For the time being, we will post our DFS MLB Content Schedule here at the top of the article. We will update it with links to each piece when it is LIVE so check back throughout the day:
Cash Game Breakdown –The article you are currently reading.
Bullpen Coach – Full breakdown of everything you need to know about each teams bullpen.
Hitting Coach – A deep dive about the top hitters & fades for today’s MLB slate.
Pitching Coach – In-depth breakdown of today’s starting pitchers
DFS MLB Cheatsheet – 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.
MLB Now Livestream – Daily video show breaking down the players, matchups & slate.
MLB Summary – A quick summary of the articles, shows & coaching sessions from today.
Today’s Coaching Sessions
All sessions take place in the MLB Chat Room
- Bullpen Coach (Phil Backert) – 9am ET
- Pitching Coach (DraftCheat) – OFF
- Hitting Coach (Vlad Sedler) – OFF
Also Be Sure To Bookmark:
The Opening Line –Corey Parson & Benny Ricciardi get you ready for today in sports
Don’t be one of those people who react all angrily when somebody says, “Happy Memorial Day.” Should we say “happy” in front of Memorial Day? No, but of all the people that will say those words today, exactly zero of them mean any harm by it.
Memorial Day is more than just a day off (for most of you!) and a time to fire up the new barbecue grill. Sure, those are some amazing fringe benefits but to anyone who has served or has had family serve in the military it means a lot more.
I am not a veteran, though I almost signed up for the Army back in my first year of college but that is a story for another time. I did however, grow up hearing stories from my Father who was in the US Navy for five years including serving in the Korean War. My Father was fortunate enough to make it home after that conflict though he lost his Father (who was a former Marine) while he was out there. It is something that he never fully got over and would tell my Brothers & Sisters these stories while fighting back tears.
When he passed away, an officer presented a folded American flag to my Mother and said, “On behalf of the President of the United States and Chief of Naval Operations, please accept this flag as a symbol for your Husbands service to this country and a grateful United States Navy.”
It was such a moving moment to me as a young man (22 years old) that I will never forget it or the realization at that moment of what it means and the pride that comes with having protected our freedoms. My Father like so many men & women were willing to give their lives so that scumbags like us could sit on our asses, eat cheeseburgers and play daily fantasy baseball on a bright and sunny afternoon. OK, maybe that wasn’t the full intent, but you get the idea.
So, no matter what you do today and whether you win or lose at DFS, take a second to think about the millions of fallen heroes over the years that have allowed us this amazing opportunity. If you have any veterans in your family, take a minute out of your day to thank them and allow them to tell you a bit about their journey.
Alright, on to some baseball. Because of the holiday today, there are mostly all afternoon games with just four games being played after 7pm ET. Fanduel is a disaster today as they broke the early slate up even more by having only the first seven 1pm ET games on their main slate. Normally I am focused on the later slate but today I am covering all game but the four late ones (7pm ET+). Four games are not true cash game slates anyways to that works out best for our purposes.
Max Scherzer at home against the Marlins. What could possibly go wrong? Well, he did only put up 25 FD points against them in Miami back on the 20thof April so there is that in the back of our minds today. But as we look at all the other pitchers going here today it is really laughable how few options grade out as even mediocre. To say that I am not uber confident in my mid-tier or value options today would be an understatement. More on that below.
The other aspect we need to address at the top today is that FD has left off Coors Field while DraftKings have included it in their early slate. That GREATLY alters everything we want to do depending on the site you are playing at. I will say that the extended pitching options also come in quite handy on DK today.
Alright, let’s get to it. I will do the best that I can to hit on all of the day games today and give us what we need to build quality lineups not matter which slate you are playing.
Here is the DFS MLB Cash Game Breakdown for Memorial Day 2019:
Kansas City Royals at Chicago White Sox – There are thunderstorms all over the Chicago area beginning in late morning and lasting most of the night. The Whitesox are pretty aggressive about trying to get their games in especially on holiday’s when there will be over 100 people in the stands. But this one carries great risk for our DFS purposes today.
Milwaukee Brewers at Minnesota Twins –The four-game evening slate might actually be a three game slate after this one gets rained out. It will be raining all day long in Minneapolis, though it clears out late they might wind up calling this one early on to avoid people traveling in the downpour.
For more info and updated forecast, please check out our MLB Weather Center
1) Washington Nationals: -280
2) Cincinnati Reds: -215
3) Houston Astros: -180
4) Boston Red Sox: -180
5) Tampa Bay Rays: -175
Highest Run Expectancy
1) Cincinnati Reds: 5.43
2) Washington Nationals: 5.41
3) Boston Red Sox: 5.40
4) Chicago Whitesox: 5.13
5) Colorado Rockies: 5.10
Lowest Run Expectancy
1) Miami Marlins: 2.59
2) San Diego Padres: 3.33
3) Chicago Cubs: 3.35
4) Toronto Blue Jays: 3.52
5) Pittsburgh Pirates: 3.57
Today's Pitchers Grid
TODAY’S BEST PITCHERS
1)Max Scherzer, RHP, Nationals ($11,800/$11,100) –If you just match names to matchups, this one is a no-brainer. We can all recognize that Scherzer is one of if not the best pitcher in MLB. We can further agree that the Marlins are among if not the worst hitting team in MLB. I can cycle through fifty stats to support both points but we don’t need to bother with any of that here. What matters is that Scherzer is very expensive and he hasn’t had much success against the Marlins. For his career, Scherzer has surrendered a .302/.365/.538 triple slash, a .389 wOBA and just a 21.0% strikeout rate against. You can scoff against the BvP all that you like but a 204 PA sample is absolutely worth worrying about. He’s still the #1 pitcher given his talents and the matchup. But, ideally I would like to pay down for a mid-tier or value arm and use the savings for bats. This isn’t setting up well for that strategy though as you will read in a few moments.
