MLB DFS Punt Plays For DraftKings and FanDuel (April 12)

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 Yordan Alvarez, 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 Friday’s robust 12-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 12

Lenyn Sosa – 2B/3B, CWS vs. CIN

MLB DFS DraftKings: $2,500

MLB DFS FanDuel: $2,200

With Luis Robert Jr. and Yoan Moncada each hitting the injured list over the past week, Lenyn Sosa has been thrust into a key role for the Chicago White Sox. The 24-year-old appears locked into a top-of-the-order placement for the foreseeable future, most recently hitting out of the two-hole.

Sosa hasn’t been very successful at the major league level in prior stints, but his prolific minor league production makes his upside apparent. He generated a .990 OPS in Triple-A to start off this season, up from a .820 OPS across 71 Triple-A Games in 2023 and a .881 OPS over 119 minor league appearances in 2022. Sosa is still young and has a worthwhile ceiling at his price. He has the fifth-highest-graded value score among all players today.

Andrew Abbott is a promising pitcher. He posted a 3.87 ERA in 21 starts during his rookie campaign last season. Still, the underlying numbers shed a lot more doubt on his outlook. Abbott had a propensity to get hit hard last year, surrendering a 91.2 mph average exit velocity, 9.2% barrel rate and a 42.5% hard-hit rate. Add in a problematic 9.6% walk rate and an underwhelming 25.5% whiff rate, and that all amounted to a mediocre 4.56 xFIP – up to a 5.21 xFIP through his first two starts this season.

Seth Brown – OF, OAK vs. WSH

MLB DFS DraftKings: $2,800

MLB DFS FanDuel: $2,200

Seth Brown is not a terribly exciting name to roster, but he looks good in this spot today. If hitting for average and getting on base frequently is what you’re looking for, then that’s not Brown. But he is live for a home run at a cheap price point. Brown boasted a strong .451 xSLG in 2023, alongside a 12.2% barrel rate, 90.5 mph average exit velocity and a 46.5% hard-hit rate. He’s the second-highest-graded value play on the slate today and has a 16.63% home run probability.

There’s no angle to spin Jake Irvin into being an intimidating pitcher. The 27-year-old posted a 5.13 xERA and 5.14 xFIP across 24 outings and 121 innings pitched last season. That includes surrendering a .446 xSLG, .259 xBA, 90.4 mph average exit velocity, and a 10.3% barrel rate. Left-handed hitters slugged .496 against Irvin last season.

Ryan Feltner – SP, COL vs. TOR

MLB DFS DraftKings: $5,600

MLB DFS FanDuel: $7,000

There are numerous interesting pitching options on this slate at every price point, so punting is far from a necessity. Right now, the projections identify Irvin as the top pitcher value play due entirely to the fact that he is squaring off against a weak Oakland Athletics offense. It was just outlined above that Irvin is not a good pitcher, and he’s also picking up a gratuitous 16.3% ownership projection, giving him plenty of negative leverage. Irvin doesn’t warrant that kind of chalk, so I would rather pivot to the second-highest-graded value pitcher, Ryan Feltner.

Feltner is projecting for 1.4% ownership and 2.9% leverage. Unlike Irvin, there is an argument to be made that Feltner is a solid pitcher. He posted a 5.82 ERA over 10 starts a season ago, but remember he frequently plays at Coors Field. Feltner’s 4.64 xERA isn’t overly impressive, though it does signal a huge disconnect between some of his advanced numbers and his on-field results. Feltner doesn’t strike out hitters at an impressive clip, and his walk rate has bitten him in the past. However, he induces weak contact at an underrated level. Hitters only managed an 86.1 mph average exit velocity against him last season, alongside a 4.5% barrel rate, .363 xSLG and a 29.3% hard-hit rate. Furthermore, Feltner looked dominant in his most recent outing, striking out 10 hitters over six innings of two-hit baseball against the Rays. He has a 2.62 xERA and 3.35 xFIP in a brief 2024 sample size.

The Toronto Blue Jays are admittedly a riskier matchup than the Athletics. That said, Toronto has really stumbled offensively in 2024. They are scoring only 3.6 runs per game, including a weak 86 wRC+ against right-handed pitching. Crucially, this game also takes place in Toronto, where the ballpark is not nearly as hitter friendly as Coors Field.

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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