MLB DFS Plays: Monday 5/3

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Spencer Limbach
·8 min read
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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.

We’ll focus our attention on the 10-game main slate starting at 7:05 ET.

PITCHER

Top Play: Tyler Glasnow - Tampa Bay (at LA Angels)

Glasnow is the top play of this slate even though he has a tricky road matchup against the Angels. However, the weather looks clear in this game, and Dodgers’ RHP Walker Buehler is a rainout candidate (70% chance of precipitation) at Chicago. Per usual, keep an eye on these weather situations … As for Glasnow, he has posted unbelievable, Cy Young award performances in five of six games. He has proven that he can dismantle tough lineups like the Yankees, A’s, and Red Sox. While this isn’t the best matchup for him, I believe Glasnow is one of the safest DFS pitchers on this slate.

Pivot: Adam Wainwright - St. Louis (vs. NY Mets)

Wainwright is expected to come off the COVID-19 list (contact tracing) for tonight’s game against the Mets. Of course, we’ll need to confirm that news before acting on it. If Wainwright is a full-go, then he makes for an interesting mid-range pitcher. The veteran righty has been a strikeout machine with 32 K’s in 28.2 innings this season. He has the ability to pitch deep into games as well, which is the perfect combination for a DFS pitcher. Wainwright will face a Mets’ offense that ranks middle-of-the-pack in wRC+ and strikeout rate, and there’s a good chance he’ll snag a win - if you are playing on a DFS site that heavily scores that metric.

Also Consider: Aaron Civale

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CATCHER

Top Play: Dom Nunez - Colorado (vs. San Francisco)

I actually like all three catchers listed in this article. Dom Nunez is the top option, Mitch Garver is cheap, and Sean Murphy is a mid-range asset. All of them will settle into comfortable matchups, but Nunez has the most going for him. The Rockies will be playing in their hitter-friendly home ballpark, and Nunez will have the platoon advantage against San Francisco RHP Aaron Sanchez - who has struggled against left-handed bats throughout his career. The only hesitation comes from the weather (50% chance of rain), so we’ll need to consider that as we move closer to first pitch.

Pivot: Sean Murphy - Oakland (vs. Toronto)

There’s no weather concern in Oakland, and the wind is blowing out 10 mph to center field. Sean Murphy will step into a nice righty/lefty matchup against Toronto LHP Steven Matz. The jury is still out on Matz on this season. He was pretty good in his first four starts, but the southpaw allowed six earned runs and eight hits in 3.2 innings vs. Washington last time around. Remember, Matz had been shaky in the previous two seasons, so perhaps his true colors are coming through. Either way, Murphy will be poised to make the most of this favorable draw.

Also Consider: Mitch Garver

FIRST BASE

Top Play: Brandon Belt - San Francisco (at Colorado)

As mentioned earlier, we’ll need to double-check the weather in Colorado. German Marquez is on the bump for the Rockies, and he has been pretty decent this season. However, Marquez allowed four earned runs in just four innings against the Giants last Wednesday. That was in pitcher-friendly Oracle Park, and now he has to face the same team in Colorado’s hitter-friendly environment. Brandon Belt leads the way as one of the top threats to get to him.

Pivot: Nate Lowe - Texas (at Minnesota)

I’m not sure what’s wrong with Kenta Maeda. He was a legitimate Cy Young candidate last season, but the veteran righty has been up against it while allowing 12 earned runs and 16 hits through 8.2 innings over his last two games. Most people will shy away from this matchup due to Maeda’s name recognition, but I actually like Nate Lowe as a legitimate power hitter to jump all over Minnesota’s righty if those struggles persist.

Also Consider: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

SECOND BASE

Top Play: Cavan Biggio - Toronto (at Oakland)

Oakland RHP Frankie Montas has allowed six or more earned runs in two of five starts this season. Left-handed bats have plagued him throughout his career, allowing an inflated .367 wOBA split in that regard. Cavan Biggio is one of few Toronto lefties who can take advantage, and I like him as a legitimate DFS value on this slate.

