Welcome to April 27 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for April 27 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 27 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
- 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 27 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
It’s tough to go wrong with your foundational ace on this slate as both Jacob deGrom (NYM) and Corey Kluber (CLE) bring elite skill sets into great matchups. We slightly prefer deGrom because of the matchup and ballpark (Petco). While it’s early in the season, the Padres rank 23rd in wRC+ against RHP with a 28.4 K%, which leads the league. They also might be without Eric Hosmer, a contact oriented LHB, who was placed on family medical emergency list.
However, you can’t go wrong with Kluber, who we have projected slightly behind deGrom at a slightly higher cost. Vegas prefers Kluber, making him the heaviest slate favorite (-240) with the lowest IRTA (3). If you set Kluber’s K rate baselines to what he did last season, he’d actually out project deGrom. A combination of natural regression and Kluber’s early season K rate (27.4% is in line with his career mark, 34.1 last year) have us scaling it back a bit from last year’s number.
This slate is loaded with pitching. Luis Severino (NYY) and Stephen Strasburg (WAS) are the next in line options. Severino faces a contact oriented Angels team but does receive a positive park shift. Strasburg has a strong matchup against the Diamondbacks, but we’re still pegging him with meaningfully less Ks than deGrom and Kluber. Both are legit tournament options, especially if one of the top four SPs ends up much chalkier than the rest. However, we do feel that the clear move in cash, even at higher price tags on DK, is to make the spend up to deGrom or Kluber. Severino-Strasburg pairings may come cheaper, though, than deGrom-Pitcher X pairings.
The Pitcher X we’d most like to pair with deGrom or Kluber is Aaron Nola (PHI). This is one where we’re trusting the projections a bit over our gut. A good Atlanta lineup with some contact oriented LHBs scares us off, but the addition of Acuna over Preston Tucker actually helps Nola’s projection given that he’ll have the platoon edge against a high K projected hitter. Nola had early hooks the first two starts but has averaged 7 IP in the three following starts. He had a tough umpire for the disappointing 3 K game against Atlanta two starts ago.
If you want to load up a bit more on hitting, Clayton Richard (SD) is an option. Those are words we didn’t anticipate writing given the opportunity cost at pitching. However, he’s sub-$5k at home against a Mets team that is currently 26th in wRC+ against LHP with the third highest K% (27.4). Richard has just a 3.8 IRTA. Richard is certainly lacking in the skill department – a below average K rate with just an average or worse BB rate. He can however keep the ball on the ground (career 53% GB rate).
Over on FD, if punting at SP in tournaments we’d prefer Marcus Stroman (TOR) to Richard. We’re pegging Strom with a .6 higher K projection, and he flatly has more talent even if the park is a bit tougher. Stroman has had a tough start to this season. He’s had some bad luck but has been uncharacteristically wild and continues to get bit by the long ball despite a high GB rate (or at least bit more than he should). The scariest part is an absurd 50% Hard rate, but this Rangers team is beat up and will swing and miss. He’s cheap enough on DK to be a tournament SP there as well.
A higher upside pivot off of Richard as a punt SP on DK is Andrew Heaney (LAA), but a disaster start wouldn’t be surprising at all against the lethal trio of Yankee RHBs.
This slate is really deep on the pitching side of things. Dallas Keuchel (HOU) doesn’t have the K upside you’d like to see relative to top names but is heavily discounted to them and continues to generate a ton of GBs and an absurd -7.9 Hard-Soft%. Drew Pomeranz (BOS) has a ton of uncertainty surrounding him after getting beat up in his seasonal debut and not pitching much in rehab. However, his historical K rates and the matchup against Tampa Bay provide upside at likely single digit ownership.
A couple of names a bit further down the list are Julio Teheran (ATL) (7, 9, and 6 Ks his last three starts) and Danny Duffy (KC), who has a lot of red flags but is in a matchup that prior to ST arm concerns we would have been absolutely all over at this price point.
