MLB DFS Plays: Wednesday 4/14

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Brad Johnson
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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.

We have a seven-game slate on the docket tonight. By game time, it’ll probably be down to six games – weather is looking rough in Baltimore.

PITCHER

Top Play: Dustin May – Dodgers (vs Rockies)

The sea level Rockies feature a truly dreadful offense. May should cut through them like a soft cheese. In his 2021 debut, he mostly leaned on three different fastballs and a curve, making short work of the Athletics offense. He might be a tad pitch constrained in comparison to the other five aces in the slate. I anticipate six innings and six strikeouts.

Pivot: Charlie Morton – Braves (vs Marlins)

There isn’t really a pivot as such in this set of pitchers. Morton is affordable relative to the others, and he’s pitched superbly through two starts. He fell afoul of the BABIP gods in his first start, posting a poor point total through no fault of his own. The Marlins have a bottom-10 offense. It’s also no pushover as Max Fried can attest.

Also Consider: Zach Plesac, Carlos Rodon, Zack Wheeler, Lance McCullers

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CATCHER

Top Play: Yermin Mercedes – White Sox (vs Plesac)

Plesac doesn’t appear to be as sharp this season. He’s not getting as much life or command out of his offspeed stuff which has led him to throw more fastballs. His heater is a well-below average offering. When Plesac is in his pitch-to-contact form, he should be a solid matchup for Mercedes. Ultimately, it’s a very difficult slate for catchers. The good ones are overpriced and/or face talented pitchers.

Pivot: Wilson Ramos – Tigers (at McCullers)

Ramos is the only catcher to combine serious home run potential with an affordable price. He’s on a homer binge after blasting another pair last night. Obviously, this is a sticky frontline matchup. While McCullers could be the top performer tonight, the Astros bullpen is exploitable. Ramos is favored by our DFS Projections.

Also Consider: Will Smith, J.T. Realmuto, Jose Trevino

FIRST BASE

Top Play: Freddie Freeman – Braves (vs Nick Neidert)

Neidert is a pitch-to-contact right-hander who has yet to reveal his true identity as a pitcher. Besides a consistently poor ERA, his minor league numbers shed very little light on his inclinations. He has a four-pitch repertoire with his changeup serving as the only pitch that might be above average. A Braves stack looks like a top choice with Freeman as one of the anchors.

Pivot: Rhys Hoskins – Phillies (at David Peterson)

Hoskins will have the platoon advantage against Peterson. More importantly, he matches up well in two additional ways. Peterson can skew effectively wild with his sinker-heavy approach. Hoskins’ plate discipline and fly ball tendencies should help him to pick out the right pitches to lift into the outfield.

Uncharacteristically, Hoskins is swinging at an above average rate of pitches out of the zone. He’s remained patient on pitches within the zone so I suspect this is a small sample fluke.

Also Consider: Trey Mancini, Max Muncy, Jose Abreu

SECOND BASE

Top Play: Brandon Lowe – Rays (vs Kohei Arihara)

The Rays cleanup man is off to a slow start. He’s struggling to avoid strikeouts and has yet to barrel a ball. While it’s possible he’s lost the gains made last season, Lowe still appears to be an above average power hitter. Perhaps his rostership will be lower as a result of this slump. Arihara isn’t inducing any whiffs, but he might have modest ability to limit hard contact. A Rays stack appears to be one of the top plays tonight.

Pivot: Ozzie Albies – Braves (vs Neidert)

Albies was dropped to fifth in the lineup last night. He responded with a home run and a double. Although he’s off to a slow start, it can be entirely chalked up to a .139 BABIP. Granted, his underperformance on batted ball is deserved based on an overreliance on low-EV fly ball contact. These things tend to balance out over time. Encouragingly, he’s one of the few hitters in the league to be making more contact this season.

Also Consider: Jose Altuve, Chris Taylor, Jean Segura, Jeff McNeil

THIRD BASE

Top Play: Alex Bregman – Astros (vs Michael Fulmer)

The Tigers have received three solid appearances from Fulmer out of the bullpen. If they plan to use him as more than an Opener, it probably won’t turn out well. He’s been excessively homer prone since the start of 2018. As a starter, he’s shown no aptitude for inducing strikeouts and will probably lose the bonus velocity he’s discovered while working in relief. Bregman is a multi-homer threat tonight. Technically, Jose Ramirez is the top play if you have the cash, but Bregman is the better value.

Pivot: Kevin Padlo – Rays (vs Arihara)

The Rays didn’t find a place for Padlo last night in what would have been a juicy matchup for the slugging infielder. Arihara’s inability to induce whiffs makes this another excellent pairing. Now we just need the Rays to start him.

Also Consider: Justin Turner, Jose Ramirez

SHORTSTOP

Top Play: Corey Seager – Dodgers (vs Jon Gray)

Seager, quite simply, doesn’t make bad contact. Unlike most hitters with this trait, he also doesn’t suffer from an elevated strikeout rate or too many ground balls. In short, he’s the Freddie Freeman of shortstops and should be used at every opportunity.

Pivot: Isiah Kiner-Falefa – Rangers (at Josh Fleming)

Kiner-Falefa is hitting everything hard. Fleming also appears overrated by pricing models, projection systems, and other DFS analysts (or maybe I’m wrong!). The soft-tossing left-hander gets by on a hefty ground ball rate and very few strikeouts. IKF is going to put three to five balls in play tonight. As a ground ball hitter, the path to DFS value likely depends on a multi-hit game. If Fleming is even a little bit off with his command in his 2021 debut, this could quickly turn into a meltdown.

Also Consider: Carlos Correa, Dansby Swanson, Francisco Lindor

OUTFIELD

Top Plays: Austin Meadows – Rays (vs Arihara)
Ronald Acuna – Braves (vs Neidert)
Joey Gallo – Rangers (at Fleming)

This looks very similar to the recommendation from yesterday. Acuna replaces Trout. Any Braves stack should include their best hitter – even at an extreme price. He also works as a one-off if you’re left holding too much cash. Meadows disappointed yesterday. He gets a chance to rebound against another exploitable pitcher and a weak bullpen. The Gallo recommendation is also unchanged. He hits left-handed pitchers just fine. Fleming’s ground ball tendencies could betray him.

Pivots: Andrew McCutchen – Phillies (at Peterson)
Adolis Garcia – Rangers (at Fleming)

McCutchen will have the platoon advantage and a helpful lineup role. His best trait though is an affordable price tag. He looks like a core performer at a discount. Garcia is a valuable punt. He’s an all-or-nothing power hitter with high fly ball and strikeout rates. Since Fleming pitches to contact and works down in the zone, this is a potential contest-breaking bargain. Of course, a zero is the likeliest outcome.

Also Consider: Yordan Alvarez, Marcell Ozuna, Lowe, Randy Arozarena, Kyle Tucker, Nomar Mazara, Mitch Haniger, Adam Duvall