MLB Sim Sports Picks for 5/10/20 on FanDuel
Need some DFS in your life?
We got you.
FanDuel's MLB Sims 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 -- things like 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.
Here's the breakdown for today's main slate, which starts at 8 p.m. EST.
This is a pretty fun pitching slate, and we can feel good about several of the options.
Even with some other good choices available to us, Justin Verlander ($12,000) is in his own tier, aided by a dope matchup with the Seattle Mariners. Seattle had a 25.5% strikeout rate in 2019, the fourth-highest clip, and Verlander doesn't need any help generating whiffs as he ended last season with a 35.4% strikeout rate and 16.1% swinging-strike rate. Verlander's ability to rack up strikeouts gives him an elite floor and a huge ceiling in DFS every time he takes the ball.
Yu Darvish ($9,500) gives us some swing-and-miss upside, too, and the price is much friendlier. Over the second half of last season, Darvish had some truly silly numbers, recording a 2.37 xFIP, 37.8% strikeout rate and 2.2% walk rate. Just ridiculous stuff. Darvish is up against the Washington Nationals, so it's a tough matchup, but at least it's a Nats lineup sans Anthony Rendon.
Frankie Montas ($8,600) is awfully enticing in a date with the Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays sat 23rd in wOBA (.310) a year ago while sporting the sixth-highest strikeout rate (24.9%). Montas was a breakout stud prior to his suspension, posting a 3.76 SIERA, 26.1% strikeout rate, 11.5% swinging-strike rate and 49.4% ground-ball rate. There's a lot to like here at a modest salary.
I love the Chicago White Sox today in their clash with lefty Andrew Suarez, who struggled in 2019 on his way to a 4.96 SIERA and 16.9% strikeout rate. The White Sox have plenty of lefty mashers, including Yoan Moncada ($3,600), Jose Abreu ($3,400), Yasmani Grandal ($3,100), Tim Anderson ($2,900) and Eloy Jimenez ($3,000). Jimenez had a 40.7% hard-hit rate versus southpaws as a rookie last campaign, and Anderson, who is hitting leadoff, got to lefties for a .354 wOBA last season. Unfortunately, lefty killer Edwin Encarnacion is not in the lineup today.
The Minnesota Twins are facing Jorge Lopez, who registered just a 19.9% strikeout rate last season. Lefties mauled him to the tune of a .405 wOBA and 42.7% hard-hit rate. A stack of left-handed Twins bats gives us upside and does so for cheap, which is ideal for those rostering Verlander. Max Kepler ($2,900), Luis Arraez ($2,600), Eddie Rosario ($3,000) and Jorge Polanco ($2,700) will all his from the left side today. Kepler, in particular, is a great point-per-dollar play as a leadoff man who had a 43.9% hard-hit rate and 47.2% with the platoon advantage last year.
Facing Alex Wood, the San Diego Padres don't have a super easy matchup today, but I think they could pop and may go overlooked. Over a small sample in 2019, Wood fanned just 19.6% of hitters, and in 125 total righties faces, he gave up a .382 wOBA. Over a larger sample in 2018 (469 righties faced), Wood allowed a 41.4% hard-hit rate to right-handed batters.
The Padres should be really good against southpaws this year, and four of their first five bats are righties -- Fernando Tatis Jr. ($3,700), Tommy Pham ($3,200), Manny Machado ($2,900) and Wil Myers ($2,400). Pham and Machado destroyed left-handed pitching in 2019. Pham put up a .407 wOBA and 45.2% hard-hit rate in the split, while Machado had a .441 wOBA and 51.5% hard-hit rate with the platoon advantage.
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.