Welcome to May 8 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for May 7 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 8 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
00:53 Starting Pitcher
16:40 First Base
19:17 Second Base
21:40 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 8 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections
Jacob deGrom (NYM) projects as the top starter on a challenging slate for starting pitchers. The Giants were just shutout by Scott Feldman in Cincinnati and now have to face deGrom in New York where he’s compiled a 1.97 ERA and 28.5 K Rate in 256 ⅓ career innings. The Giants typically don’t project for many strikeouts but they’ve been so dreadful on the season (71 wRC+ ranks 29th against RHP) and deGrom’s shown such growth in his K Rate (31.6 K Rate, 15.6 swinging strike rate) that we’re still getting a K projection near seven for deGrom. This is outpacing the field by nearly a full strikeout. The price tag is appropriately hefty on both sites ($10,800 on DK, $10,700 on FD) and deploying deGrom will keep you from exposure to Coors Field and a total of 11.
Carlos Martinez (STL) and his big strikeout rate project as the next highest scorer on this slate but the price tag is appropriate and Vegas is respecting the Marlins’ offense against RHP (3.8 implied total). The Marlins at most can throw out four LHBs (Gordon, Yelich, Dietrich, Bour), but in general it’s a lineup that makes a lot of contact outside of Stanton. As a result, Martinez is a better GPP target than cash game option.
The mid-tier is filled with risky starters with compelling upside in favorable pitching environments. Blake Snell (TB) faces a Royals’ offense that ranks dead last in wRC+ against LHP (40) and has posted a 23 percent K Rate against LHP. Perhaps more importantly for Snell, they don’t walk much (7.2 percent BB Rate). Snell was considered the top overall pitching prospect when he was called up in 2016 and immediately showed off his K upside (24.4 K Rate last season) but struggled with command (12.7 BB Rate). This season he’s made no progress in BB Rate (15 percent) and lost some of the strikeouts (19.3 percent) for an ugly 5.17 xFIP. Despite all the struggles, he’s maintained a 3.45 ERA. The matchups he’s faced (MIA, @TOR, HOU, @BOS, @NYY, TOR) haven’t been ideal for a LHP. Vegas is siding with Snell’s talent rather than his 2017 production by giving the Royals just a 3.6 implied run total against (one of the lowest on the slate). It’s difficult to feel good about Snell as a cash game option but he opens up Coors Field offensive exposure and on FanDuel he’s really cheap at $6,900. Given FanDuel’s scoring doesn’t punish for WHIP, we believe he’s the option that brings the highest upside to lineups. On DraftKings, the decision is a bit more muddled with options at all price ranges and as a result things like umpires, line movement, and lineups may alter preferences.
The affordable alternatives to Snell include Nick Martinez (TEX) and Trevor Cahill (SD) who square off in San Diego. Cahill has been a revelation this season with an incredible bump in K Rate (career 17.1, last year as a reliever 23.2, up to 29.8 this season). Cahill’s throwing his curveball a lot more frequently and he’s throwing it more with two strikes. The result has been far more swinging strikes (13.2 percent, career 8.3 percent) and more swings on pitches outside the strike zone (34.8). The Rangers lose the DH on the road and while we don’t have an opening line, we expect the implied total will settle between 3.75-4. Martinez has also shown substantial improvements this season but they’ve been more subtle. The strikeouts are down for Martinez but the swinging strike rate is identical and the first strike rate is up. He’s also generating more swings outside the strike zone and a weaker contact profile (22.6 hard, 25.8 soft) that has been more ground ball oriented (48 percent GB Rate). He’s getting one of the biggest park shifts possible with a league shift not having to face a DH and the Padres rank 25th in wRC+ against RHP with a league high 26 percent K Rate. For just $5,800 on DraftKings, Martinez is an intriguing complementary starting option. The final option to consider in this tier is Nate Karns (KC) who gets a strikeout prone Rays’ lineup (25.5 K Rate) that has been dangerous against RHP (10th in wRC+). The good news for Karns is he’s shown reverse splits in his career (.284 wOBA, .123 ISO allowed, and 26.6 K Rate against LHBs compared to .357-.204-20.63 K Rate against RHBs). The Rays often load their lineup with lefties against RHP which could oddly play to Karns strength.
All of the options above have production profiles that are more typical of GPP starters. It’s the nature of the slate, but those six starters are the ones we’re largely focused on.
