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April 30 MLB DFS: Hot Rod
TheNumbersGuy
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Welcome to April 30 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for April 30 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 30 MLB DFS Position Timestamps

00:42 Starting Pitcher
08:38 Catcher
11:09 First Base
14:07 Second Base
17:50 Third Base
21:29 Shortstop
24:02 Outfield
27:44 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 30 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

Starting Pitcher

Zack Greinke (ARI) leads all pitchers in our projections, although the gap isn’t too wide. He’s off to somewhat of an odd start, posting great K:BB numbers but also allowing more hard-hit aerial contact than usual, leading to an ERA of 4.80 that is much higher than his xFIP of 3.11 (better than previous three seasons). As a result, it’s difficult to tell if we should sift Greinke’s baseline at all, and the matchup isn’t favorable. The Dodgers currently rank sixth in wRC+ against RHP with a below average K rate. All in all, we find him overpriced on DK, but the FD tag is likely an overreaction to his early struggles and keeps him in play in all formats there.

Following Greinke, we have four pitchers that all project between 17.8 and 17.1 DK points in Charlie Morton (HOU)Eduardo Rodriguez (BOS)Jon Lester (CHC), and Jameson Taillon (PIT). There’s another two that are within 1.5 points of Morton in Jake Arrieta (PHI) and Jeff Samardzija (SF).

The pitcher of this group that we have the most confidence in relative to price tag is Rodriguez. Aside from being a Vegas darling (slate best -220 favorite with a low 3.6 IRTA), Rodriguez has picked up where he left off last year in the K department (24.5 K% currently). He’ll face a below average Royals team that is no longer as contact oriented as in the past. He’s the bester per dollar value on DK and also in play on FD, depending how you want to build.

After Rodriguez, it gets pretty difficult on DK. Morton has the peripherals we like the most of any pitcher on this slate, but he’s pricey for a matchup against the Yankees (second in wRC+ against RHP).

Lester has a solid mid-tier price tag, but like last year, the velocity is down. We haven’t docked his baseline yet, but there’s some concern we’re over optimistic on the K rate. The wind in Wrigley could also lead to a high total in this game.

Taillon has steady peripherals overall but has a tough matchup and is coming off of back to back disaster starts.

Samardzija has a slate low 3.4 IRTA. He has a great matchup in a great park. He might be the best option if you’re willing to look past his first two starts, but a big early dip in velocity and some troubling peripherals have led us to drop his baseline.

Arrieta has been greatly reducing hard-hit contact and keeping the ball on the ground, but he might be overpriced in a matchup where we’re projecting just over 5 strikeouts.

So what should you do? Our initial instinct is to go the mid-tier route with one of Lester or Samardzija, but Morton is really intriguing for tournaments.

However, a cheap value at the position is Dan Straily (MIA), who is making his first start of the year. Straily doesn’t offer anything special. In fact, his rates last season were mostly right around the league average but with a heavier fly ball tilt, leading to a higher HR rate. However, he’s priced cheaply on both sites in a favorable home matchup against a Phillies team that is currently 22nd in wRC+ against RHP with the second highest K rate in that split (27.3%).

Our FD optimals early on are as split as you’ll ever see them, interchanging between Greinke-Rodriguez-Straily builds, meaning the bats are there for you to go high-mid-low at SP.

Catcher

Willson Contreras (CHC) represents the top projected scorer at the catcher position. We finally get a decently warm game in Chicago, with temps in high 60s and 15 MPH winds blowing out. Contreras has the platoon edge in his matchup against Kyle Freeland, and since he came into the league in 2016 he’s generated a .378 wOBA and .213 ISO vs. southpaws. We’re going after him in all formats.

The alternatives at the position come with cheaper price tags but more difficult contexts. The exception would be Manny Pina (MIL) hitting sixth with the platoon edge in Great American Ball Park. He’s just $2,500 on DK. Russell Martin (TOR) and Chris Iannetta (COL) represent the next best values at the position but they have more difficult matchups.

Buster Posey (SF) and Wilson Ramos (TB) (coming off a great series vs. Boston and now gets the Tigers pitching staff) are viable tournament targets that come with more appropriate price tags than Contreras.

