Welcome to May 24 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium Podcast and cliff notes for May 24 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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May 24 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 24 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
Charlie Morton (HOU) and Rick Porcello (BOS) are virtually tied atop our projections for the small four game main slate on DraftKings. On FanDuel, you lose Morton from the slate making Porcello the easy choice for cash games. Both SPs have somewhat tricky matchups. Morton faces a Cleveland offense that projects as very contact oriented especially with the addition of Melky Cabrera but haven’t been so this season (23.7 K Rate against RHP, ranking 20th in wRC+). Porcello faces a Rays’ offense that projects as poor against RHP but has actually ranked eighth in wRC+ this season against righties. Essentially, the two project closely together because we our projections view Cleveland as a good offense and Tampa Bay as a poor offense but they’ve performed opposite this season. Morton clearly has the bigger strikeout upside when deciding between the two and we think he’ll be higher owned as well, which makes this conversation difficult for both cash games and tournaments. They have a similarly implied total, a similar projection, and a similar price tag. On DraftKings, we view it as a toss-up.
It’s difficult to pair the two on DraftKings and there are especially cheap secondary starters to consider pairing with them. Danny Duffy (KC) and Steven Matz (NYM) are both incredibly cheap Both starters come with run prevention concerns but also come with built in strikeouts.
Duffy has really wide platoon splits (.359 wOBA, .193 ISO, 19.3 K Rate against RHBs but just .216 wOBA, .088 ISO, 24 K Rate against LHBs) and the Rangers best hitters are all from the left side. Against CC Sabathia last night, the Rangers ran out a lineup with three LHBs in the first six and four overall. It was a lineup that was also without Joey Gallo (though he was most likely replaced by a LHB). Duffy rarely gets to face three or more LHBs in a game so while he’s dealing with a negative park shift and run prevention risk he also has a bit more favorable lineup than he’s typically facing.
Matz also gets a park downgrade and comes with run prevention risk with a 4.6 implied total against. The Brewers have really struggled with LHP this season (tied for dead last in wRC+ against LHP) although we project them to be a decent offense against LHP. Matz has been wildly inconsistent this season. He’s had two starts with K Rates over 40 percent and three others at 15 percent or below. Similarly, he’s allowed a 40+ percent hard hit rate in four starts but been below 20 percent in two others. It’s difficult to know which Matz you’re getting from start-to-start which makes Duffy a slightly preferred target for cash games.
Zach Davies (MIL) could be a popular mid-tier option because of the low implied total against (3.9) and the relatively cheap price tag but he just rarely misses bats. We’re only projecting him for 4.5 strikeouts which is over a strikeout lower than the rest of the field. We also don’t view the Mets as a particularly great matchup for opposing RHP given their slew of lefties.
The other more expensive targets are Blake Snell (TB) and Mike Clevinger (CLE) who have each flashed big strikeout potential at different points in the season. They both have awful matchups against two of the most talented offenses in the entire league. The price tags are down slightly but this isn’t a great spot for upside. On a small slate, they’re in play in tournaments but we think ownership will likely outpace projection here. We’d rather take chances on the cheap starters.
Welcome Robinson Chirinos (TEX) back into your lives. On a shortened slate the right-handed catcher will gain the platoon edge and one of the best offensive environments available. Chirinos has been quite successful against LHP in just over 200 plate appearances the last few seasons (.375 wOBA, .220 ISO) and he’ll face left-hander Danny Duffy who has struggled mightily thus far. Duffy has posted a 5.35 xFIP thus far while facing a declining strikeout rate and GB% as more balls find their way out of the park against him (2.47 HR/9). Chirinos is absurdly cheap but he’s not a necessity given the lax pricing on the slate.
So while you could use Chirinos, you’ll likely be able to pay up for Salvador Perez (KC) perhaps a better skilled offensive player. Perez will come at a more premium price, but rightfully so given his .371 wOBA and .253 ISO versus RHP since 2015. He gets a big park shift in his favor, will be a road hitter guaranteed nine innings, and has a better lineup spot. Oh, and Austin Bibens-Dirkx projects at a 5.46 ERA via Steamer.
You could honestly warrant using either player on FanDuel as well at $2,200 for Chirinos and $3,300 for Perez. Both are popping in some of the early optimals on the site.
