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 2nd
- 10 Game Main Slate with a 1:05 PM ET/10:05 AM PT roster lock.
I’m making my long awaited return to the Cash Game Breakdown, covering for Jeff Mans this week as he spent some extra time focusing on the NFL Draft.
This is the point of the year where I have to go on a rant to say that while most people know me as a Hockey guy, I got my start in the fantasy industry writing baseball, and started everything by writing up my baseball lineups on my own blog.
I still 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.
I will definitely try to highlight plays that take those things into consideration. Sunday’s as a whole can be an entirely different ball game though. 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.
Just from skimming the basic forecasts for today’s game, the only two games that have a chance of precipitation are in Chicago and Minnesota, and they don’t have any threat of delay or cancelation.
As far as wind is concerned, there’s two games with the wind blowing out at over 10 MPH and that’s Tigers/Yankees and Cardinals/Pirates.
For more info and updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center.
At the time of research, Braves/Jays was the only game without any Vegas info.
- New York Yankees -233
- Minnesota Twins -181
- Los Angeles Dodgers -175
- Chicago White Sox -158
Highest Run Expectancy
- New York Yankees: 5.6
- Minnesota Twins: 4.98
- Los Angeles Dodgers: 4.83
- Boston Red Sox: 4.62
Lowest Run Expectancy
- Miami Marlins: 3.18
- Detroit Tigers: 3.4
- Cleveland Indians: 3.5
- Milwaukee Brewers: 3.67
Today's Pitchers Grid
|Chi Chi Gonzalez||COL||28.20||5.97||0.330||4.56||4.83|
Today’s Best Pitchers
- Lucas Giolito, White Sox (DK: $8600, FD: $10600) – Giolito’s numbers are a little skewed thanks to a 7 ER in 1 IP outing a couple weeks ago in Boston, but if you take away that game, he has been rock solid thanks to his whiff rate. His CSW% is at 29.5 percent and that’s a number that’s always going to hover around 30% for Giolito at this stage of his career. He faces a Cleveland team that tends to do much better against LEFT-HANDED PITCHING. Against righties, the Tribe have the 8th lowest wRC+, 7th lowest wOBA, and 10th highest K/rate. Giolito has also performed very well against the core of the Indians lineup, which includes Rosario, Ramirez, and Hernandez, who have gone 16-for-63 (.253 AVG) with 11 strikeouts, and has completely demolished the bottom half of the Indians lineup, which includes Roberto Perez (2-for-12, 5 strikeouts) and (gulp) Jake Bauers (0-for-9, 7 strikeouts). I think for a number of reasons, I have Giolito considerably higher than Scherzer today, and I expect to lock him in on both DK and FD. Umpire wise, I project Tripp Gibson to be behind the plate, and while he has called a pretty good 2021 season, he has historically been a very pitcher-friendly umpire. Also, not that it means much, but Giolito is 2-0 with 12 K’s in 11 2/3 innings in his two previous games.
- Cristian Javier, Astros (DK: $9400, FD: $9700) – I think Javier might be a surprise in this spot, especially with how expensive he is now on both sites, but there is a lot to like about Javier’s spot today in Tampa. The Rays have been struggling HARD at the plate, having scored 7 runs over their last four games, and striking out 28.7 percent of the time over the last week of play. On the other hand, Javier has been light’s out for the Astros, allowing just EIGHT COMBINED HITS over his last three games (17 total innings) and striking out 22 batters. He might have one of the nastiest sliders in baseball and no one really knows about it. If i’m going with the two stud pitchers on DK route, I’m locking in Giolito with Javier. If I’m looking to save just al little bit of money on FD compared to Giolito, I am locking in Javier. Projected umpire is Brian Gorman, who has historically been a pretty average umpire across the board, but there does seem to have a wider strike zone this season where he is allowing a lot of good number of outside strikes on the left side of the zone.
