Everything you’ll need to stay above the payline in today’s DFS MLB Cash Games!
WEDNESDAY NIGHT UPDATE
I CANNOT TRUST BOSTON TO PLAY THIS GAME. I WANT TO, IT LOOKS LIKE THEY MIGHT BUT I JUST CAN’T DO IT. PLAYERS ADDED TO POOL AND CORE 4 UPDATED AS A RESULT:
PLAYERS ADDED TO POOL: DANIEL VOGELBACH (MIL), NELSON CRUZ, (MIN), KEVIN KIERMAIER (TB), JOEY WENDLE (TB)
UPDATED CORE 4 (FD): WALKER BUEHLER, BYRON BUXTON, JOSH DONALDSON & GLEYBER TORRES
UPDATED CORE 4 (DK): WALKER BUEHLER, BYRON BUXTON, JOSH DONALDSON & YAN GOMES
I am going to set aside some time this week to be in chat and field questions. I would like to do this after lineup lock though, so we are looking at either Thursday or Friday night. I’ve seen some folks say that they have been struggling in cash games in the chat, and that worries me quite a bit. I couldn’t be happier with the writeups or the results here over the last two weeks and have been both proud and a bit stunned over the winning streak we are currently on over the last (five of) six days. I think there might be a bigger divide between our FanDuel and DraftKings users, so I will make sure that we are maintaining our focus for both sites going forward.
What I love the most over the last few days is that MLB has been an absolute disaster with rainouts, injuries, doubleheaders and delays in announcing starting pitchers. After doing 8-12 hours of research for this article, to have games canceled and players dropping off can easily sink our battleships. But Vlad, Ted, Kenneth and I have kept punching through the changes and kept our ships afloat. Remember, we aren’t just running through an optimizer here, nor are we just analysts throwing out “best plays.” Everybody here at Elite Fantasy is a high-level DFS player, and we are constantly putting our subs first before we make our own adjustments. This has been incredibly difficult over the last week, and the results speak for themselves.
If you haven’t shared in this recent success, fear not. As I say, I am going to jump in chat this week and start making a regular coaching session in order to get every last one of you on track. There is A LOT of time left in this MLB season, and DFS MLB has become quite straightforward. Beat the optimizer, win the cash. Everything else is just details, and details can lead us astray.
Here are the DFS MLB content offerings 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 5th
Tonight, we have a massive 10-game slate (11 on DK) of daily fantasy baseball, but not without plenty of potholes waiting to break our undercarriage. Fortunately, the rain doesn’t look (as of now) as if it will hit multiple locations tonight. We do get our Walker Buehler versus the Cubs matchup back though, after what the Cubbies did to Clayton Kershaw and Trevor Bauer, we may have to rethink that one. Unlike that Monday matchup, however, we’ve got a few more stud hurlers to choose from here in Yu Darvish and Shane Bieber to go along with the Dodgers righty.
I find it hilarious that we are going to go through an entire three-game series between the Giants and Rockies, and not one of those games will have been on the main slate in DFS. Those two teams, along with the White Sox, Reds, Orioles, Mariners, Mets, Cardinals, Diamondbacks and Marlins, are all playing early and thus off of tonight’s slate. Take note that the second game of the Mets/Cardinals doubleheader is indeed included on the DK main slate tonight.
We do get most of the best offenses in baseball going tonight, which will both help us with our position-player choices and cause us to rethink those top pitching options. Whenever you have the Braves, Yankees, Astros, Red Sox, Dodgers and Angels on the same slate, fun things are about to happen. Let’s make them happen for our own wallets, ok?
Time to get to work!
Houston Astros at New York Yankees – There will be rain in NYC early on Wednesday, with showers pushing into the late afternoon hours. This shouldn’t hurt the game from being played, but if MLB wants to play it super safe and schedule another seven-inning doubleheader on Thursday (these teams play the series finale on Thursday), then this one could be in trouble.
Detroit Tigers at Boston Red Sox – If it rains in Boston, they play; if it doesn’t, they cancel. There will be rain throughout the afternoon and into the evening at Fenway Park. They could squeeze this one into that window, but with these two teams playing on Thursday already, it’ll likely be a doubleheader then.
For more info and updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center.
- San Diego Padres: -235
- Boston Red Sox: -180
- Los Angeles Dodgers: -175
- Minnesota Twins: -165
- Cleveland Indians: -160
Highest Run Expectancy
- Boston Red Sox: 4.99
- New York Yankees: 4.94
- Atlanta Braves: 4.68
- Milwaukee Brewers: 4.67
- Oakland A’s: 4.65
Lowest Run Expectancy
- Pittsburgh Pirates: 2.99
- Chicago Cubs: 3.02
- Kansas City Royals: 3.19
- Tampa Bay Rays: 3.72
- New York Mets: 3.75
Today's Pitchers Grid
Today’s Best Pitchers
1) Walker Buehler, RHP, Dodgers ($10,000/$9700) – We are going to run Buehler back tonight much like the Dodgers are doing themselves. He has been very steady so far this year. Buehler has gone six-plus innings in each of his first five starts this season, logging four quality starts in the process. He has also struck out 19 hitters in his last two starts against two real good hitting teams in the Padres and the Reds. Tonight, he draws a Cubs team that has put up 23 runs over their last three games, including 11 against the Dodgers yesterday alone. But the Cubs are hitting just .224 (eighth-worst) this season while striking out 26.7% of the time (sixth-worst). As long as Buehler can keep Kris Bryant at bay, the rest of this Chicago lineup is not a threat to him at all. We are getting a slight discount on him on FD, while he is the same price he was two days ago on Monday before the game was rained out.
