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April 29 EARLY SLATE MLB DFS: Strassed Out
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Welcome to April 29 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 29 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
02:19 Starting Pitcher
9:05 Catcher
10:57 First Base
12:35 Second Base
14:05 Third Base
15:35 Shortstop
18:04 Outfield
23:23 Stacks

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CUSTOMIZABLE PROJECTIONS WITH VALUE RATINGS CLICK HERE

  • 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 29 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

Starting Pitcher

For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections

A Saturday filled with rain will play a role in filtering down our starting pitching options. Yet, the top starter, Stephen Strasburg (WSH) should be clear of any of Mother Nature’s ill effects. Strasburg comes armed with the highest price tag on the slate, but he’ll also hold the lowest opposing implied run total as the Mets lineup has been watered down due to injury. Not only does Strasburg come with a low opposing implied run total, he also boasts the second highest strikeout projection in our model. Strasburg is our preferred SP1 in cash games due to the perceived volatility of the pitchers behind him.

If you’re uncomfortable with picking on the Mets, Michael Fulmer (DET) would be a potential complement to Strasburg on DraftKings and an alternative on FanDuel, but the weather looks bad in Detroit. Nevertheless, Fulmer draws a matchup with a weak White Sox offense that is striking out the third most in the league against RHP (25.5%). The White Sox run out a right-handed heavy lineup (usually at most three left-handers) and Fulmer has been tough on RHB in his short career, allowing just a .309 wOBA and posting a 22.7% K%.

Francisco Liriano (TOR) is just $8,400 on DraftKings, but he comes with a bit more boom or bust. The matchup with Tampa Bay brings about lots of strikeout potential (28% K% – highest in the league) but also some power as the Rays have posted the 5th highest wRC+ against LHP so far this year. In the early going, Liriano has been as expected – posting more than a strikeout per inning, but walking 5.6 hitters per nine. He’s shown an inability to work deep into games due to inefficiency (and plain old getting hit), working just 17.2 innings in four starts – but the strikeout upside and the salary make him a viable second starting pitcher on DraftKings.

On DraftKings, Danny Salazar (CLE) is available in the early slate. The Mariners have been dealing with lineups that are less than full strength and should they roll out another, Salazar is sure to see his projection increase. He already projects for the fourth most strikeouts on the slate, and the Indians are large favorites. Much like Fulmer though, there are storms brewing in the midwest all day.

Michael Pineda (NYY) deserves tournament consideration but he’s facing a tough Baltimore lineup in a great macro environment. Nevertheless, he holds one of the best upsides on the slate.

Mike Leake (STL) comes with a strikeout projection of just 4.3, but the $7,800 price tag is interesting on DraftKings. He’ll draw a Reds team that is receiving a big negative park shift

Catcher

With a preference of paying up for a starting pitcher, the catcher position aims to provide some salary relief on this early slate. James McCann (DET) headlines the position as he’ll hold the platoon edge (along with nearly the entire team) against Derek Holland. He won’t come with a great lineup spot (last time against a LHP he hit 7th) but he does hold great platoon splits, having posted a .382 wOBA and .275 ISO in his last 257 PA against LHP. McCann’s teammate, Victor Martinez (DET) is C eligible on FanDuel and is a great value there.

Not many other options emerge on this slate but Willson Contreras (CHC) and Yadier Molina (STL) warrant consideration. Contreras will get the enigmatic Stephen Wright, who has been pummeled in the early going this season. The Cubs hold the second highest implied run total on the slate. Yadier draws the opposite side of Bronson Arroyo, a theme that will be featured in a few spots of the positional analysis.

First Base

Anthony Rizzo (CHC) is our top projected first baseman, but the price tag is tough to make work, particularly in cash games. Instead, we’re focusing on Matt Carpenter (STL) who is just $4,200 on DraftKings and $3,700 on FanDuel. Carpenter and the Cardinals hold one of the highest implied run totals on the slate (4.8) and his prowess against RHP puts him atop the list for cash game first basemen as he’s posted a .375 wOBA and .199 ISO against RHP since 2014.

Victor Martinez (DET) is a way to get even cheaper at first base on DraftKings, as he’s priced at just $3,400. The Tigers will load up on right-handed bats against Holland and Martinez will be in the thick of it.

On DraftKings you can also look to use Carlos Santana (CLE) and Edwin Encarnacion (CLE) who are part of the highest implied run total team available on DK (5.1). The price tags fall in between that of Carpenter and Rizzo, making them potentially viable in cash games – though we still prefer Carpenter.

Rickie Weeks JR. (TB) holds first base eligibility on DraftKings and is just $2,800. He has been hitting fifth against LHP.

Second Base

Ian Kinsler (DET) leads the way at second base. He’ll leadoff for the Tigers against Derek Holland, kickstarting a right-hand heavy offense. Holland has struggles with RHB, allowing a .351 wOBA and .208 ISO against them since 2015. At just $3,300 on FanDuel and $4,100 on DraftKings -Kinsler is an easy fit.

You could alternate to Ben Zobrist (CHC) on FanDuel though where he is just $2,900. Zobrist’s price hasn’t moved and he’ll get a great lineup spot against the knuckleballer. There were hints on the Cubs broadcast about Zobrist potentially hitting from the right side against Wright (he’s a switch hitter) which hurts his power overall, but helps from a macro park perspective (short left field).

