DFS Plays of the Day – May 2

Rich takes a look at the best DFS plays for Sunday's Main Slate.

Both FanDuel and DraftKings feature 10 game main slates starting at 1:05. Thanks to the baseball gods, we have a great day for baseball across the country – warmer temperatures and no rain. Today’s slate is one of my favorite types because we have a handful of aces in Max Scherzer, Lucas Giolito, and Jose Berrios, combined with a bunch of pitchers we can pick on. Let’s dive in.


Top SP: Lucas Giolito, CHW ($8,600 DK, $10,600 FD) vs CLE


Lucas Giolito has had a rocky start to the year and is coming off back-to-back starts where he’s allowed a combined 11 runs in 7.2 IP. Granted, seven of those came in his one inning outing against the Red Sox, but it’s been tough sledding of late. I think we see Giolito have a nice bounceback today. The strikeouts and walks are in line with what he did in his stellar 2020 campaign. The issue has been the quality of contact that Giolito has allowed. That’s where his opponent comes in – the Indians. For their part, Cleveland sits in the bottom third of the league in wRC+ against right-handed pitchers and has struck out at a 26% clip. They also sport one of the lowest projected run totals on the slate at 3.6. I’ll be honest, I don’t really love Giolito’s price on FanDuel, so I’ll mostly be looking to play him at the discounted rate on DraftKings.

Honorable Mentions: Max Scherzer, WAS ($9,700 DK, $12,000 FD) vs MIA; Julio Urias, LAD ($9,000 DK, $9,900 FD) at MIL; Jose Berrios, MIN ($8,500 DK, $8.800 FD) vs KC.


Value SP: Tyler Mahle, CIN ($7,800 DK, $9,300) vs CHC


While there is a decent amount of value starting pitchers on today’s slate, the quality of them is, well, rubbish. One spot I don’t hate looking to is Tyler Mahle against the Cubs. For his part, Mahle has been very impressive to start the year, allowing just five earned runs over 25.2 innings pitched. His strikeout rate has hit a career-best 35.3% rate and thus far, he’s only allowed an 11% line drive rate. Today he takes on the Cubs, who are in the bottom third of the league in wRC+ against right-handed pitchers and strike out at a 27% clip. Like Giolito, I’m more likely to play Mahle on DraftKings because of the discounted rate.

Honorable Mention: Corey Kluber, NYY ($8,100 DK, $7,300 FD) vs DET.


1B Freddie Freeman, ATL ($5,500 DK, $4,100 FD) at TOR


There are a handful of high-priced stacks today that are head and shoulders above the rest and I’m having a tough time deciding which one is my favorite. The Braves are certainly up there, but you’ll have to get creative to stack their big bats. Freddie Freeman looks like a great play today. So far this year, Freeman has flexed his muscles popping seven homers, but the batting average hasn’t quite caught up. The plate has been great though as he’s walking more often than he’s striking out, which to me says the batting average will come around. The Braves get Ross Stripling today, who is coming off an IL stint. Before that stint though, Stripling had allowed seven earned runs over 8.1 innings thrown. While his strikeouts were up slightly, Stripling was allowing a 29% line drive rate – not the type of contact you want to allow against a good Braves lineup.

Honorable Mentions: Paul Goldschmidt, 1B ($4,700 DK, $3,800 FD) at PIT.


OF Aaron Judge, NYY ($5,600 DK, $3,900 FD) vs DET


High-end stack number two comes in the form of the Yankees. They get the dynamic duo of pitching matchups in a meh starting pitcher combined with a bad bullpen. José Ureña has lived his best life (kind of) getting batters to hit ground balls at a 60% rate to start the year, but he still doesn’t strike anyone out and is allowing walks at a 12% rate. His K-BB% currently sits at a measly 4.9%. Following Ureña will be a Tigers bullpen that has allowed 66 earned runs to cross the plate in 88.2 innings thrown. Those are not the kind of numbers you want to have heading into a matchup with the Yankees.

Aaron Judge has been destroying baseballs to start the year, popping seven homers already, and is getting on base at a .385 clip. With Ureña handing out free passes, there should be plenty of opportunities for the Yankees to put up crooked numbers against the Tigers.

Honorable Mentions: Ronald Acuña, OF ($5,500 DK, $4,300 FD) at TOR.


Value Batter: OF Dylan Carlson, STL ($3,300 DK, $3,600 FD) at PIT


Clearly, the pricing algorithm on DraftKings has not caught up to the fact that Dylan Carlson is pretty good at this baseball thing. While the power hasn’t been there of late, Carlson sports a very impressive .281/.363/.494 slash line to open the year. He’s also projected to bat second today according to FantasyLabs. The Cardinals will face Wil Crowe, who so far this year sports a 1.92 WHIP with just a 3.86 ERA. That’s a lot of runners stranded on base and unsustainable moving forward. On top of allowing an 18% walk rate, Crowe has allowed a 38% line drive rate. That’s the kind of pitcher I want to attack with bats.

Honorable Mentions: Rougned Odor, 2B ($3,900 DK, $2,900 FD) vs DET; Alex Kirilloff, 1B/OF ($3,000 DK, $2.000 FD) vs KC; Gavin Lux, 2B ($3,000 DK, $2,100 FD) at MIL. 


Top Stack: Twins vs KC (RHP Brad Keller)


I’ve already mentioned two of my favorite stacks in the Braves and the Yankees, so let’s take a look at another team that I like today – the Twins. The Twins have struggled a little out of the gate, but it’s by no means solely on the bats. In fact, the top of the Twins lineup is hitting really well, especially Byron Buxton who looks like a new man. Today the Twins face Brad Keller, who has really struggled with his control to start the year, walking 11% of the batters he’s faced. When you get away with just striking out 13% of batters, that’s not a combination that’s going to work out. The result has teams piling up runs against Keller. If you’re looking to stack the Twins, I’m sticking to the top of the lineup, but I’m locking in Nelson Cruz and Byron Buxton first.

Good luck today!

Honorable Mentions: ATL at TOR (Stripling); NYY vs DET (Ureña); BOS at TEX (Foltynewicz); LAD at MIL (Bettinger). 


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

Rich Holman

Tax Auditor by day (I promise I'm not the devil), dad to twin velociraptors by night. Complete sports junkie. Philly fan that only boos occasionally.

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