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.
The wind is blowing out at Wrigley with gusts of 12-mph.
Luke Weaver at German Marquez – Weaver made 12 starts in both 2019 and 2020, exhibiting the same general stuff and ability while producing vastly different results. Is he the 2.94 ERA guy from 2019 or the 6.58 ERA guy from 2020? We’ll want to watch his rebound attempt closely – there will certainly be DFS opportunities one way or another. As for tonight, Coors Field isn’t anybody’s friend. Marquez also gets dinged for his home park, although I will consider using him at what appears to be a reasonable price.
Dodgers at Chris Bassitt – Barring a disaster, the Dodgers will be a stacking option against virtually any non-elite opponent. Because they’re so deep, you even have ways to make your Dodgers stack unique.
Blue Jays at Dane Dunning – Dunning and southpaw Taylor Hearn will tandem this start for the Rangers. The Blue Jays have a very right-handed lineup so I expect we’ll see more of Dunning even though multiple sites list Hearn as the bulk guy. The Rangers bullpen is also fairly soft.
Top Play: Lucas Giolito – White Sox (at Seattle Mariners)
On a day with several aces, Giolito stands out for a pleasant matchup at a pitcher friendly venue. Compared to Yu Darvish and Clayton Kershaw, he’s a good value too. Expect him (and Tyler Glasnow) to be the most-rostered pitchers. Giolito is both the top-projected and best value per our DFS Projections.
Pivot: James Paxton – Mariners (vs Chicago White Sox)
Left-handed pitchers are going to have a challenging experience with the White Sox this season. Caveat aside, Paxton was in top form all spring, notching 17 strikeouts in 8.1 recorded innings. He’s a healthy dollar-for-dollar value even before considering his potential to overcome Giolito.
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Top Play: Yermin Mercedes – White Sox (at Paxton)
Mercedes is a pure hitter who lacks a defensive home. It’s a boon to DFS players that the White Sox have opted to use him as a backup catcher. His price is rapidly rising but still checks in at an affordable level compared with more familiar backstops. It’s almost unfortunate that he’s now 12-for-18 – it means nobody is sleeping on him – even in a seemingly difficult matchup.
Pivot: Alejandro Kirk – Blue Jays (at Dunning/Hearn)
Kirk, if he starts over Danny Jansen, offers a comparable hitting profile to Mercedes at what should be a much lower rostership. He’s also considerably cheaper than the other attractive options in this slate. There are some downsides to using Kirk – namely a general lack of power. He might one day hit for pop, but he’s presently a ground ball hitter who could produce in the neighborhood of a .300/.360/.430 batting line. For what it’s worth, that’s my 75th percentile projection for him.
Anderson is prone to home runs and hard contact. This isn’t a perfect matchup as both Alonso and Anderson skew towards fly ball contact, making pop and fly outs more likely. Besides Coors Field and a wind-aided Wrigley Field, Citizen’s Bank Park is the next-most friendly to home run hitters. Alonso has around a one-in-three chance to home tonight.
Pivot: Rowdy Tellez – Blue Jays (at Dunning/Hearn)
Tellez should fall under the radar as the second-best first baseman in his own lineup. He isn’t one of the top-projected performers either, but he does line up as an excellent dollar-for-dollar value. Globe Life Field plays cavernously, hurting Tellez’s chances for a home run. He’ll likely have at least one plate appearance against a southpaw too.
If Tellez is too deep a cut for you, consider Jake Cronenworth whose lack of power can hide his otherwise strong projections.
This one is all about home run potential. Hiura has around a 30 percent chance to homer tonight, marking him as the only second baseman with a top-of-the-line power projection. There’s serious downside here too – he also leads all second basemen in projected strikeouts. Alzolay is a potential breakout pitcher. He might be on a short leash for his first start of the season. GPP players like to focus on upside, meaning Hiura should be heavily subscribed tonight.
In many ways, this pick feels like the anti-Hiura. It’s not that he lacks power – he’s above average for the position. Despite early trends (9 Ks in 18 PA), he should be a consistent source of well-hit balls in play. A ground ball hitter by nature, his matchup quality with Roark is uncertain. The Jays starter has a long history as a ground ball guy, but he reinvented himself as a fly ball pitcher last season. Quite unsuccessfully I should add. It’s unclear how Roark will approach pitching in 2021. We want him working up in the zone when facing Solak.
Top Play: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – Blue Jays (at Dunning/Hearn)
The pricing in tonight’s slate seems to be pushing me towards a Blue Jays stack. Guerrero is in the best shape of his still-young life, and he’s made adjustments to increase the launch angle of his contact. I recently discovered my usually conservative projection model expects him to finish among the top 10 in home runs. He’s a good 10 to 20 percent underpriced for this matchup.
A consistent pivot target of mine, Bohm will have competitive at bats and put the ball in play, increasing the chances for something exciting to happen. Yesterday, that was accomplished with a bases loaded chopper to third base that turned into two runs (and no RBI because of an error) for the Phillies. He generally bats fifth, a strong lineup role for his price tag. Stroman is a below average matchup for Bohm.
Top Play: Trevor Story – Rockies (vs Weaver)
It was only a matter of time before we needed to talk about a Coors Field hitter. Story is tops among shortstops tonight, although he has close competition from Corey Seager in Oakland. Weaver, when he’s off, is exceptionally homer prone. Conversely, he has, at times, proven adept at working up in the strong zone. Story prefers pitches low in the zone, marking this as a below average matchup for him. The Diamondbacks bullpen is exploitable.
Pivot: Geraldo Perdomo – Diamondbacks (at Marquez)
Perdomo is a fantastic Coors Field play. Most DFS participants think about Colorado only for power, but the park actually boosts all types of hitting. Perdomo is incredibly patient and has above average contact skills. His power development remains in a nascent stage – he’s an undersized 21-year-old after all. Marquez doesn’t walk many hitters which could help to alleviate Perdomo’s over-reliance on walks. We want him to put the ball in play tonight.
Gallo comes with the same problem as Solak – namely that we don’t know if Roark is a fly or ground ball pitcher now? The old Roark would qualify as a nitro matchup for Gallo with a 40 percent chance for a home run. The version we saw in 2020 might lower Gallo’s homer potential to around 25 percent.
As he ascended through the minors, Alzolay typically induced more fly balls than grounders. He reversed his career-long trends last season in a small sample. I’m expecting him to regress back towards his old fly ball tendencies. Yelich is a destroyer of pitchers who work up in the zone. For a second straight season, he’s begun the year with a strikeout problem (9 Ks in 17 PA).
Garcia is another “best shape of his life” player who hasn’t quite hit the ground running just yet. Historically, he’s a low launch angle and hard contact guy. If you build a Brewers stack around the theory that Alzolay is a fly ball pitcher, then Garcia is a must-add.
Locastro starts most predictably when the DBacks face a southpaw. As always, make sure he’s in the lineup. Even with a down-lineup role, he’s a serious multi-hit threat at Coors Field. Marquez makes for a challenging but not insurmountable opponent.