MLB DFS Punt Plays For DraftKings and FanDuel (April 19)

A safe and balanced lineup does not bring the same energy as a gutsy, stars-and-scrubs-type build. In order for us to roster aspirational names like Mookie Betts and Bobby Witt Jr., we will need to take some shots at the underbellies of the batting order, colloquially referred to as the “punt plays.” This is why we are introducing our MLB DFS Punt Plays series to do just that.

A quality MLB DFS punt play is not only cheap to roster but crucially has upside worth pursuing. In baseball, that often translates into an inconsistent batter with power-hitting or stolen base potential. Or it could be a volatile pitcher offering strikeout upside and the ability to pitch deep into ballgames. Whatever the reason, there is enough rationale to believe that punt plays exceed the value of their price tag and recognizing a great punt play is critical to success in MLB DFS.

This article will highlight the top punt plays available on Friday’s 10-game MLB main slate, locking at 7:05 p.m. ET on both DraftKings and FanDuel.

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MLB DFS Punt Plays Today – April 19

Andy Pages – OF, LAD vs. NYM

MLB DFS DraftKings: $2,600

MLB DFS FanDuel: $2,200

Count Andy Pages among the latest exciting prospect call-ups. Pages is the third-ranked prospect in the Los Angeles Dodgers farm system and the No. 93 prospect in all of baseball, per MLB Pipeline. Prior to his promotion, Pages was tearing up Triple-A pitching to the tune of a .371/.452/.694 slash line with five home runs and a 181 wRC+ through 15 games played. His exceptional 60-grade power underscores his upside. Pages carries a 1.1 value score and projects as one of the best points-per-dollar plays on the slate.

On the surface, Sean Manaea is having a decent start to the season, sporting a 4.30 ERA through his first three outings. However, the underlying numbers are less enthusiastic about the 32-year-old’s performance. Manaea has a 5.11 xERA. He’s striking out more hitters this year, but the power he surrenders remains a concern. Opposing hitters have a gratuitous 13.2% barrel rate and a .440 xSLG against the southpaw.

Tyler Alexander – SP, TB vs. NYY

MLB DFS DraftKings: $5,500

MLB DFS FanDuel: $6,500

There are several great pitching options on the top end and mid-range today, but Tyler Alexander is the preferred option from a punt perspective. He’s off to a rough start in 2024, posting a 6.46 ERA through three outings. Still, the advanced metrics are more forgiving. Alexander has a decent 4.27 xERA, up from a strong 3.61 xERA last season. Outside of a consistently low walk rate, there is nothing terribly exciting about Alexander’s profile, though he has done a good job limiting premium contact this season. That success includes a 32.1% hard-hit rate and an 85.3 mph average exit velocity. With a 19.4% top-2 value probability, Alexander is the top-graded value pitcher on this slate.

The New York Yankees are certainly not an ideal matchup for Alexander, though they haven’t been as lethal as they look on paper. The Yankees are scoring a middling 4.7 runs per game so far. They are slugging only .371 against left-handed pitching on the season alongside a .119 ISO. It’s a lineup full of big names, but several key pieces are slumping and the hope is that Alexander can capitalize on it.

Michael Massey – 2B, KC vs. BAL

MLB DFS DraftKings: $2,900

MLB DFS FanDuel: $2,300

Michael Massey will be activated after starting the season on the injured list and expects to be in the lineup on Friday. The 26-year-old has been shredding Triple-A pitching during his rehab stint, generating a .433/.469/.800 slash line with two home runs and a 220 wRC+. 2023 was Massey’s first full season in the majors, and while he was overall inconsistent, Massey did flash some pop. He finished the campaign with 15 home runs, a .432 xSLG and an exceptional 38% sweet-spot rate over 129 games played.

Dean Kremer presents a very opportunistic matchup for Massey. Through three starts, Kremer sports an ugly 6.40 xERA, up from a 4.93 xERA last season. He surrenders power at a problematic rate, allowing a .615 xSLG and a 14.3% barrel rate to opposing hitters so far in 2024.

Editor Note: If you’re looking for the best MLB DFS picks daily, we got you. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something with more of a gambling tilt, our friends over at OddsShopper can get you going by teaching you how to bet on home runs.

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