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MLB DFS for Friday, April 7: Best Plays on DraftKings and FanDuel

Did you have Lance Lynn in your MLB DFS lineup yesterday? If you didn’t, consider yourself lucky, because a LOT of people did. Lynn is a good pitcher and the Giants have shown the propensity to strike out a lot over the first week of the season (they struck out nine times on Thursday). But they rocked Lance Lynn and the White Sox for 16 runs, which serves as a good time to pose a helpful early-season reminder. The next time you see Lance Lynn’s name on a slate, it is going to have an ugly 9.00 ERA next to it.

But he held the Astros to two runs in 5.2 innings in his first start (3.18 ERA), which is much closer to his career 3.55 ERA in the regular season. These are one-day seasons, we are playing here so don’t let the basic numbers next to the names dictate who you play. Always do your homework on a player and his matchup.

If you have any thoughts or recommendations for how we can better cover MLB DFS in 2023, reach out to us on Twitter or send me a message (@CableBoxScore). I’m always happy to talk a little DFS throughout the day, and let’s win some slates together! Let’s start by looking at weather issues for Friday as well as the best hitting and pitching environments on the main slate today.

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MLB DFS Picks and Plays for April 7

Today’s analysis covers the five-game main slate on DraftKings at 7:05 PM ET and the six-game FanDuel beginning at 6:40 PM ET.

Weather Concerns:

  • There could be rain in the forecast for the Royals visiting the Braves
  • Winds look to be blowing out to left field at Oracle Park for Royals @ Giants at 12-14 mph at game time (daytime slate)
  • Winds are blowing in at Wrigley Field for the Rangers visiting the Cubs; a slight upgrade to pitchers (daytime slate)

Best Hitters’ Parks:

  • Angel Stadium
  • Coors Field
  • Citizen’s Bank Park

Best Pitchers’ Parks:

  • Tropicana Field
  • Wrigley Field
  • Citi Field

DraftKings Top Plays

High-Dollar Pitcher

Clayton Kershaw ($9,700) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – Both Kershaw and Brandon Woodruff have a claim as the best pitcher on this small slate, but I’ll side with the guy in the better pitchers’ park against one of the worst three offenses to start the season. The Diamondbacks have a 63 wRC+ through the first week of the season, meaning their offense is 37% below league average. St. Louis, meanwhile, is the third-best offense through the first week. Arizona only strikes out 20% of the time this season (same as all of 2022), but Kershaw was efficient in his first start against these same Diamondbacks, needing only 76 pitches for six innings and nine strikeouts.

Value Pitcher

Jack Flaherty ($7,500) vs. Milwaukee Brewers – Besides the ungodly seven walks in his debut, Flaherty looked flat-out unhittable. He was, in fact unhittable, giving up no hits and striking out four in his debut against the mighty Blue Jays’ offense. I don’t love the park that these two teams play in on Friday night, but this roster for the Brewers struck out at the second-highest rate in the league last season (24.5%) and barely slugged above .400.

High-Dollar Infielder

Matt Olson ($5,200) vs. Nick Martinez – Right-hander Nick Martinez gave up six hits and two walks in his debut last week and that was against the lowly Rockies. He is about to get a whole new level of hitter against the Braves and lefty Matt Olson. Olson is on fire to start the season with a .308/.357/.769 slash line including three bombs and seven RBI. Martinez had a 1.66 HR/9 rate to left-handed batters in 2022.

Value Infielder

Elehuris Montero ($3,100) vs. MacKenzie Gore -Montero destroyed left-handed pitching last season during his debut with a .507 slugging percentage and a .246 ISO. His strikeouts were significantly less against lefties as well. This game at Coors Field features two bad pitchers so we are going to want some exposure to it outside the normal higher-salary guys like Kris Bryant and C.J. Cron. Montero has hit sixth in the lineup in three out of the four games against a righty this year

High-Dollar Outfielder

Ronald Acuna ($6,200) vs. Nick Martinez – Acuna has double-digit DraftKings points in five out of his six games so far this season (six points in the other) and has a .433 on-base percentage in 30 early plate appearances. After starting the season with two series at below-average offensive park factors (St. Louis and Washington), Acuna and the Braves finally get to travel home where Truist Park has been the 11th-best offensive park for right-handed batters over the last three seasons. Martinez only struck out 6% of the right-handers he faced last season, so Acuna is certainly going to be putting balls in play.

