Everything you’ll need to stay above the payline in today’s DFS MLB Cash Games!
UPDATE (11:08 AM ET): Here’s a small update to the article. As predicted, Verdugo isn’t in the lineup for the Red Sox, but J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts are also out of the lineup, which means that Red Sox lineup is even weaker than anticipated. Do we pivot to Wheeler because of it? I think you can, but it’s super close between him and Wheeler. I am still playing Fried since we have confirmation that he’s good to go. You can play both Wheeler and Fried on DK with confidence, but your bats won’t be as strong if you do so. Value plays wise, I do have value plays scattered throughout the rankings, but if you’re desperate, some other guys who have potential that I didn’t mention include Taylor Walls, Miguel Andujar, Billy Hamilton (he actually has a good history against Taillon), and Guillermo Heredia. More viable plays may open up as we get even closer to lock. It should also be noted that I had Andrew Stevenson in my rankings and have confirmation that he’s in the lineup against Matt Harvey.
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 23rd
Most of the games throughout the league are overcast today and have the slightest threat of rain, but the worst weather development appears to be in Kansas City where it’s about a 25-30% chance for light rain to start the game. Based on that forecast, it SHOULD play, and especially if it’s a late start.
For more info and updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center.
At the time of research, TB/TOR and NYM/MIA did not have Vegas Lines.
- Atlanta Braves -187
- Washington Nationals -170
- Houston Astros -155
- Kansas City Royals -150
Highest Run Expectancy
- Washington Nationals 5.44
- Houston Astros 5.04
- Kansas City Royals 5.0
- Atlanta Braves 4.68
Lowest Run Expectancy
- Pittsburgh Pirates 3.32
- Boston Red Sox 3.85
- Cincinnati Reds 3.9
- Minnesota Twins 3.95
Today's Pitchers Grid
Today’s Best Pitchers
- Max Fried, Braves (DK: $8600, FD: $8500) – It “should” be all systems go for Fried today; however, he did leave his previous outing with cramps in his hand. If we know he’s absolutely good to go with no restrictions, I feel he should be our number one target. The price is right and the overall matchup is outstanding (Pirates have been struggling at the plate and have a difficult time against lefties). On top of that, Fried has been a different pitcher since returning from the IL, and is looking to continue to regain his 2020 form.
- Zack Wheeler, Phillies (DK: $11200, FD: $10500) – Wheeler has had a hell of a season so far, putting together numbers that definitely mirror his last couple of seasons in Queens, getting some good use out of his nasty slider, which we saw a lot of when he was in his Mets uniform. While Boston’s offense can be scary to target against, they’re in a tougher spot with no DH available, Verdugo banged up, and no one on the roster who has done well against Wheeler (either didn’t do well when in the NL, or haven’t seen him). On top of that, the pitchers in this game do draw Jeremie Rehak behind the plate, who grades as pitcher friendly in previous years and has been slightly favorable to pitchers this season.
- Luis Castillo, Reds (DK: $6500, FD: $6800) – It would not surprise me if Castillo is very high owned today, but it just scares the hell out of me to have that much exposure to an overrated bum like Castillo (I’m exaggerating, but, he really has been terrible this year). All things considered though, the matchup is good and he’s exceptionally priced on both sites. If he does bad today, you probably have his 11 strikeout performance in his last start against the Giants to blame it on. Umpire wise, it’s going to be Bruce Dreckman who is slightly pitcher friendly, but more so, AWFUL. He might give Angel Hernandez a run for his money in terms of bad umpires.
- Cody Poteet, Marlins (DK: $5100, FD: $6000) – Over the last two weeks of play, the Mets and what’s left of their lineup have put together the 3rd lowest wRC+ in baseball. There’s not much information out there on Poteet, but he is a kid who has a repertoire that brings strikeout potential, and does get a fairly pitcher friendly umpire in Roberto Ortiz. He isn’t likely to pitch more than 5 or 6 innings, but if he can do that, and put his team in position for a win, I think he might actually CRUSH value today, which makes him a prime candidate on DK as a SP2. Since he isn’t likely to pitch beyond those 5 or 6 innings, I can’t really push him for cash on FD because of the lack of Quality Start potential.
- Casey Mize, Tigers (DK: $7000, FD: $7600) – I think playing Casey Mize can be a pretty volatile experience thanks to his overall lack of command since making the big leagues, but there’s no doubting the talent, and there’s no doubting his ability to get hitters to swing and miss. I would also say that his matchup against the Royals is a good one considering the Royals’ struggles at the plate right now, but it is also a little scary knowing this will be his third time facing the Royals this season. Umpire matchup (Brian Gorman) is also a slight lean towards the pitchers, so I am not against playing him as a SP2 given his price tag.
GPP/Borderline Cash: Freddy Peralta, Brewers (DK: $10500, FD: $9900) // yes, two weeks in a row here
FADE: Cristian Javier, Astros. I think Javier might get some love because the Rangers tend to get targeted, and he was solid against them on 5/13, but there’s a few issues I have with playing him today. He’s not as good on the road. He has a rough umpire matchup with Ryan Additon leaning to be slightly hitter friendly this season. Plus, the Rangers have looked pretty good through the first two games of this series (15 combined runs). Given he’s not going to come cheap on either site, I am out on Javier today.
