We have a big 12-game main MLB slate going down tonight, so let’s dive into some GPP picks and see if we can get across those cash lines!
FanDuel MLB DFS Picks – May 11, 2021
P – Freddy Peralta (MIL) – $8,600 vs. STL
I backed out of using Peralta his last time out against the Phillies, and it turns out that was the right move as he yielded five earned runs in his four innings of work in that one. However, all five of those runs came in the first inning before he was able to record a single out, but he settled in from there and wound up striking out eight. There’s also the fact his numbers are outstanding both on the surface and underneath.
Peralta enters this one sporting a 3.38 ERA/3.20 FIP on the season, but also a 2.23 xERA, 3.21 xFIP and 2.98 SIERA that all suggest he’s indeed been excellent this season, not to mention a monster 14.91 K/9, good for the highest mark in baseball among pitchers with at least 30 innings under their belt this season. The strikeouts are also nothing new as Peralta sports a 12.46 K/9 for his career across 77 appearances and posted a 14.42 mark last season in 29.1 innings, almost all coming out of the Brewers’ bullpen.
If you want to dive even deeper, his Statcast metrics are phenomenal. Statcast has him in the league’s 84th percentile in hard-hit rate, 95th in xwOBA, 95th in xERA, 99th in xBA, 94th in xSLG, 92nd in K-rate and 92nd in whiff rate. That’s.. pretty good.
For their part, the Cardinals haven’t been great against right-handed pitching this season as they sit tied for 21st with a .297 wOBA off of them and their 23.8% K-rate against righties puts them right in the middle of the pack.
Add it up and it would appear we’re getting a dominant pitcher here at a reasonable cost.
C/1B – Salvador Perez (KC) – $3,100 vs. DET
Another pitcher who has been very good this season is Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd who has pitched extremely well on the heels of a career-worst 2020 season that saw him at or near the league’s basement in several categories. That said, the Royals have largely had their way against Boyd, there’s reason to believe some regression is on the horizon and the Tigers sport the league’s worst bullpen, by far.
Boyd sports a 2.20 ERA/2.96 FIP on the season, but also a 3.60 xERA, 4.95 xFIP and 4.67 SIERA, the latter three of which point to regression. He’s walking just 1.77 batters per nine and has allowed just 0.25 HR/9, but also yields fly-balls on 45.7% of the contact allowed, a number nearly identical to his 45.3% career mark. There’s a reason his career home-run rate is a whopping 1.63 (more than six times his 2021 rate) as he simply allows far too many fly balls.
Enter Perez who loves hitting at Comerica Park despite some reverse splits on the season that’s seen him hit right-handed pitching far better than lefties in the small 2021 sample to this point. That said, he did post a monstrous .354 ISO last season versus lefties and had hit for a little more power versus southpaws for his career on the whole.
He likes hitting Tigers pitching with a career .825 OPS against his division rival and also owns an .806 mark at Comerica Park. He’s homered twice and doubled in his 39 career at-bats against Boyd and also ranks in the league’s 93rd percentile or better in hard-hit rate, average exit velocity, xwOBA and xSLG. Sign me up.
2B – Whit Merrifield (KC) – $3,700 vs. DET
In terms of Tiger killers, y0u’d be hard-pressed to find a player in this league who enjoys facing Detroit pitching more than Whit Merrifield.
All he’s done in his career against the Tigers is post a .944 career OPS across 359 trips to the plate against the Tigers. At Comerica Park, the OPS rises to .970 across another sizeable 195 plate-appearance sample. He’s also absolutely raked Boyd in their history against one another as Merrifield has gone 25 for 51 (.490) with nine doubles and a triple, good for a .216 ISO, 1.224 OPS and .527 wOBA in this matchup. If that weren’t enough, he’s also swiped six bases off his division rival, so there’s a wealth of cross-category upside here.
Merrifield already has 10 steals on the season to go along with his four homers and 105 wRC+. Against left-handed pitching, however, he’s posted a .216 ISO, .909 OPS, .388 wOBA and 151 wRC+ with two of those four homers coming against southpaws while he’s also stolen six of his 10 bags off of lefties and has yet to be caught stealing by a left-handed pitcher.
