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April 9 MLB DFS: We Like Lance-A-Lot
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Welcome to April 9 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for April 6 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 9 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
01:54 Starting Pitcher
11:02 Catcher
13:10 First Base
15:59 Second Base
17:45 Third Base
19:08 Shortstop
22:02Outfield
27:39 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.

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April 9 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

Starting Pitcher

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

Even with a reduced main slate, SP is stacked. Our tier one up top is Stephen Strasburg (WAS), Jake Arrieta (CHC), and Lance McCullers (HOU). All three rate similarly.

On DK, Jake Arrieta (CHC) has the lowest cost. It looks like Doug Eddings will be the home plate umpire, and he’s historically very favorable to starting pitchers. Arrieta will take on a Brewers team that we’ve picked on with mixed results early in. That’s to be expected as this play is more about K upside (tons of swing and miss bats) than it is safety (some power and a good hitter’s park). With Arrieta we do get some safety thanks to a K rate around a batter per inning and a GB rate north of 50%, although we hope to see his control back where it was in 2015.

Stephen Strasburg (WAS) has the least imposing matchup against a poor Phillies offense. However, he is on the road in a decent hitting environment and is expensive. Strasburg makes for a better tournament result, at least on DK. On FD, he’s cheaper than Arrieta, and his skill set offers immense upside (around 11 K/9 and a sub 3.00 FIP last two seasons).

With a lofty K projection (7.5), Lance McCullers (HOU) challenges the top SPs on this slate for a lower cost on FD. Despite pitching in a hitter’s park, McCullers has a low IRTA (3.4), and he’s also a large favorite (-195). The Royals aren’t as contact oriented as they used to be with guys like Brandon Moss, Paulo Orlando, and Raul Mondesi in the lineup. If McCullers can survive the top half of the order, the bottom three offers very little resistance (Orlando, Alcides Escobar, Mondesi). McCullers can be volatile at times, but another pro in his corner is that the Royals were the worst team in MLB against curveballs last season. McCullers has a devastating curveball, which he throws with high frequency (more than his fastball last season).

Gerrit Cole (PIT) is a viable second SP on DK, where he offers meaningful cap relief from the top options. Cole struggled in his debut, but it was a tough spot in Boston against their full lineup. More importantly, his velocity was back up. Now he’ll face an Atlanta team that struggles most against fastballs and sliders, the two pitches Cole throws most often. The 3.2 IRT against Cole is currently the lowest on the slate.

Carlos Martinez (STL) is a phenomenal tournament option. He dominated the Cubs in the opener, showcasing some increased velocity. He’s clearly healthy, and now gets a terrible Reds lineup against RHP at home. At -200, Martinez is currently the largest favorite on the slate.

Mid-tier pivots include Jose Quintana (CHW) and Jake Odorizzi (TB).

Catcher

Catcher is a difficult position to dissect on Sunday’s because it’s often a rest day, which can lead to finding punt options once lineups are released.

On DK, we continue to find value in Kyle Schwarber (CHC) despite an expensive price tag. He faces a subpar RHP in Milwaukee (favorable indoor hitting environment) and has elite offensive upside against RHP. It’s a low upside position outside of Schwarber, so you’re likely paying up here or punting.

As far as the punt options, we’re mostly looking to catchers with either a decent spot in the order, on a team with a high total, or both. The catchers that fit that bill are Salvador Perez (KC) (top five road lineup spot and plus park shift), Yadier Molina (STL) (lineup spot and team total), and Sandy Leon (BOS) (team total). On FD you can slot Evan Gattis (HOU) in here as well (team total, park, power upside).

First Base

Anthony Rizzo (CHC) will face RHP Zach Davies who struggled in his debut, striking out just 1 and walking 4 en route to 6 ERs. Over his brief career Davies has allowed a high 32.7 Hard% to LHBs.

It may be worth paying up for Rizzo given surprising scarcity at the position on a shorter slate. Kendrys Morales (TOR) is underpriced for his power potential (30 HR last season playing in a park that deflates power) and lineup spot (fourth on the road). However, he’s in a pitcher’s park against a solid SP in Jake Odorizzi.

Jose Abreu (CHW) has a higher total projection than Morales. The price isn’t great, but he has nice power upside at home against the fly ball prone Ervin Santana.

Many of the other options are better for tournaments. Matt Adams (STL) has power against RHP and faces the underwhelming Scott Feldman and poor Reds bullpen, but he carries pinch hit risk. Options like Freddie Freeman (ATL) and Eric Thames (MIL) are in the right splits to take advantage of their skills but face strong opposing pitchers. Gregory Bird (NYY) has a L/L matchup, which is not good, but he is cheap for his power and the park. One last cheap tournament play to consider is Trey Mancini (BAL), who has some pop and gets CC Sabathia (.175 ISO allowed to RHBs last three years).

Second Base

Brian Dozier (MIN) is the top 2B. Playing in Chicago (excellent park for RH power), Dozier faces a solid SP in Jose Quintana. However, he’ll hold the platoon edge and has posted an impressive .261 ISO against LHP the last couple of calendar years.

Jose Altuve (HOU) and the Astros boast a better team total than Dozier’s Twins (4.6 to 3.8), but he’s not as strong of a splits play. He projects slightly behind Dozier.

On DK it looks like the way to go is to pay up for one of the top two options, but Dozier’s teammate Jorge Polanco (MIN) is a fallback cheap option.

