MLB Sim Sports Picks for 5/22/20 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 8:09pm 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+|
|Justin Verlander (R)||$11,800||@BOS||2.95||35.4 %||5.0 %||19.9 %||105|
|Jacob deGrom (R)||$11,200||@ATL||3.29||31.7 %||5.5 %||22.4 %||100|
|Shane Bieber (R)||$10,700||@LOS||3.36||30.2 %||4.7 %||20.2 %||122|
|Tyler Glasnow (R)||$9,800||@DET||3.18||33.0 %||6.1 %||25.6 %||82|
|Corey Kluber (R)||$9,100||@KAN||4.68||22.6 %||8.9 %||22.1 %||93|
|Madison Bumgarner (L)||$8,700||@STL||4.15||24.1 %||5.1 %||22.4 %||96|
|Lucas Giolito (R)||$8,500||@MIN||3.57||32.3 %||8.1 %||20.9 %||119|
|Andrew Heaney (L)||$8,400||@OAK||3.87||28.9 %||7.3 %||19.9 %||114|
|Kyle Hendricks (R)||$8,100||@MIL||4.38||20.6 %||4.4 %||22.8 %||102|
|Frankie Montas (R)||$7,900||LAA||3.76||26.1 %||5.8 %||20.3 %||109|
|Alex Wood (L)||$7,600||CLE||4.67||19.6 %||5.9 %||20.8 %||104|
|Danny Duffy (L)||$7,200||TEX||4.89||20.7 %||8.3 %||26.4 %||97|
|Jake Odorizzi (R)||$7,100||CWS||4.14||27.1 %||8.1 %||25.6 %||107|
|Michael Fulmer (R)||$6,800||TAM||--||--||--||24.3 %||99|
|Dakota Hudson (R)||$6,700||ARI||5.06||18.0 %||11.3 %||21.8 %||96|
|Mike Foltynewicz (R)||$6,500||NYM||4.71||21.4 %||7.5 %||21.5 %||109|
|Nathan Eovaldi (R)||$6,200||HOU||5.33||21.6 %||12.9 %||16.3 %||129|
|Adrian Houser (R)||$6,000||CHC||4.08||24.2 %||7.5 %||23.5 %||108|
|Zach Eflin (R)||$5,800||@COL||4.90||17.9 %||6.6 %||22.5 %||86|
|Antonio Senzatela (R)||$5,500||PHI||5.50||13.1 %||9.8 %||24.5 %||90|
To help get you started, let's go through some of the top pitchers and stacks on tonight's slate.
Justin Verlander ($11,800), Jacob deGrom ($11,200), and Shane Bieber ($10,700) are expensive and don't have especially appealing matchups, but they all have the strikeout upside to still post big scores. They're riskier than Glasnow but bring just as high ceilings, with deGrom having the least dangerous matchup of the pricey trio.
Paying down is difficult tonight, but you could take a chance on Lucas Giolito ($8,500) or Andrew Heaney ($8,400). They're in brutal spots against the Twins and Athletics, respectively, but they are probably the only two bargain hurlers we can reasonably expect to post enough punchouts to keep up with the night's elite. Although Jake Odorizzi ($7,100) sticks out at his price against the White Sox, his season-long projections see him regressing, so he probably doesn't have the upside his 2019 marks would suggest.
With Zach Eflin and Antonio Senzatela taking the mound at Coors Field, you know where we're going first. Neither hurler gets many strikeouts, and public projections are bearish on their 2020 prospects.
All the usual top Colorado Rockies bats are in play against Eflin, with David Dahl ($4,000) and Ryan McMahon ($3,500) also deserving strong consideration as lefty sticks. Eflin has been routinely torched by left-handed hitting, allowing a career 6.00 FIP and 5.25 xFIP in the split. Daniel Murphy ($3,300) doesn't bring as much power but is batting fifth and gives you another left-handed option. While righty Ian Desmond ($3,000) is more effective with the platoon advantage, he's a decent value at this price point.
On the other side, the Philadelphia Phillies naturally have Bryce Harper ($4,200) and Rhys Hoskins ($4,100) as top choices to knock one out, but we can also dip down to Andrew McCutchen ($3,800) and J.T. Realmuto ($3,700). Jay Bruce ($3,000) and Didi Gregorius ($3,000) are fantastic value plays.
As noted earlier, Jake Odorizzi is projected for some regression this season, with Steamer giving him a mediocre 4.59 ERA and 1.31 WHIP while giving up 1.62 dingers per 9 innings. The Chicago White Sox could be a sneaky stack here, with a pretty solid bunch of cheap sluggers in Jose Abreu ($3,000), Edwin Encarnacion ($2,700), Luis Robert ($2,600), and Nomar Mazara ($2,500). Yasmani Grandal ($3,200) and Eloy Jimenez ($2,900) are inexpensive, too. This is a good place to go if you're paying up for someone like Jacob deGrom.
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.