MLB DFS action on Wednesday, April 7, features 15 games across five slates with giant contests on Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel. Before locking in lineups, make sure to check out Awesemo’s daily fantasy baseball top stacks, picks, rankings and projections. Let’s dig into some MLB DFS picks and daily fantasy baseball stacks including the Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Indians and Philadelphia Phillies.
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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Hitters and Stacks, Wednesday, April 7th
Yahoo Stack of the Day: Cleveland Indians vs. RHP Jakob Junis — 4.5 implied runs
The various DFS sites are handling things differently for the first “getaway day” today. Yahoo is starting things off with the first game at 12:35 p.m. ET, and it is also the only site including the Coors Field extravaganza on its main slate. Keep in mind, Washington and Atlanta are playing a doubleheader today and each game is earmarked to go seven innings.
On Yahoo, things get started early with Cleveland taking on Jakob Junis. Since the beginning of the 2018 season, Junis has allowed 70 home runs in 71 starts, which is the fourth most in the league during this stretch. In this timeframe, he has faced 863 left-handed hitters, allowing 31 home runs with a 1.46 HR/9 rate, 42.6% hard-hit rate and a 16.1% HR/FB rate. Meanwhile, 788 same-handed batsmen have had even more success with 39 home runs accompanied by a 1.86 HR/9, 39.9% hard-hit and 17.7% HR/FB.
Since Junis is generous with home runs to hitters swinging the stick from either side of the plate, focus on raw power first. Since the beginning of the 2019 season, Jose Ramirez has been the most accomplished of the options. In this time, he has a .236 ISO and 24 stolen bases, which makes him the first choice. Eddie Rosario is now in his second season out of Minnesota, though he continues to be a master of his craft. He tends to have an excellent contact rate, along with a .260 ISO in opposite-handed matchups.
The raw power of Franmil Reyes is desired, particularly with his reasonable $13 salary. Ben Gamel will likely be leading off, and at the minimum salary on Yahoo, he is worth the risk of seeing just three at-bats before being lifted for a pinch-hitter should Jake Brentz, the lone southpaw in the Royals bullpen, come in for a relief appearance. Finally, look to Josh Naylor at $8 for salary relief to extend the stack and provide salary flexibility to upgrade pitching slots.
Minnesota Twins at LHP Matthew Boyd — 4.6 implied runs
The gifts keep on coming from Wednesday’s slate. The Twins will be squaring off against Matthew Boyd, who has allowed the most home runs in the league since the beginning of the 2018 season. It should be no surprise that the bulk went to righties, with 67 on a 1.81 HR/9 rate. However, lefties have chipped in with 14 on a 1.43 HR/9 rate. Boyd is a power pitcher, and he does have a combined 9.80 K/9 rate with a solid 2.71 BB/9 rate, but the power allowed is a costly tradeoff.
Nelson Cruz will be 41 years old in July, but as long as he is playing in an American League park, he should occupy the designated-hitter slot. In his last 194 plate appearances, he has an eye-popping .453 ISO, 1.292 OPS and a 223 wRC+. This means that Cruz creates 2.23 times as many runs when facing lefties when compared to the average hitter.
As long as Mitch Garver is in the Twins’ lineup, he should be in DFS lineups given his success against southpaws that rivals Cruz, with a .359 ISO, 1.092 OPS and 183 wRC+. Byron Buxton is dealing with a non-COVID illness, but he did come in as a pinch-hitter yesterday and went 1-for-2 with a solo home run playing the second half of the game.
Miguel Sano is a boom/bust option, with his ghastly 37.4% strikeout rate against lefties dampening his amazing .310 ISO. Finally, if looking for a full stack, Jorge Polanco should be hitting close to the heart of the order. While he does not have a lot of power, with only a .143 ISO against his last 271 lefties, he does an adequate job of getting on base and makes enough contact that he could pay off with runners in scoring position.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. LHP David Peterson — 4.5 implied runs
The Phillies will be loading up their lineup with righties as they take on David Peterson this afternoon. Game time temperatures should be in the low-70s, which makes Citizens Bank Park one of the more appealing hitting environments. Last year as a rookie, Peterson was solid across nine starts spanning 49.2 innings in the abbreviated season, finishing with a 3.44 ERA. This was impressive considering he had never appeared above the Double-A level. However, the advanced metrics tell a different story, with his 5.11 xFIP and concerning 4.35 BB/an indicator that he has been lucky in The Show.
Peterson has just an average fastball in the 91- to 92-mph range, though he has only employed it 53.2% of the time. This tends to have analysts projecting him in the “crafty lefty” category, as he uses his slider 25.6% of the time and his changeup 18.7% of the time to keep hitters off balance.
Rhys Hoskins is the priority target with his .299 IOS over his last 248 righty/lefty matchups. Andrew McCutchen should be leading off, and he makes for a nice table-setter with his .410 on-base percentage against lefties. He also has above-average pop, with a .191 ISO in his last 139 plate appearances. On sites where that require a catcher, J.T. Realmuto is the lead option on the afternoon slate and a top-three option on the main slate.
Finally, consider Bryce Harper, who hammers fellow lefties, and Didi Gregorius can definitely hold his own as well. Alec Bohm is getting a lot of respect on Yahoo with his $16 salary, but he is coming at a nice discount at $2,800 on FanDuel and $3,100 on DraftKings, which should have him on everyone’s radar.
Final Thoughts for the Wednesday, April 7th MLB DFS Slate
There are only two games starting after 6 p.m. ET, so do not dilly-dally when entering contests today. Keep in mind that salaries and scoring formats differ across the various fantasy sites, and a home run play on Yahoo may be a below-average MLB DFS pick on DraftKings or FanDuel.
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