The final day of April brings another solid Saturday of fantasy baseball action with a split schedule providing a six-game early slate and a seven-game main slate with contests locking at 7:05 p.m. ET. We’ll focus on that main slate of DraftKings contests in this post, as we dive into some very intriguing matchups on tap for this Saturday night to close out the first month of what promises to be another awesome season.
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Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Detroit Tigers ($10,300) – Through the first month of the season, no team in Major League Baseball scored fewer runs than the Tigers, who have plated 59 runs in 19 games. They’re hitting .227 as a team with an MLB-low eight home runs. Not only does Kershaw get a great matchup, but he also has the backing of a stacked lineup which has helped him pick up the win in each of his first three starts. He has been locked in with 23 strikeouts in 17 innings and five runs allowed for a 2.65 ERA with a 2.10 FIP. He has over 16 DKFP in each of his three starts, and he should be able to dominate the Tigers on Saturday night.
Other Options – Gerrit Cole ($10,000), Eric Lauer ($9,600)
Nathan Eovaldi, Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles ($8,700) – Normally, I like to go much cheaper with my value pitching pick, but the options cheaper than Eovaldi are pretty scary on this Saturday, so it doesn’t seem worth the risk with Eovaldi in such a good spot against the Orioles. Like Detroit, Baltimore has been a great matchup to attack, scoring only 60 runs in their 20 games and hitting .214 as a team. No team has struck out more than the Orioles either, racking up 199 strikeouts for an average of 10.0 punchouts per game. Eovaldi has 24 strikeouts in his 21 2⁄3 innings for a 9.97 K/9 rate to go with his 3.32 ERA and 5.64 FIP. The elevated FIP is due to his sudden tendency to give up home runs, but hopefully, he can get that under control against the O’s, who he is 4-1 against over the past two seasons with a 1.96 FIP and 9.4 K/9 rate.
Other Options – Chad Kuhl ($7,900), Bryce Elder ($7,500)
Anthony Rizzo, New York Yankees at Kansas City Royals ($5,200) – Rizzo has been raking so far this season, going 21-for-74 (.284) with an MLB-leading nine home runs boosting him to a .419 ISO and .468 wOBA. He gets a great matchup discussed below, and he has crushed righties for a .475 wOBA and a ridiculous 223 wRC+. He has a 48.4% hard-hit rate on the season and has been even better over the past week with a 57.7% hard-hit rate. All of that has resulted in double-digit DKFP in four of his past five games and 15.4 DKFP per contest over his past 10 games. He’ll remain a stud to build around as long as he stays this scalding.
Willy Adames, Milwaukee Brewers vs. Chicago Cubs ($5,100) – Adames has also been scorching hot with four home runs over his past five games boosting him to a .238 ISO and .345 wOBA on the season. He started the year a little slow but has picked it up, going 10-for-32 (.313) over his past eight games with those four homers, a .483 wOBA a 52.2% hard-hit rate. Lefty Justin Steele ($6,900) should be a good matchup for Adames to continue to produce while locked into the second spot in the Brew Crew’s lineup.
Other Options – Rafael Devers ($5,100), Corey Seager ($4,700)
Alec Bohm, Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets ($3,400) – There aren’t a lot of great cheap options that hit high in lineups on the slate, but there is high upside if you know where to look. Bohm and the Phillies will look to bounce back after being no-hit last night in this matchup against Taijuan Walker ($8,400) coming off the injured list. Despite his PR trip-ups, the 25-year-old is off to a strong start this year, hitting .306 with two doubles, two homers, a .163 ISO, a .356 wOBA and a 56.8% hard-hit rate. His xwOBA of .436 shows he has actually been a little unlucky, and that has especially been the case over the past week. If he keeps hitting the ball well, he should be able to turn things around, so I like getting the high upside at under $3.5K.
Dansby Swanson, Atlanta Braves at Texas Rangers ($3,300) – Swanson has hit safely in six of his past seven games, and will now normally precede Ronald Acuña Jr. ($6,000) when the Braves lineup turns over if he continues to hit ninth. Over his past seven games, Swanson has gone 8-for-22 (.364) with a double, a triple and a home run boosting him to a .477 wOBA with a 57.1% hard-hit rate over that span. Swanson can run hot and cold at times, so take advantage of this surge if you go cheap at SS.
