DraftKings MLB: Weekend Value Plays

DraftKings MLB: Weekend Value Plays

This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.

I'm trying out something a bit different this week, adding lineup stacks to the usual lists of pitchers and batters. I think this will be a permanent thing, as it's no secret that stacking three or more players from a single team is usually a good idea for full-slate GPPs.

All player prices are as of Friday, April 17.


Corey Kluber, CLE (Fri. at MIN), $9800 – I'll happily keep rolling with Kluber in pretty much any matchup until he isn't priced like a second-tier starter. With the exception of that one guy in Los Angeles who also happens to be taking the mound Friday night, Kluber is currently as good as any hurler in the world. While I do expect the strikeout-prone Minnesota offense to eventually make its way toward respectability, this isn't a good enough lineup to justify passing on Kluber at $9800.

Phil Hughes, MIN (Sat. afternoon vs. CLE), $8100 – Once Kluber has done his thing, I'll be looking to another 2014 breakout star from the Cleveland-Minnesota series, as it seems a lot of last year's big risers are underpriced. Hughes may not have the early results to match what he did last season, but he does own an excellent 10:1 K:BB ratio, despite making his first two starts in Detroit and Chicago.

Masahiro Tanaka, NYY (Sat. night at TB), $9700 – While it's reasonable to expect an eventual sophomore drop-off from Tanaka and his partially-torn UCL, I can't help but notice that his first two starts came against the Red Sox and Blue Jays, which only further adds to the notion that it's too early to panic. Tanaka's velocity actually hasn't declined by much, and he still has the nasty off-speed stuff that made him dominant for the first three months of last season. I also like the Saturday matchup, as Tampa Bay doesn't have enough talent to maintain its strong start on offense.

Michael Pineda, NYY (Sun. at TB), $7400 – The Sunday slate is absolutely loaded with favorably-priced pitchers, and Pineda is at the top of that group, alongside Matt Harvey ($8400 vs. MIA). Although he did give up five runs in his last outing, Pineda owns a 15:1 K:BB ratio through 12.1 innings, after struggling to convert his excellent swinging-strike rate (11.2 percent) into punchouts (7.0 K/9) during a shortened 2014 campaign. He's one of the more obvious candidates to make a major jump in strikeout rate this season, so while I don't want to put too much stock in a limited sample size, there may be something real here. And, even if you don't believe in his breakout potential, Pineda is still a bargain at $7400 for a start in Tampa Bay.

Other options:Max Scherzer, DET (Fri. vs. PHI), $11,700; Jimmy Nelson, MIL (Fri. at PIT), $6600; Chris Sale, CWS (Sat. afternoon at DET), $10,700; Jake Odorizzi, TB (Sat. night vs. NYY), $7200; Shane Greene, DET (Sun. vs. CWS), $5700; Daniel Norris, TOR (Sun. vs. ATL), $5700


C Yasmani Grandal, LAD (vs. COL), $3400 – Grandal probably won't be in Friday's lineup, as A.J. Ellis has thus far served as Clayton Kershaw's personal catcher. While you'll have to look elsewhere for Friday, Grandal should be a top play the rest of the weekend, with the Dodgers facing Colorado's Jordan Lyles and Eddie Butler. The sample size may still be limited, but I won't hesitate to label Grandal as one of the game's best hitters at his position. The Dodgers apparently agree, given that they've batted the promising young backstop either second or fifth in a pretty deep lineup.

1B/OF Chris Carter, HOU (vs. LAA), $3700 – Carter is off to a terrible start, going 2-for-30 with no home runs and 13 strikeouts through eight games. That's actually not all that unusual of a stretch for him, and it's only a matter of time before he starts crushing homers. Carter's the kind of guy I love using in GPPs when he won't be an overly popular choice, as he has enormous upside in even the toughest of matchups. While there's always a decent chance you'll get stuck with a goose egg, Carter is a fantastic GPP option at his slump-reduced price.

2B Robinson Cano, SEA (vs. TEX), $4000 – I'm sure there's a perfectly good explanation for this price, so please let me know if you figure it out. The Mariners get to face a cushy slate of right-handed pitching this weekend, and Cano's slow start just isn't worth worrying about.

2B/3B N. Walker, PIT (vs. MIL), $3500 – This is apparently the best weekend ever for getting discounts on top-notch second basemen, as Walker joins Mr. Cano in the bargain bin. While there's no exceedingly soft matchup this weekend, the Pirates will face a trio of manageable right-handers in Jimmy Nelson, Kyle Lohse and Matt Garza.

SS Jimmy Rollins, LAD (vs. COL), $4000 – I'm recommending Rollins for a second straight week, as most of the other shortstops are either overpriced (Hanley Ramirez) or severely lacking in upside (a lot of guys). Meanwhile, the 36-year-old former Philly gets to bat at the top of a loaded lineup, with his team facing a trio of Rockies right-handers this weekend.

OF Mookie Betts, BOS (vs. BAL), $4900 – While this may seem like a lofty price to pay, Betts draws some excellent matchups at Fenway Park this weekend, and I'm guessing the $4500-5000 range will be his norm by mid-season. He's displayed excellent plate discipline and contact skills throughout his professional career, along with speed on the basepaths and decent power. Given that he's still only 22 years old, Betts could easily develop into a 20-homer guy, and I'm guessing we won't have to wait long. As much hype as he's getting, it may not be not enough.

OF Bryce Harper, WAS (vs. PHI), $4500 – While his continued propensity for striking out is somewhat concerning, Harper should be able to ride a string of favorable matchups to a big weekend. His Nats will be up against a trio of immensely hittable right-handers, with the Phillies tossing Sean O'Sullivan, Aaron Harang and David Buchanan. If the Phillies end up trading Cole Hamels, their starting rotation could make a run at a cumulative negative-WAR season. Not actually, but 2-4 WAR might be doable.

Other options:C Buster Posey, SF (vs. ARI), $4100; 1B Mark Teixeira, NYY (at TB), $4200; 2B Dustin Pedroia, BOS (vs. BAL), $4500; 1B/3B Pedro Alvarez, PIT (vs. MIL), $3500; 3B Kyle Seager, SEA (vs. TEX), $3600; OF Jacoby Ellsbury, NYY (at TB), $4500; OF Andrew McCutchen PIT (vs. MIL), $4900; OF Angel Pagan, SF (vs. ARI), $3900

Lineup Stacks


Astros vs. LAA's Jered Weaver – As will often be the case for a team full of strikeout-prone power hitters, you can make a good argument for stacking the Houston batters and an equally good argument for taking the opposing pitcher. I love stacking against guys like Weaver and Yovani Gallardo, as the big names tend to keep the batters' ownership percentages pretty low, even though it's pretty clear that both pitchers are declining.

Dodgers vs. COL's Kyle Kendrick
Angels at HOU's Roberto Hernandez
Nationals vs. PHI's Sean O'Sullivan
Brewers at PIT's Jeff Locke
Mariners vs. TEX's Yovani Gallardo


Mariners vs. TEX's Colby Lewis – The Mariners' left-handed bats are all a bit cheaper than they should be, which allows you to get in a decent stack while still rostering excellent pitchers. Lewis has an okay track record and is off to a nice start, but even at his pre-injury best, the veteran right-hander allowed a ton of home runs.

Astros vs. LAA's C.J. Wilson
Blue Jays vs. ATL's Alex Wood
Giants vs. ARI's Rubby De La Rosa
Dodgers vs. COL's Jordan Lyles
Mets vs. MIA's Mat Latos


Red Sox vs. BAL's Wei-Yin Chen – The Red Sox will be a popular stacking choice whenever they face a non-elite southpaw this season, especially when playing at Fenway Park. While there's a lot to be said for going against the crowd, I imagine plenty of GPP-winning lineups throughout the year will be led by Boston sluggers, as this lineup is an absolute nightmare for left-handed pitchers.

Giants vs. ARI's Jeremy Hellickson
Nationals vs. PHI's David Buchanan
Yankees vs. TB's Matt Andriese
Mariners vs. TEX's Ross Detwiler

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Jerry Donabedian plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: jd0505, DraftKings: jd0505.
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Jerry Donabedian
Jerry was a 2018 finalist for the FSWA's Player Notes Writer of the Year and DFS Writer of the Year awards. A Baltimore native, Jerry roots for the Ravens and watches "The Wire" in his spare time.
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