Value Outfielder

Jurickson Profar ($3,700) vs. MacKenzie Gore – Since he was activated by the Rockies, Profar has hit leadoff in all four games, regardless of whether they face a right-handed pitcher or left-handed one. For his career, Profar has a higher batting average, on-base percentage, and strikeout rate against left-handers. MacKenzie Gore might have looked good in his first start for the Nationals, but toeing the rubber at Coors Field is a lot different than in Washington.

Best DraftKings Stack

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Madison Bumgarner – The Madison Bumgarner of 10 years ago, this is not. Bumgarner was rocked by these same Dodgers just six days ago for four hits, four walks, and four runs in four innings. He only struck out two batters and that likely is indicative of the strikeout trend that saw his punchout-rate fall to just 6.35 K/9 in 2022. Outside of Freddie Freeman, the Dodgers can get very right-handed in their lineup if they want to, so watch out for cheaper plays like Trayce Thompson ($2,800), Chris Taylor ($3,500), and Miguel Vargas ($2,400). The Dodgers have the second-highest implied run total on the slate and might be able to attack the Arizona bullpen early in this one.

FanDuel Top Plays

High-Dollar Pitcher

Brandon Woodruff ($10,500) vs. St. Louis Cardinals – On FanDuel, Woodruff is a slight discount off of Kershaw whereas it’s the reverse on DraftKings. Woodruff also has by far the highest strikeout rate on the slate at 31% and his SIERA this season (3.00) is just a hair behind where Kershaw is to start the year (2.90). We do have concerns about the matchup against the Cardinals, but Woodruff completely overwhelmed the Cubs at Wrigley Field over six innings, so that should be his baseline on Friday night.

Value Pitcher

Zach Eflin ($8,800) vs. Oakland Athletics – Adding this Rays/A’s game to the FanDuel slate gives us access to Zach Eflin at a nice salary in a game the Rays should win handily. Over the 2022 and 2023 seasons combined, Eflin has struck on 21% of the batters he faced and only has a 5% walk rate. Now with the Rays’ pitching staff who turn projects into potential All Stars, this should at least be a win under Eflin’s belt, plus Oakland strikes out 23% of the time with this roster.

High-Dollar Infielder

C.J. Cron ($4,400) vs. MacKenzie Gore – C.J. Cron headed home to play a poor left-hander? Just name your price. Cron is the most expensive player on the FanDuel main slate, partly due to the large implied total for the Rockies, and partly due to his .630 slugging percentage versus lefties at home last season.

Value Infielder

Chris Taylor ($2,500) vs. Madison Bumgarner – In the one game Chris Taylor played against a lefty this season, he slotted in fifth in the batting order right behind all the big bats. If that happens on Friday night, this $2,500 salary is going to look silly considering the smash spot the Dodgers are in. For his career, Taylor’s OPS is 20 points higher when he faces a lefty.

High-Dollar Outfielder

Shohei Ohtani ($4,200) vs. Chris Bassitt – In four of Ohtani’s five games where he has been batter-eligible, he has 26, 16, 14, and 12 fantasy points. Chris Bassitt got absolutely rocked for 10 hits and nine runs against the Cardinals in his first game out and his wOBA against in 2022 was a crazy-high .325 against lefty batters compared to .263 for right-handers. With the Angels now back home in Los Angeles, this is a dangerous spot for Bassitt.

Value Outfielder

Lane Thomas ($3,400) vs. Jose Urena – There is not much to be excited about on this Nationals’ lineup, but Lane Thomas might be one exception, he is a burgeoning power/speed combo player at the top of the lineup who is teasing a breakout with his .333/.385/.417 slash line so far with a reduced 14% strikeout rate to boot. If this game goes off like it is projected to (11 game total), Thomas should easily rack up five plate appearances and he hasn’t played a game yet this season where he didn’t score at least a few fantasy points.

Best FanDuel Stack

Colorado Rockies vs. MacKenzie Gore – Only one Rockies player (Cron) is above $4,000 on this slate despite the fact they have the highest implied run total of any team (5.75 runs). Their leadoff and number two hitter (Profar and Yonathan Daza) are $2,900 and $3,000 respectively and they are likely going to stack the lineup with seven right-handed batters to start. Gore gives up the third-most hard contact of any pitcher on this slate, and that’s absolute trouble for a matchup in Coors Field.

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