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May 22 MLB DFS Slate: Which Met is the Wright Met?
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May 22 MLB DFS Slate: Which Met is the Wright Met?

00:53 Starting Pitchers
11:42 Catchers
14:03 First Base
17:25 Second Base
18:50 Shortstop
20:37 Third Base
23:09 Outfield
25:48 Cash Game Roster Construction & Stacks

premium_access_now  HITTER SPLITS | PITCHER SPLITS | WELL-HIT RATINGS

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May 22 MLB DFS Slate Pro Tip

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Noah Syndergaard (NYM)

Tier Two

2) Max Scherzer (WAS)

3) Madison Bumgarner (SF)

Tier Three

4) Kenta Maeda (LAD)

5) Chris Archer (TB)

Tier Four

6) Jaime Garcia (STL)

7) Marcus Stroman (TOR)

8) Cole Hamels (TEX)

9) Jordan Zimmermann (DET)

10) Zack Greinke (ARZ)

Tier Five

11) Juan Nicasio (PIT)

12) Kyle Hendricks (CHC)

13) Michael Pineda (NYY)

14) Dallas Keuchel (HOU)

15) Carlos Rodon (CHW)

16) Danny Salazar (CLE)

Another Sunday with a lot of front-line starting pitching on the slate. When you stack up the elite starters, Noah Syndergaard (NYM) has the best peripherals (31.6 K Rate, 4.4 BB Rate, 56.6 GB Rate, 26 hard hit rate, 2.22 xFIP) and gets the best matchup (a likely watered down heavily right handed Brewers’ lineup that projects as one of the weakest of all the likely lineups on Sunday. Syndergaard’s price tag is appropriate on both sites and it will cost you hitting upside, but he represents the highest projected scoring starting pitcher and comes with the highest upside as well.

After Syndergaard, we have a clear second tier with fellow aces Max Scherzer (WAS) and Madison Bumgarner (SF). Both Bumgarner and Scherzer have big strikeout upside against their respective opponents but come with implied run totals against that are 0.7 runs higher than Syndergaard and win probabilities that are substantially lower as well. The slightly more affordable price tags on respective sites will allow one extra offensive piece in your lineup, but we feel the security of Syndergaard makes him the priority up top.

Finding a secondary starter to pair with Syndergaard on DraftKings is a challenge. The third tier of starters come with inflated price tags on DraftKings and more appropriate tags on FanDuel. Kenta Maeda (LAD) gets the struggling Padres’ offense we love picking on (30th in wRC+, fourth highest K Rate) while Chris Archer (TB) has a more difficult matchup with the Tigers but has a bit more strikeout upside. Both are tournament targets with Maeda viable as a cheaper solo SP on FanDuel. The fourth tier is where we see some price separation on DraftKings with Marcus Stroman (TOR) and Zack Greinke (ARZ) priced below $9,000. Stroman has a more favorable matchup against the right hand heavy Twins’ offense that has the fifth highest K Rate against RHP and ranks 25th in wRC+. Stroman’s biggest issue from a DFS perspective is his reliance on balls in play but the strikeout rates are a bit better against RHBs (19.7 percent in career) and should be inflated given the Twins’ contact woes. Greinke’s got a much more difficult matchup against the Cardinals (first in wRC+ against RHP, 20th in K Rate against) but is underpriced a touch for his skill set and pitching in a friendly environment. The two starters have similar implied run totals against (3.7 and 3.8) and we’re projecting Greinke for a slightly better strikeout rate, but the matchup for Stroman is a bit less volatile.

If you want to dip way down on a second starter to afford more offense in cash games, Juan Nicasio (PIT) is a viable, though volatile, alternative at a cheap $6,500 price tag. The velocity and swinging strike rates have varied wildly game-to-game and the Rockies have the third lowest strikeout rate against RHP but they rank 24th in wRC+ and it’s an elite run prevention environment. For tournaments, we love Michael Pineda‘s (NYY) upside once again. Pineda’s strikeout rate (24.8 percent) and swinging strike ability (14.1) are elite but he continues to allow a ton of hard contact (32 percent hard hit rate, 2.06 HR/9). While Oakland is a solid contact team (fifth lowest K Rate against RHP), the park should also help suppress the power. Casey Kelly (ATL) is also an intriguing tournament target given the exceptionally cheap price tag and the matchup with the Phillies who have generated just one run against Matt Wisler and Williams Perez in 13 innings of work to start the series. Kelly is a former top prospect that hasn’t panned out but pitched effectively in three of his last four starts in AAA (seven innings with one earned run or less in three of the last four).

