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May 5 MLB DFS Late Slate: deGrominating the Padres
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May 5 MLB DFS Late Slate: deGrominating the Padres

01:18 Starting Pitchers
08:05 Catchers
09:58 First Base
12:38 Second Base
15:02 Shortstop
19:22 Third Base
22:02 Outfield
27:17 Cash Game Roster Construction and Stacks

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May 5 MLB DFS Late Slate Pro-Tip

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Jacob deGrom (NYM)

Tier Two

2) Masahiro Tanaka (NYY)

Tier Three

3) Kyle Hendricks (CHC)

4) Adam Conley (MIA)

5) Kevin Gausman (BAL)

6) Robbie Ray (ARZ)

7) Joe Ross (WAS)

8) Matt Cain (SF)

Jacob deGrom (NYM) is hard to avoid on a slate without many frontline options. He’s facing the Padres offense we’ve been picking on aggressively with far worse pitchers than deGrom. deGrom’s velocity has been down early in the season but slowly recovering and is likely the reason the K Rate is down modestly. We’re not concerned. Lock him into cash game lineups on both sites.

After deGrom, the SP rankings get a bit messy. Kyle Hendricks (CHC) looks like the safest option of the tier three starters. He possesses a very strong ground ball rate (59.7 percent), low walk rate (4.4 percent), will be pitching in friendly weather (temperatures in the 50s, wind blowing slightly in), and has historically dominated RHBs (.262 wOBA, 21.4 K Rate, 53.8 GB Rate as a big leaguer). The Nationals may get back Ben Revere which would add a fifth LHB to the lineup and provide a bit more balance but the two at the bottom of the lineup aren’t good hitters against RHP. We don’t have a total on the Cubs game as they hold those till day of to assess the wind, but we’re pegging the Nationals for 3.5 implied runs. Adam Conley‘s (MIA) strikeout rate is intriguing against a Diamondbacks getting a stark park shift and vulnerable to strikeouts, but they’re also a pretty talented lineup against LHP. Robbie Ray (ARZ) will oppose Conley and has some of the same characteristics but facing a slightly higher implied run total against on the road. Ray’s velocity is up early in the season and he’s generating more strikeouts but the Marlins are pretty contact oriented against LHP and they fit in seven RHBs against a splits dominant righty on Wednesday. Kevin Gausman (BAL) profiles as a slightly higher upside version of Kyle Hendricks pitching in a far worse environment. Gausman has good skills and the Yankees lineup is slightly depleted without Alex Rodriguez, but it’s a still a below average matchup and scoring environment for run prevention. Joe Ross (WAS) is someone we like to target against weak RH heavy lineups but the Cubs will assuredly load up with lefties against him and make things very challenging for strikeouts.

Catcher Rankings

1) Buster Posey (SF)

2) Jonathan Lucroy (MIL)

3) J.T. Realmuto (MIA)

4) Evan Gattis (HOU) – where eligible

5) Brian McCann (NYY)

Buster Posey (SF) remains atop our rankings with a matchup against a weak left handed pitcher, but it’s not the best night to pay up for Posey in cash games. The catcher position is closely contested and a few options that rank slightly behind Posey rank somewhat similarly in our model. Jonathan Lucroy (MIL) gets the benefit of a great hitting environment against one of the weakest pitchers on the slate. Alfredo Simon has served up a 35.8 percent hard hit rate and is getting hit hard by both righties and lefties. The Reds bullpen also projects as one of the worst in the league and the Brewers have one of the higher implied run totals on the slate. Lucroy is more affordable on FanDuel than DraftKings but in play in all formats. J.T. Realmuto (MIA) will likely leadoff against LHP Robbie Ray who despite his velocity bump early in the season has struggled and in his career has allowed a .358 wOBA and 37.9 hard hit rate to RHBs. It’s rare to get catchers guaranteed four plate appearances but hitting leadoff that’s likely the case with Realmuto. Evan Gattis (HOU) is a nice cheap option on FanDuel if he garners a Top Five lineup spot. Gattis owns a solid .331 wOBA and .216 ISO against LHP since 2013.

First Base Rankings

1) Joey Votto (CIN)

2) Paul Goldschmidt (ARZ)

3) David Ortiz (BOS)

4) Edwin Encarnacion (TOR)

5) Jose Abreu (CHW)

The first base position is loaded on Thursday’s evening slate. Five of the first 12 hitters in our model are first basemen with Votto, Goldschmidt, and Ortiz all ranking 5-7. Joey Votto (CIN) tops the list but it’s by a relatively small margin. He’s facing Chase Anderson and a bad Brewers bullpen behind him. The Reds have one of the highest implied team totals on the slate and Votto’s reasonably priced on both sites. Edwin Encarnacion (TOR) is a bit cheaper than Votto on both sites and gets another plus matchup against Derek Holland who has allowed a 32.7 percent hard hit rate to RHBs since 2013. The Blue Jays lineup as a whole projects very well against LHP with Donaldson, Bautista, and Edwin all elite options against LHP and they’re also one of the teams with a team total north of 4.5 implied runs. Edwin’s price tag on DraftKings is especially compelling ($3,500). David Ortiz (BOS) and Jose Abreu (CHW) are interesting tournament targets. The slightly elevated price tags along with the cooler weather in Chicago will likely keep ownership toned down on both and they each have the platoon advantage against starts who are better suited for AAA.

