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Daily Fantasy Baseball: DraftKings Cheat Sheet–April 27th

Adam Pfeifer lists the best daily fantasy baseball picks and value plays for use on DraftKings.

George Springer

Not a fan of playing daily fantasy basketball during the playoffs?

Not a problem.

With the temperature rising and baseball season in full swing (pun absolutely intended), DraftKings offers a plethora of MLB contests to choose from each and every day. Baseball can be a tricky game because there is much more variance than a sport like basketball, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a boatload of fun. So give it a try on DraftKings.

There’s plenty to do.

Details (MLB)
-$80,000 prize pool.
– First place wins $5,000
Only $3 to enter (FREE with first deposit)
– Top 6,155 finishing positions are paid.​
– Starts today at 7:05 PM EST
– Salary Cap Style Drafting. $50,000 to select 10 players: 8 position players and 2 pitchers
– Roster Format: 2 pitchers, 1 C, 1 1B, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 SS and 3 OF

 

Pitching

SP

-Zero percent chance of snow equals high percent chance we see the REAL David Price this evening. You can just toss out his last start against the Yankees, who are apparently the best offense in baseball. Anyway, Price gets one of the best matchups possible this evening, facing a Twins offense that is producing just 3.3 runs per game thus far, which ranks 27th in the majors. Price already faced Minnesota this year and went 8.2 innings, striking out five, surrendering zero runs, accumulating over 30 fantasy points. The Twins also rank inside the bottom-five in team on-base percentage (.290), runs per game and hits per game, while possessing some of the most impatient hitters in baseball, as three of their batters rank inside the bottom-20 in swinging percent of pitches outside of the strike zone. Over the last three seasons, Price is sporting a 2.49 ERA, four wins and 43 (!) strikeouts in six starts against the Twins. He goes deep into ball games, is in a pitcher-friendly park in Minnesota and the Tigers should give him plenty of run support.

-If you’re looking to save a bit of cash, consider James Shields against the boom-or-bust Astros lineup. Not typically known as a big K-guy, Shields is averaging a very respectable 1.16 strikeouts per inning this season, which bodes well for his matchup with Houston, who are striking out 9.2 times per game. Only the Cubs have been worse in that regard. Meanwhile, Shields is generating a swinging strike almost 15 percent of the time, while Houston has a few players who strike out around 30 percent of the time. And while Houston has plenty of home run upside with guys like George Springer, Evan Gattis and Chris Carter, Petco Park is where homers go to die.

-Oh, so you want to save even more? Look no further than John Lackey against the lowly Philadelphia offense. While Lackey hasn’t been outstanding by any means, he is facing Philadelphia, and more importantly, the game isn’t in hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies are batting just .214 on the season as a team, which is the second-worst percentage in the MLB.

First Base

1B

-First base is always a very deep position in fantasy, and with so many elite options to choose from, I tend to spend up on most nights. If you’re doing the same, Paul Goldschmidt may be the top play at the position. He plays against the Rockies, and while it’s not in Coors Field, it’s still in Arizona, another hitter-friendly environment. Against left-handed pitching, Goldy mashes, batting .384 against southpaws a season ago, and .338 against lefties over the last three seasons.

-A popular stack today will be the Tigers offense against Tommy Milone, which means, on DraftKings, both Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez are both extremely in play this evening. 46 percent of Milone’s pitches are resulting in fly balls, which is pretty scary (or enticing) when you consider what a guy like Miggy can do in this spot. But don’t forget about VMart, who is a switch-hitter and dominated LHP a season ago.

-On DraftKings, the red hot Adrian Gonzalez is only $3,900, which makes him a borderline must play. This is a guy who ranks fourth in the majors in average (.380), fourth in hits (27), fourth in home runs (7) and second in RBI (19), so you know the type of upside he presents you with, and at $3,900, you could end up stealing fantasy production. I’m also not afraid of the sporadic Tim Lincecum on the mound, who is seeing decreased velocity on his fastball by about two percent.