Catcher Rankings

1) Evan Gattis (HOU) – where eligible

2) Victor Martinez (DET) – where eligible

3) Brian McCann (NYY)

4) Chris Iannetta (SEA)

Sunday is typically a day where many catchers rest and the position gets watered down as a result. There is no need on this Sunday as the position is already exceptionally watered down. Our top two ranked catcher options are only eligible on FanDuel and neither guy ranks in our Top 50 overall hitters. Evan Gattis‘ (HOU) price tag is reasonable and although Cole Hamels isn’t an ideal matchup, he’s been a bit vulnerable to RH power this season (.352 wOBA, 28.3 hard hit rate). Brian McCann (NYY) is our top ranked catcher on DraftKings, but he’s priced appropriately and every dollar really matters with the high-end pitching on this slate. We’re more likely to punt the position on DraftKings, so check in on alerts for potential options there.

First Base Rankings

1) Chris Davis (BAL)

2) Edwin Encarnacion (TOR)

3) Paul Goldschmidt (ARZ)

4) David Ortiz (BOS)

5) Miguel Cabrera (DET)

First base is a very tricky position on this slate. As usual, it’s loaded with high-end options. The Top Four options all rank inside our Top 10 hitters with Cabrera a little further behind. The price tags are generally appropriate but Paul Goldschmidt (ARZ), David Ortiz (BOS), and Miguel Cabrera (DET) are a little discounted on DraftKings due to facing strong opposing starters. Freddie Freeman (ATL) rates as one of the stronger values in our models with a plus matchup against Jerad Eickhoff (.375 wOBA, .231 ISO since 2013 vs. LHB) but he’s not as cheap as you’d like for taking someone on such a weak overall offense. As a result, you’re left sort of value hunting on both sites. Adrian Gonzalez (LAD), Mark Teixeira (NYY), and even Adam Lind (SEA) are viable salary relief options on FanDuel while John Jaso (PIT) is another alternative to the slightly depressed price tags on the stars.

Second Base Rankings

1) Robinson Cano (SEA)

2) Jose Altuve (HOU)

3) Jason Kipnis (CLE)

4) Neil Walker (NYM)

5) Brandon Phillips (CIN)

Robinson Cano (SEA) is a Top 10 hitter in our model getting a great park shift against a weak RHP. Alfredo Simon has allowed a .348 wOBA and .200 ISO to LHBs since 2013 and since the start of last season those numbers balloon to .384 wOBA and .242 ISO. Additionally, Simon is backed up by the worst bullpen in the league. There are some alternatives to the appropriately priced Cano on this slate. Neil Walker (NYM) and Brandon Phillips (CIN) are a bit underpriced for their lineup spots in favorable matchups with the platoon edge. Walker owns a .352 wOBA and .198 ISO against RHP since 2014 and has been bumped to the fifth spot of late. Phillips always hits cleanup and while he’s not a great hitter, Miley has allowed a .332 wOBA and .157 ISO to RHBs since 2014.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Manny Machado (BAL)

2) Carlos Correa (HOU)

3) Francisco Lindor (CLE)

4) Corey Seager (LAD)

Shortstop is once again super thin with the top options all priced appropriately. The one exception is Manny Machado (BAL) on FanDuel where the $3,900 tag is a little underpriced for his expectation. Machado ranks inside our Top 10 hitters with a favorable matchup against Jered Weaver and his declining velocity. We’ll once again be on the lookout for punts to save some money. On DraftKings, Brad Miller (SEA) is cheap enough to earn strong cash game consideration though the matchup isn’t ideal against Jordan Zimmermann‘s ability to limit hard contact. Javier Baez (CHC) is also priced as a pure punt but has a brutal matchup with Madison Bumgarner. On FanDuel, perhaps Freddy Galvis (PHI) emerges as a punt ($2,500) but it’s really a position that feels like unless you’re taking Machado you’re making a bad play.

