MLB DFS Punt Plays For DraftKings and FanDuel (April 24)

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 Fernando Tatis Jr. and Ronald Acuna 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 Wednesday’s seven-game MLB main slate, locking at 7:05 p.m. ET on both DraftKings and FanDuel.

MLB DFS Punt Plays Today – April 24

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Spencer Arrighetti – SP, HOU vs. CHC

MLB DFS DraftKings: $6,500

MLB DFS FanDuel: $6,000

It’s been a rocky start to Spencer Arrighetti’s MLB career, posting an 11.57 ERA through his first two outings. That said, his 3.94 xERA tells us he has been immensely unlucky. Arrighetti has done a tremendous job at limiting hard contact, surrendering just an 85.9 mph average exit velocity, .317 xSLG, 0% barrel rate and a 33.3% hard-hit rate. His 13.2% walk rate can certainly get him into some hairy situations, but his 29.3% whiff rate suggests there is a strikeout ceiling we have not seen yet. Arrighetti is not without risk, though he is the second-highest-graded value play among pitchers today.

The Chicago Cubs are a tough matchup, plating almost 5.5 runs per game in the early part of the season. Still, there is plenty of regression behind their results. The Cubs own a perfectly average 100 wRC+ against right-handed pitching, alongside a generous 23.3% strikeout rate. Further, they are presently without some of their top bats, including Seiya Suzuki and likely Cody Bellinger as well, following his departure from yesterday’s game with a rib contusion.

Lawrence Butler – OF, OAK vs. NYY

MLB DFS DraftKings: $2,200

MLB DFS FanDuel: $2,400

If you believe in analytics, then Lawrence Butler is on the verge of becoming a much more relevant name in baseball. The 23-year-old is struggling on the surface, generating a .190/.301/.333 slash line with two home runs. However, if we look under the hood, Butler possesses a prolific upside. The encouraging advanced numbers include a .544 xSLG, 95 mph average exit velocity, 13.6% barrel rate, 54.5% hard-hit rate and a .393 xwOBA. Butler is due for a breakout and playing in a very lefty-friendly Yankee Stadium should help him out today.

Clarke Schmidt is projected as one of the most popular pitchers on this slate, so there is a leverage boost for playing any Oakland Athletics’ bats. He’s enjoying a solid campaign so far, boasting a 3.15 ERA through four outings. While Schmidt is certainly not the most vulnerable pitcher to attack on this slate, there is considerable regression behind his results. He has a 4.16 xERA while surrendering slightly below-average marks in most batted-ball metrics. Most importantly, left-handed hitters have historically been very successful against Schmidt, slugging .500 against him last season, part of a .484 career mark.

Kyle Farmer – 2B/3B, MIN vs. CWS

MLB DFS DraftKings: $2,300

MLB DFS FanDuel: $2,100

If we can ignore almost everything Kyle Farmer has done so far in 2024, he is an attractive punt play. He is batting .073 through 17 games, but the 41-at-bat sample size is still small enough to overlook. Farmer had a much more palatable 101 wRC+ across 120 games last season. He is not an elite hitter, but Farmer does excel against left-handed pitching, slugging .467 against southpaws for his career with a 117 wRC+. For nearly the minimum price and with multi-positional eligibility, that is an upside worth chasing. Farmer is the third-highest-graded overall value play today on DraftKings.

There is a lot to like about Garrett Crochet’s pitching profile from both a fantasy perspective and a real-life application. The 24-year-old has pitched a lot better than his 5.61 ERA suggests. Still, we have seen the volatility that Crochet can succumb to and picking out a one-off bat against him is a reasonable approach. In particular, right-handed hitters are giving Crochet trouble, slugging .475 against him with five home runs already this season.

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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