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April 28 MLB DFS: Kenta The $ He Maeda
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April 28 MLB DFS: April 28 MLB DFS: Kenta The $ He Maeda

01:08 Starting Pitchers
08:35 Catchers
10:32 First Base
13:25 Second Base
15:23 Shortstop
17:58 Third Base
19:15 Outfield
23:28 Cash Game Roster Construction and Stacks


April 28 MLB DFS Pro-Tip

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Jake Arrieta (CHC)

Tier Two

2) Jose Fernandez (MIA)

3) Kenta Maeda (LAD)

Tier Three

4) Aaron Nola (PHI)

5) Tanner Roark (WAS)

Tier Four

6) Clay Buchholz (BOS)

7) Michael Wacha (STL)

8) Rubby de la Rosa (ARZ)

Jake Arrieta (CHC) is the clear top starting pitcher by a wide margin as his overall skills (ERAs of 2.53/1.77/0.53 in ’14-’16) and a prime matchup against a bad, right handed heavy Brewers offense in Wrigley Field where temperatures will be cool and the wind blowing in. The issue with Arrieta is a huge cost, which will cost you exposure to Coors Field whether playing the early or all day slate. Our lean is to try to squeeze Arrieta in on the early slates due to the lack of great alternatives.

After Arrieta, we have two very strong starters in their own right. Unfortunately, they’re squaring off against one another. Jose Fernandez‘s (MIA) strikeout potential outpaces Kenta Maeda‘s (LAD) stronger expected run prevention but the price gap between the two has us leaning Maeda as more of the core play.

There is a massive drop-off from the second and third tiers, but you’re forced into that third tier if playing the early slate. Aaron Nola (PHI) has the higher upside given his dominance against RHBs (.274 wOBA, 28.1 K Rate, 4.7 BB Rate, and 47.2 GB Rate) but Tanner Roark (WAS) has an implied run total against almost a full run lower. Roark also comes with a cheaper price tag that allows for more hitting upside. If you’re dipping outside the first three tiers, we recommend only doing so in tournaments. Clay Buchholz (BOS) faces a watered down Braves lineup at home. The price isn’t particularly compelling for cash games but the Braves are a strong enough matchup to take shots against in tournaments. Rubby de la Rosa (ARZ) has been dominant against RHBs since the start of last season (.275 wOBA, 24 K Rate, 6.7 BB Rate) so if the Cardinals lineup is loaded with RHBs, he’d represent a viable tournament target.

Catcher Rankings

1) Victor Martinez (DET)

2) Francisco Cervelli (PIT)

3) Matt Wieters (BAL)

4) Yadier Molina (STL)

5) Jonathan Lucroy (MIL)

The catcher position is one to prioritize salary relief over rankings above. Matt Wieters (BAL) has a great price tag on FanDuel ($2,400) that would represent our top value at the position in a friendly matchup against John Danks (.360 wOBA, .187 ISO allowed to RHBs since 2014, Orioles have an implied team total approaching five). On DraftKings, the options are a bit less compelling. Tony Wolters (COL) is the punt catcher we’re hoping emerges for the early slate. He’s not a particularly good bat but it’s cheap Coors Field exposure with the platoon advantage. On the FanDuel early slate, Victor Martinez (DET) is a strong value and our preferred target if not punting the position.

First Base Rankings

1) Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)

2) David Ortiz (BOS)

3) Chris Davis (BAL)

4) John Jaso (PIT)

5) Miguel Cabrera (DET)

6) Jose Abreu (CHW)

7) Anthony Rizzo (CHC)

It’s difficult to encourage spending up at first base given the elite starting pitching on the slate. If you’re going to spend up, we’re looking for discounted tags on the elite first basemen. On DraftKings you’ll get a break on Chris Davis (BAL) at $4,300 but John Jaso (PIT) at $3,800 strikes us as the better value. On FanDuel, where Jaso is priced up a bit more, Miguel Cabrera (DET) at the same tag is intriguing in the early slate. In the late slate, David Ortiz (BOS) and Jose Abreu (CHW) are both underpriced and without Coors Field it’s a bit easier to prioritize them. Brandon Moss (STL) and Ben Paulsen (COL) are lineup dependent value plays on each of the two slates. If Moss is hitting clean-up, he’s in a nice spot against de la Rosa’s wide splits against LHBs. We’re hoping for a fifth slot for Paulsen who represents industry wide one of the potential cheaper ways to get exposure to Coors Field in the afternoon.

