Everything you’ll need to stay above the payline in today’s DFS MLB Cash Games!
I really hate the way these slates are broken up in the first couple weeks of the season. It happens every year, but we got a reprise in 2020 due to the short season. From awkward game times to quick trigger cancellations to copious doubleheaders, it’s way more difficult to determine which games are on the main slate than it should be. But don’t worry my friends, this will all go away and be much more routine in another week.
Today is perhaps the strangest of all the early days of this 2021 MLB regular season. We have games starting at 12:05pm ET (9:05am PT) and only two evening games in total. That leaves us a main slate for DFS of 10 games beginning at 1:10pm ET (10:10am PT). Thus, all of our DFS MLB content will be posted for your viewing pleasure at 12pm ET. Our Core 4 Livestream will be 60 minutes and hit on The Masters as well as the main slate of DFS. I’ll be joining Ray Flowers at 12:40pm ET (which is 9:40am my time) to review the slate and update the core four if necessary.
A reminder about the content we are offering today and everyday here at Elite Fantasy:
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 Cheatsheet – 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:
Wednesday, April 7th
Today, we’ve got a wealth of quality starting pitchers taking the hill as a bunch of these rotations are back to their ace, including Shane Bieber, Blake Snell, Trevor Bauer, Aaron Nola, Jack Flaherty and Kenta Maeda. We are fortunate that one of the two evening games that are not on this slate is the Diamondbacks/Rockies at Coors Field. The number of games, the depth of options and the lack of Coors make this a very good cash game slate overall. We’re gonna win some money today, ya’ll.
Let’s get right into it:
Milwaukee Brewers at Chicago Cubs – This might throw some people off because the wind is blowing out pretty strongly to left field at 14-18 MPH at gametime. Normally, this means that the ball will be flying out of Wrigley, but a dramatic temperature decrease means the ball won’t be cutting through the air the way it does in Summer here. I am not projecting any increase in runs or HR for this game due to the wind.
Chicago White Sox at Seattle Mariners – There will be rain in Seattle, and thus, the dome will be closed. This is significant because the roof is rarely closed, and when it is, we see an 18.7% decrease in runs and a 14.4% decrease in home runs.
For more info and updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center.
- Cleveland Indians: -200
- Toronto Blue Jays: -180
- Minnesota Twins: -170
- Los Angeles Dodgers: -155
- Chicago White Sox: -150
- Philadelphia Phillies: -150
- San Diego Padres: -150
Highest Run Expectancy
- Toronto Blue Jays: 4.92
- Los Angeles Dodgers: 4.76
- Chicago White Sox: 4.69
- Minnesota Twins: 4.47
- San Diego Padres: 4.48
- Chicago Cubs: 4.41
Lowest Run Expectancy
- Kansas City Royals: 2.88
- Detroit Tigers: 3.53
- Texas Rangers: 3.58
- San Francisco Giants: 3.59
- New York Mets: 3.60
- Oakland Athletics: 3.73
Today's Pitchers Grid
Today’s Best Pitchers
1) Blake Snell, LHP, Padres ($9800/$9900) – Yep, getting right back on the horse even after Snell stopped one-third of an inning short of getting a win in his first start of the season last week. In that start, Snell struck out eight of the 14 hitters he got out while giving up zero runs. What’s more impressive was that he got an astounding 18 swinging strikes against the 20 total hitters he faced. The quick hook was upsetting, but manager Jayce Tingler has said all week that he will not limit Snell’s innings going forward. Remember, Snell was dominant this Spring, going 3-0 with a 0.00 ERA, 0.63 WHIP and 13 K’s in 14.1 innings. He will dominate this Giants lineup today and rack up a top three-point total among the SP’s.
2) Kyle Hendricks, RHP, Cubs ($7700/$8100) – I may be a cash game player, but I don’t play this game afraid. Hendricks only lasted three innings against the Pirates in his first start of the season and nearly hurt our cash game lineups in the process. But the Cubs bullpen has been racking up innings and can use a breather today. Hendricks dominated the Brewers last year, going 2-0 with a 1.08 ERA, a 0.54 WHIP and 16 K’s in 16.2 innings. In fact, the Brewers lineup is hitting just .220 with a .308 wOBA against Hendricks over 194 PA. Brewers hitters struck out 12 times yesterday against four Cubs pitchers. In his first outing, he had a salary of $9100 on FanDuel, which I thought was a bargain. Today, he’s just $7700 ($8100 on DK), which is an absurd bargain. In one of my preseason DFS MLB strategy segments on SiriusXM, I discussed how the pricing algorithm presents value when there are multiple studs at one position. Well, today we have a bounty of aces going across MLB, and only a few of them can be priced at what they should be. Because of his first outing and the rest of the aces going today, we get a very good cash game pitcher for a near 25% discount.
