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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for April 21

Zach Thompson gives his top studs and value plays for Friday’s fantasy baseball slate on DraftKings.

After a Wrigley matinee and a few other games with early starts, Major League Baseball has a dozen games on tap for under the lights on Friday night. The 24 teams in action provide plenty of great options to help start your fantasy baseball weekend with a big win on DraftKings main slate, which gets underway at 7:05 p.m. ET.

As always, make sure to keep a close eye on pregame lineups and the latest player news by installing the DK Live app and following DK Live on Twitter (@dklive). I’m also on Twitter (@ZT_Sports), where you can keep up with all my picks as the season continues.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $250K Relay Throw [$50K to 1st]

For up-to-the-minute news, analysis, and lineups, download the DK Live app. You also can follow DK Live on Twitter @dklive.



Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels vs. Kansas City Royals ($10,800) – Ohtani has been dominant every time he has taken the mound this season, and the only start that didn’t result in a big DKFP total was his last time out when a rain delay shortened his outing to just two innings. He’ll make this start on short rest after that two-inning outing, but this tasty matchup gives him a high ceiling that far outweighs any concerns about that.

In his 21 innings this season, Ohtani has 27 strikeouts and has allowed just a total of two runs on six hits. His 0.86 ERA and 3.05 FIP are supported by a 0.90 WHIP and only a 28.2% hard-hit allowed rate. However, his .151 BABIP against is likely unsustainably low. With so many strikeouts though, he is a great option even if some more of the contact he does allow starts dropping in. The Royals should be an outstanding matchup for the superstar, ranking second-to-last in the Majors in runs scored, third-to-last in home runs, worst in wOBA and bringing the third-highest team strikeout percentage in the Majors. Even though he’s sure to be extremely popular, his ceiling is too high to pass up in this matchup. This looks to be a “take the free space” play on Friday night.

Other Options – Hunter Brown ($9,800), Zac Gallen ($9,600)


Nick Pivetta, Boston Red Sox at Milwaukee Brewers ($7,600) – If you’re looking for a cheap starting pitching option on this slate, Pivetta brings the best upside even though his matchup in Milwaukee is less than ideal. Before struggling in his most recent start against the Angels, Pivetta had two good starts against the Pirates and Rays, allowing just two runs in 10 innings and striking out 12.

Last season, he fared better on the road than at home and continued that trend with a good outing in Tampa Bay worth a season-high 20.3 DKFP in his first road start of this season. Pivetta gave up a grand slam and inherited runners scored after he left in his last start, but his stuff continues to be impressive. He’ll look to get his first win of the season and continue his road success in this contest on Friday, and he’s the best option under $8K due to his strikeout potential.

Other Options – Domingo Germán ($7,800), Joey Lucchesi ($5,400)



Marcus Semien, Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics ($5,700) – Without his double-play partner, Corey Seager (hamstring), Semien has helped the Rangers still get off to a fast start and take the top spot in the AL West at 12-6. He’s hitting .293 with a .366 wOBA, four home runs and two stolen bases in his 18 games this season. He has at least 14 DKFP in seven of his past 10 games and has hit .366 (15-for-41) over that stretch with three homers and a .467 wOBA. He’ll face his former team and lefty J.P. Sears ($6,100) as the Rangers open their series against the A’s on Friday.


Pete Alonso, New York Mets at San Francisco Giants ($5,600) – The Polar Bear has stayed scorching hot over the past week and is always an option to consider if you’re paying up at 1B. He has an MLB-leading nine home runs including four in his past eight games in which he has gone 12-for-32 (.375) with a .510 wOBA and .375 ISO. Alonso and the Mets get a solid matchup against Anthony DeSclafani ($8,100) by the Bay in the late game.

Other Options – José Ramírez ($5,900), Xander Bogaerts ($5,000)


Bryson Stott, Philadelphia Phillies vs. Colorado Rockies ($3,900) – Stott has been excellent for the Phillies this season and earned himself a promotion to the leadoff spot. He has a hit in 19 of his 20 games this season and is hitting .360 (32-for-89) with seven doubles, a home run and three stolen bases. He doesn’t walk as much as a prototypical leadoff hitter (just two times all season), but he has still reached base multiple times in seven of his past 11 games. He gets a great matchup (highlighted below) and comes under $4K, so he’s a very solid play at 2B if you don’t pay up for Semien.


