MLB DFS Punt Plays For DraftKings and FanDuel (April 3)

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 Yordan Alvarez and Shohei Ohtani, 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 Tuesday’s five-game MLB main slate, locking at 6:45 p.m. ET on both DraftKings and FanDuel.

MLB DFS Punt Plays Today – April 3 

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Cal Quantrill – SP, COL vs. CHC

MLB DFS DraftKings: $5,300

MLB DFS FanDuel: $6,400

With only five games on today’s main slate, we’re pretty light on pitching depth. If you’re not trying to spend up for Tyler Glasnow or Cristian Javier, then it may be worth punting all the way down to Cal Quantrill. His 25.6% top-2 value rate ranks second among pitchers, behind only Ben Brown, whose workload will be significantly more limited after throwing 44 pitches just three days ago.

Cal Quantrill is not a very good pitcher, and this highlight is not meant to tell you that he is. He generated a 5.85 xERA across 19 starts last season, up from a 4.31 xERA the year before that. A silver lining is that Quantrill has routinely outperformed his advanced metrics, suggesting there may be some blind spots in his analytics. As a whole, the 29-year-old has a surprisingly effective 3.88 ERA across his six-year MLB career. Quantrill is not exciting, but he is a fully stretched-out pitcher with true punt pricing and quality start upside.

Outside of pricing, the other primary reason Quantrill looks interesting today is game conditions. It’s expected to be a cold day in Chicago, with a chance of rain and high winds blowing in from the outfield. Wrigley Field is notoriously the most reactive stadium to winds, meaning Quantrill should have excellent pitching conditions working in his favor.

Rowdy Tellez – 1B, PIT vs. WSH

MLB DFS DraftKings: $2,800

MLB DFS FanDuel: $2,700

Rowdy Tellez is coming off a brutal 2023 campaign, posting a .215/.291/.376 slash line and only 13 home runs across 106 games. It was a disaster. However, at still just 29 years old, it’s not crazy to think Tellez can reproduce something closer to the 35-home run output he showcased in 2022. That season, he excelled with a .479 xSLG, 12.9% barrel rate, 46% hard-hit rate and a .349 xwOBA. Tellez is the highest-graded value play of any player on the DraftKings slate today, and you won’t find a better home run pick in his price range.

Trevor Williams presents as an ideal opponent for Tellez. Williams got shelled last season, posting a 5.66 xERA and a 5.21 xFIP over 30 starts. Hitters bombarded him to the tune of a .501 xSLG, 10.2% barrel rate and a .360 xwOBA, resulting in Williams surrendering the fourth-most home runs of any pitcher in baseball.

Chris Taylor – SS/OF, LAD vs. SFG

MLB DFS DraftKings: $3,300

MLB DFS FanDuel: $2,500

With a lefty on the mound, Chris Taylor expects to get a start today. Taylor slugged .478 against southpaws a season ago, part of a .444 career mark. At this point, he’s locked into a short-side platoon, so hitting lefties is strictly what he’s here to accomplish. Taylor hit out of the five-spot in the Dodgers lineup the last time they faced a lefty, and he managed to avoid getting lifted for a pinch-hitter — so the hope is that he can get a full game in again here.

We still don’t really know what Kyle Harrison is. He’s a heralded prospect in the Giants organization, though he has seldom shown off that dominance over the past couple of years. Harrison debuted in the majors last season, producing a 5.01 xFIP across a seven-game sample size. That included surrendering 2.08 home runs per nine innings and a .442 xSLG. It’s not a huge sample size, and most pitchers struggle when they reach the big leagues. Still, his minor league numbers are further enlightening, as Harrison posted a 4.97 xFIP over 20 starts in Triple-A in 2023.

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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