MLB Around the Horn: April 7 DFS Plays w/ PitcherList

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We get two slates this Saturday but the main slate doesn’t start till 7:05 pm with the Reds taking on the Pirates. The main slate only includes 5 games tonight so draft your lineups and make sure your fantasy picks are starting in the actual game because there aren’t many things worse than an inactive player.

Must Play SP: Gerrit Cole, HOU ($24,200) vs SD

As expected with only 5 Games, the slate doesn’t include many premium pitching options and Cole is clearly the best pitcher available represented by his price being $5,600 higher than the next highest pitcher (Marcus Stroman). In his first start against Texas, Cole struck out 11 batters and was allowed to exceed 100 pitches. While the strikeouts were great and represent upside, I was more interested in the 102 pitches which means he is not being babied like some other pitchers (looking at you Luis Castillo). Back to the strikeouts, Padres are more strikeout prone than the Rangers and this is a much better matchup in general. I have never been a big Cole fan but the strikeout upside has me interested.

Honorable Mention: Marcus Stroman, TOR (18,600) @ TEX

Value SP: Chad Kuhl, PIT ($14,400) @ CIN

The only thing cool thing about Kuhl today is his matchup against the Reds, who have started out slow and rank in the bottom third against Righties in wRC+. It’s going to be another cold night in Cincy which means advantage to the pitchers if they can find their grip on the ball. Kuhl pitched twice against the Reds last season and the results were mixed, one resulting in being taken out after only 4.2 innings while the other was a 7 inning shutout. I am expecting something in the middle with a very good chance at a win.

Honorable Mention: Mike Minor, TEX(12,100) vs TOR

IF: Zack Cozart, LAA ($8,000) vs OAK (RHP Andrew Triggs)

He broke out last year but the injury-prone label and position security in LA hurt his value in season-long leagues. That doesn’t matter at FantasyDraft thanks to the daily lineups and Cozart has been batting at the top of the lineup in front Mike Trout and Albert Pujols (The RBI God). Cozart hit a career-high 24 HR in only just 122 games last year and he is bringing it over into 2018 with already going yard twice. It’s not just the home runs either, he is showing off his power with 3 doubles and a triple thanks to a 25% LD rate.

Honorable Mention: Nolan Arenado, COL ($10,800) vs ATL

OF: Gregory Polanco, PIT ($8,500) @ CIN (RHP Sal Romano)

“El Coffee” has been piping hot at the plate and looks to be making a comeback after a disappointing injury riddled 2017. The biggest improvement has been his plate discipline as he has learned to take walks represented by his 8 walks this year. Polanco always had a raw power and the only challenge for him was to harness into actual games. He seems to be doing just that with four doubles, two HRs, and a foul ball that was very close to being a home run. Polanco is locked in at the plate and I would continue using him every day.

Honorable Menton: Justin Upton, LAA ($8,300) @ OAK

Value IF: Marcus Semien, OAK ($6,500) @ LAA (RHP J.C. Ramirez)

Honestly, I was expecting a better start to the year, but I shouldn’t be complaining as Semien has somehow managed to get on base in all of the games so far. He finally hit his first homer of the year yesterday and does seem has been a streaky player in the past. It’s hard not to like him at this price and it his small sample size against the opposing pitcher (2-3 with a HR) gives me enough confidence to start him in my lineup. He is still batting at the top of the lineups which is always extra value added for hitters.

Honorable Mention: Rougned Odor, TEX ($6,000) vs HOU

Top Stack: Pirates @ Reds (RHP Sal Romano)

I am loving the Pirates stack today with Sal Romano taking the mound for the Reds. Romano was an escape artist last time round in Washington as he left 96% of the runners on base and still allowed three runs. I expect him to run into more trouble with the red-hot Pirates. I already mentioned Gregory Polanco earlier but I would recommend pairing him with other Pirates such as Josh Bell ($8,100), Corey Dickerson ($6,800) and even Josh Harrison ($7,200). The cold weather seems to have no effect on these Pirates.

Honorable Mention: Braves @ Rockies (Chad Bettis) 

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