DFS MLB Lineup Construction: May 15
Ben Scherr goes through today's slate and outlines his process for constructing winning DFS MLB lineups.
After looking at all of the tools available at FantasyAlarm, the example lineups page should be used to help validate your thoughts, as well as help you consider some options that may not have been on your radar for the slate. In addition to the example lineups, below you will find a breakdown of possible routes to take when building your MLB lineups tonight. While we are focused on FanDuel and DraftKings, this breakdown can be used for all sites. Please use our live chat feature to share your thoughts, and receive any feedback leading up to first pitch. Good luck!
Please note that this was written before all lineups have been posted, which may open up new routes to consider.
When the weather reports call for chances of rain, the risk/reward factor becomes in play. As you can see from some of our tools, the risk of targeting hitters from these games could be worth the reward tonight. Every player should set their own strategies of where, if at all, to take any risks. I personally avoid games with solid weather concerns, and therefore, will not be using them in my construction piece below. This piece is also written a few hours before first pitch, and weather issues could have changed by first pitch.
I always start my lineup building with pitching, as it’s the most important part of building your lineups. I tend to look for pitchers who I believe can pitch six innings, strike out six, and give up no more than two runs. Feel free to set up whatever parameters you want to, but should set yourself some type of “floor” when it comes to how you select your pitchers.
Gerrit Cole is the top priced pitcher, and remains a top play if you can afford him. Zack Greinke is best at home, and gets to face a strikeout happy Brewers team. Alex Wood will be on plenty of lineups tonight vs the Marlins, but will likely only consider him on FD tonight for gpp’s.
I’m not looking to go cheap with pitching on FD if playing cash games, but if not looking to fully pay up for two pitchers on DK, as well as avoid pitchers in weather related games, I would look to fall for the José Berrios trap before going all the way down to Josh Tomlin . Jack Flaherty would be my cheaper FD play in that game.
Thoughts from the FantasyAlarm Team: Our pitching coach, Brett Talley, likes of all the top priced options, and lists them as Cole being his top option, followed by Noah Syndergaard , Wood, and Greinke. Eduardo Rodríguez is his top mid-priced play if the weather holds up, while Berrios is his other mid-priced option. Garcia and Leake are his bargain options.
Our projections have Wood leading the way, with Greinke, Gonzalez, Thor, and Cole rounding out the top five on both sites. Garcia and Banda are top value options on FD, while Tomlin is listed at the top for DK.
Top Hitting Targets
There are plenty of other routes to take with details given in the playbook, coaches, and our other tools if wanting to look elsewhere.
On FD, I’ll likely use this spot on a 1B option, but feel free to go with Austin Barnes in a Dodgers stack. On DK, I liked Grandal in the playbook, and was more about Chen pitching then Grandal. Barnes is cheaper and works if not wanting to pay up for Salvador Pérez vs more of an unknown in Banda. If thinking Tomlin still stinks, then John Hicks makes for a nice pivot option. Punting wise, similar to Grandal, Garver is out, and Bobby Wilson receives the start.I would go with him or Devin Mesoraco .
I’m likely paying up for pitching tonight, and feel that I could save some salary at first base by avoiding weather related games. Niko Goodrum is on fire if thinking Tomlin loses his job tonight, while Brad Miller works as a solid pivot if you think he’s the magical two homer guy tonight. Flores and Marwin González are in play if looking to target those teams, while if looking to pay up a bit more, Brandon Belt , and Ryon Healy work as late night hammers.
José Altuve is my preferred play if paying up, but also a fan of Whit Merrifield ’s price tag on FD. The Dodgers are in a great spot tonight, and DK provides many of their players with multi-position eligibility. Kiki Hernandez, Austin Barnes , and Logan Forsythe could all be used for value on DK.
José Ramírez will likely be a popular option once again tonight, but his high ownership will also be joined by a returning Justin Turner . Both are top options before depending on your salary restrictions.
Very similar to my third base strategy is my shortstop one. Francisco Lindor is my paying up target, while Chris Taylor would be my cheaper pivot. Since I’m avoiding weather games, the Indians and Dodgers look to be the top two teams that I’m targeting. I wouldn’t do a heavy cash lineup with three from each team, but also really not going against that route depending on your other choices. Jean Segura would be my sneaky late night hammer play.
Outfield is always wide open in terms of routes to consider taking. If not stacking, I prefer to pay up for one spot, punt the other, and use the last spot to pick a player from a team that I’m already targeting. I mentioned plenty of options to consider in the playbook, and likely will come down to which pitcher you feel like picking on tonight. I won’t argue the move, but I’m leaning away from the top priced options, with Nelson Cruz and Grégory Polanco being likely the most expensive I’ll go. Rajai Davis is my plug and play punt option leading off tonight, but won;t talk you out of Jacoby Jones leading off as well. I prefer them both over Frazier and Lagares. Shin-Soo Choo and Andrew McCutchen are also on my radar if in their team lineups.
Thoughts from the FantasyAlarm Team: Our hitting coach, James Grande, likes Martinez and Betts from the Red Sox, and Stanton from the Yankees if paying up. Matt Kemp and Jorge Soler are his mid-priced options, while Kiki and Lagares are his top value plays.
Our projections have Josh Donaldson as the top option on FD. He’s followed by Ramirez, Lindor, Trout, and McCutchen. On DK, the Cleveland pair jumps ahead of Donaldson. Bobby Wilson is the top value catcher, while McCutchen is joined by Wilmer Flores and Adam Frazier as top value plays.
GPP: If playing gpp’s, your best approach is stacking. Pick a game, or two teams that you think will blast off, then go all in on them. Yes, entering your cash lineup, or another type of lineup can cash in a gpp, but if looking to finish in the top 1%, you need to hit with a stack. I mentioned my thoughts on who I like my stacking in the playbook, but the Dodgers and Indians are my top targets.
Thoughts from the FantasyAlarm Team: Our stacking coach, Jonhenry Holt, likes the Phillies, Yankees, and Red Sox tonight.
FanDuel: I’m paying up for Cole, but can feel free to save the $2-$3k by pivoting to Greinke or Wood. If doing that though, make sure it allows for at least two hitting upgrades. Davis if my cheap OF option, and going with Whit at second. Since I took Cole, I went with the Turner/Taylor combo. That doesn’t leave much left for the final four spots, but can give one (two if stacking) to Kiki or Barnes, and then use a Jones, Lagares, or Frazier (or two), and it’s very much possible
DraftKings: On DK, going with a Cole and Greinke type combo isn’t fully out of the question, as many of the cheap options listed above for FD, are also in play for cheap on DK. Using Davis and Lagares, while also adding in for Forsythe and then Wilson as a punt catcher will leave you with $3,450 for the final four spots. Dropping greinke to Berrios opens up plenty of salary to either upgrade, or use a Ramirez/Lindor combo. That leaves you with $3,850 per hitter for the last two spots.