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MLB DFS Slate Breakdown (5/24/21)

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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NOTE: Tables are embedded in the breakdown and update LIVE. The various tables will update with starting lineups confirmation, when projections are edited in the projections portal(s), and every hour. If a table is showing an error message or is blank, please wait a moment and refresh the page and it should re-populate correctly. Thanks!

Pitching

MLB DK Pitcher Table

Blake Snell

Snell is coming off his best start of the season, and draws a favorable match-up tonight against the Milwaukee Brewers. I’m still hesitant to trust a pitcher with a 12% walk rate this season in optimal builds, but he makes up for it in strikeout upside. Since the start of 2019, Snell owns a 32% strikeout rate, that mark sits at 33% for 2021. Since the start of last season, the Brewers projected lineup boasts a combined 25% strikeout rate vs southpaw pitching. It’s likely that the Brewers pack the lineup with right-handed bats to combat Snell tonight. While that can be concerning, he is still striking out opposite-hand batters at a 28% clip this season with over 50% ground balls. He’s at least $1,000 too cheap on DraftKings tonight.

David Peterson

The first thing that stuck out to me when I opened this slate was the 6.5 O/U in this game. These are two bad offenses, the Mets are extremely banged up and the Rockies just haven’t performed well even at home this season. This has essentially been the worst lineup in baseball on the road over the last three seasons, and the majority of that sample size was with a much better lineup than they’re trotting out right now. I’ve actually rostered Peterson a few times this season, and have been pleasantly surprised with the upside we’ve seen from him. Since his first start this season, he’s pitched to a 3.56 xFIP with 29% strikeouts and 51% ground balls. These numbers are much, much better than a typical $7,000 pitcher. Peterson is viable in all formats tonight in this match-up.

Frankie Montas

Montas might be the highest-owned pitcher on Monday night, priced at $6,200 against the Mariners. This isn’t the type of pitcher I like to play as chalk, but it’s hard to argue with the price or the match-up. Despite the mixed results this season, he still has 11% swinging strikes speaking to his upside. This has been one of the worst offenses in baseball this season, with their projected lineup owning a combined .304 wOBA. Overall, there is enough value (with the likes of Peterson) tonight that I don’t find Montas necessary, but he has to be considered for his price. If he ends up as the mega-chalk, I will likely be underweight.

Note: Once we get a clearer picture of OWN% closer to lock, if Woodruff comes in significantly lower than Snell I will likely make the move to be overweight Woodruff, who is a top-six pitcher in baseball right now in my opinion. 

Other GPP Targets: Brandon Woodruff, Austin Gomber

MLB Top Batters

Batters

C

Catcher

C is a tough position as usual tonight, and it’s likely we will be parsing through the cheap options. Both White Sox players (Mercedes and Grandal) are the top spend-ups here, and I tend to side with Grandal if he is lower-owned, even though I prefer him vs right-handed pitching. Eric Haase appears to be the top cheap option.

1B

Jose Abreu

Abreu might be the highest-owned player at this position tonight, and for good reason against an average left-handed pitcher. He has crushed left-handed pitching since joining the White Sox, and boasts a .400 wOBA in the split since the start of 2020. Kim is mainly fastball/slider to righties, two pitches Abreu’s xwOBA sits north of .400 against.

Trey Mancini

The Orioles are one of my favorite offensive teams tonight against Matt Shoemaker. We know that Mancini has power, and he has started to lock in as of late. Over the last 14 days, his hard hit rate and fly ball rate both have soared over 40%. Since 2020, Shoemaker gives up a .220 ISO to right-handed hitters so the R/R match-up is no reason for concern.

2B

Jonathan Schoop

It’s not often that we roster Detroit Tigers players in DFS, but that might be the case on Monday night. They have a nearly a five run team total, and their opponent Sam Hentges is the worst starting pitcher on this slate. The results have been average for Schoop this season, but since the start of 2019 he has the ssecond-highest ISO on the team at .230.

Cesar Hernandez

Spencer Turnbull just no hit the Mariners, but this is still a guy that can struggle with left-handed batters. I will be looking to save at this position outside of stacking tonight, and both Schoop and Hernandez fit that mold. The surface numbers look horrific for Hernandez this season, but they get better the deeper you look. His 29% line drive rate is second-highest in the Indians projected lineup and it comes with a .390 xwOBA.

3B

Jose Ramirez

Like I said, Turnbull can still struggle with opposite-hand batters and Ramirez has always been better vs righties. He matches up pretty well with his pitch mix, and since they are in the same division we have a decent sample size against each other. In 17 career PA, Ramirez owns a .397 xwOBA vs Turnbull with a 96 EV.

This appears to be a spend-up position tonight with Ramirez, Chapman and Moncada all sticking out. If looking for value here, I would be interested in Jeimer Candelario especially if I already have Tigers exposure at other positions.

SS

Tim Anderson

Anderson isn’t quite as prolific as Abreu offensively (59% ground ball rate) but the power is there with a .333 ISO. He also has some of the best legs in baseball, so if he gets on base there is a solid chance he will try and steal. I don’t think he is a must-play on this slate, but he is the top projection at this position.

Niko Goodrum

Sticking with the Tigers theme, Goodrum has been one of their best hitters vs left-handed pitching since the start of last season. He’s been down for the majority of this season, but over the last two weeks his fly ball rate has spiked to 55%. He is getting the ball up in the air more, and that’s a good sign that hot streak could be around the corner.

OF

Nelson Cruz

John Means has been fantastic for the Orioles this season, but nothing will stop me from considering Cruz vs a left-handed pitcher. This has been arguably the best hitter in baseball vs left-handed pitching over the last four seasons. He also matches up well vs Means’ pitch mix. Means goes to his changeup as a put out pitch a lot, throwing it a third of the time. Since the start of 2017, Cruz sports a massive .439 ISO vs the pitch.

Robbie Grossman

While it’s not hard to appear good on this Tigers team, Grossman has weirdly been their best offensive player over the last month. I’ve already noted my interest in this team as a whole, and Grossman should be locked into the leadoff spot again on Monday night. Hentges allows power to both sides of the plate, and Grossman’s 55% fly ball rate vs lefties this season leads the Tigers.

Anthony Santander + Cedric Mullins

Both these guys have power and will be locked into the top of the order for one of my favorite offenses tonight. Santander in particular sticks out as way too cheap on DK, but both can be used in stacks or as one-offs on Monday night.

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 home runs, 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.

DraftKings 5-Man Stack Ideas

Abreu-Mercedes-Anderson-Moncada-Vaughn

Mullins-Santander-Mancini-Galvis-Mountcastle

Grossman-Schoop-Goodrum-Miggy-Haase

DraftKings 3-Man Stack Ideas

Ramirez-Rosario-Hernandez

Santander-Mountcastle-Galvis

Abreu-Anderson-Vaughn

Seager-Kelenic-Haniger

Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)

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