MLB DFS Plays: Friday 5/14

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This article outlines the best daily fantasy MLB plays of the day at every position. We take a comprehensive look to uncover these core recommendations, factoring respective salaries into the analysis.

Please note, these player picks were organized early in the day. For MLB contests, always check lineups and weather closer to game time. Rain, wind, or unexpected managerial decisions could open up additional sources of value. Be sure to keep an eye on the MLB Headlines and Injuries desk.

PITCHER

Top Play: Joe Musgrove – Padres (vs Cardinals)

In a slate stuffed with veteran aces, Musgrove might slide under the radar. He’s the best value among the premium arms. Since his no hitter on April 9, he’s turned in just one gem and four clunkers. Home runs have been a challenge for him since the start of 2020. The Cardinals certainly have plenty of experience against him as a team. They’re a neutral matchup. Musgrove is allowed to pitch deep into games when he’s at his sharpest. On normal evenings, he tends to take an early exit after five frames. Expect to get either five decent or seven exceptional innings. The former scenario is likelier than the latter.

Pivot: David Peterson – Mets (at Rays)

Despite a 5.54 ERA, Peterson continually shows up on a variety of positive leaderboards. His 11.08 K/9, 12.1 percent swinging strike rate, 54.5 percent ground ball rate, and 30.1 percent CSW% are all favorable. His command and feel for his offspeed stuff tends to vary start to start. On DraftKings, his point totals have ranged from -0.5 to 34.3. As a left-handed ground ball pitcher, he matches up well against the Rays collection of platoon bats. Most of their right-handed hitters skew to ground ball contact. Peterson is on the wrong side of Glasnow and could zero out. There’s a reasonable shot for ace-caliber output too.

Also Consider: Tyler Glasnow, Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw, Aaron Civale, Corey Kluber, Sandy Alcantara

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CATCHER

Top Play: Willson Contreras – Cubs (at Tarik Skubal)

This is a rough day for catchers. Contreras is both the most expensive and best projected. He’s not a great value and really shouldn’t be intentionally targeted with this top-heavy pitching slate. The Yankees catchers and Mitch Garver are slightly likelier to homer. Whichever Reds backstop starts at Coors Field will be more popular (and affordable).

Pivot: Andrew Knapp – Phillies (at Steven Matz)

With J.T. Realmuto temporarily sidelined, Knapp becomes a viable bargain target. He has a line drive-oriented approach which can produce high value batted balls. Strikeouts are an issue – 41.7% K% this season and 30.9% K% for his career. He’s been unusually aggressive this season, but I suspect this to be a small sample artifact. Matz is more homer prone to right-handed hitters.

Also Consider: Gary Sanchez, Kyle Higashioka, Christian Vazquez, Eric Haase, Tucker Barnhart, Tyler Stephenson, Yan Gomes

FIRST BASE

Top Play: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – Blue Jays (vs Vince Velasquez)

TD Ballpark has a reputation for extreme home run rates. Setting aside decent results to date, Velasquez typically allows far too much hard, fly ball contact. Vladito is a multi-homer threat in this matchup against an exploitable starter and a weak bullpen.

Pivot: Connor Joe – Rockies (vs Wade Miley)

Although Miley is coming off a no hitter, we shouldn’t forget he’s just a back-of-the-rotation southpaw. He projects for below average run prevention under normal conditions. Ground ball pitchers like Miley have the most difficult adjustment to Coors Field. Joe comes with a near-minimum price tag and is swinging a hot bat. He doesn’t generate a ton of lift with his swing so he’ll need Miley to make some mistakes.

Also Consider: Freddie Freeman, Luke Voit, Shohei Ohtani, Jared Walsh, Mike Moustakas, Rhys Hoskins, Jesus Aguilar, Matt Olson, Josh Bell

SECOND BASE

Top Play: Marcus Semien – Blue Jays (vs Velasquez)

In a tiny sample, batters are 23 percent likelier to hit home runs TD Ballpark than a neutral park. Semien benefits more than most with his over-50 percent pulled and fly ball contact rates. Since both Velasquez and Semien are fly ball guys, there’s increased fly out risk for Semien tonight. Even a mishit ball can easily exit this venue though.

