MLB Sim Sports Picks for 5/26/20 on FanDuel

There are going to be some big-time totals posted tonight in FanDuel's simulated MLB DFS contests.

Not only do we have a game at Coors Field that includes the Los Angeles Dodgers teeing off on facing Kyle Freeland, but we also have half a dozen pitchers who can bathe in strikeouts. Let the fantasy goodness flow.

This is definitely a plus for us as players because we get to have some fun and watch our scores shoot up as the sims are released. But it also means our opponents are going to score a bunch of points, too, and we've got to do everything we can to keep up.

This desire for upside will be a driving force in selecting the players we want to use on the slate, both with our pitchers and our stacks. So let's dig in.

Here's the list of pitchers starting on the slate sorted by their FanDuel salaries. The individual numbers come from starts they made in 2019 (though Josh James' numbers were excluded because his sample as a starter was only 18 pitches). The opposing numbers are based on current active rosters against that pitcher's handedness last year.

Pitcher Salary Opponent SIERA Strikeout % Walk % Opp. K% Opp. wRC+
Mike Clevinger $10,200 LAA 3.31 33.9% 7.4% 20.3% 109
Dinelson Lamet $9,600 ARI 3.61 33.6% 9.6% 21.8% 96
Jack Flaherty $9,400 ATL 3.68 29.9% 7.1% 22.4% 100
Blake Snell $9,200 TOR 3.56 33.3% 9.1% 24.7% 94
Patrick Corbin $9,000 TEX 3.88 28.5% 8.4% 26.4% 97
Josh Lindblom $8,800 SFG -- -- -- 24.0% 89
Mike Soroka $8,600 STL 4.28 20.3% 5.9% 23.6% 94
Tyler Chatwood $7,600 MIA 5.10 21.4% 12.2% 24.4% 95
Mike Leake $7,300 SDP 4.79 15.2% 3.2% 25.0% 88
Drew Smyly $7,100 MIL 4.73 24.2% 10.4% 20.7% 102
David Price $7,000 COL 3.85 28.0% 7.0% 24.1% 98
Marco Gonzales $6,800 DET 5.08 17.0% 6.5% 24.9% 98
Trent Thornton $6,700 TAM 4.94 21.7% 9.5% 24.3% 99
Jose Urena $6,600 CHC 4.98 15.8% 7.1% 23.5% 108
Sean Manaea $6,500 HOU 3.86 27.5% 6.4% 15.9% 137
Josh James $6,400 OAK -- -- -- 22.8% 109
Kyle Gibson $6,100 WAS 4.27 22.4% 7.8% 21.5% 96
Patrick Sandoval $6,000 CLE 4.89 22.8% 11.4% 20.8% 104
Daniel Norris $5,700 SEA 4.50 21.2% 6.1% 23.4% 106
Kyle Freeland $5,500 LOS 5.19 16.7% 8.3% 21.9% 105

Which of these options will help us post the big marks we'll need to net some sweet, sweet bonus cash tonight? Here's the breakdown, starting with the hurlers.


Because the Dodgers are at Coors, we want to do whatever we can to have our cake and eat it, too. We want to pay as little at pitcher as possible while still having the path to a ceiling game. The pitcher who best fits that motto is Patrick Corbin ($9,000).

Of the five pitchers on the slate who had a strikeout rate higher than 28.0% last year, Corbin is the cheapest. That's obviously a big plus. But then that upside gets a solid kick in the pants from Corbin's opponent, the Texas Rangers. Their active roster had a 26.4% strikeout rate against lefties last year, the highest opponent strikeout rate on the slate by 1.4 percentage points.

Corbin's on the road for this one, which means he has to face a designated hitter. There's definitely risk in using him. But he's cheap access to a ceiling, which is hard to turn down.

If you don't want to use Corbin in that setting, you need to scrape together just an additional $200 to get to Blake Snell ($9,200). Snell's fun, too.

Snell's matchup is at home against the Toronto Blue Jays. They didn't strike out as much as the Rangers, but their mark of 24.7% is still enough to give Snell a boost.

That's not to say that Snell necessarily needs a boost. His 33.3% strikeout rate is third highest on the slate and is just 0.6 percentage points beneath the leader, Mike Clevinger ($10,200). Snell also comes with the second best SIERA on the slate at 3.56. His floor is likely higher than Corbin's, and the two have similar ceilings, making Snell an obvious option if you can find the extra salary.

After the five most expensive pitchers, things fall off in a big way. Nobody else outside of David Price and Sean Manaea had a strikeout rate higher than 24.2% last year, and Price is starting in Coors while Manaea is facing the Houston Astros. As a result, if you want to get a big enough score out of your pitcher to hang with the big dogs, you'll likely have to find a way to get into that upper tier.


The Dodgers are the clear top option here. Freeland finished last year with a 6.73 ERA and 5.19 SIERA as a starter, and putting that in Coors makes it a no-brainer. We just have to be a bit selective of the bats within the stack.

Appropriately, the Dodgers' hitters have been priced up to account for their juicy situation. Only one of their starters has a salary lower than $3,600, and just four of them are under $4,000. If you go with Corbin as your starter, your average salary per hitter is $3,250, so this is sticky. It can be done as long as you're willing to pepper the bottom half of the order and find a value stack elsewhere.

Thankfully, the bottom half of the order isn't all that bad. Will Smith ($3,600), A.J. Pollock ($3,600), and Chris Taylor ($3,000) will all have the platoon advantage and had an isolated slugging percentage of .193 or higher against lefties last year. This is likely one of the situations where you start things off by picking your pitcher and your other stack first before circling back and seeing which Dodgers you can afford.

The other side of this game isn't as appealing. The Colorado Rockies have a tough matchup with Price and are even more expensive than the Dodgers. That allows us to look elsewhere for lineups that can complement the Dodgers'.

The search for value brings us knocking on the door of the Milwaukee Brewers. They're facing Drew Smyly in Milwaukee, and Smyly's 4.73 SIERA and 5.69 ERA as a starter both say we should stack against him.

We won't have any troubles finding values within the Brewers' offense. Christian Yelich ($4,200) and Keston Hiura ($3,600) are the only starters with salaries higher than $3,000. The five and six hitters -- Ryan Braun ($2,600) and Jedd Gyorko ($2,300) -- could give you the flexibility to even spend up for some of the Dodgers' studs. The upside should be there, too, meaning you'll still have the juice to compete with other high-scoring lineups on the slate.

The other value stack on the slate is the new-look Detroit Tigers. This team has been built to hit lefties with the additions of Jonathan Schoop ($2,800) and C.J. Cron ($2,700), and they'll get the chance to flash that against Marco Gonzales. Although Gonzales had a sub-4.00 ERA last year, his 5.08 SIERA and 17.0% strikeout rate both say he's due for regression.

In addition to Cron and Schoop, Miguel Cabrera ($2,400) also had solid numbers versus southpaws last year with a .216 isolated slugging percentage. Niko Goodrum ($3,000) and Cameron Maybin ($2,500) don't have the same pop, but they add some upside with their speed. The idea of stacking the Tigers is unattractive, but their 2020 lineup is better than perception, and they help you get studs elsewhere. That'll work on a slate like this.

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.