MLB Sim Sports Picks for 5/14/20 on FanDuel
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 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 Thursday'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.
|Pitcher||Salary||Opp.||SIERA||K%||BB%||Opp. K%||Opp. wRC+|
|Walker Buehler (R)||$11,200||@PHI||3.50||29.2 %||5.0 %||24.5 %||90|
|Patrick Corbin (L)||$9,700||@ARI||3.88||28.5 %||8.4 %||21.5 %||112|
|Charlie Morton (R)||$8,900||NYY||3.54||30.4 %||7.2 %||23.4 %||119|
|Zack Wheeler (R)||$8,700||LOS||4.20||23.6 %||6.0 %||20.2 %||122|
|Josh Lindblom (R)||$8,200||@CIN||--||--||--||24.3 %||95|
|A.J. Puk (L)||$7,900||@SEA||--||--||--||23.4 %||106|
|Anthony DeSclafani (R)||$7,600||MIL||4.29||24.0 %||7.0 %||22.8 %||102|
|J.A. Happ (L)||$7,300||@TAM||4.77||20.3 %||7.3 %||27.1 %||99|
|Mike Leake (R)||$7,000||WAS||4.79||15.2 %||3.2 %||21.5 %||96|
|Marco Gonzales (L)||$6,900||OAK||5.08||17.0 %||6.5 %||19.9 %||114|
|Homer Bailey (R)||$6,800||@DET||4.60||21.4 %||7.6 %||25.6 %||82|
|Tyler Chatwood (R)||$6,500||@SDP||5.10||21.4 %||12.2 %||25.0 %||88|
|Kyle Gibson (R)||$6,400||BOS||4.27||22.4 %||7.8 %||19.9 %||105|
|Gio Gonzalez (L)||$6,300||TOR||5.03||20.7 %||10.5 %||24.7 %||94|
|Tanner Roark (R)||$6,100||@CWS||4.57||21.9 %||7.1 %||25.6 %||107|
|Garrett Richards (R)||$6,000||CHC||4.93||26.8 %||14.6 %||23.5 %||108|
|Ryan Weber (R)||$5,900||@TEX||5.16||13.2 %||3.8 %||25.5 %||89|
|Drew Smyly (L)||$5,800||@COL||4.73||24.2 %||10.4 %||24.1 %||98|
|Daniel Norris (L)||$5,600||MIN||4.50||21.2 %||6.1 %||20.4 %||123|
|Kyle Freeland (L)||$5,500||SFG||5.19||16.7 %||8.3 %||22.2 %||92|
To help get you started, let's go through some of the top pitchers and stacks on tonight's slate.
Walker Buehler ($11,200) is the top pitching talent on the slate and is priced accordingly. A matchup against the Phillies should only help boost his strikeout upside, so don't hesitate to pay up for the young right-hander.
Patrick Corbin ($9,700) and Charlie Morton ($8,900) are in tougher spots, but they're our best bets to match Buehler in punchouts. Keep in mind that Morton is starting in pitcher-friendly virtual Tropicana Field, which should help mitigate the damage against a dangerous Yankees lineup.
A.J. Puk ($7,900) only has 11.1 innings of MLB experience out of the bullpen, but his 2020 projections are intriguing at this price point. Steamer gives him a 4.09 ERA with a 25.9% strikeout rate and 10.2% walk rate. Despite some decent 2019 splits against lefties, this is still a weak Mariners lineup, and their home ballpark leans towards pitchers.
The Colorado Rockies are at Coors Field against southpaw Drew Smyly, who was rocked for 2.53 home runs per nine innings last season. You know the drill. Nolan Arenado ($4,200) and Trevor Story ($4,500) are fantastic if you can fit them in, but Smyly was demolished by both sides of the plate, so Charlie Blackmon ($3,900) and David Dahl ($3,700) could also crush. Ian Desmond ($3,200) is significantly better with the platoon advantage (.330 ISO versus lefties last year), making him a strong value play.
Many people have been intrigued by the flashes of improvement Kyle Gibson showed the last couple seasons, but projections remain rather pessimistic, suggesting a less glowing outlook in the simulation. The could help the Boston Red Sox to a big night, particularly if the Rangers' virtual home ballpark benefits hitters. Fire up J.D. Martinez ($3,800) and Rafael Devers ($3,700) on the high end, while Xander Bogaerts ($3,000), Andrew Benintendi ($3,100), Mitch Moreland ($2,900), and Michael Chavis ($2,900) can be rostered on the cheap.
On the other side, the Rangers don't necessarily have as exciting a lineup for a full stack, but you can't go wrong with using Joey Gallo ($3,700) as a one-off against a low-strikeout pitcher like Ryan Weber.
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.