Everything you’ll need to stay above the payline in today’s DFS MLB Cash Games!
Today we have the venerable Ricky Sanders helping us out with his GPP breakdown article, Kenneth “Don’t call me Ken” Le holding down the MLB Cheat Sheet, and the man himself, Mr. Ted Schuster, will be with you in the VIP CHAT for the hour before lock.
Here is the entire content plan for today:
Early Bird – A complete writeup of all the early slate MLB games by the man, Scott Bondar.
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:
Saturday, May 8th
Only seven games on our Saturday slate with five southpaws among the 14 pitchers on the slate. We have the Freeway Series between the Dodgers and Angels with a pitcher’s duel featuring Clayton Kershaw and Dylan Bundy. The Dodgers hope to break out of the slumber and get their bats working. Lance Lynn makes his second start off a brief IL stint, and he’ll face the same Royals he dropped an 11-K CGSO on in early April. Cristian Javier has been outstanding this season until last week’s poor start, and he hopes to tame the high-flying and powerful Toronto Blue Jays, who have been mashing opposing pitchers. Something will have to give.
Many of the hitters to build from today will come from SEA-TEX and ARI-NYM because of the pitchers on the mound (see: pitchers to target against section). And the Orioles essentially have a bullpen game against the league’s best offense (Red Sox) with rookie lefty Zac Lowther making his first career start and the very hittable Adam Plutko slated to throw a couple innings after him.
Some rain earlier in the day in Kansas City that we hope stays light and doesn’t affect the Lynn-Lynch duel. Something to keep an eye on before lock.
For more info and updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center.
1 – Atlanta Braves: -168
2 – Chicago White Sox: -165
3 – Houston Astros: -145
4 – Los Angeles Dodgers: -145
Highest Run Expectancy
1 – Atlanta Braves: 5.2
2 – Chicago White Sox: 5.1
3 – Boston Red Sox: 5.0
4 – Houston Astros: 4.9
Lowest Run Expectancy
1 – Los Angeles Angels: 3.7
2 – Arizona Diamondbacks: 3.8
3 – Philadelphia Phillies: 4.0
4 – Kansas City Royals: 4.0
Today's Pitchers Grid
Today’s Best Pitchers
1 – Lance Lynn, RHP, White Sox ($9,500 DK, $10,400 FD)
We have a handful of good pitchers on this slate but Lynn is reasonably priced on DK and has the best matchup of the field. He spent a quick stint on the IL where he missed a start but otherwise has been masterful with a 1.82 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 30% K, 4.1% BB in four starts. One of those four happened to come against the Royals and it was a complete game shutout with 11 strikeouts and no walks. These Royal bats are incredibly inconsistent from PA to PA outside of Whit Merrifield and Lynn should have a field day here against them.
2 – Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Dodgers ($10,500 DK, $11,000 FD)
Do you really think that Kershaw is going to follow up the worst start of his career with another stinker? Kershaw was pulled after the first inning earlier this week after the Cubs dropped four runs on him quickly. He’s pissed and he is going to take it out on the Halos. The group of active Angels bats has a .160 average against him in 135 PA. Trout is just 3-for-18 (.167) lifetime, while Upton is 7-for-45 (.156) with 17 strikeouts. The Angels are never an easy opponent and collectively tough to strike out. But I’d see what I could do about getting him into a cash lineup. It’s just that Lynn for 1k cheaper on DK is a priority. The Dodgers also happen to be big road favorites tonight against their crosstown rivals, and that’s with a good SP opposing him in Dylan Bundy.
3 – Ian Anderson, RHP, Braves ($8,900 DK, $7,900 FD)
The former third overall pick of the 2016 draft is a star in the making…if he can harness his control and keep his free passes to a minimum. Anderson boasts a career 2.62 ERA in 12 major league starts along with an impressive 28% strikeout rate and a near-13% swinging-strike rate in six starts this season. His career home ERA is 2.53 and opposing batters in his home park have a paltry .251 wOBA against him. Anderson’s first two starts of the season were against the Phillies – one of which was a gem while the other he served up two homers – neither game resulted in a win. But he did strike out 13 batters in 10.1 innings and walked just three. The Phillies’ lineup isn’t particularly fearsome outside of Harper and Realmuto and Anderson’s FD price tag is very tempting for tonight’s slate.
Also Consider: Garrett Richards, RHP, Red Sox ($8,200 DK, $7,400 FD), but that one is better used for GPP. I’d like it better if he were at home, but he’ll be in Camden. Either way, Richards compiled 17 strikeouts in his last two outings (@ TEX, @ NYM), switching up his pitch mix to throw fewer fastballs and more breaking pitches.
- Daniel Lynch, LHP, Royals ($5,300 DK, $6,000 FD)
Difficult to not at least consider the stud phenom lefty against a White Sox squad now without two of its best bats (Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert). Lynch was clearly filled with nerves in his debut earlier this week as he walked four batters and gave up three runs but nearly lasted five innings and displayed great control of his four offerings, one of which is a wicked 85 mph slider. Another is his 95-mph four-seamer. Weather in this game won’t be conducive to hitting, so we may end up with a pitcher’s duel and a low-scoring affair. Better in GPP’s on DK or FD with expensive hitters if you believe he steps up for the first of many great career starts.
