Everything you’ll need to stay above the payline in today’s DFS MLB Cash Games!
Today we have Phil Backert handling our MLB DFS Cheat Sheet and Brian Healy with the GPP article and hanging out with you in the VIP Chat for the hour leading up to lock. Ten games on the main slate kicking off with the Phillies and Nationals at 7:05pm ET.
Here is the entire content plan for today:
Cash Game Breakdown – The article you are currently reading.
DFS MLB Lineup Coach – Daily coaching session assisting with all aspects of DFS MLB.
DFS MLB Cheat Sheet – A quick guide to the top plays at each position and salary level.
GPP Writeup – Using experience, game theory & advanced stats to uncover low-owned stars.
Core 4 Livestream – Daily Livestream that covers all DFS sports, featuring guests from throughout the Elite Sports Network.
Be Sure to Bookmark:
Wednesday, May 12th
Ten games on our Wednesday main slate and, by the way, I’ll be your guy consistently on Wednesday and Thursday slates for the rest of the season. The theme of this slate is Bomb Pitching, and for those of you who are #olds like yours truly, bomb means ‘good’ in this context. Lots of good pitchers to choose from tonight with Gerrit Cole (NYY), Brandon Woodruff (MLW), Zack Wheeler (PHI), Zac Gallen (ARI) and even a resurgent league ERA-leading Danny Duffy (KC). The matchup in Houston isn’t bad either with Andrew Heaney (LAA) and Jose Urquidy (HOU) though, with Heaney, we never know if the Good Andrew or Bad Andrew will appear.
Then we have two of the best offenses (Blue Jays @ Braves), but they’ll be having two of their best pitchers toeing the rubber in Hyun-jin Ryu and Max Fried. Speaking of Fried, he’s disgustingly underpriced on DK, which may lead to Chalk City. Finally, we should all look forward to the first career start of former first-rounder James Kaprielian of the A’s, who has dealt with a multitude of injuries over the years and is finally ready to contribute. As far as where most of the chalk will lie in GPPs (which can be helpful for cash game analysis), that would be with Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Royals bats. I do think we’ll see plenty of Boston bats against J-Kap as well as Yankees and Phillies hitters.
There will be some light rain at Truist Park, where the Jays and Braves will square off but not heavy or concerning enough to not consider hitters or pitchers from this game.
For more info and updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center.
** Vegas lines not yet listed for OAK/BOS, KC/DET, NYY/TB
1 – Los Angeles Dodgers: -245
2 – Milwaukee Brewers: -160
3 – Chicago White Sox: -142
Yankees and Red Sox should both be big favorites as well once those lines are up.
Highest Run Expectancy
1 – Los Angeles Dodgers: 5.0
2 – Chicago White Sox: 4.7
3 – Philadelphia Phillies: 4.6
4 – Houston Astros: 4.5
I’d expect one of the Yankees, Red Sox or Royals to crack this top four.
Lowest Run Expectancy
1 – Seattle Mariners: 3.1
2 – St. Louis Cardinals: 3.3
3 – Miami Marlins: 3.5
4 – Minnesota Twins: 3.9
Expect to see the Rays and Tigers to bump the Twins out to round out the bottom five.
Today's Pitchers Grid
Today’s Best Pitchers
1 – Julio Urias, LH/Dodgers ($8,700)
2 – Gerrit Cole, RH/Yankees ($10,500)
3 – Max Fried, LH/Braves ($6,100)
4 – Danny Duffy, LH/Royals ($8,900)
5 – Brandon Woodruff, RH/Brewers ($9,800)
1 – Julio Urias, LH/Dodgers ($9,700)
2 – Zac Gallen, RH/Diamondbacks ($8,200)
3 – Gerrit Cole, RH/Yankees ($12,000)
4 – Brandon Woodruff, RH/Brewers ($10,600)
5 – Eduardo Rodriguez, LH/Red Sox ($7,700)
Pricing fluctuates greatly from day to day and it’s a big part of our equation for determining who we’ll be using. Today, that top play is Julio Urias – particularly on DK – where he is wildly underpriced for the matchup and his skill set. Part of the reduction for him was his last start, which was, by far, his worst outing of the season. The Mariners are a great group to bounce back against here as they strike out at the league’s fourth-highest rate (29.2%) against southpaw pitchers. Prior to that outing, Urias amassed double-digit strikeout starts in two of his last three with one of those (an 11 strikeout, one-hitter) coming against the Mariners. It’s also the last game without Jarred Kelenic on the squad.
