DFS Primer – April 17

Gus Elmashni breaks down the DFS slate for Saturday.

Happy Easter, everyone! Please, please, please don’t be glued to your phones once you submit your lineups and have confirmation that the players on your rosters are actually starting. It’s all about family today, but, of course, it doesn’t hurt to see that your lineups have reached the cash line once the dust settles with the main slate. Enjoy all of the Easter egg hunts, long masses/sermons, and elaborate brunches! OK, maybe you can sneak out during mass to check on your lineups!

As for yesterday, I wouldn’t say any offense truly exploded. Philadelphia and Colorado looked solid, but you needed the top pitchers yesterday in order to have success. Carlos Carrasco, Ian Anderson, and Justin Verlander all pitched great. Of course, the big-name bats did well, such as Bryce Harper, Juan Soto, and Shohei Ohtani. The strategy for today is to pay up for pitching, find one stack that will give us leverage, and try to squeeze in one big named bat with a few other value pieces from the same team. Without further ado, here is who to play for today!



I think this is simple. If you are playing FanDuel, roster Alek Manoah. No other team is even remotely close to Toronto in terms of the likelihood to win today based on the Vegas odds. Toronto is a heavy -255 favorite, and even though both the A’s and Blue Jays have identical records, Toronto is way more talented; remember that the season is early. Oakland pitched well in Tampa Bay, but the Rays are a team lacking serious power. Toronto is well on its way to leading the league again in HRs and most power-hitting metrics.

So Manoah will have the run support to get you the W. Why else pay up for him? Because he is a very talented pitcher who is ready to have his breakout season. This young man is a beast. He is 6’6″ and 260 lbs, so he is an imposing presence on the mound. He’s 24, so he has the right amount of seasoning but is burgeoning with potential.

He was a high draft pick for Toronto in 2019, so he was highly sought after once he finished his junior year at West Virginia. Like all other young prospects, his progression was somewhat delayed thanks to COVID, so he doesn’t have any 2020 numbers. However, his last year at West Virginia, as well as the brief time he spent in single A in 2019 and AAA in 2021, were impressive. He had amazing K/BB ratios and averages well over 1 K per IP.

Last year would count as his rookie season in the big leagues, and Manoah did well with Toronto throwing 111.2 innings over 20 starts while earning a 9-2 record with 3.22 ERA, 127 Ks, and 40 BBs. His WHIP was low, and he didn’t serve up the long ball too often. Manoah is already off to a great start, and he gets a golden opportunity to separate himself from the rest of the pack with a strikeout-heavy team on tap for today. Through nine games this season, Oakland has already stuck out 91 times. They are a free-swinging group with pretty much nothing to lose after having their roster gutted this past offseason which has become customary for Oakland in the Billy Beane era.

In 2021, Manoah had 4 games when he had double-digit Ks, pitched at least 6 innings, and did not give up more than 2 earned runs. He can do the same today. Do the math, and you are looking at 50-60 fantasy point day on FanDuel and 30 fantasy point day on DraftKings. Pay up for this young man. You won’t regret it.

If you are playing DraftKings, you will need a 2nd pitcher and some salary savings. Look no further than the New York Mets. Like Toronto, NY is heavily favored at -190 and gets to play the worst team in baseball from last year. While Peterson doesn’t quite have Manoah’s pedigree nor his strong pitch command, he is also a big dude, was drafted high, and is at the right age to have a breakout campaign. If you want to pay up for the bats, then you could do a 2nd lineup on FanDuel with Peterson as your pitcher since his price is moderate on that site. He is dirt cheap on DraftKings at a salary of $6700. Pairing him with Manoah will give you the flexibility you need with the bats.

Roll with Manoah and Peterson today.




Interestingly, FanDuel included the Angels-Rangers game, but DraftKings did not. An Angels stack looks good with Martin Perez on the hill for Texas. So does a Texas stack with their revamped offense and another gas can mediocre pitcher in Jose Suarez going up against Perez. You can still go with the Angels or Rangers as your stack on FanDuel, but you will need to look elsewhere on DraftKings.

Also, rain is in the forecast for the Detroit-Kansas City game, so that will narrow some of our choices. Of course, I hope you were not banking on that game for your bats!

So what other stacks should we consider? You could go with Toronto as a nice correlation with Manoah, but the Blue Jays bats will be pricey, and we are already paying up for Manoah. Don’t roster any Mets batters. Citi Field is a true pitcher’s park, and the weather will be mild in New York, so don’t expect much offensive production there.

Like last weekend, the Guardians’ offense could pop off again. They face a good pitcher in Alex Wood, but I think that is even more reason to roster the core of the Guardians’ batting lineup. You will get leverage on the field since most people think the Guardians are a fluke. Keep in mind that Cleveland’s offense is at a very ripe age, with no one over the age of 30 and no one younger than 24. They have a good blend of power, contact hitting, and speed. True, the Giants’ pitching has stymied the Guardians the last two days, but if you want to take down a GPP you will need to take a chance on a stack that will be low owned, affordable, and has the capability of popping off. Cleveland checks off all of those boxes.

The 2-3-4-5 stack for Cleveland looks very good on FanDuel. You can pair that stack with the 3-4-5-6 hitters from Texas and have exactly $10,000 left on FanDuel to squeeze in Manoah as your pitcher. You can do something similar on DraftKings, but of course, you can’t play the Angels or Rangers on the main slate. Here are some potential lineups.


P: A. Manoah
P: D. Peterson
C: Z. Collins
1B: V. Guerrero
2B: O. Miller
3B: J. Ramirez
SS: A. Rosario
OF: G. Springer
OF: L. Gurriel
OF: F. Reyes


P: A. Manoah
C/1B: M. Garver
2B: A. Ibanez
3B: J. Ramirez
SS: A. Rosario
OF: F. Reyes
OF: S. Kwan
OF: A. Garcia
UTIL: N. Lowe

Now that you know who to play, submit your lineups, put away your phone, and enjoy some family time on Easter! Good luck!


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

Gus Elmashni

Gus Elmashni is a San Francisco Bay Area native and an avid fan of the NBA, NFL, and MLB. He has played fantasy sports since 1993 when a few high school friends and he would tabulate daily NBA results from the San Jose Mercury News and draft new teams every month. Gus has been with Pitcher List since April 2022 writing DFS articles and the Best Bets column. Additionally, Gus works full-time as an educator in Northern California and resides in Sacramento with his wife and two young children.

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