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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for May 8

Matt LaMarca gives his top studs and value plays at each position for Saturday’s fantasy baseball slate on DraftKings, which starts at 7:05 p.m. ET.

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday features a seven-game main slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.

Let’s go position-by-position and break down everything you’ll need to know to set your lineups.


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PITCHER

Stud

Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers at Los Angeles Angels ($10,500) – There are no sure things at pitcher on today’s slate. Only two teams currently own an implied team total of fewer than four runs, and no one is greater than a -165 favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook. With that in mind, Kershaw stands out as one of the safer options. He’s not the same elite pitcher that he was in his prime, but he’s still pretty darn good. He’s pitched to a 2.95 ERA and 2.53 FIP through his first seven starts this season, and the Angels are mediocre against left-handed pitching.

Other Options – Lance Lynn ($9,500), Ian Anderson ($8,900)

Value

Joey Lucchesi, New York Mets vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($7,300) – Lucchesi was hit very hard in his last outing, and his spot in the Mets’ rotation is tenuous. If not for the injury to Jacob deGrom (lat) and the fact that the Mets’ bullpen has been taxed recently, it’s possible that he wouldn’t even be starting on Saturday. That said, it’s hard to ignore his DraftKings Sportsbook data. He owns the lowest opponent implied team total of the day at just 3.6 runs, and he’s also a -139 favorite. He’s also posted a career-best 10.13 strikeouts per nine innings this season. That makes him an interesting bounce-back target.

Other Options – Merrill Kelly ($8,400), Garrett Richards ($8,200)


Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $150K Bat Flip [$50K to 1st]


CATCHER

Stud

Yasmani Grandal, Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals ($4,700) – Grandal is a switch-hitter who has historically posted better numbers as a right-handed batter, and he’ll be on the positive side of his splits vs. Royals left-hander Daniel Lynch ($5,300). Grandal has posted a .450 wOBA and .257 ISO against southpaws over the past 12 months, and the White Sox are implied for 5.1 runs in this matchup. That’s tied for the top mark on the slate.

Other Options – Will Smith ($4,900), Christian Vázquez ($4,200)

Value

William Contreras, Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies ($3,300) – The Braves are the other team on Saturday that is implied for 5.1 runs, which makes Contreras an interesting value option. He’s also a pretty good hitter for a catcher, boasting a .402 wOBA and .231 ISO vs. right-handers over the past 12 months. He’ll be facing a mediocre right-hander in Vince Velasquez ($7,100), who has pitched to a 6.13 FIP this season.

Other Options – Luis Torrens ($3,600), Martin Maldonado ($3,000)


FIRST BASE

Stud

Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies ($5,300) – Freeman has had a mediocre start to his year by his standards, posting just a 97 wRC+ through his first 31 games. That said, he’s obviously still one of the best hitters in the game against right-handed pitchers. He’s crushed in those matchups over the past 12 months, posting a .468 wOBA and .321 ISO. He also got off to a slow start last season, so he can turn things on at any moment. This is an excellent buy-low opportunity.

Other Options – Max Muncy ($4,900), José Abreu ($4,800)

Value

Rowdy Tellez, Toronto Blue Jays at Houston Astros ($2,500) – The Blue Jays are in a tough matchup today vs. Cristian Javier ($10,700), who is the most expensive pitcher on the slate. He’s pitched to a 1.75 ERA and 2.53 FIP to start the year, and the Jays are implied for just 4.2 runs. Still, Tellez is simply too cheap considering his power and his spot in the lineup. He hit fifth in his return to the Jays’ lineup yesterday, and he posted a .302 ISO against right-handed pitchers last season.

Other Options – Yermín Mercedes ($4,400), Evan White ($3,200)


SECOND BASE

Stud

Jose Altuve, Houston Astros vs. Toronto Blue Jays ($4,800) – Altuve has become public enemy No. 1 in the Bronx, with Yankees’ fans continuing to curse his name even after their series vs. the Astros ended. His numbers have fallen off a cliff over the past two seasons, but he’s still hitting left-handed pitching extremely well. He’s posted a 143 wRC+ against southpaws to start the season, and he’ll be facing a left-hander today in Steven Matz ($8,600). The Astros are currently implied for 4.9 runs, which is the third-highest mark on the slate.

