MLB DFS Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings – 5/1/17

Welcome to another edition of ResearchFantasy’s MLB Breakdown. These picks are what I consider to be the best play of the day, relative to their price. One of the most important things we must consider in daily fantasy is how many points a player gets per dollar. It helps us identify value plays to pair with studs that we know will produce in order to maximize our potential points in lineups. I also try to identify plays that can be used in either cash games or tournaments. Typically, when I build my cash games, I am looking for players that have the best floor combined with good upside. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let us know!

Prices listed are FantasyDraft/FanDuel/DraftKings


Clayton Kershaw (27000/12600/13900) – It’s Clayton Kershaw day. In your cash games, there is basically no reason to look any other way. He’s a class above everyone else. Despite the fact that he didn’t have a great game against these Giants just about a week ago, it’s still where you want to go. That could take some people off of him, which doesn’t make a ton of sense, but he’s got a great deal of upside, and I’m expecting with this game at home for it to be better than last time.

Luis Severino (15600/8500/8000) – Of all the pitchers on the slate, Severino has the lowest WHIP and second highest K/9 on the year. Did we see that happening at the beginning of the year? Probably not, at least the WHIP side of things. The Blue Jays are a great matchup, despite the fact that they are starting to look more comfortable at the plate. Severino will eventually remind us why he was sent down last season, but until then, we can use him.

Wei-Yin Chen (13200/8100/6600) – Chen is one of my least favorite options most of the time, but there really isn’t a ton of great matchups out there. The Rays are striking out at over a 27% clip against left-handed pitching, and even though they have a good wOBA and HH% against southpaws, I think they are a good matchup for Chen. I don’t know how much ownership I’ll have, but it will definitely be some.


Salvador Perez (6600/3000/3400) – While Dylan Covey was once a promising prospect, things haven’t looked very good lately. His numbers against right-handers include a .521 wOBA, a 38.1% fly ball rate and a 33.3% hard hit rate. While I just don’t like the Royals because they are frustrating, Salvy Perez is a solid option. He’s squarely in play for me tonight.

Yadier Molina (6600/3100/3400) – If you don’t want to roll with Perez, Molina is another quality catching option that you can use tonight. Zach Davies is having his own struggles with right-handers to the tune of a .478 wOBA and 42.9% hard hit rate. That’s a lot of a reason to use Molina tonight.


Anthony Rizzo (10000/4700/5200) – Vincent Velasquez could either shut this Cubs lineup down completely, or get into a lot of trouble with the lefties like Rizzo. A .431 wOBA and 34.4% hard hit rate show a guy who can definitely end up in some big trouble, making Rizzo one of our top options tonight.

Josh Bell (6600/3700/3400) – I’m liking the lefties of the Reds as tournament options tonight. They’ve been hitting pretty well, and Garrett could have a tough enough time that we’ll see the Reds bullpen come in. While not as bad as they were last year, it still isn’t pretty. Bell is a nice, cheap option tonight.


Jose Altuve (9600/4000/4900) – Andrew Cashner is getting hit fairly well by righties thus far, despite only having three games under his belt. He hasn’t gotten beat up or anything, but he gets chipped away at. With Altuve being such a good hitter, it makes complete sense to have some exposure to him tonight.

Dee Gordon (7600/3100/4000) – Odorizzi is basically in the same position as Cashner. He’s coming off of the DL, and while his numbers against lefties aren’t good, it isn’t hard contact. I am looking at the upside of Gordon getting on base and maybe stealing a bag tonight, and that’s why he’s here.


Jose Ramirez (8400/4100/4300) – Daniel Norris is not a quality pitcher, and the Indians are not a team you want to be adequate with. Norris is giving up hard contact to righties to the tune of 44.6%, which is quite dangerous. Ramirez is an excellent hitter, and is someone that should be in your lineups tonight.

Jedd Gyorko (7600/3000/3800) – Gyorko is having a strong start to the 2017 campaign, and I think we want a lot of exposure to him tonight with the Cardinals going to Miller. He’s got a lot of power upside, and I think he’s a good play in tournaments especially.


Asdrubal Cabrera (6400/2900/3300) – While Julio Teheran is a quality pitcher, he does have his struggles with lefties. That’s enough for me to want to put at least a few of them in my tournament lineups tonight. I won’t go overboard, but some exposure to them will be worth it.

Tim Beckham (5600/2700/2900) – If Wei-Yin Chen has some problems, it will be with right-handed power bats. I guess Tim Beckham qualifies as that tonight. The price is low enough, and while there is no way I’m using him in cash games, he’s tournament playable.


Christian Yelich (8100/3700/4200) – As we talked about with Gordon, Yelich is just a quality enough hitter that he doesn’t need a gas can on the mound to do well. I’ll gladly have exposure to him tonight in all formats.

George Springer (8800/3300/4600) – I feel like I’m a broken record at this point with this, but Springer is a good hitter who should certainly be able to hit Andrew Cashner. His price has dropped some after a hot start to the season, but I’ll gladly buy in on it.

Lorenzo Cain (8100/3400/4100) – Cain logged his first home run of the year last night, in a 1-5 effort. I think tonight could be better, with or without the home run. Dylan Covey is going to be hit hard, and I want some exposure to the guys I think will do the most damage.

Gregory Polanco (8800/3300/4600) – Polanco should be in the lineup tonight, and he’s another guy I want for the lefty/lefty tournament matchup. He’s going to see low ownership because he hasn’t been great, but I think he’s a good bet for a strong game against Garrett or when he’s left the game.

Matt Kemp (8400/3900/4300) – Matt Kemp gets Robert Gsellman tonight. We all wanted Gsellman to be the next top pitching prospect, but we haven’t seen it with consistency yet. I’ll be willing to buy into some shares of Kemp tonight, as he should be a good bet for a nice game.

Slate Strategy

This looks to be a great way to start off the week. This slate has a lot of pitching and hitting options, so there should be something that suits just about everyone’s needs.

With Kershaw on the mound, that is the clear way to go in cash games. In tournaments, we have guys like Severino and McCullers who have strong strikeout upside as well that we can move to. At first glance, there are about 10 pitchers I don’t mind using tonight. That should make lineup construction in tournaments very interesting to say the least.

With the hitters, Anthony Rizzo pops out as being my favorite. It’s not going to be easy to build a lineup you are comfortable with tonight that includes both Kershaw and Rizzo though. I think from what I see, though, we’ve got a number of value bats that we can use to give us the necessary salary relief to do so.

Top Stacks

Kansas City Royals [Cain/Perez/Merrifield/Bonaficio]

Chicago Cubs [Rizzo/Bryant/Schwarber/Zobrist]

Cleveland Indians [Ramirez/Guyer/Almonte/Lindor]


Thanks for reading! Don’t ever hesitate to reach out in the comments, follow us on Twitter @researchandwin or email us at!