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April 8 MLB DFS: The Kings Of The North
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Welcome to April 8 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for April 8 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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  • 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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April 8 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

Starting Pitcher

Charlie Morton (HOU) represents the top projected scorer at the starting pitcher position in this 10 game slate. Morton is a massive -250 favorite in his home park and has a shiny 3.3 IRTA. While the Astros offense is getting a favorable league shift going into the AL and adding a DH to their lineup, Wil Myers, one of their best hitters, has been placed on the DL. Myers is arguably the best hitter in the Padres lineup, so this is certainly a big hit. The price tag for Morton on DK ($11,500) is very appropriate, and on that site it’s fine to be underweight and pursue mid-tier arms. However, Morton is $9,100 on FD which puts him in the conversation across all formats.

While Morton is a strong target on FD, Jose Quintana (CHC) and Mike Clevinger (CLE) are right behind him in projection. In fact, this group projects within one FD point of each other in projection.

Clevinger is the closest to Morton in terms of win probability as he’s a -210 at home where temps will be in the low 30s. Quintana’s edge is in the strikeout department. We have him with a slate high 6.6 K projection as he takes on a Brewers offense that continues to project as a K friendly offense. Quintana is also the SP out of this group with the most risk on the run prevention side as he’ll pitch in a strong hitters environment (Miller Park) and in his first start of the season he saw decreased velocity in nearly all of his pitches (about 1.8 MPH decrease). We think that run prevention risk is baked on his IRTA (four runs). This trio represents our preferred cash game targets on FD where they’re affordable, while Quintana projects strongly on DK where he’s significantly ($8,900) than Morton and Clevinger.

On DK, our optimals are jamming Jordan Montgomery (NYY) and Luke Weaver (STL) as they represent our best SP values and are affordable complements to Quintana. It’s also plausible to run them both in cash games. Montgomery is a -200 favorite at home where temps will be in the 40s and he’s also facing a K prone lineup, even with all the RHBs that the Orioles have. Montgomery is coming off a season in which he generated a solid 22.2% K rate as a starter.

Weaver is coming off a dominant rookie season in which he only threw 60 innings (10 starts, 13 appearances) but amassed a 28.6% K rate with a 3.88 ERA/ 3.17 FIP/2.93 xFIP). He’s also just $6,800 on DK and will get to pitch at home where temps are going to be in the 40s. His IRTA is just 3.4 runs. Montgomery is projected for more Ks, but the gap in Fantasy projection here is very close. We think Weaver is the safer target on the whole. These two are viable on FD as well where they’re priced below the options above, but they’re not as necessary on that site.

Two strong targets to consider in tournaments are Jake Arrieta (PHI), who’s making his first start of the season as a newly minted member of the Phillies and Eduardo Rodriguez (BOS) who’s also making his first start in a very friendly matchup. Rodriguez gets to face a Rays offense that lacks punch, especially with their lefty smashers removed in the offseason. He’s also coming off a season in which he generated a career high 25.8% K rate. If Rodriguez was cheaper on DK, it’s likely that he would have entered some optimal lineups. You can include Trevor Richards (MIA) in that tournament conversation as well. He’s very cheap on DK (sub $6k) and in the minors last season he was striking out over a batter per inning. We’re not projecting him to be quite that dominant on the K department since he’s making his second start of his career today and he didn’t pitch past AA last season, but the cheap price tag and potential upside puts him in play.

Other tournament targets to consider include Mike Fiers (DET), Reynaldo Lopez (CHW), and Jameson Taillon (PIT). Of that group, Taillon is certainly the best pitcher but the challenge with him is appropriate price tags on both sites and a meh K projection relative to his prices.

Catcher

Willson Contreras (CHI) and Gary Sanchez (NYY) represent the top projected scorers at the catcher position. Sanchez didn’t play yesterday and was removed from Thursday’s game. The team is hoping that this is a minor issue, so if Sanchez gets back in the lineup today he’ll be in play at an uneventful catcher position.

Contreras is facing a home run prone pitcher (Chase Anderson) in Miller Park, and he usually hits in the middle of the lineup. We now have a 742 PA sample for Contreras in his career, and he’s generated a .210 ISO.

