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May 1 MLB DFS: Marlins on Sale
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May 1 MLB DFS: Marlins on Sale

01:57 Starting Pitchers
13:30 Catchers
14:44 First Base
18:20 Second Base
21:14 Shortstop
24:38 Third Base
26:16 Outfield
31:08 Cash Game Roster Construction and Stacks


May 1 MLB DFS Pro-Tip

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Clayton Kershaw (LAD)

Tier Two

2) Noah Syndergaard (NYM) – weather risk

Tier Three

3) Max Scherzer (WAS)

4) Madison Bumgarner (SF) – weather risk

5) Chris Sale (CHW) – weather risk

6) Rich Hill (OAK)

7) Danny Salazar (CLE) – weather risk

8) David Price (BOS)

Tier Four

9) Vincent Velasquez (PHI) – weather risk

10) Carlos Martinez (STL)

11) John Lackey (CHC)

Tier Five

12) Marcus Stroman (TOR)

13) Raisel Iglesias (CIN) – health risk/weather risk

14) Drew Pomeranz (SD)

15) Taijuan Walker (SEA)

16) Jake Odorizzi (TB)

This is one of the deepest slate for SP we’ve ever seen. Clayton Kershaw (LAD) once again sits in a tier of his own. While Noah Syndergaard (NYM) has closed the gap in terms of skill, the two pitchers face a significant difference in opposing matchup. Kershaw faces a Padres offense that while very right-handed, still projects as below average against LHP. They’ve shown some improvement early on in the season, especially with Melvin Upton making more contact, but Vegas isn’t showing them very much respect (2.2 implied run total) and Kershaw is a monstrous -300 favorite. Syndergaard faces a Giants offense that has the fewest strikeouts against RHP (14.3 percent) and ranks inside the Top 10 in wRC+ against RHP (a park-adjusted metric). They’re a very underrated offense. Perhaps, we get a “Sunday lineup” out of them that waters down the lineup, but Syndergaard’s matchup is far worse on paper than Kershaw, especially for strikeouts. The price gap between the two makes the decision a difficult one, but we’d prefer Kershaw I you’re able to squeeze him into lineups.

The third tier of starters is loaded with aces. With an emphasis on Kershaw or Syndergaard by default, most of this tier is going to serve as tournament targets or complementary starters on multiple starting pitcher sites but only if we get a significantly discounted price tag. The candidates that are most likely to come with the discounted tag are Danny Salazar (CLE) and Rich Hill (OAK) who don’t have the pedigree of the other third tier starters, but have the indicators and matchups to match. Salazar faces a Phillies offense that ranks 26th in wRC+ against RHP and projects similarly as a bottom five offense in the league. He gets the benefit of pitching in the National League and not having to face the DH which should keep the run scoring down. Salazar’s stuff has been great early in the season (94.8 mph average fastball, 12.9 swinging strike rate), but he’s struggled to generate as many swings outside of the strike zone and in turn his BB Rate has been elevated. The Phillies have the second lowest BB Rate in the league against RHP, making a good match for Salazar. Hill has been extraordinary. So much so, that we encourage you to read that article and play the corresponding games. The Astros project above average against LHP but they strikeout a decent bit (25.4 percent K Rate against LHP) and they rank 20th in pitch value against curveballs since the start of 2015 (29th this season). Rich Hill throws his curveball almost 35 percent of the time and it’s a reverse split pitch that has helped him keep RHBs to a .274 wOBA with a 32.3 percent K Rate since the start of 2013. Hill’s discounted price tag is one to target on multiple starting pitcher sites in cash games and he’s viable in all formats on single SP sites but preferred in tournaments (we see enough values to pay up for the certainty of Kershaw).

The fourth tier has some pretty darn good starters in it as well. John Lackey (CHC) and Carlos Martinez (STL) serve as solid secondary starters on the DraftKings early slate if weather doesn’t cooperate and wipes out many of the east coast options.

Four tournaments, ownership is likely going to concentrate on Kershaw in an elite matchup and if weather isn’t an issue on Syndergaard’s elite skill set. As a result, many other highly skilled starters will come with miniscule ownership. Max Scherzer (WAS), Madison Bumgarner (SF), Chris Sale (CHW), and David Price (BOS) all fit the bill as solid tournament targets. If you’re looking for cheaper starting pitcher differentiation, we love the upside in Rich Hill (OAK) and Vincent Velasquez (PHI).

