Everything you’ll need to stay above the payline in today’s DFS MLB Cash Games!
Had a bad day on Wednesday as the pivot from the Red Sox mini-stack to the Twins who were awful in scoring just one run against five Rangers pitchers. The constant weather issues across the country night after night only further confirm that I indeed made a great choice in moving from Chicago to Phoenix five years ago. We don’t have weather here other than extreme heat. While a hundred degrees sounds bad, it’s nothing compared to being urinated on by whichever of the gods you believe are mingling up there above the clouds.
Ted and I built a lineup for the early slate yesterday. Well, Ted did, but that was only to follow along with what our boy Vlad recommended in this space yesterday. As most of you know, I do not like small slates, and I especially despise those early morning slates like we saw yesterday. But that was perfectly alright with me because I got to spend most of the day Thursday combing through bullpen stats and quality of pitch numbers.
Speaking of which, I’d like to thank those of you who were hanging out with me the other night in our DFS MLB chat room. Between our great conversation and my digging for stats yesterday, I have decided to build out some real important dashboards here on Elite Fantasy for our DFS people. My job is to serve you guys, and one area that I think we might be underserving is as it pertains to research assistance here on site. That is about to change so please stay tuned. Also, please don’t tell Rob, Rusty or anybody else that I am telling you all this because honestly, they don’t even know yet…lol.
A reminder of the content we are rolling out 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 7th
Tonight is a good night. We have a full-on 14-game DFS MLB slate ahead of us with no real ace-level starting pitchers. Sure, Blake Snell has the ability to spin a gem, and Carlos Rodon has been dynamite in his four starts this season, but without Jacob deGrom, Tyler Glasnow, Gerrit Cole or Shane Bieber on the hill, there isn’t an absolute must use starter here. That will fracture up the starting pitcher ownership, which will create multiple lineup builds as a result.
Of course, we have more weather issues here tonight because the world is crumbling in around us, but we are all too distracted by smoke show women selling us oil-infused nonsense on Instagram. I want everybody to understand this right now: I am positively done in even trying to assume what a team or MLB will do as it pertains to delaying or canceling a game. I just can’t do it. So, I will be taking a cautious approach to using players who have weather issues. This doesn’t impact us on a 14-game slate like tonight, but it would have a greater impact when the slates are in the 5-8 category.
We’ve got a lot of top-end bats in play here tonight. So, this is going to test us on whether we can find that steadfast starting pitcher at the mid-tier or value level in order to pack our lineups full of Mike Trout, Ronald Acuna, Giancarlo Stanton, JD Martinez and Jose Ramirez. I already have a good idea on where to attack this slate so let’s stop dancing around and get right to it.
Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles – Cancelled. There is too much rain in Baltimore today, and this organization is very happy to cancel games. They are going to wind up playing a stupid seven-inning doubleheader on Saturday; you watch and see.
Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers – Some light rain this afternoon and possibly this evening in Detroit but nothing that should threaten this game other than a freak delay early on.
For more info and updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center.
- St. Louis Cardinals: -200
- New York Yankees: -190
- Los Angeles Dodgers: -165
- Atlanta Braves: -160
- Boston Red Sox: -160
- Chicago White Sox: -155
Highest Run Expectancy
- New York Yankees: 5.54
- Los Angeles Dodgers: 5.03
- Atlanta Braves: 4.82
- Houston Astros: 4.81
- Boston Red Sox: 4.80
- Chicago White Sox: 4.72
Lowest Run Expectancy
- Colorado Rockies: 3.01
- Milwaukee Brewers: 3.03
- San Francisco Giants: 3.21
- Miami Marlins: 3.47
- Arizona Diamondbacks: 3.50
- Tampa Bay Rays: 3.67
Today's Pitchers Grid
Today’s Best Pitchers
1) Jack Flaherty, RHP, Cardinals ($10,200/$9400) – The good news about tonight’s slate of pitchers is that we are likely not going to have to chase a 60+ point performance (40+ on DK), and even if we do, it is highly doubtful that pitcher will come in at 40%+ ownership. Flaherty is the safest option on the board here as he’s been very consistent all season. Flaherty has gone 6+ innings in all but one start (Vs Nationals on 4-13) this season logging 5+ strikeouts in all but one (opening day against Cincinnati). The Cardinals righty has struck out 15 hitters in his last 13 innings. Unlike previous seasons, we are not scared in the east of the Rockies bats away from Coors Field. Jack Flaherty has limited this current batch of Colorado bats to just a .167 BAA and .233 wOBA against over his career.
