Everything you’ll need to stay above the payline in today’s DFS MLB Cash Games!
A seven-game travel day slate that kicks off at 1:10pm ET with the Marlins and Mets and ends with a 4:15pm ET NL Central division battle between the Brewers and Cardinals. Just nine total games today with two late games as a stand-alone slate (LAA-TOR, OAK-HOU).
Make sure to tune into our daily livestream show, as I’ll be joining the great Kyle Elfrink around 12:10pm ET to discuss the slate for about 20 minutes. We’ve got Kenneth Le on the Cheat Sheet today and the G.O.A.T. himself, Brian Healy, on the GPP article. The Seige will be in the chat room for the hour leading up to lock. Alright, let’s get it! We’ve got some money to win!
Cash Game Breakdown – The article you are currently reading.
DFS MLB Lineup Coach – Daily LIVE 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.
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Thursday, April 8th
The two standout arms who folks will try mashing into lineups are Jose Berrios (home against Seattle) and Corbin Burnes (on the road in St. Louis). Neither are over 10k on either FanDuel or DraftKings, which means no pitcher is. The third priciest is Lance Lynn, who should be in the mix of popularity as well, facing a bottom-rung Royals offense.
We have Coors Field conundrum yet again with the Rockies’ final game of the series against the Diamondbacks, who appear to have lost Ketel Marte to a hamstring injury. Former third overall draft pick Jon Gray looks to pick up where he left off with a tremendous home performance against the Dodgers over the weekend. Gray did experience full body cramping but is still expected to make his start.
We’ll also see the season debut of Red Sox’ lefty Eduardo Rodriguez, who last pitched in 2019 and suffered complications from COVID-19 last year. Cubs’ veteran arm Jake Arrieta gets a second start against the Pirates (he performed well the first time around), though this game is on the road in PNC Park. He is the fourth priciest SP on both sites (FD and DK), mostly because the Pirates are the league’s worst offense and are without arguably their best hitter (Ke’Bryan Hayes).
Hitter salaries on DK should definitely find us enough value bats to be able to fit two of Burnes, Berrios or Lynn in – that will be the go-to move for most people today. I’ll, of course, have some alternate options listed in the pitching recommendations because baseball is a wild beast, and anyone can get blasted on any given slate. Pairing them together is the safest route in cash games, but in GPP’s, it’s wise to consider different routes to the top.
Note that rain could throw a wrinkle into the Berrios and/or Lynn starts.
Rain is expected in the Mariners/Twins game (Minneapolis) and the south side of Chicago (Royals/White Sox). We should know more about how the games could be affected a couple hours before opening pitch.
SEA/MIN – Possibility of start of game being delayed but likely no in-game delays
KCR/CHW – Bigger concerns than the game above. Slight chance of PPD but most likely, a delayed start. Fingers crossed.
MLW/STL – Another spot with rain as sprinkles are supposed to arrive mid-game. Slight possibility of in-game delay which could obviously affect Burnes/Wainwright’s starts if they’re heavier than just sprinkles.
For more info and updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center.
- New York Mets (-190)
- Minnesota Twins (-180)
- Boston Red Sox (-170)
- Chicago White Sox (-165)
Highest Run Expectancy
- Colorado Rockies (5.6)
- Arizona Diamondbacks (5.4)
- Boston Red Sox (5.0)
- New York Mets (4.9)
Lowest Run Expectancy
- Seattle Mariners (3.3)
- Kansas City Royals (3.7)
- St. Louis Cardinals (3.75)
- Pittsburgh Pirates (3.9)
Today's Pitchers Grid
|Lance McCullers Jr.||HOU||91.20||3.04||0.267||3.34||3.77|
Today’s Best Pitchers
- Jose Berrios, Twins (DK: $9800, FD: $9600)
An utterly dazzling performance in his season debut, the best of the short season thus far. Ironically, against the other star of this slate (Burnes). Berrios did not allow a hit in six gorgeous innings, whiffing 12 Brewers. This is an equally enticing matchup against a Mariners squad tied for the highest team strikeout rate in the AL (31.4 percent) and looks like one of the league’s most stale offenses (at least until Jarred Kelenic is promoted). It’s worth noting Berrios has always felt more comfortable pitching in Target Field (career home ERA: 3.57, career road: 4.71). So long as the weather holds up and we don’t expect mid-game delays, he’s the top play on the slate.
