Welcome to May 9 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 9 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
00:39 Starting Pitcher
16:19 First Base
21:28 Second Base
25:54 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 9 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections
Max Scherzer (WAS) is the top projected starting pitcher on another Coors Field slate with a lot of affordable, but risky, mid-tier starting pitching. Scherzer gets a dramatic park downgrade and has the league switch which brings a DH into the equation. He also faces an Orioles’ offense that historically has been tough on RHP and this season has struck out in just 20.3 percent of plate appearances against RHP. It is not the ideal spot to pay up for Scherzer but the slate is a tricky one and he comes with our highest K projection.
The next tier of starters includes Carlos Carrasco (CLE), Justin Verlander (DET), Robbie Ray (ARI), and Drew Pomeranz (BOS). Carrasco has pitched the best of the group to start the season but gets a park downgrade in Toronto and faces a watered down Blue Jays lineup that unfortunately doesn’t project for as many strikeouts now. They have three starters that project for a sub-20 percent K Rate against RHP and only one in the lineup with an above average K Rate (Smoak). Carrasco is a slightly more affordable spend than Scherzer but comes with a little less strikeout upside and perhaps a touch safer run prevention with the Jays watered down lineup. Verlander and Ray square off in Arizona. Verlander gets a great matchup for strikeouts with the Diamondbacks (24.4 K Rate against RHP) but the park in Arizona comes with plenty of run prevention risk despite the league switch in Verlander’s favor. Ray has a tough matchup against the Tigers RH heavy lineup getting a big park shift but losing Victor Martinez without the DH. Ray is a small favorite with a solid 4.1 implied total against but the profile (11.8 BB Rate, 50.6 hard hit rate allowed) feels better in tournaments. Drew Pomeranz gets a volatile matchup with the Brewers who rank fourth in wRC+ against LHP with a 26.2 K Rate. It is a league switch in Pomeranz’s favor and IF Ryan Braun sits, the matchup would get dramatically softer. He has just a 3.9 implied run total against and a strong strikeout projection which makes him compelling at just $8,100 on DraftKings and $8,300 on FanDuel. Of this group, Pomeranz projects as the best value, but Carrasco may have the best floor. One other plus for Pomeranz is the Brewers rank 24th against curveballs in pitch values since the start of last season.
Then we have Jharel Cotton (OAK), Charlie Morton (HOU), Dan Straily (MIA), and Julio Urias (LAD) who are all priced around each other in the mid-tier. Morton has pitched the best of this group and gets a National League offense at home with just a 3.5 implied run total against. Morton’s held the velocity gains from last season and it’s translated to a strong K Rate (26.2) and swinging strike rate (10.5). As usual, he’s getting ground balls (48 percent) but he’s also yielding tons of hard contact (40 percent) and the Braves don’t strike out much against RHP (19.6 percent, fifth lowest in the league). As a result, the modest K projection keeps his overall projection in check.
Urias is the most talented of the group and has a paltry implied run total against of just THREE which is lowest on the slate. Urias has pitched awfully poorly in his first two starts but even amid poor outings he was generating swings outside the strike zone and a decent swinging strike rate. The concern with Urias is routinely how deep he can work into games but at $7,300 on FanDuel he opens up a lot as your SP. With Scherzer priced so aggressively and in a difficult matchup on FanDuel, the mid-tier options are compelling to load up on offense and Urias is the cheapest of the bunch.
Cotton is a starter that could get a meaningful boost in projection IF Mike Trout and Andrelton Simmons both sit. Trout has been absent with a hamstring issue and Simmons left last night’s game early with hand issues. Trout is the best hitter in baseball and Simmons rarely strikes out so replacing them with Cliff Pennington and Ben Revere is an overall upgrade for Cotton.
Zack Wheeler (NYM) and Jeff Samardzija (SF) are in the lowest total game on the slate but neither projects great for strikeouts and thus are stuck a bit in limbo. They’ll probably be over-owned due to the implied total and we don’t see huge upside. Wheeler at least has a price tag that is viable in tournaments.
