Welcome to May 6 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for May 6 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!
May 6 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
00:46 Starting Pitcher
14:50 First Base
19:28 Second Base
21:32 Third Base
- 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.
May 6 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections
Clayton Kershaw (LAD) takes the mound on a Coors Field slate which always presents a challenging decision for roster construction. Kershaw has a favorable matchup against the Padres who rank 28th in wRC+ against LHP this season. The challenge with Kershaw is the hefty price tag and a few early season peripherals coupled with a Coors Field slate that push in the direction of alternatives. Kershaw’s swinging strike rate through six starts is down to 11.1 percent (14.2-15.9 last three seasons) and his hard hit rate allowed is up to 33.9 percent. The velocity and pitch mixes are all the same but it’s possible Kershaw is back to the 25-27 percent K Rate guy we saw pre-2013 instead of the 31+ K Rate pitcher we saw the last three seasons. It’s also entirely possible that it’s a small sample issue. The price tag is asking for something slightly ahead of where he’s been early on this season and that may be enough reason to tilt your decision. The slate has some high upside alternatives at starting pitcher that intrigue us over Kershaw’s hefty price tag, but we’ll need weather to cooperate. As a result, the decision to roster Kershaw may come down to the wire.
The alternatives to Kershaw are not nearly as skilled but are substantially more affordable. Gerrit Cole (PIT) has seen his strikeout rate rebound early in the season and he gets the benefit of facing one of the most strikeout friendly matchups in baseball with the Brewers (25.3 K Rate, 20th in wRC+ against RHP) who also get a massive park downgrade for their primary skill set (.215 ISO against RHP). Cole isn’t exactly cheap, but he’s a substantial discount from Kershaw on both sites.
Also in this projection tier is Lance McCullers (HOU) who comes with more strikeouts built into his profile than Cole but faces an Angels’ offense that doesn’t project for many strikeouts. So far this season, they’ve struck out 21.3 percent of the time against RHP but last year they finished with a 16.4 K Rate against RHP without much change in personnel. As a result, we have Cole projected slightly ahead of McCullers for strikeouts. The good news is the Angels have struggled to generate runs and they rank dead last in mean 15-day hard hit percentage on the slate. On DraftKings, the wide discrepancy in their price tags makes this moot but on FanDuel where McCullers is remarkably $8,500 the two project closely as values. Since McCullers will have no weather concerns and is $1,000 cheaper, he’s a preferred target.
The next tier down for starters includes Vincent Velasquez (PHI), Julio Teheran (ATL), and Dylan Bundy (BAL). Velasquez has that difficult matchup with the Nationals that we’d prefer only in tournaments. Teheran gets a Cardinals offense that went nuts last night but also went with a very RH heavy lineup. Teheran hasn’t looked right early on this season but much of that can be credited to facing an unusual amount of LHBs. So far 91 of the 152 batters faced have come from the left side (60 percent, .362 wOBA allowed). In 2016 (46 percent) and 2015 (50 percent), he faced a smaller percentage of LHBs and given his wide platoon splits the exaggerated struggles make sense. If he gets a RH heavy lineup, he’d earn consideration. Bundy is likely the chalkiest option of this group as he’s had tremendous early season results despite a difficult schedule (half of his starts against the Red Sox). Bundy’s generating a lot of soft aerial contact and his swinging strike rate (10.3 percent) suggests the strikeouts should come. While the projections slightly favor Velasquez and Teheran our instincts suggest Bundy is the preferred target of this group.
If you do choose to pay for Kershaw and still want to squeeze Coors Field in on DraftKings you’ll need an extreme source of salary relief. This is where A.J. Cole (WAS) comes into the equation as the former top prospect is just $5,400 with a compelling matchup against the Phillies (18th in wRC+ against RHP, 24 K Rate). Cole has been a mess in the minors (6.63 ERA, 16.3 K Rate, 11.6 BB Rate) so this comes with a lot of risk that we’d prefer in tournaments but he does have a good matchup.
Buster Posey (SF) is our top ranked catcher. He gets a massive park shift in his favor hitting in Cincinnati and will face Amir Garrett, who has allowed a high 40% Hard% in a small sample size. Meanwhile, Posey has a .374 wOBA and .178 ISO against LHP since 2015 (not park-adjusted).