First Base

Joey Votto (CIN) is the top projected scorer at first base. The only thing missing in Votto’s context is being a road hitter. He checks every other box. Votto has a matchup against Jhoulys Chacin, who’s a wide splits pitcher. Chacin has allowed a .170 ISO to LHBs since 2015, and he gets to face a bunch of LH hitters in one of the best hitting environments in all of baseball (Cincinnati). Since 2015, Votto has generated a .418 wOBA and .235 ISO vs. RHP. He’s showing no signs of slowing down. Go after Votto in all formats.

DK continues to price Justin Smoak (TOR) too cheap. He remains $3,500 on that site and tonight he gets Lance Lynn as a matchup. Lynn has very wide splits. He’s allowed a .351 wOBA and .215 ISO vs. LHBs since 2016. Smoak is the only other first base option we’d consider in cash games on DK.

Brad Miller (TB) is really cheap on both sites. We’re interested in him, particularly on FD where you can roster two first basemen. Miller has the platoon edge against Jordan Zimmermann and he’s been hitting cleanup vs. RHP.

In tournaments, Carlos Santana (PHI), Anthony Rizzo (CHC) (silly DK price tag)Cody Bellinger (LAD), Ryan Braun (MIL) (on DK) and C.J. Cron (TB) (better price tag on DK) continue to be on our radar.

Second Base

Jose Altuve (HOU) represents the top projected scorer at the keystone position. He’ll get a matchup against Sonny Gray, who’s been pretty awful through his first five starts of the season. Gray has thrown a cutter more frequently this season and has cut down on his fastball usage. It’s viable to keep picking on him in tournaments.

This slate doesn’t feature a standout second base value. As a result, jamming in Javier Baez (CHC) or Brian Dozier (MIN) around the industry despite their appropriate price tags makes sense in cash games. Of the two, we’ll side with Baez. Though it’s unlikely to continue, Dozier’s HHR this season has been shaky. Meanwhile, Baez looks like a different player. We say this after he hit 23 home runs and stole 10 bases while playing elite defense last season. This season, Baez is chasing less and making more contact (21% K rate). If this continues, we’re talking about a potential 30 home run player in the making. He’ll have the platoon edge in warmer conditions tonight.

The lone salary relief target we could get behind in cash games at the position is Scooter Gennett (CIN), and that’s mostly on DK. The latter will have the platoon edge in an excellent hitting environment. He’s also been a solid hitter vs. RHP. Since 2016, Gennett has generated a .344 wOBA and .183 ISO. He’s been hitting cleanup for Cincinnati vs. RHP this season.

DJ LeMahieu (COL) and Hernan Perez (MIL) (specifically on DK) are other alternatives to consider in tournaments.

Third Base

Kris Bryant (CHC) carries the top projection in the hot corner. It looks like Bryant will once again take another step in improving his plate discipline. He’s walked (14.9% BB rate) more than he’s struck out (13.8% K rate) this season. Kyle Freeland has only struck out 12.6% of RHBs since 2016. We don’t have a game total for this game, but we’re expecting the Cubs to have an IRT ~5 in these sort of conditions (warmer, potential for wind to blow out). Bryant is a fantastic option tonight in all formats. He’ll be popular and deservingly so.

Next up in projection at the position is Nolan Arenado (COL), who will also have the platoon edge albeit in a more difficult matchup (Jon Lester). We’re expecting Arenado to be the lower owned player in tournaments and that’s where we’d play him tonight.

Bryant is currently flooding all of our top optimals on both sites. If you’re looking to spend at another position, Yangervis Solarte (TOR) is a fine alternative on both sites in a matchup against a wide splits pitcher albeit in a way more difficult hitting environment for LHBs than his home park.

Rafael Devers (BOS)Alex Bregman (HOU) and Miguel Sano (MIN) (has missed last two games) are options to consider in tournaments. Sano in particular is intriguing at his price tag on DK if he can get back into the lineup.

Shortstop

Carlos Correa (HOU) is the top projected scorer at the shortstop position. Correa is pricey but rostering him on DK isn’t difficult if you go the mid-tier route at SP.

We have the same situation at shortstop that we had at second base. We’d rather go for expensive guys than cheap guys though you might have to sacrifice one of these middle infield positions and go cheap. Corey Seager (LAD) has a below average matchup against Zack Greinke but the price tag on FD ($3,400) is too low for his skills vs. RHP. Trea Turner (WSH) is also in a difficult matchup against Jameson Taillon but the price tag on DK is just $4,400. It’s not a good matchup for power upside against a groundballer, but Francisco Cervelli has generated negative rSB grades throughout his career, making this a fine matchup for speed upside.

