Welcome to our MLB DFS Building Blocks, DraftKings and FanDuel picks for 4/18/22! In this article, I’ll break down by top overall plays for today’s main slate. Last year was an extremely big year for the Karma team in MLB, and we are looking to continue that success in 2022. I will be providing Core Plays for every main slate (and day baseball) this season — you can gain access to that as well as our premium discord here. You can also try out the Core Plays package with a $5 daily pass. Let’s get to the plays…
Kershaw’s first start was pushed back, but he responded by pitching seven perfect frames with 13 strikeouts on only 80 pitches. His velocity was down slightly from what we’ve seen from him recently, but it clearly didn’t matter with the amount of swings and misses he was getting. We can assume that the 80 pitch number will rise a bit tonight, but we also have a pretty big sample size of Dave Roberts being overly cautious when it comes to his ace. He can be fit in on DraftKings, but it’s just going to come down to if you want to prioritize Kershaw or the Coors Field bats. I personally think there are enough strong mid-tier pitchers that I’m willing to drop down, but it’s clear Kershaw is the number one tonight and can be used in all formats.
I feel like most people will be using Sean Manaea on this slate, but I’ve been encouraged by what I’ve seen from McLanahan this season and we know that he has massive upside in the strikeout department. He’s stuck out seven and eight in his first two starts, and while he’s yet to complete five innings — he reached 85 pitches in his last start so he should be pretty much full-go tonight against the Cubs. I will note that it’s very cold in Chicago today so there’s a chance at a PPD here, but I don’t think there is enough rain for them to miss the game, it will all come down to if they want to play with how cold it is. Chicago has power vs LHP, but they also are striking out around 23% of the time against them. I’m a big McLanahan fan and will be in on him if this game plays tonight, if it’s cancelled we can make the easy pivot up to the chalky Sean Manaea.
And now we have the easy SP2 tonight — Frankie Montas priced at just $7,300. Baltimore is a bad offense, I don’t even think Nestor Cortes is that good and they literally could not touch him on Sunday. Their projected lineup tonight owns a combined .300 wOBA and 25% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching. He also topped 90 pitches in his last start so he should be facing no workload limitations tonight. Overall, he’s too good of a pitcher to be priced this low in this spot and he will likely see heavy ownership because of it. He’s my personal top play on this slate.
Obviously the Coors Field game is going to dominate the attention tonight, so I will avoid writing up the plays that everyone will be on. I’ll start at catcher with Sean Murphy, who should be relatively low-owned due to his $4,800 price tag. That does seem like a lot for Murphy, but the concerns are eased when we did into his statcast profile and match-up with Spenser Watkins. For starters, Watkins has allowed a massive .437 wOBA and .320 ISO to right-handed batters in his last 100 or so plate appearances. People often shy away from batters in same-handed match-ups, but Murphy still owns over 40% hard-contact and fly-balls in the split. He’s also been one of the best hitters in baseball this season, which may come as a surprise. Through two weeks of action, he ranks 13th in the MLB in barrels per plate appearance (11.6) and 19th in average fly-ball distance (202). He’s seeing the ball very well and now gets a pitcher tonight that throws primarily fastballs. He’s my top catcher on tonight’s slate, and my low-owned HR call as well.
Marsh can be used as a low-owned value play tonight against the Astros. Luis Garcia is a solid real-life pitcher for the Astros, but he struggles mightily with left-handed batters as opposed to righties. Marsh is still raw, but owns some promising numbers this season including a 94 mph average exit velocity, a .390 xwOBA and a 35% line drive rate vs RHP. Garcia also throws 50% fast balls to left-handed batters, a pitch that Marsh owns a 55% hard-hit rate against. I’ve liked what I’ve seen from him and this is someone that flashed ability in the minor leagues as well. He will be low-owned on Monday, and can be used in all formats as a cheap one-off.
Brandon Marsh posts 5 total bases!
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)