MLB Sim Sports Picks for 5/5/20 on FanDuel

Which spots stand out on Tuesday night's nine-game MLB Sim Sports slate?

Do you miss Major League Baseball? Yeah, we do, too.

Maybe you can't quite fill that sports void in your heart, but FanDuel has been coming up with new contests to keep us entertained during these strange times.

Enter MLB Sim Sports, a new free-to-play format that simulates the baseball games that were originally scheduled for play each day. Starting pitchers and batting orders are announced in advance, and then games will play out through numberFire's custom simulator.

Starting pitchers will have a simulated pitch count that we won't know beforehand but should be roughly based on their performance last season. Hitters will play the whole game, so there's no fear of pinch hitters and the like.

Best of all, the simulation is meant to replicate real life, so all the usual things you typically analyze in MLB DFS -- player skills, matchups, park factors, and platoon splits -- are in play here, so you can approach this in much the same way you would on a real baseball slate.

Below are the starting pitchers for Tuesday night's slate, which locks at 8:00pm ET. Stats are from 2019 and limited to just games started, so you may see slight changes in the overall numbers of some players who made appearances out of the bullpen. Opposing strikeout rate and wRC+ are last year's numbers against a given pitcher's handedness using updated active rosters, per FanGraphs.

Note: Jesus Luzardo only pitched out of the bullpen last season (12.0 innings). Julio Urias, Patrick Sandoval, Johnny Cueto, and Justus Sheffield all made single-digit starts in 2019.

PitcherSalaryOpp.SIERAK%BB%Opp. K%Opp. wRC+
Justin Verlander (R)$12,000@KAN2.9535.4 %5.0 %22.1 %93
Jacob deGrom (R)$11,400CIN3.2931.7 %5.5 %24.3 %95
Blake Snell (L)$10,500@CWS3.5633.3 %9.1 %23.8 %119
Matthew Boyd (L)$9,300COL3.6130.2 %6.4 %24.1 %98
Jose Berrios (R)$9,000SFG4.2823.2 %6.1 %24.0 %89
Chris Paddack (R)$8,800@STL3.8326.9 %5.5 %23.6 %94
Julio Urias (L)$8,100CHC3.7529.4 %6.4 %24.5 %94
Jesus Luzardo (L)$7,700SEA------23.4 %106
Kyle Hendricks (R)$7,300@LOS4.3820.6 %4.4 %20.2 %122
Dylan Cease (R)$6,900TAM4.6024.9 %10.7 %24.3 %99
Antonio Senzatela (R)$6,700@DET5.5013.1 %9.8 %25.6 %82
Dakota Hudson (R)$6,600SDP5.0618.0 %11.3 %25.0 %88
Nathan Eovaldi (R)$6,500LAA5.3321.6 %12.9 %20.3 %109
Wade Miley (L)$6,400@NYM4.8019.4 %8.5 %23.4 %114
Danny Duffy (L)$6,300HOU4.8920.7 %8.3 %15.9 %137
Patrick Sandoval (L)$6,100@BOS4.8922.8 %11.4 %19.7 %112
Johnny Cueto (R)$6,000@MIN5.4919.4 %13.4 %20.9 %119
Justus Sheffield (L)$5,700@OAK4.5722.1%9.1%19.9 %114

To help get you started, let's go through some of the top pitchers and stacks on tonight's slate.


Justin Verlander ($12,000), Jacob deGrom ($11,400), and Blake Snell ($10,500) are the collective cream of the crop tonight, with Verlander and deGrom getting the slight nod in easier matchups. Last year's numbers suggest a tougher draw for Snell against the White Sox, but he still has enough punchout upside in this spot to emerge with a big score at a lower price tag.

Matt Boyd ($9,300) benefits from an easy opponent in the Rockies away from Coors, but season-long projections aren't especially high on him, so the sims will likely view him far more pessimistically compared to that first trio. At his price, you're probably better off going with one of the top guys or paying down.

And speaking of the value end, Julio Urias ($8,100) and Jesus Luzardo ($7,700) are both solid options. Urias showed nice strikeout potential last year and should be able to rack up some Ks against the Cubs. Luzardo got a taste of the Majors last September and performed well out of the bullpen over 12.0 innings (2.77 SIERA, 34.8% strikeout rate, and 6.5% walk rate). His projections are pretty intriguing at this salary, and the Mariners aren't a very good lineup despite some decent numbers versus lefties last year.


The Houston Astros are up against a mediocre lefty in Danny Duffy, so they're a natural stacking fit. Alex Bregman ($4,200) and George Springer ($4,100) are obvious top choices -- if you can afford them -- along with Jose Altuve ($3,700), Carlos Correa ($3,400) and Yuli Gurriel ($2,900). Don't be afraid to use Yordan Alvarez ($3,300) in the lefty-lefty spot, too, as he boasted a .342 ISO in those matchups last year.

The Minnesota Twins also find themselves in an easy spot versus Johnny Cueto, who struggled in four starts this past season and projects as a pedestrian 2020 starter. The Twins are much cheaper than the Astros, with sluggers Miguel Sano ($3,400), Nelson Cruz ($3,200), and Josh Donaldson ($3,200) coming in at affordable salaries. Max Kepler ($2,700) is a great value out of the leadoff spot, and Byron Buxton ($2,600) can be considered as part of a wrap-around stack. It might surprise you that Buxton produced a .255 ISO versus right-handed pitching in 2019.

For a more contrarian stack, the road-tripping Colorado Rockies could be worth checking out versus Matt Boyd. As previously noted, Boyd doesn't project as well as his peripherals would suggest, and he had a terrible home run problem in 2019, giving up 1.89 per nine innings. Even without being aided by Coors, the simulation could favor the likes of Trevor Story ($3,900) and Nolan Arenado ($3,800), and lefties Charlie Blackmon ($3,100) and David Dahl ($3,100) held their own versus southpaws last season. Ian Desmond ($2,400) makes for a good punt, as well.

The author of this article has no involvement with the MLB Sim Sports simulations powered by numberFire and has no knowledge of the results of tonight’s contest.