Finally, we have Alex Meyer (LAA) as a potential punt starter on DraftKings. The A’s have posted the fifth highest K Rate against RHP this season (24.1 percent) and Meyer is able to generate strikeouts. The walks and the inability to work deep though make it very difficult to consider him outside of GPPs as a small percentage play.
Gary Sanchez (NYY) represents our top projected catcher in this slate, and he’s our best value on both sites. Sanchez remains a bit challenging to fit in cash games on DK where we’re eyeing other upside bats, but the price tag on FD ($3.2k) makes him a strong target.
Sanchez will be facing Tim Adleman in Cincinnati. Adleman has allowed five home runs in 21 IP this season, and ZiPS believes he’ll continue to struggle with the long ball moving forward (1.54 HR/9 ROS). That projection makes sense – he’s been fly ball prone at the MLB level (45.5% FB rate last season, 49.2% this season) and his hard minus hit rate is sitting at a cool 33.8% this season.
On DK, it’s likely best to go cheap at the position if jamming Sanchez isn’t a priority. Jason Castro (MIN) is sub $3k and in a matchup vs. contact oriented Mike Pelfrey, who’s allowed a .374 wOBA to LHBs since 2015.
On FD, Willson Contreras (CHC) is a viable pivot in all formats as he’s in Coors Field with the platoon edge, but he’s more expensive than Sanchez. We prefer him in tournaments.
If Ryan Hanigan (COL) is behind the plate for the Rockies, he’d emerge as an option on FD where he carries a $2.4k price tag.
The Cubs will flood the top of the projections today as they’re in Coors Field, and it all starts with Anthony Rizzo (CHC). Rizzo won’t have the platoon edge, but he’s generated a .373 wOBA and .182 ISO with remarkable plate discipline vs. LHP since 2015 (434 PAs). We prefer Rizzo in tournaments as we’re comfortable with cheaper targets at the position.
Edwin Encarnacion (CLE) is a strong value on both sites, but we’re particularly interested on FD where he’s $3.1k. Mike Bolsinger has been solid vs. RHBs in his career, but he does allow power (1.36 HR/9 allowed to RHBs in his career) and E5 feels a few hundred dollars too cheap on that site.
On DK, there’s a few cheap targets to consider. Joe Mauer (MIN) is one of them, as he’s facing Mike Pelfrey and usually hits in a strong lineup spot (third). Mauer is viable as well on FD where he’s just $2.6k. Yonder Alonso (OAK) is also in the mix, and he’s even cheaper. We’ve raised Alonso’s baseline vs. RHP (.346 wOBA, .167 ISO) as he’s gotten off to the best start of his career (.311/.386/.667 triple slash line through 29 games). Alonso has been smashing the ball (39.7% hard hit rate according to fangraphs), and he’s creating way more loft (51.5% FB rate this season compared to 33.3% in his career). On top of that, Alonso has a matchup vs. Alex Meyer, who’s been awful vs. LHBs in a very short sample (.408 wOBA, .271 ISO and walking more LHBs than he’s striking out in 74 PAs).
We’ve seen Logan Morrison (TB) hit cleanup over the last few games. If he’s able to stay in that spot, he will emerge as the best cheap target on either site as he’ll have the platoon edge vs. the bringer of home runs, Chris Young (allowed 28 HRs in 88.2 IP last season).
Miguel Cabrera (DET) and Jose Abreu (CWS) are pivots to consider in tournaments. Abreu’s HHR is up to 37.8% in his L15 days, and he has a matchup against a fly ball, home run prone pitcher (Hector Santiago).
Daniel Murphy (WSH) is the top projected scorer at second base. He’ll have the platoon edge vs. Ubaldo Jimenez, who’s allowed a .383 wOBA and .231 ISO to the last 319 LHBs he’s faced. Murphy is a strong target in tournaments, but he’s not our preferred big spend outside of Coors Field in cash games.
Robinson Cano (SEA) faces a similar dilemma. Cano has been hitting the ball well (27% HHR over L15) and has a good matchup against a wide platoon splits pitcher (Jerad Eickhoff), but we’d rather just go cheaper in cash games. Like Murphy, Cano is a viable option in tournaments but on DK the price tag ($4.3k) will draw you in cash games.