2) Shane Bieber, RHP, Indians ($12,200/$10,400) – Bieber is following up his Cy Young Award-winning 2020 season with another spectacular year here in 2021. Despite somehow having two losses, he is 3-2 with a 2.76 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and a league-leading 68 strikeouts. He is six for six in quality starts and is averaging 7+ innings per start so far this season. Bieber has dominated the Royals in his previous seven starts against them, allowing just a .216 BAA and .302 wOBA. As you can see, we are likely going to have to pay way up for pitching here tonight, so get yourself prepared to find the value bats, especially if you are leaning toward Bieber in this spot.
3) Yu Darvish, RHP, Padres ($11,800/$10,200) – After struggling in his first start of the season against Arizona, Darvish has been flat out dominant over his last five starts. In each outing, he has pitched into the seventh inning and racked up a quality start in each. Darvish is averaging 50.4 FD points per game since that initial start, including two outings against the mighty Dodgers. Tonight, Darvish gets the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates, who he kept down to just three hits and one run through seven innings in Pittsburgh back on April 12th. We have legitimately three proven aces going here this evening, so identifying the matchup or price point you would like to exploit is the way to differentiate between these starting pitchers tonight.
4) Freddy Peralta, RHP, Brewers ($9000/$9500) – Freddy Peralta isn’t a Cy Young caliber pitcher, but he has certainly pitched like one so far this season. We have had great success in using Peralta at lesser prices back in April, but this is another jump up in salary. The Brewers righty has had a terrific season and done so by establishing the strike zone, adding velocity on both his fastball and slider while limiting the home run. The HR has long been a thorn in the side of Freddy Peralta, but he has managed to lower the launch angle and exit velocity upon contact to start this year. It may surprise you that Peralta owns the highest strikeout rate of all pitchers tonight (40.2%). He is also generating a whopping 14.7% swinging strike rate to go along with 89.1% LOB% and 36.8% GB%. All of this builds a real nice profile for an under $10K pitcher. Also, factor in the Phillies have been cold as ice, hitting just .196/.242/.298 with a .258 wOBA over the last week.
5) Brady Singer, RHP, Royals ($7400/$5500) – There are two types of pitchers going tonight: the elite and the pure trash. There is very little in between. But Brady Singer is that diamond in the rough we are looking for in GPP or on DK. Singer has surrendered just a .216 BAA and .258 wOBA against. He isn’t allowing superfluous baserunners this year with just a 1.20 WHIP or home runs allowing just 0.77 HR/9 and 27.2% hard contact. Singer features a 95 MPH fastball with downward bite and a power slider that has generated a 29.3% whiff rate this season. This isn’t an ideal matchup for Singer or the Royals, but he has limited Cleveland to just a .179 BAA and .234 wOBA against in his career.
Pitchers to Target Against
1) Casey Mize, Tigers – .265 BAA, 4.53 xFIP, 4.56 SIERA, 1.40 WHIP, 22.7% HR/FB%, 1.69 HR/9, 32.7% hard contact rate, 9.1% swinging strike rate in 2021.
2) Chase Anderson, Phillies – .244 BAA, 5.14 xFIP, 4.90 SIERA, 1.43 WHIP, 39.4% FB%, 13.5% HR/FB%, 1.25 HR/9, 37.3% hard contact rate in 2021.
3) Jordan Montgomery, Yankees – 4.87 FIP, 4.09 SIERA, 32.9% FB%, 20.8% HR/FB%, 1.69 HR/9, 37.3% hard contact rate in 2021.
4) Robbie Ray, Blue Jays – .227 BAA, 4.33 xFIP, 4.48 SIERA, 36.5% FB%, 17.4% HR/FB%, 1.59 HR/9, 31.7% hard contact rate in 2021.
5) Max Fried, Braves – .411 BAA, 4.19 xFIP, 4.11 SIERA, 2.55 WHIP, 33.3% HR/FB%, 2.45 HR/9 in 2021.
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)
Batter vs. Pitcher
C – Wilson Ramos, Salvador Perez, Victor Caratini
1B – Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols
2B – Starlin Castro, Ozzie Albies, Jonathan Schoop
3B – Kris Bryant
SS – Trea Turner, Carlos Correa
OF – Victor Robles, Marcell Ozuna, Ronald Acuna, Andrew McCutchen, Jackie Bradley Jr., Andrew Benintendi, Mike Trout, George Springer
For more, visit our BvP Matchup Page!