Obviously, this would appear to be a fine matchup for the veteran as it would be awfully surprising not to see Merrifield doing more damage against Boyd, but also a Tigers bullpen that ranks dead last with a 6.65 ERA on the season, with the Reds and their 5.46 bullpen ERA being the next-worst group in the league.
3B – Hunter Dozier (KC) – $2,600 vs. DET
Next man up in this four-man Royals stack is Dozier who has also enjoyed notable success against Boyd in their time against one another.
Dozier is hitting just .158 on the season with a 68 wRC+ to boot, but also sports a powerful .228 ISO with five homers, four doubles and even a pair of triples. He actually sports superior numbers versus right-handed pitching for his career, but has posted a .214 ISO and 91 wRC+ versus lefties this season, the latter of which is far superior to his 59 mark against righties.
Now, he’s certainly slumping again after appearing to get his season back on track with a 7 for 16 (.438) stretch with three homers, three doubles and a triple early in the month, but has now gone four straight games without a hit in 16 trips to the plate.
Nonetheless, it would appear to be a fine matchup to get back on track here. Dozier has gone 10 for 24 (.417) with two homers and three doubles in his career against Boyd — along with a stolen base — while producing a .375 ISO, 1.273 OPS and .531 wOBA in this matchup.
Add in the miserable Tigers bullpen and there is a fine opportunity for Dozier to get back on track with plenty of power potential in this one tonight.
SS – Trea Turner (WSH) – $4,000 vs. PHI
We’ll use up another four-man stack here on the Nationals as they take on Phillies right-hander Chase Anderson in this one.
It’s been a tough year to date for Anderson. The veteran will carry a 5.54 ERA, 5.33 FIP, 6.10 xERA, 5.42 xFIP and 5.30 SIERA into tonight’s action. He’s also struggling with command in the form of a 4.85 BB/9 rate and home runs with a 1.38 HR/9 mark. The home run issues are nothing new as he owns a career 1.41 HR/9 mark in that department.
The Statcast metrics are also extremely poor. Anderson ranks in the league’s 10th percentile in both xwOBA and xERA, 19th in xBA, 15th in xSLG and 16th in K-rate. Add in the 33rd percentile ranking in barrel rate, 23rd in walk rate and 15th in fastball velocity and Anderson is certainly a targetable pitcher. These Nats should see some ownership, so feel free to use this lineup in cash or GPP tournaments, especially with some weather hanging around Coors Field in Colorado tonight.
Enter Turner who is having a big season. He’s hitting .308 with seven homers and seven steals on the season. He owns a .208 ISO, .866 OPS, .373 wOBA and 134 wRC+ as well. Now, the production has been superior versus left-handed pitching, but he still owns a .342 wOBA and 115 wRC+ versus righties and the stolen base upside is obviously superior versus righties as well.
Not much to dislike here about Turner out of the leadoff spot tonight at home.
OF – Jorge Soler (KC) – $2,600 vs. DET
Completing this four-man Royals stack is Soler who has also produced against Boyd and the Tigers in the past.
Like with Dozier, it hasn’t been the best of starts to Soler’s season. The former 48-homer man is hitting just .191 at the moment with two homers, a .271 wOBA and 72 wRC+. That said, his .334 xwOBA suggests positive regression on the horizon while his .264 BABIP at the moment is not only well below his .309 career mark but would go down as a career-low aside from a shortened 35-game 2017 season.
We’ll also note that he’s largely been a reverse-splits hitter. His numbers are superior versus righties this season, and last season all eight of his home runs came agaisnt righties despite a superior average versus lefties. In his breakout 2019 season in which he hit those 48 homers, Soler cranked 39 of those off of righties, but did still post an impressive .259 ISO, .869 OPS, .362 wOBA and 125 wRC+ off of lefties as well. He actually owns an identical .798 career OPS versus lefties and righties and while the power has been a little better against righties, we’re not going to argue with his strong figures versus southpaws.