A few notable catching matchups give the catcher position some unusual depth. Gary Sanchez (NYY) tops our model, but his viability might depend on the site you are playing. Sanchez and the Yankees travel to Great American Ball Park to face right-hander, Rookie Davis. Davis has not been good in his first few big league starts, walking over six hitters per nine innings while having racked up a 7.64 ERA. At $4,800 on DK it might be a bit more difficult to fit Sanchez into your plans, but he’s just $3,200 on FanDuel – the third highest value overall.
Willson Contreras (CHC) will be part of the oft-mentioned Cubs lineup that travels to Coors Field. The $300 difference on FanDuel might have you dipping to Sanchez, but on DraftKings he actually comes with a slightly cheaper tag at $4,600.
If looking to go even cheaper, Yasmani Grandal (LAD) is just $3,400 on DraftKings and $2,900 on FanDuel. Since the Dodgers have endured some injuries, Grandal has found himself in the cleanup spot against right-handed pitchers. Since 2014, Grandal has posted a .344 wOBA and .220 ISO against RHP. The savings on DraftKings make him very enticing while a smaller salary difference leaves him more in the tournament conversation on FanDuel. Russell Martin (TOR) and Salvador Perez (KC) always deserve some tournament consideration as two of the better offensive catching options.
Anthony Rizzo (CHC) is the highest projected scoring hitter in our entire model. He and the Cubs will get a massive park shift moving to Coors Field and have the highest implied run total on the slate at 5.9 runs. Rizzo has been mired in a bit of a slump (56.5% Soft% last 15 days) but the Colorado air and matchup with Antonio Senzatela should be enough to change things up. Senzatela has been impressive in the early going, but he’s outperformed a bit (4.55xFIP, 2.84 ERA). He’s been able to generate a decent amount of balls on the ground, but he’s struggled to strike hitters out and increased chances of contact bodes well for this Cubs lineup.
After Rizzo there is a significant drop off in terms of projection and value. Despite a horrible lineup spot, Chris Carter (NYY) finds himself on as a nice value on both sites against Rookie Davis. Carter got the night off last night, but played first base each of the other two games when the Yankees lost the DH. The lineup spot should push Carter out of cash game consideration, but he holds lots of tournament appeal.
If you want to be a bit site specific there are a few other options. Cody Bellinger (LAD) is 1B eligible on DK and is just $3,600. The young left-hander continues to mash and will hold the platoon edge on right-hander Trevor Williams. Edwin Encarnacion (CLE) doesn’t have the best matchup with ground ball extraordinaire Marcus Stroman, but at just $3,100 he’s a great value on FanDuel. Kendrys Morales (TOR) and Justin Smoak (TOR) both hold some appeal at cheap prices on both sites against Trevor Bauer.
Ben Zobrist (CHC) is the top second baseman in our model. Zobrist doesn’t offer the same explosive upside as some of the other Cubs, but he’ll bring you exposure to their lineup at a cheaper cost. However, the difficulty in using him comes at the hand of some superb values at the position.
On DraftKings he is $1,000 more than Starlin Castro (NYY), and where Castro matches his price on FanDuel, Rougned Odor (TEX) is $500 cheaper. Castro has been hitting the ball in the air more than ever before this season, leading to an early six home runs and a .204 ISO. The $3,800 tag on DraftKings makes him a great cash game alternative.
Odor draws a matchup with an incredibly good early season Trevor Cahill, but the price tag is intriguing. Though he’s receiving a big negative park shift, the impressive power potential (.217 ISO against RHP since 2014) is more than enough to put Odor into the conversation at just $3,400 on FanDuel. He’s also reasonably priced on DraftKings and would be a great GPP pivot where ownership might flood to Zobrist or Castro.
Jed Lowrie (OAK) and Whit Merrifield (KC) are both still absurdly cheap and are easy ways to save on either site.
Kris Bryant (CHC) is the easy headliner at third base. The difficulty though is trying to jam in his salary on either site. At $5,500 on DraftKings and $5,200 on FanDuel, he is a piece that you’ll need to decide whether or not you can afford to miss out on.
Justin Turner (LAD) is still far too cheap on DraftKings. He’s very good against same handed pitchers, posting a .401 wOBA and .209 ISO against RHP since 2014. If sticking on DK, Joey Gallo (TEX) remains very cheap. The matchup with Cahill is not super enticing, but the extreme power potential and overall price value that Gallo generates puts him into consideration.