Both Posey and the best cheap alternative at the positions, Chris Iannetta (ARI), have poor recent Hard%’s. So if you’re taking a cold hitter, it might make sense to simply go the cheaper route with Iannetta while simultaneously grabbing more Coors exposure. The Diamondbacks IRT is at 5.7.
Gary Sanchez (NYY) is tournament viable given his power prowess, but it’s a projected cold night in Wrigley with the wind blowing in. Yasmani Grandal (LAD) rates as a top four value across both sites.
After a double dong night, Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) is once again our top projected hitter overall, and it’s not remotely close. Of course hitting in Coors Field is a big boon to Goldschmidt’s value, but holding the platoon edge is important as well. Goldschmidt has posted a .429 wOBA and .222 ISO against LHP since 2015. He also continues to run, recording eight steals already this season. If you needed any more reasons to play Goldschmidt, his 15-day Hard% is Top 10 in our batted ball tool, and that’s before taking into account last night’s big performance.
The only reason Goldschmidt isn’t a must play is that Chris Davis (BAL), who has also been swinging it well recently with a positive Hard% delta, offers meaningful cap relief and a bunch of upside. The Orioles team total is actually within half a run of the Arizona team total as they face Dylan Covey, who has walked more batters than he has struck out while allowing five home runs through four starts.
Some cheaper options on DK with positive Hard% deltas are Matt Carpenter (STL) (Teheran struggles mightily with LHBs) and Josh Bell (PIT) (Garza has a 5.12 ZiPS projected ERA). Michael Morse (SF) is actually the best value of the bunch, coming with a cheaper price tag, more power upside, and a better hitter’s park. However, his OF eligibility means you’re likely using him there on a night with so much opportunity cost at 1B.
Morse is also the best value pivot off Goldschmidt and Davis on FD, where Carpenter and Bell are also viable. However, we prefer Mike Napoli (TEX) to the latter two, as he is cheaper, carries more power upside, and faces Chase De Jong, who has been brutal at both AAA and MLB in limited innings thus far this season.
This isn’t a bad position to save a few bucks so you can spend up on Coors bats elsewhere. Rougned Odor (TEX) squares off against Chase De Jong, who we’ve pegged with a .353 wOBA allowed to LHBs.
On both sites, Jed Lowrie (OAK) is an acceptable punt play. Other sources of cap relief include Cesar Hernandez (PHI) and possible Kolten Wong (STL) (if he leads off again) on DK and Alen Hanson (PIT) on FD (pure punt).
On a large slate, it’s no surprise the hot corner is loaded with upside.
Right off the bat, the obvious top play is Nolan Arenado (COL), given the combination of plus splits matchup and the game taking place in Coors.
As we mentioned earlier, the Orioles team total at least competes with the Coors teams, though, and Manny Machado (BAL) will save you a little bit of dough. We’ve been raving about Machado’s peripherals for a couple of weeks, and we’ve seen the results in the power department (.252 ISO now). Look for the batting average to follow suit as Machado’s .216 BABIP is 90 points below his career average.
As difficult as it may be to pass up the upside of Arenado and Machado, Joey Gallo (TEX) offers similar per dollar value and may be easier to fit roster construction wise. And it’s possible our baselines are shorting him. Gallo is running a little bit (four stolen bases). More importantly, though, he’s striking out less than last year and has absurd power peripherals. According to our batted ball tool, Gallo ranks top 15 in both Hard% and FB%.
On FD, Gallo is priced more aggressively, so Eduardo Nunez (SF), who is a plus value on DK as well, becomes the cheap pivot to look to if not paying up for Arenado or Machado in cash games. He gets the huge park shift against the volatile Amir Garrett and horrible Reds bullpen.
Kris Bryant (CHC) is an excellent tournament pivot to Arenado and Machado, although the cooler weather and wind blowing in dampens his upside a touch. On FD, it’s hard to sway from the above options given pricing, but on DK it’s reasonable to consider other cheaper guys for cap relief in tournaments, such as Eugenio Suarez (CIN).