2) Trevor Rogers, LHP, Marlins ($10,400/$8800) – I simply love this kid. His arm is pure sex, rifling a 95-97 MPH fastball with a 35.3% whiff rate while keeping righties off balance with an 87 MPH changeup with late fade action. He spots a slider to both sides of the plate that can put away anybody who is sitting back on that changeup. Rogers owns a 33.8% strikeout rate, second-best on the slate. He also features a 16.5% swinging strike rate, a .191 BAA and 84.8% LOB% this season, all top five among starters tonight. The Brewers are limpless with the bats, and their only two threats are both LHH that aren’t very good against LHP.
3) Sean Manaea, LHP, A’s ($8000/$9200) – Manaea is a little expensive on DK, so I am not sure whether we are going to use him there. But on FD, he is very moderately priced. There is nothing great about Manaea other than his consistency, which we have to respect given our options. He has a very solid 23.7% strikeout rate on the season and a 12.2% swinging strikeout rate to boot. Manaea generates 40.2% groundballs, has just a 5% BB%, surrenders just 1.07 HR/9, 10.8% HR/FB% and has limited hard contact to 28.3% this season. The Rays have struggled against LHP this season. They hit just .234 (9th worst) against them with a .304 wOBA (10thworst) and the second-highest strikeout rate against lefties at 31.3% this season.
4) Jameson Taillon, RHP, Yankees ($7100/$8300) – Using Taillon is a bit riskier than we usually like to take on in cash games, but we would be idiotic to not consider him at this super low salary on FD specifically tonight. I do not believe Taillon is on track to regain his 2018 or 2019 form here despite a stellar effort last time out against the Tigers. But he is trending in the right direction with his velocity (regularly 93-94 last two starts) and pitch count (80+ in each of his last four starts). The Yankees are the biggest favorites on the board tonight mostly because the Bronx bomber bats are going to tee off on poor Patrick Corbin. So, all Taillon needs to do for us here is give us five innings of five strikeouts or more to get the win. That will give us a 5x return on investment while allowing us to pay up for just about every premium bat that we want tonight.
5) Charlie Morton, RHP, Braves ($7900/$7700) – I’ve told you guys every Friday that when we have this many teams on the slate, there will be quality pitchers whose salary is pushed down due to the pure numbers of starters going. Charlie Morton is that guy for us tonight. I would love for Bryce Harper to be out again tonight as he is the biggest threat to Morton here having gone 7-14 (.500) against him. Harper is nursing a wrist injury and it is not sure whether he will be back in the Philly lineup tonight or not. Even with Harper’s gaudy numbers, Morton has limited this Phillies lineup to just a .322 wOBA and 24% strikeout rate. The Braves are heavy favorites tonight and my projection for Morton gives him 37.7 FD points with a win making it 43.7, well over our desired target.
Pitchers to Target Against
1) Patrick Corbin, Nationals – .290 BAA, 5.68 xFIP, 5.58 SIERA, 1.76 WHIP, 36.5% FB%, 25.9% HR/FB%, 2.70 HR/9, 34.7% hard contact rate against, 9.5% swinging strike rate in 2021.
2) Matt Shoemaker, Twins – .289 BAA, 5.46 xFIP, 5.34 SIERA, 1.57 WHIP, 37.8% FB%, 22.6% HR/FB%, 2.74 HR/9, 58.8% LOB% in 2021.
3) Mike Foltynewicz, Rangers – .269 BAA, 4.30 xFIP, 4.14 SIERA, 42.4% FB%, 21.4% HR/FB%, 2.43 HR/9, 39.4% hard contact rate against, 8.7% swinging strike rate in 2021.