- Max Scherzer, Nationals (DK: $9700, FD: $12000) – I used to be a big Mad Max guy, but at this stage of his career, he’s just no longer the “cash game lock” that he used to be for what has seemed like 10 consecutive seasons. He has always been vulnerable to giving up home runs, with a career HR/9 of 1.02; however, this season, it has been pushed up to 1.8 over his five starts. I suppose that’s a natural drop off for someone who has lost 1-2 MPH on their fastball, but it’s just naturally going to be worse for Scherzer who depends on it more than most pitchers (he’s still throwing it around 50% of the time, and always has done so throughout his career). Still, whenever he is using his offspeed stuff, it has been generally good, and especially his change up, which has been virtually unhittable all season. I can definitely envision Scherzer ramping up his offspeed game in order to increaser his overall effectiveness on the mound by the time this season ends. Will it happen today? I’m not so sure, but it certainly helps that he is facing a Marlins lineup that is without a few of their important pieces in Starling Marte, Brian Anderson, Jazz Chisholm, and Corey Dickerson (Dickerson’s the only one who even has a chance of playing today). They’ve struggled to muster much of anything in the first two games of this series, combing for just 3 runs off of 11 hits. Scherzer’s DK price is solid, but his FD price makes me a little uncomfortable to say the least. Also, as far as the likely umpire is concerned, Mark Wegner calls a game that’s pretty by-the-book, and is a little less lenient with his strike zone than the majority of umpires in 2021.
FADE: Julio Urias, Dodgers (DK: $9000, FD: $9900) – This isn’t really anything against Urias, but more like, I just don’t think the salary matches the circumstances that he constantly has to deal with. His stuff is outright nasty, but you just cannot trust Dave Roberts with the “younger” Dodgers pitchers. With the DH out of play this season, it gives him more reason to be trigger happy with pitching changes, and it’s just not a good recipe for those who enjoy winning at DFS. The Brewers are a team that can be very aggressive at the plate, so this could backfire, but I am going to advocate for being a little more conservative when it comes to your Cash Game Lineups where you put yourself in a safer situation with your SP1. Again, GPP’s, I would make the argument that he could be one of the better GPP options because I’m not going to be the only person who is fading him because of his Manager. As a whole, his matchup is good and Lance Barrett likely being behind the plate is also good.
- Corey Kluber, Yankees (DK: $8100, FD: $7300) – This is a bit risky, but the Tigers have been looking like they’ve been swinging blindfolded at the plate lately. Their 38.1 percent K/rate over the last week of play is absolutely embarrassing, and this is just the perfect situation to get Kluber back on track. He’s a guy who has historically had some slow starts, but has also historically regained most of his steam in May, and historically killed the Tigers. This is no longer the Cy Young Kluber, but he still has moments, and still mixes up his pitchers beautifully. I also have Quinn Walcott as today’s projected umpire, and that’s huge if that’s the case, because Wolcott has been extremely pitcher-friendly this season, and has been pitcher-friendly throughout his MLB career.
- Garrett Richards, Red Sox (DK: $7100, FD: $7200) – The Garrett Richards we saw four days ago at Citi Field is the Garrett Richards I saw whenever he was healthy with the Angels (I’m an Angels fan). There’s just so much potential in that 32-year old arm (unbelievable in itself that he’s 32 years old) and for his sake, I hope he can stay healthy, because he has the ability to be a very effective pitcher. The projected umpire for this one is Brian O’Nora, who has been a mixed bag this season.
FADE: Jose Berrios, Twins (DK: $8500, FD: $8800) – I actually think Berrios might be a pretty good GPP play today, but it’s really his history against the Royals that makes me more wary than his recent results. The numbers are really suggesting his last few spotty performances weren’t really cause for concern (high pitch count didn’t help him pitch deep into the games). But yeah, somehow, this Royals team has been pretty effective against Berrios even in their bad years (he’s 3-4 with a 4.66 ERA/1.43 WHIP over 15 starts).
(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)
|15||Ronald Acuna Jr.||ATL||34||149||11||32||23||6||12.8||14.80||0.336||0.287||0.304||0.403||0.640||0.436||175|
|20||Vladimir Guerrero Jr.||TOR||35||150||8||25||26||1||16.7||16.70||0.246||0.337||0.311||0.440||0.557||0.427||178|
Batter vs. Pitcher
C – Tucker Barnhart (CIN)
1B – Miguel Cabrera (DET), Ryan O’Hearn (KC)
2B – Whit Merrifield (KC)
3B – Yoan Moncada (CHW)
SS – None
OF – Gregory Polanco (PIT), Luis Robert (CHW),
For more, visit our BvP Matchup Page!