Manny Pina (MIL) and Wilson Ramos (TB) represent two pivot options, but are much less enticing. Brian McCann (HOU) would fit that mold on DK where he’s available.
Short slates give us short options at premium positions as well. On DraftKings, it’s Ryan Braun (MIL) and then everyone else. Braun is scheduled to make his return from the disabled list and will draw the platoon edge on Steven Matz in his home ballpark. At just $3,900 Braun is far and away the top value at the position that drops all the way to Hanley Ramirez (BOS) as the next available option. Given Braun’s prowess versus left-handers (.394 wOBA, .249 ISO since 2015), it makes little sense to deviate (though he is OF eligible as well).
HanRam is the next best value on DK, and the top projected scorer at the position on FanDuel as he’ll get the platoon edge on Blake Snell. He’s getting a bad park shift though, and in particular on FanDuel where you aren’t committed to using a first baseman you might opt to skip over his $3,900 price tag. That would lead you to using Chirinos or Perez, or one of Wilmer Flores (NYM) and Brad Miller (TB). Neither Flores nor Miller is particularly enticing on the slate as both have team implied run totals under four. Nevertheless they have posted positive batted ball data, and in the case of Miller he’ll grab the platoon edge on Rick Porcello.
DK opens things up a bit more where HanRam is actually $100 cheaper than Braun, and both Marwin Gonzalez (HOU) and Joey Gallo (TEX) have first base eligibility. Gallo is an interesting subject on such a small slate as people might still avoid him given the left on left matchup, but his power upside is immense.
Middle of the road second basemen are the all the rage on Thursday. Jonathan Villar (MIL), Asdrubal Cabrera (NYM), and Eduardo Nunez (BOS) are among the top options on both sites. In the case of DraftKings, the group are relatively close together regarding value. Though Villar grabs the top spot by himself on FanDuel given the matchup with Matz. We much prefer to get Villar from the other side of the plate, but Matz increased walk rate and power allowance will help put some of the Villar risk to ease as he does come with some upside (projecting at 30+ HR/SB). At $2,600 on FanDuel he’ll let you spend elsewhere.
Asdrubal will get the best lineup spot of the bunch, though he doesn’t come with as much overall upside. He still gets a park shift in his favor and has the platoon edge on contact oriented Zach Davies. Zach Davies wants to be Kyle Hendricks, but he can’t be and he’s allowed a near 23% difference in Hard% – Soft% thus far this season. Asdrubal has posted a solid .190 ISO versus RHP since 2015.
Nunez and the Red Sox draw Blake Snell in Tropicana. There are only three games to choose from on FanDuel and he’s only $2,800 there. The lineup spot is ok, and he’ll run a little bit – but otherwise this feels like a 1-4 with a double.
Jose Altuve (HOU) could sneak into your DK lineups given his game is available there, though he’s not fitting into early optimals given our hope to fit at least one of Charlie Morton and Rick Porcello.
Mike Moustakas (KC) is the crown jewel of the third base position on Thursday. He’ll get the platoon edge on Bibens-Dirkx and will draw a solid positive park shift in his favor. Moose flies under the radar in Kansas City, but he’s a solid left-handed bat, posting a .192 ISO against RHP since 2015. He’s the man in early optimals and is projecting more than 2 full points ahead of everyone on FanDuel, and just under two on DraftKings.
There is a huge drop after Moose. Alex Bregman (HOU) is available versus Mike Clevinger on DraftKings. He would represent a potential pivot in tournaments, but the matchup with Clevinger isn’t that exciting (strikeout rate drop, but way more ground balls, decreased xFIP).
Isaiah Kiner-Falefa (TEX) and Hunter Dozier (KC) represent a few near the bottom of the barrel candidates in what we are assuming will be the highest total on the slate. Don’t expect much from either, but Dozier is a 65 raw power guy should he find his way into the lineup.
Travis Shaw (MIL) will be left on left, but he’s the next best value available on FanDuel.
Jurickson Profar (TEX) or bust! Basically. Profar is the top shortstop option on the slate as a switch hitter that comes with an excellent lineup spot. That’s really all you need on this slate, but also put into context the horrendous play of Danny Duffy, the run scoring environment and the affordable price tag. The batted ball data is not impressive, but we’re shrugging it off.
On DraftKings you could look to a pair of options not available on FanDuel, namely Eduardo Nunez (BOS) and Carlos Correa (HOU). Correa is the top skilled shortstop, but he’s also priced as such and on DraftKings.
