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MLB DFS for Friday, April 14: Best Plays on DraftKings and FanDuel

Have the multitude of early-season injuries already sunk your seasonal fantasy team? That’s the great thing about MLB DFS. With about 180 one-day seasons, we can look past all that and focus on just who is healthy in front of us. Friday’s large slate has a very intriguing combination of great hitters’ parks, pitcher-friendly environments, and teams to stack. There are also no clear-cut aces out there on the two sites, so there will be some tough decisions to make in the pitcher slots in your rosters on DraftKings and FanDuel.

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 Monday as well as the best hitting and pitching environments on the main slate today.

More great fantasy baseball advice and analysis for season-long leagues: Waiver Wire & FAAB Recommendations | Daily MLB Injury Report | MLB DFS Picks | Line-up Analysis | Dynasty Rankings and Strategy | MLB Bullpen Updates | MLB Player Props | Prospect Rankings & Analysis | Fantasy Baseball Risers and Fallers

MLB DFS Picks and Plays for April 14

Today’s analysis covers the 12-game main slate on DraftKings and FanDuel at 7:05 PM ET.

Weather Concerns:

  • The main slate currently has no significant weather concerns for Friday night

Best Hitters’ Parks:

  • Great American Ballpark (Reds)
  • Fenway Park (Red Sox)
  • Dodger Stadium (Dodgers)

Best Pitchers’ Parks:

  • T-Mobile Park (Mariners)
  • Oakland Coliseum (Athletics)
  • Busch Stadium (Cardinals)

DraftKings Top Plays

High-Dollar Pitcher

Drew Rasmussen ($10,000) vs. Toronto Blue Jays – I do worry a little bit about Rasmussen and his 22% strikeout rate since the beginning of 2022 against such a powerful offense, but he only walks 5% of batters he faces (best on the slate) and he gets 47% groundballs out of batters over the last 13 months (52% so far this season). He comes at a $400 discount from Kodai Senga on DraftKings which could help considering the high-dollar stacks we may want to fit into our lineup tonight.

Value Pitcher

Jake Woodford ($5,000) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – This is what we might call a close-your-eyes-and-punt pitcher play tonight. There is really no one else under $7,500 that gives me any kind of confidence on this slate and at least Woodford will play in the benefit of his spacious home park against a watered-down Pirates lineup without Oneil Cruz. Woodford is also a solid groundball pitcher (50%) and even if he give us 10 fantasy points like his last outing we can consider that a win at the stone-minimum pitcher salary.

High-Dollar Infielder

Wander Franco ($5,900) vs. Jose Berrios – This is what a full-blown breakout looks like, folks. As long as Wander Franco doesn’t get injured, this is going to end up being a massive fantasy year for the young star. Franco can switch to either side of the plate, which means we will get left-handed Franco tonight. Since the beginning of 2022, Berrios has allowed an ungodly .362 wOBA to lefty batters plus a .222 ISO. This is Franco’s highest salary this season, but it is deserved in this matchup.

Value Infielder

Rowdy Tellez ($3,000) vs. Michael Wacha – Rowdy Tellez is predictably destroying right-handed pitching since the beginning of last season to the tune of a .274 ISO and 44% Hard Hit rate. Wacha is just a soft-tossing, pitch-to-contact guy these days and even with a nice home park behind him will have trouble with these Brewers’ left-handed bats like Tellez, Christian Yelich, and Garrett Mitchell (more on him below).

High-Dollar Outfielder

Aaron Judge ($6,400) vs. Louis Varland – Can we justify paying this kind of salary for Aaron Judge on this slate? The numbers say we should. He has a crazy .362 ISO and a .448 against right-handed pitchers since last season. Varland, making his first start of the season and just the sixth of his career, looks like he could be an absolute punching bag tonight. He strikes out less than 20% of right-handed batters, gives up 41% fly balls, and a .228 ISO to right-handers. Throw in a first start at the hostile Yankee Stadium and this could be a Yankees’ rout tonight.

