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MLB DFS Thursday: Thames Thirsty Thursday
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Welcome to April 6th 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 6th Position Timestamps
02:00 Starting Pitcher
11:23 Weather
13:22 Catcher
16:06 First Base
19:33 Second Base
22:33 Third Base
24:32 Shortstop
26:27 Outfield
30:26 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 6th MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

Starting Pitcher

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

With two different slates on tap between the two sites, the pitching conversation is very different. The slate lacks elite level starting pitching as we’re working towards the bottom of rotations. The clear cut top starter of all the early games is Brandon McCarthy (LAD). He also draws one of the best matchups against a Padres lineup that projects poorly against RHP. The Dodgers are hefty favorites (-215) and McCarthy has just a 3.3 implied total against. When healthy, he’s been a strong source of strikeouts the last few years (25.7 K Rate last season, 30.9 K Rate the year before), but he’s rarely healthy. The $7,200 price tag on DraftKings is far too cheap, especially for this slate. Gio Gonzalez (WAS) and John Lackey (CHC) are projecting similarly to McCarthy but with higher implied run totals against and facing more difficult overall offenses. In addition, Gonzalez comes with some weather risk. In cash games, these are the most known quantities and likely the best ways to construct rosters on the slate by pairing one of these two with McCarthy on DraftKings and using John Lackey (CHC) on FanDuel.

After this top tier, the slate deteriorates quickly in terms of known quantities. The good news is they’re all cheap and a few have really strong matchups that make them viable targets in GPPs. Matt Boyd (DET), Rookie Davis (CIN), and Antonio Senzatela (COL) face three of the friendliest offenses for DFS value this season. Boyd gets cool temperatures in Chicago to deal in but with the wind blowing out hard to right. This is a bit concerning for a fly ball dependent starter but the White Sox lineup should be filled with RH pull hitters. Davis flashed the strikeout potential this spring that earned him attention in the Yankees organization before coming over in the Chapman trade. The Phillies lineup is improved over last season but still projects as one of the weaker lineups. Senzatela gets the Brewers high strikeout rate that bumps all opposing starters and puts almost anyone priced near the minimum in the GPP conversation.

The more known quantities in GPPs are Tyler Skaggs (LAA), Clay Buchholz (PHI), and Kyle Gibson (MIN). All three starters have flashed upside for a few starts during their career but have failed to maintain consistency. Buchholz gets the benefit of moving to the National League and facing a primarily right-handed Reds lineup but weather remains a concern. Gibson has flashed strong swinging strike rates (just under 10 percent last two seasons) and above average GB Rates (52.2 percent career) in his career but when he’s good he’s REALLY good. Thirteen of his 57 starts the last two years he’s gone at least seven innings and allowed two earned runs or less. Skaggs flashed huge strikeout rates in the minors last year (36.3 percent in seven starts at AAA) but then struggled mightily at the big league level with hard contact and walks.

Catcher

Kyle Schwarber (CHC) has C eligibility on DK. We’ve touched on his skills against RHP a few times already this season, and this is a particularly good splits matchup, as Lance Lynn has allowed a .333 wOBA and .150 ISO to LHBs since 2014.

Even with a poor projected lineup spot, Yasmani Grandal (LAD) is next in line in our catcher rankings on an ugly slate thanks to his pop against RHP (.229 ISO against RHP since 2015), and opposing pitcher Jered Weaver‘s propensity to give up power (1.87 HR/9 last season thanks to an astronomically low 28.8 GB rate and a high 34.7 Hard%).

Right on Grandal’s heels is Jacob Realmuto (MIA), who holds an excellent batting spot for a C (second on the road) and now has the platoon edge.

Neither of these catchers are in the FD early slate, but luckily we get C eligibility out of Victor Martinez (DET) over there who is in a phenomenal spot in hitter friendly US Cellular Field against the battering ram that is James Shields. He’s allowed a .379 wOBA and .226 ISO to LHBs since 2015.

As a pivot to martinez on FD, Salvador Perez (KC) should hit fifth on the road against a subpar Twins pitching staff. However, it’s a pitcher’s park, and Kyle Gibson can limit RHBs.

First Base

As strong of a play as Victor Martinez is at C, it should be noted that we’ve docked the hitters in this game about 10% off their baselines due to weather (35-38 degrees). As a result, Miguel Cabrera (DET) does not rate as our top first baseman when he otherwise would have. If you’re less concerned about the weather or simply want to lock in a more stable skill set, Cabrera is still a worthy spend. There’s more certainty that he’s good, and James Shields is bad than we see in the pivot.

Eric Thames (MIL) still strikes us as underpriced, even if you dock the baseline a bit, which might be aggressive on power. There’s less certainty in skills here for sure, as both Thames and opposing pitcher Antonio Senzatela are unknowns. Senzatela has a ZiPS projected 5.03 ERA with 1.39 HR/9, but his home park and ZiPS’ conservative nature may be playing into that. The nice thing about Thames is the game is indoors, free of weather concerns and in a hitter’s park. His Brewers also have a slate high 4.8 IRT. Even if you’re skeptical of Thames outpacing Cabrera, you’re getting a big discount to find out.

We should note that Anthony Rizzo (CHC) isn’t currently in our model (their makeup game got added to the slate and will be reflected in our projections tomorrow). He’ll challenge Cabrera and Thames for the top spot due to his individual skills and Lynn’s splits.

