MLB DFS 4/5/24 – Ben’s Building Blocks - DFS Karma
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MLB DFS 4/5/24 – Ben’s Building Blocks

Welcome in to Ben’s MLB DFS Building Blocks for DraftKings and FanDuel! In this article, I will highlight my favorite MLB DFS plays for small-field tournament formats. If you’re interested in signing up for premium access, which grants you Core Plays for every slate, projections + expert picks and our premium Discord click HERE. You can also sign up for our AI-driven sports betting tools and access to my daily betting card by clicking HERE. Let’s get into the plays…


Welcome into another season of Ben’s MLB Building Blocks! I believe this is my seventh season providing MLB DFS content and I couldn’t be more excited to have baseball back. The first few articles are going to be abbreviated in the pitching section while we wait for some data to build up – and we will mostly be relying on 2023 data for the first month — barring any clear changes to pitch-mix. Let’s dive into our Thursday’s starters…

  1. Spencer Strider
  2.  Freddy Peralta
  3. Brady Singer
  4.  Griffin Canning
  5. Kutter Crawford

This is my list in order of pitchers today.

Strider is the clear-cut best option anytime he toes the rubber. The question is always whether or not he’s worth the salary on a given slate. Earlier in the season, in a tough match-up is a tougher sell than usual but he still ranks as my top-overall option by far.

This is a really fun slate outside of him, as well. Freddy Peralta is a premier strikeout arm in a plus match-up vs Seattle — while Brady Singer looked exceptional in his first start. Singer was an up-and-coming pitcher for KC coming into last season, but it seemed like fatigue and overall health affected his performance. His velocity was up a tick from what we saw in 2023, but more importantly he made a distinct pitch-mix change. He threw his slider over 10% more in his first start of 2024 — it was his most-used pitch. Even dating back to last season, his slider is clearly his best offering. He has a great match-up against the White Sox, and I like him in all formats on Friday.

Crawford is another guy that can provide value in terms of strikeouts, and he should come in lower-owned due to all the options priced near him. Canning is going to be popular for his price-tag — but I prefer getting up to two mid-tier options in my small-field builds.

Building Blocks

Austin Riley

With Coors Field not on the main slate, Atlanta will carry ownership as the top stack per usual, featuring a near 6 run implied team total. They match-up with an attackable left-hander in Tommy Henry. If you know anything about the Braves, they are built to feast on all types of pitching, but especially those that throw from the left-side. They ranked first as a team in essentially every offensive metric against LHP last season. They have right-handed power up and down the lineup, making them extremely hard to navigate multiple times through the order. One of their best hitters in Austin Riley, who bats in the heart of the order and destroys left-handed pitching. Riley has looked great to begin the season, and I love how he matches up with Henry. Henry should offer a lot of sinkers and curveballs — two pitches that Riley excels against. He hit over .330 with >50% hard-contact against both pitches last season. Atlanta will be no secret tonight, but if choosing just one I’ll ride with Riley.

MJ Melendez

Melendez was featured in this section yesterday, and he graciously responded with a double and a HR. He’s in another strong spot tonight, even though the match-up is tougher against Erick Fedde as opposed to Mike Soroka. Fedde looked the part in his first start for the White Sox, he’s coming off a monster season in the KBO and he struck out 7 batters last week while going just shy of 100 pitches. There’s a very real chance he is a solid major league arm at this point, and if that’s the case it’s going to come with a good ground-ball rate like we saw from him in the KBO. Given that profile, if picking off bats against him we want fly-ball hitters and that’s exactly what Melendez is. He had the second-highest fly-ball rate on KC vs RHP last season. I’ve also already highlighted he’s locked in at the plate right now. Fedde’s most-used pitch his opener was his sinker. Last year, Melendez posted a monster .492 wOBA and .366 ISO in the split. Go back to the well and back a breakout from Melendez in all formats tonight.

Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)

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