Everything you’ll need to stay above the payline in today’s DFS MLB Cash Games!
This may be the 1st full slate of games all year, or it is at least for me when doing the Cash Game Breakdown. A slate this large will provide plenty of options to use. I will be on the livestream at 6:05 EST to go over the Core 4 and position by position breakdown with Kyle Elfrink.
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:
Friday, May 21st
It is never easy to write an article with so many question marks on the potential starters. Please keep in my mind these rankings are based on expected starters that I could find. It is sad that teams are not even required these days to declare a starter. As of 1am this morning, we have 5 unconfirmed starters. I will update the article if I see any notable changes. You would think with all 30 teams playing, we would have more pitching options to choose from. But that is not the case. You will need to decide if Trevor Bauer is worth it or not? You will be able to tell by the rankings that I do like players at Coors, but those lineups will be important.
Added to the player pool: OF Alex Kiriloff (DK 3400) & OF Trevor Larnach (FD 2000 & DK 2600) & 2B Brendon Rodgers (DK 2600 & FD 2500) – Top Play
Houston Astros @ Texas Rangers – Storms are possible, so the roof will be closed.
Detroit Tigers @ Kansas City Royals – 30% chance of storms, so delays are possible, but it appears the worst of any potential rain threat will be during the daytime hours.
For more info and updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center.
NO odds on NYM/MIA at time of posting
- San Diego Padres: -215
- Washington Nationals: -200
- Atlanta Braves: -185
- Los Angeles Dodgers: -160
- Kansas City Royals: -155
- Philadelphia Phillies: -155
Highest Run Expectancy
- Colorado Rockies – 5.9
- Arizona Diamondbacks – 5.1
- Washington Nationals – 5.09
- Minnesota Twins – 5.0
- Kansas City Royals – 4.76
Lowest Run Expectancy
- San Francisco Giants – 2.98
- Seattle Mariners – 3.05
- Pittsburgh Pirates – 3.32
- Toronto Blue Jays – 3.40
- Baltimore Orioles – 3.41
Today's Pitchers Grid
Today’s Best Pitchers
1) Trevor Bauer, RHP, Dodgers (FD 11800 & DK 11900) – He has a 35.5% K rate on the season and has not allowed more than 2 runs in a start since his first one. The Dodgers are also giving him a long leash on his pitch count, so he can easily go 7 innings. Los Angeles had a bullpen game last night, which can only be good for Bauer. The Giants have the highest K% rate vs. RHP. They have improved their hitting vs. RHP, but there is a good chance Bauer gets double-digit K’s.
2) Mike Minor, LHP, Royals (FD 7600 & DK 7500) – The debate on FanDuel: is Bauer worth it? But when it comes to DraftKings, I think Minor makes a great SP2. The Tigers have the highest K% rate, lowest wOBA and lowest ISO vs. LHP. Minor was great in his last start vs. the White Sox, and his other best outing this season was against these same Tigers. He needs to cut down on the walks to get deeper into games, but he has been averaging well into 90 pitches in his starts, so we do not need to be scared of the short leash.
3) Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Rays (FD 11000 & DK 11200) – He has the best xFIP, the highest K% rate and the highest swinging strike rate on the slate. The issue is the match-up. Glasnow has double-digit K’s in 5 of his last 7 starts. He needs to find a way to limit the homers with 7 allowed in his last 5 starts, including the two he gave up against the Blue Jays in his last start. Toronto has been crushing the ball at home.
4) Ian Anderson, RHP, Braves (FD 8800 & DK 10500) – The play feels safe, but the upside here is lacking. The Pirates are the worst offense in the league, with the guys they put out there on a nightly basis, but the problem is Anderson’s priced up on DraftKings because of it. There is definitely less volatility in using Anderson on FanDuel, but a lot of the other top options on this slate have huge strikeout upside. The Pirates are last in wOBA and 25th in ISO vs. RHP. They are also 29th in ISO and 25th in wOBA over the last week.
5) Martin Perez, LHP, Red Sox (FD 6900 & DK 9400) – You can forget about using him on DraftKings, but that FanDuel price is dirt cheap. The Phillies have really struggled vs. LHP. McCutchen and Hoskins have performed well, but the rest of the lineup has been awful. Philadelphia has the 4th highest K% vs. LHP. Perez is coming off 6 shutout innings and has allowed 6 runs total in his last 5 starts.
Pitchers to Target Against
1) Arizona Diamondbacks Pitching Staff – The exact starter is unknown, but whether it is Riley Smith, Seth Frankoff or whoever it may be, their bullpen is complete garbage, and they are pitching in Coors.
