DFS Plays of the Day – May 10

Dave Swan previews the DFS slate for Monday's action.

Monday brings us one of the smallest slates of the season. With only six games on the docket, we will have to get crafty on our build. For starters, we are fading the game in Coors Field. The weather conditions look like they won’t get the game in, and even if the game is in play, everyone will be playing it. Overall, just not an ideal spot to try and get cute. I mentioned we have to get crafty; well, there is no ace on the slate. None. Zero. The pitching likely won’t bring home the big point totals, so most of our budget is getting spent on batters. The first game begins at 6:35 EST, so as always, keep an eye on the weather and look for lineup cards before lock. Good luck!


Top SP: Alex Wood, SF ($9,800 DK, 8,900 FD) vs TEX


This looks like a new version of Alex Wood in 2021. The 1.96 ERA and 22 Ks in 23 IP look legit, as they are backed up by his 33% CSW and 3.00 SIERA. One of the big changes is Wood is not allowing quality contact against his pitches. The barrel rate against him is a puny 3.4%. Furthermore, his SwStr% is peaked at a career-high 13.1%. Everything seems to be working in unison at the moment. Mix all the newfound success with the Texas Rangers‘ 24% strikeout rate vs. RHP, and Wood looks like the top SP option of the day.

Is he a typical SP1? Not quite, but the options are lacking for Monday. If you’re not sold on Wood, the 1a of the slate is Kyle Gibson. However, if you roster Gibson, the build we created below here will be vastly different.

Honorable Mentions: Kyle Gibson, ($8,600 DK, $9,500 FD) @ SF, Luke Weaver, ($9,000 DK, $7,500 FD) vs MIA.


Value SP: Mitch Keller, PIT ($6,800 DK, $7,000 FD) vs CIN


Ok, so we have decided to play a wildcard for our SP2. At times, Keller has looked great by piling up strikeouts and limiting balls in play, and sometimes they look quite the opposite. Because of the slate, we will roll the dice and hope for a good Keller today.

The big, big, big problem to Keller is the walks. His 13% walk rate needs to get corrected, while he also limits the quality contact. Easier said than done. One aspect that might help is the Cincinnati Reds strike out 24.5% of the time vs. RHP, which is in the top half of the MLB. What we are looking for is Keller to continue grabbing strikes with the fastball and using his slider for punchouts. The slider holds a 15.5% SwStr% but gets crushed if left over the plate. I did mention he was a wild card play, didn’t I?

Honorable Mention: Martín Pérez, ($7,300 DK, $8,400 FD) at BAL; Luis García ($8,400 DK, $8,000 FD) vs HOU.


OF Mike Trout, LAA ($5,800 DK, $4,400 FD) at HOU


The pitching today can be described as suspect at best. So, to counteract the lack of stability in our roster, we will jam one of the most stable bats in all the land. The easiest way to put this is Mike Trout is doing Mike Trout things. Numbers-wise, the OPS atop the MLB at 1.201 and his .713 SLG% are dynamic. If you are a Statcast person, his 19.7% barrel rate and .590 xwOBAcon are in the top 3% in the MLB. So, it is safe to say Mike Trout is as safe as they come. Let’s hope the field doesn’t want to pay his hefty salary.

Honorable Mentions: J.D. Martinez, OF ($5,400 DK, $4,400 FD) at BAL; Yordan Alvarez, OF ($5,100 DK, $4,200 FD) vs LAA.


3B Rafael Devers, BOS ($5,200 DK, $3,600 FD) @ BAL


We need another sure thing bat, regardless of salary. Insert Rafael Devers. First, much like Trout, the Statcast metrics are off the charts: 20% barrel rate, .559 xwOBAcon, and 99th percentile in xBA and xSLG. All those underlying metrics add up to a .288/.375/.576 with a .951 OPS. Today is one of those fun DFS nights because you can roster multiple stud bats due to the weaker SP options. To conclude, don’t over-think the hitting; play the strongest option you can.

Honorable Mentions: Alex Bregman, 3B ($5,000 DK, $3,800 FD) vs LAA.


Value Batter: Mike Tauchman, SF ($2,800 DK, $2,300 FD) vs TEX


Tauchman fits the bill in two ways today. One, his salary is suppressed, and the output could be plenty. Two, he offers up a leverage play against anyone that rosters Kyle Gibson instead of Alex Wood. To point one, Tauschman has been leading off against RHP since the Giants acquired him. Today should not be any different. In each of his previous three seasons vs. RHP, Tauchman has a wRC+ over league average. On top of that, his career ISO is .180-not too shabby.

To the second point, we mentioned leverage. Basically, we are trying to separate ourselves against the field. If Tauchman has a stellar day as we hope, that means Kyle Gibson owners will suffer and fall behind our point totals. Think of it like poker, and we are using Tauchman as one of our outs to win the hand.

I wanted to touch on Kyle Tucker for a moment. The sportsbooks are daring us to slot him in our OF spot. The price is so low today, and the matchup is favorable. But, again, if you’re looking for that added leverage play, Tucker being a left-handed hitter going up against a southpaw, might go under-owned. On the other hand, if you’re looking to make a more risk-tolerant lineup, Tucker might be the extra play for you.

Honorable Mentions: Kyle Tucker, OF ($3,300 DK, $3,000 FD) vs LAA; Justin Upton, OF ($2,800 DK, $2,800 FD) at HOU.


Top Stack: Boston Red Sox vs BAL (RHP Jorge López)


Let’s start the stack talk with a little strategy. First, whenever a slate is smaller than usual, it is in your best interest, mathematically, to keep the stacks down to three or four persons. I would never suggest a five-person stack for a slate this slight. Think of it this way; we want to spread our players out a little bit if one of the teams goes off and puts up 10-plus runs. Because the number of options is fewer, the roster% among players will be higher than usual. Meaning everyone could have a piece of the 10-plus run team. So instead, we are going to grab two stacks of three today.

Again, not trying to get too cute with our stack here. The Red Sox are a strong stack option because of the 4.88 implied run total-highest on the slate. We already mentioned Devers is in play for the Red Sox, and with the opposing SP being subpar, all options are on the table. Personally, my targets in the stack would include another strong and safe option like J.D. Martinez. Then, depending on how the lineup shakes out, toss in Marwin Gonzalez at 2B if he leads off. The 2B position is lacking many viable options at an affordable price.

Three-person stack number two is the Angels. We are already putting Trout in our build, so let’s toss in some of his battering mates if they take Luis García deep a few times. First, Jared Walsh is a perfect target because he slots in at 1B or OF. Second, he makes a lot of sense because against RHP, he touts a 1.121 OPS and .649 SLG%. The third options get a little fuzzy, but Justin Upton has HR power but struggles against RHP, making him a leverage play. If Upton’s struggles throw you off, there are a plethora of light-hitting infielders to choose from under $4K.

Honorable Mentions: SF vs. TEX (Gibson), MIA at ARI (Weaver).


Featured image by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)

Dave Swan

Dave Swan is an avid Chicago Cubs fan that enjoys all aspects of fantasy baseball-especially DFS. He would trade his right arm for a GIF library of Greg Maddux pitches. Swan's baseball thoughts are available at @davithius.

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