- Finding the best MLB DFS plays for April 25, led by Clayton Kershaw.
Wednesday brings the usual allotment of games spread out throughout the day, but let’s focus on the evening slate for DFS. Several teams will be throwing out their aces with Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Jon Lester all scheduled to take the mound. There are some great offensive stacking opportunities as well, creating plenty of options for your entry. Consider using the picks below and plugging them into our MLB Lineup Optimizer to help fill out the rest of your lineup.
Clayton Kershaw, vs. Marlins (FD: $11,400, DK: $14,000)
To no surprise, Kershaw is well on his way to another dominant season. Although he is only 1-3 through five starts, he has a sparkling 2.45 ERA and 0.87 WHIP. His strikeouts are slightly down at 9.5 K/9, but with a K/9 of at least 10.4 in four straight seasons, expect that to jump back up soon. He has also shown impeccable control with a 0.8 BB/9 and throwing a first pitch strike to 70% of the batters that he has faced. He’s an excellent option regardless of opponent, but he gets an extremely favorable matchup against a Marlins offense that has hit the fewest home runs (14) and has the third-lowest batting average (.223) in baseball. Don’t be afraid to pay up to get him into your lineup.
Trevor Bauer, vs. Cubs (FD: $9,000, DK: $9,000)
Bauer broke out in the strikeout department last year, finishing with a 10.0 K/9. He’s carried that success over into this year, posting a 9.0 K/9 through four starts. He’s been excellent overall, as well, allowing three surrendered earned runs or fewer and recording at least six strikeouts in all four of his starts. He has also allowed just two home runs across his 27 innings. The Cubs will be Bauer’s toughest test to date, but his strikeout upside still makes him someone to consider Wednesday.
Jake Faria, at Orioles (FD: $5,900, DK: $6,300)
The Rays and Orioles were rained out Tuesday, pushing Faria’s start to Wednesday. His 5.82 ERA and 1.59 WHIP this season don’t exactly look appealing, but a lot of that came at the hands of the Red Sox, who lit him up for eight runs in 1 2/3 innings in his second start of the season. He’s been much better in his other three starts, allowing three earned runs across 15 1/3 innings. He has also shown some strikeout upside, registering at least six of them in back-to-back starts. The Orioles have the lowest batting average (.215) in baseball, so Faria might be worth the risk in tournament play.
Oakland Athletics vs. Doug Fister, Texas Rangers
Stadium – Globe Life Park in Arlington
Fister (hip) is expected to be activated from the DL to start this game against the Athletics. He has made three starts this season despite the injury, posting a respectable 3.95 ERA. However, he’s flirted with trouble, throwing first pitch strikes to only 55.6% of the batters he has faced and allowing a 1.61 WHIP. He has had problems keeping runners off base in the later stages of his career, finishing with a WHIP of at least 1.38 in each of the last three seasons. The Athletics lineup has a ton of power and has scored the third-most runs (126) in baseball this season, leaving them with an opportunity to put up some big numbers against Fister.
Texas Rangers vs. Kendall Graveman, Oakland Athletics
Stadium – Globe Life Park in Arlington
Not only could the Athletics score runs in bunches Wednesday, but the Rangers could turn this into a high-scoring affair on both sides. Graveman has been destroyed in his first five starts, pitching to a 10.07 ERA and 1.88 WHIP. He has had troubles keeping the ball in the park, allowing at least one home run in each outing. His fastball velocity is up slightly this year, but he’s not missing many bats with a 6.4 K/9. He gave up four runs in five innings while recording just one strikeout in his first start against the Rangers this season, so make sure to take advantage of Graveman again in their rematch.
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Matt Boyd, Detroit Tigers
Stadium – PNC Park
At first glance, Boyd might not appear to be a pitcher you want to stack against with a 1.40 ERA and 0.67 WHIP through three starts. However, a deeper dive indicates he has not been nearly as good as his cosmetic numbers indicate. Not only does he own a 4.16 FIP, but he’s been extremely lucky with opponents having just a .132 BABIP. By comparison, hitters have a .303 BABIP against him for his career. He’s not striking out many hitters with just a 5.1 K/9, and while his career mark sits at 7.2 K/9, that still indicates he does not have great success in that department. The Pirates have the second-highest team batting average against left-handed pitching (.287) in baseball this season, so this could be Boyd’s first bad start of 2018.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Trevor Richards, Miami Marlins
Stadium – Dodger Stadium
Like most members of the Marlins starting rotation, Richards is off to a bad start, posting a 6.16 ERA and 1.68 WHIP through four starts. He’s had major control issues with a 5.2 BB/9 and only a 6.6 K/9. He has pitched 4 1/3 innings or fewer in three of his four starts this season as well. His BABIP of .305 is not overly high, either, which isn’t good news for his value moving forward. Two Dodgers hitters that particularly stand out for this game are Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager, who both had a wOBA of at least .353 against right-handers last year.