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Daily Games

MLB DFS Plays: Tuesday 4/27

by Brad Johnson
Updated On: April 27, 2021, 2:07 pm ET

This article outlines the best daily fantasy MLB plays of the day at every position. We take a comprehensive look to uncover these core recommendations, factoring respective salaries into the analysis.

Please note, these player picks were organized early in the day. For MLB contests, always check lineups and weather closer to game time. Rain, wind, or unexpected managerial decisions could open up additional sources of value. Be sure to keep an eye on the MLB Headlines and Injuries desk.

PITCHER

Top Play: Lucas Giolito – White Sox (vs Tigers)

Giolito has a couple red flags which, with any luck, will drive down his rostership tonight. He’s coming off a one-inning disasterpiece against the Red Sox on Patriot’s Day and suffered a lacerated finger during the week in what I assume was a bagel-cutting incident (to my knowledge, the actual cause of the injury isn’t publicly known). The emergent narrative is that Giolito is a zombie during the AM hours and should have been skipped over for that Boston start. He’s a strong candidate to reach double-digit strikeouts against a K-prone Tigers lineup.

Pivot: Jose Quintana – Angels (at Rangers)

Quintana has struggled with uncharacteristically high walk rates, hard contact, and a ludicrous .462 BABIP. He’s coming of his best outing against these same Rangers wherein he walked four and struck out eight in five innings. If he can build on that success while reverting to a more typical walk rate (career 3.06 BB/9), then he’s a slam dunk top bargain. Alas, there’s serious risk he’ll zero out because something is wrong.

Also Consider: Walker Buehler, Cristian Javier, Max Scherzer, Zach Eflin, Ian Anderson, David Peterson

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CATCHER

Top Play: Carson Kelly – DBacks (vs Chris Paddack)

Kelly is a favorite of our DFS Projections in large part due to a rebound in his plate discipline and subsequent surge of power. While we should expect him to be a roughly league average hitter going forward, that’s how he’s priced for a neutral matchup against Paddack. The Padres right-hander has gotten away with a couple unfocused outings this season. He’s a volatile target tonight – either to use or to stack against.

Pivot: Sean Murphy – Athletics (at Michael Wacha)

Murphy is performing almost identically to Kelly except for a low BABIP and a normal HR/FB ratio. He’s slightly cheaper, projects to perform similarly, and should be less popular because he isn’t on fire. The pairing with Wacha is neutral.

Also Consider: Gary Sanchez, Will Smith, Omar Narvaez, Buster Posey

FIRST BASE

Top Play: Shohei Ohtani – Angels (at Mike Foltynewicz)

Angels will be popular tonight with Folty on the bump. He’s exceptionally homer prone and struggles to induce whiffs. While his stuff has rebounded to 2019-levels, he was only a mid-4.00s ERA pitcher back then with 1.77 HR/9. The Rangers bullpen consists nearly entirely of left-handed relievers which puts a slight damper on Ohtani and Jared Walsh.

Pivot: Brad Miller – Phillies (at Carlos Martinez)

This is a sort of double-pivot. Martinez really hasn’t been a viable starting pitcher since 2018 or so, but there are rumored off-field reasons why the club prefers to keep him on a regular schedule. The Phillies stack should be valuable with Rhys Hoskins a popular play. Miller will slide under the radar despite being one of the better hitters in their lineup. He’s strikeout prone but otherwise rates as about 25 percent above average despite a below average price tag.

Also Consider: Walsh, Hoskins, Freddie Freeman, Matt Olson, Josh Bell, Mike Ford

SECOND BASE

Top Play: Jose Altuve – Astros (vs Marco Gonzales)

The Mariners soft-tossing southpaw lacked his usual crisp command in his first two starts, leading to a pair of disasters. Since then, he’s pitched well including a true gem against the Dodgers lineup. Houston’s offense is the only one in the same stratosphere. Altuve returned to action yesterday with a three-hit performance. He also attempted a pair of steals (caught once).

Pivot: Ty France – Mariners (at Cristian Javier)

Across the aisle, France is mildly overpriced against a short-burst pitcher with a high strikeout rate. Javier is an extreme fly ball pitcher while France generally delivers low-angle, hard contact. It’s a decent matchup, especially when considering the presence of the Crawford Boxes in left field.

Also Consider: Nick Solak, Max Muncy, Jed Lowrie, Jake Cronenworth, Nick Madrigal

THIRD BASE

Top Play: Manny Machado – Padres (at Merrill Kelly)

The DBacks starter does one thing well – he doesn’t issue walks. Beyond that, he’s typically homer and meltdown prone. The Arizona bullpen is extremely exploitable too. A Padres stack is well-advised with Machado leading the way.

Pivot: Gio Urshela – Yankees (at Bruce Zimmermann)

I have no idea why Urshela is so inexpensive against a below average pitcher. While Zimmermann appears to be establishing himself as a Major League caliber innings-eater, he’s still homer prone. Camden Yards adds to the upside.

Also Consider: Justin Turner, Alex Bregman, Alec Bohm

SHORTSTOP

Top Play: Fernando Tatis Jr. – Padres (at Kelly)

Tatis Jr. is one of the very top plays today. He’s both quite expensive and a strong dollar-for-dollar value. Beware: the Padres stack could be oversubscribed and their star shortstop almost certainly will be. He’s popped five home runs in his last three games. DFS players are fools for hot streaks. There are plenty of other expensive shortstops to target.

Pivot: Gleyber Torres – Yankees (at Zimmermann)

We’re still waiting on Torres’ first home run of the season. It’s curious because he’s making plenty of hard, fly ball contact. Among non-elite players, he’s one of the best multi-homer threats. The Yankees have stuck by their shortstop with a mid-lineup role. He’s even been passable defensively this season.

Also Consider: Trea Turner, Trevor Story, Tim Anderson, Corey Seager, Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts, Nico Hoerner, Cronenworth

OUTFIELD

Top Plays: Giancarlo Stanton – Yankees (at Zimmermann)
Mike Trout – Angels (at Foltynewicz)
Trent Grisham – Padres (at Kelly)

Trout never needs much explanation. Folty is homer prone and below average. The Rangers bullpen, as noted, is mostly left-handed. Stanton carries the best combination of median projection and dollar-for-dollar value. If he doesn’t homer at least once, it’ll be disappointing. He has a better than one-in-three chance to go yard. Grisham is a valuable part of the Padres stack; one folks might try to skip if they’re saving cash for two aces.

Pivots: Austin Meadows - Rays (vs Frankie Montas)
Odubel Herrera – Phillies (at Martinez) 

Meadows is performing well despite an affordable price tag. The matchup against Montas is neutral. The A’s starter has proven volatile thus far. Meadows has an extreme fly ball rate and could probably stand to adjust his swing to make more lower-angle contact. Until he does, he should be treated as a typical patient, all-or-nothing power hitter. We haven’t seen Herrera regularly since early 2019. Last we knew of him, he was a league average hitter with sneaky pop. As a formerly flawed-but-dynamic player on a minimum salary, he could easily define the contest. His two balls in play last night were well-hit.

Also Consider: Ohtani, Walsh, Justin Upton, Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, Tommy Pham, Kole Calhoun, A.J. Pollock, Mookie Betts

Editor’s Note: Don’t forget to download the NBC Sports EDGE app to receive real-time player news and updates. Plus, it allows you to easily track your favorite players. Get it here!

Brad Johnson

You can read more from Brad Johnson on NBC Sports Edge, FanGraphs, and RotoFanatic. Find him on Patreon and Twitter @BaseballATeam.