Six early games and six late games appear on the docket for daily fantasy sports MLB players on Thursday. Keep in mind that it can sometimes be profitable to go contrarian in these small sample size contests because a lot of lineups are going to match up. All day contests will be few and far between today, so this article will include player and team suggestions from both parts of the day to help you make money in your contests for May 21.
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The salaries listed are from DraftKings.
Here are the top teams to stack for May 21:
Seattle – The worry here is that it’s a very early start time for the Mariners, but the pitching of Chris Tillman has been really subpar this season. His home run rate is back up around its 2013 level and he’s striking out fewer batters and walking more batters this season. Tillman has a 6.34 ERA with a 5.39 FIP, a 5.06 xFIP, and a 5.02 SIERA. He’s been saved by a high pop up rate of 17 percent. That will regress, and there’s a little bit of positive regression in some of his stats, but his swinging strike rate is down for the fourth straight season and lefties, which Seattle has a lot of, are batting .333/.410/.449 so far. For Nelson Cruz backers, righties are slugging .532 with five of the six home runs Tillman has allowed.
Chicago Cubs – Odrisamer Despaigne is making the last start he’ll make for a while. The Padres righty has given up 15 runs on 20 hits over his last couple of starts covering just eight innings. Despaigne has 12 swings and misses in 129 batters faced, so he’s not missing bats and that’s about the only problem that the Chicago Cubs offense has. They swing and miss at high clip, but Despaigne doesn’t have swing and miss stuff. The Padres defense is bad and the Cubs have some power bats that can hit the ball hard.
Boston – It’s about time the Red Sox offense gets it together and a visit from Wandy Rodriguez may be just what they need. Wandy has been fortunate this season with a 3.86 ERA supported by a .263 BABIP. His xFIP of 4.44 and 4.21 SIERA suggest mild regression on the horizon. His stuff is declining. The Red Sox have several right-handed bats capable of doing damage, like Dustin Pedroia, Mike Napoli, and Hanley Ramirez. They’re expensive, but they may be worth it.
Here are the top value hitters for May 21:
David Peralta ($3,700) – The Diamondbacks platoon bat has had a fine start to the season. Over 96 plate appearances against righties, Peralta has a .298/.354/.548 slash. He has been a key in the middle of this Diamondbacks lineup and Arizona is putting up some runs this season. Over 363 career PA against right-handers, Peralta has a .309/.345/.516 slash. Nothing jumps out about regression and Mat Latos has been very pedestrian this season, even after his horrendous first start.
Roberto Perez ($2,500) – You have to put somebody at catcher in the night games and Roberto Perez may not be a bad idea. Perez has drawn 15 walks this season, so he’s being selective and getting on base. He hasn’t had a whole lot of batted ball luck, but the impending return of Yan Gomes will take some pressure off of the kid. He got Wednesday night off and his small sample BABIP of .133 against LHP will regress.
Adam Lind ($3,800) – Lind has really cooled off of late, but he’s still drawing walks and that’s a sign that he’s not pressing. Selective hitters eventually work their way out of slumps and Lind has been very good for the Brewers with a .286/.377/.526 slash on the year. All seven of Lind’s home runs this season have come off of righties and he has a .573 SLG against them this season.
Here are the top value pitchers for May 21:
David Price ($9,600) – Pay it. The Astros will run into a lot of mistakes and hit them out of the ballpark, but David Price doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. The lanky lefty has a good swing-and-miss rate, which is one percent below last season’s. His strikeout rate is down over nine percent, but a similar whiff rate should suggest some positive regression in that number for Price. The Astros whiff quite a bit, so Price has a good chance to rack up some punchouts on Thursday afternoon.
Kyle Hendricks ($6,700) – Hendricks has some positive regression in his statistical profile and the Padres offense has really taken a step back lately. With Wil Myers out of action, the defense should improve, but he is a key bat in this lineup that they have sorely missed. Hendricks has a BABIP-inflated 5.15 ERA thanks to a .321 BABIP against and his peripherals are over a full run better. His strikeout rate has increased from last season. He is, however, more of a pitch-to-contact guy, so a park like Petco should benefit him nicely.
Clay Buchholz ($7,900) – This one is my favorite for Thursday. Buchholz is the poster child for positive regression at this time of the season. His ghastly 4.93 ERA is accompanied by a 2.88 FIP, a 2.96 xFIP, and a 2.97 SIERA. The .361 BABIP against is not going to continue. He’s coming off of a gem of an outing with 8 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 11 K, and 0 BB against the Mariners. While he may not be that good, this is a bad Texas Rangers lineup opposing him on Thursday.