Other Options – Ozzie Albies ($4,600), Ty France ($4,500)

Value

Nick Madrigal, Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals ($2,700) – I normally hate targeting hitters at the bottom of the order. They are the least likely players in the lineup to get five at-bats in a game, which is really what you’re looking for in MLB DFS. However, Madrigal isn’t your typical No. 9 hitter. He’s a top prospect, and he’s posted a 172 wRC+ against southpaws this season. The White Sox’ offense is also good enough that the lineup order shouldn’t matter all that much.

Other Options – Marwin Gonzalez ($3,400), Leury García ($2,800)


THIRD BASE

Stud

Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners at Texas Rangers ($4,800) – Seager has quietly had a really nice career with the Mariners. He’s posted a wRC+ of at least 106 in eight of his past nine seasons, and he’s on pace to exceed that threshold again this season. He’s been at his best against right-handers to start the year, posting a .353 wOBA and .273 ISO in those matchups. He’ll be facing a right-hander on Saturday in Kohei Arihara ($5,000), who has pitched to a dreadful 6.40 FIP this season.

Other Options – Alex Bregman ($4,600), Yoan Moncada ($4,300)

Value

Asdrubal Cabrera, Arizona Diamondbacks at New York Mets ($3,800) – Cabrera is just a professional hitter. He’s played for a bunch of teams throughout his career, but he seems to get the job done wherever he lands. He’s a switch hitter who has posted a .389 wOBA and .292 ISO against southpaws over the past 12 months, which gives him some appeal against Lucchesi. He should also command minimal ownership given the Diamondbacks’ modest implied team total.

Other Options – Austin Riley ($3,900), Alec Bohm ($3,200)


SHORTSTOP

Stud

Tim Anderson, Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals ($5,300) – Anderson has blossomed into one of the best hitters in the game against left-handed pitching. He’s posted a ridiculous .559 wOBA and .443 ISO against southpaws over the past 12 months, which makes him an obvious target vs. the Royals on Saturday.

Other Options – Bo Bichette ($5,400), Corey Seager ($5,100)

Value

Marcus Semien, Toronto Blue Jays at Houston Astros ($4,200) – Semien has gotten off to a solid start in his first year with the Blue Jays, and he’s posted a 120 wRC+ vs. right-handed pitchers in particular. He’s very affordable for a leadoff hitter, specifically one for a team as good offensively as the Blue Jays.

Other Options – J.P. Crawford ($3,900), Dansby Swanson ($3,800)


OUTFIELD

Stud

Ronald Acuña Jr., Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies ($5,600) – Acuna is basically a cheat code for fantasy baseball. He finished with 41 homers and 37 steals in his last full season, which also happened to be his first full year in the majors. As good as he was then, he’s even better now. He’s already hit 10 homers through his first 30 games, and he’s posted a ridiculous 184 wRC+. He deserves to be more expensive than $5,600, particularly in such a good matchup.

Other Options – Mookie Betts ($5,700), Marcell Ozuna ($4,900)

Value

Willie Calhoun, Texas Rangers vs. Seattle Mariners ($3,700) – Calhoun is off to a fantastic start this season, and he’ll be on the positive side of his splits vs. Mariners right-hander Erik Swanson ($4,900). He’s posted a 167 wRC+ vs. right-handers this season, and Swanson has pitched to a 6.20 ERA over 69 2/3 career MLB innings. He’s struggled in particular with the long ball, and left-handed batters have averaged 2.9 home runs per nine innings against Swanson throughout his career.

Other Options – Joey Gallo ($3,800), Andrew Vaughn ($2,600)

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $150K Bat Flip [$50K to 1st]


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) 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 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.


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