FantasyDraft DFS Plays for May 24

Roll with the red-hot Scooter Gennett in Thursday's early DFS slate.

A jammed schedule condenses on Thursday, with FantasyDraft evenly splitting eight games into an afternoon and evening slate. The poor pitching crop makes each contest difficult to navigate, so let’s take a different approach by identifying pairings to use for each grouping.

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Afternoon SPs: Dylan Bundy ($15,800) at Chicago White Sox; Luis Castillo ($15,300) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

Don’t trust Dylan Bundy and Luis Castillo? That just makes you a rational human with a functioning memory. Bundy is barely two weeks removed from allowing seven runs without recording an out. Despite shelling out as many earned runs in May, Castillo still carries a 5.61 ERA. But unlike Felix Hernandez, Ivan Nova, and Marco Estrada, the young starters still possess significant upside. Castillo and Bundy respectively rank fourth and sixth in swinging-strike % behind Max Scherzer, Chris Sale, and Gerrit Cole (with Jacob deGrom sandwiched between them). Castillo has followed a disastrous opening with a 2.78 ERA, 26-7 K-BB ratio and 50.0 % ground-ball rate this month. Bundy, who exited April with a 2.97 ERA and 28.4 strikeout %, has bounced back from May 8’s nightmare by stockpiling 15 strikeouts in two starts. Although they’re the slate’s two costliest options, neither is relatively expensive considering the lack of alternatives. Using both leaves plenty of spending power to build a formidable lineup.

Evening SPs: Charlie Morton ($22,300) at Cleveland Indians; Blake Snell ($15,400) vs. Boston Red Sox

I initially planned to endorse Rick Porcello for $21,200, but Cleveland actually brandishes a worse strikeout % and wOBA against righties than Tampa Bay. After throwing a gem against Cleveland (7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K) last week, Charlie Morton now boasts a 1.95 ERA, 55.6 % ground-ball rate and 70 strikeouts in 55.2 innings. He has worked at least six innings in seven of his nine starts and averaged 5.5 more FantasyDraft points per start than Porcello, who has surrendered 13 runs in his past three turns. Let’s spend $22,300 on Morton and pair him with Porcello’s discounted opponent. Blake Snell, of course, costs $15,400 simply because he’s facing the Red Sox. For those who haven’t already run away, he has contained the AL East adversary to two runs in as many starts while accruing 11 strikeouts. Despite rostering right-handed monsters Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez, Boston surprisingly enters Thursday’s bout with MLB’s fourth-worst wOBA (.296) against southpaws. I’d still pass if forced to pay market value, but the price overlooks Snell’s 2018 success. Playing Morton and Porcello leaves only $7,075 per hitter, so take a calculated risk on Tampa Bay’s breakout ace.

IF Scooter Gennett ($9,200) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (RHP Ivan Nova)

I, for one, welcome our new second-base overlord. After circling the bases for the second straight day, Scooter Gennett is batting a sizzling .324/.365/.542 with nine home runs. He has sustained last year’s fly-ball gains while making harder and frequenter contact. This streak won’t last at such a torrid level, but he should keep raking on Thursday. Since the start of 2015, lefties are hitting .330/.359/.529 against Ivan Nova, who has allowed a .369 wOBA away from PNC Park this season. Cincinnati’s hot hand is worth the pricey $9,200 in a slate where everyone has ample cap space to spend on hitters. It’s perfectly feasible to play Gennett, Mike Trout, Manny Machado and fellow Reds lefty Joey Votto in afternoon cash contests.

Honorable Mentions: Manny Machado ($10,100) at CHW (Lucas Giolito); Mike Trout ($10,100) at TOR (Marco Estrada); Joey Votto ($9,300) vs. PIT (Nova)

Value: OF Delino DeShields Jr. ($6,300) vs. Kansas City Royals (LHP Danny Duffy)

FantasyDraft is daring contestants to play Danny Duffy for a minuscule $8,600. Don’t take the chance on someone profoundly laboring with a 6.88 ERA and .426 xwOBA. Instead target cheap Rangers, particularly righties, whom are hitting .313/.393/.612 with 13 home runs against Kansas City’s southpaw. Isiah Kiner-Falefa ($6,800), Jurickson Profar ($6,700), and Ryan Rua ($5,400) all represent tremendous value, but the best deal sits atop their lineup. Although Delino DeShields Jr.’s struggles have not carried over to limited reps against lefties (10-for-28, four walks), he’s available for $6,300 in what should be another Texas-style shootout at Arlington.

Honorable Mentions: Brandon Nimmo ($6,400) at MIL (Zach Davies); Matt Joyce ($6,400) vs. SEA (Felix Hernandez)

Lineup Stack: Milwaukee Brewers vs. New York Mets (LHP Steven Matz)

Some might be tempted to roll the dice on Steven Matz as a cheap evening starter. As a cynical Mets fan, I’d strongly advise against it. A bad combination of diminished velocity and command have led to a 5.89 FIP and microscopic 12.7 % soft-hit rate. The southpaw has surrendered eight of his nine homers to righties, who are slugging .509 after batting .302/.347/.540 against the former burgeoning ace last year. Facing the Brewers at Miller Park won’t solve his woes. A career .308/.366/.485 hitter against lefites, Lorenzo Cain ($9,000) should return to his leadoff spot after resting on Wednesday. Milwaukee ruined Tuesday’s recommendation by giving Jesus Aguilar ($8,500) an off day, and DFS players must once again monitor the lineup with Ryan Braun ($7,300) scheduled to return from the disabled list. Start whichever one plays, or both if Braun goes back to the outfield.

Honorable Mentions: Reds vs. Pirates (Nova); Rangers vs. Royals (Duffy)

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Andrew Gould

Andrew is Pitcher List's DFS Manager who also covers MLB and NFL for FantasyPros and Bleacher Report. He placed second in FantasyPros' MLB accuracy ratings in 2016 and fifth in 2018.

2 responses to “FantasyDraft DFS Plays for May 24”

  1. NH says:

    I am looking to trade or drop some players off my team to pick up some of the FA’s out there. Here is my team. Who would you trade or drop?

    C – Grandal, Yadi
    1B – Votto
    2B – Ramirez, Torres
    3B – Machado
    SS – Didi, Asdbrual Cabrera
    OF – Pollock, Jose Martinez, Mazara, Hoskins

    SP – Severino, Corbin, Morton, Sale, Clevinger, Mikolas, Robbie Ray, Kershaw
    RP – Kimbrel, Hand

    Out of all these FA’s who would you pick up before next week starts.

    Gyorko, Rojas, Tyler O’Neill, Cordero, Jankowski, Profar, Brian Anderson, Tim Anderson

    Lyles, Carl Edwards, Jack Flaherty, Rodney, Lynn, Tyler Anderson, Alex Reyes, Yarbrough, Nate Jones,
    Neris, Gibson

    • Andrew Gould says:

      No DL slots? If not, I suppose you could drop Yadi. Cordero catches my eye since Pollock’s injury leaves you with three outfielders. As for trading, I’d be interested in seeing what you can get for Mikolas right now. Hard to see his value ever getting higher. Maybe package him with Martinez or Mazara for a top OF and grab Flaherty or Reyes.

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