MLB DFS Punt Plays For DraftKings and FanDuel (April 10)

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 Ronald Acuna Jr. and Juan Soto, 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 carries an 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 Wednesday’s seven-game MLB main slate, locking at 6:40 PM ET on both DraftKings and FanDuel.

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MLB DFS Punt Plays Today – April 10

Jackson Holliday – SS, BAL vs. BOS

MLB DFS DraftKings: $2,000

MLB DFS FanDuel: N/A

This may be the first and last time that Jackson Holliday will be this cheap. The 20-year-old will make his MLB debut on Wednesday after receiving news of his call-up yesterday. Holliday is the No. 1 rated prospect in all of baseball, per MLB Pipeline, and projects to make an immediate and significant impact in the big leagues. He slashed .323/.442/.499 across 125 games in the minors last season, and owns 1.077 OPS through 10 games in Triple-A so far in 2024.

Further, Holliday has been successful in the limited exposure to MLB pitching that spring training has afforded him. He posted a .429/.556/.500 slash line with a 195 wRC+ over 16 preseason games in 2023, and a .311/.354/.600 slash line over 15 spring games this year. By all accounts, Holliday is ready for the big show, and his 2.4 value score – the second-highest value score among all hitters on this slate – is a testament to that.

An additional note: Holliday is currently absent from the FanDuel main slate.

Kyle Hendricks – SP, CHC vs. SD

MLB DFS DraftKings: $6,200

MLB DFS FanDuel: $5,900

The range of available pitchers on this slate is not excellent, made worse by multiple potential postponements in the forecast. With several worthwhile, expensive stacks to roster, this looks like a day to consider punting at pitcher.

Kyle Hendricks is a competent arm at the floor of pricing, and he is who I’m rolling with as a punt. Hendricks got rocked during his first two outings of the season, facing off against tough Rangers and Dodgers lineups. Still, he’s coming off a solid 2023 campaign, registering a 3.74 ERA and 4.13 xERA across 24 starts. There’s a disconnect between his results and his advanced numbers, but that’s been a constant narrative in Hendricks’ career. With little exception, his surface numbers have always been palatable, owning a 3.53 ERA for his 11-year career. Hendricks offers little strikeout upside, though a quality start and a win are very achievable.

The San Diego Padres are no slouch offense. I’d argue that they are a more favorable matchup than the Rangers and Dodgers, but certainly a lineup featuring Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado has some firepower. Overall, the Padres are scoring a respectable five runs per game, though they own a much more average 102 wRC+ against right-handed pitching. Rookie Ben Brown kept them scoreless over 4 2/3 innings pitched last night, and there’s no reason Hendricks can’t accomplish something similar.

Shea Langeliers – C, OAK vs. TEX

MLB DFS DraftKings: $2,600

MLB DFS FanDuel: $2,400

This might feel a little chasey given that Shea Langeliers dropped a three-home run game last night, but he is the third-highest-graded value play on the main slate today. After showcasing big-time power in the minors, Langeliers translated the success into the majors with a 22-home run performance last season. That included some impressive advanced metrics, like a 13.3% barrel rate and a 44.5% hard-hit rate. So far in 2024, those numbers are up to a 20.8% barrel rate and a 45.8% hard-hit rate, alongside a .686 xSLG.

Cody Bradford is off to a strong start in 2024, but he remains an unproven pitcher. He posted a 4.43 xFIP across 20 appearances in the majors last season and a 5.60 xFIP over 14 starts in Triple-A. Bradford owns a 2.13 ERA through his first two starts this season, though a 4.25 xFIP paints the picture of a much less reliable pitcher. Further, right-handed hitters are slugging .477 against the southpaw in his MLB career. Bradford shows potential, but he’s not scaring me off rostering a high-upside punt like Shea Langeliers.

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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