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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for April 17

Zach Thompson gives his top studs and value plays for Monday’s fantasy baseball slate on DraftKings.

On Monday, Major League Baseball gets another week of action underway with a total of 13 games on the schedule. The action gets an early start when the Red Sox host the Angels in their traditional Marathon Monday matchup at Fenway Park. There are three other games scheduled for early evening on a turbo slate before the main slate on DraftKings begins at 7:10 p.m. ET, including nine games under the lights, each of which is the start of a new series.

As always, make sure to keep a close eye on pregame lineups and the latest player news by installing the DK Live app and following DK Live on Twitter (@dklive). I’m also on Twitter (@ZT_Sports), where you can keep up with all my picks as the season continues.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $300K Relay Throw [$100K to 1st]

For up-to-the-minute news, analysis, and lineups, download the DK Live app. You also can follow DK Live on Twitter @dklive.



Jacob deGrom, Texas Rangers at Kansas City Royals ($10,100) – The Rangers have taken the very early lead in the AL West after an 8-6 start to the season, and now they’ll get a series against the 4-12 Royals. They’ll send their ace to the hill on Monday night in deGrom, who has racked up 20 strikeouts over his past two starts after a rough Opening Day.

This will be his second start in a row against the Royals after he struck out nine in seven innings last Tuesday. He had 25.6 DKFP in that no-decision after posting 35.1 DKFP in his previous start in a win over the Orioles. This will be his first start on the road this season, but he should be in a good enough matchup to still be a top option. The Royals have the second-worst batting average (.211) and wOBA (.273) as a team this year with the third-highest K%. As a top arm in a top matchup, deGrom is too good to pass up this Monday.

Other Options – Zack Wheeler ($9,600), Dustin May ($8,400)


Kyle Freeland, Colorado Rockies vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($7,100) – Freeland has picked up two wins in his three starts this season, allowing just two earned runs (both on solo home runs ) in 18 23 innings. He only has 11 strikeouts combined in those three outings, but he has still managed to put up over 14 DKFP in each start, highlighted by a 25.4 DKFP performance against the Nationals at Coors Field.

Yes, Freeland is actually a Rockies starting pitcher you can use at Coors. The Denver native does give up some home runs at elevation but also relies on his sinker to keep the Coors Field effect under control. The 29-year-old southpaw gets a good matchup against the Pirates, and he should be able to keep them in check in this head-to-head matchup against veteran lefty Rich Hill ($6,000). Freeland doesn't bring the strikeout upside of the elite options at the top of the salary structure but has pitched well enough in the early going this year to still deserve a look, especially when compared to the other options and matchups available on this slate under $8K.

Other Options – Max Fried ($8,100), Jack Flaherty ($7,800)



Austin Riley, Atlanta Braves at San Diego Padres ($5,600) – Riley has at least 7.0 DKFP in each of his six most recent games, going 8-for-24 (.333) with a double, a home run and three walks. He’s hitting .322 (19-for-59) with a .402 wOBA and .186 ISO. He has been even more locked in against lefties, going 7-for-16 (.438) with a .494 wOBA against lefties like Padres SP Ryan Weathers ($5,200). Last season, Riley hit .329 against southpaws for the year with a .455 wOBA, .342 ISO and 196 wRC+. While he isn’t known as a lefty-killer because he’s much more than a one-trick pony, Riley can definitely mash against southpaws and always deserves consideration when the Braves take on a left-handed starter.


Pete Alonso, New York Mets at Los Angeles Dodgers ($5,200) – If you’re paying up at 1B, the Polar Bear is always an option to consider, and he’s been swinging a hot bat over his past few games. He smashed his eighth homer of the season on Sunday, going 1-for-4 with his 10th walk of the season as his wOBA climbed to .439 and his ISO to .417. Those marks are incredible, and the fact that he’s this sixth-highest-priced 1B is a little surprising. He has at least 12 DKFP in four straight and in seven of his past 10 while averaging 14.4 DKFP per game during that stretch.

