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May 9 MLB DFS: Bringing the Rain vs. Seattle
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Welcome to May 9 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium Cliff Notes for May 9 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 9 MLB DFS Position Timestamps

01:02 Starting Pitcher
12:40 Catcher
16:31 First Base
19:24 Second Base
22:32 Third Base
24:45 Shortstop
26:44 Outfield
29:40 Stacks

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  • 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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Range of Outcome Projections

May 9 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

Starting Pitcher

Patrick Corbin (ARI) is the top projected scorer on the main slate, but the price tag is aggressive on both sites. Corbin has pitched to those tags this season with a huge bump in K Rate (34.7 percent, career 21.1 percent) thanks to a new slower version of his slider and throwing the two different sliders frequently. The Dodgers’ lineup is watered down against LHP without Justin Turner and Yasiel Puig but they have a bunch of guys who don’t project as high strikeout targets. We’ve bumped Corbin’s baselines aggressively but there’s still more room to get to this year’s production and if you get that aggressive he’s your best SP option on FanDuel where the price tag is reasonable ($10,000). Unfortunately he’d still be too pricey on DraftKings ($13,300) to consider in cash games.

This slate does have a lot of intriguing offensive spends so salary relief is a bit of a priority, which also naturally pushes us away from Corbin a bit. Gio Gonzalez (WAS), Masahiro Tanaka (NYY), Alex Wood (LAD), Julio Teheran (ATL), and Nick Pivetta (PHI) form a deeper secondary tier.

Gonzalez is priced aggressively like Corbin but has the most comfortable matchup of the group against a Padres’ offense that projects as below average and strikeout friendly against LHP without Wil Myers. Gonzalez is a reasonable spend on FanDuel ($9,000) but seems unnecessary at over $11,000 on DraftKings.

Tanaka has a scary matchup with the Red Sox but a strong implied total against (3.9) and win probability (-175) along with a really favorable home plate umpire is helping push Tanaka’s projection. A mid-tier price tag on both sites fits the slate nicely from an offensive perspective.

Alex Wood, like Tanaka, has a bit of annoying matchup against the Diamondbacks but gets the benefit of the matchup in a favorable home park. Unlike Tanaka, Wood has a difficult umpire pushing his projection down a bit. The price tag on Wood is so cheap on DraftKings ($7,600) that he looks like one of the stronger SP plays despite the unspectacular projection.

Julio Teheran (ATL) gets a favorable matchup despite the negative league shift against the Rays who are mostly filled with RH threats. Teheran has held RHBs to a .280 wOBA and .137 ISO while striking out 24.3 percent of them since 2016. He’s priced a bit more aggressively on DraftKings which pushes him towards a fringe play, while on FanDuel he has one of the most attractive price tags making him a possible primary target.

The last option we’re considering is Nick Pivetta (PHI) who has been pretty volatile this season. Pivetta’s generating strikeouts and done a much better job limiting hard contact than he did last season but is coming off a disaster start in Washington. The Giants’ offense ranks 21st in wRC+ against RHP with a slightly above average K Rate (23.5 percent) this season, making them a fine target. Pivetta is the cheapest of the bunch which pushes him into plenty of optimal lineups on both sites.

There are plenty of ways to mix and match these groups. We view Gio Gonzalez as the best combination of safety and upside on FanDuel but the most annoying price tag on both sites. We view Alex Wood as the most stable commodity on DraftKings thanks to a cheap price tag and think Nick Pivetta has the most per dollar upside of this group on either site. On DraftKings, two of the three from Pivetta, Wood, and Tanaka make the most sense for cash game construction. On FanDuel, any one of Teheran, Wood, Tanaka, Pivetta, or Gonzalez are viable.

In tournaments, we’d extend the list to Joey Lucchesi (SD) who has pitched well for San Diego early in the season but faces a Nationals’ lineup that is threatening to LHP with Anthony Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman back.

Catcher

A trio of veteran right-handers top our value rankings at the catcher position on Wednesday. Russell Martin (TOR), Buster Posey (SF), and Mike Zunino (SEA) all have posted positive deltas in Hard% over the last fifteen days, with each posting a number above 30%. Martin and Zunino will square off against each other in Toronto, both getting mediocre southpaws for low $3,000 price tags.

Though Martin and Zunino will each grab the platoon edge, they come with worse lineup spots than Posey. Posey gets a nice park shift in his favor, but the power has seemingly vanished and his opponent, Nick Pivetta, has improved his command and ability to keep the ball in the park thus far.

Gary Sanchez (NYY) is the second projected scorer at the position. On the surface, the matchup with Rick Porcello isn’t particularly enticing, but the Yankees have an implied run total of over five runs, he’ll be in his home ballpark and he’s rather accessible. Furthermore, Sanchez has been excellent of late, posting a 45.8% Hard% over the last fifteen days.