On FD the price range is so wide that it’s very easy to go up to Cabrera or down to Thames. Tommy Joseph (PHI) is again a pivot, but he’s in some cooler weather with a high degree of rain risk. On DK the alternatives are more prevalent as Victor Martinez (DET) and Travis Shaw (MIL) have 1B eligibility, and Adrian Gonzalez (LAD) is included (Jered Weaver is terrible).

Second Base

Even with a small weather downgrade (game starts very cold but temperature should rise to 50 throughout), Brian Dozier (MIN) is our top 2B. His power outbreak over the second half was supported by a 41.8 Hard% and 49.1 FB%. Opposing pitcher Jason Hammel has allowed a .184 ISO to RHBs since 2015.

If weather holds up in the PHI-CIN game, a trio of 2B eligible Phillies make for decent options as top five road hitters in a good hitter’s park: Odubel Herrera (PHI), Cesar Hernandez (PHI), and Howie Kendrick (PHI). They face a rookie named…Rookie. Rookie Davis is a RHP with a ZiPS projected 5.25 ERA and 1.61 HR/9. A look at his minor league numbers suggest he’s not long for the big leagues.

Ryan Schimpf (SD) gives you power upside and leverage against a chalky Brandon McCarthy. Prior to his injury, McCarthy allowed a lot of hard hit contact, leading to a high HR/FB rate. Meanwhile Schimpf in a small sample (272 PAs) has an absurd .308 ISO against RHP, which is wild when you consider his home park.

On FD you get Jonathan Villar (MIL) with 2B eligibility. He’s off to a very slow start but provides some power/speed upside in a good hitting environment against an unknown pitcher who we’re assuming isn’t very good. He gets the nod over Dozier at the same price over there.

Ian Kinsler (DET) is a viable tournament pivot on both sites.

Third Base

Nolan Arenado (COL) is the clear top 3B play on the day. There’s an added bonus of playing indoors on a rainy, cold day across the US. More importantly opposing pitcher Chase Anderson is prone to same handed power, having allowed a .370 wOBA and .212 ISO to RHBs since 2015.

While you can probably afford to pay up for Arenado due to a lack of expensive pitching, this is a loaded position with plenty of mid-tier alternatives, include Justin Turner (LAD), Travis Shaw (MIL), Maikel Franco (PHI), Nick Castellanos (DET), and Miguel Sano (MIN).

Shaw is the best value of that group on FD. He’s been hitting third against RHP and has just enough pop to be interesting in plus matchups (faces a young, project subpar RHP and a bad bullpen).

On DK, closely edged out by Turner who has hit same handed pitching better over his career.

Shortstop

There is a group of four high upside SS options: Jonathan Villar (MIL), Trea Turner (WAS), Trevor Story (COL), and Corey Seager (LAD). Villar and Turner are propped up in good matchups because they additionally add stolen base upside. However, if you limit their SB/PA in the customizer, Story and Seager will rate better comparatively. Story’s immense power (44.9 hard hit rate and 47.1 FB rate last year) gets a nice matchup with Chase Anderson who is susceptible to same handed power. Meanwhile Seager also has plenty of power potential (and nice weather out in LA) against Jered Weaver‘s soft tossing repertoire.

You want to pay up here in cash games but if looking to diversify with cheaper options in tournaments, we suggest looking to top of the order speedsters like Tim Anderson (CHW) and Jose Peraza (CIN).

Outfield

The top of the outfield projections are littered with the same names we’ve seen the last few days. Charlie Blackmon (COL), Mike Trout (LAA), Carlos Gonzalez (COL), Bryce Harper (WAS), and Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) are bunched together. Salary cap space on either site shouldn’t be a problem so you’ll have your selection of at least one top tier outfielder and possibly two depending on how you build.

The value plays aren’t as necessary in the outfield but there are a few. The flexibility of Eric Thames (MIL) on DraftKings makes him a prime candidate to use in the outfield and potentially snag some of the softer values at 1B/3B with the multiple position eligibility.

On both sites, Andrew Toles (LAD) projects well despite his mediocre skill-set (projected .303 wOBA, .133 ISO baseline) thanks to a leadoff spot in front of elite hitters in a deep Dodgers lineup. He’s just $2,800 on DraftKings and $2,100 on FanDuel.

On FanDuel, Byron Buxton (MIN) and Michael Saunders (PHI) are cheap outfielders that can be used to complement the studs. Buxton’s gotten off to a difficult start and his baselines aren’t great but as an event player (above average power and speed) with a good lineup spot and a cheap price tag he looks OK. Saunders is a bit more of a known quantity but cool temperatures (mid 30s) in Cincinnati have us docking his baselines 10 percent.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Colorado Rockies

2) Milwaukee Brewers

3) Los Angeles Dodgers

No surprise here as these are the only three teams with a team total north of 4.5. As an added bonus, Colorado and Milwaukee are indoors in a good hitting environment, while the Dodgers are at home in nearly 80 degree weather. We’ve hit on all three a bunch throughout the positional analysis.

Tier Two

4) Washington Nationals

5) Detroit Tigers

The Nats have four guys on the first page of our top ranked hitters: Trea Turner, Adam Eaton, Bryce Harper, and Daniel Murphy.

Additional Tournament Stacks

-If the weather clears, the PHI-CIN game has plenty of upside. The wind projects to blow out at around 20 mph, and neither team has a strong bullpen. Ownership should be held in check after a disappointing offensive output by both teams to start the season.

Chicago Cubs: Will get in an onslaught of LHBs against Lance Lynn, who is a wide splits pitcher.