The salary relief route at the position is a cold hitter. Addison Russell (CHC) hasn’t been any good offensively throughout the first month of the season but his price tags are down around the industry. If there’s anything positive so far to take away from Russell’s season is that he’s making more contact. Russell is flooding our FD optimals since he’s priced close to the minimum on that site.

There are some intriguing targets in tournaments. Trevor Story (COL) with the platoon edge, Xander Bogaerts (BOS) in Fenway Park and to a lesser extent Orlando Arcia (MIL). Story on the road in warmer conditions is our favorite target of this group though Bogaerts is a close second given his improvements through the first month of the season.

Outfield

Mookie Betts (BOS) represents the top projected scorer in this slate regardless of hitting position. Betts didn’t play yesterday as he was removed from Saturday’s game with hamstring issue. The Red Sox believe this is a minor issue, but they might play it cautiously with their young star. If he’s in the lineup, we think Betts remains a fine tournament target. His price tag has peaked though, so in cash games we’re looking elsewhere.

As is usually the case, we’re getting cheap values in the OF with strong projections. Domingo Santana (MIL) is in Great American Ball Park and will likely hit in the middle of the lineup with the platoon edge against a home run prone pitcher. Opposing SP Brandon Finnegan has only made three starts this season, but he’s allowed 2.19 HR/9 in those and throughout his career he’s been very power prone. Santana is one of our favorite OF values in this slate. Teammate Ryan Braun (MIL) is $3,300 on FD. He’s a no brainer play in cash games on that site and should anchor your OF there. He’s even in play on DK where the price tag is a little bit more appropriate. Jesse Winker (CIN) is on the other side of this game and as a leadoff hitter with the platoon edge we think he’s too cheap on both sites as well.

Andrew Benintendi (BOS) is a way of getting exposure to the Red Sox on DK while paying just a mid-tier price tag. Teammate J.D. Martinez (BOS) is just $100 more expensive than Benintendi on FD and he’s the better hitter. Martinez is a good fit on that site. Speaking of FD, Curtis Granderson (TOR) is priced right around the average cost of a roster spot and represents our second best OF value on that site. He has PH risk but at that price tag it’s fine to go after him in a matchup against Lance Lynn. Carlos Gomez (TB), Jarrod Dyson (ARI) and Albert Almora Jr. (CHC) are additional salary relief routes in the OF on DK. We love Gomez’s matchup against Jordan Zimmermann (.382 wOBA, .216 ISO allowed to RHBs since 2016) and one of the worst bullpens in the league.

Lorenzo Cain (MIL) is priced appropriately around the industry, but he has an upside context (leading off on the road in Cincinnati and facing a power prone pitcher). We like him in tournaments. 

Stacks

Tier One

1) Chicago Cubs

2) Boston Red Sox

Of course we have to wait until tomorrow to get an official team total for the Cubs, but with the wind projected to blowouts to LC and the team facing a below average LHP, we’re guessing a 5.3 IRT currently. That would put them narrowly behind the Red Sox.

The Red Sox lead all of MLB in wRC+ against RHP and are tied for first in ISO at .211. Opposing pitcher Jason Hammel continually allows quality contact, and that’s been especially the case early this year as he has his lowest Soft% since 2009 and highest Hard% ever.

Tier Two

3) Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers are an event oriented team that get to play in a superb hitter’s park on the road (guaranteed full nine innings). Opposing pitcher Brandon Finnegan has been a wreck, albeit in just three starts. He has a 1.6 K-BB% while allowing 2.19 HR/9. His velocity, swing metrics, and batted ball metrics point to some truth behind the rocky start.

Tier Three

4) Cincinnati Reds

5) Colorado Rockies

6) Arizona Diamondbacks

7) Houston Astros

8) Tampa Bay Rays

9) Toronto Blue Jays

10) Minnesota Twins

While the top two tiers clearly differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack on this slate, we do get a monster sized third tier. Here are a couple of our favorite tournament options from this tier:

The Rockies may go underowned as a stack, but if the wind is blowing out heavily in Wrigley, they are worth taking a shot on. Let’s K and GB rates have been down early, which adds to the HR upside created by the wind. Lester is also one of the easier SPs to run on in the league.

The Rays low key get a nice jump in park shift playing in Detroit. Zimmermann has randomly seen a spike in K rate (though the K/9 metric overstates it), but is still allowing a plethora of hard-hit aerial contact.

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