The matchup for Gerrit Cole is a great one as the Rays have struggled offensively as a unit all season. Cole wracked up 10 K’s against them back on April 18 in route to a 47-point FanDuel performance. Say he duplicates, is 47 points good enough for a massive 12k price point if we have other studs on the slate? That’s the question to ask yourselves.
Brandon Woodruff is the other big ace on the slate, and the Cardinals have the second-lowest implied run line on the slate. He’s been utterly nasty in seven starts this season boasting a 1.73 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, and a 32.5% strikeout rate. Opposing batters are hitting .146 with a measly 3.2% barrel rate against him. This will be his first start against the sometimes pesky Cardinals.
Danny Duffy with a date against the Tigers is a match made in heaven so long as he can limit the hot bat of leadoff man Robbie Grossman. Duffy whiffed eight Tigers in five innings (45 FD points) earlier this season and the Tigers have the highest strikeout rate (by far) against southpaws this season at 35.2%. He’s just a bit pricey on FD at $10,200 where I prefer alternatives. Zac Gallen is another ace whose season was stalled by a prolonged IL stint but he’s been rounding into form despite walking more guys than we’re used to seeing from him. At just 8.2k on FD against the ice-cold Marlins, he’s a cash play today.
Max Fried is a potential DK SP2 with some risk (since it’s the Blue Jays) but he did look good in his first start back from IL. Just 72 pitches but 45 of them strikes (he struck out six) and he was efficient in those five innings. Very possible that he slows the Jays down today. Eduardo Rodriguez is inconsistent from start to start but has massive strikeout upside and it’s a solid matchup for him, not to mention an affordable price tag of just $7.7k on FD.
Pitchers to Target Against
- Justin Dunn (RHP, Mariners) – Just 78 career MLB innings but a horrific walk rate near 17 percent including 17 walks in 25.2 innings this season (15.3%). Extreme flyballer this season (54.3%) though only three homers allowed over five starts. Has a 6.50 xFIP and opposing LHH’s have a .382 wOBA and 39% hard-hit rate against him.
- Nick Neidert (RHP, Marlins) – Up for a spot start here against a red-hot Diamondbacks squad. Neidert made three starts in April, and they did not go well – 9 ER, 3 HR, 11 BB and only 8 K in 12 innings with a 51.4% flyball rate. Fastball tops out at 92 mph, and it could be a short outing for him if Arizona’s left-handed and switch-hitting bats get cooking. Might have reliever John Curtiss open for him though.
- Casey Mize (RHP, Tigers) – Former first overall pick of the 2018 draft has not lived up to the hype so far in 13 career starts (5.61 ERA, 5.87 FIP, 1.41 WHIP, 18% K, 10% BB). Has a below-average 16.3% strikeout rate this season and allowing a .288 average and a .393 wOBA to left-handed bats. His worst outing this season came against these Royals back on April 17 when he served up six runs, whiffing just one batter in 4.2 innings. On the bright side, this Royals’ offense is primarily loaded with right-handed hitters.
- Dallas Keuchel (LHP, White Sox) – Hard to call Keuchel a true ‘pitcher to target against’ because he’s an extreme groundball guy with above-average control who doesn’t give up many homers. But his 10 percent strikeout rate is the league’s lowest mark among qualified arms and he has given up at least three runs in four of his seven starts. It probably means very little but an odd sample/bad luck against LHH’s this season as they’re hitting .350 against him (though it’s just 8.2 IP). Nelson Cruz, in particular, has a decent history against Keuchel with 5 HR (.446 wOBA / .327 ISO) against him in 58 PA.
TARGETING STOLEN BASES
(click on link above)
We have a brand new stolen base target tool on the site. I strongly recommend looking it over in order to find a value play or to properly assess how likely a player is to steal tonight.
Hot Streaks (Hottest Hitters at Each Position)
Batter vs. Pitcher
C – J.T. Realmuto (PHI), Mitch Garver (MIN)
1B – Ryan Zimmerman (WAS)
2B – Jean Segura (PHI), Jose Altuve (HOU), David Fletcher (LAA)
3B – Yandy Diaz (TB), Travis Shaw (MLW)
SS – Trea Turner (WAS), Tim Anderson (CHW)
OF – Bryce Harper (PHI), Robbie Grossman (DET), Stephen Piscotty (OAK), Nelson Cruz (MIN)
For more, visit our BvP Matchup Page!