Orlando Arcia (MIL) is very cheap on both sites and he’s the second most valuable player at the position. He rivals Profar’s horrendous batted ball data, and comes with a worse lineup spot, all buffered by the price tag. He has 15/15 potential, so some light upside is there as well. The Brewers have one of the higher implied run totals at 4.6 runs.
Xander Bogaerts (BOS) is the only shortstop with even respectable batted ball data, but he’s also one of the most expensive options at a position that is likely just going to be gifted to Profar’s reasonable tag and lineup spot. He warrants use in tournaments though as a leverage play.
Finally some green values sneak into the outfield. The entire Brewers team has underperformed against left-handers, but they all float to the top against Steven Matz. Ryan Braun (MIL), Lorenzo Cain (MIL), Christian Yelich (MIL), and Domingo Santana (MIL) are all top five values on both sites, only interrupted by Delino DeShields (TEX).
It’s likely that you’ll pick your options from this group of five players, as most top early optimals don’t stray from the pack. The Brewers bats will get an inconsistent Steven Matz who while has regained some of the strikeouts he lost last season, has become more wild and given up even more home runs (2.21 HR/9 in his first 8 starts). The price tags are affordable, they occupy all the top lineup spots, have an implied run total of 4.6 runs and have one of the best offensive parks on the slate.
DeShields won’t face Matz, but a similarly volatile left-hander in Danny Duffy. Much like his other recommended teammates, the batted ball data is horrendous. But the matchup is good, the lineup spot is as good as it gets, and the price tag is very affordable ($2,600 on FD, $3,400 on DK). He’s been notably better against LHP over the last three seasons (though it’s still not overly impressive at .327 wOBA, .129 ISO).
In nearly perfect order entire outfields follow the Brewers and DeShields. First up the Kansas City Royals and Jorge Soler (KC). Soler saw himself slip to the 5th spot in the order last night, but had previously cemented himself in the 2nd spot of the order where we have him projected for tonight. The young RHB has been really good this season, increasing the walk rate, dropping the strikeout rate and flourishing the second highest power numbers of his career (.184 ISO, projects similarly rest of season). For $4,000 on DraftKings and $3,300 on FanDuel he represents a viable alternative in cash games.
Jay Bruce (NYM) and Michael Conforto (NYM) don’t rate particularly well and might get lost in the shuffle, but they should have a bit more attention in a matchup with Zach Davies on the road in Miller Park. It’s a park upgrade, and both Bruce and Conforto feast on RHP (.235 ISO+ for both). Teammate Brandon Nimmo (NYM) should hold similar appeal at the top of the lineup.
We didn’t even mention the Red Sox outfield, but Mookie Betts (BOS) is a GOAT amongst men. He and J.D. Martinez (BOS) are priced very appropriately, but on a slate where it won’t take much to get contrarian they offer excellent leverage with actionable upside.
1) Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers top our stack rankings with a bunch of strong event players against LHP (Cain, Santana, Braun’s expected return). Matz has been one of the easier pitchers to run on (43 SB allowed in 49 career starts) which also helps push the upside for the Brewers.
2) Texas Rangers
The Rangers offense is a bit of a guess here as we don’t have an implied total to go off of while we produce content. Our guess is the home field advantage leaves them as small favorites which will give them one of the highest implied totals on the slate. The individual pieces don’t really match the slate either on upside or in matchup. The best Texas hitters are all left-on-left matchups which means their most likely chance at upside comes from the bullpen. If we’re wildly off on the Rangers implied total they could easily slip to the third tier.
3) Kansas City Royals
The Royals get what looks to be a bullpen game from the Rangers with Austin Bibens-Dirkx drawing the assignment. Bullpen games aren’t particularly fun to attack as the entirety of a bullpen is usually better than a bad starter and by a decent margin, but it’s a nice park upgrade for the Royals and they get a guaranteed nine innings. Compared to the other park environments and opposing starters on this slate, they’re one of our preferred targets.
4) Boston Red Sox
5) Houston Astros
The Red Sox and Astros are undoubtedly the two most skilled offenses on this slate but they’re also facing two skilled opposing starters and the Red Sox are getting a big park downgrade. With so much salary available if you go cheap SP as your second SP on DraftKings, the Red Sox make a ton of natural sense as mini-stacks through Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez.