MLB DFS Punt Plays For DraftKings and FanDuel (April 9)

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 Aaron Judge, 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 11-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 9

Dominic Canzone – OF, SEA vs. TOR

MLB DFS DraftKings: $2,700

MLB DFS FanDuel: $2,500

Currently projected for only 5.3% ownership, Dominic Canzone is a sneaky home run pick. The 26-year-old got his first MLB exposure last season, appearing in 59 games between stints with the Diamondbacks and Mariners. The resulting .220/.258/.399 slash line was a disappointment, though the underlying power metrics were more encouraging. Canzone produced a .470 xSLG, 12.1% barrel rate and a 42.6% hard-hit rate. These figures were more consistent with Canzone’s prolific minor league production – 1.065 OPS, 151 wRC+ and 16 home runs in 71 Triple-A games in 2023.

Chris Bassitt carries name-brand value, though the slow decline has begun. He generated a middling 4.04 xERA and 4.21 xFIP across 33 starts in 2023. Those aren’t particularly bad marks; however, his problem with left-handed hitters is more concerning. Lefties slugged .504 against Bassitt last season and have an inflated 1.067 slugging percentage against him through two outings this season.

Ezequiel Duran – 3B, TEX vs. OAK

MLB DFS DraftKings: $2,600

MLB DFS FanDuel: $2,500

Ezequiel Duran is the highest-graded value play on the DraftKings slate today. While an injury to Josh Jung has failed to resurrect him from a short-side platoon, he will get the starting nod today against a left-handed pitcher. Duran is coming off a strong 2023 campaign, slashing .276/.324/.443 with a 107 wRC+. He’s been particularly lethal against southpaw pitchers, slugging .486 against them for his career. Duran offers underrated power paired with stolen upside. His price tag would be notably higher if he could ever shed the platoon designation.

Alex Wood is not particularly vulnerable to the home run ball, though he is debatably the worst pitcher on this slate. Across 29 appearances last season, Wood produced a 4.67 xERA and 5.14 xFIP. Right-handed hitters slugged .448 against him last season, down from .460 in 2022.

Ildemaro Vargas – 2B/SS, WSH vs. SF

MLB DFS DraftKings: $2,500

MLB DFS FanDuel: $2,400

Ildemaro Vargas doesn’t have the young-player upside of the others on this list, though the 32-year-old might be the hottest hitter of the bunch. He sports a .980 OPS through seven games in 2024, hitting safely in all but one of those appearances. The sample size is small enough to write off reasonably. However, Vargas’ success against left-handed pitching is much more validated. The switch-hitter slugged .476 against southpaws last season, part of a .435 career mark.

Kyle Harrison is a reasonably popular, high-upside pitching option on today’s slate. That said, he remains entirely unproven at the major league level. He owns a 4.90 xFIP through two outings this season, down from a 5.01 xFIP over seven starts last season, alongside a 4.97 xFIP across a 20-game stint in Triple-A in 2023. Further, Harrison sports a problematic 2.17 home runs per nine innings for his brief MLB career.

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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