Welcome to May 2 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for May 2 MLB DFS along with our LIVE Premium Chat and cliff notes. 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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May 2 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
- In cash games, we recommend focusing on value plays to build your rosters (far right hand column of Projections page linked above). Value plays are those we feel have the highest probability of out-earning their current price tag. By packing value plays into your roster, you’re creating a team with a higher floor.
- In tournaments, we recommend building a core of the best value plays and then complementing them with players who have a high ceiling. This combination is essentially turning up the variance on a strong foundation and we believe often is the best recipe for tournament success.
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May 2 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
Jacob deGrom (NYM), Stephen Strasburg (WAS), and James Paxton (SEA) form the top tier of starting pitchers on medium sized slate with plenty of pitching. All three are at home in parks that are traditionally considered pitchers’ parks but Paxton clearly has the best environment with conditions heating up on the east coast. Temperatures in Washington D.C. and New York will reach into the high 70s and low 80s and both locations have winds in the forecast blowing out. Paxton will be in the high 60s in Seattle with a light wind blowing in (assuming the retractable roof is open). With Paxton the cheapest of the bunch, he represents our building block in cash games on both sites. Strasburg and deGrom are fine alternatives and ultimately we’d choose from one of those two on DraftKings to pair with Paxton. deGrom has the tougher matchup against the young upstart Braves’ offense that has been so good early in the season but he’s also got the slightly better pitchers’ park and comes with a few more strikeouts built in. deGrom has been so dominant at home in his career (2.35 ERA, .253 wOBA allowed, 29.5 K Rate) that it’s difficult to argue with him as a spend. Strasburg faces a Pirates’ offense that projects for fewer strikeouts but has been the weaker offense on the season (18th in wRC+, Braves are eighth). Between the two, projections have a slight lean for deGrom.
Zack Godley (ARI). Aaron Nola (PHI), Sean Newcomb (ATL), and Dylan Bundy (BAL) form the next tier of DFS relevant starters before another slight drop-off. With hitting pricing soft on DraftKings, our optimals see plenty of rom to get up to the very top tier for all your pitching needs which makes this tier slightly better for tournaments. Godley and Nola are the two strongest starters with Nola a strong bet for good run prevention in Miami against the Marlins but might lack in strikeouts with a contact heavy offense with the return of Martin Prado. Godley has a bit more per dollar upside thanks to a softer $7,600 tag. Godley has some volatility to him as the Dodgers offense can load up on patient LHBs but they’re a bit watered down without Justin Turner and Corey Seager. Newcomb is the biggest wildcard of the group as his command comes and goes but has a favorable umpire and a Mets’ offense that has struggled against LHP this season (29th in wRC+ with a 26 percent K Rate). We view Newcomb as only viable in tournaments. Bundy is intriguing because the price is back down and while the Angels don’t typically strikeout he’s been dominant against RHBs (.221 wOBA, 38.9 K Rate this year, .297 wOBA, 27.1 K Rate in career) in his career. The Angels are one of the most RH dominant lineups in baseball and Bundy could see as many as seven in a park that plays big for his fly ball tendencies. Bundy, like Godley, has a little more volatility to him than Nola, but is viable in cash games as well as tournaments on two pitcher sites.
The final tier of cheap upside targets in GPPs includes Luis Castillo (CIN) and Andrew Heaney (LAA) who both face power-laden opponents who strikeout often. In Heaney’s case, the Orioles rank 10th in wRC+ against LHP but with the seventh highest K Rate while the Brewers rank 23rd in wRC+ against RHP with the 12th highest K Rate. Both can rack up strikeouts but are also very vulnerable to the long ball. With the prices down and ownership likely low given the depth of SP on this slate, we think they’re most compelling in mass-multi-entry.
A second day in a row with excellent pitching options forces us to seek salary cap relief behind the plate. On DraftKings, Devin Mesoraco (CIN) and Manny Pina (MIL) best fit that description, playing against each other in Great American Ball Park. Pina is the better skilled of the two (as injuries have long derailed Mesoraco), but he’ll draw the much more difficult matchup with Luis Castillo. Castillo has struggled in the early going, posting a notable velocity dip that has certainly helped produce a much reduced strikeout rate and a bit more struggles with the longball. At $2,700, getting exposure to a road 6th place hitter in Great American Ball Park is seemingly enough – but Pina has posted a .168 ISO against RHP since 2015 as well.