Jonathan Villar (MIL) is acceptable as a mid-tier target on FD where he’s $3.1k. The speed upside probably isn’t as significant vs. southpaws, but Villar will run against anyone (16 SBs vs. LHP last season).
Starlin Castro (NYY) and Brad Miller (TB) have upside in their respective matchups against fly ball pitcher that are vulnerable to the long ball and they carry mid-tier price tags on DK. Miller is our best value at the position on DK, as Chris Young hasn’t been able to figure out LHBs (massive .461 wOBA and .346 ISO allowed to the last 215 LHBs he’s faced).
Jed Lowrie (OAK) is certainly not as exciting a play as the options above, but he carries a punt price on FD ($2.3k) and he’s sub $3k on DK. He’s a switch hitter that usually hits in a strong lineup spot (second or third), which is what makes him valuable at punt prices.
Jason Kipnis (CLE) would emerge as a very strong target on FD where he’s priced so cheap, but we’ll need him to hit in a good lineup spot again.
Kris Bryant (CHC) is our top ranked hitter regardless of position as he’s in Coors Field with the platoon edge. Bryant has been remarkable vs. LHP, generating a .410 wOBA and .296 ISO against them since 2015. Kyle Freeland has been able to keep the ball in the ground at a high level (64.2% GB rate through six starts) and he had strong GB rates in the minors as well (53% and 51.6% in AAA and AA last season), but he doesn’t miss any bats (13.8% K rate, 5.6% SwStr rate) which will eventually hurt him in Coors. Bryant is viable across all formats.
If you’re not prioritizing Bryant, there are some power targets that can match his upside. Miguel Sano (MIN) stands out quickly vs. Mike Pelfrey, who’s generated a 10.7% K rate vs. RHBs since 2015. Sano’s HHR is up to 41.7% over the L15.
Todd Frazier (CWS) gets the platoon edge vs. power prone Hector Santiago (.198 ISO allowed to RHBs since 2015). Frazier has generated a massive ISO of .310 in his last 310 PAs vs. LHP, dating back to 2015. Frazier is also viable as an alternative to Bryant on both sites.
Even Eugenio Suarez (CIN) cracks the list of potential alternatives on DK thanks to a $3.6k price tag and a matchup against C.C. Sabathia, who’s coming off two disaster starts (13 ER in his last two starts).
On FD, Evan Longoria (TB) is simply too cheap at $2.9k. He’ll have a matchup against Chris Young, who’s allowed a .202 ISO to the last 239 RHBs he’s faced. If you wanted to go cheap at the position, there’s not a better target with upside than Longoria.
Trea Turner (WSH), Addison Russell (CHC) and Francisco Lindor (CLE) carry the top projections at the shortstop position. They each carry upside in their respective contexts and Russell is in Coors Field with the cheaper price tag of the bunch, making him the appealing target in cash games.
There’s at least one cheap target at the position to consider on each site in cash games, so it’s not a must to pay up in that format.
Brad Miller (TB) kicks off the discussion on FD where he’s SS eligible. Miller carries a phenomenal price tag ($2.6k) on FD, which doesn’t accurately reflect his context (facing Chris Young) or his power skills vs. RHP (.217 ISO vs. RHP since 2015).
On DK, Zack Cozart (CIN) is acceptable as a mid-tier target. Cozart has shown the ability to hit for power when he has the platoon edge, generating a .196 ISO vs. southpaws since 2014 (298 PAs). Our baseline for him vs. LHP is a .195 ISO.
Tim Anderson (CWS) is a viable tournament target on FD as long as he’s in a decent lineup spot. Anderson is just $2.4k on FD and won’t carry any ownership with Brad Miller priced so cheap.
Bryce Harper (WSH) is playing in an AL park (Camden Yards – one of the better hitting environments in the AL) and gets to face Ubaldo Jimenez, who was awful vs. LHBs over the last few seasons. Harper carries our second highest projection of any hitter in this slate, and given the context he’s our favorite high dollar spend outside of Coors Field.