Pivot: Josh Harrison – Nationals (at Riley Smith)

Harrison and the Nationals stack keeps drawing magical matchups. Smith is possibly the worst regular starter in the Majors at the moment. He’s nearly incapable of inducing whiffs and is prone to hard contact at ideal launch angles. Thus far, his saving grace is a modest home run rate. We can’t expect that to hold up. Harrison is a multi-hit target with around a 1-in-8 chance to homer. His role as the second hitter – sandwiched between Trea Turner and Juan Soto – marks him as a valuable piece of the Nats-Stack.

Also Consider: Jose Altuve, Ozzie Albies, Garrett Hampson, Nick Solak, Jake Cronenworth

THIRD BASE

Top Play: Mike Moustakas – Reds (at German Marquez)

Marquez isn’t at his sharpest this year. He’s making far too many mistakes over the heart of the plate. Paired with his ground ball tendencies, certain Reds hitters like Moustakas pair very well. One work of warning: Moose was removed from the lineup with a shoulder injury yesterday. He’ll reportedly play today.

Pivot: Miguel Andujar – Yankees (at Dean Kremer)

Kremer is a homer prone fly ball pitcher whilst Andujar is a powerful ground ball guy. By now, I think we all know how I feel about that combination. Andujar has yet to record a hit this season. He absolutely thomped Triple-A pitching in 23 plate appearances (three home runs). Kremer is basically a Triple-A arm at this stage of his career.

Also Consider: Justin Turner, Rafael Devers, Jose Ramirez, Alex Bregman, Eugenio Suarez, Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson, Cavan Biggio, Alec Bohm, Starlin Castro

SHORTSTOP

Top Play: Trevor Story – Rockies (vs Miley)

Story is one of the top projected hitters in the slate. In addition to Miley’s stuff potentially playing down at Coors Field, we have a classic fly ball hitter versus ground ball pitcher combo to exploit.

Pivot: Ha-seong Kim – Padres (vs Johan Oviedo)

Kim has yet to accomplish much in the Majors. He’s batting .203/.250/.270 with a 3.8 percent walk rate and 25 percent strikeout rate. His peripherals suggest better times await – a 112 max exit velocity and better than average plate discipline should eventually yield results. At worst, he profiles as a roughly league average hitter. Oviedo and the Cardinals staff offer a neutral matchup.

Also Consider: Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts, Carlos Correa, Suarez, Luis Urias

OUTFIELD

Top Plays: Juan Soto – Nationals (at Smith)
Aaron Judge – Yankees (at Kremer)

The outfield is stuffed to the gills with premium projections, fiery stacks, and deep bargains tonight. We have so many directions to look beyond the names listed in this article. Soto hasn’t dominated in his usual way since returning from injury, but I don’t see any serious red flags. His ISO and BABIP are far below career norms. Virtually all of his other peripherals are normal. He’s the top projected hitter in the entire slate. Judge and his teammate Giancarlo Stanton run a close second. They have similar hitting characteristics and play up against fly ball pitchers like Kremer. Judge is listed here because he’s a better value. You should feel comfortable chasing multi-homer potential from either elite slugger.

Pivots: Teoscar Hernandez – Blue Jays (vs Velasquez)
Randal Grichuk – Blue Jays (vs Velasquez)
Jarred Kelenic – Mariners (vs Civale)

Clearly, I have a thing for the Jays stack tonight. It’s one part venue, one part opposing pitchers. The Toronto lineup has the necessary components for what we call “network effects.” When you combine enough good hitters in the same offense, their expected performance increases. This game has the makings for a crazy home run total. As for Kelenic, the super prospect blanked in his Major League debut. In the minors, he was a pulled contact machine. He might have some adjusting to do in the Majors. He’s a multi-hit and homer threat on a minimum price tag, but he’ll also be extremely popular. There are similar priced alternatives tonight with comparable bargain-shattering potential.

Also Consider: Lourdes Gurriel, Kyle Schwarber, Giancarlo Stanton, Mike Trout, Ohtani, Walsh, J.D. Martinez, Yordan Alvarez, Kyle Tucker, Jesse Winker, Nick Castellanos, Ronald Acuna, Andrew McCutchen, Hampson, Tyrone Taylor, Trevor Larnach, Victor Robles, Avisail Garcia