Second Base Rankings

1) Jose Altuve (HOU)

2) Robinson Cano (SEA)

3) Dustin Pedroia (BOS)

4) Brandon Phillips (CIN)

5) Rougned Odor (TEX)

Jose Altuve (HOU) and Robinson Cano (SEA) top the second base rankings and each rank inside our Top 15 overall hitters. Both have plus matchups with the platoon advantage in a favorable offensive environment. Altuve has a bit of a skill gap edge on Cano that gives him the edge but both are better tournament targets than cash game options. The reason is Brandon Phillips (CIN) is extremely underpriced as a cleanup hitter on one of the teams with an implied run total above 4.5. Phillips is just $2,200 on FanDuel and $3,500 on DraftKings. Getting some salary relief at second base allows you to fit in deGrom and some priority bats at other positions.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Carlos Correa (HOU)

2) Jonathan Villar (MIL)

3) Xander Bogaerts (BOS)

4) Jimmy Rollins (CHW)

5) Zack Cozart (CIN)

Carlos Correa (HOU) is cash viable everywhere given the gap between him and the rest of the shortstops. Correa ranks inside our Top 10 hitters with the platoon advantage at home against Wade Miley (.329 wOBA, 30.7 hard hit rate since 2013). Jonathan Villar (MIL) is the next best alternative to Correa with a great lineup spot and matchup against Alfredo Simon and the Reds weak bullpen, but he’s starting to get priced appropriately. Where the gap is small, we prefer Correa strongly. Zack Cozart (CIN) is a viable alternative on DraftKings where they are both priced up, but on FanDuel you’ll likely want to keep your selection between Villar or Correa.

Third Base Rankings

1) Josh Donaldson (TOR)

2) Todd Frazier (CHW)

3) Kris Bryant (CHC)

4) Manny Machado (BAL)

5) Adrian Beltre (TEX)

6) Kyle Seager (SEA)

Josh Donaldson (TOR) is clearly the top option at third base against a lefty at home. Donaldson has insane production against LHP since 2013 (.441 wOBA, .338 ISO). He’s a Top 10 hitter overall. After Donaldson, there is a decent gap. Todd Frazier (CHW), Kris Bryant (CHC), Manny Machado (BAL), and Adrian Beltre (TEX) all crack our Top 30 overall hitters and are bunched together. Adrian Beltre (TEX) comes with the cheapest tag of the bunch and serves as the best salary relief option. Beltre gets the platoon advantage against J.A. Happ who has allowed a 33.4 percent hard hit rate to RHBs since 2013.

Outfield Rankings

1) Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

2) Bryce Harper (WAS)

3) Jose Bautista (TOR)

4) Ryan Braun (MIL)

5) Nelson Cruz (SEA)

6) George Springer (HOU)

7) Mookie Betts (BOS)

8) Hunter Pence (SF)

9) Michael Conforto (NYM)

10) Kris Bryant (CHC) – where eligible

11) Curtis Granderson (NYM)

12) Yoenis Cespedes (NYM)

13) Domingo Santana (MIL) – health risk

14) Seth Smith (SEA)

15) Jacoby Ellsbury (NYY)

16) Nori Aoki (SEA)

17) Adam Jones (BAL)

18) Brett Gardner (NYY)

19) Jay Bruce (CIN)

20) Dexter Fowler (CHC)

Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) against a fly ball prone LHP tops our rankings with Bryce Harper (WAS) in a fair matchup but a lower run scoring environment. With a depressed price tag, the higher end outfielder we’re targeting in cash games is once again Jose Bautista (TOR). The price tag on DraftKings is ridiculous again ($3,900) but $3,700 on FanDuel also makes him very attractive. The rest of the outfield values are going to be very lineup dependent. The one environment with cheap outfielders that could end up in good lineup spots is in Cincinnati where we’re not sure of the health status of Domingo Santana (MIL) who remains very cheap on both sites. If he can’t go, perhaps we get Kirk Nieuwenhuis (MIL) in a Top Five lineup spot unlocking him. Pricing is pretty tight on FanDuel with an emphasis on deGrom, so we’re going to want to find a cheap outfielder but it’s likely coming via lineup alerts. Adam Jones (BAL) remains very cheap over there but the matchup with Tanaka isn’t particularly appealing. On DraftKings, pricing is looser with a cheap second starter and underpriced stud bats, allowing you to spend a bit more.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Toronto Blue Jays

2) Seattle Mariners

Tier Two

3) Boston Red Sox

4) Milwaukee Brewers

5) Cincinnati Reds

6) Miami Marlins

7) Chicago White Sox

8) Houston Astros

The Blue Jays rank as our top stack option overall and they have some softer pricing that makes sense to target in tournaments. The Mariners are all priced up but getting a nice big park shift against a career reliever, Chris Devenski, making his second start of the season. Given the elevated price tags, the Mariners are an intriguing tournament stack as price tags should force down ownership. The Brewers-Reds game is one to target in tournaments as well given a good hitting environment and two really bad bullpens behind starters that don’t historically work deep into games.

Tournament Stack

New York Mets

The Mets get a weak RHP in a park shift that isn’t as severe as you might think with the cool early season weather in the northeast. The Mets are so good against RHP and the game in PETCO will likely come with very low ownership, making them particularly compelling in tournaments.

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