Other Options – Marcus Semien ($5,400), Xander Bogaerts ($5,100)


Nico Hoerner, Chicago Cubs at Oakland Athletics ($3,900) – Hoerner has become a full-fledged threat on the basepaths this season and has been running wild from the leadoff spot in the Cubs’ batting order. He was caught for the first time in nine attempts on Sunday but still had 8.0 DKFP with a couple of hits in the Cubs’ 3-2 win over the Dodgers. Those two hits boosted his average to .333 and his wOBA to .347. He did hit 10 homers last season, but this year has been all about getting on base and picking up some steals. The Cubs will take on lefty Kyle Muller ($6,600) on Monday, and last year, Hoerner hit better against southpaws, putting him on the favorable side of this split.


Rowdy Tellez, Milwaukee Brewers at Seattle Mariners ($3,500) – Tellez has hit safely in four straight games with three home runs and an average of 16.5 DKFP. He should remain in the lineup against righty Chris Flexen ($5,600), who has surrendered 11 runs and three home runs in his 11 13 innings this season. Tellez is only hitting .240 but already has five home runs, a solid .367 wOBA and a .320 ISO. Tellez has a high ceiling due to this home run potential, so if you need some upside, he’s worth a look in this road matchup.

Other Options – Elehuris Montero ($3,300), Rodolfo Castro ($3,200), Nick Ahmed ($2,500)



Ronald Acuña Jr., Atlanta Braves at San Diego Padres ($6,500) – He’s the most expensive hitter on the slate and actually costs more than five probable starting pitchers, but Acuña has been so scalding hot that he’s still worth a look. He can put up a monster performance in several different ways and has been productive on the basepaths and at the plate already this season. He has seven stolen bases and three home runs with a .445 wOBA and .194 ISO. He has averaged 13.3 DKFP per game over his first 16 contests this year and has at least 8.0 DKFP in seven straight games and 12 of his past 13 coming into this matchup with Weathers and the Padres.


Kris Bryant, Colorado Rockies vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($5,500) – Bryant continues to search for his first home run at Coors Field as a member of the Rockies, and this matchup against lefty Rich Hill could be a good spot for him to get it. His one home run this year came off of a lefty, and he has a .406 career wOBA against southpaws. After losing almost all of his first season with the Rockies to injury, Bryant has started this year 18-for-61 (.295) with a .332 wOBA, and he looks healthy and ready for a rebound season.

Other Options – Bryan Reynolds ($6,000), Kyle Schwarber ($5,600)


Patrick Wisdom, Chicago Cubs at Oakland Athletics ($3,900) – Wisdom homered for a third straight game on Sunday, giving him six taters already this season. Three of those have come against lefties in just 12 at-bats. He hit 10 of his 25 homers last year against southpaws on his way to a .380 wOBA and .306 ISO on that side of the split. He is a boom-or-bust play at times due to his low average, but he brings enough power upside in his matchup with lefty Kyle Muller to be a strong option under $4K.


Garrett Mitchell, Milwaukee Brewers at Seattle Mariners ($3,000) – Mitchell went 0-for-8 in the first two games of the Brewers series in San Diego, but he had a nice bounce-back game on Sunday, going 2-for-3 while scoring the only run of the game, which he manufactured with a bunt single and his first stolen base of the season. He totaled 15 DKFP and is averaging 7.9 DKFP per contest in his 14 games this season. While he is more of a speed threat going forward, Mitchell had been doing his damage with his bat, hitting .286 with three homers, a .373 wOBA and .245 ISO. Last season, he stole 16 bases and hit five home runs in 64 games across Double-A and Triple-A, and the 24-year-old is showing he’s ready to make an impact in an everyday role for the Brew Crew. You can create a very interesting and affordable Brewers stack centered around Mitchell and Tellez.

Other Options – Lars Nootbaar ($3,700), Corbin Carroll ($3,100), Brent Rooker ($2,700)

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $300K Relay Throw [$100K to 1st]

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.