Value Outfielder

Garrett Mitchell ($2,700) vs. Michael Wacha – All the same caveats apply for Mitchell as they did for Rowdy Tellez, but Mitchell is $400 less than he was on his last slate. Mitchell has a .282/.333/.513 slash line this year against right-handers including two of his three home runs. Mitchell started the year at the seventh spot in the lineup, but batted fifth for the third time in a row yesterday thanks to Jesse Winker’s illness. With a salary cheaper than guys like Nolan Jones, Monte Harrison, and David Peralta, Mitchell is a no-brainer for me tonight.

Best DraftKings Stack

Cleveland Guardians vs. Trevor Williams – As of Friday morning, the Guardians (4.93 implied runs) slightly outpace the Yankees and the Angels for the highest total on the slate. Five of their regulars are priced over $4,ooo tonight (including Jose Ramirez at $5,700), so it’s not the cheapest stack we have ever seen, but a Jake Woodford play certainly makes it possible. This is a match made in heave for the Guardians who have the fourth-best strikeout rate in the league and the third-best walk rate in the league against a pitcher (Trevor Williams) who strikes out less than 22% of batters and has an expected ERA of 5.14 this year.

FanDuel Top Plays

High-Dollar Pitcher

Kodai Senga ($10,800) vs. Oakland Athletics – On FanDuel, it’s Senga who is $400 cheaper, he has the much better matchup and has – far and away – the best strikeout rate on this slate at over 31%. He has given us exactly 43 FanDuel points in each of his first two starts despite not going over six innings in either. He is averaging over one strikeout per inning in his first MLB audition and  Oakand’s on-base percentage and slugging percentage are both bottom five in the league.

Value Pitcher

Charlie Morton ($9,000) vs. Kansas City Royals – Morton being priced less than guys like Johan Oviedo, Martin Perez, and Michael Wacha while he plays the lowly Royals is not a decision I quite understand, but we will certainly take. Morton comes in with a 27% strikeout rate and now faces a team with the fourth-highest strikeout rate in the league this year, plus the 28th-ranked slugging percentage.

High-Dollar Infielder

Brandon Lowe ($4,100) vs. Jose Berrios – Since the beginning of 2022, Berrios has been atrocious against left-handers, allowing a .222 ISO and .362 wOBA. But what makes it worse is he only strikes them out 17% of the time. Lowe is making hard contact 52% of the time this season, making it more clear why the salary is so high tonight.

Value Infielder

Manny Machado ($3,000) vs. Eric Lauer – Considering salary and matchup, Machado looks like the best option on the Padres who have a very high run total for tonight’s game against lefty Eric Lauer. Machado has a .368 wOBA, a .253 ISO and only strikes out 17% of the time against lefthanders. This salary is just way too low for the matchup.

High-Dollar Outfielder

Cedric Mullins ($3,400) vs. Mike Clevinger – Mullins’ rates don’t look great to start the season, but it’s all due to a very low .189 BABIP and some bad luck. He still has six steals, two homers, and nine RBI despite a .184/.273/.327 slash line with his highest walk rate and lowest strikeout rate of his career.

Value Outfielder

Tyler O’Neill ($2,600) vs. Johan Oviedo – Tyler O’Neill is back in his manager’s good graces and has had solid fantasy outputs each of the last five games. He should be in the lineup against Johan Oviedo who only strikes out 21% of batters since the start of last year while walking almost 10%. O’Neill has a hard hit rate of 40% against Oviedo’s profile of pitcher and he is a good bet to hit one out at a very low salary tonight.

Best FanDuel Stack

New York Yankees vs. Louie Varland – The only problem with stacking the Yankees against Varland is I truly believe he will not be in the game terribly long for the Bronx Bombers to tee off against him. The Yankees do have five in their lineup over $3,000 but the bottom of the lineup is very affordable and should get plenty of plate appearances in this game. In the low $3,000s, lefties Anthony Rizzo and Franchy Cordero might be some of the best plays on this slate.

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