Pitchers to Target Against
- Kohei Arihara (RHP/Rangers) – Success overseas doesn’t always translate well to the states as is the case with the 28-year-old vet from Japan. He did have great back-to-back outings a few weeks ago but otherwise has been pummeled. Specifically his last two starts (5 ER, 4 BB @ CHW; 6 ER, 4 HR v BOS). In 25 IP he has a 5.76 ERA with a 9.33 xERA and a measly 13.1% strikeout rate. Bad against LHH but getting pounded by RHH to the tune of a .345 wOBA and 5 HR allowed in 13.2 IP.
- Joey Lucchesi (LHP/Mets) – Just not the guy we thought he could be back in the days with his famous churve pitch as a member of the Padres. Nice strikeout arm (10.13 K/9 this season, 9.29 career) but has been smoked in all appearances this year. Has a 10.13 ERA, 1.59 WHIP and a shockingly high 12.1% barrel rate. Has a 1.6 HR/9 for his career against RHH’s.
- Others to target would be the Orioles guys (Zac Lowther and Adam Plutko). Lowther is a rookie lefty pitching maybe two innings tops and Plutko has been awful against lefties in his career – 5.94 FIP, 1.93 HR/9, 12.3% K.
- When Vince Velasquez (Phillies) isn’t on his game (which isn’t often), he makes for a great target as well. Both handedness hit him evenly for power (1.45/1.46 HR/9) but he walks nearly 11% of LHH’s and has a 1.50 WHIP / 4.61 FIP against them over the course of his career.
- The Mariners plan to have Erik Swanson (RHP) open and he’ll likely pitch one to three innings. He will be followed up by either Ljay Newsome or Robert Dugger (both RHP). Newsome threw 27 pitches on Wednesday, while Dugger threw 26 on Tuesday. Who comes up is situation dependent and we won’t know ahead of time. Swanson hasn’t allowed a run in four innings (one start, one relief appearance) but had 11 ER in 7.2 IP last year and had a 5.74 ERA in 2019. Newsome is a 26th round pick, essentially 2-pitch pitcher with a 4.00 career ERA in the minors and 10 ER allowed in 13.2 career MLB innings. But he had decent control and a high K rate in the minors. Dugger is the most well-rounded of the three with four pitches in his arsenal as he utilizes his slider and curve over 50 percent of the time. A Swanson-Newsome combo might be best for Rangers’ left-handed hitters.
TARGETING STOLEN BASES
(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 tonight.
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 – Salvador Perez (KC)
1B – Freddie Freeman (ATL), Pete Alonso (NYM)
2B – Ozzie Albies (ATL)
3B – n/a
SS – Nick Ahmed (ARI)
OF – Mookie Betts (LAD), Cedric Mullins (BAL), Bryce Harper (PHI)
For more, visit our BvP Matchup Page!
Overall Hitter Rankings
1 – Carson Kelly, RH/Diamondbacks ($5,300 DK, $3,800 FD)
2 – Christian Vazquez, RH/Red Sox ($4,200 DK, $2,600 FD)
3 – William Contreras, RH/Braves ($3,300 DK)
4 – Jonah Heim, SW/Rangers ($3,100 DK)
Notes: Kelly (ARI) is slashing .318/.473/.621 with six homers and a 19.8% walk rate. He has a .529 ISO and a .587 wOBA against left-handed pitchers this season. Vazquez (BOS) leads all catchers with four stolen bases and has a great matchup. Contreras (ATL) is a solid prospect who is the younger brother of Willson and might hit sixth in the lineup today. Heim (TEX) is a handedness punt against what will likely be RHP for the Mariners.
1 – Marwin Gonzalez, SW/Red Sox ($3,400 DK, $2,400 FD)
2 – Nate Lowe, LH/Rangers ($4,300 DK, $3,100 FD)
3 – Christian Walker, RH/Diamondbacks ($4,000 DK, $2,400 FD)
4 – Freddie Freeman, LH/Braves ($3,400 DK, $4,000 FD)
5 – Pete Alonso, RH/Mets ($5,100 DK, $3,900 FD)
Notes: Gonzalez (BOS) and Lowe (TEX) are two of the best plays on the slate and Gonzalez will be on the chalkier side if he gets to lead off again today. Gonzalez is 1B/2B on DK and 1B/OF on FD, but I’ve listed him at 1B here since that’s the common position. However, I’d consider using someone else on the list and popping Marwin in elsewhere. Walker (ARI) is the sneaky pivot as the #3 hitter for his team facing the lefty Lucchesi. Freeman (ATL) and Alonso (NYM) are the two spend-up options. Freeman is 10-for-29 against Velasquez but with no homers and Freeman is on a cold streak. Alonso is preferred against LHP but works here today as well.