Second Base Rankings

1) Dustin Pedroia (BOS)

2) Dee Gordon (MIA)

3) Ian Kinsler (DET)

4) Daniel Murphy (NYM)

5) Jean Segura (ARZ)

6) Ben Zobrist (CHC)

7) Josh Harrison (PIT)

8) Chris Coghlan (OAK)

9) Brett Lawrie (CHW)

10) Jed Lowrie (OAK)

The second basemen near the top of our positional rankings don’t rank particularly well in our model. This is another position to emphasize salary relief. The Athletics options represent our most likely targets. Jed Lowrie (OAK) and Chris Coghlan (OAK) have earned Top Five lineup spots of late and Anibal Sanchez with a weak bullpen is a fine target to get some salary relief.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Manny Machado (BAL)

2) Trevor Story (COL)

3) Xander Bogaerts (BOS)

4) Jimmy Rollins (CHW)

5) Jean Segura (ARI)

Where eligible, Manny Machado (BAL) is the clear top option, and he’s actually priced cheaper than Story on DraftKings. He’s a priority in cash games on all sites given John Danks‘ issues with RHBs (.355 wOBA, .193 ISO allowed since 2013). Baltimore is at home with a high implied team total around 4.5 runs. Trevor Story (COL) is the top shortstop on FanDuel, and the decision there is pretty binary. If you’re using Arrieta at pitcher, you can’t afford him. If you’re not using Arrieta, there’s no reason to not use Story. The best values in the evening slate are Xander Bogaerts (BOS) and Jimmy Rollins (CHW), two top three hitters on teams with implied run totals of around 5 and 4.5 respectively. For the early slate on FanDuel, it’s fine to fully punt the position if using Arrieta.

Third Base Rankings

1) Manny Machado (BAL)

2) Nolan Arenado (COL)

3) Matt Carpenter (STL)

4) Kris Bryant (CHC)

5) David Freese (PIT)

Third base is a great position to pay up for. We covered Machado above in the shortstop position. Nolan Arenado (COL) (Coors, great plate discipline numbers make last year’s power breakout even more exciting) and Matt Carpenter (STL) (awesome on base guy in a great lineup spot in Arizona with a large positive park shift and Rubby de la Rosa has allowed a .387 wOBA and .213 ISO to LHBs since 2013). If using Arrieta at pitcher, however, you may need to go the cap relief route, and the best options to do that with are Jake Lamb (ARI) and Chris Coghlan (OAK).

Outfield Rankings

1) Carlos Gonzalez (COL)

2) Bryce Harper (WAS)

3) Andrew McCutchen (PIT)

4) Starling Marte (PIT)

5) JD Martinez (DET)

6) Mookie Betts (BOS)

7) Gerardo Parra (COL)

8) Adam Jones (BAL)

9) Jeremy Hazelbaker (STL)

10) Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

11) Mark Trumbo (BAL)

12) Adam Eaton (CHW)

13) Matt Holliday (STL)

14) Jason Heyward (CHC)

15) Gregory Polanco (PIT)

The top four outfielders in our model are all good spends in plus matchups, but the one we’re most interested in industry wide is Carlos Gonzalez (COL). He’s priced fairly on DraftKings but way too cheap on FanDuel. He’ll have the platoon edge against former Colorado pitcher Juan Nicasio, who struggles with LHBs. Colorado has an implied run total around 5.5. We have a slew of viable values after the expensive games. JD Martinez (DET) has lots of power upside and gets a value boost moving up to the two hole. Gerado Parra (COL) gives you Coors Field exposure at a mid-tier price point. Adam Jones (BAL) has the awesome home matchup against John Danks, which we’ve previously touched on, and is priced very fairly around the industry. Jeremy Hazelbaker (STL) has been a surprise success. While a lot of what’s going on is unsustainable, he’s flashed a decent power/speed combination and lets you take advantage of de la Rosa’s horrendous splits. While the top and mid-tier is flooded with strong values, there aren’t as many cheaper options. Joey Rickard (BAL) is a cost effective way to get exposure to the Baltimore offense. Matt Joyce (PIT) becomes a phenomenal play (must play in DK cash) if he’s in the lineup hitting second. The Coors Field pricing bump on DraftKings seems to have missed him completely.


Tier One

1) Pittsburgh Pirates

2) Colorado Rockies

Tier Two

3) St. Louis Cardinals

4) Boston Red Sox

5) Baltimore Orioles

For the early slate, we’re trying to get as much Coors into our cash game lineups as possible and complement them with cheaper, site specific value plays. However, on full slates, the tier two stacks are all in great spots and make it a bit easier to simply go the value route at each position. The top two tier stacks are all stackable in tournaments.

Tournament Stacks

-Chicago White Sox (guaranteed nine innings on the road in a plus hitter’s park; opposing pitcher Tyler Wilson doesn’t miss any bats so things get ugly for him if BABIP doesn’t go his way)

-Detroit Tigers (lots of power in the lineup and Chris Bassitt has really struggled early on; 5.11 FIP, 19.8 hard minus soft hit rate)

MLB Daily Analysis

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