Regular readers of our MLB DFS tips dating back to last season know that Thursdays are not our favorite days. It can be tough with getaway day games, off days, and managers looking to work some of the bench players into the lineup. Obviously things are a little bit different at this point in the season, but we still have to be careful when deciding our lineups for April 7. It can be tricky this time of the season trying to find guys that are going to be able to produce at a decent clip in the early portion of the season. But, that’s all part of the fun, right?
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The salaries listed are from DraftKings:
Here are the top teams to stack for April 7:
Baltimore - This is a pretty good matchup for the Orioles on Thursday night with a crack at Phil Hughes. Hughes’s command profile leaves a lot to be desired and Baltimore should be able to take advantage. There aren’t a ton of left-handed batters that can do damage to Hughes, but that’s just fine because righties hit ..303/.321/.547 against Hughes last season. Lefties had similar success. He’s just not a good pitcher.
Los Angeles Dodgers - The game between the Dodgers and Giants could become a real slugfest with this pitching matchup. The guy I’ll look to fade is Jake Peavy. Peavy is a decent pitcher to stream at home, but not against a lineup like that of the Dodgers. I normally don’t put a lot of stock into Spring Training numbers for a variety of reasons, but Peavy was pretty bad throughout and he’s a guy that has a pretty extensive injury history in recent years. This is more of a gut feeling pick than a stats-based pick.
Washington - Adam Conley has some upside, but it will be very hard for him to reach that upside on the road. His minor league strikeout rates don’t really leave a lot to be excited about and his small 67-inning big league sample size from last season isn’t going to jump off the page at anybody either. It was good, but not great, and there were some signs of home/road splits in his profile.
Here are the top value hitters for April 7:
Joey Rickard ($2,000) - Joey Rickard will get every chance to prove himself for a Baltimore team desperate for some offensive help in left field. As a Rule 5 draft pick, he’ll have to stay up with Baltimore for the season, otherwise he has to be offered back to Tampa Bay. He’s picked up a couple of hits in each of his games this season. Sometimes young players come up and pitchers don’t throw them a lot of breaking balls. Phil Hughes is already a fastball guy, so Rickard should get plenty to hit in this one.
Jake Lamb ($3,300) - More often than not, Jake Lamb will be a decent 3B to plug into your lineups against right-handed pitching. Last season, Lamb hung a .272/.339/.403 slash against righties and he already has a two-run homer this season. Remember that platoon bats are generally the ones that are undervalued from a DFS standpoint and Lamb definitely fits that criteria as one of those guys to keep a close eye on throughought the year.
Joc Pederson ($3,900) - Cheap(ish) power and cheap(ish) speed are two of the things that DFS players look for. In this case, you get both in Joc Pederson. Pederson may run a little bit more this season with a more aggressive manager in Dave Roberts and the power is and has always been there. Pederson posted a .361 OBP with a .423 SLG against right-handers last season.
Here are the top value pitchers for April 7:
Rubby de la Rosa ($7,100) - This is a big gamble, but one that could pay off handsomely. There are a lot of issues with RDLR, but the strikeout upside is unquestionably there. Nobody struck out more than the Cubs last season against right-handed pitchers by K%, so this isn’t as great of a matchup as it would appear on the surface. The concern here is that de la Rosa could get shelled and issue a bunch of walks, but the potential is something to consider.
Mat Latos ($7,400) - The first start of Mat Latos’s White Sox career comes in an excellent pitcher’s park and that is definitely worth taking an additional look or two. Latos will also be under the watchful eye of elite pitching coach Don Cooper. You’re certainly buying low on Latos here after a terrible 2015 season, but this is a good park against a mediocre lineup and the White Sox are off to a pretty decent start to the season.
Danny Salazar ($9,700) - Yes, the most expensive pitcher on the board is a top value for April 7. Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco had mediocre returns against this very talented Boston lineup, but Salazar has a significant amount of upside. He’s got tremendous swing and miss stuff and it’s hard to see the Red Sox really putting up a big number on him. We know that Salazar has occasional command woes, but he could also put together a strikeout per inning with just a couple earned runs.