DFS Plays of the Day – May 6

Ryan Amore previews Thursday's DFS slate.

Ready for some afternoon baseball? Thursday brings us an eight-game matinee main slate.


Top SP: Gerrit Cole ($10,500 DK, $12,300 FD) vs HOU

Gerrit Cole (33.3% K-BB%, 33.4% CSW 2019-21) leads the slate by a mile in terms of K-BB% this year, at 42.1%. Second is Brandon Woodruff (23.6%, 28.8% CSW 2019-21) at 23.3%. It’s a tough matchup against the Astros, who have the lowest team K rate at just 19.4%. Regardless, Cole’s floor is unmatched and we know the upside is enormous, as we’ve seen his pitch count reach 110 in a start already. The Yankees are strong home favorites (-190) this afternoon. 

If you’re looking to save a little on the top end, Zack Wheeler (16.6% K-BB, 26% CSW 2019-21) has the upside to match Cole but comes at a nice discount, making him a strong tournament play as a home underdog (+105). We could see a ceiling game here against the Brewers, who have thus far struggled with a 27.6% K rate (3rd-worst). Unfortunately for the Brewers, Christian Yelich hit the IL again. But that should help Wheeler’s case today.

Honorable Mentions: Zack Wheeler, LAD ($9,600 DK, $9,100 FD) vs MIL. 


Value SP: Nathan Eovaldi, BOS ($8,400 DK, $8,600 FD) vs DET

Nathan Eovaldi (16.3% K-BB%, 28.8% CSW 2019-21) is the biggest favorite on the board (-200), edging out even Cole at Yankee Stadium. He’s one of the safer plays on the board, considering he gets the Tigers and their 30.9% team K rate (worst). He’s also limited walks so far, with just a 4.9% BB rate. Combine that with a pitch count that has peaked at 100, and there’s an appealing ceiling here too. Dropping down to Michael Pineda (18.5% K-BB%, 28% CSW 2019-21) as a large home favorite (-195) against the Rangers and their 27.9% team K rate (second-worst) also makes sense. 

Let’s also mention Triston McKenzie (20.8% K-BB%, 28% CSW 2020-21), who has had a strange start to the season. Through his first five appearances, his walk rate stands at 21.2%. So we know right away that this is far from a safe play. However, the free passes seem strange, considering the last time he posted a walk rate above 8% was in low-A way back in 2016. What we can appreciate from McKenzie so far is that he’s missing bats at an excellent clip, with a 34.1% K rate backed by a 14.2% swinging K rate. If the walks regress back to what he’s shown in the past, then this could very well end up being a low point for him salary-wise. If you want to cut corners on DraftKings and are willing to take on some risk for tournaments, McKenzie makes sense as a 2nd SP. 

Honorable Mention: Triston McKenzie, CLE ($6,600 DK, $6,900 FD) at KC; Michael PinedaMIN ($7,500 DK, $8,700 FD) vs TEX. 


OF Michael Conforto, NYM ($3,800 DK, $3,100 FD) at STL

I’ve been mentioning him a bunch lately, but Michael Conforto is too cheap on DraftKings. There’s some value to be had, with Conforto’s career .373 wOBA against RHP. He’ll face the righty John Gant, who has managed just a 1.8% K-BB% through his first five turns this year. 

Honorable Mentions: Nelson Cruz, OF ($5,300 DK, $3,900 FD) vs MIN; Vladimir Guerrero Jr./strong>, 3B ($5,500 DK, $3,900 FD) at OAK. 


2B Ozzie Albies, ATL ($4,700 DK, $3,200 FD) at WAS

Atlanta’s offense sets up well this afternoon, as they get the veteran lefty, Jon Lester. He’s had a fantastic career but has also been on the downswing for a while now. In his last season with the Cubs, Lester’s K rate plummeted all the way down to 15.8%. Going back to 2019, Lester has allowed a .343 wOBA to RHB. And last year (61 IP), he allowed a .363 xwOBA to them. Ronald Acuña Jr./strong> is always the play, of course, but this is also not a bad time to take advantage of Ozzie Albies splits, considering he’s a career .337 hitter with a .394 wOBA from the right side. 