Mesoraco is $200 more expensive, but gets an easier matchup and the platoon advantage with Wade Miley. He’s the best value on the site and has posted a positive delta in Hard% over the last fifteen days, but over the last few injury ridden seasons he hasn’t shown much power against LHP (just .115 ISO in the split). When healthy though, we know the power is there as he hit 25 HRs and posted a .260 ISO in a “healthier” 2014 season. It should be noted, that at his price on FanDuel he’s popping in early optimals even with our disdain for using catchers there.
Yasmani Grandal (LAD) and Gary Sanchez (NYY) bookend Mesoraco as far as raw projection, but their salaries and matchups with Godley and Keuchel respectively, push them outside our cash game radar. While both arms put the ball on the ground a lot, these two guys hold the best upside and certain lower ownership for tournaments.
Goldschmidt is clearly the best player of this group, and as such, comes with the highest price tag in a matchup with Hyun-Jin Ryu in his home park. Ryu doesn’t work particularly deep into games, but he’s been very good thus far (3.00 xFIP, 56.3% GB%, 31.2% K%). While we expect some regression, it’s still not the most enticing matchup for Goldy, despite his incredible splits. He’s posted a .433 wOBA and .260 ISO against LHP since 2015 and is comfortably the top projected scorer at the position. At $4,000 on FanDuel he’s a bit too pricey for cash games, but at only $4,500 on DraftKings he’s filtering into the early optimal builds.
Santana takes that honor on FanDuel where he’s $3,000 and will hit from the left side against Jose Urena. This is the best of both worlds for Santana, who we prefer to get form the left side of the plate (.225 ISO vs RHP since 2015) and we also take advantage of the wide splits of Urena (.188 ISO allowed to LHB since 2015). While the implied run total and batted ball data aren’t super encouraging, the lineup spot and price tag add enough positive to consider him in cash games.
Flores is the extreme cheap option at $2,200 on FanDuel. We often pick him out when he gets the platoon edge, but Sean Newcomb continues to take improving strides, gathering a bit better control and putting the ball on the ground more often. Nevertheless, for $2,200, Flores is a super cheap option as a complementary piece in the UTIL spot. Joey Votto (CIN) follows this trio, and he’s likely to be lower owned giving the left-on-left matchup. With Wade Miley on the other side, and Votto’s incredible skills we’re not afraid to utilize him. He’s $4,600 on DraftKings and is a viable pivot away from Goldschmidt in what is a much more attackable overall matchup. The Reds have an implied run total of 5 runs.
No positive values exist on either site, but Howie Kendrick (WSH), Ketel Marte (ARI), and Jonathan Villar (MIL) all represent “neutral” values. Kendrick has bounced all over the lineup recently, hitting 5th last night against Chad Kuhl. If Dave Martinez returns to the Bryce Harper leadoff lineup, Kendrick’s value will take a hit but he’ll still with a neutral matchup and middling implied run total. While the numbers aren’t drastically different, he’s actually been a bit better versus RHP as well, posting a .134 ISO since 2015.
Marte feels a lot like Kendrick as far as upside goes. He will run a little bit, but otherwise is quite “meh,” like the broader makeup of his position. Nevertheless, he’ll grab the platoon advantage, gets a good lineup spot, and is cheap. That’s all it takes.
Villar represents the best power/speed combo upside, and will get the best park of the trio as well. The issue is the lineup spot and his inability to consistently put the ball in play. At $3,300 on DraftKings and $2,900 on FanDuel though, he’s a worthy option that has the third highest raw projection at the position.
Great American Ball Park houses all of our most valuable third basemen on Wednesday. Eugenio Suarez (CIN), Travis Shaw (MIL), and Alex Blandino (CIN). Each provides something a bit different. For Suarez, it’s a juicy matchup with left-hander Wade Miley.
He’s a member of the now revived Sneaky Monster Platoon Club, posting a .380 wOBA and .233 ISO against LHP since 2015.
Shaw too will grab the platoon edge on the aforementioned Luis Castillo. He took a big step forward with consistent playing time last season, and he’s been more than serviceable against RHP, posting a .350 wOBA and .233 ISO since 2015. He’s a bit more expensive than Suarez on FanDuel, but gets a price discount on DraftKings.
Blandino is the for sure discount on both sites that comes with much less (perhaps nonexistent) upside and a much, much worse lineup spot. He should be primarily used as a route to expensive bats, or as a part of Reds stacks. He does have 2B eligibility on DraftKings.
Turner is the more expensive, more dynamic player that is popping in early optimals on both sites. As we’ve noted before, he’s been way better against RHP in his early career and possesses considerable upside on the basepaths. At $4,400 on DraftKings the savings by dropping to Peraza is not big enough to warrant moving away from Trea in cash games.
