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April 25 MLB DFS: K is for Kershaw, it’s good enough for me
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Welcome to April 25 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for April 25 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 25 MLB DFS Position Timestamps

00:51 Starting Pitcher
11:54 Catcher
15:53 First Base
18:39 Second Base
21:16 Third Base
24:24 Shortstop
28:33 Outfield
32:13 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.
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Range of Outcome Projections

April 25 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

Starting Pitcher

Clayton Kershaw (LAD) is the focal point of the starting pitchers on this slate. Kershaw is a monstrous -380 favorite at home against the Marlins with a ridiculous 2.4 implied total against. The Marlins best threats are all from the left side which makes them extremely vulnerable to LHP, let alone elite LHP. Kershaw is priced aggressively on both sites but still rates as our strongest value on the slate. We recommend building through him in cash games while there will be an argument to taking an underweight or fade approach in GPPs simply due to the price.

After Kershaw, Zack Greinke (ARI) projects as a clear number two on the slate. The challenge with Greinke is trying to figure out how much the lost velocity (88.8 avg FB so far this season, 91 last season) impacts the Fantasy production. So far, Greinke’s still racking up strikeouts (24 percent) and not walking anyone (2.1 percent) but he’s not generating ground balls (38.6 percent) and yielding plenty of hard contact (34.3 percent). The Phillies’ offense projects as below average and while Citizens Bank is a small park it is favorable for strikeouts and the low 60s temperature in the forecast is good for pitching. The concern is that the overnight forecast has all sorts of rain in it which impacts both Greinke and Jake Arrieta (PHI) who projects as our third highest scorer. Arrieta was dominant last time out and early in the season is back getting swings outside the strike zone and generating tons of ground balls. Arizona’s offense is pretty watered down against RHP without Jake Lamb and if the game goes the pitching environment is strong. If weather is clear, we’d prefer to pair Kershaw with one of these two starters on DraftKings. On FanDuel, one of these two would represent the most sensible pivot off of Kershaw in GPPs.

If weather eliminates that game from consideration, the choice as a second starter gets more difficult. Jacob Faria (TB) and Eduardo Rodriguez (BOS) are the most talented options relative to price tag but Faria has pitched horribly most of the season and Rodriguez faces a pesky Jays’ offense even without Josh Donaldson. Faria has the benefit of facing a watered down Orioles’ lineup but in a park downgrade in Baltimore. Neither pitcher works very deep into games but they can rack up strikeouts. Our projections simply prefer the cheaper target but there is more of an unknown with Faria given his inability to generate swings outside the strike zone early on this season. As a result, it’s a bit more of a toss-up for us. On FanDuel, Faria and Rodriguez are cheap enough to consider as GPP pivots off of Kershaw.

Fringe options include Michael Wacha (STL) who has also struggled early in the season with velocity and results along with Trevor Bauer (CLE) who simply has an unappealing price tag against a hot Cubs’ offense that does swing and miss a bit. We prefer both those targets in GPPs.

Catcher

Robinson Chirinos (TEX) is the man atop the catcher value rankings. We’ve had some bad blood with Chirinos this season, but the rationale remains the same. He’s a cheap catcher (on a Kershaw day nonetheless!) that comes with a lot of power potential (.236 ISO vs. RHP since 2015) and gets to hit in one of the better run scoring environments. Chirinos and the Rangers have the highest implied run total on the slate and will get contact oriented Kendall Graveman (10.07 ERA thus far).

After Chirinos it’s Yasmani Grandal (LAD). Grandal has hit third in each of the team’s last four starts against RHP, so we’re expecting to find him there against right-hander Trevor Richards. The lineup spot boost is significant for Grandal, but getting him from the left-side is also very important. Since 2015 he’s posted a .347 wOBA and .230 ISO against RHP, as opposed to .334/.131 against LHP. At $3,800 he represents a fairly significant jump up from Chirinos on DraftKings, but he does project as the highest scoring player at the position.

Russell Martin (TOR), Alex Avila (ARI), and Jonathan Lucroy (OAK) are all just a bit more expensive than Chirinos and would warrant some consideration if he isn’t in the lineup. Also, Salvador Perez (KC) made his return to the lineup last night and promptly homered. Given his lineup spot we might be more inclined to use him over the aforementioned trio at just $3,200.

First Base

A pair of sluggers in Texas Joey Gallo (TEX) and Matt Olson (OAK) lead the way at the first base position on Wednesday. The pair of left-handed bombers will square off against a pair of weak right-handed pitchers in a game which features of total of 10.5. Not only are the matchups drool worthy (Kendall Graveman and Doug Fister), but the price tags are very affordable on a slate which begs for use of Clayton Kershaw.