We haven’t even really talked about Zack Godley (ARI) (great early season peripherals but tough matchup and price), Blake Snell (TB) (encouraging early signs and big time K% at a reasonable tag but just a horrific park/matchup), and Luis Castillo (CIN) (discounted for his talent but a lot of red flags in early season production as outlined in this The Athletic piece by Eno Sarris: https://theathletic.com/329389/2018/04/26/sarris-what-is-going-on-with-luis-castillo/?redirected=1).
Gary Sanchez (NYY) represents the top projected scorer at the catcher position. Sanchez has been hitting the ball hard so far this season (26.7% HHR) and will have the platoon edge (.261 ISO baseline in this split) on the road. He’s priced appropriately though so while he’s viable in tournaments, we’re going to be looking elsewhere in cash games.
Russell Martin (TOR) is the best value at the catcher position in this slate. Martin has been a solid hitter vs. LHP. He’s generated a .332 wOBA and .166 ISO vs. southpaws since 2015. Martin is $3,000 on DK and the rest of the position is priced appropriately. He fits the slate.
The best alternative to Martin in cash games is in the same price range. Welington Castillo (CHW) has been hitting cleanup vs. LHP for the White Sox and he’s $3,100. He’ll be on the road in Kansas City where it’s starting to warm up (temps expected to be in the low 70s). Salvador Perez (KC) is another potential alternative with a similar price and one that carries power upside as well.
Joey Votto (CIN) represents the top projected scorer at first base. The matchup against Phil Hughes is exciting albeit on the road (Minnesota is a bad hitting environment, particularly for LH power) and the price tag on DK is great ($4,100). We think Votto deserves consideration across all formats on that site. On FD we think of him as a strong tournament target with a more appropriate price tag.
There are some standout values at first base. Carlos Santana (PHI) seems like the strongest industry wide value at the position. The early results for Santana have been very poor to begin the season, but upon further look this is a player that should rebound strongly. He’s generating lots of fly balls (50% FB rate) and hitting the ball pretty hard (23.4% HHR on the season). He also draws a very favorable matchup against Julio Teheran, who’s allowed a .204 ISO to LHBs since 2016.
On DK, Steve Pearce (TOR) has 1B/OF eligibility and represents our top value at the position. He’s currently a part of all of our top optimals on both sites.
On FD, Lucas Duda (KC) and Chris Davis (BAL) are $2,400 and $2,500 respectively. They’ll have the platoon edge in strong matchups. Duda is facing Reynaldo Lopez and Davis is at home in Camden Yards facing home run prone Mike Fiers. They’re very strong values on that site.
There are also some strong tournament targets. Justin Smoak (TOR) is viable on both sites but it’s on DK that the price tag jumps out the most ($3,700). He’s cash game viable on that site. Trey Mancini (BAL) (on DK; cash viable as well) and Miguel Cabrera (DET) also stand out against below average pitchers that are home run prone.
Jose Altuve (HOU) carries the top projection at second base. He has the platoon edge against the surging Sean Manaea. Altuve belongs in the tournament conversation, but in cash games we’d like to try and save some salary at the position. That’s even the case on FD where the position is priced very efficiently.
This is one of the weakest positions in the entire slate. Our best per dollar values at the position are a hitter that hits ninth, Devon Travis (TOR), and a hitter that’s been beyond awful so far this season, Jason Kipnis (CLE). The best thing going for Kipnis right now is that he’s still hitting second and tonight’s matchup is a favorable one (Erasmo Ramirez). Also, his DK price tag has dropped to $3,400. The price tag on FD is appropriate ($3,200) and quite frankly he might be overpriced over there given his early season performance. That’s where Travis is interesting at a punt price tag ($2,100). Travis will have the platoon edge in his matchup against a pitcher with fly ball tendencies (Mike Minor), but hitting ninth is something we don’t usually advocate in cash games. Tonight might be the exception unless another value opens up.