Pivot: Luis Arraez - Minnesota (vs. Texas)

Most people ignore Arraez because he really doesn’t have any homerun upside. However, he’s an on-base machine who is hitting leadoff for one of the better offenses in baseball. Arraez is a candidate for multiple hits and runs in a strong matchup vs. Texas RHP Dane Dunning - who has allowed nine earned runs and 14 hits across 7.2 innings over his last two starts. Arraez is pretty cheap on most DFS sites as well.

Also Consider: Ryan McMahon

THIRD BASE

Top Play: Josh Donaldson - Minnesota (vs. Texas)

Donaldson is finally healthy, and he has looked confident at the plate in recent games. Sure, his game log only shows a few good performances over the past week, but the right-handed veteran is slowly building momentum after coming off a hamstring injury last month. He’s still underpriced on all DFS sites, and Minnesota has one of the highest run-scoring projections of the night (without the weather risk). I believe the former MVP can deliver tonight.

Pivot: Maikel Franco - Baltimore (at Seattle)

Erik Swanson is starting for the Mariners, although this has the makings of an all-out bullpen game. Although Seattle relievers have been decent to begin the season, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The Mariners’ bullpen ranked 26th in WAR entering this year, so regression is probably on the way. Baltimore has a sneaky-good lineup, and Maikel Franco is a power hitter who could come through for a cheap DFS salary.

Also Consider: Matt Chapman

SHORTSTOP

Top Play: Paul DeJong - St. Louis (vs. NY Mets)

Similar to the analysis at catcher, I like all three listed shortstops through all formats tonight. It really comes down to price while blending players. I really like DeJong’s combination of salary, matchup, and power upside. He has been boom-or-bust this season, but he still holds a premium lineup spot in a legitimate offense. I’m leaning towards taking a chance on the STL shortstop tonight.

Pivot: Didi Gregorius - Philadelphia (vs. Milwaukee)

This is another game with weather concerns, so be cautious. Gregorius slapped a homer on Sunday Night Baseball last evening, and he checks into this game with a nice matchup. Milwaukee RHP Adrian Houser holds a career .368 wOBA split to left-handed bats, so there’s definitely an opportunity for Gregorius to provide back-to-back solid games.

Also Consider: Bo Bichette

OUTFIELD

Top Play: Raimel Tapia - Colorado (vs. San Francisco)

Tapia has racked up seven hits over his last two games with four runs and two stolen bases. He doesn’t have the power upside to fully realize the hitting utopia of Coors Field, but the Rockies’ leadoff man should keep producing. As mentioned earlier, San Francisco RHP Aaron Sanchez has struggled against left-handed bats at times in his career.

Top Play: Alex Kirilloff - Minnesota (vs. Texas)

Kirilloff is still dirt-cheap on several DFS sites. He shouldn’t be. The rookie slugger has launched four homers in his last three games, and he could find another in this nice lefty/righty matchup against Texas RHP Dunning. Go ahead and roster the Kirilloff wherever he’s cheap (which is everywhere!).

Pivot: Willie Calhoun - Texas (at Minnesota)

Calhoun piggybacks the write-up of his teammate, Lowe, earlier in the article. There’s a chance Kenta Maeda will continue to struggle tonight, at least on some level. Lowe and Calhoun are two of the better candidates to take advantage. Calhoun is heating up with five hits and a homer over his last two games.

Pivot: Austin Hays - Baltimore (at Seattle)

Most people ignore the Baltimore offense, but I believe they are in a good spot against a tired Seattle bullpen tonight. Austin Hays has been on fire lately with five hits, four runs, two homers, and four RBI over his last four games. He could keep it going on this West Coast road trip tonight.

Also Consider: Ramon Laureano, Charlie Blackmon, Alex Dickerson, Mark Canha, Mitch Haniger, Trey Mancini