Everything you’ll need to stay above the payline in today’s DFS MLB Cash Games!
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Sunday, April 4th
An eight-game main slate for the first Sunday of the 2021 MLB season. Among the eight games, four have expected run totals of 9.5: TOR @ NYY, STL @ CIN, BAL @ BOS and TEX @ KC. Among the highlights, we have Yankees’ Domingo German making his first start since 2019 after his domestic violence suspension, the second career start for Orioles’ Bruce Zimmermann, who has just seven innings of MLB experience, and a follow-up to the Berrios/Burnes duel in Milwaukee where most of the world is fairly certain that Michael Pineda and Adrian Houser won’t experience similar success.
No rain or bad weather to be concerned about.
For more info and updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center.
- Chicago Cubs: -175 (v PIT – Mitch Keller)
- Kansas City Royals: -170 (v TEX – Jordan Lyles)
- Boston Red Sox: -165 (v BAL – Bruce Zimmermann)
Highest Run Expectancy
- New York Yankees: 5.75
- Boston Red Sox: 5.7
- Kansas City Royals: 5.5
Lowest Run Expectancy
- Detroit Tigers: 4.0
- Milwaukee Brewers: 4.0
- Texas Rangers: 4.1
- Philadelphia Phillies: 4.1
Today’s Best Pitchers
- Zach Davies (RHP, CHC) – Low strikeouts guy (17.3% career) but posted a stellar 2.73 ERA in 12 starts last season for the Padres and has continued dominating in spring training (just two solo homers over 16.2 IP). Has a sub-7% career walk rate with pinpoint control and lines up for his Cubs’ debut against a weak Pirates’ lineup that will likely give stud hitter Ke’Bryan Hayes the day off after an injury scare yesterday. Price point makes him the best bang-for-buck cash play on an otherwise tough slate.
- Ian Anderson (RHP, ATL) – The most talented pitcher with the brightest future on this slate, but the Phillies have been quiet so far and might pop off on Sunday. The odds-on favorite to be the strikeout leader on this slate, but he’s also the most expensive, and that will come at the expense of good bats. As a rookie last season, Anderson allowed just seven runs and one homer in six very solid starts.
- Aaron Civale (RHP, CLE) – Tigers have one of the lowest run expectancies on the slate, and it will be high 40’s / low 50’s temps in Comerica, one of the tougher hitting parks in the AL. Over the offseason, Civale completely revamped his delivery with a different arm angle and windup, improved his changeup, and added a split-change to his arsenal. Impressive ratios over 22 career starts (3.69 ERA, 1.20 WHIP) and hopes to be a bigger strikeout arm this year. A bit on the pricey side for the possible lack of strikeouts but should bode well with run prevention, making him one of the safer cash game options.
- Brady Singer (RHP, KC) – I’ve admittedly not been the biggest Singer fan because of his two-pitch arsenal, but he’s been evolving his arsenal and could truly break out in his second season. The Rangers are a lefty-heavy offense, and Singer handled lefties fairly well as a rookie (.298 wOBA, 1.03 HR/9, 32% Hard%). Certainly, some strikeout upside in this matchup, and the Rangers have one of the lowest expected run totals on the slate.
Also Consider: Michael Pineda (RHP, MIN)
Batter vs. Pitcher
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Pitchers to Target Against
- Jeff Hoffman (RHP, CIN) – Career 6.40 ERA, we’d like to give him a pass since he’s pitched for the Rockies since 2016, but check out his road numbers: 4.86 ERA, 5.74 FIP, 1.48 WHIP, 1.8 HR/9. Facing a new-look, red-hot Cardinals feels like a tough spot.
- Jordan Lyles (RHP, TEX) – Supposed to be part of a ‘tandem starter’ deal with Taylor Hearn following him after a few innings. Could be a good spot again for these red-hot Royals, who have scored double-digit runs in each of the first two games. Lyles was putrid last season, posting a 7.02 ERA and a measly 13.5% K rate in 57.2 innings.
- Mitch Keller (RHP, PIT) – Supposed to be a top prospect with a bright future, but preseason has been rough on him as he allowed a whopping 15 runs in 11.1 innings with 11:8 K:BB. Won’t be that bad in the regular season, and there were some whispers of him tipping pitches, so hopefully, he’s figured that out. Wind is not supposed to be a factor come game time but be sure to check in morning.
- Garrett Richards (RHP, BOS) – First start for his new team after posting a solid 2020 with the Padres (4.03 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 21.6% K, 8.0% BB). Timing may be off and pitch count low as he missed final preseason start going through COVID-19 protocols. Got roughed up in spring to the tune of 9 ER in 13.2 IP with 11 BB. He’s priced up, but it may be a sneaky good spot for the Orioles today.
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. (click on link above)
Overall Hitter Rankings
- Salvador Perez, Royals (DK: $4800)
Roberto Perez, Cleveland (DK: $2600)
- Alejandro Kirk, Blue Jays (DK: $2300, FD: $2000)
- Gary Sanchez, Yankees (DK: $4900)
- FD only: Mitch Garver, Twins (FD: $2300)
Notes: I’m loading up and saving with Kirk (TOR) if he’s in the lineup; likely due for a start after Jansen got the first couple. Best pure matchup is KC’s Perez against Lyles, but he’s pricey.
The other Perez (CLE) prefers hitting LHP and is fairly cheap, as well. Sanchez has two bombs in two games. Garver is quite the salary saver on FD.
- Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals (DK: $5200, FD: $4000)
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays (DK: $4500, FD: $2900)
- Anthony Rizzo, Cubs (DK: $4900, FD: $3300)
- Jay Bruce, Yankees (DK: $2700, OF on FD)
- Carlos Santana, Royals (DK: $3600, FD: $3300)
- Freddie Freeman, Braves (DK: 5300, FD: $4100)
Notes: Goldy and Guerrero Jr. are the best pure hitters at the position, and Guerrero comes in at a discount today since he’s not quite hitting for power yet. Goldy in Great American vs. Hoffman would be preferred if you can afford it. Rizzo (LHH) vs. Keller (RHP) is a great spot, too. Bruce is the DK punt as a LHH vs. RHP matchup and then a sketchy bullpen. Santana is a price play, and Freeman is listed because he’s the league’s best 1B and perhaps PHI SP Eflin isn’t completely tuned up after having to build his pitch count back up after a spring back issue.
- DJ LeMahieu, Yankees (DK: $5500, FD: $3700)
- Marcus Semien, Blue Jays (DK: $4100, FD: $2700)
- Enrique Hernandez, Red Sox (DK: $3200, FD: $2800)
- Luis Arraez, Twins (DK: $4900, FD: $2500)
Notes: LeMahieu is the epitome of a cash game play as one of the league’s best hitters in baseball over the last half-decade, now leading off for the Yankees at home against a mediocre reliever converted for a spot start. Play him if you can fit him. Otherwise, most will spend down to either Semien coming off a combo meal (homer + 2 swipes) yesterday at a ridiculously low FD price, and Hernandez who leads off for Boston and faces a rookie lefty. If you really want to save at the position on FD, there’s Arraez, the man who can hit .350. Though he offers little power, he does usually lead off.
- Nolan Arenado, Cardinals (DK: $5300, FD: $3800)
- Mike Moustakas, Reds (DK: $3800, FD: $3000)
- Jose Ramirez, Cleveland (DK: $5800, FD: $4100)
- Jeimer Candelario, Tigers (DK: $3200, FD: $2500)
- Yu Chang, Cleveland (DK: $2300, FD: $2000)
Notes: Arenado is the top bat as he’s been acclimating to his new club with four hits (including a homer) in his first two games. One of the bats worth paying up for today. Moustakas has that raw power, and his Reds are at home against a Jekyll-and-Hyde Carlos Martinez. Cleveland’s Ramirez hasn’t truly warmed up yet but perhaps could pop off against the youngster southpaw Skubal. Candelario hits second for the Tigers and has been mashing since the beginning of last season. Chang is my sneaky play at min salary on FD if, for some reason, he’s in the lineup, giving Ramirez a day off.
- Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox (DK: $5500, FD: $3700)
- Gleyber Torres, Yankees (DK: $4700, FD: $3500)
- Javier Baez, Cubs (DK: $5100, FD: $3400)
- Eugenio Suarez, Reds (DK: $4200, FD: $3300)
- Paul DeJong, Cardinals (DK: $4400, FD: $2900)
Notes: Bogaerts is pricey, but at home against a rookie southpaw is a great spot to get going. Torres and all the Yankees are in play today against Zeuch and this bullpen. Baez is coming off a two-swipes game, while DeJong hit two deDongs yesterday. Suarez is the biggest masher of the group, and for some odd reason, is priced much too low. He’s my primary option if I can’t spend up for one of the top three guys.
- J.D. Martinez, Red Sox (DK: $4500, FD: $3600)
- Marcell Ozuna, Braves (DK: $5400, FD: $3700)
- Whit Merrifield, Royals (DK: $5200, FD: $4000)
- Jorge Soler, Royals (DK: $3400, FD: $3100)
- DK Punt: Cedric Mullins, Orioles (DK: $2000)
- DK Punt: Austin Hays, Orioles (DK: $2100)
- Aaron Judge, Yankees (DK: $5700, FD: $4000)
- Michael A. Taylor, Royals (DK: $2600, FD: $2500)
- Dylan Carlson, Cardinals (DK: $3400, FD: $2700)
- Ian Happ, Cubs (DK: $4700, FD: $2900)
Notes: Boston’s Martinez is a top play on the slate facing a lefty rookie. He’s 4-8 with two doubles in his first two games. Ozuna is the guy worth spending up for if the Braves can catch Eflin off his rhythm today. Merrifield is a great contact hitter with power and speed, hence the pricey salaries today. It’s really all about the matchup today though. Soler is the best point-per-dollar play, and the matchup is terrific. Mullins is the preferred min salary punt play as the LHH facing the RHP. A fan of all the guys below, even Carlson, who isn’t a typical cash play based on him hitting lower in the lineup. Maybe someone gets a day off, and he moves up.
Boom-or-Bust Power OF (in good matchups)
- Franmil Reyes, Cleveland (DK: $4000, FD: $3200)
- Joey Gallo, Rangers (DK: $3800, FD: $3800)
- Hunter Renfroe, Red Sox (DK: $3500, FD: $2800)
- Joc Pederson, Cubs (DK: $3600, FD: $2600)
Notes: Not your typical cash game guys but good opportunities for big points by the home run. Renfroe has actually faced the rookie Zimmermann twice: one walk, one homer.
DFS MLB Core 4
FANDUEL CORE 4
P – Brady Singer, Royals ($7,500)
OF – J.D. Martinez, Red Sox ($3,600)
2B – Marcus Semien, Blue Jays ($2,900)
OF – Jorge Soler, Royals ($3,100)
DRAFTKINGS CORE 4
P1 – Zach Davies, Cubs ($7,900)
OF – J.D. Martinez, Red Sox ($4,500)
3B – Nolan Arenado, Cardinals ($5,300)
OF – Cedric Mullins, Orioles ($2,000)