There’s also the fact that Soler is a career .333 hitter off Boyd (5 for 15) with a double and a stolen base in that time. He has also crushed Tigers pitching on the whole with a career 1.061 OPS off of them in 176 trips to the plate while he’s raked at Comerica Park to the tune of a 1.086 OPS across 106 plate appearances in this venue with seven long balls in that time.
Let’s see if he can keep up the good work in this type of matchup in this one.
OF – Juan Soto (WSH) – $4,000 vs. PHI
Soto has largely scuffled since returning to the lineup earlier in the month, but boy does this matchup present a fine opportunity for the young slugger to get back on track.
His injury-shortened 2021 season hasn’t been his best. He’s hitting just .264 with a 114 wRC+, down numbers by his lofty standards, as is his .169 ISO. That said, while he owns a .341 wOBA that sits well below his .401 career mark, he also owns a .464 xwOBA, a figure that ranks among the game’s best.
I mean, let’s just check out the Statcast data for a minute. Entering this one, Soto ranks in the league’s 95th percentile in average exit velocity, 92nd in hard-hit rate, 99th in xwOBA, 100th in xBA, 99th in xSLG and 95th in barrel rate. He’s also one of the game’s most disciplined hitters at such a young age as he ranks in the 98th percentile in chase rate, 92nd in strikeout rate and 80th in whiff rate. He’s just a tough one and one of the toughest in baseball.
The power has actually played up against lefties, but his .817 OPS, .351 wOBA and 120 wRC+ against righties are all well above his marks against lefties, and as noted, those figures should see dramatic improvement once the Statcast-led positive regression kicks in.
Toss in some stolen base potential and Soto should get the job done in spades in this matchup.
OF – Kyle Schwarber (WSH) – $2,700 vs. PHI
Next man up in this four-man Phillies stack is Schwarber who loves himself some right-handed pitching.
I mean, his raw power against righties is some of the best in the game. He’s homered just three times this season and is hitting only .193 on the whole, but Schwarber has simply raked righties since day one. For his career, he owns a big .270 ISO, .846 OPS, .353 wOBA and 120 wRC+ against right-handed pitching, even with his success coming mostly against lefties so far in 2021.
We also have a hot Schwarber entering this one. He’s never going to hit for much in terms of average and has just four hits over his last four games, but three of those knocks have been of the extra-base variety with two doubles and a homer in that time, the latter of which came his last time out in New York against the Yankees.
In similar fashion, Schwarber is just 4 for 18 (.222) in his career against Anderson, but three of those hits have been for extra bases with two doubles and a homer in that time.
We don’t care about the average but it’s the light-tower power against righties we’re after here.
UTIL – Josh Bell (WSH) – $3,200 vs. PHI
Completing this lineup and four-man Nationals stack is Bell who has struggled significantly since an offseason trade brought him to D.C. from Pittsburgh.
Bell is hitting just .141 so far this season with a .167 ISO, .228 wOBA, 41 wRC+ and three homers across the first 21 games of his Nationals career. That said, the switch-hitting Bell has seen nearly all his production come against righties as all three of his homers and three of his four doubles have indeed come against right-handed pitching, good for a solid .190 ISO versus righties this season.
The good news is that the righty-mashing is a trend. Bell’s .266 average, .213 ISO, .833 OPS, .351 wOBA and 118 wRC+ for his career against righties are all significantly superior to his work against lefties in those areas. More good news comes in the form of a 90th percentile ranking in hard-hit rate and a 94th percentile ranking in average exit velocity despite some otherwise middling Statcast metrics.
Nonetheless, he’s hitting the ball very hard against a struggling pitcher who gives up plenty of home runs. Let’s also keep in mind we’re targeting a Phillies bullpen that is tied for 25th with both a 4.92 ERA on the season and 1.48 HR/9, so the home-run upside does not stop once Anderson is chased from this one.
We’re targeting a couple of the worst bullpens in the league with this stack and we should be able to get these guys at reasonable ownerships for cash or GPP games.