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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for May 1

Zach Thompson gives his top studs and value plays for Monday’s fantasy baseball slate on DraftKings.

San Francisco Giants v San Diego Padres Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The MLB starts the month of May with six games on the main slate on DraftKings this Monday night. The Phillies visit the Dodgers in an NLCS rematch after finishing their series in Houston this past weekend. The Giants return to the States to face the Astros, who continue their homestand against the National League. The Padres are also back from Mexico City as they host the Reds. In the American League, the Red Sox take on the Blue Jays and the Guardians visit the Yankees.

Especially with a few weather situations to keep tabs on, make sure to keep a close eye on pregame lineups and the latest player news by installing the DK Live app and following DK Live on Twitter (@dklive). I’m also on Twitter (@ZT_Sports), where you can keep up with all my picks as the season continues.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $250K Relay Throw [$50K to 1st]

For up-to-the-minute news, analysis, and lineups, download the DK Live app. You also can follow DK Live on Twitter @dklive.



Luis Garcia, Houston Astros vs. San Francisco Giants ($9,200) – The Giants had a big offensive weekend, but they should come back to earth as they go from 7,350 feet above sea level in Mexico City to just 46 feet above sea level at Minute Maid Park. They’ll step right into a tough matchup against Garcia, who has the highest ceiling of all the pitchers taking the mound on Monday night.

Garcia’s upside is largely a result of his strikeout potential. He has at least seven punchouts in three straight starts with a total of 23 strikeouts in 18 innings in those three outings. He produced a season-high 36 DKFP in his most recent home start by shutting out the Blue Jays for seven innings with nine strikeouts. He followed that up with six more shutout innings in Tampa Bay with seven strikeouts in his most recent outing to finish with 28.5 DKFP. In a more favorable matchup on Monday night, Garcia will look to build on those two excellent outings.

Other Option – Blake Snell ($8,500)


MacKenzie Gore, Washington Nationals vs. Chicago Cubs ($8,100) – Gore has gotten off to a solid start to his first full season with the Nationals. He has at least seven strikeouts in each of his five starts and has finished with at least 17 DKFP four times. Overall, he has a 3.00 ERA and 3.51 FIP with 35 strikeouts in 27 innings.

Gore is also coming into this home start against Chicago off his best outing of the season. Last Wednesday, he struck out a season-high 10 against the Mets on his way to 31.9 DKFP in his third win of the season. It’s impressive (and maybe a little lucky) that he has been able to earn three wins on a team that only has 10 wins on the season, but he’ll look to continue establishing himself as the team’s ace and a huge part of their future at just 24 years old. Gore’s strikeout potential gives him a high ceiling even though the Cubs have been better than expected on offense this season.

Other Options – Tony Gonsolin ($6,800), Corey Kluber ($6,600)



Bo Bichette, Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox ($5,900) – Bichette crushed his sixth homer of the season on Sunday, going 2-for-6 to raise his average to .317 with a .374 wOBA. He has five doubles and six home runs for a 143 wRC+ over his first 28 games this year along with a 40.6% hard-hit rate, per Statcast. He has a career .341 average at Fenway Park with five home runs and an average of 12.6 DKFP per game. He also has a great history against Corey Kluber ($6,000), going 5-for-11 (.455) with a home run in their past head-to-head meetings.


Nico Hoerner, Chicago Cubs at Washington Nationals ($4,900) – Hoerner has been the spark plug for the Cubs’ offense and has gotten off to a great start to the year. He has averaged 10.7 DKFP per game over his first 27 games with a .328 average, two home runs and 10 stolen bases. He’s been even better against lefties like Gore, hitting .344 with a .371 wOBA. Since he gets most of his production by getting on base and stealing bases, even in below-average matchups like this one vs. Gore, he brings good upside from under $5K.

