Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Chris Durell

DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Wednesday 5/5/21

Welcome back baseball fans. We have a few afternoon games today but we will be focusing our attention on the 11-game main slate looking at some core plays at each position for FanDuel and DraftKings. Let's get started.

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Shane BieberShane Bieber FD - P 12200 DK - SP 10400
Opponent - KC (Brady Singer) Park - KC
FD - 47.33 DK - 26.92

What an absolutely loaded main slate in terms of pitching tonight with three elite options right at the top. You really can't go wrong with either of them but the system has a clear favorite and it's Shane "don't call me Justin" Bieber who is projected for about 15% more than Darvish in the same price range. Bieber has also been one of the best pitchers in baseball to this point in the season as he comes in with a 2.76 ERA/2.34 xFIP and has double-digit strikeouts in five of six starts for an incredible 39.5% K rate. My only concern here is the matchup as the Royals have only struck out around 21% of the time on the season but I am not concerned as Bieber struck out 12 Royals in their first meeting in early April. Fire up Bieber in all formats.

Martin PérezMartin Pérez FD - P 6700 DK - SP 6600
Opponent - DET (Casey Mize) Park - BOS
FD - 33.99 DK - 17.12

First of all, on DraftKings, I really don't mind pairing Buehler with Bieber as it only takes us slightly over $20K but it leaves us searching for multiple punt plays to tier it all together.

This build may look better closer to lock when lineups come out but for now, I will be looking for a value SP2, at least in cash games. Martin Perez doesn't stand out on his own merit here as he enters his sixth start with a 4.70 ERA and his high walk rate(8.5%) has not helped him get deep into games. What I do like is the price(obviously) but more importantly, the matchup vs. the Tigers who rank dead last in wOBA(.261), wRC+(67), and K rate(31%) on the season. Making it even more enticing is that they have an embarrassing 33 wRC+ and 38% K rate vs. left-handed pitching. This alone puts Perez, who is also a -190 favorite, at the top of my PTS/$ value list tonight.


Catcher/First Base

Ryan ZimmermanRyan Zimmerman FD - 1B 2800 DK - 1B 3900
Opponent - ATL (Max Fried) Park - WSH
FD - 10.6 DK - 8

After opting out of the 2020 season, "Mr. National" is back for a 16th season and it appears he has found the fountain of youth. He enters the night hitting a cool .319 overall and while he doesn't play every day, he gets most of the hacks vs. lefties and already has nine hits in 23 at-bats(.391 average) in the split this season. Not only does he come at a value price but he gets a plus matchup as well against a struggling Max Fried who has given up 23 hits and 14 earned runs in just 11 innings this season. Zimmerman is in play for me in all formats.

Mitch GarverMitch Garver FD 2700 DK 4900
Opponent - TEX (Brady Singer) Park - TEX
FD - 12.7 DK - 9.5
Yan GomesYan Gomes FD 2400 DK 3100
Opponent - ATL (Pablo Lopez) Park - ATL
FD - 7.69 DK - 5.84

I don't normally write up catchers but I have a few tonight that I like and in different price ranges. It starts with Mitch Garver who finally appears to be breaking out of an early-season slump as he enters the night with multi-hit games in three of his last four including three long balls and three of his five home runs on the season have come against lefties.

Spending down at catcher is something I do almost always and today that option for me is Yan Gomes provided he is back in the lineup. Not only does he comes much cheaper than Garver here, but he has also been better up to this point in the season(although not great) and also hits lefties well with a .366 wOBA and 125 wRC+ since the start of the 2019 season. If confirmed starting, Gomes is my top catcher in all formats.

Second Base

Kolten WongKolten Wong FD - 2B 2900 DK - 2B 4300
Opponent - PHI (Chase Anderson) Park - PHI
FD - 10.2 DK - 7.8

Wong has always been a non-factor in DFS as he routinely hit at the bottom of the Cardinals lineup but he is now with the Brew Crew and getting a ton of opportunity at the top of the lineup. The upside is going to be limited with Yelich back on the IL but he has been very consistent with hits in 10 straight starts and enters tonight with a .369 wOBA and 132 wRC+. He and the Brewers, even without Yelich, open as a top 5 team in terms of implied runs and my exposure starts with Kolten Wong leading off.

