MLB DFS: DraftKings Plays and Strategy for Friday, April 19

MLB DFS: DraftKings Plays and Strategy for Friday, April 19

This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.

On Friday, there is no NHL hockey, and in the world of the NBA we have four teams playing to be the eighth seeds. That is to say, it's a great day to be all-in on MLB! There are 10 games on the slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET or later. Here are my DFS recommendations.

Pitching

Freddy Peralta, MIL at STL ($9,500): Corbin Burnes? Gone. Brandon Woodruff? Gone. Freddy Peralta? Absolutely crushing it. Through three starts he has a 2.39 FIP and has struck out 13.25 batters per nine innings. The Cardinals are in the bottom 10 in runs scored, and with Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado seemingly not the hitters they used to be, that feels plausible in the long run.

Triston McKenzie, CLE vs. OAK ($8,700): The sheer incompetence of the White Sox lineup is skewing perceptions of other punchless offenses, but the Athletics are still the best bet to be second worst. They've scored 56 runs through 19 games and collectively slashed .209/.276/.336. McKenzie has had two bad starts and one good start, but that good start was at home against the White Sox. If you can handle Chicago, you can probably handle Oakland.

Jack Flaherty, DET at MIN ($7,700): In the inverse of McKenzie, Flaherty has had two good starts and one bad outing that is skewing his numbers. What I find encouraging is that a guy who has struggled with walks has only issued 1.47 walks per nine innings. The Twins have hit .193 as a team, which is lowest in MLB.

Top Targets

Even though he is off to a slow start, Jose Ramirez ($5,900) is a guy you can pencil in for a 20/20 season on Opening Day, and I expect him to get there again. While he's a switch hitter, since 2022 he has an .878 OPS versus righties. Joe Boyle has made six MLB starts, only one of them bad, but there is something that stands out. In his MLB career, lefties have hit .333 against the right-handed pitcher.

As a rookie, Julio Rodriguez ($5,900) has a 25/25 season. He followed that up with a 30/30 campaign. As for 2024, well, it's early. You know what could help? A trip to Coors Field. Rodriguez will be in Denver on Friday and facing Dakota Hudson, who has struck out 6.01 batters per nine in his career and has a 4.61 ERA over the last three seasons.

Bargain Bats

Last year, Nolan Jones ($4,900) came out of nowhere to slash .297/.389/.542 with 20 homers and 20 stolen bases in his first season with the Rockies. Of course, the change in home environment helped, though I will note Jones also had a .935 OPS on the road. He'll be at Coors Field facing Emerson Hancock. Hancock has a 6.41 ERA through six MLB starts, and he's allowed four home runs this season already.

The new base-stealing paradigm of 2023 changed the fantasy landscape and made some players emerge as under-the-radar stars. Brice Turang ($3,700) wasn't quite that, mostly because the rookie had a .285 OBP. Being on base is kind of important for stealing bases. Even so, Turang managed to swipe 26 bags in 2023. This year he has a .367 OBP to start the campaign, and that's helped him already steal nine bases. The 36-year-old Kyle Gibson has a career 4.56 ERA and has only had a K/9 rate over 8.0 twice in his career. Turang should have his chance to get on base.

Stacks to Consider

Dodgers vs. Mets (Sean Manaea): Mookie Betts ($6,600), Will Smith ($4,700), Andy Pages ($2,600)

First, I hadn't seen the before-and-after photos of when Manaea went from hirsute to clean cut. Those are a trip. Anyway, he's still not a good pitcher. He has a 4.30 ERA in three starts with the Mets, and he has a career 4.10 ERA even though his three prior home parks were Oakland, San Diego and San Francisco. Since he is a southpaw, I have three righties in this stack.

Betts maybe should have won NL MVP last season, though I understand the power of Ronald Acuna's counting stats. It seems like he doesn't want it to be an argument in 2024. Betts has slashed .369/.470/.667 with six homers, five doubles and three stolen bases. Smith had already established himself as one of the best-hitting catchers in MLB, and this year he's batted .348. While he's typically hit lefties well, he's started this campaign with an 1.101 OPS versus southpaws. Pages is a roll of the dice. I expect he will play against a righty, and his salary makes way for two high-salaried players for their positions. The 23-year-old debuted as one of the Dodgers' top prospects. He had an 1.146 OPS at Triple-A before his call-up, and a .916 OPS at Double-A in 2023.

Atlanta vs. Rangers (Andrew Heaney): Austin Riley ($6,000), Marcell Ozuna ($5,300), Orlando Arcia ($4,000)

It's a tale as old as time. Heaney has one season with an ERA under 4.15 in his last nine campaigns, and it was his one season as a Dodger. Last year with the Rangers he had that 4.15 ERA, and through three starts this year his ERA is up to 6.75. That's with a 7.7 line-drive percentage that is going to double and possibly triple. He's a lefty, so I have three righties from Atlanta.

Since Riley tweaked his swing, he's been steady, reliable and productive. He'll have 30 homers, 30 doubles, 90 RBI and an OPS over .900 against lefties. Riley also has a .927 OPS at home since 2022. Ozuna had a power surge in 2023, slugging .558 with 40 homers. Well, this year he's about to overload the reactors. Ozuna has slugged .732 and hit eight homers in 17 games. Last season, Arcia got regular playing time for the first year since 2020, and one thing popped. Versus righties, he was a mediocre hitter doing just enough to get by for a shortstop. Against lefties? He had an 1.006 OPS.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Chris Morgan plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: cmorgan3, DraftKings: cmorgan3.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Morgan
Chris Morgan is a writer of sports, pop culture, and humor articles, a book author, a podcaster, and a fan of all Detroit sports teams.
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