Nolan Arenado (COL) is the second highest projected third baseman on this slate, but the matchup with Jake Arrieta might lower his ownership. Arrieta has had some struggles with hard hit contact this year, and has also generated less ground balls (41.7% GB% vs. 52.6% GB% last season). Arenado has excellent tournament appeal and even makes sense as a secondary cash game play if you have the cash, but can’t make it up to Bryant.
Addison Russell (CHC) is one of the more affordable Cubs options on the slate. The last fifteen days have not been kind to him (7.5 % Hard%), but the park shift and the overall depth at the position put him a top the charts and a great cash game play. Trea Turner (WSH) follows closely to Russell in terms of projection, but holds the better skill set overall. Kevin Gausman has struggled against right-handed batters in his career, allowing a .350 wOBA and .185 ISO to same handed batters since 2014. On DraftKings you’ll get a $700 discount by using Russell, but on FanDuel Turner is just $100 more, making for an acceptable alternative and a great tournament pivot who will likely generate less ownership.
For far cheaper you can grab exposure to Didi Gregorius (NYY). Gregorius has recently returned to the Yankees lineup and he’ll get you exposure to a powerful lineup that holds the highest non-Coors implied run total on the slate. He’s shown an ability to generate power against RHP, posting a .148 ISO against them since 2015. On DraftKings you can still make use of pure punts with Adam Rosales (OAK) and Ryan Goins (TOR) as well.
Kyle Schwarber‘s (CHC) struggles have brought down his price considerably and now he’s easy enough to afford as the Cubs travel to Coors Field. As such, he’s the highest projected outfielder and the top value on both sites at the position. In a short career, he’s posted a .370 wOBA and .242 ISO against right-handed pitchers.
After Schwarber, the theme becomes trying to jam outfielders in great macro environments. Therefore, Jacoby Ellsbury (NYY), Brett Gardner (NYY), Jason Heyward (CHC), Charlie Blackmon (COL), and a few others join the most valuable ranks across the sites. Heyward and Blackmon will have the luxury of Coors Field while Ellsbury and Gardner provide a power/speed upside in a dangerously deep Yankees lineup. Gardner in particular has been great of late, posting a +8% Hard% in the last fifteen days. The duo provide great value and are excellent options for cash games and GPPs.
Aaron Judge (NYY) has seen his price sky rocket and his lineup spot fluctuate recently. Nevertheless he needs to hold GPP appeal with his incredible power upside.
Matt Joyce (OAK) is still just $2,400 on DraftKings (he’s less valuable on FanDuel at $2,800). He’ll hold the platoon edge on Ricky Nolasco and will help you pay up for better overall context. Joyce’s teammate Khris Davis (OAK) also rates as a nice value on both sites. The opposing arm, Ricky Nolasco, has allowed a .189 ISO to RHB since 2014.
Cody Bellinger (LAD) holds OF eligibility on both sites, but he is much more valuable on DK. It is impossible for him to keep up with his current pace, but ZiPS is projecting a rest of season ISO of .234 for Bellinger.
1) Chicago Cubs
2) New York Yankees
3) Colorado Rockies
4) Washington Nationals
The Cubs should represent the chalk on this slate as one of the best projected offenses gets the big park upgrade in Coors Field against a contact prone RHP. With all the cheap and mid-tier SP options on this slate, they’re not difficult to afford. In tournaments, there is merit to taking an underweight approach here given their popularity and a likely short day of rest after playing Sunday Night Baseball and traveling “cross country”.
The Yankees, Nationals, and Dodgers are the three offenses we’re most attracted to from a contrarian approach, although the Rockies are likely undervalued in our projections given Arrieta’s propensity for hard contact allowed early in the season and the Cubs bullpen struggles of late (completely overworked all week). The Yankees get Rookie Davis who is coming off his first successful start all season. The Yankees lead the league in wRC+ against RHP and also should play ahead with Tanaka on the mound making it more likely they get the softer part of the Reds bullpen. The Nationals get a nice park upgrade and have the lineup depth (Lind) to take advantage of the DH. Gausman’s peripherals look OK despite the slow start to the season but their bullpen is also substantially weaker without Britton. The Dodgers face a RH reliever getting a spot start who is backed up by a heavily worked pen of late.