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Fantasy Baseball Rankings: DraftKings MLB DFS Picks for April 5

Timothy Finnegan ranks the top fantasy baseball plays in each salary range for Monday’s main DraftKings MLB slate.

Below, we take a look at Monday’s seven-game DraftKings MLB slate, which starts at 7:05 p.m. ET.

The idea of this fantasy baseball rankings page is to rank the top DraftKings options in each salary range, helping you make quick decisions when debating which players to roster for the upcoming main DraftKings MLB slate. Players are sorted from top to bottom in order of preference.

The players listed in the tables below are players that I’m considering rostering based on their price and matchup. If a player is not listed in these rankings but is in the lineup, that just means I am not focused on paying for this player today due to the combination of their matchup and price. They might still be a viable option, but I’m looking to spend my DraftKings capital elsewhere today.

One of the best ways to find hitter value in DraftKings MLB contests is through lineup slot upgrades after pricing has been set. These lineup slot upgrades often do not happen until teams release lineups a few hours before the game locks. Check back before lock to see potential updates to the rankings.

Follow me on Twitter at @timfinn521 for nerdy baseball stats and Mets tweets.


Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $300K Relay Throw [$100K to 1st]


Notable Lineup Absences

Team Name Position Injury Status
Team Name Position Injury Status
Houston Astros Alex Bregman 3B Abraham Toro will start with Bregman out.
Houston Astros Yordan Alvarez DH Ronnie Dawson will start in place of Alvarez.
Houston Astros Jose Altuve 2B Aledmys Diaz will start in Altuve's place.
Houston Astros Martin Maldonado C Jason Castro will start with Maldonado out.

Check back before lock for updated lineup notes!


DraftKings Sportsbook Betting Odds

Teams Moneyline Total Runs
Teams Moneyline Total Runs
NY Yankees -121 Over 10.5
TOR Blue Jays +106 Under 10.5
WAS Nationals +110 Over 8.5
STL Cardinals -127 Under 8.5
CHI Cubs +143 Over 7.5
MIL Brewers -167 Under 7.5
LA Angels -136 Over 9
KC Royals +117 Under 9
BOS Red Sox +128 Over 6
MIN Twins -148 Under 6
CIN Reds -113 Over 8.5
SF Giants -103 Under 8.5
SD Padres -215 Over 8
PIT Pirates +185 Under 8
SEA Mariners +110 Over 9
BAL Orioles -132 Under 9
DET Tigers +210 Over 9
HOU Astros -265 Under 9
PHI Phillies -118 Over 8
NY Mets +102 Under 8
TEX Rangers +163 Over 8.5
TB Rays -195 Under 8.5
MIA Marlins +205 Over 8.5
ATL Braves -265 Under 8.5
CLE Indians +107 Over 7.5
CHI White Sox -129 Under 7.5
COL Rockies +240 Over 8
LA Dodgers -286 Under 8

Pitchers

All

Player Name Position Opp Salary
Player Name Position Opp Salary
Jacob deGrom SP PHI $10,700
Dustin May SP OAK $8,800
Anthony DeSclafani SP SD $7,000
Jose Quintana SP HOU $7,400
Adrian Morejon SP SF $8,100
Justus Sheffield SP CWS $7,500
Frankie Montas SP LAD $7,900

Pitcher Notes

Dustin May, Los Angeles Dodgers ($8,800)

May has one of the top arms in baseball, but despite having electric stuff, it hasn’t translated into a lot of strikeouts yet. Part of the reason is because May has primarily thrown a two-seam fastball. A two-seam fastball misses less bats than a four-seam fastball due to the combination of movement and seam orientation—a two-seamer has sink and run, while a four-seamer has “rise” and lift. Sink and run on a fastball can help generate ground balls, while “rise” and lift can help generate swinging strikes and fly balls.

For this reason, it is notable that May has been throwing more four-seam fastballs this spring. Four-seamers up in the zone could transform May into more of a strikeout pitcher, which could help his fantasy value.

