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Scouting The MLB DFS - Friday, April 7

Cash in on Friday's full slate of MLB action with our top DFS plays on DraftKings and FanDuel

Plays of the Day

Value: Mets RHP Zack Wheeler looks to bounce back from Tommy John surgery with a big 2017 campaign. He was excellent back in 2014 with a 3.54 ERA, 9.08 K/9 ratio and solid 54% Ground Ball Rate over 32 starts and remains one of the more naturally talented hurlers in baseball. The Marlins posted the fifth-lowest collective wOBA (.309) against RHP last year and are a combined 8-for-68 (.118) with 22 K’s over 75 career plate appearances against Wheeler, so he clearly has a good amount of upside in this spot.

Fade: Anthony Rizzo is the most expensive 1B on DK tonight and I can’t really understand why, as he’s an unimpressive 5-for-26 (.192) with 7 K’s in his career against RHP Jimmy Nelson, who posts good numbers against the platoon and seems to turn up for rivalry matchups against the Cubs.

Team Target Stacks

Mariners: Robinson Cano, Mitch Haniger, Jean Segura, Nelson Cruz

Indians: Edwin Encarnacion, Francisco Lindor, Abraham Almonte

Diamondbacks: Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock, Chris Owings

Dodgers (Afternoon): Andrew Toles, Scott Van Slyke, Logan Forsythe

Weather Report

Strong winds blowing out to CF at Detroit and Pittsburgh this afternoon.


Pitchers

Two Studs

Max Scherzer: (WAS) @ PHI DK: $13,000/FD: $10,300 (Afternoon)

If you’re playing the All Day slate, especially on FanDuel, you’re going to want to pay up a bit for the obvious top pitching option. Since Scherzer’s last preseason tune-up was delayed, he’s now pitching on a Friday devoid of true aces and is capable of putting up monstrous numbers again after going 3-0 with a 2.02 ERA and 11.1 K/9 ratio over 5 starts against the Phillies last season. Philly remains one of the worst offensive teams in the MLB and they’ve long been a punching bag for Scherzer, who sports an incredible 1.78 ERA with a .182 BAA over the last 3 years against the Phils.

Zack Wheeler: (NYM) vs. MIA DK: $8,000/FD: $6,500

The Mets stay in their pitcher-friendly ball park tonight and will give their fourth promising RHP a look as Wheeler looks to bounce back from Tommy John surgery with a big 2017 campaign. He was excellent back in 2014 with a 3.54 ERA, 9.08 K/9 ratio and solid 54% Ground Ball Rate over 32 starts and remains one of the more naturally talented hurlers in baseball. The Marlins posted the fifth-lowest collective wOBA (.309) against RHP last year and are a combined 8-for-68 (.118) with 22 K’s over 75 career plate appearances against Wheeler, so he clearly has a good amount of upside in this spot.

Potential Value

Derek Holland: (CWS) vs. MIN DK: $5,600 / FD: $6,200

A change of scenery could do Holland good as he moves from the Launching Pad in Arlington, Texas to a more spacious ballpark in Chicago’s U.S. Cellular Field. The LHP looked sharp in the preseason, striking out 4 batters over 2 IP in his final tune-up, and he’s always been a capable pitcher when injuries haven’t diminished his abilities. Tonight he’ll draw a Twins team that posted a below average .254 batting average along with the second-highest K-Rate (24.3%) amongst A.L. teams when facing LHP and they’re a very young team with little to no experience against a deceptive southpaw in Holland.

Longshot

Francisco Liriano: (TOR) @ TB DK: $8,900/FD: $8,000

On the main slate tonight, Liriano might have the most upside of any SP, but he also comes with plenty of risk. The mercurial LHP struggled at times while transitioning from the N.L. to the tough A.L. East, but found a home in Toronto with a 2.92 ERA and 9.44 K/9 ratio over 10 appearances with his new team. Tampa posted the highest K-Rate (25.4%) in the Majors with a below average .318 wOBA when facing LHP last year and current Rays are a combined 25-for-99 (.253) with 27 K’s in their collective careers against Liriano.

Batters

Catchers

Jonathan Lucroy: (TEX) vs. OAK DK: $4,500 / FD: $3,000

He’s been quiet over 2 appearances this season, but it’s only a matter of time before Lucroy starts heating up down in Texas. One of the better offensive catchers in the game, he hit a remarkable 11 HR over just 47 games with the Rangers last season and hit .293 with 6 of those bombs coming over 75 at-bats at the Launching Pad in Arlington, Texas. Tonight the Rangers are worth stacking against inexperienced RHP Raul Alcantara, who posted horrible numbers with a 7.25 ERA, 8.21 FIP and .326 BAA over his first 5 MLB starts last year. Alcantara posted a 25.7% HR/FB ratio and allowed 3.26 HR/9, so the slugging Rangers could take him deep on one or two occasions this evening.

Potential Value

Yadier Molina: (STL) vs. CIN DK: $3,700 / FD: $2,500

Cardinals host a rookie SP in Amir Garrett and Molina has been an on-base machine lately.

Longshot

Salvador Perez: (KC) @ HOU DK: $3,400 / FD: $2,700

Astros starter Mike Fiers has been extremely erratic over the past couple of seasons and Perez can take advantage of missed locations.