First Base

Justin Smoak (TOR), Brandon Belt (SF), and Lucas Duda (KC) hold three of the top four value spots on both FanDuel and DraftKings on Wednesday. Smoak has seen his price tag fall back to $3,500 on DraftKings, but we’ll unfortunately get him from the right-side versus Wade LeBlanc. Don’t be overly discouraged though, while there is a sizable gap in the power numbers from the right and left side for Smoak, he’s held his own against southpaws – posting a .365 wOBA and .189 ISO since 2015. At $3,500 on DraftKings he’s an easy fit, but he’s also accessible on FanDuel at $3,300.

Belt moves across the country and picks up a park shift facing Nick Pivetta. The Giants hitters rarely excite us, but Belt has been good against RHP (.377 wOBA, .217 ISO) since 2015. He’s hit the ball well recently (as evidenced by his positive delta in Hard%) and it’s helped jump his price to $3,900 on FanDuel where we’re looking elsewhere. But at $4,000 on DraftKings – he’s much more in play.

Duda has been quite the opposite of the others, holding a Hard% on the season below 15% and even worse in the last fifteen days. Nevertheless, he draws a strong park shift for LHB power and gets to face an Andrew Cashner that has rightfully allowed balls to find the seats this year (2.09 HR/9 thus far). Where he’s only $100 cheaper than Smoak on DK, we’d prefer the latter but on FanDuel at $2,500 he’s worthy of your consideration as a 1B or UTIL guy.

Carlos Santana (PHI) is only $2,900 on FanDuel and rates as a top five value. Chris Stratton has outperformed his xFIP via ERA this season and is a flyball arm getting a big negative park shift. Furthermore, you’ll get Santana from the left side of the plate. On DraftKings, Trey Mancini (BAL) has first base eligibility. He’s shown decent pop against southpaws (.191 ISO) in his brief career and will get the leadoff spot for just $3,600.

Second Base

Newly returned Jonathan Schoop (BAL) is a hot commodity at 2B. Schoop is just $3,500 on DraftKings and $2,700 on FanDuel. He’ll get the platoon edge on left-hander Eric Skoglund who’s getting a negative park shift and faces an Orioles team that has become much healthier and deeper with the return of Schoop and Trumbo. Schoop took a big step forward in the power department last season, and projection systems like it to remain with ZiPS and Steamer posting ISOs of .204 and .194 respectively. Frankly, the price tag is just far too cheap for Schoop who floods every optimal on FanDuel – but makes his way in on DraftKings as well.

Where Schoop doesn’t distinguish himself quite as much on DK, Whit Merrifield (KC) and Cesar Hernandez (PHI) fall into some of the optimals though as slightly negative values. Merrifield and the Royals get a park shift in their favor on the other side of the Schoop game, facing a Cashner that has struggled with the long ball this season. It’s tough to swallow an $800 increase from Schoop to Merrifield, but he does have legitimate event upside and is now a road leadoff hitter.

Cesar too will cost you $500 more than Schoop on DK. He comes with a little bit of home run, stolen base upside – but not as much as Merrifield. He’s posted a small positive delta in Hard% over the last fifteen days and hits at the top of the lineup, but we’d place him behind Merrifield and Schoop for cash games.

Neil Walker (NYY) and Chris Owings (ARI) both are very cheap on DK despite tough matchups. They would be last ditch price plays, so too would Kike Hernandez (LAD) with the platoon edge.

Third Base

What Schoop was to second, Josh Donaldson (TOR) is to third base on this slate. He’s the top value on both sites and will get the platoon edge on left-hander Wade LeBlanc. It feels like it’s been a while, so let’s revisit Donaldson’s numbers against southpaws since 2015 – .418 wOBA, .309 ISO. He’s priced appropriately on both sites, but given we aren’t locked into a top arm on the slate there is plenty of cap to work with. He’s the primary option at the position.

Afterwards Mike Moustakas (KC), Yangervis Solarte (TOR), and Danny Valencia (BAL) fight for the scrap heap ownership at the position.

Moustakas will grab the platoon edge on the aforementioned Andrew Cashner, receiving a nice park boost for LHB power. The issue is that he’s just priced too similarly to Donaldson, making him only a tournament pivot.

Solarte is a bit cheaper and less skilled than Donaldson, but takes advantage of the same matchup. The Blue Jays have an implied run total of 4.7 runs and Solarte will always have the platoon edge as a switch-hitter. Unfortunately, the right side of the plate is a considerably weaker side for him.

Valencia will grab the platoon edge on Eric Skoglund, and he’s been on our radar against southpaws for years now in MLB DFS. A heavy platoon bat, Valencia has posted a .375 wOBA and .200 ISO against southpaws since 2015. At $2,300 on FanDuel he could be used as a UTIL complement along some of the other top bats.