However, volume could continue to be an issue—the Dodgers have been fairly aggressive in yanking May early in games, and May did not crack 90 pitches in any of his starts last season.

On Monday, May is getting a league downgrade at Oakland, which will feature the DH, but Oakland is a good park for pitching. The Athletics are projected to be a mediocre offense this season, so the matchup is decent. May’s explosive arm gives him fantasy upside if he’s able to put everything together, but there’s also fantasy risk due to his limited volume and lack of strikeout history.

Jacob deGrom, New York Mets ($10,700)

Something to note for Monday’s start is that deGrom’s schedule has been messed with due to a COVID-19 situation with the Nationals. deGrom was scheduled to start last Thursday before the Mets’ entire series with the Nationals got postponed. A disrupted routine can sometimes cause pitchers to be a little off their game.

However, the disrupted routine does get deGrom a better pitching matchup, which could put him in better position to get the four-point win. deGrom goes from having to face ace Max Scherzer to having to face Matt Moore, which gives him a much better chance at receiving run support. Moore’s ERA is close to 6.00 since the start of 2017, and Moore is backed by a Phillies bullpen that does not project to be good despite making several new additions.

deGrom’s skills are about as elite as they come for fantasy scoring on the back of all-world velocity and a tight, hard slider. In 2020, deGrom sat a career-best 99 mph on his four-seam fastball, up from 97 mph in 2018-19 and 94.5 mph in his rookie season in 2014. deGrom’s velocity has been equally insane this spring, reaching as high as 102 mph on a fastball and 95 mph on a slider.

The rise in velocity, along with a spike in slider usage, fueled an absurd 39% strikeout rate in 2020, one of the best strikeout rates in MLB history (yes, the season was shortened, but strikeout rate also stabilizes quickly). deGrom generated a swing and a miss on roughly 22% of his total pitches, easily the best rate since that statistic began being tracked. deGrom’s mutant stuff gives him about as much strikeout and fantasy upside as anybody in the game.

Anthony DeSclafani, San Francisco Giants ($7,000)

DeSclafani has traditionally been tough on right-handed batters. DeSclafani has limited RHB to a .285 wOBA in his career, far better than the .355 wOBA he has allowed to LHB. This is also supported by a 3.50 FIP vs. RHB, compared to a 4.99 FIP vs. LHB.

DeSclafani’s platoon splits are notable against the Padres, who have a lot of right-handed hitters at the top of their lineup. Manny Machado ($5,600), Fernando Tatis Jr. ($5,800), Wil Myers ($5,200) and Tommy Pham ($3,700) all bat from the right side.

DeSclafani’s home/road splits are also notable given he used to play his home games in hitter-friendly Cincinnati, one of the best parks for hitting. DeSclafani’s career wOBA allowed on the road is a better-than-average .301, compared to a worse-than-average .341 at home. Monday’s matchup is taking place at pitcher-friendly Petco Park in San Diego.


Hitters

Studs ($5,000+)

Player Name Position Opp Salary
Player Name Position Opp Salary
Mike Trout OF HOU $5,700
Christian Yelich OF CHC $5,500
Cody Bellinger OF OAK $5,600
Corey Seager SS OAK $5,600
Jose Abreu 1B LAA $5,600
Randy Arozarena OF BOS $5,100
Max Muncy 1B OAK $5,300
Mookie Betts OF OAK $5,900
Anthony Rendon 3B HOU $5,400
Manny Machado 3B SF $5,600
Fernando Tatis Jr. SS SF $5,800
Kris Bryant 3B MIL $5,100
Javier Baez SS MIL $5,200
Rafael Devers 3B TB $5,200
Luis Robert OF SEA $5,300
Xander Bogaerts SS TB $5,400
Jose Altuve 2B LAA $5,200
Alex Bregman 3B LAA $5,500