If you need salary relief instead, Brian McCann (HOU) fills that need admirably on DK where he’s $3,400. He’ll have the platoon edge against Tyson Ross. The latter was once a dominant GB pitcher, but he’s been hurt over the last two years and he’s coming off a season in which he had an ERA over seven and FIP/xFIPs over six. Wilson Ramos (TB) has a tougher test against Eduardo Rodriguez, but he’s just $2,800 and when Rodriguez struggles, it’s the long ball that gets to him. Ramos also gets to hit shots at the green monster in Fenway.

In tournaments, Evan Gattis (HOU) is a catcher with upside that you can consider despite an appropriate price tag.

First Base

Anthony Rizzo (CHC) is the top projected scorer at first base. He hasn’t been in the lineup over the last two games as he’s been battling a minor back issue. The price tag on FD feels way too cheap ($3,600) for such a dominant hitter. He’s also on the road in the strongest hitting environment we have on the slate. Chase Anderson has certainly been more prone to RHBs than LHBs, but we’re already weighing that in Rizzo’s projection. He’s a very strong target in all formats.

A big reason why we love Rizzo today perhaps more than other days is because there’s a clear lack of value behind him at the position and he’s underpriced. The best point per dollar target after Rizzo on DK is a second baseman, Neil Walker (NYY), followed by Matt Carpenter (STL). It’s not that we dislike those plays, but they feel very average when compared to Rizzo. They’re fine sources of salary relief but we prefer these routes if Rizzo doesn’t end up playing.

On FD, Carlos Santana (CLE) is $200 cheaper than Rizzo and has a matchup against an unproven rookie. He’s your best alternative if Rizzo doesn’t play, but if Rizzo plays $200 is an insignificant gap and you should be playing the latter in cash games.

Jose Abreu (CHW), Ryan Braun (MIL) and Justin Bour (MIA) are names to consider in tournaments. Of this group, Braun and Bour have the more challenging matchups but Braun is in the best hitting environment in the entire slate and has been an elite hitter vs. LHP throughout his career.

Second Base

Jose Altuve (HOU) carries the top projection at the keystone position. We like Altuve and the Astros quite a bit in tournaments as we’ll talk about in the stacks section, but he’s pricey. He’s still viable in cash games on FD where it looks possible to fit him in alongside other studs, but it’s not a route you have to force.

Neil Walker (NYY) is the name that consistently pops in our optimals on DK. He gets to hit into the short porch in Yankee Stadium and faces one of the worst pitchers in the entire slate (Mike Wright). He’s just $3,400 on DK.

On FD, Yoan Moncada (CHW) and Jason Kipnis (CLE) are significantly cheaper than Altuve and deservedly so. They’re viable in cash games should you need the salary relief at the position. Moncada has the bigger upside as he’s a 20-20 player waiting to happen.

In tournaments, Jonathan Schoop (BAL) has a reasonable price tag on DK where it’s viable to pursue his power upside and Javier Baez (CHC) is a viable part of Cubs stacks. Brian Dozier (MIN) is priced close to Altuve on FD but will have the platoon edge in his matchup. He’s another event player that we like in tournaments.

Third Base

Kris Bryant (CHC) is in Miller Park facing Chase Anderson, who’s allowed a .354 wOBA to RHBs and a massive .215 ISO to RHBs since 2016. Bryant is the top projected scorer at third base and for obvious reasons. Bryant has appeared in all of our top optimals on FD and about half of them on DK.

On DK, Alex Bregman (HOU) is $1,000 cheaper than Bryant but projects a notch below in raw projection. If you’re spending for Stanton in the OF and Rizzo at 1B, then you’ll need Bregman’s salary relief at third base. Bregman is coming off a season in which he almost went 20-20, so the event upside is clearly there.

There’s not much else we like in cash games at the position. Miguel Sano (MIN) is a viable target on DK but he’s priced appropriately. His power upside is always appealing in tournaments. Jose Ramirez (CLE) is $600 cheaper than Bryant on FD, but that’s too little of a gap in price when you compare their projections. We do think Ramirez is worth it in tournaments. Mike Moustakas (KC) is cheap on DK ($3,400) and will have the platoon edge but neither the matchup nor environment are all that attractive.

Shortstop

Carlos Correa (HOU) is the top option at the shortstop position, but he’s fully priced on both sites as he should. Shortstop is a very ugly position tonight so Correa by default is someone that you’ll consider regardless of price tag. As a matter of fact, our top optimals on DK want us to spend for one of Correa or Francisco Lindor (CLE), who’s right behind Correa in projection.