Catcher Rankings

1) Victor Martinez (DET) – where eligible

2) Jonathan Lucroy (MIL)

3) Evan Gattis (HOU) – where eligible

4) Welington Castillo (ARZ)

5) Stephen Vogt (OAK)

Victor Martinez (DET) is clearly your top catcher target on FanDuel. As is typically the case on Sundays, the catcher position is in flux with lots of starters likely to rest. The top ranked catchers aren’t ranked particularly high and salary relief for hitters comes at a premium on a day with so much starting pitching. Pay close attention to alerts as they’ll likely be your best source of identifying a strong catcher play. Victor Martinez cracks our Top 40 hitters, Lucroy, Gattis, and Castillo in our Top 85, and then a bit of a fall off. The best options will likely end up being the ones that bring the most salary relief on DraftKings while Victor Martinez is a viable spend on FanDuel.

First Base Rankings

1) Paul Goldschmidt (ARZ)

2) Anthony Rizzo (CHC)

3) Miguel Cabrera (DET)

4) David Ortiz (BOS)

5) Justin Bour (MIA)

Paul Goldschmidt (ARZ) is the top overall hitter in our model as the Diamondbacks have the highest implied run total on the slate (4.9 runs) and he’s playing in the friendliest offensive environment overall. It’s difficult to justify spending on him in cash games with the emphasis on pitching on this slate. As a result, we’re turning our attention to Justin Bour (MIA). Bour gets the benefit of a very friendly park shift for power and faces Wily Peralta who has allowed a .357 wOBA and 1.33 HR/9 to LHBs since 2013. The Brewers bullpen is pretty weak behind Peralta and right-handed. Chris Capuano (threw 36 pitches last night) and Sam Freeman are the only lefties. Bour not only cracks the Top 25 hitters in our model but he’s extremely cheap around the industry. On a slate where every dollar saved is important due to the immense starting pitching, Bour is a foundational piece for us. On DraftKings late slate, the position is more challenging. Goldschmidt’s price tag is more viable on the shallow slate, but the salary relief necessary from deploying Kershaw may force you down to Mark Teixeira (NYY) in a tough matchup against David Price but having the platoon advantage, from his stronger side, and in a park that’s great for RH pull approach.

Second Base Rankings

1) Derek Dietrich (MIA) – if leading off, where eligible

2) Jose Altuve (HOU)

3) Ben Zobrist (CHC)

4) Brian Dozier (MIN)

5) Jean Segura (ARZ) – where eligible

6) Robinson Cano (SEA)

7) Jason Kipnis (CLE)

8) Rougned Odor (TEX)

9) Ian Kinsler (DET)

Derek Dietrich (MIA) sits atop our second base rankings and continues the theme of cheap LH power for the Marlins who are getting a huge park shift and facing a RHP that is vulnerable to LH power. Dietrich owns an impressive .356 wOBA and .202 ISO against RHP as a big leaguer. He’s another core play for us on this slate. On FanDuel, where Dietrich isn’t eligible, the position is a bit of a nuisance. We’d like to get bailed out by Johnny Giavotella (LAA) if he’s hitting second in a friendly scoring environment. Essentially, we’d like all the salary relief we can get from the position. Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brian Dozier (MIN) are viable spends if a punt doesn’t emerge but both are priced at fair value and we’re looking for any discounts we can get. On DraftKings late slate, Jean Segura (ARZ) looks like your best bet but if emphasizing salary relief you can potentially drop down to Jed Lowrie (OAK) who has been our go-to punt.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Carlos Correa (HOU)

2) Jean Segura (ARZ) – where eligible

3) Jonathan Villar (MIL) – if hitting second

4) Danny Santana (MIN) – where eligible

5) Francisco Lindor (CLE)

6) Jimmy Rollins (CHW)

7) Trevor Story (COL)

8) Xander Bogaerts (BOS)

9) Brad Miller (TB)

This is another position where we want to emphasize salary relief where we can. Danny Santana (MIN) week continues on DraftKings. He’s not a shortstop, nor a minimum priced player, but somehow on DraftKings he’s both. Continue to use the free square to your advantage on a slate that requires spending on starting pitching. On FanDuel, Jonathan Villar (MIL) remains our priority as long as he keeps a solid lineup spot. With Scooter Gennett injured, we expect he’ll continue to hit second against RHP as well as LHP. Tom Koehler is one of the weaker starters on the slate and Villar has stolen base upside against RHP. He’s not quite punt priced, but he’s cheap enough. DraftKings late slate is a challenge. Alcides Escobar (KC) fit the bill best as cheap SS with a good lineup spot but the matchup with Taijuan Walker isn’t anything great. If Cristhian Adames (COL) grabbed a start for the Rockies he’s usually slotted in the second slot and would be a nice pure punt in the best offensive environment on the slate.

