Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Thursday 5/5/22
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The days of getting McClanahan as a value pitcher are long gone as he is quickly becoming one of the more dominant ace pitchers in baseball that nobody knows about. He posted a terrific 3.43 ERA/3.23 xFIP last season and has been even better through five starts this year with a 3.00 ERA and a sparkling 1.57 xFIP. That isn't even what stands out the most, however, as he is coming off an 11 strikeout effort against the Twins pushing his K rate up to 39.3% on the season. He now gets a plus matchup against a struggling Mariners team that has lost seven of their last eight games while scoring just 2.4 runs a game and striking out 25% of the time. McClanahan is our top pitcher in all formats tonight.
Not nearly as dominant from a strikeout and upside perspective but Miles Mikolas has been having a solid start to the year and comes at a nice mid-range price on both sites. After struggling in his first start, he has been near-elite giving up just three earned runs, striking out 24, walking just two, and averaging 39.8 FD/23.3 DK points per game. The matchup doesn't stand out on paper as the Giants rank mid-pack in most categories and strikeout league average(23%) but have lost four of their last five games. Mikolas is my top SP2 on DraftKings and a terrific option on FanDuel in all formats if you are looking to get more bats in your lineup.
There is no one team that stands out above the rest on this slate but there is one game that stands out with two starting pitchers, more than due for regression, facing off. Let's pick on Chris Archer first as he enters the night with a tidy 2.93 ERA that I do not believe in at all considering the xFIP(4.87) that is nearly two runs higher along with the very unsustainable .200 BABIP against. For the Orioles, I start with Mancini who is at near punt prices on both sites and despite a slow start has hits in five of his last seven games with four multi-hit efforts and his first home run of the year. He is in play for me on both sites but has the most value on DraftKings where he is also outfield eligible.
Yandy Díaz FD 2900 DK 4300
Opponent - SEA (Robbie Ray) Park - SEA
FD - 7.85 DK - 5.98
Despite an 0 for 4 last night against the A's ace, Yandy Diaz has looked comfortable in the leadoff spot with multi-hit efforts in two of his three starts there and four of his last six overall. The power has been slow developing this season as he enters the night with just two home runs but I am not at all concerned as he owns an elite .411 wOBA and 182 wRC+. I mentioned the lack of top matchups outside of the Twins/O's game so I will take the consistency and PTS/$ value with Diaz vs Ray as he has hit lefties very well for his career.
José Altuve FD 2900 DK 4400
Opponent - DET (Tarik Skubal) Park - DET
FD - 13.04 DK - 9.95
Niko Goodrum FD 2000 DK 3300
Opponent - DET (Tarik Skubal) Park - DET
FD - 1.19 DK - 0.91
Altuve fouled a ball of his "sensitive area" in last night's game and like the hero he is, stayed in to record a hit before being removed with "groin pain". It sounds like he avoided anything major but if he is back in the lineup, he is a near must play as the price keeps dropping despite hits in five of his last six games. If he is out, we get even more value with Niko Goodrum likely getting another start at second and near the top of the lineup. He comes in with hits in two straight and has strong splits vs. left-handed pitching for his career. Stay tuned for news and/or starting lineups but whoever gets the start is most likely our top play at second base.
Jazz Chisholm Jr. FD 3300 DK 5700
Opponent - SD (Nick Martinez) Park - SD
FD - 7.51 DK - 5.75
While the price may seem like it's getting out of hand on DraftKings(3rd most expensive bat on this slate), it is actually quite realistic seeing as Jazz has been one of the best players in baseball over the first month. He enters Thursday night ranked Top 10 in average(.329), wOBA(.440), wRC+(193), RBI(19), steals(5), and has also hit four home runs. Talk about contributing in every area. He and the Marlins now gets a plus matchup against Nick Martinez who enters with a 1.68 WHIP, 4.12 ERA/4.61 xFIP, and has given up the 5th highest barrel rate(10.5%) of all qualified starting pitchers. Fire up Jazz in all formats, especially on FanDuel where he is still a terrific value in the low $3K range.
Carlos Correa FD 3200 DK 4600
Opponent - BAL (Spenser Watkins) Park - BAL
FD - 10.64 DK - 8.06
Despite being on an absolute tear lately, neither site really seems to adjust Correa's price which keeps him at the top of my list at the shortstop position. He picked up his second home run of the season last night and enters this game with hits in seven straight including five multi-hit efforts. He has been better against left-handed pitching but the good news is that he faces Spencer Watkins who is not only due for regression(2.55 ERA/5.02 xFIP), but has also struggled against righties giving up a .464 wOBA against. All things considered, Correa is not only my top shortstop on this slate but also one of my top overall plays.
Also Consider: Javier Baez(DET) who is hitting near the top of the Tigers' lineup and gets a plus matchup against a struggling Jose Urquidy
Manny Machado FD 4200 DK 5600
Opponent - MIA (Jesús Luzardo) Park - MIA
FD - 11.09 DK - 8.42
Machado is quietly having an MVP-like start to the season that is somewhat being overlooked by other hot starts by Nolan Arenado, Jose Ramirez, Aaron Judge, and even Mike Trout. Machado leads all of them in WAR(2.3) through a month of the season and comes in with an elite .365/.436/.594 slash line with 18 RBI and 23 runs scored. The matchup doesn't exactly jump off the page as Luzardo has been a different pitcher in 2022 but Machado still absolutely crushes lefties to the tune of a .400 wOBA/155 wRC+/.250 ISO since the start of the 2020 season. I will have exposure in all formats.
The Phillies had to make a tough decision between two young players in Stott and Bohm but ended up going with the latter and it has been paying off in a big way. He is coming off an 0 for 5 yesterday but is still hitting .297 on the season with 14 RBI and 12 runs scored. The matchup isn't great as Taijuan Walker has yet to allow a run on the season but value will be tough to come by on this smaller main slate so if Bohm is back at or near the top of the lineup, he will most definitely be near the top of our PTS/$ value rankings.
We all know(well some of us) that Mike Trout is the best player on the planet but it is getting close and one player closing the gap is Byron Buxton. He entered the season healthy and able to showcase his five-tool repertoire and has been great with a .456 wOBA, 208 wRC+ with seven long balls, 12 RBI, and 15 runs scored. Best of all, his price which was recently in the $6K range on DraftKings is back down and he and the Twins get a great matchup making him a top overall play on this slate.
If you are looking for value, you don't have to leave the Twins outfield as Trevor Larnach has been heating up with hits in six of his last eight games. With Max Kepler sitting out on Wednesday, Larnach also got a shot to hit cleanup and didn't disappoint going 2 for 4 with a run. I obviously like him much more if Kepler is out again but still on board as a salary saver if he is back hitting 6th/7th.
There is most definitely no shortage of outfielders tonight and that includes the value range which is largely made up of the top of the Orioles lineup. My favorite is Cedric Mullins who is coming off a breakout season in 2021 and while the average(.230) isn't where he would like it to start this season he is coming in hot with hits in five straight and 13 of his last 16 games. He comes at a value, hits leadoff, and gets a plus matchup. Lock and load in all formats.