Everything you’ll need to stay above the payline in today’s DFS MLB Cash Games!
Today, we’ve got Mr. Brian Healy on the GPP article, Kenneth Le’mieux’ working the Cheat Sheet, and I’ll be in the chat for the hour prior to lock (6:20pm – 7:20pm ET). I’ll also be hopping on with Ray Flowers on the Core 4 Livestream around 5:40pm ET, so come check it out if you can.
Here is the entire content plan for today:
Early Bird – A complete writeup of all the early slate MLB games by the man, Scott Bondar.
Cash Game Breakdown – The article you are currently reading.
DFS MLB Lineup Coach – Daily coaching session assisting with all aspects of DFS MLB.
DFS MLB Cheat Sheet – A quick guide to the top plays at each position and salary level.
GPP Writeup – Using experience, game theory & advanced stats to uncover low-owned stars.
Core 4 Livestream – Daily Livestream that covers all DFS sports, featuring guests from throughout the Elite Sports Network.
Be Sure to Bookmark:
Thursday, April 29th
The Thursday slates are among the least fun ones of the week because they’re usually split into two, but on the bright side, we have two opportunities to make some money! The main FD slate has just four games, while the DK one includes the second game of the doubleheader between the Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox, which, of course, will be a seven-inning affair.
Trevor Bauer highlights the slate as the standalone ace in a sea of drowsy alternatives with a matchup against an offense without their best hitter and basically stringing together a lineup of scrubs every day. The Brewers have recalled former first-round pick of 2016 and southpaw Eric Lauer to draw the start for them.
Red Sox visit the Rangers in Texas and will bring veteran lefty Martin Perez with them to face a squad that has the highest number of left-handed bats in the league. On the other side, Red Sox bats will square off with an old veteran themselves, Kyle Gibson, who has had a string of pretty successful starts over the last few weeks.
The Cubs bring a potential future ace to battle for them in Adbert Alzolay, and Alzolay will be happy to see a new set of uniforms. That’s because the only team he’s faced in each of his first three starts were the Brewers. Alzolay struck out seven over 4.1 innings in his latest start against them. The Braves will have veteran RHP Josh Tomlin serve as the opener for Bryse Wilson, a former prospect who has struggled mightily through three partial seasons as a starter. Could be a good spot for the Cubs to get their bats back on track.
We have a battle among teams in the NL West with a mediocre arm (Luke Weaver) and a subpar one (Antonio Senzatela), though Senzi has had much more success in starts away from his highly elevated home park, Coors Field. The Rockies have struggled to hit in the first two games of this series, while the Diamondbacks are without two of their top hitters in Ketel Marte and Christian Walker.
Finally, that second game of the doubleheader between the Tigers and White Sox starts at 8:10pm ET, and we’ll likely see Matt Boyd (LHP) and Dylan Cease (RHP) on the mound. This game will only be a part of the DraftKings slate this afternoon.
Strong rain caused that DET/CHW game to be postponed yesterday and to be part of today’s doubleheader, but the rain should be light by the time that second game gets underway.
For more info and updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center.
1 – Los Angeles Dodgers -195
2 – Arizona Diamondbacks -160
3 – Chicago White Sox -150 (DK only)
Highest Run Expectancy
1 – Arizona Diamondbacks: 5.0
2 – Atlanta Braves: 4.8
3 – Boston Red Sox/Los Angeles Dodgers: 4.4
Lowest Run Expectancy
1 – Detroit Tigers: 3.0 (DK only)
2 – Milwaukee Brewers: 3.1
3 – Chicago White Sox: 3.6 (DK only)
4 – Colorado Rockies: 4.0
Today's Pitchers Grid
Today’s Best Pitchers
1 – Trevor Bauer, Dodgers ($11,300 DK, $11,000 FD)
He is expensive, but it’s an easy decision today as Bauer is the only ace on the slate and the difference in talent level between him and the rest of the starting pitchers is massive. Brewers are still without their best hitter – Yelich – and have one of the highest strikeout rates against right-handed pitchers so far this season (nearly 29 percent). Bauer has a 45:6 strikeouts to walks ratio over five starts though has allowed six longballs. Not a spot to overthink in cash games or even GPP’s today.
2 – Kyle Gibson, Rangers ($7,000 DK)
Price listed only for DK and on paper, he’s the solid option for our SP2 slot there, especially at such a fair rate. For comparison’s sake, Gibson is $9,200 on FD (second priciest there), and the savings from Bauer to him aren’t worth the greater risk of blowing up. Gibson has yet to allow a home run through five starts and boasts a 2.30 ERA and a 2.38 xFIP. The Rangers are underdogs at home (BOS -135) because of the strength of this Red Sox’ offense, but they’re coming off a low-scoring series with the Mets and now have to travel to a pitcher-friendly park to face their team’s ace.
