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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for April 16

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

Los Angeles Dodgers v Colorado Rockies Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

There are six Major League Baseball games on tap for Saturday night, providing DraftKings players with a solid 12-team slate to play DFS fantasy baseball. Half of the slate gets underway right after 7:05 p.m. ET when contests lock with the Astros-Mariners and Reds-Dodgers matchups closing out the night from the West Coast. Coors Field is also in play as the Rockies host the Cubs for the third game of their four-game set.

Let’s take a look at some of the top targets on Saturday’s slate. These players are in the best positions to succeed based on current form and expected matchup. Throughout the day, stay locked into the DK Live app for updates, and you also can follow DK Live on Twitter @dklive for the latest news and analysis leading up to the first pitch. You can also let me know what you think of these picks, ask any questions and find more bargain-specific content on my Twitter, @ZT_Sports.


Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $200K Relay Throw [$100K 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.


PITCHER

Stud

Noah Syndergaard, Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers ($7,900) – The Angels are doing weird things like intentionally walking runners with the bases loaded, but they still managed to beat the Rangers on Friday night. They also seem to have made a good call on investing in Syndergaard coming off of surgery and two lost seasons. In Spring Training, he was sharp, allowing just one earned run in 8 23 innings while striking out 11 over two starts. He sparkled in his Angels debut as well, throwing 5 13 shutout innings against the Astros and posting 15 DKFP. He only had one strikeout in that game, but his career 9.68 K/9 rate shows more strikeouts should be expected moving forward. Syndergaard gets a much better matchup than Houston when he faces the Rangers in this contest, and it’s nice to still get him at a discount with a salary under $8K.

Other Options – Justin Verlander ($9,700), Steven Matz ($9,000)

Value

Jameson Taillon, New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles ($7,000) – While the Reds’ Hunter Greene ($7,500) offers plenty of flashy upside, he’s a little too high risk for me since he’s taking on the Dodgers. Instead, I think Taillon makes a very solid value play as he takes on the Orioles in a much more SP-friendly matchup. Taillon set a career-high with an 8.73 K/9 rate last season while going 8-6 with a 4.30 ERA and 4.43 FIP. He faced Baltimore twice and allowed four earned runs in 11 innings while striking out 17 in a pair of no-decisions. Taillon started the season with a strong outing against the Blue Jays but took a hard-luck loss despite allowing just two runs in five innings and striking out six for a total of 16.3 DKFP. He is in a better matchup and has a nice, relatively safe combination of ceiling and floor in this matchup.

Other Options – Hunter Greene ($7,500), Taylor Hearn ($6,000)


INFIELD

Stud

Nolan Arenado, St. Louis Cardinals at Milwaukee Brewers ($4,900) – I had Arenado as my stud infielder yesterday, and he came through with a home run, three RBI and 27 DKFP in the Cardinals’ 10-1 win. He has started the season red-hot, going 10-for-23 (.435) with three doubles, four homers and a 25% barrel rate, per Statcast. He has hit safely in each of his six games this season and is locked in as the Cards’ cleanup hitter on a daily basis. Today, he’ll face Adrian Houser ($8,600), who only lasted 3 23 innings in his first start of the season, which was a loss to the Orioles. It should be a good spot for Arenado and the Cards to keep crushing.

Stud

C.J. Cron, Colorado Rockies vs. Chicago Cubs ($4,000) – Speaking of crushing it, let’s talk about the Rockies at Coors Field. They’ll go against Mark Leiter Jr. ($4,000), who is a good matchup as highlighted below in stacks. Usually, Cron is someone to target in opposite-hand matchups, but he has started the season on a roll, going 9-for-29 (.310) with a double, triple and three home runs, helping him average 11.6 DKFP per contest. Cron has been great at Coors since joining Colorado last year, so getting him at just $4K is unusual, especially in this good of a matchup.

Other Options – Shohei Ohtani ($5,500), DJ LeMahieu ($4,700)

Value

Jack Mayfield, Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers ($2,900) – Mayfield will likely get the start for the Angels against lefty Taylor Hearn ($6,000), and he may even hit cleanup like he did two times earlier this season. He has at least one hit in each of his four games this season, going 5-for-14 with a double, a triple and a home run. Last year, he had a .191 ISO and .299 wOBA against southpaws. While those numbers aren’t enough to blow you away, in a premium lineup spot against a beatable pitcher they make him a solid sub-$3K play since he’s riding a bit of a heater to start the year.

