DFS Plays of the Day – April 22

Ryan Amore previews Thursday's DFS slate.

Thursday gives us another short main slate featuring just five contests.


Top SP: Walker Buehler, LAD ($10,000 DK, $9,800 FD) vs SD.

Skills-wise, Walker Buehler (23.1% K-BB%, 30% CSW 2019-21) jumps to the top of today’s barren ace tier. If this were a normal-sized slate with alternatives you could argue a strong case for fading Buehler, due to a modest return in the strikeout department. In three starts this year, Buehler’s strikeout rate sits at 17%, not quite HAISTFMFWT? But it’s getting there, at least relative to his salary. The culprit could be, in part, to his four-seamer returning just a 13.4% whiff rate so far (26.1% last year). Meanwhile, the Padres thus far have the second-lowest team strikeout rate at just 20.7%, so this isn’t the greatest of matchups on paper at least. Early season sample aside, Buehler should revert to the guy we’ve been used to, with a 29.1% strikeout rate across 219 IP from 2019-20. At the very least, Buehler and the Dodgers’ are the largest favorite on the board tonight (-175). 

Honorable Mentions: That’s it. 

Value SP: Nick Pivetta, BOS ($7,400 DK, $8,200 FD) vs SEA.

Oh, the things we do on a short slate. Nick Pivetta (11.5% K-BB%, 26% CSW% 2019-21) gets the benefit of a matchup with the Mariners, whose team strikeout rate of 27.3% is 6th-worst in baseball. They’re also 8th from the bottom with a team wOBA of .292. Before he broke the hearts of many in 2019 (.346 xwOBA, 5.52 xERA) Pivetta showed some strikeout upside with a 27.1% K rate in 2018. The Red Sox are very strong home favorites this evening (-165) with the Mariners’ implied total at just over four runs. 

If you’re looking to avoid Pivetta, I can’t blame you in the least. Alex Cobb (12.2% K-BB%, 29.1% CSW% 2019-21) has gotten off to an impressive start leaning heavily on his splitter, though he gets a stiff test tonight as a road dog against the Houston Astros.

Honorable Mention: Alex Cobb, LAA ($7,700 DK, $8,700 FD) at HOU. 


3B Rafael Devers, BOS ($5,800 DK, $3,400 FD) vs SEA

The Red Sox boast the highest implied total of the evening at just over five runs. They’ll be facing Mariners’ RHP Justin Dunn (0.7% K-BB%, 26.6% CSW 2019-21). Dunn has shown improved fastball velocity so far, sitting just under 94 mph as opposed to the 91 mph we saw last season. Still, walks have been a problem and he’s ceded a .358 wOBA to opposing LHB going back to 2019. This looks like a mismatch on paper in favor of Rafael Devers, who is off to a strong start, boasting a .481 xwOBA in the early going. 

Honorable Mentions: Mookie Betts OF ($5,900 DK, $4,500 FD) vs SD; Jared Walsh, 1B ($4,700 DK, $3,900 FD) at HOU; Mike Trout OF ($5,800 DK, $4,600 DK). 


OF Yordan Álvarez, HOU ($4,300 DK, $4,500 FD) vs LAA

How about Alex Cobb? Is “The Thing” back? It certainly looks that way. Through two starts, Cobb’s swinging K rate is at a remarkable 19.1%. It’s no doubt a product of his split change working really well so far, with a 31% swinging K rate and 56.3% chase rate. Both would be career marks for the pitch, so it’s fair to wonder if the splitter is just overperforming to a degree in the early going. Over his last 228.1 IP, Cobb owns a 5.08 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. Knowing that splitters can come and go in a flash, it could be worth taking a chance on Yordan Álvarez, who owns a .423 wOBA against RHP. He’s at a nice price point on both sites relative to his power upside.

Honorable Mentions: Shohei Ohtani, 1B/OF ($5,100 DK, $4,000 FD) at HOU; Francisco Lindor, SS ($4,700 DK, $3,100 FD) at CHC.


Value Batter: OF Michael Conforto, NYM ($3,500 DK, $2,700 FD) at CHC.

There’s no way around it. Michael Conforto has gotten off to a horrendous start. But this is a possible get-right spot against Trevor Williams (10.8% K-BB%, 25.4% CSW% 2019-21). Williams owns a 5.56 ERA and 1.46 WHIP over his last 215.1 IP and going back to 2019, he’s surrendered a .370 wOBA against opposing lefties (.346 vs RHB). Meanwhile, Conforto owns a career .372 wOBA and 137 wRC+ against RHP. 

Honorable Mentions: Jeff McNeil, 2B/3B ($2,500 FD) at CHC, Brandon Nimmo, OF ($3,700 DK) at CHC; A.J. Pollock OF ($3,200 DK, $2,100 FD) vs SD; Kyle Lewis, OF ($3,100 DK, $2,200 FD) at BOS; Justin UptonOF ($3,300 DK) at HOU. 


Top Stack: NYM at CHC (RHP Trevor Williams)

As mentioned earlier with Conforto, Williams is a pitcher worth attacking. And he’s also surrendered 42 home runs since 2019, 13th most (150 IP minimum). The Mets have underperformed as a club offensively early on, but we know there’s just too much talent here, so it’s only a matter of time before they bust out. Dominic Smith (.340 career wOBA), Peter Alonso (.370), Francisco Lindor (.350), Jeff McNeil (.371), Brandon Nimmo (.368), and J.D. Davis (.342) form what’s certainly one of the senior circuit’s most impressive lineups top to bottom. 

Honorable Mentions: BOS vs SEA (Dunn); HOU vs LAA (Cobb); LAD vs SD (Weathers).


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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