On FD though, you may want to go straight to the mid-tier values, and both Matt Carpenter (STL) and Ben Zobrist (CHC) are priced more favorable over there and have prime lineup spots on two of our preferred offenses on a shorter Sunday slate.

On both sites, Devon Travis (TOR) is a viable cash game play, priced somewhere between the higher end options (Dozier, Altuve, Carpenter, Zobrist) and a punt like option (Polanco). He’s in a R/R matchup in a pitcher’s park, but the value of a road lineup spot combined with some power/speed upside keep him a plus value.

Third Base

Like his teammate Brian Dozier, Miguel Sano (MIN) has posted big power numbers against LHP (.249 ISO since 2015). He’ll K a ton, making him a volatile option.

At a similar price point, Alex Bregman (HOU) lacks the power splits of Sano in a same handed matchup, but the Astros have a higher team total, and Bregman faces the worse overall pitcher. Karns can miss bats but is wild and fly ball oriented.

Mike Moustakas (KC) has the platoon edge in a good hitter’s park. In general we view him underpriced for his power against RHP, but it’s a difficult matchup against Lance McCullers.

There’s firepower at the position if you can afford to spend up. Both Kris Bryant (CHC) and Manny Machado (BAL) have tremendous upside against subpar pitchers in good hitting environments.

Shortstop

On a shorter slate we’re mostly focused on getting exposure to certain teams, two of them are the Astros and Cardinals with team totals on the plus side of 4.5. That’s where we find the best SS options.

Carlos Correa (HOU) is an excellent power/speed threat and he’s been a pretty neutral splits hitter over his brief career, posting a slightly lower ISO against RHP but a slightly higher wOBA.

Aledmys Diaz (STL) and Jhonny Peralta (STL) face Scott Feldman, who was hammered in his first start and has a ZiPS projected 4.81 ERA to go with a 1.40 HR/9. Diaz holds the better lineup spot and higher upside skill set, showcasing an encouraging combination of patience (8.9 BB%), contact rate (87%), and power (.210 ISO) in his rookie season. Peralta is a nice source of cap relief on DK.

A couple of cheaper alternatives at the position are Tyler Saladino (CHW) and Brad Miller (TB). Saladino leads off against Ervin Santana and a bad Twins bullpen. He holds some stolen base upside, but lacks overall offensive ability (sub-.300 wOBA baseline). Miller is in a tougher environment, but he’s the better tournament play of the two thanks to his power upside. Miller holds a .232 ISO against RHP since 2015, and Marco Estrada is fly ball oriented (sub-34% GB rate three straight seasons).

Outfield

Bryce Harper (WAS) is the clear top OF option. He gets a park shift playing in Philadelphia and faces Jeremy Hellickson who has allowed a .174 ISO to LHBs since 2015. The only challenger to harper is Kyle Schwarber (CHC), who we discussed at catcher but is OF eligible on both sites.

However, outfield is a good spot to find some value. On both sites, Chris Young (BOS) is a good splits play. He’s always hit LHP well, and since 2015 the numbers are gaudy in 257 PAs: .418 wOBA and .252 ISO. Young is an excellent upside play against Daniel Norris, who has talent but can get beat by the long ball due to both an elevated FB rate and elevated HR/FB rate. Young carries some pinch hit risk, but with Mookie Betts ill, that may be reduced.

The other universal value play is Matt Holliday (NYY). He’ll hold the platoon edge against Wade Miley in Camden Yards. Miley allowed a ton of hard hit contact last season (16% Hard-Soft%), which led to 1.36 HR/9.

Secondary values at the position are Corey Dickerson/Kevin Kiermaier (TB) and Josh Bell (PIT) (cheap, good lineup spot, and Teheran really struggles with LHBs). Joey Rickard (BAL) is a solid cheap splits play, as he’ll likely leadoff against a LHP in CC Sabathia. However, there is pinch hit risk here.

Aaron Judge (NYY) is an excellent one off tournament option on FD. His low lineup spot should keep ownership down, but he’s cheap and possesses plenty of power upside (ZiPS projects a rather massive .244 ISO).

Stacks

Tier One

1) Chicago Cubs

Even if paying for pitching, it’s a pretty easy slate to grab exposure to 1-2 Cubs in cash game lineups.

Tier Two

2) Houston Astros

Event team against a wild, fly ball oriented pitcher with a bad bullpen behind him.

Tier Three

3) St. Louis Cardinals

4) New York Yankees

5) Baltimore Orioles

The Cardinals are behind the Cubs and Astros in total projection, but rank a bit closer in terms of per dollar value.

Both the Yankees and Orioles have HR upside in this meeting. They make for good mini-stacks, trying to catch the power concentrated on the right guys.

Additional Tournament Stacks

-Toronto Blue Jays: Ownership should be really low because there’s not one overriding factor in their favor, however Odorizzi can yield power when things go wrong. This is still a Jays team with talent up top even though they lost Encarnacion.

-Minnesota Twins/Chicago White Sox: With temperatures nearing 80 degrees, this park is going to play more hitter friendly than it has thus far this season, particularly for the RHBs. The Twins have plenty of high risk/high reward power bats against southpaws. The White Sox have a bad overall lineup, but Ervin Santana‘s average K rate and below average GB rate can get him in trouble in this environment