MLB Early Targets

It’s exceptionally difficult to feel good about any of the pitching options on this afternoon’s four-game slate, but it feels equally as weird to like some of these bats. It’ll be interesting to see where people are utilizing the content in real time. Hopefully this article can help you to absorb and retain matchups listed below, and let’s go win some money.

PITCHER

Stud

Yonny Chirinos, TB vs. OAK, $10,400 — Pitching on this slate is an interesting type of ugly. There are a couple above-average arms, but it seems like everyone has something you have to worry about. Chirinos has the smallest issues, in my opinion, with his biggest problem being his opponent strikes out at a below-average rate. He’s got the highest floor on the slate and is the obvious top PS.

Other Options — Lance Lynn ($9,000)

Value

, Brett Anderson, OAK at TB, $5,600 — The Rays are one of the best teams in the league and it’s generally not going to be a good idea to attack them with an arm that lacks strikeout upside, but on a slate like this, you have to make calculated sacrifices. Anderson has yet to have a 20+ DKFP performance in 2019, but the Rays are a team that can struggle against LHPs and you only need 15 fantasy points to be happy, so we can hope for it!

Other Options — Antonio Senzatela ($4,500)


CATCHER

Stud

Willson Contreras, CHC at COL, $5,200 — With the Cubs playing in Coors against the worst pitcher on the slate, we can expect them to be the best at their position in most circumstances, and Contreras is no exception. He’s averaging 8.2 DKFP in 2019 and sports a .540 SLG% giving with 13 home runs. Although his average has taken a hit recently (just .152 past 10 games), he should have no problems making quality contact in this matchup.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Contreras is not in the lineup for today’s game.

Other Options — Curt Casali ($3,900)

Value

Jeff Mathis, TEX at BOS, $2,000 — In general I think punting catcher is the correct move in MLB DFS. Especially on a slate with so few realistic options, it makes a lot of sense. Mathis isn’t a good hitter, but he does get a matchup with a bad pitcher. He’s minimum priced, so if he gets a hit and a run, you’re over the moon with excitement. He also helps you get the Cubs stack, so it seems worth it to me!

Other Options — Mike Zunino ($2,700)


FIRST BASE

Anthony Rizzo, CHC at COL, $5,600 — Nothing special about this play, just utilizing the best player at his position in the best matchup on this slate. Rizzo took no time at all to start mashing in Coors with a home run and two RBI in the first game. He has a much better matchup against Antonio Senzatela ($4,500), giving him 30+ DKFP upside and a higher range of outcomes than anyone else at the position.

Value

Mark Canha, OAK at TB, $3,500 — If you’re looking for value at this position you’re going to have a hard time, and the only players who have any upside below $4,000 are Athletics up against the best pitcher on the slate. Canha is playing great in 2019 with career-high marks in OBP and SLG% and could be a cheap home run hitter for those willing to fade the popular options on the slate and leverage them instead.

Other Options — Matt Olson ($3,600)


SECOND BASE

Stud

Derek Dietrich, CIN vs. CLE, $5,000– It would have been hard to believe Dietrich could be hitting better after his start to 2019, but he is, and the stats are looking more real each day. He’s hitting .294/.351/.676 with a 1.028 OPS (all higher marks than season-long data) and will be facing a young pitcher that doesn’t get a lot of strikeouts or groundballs. It’s a great spot to pivot off the Cubs for some low exposure to a big bat.

Other Options — Danny Santana ($5,100)

Value

Brendan Rodgers, COL vs. CHC, $3,500 — Rodgers has had his struggles this year and doesn’t yet have his first major league home run, but there’s a solid chance he gets it today in a good matchup for upside. Play in Coors against a flyball LHP makes Rodgers an incredibly underpriced target while filling out your stacks. His price does not consider his ceiling whatsoever.

Other Options — Jose Peraza ($3,300)


THIRD BASE

Stud

Nolan Arenado, COL vs. CHC, $5,100 — In cash games you’re going to want to play Kris Bryant ($5,500), but in GPPs I think Arenado offers you more bang for your buck. He’s a couple hundred dollars cheaper and is averaging 12.4 DKFP at home. Although the matchup is a bit tougher, I believe Arenado is just as good of a play as Bryant at expected lower ownership. On a short slate like this you have to take that kind of thing into consideration.

Other Options — Kris Bryant ($5,500)

Value

Jose Ramirez, CLE at CIN, $3,500 — He’s been playing nothing like the JoRam of 2018 and is barely avoiding falling below .200 on the year, but his upside is massive for the price especially considering the circumstance. He will face a pitcher with big home run issues in a great park for offense. His price helps you to afford the big bats you need at first base and shortstop. He’s not a cash-game play, but in GPPs he is valuable.

Other Options — Christian Arroyo ($2,900)


SHORT STOP

Stud

Javier Baez, CHC at COL, $5,500 — Another Cubs bat that is going to be a valuable stud on the slate is Javi. He basically has turned into 2018 Joey Gallo, where he’s not really making a lot of contact but when he does it’s getting ripped into the stands. His .298/.338/.570 is lopsided in a way the DFS community can appreciate. Up against a pitcher who gives up a lot of contact, you’ve got to like Baez to go yard today.

Other Options — Trevor Story ($5,300)

Value

Willy Adames, TB vs. OAK, $3,200 — You’ll want to pay up at shortstop today with multiple strong options available, but if you decide to fade the field, you can use Adames as a salary-saver with upside. He has three games of 10+ DKFP in the past 10 and is averaging 7.6 fantasy points over that span. He’s a good contact bat against a shaky pitcher and has the capacity to do very well with just a couple good breaks. He’s a very cheap option with upside.

Other Options — Mike Freeman ($3,100)


OUTFIELD

Stud

Kris Bryant, CHC at COL, $5,500 — It’s a very good assumption to say Bryant, with 3B/OF eligibility, will be the highest owned player on the slate. In general, I think you should fade positions like that, but with how rough this slate is, it is important to take advantage of the resources you have. Bryant has a .270/.385/.528 slash line in 2019 and when facing a RHP turns into 2018 Scooter Gennett. Hopefully he maintains the magic in an incredible spot.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Bryant is not in the lineup for today’s game.

Other Options — Hunter Pence ($5,300)

Value

Jackie Bradley Jr, BOS vs. TEX, $2,800 — There was so much buzz around Bradley Jr. this year and how he adjusted and honed his swing. He hadn’t realized any of those fruits of labor until lately. He’s hitting .214/.333/.393, which are all by far top 2018 marks, and he will be facing a pitcher who can’t strike out anyone. Did I mention he’s just $2,800? Use Bradley Jr. as a start to a wrap-around Red Sox stack and get ready to crush it out.

Other Options — Greg Allen ($3,000)


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Multichem) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.