DFS – April 21 – The New Cubs

Paul previews today’s game action and shares his top Draft Kings plays for April 21.

Today we have a full slate of games on the MLB schedule starting at 7:05 p.m. As always, keep an eye on the weather forecast, but there doesn’t appear to be any issues today.

Always make sure to check your lineups before game times for late scratches or further weather issues.  

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The Cubs called up Addison Russell and now boast their own murderer’s row with Bryant, Soler, Russell and Rizzo. Russell has power and speed and was ranked the 5th best prospect for fantasy heading into 2015, with Bryant #1 and Soler #4. It didn’t take long to have all three together in 2015, and it took me even less time to change my Draft Kings lineup to make room for the newest Cub. I had already plugged in Bryant and Soler against the tough lefty Liriano, but at the very limited time offer of $3,500, Russell was an easy choice. I’ve got six right-handed Padres and Cubs in my lineup facing LHPs today and the other two bats are no slouches either. I’m feeling very confident in my hitters, a little less so with the arms.

My preference will always be a strong anchor in one of the two pitching slots, but I see risk everywhere today. Gio Gonzalez is home against Lance Lynn and the Cardinals, but I’m not touching that one. While Lynn has been exceptional, the Nats offense is heating up. Gonzalez may even be my preferred choice here, but I hate to bet against the Cardinals while they’re firing on all cylinders. If you’re set on picking one of these two top arms, I’d go with the Nats starter as the Cards haven’t hit lefties hard yet this year. Francisco Liriano was another option who has started off very well this year, and he’s typically great at home. Unfortunately he’s facing the Cubs, who as mentioned earlier are no longer a safe lineup to navigate through. Few good options remained, but I managed to snag the best of the bunch. Here are my top picks. Good luck and Go Cubs!

1. Mike Fiers, SP, Milwaukee Brewers ($8,400) Fiers line looks pretty bad to start 2015 with a 0-2 record with a 5.91 ERA. He has however struck out 12 batters in 10+ innings with just 2 walks allowed. His xFIP is a more respectable 3.52. He pitches at home against the Cincinnati Reds today, a team that has just the 24th best offense this year against RHP, a step up from the 28th spot they finished 2014 with. Steamer projects more than a strikeout an inning for the rest of the year for Fiers with a mid 3 ERA. This start hopefully gets him back on the right track.

2. Carlos Carrasco, SP, Cleveland Indians ($8,300) Carrasco makes his return to the mound today after being hit by a come-backer 2 batters into his last start against this same White Sox team. Thankfully he’s ok! This is the match up I like most today; not only is Carrasco likely to get a lot of strikeouts, but Vegas has him as the favorite for the win too against a weak opponent in Hector Noesi. Last year Carrasco faced the White Sox 4 times and held them to a .182 AVG with 21 strikeouts in 21 innings. Carrasco struck out 10 Astros in his first start of the season, throwing 6 shut out innings. Look for more of the same from one of the best arms in baseball, at a discounted price on DK.

3. Derek Norris, C, San Diego Padres ($3,900) Norris has yet to face Tyler Matzek, but he’s also yet to face a LHP that he doesn’t crush. Put him in Coors and it’s a recipe for huge success, not unlike how he fared last night against LHP Jorge De La Rosa. Tyler Matzek is sitting with a tidy 1.80 ERA after his two starts, but his 5.61 xFIP tells a different tale. Norris is perhaps the easiest choice on the slate today.

4. Kris Bryant, 3B, Chicago Cubs ($4,200) Bryant has a .429/.579/.571 line since his call up. That’s 6-14 with 5 walks in four games. He’s the 17th highest-priced third baseman today; a situation that will surely be rectified soon. He faces tough LHP Liriano today, but he’s still likely $1,000 cheaper than he should be. He’s going to get too expensive to plug in all of the time, but not today.

5. Jorge Soler, OF, Chicago Cubs ($4,200) Soler had four hits last night against the Pirates, bringing his hitting streak to 7 games. Today he faces LHP Francisco Liriano whom he went 1-3 in his only appearance against last year. Soler has crushed lefties early this year with a .800/.857/.800 line, but it’s his hot streak that I’m riding even against a very tough opponent.

6. Matt Kemp, OF, San Diego Padres ($5,700) This is the 3rd RHB from the Padres that I’m playing today, and the most likely to explode against Matzek tonight. Matzek allowed a .300/.374/.474 line against right-handers last year, including a .500/.500/.500 from Kemp. Kemp is on fire at the plate, bringing his OPS to .950 with last night’s effort. I almost feel sorry for Tyler Matzek.

7.  Addison Russell, SS, Chicago Cubs ($3,500) Russell got the call and now plugs into a dangerous Cubs lineup. Listed as a SS on Draft Kings, Russell checks in at just $3,500. How long do you think he’ll remain the 35th most expensive SS , tied with Daniel Descalso and Jonathan Villar? Get in while the getting is good, because you just won’t find value like this on the board today, anywhere. I looked.

For my complete lineup, follow me on twitter @fantasyassembly

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Paul Hartman
Fantasy Baseball player since 1987. Creator of Fantasy Assembly, yet just fortunate enough to be a part of it.
Paul Hartman

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