Overall Hitter Rankings
1 – Salvador Perez, RH/Royals ($4,600 DK, $3,200 FD)
2 – Danny Jansen, RH/Blue Jays ($2,400 DK)
3 – Daulton Varsho, LH/Diamondbacks ($2,700 DK) – if in the lineup
4 – FANDUEL: Will Smith, RH/Dodgers ($3,000)
5 – Andrew Knapp, SW/Phillies ($2,700)
Notes: Ideally, we’d punt the position today, but Perez (KC) is the best option among the higher-priced guys if we choose not to. Jansen (TOR) is a horrendous hitter and is usually at the bottom of the lineup and faces a decent SP in Max Fried but the possibility of a homer at such low cost is there. I would consider Varsho (ARI) over him if he’s in the lineup though. Smith (LAD) is a bit too expensive on DK ($5,500) for how cold he’s been but he’s a sneaky option on FD in your UT slot. Finally, Knapp (PHI) will likely get the nod as it looks like Realmuto may miss a day or two.
1 – Christian Walker, RH/Diamondbacks ($3,400 DK, $2,100 FD)
2 – Max Muncy, LH/Dodgers ($5,500 DK, $3,200 FD)
3 – Yuli Gurriel, RH/Astros ($5,100 DK, $3,400 FD)
4 – Rhys Hoskins, RH/Phillies ($4,100 DK, $3,200 FD)
5 – Jared Walsh, LH/Angels ($4,600 DK, $3,100 FD)
Notes: Walker (ARI) has a hit in every one of his starts since coming off IL about a week ago and the power will soon catch up. Great matchup, in his home park and far, far too cheap. Muncy (LAD) has been ice cold but he does lead MLB in walks and just so happens to face the starting pitcher with the league’s worst control. Gurriel (HOU) is hitting everything in sight and slashing .336/.417/.544 this season including a homer last night. Hoskins (PHI) is the most dangerous play of the bunch as he’s the one most likely to go 0-4 but he’s facing old-man Lester and Hoskins has a .368 ISO against LHP this season. Walsh (LAA) is one of many Angels’ hitters who have been crushing it this season. He’s tied for second in baseball with 29 RBI and is hitting nearly .350 this season.
1A – Jean Segura, RH/Phillies ($4,200 DK, $3,100 FD)
1B – Kolten Wong, LH/Brewers ($3,600 DK, $2,800 FD)
3 – Whit Merrifield, RH/Royals ($5,400 DK, $3,700 FD)
4 – Jose Altuve, RH/Astros ($5,500 DK, $3,900 FD)
5 – Gavin Lux, LH/Dodgers ($3,500 DK, $2,000 FD)
Notes: Segura (PHI) and Wong (MLW) are tied for my top play at second base and on DK perhaps you build the rest of your lineup and see who you can fit in. Segura has been hitting second lately and is scorching at the plate (.459 in his last 10 games). Wong isn’t as hot, but he’s the leadoff man with power/speed capabilities and facing a pitcher (John Gant) who walks batters at the highest rate in the league (17.9%).
Merrifield (KC) and Altuve (HOU) are our spend-up options today with Merrifield getting the slight nod because he’s facing the weaker SP and bullpen. Lux (LAD) may have gotten off the schneid with that walk-off blast last night and perhaps his wrist is feeling better. It doesn’t hurt that he’s min price on FD but it does hurt that he typically hits eighth in the lineup and that the Dodgers are at home (less possibility of a fifth at-bat).
1 – Rafael Devers, LH/Red Sox ($5,900 DK, $3,900 FD)
2 – Asdrubal Cabrera, SW/Diamondbacks ($3,700 DK, $2,800 FD)
3 – Gio Urshela, RH/Yankees ($4,300 DK, $2,600 FD)
4 – Travis Shaw, LH/Brewers ($3,300 DK, $2,400 FD)
5 – Hunter Dozier, RH/Royals ($3,900 DK, $2,400 FD)
Notes: Devers (BOS) has two homers in his last three and is among the league RBI leaders (30) in this can’t-be-stopped Red Sox offense as they face former first-round pick James Kaprielian who makes his long-awaited first career start. Cabrera (ARI) can’t be stopped right now as he’s hitting .400 over his last 10 games and his offense catches the Marlins in a bullpen game. Urshela (NYY) is a prime cash game player with power upside and a key lineup spot hitting fourth or fifth. Shaw (MLW) and Dozier (KC) have low price tags on FD with high power upside. Shaw leads the Brewers in homers (five) and RBI (22).