Third Base Rankings

1) Derek Dietrich (MIA) – if leading off, where eligible

2) Miguel Sano (MIN) – where eligible

3) Justin Turner (LAD)

4) Manny Machado (BAL)

5) Josh Donaldson (TOR)

6) Jake Lamb (ARZ)

7) Todd Frazier (CHW)

The matchups are in our favor at third base on this slate. Our model likes Derek Dietrich (MIA) most (Top 20 hitter) and he’s min-priced and 3B eligible on FanDuel. He carries the eligibility on DraftKings and it’s possible you choose to use him there with Ben Zobrist also pretty cheap and 2B eligible. As we’ve noted throughout, the goal is exposure to the weakest starting pitchers on the slate with the cheapest viable hitters. Fortunately, third base has some affordable options that rate pretty well in our model. Justin Turner (LAD) and Jake Lamb (ARZ) are the cheap alternatives on DraftKings late slate. The model likes Turner’s skills against all pitching in a game the Padres figure to use plenty of outs from the pen, but Lamb’s got the better overall scoring environment and it’s fine to go with either in our opinion.

Outfield Rankings

1a) Mike Trout (LAA)

1b) Bryce Harper (WAS)

1c) Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

4) Christian Yelich (MIA)

5) Carlos Gonzalez (COL)

6) Ryan Braun (MIL)

7) David Peralta (ARZ)

8) J.D. Martinez (DET)

9) Dexter Fowler (CHC)

10) Jason Heyward (CHC)

11) Miguel Sano (MIN) – where eligible

12) Yasiel Puig (LAD)

13) Charlie Blackmon (COL)

14) Jose Bautista (TOR)

15) Mookie Betts (BOS)

16) George Springer (HOU)

17) Andrew McCutchen (PIT)

18) Domingo Santana (MIL)

19) Starling Marte (PIT)

20) Adam Eaton (CHW)

The trio at the top of our rankings are interchangeable in their ranking. Mike Trout (LAA) has the platoon advantage and the great park shift but the Angels’ offense hasn’t been able to capitalize on it in better matchups than Cole Hamels. Bryce Harper (WAS) gets a tough scoring environment against a good starter but he’s so good against RHP it doesn’t matter. Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) faces the weakest opposing pitcher and bullpen plus the Marlins are a favored offense to target, so if spending up he may be your natural option given the organic mini-stack it creates. In reality, it’s difficult to pay up for these options given the emphasis on pitching. So we’re looking for values. Fortunately, Christian Yelich (MIA) and David Peralta (ARZ) rate well in the model (Top 10 hitters!) and come with affordable price tags on FanDuel. Peralta is also affordable on DraftKings but Yelich is priced more appropriately. Domingo Santana (MIL) is pretty cheap on both sites and remains a fine cash game target in the second best scoring environment on the slate. On DraftKings late slate, Carlos Gonzalez (COL) is a tremendous value relative to his ranking in our model but it’s a tight fit for any spends on hitting with Kershaw in play. You may need to dig down into the punt-pricing where Seth Smith (SEA) and potentially Ben Paulsen (COL) could serve as viable targets.


Tier One

1) Miami Marlins

2) Arizona Diamondbacks

Tier Two

3) Minnesota Twins

4) Detroit Tigers

5) Milwaukee Brewers

6) Colorado Rockies

7) Chicago Cubs

The Marlins are an organic mini-stack in cash games with Dietrich and Bour so cheap on a slate that really requires salary relief hitters. They’ve worn out the Brewers pen in the first two games and Wily Peralta is one of the weaker starters on the slate. The Diamondbacks have the highest implied run total on the slate and thus represent a “chalk” option to get exposure to, but they’re generally so expensive that they’ll probably go a bit under-owned in tournaments.

In tournaments, the Tigers-Twins series continues to pop in our model. Mike Pelfrey backed up by one of the weakest pens in baseball, makes the Twins an appealing target. Ricky Nolasco has shown improved peripherals early in the season but the model still likes picking on the weak Twins bullpen with a slight positive park shift for RH power. Both combinations should go a bit under-owned given the perception of the hitting environment relative to MIL and ARZ on the slate. The Pirates are another interesting contrarian stack. Raisel Iglesias is very good but reportedly battling some arm issues and the implied run total on the Pirates opened at a very suspicious 4.3 runs. The Reds pen is so bad and if Iglesias isn’t able to go or can’t work deep into the game, the Pirates would be in a great spot.

MLB Daily Analysis

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We are currently experiencing issues with the optimizer. Please check back periodically; Our engineers are working on a solution. 


We are currently experiencing issues with the optimizer. Please check back periodically; Our engineers are working on a solution.