Kiké Hernández, Boston Red Sox at Milwaukee Brewers ($3,800) – Hernández started the season mired in a slump, but the streaky SS/CF has been heating up lately. He has a seven-game hitting streak, going 11-for-26 (.423) with a double, a home run and a .441 wOBA. Hernández has moved up into the middle of the order, which gives him more run-production opportunities and is a solid play under $4K for as long as he stays on his current heater.

Other Options – Anthony Volpe ($3,700), Mauricio Dubón ($3,200), Brett Baty ($2,200)



Julio Rodríguez, Seattle Mariners vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($5,900) – Rodríguez homered for the second time in his past three games on Wednesday and is up to four homers and four stolen bases on the season. He has hit safely in six of his past seven games, going 9-for-31 (.290) with a .379 wOBA, .290 ISO and 52% hard-hit rate. Rodríguez has hit .313 with a .452 wOBA against lefties this season and .268 with a .371 wOBA at home. With those splits and his current form in his favor, he’s a strong stud play vs. Steven Matz ($7,300) and the Cardinals on Friday.


Cedric Mullins, Baltimore Orioles vs. Detroit Tigers ($5,600) – Mullins is tied for the MLB lead with nine stolen bases on the season and has hit safely in six of his past seven games. He also has eight walks and four stolen bases in that span while hitting .391 (9-for-23) and averaging 12.7 DKFP per game. He’s in a great matchup (detailed below) and should be able to keep rolling as the O’s come home to take on Detroit.

Other Options – Ronald Acuña Jr. ($6,500), Kyle Schwarber ($5,600)


Lars Nootbaar, St. Louis Cardinals at Seattle Mariners ($3,900) – Nootbaar has been great since returning from the thumb injury that landed him on the IL. He has a stolen base, a home run and has averaged 11.3 DKFP per game in his four games since returning, so don’t be fooled by his .231 batting average—there’s a lot of upside with Nootbaar. He got a day off Wednesday, but he hit leadoff on Tuesday. Whether he’s back in the leadoff spot or hitting in the heart of the order, he brings a nice power and speed combo that gives him multiple ways to produce.


Sam Hilliard, Atlanta Braves vs. Houston Astros ($2,500) – Hilliard has been helping to fill in for Michael Harris (back) over the past few weeks and has started eight of the past 12 games for Atlanta. During that span, he has gone 11-for-28 (.393) with three doubles, a homer, two RBI, seven runs and two stolen bases. He has averaged 11.3 DKFP over his six most recent starts, and he’s a great value with a high ceiling at this salary.

Other Options – Corbin Carroll ($3,100), Brent Rooker ($2,700)


Baltimore Orioles vs. Detroit Tigers – The Orioles are in a good spot to stack against Michael Lorenzen ($5,900) and the Tigers. Lorenzen struggled in his rehab start but was still activated last Saturday to face the Giants. He gave up six runs on eight hits and four home runs in four innings. Cedric Mullins ($5,600), Adley Rutschman ($5,500) and Ryan Mountcastle ($4,900) are a strong top-three stack with Anthony Santander ($3,900) surprisingly underpriced for a cleanup option. Lower in the lineup, Gunnar Henderson ($3,800), Ramon Urías ($3,500) and even Terrin Vavra ($2,200) can be valuable options to round out the stack.

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Colorado Rockies – The Phillies lost the opener of their series to the Rockies and Ryan Feltner, but they should be set to bounce back at home against rookie Noah Davis ($5,600) on Friday. The 26-year-old righty looked pretty solid in his first start of the year, but he had allowed eight runs in 12 23 innings and struck out just six at Triple-A before being called up. He gave up two runs last year in his only inning of MLB work after posting a fairly unimpressive 5.54 ERA at Double-A. Despite his solid outing against Seattle, I think the Phillies will get to him. In the minors the past few seasons, his main struggle has been against left-handed hitters, so Bryson Stott ($3,900) and Kyle Schwarber ($6,000) are top options to include. You can build around them with Trea Turner ($6,100), Nick Castellanos ($4,900) and J.T. Realmuto ($5,400) while also grabbing some value with Jake Cave ($2,600) and possibly Edmundo Sosa ($2,500).

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $250K Relay Throw [$50K to 1st]

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.