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The MLB Yahoo Cup Hot Corner: Round 6

Eric Lindquist



MLB DraftKings DFS Picks daily fantasy baseball lineup cheat sheet for Thursday May 6 with Marcell Ozuna

Welcome to the MLB Yahoo Cup Hot Corner! This free-to-enter, single-entry contest consists of 27 rounds where the top 1,075 overall entries and the top 70 entries per round share $10,000, with $1,000 to first and $50 to first per round. Scoring will be cumulative across all rounds, with your seven lowest scores dropped at the end. You may join this multi-round MLB DFS contest at any point, but enter today to give yourself the best chance to take home the title. Click here to begin the chase!

Also, Yahoo is offering a massive $15K MLB Baller contest today with $3,000 to first, plus an additional Vegas Getaway valued at $5,000. With a $15 entry fee and only 1,120 entries to compete with, it’s the best bang for your buck across the daily fantasy industry. Enter here now for your chance to win!

Let’s focus on three players — one pitcher, one infielder and one outfielder — to slot into MLB DFS lineups for today’s Yahoo Cup and MLB Baller contests.

MLB DFS Pitcher: Yu Darvish — $55

Shane Bieber and Gerrit Cole are top-end pitching options 1A and 1B on tonight’s 14-game MLB slate on Yahoo from a raw fantasy points perspective. If anyone wants to go their direction, there is no question they can get the job done. But for those who want to pay up for bats, their $65 and $62 salaries could lead to the same cheaper stacks and one-offs as everyone else, which in a large single-entry contest like the MLB Yahoo Cup is something to avoid.

That’s why going down ever so slightly to Yu Darvish at $55 could be a tournament-winning decision. After a sluggish Opening Day, Darvish has rattled off four consecutive quality starts with only one earned run in each outing. He is also accumulated at least six strikeouts in every start this season and currently sports an elite 0.85 WHIP. And after back-to-back dominant starts versus the Dodgers, a matchup with the overachieving Giants really sets up nicely.

But perhaps the best metric going for Darvish comes courtesy of Awesemo’s Top Pitcher Tool, which pegs Darvish with a 13.8% chance of finishing as a top-two pitcher on this slate despite being rostered at just an 8.1% clip. In full disclosure, Bieber and Cole are both finishing as top-two pitchers over 30% of the time, but they are being rostered in over 40% of lineups. That makes Darvish a contrarian SP1 option that could pay dividends if he’s on his game tonight and outperforms even one of the other two aces.

MLB DFS Infielder: Pavin Smith — $12

Four of the National League West’s five teams currently have records above .500, making it the strongest division in baseball at the moment. While the Dodgers and Padres could break away as the weeks go by, it’s hard not to be impressed with what the Giants and Diamondbacks have been doing lately to stay in contention in the early going. With a rotation that’s keeping it together and some new blood starting to come alive of late, the Diamondbacks could be a pesky team to handle going forward, far from the doormat of the division they were expected to be.

One such emerging new bat is second-year player Pavin Smith, who there could be some merit in targeting at just $12 against righty Jon Gray. He’s only 127 plate appearances into his big league career, but Smith has been routinely leading off for the Diamondbacks with decent enough pop with an above-average .177 ISO. Plus, with Madison Bumgarner in the lineup batting ninth, there is no free strikeout in the pitcher spot like there are most nights in the National League. That could provide Smith with a little extra RBI opportunity, enough to make him a viable one-off play for the MLB Yahoo Cup.

MLB DFS Outfielder: Marcell Ozuna — $13

The Braves started to heat up at the plate in their series against the Cubs this week, winning three of their past four and plating 26 total runs in the process. They now take the short plane ride to Tampa to take on the Blue Jays in a true bandbox in TD Ballpark. The ball has been flying out of this spring training ground all year long, and there seems to be no signs of that slowing down, as evidenced by the 10.5-run total for this game.

Despite this total, however, it would seem the public is undervaluing the potential this Braves lineup has to break the slate. According to Awesemo’s Top Stacks tool, the Braves finish as the optimal team on this slate 8.8% of the time, the top marks for any ball club. And yet, they are only being rostered in around 6.3% of lineups for the evening, providing positive leverage on a team rampant with power.

One such big bat in the lineup is Marcell Ozuna, who comes in at the dirt-cheap cost of $13. Despite his .189 batting average and only three home runs on the season, he has homered in his last two games. And despite his weak .105 ISO so far, he is only a year removed from a ridiculous .298 ISO mark where he slashed for .338/.441/.636. The time to buy into the Ozuna resurgence is now against an erratic lefty in Robbie Ray, making Ozuna a main piece of any Braves stack or a valuable one-off.

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