Overall Hitter Rankings
- Mitch Garver, Twins ($2700/$4900)
- Yan Gomes, Nationals ($2400/$3100)
- JT Realmuto, Phillies ($3000/$5100)
- Wilson Ramos, Tigers ($2600/$4100)
- Victor Caratini, Padres ($2100/$3500)
Notes: Instead of arbitrarily deciding when we can swap out a player whose game got rained out, maybe DraftKings should get their lineup positions in order. FanDuel combined the 1B and catcher position, which essentially eliminated catcher from lineup builds. This position is an absolute barren wasteland of fantasy production that warrants next to zero of our attention or at least should. Mitch Garver has gotten hot of late, hitting three home runs and racking up a .471 wOBA over his last five games. Yan Gomes is a career .278/.335/.477 hitter against left-handed pitching.
- Freddie Freeman, Braves ($3700/$5800)
- Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals ($2800/$3900)
- Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals (NA/$4800)
- Eric Hosmer, Padres ($3000/$4600)
- Yuli Gurriel, Astros ($3200/$4900)
Notes: Unfortunately, there are just few value options tonight at the 1B position. Freeman is a free square but is going to cost a pretty penny. Zimmerman has been hot since coming off of the injured list. He is hitting .385 with a .533 wOBA and .462 ISO over his first five games back. Gurriel’s price has risen steadily over the last few weeks, but he just never stops hitting. After another two-hit performance last night, he is now hitting .333 on the season and has walked (16) more times than he has struck out (14).
- Ozzie Albies, Braves ($3200/$5000)
- Nick Solak, Rangers ($3000/$4300)
- Max Muncy, Dodgers ($2900/$5200)
- David Fletcher, Angels ($3000/$3400)
- Josh Harrison, Nationals ($3100/$3500)
Notes: Albies is en fuego right now, hitting .400 with a .529 wOBA and a 45.9% hard contact rate over his last seven games. Solak crushes LHP and gets Lewis Thorpe and his .361/.415/.583 triple slash against RHH over his career. Fletcher sets the table for Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout and is constantly super cheap on DK. Josh Harrison is hitting .471 over his last five games with a .552 wOBA and just a 13.6% strikeout rate over his last six games.
- Alex Bregman, Astros ($3800/$4800)
- Justin Turner, Dodgers ($3700/$6000)
- Travis Shaw, Brewers ($2900/$3600)
- Matt Chapman, A’s ($3000/$4500)
- Austin Riley, Braves ($2400/$4100)
Notes: Anthony Rendon also qualifies as a cash game 3B tonight, but he missed last night’s game due to a bruised knee and might be out again tonight. Monitor his status, and we’ll update his value closer to lock. These Astros RH bats against Jordan Montgomery are in a great spot, with Bregman being the best of the bunch. He homered last night and is a career .323/.406/.602 hitter against LHP. Austin Riley is still way underpriced on FD. The Braves 3B is hitting .600 with a .616 wOBA over his last five games.
- Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox ($3500/$5200)
- Jorge Polanco, Twins ($3000/$4900)
- Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Rangers ($2900/$4200)
- Gleyber Torres, Yankees ($2800/$4800)
- Didi Gregorius, Phillies ($2900/$3900)
Notes: I don’t know if there’s anybody in baseball that is smashing the ball as much or as hard as Xander Bogaerts lately. He has a 52.8% hard contact rate with 3 HR and a crazy .488 wOBA over his last six games. Polanco is a notorious lefty killer who also happens to be entering this game hitting .375 with a 57.1% hard contact rate over his last five games. Kiner-Falefa led off last night against a lefty in JA Happ, so there is a good chance he does so again tonight. If he is lower in the order, his value would drop, and Dansby Swanson would leap above him.
- Byron Buxton, Twins ($4400/$5700)
- JD Martinez, Red Sox ($4200/$5300)
- Mike Trout, Angels ($4500/$5600)
- Ronald Acuna, Braves ($4300/$5800)
- Alex Verdugo, Red Sox ($3100/$4200)
- Ramon Laureano, A’s ($3500/$4900)
- Franmil Reyes, Indians ($3500/$4600)
- Austin Meadows, Rays ($3100/$3400)
- Robbie Grossman, Tigers ($2800/$3100)
- Tyler O’Neil, Cardinals (NA/$3000)
Notes: I’ll add a value player or two most likely to the pool after the SXM show today. This is as good of a top end of the outfield pool as we’ve had all season, as Buxton, Trout and Acuna are all in smash spots here tonight against tragically bad pitching. The optimizers are all going to be on Red Sox players, and that will be a ton of JD, but Verdugo has a 37.5% hard contact rate over the last week. Tyler O’Neil is the best OF at the price in this Mets/Cardinals game. Remember, that game is not offered on FD tonight.
DFS MLB Core 4
FANDUEL CORE 4
P – Walker Buehler, Dodgers ($10,000)
2B/SS – Gleyber Torres, Yankees ($2800)
SS – Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox ($3500)
OF – JD Martinez, Red Sox ($4200)
DRAFTKINGS CORE 4
P – Walker Buehler, Dodgers ($9700)
C – Yan Gomes ($3100)
SS – Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox ($5200)
OF – JD Martinez, Red Sox ($5300)