Gallo is priced at just $4,100 on DraftKings, $200 cheaper than Olson where he rates as the top value. The swing and a miss is our normal fear with Gallo, but Graveman has K% below 15% for his career and projects similarly this season. On FanDuel, we’ll be leaning Olson where his price is $1,000 cheaper at $2,900. Olson has massive power, hitting 47 total homers between AAA and the top club last season, posting a .330 ISO against RHP in his brief time with the Athletics. He gets a big park boost in his favor, has solid batted ball numbers of late, and gets another contact oriented arm to alleviate his strikeout woes.

Behind the top duo, Cody Bellinger (LAD), Pedro Alvarez (BAL), and Lucas Duda (KC) come into play. Belli will draw a nice matchup with right-hander Trevor Richards, and while the price tag is affordable the overall context is less desirable than the aforementioned duo. We’ll be looking to him as a tournament pivot.

Alvarez and Duda allow us to play the absurd cap space game. At $3,000 on DraftKings and $2,300 on FanDuel, Alvarez will come into play likely as a complement to one of the top dogs. He had hit 2nd in five straight starts against RHP, but prior to postponement yesterday was slated to hit 7th against Jake Faria. Should he slide down that far, he would lose a lot of value – but we’ll look to take advantage if he’s in the second spot. Teammate Trey Mancini (BAL) has first base eligibility on DraftKings as well and he rates as a top five value at the position. Faria has been dreadful thus far, posting an xFIP over 5.5 and allowing nearly 50% Hard%.

Duda is priced similarly on both sites, but won’t come with as nice a park. Still though, Jhoulys Chacin has struggled with LHB, allowing a .170 ISO to them since 2015.

Second Base

The theme at every position will be price chopping, pushing us to Jurickson Profar (TEX), Jonathan Villar (MIL), and Ketel Marte (ARI) at second base. You might notice that on both sites, not a single player is rated as a positive value – perhaps pushing us into the “the cheaper, the better” mindset.

Profar is only eligible on DraftKings, but is popping in all the early optimals on the site. At $2,900 he’ll provide you with access to the top projected scoring offense on the slate and he comes with a serviceable 6th place lineup spot. Once a highly touted prospect (he’s still only 25), Profar doesn’t come with much event upside but the price tag is too much to pass up.

Villar and Marte duke it out on FanDuel, with Villar winning in the early optimals. He’s $100 more expensive, but he comes with a much easier matchup against right-hander Jason Hammel than Marte’s bout with Jake Arrieta. The unfortunate issue is the lineup spot, which has fluctuated of late (hitting 6-7-8) in his last three starts, with the 8th spot being his landing last time out. Still though, he projects at nearly 40 HR+SB and draws a matchup in Hammel who is susceptible to both.

Marte is much less exciting and skilled, but the lineup spot is better and he’s $100 cheaper. We’d prefer to use Villar, or to even drop down further – but you could do worse. Devon Travis (TOR) has largely dropped of our radar (thankfully) but he’s near the minimum price on FanDuel at $2,200. He’ll be down near the very bottom of the order like Villar, but will get the platoon edge and comes at a $900 discount. If you were trying to bolster elsewhere given the lack of depth, he’d be an acceptable punt.

Third Base

Adrian Beltre (TEX) is the consensus value at the hot corner on Wednesday. Beltre will draw a top-four lineup spot, has a positive 15-day batted ball delta, and is only $3,500 on DraftKings ($3,700 on FanDuel). As the top value on both sites, he’s popping in early optimals, particularly on FanDuel where Pedro Alvarez (BAL) can not steal his thunder. NOTE: Beltre left last night’s game with a leg injury.

On DraftKings, it’s Alvarez who slides into some optimals because of his dual positional eligibility making him a viable third base option. As we noted at the first base position, should he be slated to hit 7th once again, we’d remove him from consideration on DraftKings where the price gap between he and Beltre is only $500.

Travis Shaw (MIL) and Rafael Devers (BOS) fill a similar void in a tier priced just above Beltre on both sites (Devers is actually $100 cheaper on FanDuel).

Both guys will grab the platoon edge on Wednesday, but it’s Shaw that comes with the easier matchup against Jason Hammel. Coming off a breakout year, and a homer last night, Shaw has posted a .212 ISO against RHP since 2015. At $4,200 on FanDuel he’s a bit too steep for our liking, but he’s much more affordable on DraftKings at $4,100.

Mike Moustakas (KC) is just $100 more on DK and fills a similar void should Beltre not be available. Moustakas has posted a .359 wOBA and .233 ISO against RHP since 2015, while also posting an excellent 38.5% Hard% in the last fifteen days according to our batted ball tool.

Danny Valencia (BAL) would open up a route to go very cheap at 3B on FanDuel at just $2,200 ($2,800 on DraftKings). Normally a platoon guy, Valencia could take advantage of a good lineup spot given some Orioles injuries. He was slated to hit 6th against Faria on Tuesday.

Shortstop

Corey Seager (LAD) and Marcus Semien (OAK) are the guys at the top of the shortstop position on Wednesday. Seager and company get the scuffling Trevor Richards who has posted an xFIP over 5.5, walked 5.21 hitters per nine and has allowed a 22% difference in Hard% versus Soft% in his first four starts, only amassing 19 innings.

