLB DFS Position Timestamps

00:52 Starting Pitcher
09:38 Catcher
11:57 First Base
14:39 Second Base
18:01 Third Base
21:12 Shortstop
24:00 Outfield
27:21 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 24 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

Starting Pitcher

Robbie Ray (ARI) is our clear-cut top project SP on the slate. Ray is volatile given the huge K rate that makes him a tantalizing fantasy asset, but it’s complemented by a high BB rate and high Hard% that results in some very shaky starts. Early on, the formula has been more of the same but a few more BBs and hard hit balls, tilting the risk-reward scenario. We haven’t docked his baselines much, but his velocity is down a bit relative to last year. It has been better his last two starts (93.5 about on the fastball), which is comparable to where it was at this time of year last season. However, last year he saw a big rise in fastball velocity as the season continued. So it’s difficult to know if we should dock him for lower overall fastball velocity than we saw last season, or if we should do nothing since the time of year fastball velocities are similar.

Shohei Ohtani (LAA) is our next in line SP. Ohtani has flashed some absolutely brilliant stuff to begin the year and can be considered in GPPs as a result of his 18.1 SwStr rate. However, a combination of a difficult matchup against Houston and a blister that really caused him control problems last start makes this an easy pass in cash games.

We’ve upgraded Charlie Morton‘s (HOU) baselines, and he rates similarly to Ohtani. Cost is an issue here, but there’s a chance we’re still light on the baselines. Morton has some seen his velocity uptick even a hair higher than last season, which is showing in his fastball whiff rate (+2.8 points on his fourseam and +5.8 points on his sinker, whiff rate on every pitch is up). The end result is a currently absurd combination of K rate (33.3%), BB rate (6.1%), GB rate (60.3%), and Hard-Soft% (-1.7%), all leading to a 2.35 SIERA.

Kenta Maeda (LAD) actually jumped ahead of Ohtani/Morton when we updated for umpire information. He has a very favorable umpire while Morton/Ohtani have an unfavorable one. We have similar philosophies on him – another SP where we see the ceiling for GPPs but aren’t comfortable with the price in cash games. The concern with Maeda is always a quick hook with Dave Roberts, which is baked into pour projections, but he’s a Vegas darling (-260, 3.1 IRTA) who already has two 10-strikeout performances in three starts. Maeda dominates RHBs, so he could move up in our projections if the Marlins lineup is as righty-heavy as it was last night (unlikely but they had just 1 LHB, not counting the SP).

Given that we’re uncomfortable with the costs on Ohtani/Morton/Maeda (Maeda closest to cash viable), there are some mid-tier values that save you some money and project as better values in a vacuum on DK. The first is Vince Velasquez (PHI), who has shaken off a disaster opening start and hurled three straight quality starts, striking out 6, 7, and 7 batters. It seems like Gabe Kapler’s quick hook has loosened some. Velasquez will hold the platoon edge on the two best Arizona hitters (Goldschmidt and Pollock), and early on in the season they rank 23rd in wRC+ against RHP with a high 26.1 K%.

Options behind Velasquez include Jake Faria (TB) and Luke Weaver (STL). While Faria is meaningfully cheaper, we still prefer the upside of Weaver who has steadier baselines to begin the season (2.88 FIP compared to Faria’s 5.04) and a much friendlier Vegas line (-165 and 3.5 compared to +100 and 4.3). Still, if Faria is better moving forward, which we are anticipating, the matchup against a K heavy Orioles team is favorable at such a low tag.

The above three options are cash viable as a second SP on DK and also serve as ways to get access to more hitting on FD, where Faria is extremely cheap at $5,900. Chad Kuhl (PIT) is knocking on the door of the best mid-tier values on both sites. He’s not quite there given a sub-5 strikeout projection but does have a favorable home matchup against the Tigers.

Catcher

Chris Iannetta (COL) represents the top projected scorer at the catcher position. Against a LHP, we’re expecting Iannetta to hit no worse than fifth. We have a .200 ISO baseline for Iannetta in this split, and he’s in Coors Field. Opposing pitcher Eric Lauer has been pretty darn good in the minor leagues, but at a weak position we think Iannetta should be considered in all formats.

There’s not much to love at the catcher position. The alternatives to Iannetta are Robinson Chirinos (TEX) and Russell Martin (TOR). Those catchers are also in elite hitting environments and check in with cheaper price tags than Iannetta. Chirinos has been striking out a bunch to open up the season, but he has power upside. Since 2016, Chirinos has generated a .249 ISO vs. RHP. Alex Avila (ARI) can also be included in this conversation as a road hitter with the platoon edge.