4) Tarik Skubal, Tigers – .258 BAA, 6.83 xFIP, 6.01 SIERA, 1.68 WHIP, 58.6% FB%, 19.5% HR/FB%, 3.27 HR/9, 33.8% hard contact rate against, 9.8% swinging strike rate in 2021.
5) Brad Keller, Royals – .350 BAA, 5.52 xFIP, 5.39 SIERA, 2.15 WHIP, 28.7% LD%, 17.4% HR/FB%, 1.61 HR/9, 57.3% LOB% in 2021.
6) Austin Gomber, Rockies – 5.09 xFIP, 5.45 SIERA, 1.45 WHIP, 36.7% FB%, 13.3% HR/FB%, 39.5% hard contact rate against, 8.3% swinging strike rate, 50.3% LOB% 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)
|8||Vladimir Guerrero Jr.||TOR||66||282||22||50||56||2||14.5||16.00||0.339||0.347||0.343||0.447||0.682||0.469||201|
|17||Ronald Acuna Jr.||ATL||61||270||18||53||42||13||13.3||22.20||0.314||0.318||0.292||0.396||0.606||0.421||168|
|20||Fernando Tatis Jr.||SDP||52||219||21||47||48||13||11.0||27.90||0.387||0.283||0.277||0.352||0.665||0.414||168|
Batter vs. Pitcher
C – Pedro Severino, Rene Rivera, JT Realmuto
1B – Ryan Zimmerman, Joey Votto, Carlos Santana
2B – DJ LeMahieu, Whit Merrifield
3B – Yoan Moncada
SS – Dansby Swanson, Aledmys Diaz
OF – Trey Mancini, JD Martinez, Giancarlo Stanton, Ronald Acuna, Bryce Harper, Leury Garcia, Darin Ruf, Mike Tauchman, Tommy Pham
For more, visit our BvP Matchup Page!
Overall Hitter Rankings
- Mitch Garver, Twins ($2700/$5200)
- Carson Kelly, Diamondbacks ($3500/$5000)
- JT Realmuto, Phillies ($2900/$4900)
- Sean Murphy, A’s ($2900/$4200)
- Luis Torrens, Mariners ($2100/$3700)
Notes: Garver is in the zone, hitting .357 with a .498 wOBA and just a 13.3% strikeout rate over his last five games. We love Carson Kelly whenever he is going against a lefty as he is hitting .438/.600/1.000 against southpaws with 3 HR’s this season. Realmuto, Murphy and Torrens are all middle-of-the-lineup bats that won’t cost us much on FD and are affordable on DK other than Realmuto. As I say every single night about catchers, we will likely skip them on FD and pay all the way down on DK.
- Vlad Guerrero, Blue Jays ($4000/$5100)
- Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals ($3000/$5100)
- Carlos Santana, Royals ($3100/$4700)
- Pete Alonso, Mets ($3700/$5400)
- Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals ($2700/$3700)
Notes: Vlad Guerrero and the Blue Jays offense have been on fire of late hitting .273 with a .353 wOBA over the last week. Vlad himself owns a .417 wOBA and 42.9% hard contact rate over the last seven games. The Cardinals offense is in a sneaky good spot today. Goldie is 7-18 (.389) over his last five games and has a 37.5% hard contact rate during that span. The Mets are also a very intriguing stack tonight centered around Pete Alonso. The Diamondbacks bullpen has been the worst in baseball this season giving up a .304 BAA, 2.03 HR/9, 36.9% HR/FB% and 46.6% hard contact rate against.
- DJ LeMahieu, Yankees ($3200/$5200)
- Josh Harrison, Nationals ($2800/$3300)
- Jorge Polanco, Twins ($3000/$4900)
- Jeff McNeil, Mets ($2900/$4500)
- Pat Valaika, Orioles ($2000/$3500)
Notes: We are going to aim for value from the 2B position here today. Jose Altuve’s price on FD is incredibly low and thus he qualifies in cash over there. LeMahieu doesn’t give us a ton of upside but has hit 4 HR and .353 BA against Patrick Corbin over his career. Polanco and these Twins bats are also going to go under-owned against a gas can in Tarik Skubal and the Tigers bullpen. Josh Harrison has a wonderful .403 wOBA over his last six games with a miniscule 4.8% strikeout rate in that span. Pat Valaika is a shocker here but is free on FD and super cheap on DK. Valaika is hitting .438 over his last six games and owns a triple slash of .264/.313/.484 against LHP in his career. That may not seem like much but is a 33% improvement over his slash against righties.
