We have a short, six-game slate on this Monday MLB DFS slate for DraftKings and FanDuel. The Padres and Giants return from their Mexico City slugfest, but it should be a much tougher landing for the Giants who have to face a Houston team that is getting healthier. Top pitchers might be hard to come by on this slate, and it might be how we manage the lower-salary hurlers that define how our lineups fare in tournaments. Are you willing to spend all the way up for MacKenzie Gore on FanDuel, a pitcher who is walking more than five batters per nine innings this year? That is just one of the tough decisions on this interesting DFS slate.
If you have any thoughts or recommendations for how we can better cover MLB DFS in 2023, reach out to us on Twitter or send me a message (@CableBoxScore). I’m always happy to talk a little DFS throughout the day, and let’s win some slates together! Let’s start by looking at weather issues for Monday as well as the best hitting and pitching environments on the main slate today.
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MLB DFS Picks and Plays for May 1
Today’s analysis covers the six-game main slate on DraftKings and FanDuel at 7:05 PM ET.
- Winds should be blowing out to right-center field at more than 10 miles per hour at Nationals Park for the 7:05 PM ET game against the Cubs and Nationals.
Best Hitters’ Parks:
- Fenway Park
- Dodger Stadium
- Minute Main Park
Best Pitchers’ Parks:
- Petco Park
- Yankee Stadium
DraftKings Top Plays
Luis Garcia ($9,200) vs. San Francisco Giants – Garcia’s first three starts to the season were quite disastrous, but his last two have been absolutely stellar. The reason, he is relying much more on his deadly cutter than the fastball and it is paying huge dividends. This is a sublime matchup as the Giants are traveling from Mexico City, strike out at the highest rate in the league (27.4%), and are just 17th in walk rate this season.
MacKenzie Gore ($8,100) vs. Chicago Cubs – There is a wild salary discrepancy for Gore between DraftKings and FanDuel, but for as expensive as he is on FD, he comes in too cheap on DK for his strikeout upside. He has 17 strikeouts in his last two games and now gets a Cubs squad and their 22% team strikeout rate this season. I would really check the weather on this one before locking in Gore at this salary, because if the wind is blowing hard out to center and right-center, that could be danger for Gore against a Cubs team ranked third in slugging percentage this season.
Anthony Rizzo ($4,300) vs. Cal Quantrill – This one is an easy pick with Rizzo lining up at Yankee Stadium with its short porch in right field and a pitcher who is not likely to strike many batters out. In fact, Cal Quantrill strikes out only 18% of left-handers this season and allows a 1.59 WHIP to those batters. The icing on the cake is the 1.59 HR/nine innings allowed to lefties this year. For a salary much less than some other mashers on Monday, Rizzo is a nice call for a bomb in this game.
Cavan Biggio ($2,100) vs. Corey Kluber – Cavan Biggio can be a very streaky hitter, but the good news is that Corey Kluber is the pitcher is a gift that keeps on giving to left-handers this season. He allows a .259/.365/.537 slash line against lefties this year. For his career, Biggio’s slugging percentage is more than 50 points higher against righties than against lefties and this will certainly be a game where Biggio is in the lineup.
Kyle Tucker ($5,400) vs. Ross Stripling – Stripling has been absolutely horrific to start this season. He has a 6.89 ERA, an astounding 8.16 expected ERA, and only strikes out about eight batters per nine innings. But the craziest stat is that he is giving up more than three home runs per nine innings so far this year, which puts Tucker and his decent salary squarely in play for this home game. This season, Tucker is giving us a .270/.377/.492 slash line against right-handers.
Jarren Duran ($3,300) vs. Jose Berrios – Duran has been absolutely on fire since getting the call up to the big leagues just twelve games ago. He is hitting a very Ted Williams-esque .409 this season with a home run and two steals. Over the weekend, he was also bumped up to sixth and fifth in the lineup over two games which means he is getting more trust from the coaches. Berrios isn’t really allowing the home run ball this season, but his lowly 4.71 ERA is largely due to him allowing almost 40% of balls to be hard hit against him this season.
