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MLB DFS Tuesday: Bustin’ Loose
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Welcome to April 4th MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for April 4 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 4th Position Timestamps
04:49 Starting Pitcher
14:50 Catcher
18:20 First Base
21:33 Second Base
24:58 Third Base
29:09 Shortstop
33:13 Outfield
39:13 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.

April 4th MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

Starting Pitcher

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

We don’t get the security of a Clayton Kershaw on this slate, as many of the top pitchers are in challenging environments. As a result, we get a cluster of our pitchers up top that all rank very similarly: Johnny Cueto (SF), Carlos Carrasco (CLE), Kenta Maeda (LAD), Jake Arrieta (CHC), and Lance McCullers (HOU).

The position then largely comes down to price and comfort level. Cueto is still in play on FD where his ability to pitch deep into games helps since you’re not penalized for walks and hits and get nice bonuses for a quality start and a win. It’s a poor offensive environment in Arizona, but this team is build better against LHP than RHP (Pollock, Goldschmidt).

Over on DK, the price tag on Carrasco ($8,800) keeps him in play, but it’s a high risk/reward spot. He rates well because of a high K rate, but it’s a tough Texas lineup in a premiere hitting environment. We prefer him in tournaments.

That brings us to Maeda, who is the option we’re most comfortable with in this tier. Maeda is the largest favorite (-209), with the lowest IRT against (3.1), and facing one of the worst offenses (Padres). Maeda’s projection is held in check because he can have trouble the third time through the order, which leads to negative events or a quicker hook. However, the floor here is nice to have on a day where floor pitchers are tough to come by without overpaying. Maeda is a strong cash game target on both sites.

Arrieta is the most skilled SP on the slate, but a talented Cardinals offense and the lack of elite K upside for his price tag has us looking for more value.

McCullers is a higher risk/reward pivot off of Maeda. He struck out an impressive 30.1% of batters last season, and his deadly curve ball made him more effective against LHBs, which means we don’t have to worry too much about the handedness breakdown of opponents. McCullers can be wild and pitches in a strong hitting environment.

On DK it makes sense to take some cap relief with your second SP given the lack of value among the top guys. We have our eyes on Tyler Anderson (COL) and CC Sabathia (NYY). Anderson posted a solid 3.54 K/BB ratio last season along with a high 50.9 GB rate and low hard minus soft hit rate. The environment and high upside MIL RHBs are scary, but Anderson brings a stable skill set for cheap against a very strikeout prone team. Sabathia rebounded last season after several horrendous seasons. It’s possible our baselines are too kind on him, but he gets a nice park shift in Tampa Bay against a strikeout prone offense with one of the lower team totals on the slate. Anderson is usable on FD as well if you’re more risk tolerant and want to load up on bats.

Catcher

The catcher position on both sites tonight is headlined by Buster Posey (SF). Posey will draw the platoon advantage against left-hander Patrick Corbin and he’ll be taking advantage of a big park boost in his favor. Since 2014, Posey has posted a .373 wOBA and .190 ISO against southpaw. A premier lineup spot and team implied run total of 4.9 runs makes him a preferred option at the position and at just $3,900 on DraftKings and $3,300 on FanDuel he is the most valuable catcher in our model.

There is a noticeable drop once moving away from Posey, both in terms of value and salary. We expect Stephen Vogt (OAK) and Yan Gomes (CLE) will draw two of the more “favorable” lineup spots when looking at catchers. Vogt drew a start in the fifth spot against Ricky Nolasco last night after getting starts in the second spot of the order last season against righties. Gomes on the other hand will likely hit sixth against southpaw Martin Perez. For Vogt, the matchup with Matt Shoemaker isn’t extremely enticing, but he’s been more than apt against right-handers, posting a .334 wOBA and .172 ISO since 2014. The run scoring environment is less desirable, but if deciding to save at the position he is a viable option. Gomes has been been competent against left-handers in his career, posting a .338 wOBA against southpaws. He holds a similar price tag to Vogt, but will get the benefit of a much better hitting environment in a warm Texas ballpark.

You can take advantage of multi-positional eligibility on DraftKings to filter in Kyle Schwarber (CHC) who holds catcher and outfield eligibility. Gary Sanchez (NYY) is a great tournament option. He draws a negative park shift, but a matchup with fly ball oriented (career 34.5% GB%) Jake Odorizzi who has been susceptible to right-handed hitters, allowing a .186 ISO to righties since 2014.