Also consider: Mark Teixeira, Joey Votto.

Second Base

2B

-There’s a lot to like about Robinson Cano this evening. First off, the Rangers/Mariners game currently has the highest over/under of the night, so runs should be had. Secondly, Cano goes from pitcher-friendly Seattle to hitter-friendly Texas, a venue that has surrendered 1.3 home runs per game thus far, which puts them inside the top-eight in the league. Add that with the fact that Yovani Gallardo has always been a fly-ball pitcher, while coughing up three home runs to open up the season. He’s also currently sporting a career-high 15 percent HR/FB ratio for the season. Cano is one of the best all-around hitters in baseball, and I expect him to have a big night.

-Again, if you’re looking to save about $1,000, look at Dee Gordon, who is always in play because of his ability to swipe one or two bags each night. On the year, the Marlins speedster is getting on base about 40 percent of the time and he gets a matchup against a right-handed pitcher, which instantly gives him an advantage on the basepaths.

Third Base

3B

-As you can clearly see, I’m all over the Orioles tonight, even after coming off an 18-run performance against the Red Sox. Hector Noesi is going to be the guy that everyone loads up against, and for good reason. He’s given up six runs and two homers in his first two starts this year, while his control hasn’t been there, walking seven batters in the process. Both home runs he’s surrendered this year have come from left-handed bats, while driving in all RBI, too. Meanwhile, Davis is starting to swing the bat well, recording a hit in three straight games, while three of his four home runs have come against right-handed pitching this season. The Orioles should get to Noesi, and Crush Davis is right in the middle of the order.

-Don’t look now, but over his last five games. Evan Longoria has recorded a strong 11 hits, raising his average to .306 on the year. He’s seeing the ball very well right now, and Tampa Bay’s offense is producing plenty of runs lately, scoring 30 runs over their last five games. Tonight’s matchup between Nathan Karns and Adam Warren should feature plenty of runs, and Yankee Stadium has been a very successful venue for Longoria. Over the last three seasons, he’s batting .314 with 15 home runs against New York, better than any other team in the majors. Seven of those dingers have come in New York, too. Look for him to keep swinging a hot bat tonight.

Also consider: Alex Rodriquez, Adrian Beltre

Shortstop

SS

-If you feel inclined, pay up for Troy Tulowitzki.

-If not, there is some value at shortstop this evening. I love Asdrubal Cabrera tonight in this game. He’s extremely cheap, is batting second in the Rays order and bats left and right, which is good for Yankee stadium. There’s that short porch in left field and the wind is already blowing out to left, so there is some additional power potential for all players in this game. Adam Warren, meanwhile, is nothing to fear.

Also consider: Jhonny Peralta, Ian Desmond.

Outfield

OF

-Like multiple nights so far this year, many of my lineups will begin with Adam Jones. Again, we’re picking on Noesi tonight, and although Noesi isn’t left-handed, which means Jones can’t improve on his stupid .656 average against southpaws, he’s still one of the top plays of the evening. There have only been four instances this season where Jones has failed to record a hit, and is striking out about eight percent less of the time than a season ago. Jones obviously has 30-home run pop, while almost 60 percent of Noesi’s pitches have resulted in a fly ball. There’s also a good combination where Noesi’s fastball hasn’t been as effective as in year’s past, while Jones has improved in hitting the heater.

Nelson Cruz is nearly a lock for a home run tonight. The league leader in homers with nine, Cruz returns to Texas to face the Rangers and their homer-friendly venue. For some of the same reasons I like Cano, I like Cruz, as well as a few other members of the Mariners. Over the last two seasons, Gallardo has ranked 30th and 18th in home runs allowed, so he can definitely give up the long ball.

Also consider: Seth Smith, Jayson Werth

Favorite Stacks

Mariners vs Rangers

Orioles vs White Sox

Yankees vs Rays

 Remember to enter tonight’s contest here!

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