WIth most shortstops price appropriately and the mid-tier not providing much value, a punt like J.P. Crawford (PHI) is viable on FD. Crawford doesn’t project to be much of a hitter, but you’re also getting him at a minimum price tag and we have him projected to hit sixth. He’ll also have the platoon edge in his matchup. It’s not an option with much upside but by rostering him you give yourself upside at more prominent positions. Addison Russell (CHC) is viable as part of Cubs stacks in GPP.

Manny Machado (BAL) is still underpriced on DK ($4,400), but the matchup against Montgomery in a very cold environment is dragging down his value a bit. We still think the discount in price is enough to consider him in all formats. Addison Russell (CHC) is viable as part of Cubs stacks in GPPs on both sites.

Outfield

Giancarlo Stanton (NYY) is the top projected scorer in this slate regardless of position. Basically, Stanton is in a bandbox of a stadium despite the cold temperatures, he has a .354 ISO baseline vs. RHP in our projections and Mike Wright is an awful pitcher. Wright projects to have an ERA over five this season and has a 16.6% K rate throughout his career. The kryptonite to these Yankee bats are strikeouts, so you want to get them in matchups against pitchers that struggle to miss bats and Wright classifies as one.

Cold temperatures across nearly all of the environments available in this slate are keeping projections on the tamer side across all positions, including the OF. There’s not much value behind Stanton. Brett Gardner (NYY) and Ian Happ (CHC) are your next best values as leadoff hitters for two of the top stacks in this slate but they come with full price tags on DK. They’re a little bit cheaper on FD where at least one of them has been a part of our top optimals. Dexter Fowler (STL) is very cheap on DK ($3,100) where he qualifies as a primary cash game target.

FD gives you puntable options. Nick Williams (PHI) and Nicky Delmonico (CHW) have minimum price tags and project to be inside the top five hitters in their respective lineups in our projections. They’ll also have the platoon edge in their respective matchups, and they generated ISOs over .200 last season vs. RHP.

On DK, Derek Fisher (HOU) is a top four OF value and he usually hits ninth even when he has the platoon edge. That’s how dire things are in the OF over on that site. At least Fisher has a good matchup and he can generate events, but the lineup spot is as bad as it gets. Avisail Garcia (CHW), Corey Dickerson (PIT) and Manuel Margot (SD) all come with much better lineup spots but it’s not enough to separate them in projection. They’re viable in cash games but if Fisher happens to fit your build it’s fine to go there instead of forcing a meh value with a more expensive price.

Aaron Judge (NYY), George Springer (HOU) and Kyle Schwarber (CHC) have the power upside that you want to target in tournaments but the price tags are steep enough to keep them out of the cash game conversation.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Chicago Cubs

2) Houston Astros

3) New York Yankees

No surprise, these are the offenses we spoke about most throughout the cliff notes. Of this group, the Cubs separate themselves a little bit by being in the most favorable park (Miller Park) and also being on the road, where they’re guaranteed nine at bats. The Yankees likely have the most favorable SP matchup. The Astros are also facing a bad pitcher who was very good a few years ago before injuries got to him. There’s enough SP value in this slate that pricey offenses like these won’t be overly difficult to fit.

Tier Two

4) Cleveland Indians

5) Boston Red Sox

In this slate, you have one domed game (CHI-MIL), the potential for another (SD-HOU) and then a bunch of crappy cold weather. The Indians are playing in a game with projected temps in the 30s while Boston will be playing in the 40s temps. Still, these two are facing below average SPs and have deep offenses. In the Red Sox case, they’re going to face a Rays bullpen that doesn’t project to be very good. They don’t stand out much in projections because of the cold weather but most of this slate is facing the same challenge.

Tier Three

6) Milwaukee Brewers

7) Chicago White Sox

8) Philadelphia Phillies

The tier two and three stacks in this slate are trailing our top tier by a pretty wide margin – likely bigger than most slates. Of this group, the Brewers have the toughest matchup (Quintana) but are also in the best hitting environment. The White Sox have an IRT that’s approaching five runs and the Phillies are facing a rookie SP.

This tier mostly serves as contrarian options but it doesn’t mean that these teams lack upside. The Brewers in particular are an offense that when right will generate lots of events. Quintana was also very shaky in his first start of the season. That’s very likely a trivial point long term as he’s a been a good pitcher throughout his career but you could pick on him in the short term and take a shot at the potential that he continues to pitch with reduced velocity.

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