1 – Tim Anderson, RH/White Sox ($5,300 DK, $3,800 FD)
2 – Corey Seager, LH/Dodgers ($5,600 DK, $3,700 FD)
3 – Josh Rojas, LH/Diamondbacks ($4,300 DK, $2,800 FD)
4 – Xander Bogaerts, RH/Red Sox ($5,700 DK, $3,600 FD)
Notes: A common theme in cash games (and GPPs for that matter) is spending up at shortstop since there are usually can’t-miss options here with very few puntable guys. Anderson (CHW) has had terrific history against 37 YO lefty J.A. Happ as he’s 9-16 with 2 HR and a swipe against him over the years. Seager (LAD) hasn’t truly been himself since leading the majors in spring training homers but this is the exact spot for him to get going against Justin Dunn. Here’s hoping that walk-off last night fires them up and gets them out of their recent lull. Rojas (ARI) is hitting .447 with 4 HR over his last 10 games. Bogaerts (BOS) is one of the league’s best all-around hitters and he’s in the midst of his prime but there’s a level of uncertainty of how Kaprielian will perform tonight and he may very well be great.
1 – Nelson Cruz, RH/Twins ($5,400 DK, $3,900 FD)
2 – Giancarlo Stanton, RH/Yankees ($5,500 DK, $3,700 FD)
3 – Jorge Soler, RH/Royals ($3,300 DK, $2,500 FD)
4 – Mookie Betts, RH/Dodgers ($6,200 DK, $4,100 FD)
5 – Bryce Harper, LH/Phillies ($5,300 DK, $4,000 FD)
6 – Stephen Piscotty, RH/Athletics ($2,300 DK, $2,400 FD)
7 – Ronald Acuña Jr., RH/Braves ($5,800 DK, $4,400 FD)
8 – Pavin Smith, LH/Diamondbacks ($3,800 DK, $2,500 FD)
9 – David Peralta, LH/Diamondbacks ($4,700 DK, $2,900 FD)
10 – Andrew McCutchen, RH/Phillies ($4,000 DK, $3,400 FD)
11 – Andrew Benintendi, LH/Royals ($3,800 DK, $2,700 FD)
12 – Mark Canha, RH/Athletics ($3,800 DK, $3,300 FD)
13 – FANDUEL: Marcell Ozuna, RH/Braves ($3,200)
Notes: Just one homer in his last 10 games, but Cruz (MIN) is still hitting nearly .300 on the season with eight bombs this season. A date with #oldfriend Keuchel just may do the trick to get him back into the groove. Stanton (NYY) is the league’s most powerful man, and though most Yankees don’t hit well in Tropicana Field, we might make an exception for the man they used to call Mike against lefty Ryan Yarbrough. Soler (KC) is coming off a 6-RBI night and continues to be underpriced on both sites – 2.5k on FD is just a joke, especially in a matchup with Mize and that atrocious bottom-three bullpen that gave up a 7-0 lead last night and almost lost them the game.
Betts (LAD) is very pricey on DK, but his matchup is top-notch and he’s a fine GPP play as well. Harper (PHI) launched a massive bomb last night and there’s a good chance he pops off on Lester tonight. Piscotty (OAK) is far too cheap on DK (2.3k) and he just happens to be 5-8 with 2 HR and 6 RBI lifetime against E-Rod. Some other intriguing plays are Dbacks’ lefty bats, Canha (OAK) loving lefties and leading off against one, and Ozuna warming up over the past two weeks – a tough matchup with Ryu but still underpriced on FD.
DFS MLB Core 4
FANDUEL CORE 4
P – Julio Urias ($9,700)
1B – Max Muncy ($3,200)
UT – Christian Walker ($2,100)
OF – Mookie Betts ($4,100)
DRAFTKINGS CORE 4
SP1 – Julio Urias ($8,700)
1B – Max Muncy ($5,500)
OF – Jorge Soler ($3,300)
OF – Giancarlo Stanton ($5,500)