MLB Picks and Pivots – FanDuel Baseball Picks May 6

Apr 25, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; Fans display signs for New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (not pictured) during the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Picks and Pivots – FanDuel Baseball Picks May 6

Welcome to the Friday edition of Picks & Pivots, a daily fantasy column focused on providing analysis for the upcoming MLB FanDuel slate. The purpose of this column is to first identify key building blocks that can be used for any roster construction and then identify pivot points to help differentiate your lineup in hopes of a big pay day!

FanSided and FantasyCPR have you covered – For additional FanDuel MLB analysis, take a look at Matt Rogers FanDuel Economics column or Mike Marteny who provides Draft Kings MLB Picks analysis giving you the most in depth DFS coverage for tonight’s baseball slate.

Friday action starts off with a single afternoon game at Wrigley between the Cubs at Nationals, with the main slate targeted for a 7:05PM EST start.

I will continue to track winning GPP lineups and compare trends over 5 day periods to help us understand what it takes to remain profitable. I HIGHLY recommend each of you do this each morning to look back on the previous night and understand how the winning lineups are constructed in the games you participate in.

The view below tracks GPP entries over various time periods, breaking out key metrics to understand the trends and compositions of GPP winning rosters:

Time Period

ScorePitcher SalaryPitcher PercentageHitter PercentageHitter $/Player



244.4 $ 8,25724%76% $ 3,343


5 Day

248.6 $ 9,08826%74% $ 3,239


Prev Day

264.9 $ 9,10026%74% $ 3,238



Wednesday’s games were split across two separate slates with both winning entries rolling up over 260 points which was well above both the 5 day and season averages. The early slate was littered with fantastic pitching options and they did not disappoint, however Tyler Chatwood  who was priced at only $7,400 was able to put up 57 points which was good for 7.7x value. Chatwood was able to keep pace with Steven Matz who put up 59 points but with the $1,600 savings, you were able to roll that money into some of the big bats on the day including Lucas Duda and Mike Trout and an offense that averaged over 25 points per player. The night slate saw Jose Fernandez put up a modest 39 points but it was the lack of standout pitching performances that allowed the “safe” pick to be found on the winning GPP entry. Similar to the early slate, it was the offense that carried the day with a whopping 230.5 points, good for 29 points per player, carried primarily by an Astros stack of Jason Castro, Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve.

I highly recommend gamers track their game performance across the various types of games they play – GPP’s, Cash, Multipliers etc – as this simple exercise will help teach you more about profitable roster construction than you can imagine.

Now on to the picks…

Jul 8, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Rick Porcello (22) and catcher Ryan Hanigan (10) celebrate after the fourth inning against the Miami Marlins at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Starting Pitchers

Noah Syndergaard ($11,200) – Truthfully, I feel like I can just copy and paste what I wrote yesterday in regards to Jacob deGrom as much of the same logic applies. There are very few pitchers who have the dominant strikeout arsenal that Syndergaard has and the matchup against the Padres in San Diego does not get much better.

As I noted yesterday – The two highest pitching performances on FanDuel so far this year have come against the Padres, as Vincent Velasquez and Clayton Kershaw both exceeded 80 points in starts against them earlier this year. The Padres strike out roughly 10 times per game which is the second most in MLB on the season and have been held to a .227 average against opposing right handers.

The only issue here is price as Syndergaard is priced over $11k but with so many top arms in action, he may actually go under owned due both to the price point and the over saturation of top arms available on Friday evening. I would not recommend Syndergaard for tournaments however as his high water mark this season has been 57 points and although it’s possible he could set a new mark in this matchup, keep in mind he would need over 70 points to hit target value.


Rick Porcello ($8,100) – Porcello has been a revelation so far this year and has been a monster in regards to his fantasy performance. Porcello has averaged 47.2 points/game and has put up 51 points in two of his last three games. His last start out, he pitched 7 innings while racking up 6 strikeouts and picking up a win against the same Yankee team he faces Friday night. If Porcello can replicate that outing against the Yankees lineup who continues to struggle, he would hit 6.3x value making him a viable cash game and tournament option. Porcello is my favorite mid-priced option and a I noted earlier, with so many elite arms, expect diluted ownership percentages across the starting pitchers.

With so many great arms on the mound, it will be critical to nail down the right starting pitcher on a one pitcher site like FanDuel so I would recommend staying at the top end of the pitcher tiers when picking your hurler. I typically like to utilize a few large field tournament entries where I fade the top end arms, utilize a value pitcher and load up on hitters but I find it highly unlikely that all the top end arms will falter on the same night so I do not intend to employ that strategy on this night.

Jun 6, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips (4) and first baseman Joey Votto (19) round the bases after a double hit by Reds second baseman Todd Frazier (not pictured) in the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Hitters/Top Stacks

Brewers/Reds – Expect Runs in Cincinnati – On a slate like this with so many top arms in action, there will be far fewer ideal places to attack, but this game at Great American Ballpark should be loaded with runs with both teams expected to score over 4 runs apiece. The Reds will be throwing rookie Tim Adleman making his second career start, who although he had an effective start in his debut his minor league stats indicate a pitcher we should look to target. Adleman has posted a strikeout rate in the minors less than 20% utilizing a mid-90’s fastball and focusing primarily on command. The Brewers make for a great stack against the young hurler as they have a variety of cost effective options including Jonathan Villar ($3,300), Jonathan Lucroy ($3,000), Chris Carter(who homered again Thursday night) ($3,200) and Kirk Nieuwenhuis ($2,300) who typically bats in the heart of the order against RHP.

The Reds on the other hand will get to face Tyler Cravy who has only pitched in relief this year and has a career ERA of 5.4 across 48 innings. Joey Votto ($3,500) makes for a terrific cash game building block in this matchup who has one of the safest floors of any 1B, but gives us terrific upside in his home park. Brandon Phillips ($2,300) batting cleanup is an absolute steal at this price point and do not overlook Billy Hamilton ($2,400) who is back batting at the top of the Reds lineup. Completing a stack with Jay Bruce ($3,400) gives us another cost effective high upside stack that we can utilize while still rostering the top end starting pitchers like Syndergaard on Friday night.

Mariners Left Handed Bats against RHP Doug FisterSeattle has one of the highest team totals on the board, getting to play tonight in Houston’s favorable hitting conditions against a pitcher who has struggled this year. Fister is only striking out 12% of the batters he has faced while walking 10% – when these metrics are that close, this is a great indicator of a stack we want to jump on. The Mariners are loaded with left handed bats including Robinson Cano ($3,900), Seth Smith ($2,900) and Adam Lind ($2,200). Similar to my noted in the Reds/Brewers, finding a stack with cost effective options will be critical on this night so we can still afford to pay up at pitcher.

Best of luck tonight gamers! Make sure to review the lineups as they are announced before locking in your lineups!