DFS Plays of the Day – April 25

Ryan Amore previews Monday's DFS slate.

Monday brings us light, seven-game slate on DraftKings which begins at 6:10 EST with the Brewers hosting the Giants. Note that FanDuel has omitted the Phillies’ and Brewers’ games from their main slate. Despite it being a shorter slate, there are quite a few pitching options to consider.


Top Tier Pitching 


Note: As we go through tonight’s pitching options, you’ll find their line from their previous outing, and in the table above you’ll find their stats from last season.

Corbin Burnes: ($10,200 DK): vs PIT (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 107 pitches.

Max Scherzer: ($9,300 DK, $ 10,800 FD): vs SF (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 10 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 102 pitches.

Shane Bieber: ($9,600 DK, $10,000 FD): vs CWS (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 86 pitches.

In the top tier, Burnes is the easy call for those on DraftKings with the Brewers being installed as the biggest favorites of the night. He’s coming off a seven-inning dismantling of the Pirates his last time out.

Scherzer is fresh off a terrific outing against the Giants this past Tuesday. But, one thing worth keeping a lookout for is his fastball velocity; he averaged 93.3 his last time out, a full tick below last year. Still, if you’re going up top on FanDuel where Burnes is not an option, Scherzer looks like the right choice.

Bieber is operating with less velocity relative to where he was as a no-doubt top five starter. He’s still, of course, plenty capable of producing the top line of the night considering his efficiency and superb slider, but I think there’s enough uncertainty as to what his current baseline is that pushes him behind Scherzer. He gets a rejuvenated Angels lineup that has been productive in the early going with a .338 team wOBA, third-best in baseball.



Mid-Tier/Value Pitching




Walker Buehler: ($8,800 DK, $9,400 FD): vs ATL (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 79 pitches.

Framber Valdez: ($8,400 DK, $8,700 FD): vs LAA (L) – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 80 pitches.

Nathan Eovaldi: ($8,000 DK, $8,200 FD): vs TOR (ND) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 95 pitches.

What do we do with Buehler? What we’ve seen so far has not been his finest version, as his fastball has averaged 94.6 MPH, which is just about a half-tick down from last year. His cutter (30% whiff rate this season) has been his one saving grace and after his latest start, he mentioned having to lean on it more often. It seems as if he’s in-between right now and trying to tinker his way back to finding what works best, which might him less of a priority tonight. Still, we know what he’s capable of and it is a potential bounce-back spot against a light-hitting D-Backs team.

Valdez is in a similar boat as Buehler in that he’s heading into tonight in not the sharpest of forms. In the case of the Astros’ southpaw, it’s walks that’ve been the bugaboo as he’s allowed nine free passes in his past two starts. If I’m picking between the two, I would lean towards Buehler by virtue of being the stronger favorite; he’s also facing a D-Backs team that has K’d at a more favorable 25.5% clip so far this year as opposed to the Rangers at 20%.

Eovaldi squares off against the Jays on the road and looks like the contrarian option in the mid-tier. He should get overlooked as no one wants to have their pitcher face Vladimir Guerrero Jr.


Kyle Gibson: ($6,800 DK):@ COL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 90 pitches.

José Berríos: ($5,500 DK, $7,800 FD):@ BOS (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 96 pitches.

Michael Lorenzen ($6,300 DK, $7,400 FD):@ HOU (L) – 3.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 79 pitches.

Gibson and Berríos look like two of your best bets in terms of potential bargain SP 2’s tonight on DraftKings. The Blue Jay right-hander is coming in with a dreadful 6.35 ERA and 2.03 WHIP, but that’s simply the product of a disastrous season debut against the Texas Rangers. His track record speaks for itself and he’s certainly capable of crushing his current salary on both sites. The Red Sox could also be without J.D. Martinez once again tonight, which could further his cause. He’s coming off a strong start against this same lineup at Fenway his last time out.

Gibson held his own against this same Rockies squad at Coors Field his last time out and now gets them again under more suitable conditions. The Phillies are right up there with the Dodgers and Brewers as the biggest favorites of the night.

My guess is that Lorenzen is probably the lowest of the three on DraftKings in terms of roster percentage. He’s been a mixed bag in his bid as a starter this season and gets a Guardians lineup that has been surprisingly productive thus far with a .335 team wOBA, tied with the Mariners for fourth in baseball.



Bats and Stacks



  • LAD (5.1 implied run total) at ARI Merrill Kelly (RHP) 13.3 K-BB%, 4.44 ERA, 1.29 WHIP: The Dodgers lead the slate with the only implied total over five runs. Kelly has been sharp to begin the season, however, the velocity gains he flashed in his first start against the Padres seemed to have gone by the wayside. In his last start, his fastball averaged 91.5, which is right around where it was last season. This lineup should be one of if not the most popular stack on the board, but it’s with good reason, considering the lack of games to pick from and that it’s a league-average or maybe slightly above-average pitcher in Kelly going against the most loaded lineup in baseball. Eager for redemption after last year’s disastrous season, Cody Bellinger is off to a promising start and should be a popular value play on DraftKings at just $3,300.


  • HOU (4.6 implied run total) at TEX Dane Dunning (RHP) 13.9 K-BB%, 4.51 ERA, 1.44 WHIP: It’s been a strange year for hitting early on as there have been more than a few prominent hitters off to poor starts. In that respect, look no further than Kyle Tucker who is somehow hitting just .127 through the first 15 games of the year. Tonight is a potential buy-low opportunity for Tucker, as he gets an exploitable matchup against an average sort of RHP in Dunning. The Astros’ two-hole hitter, Michael Brantley, is also an affordable option on both sites.


  • PHI (5.1 implied run total) vs COL Kyle Freeland (LHP) 13.0 K-BB%, 4.33 ERA, 1.42 WHIP: The Phillies are only available on DraftKings. Tonight they’ll host the Rockies and get a matchup they can certainly take advantage of in the form of the veteran southpaw. Alec Bohm is off to a strong start and is looking like a post-hype guy in the early going. He’s a potential option for those needing a bargain at the hot corner on DraftKings.


  • NYM (3.9 implied run total) at STL Miles Mikolas (RHP) 10.8 K-BB%, 4.23 ERA, 1.21 WHIP: Mikolas has looked very sharp through his first three starts, and don’t forget he’s someone who did post a remarkable 2.83 ERA and 1.07 WHIP across 200.2 innings back in 2018. But there are a couple of potential bargains to consider in Mark Canha and Dominic SmithAnd, for tournaments, Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso are potential spends that are always capable of shaking slates.


Value Bats


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

Ryan Amore

Writer for PL, artist, DFS enthusiast, and occasional Yankee fan. Once won a GPP with Henderson Alvarez. A proprietor of the Ketel Marte Fan Club. Appreciates walks but only of the base on ball variety.

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