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May 13 MLB DFS: Houston, Prepare for Takeoff
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Welcome to May 13 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium Podcast and cliff notes for May 13 MLB DFS along with our LIVE Premium Chat. Make sure you’re using our customizable projections tool, you’re actively participating in the live chat, and you’re reviewing the cliff notes to supplement your research and roster construction process. Very best of luck in tonight’s action!

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Range of Outcome Projections

May 13 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

Starting Pitcher

Mother’s Day will bring to the front a bunch of top starting pitching options. Corey Kluber (CLE), Luis Severino (NYY), Gerrit Cole (HOU), Jacob deGrom (NYM), James Paxton (SEA), Aaron Nola (PHI) and the list goes on.

The multitude of options is great, but your selection of starting pitchers will likely be heavily dependent upon the site you play. On DraftKings, we’ve been gifted a slate that holds Coors Field, the highest total game and best run scoring environment on the slate. On FanDuel though, Coors does not exist and as a result the offensive options become much more limited (though they still exist).

Let’s start with DraftKings where Dallas Keuchel (HOU) and Dylan Bundy (BAL) are actually the top two values. Seems scary on a slate with so many top arms? Think again.

Keuchel draws a home matchup with the Rangers, a matchup where he is heavily favored and he’s just $8,000 on DraftKings. The Rangers thus far are just 19th in wRC+ against LHP and although they can get fairly right-handed, they’re a bit shallower than they would have been with the services Elvis Andrus. Even with a slightly unfavorable umpire, Keuchel is projecting at 6.1 strikeouts as the Rangers are 3rd in K% against LHP thus far. The implied run total against at 3.4 runs helps speak to Vegas’ confidence as well. Though the name might not be as compelling as the others, he’s finding his way into some early optimals.

The complementary option is Dylan Bundy – who just had the most disastrous start of like all time. Don’t fret it, things change now pitching against the Tampa Bay Rays. First and foremost, the price tag is absurd ($5,500). Secondly, the Rays can be very right-handed (only used three or four lefties in last two starts against RHP. That bodes well for Bundy who has dominated RHB allowing just a .301 wOBA to the last 250 he’s faced. Lastly, the strikeout stuff is there. He’s getting more swings outside the zone and has seen the SwStr% blossom to 15%. On FanDuel at $7,900 he doesn’t need to be anymore than a tournament option but it is really hard to abandon the price tag on DraftKings as he doesn’t even bring that much risk.

Now let’s sort through the top guys, who are all priced similarly on FanDuel. The projections will push initial leans to Corey Kluber (CLE) and Jacob deGrom (NYM). Klubot has been Klubot like, but the strikeout stuff has been a little less than we’d love as the SwStr% has taken a hit and he’s getting less swings outside the strike zone as well. Never fear though, as ZiPS and Steamer both are projecting a strong uptick rest of season back towards the 30% strikeout range. The matchup with the Royals is a great start from a run prevention standpoint, but are traditionally a contact team that is tough to pick on with starting pitchers. Things really haven’t changed as they are dead last in the league in K% against RHP this season.

deGrom will get a stronger upside matchup with the Philadelphia Phillies, but they are a stronger matchup overall. Nevertheless, he gets the league upgrade over Kluber, a Phillies lineup that is 3rd in K% versus RHP. The stuff has been phenomenal this year, he’s pushed the SwStr% even higher and perhaps most beneficial for the early going has been great in the batted ball department. He’s allowing just 24.3% Hard% and inducing 29.1% Soft%, a -4.8 % difference. Let’s be honest though, the price tag is nice too. He’s a steep discount over Kluber on DraftKings (should you wish to go deGrom/Bundy) and at $10,300 on FanDuel he offers nearly a $1,000 discount as well.

deGrom unsurprisingly also ties for the highest strikeout projection, tied with Luis Severino (NYY) and just ahead of James Paxton (SEA). Both the young guys need to be considered in your tournament lineups, and Severino is particularly interesting given a 3.1 implied run total and the A’s 23.8% K% against RHP. The unfortunate piece is he’s dealing with a less than stellar umpire.

How could we overlook what James Paxton is doing of late? Oh – we can’t. He’s a big favorite with a low implied run total and is again just another arm you could utilize in tournaments with strikeout projection of 7.4 runs.

Kyle Hendricks (CHC) gets the White Sox on a negative league shift (implied run total under 3 runs). The weather isn’t great, but it should stifle offense. The price tag on DraftKings is right there with Keuchel and not that far off from some of the top arms, where we’d rather just pay up. But on FanDuel at $8,900 he becomes more of a tournament option because of the price flexibility.

 

Catcher

Evan Gattis (HOU) is the top projected catcher on the slate, getting to face left-hander Matt Moore in a good run scoring environment. Moore is a frequent target for us, and Gattis comes with a cheap tag and success in the split, posting a .200 ISO against LHP since 2015. At $3,200, Gattis allows you to have multiple roster construction conversations, playing two higher priced starting pitchers or going cheap and loading up elsewhere.

