Everything you’ll need to stay above the payline in tonight’s MLB Cash Games!
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UPDATES: The White Sox/Tigers contest has been postponed! This is quite brutal considering this is the game that had most of the value I wanted to include in the lineup. Here are a few options that I am adding to the writeup…
C: Wilson Ramos and Austin Romine (Willson Contreras already option 1)
1B: Mike Ford
2B: DJ LeMahieu
3B: Gio Urshela
SS: Gleyber Torres and Paul DeJong
OF: Stephen Piscotty, Dexter Fowler, Aaron Judge and Ben Zobrist (remember, Jose Martinez is already a great FD value)
For the time being, we will post our MLB Content Schedule here at the top of the article. It’ll be updated with links when each article is posted, so check back throughout the day!
- Cash Game Breakdown – You’re reading it!
- The Early Bird – Conquer today’s Early Slates!
- DFS MLB Cheat Sheet – A snapshot of the top plays at each position & salary level.
- GPP Breakdown – We use game theory, & advanced stats to uncover tonight’s low-owned studs.
- Going Deep – Breaking down what pitchers, hitters and ballparks to target and avoid when hunting for the long ball.
- MLB NOW Livestream – A daily video show breaking down tonight’s entire slate.
- MLB Summary – A summary of what we discussed in today’s Coaching Sessions & on the livestream.
- Ownership Projections
- Fantasy Baseball Elite Podcasts (Mans/Flowers/DraftCheat/Vlad)
- MLB Chat Room
- Daily Projections & Optimizer
- Splits Hub
- Umpire Factors
SATURDAY, APRIL 20th
Today’s MLB Cash Game Breakdown will go over the EARLY eight-game slate (only the first four games of the day are on FanDuel) that has a scheduled first pitch time of 1:05 PM ET/10:05 AM PT as well as the five-game evening slate that has a scheduled first pitch time of 7:10 PM ET/4:10 PM PT.
Kansas City Royals at New York Yankees – This game could potentially be very tricky because we are scheduled for a 1:05 PM ET start, and it’s going to be extremely wet overnight and will continue to rain throughout the morning. The rain looks like it should fade away anytime between 1 and… 5:00 PM ET, which suggests that this game SHOULD play. The main concern is certainly going to be regarding the pitchers.
***GAME POSTPONED*** Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers – The difference here is that it’s almost a certainty that it’s going to be raining around the time of the scheduled first pitch. Like Yankee Stadium, the rain should fade away by 5:00 PM ET, so pitchers will probably end up being the biggest risk.
San Francisco Giants at Pittsburgh Pirates – I think this one could be a big problem. There’s a roughly 55-75% chance of rain from the scheduled start time (4:05 PM ET) and the late evening. This is one where I definitely want to check the weather updates leading up to lock.
For more info and updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center.
*CLE/ATL, ARI/CHC, and LAD/MIL had no lines available at the time of publishing
Biggest Favorites (Early)
- New York Yankees (-250)
- Pittsburgh Pirates (-149)
- Oakland A’s (-141)
Biggest Favorites (Late)
- Houston Astros (-200)
- Los Angeles Angels (-125)
- Philadelphia Phillies (-108)
Highest Run Expectancy (Early)
- New York Yankees (5.29)
- Minnesota Twins (5.25)
- Detroit Tigers (4.82)
Highest Run Expectancy (Late)
- Houston Astros (5.64)
- Philadelphia Phillies (5.36)
- Colorado Rockies (5.14)
Lowest Run Expectancy (Early)
- Kansas City Royals (3.22)
- San Francisco Giants (3.35)
- Toronto Blue Jays (3.85)
Lowest Run Expectancy (Late)
- San Diego Padres (3.70)
- Cincinnati Reds (3.80)
- Texas Rangers (3.86)
Today’s Best Pitchers
Today's Pitchers Grid
1) Julio Teheran, Braves (DK: $7200; FD: Not available) – This could be a very contrarian call, but I am going to stick with my gut with pitching and my gut says Teheran is the best overall value for the early slate. At $7200, he has some potential going against this Indians team that still rock’s the 2nd highest K/rate in baseball….and that’s WITHOUT having to hit with their pitcher. Julio has been very good at home this season, so let’s hope that trend continues.