Adbert Alzolay, Cubs ($6,700 DK, $6,000 FD)
A future stud in the making here, Alzolay has 17 strikeouts and just three walks in 15 innings (three starts). He mixes in four offerings as part of his arsenal, including a 95-mph fourseamer, a slider, curveball and a changeup. The Braves are fresh off a double-digit outing against these same Cubbies, but Alzolay won’t let them score runs as easily tonight. A nice pairing with Bauer if you believe the Red Sox can beat up on Gibson a bit. And an insane price on FD if you plan to go without Bauer and just load up on the expensive hitters.
Pitchers to Target Against
- Eric Lauer (LHP/Brewers) – Called up from alternate site to make his season debut against the Dodgers. Career 4.75 ERA and 40.4% hard hit rate against. He’s a lefty, but against LHH’s over his career (61 innings), he has a .317 BAA, .377 wOBA, 1.48 HR/9, 1.74 WHIP. Against RHH’s: 1.43 WHIP, 9% BB but decent wOBA (.325) and K rate (22.5%).
- Bryse Wilson (RHP/Braves) – In 51.2 career innings: 5.75 ERA, 1.76 WHIP, 11.8% BB. Against LHH’s: a .449 wOBA, 2.01 WHIP, 2.70 HR/9, 15.5% BB.
RHH Rangers vs. Martin Perez (LHP/BOS) and LHH Dbacks vs. Antonio Senzatela (RHP/COL)
TARGETING STOLEN BASES
(click on link above)
We have a brand new stolen base target tool on the site. I strongly recommend looking it over in order to find a value play or to properly assess how likely a player is to steal tonight.
Hot Streaks (Hottest Hitters at Each Position)
Batter vs. Pitcher
1B – Jose Abreu (CHW) – DK
2B – Ryan McMahon (COL), Jonathan Schoop (DET) – DK
3B – Charlie Culberson (TEX)
SS – Tim Anderson (CHW) – DK, Nick Ahmed (ARI)
OF – Avisail Garcia (MLW)
For more, visit our BvP Matchup Page!
Overall Hitter Rankings
1 – Will Smith, RH/Dodgers ($4,300 DK, $3,200 FD)
2 – Willson Contreras, RH/Cubs ($5,300 DK, $3,400 FD)
3 – Stephen Vogt, LH/Diamondbacks ($4,100 DK)
4 – PUNT: Jose Trevino, RH/Rangers ($3,300 DK)
Notes: Trevino (TEX) is the only true punt at the position since most of the catchers are 4k and up on DK. I’d lean Smith (LAD) for the price but would get Contreras (CHC) in if I had the cap space for him.
1 – Anthony Rizzo, LH/Cubs ($4,000 DK, $3,300 FD)
2 – Freddie Freeman, LH/Braves ($5,300 DK, $4,000 FD)
3 – Pavin Smith, LH/Diamondbacks ($3,900 DK, $3,100 FD)
For DK only: Jose Abreu, RH/White Sox ($4,800) or Miguel Cabrera, RH/Tigers ($3,300) – PUNT
Notes: If salary is not an issue, the top play overall is a red-hot Freeman (ATL), who has two homers and seven runs batted in his last three games after a week-long cold streak. Another good play is Rizzo (CHC), who faces the weaker pitcher, has a better price tag on both sites, and Atlanta’s ballpark is favorable to lefty power. I’d consider Cabrera (DET) on DK for the serious savings too and hope he takes one deep.
1 – Nick Solak, RH/Rangers ($4,600 DK, $2,900 FD)
2 – Chris Taylor, RH/Dodgers ($4,500 DK, $3,600 FD)
3 – Ryan McMahon, LH/Rockies ($5,200 DK, $3,400 FD)
4 – Max Muncy, LH/Dodgers ($4,300 DK, $3,700 FD)
Notes: Solak (TEX) has been the mack daddy and the daddy mack against left-handed pitching this season, hitting .343 with three homers against them in just 38 plate appearances. Martin Perez isn’t known to give up a ton of homers but sure does serve up a lot of contact. Next best is Taylor (LAD), who has three of his four homers against lefty pitchers this season along with a .530 wOBA.