Russell Martin (TOR) and Gary Sanchez (NYY) fall next in line, but aren’t quite as valuable as Gattis. Martin will also get the platoon edge and a similar price tag, getting to face Drew Pomeranz in Toronto. The Jays overall are a bit less enticing (4.6 implied run total) but Martin has been solid of late (36.4% Hard%) and holds his own in the split (.163 ISO). For $3,200 he’s an alternative, albeit a less enticing one than Gattis.

Sanchez is the belle of the ball, grabbing the highest projection on the slate with a matchup with Brett Anderson. The park is excellent, the platoon edge is great, but when Anderson is on he gets the ball on the ground (50% GB% through 2 games, 65% at AAA). The price tag is restrictive should you wish to spend on two starting pitchers, but he’s a viable option in cash games should you go a different route.

 

First Base

First base brings us back to Houston as Yuli Gurriel (HOU) is the top projected player at the position on both sites. Gurriel has scuffled of late (7.8% Hard%) but gets an excellent price tag and a matchup with left-hander Matt Moore. Picking on Moore will remain consistent throughout the content as he’s posted a 5.95 xFIP and has seen a sharp decline in the K%. While Gurriel hasn’t showed much prowess in limited samples against left-handers, the Astros have the second highest implied run total on the slate.

On FanDuel where Coors Field isn’t available, Anthony Rizzo (CHC) and Edwin Encarnacion (CLE) offer a pair of next tier bats with the platoon edge in each of their respective matchups. Rizzo struggled in the early going but has started to put things together, posting a positive delta in Hard% over the last fifteen days. At $4,300 the price tag is a bit restrictive as early optimals are pushing us to Corey Kluber. However, in tournaments should you decide to take a flier on a cheaper arm, Rizzo offers a ton of upside (.386 wOBA, .241 ISO vs. RHP since 2015).

Encarnacion will draw a tougher matchup with Danny Duffy, but one that offers him the platoon edge on the left-handed, flyball guy. Duffy has been a BIT better than his ERA suggests, but he’s really struggled with the long ball thus far (2.06 HR/9) and has seen a spike in the BB% as well. Encarnacion offers a middling price tag as compared to Gurriel and Rizzo and also will give you a non-Astro option.

On DraftKings, Gurriel is the guy – but Ryan Braun (MIL) has eligibility and will get the highest total game on the slate. Because there is so much depth in the outfield, it’s reasonable to use Braun in this spot against Jon Gray, yet he’s not pushing early optimals.

Justin Smoak (TOR), Marwin Gonzalez (HOU), and Hanley Ramirez (BOS) all flirt as neutral values on DraftKings.

 

Second Base

Jose Altuve (HOU) is actually a viable option considering price on a slate that allows you to load up offensively (should you roster Dylan Bundy on DK). Altuve is THE CLEAR cut value at the position, and floods all optimals because of the massive difference in projection between him and the nearest player. Matt Moore is bad, and Altuve has posted a .395 wOBA and .179 ISO against LHP since 2015. Use him.

If you are looking elsewhere for tournament leverage, Eduardo Nunez (BOS) holds a neutral value on both sites. He offers a steep price discount from Altuve, and the Red Sox have an implied run total of 5 runs. The issue is merely the projection on Altuve and the ease at which you can roster him.

On DraftKings, Jonathan Villar (MIL) could play a role in Brewers stacks as he does have both power and speed upside. Unfortunately, he doesn’t make enough contact and will face a tough strikeout arm opposite him in Jon Gray. D.J. LeMahieu (COL) is $4,400 on DraftKings, a price tag that seems a bit shallow given the Rockies 6.1 implied run total and LeMahieu’s hit tool. He doesn’t possess a ton of speed/power upside, but the context is too good to pass him up in all game types. Just because of the run total, some level of ownership will flood to him over Altuve.

Neil Walker (NYY) and Yangervis Solarte (TOR) both have second base eligibility on DraftKings and are neutral values on there for tournaments.

 

Third Base

Alex Bregman (HOU), Josh Donaldson (TOR) and Rafael Devers (BOS) are the top three values available on both sites. Bregman and company have often been mentioned given their matchup with Matt Moore. It’s unlikely that George Springer will return to the lineup (though they don’t believe he’ll need a DL stint), so that should push up Bregman to the second spot of the order like last night. He’s incredibly affordable on both sites, and has been great against LHP in his early career (.359 wOBA, .201 ISO).

Donaldson gets the platoon edge, so you know what that means. We just posted Bregman’s numbers so if you want a laugh for Donaldson’s relative skill in the split, take a look at his .409 wOBA, .299 ISO against LHP since 2015. Drew Pomeranz isn’t a slouch, but Donaldson is too good to ignore – he should also be a bit more of an afterthought given the Bregman spot.