2) Zack Greinke, D-Backs (DK: $9500; FD: $9300) – Greinke’s velocity may not be where it was once at, but I think he’s proven himself to be a very capable fantasy pitcher regardless of the lack of overpowering stuff. He continues to get a lot of swings and misses and it has contributed to a big increase in his K/rate. In the end, Greinke’s biggest kryptonite has been keeping the ball inside the fences, and I think he should have some help today with the wind blowing southeast at 15-to-20 MPH.
3) Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees (DK: $9200; FD: $9100) – Honestly, I actually do like Tanaka today, but the two things that are holding me back a bit are: a) the weather and b) the fact that he’s a bit pricey. The biggest threats in the Royals lineup are their speedsters and Tanaka tends to hold runners well. If we have reason to believe that weather won’t impact this game, I think Tanaka might get a nice bump up my rankings.
1) Luis Castillo, Reds (DK: $9600; FD: $9800) – Castillo has always been a better warm weather pitcher and he’ll definitely be comfortable in sunny Southern California. The main reason why I have Castillo over Cole tonight is the fact that he’s facing a Padres team that is REALLY struggling at the plate. They haven’t scored more than two runs in each of their last four games.
2) Gerrit Cole, Astros (DK: $10,700; FD: $11,100) – Cole is definitely the best pitcher in tonight’s late slate and definitely provides the biggest upside. Still, there’s a lot to worry about here. Putting together Castillo and Cole in your DK lineup is probably not the best idea, and playing pitchers in Arlington always bring some extra risk. As a whole, the play is completely fine. He has been a model of consistency throughout his first four starts, and that does include a decent 9 K outing in Texas on 4/3.
3) Eric Lauer, Padres (DK: $7000; FD: $7300) – The Reds have struggled mightily against lefties this season, and that makes sense considering they’ve been rolling a very lefty-heavy lineup. Lauer is undoubtedly a risky choice, but it’s slim pickings if you’re looking for decent value from the late slate arms, and Lauer certainly has the skill. Remember, Matt Strahm has struggled the entire season, but he was able to put together a formidable outing last night against these Reds.
(Click here for more park factors!)
*Best home run parks*
1) Yankee Stadium (Royals @ Yankees)
2) Comerica Park (White Sox @ Tigers)
1) Coors Field (Phillies at Rockies)
2) Globe Life Park in Arlington (Astros at Rangers)
Targeting Stolen Bases
Click here for our Stolen Base Target Tool. I strongly recommend checking it out to find a value play or to properly assess how likely a player on tonight’s slate is to steal.
The hottest hitters at each position.
|10||Vladimir Guerrero Jr.||TOR||161||698||48||123||111||4||12.3||15.80||0.290||0.313||0.311||0.401||0.601||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||0.412||157|
|16||Frank Schwindel||- - -||64||259||14||44||43||2||6.2||15.80||0.264||0.348||0.326||0.371||0.591||0.403||152|
|17||Fernando Tatis Jr.||SDP||130||546||42||99||97||25||11.4||28.00||0.328||0.324||0.282||0.364||0.611||0.403||156|
|22||Kyle Schwarber||- - -||113||471||32||76||71||1||13.6||27.00||0.288||0.306||0.266||0.374||0.554||0.392||145|
Batter v Pitcher
C – Willson Contreras
1B – Lucas Duda, C.J. Cron
2B – None
3B – Josh Donaldson
SS – None
OF – Nicholas Castellanos, Niko Goodrum, Stephen Piscotty, Khris Davis
C – Francisco Mejia
1B – None
2B – Dee Gordon
3B – None
SS – Elvis Andrus
OF – Ryan Braun, Shin-Soo Choo, Charlie Blackmon, Hunter Renfroe
For more, visit our BvP Matchup Page!