Midrange ($4,000-$4,900)

Player Name Position Opp Salary
Player Name Position Opp Salary
Brandon Lowe 2B BOS $4,800
Pete Alonso 1B PHI $4,800
Francisco Lindor SS PHI $4,800
Austin Meadows OF BOS $4,400
J.D. Davis 3B PHI $4,400
Austin Meadows OF BOS $4,400
J.D. Martinez OF TB $4,700
Michael Conforto OF PHI $4,200
Dominic Smith 1B PHI $4,400
Willson Contreras C MIL $4,900
Gavin Lux 2B OAK $4,000

Salary Relief ($3,900 and under)

Player Name Position Opp Salary
Player Name Position Opp Salary
James McCann C PHI $3,700
Evan White 1B CWS $2,600
Mitch Haniger OF CWS $3,200
Yoshi Tsutsugo 1B BOS $2,900
Evan Longoria 3B SD $3,800
Buster Posey C SD $3,800
Austin Slater OF SD $3,300
Wilmer Flores 1B/3B SD $3,700
Kevin Kiermaier OF BOS $3,000
Jeff McNeil 2B PHI $3,600
Kevin Pillar OF PHI $3,400

Hitter Notes

New York Mets stack

Phillies SP Matt Moore spent the 2020 season in Japan, and the last time we saw him in the big leagues, he was highly ineffective. Philadelphia had an absolutely rancid bullpen in 2020, and while the Phillies made several offseason additions to improve the bullpen, the pen is not expected to be particularly good. Mets batters are getting a large park upgrade on the road at hitter-friendly Philadelphia, a much better park for dingers than Citi Field.

Moore does not have notable platoon splits, so both right-handed and left-handed bats are options for New York. Pete Alonso ($4,800), J.D. Davis ($4,400), Francisco Lindor ($4,800) and James McCann ($3,700) are good right-handed options. Michael Conforto ($4,200), Dominic Smith ($4,400) and Jeff McNeil ($3,600) are options from the left side. Kevin Pillar ($3,400) is a potential salary relief option if he’s batting leadoff, but it’s currently unclear if Pillar or Brandon Nimmo ($3,900) will play today in CF.

Los Angeles Dodgers left-handed stack

The Dodgers are coming off a four-game series at Coors Field to play in Oakland. This is notable because there can sometimes be a “hangover” effect for batters immediately following games at Colorado, in part due to Coors Field’s effect on pitch movement—pitches don’t move as much at Coors. This can affect batters when they return to a neutral field and pitches are suddenly moving more sharply. There are also greater physical demands playing at Colorado, which can leave players feeling extra fatigued when they leave.

While the “hangover” effect is worth considering, left-handed batters are an option today. A’s pitcher Frankie Montas has a good fastball/slider combo that makes him tough on righties, but he lacks a good third pitch to get lefties out effectively. LHB have had strong success against Montas, generating a nice .369 wOBA with a .221 isolated power. Cody Bellinger ($5,600), Corey Seager ($5,600), Max Muncy ($5,300) and Gavin Lux ($4,000) are left-handed considerations.

Tampa Bay Rays stack

Red Sox SP Nick Pivetta has been one of the least effective and most home run prone pitchers in MLB. Since the start of 2019, Pivetta has allowed about two home runs per nine innings while allowing opposing batters to produce a .245 isolated power. Left-handed batters have had more success in this split against Pivetta, posting a .266 isolated power.

The matchup is taking place at hitter-friendly Fenway Park, which gives the Rays a park upgrade. Brandon Lowe ($4,800), Randy Arozarena ($5,100) and Austin Meadows ($4,400) are stud/midrange considerations. Yoshi Tsutsugo ($2,900) hit leadoff in two of Tampa Bay’s first three games and is an appealing salary relief play if he bats leadoff again on Monday.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $300K Relay Throw [$100K to 1st]


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is timfinn521) 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 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.


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