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4/6 MLB DFS Late Slate: He’ll Maeda You Some Money
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April 6 MLB DFS Late Slate: He’ll Maeda You Some Money


00:54 Starting Pitchers
06:19 Catchers
07:47 First Base
09:46 Second Base
11:32 Shortstop
13:34 Third Base
14:45 Outfield
17:56 Cash Game Roster Construction
18:35 Stacks/A GPP Pitcher


APRIL 6 MLB DFS Late Slate – Daily Fantasy Rundown


There’s a late chance of rain in both Pittsburgh and Atlanta. Not too concerning right now, but if it moves up any sooner, pitchers could be at risk of an in game delay.

The Philadelphia-Cincinnati game looks to be in jeopardy, with a high percent chance of rain the three hours prior, during, and after the game start time.

Wind is blowing out heavily to left center in Baltimore and to left in New York, but both games are being played in cool temperatures, which could cancel out the effects of the wind.

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Kenta Maeda (LAD)

2) Stephen Strasburg (WAS)

Tier Two

3) Sonny Gray (OAK)

4) Michael Pineda (NYY)

5) Juan Nicasio (PIT)

Tier Three

6) Andrew Cashner (SD)

7) Mike Leake (STL)

8) Brandon Finnegan (CIN)

9) Collin McHugh (HOU)

Ranking Kenta Maeda (LAD) as our top overall pitcher is aggressive, but he faces a horrible Padres offense, that should be worse against RHP, in pitcher friendly Petco Park. Maeda has a very strong ZiPS projection of a 3.20 ERA and 8.24 K/9. He projects to be above average in the three main pitcher skill categories: Ks, BBs, and HRs. Meanwhile, Stephen Strasburg (WAS) is by far the largest favorite and faces an equally meek Atlanta offense. There’s a bit more certainty here when assessing floor, but the Atlanta offense is extremely contact oriented (everyone outside of the pitcher projects to have a sub-20 K percentage against RHP). We don’t like spending up quite that much as a result. We feel you can get pretty similar stats out of Sonny Gray (OAK) at home for a lower price tag, and ultimately just prefer locking in Maeda’s value.

The pitching depth is far greater than the early slate. We view Michael Pineda (NYY) (huge ceiling given K-GB rate combination, and weather should help combat hard hit rates, which was his biggest problem last year) and Juan Nicasio (PIT) (showed flashes in LAD last year as he got outside COL; now in a great pitcher’s park with the best pitching coach in baseball; very enticing as a second SP on DraftKings where no one else is cheaper) are superb tournament plays. On multi-pitcher sites, they could be stretched into cash games, particularly Pineda if you prefer him to Gray, which is reasonable given a similar opposing team total to Gray and more upside.

Catcher Rankings

1) Matt Wieters (BAL)

2) Brian McCann (L)

3) Cameron Rupp (PHI)

4) Devin Mesoraco (CIN)

5) Josh Phegley (OAK)

Our top plays are Matt Wieters (BAL) (hitting in the middle of a high expected scoring Orioles lineup squaring off against the contact oriented Kyle Gibson) and Brian McCann (NYY) (short porch in right is such a boon to his power numbers that he’s almost always in play against RHP). Cameron Rupp (PHI) may actual end up being the best value here. He comes in at a punt price point, but should hit sixth with the platoon edge in Cincinnati. In a small sample size (85 PAs) Rupp has a .351 wOBA and .208 ISO against LHP. Josh Phegley (OAK) is a tournament option, but he’s such a pinch hit risk that it’s hard to use him in cash games regardless of lineup spot.

First Base Rankings

1) Joey Votto (CIN)

2) Chris Davis (BAL)

3) Adrian Gonzalez (LAD)

4) Joe Mauer (MIN)

5) Mark Teixeira (NYY)

6) Freddie Freeman (ATL)

There’s a huge gap in our rankings after the top plays at first base: Joey Votto (CIN) and Chris Davis (BAL), so we’ll try and pay up here. Our preference is for Votto. He faces Aaron Nola who struggled against LHBs in his rookie campaign, posting a minuscule K percentage and higher than league average hard minus soft hit rate. Additionally, the poor state of the Phillies bullpen always gives us a little extra incentive to pick on them.

