FantasyDraft DFS Plays for May 8

Come celebrate Aaron Nola Day on Tuesday's FantasyDraft DFS slate.

Corey Kluber is the best starter to toe the mound on Tuesday, but FantasyDraft contestants should fade the ace.

Led by Mike Trout making a rare trip to Coors Field, where Nolan Arenado will face a southpaw, nine superstar hitters cost $10,000 or more. That still doesn’t include one of the evening’s premier offensive choices, so Kluber will become a luxury few can afford at an extravagant $26,400. Even if there’s no Cy Young-caliber alternative, there are plenty of other exciting hurlers to lead a lineup.

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Top SP: Aaron Nola ($19,300) vs. San Francisco Giants

Because of a middling 20.4 % strikeout rate, Aaron Nola costs $19,300 despite also displaying a 2.17 ERA and 2.98 FIP. Let’s not shout “Regression” just yet. Phillies teammate Jake Arrieta is the only qualified starter who has generated a lower hard-hit % than the 24-year-old’s 21.6. He has struck out 408 batters over 402.1 career innings, and a 9.9 % swinging-strike rate is only a notch below his career 10.0 % clip. There’s a simple (perhaps overly so) explanation for his K slide: Nola has faced the Braves in three of his seven starts, and no NL team strikes out less often. In the other four turns, he has accumulated 26 punchouts over 27.1 frames. The Giants, meanwhile, possess a higher percentage (24.0 %) than Atlanta’s 19.4 with a weaker power punch. And unlike Kluber, Lance McCullers, and James Paxton, he’s available for under $20,000.

Honorable Mentions: James Paxton ($21,600) at TOR; Luis Severino ($19,500) vs. BOS

Value SP: Luis Castillo ($13,100) vs. New York Mets

Not everyone will hop on board the “Play a starter with a 7.01 ERA” strategy. Those who want exposure to the evening’s many marquee hitting choices, however, will need to take a pitching chance. There’s no better high-risk, high-reward option than Luis Castillo, who finally showed some life with an encouraging start (6 IP, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K) against the Brewers. For all of his disastrous stats (seven homers allowed, a .306 opposing average, and 39.8 % hard-hit rate), he has at least maintained a 14.6 swinging-strike % and 50.4 % ground-ball rate. Although the Mets roughed up Homer Bailey on Monday night, they have failed to score in three of their last six games. Castillo remains a supremely talented pitcher who took the first step toward erasing a disastrous April. Let’s see if he can take another on Tuesday.

Honorable Mentions: Zack Godley ($15,800) at LAD; Marcus Stroman ($12,000) vs. SEA

OF Giancarlo Stanton ($9,200) vs. Boston Red Sox (LHP Drew Pomeranz)

Nineteen hitters cost more than Giancarlo Stanton, who’s nevertheless a top-shelf play despite his .227 batting average and 35.3 % strikeout rate. His struggles, which may be a tad too harsh for a guy with seven homers and a .330 wOBA, would look worse if not for batting 10-for-27 with four dingers against lefties. That’s nothing new for the slugger, who wields a career .427 wOBA versus southpaws after tallying a 1.213 OPS off them during last year’s MVP campaign. On Tuesday he’ll face Drew Pomeranz, who has relinquished a 6.14 ERA and 42.2 % hard-hit rate this year. Three Rays righties (Wilson Ramos, Daniel Robertson, and Rob Refsnyder) took him deep in his second of three starts, and Stanton is just a smidge stronger than that trio. While Aaron Judge is also a right-handed monster, he costs $1,500 more, so take the more affordable Yankees masher.

Honorable Mentions: Mike Trout ($11,300) at COL (Jon Gray): Rhys Hoskins ($9,400) vs. SF (Derek Holland); Edwin Encarnacion ($8,900) at MIL (Wade Miley)

IF Paul Goldschmidt ($8,000) at Los Angeles Dodgers (LHP Rich Hill)

Paul Goldschmidt is 0-for-21 in May. He hasn’t posted an extra-base hit since April 26 or home run since April 15. He’s also a career .331/.436/.600 hitter against southpaws available for a discounted $8,000 because of his current funk. Scheduled to return from the disabled list, Rich Hill was last seen surrendering seven runs and a homer to Goldschmidt on April 14. If he were $9,000 or more, I wouldn’t bother. But the star first baseman will wake up eventually, so we might as well profit from the revival.

Honorable Mentions: Mike Moustakas ($8,300) at BAL (Dylan Bundy); Eric Hosmer ($8,200) vs. WAS (Jeremy Hellickson)

Value: OF Nomar Mazara ($7,500) vs. Detroit Tigers (RHP Mike Fiers)

Are we finally seeing Nomar Mazara’s breakout? And I did I really just type “finally” in regards to a 23-year-old player with two 20-homer campaigns in his arsenal? After hitting five homers in seven May contests, the Texas outfielder looks poised to shatter that meddling mark in 2018. He already has eight on the season while boasting a .507 slugging percentage and 40.2 % hard-hit rate. This looks like a case of a top prospect given the time and patience necessary to develop on the job, so look for him to stay hot at home against Mike Fiers. The righty has relinquished two homers in three of his last four starts while allowing a .400 wOBA to lefties in 2018. Arlington won’t help his fly-ball woes, and Mazara’s wOBA jumps from .301 to .343 at home. A week like Mazara’s May welcoming usually yields a price uptick, but he remains a mid-level expenditure despite every arrow pointing in his favor.

Honorable Mentions: Anthony Rendon ($7,500) at SD (Clayton Richard); Cesar Hernandez ($7,500) vs. SF ( Holland)

Lineup Stack: Rockies vs. Los Angeles Angels (Andrew Heaney)

No, this pick won’t separate any submissions from the pack. When it comes to 50/50 contests and multipliers, the chalk choice is often the right one. Andrew Heaney has allowed a .356 wOBA to opposing righties over his oft-injured career. In another circumstance, a 3.45 FIP buried beneath a 5.31 ERA would make him an interesting value pick. He’s pitching at Coors, so this isn’t that time. A red-hot Arenado is the obvious play, but also the costliest one at $10,800. Try to swing it, even though it will almost certainly mean fading Trout and Kluber. After the stud third baseman, there are opportunities for cheaper exposure. A home matchup against a lefty means it’s time to raise the Trevor Story Bat-Signal. The strikeout-prone shortstop is a career .283/.355/.593 hitter at Coors and .287/.380/.613 fiend versus southpaws, so $8,500 is a bargain despite his .222 average. He’s batting like Jose Altuve compared to Ian Desmond, who’s hitting .188/.232/.385 with a .266 wOBA. While yet to exploit Coors, he still sports a career .278/.330/.450 slash line against southpaws and only requires a $7,300 investment despite his two-homer Sunday. Given the park and platoon advantage, Chris Iannetta can help solve some sticky budgeting dilemmas with a minuscule $6,300 price tag.

Honorable Mentions: Phillies vs. Giants (Holland); Indians at Brewers (Miley); Angels at Rockies (Gray)

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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.

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