MLB DFS Bargains: Thursday 4/4

Brad Johnson
Rotoworld
Brad Johnson outlines the best MLB DFS Bargains on FanDuel and DraftKings for Thursday, April 4.
Brad Johnson outlines the best MLB DFS Bargains on FanDuel and DraftKings for Thursday, April 4.

When looking at “bargains” on FanDuel, we'll typically focus on hitters who are $3,200 or lower. For DraftKings, the threshold is around $3,800. In general, we'll only highlight players at the top end of that scale if they have star potential.

Please note, these player picks were organized early in the day. For MLB contests, always check lineups and weather closer to game time. Rain, wind, or unexpected managerial decisions could open up additional sources of value. Be sure to keep an eye on the MLB Headlines and Injuries desk.

Editor’s Note: Stay ahead of the competition from wire to wire with rankings, customizable projections, trade evaluator, exclusive columns and more in our Season Pass. And start using optimized lineups on Yahoo!, DraftKings and FanDuel with our DFS Toolkit!

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With such a thin slate split in half, let’s look at all eight games starting at 1:10 ET. Bear in mind, four games are in the early slate, three are late, and the Blue Jays-Indians game is lost in limbo.

FANDUEL & DRAFTKINGS BARGAINS

1 – Spencer Turnbull – SP – Detroit Tigers (FanDuel $6,200 / DraftKings $5,800)

The Royals offense hasn’t performed quite as terribly as expected. They’re avoiding strikeouts and scoring a decent number of runs. It looks like a small sample fluke. Most of their batters have contact and OBP issues, making them an exploitable opponent. Turnbull has limited major league experience. Judged purely on stuff, he has an effective-looking fastball with a good slider and curve. There’s potential for a strikeout per inning over at least five frames of work. I consider him evenly matched with Jakob Junis ($8,200 FD / $8,000 DK). In fact, most of the non-aces figure to post very similar DFS point totals.

2 – Steve Pearce – 1B – Boston Red Sox (FanDuel $2,800 / DraftKings $3,800)

Pearce is scheduled to be activated from the injured list in time for today’s matchup against lefty ground ball guy Brett Anderson. It’s a classic matchup for Pearce. He is a career .267/.352/.501 hitter versus southpaws including a magnificent 2018 campaign (.304/.400/.559 vs LHP). The soon-to-be 36-year-old is expected to bat in the heart of the order.

3 – Marcus Semien – SS – Oakland Athletics (FanDuel $3,000 / DraftKings $3,600)

The Athletics projected leadoff hitter against southpaw Eduardo Rodriguez, Semien is shaping up to be one of the most popular targets in the afternoon slate. He has a reputation as a platoon masher, having posted a career .272/.326/.461 batting line versus opposite-handed pitchers. Unfortunately, Rodriguez doesn’t have a history of platoon splits so this is probably a neutral battle. Working in Semien and the Athletics’ favor is the Red Sox weak bullpen. Also worth noting, Rodriguez was missing about two mph on the radar gun in his season debut.

4 – Ender Inciarte – OF – Atlanta Braves (FanDuel $3,200 / DraftKings $3,800)

On paper, the Cubs have two things working against them tonight. Their bullpen is struggling to provide any sort of late-inning stability. Of greater concern is Yu Darvish’s horrific 2019 debut. His velocity was down, and he wasn’t missing bats. While I advise a patient approach in season-long fantasy, I’m eager to target him tonight. Inciarte should pile up five plate appearances with a chance to score runs or steal a base.

5 – Clint Frazier – OF – New York Yankees (FanDuel $2,000 / DraftKings $4,500)

Down-lineup sluggers usually aren’t trendy DFS plays. The exception is when they cost the minimum as Frazier does on FanDuel. He should be ignored on DraftKings unless he happens to be batting in the top five of the lineup. Even then, he’s a stretch at this price. Frazier is a patient right-handed hitter who makes frequent hard contact. Strikeouts figure to be an issue. He’ll face Alex Cobb at offensively friendly Camden Yards.

ALSO CONSIDER

Tyler Mahle (CIN – SP) might be a reasonably decent gamble. The righty has reportedly de-emphasized his below average fastball in favor of more offspeed stuff. Strangely, he has a reputation as a command and control guy despite a career 4.36 BB/9 in 132 innings. A visit to spacious PNC Park on a chilly spring evening should help to keep the ball in the yard.

Ramon Laureano (OAK – OF) was a popular target just one week ago. A mini-slump to start the season has bumped him down the Athletics lineup and out of the DFS spotlight. If you’re looking for a cheap, low-owned outfielder in these small contests, Laureano could be the ideal solution. He’s projected as a core performer tonight, and he’ll have the platoon advantage.

Greg Bird (NYY – 1B) costs just $3,000 on FanDuel (or a pricey $4,500 on DraftKings). The fly ball hitter has the upper hand against ground ball pitcher Alex Cobb. Bird is off to a familiar start. His noisy Opening Day home run has been offset by nine strikeouts in 17 plate appearances. The Yankees injury stack should give Bird time to settle down. Cobb might help today.

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