Other Options – Jonathan India ($3,900), Mike Moustakas ($2,000)
Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Detroit Tigers ($5,400) – Betts still hasn’t found his top form this season but is averaging 11.5 DKFP per game over his past eight contests thanks to two home runs and two stolen bases. He is hitting just .214 as a result of a .250 BABIP which should be due for some positive regression. Betts has hit safely in six of those eight games, going 8-for-29 (.276) with a .207 ISO and .413 wOBA. He and the Dodgers have a good matchup against Beau Brieske ($6,400), making his second MLB start.
Giancarlo Stanton, New York Yankees at Kansas City Royals ($4,800) – Stanton has multiple hits in three of his past four games including a pair of home runs. He has at least one hit with an exit velocity of over 105 mph in each of those games, and his hard-hit rate for the season is up to 54.0% after a 60.0% hard-hit rate over the past week. He and the Yankees should continue to mash, and getting him under $5K brings a ton of upside.
Other Options –
Aaron Judge ($5,500), Charlie Blackmon ($4,600)
Tommy Pham, Cincinnati Reds at Colorado Rockies ($2,900) – The Reds haven’t offered much fantasy fun this season, but a weekend at Coors Field gives them a chance to change that. Pham is still under $3K and typically hits third in the lineup. He started the year with just one hit in his first 31 plate appearances, but he has been much better since then, going 14-for-38 (.368) over his past 10 games with four doubles, three homers and a .494 wOBA resulting in 10.5 DKFP per game over that stretch. Pham had four hits and 22 DKFP in the series opener and is now 22-for-59 (.373) with a .453 wOBA in his 19 career games at Coors Field.
Travis Demeritte, Atlanta Braves at Texas Rangers ($2,000) – Hitting leadoff on Friday, Demeritte did his best Acuña impression and hit his second homer of the season (this one an inside-the-parker) while going 2-for-5 and posting 21 DKFP. In his six games since joining the team, he has gone 7-for-18 (.389) with a .389 ISO and .530 wOBA. With Alex Dickerson designated for assignment, there should continue to be opportunities for Demeritte in the OF although he’ll slide down in the order. Before being called up, he was hitting .283 with two stolen bases, six doubles, two triples and two home runs over 12 games with the Gwinnett Stripers. At the minimum salary, he’s a great way to still get some upside while saving salary to spend on stars in other spots.
Other Options – Hunter Renfroe ($3,700), Mark Canha ($2,700)
TEAMS TO STACK
New York Yankees at Kansas City Royals – After a slow start, the Yankees offense seems to have found a groove—it’s funny how facing the Guardians, Orioles and Royals will do that. They have scored at least 10 runs in four of their past five games and won seven straight coming into this matchup against Carlos Hernández ($5,700). Over his first three starts, Hernández has surrendered 10 runs on 20 hits in just 14 innings. He has let lefties post a solid .324 wOBA but has been demolished by righties, who have two home runs, four doubles and a .527 wOBA against him this season.
Aaron Judge ($5,500), Anthony Rizzo (discussed above), Giancarlo Stanton (discussed above) and DJ LeMahieu ($4,800) all bring elite power potential and have been hitting the ball very well lately. There isn’t a ton of value in the regular lineup, but Isiah Kiner-Falefa ($3,700) and Gleyber Torres ($3,300) are solid sub-$4K ways to grab a piece of the surging Bronx Bombers.
Colorado Rockies vs. Cincinnati Reds – Even without Kris Bryant (back), the Rockies crushed the Reds on Friday night, scoring 10 runs in their return to Coors Field. On Saturday, they’ll face Connor Overton ($4,000), who went 0-1 with a 4.70 ERA and 3.89 FIP across nine games for the Blue Jays and Pirates last season. In that brief MLB experience, he allowed lefties to hit .308 with a .429 wOBA including three doubles and two home runs. Charlie Blackmon ($4,600) and Ryan McMahon ($4,300) jump out because of that split while Connor Joe ($5,600), Randal Grichuk ($4,400) and C.J. Cron ($4,900) have gotten off to strong starts and are also good options to consider. The bottom third of the lineup does offer value as well with Alan Trejo ($3,400) and Sam Hilliard ($2,900) surprisingly cheap for Rockies’ starters playing at Coors against such a favorable matchup.
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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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