The options above are the best alternatives to Iannetta in tournaments as well. There’s one more name you can add in that conversation, and that’s Austin Hedges (SD) with the platoon edge in Coors Field.

First Base

Wil Myers (SD) carries the top projection at first base. Myers is in Coors Field tonight and he’s been hitting second in the Padres’ lineup. He’s viable across all formats.

Joey Gallo (TEX) stands out on both sites. He’ll have the platoon edge against Andrew Triggs, who’s best skill is generating GBs at an above average level. Gallo gets to take shots in Arlington, which is a steep negative park shift for Triggs. Most importantly, it doesn’t feel like Gallo is priced fully with sub $4k price tags on both sites as he faces a pitcher with a below average K rate.

There’s another value that stands out at the position on both sites and that’s Lucas Duda (KC). Duda will have the platoon edge at home against Zach Davies and he’s very cheap on both sites ($3,200 on DK and just $2,300 on FD). Nearly all of our top optimals on FD have paired Duda and Gallo together.

Carlos Santana (PHI), Pedro Alvarez (BAL), Eric Hosmer (SD) (on FD) and Josh Bell (PIT) (on DK) are viable targets in tournaments.

Second Base

Jose Altuve (HOU) and DJ LeMahieu (COL) represent the top projected scorers at second base. They’re both pricey and deservingly so. We prefer them in tournaments but with the position priced so efficiently on FD it’s feasible to include them in the cash game conversation as well.

We have some sources of salary on DK that we prefer to pursue in cash games. Adam Frazier (PIT) has been out of the lineup for the Pirates of late but when he’s in there he’s hitting in the leadoff spot. He’ll also have a matchup against Jordan Zimmermann, who’s allowed a .360 wOBA to LHBs since 2016. Frazier is just $3,200 on DK. Matt Carpenter (STL) has a slightly higher projection than Frazier and a $3,600 price tag on that site. 

Jurickson Profar (TEX) is $2,800 on DK. We prefer Frazier if he’s in the lineup or Carpenter but Profar is a decent alternative. He’s been moved down the lineup of late (hitting sixth instead of second) so his projection looks a bit more underwhelming than usual.

Howie Kendrick (WSH) looks like your best source of salary relief on FD at the position. He’s just $2,900 and has been hitting second. Ty Blach can’t strike anyone out, so the matchup is certainly intriguing. Ketel Marte (ARI) is the second best value at the position on that site and he’s $3,200. We prefer Kendrick for $300 less.

Kike Hernandez (LAD) and Joe Panik (SF) are secondary options that have cheap price tags. They’re viable in tournaments.

Third Base

Nolan Arenado (COL) carries the top projection at third base. Arenado has generated a .436 wOBA and .313 ISO vs. LHP since 2016. Eric Lauer is an intriguing prospect but we’re not afraid to pick on him in this context, especially with a hitter like Arenado. He’s viable across all formats despite the expensive price tags.

The third base values behind Arenado are site dependent. On DK, Travis Shaw (MIL) will have the platoon edge against Ian Kennedy on the road. He’s $4,000, which is a fine price tag over there. Pedro Alvarez (BAL) is really cheap ($3,000) and has been hitting second of late. He’ll have the platoon edge in his matchup against Jacob Faria as well. Adrian Beltre (TEX) continues to be cheap on that site as well ($3,400).

On FD, your best alternative to Arenado is a punt option. Kike Hernandez (LAD) is $2,400 and will have the platoon edge against Dillon Peters. Hernandez has generated a .353 wOBA and .241 ISO vs. LHP since 2016. He always comes with some PH risk but the price tag is very cheap for a matchup against a southpaw.

Matt Chapman (OAK) continues to be an elite tournament target. He’ll have the platoon edge once again tonight in Arlington against the struggling Cole Hamels.

Shortstop

Marcus Semien (OAK) is back at it again with the top projection at the shortstop position. Semien will have the platoon edge for the second consecutive night, which means he’ll hit out of the leadoff spot. Semien has generated a .344 wOBA and .217 ISO vs. LHP since 2015. He continues to be underpriced on DK ($3,700) where he’s your top cash game target. He’s priced more appropriately on FD and still represents our best value at the position.

Trevor Story (COL) is hitting cleanup in Coors Field with the platoon edge. He’s a little bit pricier than Semien on both sites but represents the most direct alternative in all formats with a similar projection.