- Corbin Burnes, Brewers (DK: $9400, FD: $9400)
He’s quickly become one of MLB’s premier arms, posting some mystifying numbers in his breakout 2020 campaign of 59.2 innings – a 2.11 ERA, 2.99 xFIP, 36.7% K, 1.02 WHIP. He was the other stunner in that game against the Twins over the weekend where he fanned 11 of them in 6.1 innings, his lone blemish a solo homer to Buxton. No reason to think he won’t continue to cruise. But this is a new and refreshed Cardinals lineup that added Nolan Arenado in the offseason and could give Burnes fits. What scares me most is that the game is in St. Louis where good things happen for home pitchers and the same can’t be said for road ones (not saying they cheat at home, but those are the rumors). The irony of Burnes being unhittable last year is that the only struggles he had whatsoever last season came against these Cardinals. He did not make it out of the fifth inning in either game – the one in Milwaukee, he whiffed 10 in 4.2 IP, and in his season finale, Burnes gave up three runs and two walks in 3.2 IP. Not making much of it since he’s awesome, but just something that gives my gut a reason to second guess.
- Lance Lynn, White Sox (DK: $8700, FD: $8900)
The one thing we can say about Lynn is that he is a damn horse. In fact, no pitcher has thrown more innings since the beginning of 2019 (292.1), and last season, Lynn pitched into the sixth inning in 11 of 13 starts. Lynn didn’t quite get to five innings in his first start this year but did not allow a run while striking out six Angels over 4.2 innings. The Royals got off to a hot start but faced a weak set of Rangers’ pitchers in that opening series and, all in all, this is still one of the weaker offenses in the league – especially with Adalberto Mondesi currently on IL. Best of all, Lynn has been a reverse-splits guy over the course of his career (a solid .282 wOBA against RHH) and most of the Royals’ best bats are right-handed. We get a bit of a discount here on both sites off Berrios and Burnes as well. Let’s just make sure the rain doesn’t ruin his prospects.
- Adam Wainwright, Cardinals (DK: $7500, FD: $7400)
No one in their right minds is going to look Wainwright’s way with these three stud SP on the slate, especially after he lasted less than three innings in his first start, allowing six earned runs with only one strikeout. But it’s the ultimate bounce-back spot for sharps because the crafty veteran shifts over from a hitter-friendly Great American Park taking on the Reds to his very own friendly confines of Busch Stadium. Over the course of his long career, Wainwright has been phenomenal at home (2.86 ERA) compared to the road (4.01). The Brewers have started the season off frigidly and happen to lead the National League in team strikeouts with 60. That includes Keston Hiura who will be back in the lineup after a much-needed day off after going hitless in his first 16 plate appearances, eight of which were strikeouts. Waino isn’t the biggest whiffs guy, but this Brewers squad in his home court is the perfect spot for an uptick.
Pitchers to Target Against
1) Matt Harvey, Orioles – It’s been nearly seven years since Harvey has posted anything resembling a decent season. He held his own against the Red Sox his first time around (4.2 IP – 6 H – 2 ER – 1 BB – 4 K), but these Boston bats have been scorching as they scored a whopping 26 runs in the three-game series against decent Rays’ pitching. Very doubtful that lightning strikes twice for Harvey, and I expect the Red Sox to keep his outing very short.
2) Nick Neidert, Marlins – The 24-year-old was a former second-round pick of the Mariners but is nothing more than a long reliever / future journeyman who will be lucky to make this here spot start. Back in nine starts in 2019 in Triple-A, Neidert posted a 19.8% K rate, 11.8% walk rate and an ERA hovering 5.00. In eight innings of relief as a major leaguer last season, five runs and just four whiffs in 8.1 innings. The Mets haven’t really gotten their bats going outside of Pete Alonso, but it’s about time for them to tee off. Neidert may only last a couple of innings, and then it’s a very mediocre bullpen who may suffer.