2) Triston McKenzie, RHP, Indians – 5.24 xFIP, 60.7% FB rate, 19.7% BB rate, 40.3% Hard Contact, 2.25 HR/9, .409 wOBA vs. LHH
3) Carlos Martinez, RHP, Cardinals – 5.25 xFIP, 12.6% K rate, 7.7% swinging strike rate
4) Jeff Hoffman, RHP, Reds – 4.71 xFIP, 31.4% Line Drive rate, 11.5% BB rate, .351 wOBA vs. LHH
5) Kyle Hendricks, RHP, Cubs – 26.8% Line Drive Rate, 9.4% swinging strike rate, 2.32 HR/9, .483 wOBA vs. LHH
6) Jose Urena, RHP, Tigers – 50.5% first pitch strike rate, 17.2% K rate, 8.5% swinging strike rate, 40.7% Hard Contact rate, .351 wOBA vs. LHH
7) Jorge Lopez, RHP, Orioles – .374 wOBA vs. RHH, 2.12 HR/9
8) Jose Quintana, LHP, Angles – .402 wOBA vs. RHH, 15% BB rate, 32.8% Hard Contact Rate
9) German Marquez, RHP, Rockies – .355/.400/.633 vs. Current Dbacks over 121 AB’s.
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. (click on link above)
Hot Streaks (Hottest Hitters at Each Position)
|6||Vladimir Guerrero Jr.||TOR||65||278||22||50||56||2||14.7||15.80||0.345||0.347||0.345||0.450||0.690||0.473||204|
|18||Ronald Acuna Jr.||ATL||60||264||18||53||41||13||13.6||22.70||0.312||0.308||0.285||0.390||0.597||0.415||164|
|22||Fernando Tatis Jr.||SDP||51||214||20||45||46||13||10.7||28.00||0.374||0.279||0.273||0.346||0.647||0.405||162|
Batter vs. Pitcher
C – Wilson Ramos – Tigers, Willson Contreras – Cubs
1B – Paul Goldschmidt – Cardinals
2B – Jed Lowrie – A’s, David Fletcher – Angels, Cesar Hernandez – Indians
3B – Eduardo Escobar – Diamondbacks, Alex Bregman – Astros, Maikel Franco – Orioles
OF – Jesse Winker – Reds, Ian Happ – Cubs, Corey Dickerson – Marlins, David Peralta – Diamondbacks, Nick Castellanos – Reds, Michael Taylor – Royals, Andrew McCutchen – Phillies
For more, check out our BvP Matchup Page!
Overall Hitter Rankings
- Omar Narvaez – Brewers (DK 3700)
Mike Zunino – Rays (DK 3800)
- Sean Murphy – A’s (DK 3900)
- William Contreras – Braves (DK 4000)
Yasmani Grandal – White Sox (DK 4400)Tyler Stephenson – Reds (DK 3900) – Hitting 3rd
- Daulton Varsho – Diamondbacks (DK 3000)
Notes: Narvaez has a .433 wOBA vs. RHP and faces a bad one. Zunino has 10 HRs in 91 AB’s and one of the most hitter-friendly parks. Murphy faces a HR-prone pitcher and a bad bullpen. Contreras has a .441 wOBA vs. LHP while Grandal has a .488 wOBA vs. LHP. Varsho is no guarantee to be in the lineup but is a punt option at Coors.
- CJ Cron – Rockies (FD 3300 & DK 3800)
- Pavin Smith – Diamondbacks (FD 3100 & FD 3800)
- Jared Walsh – Angels (FD 3400 & DK 4800)
- Rhys Hoskins – Phillies (FD 3500 & DK 4500)
- Nate Lowe – Rangers (FD 2500 & DK 35000)
- Miguel Sano – Twins (FD 2900 & DK 4300)
- Andrew Vaughn – White Sox (FD 2200 & DK 2200)
Notes: I went deeper into this position than I normally would because there are so many great options. Cron returned just a few days ago to get the Dbacks at home, where he has over a .400 wOBA. Smith is likely to lead off in Coors against a pitcher who struggles vs. LHH. Not a big believer in his talent, but price and match-up works (also available in the OF). Walsh is the best hitter of this group. Hoskins has a .421 wOBA vs. LHP. Lowe has good power against a pitcher making his 1st MLB start. Sano has finally started to hit and goes against a flyball and HR prone pitcher. Vaughn is a punt option on both sites with a .462 wOBA vs. LHP (also available in the OF).