On DK we have a slew of values around Kipnis’ price tag that are viable. Scooter Gennett (CIN), Adam Frazier (PIT) and Jace Peterson (BAL) (only if he hits second) are in that range. Of that group, Gennett is our favorite one as he hits cleanup on the road vs. Phil Hughes.
Jose Ramirez (CLE) carries the top projection at third base followed closely by Nolan Arenado (COL). Arenado is on the road in Miami, which is as steep a negative park shift as it gets. We think he’s only tournament viable in this slate at appropriate price tags. We do like Ramirez in this matchup against Erasmo Ramirez, who’s allowed a .359 wOBA and .243 ISO to LHBs since 2016. However, he’s expensive on both sites relative to his true skill. He just doesn’t fit the slate from a cash game perspective but in GPPs you can fire away.
This position has more talent in the mid-tier than the second base names but they’re all breakeven values at best. Hitters like Mike Moustakas (KC) and Alex Bregman (HOU) stand out in skill and production with the platoon edge but they come with appropriate tags. Miguel Sano (MIN) has plenty of power upside and a good price tag on DK ($3,900) but the matchup against Luis Castillo isn’t great and it’s holding back his projection a bit. Even Yangervis Solarte (TOR), who’s in a good matchup and hits cleanup, has a mid tier price tag that feels appropriate relative to his skill level. He’s more viable in cash games on FD where the position is weaker.
The cheap options aren’t great in the hot corner but they might be necessary evils in this slate. Of course, the exception is Kike Hernandez (LAD) who hits LHP very well. Since 2016, Kike has generated a .358 wOBA and .247 ISO vs LHP. He also has a juicy matchup against Derek Holland. The only thing that holds back his projection, and it’s a big one, is the environment (AT&T park) and PH risk. He’s our favorite cheap option at the position on FD.
On DK, a pair of teammates in Pedro Alvarez and Jace Peterson (BAL) are really cheap and will have the platoon edge against Mike Fiers. If they hit sixth and second respectively they’ll be in play, though we prefer Alvarez as he’s the superior hitter with legitimate power upside.
Manny Machado (BAL) and Carlos Correa (HOU) represent the top projected scorers at the shortstop position. Once again, we like these two options in their respective matchups but they come with very efficient price tags. Of the two, we’re in line with projections here and prefer Machado in a matchup against Mike Fiers, who’s allowed a .207 ISO to RHBs since 2016. They’re in play in all formats given how weak the position is.
We also have to elite shortstops in Trea Turner (WSH) and Francisco Lindor (CLE) with next in line projections and slightly cheaper price tags. Of the two, Lindor is closest in projection to the group above and he checks in with a $4,000 price tag on FD. That price tag is appropriate but he’s been a part of more optimals since he’s $600 cheaper than Machado and Correa. Turner is cheaper on DK ($4,400) but he has the toughest matchup of this group (Godley).
There’s not much in the mid-tier that we love at the position. Tim Anderson (CHW) should lead off with the platoon edge but we wish he was a little bit cheaper. He’s probably the lone option in the mid-tier that we’d consider in cash games, though Eduardo Nunez (BOS) is viable since he’s in Fenway Park with the platoon edge and has a similar price tag. Nunez draws a difficult matchup though (Blake Snell).
Aledmys Diaz (TOR) has a punt price tag on FD but we’d need him to hit in a better lineup spot than eight to consider him in cash games. He can be used as part of Toronto stacks in tournaments.
Giancarlo Stanton (NYY) carries the top projection in this slate regardless of position. Stanton has a matchup against a LHP, which takes his projection to another level thanks to .439 wOBA and .416 ISO baselines in this split. It’s a road matchup in Los Angeles against Andrew Heaney, who we have pegged for a .200 ISO baseline allowed to RHBs. Stanton is a very good play and you should still able to fit him in your cash game lineups despite his big price tags.