1 – Jose Altuve, RH/Astros ($4,800 DK, $3,400 FD)
2 – Jonathan Villar, SW/Mets ($3,500 DK, $2,000 FD)
3 – Ozzie Albies, SW/Braves ($4,600 DK, $3,300 FD)
4 – FANDUEL SPECIAL: Max Muncy, LH/Dodgers ($3,200)
Notes: Altuve (HOU) the top play for raw points with four hits in his last nine at-bats and facing Matz the lefty who has struggled his last two starts. Villar (NYM) is eligible at 2B/3B/SS on FD, and he’s been playing every day lately for IL’d 3B J.D. Davis. Villar got his first SB last night and has three multi-hit games in his last five. Albies (ATL) hasn’t done much offensively over the last couple weeks but has been consistently getting hits and getting on base. Muncy (LAD) has a good matchup against Bundy who has a propensity for giving up homers to lefty bats plus Muncy leads the majors in walks by a wide margin.
1 – Kyle Seager, LH/Mariners ($4,800 DK, $2,900 FD)
3 – Rafael Devers, LH/Red Sox ($5,100 DK, $3,500 FD)
3 – Alex Bregman, RH/Astros ($4,600 DK, $3,600 FD)
4 – Austin Riley, RH/Braves ($3,900 DK, $2,500 FD)
Notes: Seager (SEA) is my favorite play as the Mariners’ most consistent hitter and facing the struggling righty Arihara. All five of his homers have come against RHP and he has a .273 ISO against them. Devers (BOS) and Bregman (HOU) are the two spend-up options. Keep in mind that Baltimore’s lefty Lowther may not be long for the game and that righty Plutko should come in not long after. Riley (ATL) on FD is the affordable route but I’d still focus on one of the top three and pay up at the position.
1 – Xander Bogaerts, RH/Red Sox ($5,200 DK, $3,600 FD)
2 – Francisco Lindor, SW/Mets ($4,900 DK, $2,900 FD)
3 – Carlos Correa, RH/Astros ($5,000 DK, $3,000 FD)
4 – Tim Anderson, RH/White Sox ($5,300 DK, $3,800 FD)
5 – Corey Seager, LH/Dodgers ($5,100 DK, $3,500 FD)
6 – FANDUEL SPECIAL: J.P. Crawford, LH/Mariners ($2,300)
Notes: Plenty of options listed for you here, but I’d lean on Bogaerts (BOS) and Lindor (NYM) as the top guys, and I’d also expect both to be the chalkiest. Lindor finally got off the schneid with his second homer of the season and first at Citi Field. Correa (HOU) is in play against a lefty for sure, and Anderson (CHW) leading off again facing the rookie lefty Lynch in his second career start. Don’t advise the punt, but if you wanted to go that direction on FD, then it’s Crawford.
1 – J.D. Martinez, RH/Red Sox ($5,200 DK, $4,300 FD)
2 – Ronald Acuña Jr., RH/Braves ($5,600 DK, $4,400 FD)
3 – Joey Gallo, LH/Rangers ($3,800 DK, $3,000 FD)
4 – Willie Calhoun, LH/Rangers ($3,700 DK, $2,800 FD)
5 – Michael Conforto, LH/Mets ($4,100 DK, $3,100 FD)
6 – Cavan Biggio, LH/Blue Jays ($3,300 DK, $2,400 FD)
7 – Tim Locastro, RH/Diamondbacks ($3,000 DK, $2,300 FD)
8 – Mookie Betts, RH/Dodgers ($5,700 DK, $3,900 FD)
9 – Hunter Renfroe, RH/Red Sox ($3,000 DK, $2,500 FD)
10 – Adolis Garcia, RH/Rangers ($3,600 DK, $3,300 FD)
11 – Marcell Ozuna, RH/Braves ($4,900 DK, $3,500 FD)
12 – FANDUEL SPECIAL: Cedric Mullins, LH/Orioles ($3,000)
Notes: Can’t list everyone that’s why I don’t have red-hot Mike Trout or Shohei Ohtani on the list as I’m expecting a solid outing from Kershaw and don’t want to use hitters against him. You can use those Angels in GPP’s if you’d like, but there are safer options at the top with Martinez (BOS) and Acuña Jr. (ATL) heading the list.
Love both Rangers Gallo and Calhoun. Gallo offers more power upside but surprisingly it isn’t by much as Calhoun has plenty of it. Calhoun has a .338/.403/.492 slash with 10 runs scored and three homers in 17 games since coming off IL. Conforto (NYM) hitting third against noodle-armed Merrill Kelly is another useable option though he likely won’t be that popular today. Biggio (TOR) has struggled this season but that’s reflected in his price as he’s incredibly cheap on both sites and could pop off at any time. Astros’ pitcher Cristian Javier is human after all and he displayed that with three runs and two walks allowed in his last outing. Blue Jays won’t be popular in cash so their best use is as leverage over Javier in GPP’s. If Locastro (ARI) is leading off I’d be interested in him at the low prices as well.
DFS MLB Core 4
FANDUEL CORE 4
P – Lance Lynn
1B/OF – Marwin Gonzalez
3B – Kyle Seager
OF – J.D. Martinez or SS – Xander Bogaerts
DRAFTKINGS CORE 4
SP1 – Lance Lynn
1B/2B – Marwin Gonzalez
3B – Kyle Seager
OF – J.D. Martinez or SS – Xander Bogaerts