2) Luis Castillo, RHP, Reds ($9600/$10,700) – This feels a lot better to me. Castillo is $2200 less than Scherzer, at home and a -215 favorite against the Pirates. Castillo has struck out the 10thmost hitters so far this season and owns the third best ERA in MLB. He’s also 11thin MLB in K/9 and owns the 7thbest swinging strike rate in MLB at 14.9%. Though both Cole and Scherzer are ahead of him in missed bats (slightly), Castillo owns the best GB% of the three aces today (60.0-43.8-39.5), has given up the least HR’s (4-6-11) and owns the best hard contact rate against (30.1-36.5-38.6). As good as he’s been there’s little reason to believe he’ll regress anytime soon. His fourseam fastball features the 10thmost velocity in MLB and 18thmost horizontal movement. His sinker has the fourth highest velocity and fourth most horizontal movement. Castillo has also dominated these Pirates bats throughout his career surrendering just a .182 BA, .296 wOBA, 2 HR’s and a 22.5% K% against them.
3) Yonny Chirinos, RHP, Rays ($5500/$7900) – There isn’t much to choose from in the mid to low tiers of starting pitchers this afternoon. Chirinos is the go-to guy on Fanduel though for sure since he will only cost you the bare minimum. Chirinos last three outings have come against the Yankees twice and the Dodgers. He’s given up just three ER over 12.1 innings in those starts which is solid but not spectacular. In the four previous starts before that though he was going deeper into games and averaging 28.3 FD points per game. The Blue Jays have the worst BA (.188), third worst wOBA (.273) and fourth worst strikeout rate (26.2%) over the last seven games. Toronto has the third worst wOBA .287 and third worst strikeout rate (25.5%) for the season as well. All we are looking for here is 20+ FD points while snatching up all premium bats.
4) Rick Porcello, RHP, Red Sox (Not On Fanduel/$7300) – Obviously this is a DK only play since the Indians/Red Sox game isn’t on the FD slate. There isn’t much to see here other than Porcello will go deeper into the game than others at his pricepoint and the Indians have been dogshit lately. Cleveland is heading to Boston while hitting just .206 with a .199 wOBA over their last 9 games. All we are going to get out of Porcello here will be six innings, five strikeouts, two runs given up, a quality start and a win. At this price, on this slate we can use this to our advantage.
1) Coors Field – 49.8% above average in runs scored, 29.1% above average in HR’s, 22.2% above average in 2B and 208.3% above average in 3B.
2) Camden Yards –21.4% above average in runs scored, 40.3% above average on HR’s, 62.0% above average in 3B.
3) Guaranteed Rate Field –17.7% above average in runs scored, 51.3% above average in HR’s.
4) Great American Ballpark –17.0% above average in runs scored, 27.7%. above average in HR’s.
PITCHERS TO TARGET AGAINST
1) Ivan Nova, Whitesox – .345 BAA, 4.81 xFIP, 1.77 WHIP, 20.4% HR/FB%, 1.82 HR/9, 8.9% swinging strike rate, 35.2% hard contact rate.
2) Nick Kingham, Pirates – .333 BAA, 5.41 xFIP, 1.99 WHIP, 40.5% FB%, 1.46 HR/9, 8.3% swinging strike rate, 37.8% hard contact rate.
3) Homer Bailey, Royals – .270 BAA, 4.52 xFIP, 1.53 WHIP, 15.6% HR/FB%, 1.34 HR/9, 51.1% hard contact rate.
4) Trevor Cahill, Angels – .251 BAA, 5.01 xFIP, 37.8% FB%, 23.7% HR/FB%, 2.57 HR/9, 45.2% hard contact rate.
5) Jefry Rodriguez, Indians – .254 BAA, 4.96 xFIP, 1.36 WHIP, 1.27 HR/9, 7.8% swinging strike rate, 40.0% hard contact rate.
6) Jose Urena, Marlins – .288 BAA, 4.65 xFIP, 1.45 WHIP, 8.8% swinging strike rate, 42.3% hard contact rate.
