DFS Plays of the Day – 5/8/23

DFS on OwnersBox, FD, and DK

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If you’re unfamiliar with OwnersBox, they offer a really unique roster format that includes one pitcher, four IF, three OF, and one Super Flex (OF, IF, and P).

Monday brings us a nice eight-game slate with good pitching options highlighted by Zac Gallen. The weather looks alright everywhere, but as always, be sure to double-check before first pitch as things can change quickly.



A quick note on the PLV metric listed above: If you’re curious as to its intricacies, check out Nick’s primer. A too-brief summary: PLV is a quantifier that uses several variables to assess the quality of each individual pitch; the higher the value, the better the pitch. PLA is the ERA equivalent to PLV (the lower, the better). 

The Yankees are strong home favorites (-210) tonight against the A’s. Give them the credit, they haven’t been that bad offensively, or at least relative to expectations. They’re 20th in team wOBA (.307). And they’ve scored three more runs than the Yankees through 34 games. Nestor Cortes will be on the mound for the Yankees and although his ERA is 4.91, his PLA of 2.68 suggests better returns and is even better than his PLA of 3.33 from a year ago. I was hoping for more of a discount given that he’s coming off a bad start, either way, he’s a strong play tonight in all formats.

Well, I guess if you’re going to play Dylan Cease it’s tonight against the Royals. They’re 25th in wOBA at .298, tied with the Yankees and, the White Sox. In his last start, Cease’s slider returned a 36.7% CSW which is great for strikeouts. But then again it also had a 6.20 PLA (PLV on an ERA scale) which more or less confirms what you already know: He’s all over the place.

On OwnersBox, I’m not sure how you just don’t find the extra $400 and go with someone who checks all the boxes in Zac GallenThe same thing on DraftKings, $500 is not enough of a dropoff for me. Gallen has been phenomenal. His 2.72 PLA ranks 16th among all pitchers (500 pitch minimum). And, even better, he gets the Marlins who are third from the bottom with a .297 team wOBA.

The Rangers are fourth in wOBA at .344, so there’s some added risk with Logan Gilbert but he has been very efficient this season with a 24.4% K-BB% that ranks seventh among qualified SP. His new splitter has a 2.18 PLA, which trails only Nathan Eovaldi (1.33) and Kodai Senga (1.76)  among pitchers with 500 or more pitches thrown. It’s also helped bump his strikeout rate by almost seven points this year to just under 30%. The Mariners are strong home favorites tonight (-159).

Tony Disco doesn’t have the strikeout upside of some of the other options going tonight but his 2.13 ERA and 0.82 WHIP are backed by a very strong 2.84 PLA. The Giants are big home favorites tonight (-225) against the Nationals who have a .300 team wOBA tied with the Astros for fifth-lowest. He makes a lot of sense on DraftKings as an SP 2 at $8,100 and also as a potential flex on OwnersBox at $8,400 but he might be a fade on FanDuel where he’s the second highest-priced SP on the board at $10,200.

Freddy Peralta gets a tough matchup against the Dodgers, but he’s also coming off a terrific 35.1% CSW performance at Coors Field of all places adding to his intrigue as a tournament option.

Hunter Brown has been very good this year, I can’t discount that. But this is a tricky spot for him against a very good Angels lineup: They’re top-ten in team wOBA and also have one of the lowest team K rates in baseball at 20.9%.

Compared to the other arms on the slate, I don’t think either Marcus Stroman or Miles Mikolas stand out all that much. However, they will get the advantage of some very good pitching conditions at Wrigley Field with the wind blowing in and temps in the low 50s. Edge to Stroman of course whose the favorite (-152).

JP Sears is a very interesting SP 2. The Yankees have quietly been one of the worst offenses in baseball (.301 team wOBA, 24th). I guess that’s not terribly surprising given the injuries to Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. Either way, Sears has shown some strikeout upside and PLV likes him quite a bit charting the lefty with a 2.80 PLA. It’s a revenge spot too if that’s your thing.




The Giants have the highest implied team total tonight at just over five runs. They’ll face rookie right-hander Jake Irvin who debuted five days ago against the Cubs. His numbers in the minors weren’t all that great this year: 5.64 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, and a 9.2% K-BB% across five starts in Triple-A. I like LaMonte Wade Jr. as a value play. He’s been a very good table-setter for the Giants this year and PLV likes him too with a 70-grade Decision Value. He’ll have the platoon advantage. The same goes for Joc Pederson.

Unfortunately, the White Sox lineup took a hit recently when they lost Eloy Jiménez again, but they get a decent matchup against Zack Greinke. Luis Robert Jr. has been rolling and there could be some value in his price on both FD and DK. Andrew Vaughn is another affordable bat here.

I’m obliged to mention the Yankees since they, like pretty much any team that faces Oakland, have a big implied team total. But as mentioned earlier, Sears has pitched well so I’m OK with looking elsewhere especially given the state of their lineup at the moment. Harrison Bader has had stronger splits against LHP for his career and is a decent one-off.

Tony Gonsolin is someone who PLV tabbed for regression this season (4.36 PLA last year) so if you want to roll the dice there, Rowdy Tellez makes sense as he’ll have the L/R advantage. Maybe Jesse Winker hits his first home run of the year? He’s cheap at least.

If you want to bank on Cortes’ home run problems continuing, Brent Rooker is an interesting tournament play. He might be nominally rostered despite being the league leader in OPS.

The D-Backs have an implied team total of just under five runs as they’ll face unproven lefty Braxton Garrett. Ketel Marte is always a good option when he’s going against a lefty. Christian Walker is another righty bat with power. As usual, catcher is a thin position, but Gabriel Moreno could be an interesting option as a talented young hitter who you can get for cheap. I suppose the contrarian option here is Corbin Carroll because of his salary against a lefty, but you’ll get no argument from me, especially in tournaments.

Jon Gray has struggled badly against lefties so far, allowing a .411 wOBA and a K rate of just 11.3%. Jarred Kelenic has broken out this year and has begun May with a seven-game hit streak. I think he’s too cheap, especially on OwnersBox ($4,000).

If you’re looking to be different in tournaments, the Angels are very interesting. As mentioned earlier, Brown has been great but he’s always a rookie who has toted a precarious walk rate of over 10%. That could spell trouble against an Angels lineup that has a lot of power with the likes of Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and Hunter Renfroe.


Ryan Amore

A proprietor of the Ketel Marte Fan Club, Ryan Amore has been writing things at Pitcher List since 2019. He grew up watching the Yankees and fondly remembers Charlie Hayes catching the final out of the '96 WS. He appreciates walks but only of the base on ball variety.

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