MLB DFS Plays: Wednesday 4/7

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Brad Johnson
·8 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.

First pitch is at 1:10pm ET. Unseasonable winds continue to gust out at Wrigley Field.

HITTING STACKS

White Sox at Justin Dunn – This is a classic “scary offense meets bad pitcher” recommendation. The White Sox easily possess a top five lineup even without Eloy Jimenez. Dunn is a soft-tossing righty who has relied on a career .173 BABIP to post even remotely tolerable numbers. His 7.39 K/9, 6.88 BB/9, 4.34 ERA, and 6.54 FIP all portend disaster. The Mariners bullpen isn’t exactly bulky either.

Twins at Matt Boyd – The Tigers “ace” was missing a couple ticks on the radar gun last week and lacked his usual whiff-inducing stuff. Minnesota features a mostly right-handed offense built around power. Home runs are Boyd’s kryptonite and it just so happens they count for extra in DFS. Who knew!

Dodgers at Jesus Luzardo – I can already tell it’s going to get exhausting recommending the Dodgers every. Single. Day. Their offense is on another level, featuring elements that match up well against every type of pitcher.

PITCHER

Top Play: Trevor Bauer – Dodgers (at Athletics)

To simplify, long outings and hefty strikeout totals are the keys to DFS pitching supremacy. Bauer offers potential for both against an offense with a 25 percent strikeout rate to date. He’s one of the few pitchers who can be expected to throw 100 pitches per outing. He projects for more than six innings and around 12.00 K/9 today according to our DFS Projections.

Pivot: Jesus Luzardo – Athletics (vs Dodgers)

The pricing algorithms know Luzardo has a challenging matchup against the Dodgers. He’s one of the cheapest arms and appears to be around the eighth to tenth best starter in the slate. Only Jack Flaherty offers a similar dollar-for-dollar value. If Luzardo turns in an adequate outing, it means all those Dodgers stacks in the wild probably failed to deliver (relievers could always ruin the plan).

Also Consider: Flaherty, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Nate Eovaldi, Brandon Woodruff, Pablo Lopez, Aaron Nola, Shane Bieber, Blake Snell

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CATCHER

Top Play: Yermin Mercedes – White Sox (at Dunn)

Mercedes finally disappointed his advocates yesterday with a meager 1-for-5 performance. That leaves him just 13-for-23 to start the year. This is another juicy matchup with the potential for fireworks. He’s even laid claim to a valuable lineup role. His price continues to creep upwards, but he’s still a value. Mercedes makes frequent, high-quality contact.

Mercedes is so popular that White Sox regular catcher Yasmani Grandal qualifies as a pivot.

Pivot: Omar Narvaez – Brewers (at Kyle Hendricks)

Prior to a dreadful 2020 campaign, Narvaez was a popular offense-first catcher. Now he’s inexpensive and off to a scalding start at the plate. More importantly, he’s a fly ball hitter on a windy day at Wrigley Field. He’ll have the platoon advantage against Hendricks who lacked his usual sharpness last week.

Also Consider: Grandal, Alejandro Kirk/Danny Jansen, Willson Contreras, Mitch Garver

FIRST BASE

Top Play: Jose Abreu – White Sox (at Dunn)

Frankly, Abreu is a poor dollar-for-dollar value even though he has an obviously excellent matchup today. I’m only looking to use him as part of a White Sox stack. Abreu has an elevated chance for a home run due to Dunn’s fly ball tendencies.

Pivot: Keston Hiura – Brewers (at Hendricks)

Hiura is a volatile play. Lightning in a bottle. If you use him, you’re almost entirely dependent on a home run. Conditions are nearly perfect, but he’ll have to overcome his biggest weakness – whiffs. He already has eight strikeouts in 16 plate appearances. The mean projection is on par with Abreu. However, I predict his rostership will be much lower due to his icy start to the season.

Also Consider: Daniel Vogelbach, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Rhys Hoskins, Miguel Sano

SECOND BASE

Top Play: Jorge Polanco – Twins (at Boyd)

With a lefty on the bump, Polanco is expected to bat leadoff. Adjust this recommendation if he remains down in the lineup. Polanco’s mediocre 2020 can be partially blamed on nagging injuries, but it’s fair to wonder if he’s simply a very bland hitter. The good news is he’s priced for blandness, and this particular slate doesn’t offer substantially better alternatives.