Overall Hitter Rankings
- Jacob Stallings, Pirates (DK: $3300)
- Tucker Barnhart, Reds (DK: $4200, FD: $2900)
- Mario Feliciano, Brewers (DK: $2000)
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). One thing I should mention is that Shane Livensparger is a relatively new umpire who has developed a bit of a reputation for squeezing pitchers. While Tyler Mahle is usually in play, I just couldn’t really get myself to write him up today. On the other hand, it makes me want to get some exposure to some Reds, and while Barnhart has cooled off, he has been great against Trevor Williams. Feliciano is in play as a min-priced option. It could very well be Malie again for the Brewers, but I think Feliciano is likely to play (Narvaez and Pina are injured).
- Joey Votto, Reds (DK: $5300, FD: $2800)
- Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals (DK: $4300, FD: $2500)
- Yuli Gurriel, Astros (DK: $4800, FD: $3400)
Notes: Kiriloff is eligible at 1B on DK, and probably the best overall value at 1B on DK as well. Votto is my favorite option on FD at just $2800 in a very good matchup against Williams.
- Nick Madrigal, White Sox (DK: $2700, FD: $2800)
- Josh Harrison, Nationals (DK: $3800, FD: $3200)
- DJ LeMahieu, Yankees (DK: $5200, FD: $3600)
Notes: Every way I look at it makes me think Madrigal is the way to go. He remains extremely underpriced, gets a great matchup, and is available at a position that I find very weak.
- Austin Riley, Braves (DK: $3800, FD: $2700)
- Yoan Moncada, White Sox (DK: $4400, FD: $3300)
- Alex Bregman, Astros (DK: $4700, FD: $3700)
Notes: I really think Moncada’s in position for a big game, but Riley swinging a hot bat, and likely facing the Blue Jays bullpen OR a spot starter from the alternate site might be too good to pass up. I think Bregman might be the actual best play here, but it’s hard to do so at the price. $ for $ I prefer the others, but Bregman is probably my #1 if salary wasn’t in play.
- Tim Anderson, White Sox (DK: $5400, FD: $3600)
- Gleyber Torres, Yankees (DK: $4700, FD: $2800)
- Corey Seager, Dodgers (DK: $4600, FD: $3600)
Notes: Outside of using Gleyber on FD, or a cheap play emerges prior to lock, I think SS is a pay up position today. Tim Anderson is just extremely streaky and he’s had some success against Zach Plesac in the past, and Corey Seager has been rather cold, but being able to face Alec Bettinger, who is not the most heralded prospect for the Brewers could be what gets him going.
- Ronald Acuna Jr., Braves (DK: $5500, FD: $4300)
- Aaron Judge, Yankees (DK: $5600, FD: $3900)
- Cristian Pache, Braves (DK: $2000, FD: $2000)
- Alex Kiriloff, Twins (DK: $3000, FD: $2000) // also 1B eligible on DK and viable there
- A.J. Pollock, Dodgers (DK: $3500, FD: $2200)
- J.D. Martinez, Red Sox (DK: $5700, FD: $4200)
- Tyler O’Neill, Cardinals (DK: $2700, FD: $3000)
- Alex Verdugo, Red Sox (DK: $4600, FD: $3200)
- Dylan Carlson, Cardinals (DK: $3300, FD: $3600)
- Gregory Polanco, Pirates (DK: $3500, FD: $2600)
- Aaron Hicks, Yankees (DK: $3400, FD: $2600)
Notes: Acuna in a minor league park is just a recipe for madness, and we got a glimpse of it on Saturday. I’ll take my chances on Acuna against whatever Toronto trots to the mound. You can also make a strong argument for paying up with Judge, who is heating up. Pache is probably the best overall value on DK if he does get another start. Kirilloff is tough to fade on any site. Carlson is seemingly forever a great value on DK, but we might have to get more shares of Tyler O’Neill who has been going off lately. A.J. Pollock might have to be the guy you roster for extra value on FD though.
Cash Game Core Four
Fanduel: Lucas Giolito, Alex Kirilloff, Ronald Acuna Jr., Cristian Pache
DraftKings: Lucas Giolito, Tim Anderson, Ronald Acuna Jr., Alex Kirilloff