(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)
|7||Vladimir Guerrero Jr.||TOR||62||264||20||47||52||2||15.2||15.50||0.338||0.340||0.338||0.447||0.676||0.467||200|
|21||Ronald Acuna Jr.||ATL||58||256||18||51||39||12||14.1||21.50||0.319||0.294||0.282||0.391||0.601||0.416||164|
|25||Fernando Tatis Jr.||SDP||48||201||18||43||40||13||11.4||28.40||0.368||0.291||0.276||0.353||0.644||0.407||163|
Batter vs. Pitcher
C – Tucker Barnhart (CIN)
1B – Miguel Cabrera (DET)
2B – Kolten Wong (MIL)
3B – None
SS – Amed Rosario (CLE)
OF – Eddie Rosario (CLE), Andrew Benintendi (KC), Willie Calhoun (TEX)
For more, visit our BvP Matchup Page!
Overall Hitter Rankings
- Mike Zunino, Rays (DK: $3500, FD: $2600)
- Jake Rogers, Tigers (DK: $2700)
- Jason Castro, Astros (DK: $4100)
Notes: Zunino’s power has come back to life, hitting four homers over his last five games. Ryu can be a tough matchup, but I’ll take my chances on a guy who has a 1.151 OPS against lefties and absolutely mashing the ball. I also anticipate Jake Rogers to be behind the plate again for Mize’s start, and he a guy who has always caught my eye as a hitter. He has shown good power throughout his time in the minors and has big league experience from 2019.
- Josh Bell, Nationals (DK: $4200, FD: $3500)
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays (DK: $5600, FD: $4300)
- Garrett Cooper, Marlins (DK: $3800, FD: $2500)
Notes: Bell had a brutal start to his Nationals career, but has really come into his own in the month of May, and gets an outstanding matchup against Matt Harvey. Vlad Jr. has been super hot, hitting five homers over his last eight games, and should have a great opportunity to continue his tear against Michael Wacha, who gives up way too much contact. Garrett Cooper is possibly the hottest hitter in baseball right now. He has homered in three straight and hitting with confidence.
- Kolten Wong, Brewers (DK: $4300, FD: $2600)
- Marcus Semien, Blue Jays (DK: $5500, FD: $3700)
- Josh Harrison, Nationals (DK: $3600, FD: $3000)
Notes: Wong has such a good history against Castillo that I find it extremely tempting to get exposure to him on FD where he’s only $2600. Of course, batting leadoff, and being a multi-hit machine helps, too. Semien is my main pay up target (even though, part of me also wants to consider Jose Altuve, who is just a little too expensive to make the rankings cut) and it’s easy to say because when he’s on a hot streak, it’s hard to find a much better option at 2B. It’s tough to go wrong playing Josh Harrison, who has consistently been underpriced on DK, makes good contact, and has shown some power potential.
- Jonathan Villar, Mets (DK: $3500, FD: $2800)
- Austin Riley, Braves (DK: $4300, FD: $2800)
- Jose Ramirez, Indians (DK: $5600, FD: $4000)
Notes: Injuries has given Villar a major opportunity to make an impact for the Mets and he tends to make an impact whenever he gets on base, which isn’t too difficult since he’s constantly hitting leadoff with McNeil out of the lineup. Austin Riley has just been tearing the cover out of the ball lately, and it’s a nice sight to see. He has always had contact issues but sports a pretty looking .315 AVG right now to go with his seven homers. In the case of Jose Ramirez, I’m just never going to ignore him whenever he faces a southpaw. While this year hasn’t really shown anything special in his splits, remember, he batted .386/.478/.930 with eight homers in just 57 ABs against lefties last season, which is…. very good.
- Gleyber Torres, Yankees (DK: $3500, FD: $2600)
- Amed Rosario, Indians (DK: $3600, FD: $2100)
- Trea Turner, Nationals (DK: $6200, FD: $4000)
Notes: Since coming back from the COVID list, Gleyber has gone 8-for-14 (.571 AVG) with a homer and six RBIs. Rosario is a relatively boring play here but if you’re ever going to play him, it’s going to be against a southpaw, and in this case, it’d be a southpaw who he has a .444 SO and 1.556 OPS against. The only issue I have with Trea Turner today is his price tag. Outside of that, he might be my overall best play at SS against Harvey.
- Juan Soto, Nationals (DK: $5800, FD: $3900)
- Ryan Mountcastle, Orioles (DK: $3200, FD: $2300)
- Kyle Tucker, Astros (DK: $4200, FD: $2900)
- Ronald Acuna Jr., Braves (DK: $6000, FD: $4500)
- Trey Mancini, Orioles (DK: $5400, FD: $4000)
- Michael Brantley, Astros (DK: $5000, FD: $2800)
- Aaron Judge, Yankees (DK: $5200, FD: $3600)
- Kyle Schwarber, Nationals (DK: $4800, FD: $3600)
- Robbie Grossman, Tigers (DK: $4400, FD: $2800)
- Andrew Stevenson, Nationals (DK: $2400, FD: $2000)
- Adolis Garcia, Rangers (DK: $3700, FD: $3300)
- Willie Calhoun, Rangers (DK: $3200, FD: $2800)
Notes: Soto is due for a huge game (as in, bigger than the nice games he has put together over the last week or so) and I figure a matchup against 2021 Matt Harvey might do the trick. Mountcastle has gotten off to a super slow start, but has way too much talent to throw up donuts all the time. He’s another guy who has been much better against lefties, putting up a .163 ISO to go with a .784 OPS. Tucker remains my favorite Astros outfielder to roster even though he can’t seem to jump up higher in the order. Acuna is another pay up option that I will strongly consider if I find the funds to do so.
Cash Game Core Four
Fanduel: Max Fried, Gleyber Torres, Juan Soto, Ryan Mountcastle
DraftKings: Max Fried, Gleyber Torres, Juan Soto, Kyle Tucker
*If find out that Fried is limited, I’ll probably pivot to Wheeler