Trea Turner (WSH) carries the same price tag as Semien on FD but his projection is a little lighter. He’s viable in tournaments.

Story is our favorite tournament option of the bunch but it’s not going to come without ownership in that context. In that format, you can include Corey Seager (LAD) (on FD) and Manny Machado (BAL) as well.

Outfield

Mike Trout (LAA) is the top projected scorer in the outfield. Trout is usable in tournaments, but we’ll pass on his high end price tag in cash games in a difficult context.

Next up in projection are Mookie Betts (BOS) and Charlie Blackmon (COL). Betts will have the platoon edge in Rogers Centre but the matchup against J.A. Happ isn’t overly exciting. Blackmon has a L/L matchup but he’s in Coors Field. Like Trout, we think these two are viable in tournaments but we’re looking elsewhere in cash games.

The value in the outfield continues to be dominated by TEX-OAK (on DK) and on FD there’s a Padres’ OF with a good price tag as well. Delino DeShields (TEX) is still somehow just $2,400 on FD despite having hit out of the leadoff spot in two consecutive games. He’s also really cheap on DK ($3,200).  Wil Myers (SD) is just $3,400 on FD and he’s in Coors Field. Teammate Shin-Soo Choo (TEX) is $3,600 and Stephen Piscotty (OAK) is $3,500 respectively on DK. Both will have the platoon edge in their matchups and they’re hitting out of the two hole. Nomar Mazara (TEX) is also in that same price range on DK and he’s been hitting third vs. RHP. Of this group, Piscotty has the best price tag on FD.

J.D. Martinez (BOS) and Ryan Braun (MIL) are also viable targets on FD. Braun in particular makes sense in cash games given the price tag ($3,200). If you need another punt option to round out your OF on FD, Adam Frazier (PIT) is just $2,100 over there.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Colorado Rockies

The Rockies are the clear top stack on the night and worth forcing exposure to in cash games, especially since most of the expensive pitching has some sort of risk associated with them. They’ll face LH Eric Lauer who is making his MLB debut. Lauer projects to have a decent K rate, but he was pretty fly-ball risk in the Minors, which will be an issue at the MLB level, particularly at Coors Field.

Tier Two

2) Milwaukee Brewers

3) Oakland Athletics

4) San Diego Padres

5) Texas Rangers

The Brewers likely go too low owned on a slate that has a lot of offense and some of it in better hitting environments. However, they get to add the DH and face a homer prone Ian Kennedy. Kennedy is off to a good start on the surface (2.35 ERA), but he continues to be fly ball risk (33% GB rate) and allowing tons of hard hit contact (42% Hard%). The improved strikeout rate is not supported by a higher SwStr rate, and about the only positive stride he’s made is getting ahead more on hitters.

Oakland is a team that possesses a lot of HR potential top to bottom and that’s amplified by the big park shift in their favor. They had a horrific outing against Cole Hamels earlier in the year, but altogether, Hamels is continuing his upward trend of allowing a higher Hard% each year.

The Padres are a pretty obvious stack in Coors Field. They have plenty of upside and despite a Coors bump in pricing, aren’t more expensive than the other tier two stacks. The return of Wil Myers and Manuel Margot has boosted this lineup against LHP.

While the Rangers haven’t had many huge games, the price tags here continue to derive solid value. This stack is the cheapest in terms of average cost on both DK and FD among our top three tiers. The Rangers of a smattering of event oriented options, boosted by their home park (HR upside) and the opposing catcher (SB upside).

Tier Three

6) Boston Red Sox

7) Houston Astros

8) Pittsburgh Pirates

Our favorite stacks in this third tier are the Red Sox and Pirates. The Red Sox have the higher overall ceiling given a much better lineup and being on the road in a much better hitter’s park. JA Happ is generally giving up bombs when he goes wrong, but has been going right a lot more often recently.

That’s what keeps the Pirates in the same tier as Jordan Zimmermann has been absolutely horrific – a 29.4 GB rate and 41.2 Hard%.

Tier Four

9) Arizona Diamondbacks

10) Toronto Blue Jays

11) Los Angeles Dodgers

12) St. Louis Cardinals

We went to a fourth tier because the offensive stacks have a lot of depth tonight. There’s a good chance that ownership doesn’t reflect this, and it makes sense to mix and match your stacks if multi-entering quite a bit, even if it means being underweight a bit on some of the scary high potential top ranked stacks.

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