Overall Hitter Rankings
Grayson Greiner, Tigers
- Willson Contreras, Cubs
James McCann, White Sox
- Jonathan Lucroy, Angels
- Robinson Chirinos, Astros
- J.T. Realmuto, Phillies
Notes: Believe it or not, I’m very pumped about the options at catcher in the early slate. Greiner has been swinging a very hot bat, Contreras crushes Greinke, and McCann against a lefty has been a thing since he’s been in the league. As for the late slate, I think Lucroy gives us a ton of value, but the Chirinos revenge narrative is back in play, and if R.C. gets another start, and you have the funds, I wouldn’t blame you for going that route.
First Base (Early)
- Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals
- Justin Smoak, Blue Jays
Jose Abreu, White Sox
First Base (Late)
- Rhys Hoskins, Phillies
- Yuli Gurriel, Astros
- Jesus Aguilar, Brewers
Notes: I think there are a lot of good options at first base in the early slate. While Goldy is my top play, it’s tough to fade the hot hitting Smoak going up against a struggling Mike Fiers, and an under-priced Jose Abreu. There’s also a lot of different options for the late slate, but if Jesus Aguilar gets the start, I wouldn’t be surprised if he snaps out of his funk. He’s making decent contact but just hasn’t been able to do anything with it.
Second Base (Early)
Josh Harrison, Tigers
- Robinson Cano, Mets
- Eric Sogard, Blue Jays
Second Base (Late)
- Jose Altuve, Astros
- Danny Santana, Rangers
- Cesar Hernandez, Phillies
Notes: The early slate doesn’t really point towards anything special at the second base position, so I don’t mind punting with Josh Harrison, who should be leading off and actually smacked a homer off of the hot Carlos Rodon last night. As for the late slate, I think Altuve is a really tough fade, but you have Santana who is cheap and has upside, and Hernandez who can easily do damage against Senzatela.
Third Base (Early)
- Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
- Josh Donaldson, Braves
Jeimer Candelario, Tigers
Third Base (Late)
- Alex Bregman, Astros
- Maikel Franco, Phillies
- Zack Cozart, Angels
Notes: Unless Edwin Diaz is stretched out, I’m not exactly concerned about a potential Mets bullpen game thanks to deGrom’s injury. As for the late slate, I’m almost certain that I’m going to be playing Bregman, who faces Adrian Sampson. While there’s not much data available on Sampson, I do think he is leaning towards being more of a gas can than a flamethrower.
Tim Anderson, White Sox
- Jorge Polanco, Twins
Gordon Beckham, Tigers
- Andrelton Simmons, Angels
- Trevor Story, Rockies
- Elvis Andrus, Rangers
Notes: Wouldn’t it be nice to see Anderson get another opportunity to bat flip today? He has always been phenomenal against lefties and gets a weak lefty in Daniel Norris. As for the late slate, my favorite option is Andrelton Simmons, who has four extra-base hits over his last three games and happens to be an amazing value on both sites.
Nicholas Castellanos, Tigers
- Eddie Rosario, Twins
Ryan Cordell, White Sox
- Khris Davis, A’s
- Marcell Ozuna, Cardinals
Niko Goodrum, Tigers
- Jose Martinez, Cardinals
Brett Gardner, Yankees
- Bryce Harper, Phillies (tied for #1)
- George Springer, Astros (tied for #1)
- Mike Trout, Angels
- David Fletcher, Angels
- Michael Brantley, Astros
- Charlie Blackmon, Rockies
- Jay Bruce, Mariners
- Raimel Tapia, Rockies
Notes: Ervin Santana has been atrocious for the White Sox, so that’s a big reason why I want to pick on him with an underpriced Nick Castellanos who has hit him well in the past. Ryan “Don’t Call Me Todd” Cordell has been hitting the ball incredibly well and is super cheap. For the late slate, take your pick out of Harper, Springer, or both, and then work in some value with David Fletcher, who has always been a good contact hitter, and is getting a great look hitting in front of Trout against lefties.
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