MLB DFS Plays: Sunday 4/25

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Brad Johnson
·7 min read
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This article outlines the best daily fantasy MLB plays of the day at every position. We take a comprehensive look 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.

Our 12-game afternoon slate has a couple weather concerns. The biggest is the Mariners-Red Sox game which seems headed for postponement. It’s possible the rain will clear enough after 2-3 hours. The teams might be motivated to play since bringing Seattle back east for one game will be challenging. The Nationals-Mets game could be delayed but should otherwise run unimpeded.

PITCHER

Top Play: Brandon Woodruff – Brewers (at Cubs)

Woodruff is the priciest pitcher in the slate, but he still checks in as a bargain on some platforms. Our DFS Projections concur. The wind is blowing in at Wrigley at a stiff 10-mph, not that Woodruff necessarily needs it. He consistently records over a strikeout per inning and will be up against a strikeout prone opponent. He’s thrown 95 pitches in two consecutive outings. The Brewers have short hooks if their starter isn’t dominating, adding a little volatility to this chalky play.

Pivot: Josh Fleming – Rays (vs Blue Jays)

This feels like a deep cut indeed. The exciting part of this game is Luis Patino’s Rays debut. He’ll be serving as the Opener which means Fleming gets to work the next four to six frames. He’ll have an elevated chance to earn the win – assuming the Rays offense can get to Hyun-Jin Ryu. Fleming’s lack of strikeout stuff puts a modest damper on expectations. Ideally, he’d cost about 20 percent less.

Also Consider: Zac Gallen, Jack Flaherty, Luis Castillo, Danny Duffy, Jesus Luzardo, Matt Shoemaker, Ryu

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CATCHER

Top Play: Salvador Perez – Royals (at Michael Fulmer)

Perez is by far the best catcher in this slate, and his price reflects it. Unlike other starting catchers leaguewide, he often plays on Sunday. He’s a poor value but can be expected to easily outperform the slew of Sunday starters. Since he’s overpriced, he might even be a good GPP target. Most lineups will feature a cheap punt.

Pivot: Danny Jansen – Blue Jays (at Patino/Fleming)

Jansen isn’t doing anything at the plate which is why he comes with a minimum price. Since Alejandro Kirk started yesterday, I assume it’s Jansen’s turn today. Despite his miserable performance to date, he does have enough raw pop, discipline, and enough fly ball contact to run into one. There are other catching punts with a higher floor, but none carry Jansen’s ceiling.

Also Consider: Gary Sanchez, Yasmani Grandal, Omar Narvaez

FIRST BASE

Top Play: Pete Alonso – Mets (vs Patrick Corbin)

Corbin is coming off a throwback outing. He finally had feel for his lethal slider which helped him to silence a middling Cardinals offense. The Mets offer a steeper challenge. Corbin’s location tendencies feed into Alonso’s strengths, lending this an all-or-nothing matchup. Alonso is my top pick for multiple home runs. There’s also considerable risk we see him don a sombrero made of heavy metal. If the Corbin matchup doesn’t pay out, the Nats bullpen is roughly one pitcher deep (Brad Hand).

Pivot: Alex Kirilloff – Twins (vs Wil Crowe)

Kirilloff is now 0-for-10 this season, but that’s no reason to fret. He’s at worst a league average hitter with above average power and a minimum price tag. Crowe is a failed Nationals prospect with a five-pitch repertoire – none better than average. The Twins should feast with Kirilloff hopefully batting fifth or sixth in the order.

Also Consider: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Shohei Ohtani, Jared Walsh, Trey Mancini, Yandy Diaz, Mike Ford

SECOND BASE

Top Play: Marcus Semien – Blue Jays (at Patino/Fleming)

After taking a crack at Patino, Semien will have a couple shots at Fleming. This season, Semien has exhibited extreme pulled, fly ball contact which matches well against Fleming’s bowling ball “fastball.” This is another power-or-bust prediction.

Pivot: Nick Madrigal – White Sox (vs Kohei Arihara)

When all else fails – this happens to be a rough slate for second basemen – Madrigal is a consistently cheap option who can deliver three- and four-hit games with more frequency than any multi-homer target pays out. Granted, those aren’t as valuable as a double-dinger, but they can still fuel a GPP payout.

Also Consider: Nick Solak, Jed Lowrie, Whit Merrifield, Keston Hiura, Eduardo Escobar

THIRD BASE

Top Play: Josh Donaldson – Twins (vs Crowe)

Donaldson is delivering stinging torrents of hard contact, albeit he’s having some issues with generating lift this season. It might be by design; his swinging strike and strikeout rates are both down through 27 plate appearances. Frankly, I’m eager to stack Twins today, and he’ll be a part of the action.

Pivot: Cavan Biggio – Blue Jays (at Patino/Fleming)

Biggio hasn’t exhibited platoon splits so a couple plate appearances against a southpaw shouldn’t be a problem. Fleming actually has reverse splits in a small sample – perhaps because he uses a soft/softer/softest approach to pitching. Biggio’s fly ball tendencies should help.

It’s odd. I’ve recommended several Jays (Vladito also is a strong play), yet I’d avoid stacking them. I don’t think they’ll pop as a unit, even though quite a few of them fit the matchup well.

Also Consider: Jose Ramirez, Matt Chapman, Alex Bregman, Yoan Moncada, Escobar

SHORTSTOP

Top Play: Trea Turner – Nationals (at Taijuan Walker)

With Juan Soto sidelined, Turner has a freshly valuable role as the Nationals third hitter. Although he’s not a good value, he’s the likeliest shortstop to fill up the boxscore. Walker is a neutral matchup although the Mets bullpen could prove a challenge.

Pivot: Nico Hoerner – Cubs (vs Woodruff)

Although nobody will mistake this for a good matchup, Hoerner is inexpensive and has already compiled three doubles (four hits) in 10 plate appearances. He also has three walks. While there are many counterexamples, hitters usually come into their own around age 24 to 26. Perhaps Hoerner is no longer overmatched at the plate. More likely, he’s made a small adjustment to exploit the “book” pitchers have on him. If this is the case, he’ll be a useful DFS play until opponents counter-adjust. Likelier still – it’s just a small sample fluke.

Also Consider: Bo Bichette, Tim Anderson, Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, Niko Goodrum

OUTFIELD

Top Plays: Nelson Cruz –Twins (vs Crowe)
Byron Buxton – Twins (vs Crowe)
Mark Canha – Athletics (at Means)

This is the crux of the Twins stack. Both Cruz and Buxton are among the likeliest hitters to homer today. They’re also strong multi-homer targets. Canha is a potent hitter in his own right. While he only has around a one-in-five chance to go deep, he also rates as one of the best combinations of strong projection and affordable price.

Pivots: Stephen Piscotty - Athletics (at Means)
Austin Hays – Orioles (vs Luzardo)

Piscotty is one of those so-called lefty mashers who doesn’t actually exhibit notably improved peripherals with the platoon advantage. It probably just so happens he’s done well against southpaws in his career. Still, a visit to Camden Yards is an excellent opportunity to chase a cheap home run – not that you should need to skimp on your outfielders. Hays is batting sixth today. My read on Luzardo at the moment amounts to “hands off.” I’m neither eager to use him or try to stack against him. If others share my reticence, then an Orioles stack in a multi-lineup GPP would make sense.

Also Consider: Kirilloff, Mike Trout, Ramon Laureano, Ohtani, Walsh, Yordan Alvarez, Kyle Tucker, Myles Straw, Biggio, Randal Grichuk