Second Base Rankings

1) Cesar Hernandez (PHI)

2) Brian Dozier (MIN)

3) Jose Altuve (HOU)

4) Brandon Phillips (CIN)

5) Daniel Murphy (WAS)

6) Cory Spangengberg (SD)

7) Chase Utley (LAD)

It’s odd to see Cesar Hernandez (PHI) all the way at the top of the second base rankings, but with Dozier and Altuve lacking the platoon edge, we’re more than happy to take a super cheap leadoff man for a Phillies team with a team total approaching four runs. Hernandez’s stolen base upside should be amplified if Devin Mesoraco catchers, as he’s very poor at throwing runners out.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Carlos Correa (HOU)

2) Corey Seager (LAD)

3) Zack Cozart (CIN)

4) Erick Aybar (ATL)

5) Jimmy Rollins (CHW)

6) Eduardo Escobar (MIN)

We’ll continue to look for cap relief in the PHI-CIN contest as leadoff man Zack Cozart (CIN) is underpriced both based on his lineup spot and the growth we saw prior to his injury last season (increased EYE, hard hit rate, loft). If Cozart gets taken out of play by rain, we’re fine spending a few more bucks on the young SS Corey Seager (LAD). Seager’s combination of power and patience (12.4%) was really encouraging to see in his first go-around at the MLB level last season. While he’s not in a good hitting environment, opposing pitcher Andrew Cashner was murdered by LHBs last year.

Third Base Rankings

1) Manny Machado (BAL)

2) Maikel Franco (PHI)

3) Eugenio Suarez (CIN)

4) Danny Valencia (OAK)

5) Alex Rodriguez (NYY)

6) Matt Carpenter (STL)

7) Justin Turner (LAD)

8) Trevor Plouffe (MIN)

Our top targets here are Maikel Franco (PHI) (.201 ZiPS projected ISO and 14 HRs in 335 PAs last season; platoon edge, great lineup spot, great ballpark) and Danny Valencia (OAK) (great source of cap relief if the PHI-CIN plays get ruined by rain; .371 career wOBA against LHP and hit well enough last year to earn a full time role). Opposing pitcher Carlos Rodon had worse peripherals across the board against RHBs last season (reduced K-BB%, higher FB and hard hit rates) than LHBs.

Danny Valencia

Outfield Rankings

1) Bryce Harper (WAS)

2) Miguel Sano (MIN)

3) Starling Marte (PIT)

4) Adam Jones (BAL)

5) Jay Bruce (CIN)

6) Ben Revere/Michael Taylor (WAS)

7) Mark Trumbo (BAL)

8) Jacoby Ellsbury (NYY)

9) Colby Rasmus (HOU)

10) Billy Burns (OAK)

11) George Springer (HOU)

12) Brett Gardner (NYY)

13) Eddie Rosario (MIN)

We strongly advise paying up for Bryce Harper (WAS), which shouldn’t be too difficult given the value that Maeda provides at pitcher. Harper had an absurd power profile last season: 19 BB%, sub-1 GB/FB ratio, and a 41 percent hard hit rate. He’ll continue to rake against Bud Norris, who allowed an absurd 29 percent hard minus soft hit rate to LHBs last season (about triple the league average for starters). Over his career, Norris has allowed a .351 wOBA and 1.31 HR/9 to LHBs. The mid-tier value options we’re most keen on utilizing are Jay Bruce (CIN) (way too cheap for his power, especially given the matchup at home), Michael Taylor (WAS) (could hit leadoff if Revere is out; rare to get an “event” player such as Taylor (20/30 upside over a full season) at such a cheap price out of a top of the order lineup spot), Colby Rasmus (HOU) (we like Michael Pineda in the cold weather but a LHB hitting cleanup in Yankee Stadium with the platoon edge should not be as cheap as Rasmus), and Eddie Rosario (MIN) (positive park shift and platoon edge against the ailing Yovani Gallardo; flashed power and speed as a rookie). Some very cheap and likely very low owned stack fillers are Tyler Goeddel (PHI) (12-28 in 533 PAs in his first go around at AA last season) and Adam Duvall (CIN) (loft and hard hit rates in a limited sample point towards strong power upside, especially in this home park).


Cash Game Stacks

Tier One

1) Cincinnati Reds

2) Baltimore Orioles

Tier Two

3) Washington Nationals

4) Philadelphia Phillies

5) Minnesota Twins

Tier Three

6) Oakland Athletics


  1. Ohhfreddy

    April 6, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    My only concern with Pineda is that he is a pitcher who struggles to grip the ball in cold temps. (Unless he has pine tar)

    • dinkpiece

      April 6, 2016 at 11:52 pm

      Good call! Wish I would\’ve used that as a tiebreaker myself!

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