First Basemen

Paul Goldschmidt: (ARI) vs. CLE DK: $5,300 / FD: $4,500

A top-priced option for good reason, Goldschmidt launched his second HR of the season last night and he’s established a great floor to go along with that upside, as he’s walked 3 times, stolen a bag and added 3 singles to produce double-digit FPs in 3 consecutive appearances. Tonight the D’Backs host a vulnerable RHP in Josh Tomlin, who posted the fourth-highest HR/FB ratio (17.7%) amongst qualified pitchers last year and is a bit too aggressive for his own good. Tomlin posted interesting reverse-platoon splits in allowing RHB to hit .295 with a .356 wOBA last year and Goldy hit .298 with a .391 wOBA and .226 ISO mark at Chase Field in 2016.

Potential Value

Mark Reynolds: (COL) vs. LAD DK: $4,200 / FD: $3,700 (Afternoon)

Somewhat under priced for a slugger at Coors Field facing a vulnerable LHP today.

Longshot

Edwin Encarnacion: (CLE) @ ARI DK: $4,800 / FD: $3,900

He’s a boom-bust option to consider with the Indians facing an equally vulnerable RHP in Shelby Miller tonight.

Second Basemen

Robinson Cano: (SEA) @ LAA DK: $4,200 / FD: $3,200

Cano seems under priced on both main DFS sites ahead of a plus matchup tonight. The Angels signed former Oakland RHP Jesse Chavez after a poor 2016 campaign in which he posted a 4.43 ERA with a matching 4.49 FIP and 15.4% HR/FB ratio with two different teams. The Mariners have owned Chavez and are very familiar with him after playing in the same division, while Cano is 10-for-22 with 2 doubles and 2 walks in his career against a righty that allowed LHB to hit .307 with a .364 wOBA last season.

Potential Value

Jose Peraza: (CIN) @ STL DK: $3,700 / FD: $2,900

A good solid approach at the plate should do well against former Reds RHP Mike Leake at Busch Stadium tonight.

Longshot

Brian Dozier: (MIN) @ CWS DK: $4,600 / FD: $3,600

If Derek Holland struggles, Dozier could make him pay as an elite RHB against the platoon.

Third Basemen

Ryon Healy: (OAK) @ TEX DK: $4,000 / FD: $2,900 as 1B

Of course away batters can also benefit from the prime hitting conditions at Rangers Park this evening and the A’s offense could take off against former teammate A.J. Griffin. The 29-year-old RHP posted a career-worst 5.07 ERA and matching 5.74 FIP thanks to a weak 29% GB Rate and 16.9% HR/FB ratio last season. That’s a dangerous recipe for a pitcher heading to a stadium with a high Run Factor and Healy has been flashing plenty of power with two homers already this year. His production is no fluke given his .305 batting average with 13 HR over 72 appearances last year and Healy remains a relative bargain on FanDuel.

Potential Value

Chase Headley: (NYY) @ BAL DK: $3,800 / FD: $2,900

He’s been red hot to open the season and the Yankees could serve as an overlooked stack against wildly inconsistent RHP Ubaldo Jimenez.

Longshot

Jake Lamb: (ARI) vs. CLE DK: $4,200 / FD: $3,100

He could bat cleanup against Tomlin tonight and hitting behind A.J. Pollock and Goldschmidt is certainly a great spot for an RBI man in Lamb.

Shortstops

Jean Segura: (SEA) @ LAA DK: $4,200 / FD: $3,200

You could feel comfortable stacking Seguar and Cano together at the very same price tag and hope that one of them tees off on Jesse Chavez. Cano isn’t the only Seattle bat with plus splits against Chavez, as current Mariners are a collective 30-for-85 (.345) with a .416 wOBA in their careers against the Angels new RHP. Segura has limited experience against the former Athletics starter, but is leading off for a dangerous Seattle offense and carries plenty of upside as a dual threat.

Potential Value

Chris Owings: (ARI) vs. CLE DK: $3,700 / FD: $2,700

Another solid addition to a D’Backs stack against Tomlin.

Longshot

Jonathan Villar: (MIL) vs. CHC DK: $4,700 / FD: $3,600 as 2B

While he’s yet to have a truly big game this year, Villar could produce at the plate and on the base paths against Cubs LHP Brett Anderson.

Outfielders

Ryan Braun: (MIL) vs. CHC DK: $5,100 / FD: $4,200

Speaking of members of the Brew Crew with plus odds of producing against the platoon, Braun got Thursday off to rest ahead of a juicy matchup against Cubs southpaw Brett Anderson tonight. The versatile outfielder hit a ridiculous .426 with a 1.010 OPS at home against LHP last year and has already launched a HR with 2 hits over 4 at-bats against the platoon this season. He happens to be 2-for-3 with a HR in his career against Anderson, who posted a career-worst 11.91 ERA with an absurd 36.4% HR/FB ratio over 4 appearances with the Dodgers before getting injured last year.

Yoenis Cespedes: (NYM) vs. MIA DK: $4,400 / FD: $3,700

Sometimes hitters have great BvP splits against a SP and it confirms what you can picture as a favorable matchup. Cespedes has great power from his back foot and that’s part of the reason why he’s 5-for-16 with a HR in his career against LHP Wei-Yin Chen, who tries to keep righties off balance with a hooking curveball. Yet Cespedes is great at timing up soft throwers and he hit .341 with a .441 wOBA and an impressive 1.081 OPS when facing LHP last season.

Potential Values

A.J. Pollock: (ARI) vs. CLE DK: $4,300 / FD: $3,600
Andrew Toles: (LAD) @ COL DK: $3,800 / FD: $2,700 (Afternoon)
Mitch Haniger: (SEA) @ LAA DK: $3,500 / FD: $2,000

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