Everything you’ll need to stay above the payline in today’s DFS MLB Cash Games!
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.
Sunday, May 16th
10 Game main slate with a 1:05 PM ET/10:05 AM PT roster lock.
Hello all! I’m back at it and barring unforeseen circumstances, I should be here (just about) every Sunday for the rest of the season as your Cash Game Breakdown analyst.
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I follow baseball very closely, and remain locked in thanks to DFS, as well as my NFBC teams. I would say that my overall game theory has definitely shifted heavily throughout the years, but I am a major proponent for focusing on recent play (players get streaky) and dissecting specific matchups. Baseball itself has evolved a lot over the last 6-7 years, so it goes beyond looking at starting pitcher vs. hitter matchups, and digging deeper into a wide array of particulars such as bullpen situations and umpire matchups.
Also, if you’ve been playing Sunday baseball slates, at all, over the last few weeks, months, or years, you’ll know that Sunday’s as a whole can be an entirely different ball game. Regulars who you wouldn’t think would ever take a day off will just randomly take a day off. With that said, I will try my best to be back prior to roster lock in order to update the article with plays that weren’t highlighted in my original draft. Value plays tend to open up out of nowhere on Sundays, so be sure to keep an eye on lineup confirmations.
It doesn’t look like there should be any games that have a chance of delay or postponement, but again, I’ve done this for awhile now, and even though all these forecasts that I’m looking at shows a less than 5% chance of rain at the time of my research, just don’t be surprised if one or more of them end up hitting, and hitting strong enough o cause a delay. There will definitely be clouds with a super super small chance of rain in Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Detroit, Boston, and Chicago. Before lock, just check on the MLB Weather Center for an update (link below).
For more info and updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center.
At the time of research, NYY/BAL, NYM/TB, and ATL/MIL did not have Vegas Lines.
- Houston Astros -175
- Toronto Blue Jays -161
- Chicago White Sox -154
- Boston Red Sox -145
Highest Run Expectancy
- Toronto Blue Jays: 5.93
- Boston Red Sox: 5.23
- Chicago White Sox: 4.75
- Houston Astros: 4.6
Lowest Run Expectancy
- Texas Rangers: 3.4
- Pittsburgh Pirates: 3.6
- Kansas City Royals: 3.75
- Detroit Tigers: 4.04
Today's Pitchers Grid
Today’s Best Pitchers
- Lance McCullers, Astros (DK: $9600, FD: $8400) – McCullers has destroyed the Rangers throughout his career. Yes, there’s been quite a bit of turnover for the Rangers over just two years, but there’s a core of guys who have been around throughout those last few years. That’s not necessarily important, but the more important thing is that McCullers has been filthy lately, taking his team into the 7th inning in four straight starts, and throwing over 100 pitches in three of those starts (thanks Dusty Baker).
- Alex Wood, Giants (DK: $9400, FD: $7500) – Great matchup for Wood, who faces a team that has been batting below the Mendoza line and put together a brutal .273 wOBA against southpaws this season. Beyond that, he is just in fantastic form, with his only “poor” outing taking place at Coors Field. I think there’s some debate on him being a top target on DK, but on FD where he’s only $7500, it’s an easy decision.
- Huascar Ynoa, Braves (DK: $8500, FD: $8400) – Tough not to like Ynoa here and I’d probably put him ahead of Peralta. He’s actually stretched out (threw 101 pitches against there cubs, 96 against the Nationals, and 92 in his last outing against the Phillies) and has been in I’m always going to try to look at umpires, and with these Sunday games, I’m more confident in my Umpire Predictions, and for this Braves/Brewers game, it looks like it’ll be Jeremy Riggs, who has only 7 games behind the plate as an umpire, and has shown to be a very big pitcher’s umpire. In fact, the last time he was behind the plate for a Braves game, he called all of the actual strikes as strikes, and 10 of 70 balls as strikes (+10 strikes!). Add that to a nice matchup against a Brewers team that has produced four runs over their last three games, I think Ynoa’s a guy to target, yet possibly be overlooked.
- Robbie Ray, Blue Jays (DK: $7200, FD: $8000) – The Phillies have quietly been strikeout machines this season against lefties, striking out nearly 30% of the time. Yes, they can be dangerous, and if Ray loses his command, it could get ugly, but if I need a cheaper SP2 on DK, I’ll depend on Ray, who is consistently able to rack up those strikeouts, which keeps his floor much higher than a guy like Hendricks, who can only dream of striking out batters with as much consistency as Ray can.
GPP/Aggressive Cash Play: Freddy Peralta, Brewers (DK: $9200, FD: $9000) – With seven consecutive games with at least seven strikeouts, it’s tough to ignore Peralta at this point. The Braves are a tough lineup to target against, but Ronald Acuna dealing with an ankle injury, and the bats being much colder than they were earlier in the season, I don’t think it’s as dangerous as it normally would be. I still have Ynoa ranked higher than him, and it’s definitely because of the combination of matchup and slight discount. It’s still VERY close though.
FADE: Kyle Hendricks. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets some love with the matchup against the Tigers, but I don’t trust him as much away from Wrigley Field, and the Tigers have strung together some solid offensive performances over the last week.