Other Options – Matt Chapman ($5,600), Manny Machado ($5,000), Freddie Freeman ($4,800)


Kiké Hernández, Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays ($3,700) – Hernández has missed the past two games for the Red Sox while dealing with an ankle injury, but he will be a good play under $4K if he’s able to rejoin the lineup on Monday night. In his past 14 games, he is hitting .352 with a .379 wOBA, four doubles, a home run and a stolen base. He is hitting .333 this season at Fenway with a .400 wOBA, giving him some strong splits in his favor if he’s able to return vs. José Berríos ($8,300) and the Blue Jays.


Nick Senzel, Cincinnati Reds at San Diego Padres ($2,500) – Senzel arrived at the Majors as a top prospect and showed some sizzle before being sidelined by multiple injuries. The righty overhauled his swing this offseason but had complications with his toe surgery and wasn’t able to make his debut until mid-April. He went just 5-for-36 (.139) over his first 11 games but has shown some great upside in his five games since then. In those games, he has gone 10-for-26 (.385) with two homers and an average of 17.8 DKFP per game. He should offer good value in the lineup against lefty Blake Snell ($8,500) in San Diego on Monday. Both of Senzel’s homers have come against lefties, and he has gone 7-for-17 (.412) against them in his limited action. The sample size is small, but there seems like there’s good upside for a play at $2.5K with eligibility at both 3B and OF.

Other Options – DJ LeMahieu ($3,800), Josh Naylor ($3,400), Enmanuel Valdez ($2,300)



Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres vs. Cincinnati Reds ($6,000) – Tatis collected multiple hits in both of the Padres’ wins in Mexico and has hit safely in eight straight games. He has just four extra-base hits on the season, but three of them came in his two most recent contests. During his current eight-game hitting streak, he’s hitting .306 with a .374 wOBA. He hasn’t started to steal bases or hit for a ton of power yet, but hopefully, his success in Mexico will jump-start his extra-base production. In his first game at Petco Park since returning from suspension, he gets a favorable matchup against Luke Weaver ($7,000), who has surrendered five home runs and 10 runs in 11 23 innings over his first two starts.


Alex Verdugo, Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays ($4,500) – Verdugo has been swinging one of the hottest outfield bats on the slate, so getting him at this price is a steal. He has settled in as the Red Sox leadoff hitter, even though he doesn’t offer prototypical leadoff speed. He has still been very productive, though, averaging 10.5 DKFP per game over his past 10 games by going 12-for-44 (.273) with three doubles, three home runs and a .369 wOBA. He has a 45.7% hard-hit rate during that span and has scored eight runs while driving in 10.

Other Options – Yordan Alvarez ($6,300), James Outman ($4,400)


Jarren Duran, Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays ($3,300) – Since losing Adam Duvall (wrist), the Red Sox have turned to Duran in CF, and the former top prospect has fared much better recently than he did in his first few disastrous chances in the Majors. Duran has improved his approach and remade his swing, which has helped him hit .396 with a .443 wOBA, two home runs and a stolen base in his 13 games. He has averaged 10.3 DKFP per game and brings nice power and speed potential. It remains to be seen if the new-and-improved Duran is here to stay, but he’s definitely an option to consider while he’s this hot at this salary.


Alex Call, Washington Nationals vs. Chicago Cubs ($2,700) – Call has settled in as the Nationals’ leadoff hitter and has been heating up lately, helping the Nats go 5-4 over their last nine games. Call comes into this matchup with a seven-game hitting streak during which he has gone 10-for-28 (.357) with one home run, one stolen base and an average of 8.6 DKFP per contest. He has hit .370 on the year against lefties with a .429 wOBA. He’ll be on the strong side of that split as he takes on Drew Smyly ($7,800). He doesn’t typically bring a ton of power, but his premium lineup spot and current form make him a very strong option under $3K.

Other Options – Cody Bellinger ($3,900), Corey Julks ($3,000), Cavan Biggio ($2,100)

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $250K Relay Throw [$50K to 1st]

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.