Starlin Castro (NYY) continues to mash and he’s just $3,400 on DraftKings. The Yankees get the volatile Ubaldo Jimenez in their home park, an underrated stack with a team implied run total of 4.8 runs.

Kolten Wong (STL) is a cheap tournament punt with a good matchup against Bronson Arroyo.

Third Base

Nick Castellanos (DET) and Kris Bryant (CHC) headline the third base position. Castellanos will anchor the Tigers lineup, looking to take advantage of the wide platoon splits that Derek Holland offers. Castellano has posted a .342 wOBA and .218 ISO against LHP since 2015 and he comes with the much cheaper, more affordable price tag for cash games.

Bryant is the dreamy tournament option, getting a matchup with Steven Wright. In a brief step into the anecdotal, Bryant’s uppercut swing, aimed at generating more loft, will act as a deathsword to Wright today. Remember the old baseball adage regarding knuckleballs,
if it’s high let it fly, if it’s low let it go.”

Evan Longoria (TB) has been a menace to LHP in his career, posting a .242 ISO and .377 wOBA against them. He’ll get a positive park shift in his favor and face Francisco Liriano in Toronto. He’s a viable secondary target on both sites.

Manny Machado (BAL) remains far too cheap on FanDuel. Though we prefer targeting a better matchup, his skillset and the macro environment warrant consideration – particularly in GPPs. Jedd Gyorko (STL) is also a viable option on FanDuel, while Jose Ramirez (CLE) is available in the DraftKings’ slate.

Shortstop

Aledmys Diaz (STL) stands well above the rest of the shortstop position in our model. He’s been a bear on right-handed starters in his young career, posting a .367 wOBA and .230 ISO. Arroyo will have the luxury of a positive park shift, but as can be expected for a soft-tossing, fly ball oriented pitcher, he’s allowed 2.57 HR/9 thus far this season. Diaz is the preferred cash game option.

Addison Russell (CHC) has seen his price dip to $3,800 on DraftKings despite his great lineup spot and his quickly progressing offensive game. He is a great part of a Cubs stack, but falls behind Diaz in terms of cash game play.

Francisco Lindor (CLE) would be a viable alternative to Diaz on DraftKings where he is available and is just $4,000. Trea Turner (WSH) has the highest upside of any shortstop eligible player, but he also comes with the highest price tag and not the most enticing matchup with Zach Wheeler.

Outfield

The name of the game in the outfield is value. Kyle Schwarber (CHC), Brett Gardner (NYY), Mikie Mahtook (DET), Aaron Hicks (NYY), and Justin Upton (DET) help lead the way at a loaded position on Saturday.

Schwarber will top the Cubs lineup and though he’s more difficult to fit on DraftKings at $4,700, he’s dipped to just $3,200 on FanDuel. Gardner and Hicks, along with teammates Aaron Judge (NYY) and Jacoby Ellsbury (NYY) come as highly valuable commodities in a great macro environment and a good matchup with Ubaldo Jimenez. So far this season, Jimenez is missing less bats, allowing more balls in the air and as a result allowing more home runs. A powerful Yankees core makes for a solid tournament stack, or sprinkling values in cash games in the outfield.

Upton and Mahtook will look to use their prowess against LHP on Derek Holland. Upton is the safer, but more expensive option of the two, while Mahtook provides more value overall with some pinch hit risk. At just $2,600 on DraftKings and $2,400 on FanDuel though, you can live with 2-3 at bats from Mahtook (with the potential for more).

Both Dexter Fowler (STL) and Stephen Piscotty (STL) have middling price tags, but excellent matchups against the homer prone Arroyo. They can be viewed as secondary cash targets, or part of a St. Louis stack.

Billy Hamilton (CIN) should always be considered a lethal tournament option so long as his price remains in the mid-tier ($4,000 on DraftKings, $3,300 on FanDuel).

The Cleveland bats, Carlos Santana (CLE), and Michael Brantley (CLE) rate well on DraftKings where they are included in the slate. They rank alongside Fowler and Piscotty as secondary cash game targets if you have the ability to pay up at the position and are choosing value elsewhere.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Chicago Cubs

2) St. Louis Cardinals

3a) New York Yankees

3b) Cleveland Indians

The Cubs and Cardinals are hit on frequently throughout the positional analysis, but the Yankees are perhaps the most interesting of the Tier One stacks. As noted in the outfield section, Ubaldo has struggled to miss bats, is walking more batters than last season, getting less ground balls, and allowing 33.3% hard contact. The Yankees have built a powerful core with plenty of upside on the bases and at the dish. They are more than just secondary cash game plays.

Tier Two

5) Detroit Tigers

6) Boston Red Sox
The Tigers will hold some popularity as they are notorious for their success against LHP and they will filter into cash games. The Red Sox are perhaps the strongest lineup on the slate but are overshadowed a bit due to price tags and a perceived lack of value. They still hold a 4.6 implied run total and John Lackey has already shown an issue with the long ball this season, allowing 1.81 HR/9 so far.

Additional Tournament Stacks

Washington Nationals – The Nats won’t draw the easiest matchup on the slate against Zach Wheeler but from top to bottom they represent one of the most complete lineups in the league. Bryce Harper, Trea Turner, and Daniel Murphy will be a difficult trio to fit on a slate that prioritizes top starting pitching, but should you decide to take a chance with a cheaper arm like Liriano, or a pair of arms on DraftKings, you can make them work as a complement to any other stacks.