FADE: Dylan Cease/Brady Singer. Edwin Moscoso is the projected umpire for this game and he has been extremely hitter friendly. Walk rates bump up drastically and strikeout rates decrease drastically. I will tell you now, I am going to have a lot of White Sox and Royals in the rankings today.
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 today.
Hot Streaks (Hottest Hitters at Each Position)
Batter vs. Pitcher
Batter vs. Pitcher
C – None
1B – Trey Mancini (BAL)
2B – Whit Merrifield (KC)
3B – Alex Bregman (HOU)
SS – Xander Bogaerts (BOS)
OF – Bryce Harper (PHI), Andrew McCutchen (PHI), Randal Grichuk (PHI), Hunter Renfroe (BOS)
For more, visit our BvP Matchup Page!
Overall Hitter Rankings
- Yasmani Grandal, White Sox (DK: $4900, FD: $2800)
- Jake Rogers, Tigers (DK: $2200)
- Danny Jansen, Blue Jays (DK: $2800)
Notes: The vast majority of time, you’re not going to be playing a catcher on FD (it’s C/1B, so play a First Baseman). Grandal is our first main target in this Royals/White Sox game. He has homered in two of his last three starts.
- Jose Abreu, White Sox (DK: $5400, FD: $3800)
- Carlos Santana, Royals (DK: $4400, FD: $3200)
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays (DK: $6000, FD: $3800)
Notes: Abreu won’t be cheap, but if salary weren’t in play, he might be my favorite play of the day. Four multi-hit games over his last five games and two homers over those four games. In some ways, you can consider Carlos Santana as a budget version of Abreu today. He has homered in back-to-back games and should be primed to go for 3-in-a-row.
- Leury Garcia, White Sox (DK: $3100, FD: $2100)
- Whit Merrifield, Royals (DK: $5200, FD: $3500)
- Jonathan Schoop, Tigers (DK: $2100, FD: $2200) // eligible at 1B on DK
Notes: With so much young talent in the South Side of Chicago, Garcia had become a forgotten man on the roster, but with injuries throughout the lineup, he’s getting a chance at regular playing time. He can be a very good on-base guy with good speed. I think the matchup makes sense for him to be a core infield target if you’re looking at punt plays.
- Cavan Biggio, Blue Jays (DK: $4500, FD: $2400)
- Alex Bregman, Astros (DK: $5900, FD: $3700)
- Yoan Moncada, White Sox (DK: $4700, FD: $3500)
Notes: Cavan Biggio is way too cheap on FanDuel at just $2400. He has started the year super cold, but is slowly but surely heating up. Overall matchup suits Alex Bregman a lot. He’s expensive but I do think he’s pretty safe today, all things considered.
- Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox (DK: $5700, FD: $3600)
- Tim Anderson, White Sox (DK: $5200, FD: $3800)
- Brandon Crawford, Giants (DK: $4300, FD: $3000)
Notes: Xander made his presence known yesterday with a towering shot over the monster and I think has a reasonable shot at doing that again today against whatever’s left of Jose Quintana. Anderson is yet another player I don’t mind targeting from the White Sox. He’s expensive, but always tends to be one of the safer plays due to his high OBP, yet still brings the power/speed combo. If you don’t use Bogaerts or Anderson, I’d also consider Brandon Crawford who will definitely be overlooked because he’s Brandon Crawford, but he has homered in each of his last two games and gets an interesting matchup against Mitch Keller, who won’t be throwing deep into the game, and a Pirates bullpen that has been overworked.
- Aaron Judge, Yankees (DK: $5300, FD: $3400)
- Hunter Renfroe, Red Sox (DK: $2800, FD: $2500)
- Teoscar Hernandez, Blue Jays (DK: $4400, FD: $3000)
- Mike Tauchman, Giants (DK: $3100, FD: $3100)
- Kyle Tucker, Astros (DK: $3500, FD: $2600)
- Robbie Grossman, Tigers (DK:$ 3300, FD: $2800)
- Andrew Vaughn, White Sox (DK: $2600, FD: $2200)
- Andrew Benintendi, Royals (DK: $3500, FD: $2900)
- J.D. Martinez, Red Sox (DK: $5400, FD: $4300)
- Austin Hays, Orioles (DK: $3700, FD: $3100)
Notes: Aaron Judge has been pretty streaky throughout his career, and has been on a tear, with three homers through the first two games of this series against the Orioles. At the time of this writing, there’s no knowledge of Baltimore’s starting pitcher. Hunter Renfroe has always been a boom of bust power hitter, but someone who has been a very strong target specifically against lefties. He has actually faced Quintana many times before, and has two homers in eight ABs. A It’s tough to figure out if Mike Tauchman is underrated or overrated at this stage of his career, but it should be noted that he is on Gabe Kapler’s good side considering he hasn’t been platooning. As disappointed as people have been regarding Andrew Vaughn, you’d think he’s putting up much worse numbers, but he’s starting to feel more comfortable with regular playing time. Tony LaRussa is not really doing him many favors, but Vaughn has shown good plate discipline and his bat starting to heat up. In general, the best value options are scattered throughout OF, so take a deep luck here if you need to make room in your lineup.
Cash Game Core Four
Fanduel: Alex Wood, Jose Abreu, Aaron Judge, Hunter Renfroe
DraftKings: Lance McCullers, Jose Abreu, Hunter Renfroe, Mike Tauchman