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

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

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Atlanta Braves Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a soggy weekend across Major League Baseball with multiple games getting postponed due to inclement weather. This Sunday, there are seven games on tap for the main afternoon slate if the weather cooperates. The slate gets started at 1:35 p.m. ET with all seven games scheduled to get underway within an hour setting up an oversized turbo slate. The Twins-Athletics matchup in Minnesota could be threatened by weather, so keep an eye on the skies and check back before entries lock.

You can keep up with all the news and updates throughout the day in the DK Live app and on Twitter, where you can follow DK Live at the handle @dklive. I’m also available on Twitter at @ZT_Sports, and I’ll be happy to answer any questions about these picks, offer alternatives and 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

Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees vs. Texas Rangers ($10,000) – Cole has been sharp in his past few starts, and he’ll be working on two extra days of rest after back-to-back rainouts. In his two most recent starts, he allowed just nine hits over 12 23 shutout innings, while striking out 15. He had 34 DKFP in his home start against the Guardians followed by 25.3 DKFP against the Royals. Cole’s 10.13 K/9 rate shows his high ceiling, and he should be able to keep dealing against the Rangers, who have scored three runs or fewer in six of their past eight games.

Other Options – Alek Manoah ($10,100), Chris Paddack ($8,400)

Value

Jake Odorizzi, Houston Astros vs. Detroit Tigers ($7,600) – Odorizzi stumbled through his first three starts, allowing 12 runs in 9.0 innings, but then he turned things around with back-to-back strong starts, allowing just one run on five hits over 12 23 innings over his two most recent outings. He only had seven total strikeouts in those two starts but still posted 22.3 and 22 DKFP. While he doesn’t have the high ceiling of elite strikeout options Cole and Manoah, he has shown he can work effectively and seems to have found a nice rhythm. Odorizzi also gets a nice matchup against the Tigers, who rank second-to-last in the Majors in runs scored and are hitting just .226 as a team with an MLB-low 11 home runs.

Other Options – Daniel Lynch ($8,000), Tyler Mahle ($6,700)


INFIELD

Stud

Anthony Rizzo, New York Yankees vs. Texas Rangers ($5,100) – About the only way to keep the Yankees from scoring appears to be with bad weather. If they’re back on the field Sunday, Rizzo will look to continue his scorching hot start to the season. He has five home runs in his past 10 games and a total of nine long balls on the season. He has a .341 ISO and .404 wOBA over his 25 games and has been especially successful in the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium, where he has seven of his home runs, a .379 ISO and .512 wOBA. Dane Dunning ($6,100) has actually been pretty good for Texas this season, but he’s letting lefties post a .374 wOBA against him, so Rizzo and the Yankees' other left-handed bats are on the right side of the splits against him.

Stud

Editor’s Note: Brewers 2B Luis Urías is not in today’s lineup vs. the Braves.

Luis Urías, Milwaukee Brewers at Atlanta Braves ($4,500) – This initially seems like too high a salary for Urías given his production in past seasons, but he has started out this season red hot after missing the first month with a strained left quad. The former top prospect seems to be locking in a spot near the top of the Brewers’ lineup and can provide fantasy production in multiple ways. He has gone 6-for-17 (.353) with a home run and a .460 wOBA in his five games since returning. He had 23 homers and five stolen bases last season with a .340 wOBA and looks to be starting to realize the potential he had in his climb through the Padres’ system before being swapped for Trent Grisham.

Other Options – Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($5,500), Austin Riley ($5,200)

Value

Bobby Witt Jr., Kansas City Royals at Baltimore Orioles ($2,900) – Like the Yankees, the Royals and Orioles have had two games washed out to start the weekend, but if they do play Sunday, Witt will be a great bargain after his price dropped back under $3K. He struggled early in the season when he hit near the top of the lineup and got plenty of attention as the top prospect in all of baseball. Since sliding down in the lineup on April 21, he has gone 14-for-44 (.318) with three doubles, three stolen bases and a home run to produce a .364 wOBA on a 43.2% hard-hit rate. Witt had an 11-game hitting streak snapped on Thursday in his most recent contest, but he should be set to bounce back against Jordan Lyles ($5,000), who tends to be prone to giving up home runs.

Value

Royce Lewis, Minnesota Twins vs. Oakland Athletics ($2,200) – Another top positional prospect set to get a long look is Lewis, who made his MLB debut earlier this week and should continue to fill in at SS while Carlos Correa (finger) is sidelined. Lewis has hit safely in each of his two games with Minnesota, going 2-for-7 with a double and 4.0 DKFP per game. At Triple-A, he hit .310 over 24 games with three home runs, eight stolen bases and an impressive .435 wOBA. In a great matchup (highlighted below) and with the Twins’ lineup short-handed, Lewis is a great bargain play with a lot of upside on this slate.