- Ketel Marte – Diamondbacks (FD 4100 & DK 5300)
- Luis Arraez – Twins (FD 2300 & DK 2900)
- Eduardo Escobar – Diamondbacks (FD 3700 & DK 5300)
- Ryan McMahon – Rockies (FD 3900 & DK 4900)
- Jake Cronenworth – Padres (FD 3300 & DK 3800)
- Brandon Lowe – Rays (FD 3200 & DK 5100)
Notes: This position is the opposite of 1B. There are very few stand-out options. Marte is 2B eligible on FD. He is OF-only on DK. Arraez is a value punt option who lacks power but does have a great match-up. I am still pissed about Escobar’s miracle performance last week, but he has been better the last week. Escobar probably slides into the #2 ranking at 3B. A little pricier than I would like for how bad his overall season has been. McMahon has shown his power at home this season. Cronenworth is a mid-tier option who appears to get to hit in front of Tatis. Only consider Lowe if we know the primary pitcher for the Jays is right-handed.
- Jose Ramirez – Indians (FD 3600 & DK 5600)
- Matt Chapman – A’s (FD 2900 & DK 4600)
- Josh Fuentes – Rockies (FD 3200 & DK 3200)
- Kris Bryant – Cubs (FD 3800)
- Austin Riley – Braves (FD 2800 & DK 3900)
- Josh Donaldson – Twins (FD 3100 & DK 4300)
Notes: Ramirez should be more expensive on FD with his .419 wOBA vs. RHP. Chapman has only been able to hit LHP (only use if Quintana is starting). Fuentes could be squeezed out of the lineup, but he has been hot the last week and is too cheap on DK. Bryant is playing like he deserves that Mega-Contract. Riley is a mid-tier option who has a .401 wOBA at home. Donaldson is another Twin option against McKenzie.
- Trevor Story – Rockies (FD 4300 & DK 5200)
- Fernando Tatis – Padres (FD 4500 & DK 5800)
- Trea Turner – Nationals (FD 4200 & DK 6000)
- Jazz Chisholm – Marlins (FD 3400 & DK 4000)
- Nick Ahmed – Diamondbacks (FD 3000 & DK 3300)
- Willy Adames – Rays (FD 2200 & DK 2900)
Notes: Tough choices at the top. All of the Top 3 are in great spots but do run expensive. Story is the best play on DK since he is quite a bit cheaper than Turner and Tatis. Chisholm would be the mid-tier play on DK. Ahmed is the value on DK if not hitting 8th in Coors. Adames is value option on FD in the small Dunedin stadium.
- Ronald Acuna – Braves (FD 4400 & DK 6200)
- Charlie Blackmon – Rockies (FD 3800 & DK 4800)
- Raimel Tapia – Rockies (FD 3600 & DK 4000)
- David Peralta – Diamondbacks (FD 3600 & DK 4100)
- Max Kepler – Twins (FD 3600 & DK 3500) – Back into the lineup now
- Garrett Hampson – Rockies (FD 3400 & DK 4200)
- Shohei Ohtani – Angles (FD 4000 & DK 5800)
- Jesse Winker – Reds (FD 3700 & DK 5550)
- Ramon Laureano – A’s (FD 3500 & DK 4600)
- Aaron Judge – Yankees (FD 3700 & DK 5600)
- Christian Yelich – Brewers (FD 3900 & DK 4800)
- Joey Gallo – Rangers (FD 3000 & DK 3800)
- Adolis Garcia – Rangers (FD 3400 & DK 3500)
- Kyle Schwarber – Nationals (FD 3500 & DK 4400)
- Willie Calhoun – Rangers (FD 3000 & DK 3000)
- Nick Senzel – Reds (FD 2400 & DK 4200)
Notes: As with most slates, these rankings vary by site. I do like the OF’s at Coors, but it is hard to know what each team will throw out for lineups. Obviously, we want to target the top end of those lineups in most cases. Both teams are affordable on DK. Acuna is the top pay-up option. Calhoun is a good value on DK along with his Rangers teammates. Senzel is very questionable but interesting on FD if he returns to the lead-off spot. Vaughn is another option of value on both sites with his dual position eligibility.
DFS MLB Core 4
FANDUEL CORE 4
P – Mike Minor (7600)
1B – CJ Cron (3300)
OF – Ramon Laureano (3500)
2B – Brendan Rodgers (2500)
DRAFTKINGS CORE 4
SP1 – Mike Minor (7500)
1B – CJ Cron (3800)
3B – Ramon Laureano (4600)
2B – Brendan Rodgers (2600)