MLB DFS: DraftKings Plays and Strategy for Friday, April 12

MLB DFS: DraftKings Plays and Strategy for Friday, April 12

This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.

Thursday was a light schedule, and then rain made it even lighter. Friday, well, we shall see what the weather does to the docket, but there are 12 games starting at 7:05 p.m. ET or later. Let's get the weekend kicked off with gusto! Here are my DFS recommendations.

Pitching

Kevin Gausman, TOR vs. COL ($10,000): Yes, Gausman is off to a rough start, but I'm not worried. He hasn't finished a season with a FIP higher than 3.08 in any of his last four seasons. Gausman should round into form, perhaps as early as Friday. Colorado has slugged .392 as a team having played six of its 13 games at Coors Field. Away from Denver, this offense is no threat. 

Jordan Wicks, CHC at SEA ($7,900): Wicks has a 4.15 ERA through two starts, but he's also faced the Rangers and Dodgers. That's formidable opposition. Plus, he has an 1.58 FIP even against the stiff competition. The Mariners do not look quite so imposing. In fact, the team collectively has a .278 OPS through 13 games.

Paul Blackburn, OAK vs. WAS ($7,600): Blackburn's ERA is pristine through two starts. He's yet to allow a run, and he's also walked a single batter across 13 innings. Yes, he's faced Detroit and Cleveland, but Washington has a .665 OPS as a team to start the season and are still in the early stages of a rebuild. Maybe Blackburn allows his first run, but he likely won't allow more than that.

Top Targets

He has three 20/20 seasons in a row, and three seasons with five triples in a row, so Jose Ramirez ($6,000) should easily pick it up, and his slow start is mostly due to a lack of walks. His .268 average is still fine. While he's a switch hitter, Ramirez has an .888 OPS against righties since 2022. Clarke Schmidt allowed three runs in 5.1 innings in his first road start of this season, which tracks, given that he had a 5.23 away ERA last year.

Last season, and so far this season, Ketel Marte ($5,300) has been producing against righties and lefties, at home and on the road. Adding 2022 into the mix, though, and a preference for facing lefties and being at home emerges. Well, Marte is at home against a southpaw Friday. Steven Matz has a career 4.22 ERA, so I doubt his 1.74 ERA this year stands. He won't get to face the Marlins, who he blanked over five innings in his second start, every time out.

Bargain Bats

Hey, remember Rhys Hoskins ($4,600)? He didn't play in 2023 due to a knee injury, but in 2022 he hit 30 homers. Hoskins' career .491 slugging percentage has featured a lot of feasting on lefties, but he can manage against a righty in the right matchup. Now a Brewer, he will face Tyler Wells on Friday. Wells has allowed a home run in each of his first two starts, which tracks, given that he's allowed 1.61 homers per nine innings in his career.

There is a lot left for JJ Bleday ($3,400) to prove. The fourth-overall pick in 2019, he made his Athletics debut last season and was flawed to say the least. He did manage 10 homers and five stolen bases in 82 games, and he did walk 42 times, which somewhat made up for his .195 average. The lefty's .726 OPS against right-handed pitchers at least approached viable. As a rookie, Jake Irvin had a 4.61 ERA, and this season he has a 5.73 ERA through two starts. He allowed lefties to hit .274 against him in 2023, and to start 2024 that number is all the way up to .368.

Stacks to Consider

Blue Jays vs. Rockies (Ryan Feltner): Vladimir Guerrero ($5,200), George Springer ($4,500), Cavan Biggio ($2,800)

Yeah, I am not buying into Feltner's last start at all. He may have looked good against the Rays, but Feltner has a career 5.87 ERA. That isn't all Coors, either, as his road ERA is 5.30. I almost went with a second-generation stack, but ultimately went with Springer over Bo Bichette.

At this point, Guerrero's 2021 season feels like it will end up being his peak, and coming so early in his career, that skewed things. However, over the prior two seasons he hit .269, slugged .462, and hit 58 total homers. That's still good! Vladito is also a righty who prefers to face righties, having slugged .479 against them since 2022. Springer is way below the Mendoza line, but he has two homers and a stolen base. Given that he's coming off a 20/20 season, that makes sense. His .171 BABIP will improve, and he has a .773 OPS against right-handed pitchers since 2022. Bichette has been more reliant on facing lefties, which is why I opted for Springer. Biggio did not have a regular role last season, but he's now the go-to second baseman. He's started strong with a .294/.400/.441 slash line. He also had a .770 OPS at home last year, and a few Blue Jays have a track record of playing better outside of the Great White North.

Reds at White Sox (Chris Flexen): Spencer Steer ($5,400), Christian Encarnacion-Strand ($4,200), Will Benson ($3,800)

Flexen was bad with the Mets, mediocre with the Mariners, and then, last season, terrible with both the Mariners and Rockies. Through two starts with the White Sox, he has a 5.91 ERA. Add it all up and he has a career 4.97 ERA (and 4.96 FIP!) with limited strikeouts and quite a few walks. To that end, he has a career 1.85 K/BB rate. Since righties have hit .307 against him since 2022, I have two righties in this stack.

Speer emerged last year with an .820 OPS with 23 homers and 15 stolen bases. With a significant uptick in his performance against his fellow righties in 2024, he has an 1.192 OPS with three home runs and two swiped bags through 12 games. A top prospect when he debuted last season, Encarnacion-Strand batted .270 with 13 home runs in 63 games. While he's off to a slow start to 2024, he had an .844 OPS versus righties last season, so I think this matchup is still good for him. I included Benson, a lefty, because he's dynamic. Last year he had 11 homers, 19 stolen bases and also eight triples in only 108 games. While he has a .209 average to start this year, he's slugged .512 with two homers and two stolen bases. Also, last season he had a .938 OPS versus righties.

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. Chris Morgan plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: cmorgan3, DraftKings: cmorgan3.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Morgan
Chris Morgan is a writer of sports, pop culture, and humor articles, a book author, a podcaster, and a fan of all Detroit sports teams.
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