- Rafael Devers, Red Sox ($3700/$5300)
- Alex Bregman, Astros ($3600/$4800)
- Nolan Arenado, Cardinals ($3600/$4700)
- Josh Donaldson, Twins ($3100/$5100)
- Jeimer Candelario, Tigers ($2800/$3900)
Notes: Third base is a loaded position tonight and one that we will likely be paying up for. Check-in on Yankees 3B Gio Urshela when the Yankees lineup comes out. He was removed from the game yesterday and is set to have an MRI on his knee. He is in a tremendous spot here against Patrick Corbin and would make an excellent cash game 3B. But as of this writing, it doesn’t appear as though he will be playing. Arenado going against a lefty on his former team makes for a real nice contrarian cash game play for us here. Jeimer Candelario is crushing the baseball lately, racking up a .360 BA, .433 wOBA and .240 ISO over the last seven games.
- Gleyber Torres, Yankees ($3000/$4600)
- Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox ($3900/$5400)
- Trea Turner, Nationals ($4000/$5300)
- Francisco Lindor, Mets ($2700/$5000)
- Amed Rosario, Indians ($2300/$3600)
Notes: Torres edges out Bogaerts by a very narrow margin for the top spot but these are the closest top two at any position tonight. We want to get some Yankees in our lineup, especially the RHH ones, and Torres offers that opportunity at a fair price. I don’t know if there is a hotter hitter in all of baseball than Xander Bogaerts right now as evidenced by his .546 wOBA and 55.6% hard contact rate over his last six games. I am excited for Francisco Lindor beginning tonight as he has cut down the strikeouts while improving his pitches per plate appearance by almost 50% over the last week. He is about to get hot, and we could ride him all weekend at this price tag. Amed Rosario is our value option and hits .300/.340/.471 career against LHP.
- Ronald Acuna, Braves ($4200/$5700)
- Yordan Alvarez, Astros ($3500/$4400)
- Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees ($3800/$5100)
- Alex Verdugo, Red Sox ($3300/$4300)
- Ramon Laureano, A’s ($3600/$4900)
- Michael Conforto, Mets ($3000/$4100)
- Tyler O’Neil, Cardinals ($2700/$2800)
- Joey Gallo, Rangers ($3000/$3700)
- Bryce Harper, Phillies ($4000/$5800)
- Mitch Haniger, Mariners ($3200/$4300)
- Nelson Cruz, Twins ($3900/$5400)
- Trey Mancini, Orioles ($3600/$4300)
Notes: The OF position is pretty self-explanatory I believe. Ronald Acuna, Yordan Alvarez and especially Giancarlo Stanton are on fire and offer as much upside as any other single play on this slate. Alex Verdugo, Ramon Laureano and Michael Conforto are ideal mid-tier options here on teams that are expected to pound both the starter and bullpen of their opponents. We need to pay close attention to whether Twins OF Byron Buxton and Phillies OF Bryce Harper are in their respective lineups tonight. I included Harper here because if he is back, he is very much a cornerstone play at the top of the outfield pool. As the lineup info comes in, I will add a couple of value plays to this group as well as sort through these higher-priced options. Catch me on tonight’s DFS Core 4 Livestream with Kyle Elfrink at 6:10pm ET to run it all down for you.
DFS MLB Core 4
FANDUEL CORE 4
P – Charlie Morton, Braves ($7900)
SS – Francisco Lindor, Mets ($2700)
2B – Jeff McNeil, Mets ($2900)
OF – Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees ($3800)
DRAFTKINGS CORE 4
P – Charlie Morton, Braves ($7700)
SS – Gleyber Torres, Yankees ($4600)
OF – Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees ($5100)
OF – Joey Gallo, Rangers ($3700)