First Base

New Cleveland Indian, Edwin Encarnacion (CLE) headlines the first base position tonight. Edwin will take advantage of a great hitting environment and draws a matchup with southpaw, Martin Perez. The Indians hold an implied run total of 4.8 runs and Edwin has demolished southpaws, posting a .375 wOBA and .242 ISO since 2014. On a slate that doesn’t require much value selection, he’s an option in all formats at first base.

Brandon Belt (SF) pops as a great value on both sites, but we’re anticipating that he might move down from the second spot in the lineup he got against right-hander Zack Greinke in the opener. Nevertheless, the Giants are taking advantage of a great park shift in their favor and despite not holding the platoon advantage, the macro elements hold him as a great value with a cheap price tag.

Carlos Santana (CLE) will take advantage of the same matchup as Edwin Encarnacion and is first base eligible on both sites. Santana is more powerful from the left-side, but he’s been solid against left-handers as well, posting a .350 wOBA and 14.9 BB% against lefties since 2014. He’ll likely carry less ownership than Encarnacion and is a pivot if looking to get exposure to the Indians with less ownership. Gregory Bird (NYY) does not have a large sample size to look at, but has posted a .381 wOBA and .288 ISO against right-handers in his last 122 plate appearances. He’s a great tournament option and is a strong value on both sites. Similarly Eric Thames (MIL) graces the value section for first basemen. Thames will likely move down in the order when he loses the platoon edge against Tyler Anderson, but at just $2,200 on FanDuel he is in play with power upside.

Second Base

Logan Forsythe (LAD) is the most valuable second baseman in our model for tonight’s games. Forsythe will get the pleasure of facing left-hander Clayton Richard, providing him the platoon advantage – an advantage he’s not wasted in recent years. Since 2014, Forsythe has posted a .361 wOBA and .230 ISO against southpaws. He’s viable in all formats.

After Forsythe, not much value appears at the position. Rougned Odor (TEX) draws a difficult matchup with Carlos Carrasco, but his skills against right-handed pitchers and the run scoring environment make him a viable pivot, particularly in tournaments. Ryan Schimpf (SD) has displayed tremendous power potential against right-handers, but we’re not keen on picking on Kenta Maeda unless looking to be contrarian in tournaments.

Jose Altuve (HOU) and Robinson Cano (SEA) deserve tournament consideration, but neither has a great matchup to take advantage of.

Third Base

Though second base is barren, the hot corner has plenty of viable options tonight. Jose Ramirez (CLE) and Eduardo Nunez (SFG) will both take advantage of park shifts and the highest two team totals on the slate. Ramirez didn’t see fulltime action until last season, when he posted a .363 wOBa and .162 ISO against southpaws. He’ll get the pleasure of fitting into an Indians lineup that is one of our favorite stack options on the slate. Nunez hit sixth in the opening day matchup with Zack Grienke, but against Corbin we believe he might get a bump in lineup spot. The Giants implied run total is the highest on the slate and Nunez is just $2,700 on FanDuel and $3,700 on DraftKings – one of our best values at the position.

Justin Turner (LAD) presents a middle of the order option at a relatively cheap price tag on both sites and will get the luxury of facing Clayton Richard. The Dodgers might go underlooked because of their relative ranking in terms of run scoring environment tonight, but they still boast a 4.4 implied run total. Jonathan Villar (MIL) will find himself atop the Brewers order and possesses plenty of upside for tournaments and is one of the better values in our model despite our liking of Tyler Anderson.

Last but not least, despite a park shift away from Coors Field, it’s difficult to overlook the GPP potential of Nolan Arenado (COL).

Shortstop

Another Indian tops our value rankings at shortstop. Francisco Lindor (CLE) should find himself in the second spot of a dangerous Indians order against Martin Perez. Lindor should have no trouble with Perez who allows a lot of contact (Steamer projects a K% of just 14.9 in 2017) and a lot of hard contact at that (30.7% Hard% in 2016). Despite being the second highest priced shortstop on DraftKings, he’s easy to fit without a top notch ace handcuffing the salary in roster construction. At just $3,500 on FanDuel, he’ll likely be the top commodity in all formats.