Jed LowrieJed Lowrie FD 2900 DK 4300
Opponent - TOR (Robby Ray) Park - OAK
FD - 9.33 DK - 7.12

I just love seeing the old guys have comeback seasons and Jed Lowrie is doing just that in his third career stint the A's. He has also been instrumental in them leading the league with a 19-12 record as he comes in with a .350 wOBA, 134 wRC+, and has talked multi-hit efforts in three straight games. While he has struggled against righties(.207 avg), he has crushed lefties going 18 for 48(.375 avg) with six extra-base hits. At these prices, he is in play in all formats.


Xander BogaertsXander Bogaerts FD 3500 DK 5200
Opponent - DET (Casey Mize) Park - BOS
FD - 10.72 DK - 8.12

This is the portion of the article where the Red Sox love begins as they sit atop the implied runs rankings tonight in a great matchup vs. the Tigers. I personally like the lefties in the lineup the most(see below at 3B/OF) but it is hard to ignore what Xander is doing in 2021. He has not only arguably been the top shortstop in the game but one of the top overall players as he enters Wednesday with a .351/.385/.604 slash line with a 173 wRC+. Not only are the Red Sox projected for 5+ runs, Xander also comes as the 4th most expensive shortstop on both sites making him easily the top play at the position in all formats.

Jorge PolancoJorge Polanco FD 3000 DK 4900
Opponent - TEX (Hyeon-Jong Yang) Park - MIN
FD - 11.6 DK - 8.5

This one is a bit more of a GPP play as Polanco enters the night hitting barely over .200 on the season but there is still a lot to like for fantasy. First of all, the Twins are starting to heat up and so is Polanco with hits in four of his last five games including two doubles, a triple, and a home run. On top of that, he is a switch hitter who has been much better against left-handed pitching with a .340 wOBA and 122 wRC+(.230/46 vs. RH). With so many shortstops worth paying up for on this slate, Polanco likely goes under-owned making him and a Twins stack a top GPP target for me tonight.

Third Base

Rafael DeversRafael Devers FD - 3B 3700 DK - 3B 5300
Opponent - DET (Casey Mize) Park - BOS
FD - 15.4 DK - 11.8

Devers sat out last night with a sore shoulder bit is expected back in the lineup tonight and great timing as he and the Sox get the best matchup on the board and lead all teams in implied runs. They face a struggling Casey Mize who is a #1 overall pick(2018) but still searching for form at the major league level as he enters tonight with a 6.05 ERA and 4.96 xFIP since he got the call last summer. The best part for Devers is that he has really struggled against lefties giving up a .432 wOBA and .619 slugging %. Provided Devers is back in the lineup, he is my top play at third and one of my top overall plays on this slate.

DJ LeMahieuDJ LeMahieu FD 3000 DK 5400
Opponent - HOU (Luis Garcia) Park - HOU
FD - 11.91 DK - 9.2

The price is a little steep over on DraftKings where he is 1B/2B eligible but this play comes with FanDuel in mind as he is underpriced as the 12th most expensive option at third base. I feel we have to take advantage here especially considering he is really starting to heat up with hits in six of his last seven games including four multi-hit efforts. Lock him in as the top third base option in all formats on FanDuel tonight.


Alex VerdugoAlex Verdugo FD - OF 3100 DK - OF 4200
Opponent - DET (Casey Mize) Park - BOS
FD - 12.02 DK - 9.26

I talked about the Red Sox being my favorite team to target and also talked about the grat matchup for left-handed batters and this leads us to Alex Verdugo in the outfield. To start with, he gets a ton of opportunity hitting 2nd in the lineup, and has gotten off to a very solid start hitting .306 posting a .366 wOBA, and even better .392 xwOBA. Put it all together and he is massively underpriced and a top play in all formats.

Trent GrishamTrent Grisham FD 3400 DK 4800
Opponent - PIT (JT Brubaker) Park - SDP
FD - 11.09 DK - 8.36

In his second season with the Padres, Trent Grisham is proving to be a very underrated and crucial piece to the puzzle. He has hit leadoff or 2nd in every game he has started and comes into tonight with an elite .379 wOBA and 141 wRC+ and also adds the speed upside with six stolen bases already. The matchup or the park really jump off the page tonight and I feel that makes the Padres an excellent low owned GPP stack and I will even consider Grisham a one-off play in cash games.





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