Despite a poor lineup spot, Trevor Story‘s (COL) massive power upside at home with the platoon edge makes him a great target on FD, where the price is low ($3,600) for a Coors Field option. As long as you aren’t playing Kershaw on FD, the decision is likely between Story and his Coors counterpart, Chris Owings (ARI).
Owings has flashed event upside early on, matching last year’s five home runs already and contributing eight stolen bases.
Trea Turner (WAS) is the highest projected non-Coors SS.
DK pricing brings in an array of reasonable secondary values, such as Eduardo Nunez (SF) (see 3B section), Enrique Hernandez (LAD) (has been leading off against LHP; .373 wOBA and .247 ISO in that split since 2015), and Zack Cozart (CIN) (hitting second in a great hitter’s park, platoon edge against Tyler Blach).
Addison Russell (COL) is tournament viable on both sites, but his relative value is higher on FD.
Given the L/L matchups for Blackmon and Gonzalez (questionable with a calf injury), it’s the Arizona side of Coors field that floods our top rated outfielders: AJ Pollock and Yasmany Tomas (ARI). Bryce Harper (WAS) (questionable with a groin injury) joins them to round out our top three outfielders. Harper gets a positive park shift in PHI, and opposing pitcher Vincent Velasquez has struggled early on (wild and homer prone). Blackmon and Gonzalez are still very worthy tournament targets.
While we’d love to pay up for those options where possible, there are several strong values in the outfield that allow you to save money to put towards high end infielders. This is the case more so on DK than on FD. On DK, high upside, cheap options like Mike Morse (SF), Enrique Hernandez(LAD), Seth Smith (BAL) (leading off with the platoon edge for the highest non-Coors total), Nomar Mazara (TEX) (way too cheap for a third hitter with the platoon edge against one of the worst projected SP splits on the day), and Matt Joyce (OAK) (two hitter with a punt price that is also a good splits play) offer a significant amount of cap relief.
On FD we get more reasonable prices on this group. As a result, we’d try to get in one of the top three ranked outfielders, but if you can’t do that, it might make more sense to go to the mid-tier than to cheap values like on DK. Options that are underpriced in the $3k range include Adam Jones/Mark Trumbo (BAL), Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) (power upside in any park and Gsellman has been struggling), Hunter Pence (SF) (platoon edge, park shift, poor opposing pitching staff), and the Rangers LHBs in the OF, depending on lineup spot (Choo, Mazara).
Franklin Gutierrez (LAD) carries pinch hit risk for the Dodgers, but he’s the highest rated sub-$3k option on FD. Enrique Hernandez (LAD) also carries that pinch hit risk, but from a safer lineup spot. Opposing LHP Clayton Richard has yielded a .352 wOBA to RHBs for his career.
1) Arizona Diamondbacks
2) Colorado Rockies
Coors Field has the warmest weather on the slate (mid-70s) by 15-20 degrees and has all the natural advantages with altitude. Both teams have a higher implied run total than everyone else on the slate by nearly 1.5 runs except the Orioles. Throw in Clayton Kershaw on this slate and it’s possible you get slightly deflated ownership from where it should be on the Coors Field offenses.
3) Baltimore Orioles
If you’re looking to fade Coors Field on this slate, the Orioles are the natural pivot. Dylan Covey has walked 10.5 percent of batters faced and struck out just 8.4 percent while allowing a 34.2 hard hit rate. He can’t miss bats and the Orioles power can take advantage.
4) Washington Nationals
5) Texas Rangers
6) San Francisco Giants
The Rangers are the best value as far as these third tier offenses go and frankly if we’re going towards this tier and away from Coors Field, we want it with value to pair with high end starting pitching. This is the case moreso on DraftKings than FanDuel. On FanDuel, the Orioles fit that bill far better.
If looking for a contrarian option, the Mets are intriguing against Odrisamer Despaigne who was walking more batters than strikeouts in AAA before getting called up and is backed up by a bullpen that has been worked heavily of late and has just one left hander in the entire pen. The Mets LH power is the place to look for contrarian value with guys like Conforto, Bruce, Walker, etc.