Thursday, May 5, has a six-game main slate with first pitch at 6:45 p.m. ET, so let’s get into the top MLB DFS picks for pitchers and stacks for Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy baseball lineups. Make sure to visit the Awesemo MLB DFS & Fantasy Baseball home page for the best fantasy basketball content you need for tonight’s slate of games.
MLB DFS Picks Today: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks | Thursday, May 5
Yahoo Stack of the Day: Minnesota Twins at RHP Spenser Watkins — 4.8 implied runs
Once again, Spenser Watkins got by on luck and timely ground balls, surviving 4.2 innings against Boston with just one earned run. On the season he has a sterling 2.55 ERA. However, that is masked by three unearned runs, and through his 17.2 innings he is issuing a free pass every other inning, which is, coincidently, in line with his strikeouts — or lack thereof.
In his last 196 same-handed matchups, Byron Buxton ($27) has an elite .406 wOBA and .352 ISO. This is Roy Hobbs territory, and he has the highest salary of any batter in the player pool. Carlos Correa ($14), Jorge Polanco ($15) and Max Kepler ($17) all have elite power against right-handed hurlers, and when combined with Buxton, they help mitigate the overall salary cap impact.
Late Slate: Tampa Bay Rays at LHP Robbie Ray — 3.8 implied runs
Tampa Bay is going to roll out a right-handed-heavy lineup to square off against lefty Robbie Ray. The hallmark of the 30-year-old pitcher is tremendous strikeout (30.7%) upside. Unfortunately, the tradeoff is a lot of hard hits (40%) and fly balls (42.8%). Though the Rays are missing a few key players when compared to last season, Wander Franco, Randy Arozarena and Yandy Diaz are the trio to target at the top of the order for power. Manny Margot has a long track record against lefties, and he or Harold Ramirez can be employed as part of a full stack for a discount. Former Mariner backstop Mike Zunino absolutely crushes the ball on those rare occasions where he makes contact. He is the rare player who actually has an isolated power (.480) number that is higher than his wOBA (.472), which is almost mathematically impossible. This season Ray has allowed four home runs and 11 total extra-base hits in his 30.1 innings.
Top MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Shane McClanahan at Seattle Mariners — 3.4 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $48 | FanDuel $10,100 | DraftKings $9,700
This season Shane McClanahan leads the league with 42 strikeouts and his 14 strikeouts per nine innings are 1.3 higher than Carlos Rodon’s and 1.8 more than Max Scherzer’s, who round out the top three. McClanahan has been efficient over his last four outings, averaging just six of six innings on 85 pitches in these appearances.
The Seattle offense is really missing Mitch Haniger, who is on the injured list. McClanahan should be able to neutralize fellow lefties Jesse Winker, Adam Frazier and J.P. Crawford without too much trouble. That means he really just needs to avoid hot-hitting Ty France and the strikeout-happy duo of Eugenio Suarez and Tom Murphy from the right side of the plate.
Secondary MLB DFS Picks Target: Logan Webb vs. St. Louis Cardinals — 3.4 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $41 | FanDuel $10,300 | DraftKings $9,400
The fantasy community has been disappointed with Logan Webb this season, but his results through five games are similar to the breakout last year, aside from a drop in strikeouts. St. Louis, once again, is lacking when it comes to batters swinging the stick from the left side of the plate. Switch-hitter Dylan Carlson has been in a slump and dropped to the bottom of the order, and Corey Dickerson’s best days are long gone. That leaves switch-hitter Tommy Edman as the main threat, and while he has a good eye and makes contact, there is little in the way of extra-base hits to cause concerns for Webb.
Wild Card MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Aaron Nola vs. New York Metropolitans — 3.8 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $44 | FanDuel $9,900 | DraftKings $8,000
The Mets are in the middle of the pack when it comes to power through the first month of the season. However, they surprisingly lead the league in on-base percentage as well as with runs scored. These are not the usual #LOLMets, but that is also making it possible to get Aaron Nola at a discount on DraftKings and to a lesser extent on Yahoo. While it feels like Nola is on the older side, he will be turning 29 years old next month and has been off to a strong start this season. Though he has a 1-3 record in five starts, his numbers are right in line with expectations and his strikeouts are a little higher and walks a bit lower than his career rates.
Final MLB DFS Thoughts & Weather Notes for the Thursday, May 5 Fantasy Baseball Slate
Mother Nature is taking a day off, and as a result, there are no precipitation issues. Today should be a fun one with a mix of above- and below-average pitchers taking the mound.
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