DFS MLB Plays: 5/18

MLB Daily Plays

Welcome to Monday’s edition of RotoMinds Daily MLB Plays. Monday greets us with an unusually short slate of just six games. This is one of the best six game slates we will see all year with several top tier pitching options and a game at Coors field. Let’s take a look at who we are targeting tonight.

Pitching Rankings

  1. Matt Harvey
  2. Chris Sale
  3. Corey Kluber
  4. John Lackey
  5. Ruby de la Rosa
  6. Dan Haren
  7. Drew Pomeranz
  8. Lance McCullers
  9. Mike Fiers

A rare short slate with 3 legit aces on the mound. Matt Harvey earns the top spot tonight for a few reasons.

  1. Ballpark/Weather – Citi field is a pitcher friendly park and the weather conditions are more favorable for pitching than hitting tonight.
  2. The Cardinals just played the late game on Sunday night baseball, closing out a tough series against the Tigers and immediately had to leave for travel to New York for this series with the Mets. I know teams travel after games all the time but this case is a little different.
  3. When we are faced with a coin flip situation we almost always side with the pitcher in the National League park because we can project at least 3 of the hitters to be a pitcher standing at the plate.

Chris Sale is our number 2 pick tonight at home against the Indians. Yes, the same Indians that managed one run against Nick Martinez yesterday. Chris Sale is extremely tough on LHB and Cleveland is not built to hit LHP like they are for RHP. The ball park is favorable for hitting, but Sale is used to having his baseline in these conditions. The wind is currently blowing out and is of some concern. We will continue to monitor the weather here but there is no doubt that Sale and Kluber are two of the top three pitching options tonight.

Catcher Rankings

  • Wilin Rosario
  • Stephen Vogt
  • Evan Gattis
  • Victor Martinez
  • Carlos Ruiz
  • Hank Conger

Wilin Rosario ranks as the #1 catcher tonight with a RotoMinds adjusted wOBA of .375. The matchup with Hamels is less than ideal but he is still the top spot due to his success against LHP at Coors in his career. Next in line is Stephen Vogt. Vogt gets a rookie pitcher making his first start. The A’s are struggling right now but this is still a fine spot for Vogt against a rookie pitcher that we don’t know much about other than he can have command issues. Vogt makes a great play in all formats if you can pay the asking price on FanDuel. Evan Gattis is a monster against LHP and Pomeranz isn’t exactly an ace. Gattis is a fine play tonight with his RM adjusted wOBA of .358 and the ridiculous .246 ISO. Also consider: Carlos Ruiz, Victor Martinez and Hank Conger.


1st Base Rankings

  • Paul Goldschmidt
  • Miguel Cabrera
  • Ryan Howard
  • Adam LaRoche
  • Lucas Duda
  • Jose Abreu

Paul Goldschmidt and Miguel Cabrera share the top spot tonight. Goldy will be reserved for tournaments only tonight due to the large negative park shift in Miami. Miguel Cabrera actually ranks as the #1 overall hitter tonight (shocking….). Miggy is starting to heat up and is always a threat to go deep. Miggy has a RotoMinds adjusted wOBA of .396 tonight and ranks #1 in hard hit balls. Ryan Howard is next in line thanks to the massive positive park shift that we call Coors field. Opposing pitcher Jordan Lyles is allowing a .353 wOBA to LHB which is significantly below league average. Howard is a very frustrating player to own but I think you have to have some exposure tonight at his price tag on FanDuel (if the weather holds off). Lucas Duda and Jose Abreu are excellent tournament options tonight. Abreu has a nice history against Kluber in a nice hitting environment.


