MLB DFS Plays: Saturday 4/20

Brad Johnson

This article will outline the best daily fantasy MLB plays of the day at every position. We will take a comprehensive look at FanDuel and DraftKings to uncover these core recommendations, factoring respective salaries into the analysis.

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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The two sites have different slate sizes for today. As such, I’ve opted to look at the full-day 15-game slate. I’m ignoring two games due to a 6:10pm ET start time - the Nationals-Marlins and Red Sox-Rays. I also suggest avoiding the White Sox-Tigers game. It’s at least a 50 percent risk for a postponement.


Luis CastilloCincinnati Reds (at Padres)

Anybody who has watched Castillo pitch this season has witnessed an ace. He’s picked up right where he left off in late-2018. We can safely expect well over a strikeout per inning with better than average run prevention. Two red flags lurk – relatively short outings and home runs. He typically throws about six innings per start. In this era of careful pitcher management, that’s not bad. Or good. A true ace will average closer to seven innings per start. The longer a pitcher works, the more likely they are to earn a win (or loss). The home run issue hasn’t reared its head in four 2019 starts. He’s yet to allow a big fly. Nevertheless, don’t be surprised if a powerful Padres offense bops a couple homers.

Castillo’s ace-level projection is coupled with a sub-$10,000 price tag on both sites. He rates near the top in overall points projection and value.

Also Consider: Derek Holland (value), Trevor Cahill (value), Gerrit Cole, Jose Berrios


Rhys Hoskins – Philadelphia Phillies (at Rockies)

At first glance, this is a good day to pony up for the top first baseman. Hoskins’ projection crushes the competition. Coors Field plays a big role although Rockies starter Antonio Senzatela contributes too. Senzatela is a fastball-forward pitcher in an age where pitchers are deemphasizing their heaters. There’s nothing particularly special about the pitch. Meanwhile, Hoskins is really enjoying his new lineup protection. He’s hitting a robust .265/.412/.544 with no signs of stopping. As a fly ball hitter, he matches up well against Senzatela’s sinking fastball.

Also Consider: Francisco Cervelli (value), J.T. Realmuto, Luke Voit, Tyler White (value)


Jose AltuveHouston Astros (at Rangers)

If you thought Hoskins blew away the competition at his position, take a deep dive into the second base pool. Altuve is at least two projected points better than the next best alternative on DraftKings. The gap is nearly three points on FanDuel. We have every reason to expect the Astros stack to spike tonight. Rangers starter Adrian Sampson is a Triple-A quality starter. He’s hopelessly overmatched against a juggernaut like Houston. The Texas bullpen is weak too. Altuve is putting in an early bid for a second MVP award. He’s already popped eight home runs in 83 plate appearances. Despite a hefty price tag, Altuve is also a good dollar-for-dollar value.

Also Consider: Robinson Cano (value), Gleyber Torres, Cesar Hernandez, Phil Gosselin (value)


Alex Bregman – Houston Astros (at Rangers)

Continuing today’s theme, Bregman is clearly the top projected performer available. To date, he hasn’t performed any exceptional deeds for his daily fantasy owners. It’s just a matter of time. All of the ingredients that made Bregman a frequent hero last season remain in play. He works counts, rarely whiffs, and makes frequent hard contact. His role as the Astros third hitter certainly doesn’t hurt either. Functionally, you probably can’t roster an Astros stack, Castillo, AND Hoskins so you’ll have some tough choices to make.

Also Consider: Matt Carpenter (value), Eugenio Suarez (value), David Fletcher (value)


Fernando Tatis Jr. – San Diego Padres (vs Reds)

After some failed experiments with Ian Kinsler and Luis Urias, the Padres have installed Tatis as their leadoff man. He’s a sparkplug athlete so it’s fitting for him to bat first even if his high strikeout rate is ill-suited to the role. Tatis showed why he’s an excellent GPP play last night. He homered and stole three bases. A matchup against Castillo is far from ideal. Strikeouts are likely. However, Castillo does have a history of allowing home runs, and the Reds bullpen leaves much to be desired.

A quick note on Francisco Lindor who I’ve listed below. The Indians have a doubleheader today. He’ll likely rest one of the games. He also missed most of Spring Training and basically skipped a rehab assignment. Expect rust.

Also Consider: Francisco Lindor, Carlos Correa, Jorge Polanco


Aaron Judge – New York Yankees (vs Royals)

Between the Coors Field game and the Astros favorable matchup, a solid Yankees stack might go unnoticed in the full-day slate. And if you’re spinning up multiple Yankees, Judge almost has to be a part of the fun. The right-handed slugger is performing exactly as he did last season. He’s among the most likely to hit multiple home runs on any given day. He has a friendly matchup against Heath Fillmyer and the Royals bullpen at Yankee Stadium.

Nelson Cruz – Minnesota Twins (at Orioles)

Cruz has yet to go on a binge this season. In fact, because the Twins visited several National League clubs, Cruz only has 46 plate appearances. Through those, he’s posting typical peripherals with even more hard contact than normal. The Twins are playing at homer-happy Camden Yards opposite homer-prone Alex Cobb. This has all the makings of a big game for Cruz.

Also Consider: Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, George Springer, Jose Martinez (value)

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