Devers is the flier here as he should come with much lower ownership against Joe Biagini. He’s posted a positive delta in Hard% over the last fifteen days and much like Bregman has held his own in his early career (.201 ISO vs. RHP). We obviously want to lean to the first two guys, but Devers does offer cap relief and finds himself in certain early optimals.

Nolan Arenado (COL) is available for use on DraftKings. Given the ease with which you can load up offensively, he’s in play despite not an incredible value ranking. Freddy Peralta projects semi decent, but taking on a Rockies lineup in Coors Field for his first start is a daunting task. Oh while we’re talking splits, Arenado has posted a .381 wOBA, .274 ISO.

 

Shortstop

Carlos Correa (HOU) is the top dog at shortstop on both sites. Much like his double play counterpart at 2B, there is a BIG drop from him to the next shortstop. Early optimals are essentially Astros stacks given their implied run total (5.6) and the poor skill of Matt Moore. At a .374 wOBA, .205 ISO vs. LHP, Correa is one of the “weaker!” top options on the slate in the split, but the position is barren.

So barren that Jordy Mercer (PIT) and Jean Segura (SEA) are the next two values at shortstop on DraftKings. We’ve seemingly abandoned the once “use Jordy Mercer against lefties” bandwagon, but Derek Holland is bad and the position is a wasteland. We currently have him projected for hitting leadoff, and he’s only viable should he be there.

Segura has more upside than Mercer with some slight power, and speed on his side. The Mariners implied run total fits in right alongside a bunch of others on this slate (5) and he’ll grab the platoon edge on Blaine Hardy. It’s so easy to just go to Correa in cash games, but Segura would be a good way to differentiate in tournaments.

You could also differentiate with a really good shortstop in Francisco Lindor (CLE) who rates as the second best value on FanDuel. But it’s absurd to pay $500 more for him against Danny Duffy than Correa against Matt Moore. Only in tournaments.

 

Outfield

With so many high implied run totals on the slate, the outfield is unsurprisingly loaded with values. George Springer (HOU) is unlikely to play after getting hit, but he’s the top value should he be in the lineup. Otherwise Giancarlo Stanton (NYY) takes the crown as the stud you’d really like to have. The Yanks have the park and matchup, Stanton has the skills (.459 wOBA, .427 ISO) against LHP since 2015.

Stanton’s teammate Aaron Judge (NYY) doesn’t fall far behind from a value perspective, taking advantage of the same platoon edge for just slightly more cash.

The Red Sox outfield – Mookie Betts (BOS), Andrew Benintendi (BOS), J.D. Martinez (BOS), and even Jackie Bradley Jr. (BOS) all rate in the top ten outfield values on both sites. Biagini is a very mediocre arm (projects at 4.85 ERA) allows a lot of contact, and most of it this season has been very hard (47.4% Hard%). Little needs to be said about the justification of Mookie Betts, but don’t forget about Beni’s skills against RHP (.349 wOBA, .184 ISO). He’s the cheaper of the two.

Nelson Cruz (SEA) has the platoon edge on Blaine Hardy. He’s almost in the Giancarlo-esque club against LHP and comes much cheaper (albeit in a worse park).

Christian Yelich (MIL), Ryan Braun (MIL), Lorenzo Cain (MIL), and Charlie Blackmon (COL) all need consideration where they are available on DraftKings. It’s the top total on the slate, and with many other totals nearing five or more runs, they might actually be less owned than you would anticipate.
Stacks

Tier One

1a. Colorado Rockies

1b. Houston Astros

The Rockies are only available on DraftKings, meaning they unfortunately get the 1a) designation. The implied run total is in the sixes and the price tags are actually affordable enough for some of the boppers. Given the pricing flexibility with some starting pitchers, we expect they’ll definitely be owned.

The Astros should be the mega chalk on both sites. What else can we say about how bad Matt Moore is? He actually projects for more than 1.5 HR/9 via Steamer, even worse than the mess he’s produced thus far.

Tier Two

  1. New York Yankees
  2. Boston Red Sox
  3. Milwaukee Brewers

The Yanks and BoSox actually found themselves featured quite a bit in the positional analysis. The Yankees will get Brett Anderson who is taking on a massive negative park shift to move to the Bronx. He also gifts them with the platoon edge for all three of the big boppers and allows a ton of contact. If he continues to struggle to get the ball on the ground, he will be in for a long day.

The Brewers are only available on DraftKings but are actually quite a deep lineup as stacks go. Their outfield (Braun, Yelich, Cain) allows for three upside bats and you can even get cute with some leverage on someone like Jonathan Villar who has speed and power upside (plus will hit from the left side against Jon Gray).

 

Tier Three

  1. Seattle Mariners

A last team with an implied run total over five runs. Blaine Hardy sounds like someone out of a teenage murder novel, but he’s actually a weak left-handed pitcher. That’ll grace Nelson Cruz, Jean Segura, and others the platoon edge. The bad news? Hardy is unlikely to work deep in this game. The good news, the Tigers bullpen is horrible (3rd worst xFIP). The Mariners are a potential contrarian stack option.