MLB Picks and Pivots – FanDuel Baseball Picks May 9

May 7, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Bartolo Colon (40) follows through during a sixth inning at bat against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

May 7, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Bartolo Colon (40) follows through during a sixth inning at bat against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Picks and Pivots – FanDuel Baseball Picks May 9

Welcome to the Monday 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.

Monday returns us back to a “normal” slate with 13 games kicking off at 7:05PM EST.

I will continue to track winning Tournament 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 PeriodScorePitcher SalaryPitcher PercentageHitter PercentageHitter $/Player



244.7 $ 8,52124%76% $ 3,330


5 Day

242.8 $ 8,77525%75% $ 3,278


Prev Day

268.7 $ 12,50036%64% $ 2,813


Saturday was a day dominated by the aces, as Clayton Kershaw and Chris Sale were found on the winning tournament lineups but it is the hitting that continues to separate the teams that simply “cashed out” and those who made real profits. In order to score at these levels you need your 8 hitters to score between 25-28 points per game. An alternate strategy on Saturday was to simply play Aaron Hill who put up 70.1 points due to 3 home runs and for those of you lucky enough to have played him Saturday, we salute you!

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…

April 28, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez (16) reacts after pitching the bottom of the fifth inning against Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Starting Pitchers

Jose Fernandez ($10,800) – The top end of the starting pitching options are loaded on Monday night which means two things – 1) the ownership for the top end pitchers will be diluted as gamers have so many options to choose from and 2) it will be critical to pick the right ace in order to separate yourself from the rest of the pack. To me, the Marlins fire balling right hander with a home start against the Brewers is the best choice to put up the night’s top score. First, the Marlins are heavy favorites opening at -230 in Vegas and second, Fernandez gets an ideal matchup against a free swinging right handed heavy Brewers lineup. The Brewers rank 24th out of 30 teams in strikeouts per game, averaging just under 9 punch outs per game while Fernandez has averaged 7.8 strikeouts per game over his first 6 starts. Digging deeper into the statistics, Fernandez has absolutely owned right handed hitters this year with a ridiculous 45% k rate against opposing right handers and as noted the Brewers have a predominately right handed lineup. Fernandez has a very safe floor for cash games and the strikeout upside in this matchup that puts him squarely as my top choice on Monday night.


Aaron Sanchez ($7,100) – If you are looking to drop down and “fade the aces” then the one guy I would look to pivot to is the Blue Jays right hander who gets a road start against the Giants. Even on the road, the Blue Jays open up as slight road favorites which I believe is largely due to the fact that Jake Peavy is the opposing pitcher so run support should not be an issue for Sanchez. The fact that this game is on the road suits Sanchez well, as he has been incredible on the road through his first 3 starts this season. Through 3 starts, Sanchez is averaging 48 points per start on the road which would be good for 6.8x value at this price point! With two of those starts over 50 points, Sanchez has the upside for larger field tournaments to be contrarian and capture a big time payout!

Apr 27, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) hits an RBI double against the Seattle Mariners during the third inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Top Hitters/Stacks

Pirates lineup against Dan Straily – With a game in Coors, the “Chalk” stack will be the Rockies and for good reason but with the inflated price points FanDuel installs it will be difficult to stack their batters if you intend to pay up for the top end pitchers. The Pirates have a team total over 5 runs and face a pitcher who has struggled against left handed batters. So far this season Straily has a 15.5% strikeout rate against left handed batters which is equal to his walk rate so we can expect a lot of base runners and a lot of contact. John Jaso ($3,000) will bat at the top of the order and gets the platoon advantage and has also been red hot as he has put up 23 points per game over his last two games which would exceed 7x value.

Marlins against Willy Peralta – Any time I see Peralta on the mound, he becomes one of my clear stack targets and the Marlins have been cost effective bats you can use in this matchup to give you a high upside stack. Peralta has a 3.4% K-BB Ratio this year as he has only struck out 12.4% of batters while walking 9%. Against left handed hitters, that K rate plummets to 8.7% which puts Justin Bour ($3,000), Derek Dietrich ($2,700) & Christian Yelich ($3,800) squarely in play as a stack or as individual plays.

Jose Altuve ($4,100) – The matchup against Corey Kluber will likely drive ownership down but after reading Matt Rogers latest Positional Analysis column, I am finding a way to get Altuve into every one of my lineups on a daily basis as he is perhaps the biggest difference maker in DFS right now. Altuve is leading all of baseball in points per game yet he is not even the highest priced second baseman! If you want to take your DFS game to the next level, I highly recommend you dig into our positional features as soon as you lock Altuve into your lineups each day!



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