1 – Justin Turner, RH/Dodgers ($5,000 DK, $4,000 FD)
2 – Rafael Devers, LH/Red Sox ($5,200 DK, $3,200 FD)
3 – PUNT: Matt Duffy, RH/Cubs ($2,400 DK, $2,000 FD)
4 – Kris Bryant, RH/Cubs ($4,700 DK, $3,800 FD)
Notes: Turner (LAD) is expensive as he usually is, but he’s one of baseball’s best LHP-hitters over the last half-decade, and so far against them this year, he has a .313 ISO and a .320 wOBA. If you really need the savings, then Duffy (CHC) would be the way to do it, and you can use him at 3B or 1B. Hardly any power, but could earn his price with a couple of hits and a run scored.
1 – FD VALUE: Xander Bogaerts, RH/Red Sox ($5,500 DK, $3,300 FD)
1 – Corey Seager, LH/Dodgers ($4,800 DK, $3,900 FD)
3 – DK ONLY: Tim Anderson, RH/White Sox ($5,100)
4 – FD SPECIAL: Charlie Culberson, RH/Rangers ($2,300)
5 – Trevor Story, RH/Rockies ($5,000 DK, $3,800 FD)
Notes: The position is expensive today, but you can roll with Culberson (TEX) on FD if you want to go against the grain and punt. He will most likely be in the lineup today against Boston’s LHP. Culberson is SS/OF on FD and 3B only on DK. Seager (LAD) is a decent play despite LvL matchup after his day off and the fact that Lauer may not be long for his start. Though on DK, I’d consider rolling with Anderson (CHW) over him. On FD, Bogaerts continues to be priced incredibly cheap, and I’d probably take the savings with him.
1 – Ronald Acuña Jr., RH/Braves ($5,800 DK, $4,300 FD)
2 – Jason Heyward, LH/Cubs ($3,200 DK, $2,500 FD)
3 – Charlie Blackmon, LH/Rockies ($3,500 DK, $2,800 FD)
4 – Pavin Smith, LH/Diamondbacks ($3,900 DK, $3,100 FD)
5– Mookie Betts, RH/Dodgers ($5,400 DK, $4,400 FD)
6 – J.D. Martinez, RH/Red Sox ($5,700 DK, $3,800 FD)
7 – A.J. Pollock, RH/Dodgers ($3,100 DK, $2,600 FD)
8 – FD VALUE: Marcell Ozuna, RH/Braves ($4,900 DK, $2,600 FD)
9 – Alex Verdugo, LH/Red Sox ($4,600 DK, $2,800 FD)
10 – David Peralta, LH/Diamondbacks (5,000 DK, $3,400 FD)
11 – PUNT: Sam Hilliard, LH/Rockies ($2,000 DK, $2,200 FD)
12 – PUNT: Billy McKinney, LH/Brewers ($2,200 DK, $2,100 FD)
Notes: Acuña Jr. is the top play, and the slate is small enough where, in cash, you can still play him and Alzolay as your SP2 on DK. He’s only faced Alzolay three times but has homered off him once. Heyward (CHC) hasn’t had a hit this week and hasn’t been fantasy relevant in years, but I can’t foresee him not getting at least one meaningful hit against his former team this series. He should hit higher in the lineup today against the RHP Wilson and is very affordable on both sites. Blackmon (COL) hasn’t been himself lately, but a matchup with Jekyll-and-Hyde Luke Weaver could be just what the doctor ordered. He hit over .300 at Chase Field between 2018 and 2019.
If looking for other cheaper plays, then Pollock (LAD) could fit the bill in a matchup against his preferred handedness (RHP), and he’s warmed up a bit, going 6-for-15 with a homer and a swipe in his last five games. Ozuna (ATL) homered yesterday, and hopefully, that’s the first step in him ‘getting right’ after a very cold April. He’s still far too cheap on FD. If you’re looking for a good all-around hitter with a high floor, then Verdugo (BOS) is your man. Finally, two punts in Hilliard (COL) and McKinney (MLW), and yes, I think you can get weird in cash tonight – but don’t play both of them. I might play Hilliard for min salary myself if he’s in the lineup because of his power/speed upside.
DFS MLB Core 4
FANDUEL CORE 4
P – Trevor Bauer, Dodgers ($11,000)
1B – Anthony Rizzo, Cubs ($3,300)
3B – Justin Turner, Dodgers ($4,000)
SS – Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox ($3,300)
DRAFTKINGS CORE 4
SP1 – Trevor Bauer, Dodgers ($11,300)
1B – Anthony Rizzo, Cubs ($4,000)
OF – Ronald Acuña Jr., Braves ($5,800)
OF – Jason Heyward, Cubs ($3,200)