MLB Sim Sports Picks for 5/28/20 on FanDuel
For the majority of the time FanDuel has been offering simulated MLB DFS slates, we've been dealing with 10-game or smaller offerings.
Today, they're jacking that number up to 13. More options means more dilemmas and more consternation. Giddy up.
Here's a rundown of the starting pitchers, sorted by their FanDuel salaries. The individual numbers are from starts the pitchers made in 2019. 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+|
There are 26 starters at our disposal, but we can't use all of 'em. Which players stand out for Thursday's slate? Let's check it out.
With a Coors game on the slate, we want to see first if there are any value pitchers we can lean on. Madison Bumgarner ($8,700) isn't necessarily a value, but he's cheap enough to get us at least some Coors exposure.
Bumgarner is facing the San Diego Padres, who have some lefty-bangers in the lineup, as evidenced by their active roster's 109 wRC+ versus southpaws. But they can also whiff, holding a strikeout rate of 24.5%, the fourth-highest mark on the slate. That gives Bumgarner upside, and with the payout structure of these contests, that's truly all we care about.
For the full season, Bumgarner had a 24.1% strikeout rate and 5.1% walk rate. Importantly, he should also be able to go deep in the game, allowing him to access his ceiling via volume. If you want to stack Coors, Bumgarner can help you get there.
The upside for Adrian Houser ($5,800) isn't as high, and that matters. However, using Houser would let you use whichever hitters your heart desires. We don't find viable pitchers in this range often, so why not give it a crank?
As a starter last year, Houser was truly solid. He had a 24.2% strikeout rate (higher than Bumgarner's) with a 4.08 SIERA. That's pretty tasty at almost the minimum salary. The opposing San Francisco Giants lack firepower and struck out 24.0% of the time against righties, meaning we can actually jump all the way down here if we truly want.
Finally, if you decide Coors doesn't fit your fancy, then you will want to jump to the other end of the player pool and consider Jacob deGrom ($11,500) and Matthew Boyd ($10,200). Both had strikeout rates north of 30.0% last year and are facing teams willing to indulge in the third strike. deGrom brings both floor and ceiling while Boyd's a true ceiling-only play, but again, that's all we care about in this format.
The Coors discussion circles around just the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Colorado Rockies are facing Julio Urias, who can limit an offense even in a zero-atmosphere park. The Dodgers, though, are facing Jeff Hoffman, who had a 5.11 SIERA as a starter last year. That's Big Baby Davis dot gif material.
The Dodgers, in general, are pricey, so even in Bumgarner lineups, you might have to get creative to stack them. But whether you're stacking them or not, you gotta try to squeeze in Mookie Betts ($3,900). Betts -- for some reason -- is tied for fourth in salary among Dodgers hitters, a $600 discount from Cody Bellinger ($4,500). Once you consider the salary, Betts is the biggest lock on the slate regardless of position.
For your value sticks, the Milwaukee Brewers seem to be a standout option. They're facing Johnny Cueto, who struggled in a limited sample last year and had a 4.52 ERA in his most recent (almost) full season. The odds the simulation views him as being the ace he once was are low.
The plus of the Brewers is that they have options in each salary tier. Christian Yelich ($4,100) is obviously worth it if you've got the coin. Justin Smoak ($2,900) and Avisail Garcia ($2,900) have pop and can help give you flexibility elsewhere. Then, if you want to get super frisky, Omar Narvaez ($2,100) is slated to bat seventh but had a .201 isolated slugging percentage against righties last year. The Brewers are a team you can stack regardless of what you do elsewhere in your lineup.
Finding a team like the Brewers allows us a bit of flexibility in the third stacking recommendation. With that in mind, it's hard to turn down the Chicago White Sox, even at elevated salaries.
The White Sox are facing John Means, whose 5.19 SIERA and 17.9% strikeout rate show he's due for some regression in 2020. He's also a lefty, which means we get to see new South-Sider Edwin Encarnacion ($3,600) with the platoon advantage.
With Encarnacion and Yasmani Grandal ($3,300) in the mix, the White Sox sneakily have a fun offense. Their active roster had a 119 wRC+ against lefties last year despite a 23.8% strikeout rate. That's a file-this-away-for-later stat we can lean on once the actual MLB season begins, but it also incentivizes us to buy them here with all the virtual new toys already in place.
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.