Pivot: Dylan Moore – Mariners (vs Dallas Keuchel)

Keuchel’s command was shaky in his season debut. He made mistakes in the strike zone and also struggled with free passes. He’s had these issues in the past. While he’s always shaken off the rust eventually, it sometimes takes a few appearances to get back into form. Moore skews towards fly ball contact and is primed to punish any mistakes in the zone. The likeliest result is still a bunch of ground balls. The White Sox bullpen is an imposing reason to skip any Mariners.

Also Consider: Brandon Lowe, Kolten Wong, Jake Cronenworth, Nick Solak, Christian Arroyo, Ha-seong Kim, Jeff McNeil

THIRD BASE

Top Play: Jose Ramirez – Indians (vs Jakob Junis/Carlos Hernandez)

The Royals plan a tandem of middling right-handed starters. Ramirez offers the potential to fill the scorecard, but his lack of supporting cast serves as a daily anchor – especially since he’s so expensive. While he’s easily the top-projected player at the position, he’s a below average value for money.

Pivot: Cavan Biggio – Blue Jays (at Kyle Gibson)

The choice between Biggio and Guerrero Jr. is a tough one. I’m leaning towards Biggio for one of my favorite reasons – he’s a fly ball hitter against a ground ball pitcher. Because he has below average pop, Biggio’s fly ball tendencies can be a detriment against normal and fly ball pitchers. Against ground ball pitchers like Gibson, his average launch angle improves, leading to more line drives and home run potential.

Also Consider: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Jeimer Candelario, Alec Bohm

SHORTSTOP

Top Play: Corey Seager – Dodgers (at Luzardo)

The lefty-on-lefty matchup might scare away enough would-be Seager users to make this a rare opportunity. He’s still a well-above average hitter against fellow southpaws, and benefits from network effects of his teammates. Seager fits especially well in a Dodgers stack. He also works as a crafty pseudo-pivot.

Pivot: Christian Arroyo – Red Sox (vs Ryan Yarbrough)

With Enrique Hernandez sidelined, Arroyo was installed as the Red Sox leadoff man yesterday. If he retains the role, he has modest DFS potential. There isn’t anything about him or the matchup that suggests a big game is in the offing. Instead, this is a simple value play for a viable punt. Most of the top shortstops this afternoon don’t project for juicy production.

Also Consider: Xander Bogaerts, Bo Bichette, Niko Goodrum, Ha-seong Kim, Daniel Robertson

OUTFIELD

Top Plays: Nelson Cruz (at Boyd)
J.D. Martinez – Red Sox (vs Yarbrough)
Christian Yelich – Brewers (at Hendricks)

In many ways, these are all the same recommendation. We’re chasing multi-homer upside. The Cruz-Boyd matchup is by far the most exploitable, but it’s also glaringly obvious. You’ll be sharing Cruz with a large audience. Martinez also won’t slip below the radar. Using JDM against left-handed pitchers is DFS orthodoxy. Yelich is the one that offers some doubt. He’s whiffing at a career-worst rate and is pounding everything into the ground. It’s hard to take advantage of Wrigley winds if the ball rolls to the second baseman.

Pivots: Avisail Garcia – Brewers (at Hendricks)
Andrew McCutchen – Phillies (vs David Peterson)

Like Yelich, Garcia is off to a slow start and hits too many ground balls. Unlike Yelich, you can target him as a punt since he has a near-minimum price. He also projects for a one-in-five chance to homer – assuming he can lift a ball. McCutchen facing a southpaw also fits into DFS mythology even though his splits are relative tame since the start of 2018. Cutch has some natural lift to his swing. He matches up well against a mid-tier, grounder-based lefty like Peterson.

Also Consider: Teoscar Hernandez, Mookie Betts, Byron Buxton, Eddie Rosario, Austin Meadows, Kris Bryant, Nomar Mazara, Jordan Luplow