Value

Tyler Stephenson, Cincinnati Reds at Los Angeles Dodgers ($2,700) – While the Reds don’t have much fantasy goodness, one bat I do end up targeting pretty often is catcher Tyler Stephenson. Stephenson hit .291 last year against lefties with a .347 wOBA and .165 ISO. He went 0-for-4 in the series opener but is still 5-for-25 (.250) with a pair of home runs and 8.1 DKFP per game this season. He typically hits in the middle of the Reds’ order and remains a good target vs. LHP like Julio Urías ($9,900), who did not look right in his first start of the season.

Other Options – Trey Mancini ($3,100), José Iglesias ($3,100)


OUTFIELD

Stud

Aaron Judge, New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles ($5,400) – The Yankees gave Judge a day off on Friday before he went 0-for-1 as a pinch hitter. He usually crushes the Orioles, and he especially enjoys his visits to Camden Yards, where he has more HR than any other park where he is a visitor. Last season, he hit nine home runs in 17 games against the Orioles, bringing him up to 26 home runs against Baltimore in 69 games and 14 home runs in 35 games at Camden Yards. Even though he only has one long ball this season, he has been hitting the ball extremely well, as evidenced by a 59.1% hard-hit rate with a 27.3% barrel rate. He’s 8-for-29 (.276) with three doubles and a home run, so I think he’s set for some positive regression in this hitter-friendly environment Saturday night.

Stud

Kris Bryant, Colorado Rockies vs. Chicago Cubs ($4,000) – Like Cron, Bryant is another surprisingly affordable middle-of-the-order bat for this matchup against Leiter. While he’s still looking for his first home run as a member of the Rockies, he has gone 11-for-29 (.379) with three doubles. He has at least one hard-hit event in each of his past five games and has multiple hits in four of those five contests. It’s strange that the power hasn’t shown up yet, but he’s still putting up excellent contact numbers and at just $4K offers a very high ceiling in this matchup.

Other Options – Mike Trout ($5,700), Seiya Suzuki ($4,800)

Value

Ian Happ, Chicago Cubs at Colorado Rockies ($3,900) – Happ has been hitting cleanup this season for the Cubs and has gone 9-for-21 (.429) with a pair of doubles. Like his former teammate Bryant, the power has not yet been there for Happ, but he has a good hard-hit rate of 53.3%. He and the Cubs will go up against Antonio Senzatela ($6,600), who has done a good job limiting home runs but still had a 4.42 ERA and 4.17 FIP last season. Happ’s hard-hit rate and multi-hit potential make him a solid play under $4K.

Value

Julio Rodríguez, Seattle Mariners vs. Houston Astros ($3,300) – Rodríguez is the Mariners’ top prospect but has gotten off to a slow start after a red-hot Spring Training. The 21-year-old is just 3-for-25 (.120) but still has managed to post at least 7.0 DKFP in four of his past six games. He has two stolen bases over that span and is starting to hit the ball better as well. Even though the results still aren’t there yet, he has a 50% hard-hit rate after a pair of hard hits last night. The Mariners will continue to give J-Rod plenty of room to grow since he has elite tools, and he still has a very high ceiling at this salary.

Other Options – Connor Joe ($3,500), Aristides Aquino ($2,000)


TEAMS TO STACK

Colorado Rockies vs. Chicago Cubs – Whenever the Rockies play at Coors Field, they have the potential to pile up runs in a hurry, and as a team, they’re surprisingly affordable in this matchup against Leiter. This matchup has an over/under of 11.5 on DraftKings Sportsbook, which is the highest mark of the day by two full runs. Leiter was just called up for his first MLB appearance since 2018. He went 3-7 with a 5.53 ERA in 114 career innings with a 1.97 HR/9 rate. Even though he’s a righty, he allowed righties like Cron and Bryant (highlighted above) hit .375 with a .458 wOBA. Connor Joe ($3,500) has been a great option out of the leadoff spot as well and Brendan Rodgers ($3,600) will be in a good spot too if he returns from a day off. There are even ultra-cheap options like José Iglesias ($3,100) and Sam Hilliard ($2,600) to mix into your stack.

Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers – After throwing a bullpen game Friday and allowing nine runs in a loss, the Rangers give the ball to lefty Taylor Hearn ($6,000). Hearn went 6-6 last season with a 4.79 ERA and 4.82 FIP. He struggled against righties, though, allowing them to hit .267 with a .340 wOBA including 12 home runs and 1.52 HR/9. While lefties struggled against him, big bats like Mike Trout ($5,700) and Anthony Rendon ($4,000) are pieces to consider building around while Mayfield (highlighted above), Matt Duffy ($3,800) and Andrew Velazquez ($2,200) offer salary relief while still landing on the right side of Hearn’s splits.


Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $200K 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 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 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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