Speaking of Coors Field, Charlie Blackmon (COL) carries the second best projection in the outfield and Carlos Gonzalez (COL) is one of the better outfield values we have thanks to a price drop. Blackmon is a viable big spend on FD, but CarGo is down to $3.3k on FD and $4.5k on DK. Those are really enticing price tags, especially on FD where he’s very close to being priced at the average cost of a hitter. CarGo hasn’t been hitting the ball well all season and his wOBA is currently under .250, but we know he’s a very capable hitter vs. RHP. He’s generated a .371 wOBA and .241 ISO vs. RHP since 2015.
If you wanted exposure to the other side of that game in the OF, Ben Zobrist (CHC) hits in the middle of the lineup for the Cubs and being a switch hitter allows him to always carry the platoon edge. Kyle Schwarber (CHC) is a bit behind in projection from this group, but he’s viable in tournaments.
Corey Dickerson (TB) gets our value conversation outside of Coors started in the OF. He’s leading off vs. Chris Young, who we want to attack with power. Dickerson creates his value through power (.258 ISO vs. RHP since 2015), so he’s a perfect fit on both sites.
Matt Joyce (OAK) and Andrew Benintendi (BOS) (in Milwaukee, a much better hitting environment for pulling the ball than Fenway Park) are other targets to consider on DK. Joyce has a much cheaper price tag ($2.5k), which opens up your spending abilities in this slate.
If you needed a cheap OF on FD, Seth Smith (WSH) looks okay at $2.6k though we’d rather look for a punt elsewhere given the tough matchup vs. Max Scherzer, PH risk (Nationals have three LH relievers) and the opportunity cost in the OF.
Mookie Betts (BOS) and Mike Trout (LAA) are high dollar spends to consider in tournaments given their upside on a nightly basis. The Yankees outfield (Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge) have very high HHR over the L15 and deserve a look in tournaments vs. a home run prone pitcher. You can include Aaron Hicks in that conversation as well though his HHR is nowhere near the other two. On the other side of that game, Adam Duvall (CIN) faces a struggling C.C. Sabathia. He’s another OF with a high HHR (29.7%) over the L15.
1) Chicago Cubs
2) Colorado Rockies
3) Washington Nationals
4) New York Yankees
5) Boston Red Sox
6) Cleveland Indians
Coors Field leads the way in the stack rankings but Tuesday is a slate with plenty of weak SPs and strong offensive environments on tap. Additionally with the Cubs-Rockies playing the second end of a double-header it’s entirely possible we get watered down lineups that severely impact their stack ranking. With likely watered down lineups it’s not a hard night to look outside of Coors in GPPs.
The Nationals get a nice park shift, hopefully their full lineup with Turner and Harper back, and a DH in Adam Lind that is an above average hitter against RHP. The Orioles bullpen is watered down after losing Zach Britton and primarily RH (just one LHP) which sets up well for the Nationals LH power coupled with the righties who hit same handed pitching well. The Yankees get another nice matchup against a weak opposing Reds SP but are more likely to face the strong parts of the Reds bullpen after they’ve had a number of days in a row off and the weaker members were taxed last night. This might be a night to shift exposure back away from the Yankees. The Red Sox get Wily Peralta and a bad Brewers pen behind him but Peralta’s a wide platoon splits pitcher and the Red Sox struggle to get LH. They’re a fine target but focusing on the LHBs down in the order may be a nice contrarian approach (unless Moreland and Bradley Jr are shifted up).
As far as contrarian stacks go, the Rays LH power is intriguing as a mini-stack against Chris Young‘s fly ball tendencies. The concern is the Royals have four lefties in the pen to potentially neutralize the LHBs in the middle innings but Young won’t go deep and has allowed a .346 ISO and .461 wOBA to LHBs since the start of last season. The Rays are also very cheap which makes it easy to get exposure on both sites. The Mariners LH power is also an interesting mini-stack in PHI, primarily Cano-Seager given Jered Eickhoff’s historical wide platoon splits.