Honorable Mentions: Marcell Ozuna OF ($4,800 DK, $2,900 FD) at WAS; Rafael Devers, 3B ($5,200 DK, $3,700 FD vs DET. 


Value Batter: OF Max Kepler, MIN ($3,400 DK, $2,900 FD) vs TEX

Let’s pick on Jordan Lyles. In short, he’s surrendered a lot of loud contact evidence (.392 xwOBA) this year, along with just an 18% K rate. Unfortunately, Alex Kirilloff suffered a wrist injury and Luis Arraez also hit the IL with a concussion. This could open the door for Max Kepler to find his way toward the top of the lineup. Lyles has also surrendered a .366 wOBA to lefties going back to 2019. 

Victor Robles ($2700) has been dreadful this year, but he could be worth a look as a punt play against Drew Smyly, who has also struggled thus far with 7.12 xERA and .413 xwOBA. 

As we mentioned with pitchers earlier, Pineda should be fairly popular today, as he gets the Rangers. But if you’ve been playing DFS for a while, you know that Pineda can certainly be susceptible to the longball. In that case, Willie Calhoun ($2700) makes for an interesting target in tournaments. He’s been hitting leadoff as of late and is priced to move.

Mike Fiers has only made one start so far this year. But he’s no stranger to the longball, having coughed up 62 home runs from 2018-19. There’s some value in the Blue Jays lineup, with the likes of Lourdes Gurriel, Cavan Biggio, Teoscar Hernández, and Randal Grichuk

Honorable Mentions: Jorge Soler, OF ($3,200 DK, $2,700 FD) vs CLE; Lourdes Gurriel, OF ($3,400 DK, $2,400 FD) at OAK; Randal Grichuk, OF ($3,800 DK, $2,800 FD) at OAK; Cavan Biggio2B/OF ($3,400 DK, $2,400 FD) at OAK; Teoscar HernándezOF ($2,800 FD) at OAK; Willie CalhounOF ($2,700 DK, $2,700 FD) at MIN; Austin Riley3B ($3,900 DK, $2,400 FD) at WAS; Miguel Sanó1B ($3,300 DK, $2,400 FD) vs TEX; Yan Gomes, C ($3,400 DK, $2,500 FD) vs ATL. 


Top Stack: ATL at WAS (LHP Jon Lester)


We mentioned it earlier, but there are plenty of indicators that are not in Lester’s favor at this stage. Last season, his swinging K rate dropped off to a career-worst 7.2%. Marcell Ozuna has gotten off to a slow start, so his salary has dipped some, especially on FanDuel, but this looks like the time to buy low. Austin Riley (.342 xwOBA this season) is also worth mentioning because he carries excellent power upside at a discount, making him a strong play in all formats. If you’re looking for a punt play at catcher, keep an eye out on William Contreras, who was recently promoted to replace the injured Travis d’Arnaud. Christian Pache is also a cheap dart throw as the 8th hitter, if you’re looking to get creative with your stacking.

Honorable Mentions: MIN vs TEX (Lyles); BOS vs DET (Turnbull); TOR at OAK (Fiers). 


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

2 responses to “DFS Plays of the Day – May 6”

  1. Aaron says:

    Cavan biggio honorable mention? Zack wheeler plays for the Phils. This is the 2nd time I’ve seen you put wrong teams for guys in the last 2 times I’ve visited. The last one was actually a pitcher facing a wrong team which is dangerous info.Your batting 1.000. Normally Idc about little errors like that but in dfs i think you should be more careful as it could be new players trying out dfs and well… that’s not helping.

    • Ryan Amore says:

      Hi Aaron, I appreciate you taking the time to read and point that out to me. It’s quite frankly an embarrassing oversight on my part and I apologize. I’ll look to be better going forward.

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