MLB Sim Sports Picks for 5/6/20 on FanDuel

Lucas Giolito is coming off a monster year and gets a favorable matchup on FanDuel's simulated MLB DFS slate. Who else stands out on Wednesday?

If you've been missing the sweat and tough decisions involved with MLB DFS, you are in luck. Tonight's simulated slate on FanDuel will quench that thirst.

At the top of the pitching pool are three guys who can rack up the strikeouts and are in spots conducive to ceiling games. We've got choices; it's just hard to tell which route is best.

Here are the options we've got at our disposal, sorted by salary. The pitchers' stats come from starts they made in 2019, and the opposing data is based on current active rosters against that pitcher's handedness last year. The sample on Taijuan Walker is only one game because of his early-season injury.

Pitcher Salary Opponent SIERA Strikeout % Walk % Opp. K% Opp. wRC+
Clayton Kershaw $10,500 CHC 3.77 26.7% 5.8% 24.5% 94
Lucas Giolito $9,600 TAM 3.57 32.3% 8.1% 24.3% 99
Tyler Glasnow $9,200 CWS 3.18 33.0% 6.1% 25.6% 107
Corey Kluber $9,000 CLE 4.68 22.6% 8.9% 22.1% 96
Zack Greinke $8,600 KAN 3.96 23.1% 3.7% 22.1% 93
Madison Bumgarner $8,000 WAS 4.15 24.1% 5.1% 20.2% 106
Adrian Houser $7,800 MIA 4.08 24.2% 7.5% 24.4% 95
Jon Lester $7,600 LOS 4.49 21.6% 6.8% 21.9% 105
Masahiro Tanaka $7,500 PIT 4.44 19.8% 5.2% 20.1% 94
Andrew Heaney $7,300 BOS 3.87 28.9% 7.3% 19.7% 112
Max Fried $7,000 PHI 3.83 24.6% 6.4% 23.9% 109
Joe Ross $6,700 ARI 5.24 19.8% 11.5% 21.8% 96
Mike Fiers $6,600 SEA 5.19 16.7% 7.0% 25.9% 88
Chris Archer $6,500 NYY 4.38 27.2% 10.5% 23.4% 119
Sandy Alcantara $6,400 MIL 5.28 18.0% 9.7% 22.8% 102
Aaron Civale $6,300 TEX 4.74 20.3% 7.1% 25.5% 89
Taijuan Walker $6,200 OAK 4.10 25.0% 0.0% 22.8% 109
Jake Arrieta $6,100 ATL 4.82 18.5% 8.6% 22.4% 100
Jakob Junis $6,000 HOU 4.63 21.3% 7.5% 16.3% 129
Martin Perez $5,800 LAA 5.01 17.8% 8.4% 19.8% 102

All three of Clayton Kershaw ($10,500), Lucas Giolito ($9,600), and Tyler Glasnow ($9,200) have the juice and are in high-strikeout matchups. Which way should we turn at the top of our lineup? Let's check it out.


There's a pretty clear dropoff after those top three, meaning we should be looking to spend up at pitcher for this slate. When doing so, our top option should be Giolito.

Giolito's matchup isn't necessarily easy as the Tampa Bay Rays have roughly a league-average lineup against righties. However, they strike out at a 24.3% clip, and Giolito himself can generate upside with a 32.3% strikeout rate. Toss in that he did this over a 29-start sample with a 3.41 ERA, and it seems obvious the simulations should view him in a positive light. He's got a blend of floor and upside that's hard to match, so Giolito is hard to turn down.

With these sim slates, you're not burning any money to enter, and you've gotta place pretty high in order to make it worth your while. No risk it, no biscuit. That's why we can put Glasnow second, ahead of Kershaw.

Glasnow is actually on the other side of Giolito's matchup and facing the Chicago White Sox. Their offseason gains give them an active-roster wRC+ of 107 against righties, but it comes with a 25.6% strikeout rate, second-highest on the slate. The floor's shaky, but it comes with upside.

Glasnow, himself, is an unknown because our sample on him as a starter last year was just 12 outings, but he was brilliant in that time. Along with his 33.0% strikeout rate and 3.18 SIERA, he had elite results with a 1.78 ERA. Because Glasnow is on the road, his ceiling is likely a hair lower than Giolito's, justifying his second-place ranking on this list. But his upside is also likely higher than Kershaw's, meaning Glasnow is worth a long, hard look.

Kershaw certainly works if you don't mind the salary. The Chicago Cubs will strike out plenty against lefties, and Kershaw had a strong season in 2019. But given his strikeout marks relative to those of Giolito and Glasnow and his increased price tag, it's easy to slide Kershaw down to third.


Because I'm shoving exclusively high-salaried pitchers in your face, we have to start off the stacking section with some value options to help you afford those studs. The Arizona Diamondbacks fit that bill.

They're squaring off with Joe Ross, who is a fun pitcher but has dealt with tough injury luck. The simulations will see that he hasn't had an ERA under 5.00 since 2016 and that his strikeout rate was just 19.8% as a starter last year, and it's probably going to paint a grim picture of his talent. That's a bummer for Ross, but it puts the virtual Diamondbacks in position to rack up some runs.

The top-end names here don't fit the value discussion, but some others do. David Peralta ($3,000), Kole Calhoun ($2,700), and Christian Walker ($2,400) will occupy the middle third of the order, and all three had an isolated slugging percentage of at least .200 against righties in 2019. Using those three together should help you afford the pitchers while also squeezing in one of the higher-salaried guys in this lineup.

In the past, the Milwaukee Brewers would fail to qualify as being "cheap" because they had a number of high-potency bats. Things are a bit stripped down now, and outside of Christian Yelich ($4,200), nobody will run you more than $3,200. That'll work against Sandy Alcantara, who had a 5.28 SIERA and 18.0% strikeout rate last year.

The most alluring option within this stack is a newcomer in Justin Smoak ($2,500). He saves you a ton of salary and does so while providing a .234 isolated slugging percentage against righties. Fill in others like Keston Hiura ($3,200) around Smoak, and you should have a high-upside stack that can mesh well with our plans at pitcher.

Some of you will inevitably scoff at the high-salaried pitchers and decide to pay down instead of splurging. Given that there are no stakes, it's hard to blame you. This means you'll have some salary to burn at hitter, and the Houston Astros will be calling your name.

The Astros get Jakob Junis tonight, and Junis certainly isn't terrible. He had a 4.63 SIERA and a respectable walk rate last year. The problem is that his results were poor with a 5.24 ERA, and he now has to face that low-strikeout Astros offense. Let's hope the virtual trash cans are still hanging around.

Even if you do decide to pay up at pitcher, you can get exposure to this Astros team via one-offs or a mini stack. The value plays discussed above will give you flexibility, and it's not as if the pitchers had back-breaking salaries. Some of the Astros are also pretty cheap, especially Michael Brantley ($3,100).

Brantley is slated to bat third and is coming off a year in which he had a .226 isolated slugging percentage and 8.6% strikeout rate against righties. He's going to put the ball in play, and he'll often do so with authority. There are some other affordable sticks here, too, so regardless of where you turn at pitcher, it's wise to at least see if you can squeeze in Brantley and some of his friends.

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.