MLB Sim Sports Picks for 5/20/20 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 tonight'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: Josh Lindblom pitched in the KBO last year. A.J. Puk only pitched 11.1 innings out of the bullpen. Josh James only threw one inning in 2019 as a starter, so his numbers aren't listed. Tyler Chatwood and Ryan Weber made single-digit starts.
|Pitcher||Salary||Opp.||SIERA||K%||BB%||Opp. K%||Opp. wRC+|
|Patrick Corbin (L)||$11,200||SEA||3.88||28.5 %||8.4 %||23.4 %||106|
|David Price (L)||$9,200||PHI||3.85||28.0 %||7.0 %||23.9 %||109|
|Josh Lindblom (R)||$9,000||NYY||--||--||--||23.4 %||119|
|Charlie Morton (R)||$8,600||@BOS||3.54||30.4 %||7.2 %||19.9 %||105|
|Griffin Canning (R)||$7,800||@KAN||4.31||25.3 %||7.8 %||22.1 %||93|
|Steven Matz (L)||$7,600||ARI||4.46||22.3 %||7.6 %||21.5 %||112|
|Mike Leake (R)||$7,400||@NYM||4.79||15.2 %||3.2 %||21.5 %||109|
|Miles Mikolas (R)||$7,200||ATL||4.39||18.9 %||4.2 %||22.4 %||100|
|A.J. Puk (L)||$7,100||TEX||--||--||--||26.4 %||97|
|Josh James (R)||$7,000||@TOR||--||--||--||25.2 %||85|
|J.A. Happ (L)||$6,800||@MIL||4.77||20.3 %||7.3 %||20.7 %||102|
|Trevor Williams (R)||$6,600||CHC||5.08||17.8 %||6.9 %||23.5 %||108|
|Kyle Gibson (R)||$6,400||@OAK||4.27||22.4 %||7.8 %||22.8 %||109|
|Marco Gonzales (L)||$6,200||@WAS||5.08||17.0 %||6.5 %||20.2 %||106|
|Tyler Chatwood (R)||$6,100||@PIT||5.10||21.4 %||12.2 %||20.1 %||94|
|Vince Velasquez (R)||$6,000||@LOS||4.42||24.6 %||7.9 %||20.2 %||122|
|Mike Montgomery (L)||$5,900||LAA||4.74||18.3 %||7.5 %||19.8 %||102|
|Trent Thornton (R)||$5,800||HOU||4.94||21.7 %||9.5 %||16.3 %||129|
|Ryan Weber (R)||$5,600||TAM||5.16||13.2 %||3.8 %||24.3 %||99|
|Felix Hernandez (R)||$5,500||@STL||5.02||17.5 %||7.7 %||23.6 %||94|
To help get you started, let's go through some of the top pitchers and stacks on tonight's slate.
Patrick Corbin ($11,200) is the class of tonight's pitching slate and is priced accordingly. He owns one of the night's top strikeout rates and gets a plus matchup against Seattle. As noted in previous helpers, the Mariners' 2019 wRC+ split versus lefties is a bit misleading, as they're not a particularly strong lineup and start several left-handed batters.
David Price ($9,200) is a worthwhile alternative at a $2K discount against the Phillies, and his 2019 peripherals actually aren't so different from Corbin's. Price doesn't project for as high a strikeout rate in 2020, but Philadelphia should help him in that department. Pitching at home in virtual Dodger Stadium can't hurt, either.
A.J. Puk ($7,100) draws a fantastic matchup versus the whiff-happy Rangers, making him a compelling choice at this price point. Puk's limited track record is a risk, but public models project him favorably, including a 25.9% strikeout rate from Steamer.
The Houston Astros are usually a pretty safe bet as a stack, and tonight is no different against the likes of Trent Thornton. The right-hander's 2020 projections are right in line with last year's numbers, and that's not going to cut it against the Astros.
George Springer ($3,800) and Yordan Alvarez ($3,700) are strong contenders to send the ball into the outfield seats, and Alex Bregman ($4,000), Jose Altuve ($3,700), and Carlos Correa ($3,600) are also in play, of course. The cheap Astros bats are all at the bottom of the order, so you might need to pay down at pitcher to get the full potential of this spot.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are another elite offense facing a mediocre pitcher. Vincent Velasquez will pile up the Ks sometimes, but he also tends to give up the long ball, allowing 1.99 dingers per 9 innings last year. Projections see him allowing roughly 1.60 per 9 this year, so those issues should persist in the sim.
The Dodgers' top lefty sticks in Cody Bellinger ($4,100), Joc Pederson ($3,700), Max Muncy (3,300), and Corey Seager ($2,900) should do some damage. Mookie Betts ($3,500) and Justin Turner ($3,200) are solid mid-range values at their salaries.
The Washington Nationals don't have the same firepower as the Astros or Dodgers, but they should be able to put up some runs against Marco Gonzales. Steamer is projecting the southpaw for a pedestrian 4.62 ERA and 17.6% strikeout rate.
Don't let the lefty-lefty matchup sway you from using Juan Soto ($3,700), and Ryan Zimmerman ($2,800) is a cheap power source. Victor Robles ($3,000) and Adam Eaton ($2,900) are inexpensive bats atop the order.
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.