3) Merrill Kelly, Diamondbacks – He is not a horrible pitcher, but no one is safe in the elevation of Coors Field. Kelly did not face the Rockies last season but he did have two outings in Coors Field back in 2019 – they did not go smoothly. Combined, he allowed 16 hits and 10 runs in 11.2 innings. His lone start this season wasn’t great either – 3 ER, 3 BB in 4 IP. Godspeed, Merrill.
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)
|8||Vladimir Guerrero Jr.||TOR||95||407||32||77||79||2||14.0||17.40||0.337||0.329||0.326||0.425||0.663||0.452||190|
|13||Fernando Tatis Jr.||SDP||84||353||30||77||67||23||12.2||28.30||0.353||0.322||0.288||0.371||0.641||0.416||165|
|17||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
- Salvador Perez, KC (5-for-13, 2 HR, 5 RBI vs. L. Lynn)
- Anthony Rizzo, CHC (5-for-12, 1 HR vs. T. Anderson)
- Trey Mancini, BAL (10-for-31, 2 HR vs. E. Rodriguez)
- Willians Astudillo, MIN (12-for-29 vs. M. Gonzales)
- Kris Bryant, CHC (4-for-11, 2 HR vs. T. Anderson)
- Kyle Seager, SEA (3-for-10, 2 HR vs. J. Berrios)
- Trevor Story, COL (3-for-9, 1 HR vs. M. Kelly)
- David Peralta, ARI (12-for-26 vs. J. Gray)
- Corey Dickerson, MIA (3-for-5, 2 HR, 6 RBI vs. T.Walker)
- J.D. Martinez, BOS (3-for-3 vs. M. Harvey)
For more, visit our BvP Matchup Page!
Overall Hitter Rankings
- Dom Nunez, Rockies (DK: $3100)
- Christian Vazquez, Red Sox (DK: $5200)
- Pedro Severino, Orioles (DK: $3700)
- Omar Narvaez, Brewers (DK: $3200)
Notes: Expect to see two cheap backstops (Nunez/Narvaez) as the highest rostered on the DK slate. Nunez as the lefty in Coors Field against a RHP is my preferred play today over Narvaez, who has two homers in his last three games. Boston’s Vazquez is the hottest hitting catcher on the planet thus far with a homer or multi-hit game in four straight. Severino is my against-the-grain gut play against a not-fully-stretched out southpaw (E-Rod) though you might feel safer using him in GPP’s.
- Pete Alonso, Mets (DK: $4900, FD: $3500)
C.J. Cron, Rockies (DK: $3800, FD: $3900)
- Christian Walker, Diamondbacks (DK: $4700, FD: $3400)
- Jose Abreu, White Sox (DK: $5500, FD: $3900)
- Jose Marmolejos, 1B/OF, Mariners (DK: $2400, FD: $2000) – punt play
Notes: Alonso is still far too underpriced on FD, and it’s difficult to not lean in his direction. The sneaky call here is Marmolejos, who is dirt cheap and hits power righty arms well. Since he’s facing Berrios, though, probably better utilized in GPP’s and better yet at OF rather than 1B.
- Ryan McMahon, Rockies (DK: $4500, FD: $3700)
- Josh Rojas, Diamondbacks (DK: $4400, FD: $2900)
- Jorge Polanco, Twins (DK: $3500, FD: $2500)
- Jeff McNeil, Mets (DK: $3400, FD: $2500)
- David Bote, Cubs (DK: $3400, FD: $2300)
Notes: A great position to punt with today if you don’t want to spend up on McMahon, just two days removed from a 3-HR outing. Back to a righty on the mound for the left-handed-hitting McMahon. Rojas is in play if he’s leading off (as he should against an RHP). Polanco and McNeil aren’t big power guys but are two of the best at making contact and getting on base. Polanco hits in the middle of the Twins lineup and McNeil leads the majors in batting average since 2018 (.319). Bote is a power bat of use against a lefty pitcher who serves up homers to RHH.
