MLB DFS picks (DraftKings) for Saturday, April 3: Zach Plesac and Tanner Houck

You know what I’m guilty of? These meandering, 2,500 word articles where I’m super-thorough and obsessive over everything. The end result is they either never get published, or they take forever to get published and in the meantime there’s no content coming out that helps anyone. I’m saying it publicly before moving on: I need to chill and release myself from such. So if I have a “take” that surprises you, maybe we can solve this conundrum by simply meeting in the comments?

Today’s effort will be a BRIEF look at the five-game MLB DFS slate of games on DraftKings, beginning at 1:05pm ET.

Weather/Implied Run Totals

Overall it’s a pretty cold day with some meager run totals. The Red Sox (5.75) against Matt Harvey and Royals (5.37) are the highest implied totals, currently. We are still waiting on the Wrigley game (PIT/CHC), but barring some epic wind I don’t think either of those two totals would approach the others.

The lowest implied totals are the Blue Jays against Corey Kluber (3.66) and the Tigers against Zach Plesac (3.69). I trust one of those more than the other. More on that in a tick.

Zach Plesac is still ace-worthy

I suppose it begins with Plesac today. He was stung repeatedly by the home run ball this spring, allowing nine dingers over only 23.1 innings. He allowed 27 hits and 17 earned runs, too–but his 24 strikeouts against six walks is where I am most intrigued. If you want to totally trust Spring Training stats, be my guest and fire up Jake Arrieta as your top pitching option today. If you want to take a more measured approach, let’s take the spring with a grain of salt, knowing that starters have different goals in mind when preparing for a long season. Plesac himself has said that he felt much better than his results indicated. For a guy who gave us a 27.7% K-rate and 2.9% walk rate over 55.1 innings last year, I’m trusting that we see a more potent version today. All that, and Comerica Park isn’t a place that we fear for home run balls, anyway. In fact, it’s a park where would-be homers go to die. There’s a reason everyone was giddy when Nick Castellanos got out of Detroit a year ago. This is NOT a threatening Tigers lineup, and I hope people are scared off of Plesac due to his spring results.

Tanner Houck is back!

Houck looked to be left out in the cold at the beginning of the year, but the absence of Eduardo Rodriguez to begin the year has opened the door for him again. Houck spun an electric 17 innings (three starts) during last September, going 3-0 with a 0.53 ERA (3.25 FIP, 3.73 xFIP) and a 11.12 K/9. The only blemish were his nine walks issued, a stat that is of some concern given his inflated walk totals in the minors. He also shoved in his last spring turn against a bunch of Atlanta regulars, spanning 4.1 innings with two hits allowed, one run, and one walk against six strikeouts. Long-term those walks may get him into trouble, and who knows if he winds up as a starter or a reliever. But in the short-term and on this short slate, I’m into rolling the dice on another nasty outing. The fastball command in his last turn, coupled with his wicked frisbee slider…I’m 100% into Houck today against the Orioles to see if he can keep the hot streak going.

Summary

As stated previously, I’m not dragging this out and forcing myself to talk up the entire slate. I’m studying up on things as the day allows, and happy to haggle away in the comments if anyone is so inclined.

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