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MLB DFS Slate Breakdown (5/12/21)

This content will be dedicated to providing you with an easy-to-follow breakdown of the elite cash plays, GPP plays, and leverage stacks.

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Pitching

MLB DK Pitcher Table

Gerrit Cole: Cole has a 36% K rate to start the year and he has been equally as effective vs left-handed and right-handed bats. Cole has been one of the best pitchers in baseball to start the year. He gets a Rays lineup today that we are not scared of. They can be scrappy and string some hits together but they’re not beating you with the long ball which is where Cole struggles. Pitching options are strong on this slate but I still want to be prioritizing Cole every step of the way.

Brandon Woodruff: Woodruff lost a pitching battle with Wheeler his last outing but he showed his upside in a matchup that’s a lot more intimidating than todays. The Cardinals have been excellent to start the season but they still have a ton of strikeouts in the lineup vs a good right-handed pitcher. Woodruff is finally getting some of the national media attention and attention from the fantasy community that he deserves. I don’t expect us to get Woodruff at low ownership, but he could go under-owned compared to the two other pitching options that I am writing up today (Cole and Gallen).

Zac Gallen: I myself am still working through who I plan on having in my lineup today between Gallen, Cole, and Woodruff. Gallen has come back off of injury and picked up right where he left off last season. One of the more underrated pitchers in baseball finally got a slight price increase and looks to be getting some respect when it comes to ownership. The matchup is a juicy one and that will drive ownership. Gallen gets a Marlins team that over the last two seasons has struck out a lot less than people have expected, but the low team total and large moneyline will make Gallen popular. If Gallen is the most popular option on the slate, I will probably lean toward going to Woodruff instead of him. This is a big decision point on the slate.

Other GPP Targets: Max Fried, Danny Duffy, Casey Mize

MLB Top Batters

Batters

C

Salvador Perez- Perez let a lot of people down last night, but he is in a fantastic spot again tonight! Mize is a young talented pitcher, but he has struggled a ton with his control and allowing a high fly ball rate. Perez is a patient hitter with a lot of pop against pitchers that profile similarly to Mize.

Danny Jansen- Jansen is hot? Jansen is always a popular punt play on DraftKings and he just hit home runs in back-to-back games so I suspect he will be a popular option today. I would avoid this chalk in GPPs, but in cash, he is fine in order to jam in the high-end pitchers.

1B

Rhys Hoskins- I feel like this is going to happen every 5 days. I am going to want to stack vs Jon Lester. I don’t think Lester has a lot left in the tank and Hoskins smashes left-handed pitching regularly. The Phillies won’t be a popular stack today versus Lester, but I like Rhys as a one-off or a part of a Phillies stack.

Asdrubal Cabrera- Cabrera has been a staple in the middle of the order for the DBacks. I like Cabrera as a cheap option on this slate. If I was prioritizing a first baseman it would be Hoskins, but Cabrera is a fine alternative and also has multi-position eligibility.

2B

Jose Altuve- Altuve vs a lefty! Heaney’s advanced metrics have been awesome to start the season and he had a great start vs Houston earlier this year. I tend to try and ignore the short-term variance and trust the long-term numbers of Altuve-crushing lefties. He is seeing the ball well right now too. He could go under-owned since 2B is traditionally a spend-down spot, but I think he’s a great GPP target. I would use Altuve as a one-off in this spot as well as in stacks.

Marwin Gonzalez- The new Red Sox leadoff hitter will be popular again today. The Red Sox currently have one of the highest team totals on the slate and are the hottest team in baseball to start the season. Gonzalez’s ownership may get out of hand, so it could be smart to avoid in tournaments.

3B

Alec Bohm- Another cheap Phillies bat! The mini stack of Hoskins and Bohm is my favorite on this slate. I plan on having both in my lineup and if they aren’t going to be popular I would welcome it. I expect they gain some traction but it won’t get out of control.

Alex Bregman- Bregman and the Astros are always targets vs left-handed pitching. Their elite left-handed-hitting options are serviceable vs lefties and often go overlooked. I like the idea of a Bregman and Altuve mini-stack as the elite hitters vs lefties in this lineup.

SS

Corey Seager- Seager looks like he is going to be mega chalk tonight as the best SS option. Due to the high-priced pitching options on this slate, I think the Dodgers as a whole get overlooked when they shouldn’t. I expect Seager to be a popular one-off and I am okay with it. The Dodgers are an appealing high-end stack.

Didi Gregorius- Didi won’t be popular due to the left/left matchup but as I said, it’s not one I’m afraid of The position isn’t strong so id rather have it correlate with my favorite stack.

OF

Andrew Benintendi- Benintendi will hit near the top of the order and he’s underpriced on Draftkings, I expect him to be popular but for good reason. He has good protection behind him in the order and has multi-hit game written all over him.

Andrew McCutchen- McCutchen has always been better vs left-handed pitching. He will be a building block for me today. McCutchen has led off multiple games with a homerun this season, can he do it again tonight?

Mookie Betts- Betts is expensive but in a great spot. Vs a pitcher who struggles with control, I expect Betts to cause havoc on the basepath today. Betts can win in multiple ways in this matchup and that’s encouraging for a spend-up.

Bryce Harper- Harper has been extremely hot to start the season, just hit a homerun last night. Lester does not have the type of pitch profile that should scare you off of using left-handed bats. Harper is locked into the plate and my lineups.

Stacks

“Team Batting Score” – A metric that quickly highlights overall team batting based on Runs Created (RC+) by team and comparing it to the average and standard deviation of all other MLB Teams
“Opp. Pitcher SP Score” – A weighted metric that evaluates today’s starting pitchers based on xFIP and Games Started (currently using partial end of 2020 data blended with the 2021 season)
“Opp. BP Score” – Similar to SP Score but weights the xFIP for the team’s bullpen

Team Batting vs. Opp. Pitch

DK MLB Stacks

“T2” (and T3/T4/T5) represents the Top 2 projected hitters for the team on the left (not necessarily the top 2 hitters in the batting order)

Stacking is an extremely important element to MLB DFS. In MLB, all of your players are correlated to each other. Outside of solo homeruns, they need each other to succeed. If you look at the top of all of the big GPPs every night you will see stacks dominating the leaderboard.

When using our stacks chart, we want to identify teams that are projecting well but the ownership does not reflect their chance of success.

The Phillies are my favorite stack tonight and they are rather affordable which is awesome! I like Bohm/Hoskins/McCutchen the most and then Harper is extremely hot so he is a priority as well.

The Dodgers are the expensive stack on this slate that could go under-owned. If you find some cheap pitching options you really like then I would get some Dodgers in my lineup!

The Red Sox just always need to be talked about as a leverage stack while they’re hot. Gonzalez is the only Boston bat that I expect to be popular on this slate.

DraftKings 5-Man Stack Ideas

PHI: McCutchen-Segura-Hoskins-Bohm-Knapp

LAD: Betts-Seager-Turner-Muncy-Smith

DraftKings 3-Man Stack Ideas

MIL: Vogelbach-Shaw-Garcia

KCR: Perez-Soler-Benintendi

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