Third Base Rankings

1) Manny Machado (BAL) – where eligible

2) Kyle Seager (SEA)

3) Josh Donaldson (TOR)

4) Kris Bryant (CHC)

5) David Wright (NYM)

6) Nolan Arenado (COL)

7) Maikel Franco (PHI)

8) Justin Turner (LAD)

9) Todd Frazier (CHW)

10) Jung Ho Kang (PIT)

Third base is a much deeper position and affords you opportunities at all different price points. Machado ranks inside our Top 10 overall hitters with Kyle Seager (SEA) and Josh Donaldson (TOR) both inside the Top 20. The best value appears to be David Wright (NYM) who is facing Chase Anderson‘s atrocious reverse splits (.358 wOBA, .192 ISO since 2014) and they’ve been even worse this season (41.7 hard hit rate allowed, .424 wOBA). Wright is having his own contact issues this season but Anderson doesn’t miss many bats (7.1 swinging strike rate) and when Wright is making contact it’s the hard variety (44.9 percent hard hit rate). Jung Ho Kang (PIT) is also a viable cheap alternative to Wright on DraftKings and Justin Turner (LAD) remains cheap everywhere.

Outfield Rankings

1) Mike Trout (LAA)

2) Jose Bautista (TOR)

3) Nelson Cruz (SEA)

4) Yoenis Cespedes (NYM)

5) Bryce Harper (WAS)

6) Gregory Polanco (PIT)

7) Andrew McCutchen PIT)

8) Starling Marte (PIT)

9) Michael Conforto (NYM)

10) Adam Jones (BAL)

11) Lorenzo Cain (KC)

12) Charlie Blackmon (COL)

13) George Springer (HOU)

14) Mookie Betts (BOS)

15) Odubel Herrera (PHI)

16) Seth Smith (SEA)

17) Billy Hamilton (CIN)

18) J.D. Martinez (DET)

19) Curtis Granderson (NYM)

20) Norichika Aoki (SEA)

The outfield rankings at the top are filled with names you’d largely expect. On a slate where you want to emphasize the elite SP, it’s hard to justify spending on big bats but Mike Trout (LAA), Jose Bautista (TOR), Nelson Cruz (SEA), and Yoenis Cespedes (NYM) are the ones we’d most likely spend on. Michael Conforto (NYM) and Curtis Granderson (NYM) remain underpriced on FanDuel and DraftKings respectively, providing a relatively easy path to exposure to the Mets’ offense. Seth Smith (SEA) is the cheapest way to access the Mariners hefty run total but he’s only slightly discounted. It’s an offense you ideally want exposure to given Simon’s wide splits and Smith has posted a .350 wOBA and .187 ISO against RHP since 2014. Adam Jones (BAL) is a bit underpriced on both sites and provides access to the Orioles power against Jered Weaver (.340 wOBA, .187 ISO allowed to RHBs since start of last season). Andrew McCutchen (PIT) is uniquely cheap on DraftKings and rates as a solid value purely on price.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Seattle Mariners

Tier Two

2) Baltimore Orioles

3) New York Mets

4) Toronto Blue Jays

The Mariners are clearly the top stack on the slate. They’re facing one of the weakest starters on the slate with a wide platoon split that is favorable to all their LH power. They’re getting a big park shift in their favor and the Reds bullpen amplifies everything for opposing offenses. Their implied team total is at five runs and only two other teams are currently above 4.5 runs.

After the Mariners, the Blue Jays power figures to be popular against Phil Hughes who has allowed a .232 ISO to RHBs since the start of last season. The Twins porous bullpen behind him also helps inflate the matchup. The Orioles’ big power matches up well with Jered Weaver‘s extreme fly ball tendencies and problems with the long ball. An afternoon game should also help the ball carry. The Mets are intriguing on price point and matchup with Chase Anderson given the 38 percent hard hit rate he’s allowing this season.

Tournament Stacks

-Boston Red Sox – The best offense in baseball is exceptionally deep and Danny Salazar should curtail ownership. Salazar is a very good starter but he’s been prone to command issues all season and hasn’t worked deep into games allowing the Red Sox more shots at a depleted bullpen

– Philadelphia Phillies/Atlanta Braves – The Phillies/Braves provide cheap enough options to allow yourself to stack up stud pitching and perhaps a big bat to complement the strong pitching. It’s a good park environment, neither bullpen is great, and the starters (Casey Kelly and Jerad Eickhoff) aren’t particularly good.

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