(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)
|10||Vladimir Guerrero Jr.||TOR||161||698||48||123||111||4||12.3||15.80||0.290||0.313||0.311||0.401||0.601||0.419||166|
|13||Ronald Acuna Jr.||ATL||82||360||24||72||52||17||13.6||23.60||0.313||0.311||0.283||0.394||0.596||0.412||157|
|16||Frank Schwindel||- - -||64||259||14||44||43||2||6.2||15.80||0.264||0.348||0.326||0.371||0.591||0.403||152|
|17||Fernando Tatis Jr.||SDP||130||546||42||99||97||25||11.4||28.00||0.328||0.324||0.282||0.364||0.611||0.403||156|
|22||Kyle Schwarber||- - -||113||471||32||76||71||1||13.6||27.00||0.288||0.306||0.266||0.374||0.554||0.392||145|
BATTER VS. PITCHER
C – Tucker Barnhart, Chris Iannetta
1B – Anthony Rizzo, Carlos Santana
2B – Howie Kendrick, Starlin Castro, Jason Kipnis
3B – Anthony Rendon, Martin Prado, Kris Bryant
SS – Addison Russell, Francisco Lindor
OF – Gerrardo Parra, Curtis Granderson, Kevin Kiermaier, Alex Gordon, Leonys Martin, Mike Trout, Robbie Grossman
For More BvP info check out ourBvP Matchup Page
OVERALL HITTER RANKINGS
1) Gary Sanchez, Yankees
2) Tucker Barnhart, Reds
3) Robinson Chirinos, Astros
4) Pedro Severino, Orioles
Notes: Sanchez is in a league all of his own today but is crazy expensive compared to other catchers. Tucker Barnhart is on a tear hitting .417 with 2 HR over his last four games. Barnhart is better from the left side and draws the flyball and HR prone Nick Kingham. Remember that Robinson Chirinos caught Cole Hamels while both were in Texas. I like playing catchers against pitchers they previously caught and the results have been quite good in doing so.
1) Matt Olson, A’s
2) Justin Smoak, Blue Jays
3) Luke Voit, Yankees
4) Daniel Murphy, Rockies
5) Joey Votto, Reds
Notes: Trevor Cahill is a homerun machine and Matt Olson has been crushing the baseball lately. Olson has a 42.6% hard contact rate, 2 HR, .368 BA and .421 ISO over his last five games. Justin Smoak is 7-21 (.333) with 5 HR, 9 RBI, 5 runs and averaging 23.9 FD points per game over his last five games. Daniel Murphy had two hits yesterday but has been pretty cold over the last two weeks. Still, he grades out well against Greinke here in Coors Field this afternoon.
1) Whit Merrifield, Royals
2) Hanser Alberto, Orioles
3) Brendan Rodgers, Rockies
4) Tommy La Stella, Angels
5) Nick Ahmed, Diamondbacks
Notes:Be sure to watch the weather in Chicago to make sure that the game is not postponed if you use Merrifield. Hanser Alberto is still crazy cheap despite being one of the hottest hitters in baseball right now. Alberto has a .478/.500/.739 triple slash with a .521 wOBA over his last six games. Both 2B from Coors are in play here with the rookie Brendan Rodgers grading out higher than the veteran Nick Ahmed.
1) Anthony Rendon, Nationals
2) Nolan Arenado, Rockies
3) Matt Chapman, A’s
4) Rafael Devers, Red Sox
5) Vlad Guerrero Jr, Blue Jays
Notes:Once again, third base is a position that we are going to pay up for today. Even if you decide to roll with the premium arms, you’re going to have to carve up a spot for Rendon, Arenado, Chapman or Devers tonight. Guerrero is the value here today but it is not like he’s cheap or anything. Keep an eye on Manny Machado here as well. The Yankees haven’t officially declared their starter as of this writing and depending who they go with it could push Manny ahead of both Devers and Vlad Jr.
1) Gleyber Torres, Yankees
2) Adalberto Mondesi, Royals
3) Trevor Story, Rockies
4) Trea Turner, Nationals
5) Marcus Semien, A’s
Notes: Gleyber Torres is destroying the world right now with a .571 ISO and 4 HR over his last six games. Now he gets a finesse LHP at home at Yankees Stadium which is a terrific zone matchup for him. Mondesi is among the Royals and Whitesox players who are in play for cash purposes but will be at the mercy of the Chicago rain. This might the only time that Marcus Semien makes the cut without a lefty being on the mound. But that is the nature of this smaller slate. The A’s mini-stacks should be a target in every DFS MLB lineup this afternoon.
1) Juan Soto, Nationals
2) Tommy Pham, Rays
3) Nick Senzel, Reds
4) Trey Mancini, Orioles
5) Aaron Hicks, Yankees
6) Franmil Reyes, Padres
7) Mookie Betts, Red Sox
8) JD Martinez, Red Sox
9) Raimel Tapia, Rockies
10) Clint Frazier, Yankees
11) Adam Jones, Diamondbacks
12) Austin Meadows, Rays
Notes: I had to include a few extra players here because of the three extra games that are on the DK slate but not on the FD one.Juan Soto gets top billing no matter which one you’re playing thanks to his .618 wOBA, .522 BA, 293 wRC+, 2 HR and .436 ISO over the past week. The Reds outfield is all in play but Nick Senzel is the best. The Reds rookie has gotten on base or posted positive fantasy points in all but two games so far this season. Other places to target tonight are the Red Sox, Rockies and Ray outfield as there are multiple good plays on each team here today.