3) Dallas Keuchel, LHP, White Sox ($7100/$7400) – This is more about attacking the lowly Seattle bats than having much faith in Keuchel. The lefty was sensational for the pale hose last season, logging a 1.99 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 11 starts. But his first start wasn’t on par with his 2020 performance, as he lasted just four innings while giving up three earned runs in 69 pitches. The good news is that he generated four strikeouts against a team that is very tough to strike out while also getting seven groundball outs, which is Keuchel’s signature. The Mariners have struck out 39.5% of the time against LHP so far this year and own the third worst wOBA in the league against them at .235.
4) Shane Bieber, RHP, Indians ($11,500/$10,600) – We’re getting a near $2K discount on Blake Snell today from Bieber, which is really hard to pass up. But make no mistake that Bieber is a fantastic cash game option for us, as well. The Indians are the biggest favorite on the board, while the Royals have the lowest implied run total. The Royals have hit just .227 against Bieber with a 28.2% strikeout rate. He wasn’t sharp in his first outing against the Tigers but still managed to rack up 49 FD points. On DK, we can leverage his salary with one of the quality value options, but on FD, I think that I will take the discount on Snell.
5) Hyun Jin Ryu, LHP, Blue Jays ($8200/$7300) – If I were to ask you which MLB pitcher has the best ERA over the last three seasons, you would guess….Jacob deGrom. And you would be correct. But if I asked you who was second, you would say….? Well, you’d name 227 starting pitchers and still never get to the name of Hyun-Jin Ryu. But that is the correct answer. In fact, Ryu has more wins than deGrom despite starting 20 fewer games. Ryu also has the eighth-best WHIP (1.03), 13th best batting average against (.212), the best strand rate (82.6%), sixth-best groundball rate (49.8%) and 10th lowest hard contact rate against (32.0%) over the last three years. But he doesn’t strike out a bunch of people, and for that, his price is firmly in the mid-tier. He makes the perfect complement for either Bieber or Snell on DK and is definitely tempting me to stack up the big bats by using him on FD today.
Pitchers to Target Against
1) Kyle Gibson, Rangers – 4.36 xFIP, .275 BAA, 1.53 WHIP, 1.60 HR/9, 26.7% HR/FB% & 37.7% hard contact rate against in 2020. Gave up seven baserunners and 5 ER in one-third of an inning in his first start against the Royals.
2) Jakob Junis, Royals – 4.77 xFIP, 1.62 WHIP, .330 BAA, 25.0% HR/FB%, 2.49 HR/9, 35.6% hard contact rate against in 2020.
3) Justin Dunn, Mariners – 6.23 xFIP, 47.2% FB%, 16.7% HR/FB%, 1.97 HR/9, 39.8% hard contact rate, 8.2% swinging strike rate against in 2020. Had 5.73 ERA, 1.73 WHIP, 1.6 HR/9 in Spring Training.
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)
Hot Streaks (Hottest Hitters at Each Position)
|7||Vladimir Guerrero Jr.||TOR||98||418||32||78||80||2||13.6||17.20||0.330||0.332||0.327||0.423||0.656||0.449||187|
|10||Fernando Tatis Jr.||SDP||86||360||31||79||69||23||12.2||28.60||0.359||0.324||0.288||0.372||0.647||0.419||166|
|13||Ronald Acuna Jr.||ATL||82||360||24||72||52||17||13.6||23.60||0.313||0.311||0.283||0.394||0.596||0.414||159|
Batter vs. Pitcher
C – Mitch Garver, Christian Vasquez, Travis d’Arnaud
1B – Miguel Cabrera, Freddie Freeman, Pete Alonso, Jesus Aguilar
2B – Jonathan Schoop, Joey Wendle, Kolten Wong, Starlin Castro, Jeff McNeil
3B – Jose Ramirez, Travis Shaw, Pablo Sandoval, Austin Riley, Kyle Seager
SS – Andrelton Simmons, Jorge Polanco, Xander Bogaerts, Marcus Semien, Trea Turner
OF – Eddie Rosario, JD Martinez, Austin Meadows, Joc Pederson, Victor Robles, Marcell Ozuna, Ronald Acuna
For more, visit our BvP Matchup Page!
Overall Hitter Rankings
- Will Smith, Dodgers ($3400/$4700)
- JT Realmuto, Phillies ($3400/$5000)
- Victor Caratini, Padres ($2300/$3100)
- Wilson Ramos, Tigers ($2500/$2800)
- Mitch Garver ($2400/$4400) & Willians Astudillo, Twins ($2300/$3200)
Notes: In four games this season, Will Smith has a tremendous 40% LD%, 25% BB% and just 6.3% K%. He has also smashed 2 HR and has a 60% hard contact rate. Smith gets to face another lefty in Jesus Luzardo this afternoon. Realmuto is coming off of a real nice Spring. He is working counts and hitting the ball into the gaps as he always does to start the regular season. He’s expensive but matches up well against Mets LHP David Peterson. Our value plays today are Victor Caratini, who leads all catchers with a 66.7% hard contact rate so far this season, and Wilson Ramos, who gives us a run-producing bat for just over minimum price. Either of the Twins catchers would be terrific matchups against Matt Boyd and the Tigers bullpen today, too. Watch for that Minnesota lineup to make sure who is starting.