Multi-positional eligibility will allow you to roster values Jonathan Villar (MIL) or Eduardo Nunez (SFG) on DraftKings. But on both sites, Brandon Crawford (SFG) enters the conversation as a valuable asset in the middle of the Giants lineup. He won’t hold the platoon advantage against Patrick Corbin, but much like we noted for Brandon Belt, the macro environment and a price tag of just $2,400 on FanDuel push him into the conversation.

If looking for an even more extreme punt on FanDuel, Orlando Arcia (MIL) will draw the platoon advantage and is in a good hitting environment. He is a neutral value (despite a bad lineup spot) and is just a pure punt.

It’s easy enough to fit Carlos Correa (HOU) into your lineups, but at a more expensive tag than Lindor, he’s a better option in tournament formats.

Outfield

It’s a good day to pay up in the outfield, and both of our top options are usable in all formats: Mike Trout (LAA) and Charlie Blackmon (COL). Trout holds the platoon edge against Sean Manaea, who didn’t miss as many bats as hoped last year. Throw in a high hard hit rate (33.6 percent), and he was susceptible to power. Blackmon bailed us out with an RBI groundout and a stolen base yesterday but was largely disappointing despite his team scoring seven times. While it’s a negative park shift, the indoor hitter friendly environment still bodes well for Blackmon. Zach Davies allowed a .330 wOBA and .174 ISO to LHBs last season.

If Trout or Blackmon are too expensive or you have room for even more firepower in the OF, Kyle Schwarber (CHC), George Springer (HOU), Carlos Gonzalez (COL), and Ryan Braun (MIL) are all usable in the next tier. Schwarber is in the worse hitting environment but boasts a mammoth .406 wOBA and .265 ISO against RHP over his short career. The other three are in great hitting environments (especially early in the season when some of the outdoor stadiums are cooler).

Some potential value plays up top are Keon Broxton (MIL) and Jarrod Dyson (SEA) if they are able to move up in the order now that they hold the platoon edge. Broxton homered nine times and stole 23 bases in just 244 PAs last season, but he also struck out 36.1% of the time. Dyson is an elite SB threat (ZiPS projects 29 in 303 PAs).

Secondary cash values include OF members of our favorites stacks (see the stack section below) as well as a top of the lineup speedster like Rajai Davis (OAK) who is simply cheap.

If you’re willing to overlook batting spot value a bit, Yasiel Puig (LAD) is a solid way to get access to the Dodgers RHBs against Richard (career .350 wOBA allowed to RHBs).

Though not a preferred matchup, Travis Jankowski (SD) is likely to lead off against Kenta Maeda and presents stolen base upside for tournaments at extremely low price tags on both sites.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Cleveland Indians

2) Colorado Rockies

3) San Francisco Giants

Tier Two

4) Milwaukee Brewers

5) Houston Astros

6) Los Angeles Dodgers

With the ability to pay up for hitting in cash games, we hit on pieces of our top stacks throughout the positional analysis. The Rockies burned us yesterday (despite scoring seven runs) but carried low ownership. Zach Davies was better than expected in his rookie campaign, but did allow some power.

All three of these stacks are on the road, and the Rockies and Giants face bad bullpens.

In the second tier of stacks (Brewers and Astros), we get a couple of “event” teams that can homer or steal but are a bit higher risk/reward and don’t get the benefit of playing at home.

The Dodgers also are at home and with plenty of power. Our model may be a bit light on them overall, but it’s a deep lineup throughout, with an excellent value up top in Logan Forsythe. The issue here as that ownership may be inflated after a huge day.

Additional Tournament Stacks

  • Chicago Cubs: This offense is so deep and talented that they are stackable on almost any night. Throw in a disappointing opening performance and better run scoring environments, and ownership could be down. We’re projecting opposing pitcher Adam Wainwright to improve his overall line after rebounding from a horrible first half last year, but the control and GB rates slipped.
  • Texas Rangers: We don’t put much stock into Spring Training, but a combination of an awful Spring with some arm trouble does have us a little concerned with Carlos Carrasco. We wouldn’t pick on him in cash games, but the reward is there in a tournament format for you to make a small bet against his health.