Other Options – Isiah Kiner-Falefa ($3,300), Colin Moran ($2,700)


OUTFIELD

Stud

George Springer, Toronto Blue Jays at Cleveland Guardians ($5,100) – Whenever the Blue Jays face a vulnerable lefty (more on the matchup below), Springer is a top outfield bat to consider since he hits southpaws so well. This season, he is hitting .313 with a .453 wOBA against lefties and also feasted in this split with a .282 average and .401 wOBA throughout the entirety of last season. Overall this season, he has smashed six homers in his first 26 games with a .242 ISO, .373 wOBA and 40.5% hard-hit rate. He had three hits in Saturday’s doubleheader and has multiple hits in six of his 11 most recent starts.

Stud

Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers at Atlanta Braves ($4,800) – Yelich still hasn’t gotten back to his elite 2019 form, but he has been hitting the ball well lately for the Brew Crew. He’s hitting .255 on the season with four homers and a .350 wOBA, but over his previous nine games coming into Saturday’s action, he went 13-for-33 (.394) with two doubles, three home runs, a .517 wOBA and an astounding 72.0% hard-hit rate. Although Charlie Morton ($8,200) is far from a gas can, he has given up a .491 wOBA to lefties in the early going this season, including all three of the home runs he has given up in his five starts. Yelich has gone 6-for-15 (.400) against him in their past meetings.

Other Options – Yordan Alvarez ($5,600), Tommy Pham ($4,400)

Value

Ben Gamel, Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds ($3,900) – Gamel has moved around the batting order a little bit in his first full season in Pittsburgh, but he usually bats leadoff against right-handed starting pitchers. He had a huge double-header on Saturday, going a total of 5-for-9 with a double and a home run. On the season, he is hitting .308 with a .167 ISO and .379 wOBA with a pair of stolen bases thrown in for good measure. He has hit safely in seven straight starts and has a good history against Tyler Mahle ($6,700), going 5-for-9 including a home run in previous meetings. Whether you are a big fan of BvP, current form or top-of-the-order options, Gamel should be on the radar even though he is stuck in this battle of aesthetically uninspiring teams.

Value

Edward Olivares, Kanas City Royals at Baltimore Orioles ($2,600) – Olivares is another affordable option who has moved into the leadoff role lately, and he gets a good matchup against Lyles. Before Kansas City got stuck in the Baltimore rain, Olivares hit leadoff in three straight starts and went 6-for-13 (.462) with three doubles and an average of 9.3 DKFP per contest. The 26-year-old is hitting .364 in his 14 games this season with two stolen bases and a .401 wOBA. If he’s in the leadoff spot again in this contest, he is a great cheap option at barely over $2.5K.

Other Options – Tyler Naquin ($3,300), Anthony Santander ($2,600)


TEAMS TO STACK

Toronto Blue Jays at Cleveland Guardians – The Blue Jays and Guardians split a doubleheader on Saturday and both pitching staffs will be a little depleted in this Sunday afternoon contest. Cleveland is planning on calling up lefty Konnor Pilkington ($4,000) to make his MLB debut. Pilkington has thrown five scoreless innings in three appearances in the Majors this season, but he has struggled in Triple-A allowing seven runs in 5 23 innings including a pair of home runs. He faces a stacked Toronto lineup that typically has success against southpaws and offers power potential throughout the order. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($5,500), George Springer (discussed above) and Teoscar Hernández ($4,300) are the three options that fit the profile most perfectly but Matt Chapman ($4,800), Bo Bichette ($5,200) and Lourdes Gurriel ($3,200) could also get in on the action as right-handed producers as the Blue Jays go for the series win.

Minnesota Twins vs. Oakland Athletics – The two pitchers I highlighted as my top plays on this slate started slow but have made adjustments and look good. The exact opposite has been true for Athletics’ starter Daulton Jefferies ($6,500). He threw well early in the season but has been pounded for 15 hits and 11 runs over nine innings in his past two outings. The righty has given up three home runs, and all three have been hit by right-handed batters who have a .389 wOBA against him. Minnesota could be without the big bats of Byron Buxton ($6,100), who left Saturday’s game with hip tightness, in addition to Carlos Correa (finger) who is out for multiple weeks. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some intriguing stacking options, though. Jorge Polanco ($4,700) homered for the only run in the team’s win on Saturday while Gary Sánchez ($4,300) and Max Kepler ($3,600) also have proven power potential. The Twins are also playing some top young prospects loaded with upside like José Miranda ($2,500), Alex Kirilloff ($2,300) and Royce Lewis (discussed above). While those players are unproven and still very early in their careers, they have had success as they’ve risen to the Majors and have a good enough matchup to be solid salary-saving considerations as long as the weather in Minnesota looks playable.


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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