- Pete Alonso, Mets ($3500/$4800)
- Vlad Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays ($3300/$5000)
- Yandy Diaz, Rays ($2600/$3700)
- Rhys Hoskins, Phillies ($3700/$4900)
- Jose Abreu ($3800/$5700) & Andrew Vaughn, White Sox ($2100/$3700)
Notes: Alonso has his stroke back and launched a two-run shot against the Phillies last night. He also has a pair of HR’s against Aaron Nola, both coming on changeups low and in. The Blue Jays are expected to put up a ton of runs against Kyle Gibson and the terrible Rangers bullpen tonight. Both Vlad Guerrero and perhaps Rowdy Tellez are in play as a result. I wish that Rhys Hoskins was a bit cheaper today after he smashed a pair of hits last night while coming in off of the bench. Abreu had a grand slam last night, and he leads all first basemen with a silly 68% hard contact rate this season. But don’t overlook rookie Andrew Vaughn, who very well could be in the White Sox lineup again tonight. His patience and power are a great tandem against fellow youngster Justin Dunn.
- Brandon Lowe, Rays ($3000/$4800)
- Jake Cronenworth, Padres ($3200/$3800)
- Ty France, Mariners ($2800/$3600)
- Tommy Edman, Cardinals ($2900/$4600)
- Kike Hernandez, Red Sox ($2800/$3900)
Notes: I mentioned in this space on Monday that Lowe crushes in Fenway Park, and he hasn’t disappointed so far in this series. Lowe has reached base in five of his eight plate appearances and scored three runs in the first two games. He is a bit expensive on DK, so fading over there could really help us at other positions. Ty France is quickly becoming one of my favorite young hitters to watch and has a great matchup against Keuchel’s low changeup here this afternoon. Edman is boring but is an on-base machine and leading off for the team that’s scored the ninth-most runs so far this season.
- Manny Machado, Padres ($3600/$5600)
- Jose Ramirez, Indians ($3600/$5700)
- Cavan Biggio, Blue Jays ($3100/$4700)
- Travis Shaw, Brewers ($2800/$4000)
- Kris Bryant, Cubs ($3400/$5000)
Notes: Third base once again is a pay-up position in this slate. Machado has been very unlucky so far this season but is making hard contact on 52.9% of his contact while only striking out 4.5% of the time. That is a recipe for a breakout game this afternoon against former teammate Kevin Gausman. I really love this Biggio price on FD as we get quite a value to help with a stack of him and either Bichette, Vlad or both. Travis Shaw is coming off of a big game last night and owns a .967 OPS, 3 HR and 9 RBI against Kyle Hendricks in his career.
- Bo Bichette, Blue Jays ($3200/$5300)
- Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox ($3300/$5400)
- Ha-seong Kim, Padres ($2400/$2700)
- Jazz Chisolm, Marlins ($2500/$2800)
- Luis Urias, Brewers ($2100/$2800)
Notes: Now, we get to a pay-down position today at shortstop. Bichette is the best option if you have the salary. He is coming off of a two home run game at the new Globe Life Field, where the ball should be flying this afternoon. I am particularly drawn to Padres SS Ha-seong Kim, our former KBO hero who is seeing steady playing time now that Fernando Tatis is out for a while. The pricing algorithms don’t realize that this is a 20-20 talent who is hitting behind a stacked lineup with a ton of on-base potential. Kim is my favorite SS today at this price.
- JD Martinez, Red Sox ($3600/$5400)
- Nelson Cruz, Twins ($4000/$5100)
- Luis Robert, White Sox ($3500/$5900)
- Byron Buxton, Twins ($3700/$3900)
- Joc Pederson, Cubs ($2400/3400)
- Randal Grichuk, Blue Jays ($3000/$4100)
- AJ Pollock, Dodgers ($2500/$3700)
- Eddie Rosario, Indians ($3300/$4600)
- Ben Gamel, Indians ($2100/$3000)
- Alex Verdugo, Red Sox ($2800/$3800)
Notes: JD Martinez is crushing the ball once again and is severely underpriced on FD. The bottom half of the OF rankings feature quite a bit of dual-threat players who are great values this afternoon. Pederson is a sneaky play after a monster Spring Training because so many have given up on him already, but his matchup against a struggling Brandon Woodruff is his best yet this season. I would prefer Pollock to be hitting second behind Mookie Betts, but I am still fine if he is lower in the order. Ben Gamel must be hitting leadoff (or top 3) for me to sign off on it today. Verdugo makes a nice contrarian mini-stack with JD Martinez.
DFS MLB Core 4
FANDUEL CORE 4
P – Blake Snell, Padres ($9800)
3B – Cavan Biggio, Blue Jays ($3100)
SS – Bo Bichette, Blue Jays ($3200)
OF – JD Martinez, Red Sox ($3600)
DRAFTKINGS CORE 4
SP1 – Blake Snell, Padres ($9900)
2B – Ha-Seong Kim, Padres ($2700)
3B – Cavan Biggio, Blue Jays ($4700)
SS – Bo Bichette, Blue Jays ($5300)