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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 Sunday’s fantasy baseball slate on DraftKings.

San Diego Padres v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Hopefully, we all avoid our fantasy baseball lineups going down in flames on this May Day and instead start the new month with a fantasy baseball win on what should be a great afternoon of action on Sunday. The main slate on DraftKings gets underway at 1:05 p.m. ET and features the nine games starting between then and 2:15 p.m. ET. With 18 teams in action, there are lots of ways to consider building your lineups with plenty of solid options.

To keep up with all the news and updates leading up to the first pitch, stay locked into the DK Live app and follow DK Live on Twitter @dklive. I’m also on Twitter over at @ZT_Sports, where you can ask any questions about these picks, offer alternatives and find more bargain-specific content all season long.


Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $200K 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.


PITCHER

Stud

Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers vs. Chicago Cubs ($10,200) – The reigning NL Cy Young winner has shown no signs of slowing down, continuing his domination through his first four starts of this season. He has averaged 32.1 DKFP over his past three starts and has only one win despite allowing just five runs in four starts spanning 25 2/3 innings while striking out 33 batters. He has a 1.75 ERA and 2.98 FIP with his 11.57 K/9 rate, and he has a good matchup vs. the Cubs, who he has a 2.53 ERA with 51 strikeouts in 32 innings over the past two years. Burnes was knocked around a little bit on Opening Day by the Cubs, but he’ll have a chance to avenge that performance after finding his groove recently, posting double-digit strikeouts in each of his two most recent outings.

Other Options – Logan Gilbert ($9,400), Sandy Alcantara ($8,800)

Value

Michael Lorenzen, Los Angeles Angels at Chicago White Sox ($7,500) – Lorenzen has been excellent in two of his three starts this season — 28.3 DKFP in his debut vs. the Marlins and 19.3 DKFP in six shutout innings vs. the Guardians in his most recent start. Lorenzen’s rough outing in between came on the road in Houston, but so far, the transition to starting is going very well for him. He has a 2.93 ERA and 4.60 FIP with 12 strikeouts over his 15 1/3 innings.

Other Options – Josh Fleming ($7,700), Marcus Stroman ($6,200)


INFIELD

Stud

Manny Machado, San Diego Padres at Pittsburgh Pirates ($6,200) – Machado is the most expensive hitter at any position on this slate, but it’s still worth considering him if you have the salary available since he is in such a great matchup and has been swinging such a hot bat. He has averaged 12.9 DKFP over his past 11 games, going 18-for-39 (.462) with three doubles, three home runs and a stolen base. He’s hitting .386 on the season and has added four stolen bases to his impressive .464 wOBA and .229 ISO. With Fernando Tatis Jr. (wrist) out, Machado has had to carry the offensive load for San Diego, and so far this season, he has done just that.

Stud

Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($5,000) – Goldschmidt and the rest of the Cardinals were held scoreless on Saturday. But before that, he was starting to heat up with double-digit DKFP in three straight games and six of his previous eight. During his eight-game hitting streak, which came to an end Saturday, Goldie went 13-for-34 (.471) with two doubles, a home run and a .490 wOBA. He has a 47.5% hard-hit rate this season and has been a reliable contributor from the second spot in the order. He is set up to bounce back since he is 8-for-19 (.421) with a home run in his career against opposing starter Zach Davies ($5,600).

EDITOR’S NOTE: Paul Goldschmidt is not in the lineup for today’s game.

Other Options – DJ LeMahieu ($5,000), Carlos Correa ($4,200)

Value

Gleyber Torres, New York Yankees at Kansas City Royals ($3,400) – Torres picked up two more hits on Saturday and has now hit safely in seven of his past eight games while going 9-for-25 (.360) with three extra-base hits, including a home run. He started the season very slowly, but he has picked things up over the past week. He also has strong splits against lefties, going 6-for-19 (.316) with a .423 wOBA against southpaws this year. Last year, he also mashed lefties, hitting .293 with a .346 wOBA. That should set him up well against young lefty Daniel Lynch ($7,100).

Value

Gio Urshela, Minnesota Twins at Tampa Bay Rays ($2,600) – Urshela typically hits in the middle third of the order for the Twins, and he has been a solid bargain contributor much of the season, even though he hasn’t been quite as productive as his fantasy peak during his time in New York. In his first 18 games this season, he was 17-for-56 (.304) with a home run and a .335 wOBA. He doesn’t provide much power in most cases but can usually provide solid returns, especially against lefties like Josh Fleming ($7,700). He has gone 10-for-27 (.370) against southpaws this year, including that one home run, and he’s a nice way to save salary even though the power production isn’t as high as elite options.