After Stanton, cheap plays dominante the OF conversation. Steve Pearce (TOR) leads off vs. LHP and he’s generated a .367 wOBA and .261 ISO vs. southpaws since 2016. Teammate Randal Grichuk (TOR) is sub $3k on both sites and projects strongly as a top three OF value. Trey Mancini (BAL) has been leading off and this matchup against Mike Fiers is great for the Orioles’ RHBs as he’s a power prone reverse splits pitcher. Since the start of the 2016 season, Mancini has generated a .362 wOBA and .207 ISO vs. RHBs. He’s also made strides in the plate discipline department this season, with strong growth to his walk rate (10.4% BB rate) and cutting some Ks (21.9% K rate). How much of this is real remains to be seen as we’re simply talking about his first 96 PAs of the season. He’s affordable on both sites though and doesn’t come with the PH risk that both Pearce and Grichuk come with. Billy Hamilton (CIN) and Teoscar Hernandez (TOR) are priced below the average cost on both sites and are top seven OF values. Hernandez has been hitting second for the Blue Jays without Josh Donaldson around.
J.D. Martinez (BOS) and George Springer (HOU) are stand out plays in tournaments. Martinez will have the platoon edge in Fenway Park albeit in a difficult matchup (Blake Snell) while Springer will also have the platoon edge against Sean Manaea, who’s coming off pitching a no hitter. These matchups in a 14 game slate will probably result in lower ownership than usual for these two. Aaron Judge (NYY) can also be included in that tournament conversation and his matchup stands out a bit more for his upside to be unlocked. Bryce Harper (WSH) and Mookie Betts (BOS) come with difficult matchups but they’re always in play in tournaments given their upside.
1) Toronto Blue Jays
2) Houston Astros
The Jays are at home with the highest IRT on the slate. While Minor’s velocity remains up from when he was previous a starter, the extra Ks haven’t helped too much. He has a 4.77 xFIP, in large part because his fly ball tendencies have only worsened. Minor has just a 28.6 GB rate and a high 40.4 Hard%.
The Astros will be a contrarian stack following Sean Manaea‘s no-hitter. He’s had a phenomenal start to the year, making big strides in BB rate and smaller ones in K and GB rates. However, the Hard% is still a bit high, and the repertoire stuff doesn’t really indicate any big shift in approach or improvement. It’s a good spot in tournaments to take a chance on a talented offense.
3) New York Yankees
4) Baltimore Orioles
5) Cleveland Indians
Heaney gave up tons of power to the Giants in his last start and the oft-injured pitcher with a bunch of potential has now allowed 1.67 HR/9 in 172 career innings. Keeping the ball in the park against Judge/Stanton/Sanchez is not going to be easy.
The Orioles get to barrage at home off of Mike Fiers. The ERA is decent, but Fiers has seen a big increase in balls in play allowed, which aids DFS upside, especially when that’s complemented by a usually low GB rate and high Hard rates.
6) Cincinnati Reds
7) Detroit Tigers
8) Philadelphia Phillies
9) St. Louis Cardinals
It’s a bit of a surprise to see the Tigers so low in our stack rankings and not really crack our optimals much. However, this is a stack we do have a high degree of confidence in from a floor perspective given how unbelievably atrocious Chris Tillman has been dating back to the beginning of last year. After a 7.84 ERA and 6.93 FIP last season, Tillman has a 9.87 ERA and 8.09 FIP through four starts this season. He’s walked more batters than he has struck out. He hasn’t even struck out twice as many batters as he’s allowed homers. He’s an absolute mess.
Another team we like a lot in this tier is Cincinnati. Event upside key is in tournaments. In addition to some speedsters on the roster, they’ll face one of the most homer prone pitchers in the game in Phil Hughes. ZiPS is calling for 1.83 HR/9 and Steamer 1.74.
Additional Tournament Stack Thoughts:
With some mid-tier pitching that is difficult to pin baselines down (Duffy, Castillo, Snell in a tough spot), not only can they be used in tournaments, but you can go the other way with it too. That’s especially the case with the White Sox against Duffy and Twins against Castillo as all bets are off if these pitchers are hiding injuries.