5/24 MLB DFS Picks: A Shark in Open Water
DailyRoto’s MLB Solo Shot Host, Logan Hitchcock, gets you headed in the right direction with his 5/24 MLB DFS Picks. Check out where his mind is at today when it comes to roster construction at FantasyDraft. where they put players first – Daily fantasy baseball on a level playing field. Check them out tonight. Now, on to the the picks for tonight’s action.
Where to focus?
On a slate lacking many notable run scoring environments, the focus tonight turns to the Boston Red Sox at home in Fenway Park. Despite being one of the worst parks for left-handed power, Fenway ranked in the top third of the league in terms of home runs for right-handed hitters (via FanGraphs Park Factors by handedness). That bodes well for the Sox offense tonight that will carry in a bunch of right-handed bats to face southpaw Jorge De La Rosa. De La Rosa has been serviceable against lefties in his career, but has allowed a .349 wOBA to right-handers along with more than one homer per nine innings. The Red Sox offense has the highest implied run total on this slate (5.3 runs) and feature a variety of bats worthy of selection. Mookie Betts ($10,500) might be difficult to fit into your lineups, but he’s an excellent play along with those that follow, Dustin Pedroia ($8,400) and Xander Bogaerts ($10,000). Furthermore, the Red Sox might be able to provide a lot of value if platoon outfield Chris Young ($6,000) draws a start. Young has posted a career .365 wOBA and a .212 ISO against southpaws. For around the minimum price tag, he becomes an excellent value.
Should you decide that the Red Sox bats are too expensive, keep trying to attack the middling price tags attached to the Detroit Tigers bats. The Tigers draw a matchup with flyball prone Jeremey Hellickson and have one of the highest implied run totals on the slate. Hellickson has been better than anticipated so far this season, pitching to a 3.50 xFIP, but he’s allowed nearly two homers per nine innings thus far. Miguel Cabrera ($8,700) is still insanely cheap given his skill set and the big guy keeps hitting, launching another couple of homeruns last night. If you want to pair a bat with Miggy, Victor Martinez ($6,800) continues to play near the bottom of the salary spectrum. Hellickson has struggled with left-handers so far this season (.370 wOBA) and V-Mart will get the luxury of hitting behind Miggy and from the left-side.
The Pirates bats have become a bit more valuable after a string of high priced nights. Their matchup with Shelby Miller is one that has been frequently attacked so far this season as Miller has struggled to keep the ball park and keep men off the bases. He’s pitched to a 5.58 xFIP while allowing just under two homers per nine. He will get the luxury of a positive park shift as PNC Park is far from a hitting paradise, but the matchup is ripe nonetheless. Gregory Polanco ($9,300) is back to a reasonable price tag and Andrew McCutchen ($8,800) has reached extremely valuable territory. Furthermore, John Jaso ($7,200) just keeps hitting and should be leading off tonight.
On the Bump…
While there weren’t a ton of offensive juggernauts to focus on tonight, there is more than a fair share of quality pitching on the slate.
Chris Sale ($26,700) has reached a Kershaw like price, but it won’t stop me from using him. He draws a matchup with the divisional foe, Cleveland Indians who hold an implied run total below three runs. Sale has been incredible so far this season, but he’s been working more efficiently and perhaps less effectively for daily fantasy purposes. By less effectively, I only mean that his strikeout rate and SwStr% have seen a dip so far this season. Nevertheless, he’s earned a 1.58 ERA is walking less hitters than ever and still projects to positively regress in terms of strikeouts this season. He becomes more of a risk tonight due to the price and the decline in strikeouts, but he is certainly in play.
Perhaps a safer route than Chris Sale tonight is Stephen Strasburgh ($26,100). Strasburg comes at a bit of a discount and draws a matchup with the same New York Mets team that he dominated in his last time out. The Mets have an implied run total just over three runs and despite being one of the better teams against right-handed pitching this year, they’ll be without Lucas Duda who has a stress fracture in his back. Strasburg has been excellent this season, producing a 2.70 xFIP, striking out over 11 batters per nine innings and producing his best SwStr% since his rookie season. He’s still dealing with a slightly above average BABIP, but hasn’t let that stop him from dominating the scene this year. I love Stras tonight.
At an even much bigger savings the rejuvenated Shark, Jeff Samardzija ($22,800) takes the bump again tonight against the San Diego Padres. Samardzija rolled through the Padres in his last start and this time game being at home is even more of a reason to roll the dice. Not only will you receive a significant salary savings when deciding to use Samardzija, but you’ll also get the safest matchup on the board with a Padres team that has been the worst in the league in terms of wOBA, second worst in wRC+ and third worst in terms of K%. The Shark has seen a bit of a bump in his strikeout rate this season with the move back to the National League and while you can’t expect gaudy strikeout numbers, it should be enough to return value in this solid matchup.
Beyond the top three there are multiple options in play, but none are as safe as the aforementioned trio. David Price ($17,200) will most likely be a popular play due to his reduced price tag, but the Rockies have been no slouch to left-handed starters, producing the 5th best wOBA and 5th best ISO against them so far this season. What does bode well for price is that the Rockies also strike out over 25% of the time to left-handed pitchers, something that plays into the hand of Price who has had more success striking out right-handed hitters in the last few seasons.
Francisco Liriano is perhaps the most volatile of the available options tonight but he draws the Arizona Diamondbacks on a big negative park shift tonight. The price tag will also put him on many radars, especially given that it is easy to pair him with one of the original trio and still load up on offensive weapons. Liriano still averages more than a strikeout per inning and gets an above average rate of groundballs, but the command has been lacking this season. It’s difficult to sit and watch as a cash game pitcher walks hitter after hitter and Liriano’s walk rate suggests he’s capable of doing so tonight. He’s an option, but one that I’d carefully consider before pulling the trigger.