Other Options – Santiago Espinal ($3,800), Bobby Witt Jr. ($3,300)


OUTFIELD

Stud

George Springer, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Houston Astros ($5,400) – On Saturday, Springer crushed his fifth and sixth dingers of the season and added a stolen base to post 35 DKFP against his former team. He was heating up coming into the day, going 9-for-28 (.321) with a .423 wOBA in his seven games before that massive performance. His power potential always gives him a high ceiling, but he is an especially good play against lefties, who he is 3-for-7 against (.429) this season in limited action. He hasn’t ever faced Framber Valdez ($8,100), but he should be set up for a big Sunday against the lefty.

Stud

Taylor Ward, Los Angeles Angels at Chicago White Sox ($5,300) – Ward has five homers on the season despite getting a late start and only playing in 14 games. Four of those five home runs came in his past five games prior to Saturday’s action, and in that span, he went 10-for-21 (.476) with 11 RBIs, an insane .762 ISO and a .739 wOBA. He has gone 7-for-14 (.500) against lefties with two of home runs and a .561 wOBA. He has hit leadoff in each of his past six games and will likely stay locked into that premium spot as long as he stays so hot. Especially against a hittable lefty, Ward is a great option to consider.

Other Options – Mike Trout ($5,900), Aaron Judge ($5,700)

Value

Julio Rodríguez, Seattle Mariners at Miami Marlins ($3,200) – Rodríguez came into the season as one of the top prospects in the MLB and was often touted due to his five-tool abilities. The one tool that has made him valuable in fantasy so far this season is his speed, and he stole seven bases over the 10 games that preceded Saturday’s action. Rodríguez averaged 10.4 DKFP per game over that stretch, going 11-for-39 (.282) with a .315 wOBA. Over that span, he has had a 48.1% hard-hit rate, so there’s the potential for some positive regression if he keeps connecting and tearing things up on the basepaths.

Value

Josh Lowe, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Minnesota Twins ($2,800) – Lowe is another rookie finding his way after a mediocre start to the season, and he’s a little underpriced due to lack of a track record. Lowe is still hitting just .183 on the season but much of that total is due to his slow start. Over his 10 most recent games, he has gone 8-for-36 (.222) with two doubles, a triple and a home run. He usually hits in the middle third of the lineup against righties and has hit cleanup in the Rays’ two most recent games. He and the Rays will face rookie righty Josh Winder ($4,000) in his first MLB start.

Other Options – Chas McCormick ($2,700), Kyle Garlick ($2,100)


TEAMS TO STACK

San Diego Padres at Pittsburgh Pirates – The Padres have been one of the highest-scoring offenses in the Majors this season. They get a good afternoon matchup against Mitch Keller ($7,300) of the Pirates, who has allowed exactly four runs in three of his four starts, giving up three home runs and 13 runs in his 17 2/3 innings. The 26-year-old has continuously allowed lots of baserunners. Both righties and lefties are hitting exactly .297 against him, with a .340 wOBA for lefties and a .382 wOBA for righties. Eric Hosmer ($5,200) and Jake Cronenworth ($4,900) are two lefties swinging hot bats to consider stacking with Machado. There are some potential value plays, as well, with C.J. Abrams ($3,200) and potentially Matt Beaty ($2,300) in the bottom of the lineup against Keller. There is some weather to keep an eye on, but if they get the game played, the Padres’ bats are forecasted to provide some thunder against Keller and the Pirates.

Los Angeles Angels at Chicago White Sox – The Padres are joined at the top of many offensive categories by the surprising Angels lineup, which has produced 104 runs in the first 22 games of the season and is hitting .255 with 27 home runs, including .269 (fourth-best in the MLB) against left-handed pitchers. They’ll take on lefty Dallas Keuchel ($6,500), who has given up 15 runs in 10 innings over his first three starts, including a pair of home runs. He gave up 10 of those runs in his only daytime start of the year. Last year, in 11 daytime starts, he had a 5.47 ERA and a .381 wOBA against. In addition to Ward and Mike Trout ($5,900), there are some less obvious bats to consider as part of your stack against the lefty: Anthony Rendon ($4,500), Jack Mayfield ($2,700), Jo Adell ($3,400) and even David Fletcher ($2,900).


Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $200K 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 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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