2nd Base Rankings

  • Jose Altuve
  • Chase Utley
  • Dee Gordon
  • Ian Kinsler

Jose Altuve is once again the top play at 2B tonight in a matchup with another LHP. Altuve gets Pomeranz tonight who is very hittable for elite RHB. Altuve has a RotoMinds adjusted wOBA of .400 tonight which is nearly 30 points higher than the next closest player. Chase Utley is that next closest player. Utley has been awful this year and seems to be in a pretty big decline in his career. Perhaps a matchup with Jordan Lyles in the mountains is exactly what Utley needs to regain confidence and get going again. Utley is a strong play tonight at his price given his career numbers vs RHP. We touched on Lyles struggles with LHB with Ryan Howard. If you’re not paying for Altuve then Utley is your man for cash games. If you want to be contrarian tonight then Ian Kinsler is your guy. I like Kinsler a lot tonight in tournaments and I don’t hate him in your cash games. Also consider Dee Gordon who has as much upside as anyone on the bases.


3rd Base Rankings

  • Nolan Arenado
  • Aramis Ramirez
  • Miakel Franco
  • Martin Prado

Third base is relatively weak tonight in the model but Nolan Arenado is the top play with a RM adjusted wOBA of just .352. If you want to spend at the position then Arenado is probably your name and I can’t argue with that. Aramis Ramirez ranks very well before the numbers are regressed. Ramirez is my favorite GPP play tonight at 3B due to his success against LHP in his career. There is no doubt he has lost a step or two but he is still a solid player at the plate against southpaws. Miakel Franco is next in line. Franco should be be in the Phillies lineup tonight. We don’t have much useable data on Franco other than he is a top prospect in the Phillies organization and he gets a massive positive park shift and has a juicy price tag of just 2200 on FanDuel tonight. Martin Prado is another fine tournament option hitting 2nd against his former team.


ShortStop Rankings

  • Troy Tulowitzki
  • Freddy Galvis
  • Marcus Semien
  • Jonathan Villar

Tulowitzki is the obvious top play at SS tonight. There is a large positional gap here between Tulo and the next best player. Tulowiztki has a ridiculous .435 RM adjusted wOBA tonight which is over 100 points higher than the next best player. With a gap this large there is always justification in paying for the top guy, especially on a short slate. However, with several top pitching options we still want to focus the majority of our attention on pitching. Jonathan Villar is hitting 2nd tonight for the Astros and that is a nice bump for him. Also consider Freddy Galvis and Marcus Semien. Semien has the most power upside after Tulo.


Outfield Rankings

  • Brewers OF (Braun, Gomez, Davis)
  • Atheltics OF (Reddick, Crisp)
  • Phillies OF (Revere, Sizemore, Herrera)
  • Marlins OF (Stanton, Yelich, Ozuna)
  • George Springer
  • Michael Cuddyer
  • Chris Carter
  • Adam Eaton, Melky Cabrera
  • JD Martinez, Anthony Gose

Braun and Gomez rank as the top OF plays behind Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton is in play every single night and tonight is no different… if you have the cap room feel free to roster Giancarlo. Braun and Gomez have a nice matchup with Lobstien. The Brewers were built to hit LHP and tonight they get a very average southpaw in a fairly decent hitting environment. Also consider Khris Davis who is hitting 2nd for the Brewers tonight.

Crisp and Reddick are great plays tonight. Crisp has had an awful start to his season (just came back from injury a few weeks ago) but he is ready to break out. Now is a great time to buy low on Crisp. Coco is min price (2200) and leading off against a rookie pitcher making his first start in a hitters park… sign me up!

George Springer has been a target the past few days and hasn’t exactly lived up to the hype… that should change tonight against Pomeranz. Springer, like Altuve and Gattis, has hit LHP very well in his young career.

Team Stacks

Phillies – Howard, Utley, Sizemore, Revere

Astros – Altuve, Springer, Gattis, Villar

Athletics – Crisp, Semien, Vogt, Reddick

Tigers – Gose, Cabrera, Kinsler, Martinez

Rockies – Tulowitzki, Rosario, Arenado, Dickerson

Good luck!

Be sure to use the 5-18 Raw hitting data and our optimal lineups when they are posted later this afternoon. 

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