DFS Plays of the Day – April 15

Ryan Amore previews Thursday's DFS slate.

Happy Jackie Robinson Day! Thursday brings a split slate, with the main slate featuring just five games.

Top SP: Julio Urías, LAD ($10,100 DK, $9,600 FD) vs COL


Julio Urías (15.5% K-BB%, 27.3% CSW 2019-20) wasn’t sharp in his last start, as he surrendered three runs to the visiting Nationals while recording just three strikeouts. One of the drawbacks against Urías going into the season was the size of his workload, but at least that was alleviated to a degree in his last start, as Dave Roberts kept him in there for 95 pitches. Urías was sharp in his debut outing against these same Rockies (79 total pitches, 37% CSW), and he’ll now have the advantage of pitching at home. Road Rockies is still something to take advantage of. The Dodgers are easily the biggest favorite on the board (-290) while the Rockies have the lowest implied total on the board at under three runs.

Rich Hill (17.1% K-BB%, 29.9% CSW 2019-20) is an interesting option to consider too. It’s a little scary, though, considering how rough he looked in 2020 (9% K-BB% in 38 IP). Still, the Rangers and their league-worst 30.2% team K rate provide a tempting target. The Rays are currently the second-biggest favorite on the board (-180).

Honorable Mentions: Rich Hill, TB ($9,000 DK, $7,700 FD) vs TEX.


Value SP: Sean Manaea, OAK ($7,400 DK, $6,700 FD) vs DET


The one drawback with Sean Manaea (18.1% K-BB, 27.9% CSW 2019-20) is the lack of strikeouts, as his career K rate sits at an underwhelming 19.6%. Regardless, he’s proven to be an effective starter with a career ERA and WHIP of 3.87 and 1.20 across 558.1 IP. A home start against the Tigers could give him a bump in the strikeout department, as the Tigers as a team are sporting a 27.3% K rate in the early going, 7th-worst in the league. The other upside to Manaea is the lack of freebies; Manaea sports a 6.2% walk rate for his career. Also, considering that his pitch count went just past 100 in his debut, there’s the potential for length to act as a path to a ceiling performance, especially against the Tigers and their .290 team OBP. At the very least, he’ll have the platoon advantage against the red-hot Akil BaddooThe Athletics are strong home favorites this evening (-160).

Honorable Mention: Patrick Corbin, WAS ($7,800 DK, $8,100 FD) vs ARI. 


C Will Smith, LAD ($4,800 DK, $3,300 FD) vs COL


Austin Barnes got the start last night, so we should see Will Smith in there tonight. He’ll get the platoon advantage against the lefty Austin Gomber (10.1% K-BB%, 28.1% CSW in 2020). Smith paired an excellent 16.1% K rate and 14.6% BB rate with an equally impressive .407 xwOBA last year. Hitting in the middle of the Dodger’s lineup, Smith provides a ceiling that’s hard to find at the catcher spot.

Honorable Mentions: Justin Turner 3B ($5,500 DK, $3,800 FD) vs COL; Bo Bichette, SS ($4,900 DK, $3,800 FD) at KC; Juan Soto OF ($6,000 DK, $4,400 FD) vs ARI. 

2B/OF Brandon Lowe, TB ($4,500 DK, $2,800 FD) vs TEX


The Rays will get a date with Jordan Lyles (12% K-BB, 26.3% CSW 2019-20) who has allowed a .372 wOBA and .234 ISO to opposing LHB from 2019-20. Meanwhile, Brandon Lowe has saved his best work for opposing righties, with a career .361 wOBA against them. Lowe’s 10.7% barrel/PA was tied for 7th among qualifiers last season. His teammate, Austin Meadows, and his .366 career wOBA against RHP is another excellent option too.

Honorable Mentions: Kyle Schwarber, OF ($4,600 DK, $3,300 FD) vs ARI; Austin Meadows OF ($4,700 DK, $3,600 FD) vs TEX. 

Value Batter: 1B Rowdy Tellez, TOR ($2,900 DK, $2,100 FD) at KC


Rowdy Tellez quietly broke out last season, slashing a career-best .283/.346/.540 while also cutting his K rate from 28.4% to 15.7%. Jakob Junis (13.4% K-BB%, 27.7% CSW 2019-20) has looked better early on, having added a cutter to his arsenal, but he’s someone who has allowed a .363 wOBA to opposing LHB the past two seasons. Tellez has gotten off to a really rough start but the rock bottom price and massive power (117.4 max EV last year) makes him a tempting target in tournaments.

A more conventional value on DraftKings is Josh Bell, who has always been a better lefty hitter, illustrated by his .355 career wOBA against RHB. He’ll have that advantage in his favor tonight against Merrill Kelly (13.9% K-BB%, 27% CSW 2019-20).

Honorable Mentions: Josh Bell, 1B ($3,600 DK, $3,400 FD) vs ARI, A.J. Pollock, OF ($3,400 DK, $2,400 FD) vs COL. . 


Top Stack: TOR at KC (RHP Jakob Junis)

Junis has added a cutter to his arsenal and pitched well in his debut, so there could be something there. But a look at the larger sample size shows a pitcher who has really struggled to limit home runs. From 2019-20, he surrendered the most home runs (38), just ahead of Lyles (37) among tonight’s probable pitchers. Splits-wise, he’s been a little more susceptible to lefties, allowing a .363 wOBA to them, as opposed to .330 against RHB the last two years. While his K rate is just about 20% to both RHB and LHB. The Blue Jays, meanwhile, are a lineup loaded with power, starting with Bo Bichette (.356 xwOBA last season) and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.(.331 xwOBA last season). Cavan Biggio (.315 xwOBA last season) and Tellez, mentioned earlier, will both have the platoon advantage and have power upside here too. Marcus Semien also has plenty of upside from the leadoff spot, considering his .352 xwOBA from his last full season of 2019.

Honorable Mentions: LAD vs COL (Gomber); TB vs TEX (Lyles). 


Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)

Ryan Amore

A proprietor of the Ketel Marte Fan Club, Ryan Amore has been writing things at Pitcher List since 2019. He grew up watching the Yankees and fondly remembers Charlie Hayes catching the final out of the '96 WS. He appreciates walks but only of the base on ball variety.

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