Shortstop

There will seemingly be a bit of overlap in cash games, as undoubtedly Manny Machado (BAL) will be the chalk at a barren shortstop position. He’s priced aggressively on both sites but still floods the early optimals and will get the platoon edge on Eric Skoglund. Though that’s not as significant for Machado’s near even splits, it matters for Skoglund who has allowed a .399 wOBA and .224 ISO to RHB in his early career.

Jean Segura (SEA) is the only other positive value at $4,000 on DraftKings and $3,200 on FanDuel. Segura gets a park shift as a top of the order road hitter and will have the platoon edge as well on Jaime Garcia. The 50 HR+SB seasons seem a bit behind him, but he’s still projecting for 30+, giving you more than enough event upside at a position with little depth.

Trea Turner (WSH) has struggled against LHP in the early part of his career, but he still has unparalleled upside on the base paths. Kike Hernandez (LAD) has SS eligibility on DraftKings, and he’s a member of the Sneaky Monster Platoon Club (.384 wOBA, .260 ISO vs. LHP since 2015).

Outfield

Teoscar Hernandez (TOR) and Nelson Cruz (SEA) block off the biggest chunks of value in the outfield. Hernandez has shown impressive power numbers thus far and though rest of season projects some regression he carries some legitimate pop (.192, .191 ISO rest of season from ZiPS, Steamer). He’ll grab the platoon edge and the leadoff spot against Wade LeBlanc, a flyball oriented left-hander that is now moving out of Seattle. The price has caught up to the performance, but he’s the top value on both sites.

Nelson Cruz is another one of the absurd splits guys against left-handers. He’s not quite Donaldson-esque, but has posted a hefty .412 wOBA, .299 ISO in the split since 2015. We project slightly less in his age, but enough to be feared by Jaime Garcia who has struggled keeping the ball in the park as he’s seen the groundball rate take a sizable drop. The pair of right-handed opponents are making up a core duo in early optimals.

Trey Mancini (BAL) already got a mention, but he’s outfield eligible on both sites as well, allowing you to play him along other first base values on DraftKings. Gregor Blanco (SF) and Brett Gardner (NYY) both have the leadoff hitter vibe going for them, and it’s helping push them up a bit in the value rankings on a night that doesn’t reke of immense value.

Blanco comes with very little overall upside, but a road leadoff hitter getting a park shift for cheap can’t be ignored entirely. Gardner gets a tough matchup with Rick Porcello, but an awesome ballpark and an implied run total of 5.1 runs. He’s just $3,000 on FanDuel but more importantly $3,300 on DraftKings where he’s the fourth best value in the outfield.

Giancarlo Stanton (NYY) has returned to hitting missiles in every direction (39.2% Hard% last fifteen days), Adam Jones (BAL) will get the platoon edge and likely a lineup bump, and Andrew McCutchen (SF) travels back east into a friendlier park. The trio rate just behind the five or six guys already mentioned, but all warrant consideration in tournaments. In the case of Jones, perhaps some consideration in cash games as well.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays represent our top stack option against a fly ball and homer prone lefty in Wade LeBlanc. We don’t expect LeBlanc to work deep into the game and with a fresh bullpen behind him this is a slightly tricky spot that depends on how well the Jays do against LeBlanc. If they get to him early they’re likely getting below average long relievers but if the game is tight the Mariners could choose to use the better parts of the pen. The good news is the Jays’ offense sets up well against LHP with Josh Donaldson, Teoscar Hernandez, Kevin Pillar, and Russell Martin all projecting better from the right side.

Tier Two

2) New York Yankees

3) Seattle Mariners

The Yankees have a surprisingly strong implied team total on this slate despite Rick Porcello‘s strong start to the season. Given they’re the Yankees, they’ll likely carry ownership and our projections prefer the individuals on other teams a bit more due to price tags. As a result, we’ll likely take an underweight position on the Yankees in GPPs.

The Mariners are intriguing with the big park shift and Nelson Cruz‘s dominant splits against lefties. While Cruz will carry ownership, the left on left matchups for Cano, Gordon, and Seager all figure to carry low ownership making the stack likely contrarian.

Tier Three

4) San Francisco Giants

5) Baltimore Orioles

6) Philadelphia Phillies

7) Kansas City Royals

Despite our love for Pivetta, the Giants float up the stack rankings because of an awful Philadelphia Phillies bullpen and a big park shift in their favor.

The Orioles and Royals will likely have some spillover ownership from Tuesday night’s big efforts. The park environment is great for DFS with the weather warming and both teams bullpens are awful. We like the Orioles side a bit more than the Royals’ side as one of the weakest members of the Orioles pen (Mike Wright) was used heavily last night and is likely unavailable.