On FanDuel the conversation can be had as Peraza represents a $1,300 discount. Peraza will draw the platoon advantage, have a high implied run total, and draw a great lineup spot – but he’s not an overly exciting hitter. He’s stolen 20+ bases in each of the last two seasons, but he’s posted a Hard% below 10% all season, and is somehow posting a negative delta in the last fifteen days. It almost seems best case is that he gets a few hits and scores a run, but lest we forget the double dong game he posted earlier this season.
Orlando Arcia (MIL) and Amed Rosario (NYM) represent complete punts at the position. While Carlos Correa (HOU) and Manny Machado (BAL) are at the upper end of the spectrum and would be potential tournament pivots away from Trea Turner. Machado would be the better option of the two, getting a more exploitable matchup with Andrew Heaney than the tough R-R matchup Correa has with Severino.
Billy Hamilton (CIN), Adam Duvall (CIN), Domingo Santana (MIL), and Christian Yelich (MIL) head an outfield loaded with values that will be playing in Great American Ball Park. The game boasts the highest total on the slate, and the price tags on this group are incredibly affordable. Other members, Ryan Braun (MIL) and Lorenzo Cain (MIL) are a bit less valuable overall, but still make for excellent options given a less than stellar pen backing up Luis Castillo.
Giancarlo Stanton (NYY), Bryce Harper (WSH), and Mike Trout (LAA) all rate as solid value plays on the slate as well. Of course this trio also projects the best as far as raw projection goes. Stanton will draw a difficult matchup with Dallas Keuchel, but one that gifts him the platoon edge. We know the numbers, but it’s fun to repeat them (.443 wOBA, .399 ISO since 2015).
Nelson Cruz (SEA) is below this group as far as overall skill, but he is close to a positive value on both sites. He’s posted a positive delta in Hard% over the last fifteen days and has Stanton Lite numbers against LHP (.413 wOBA, .298 ISO since 2015).
Harper moved to the leadoff spot last night and homered, should he move back there he increases his chances at additional plate appearances and becomes a value worthy of cash game play (he’s already popping in some optimals). Trout’s matchup with Bundy treats him with neither the platoon edge or an exciting park, but his team still has one of the best implied run totals on the slate and he’s Mike Trout.
Joc Pederson (LAD) hit second against a RHP last night, and should he find himself there against Zack Godley he becomes an excellent value on FanDuel at $2,700. Matt Adams (WSH) has OF eligibility on DraftKings. The lineup the Nats ran out last night would improve his stock as well. Kole Calhoun (LAA) is only $2,200 on FanDuel. The lineup spot hasn’t been good, but he’s been serviceable against RHP (.158 ISO since 2015).
1) Cincinnati Reds
2) Milwaukee Brewers
3) Washington Nationals
The Reds-Brewers game features the heftiest total of the night and the Brewers are typically a strong DFS team with most of their scoring coming through event plays (home runs and stolen bases), as a result these two teams top the stack rankings. Both have below average bullpens (though the Brewers should have Josh Hader back) and the game features a favorable umpire for hitters as well.
The Nationals should also be popular after their outburst on Tuesday night. With Matt Adams in the lineup against RHP they’re a bit more potent and there is plenty of mid-tier SP to support their studs on this slate.
4) Seattle Mariners
5) Houston Astros
6) Philadelphia Phillies
7) New York Yankees
8) Arizona Diamondbacks
The Mariners top the second tier in a favorable matchup against Brett Anderson. When right Anderson generates a ton of ground balls but when wrong is a walk machine that exits early and leaves a vulnerable bullpen behind him.
The second tier is where you’re more likely to find contrarian stacks. The Astros-Yankees game is ripe for contrarian players with two good starters, a bad home plate umpire, and two explosive offenses. The Astros rate a bit better in our projections with a more skilled offense on the whole, but if the Yankees remain patient they could walk their way into an early bullpen outing with Keuchel’s historically low zone percentage (39-40 percent of pitches inside the strike zone) and a poor umpire for pitchers.
The Phillies and Diamondbacks are also low owned pivots against weaker starters. The Phillies face one of the weaker starters on the board in Jose Urena but get a park downgrade and generally are a weak offense. They should come with low ownership though. The Diamondbacks are more intriguing as a mini-stack with Goldschmidt-Pollock so good against LHP and then supported by Owings-Ahmed as cheaper alternatives.