Best DraftKings Stack
New York Yankees vs. Cal Quantrill – With Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton likely not in the lineup on Monday, that leaves Rizzo ($4,300) and Gleyber Torres ($4,700) as the only Yankees batters over $3,800 against a mediocre pitcher like Quantrill. Against righty Quantrill, I will be prioritizing lefties like Rizzo and Oswaldo Cabrera, but there is enough value here to make a decent Yankees four- or five-man stack. Anthony Volpe at the top of the lineup for just $3,700 is also a nice piece to be sure you have in your player pool. He has at least five fantasy points in five of his last seven games.
FanDuel Top Plays
Luis Garcia ($9,600) vs. San Francisco Giants – When Garcia and his dominant couple of outings come in $900 cheaper than Gore with a much better matchup, I am going to find it very hard to click the button on a $10,500 MacKenzie Gore. Before scoring 15 runs in the Little League field they used in Mexico City, the Giants were most recently shut out by the Cardinals and they rank just 16th in runs scored this season. Also helping Garcia’s cause, the Giants have almost a 41% ground ball rate as a team this season.
Blake Snell ($8,000) vs. Cincinnati Reds – Snell is an extremely risky pick on FD Monday night, but with a short slate we might have to go out on some limbs to find the right pitcher to get us some expensive bats. The Reds rank 25th in wRC+ this season as a team, but away from their hitter-haven home park, they are just 28th on the season with an offense that is 21% below league average. Snell is going to walk some batters because that’s just what he does these days, but he also has at least five strikeouts in four of his five times on the mound this year.
Vladimir Guerrero ($4,300) vs. Corey Kluber – The Blue Jays are big favorites on this Monday slate and are the only team to have three players with a salary of $3,900 or higher. Guerrero leads the pack and for good reason. He has failed to register fantasy points just once in the last 12 days and Kluber is allowing a .500 slugging percentage to right-handed batters so far this season. Vlad Jr. has actually been better on the road this season, sporting a .359/.432/.625 line and Fenway Park is a tremendous upgrade in park factor for Guerrero and the rest of the Blue Jays.
Alex Bregman ($2,900) vs. Ross Stripling – Despite his early-season struggles, this salary is way too low for a player who just ended a streak with at least six fantasy points in 10 of his last 11 games. Players like Nick Senzel and Trey Mancini are more expensive than Bregman on this short slate, and he is a great way to get some value on a team implied for more than four runs. Bregman’s OBP (.396) and slugging (.432) are very respectable this year, it’s just left-handers that have been giving him trouble.
Yordan Alvarez ($4,500) vs. Ross Stripling – Alvarez looked like he didn’t miss a beat when he returned after five days off on Saturday to deliver two hits and a walk. He is only $800 more then Kyle Tucker on FD (difference is $900 on DK) and has been raking this year with a .269/.383/.551 line including six homers and 27 RBI already. Alvarez is one of only six hitters above $4,000 on FD and has one of the best implied odds at a home run on this slate.
Daulton Varsho ($3,000) vs. Corey Kluber – Against right-handers, Varsho has consistently been batting fourth or fifth this season, which means he will hit right behind the Toronto murderer’s row of Vlad, George Springer, Matt Chapman, and Bo Bichette. Varsho may be scuffling to start the season but with the right combination here of pitcher and park, this could be a breakout game for a guy who has a slugging percentage 110 points higher against righties in his career.
Best FanDuel Stack
Houston Astros vs. Ross Stripling – With Bregman, Tucker, Alvarez, and guys like Jeremy Pena on the high end, you can certainly eat up a lot of your salary with the Astros. But they also feature Corey Julks, Jose Abreu, and David Hensley all under $2,900. As the second largest favorite on the slate tomorrow for a win (-190), the odds are the Astros are going to put up lots of runs early against a struggling Stripling and then get into the Giants’ bullpen that is first in the league in home runs allowed per nine innings.