We mentioned that the Dodgers lag behind a bit as far as overall context, but they still hold an implied run total of 4.6 runs, and Seager is a dominant LHB against RHP. He’s posted a .381 wOBA and .200 ISO in the split since 2015. At $3,400 on FanDuel and $4,400 on DraftKings he’s affordable and accessible.

Semien is $400 cheaper on DraftKings, but $600 more expensive on FanDuel. He gets a park shift to his advantage and will be the road leadoff hitter against Doug Fister. He can sometimes get lost amongst the Seager, Correa, Lindor-types, but he projects at roughly 25 HR+SB and sits atop an Athletics lineup with an implied run total over five runs.

We don’t want to have to stray too far from the power duo, but Jurickson Profar (TEX) has SS eligibility on both sites and is slightly cheaper. We prefer to use him at 2B on DraftKings where the pool is a bit weaker. Manny Machado (BAL) is one of the sole remaining threats in the Baltimore lineup but continues to wreak havoc on arms of all kinds. He’s priced way up, but should make for an interesting tournament pivot on a night where his ownership will be heavily depressed alongside an expensive duo of arms. Luis Sardinas (BAL) is not a highly skilled shortstop, but he’s just $2,000 on FanDuel and $2,600 on DraftKings.

Outfield

All of the Oakland A’s and Texas Rangers are essentially in play in the outfield. Matt Joyce (OAK), Delino DeShields (TEX), Nomar Mazara (TEX), and  Shin-Soo Choo (TEX) make up four of the top ten values on both sites in the outfield.

The combination of the absurd run scoring environment (10.5 total) and the oddly cheap tags on all of these bats make them compelling spends in cash games and tournaments. At least a pair of these outfielders is popping up in all of the early optimals. The Rangers bats carry the most upside (DeShields on the bases), but their values are fairly even as all of them are priced at or below $3,600 on DraftKings and below $3,500 on FanDuel.

On FanDuel where the value fans out a bit more, Joc Pederson (LAD) and Ryan Braun (MIL) break into the top five OF values. Joc has hit fifth against RHP in the last three Dodger’s starts against righties, and he’s just $2,200 on FanDuel. He’s displayed plenty of power (.233 ISO) in the split since 2015, giving us an encouraging amount of upside for the price. Much like with Joey Gallo and others, Joc’s issue is putting the ball in play. Luckily Trevor Richards projects at less than 7.5 K/9 this season.

Braun costs $1,000 more than Joc, but gets a matchup with Jason Hammel that we’ve mentioned quite a bit. Hammel has been susceptible to power from RHB in the past, allowing a .170 ISO to them since 2015. Though we’d prefer him in his home park, Braun and the Brewers have the third highest implied run total at 4.8 runs. His teammate Domingo Santana (MIL) fits into the top ten values on both sites largely for the same reasons. Though we like to deploy the duo against left-handed pitching, they both possess strong power skills against RHP as well. At $3,400 on DK and $2,800 on FD, Santana also has the luxury of saving a few bucks.

Trey Mancini (BAL), Steve Pearce (TOR), and Christian Yelich (MIL) round out the top fifteen values on both sites. As for Mancini and Pearce, we expect them to get top lineup spots and come with rather cheap price tags as well. Pearce will get the platoon edge on Eduardo Rodriguez, a split he’s performed well in since 2015 (.229 ISO). Yelich is the best skilled of the group, but he’ll also cost the most at $4,600 on DraftKings and $4,100 on FanDuel. He should definitely be a part of Brewers stacks as he brings 30+ HR+SB upside to the table, but his price tag might be a bit restrictive for cash games.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Milwaukee Brewers

 

2) Texas Rangers

3) Los Angeles Dodgers

4) Oakland Athletics

This first tier is very congested. With Kershaw on the slate, stacking ownerships will likely correlate heavily to price point. Anyone who can be stacked affordably will be popular. On DraftKings, this means the Texas Rangers represent your chalk. They are a strong stack against a contact prone RHP in Arlington with the wind blowing out to RF. On FanDuel, the Dodgers may end up as a more popular target against a below average rookie RHP.

The team that could potentially fall through the cracks here is the Brewers who are getting a park downgrade and come with mid-tier prices that are a little much for squeezing in Kershaw. They face a homer-prone starter in Jason Hammel who is backed up by one of the weakest bullpens in the league. The Brewers and Athletics (in Arlington against a contact heavy RHP as well) look like stronger contrarian targets in GPPs.

Tier Two

5) Boston Red Sox

 

The Red Sox get lost in the shuffle on this slate with their prized pieces all expensive and unappealing cash game targets. On lineups where you’re fading Kershaw salary relief shouldn’t be an issue which makes them a high upside target in controlled conditions in Toronto.