- Rafael Devers, Red Sox (DK: $5400, FD: $2900)
- Yoan Moncada, White Sox (DK: $4600, FD: $3100)
- Asdrubal Cabrera, Diamondbacks (DK: $4200, $3900)
- Kris Bryant, Cubs (DK: $5300, FD: $3500)
- Maikel Franco, Orioles (DK: $3700, FD: $2700)
- McMahon, McNeil, Bote on FanDuel (all are 3B eligible there as well)
Notes: Tough pitching matchups for Nolan Arenado (Burnes) and Kyle Seager (Berrios) make them better used in GPP’s since we have a handful of easier matchups to take advantage of. Notably the studly left-handed Devers against Harvey, my preferred play and an amazing deal on FD. Based on yesterday’s slate that involved Coors Field, Dbacks’ Cabrera likely won’t be popular (and he’s also the most expensive on FD) so the switch-hitter in Coors again is a great way to differentiate your lineup. Bryant gets a homer-prone lefty and Franco is another punt facing a lefty making his first start since 2019.
- Francisco Lindor, Mets (DK: $4700, FD: $3700)
- Trevor Story, Rockies (DK: $5100, FD: $4100)
Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox (DK: $5700, FD: $3300)
- Javier Baez, Cubs (DK: $5200, FD: $3300)
- Polanco, Rojas on FanDuel (all SS eligible as well)
Notes: With affordable, mid-range options at all the other positions and no worthwhile low-priced shortstops, looks like we should spend up at the position for this slate. Mostly interested in Lindor at what may be his lowest price all year since he hasn’t truly warmed his bat up yet.
Bogaerts at 3.3k on FD is tempting as well as he’s been red-hot in his last three (8-for-12, 2 RBI, 4 R, 1 SB).
- Nelson Cruz, Twins (DK: $5400, FD: $4200)
- J.D. Martinez, Red Sox (DK: $5600, FD: $3800)
- Michael Conforto, Mets (DK: $3600, FD: $3100)
- Garrett Hampson, Rockies (DK: $3200, FD: $3200)
- Jorge Soler, Royals (DK: $3600, FD: $3100)
- Luis Robert, White Sox (DK: $5500, FD: $3500)
- Byron Buxton, Twins (DK: $4000, FD: $3800)
- Charlie Blackmon, Rockies (DK: $5000, FD: $3900)
- David Peralta, Diamondbacks (DK: $4000, FD: $3400)
- Alex Verdugo, Red Sox (DK: $4200, FD: $3800)
OF Value Plays
- DK SPECIAL – Sam Hilliard, Rockies (DK: $2500)
- Jake Marisnick, Cubs (DK: $3000, FD: $2200)
- FD SPECIAL – Corey Dickerson, Marlins (FD: $2300)
- Kyle Isbel, Royals (DK: $2600, FD: $2500)
Notes: So many OF’ers listed, and I don’t have a red-hot Whit Merrifield, but dude is the only hitter priced over $6000 on DK, and we don’t need him today with all the other options and Lynn on the mound. Cruz is the power bat we can usually depend on, especially since he’s facing a southpaw and we saw he mash three mammoth homers between Monday and Tuesday’s games. Red Sox’ Martinez is wielding a hot bat. He’s driven in 10 batters in his last four games. Conforto has been light on the power, even in spring training, but this is a good spot for him to get back into his groove – especially at those affordable price points. Hampson had that 3-SB game yesterday and will be heavily in the mix if he gets leadoff duties again (or even hitting second).
Among the punt specials, I can’t believe they priced my boy Hilliard at just 2.5k on DK. He’ll hopefully be in the lineup since it’s a righty on the mound. He smashed a monster dinger on Tuesday then a pinch-hit RBI triple yesterday. Marisnick should be in the lineup with a lefty on the mound and he hits for power against them. Dickerson is the leadoff man against RHP and he just happens to have 2 HR in five career at-bats against Taijuan Walker. Isbel is better for tournaments since we don’t love rookies who hit near the bottom of a lineup but he’s very cheap today and has a nice power/speed skillset.
DFS MLB Core 4
FANDUEL CORE 4
P – Jose Berrios ($9600)
1B – Pete Alonso ($3500)
3B – Rafael Devers ($2900)
OF – J.D. Martinez ($3800)
DRAFTKINGS CORE 4
SP1 – Jose Berrios ($9800)
C.J. Cron ($3800) Replace with Pete Alonso ($4900)
OF – Nelson Cruz ($5400)
OF – Sam Hilliard ($2500)