By Vincent Pensabene
We had a 15-game slate on Saturday May 18th. I will go into detail on some players that performed well and others who underachieved. Points and salaries are based on DraftKings.
Pablo Lopez ($6,600)
You read that correctly, a Marlins pitcher threw a great game. Against the Mets, Lopez went seven innings and only gave up three baserunners (one hit and two walks) while striking out seven on his way to picking up his third victory on the year.
This was the best start of Lopez’s young career thus far and was a lot better than his previous outing, which was against the Mets as well. Lopez looked locked in, as he gave up a leadoff double to start the game and retired 21 of the next 23 batters he faced. His next start should be against the Nationals in Washington on Friday so maybe Lopez will be on more radars for that slate, but he cannot be trusted and will be a risky tournament play at best.
Johnathan Schoop ($3,700)
The Twins had themselves a good game against Seattle and I wanted to highlight the best hitter for them since a few guys had fine outings. Schoop was a steal in last night’s slate, as he produced 37 points for people that chose him. He went 3-for-5 with a couple of homers and five RBI. He would have had another at-bat in the eighth inning but was pulled since the game was out of hand already.
Schoop has put together a good season thus far but does not have monster games as often as he should. He will face off against Yusei Kikuchi in the final game of a four-game set in Seattle. Kikuchi has been solid in his previous three starts but the Twins have been clicking.
Josh Bell ($5,600)
Bell looked locked in at the plate and went 3-for-4 with two deep flies, four RBIs and a walk. Bell is arguably the best first baseman in the NL, maybe in all of MLB this season, and pitchers have not been able to find answers for him.
Bell has been one of the lone bright spots on the Pirates thus far. His OPS is at a ridiculous 1.106 after Saturday’s game and he is batting .333, so lock him up whenever you are able to. He is slashing .406/.465/.875 in the month of May and is not showing any signs of slowing any time soon. The Pirates finish off their series against the Padres today and expect the Pods to try something different to neutralize him.
Wade LeBlanc ($7,500)
The Twins lit up LeBlanc, as he only threw 2.1 innings and gave up seven runs on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts. This was his first start back from the IL after suffering a Grade 2 strain of his right oblique muscle and it looked painful to watch.
Do not expect LeBlanc to give you value at this point. In his four games this season, he has given up at least two runs in each game he started and is pitching to a 1.91 WHIP. LeBlanc should get the ball against the Rangers in Texas on Friday night, so try to avoid him at all costs until he can prove he has value, especially at a higher price.
Gary Sanchez ($4,900)
Sanchez looked lost at the plate yesterday, going 0-for-5 with four of those at-bats ending in strike three.
2018 is long gone for Sanchez, as he is fifth in the league in home runs with 12. However, he has been in a rough patch over the past week, as he is 6-for-31 in his past eight games. When he connects with the ball, it goes for extra bases, as 14 of his 26 hits this year are of that variety. The Yankees close out a weekend series against the Rays this afternoon. He is a risky play today.
Masahiro Tanaka suffered a right shin contusion after getting hit by a sharp grounder. He will see how he feels before figuring out his availability for his next start.
Clay Buchholz had a MRI after being placed on the 10-day IL back on May 10. It was revealed he has a Grade 2 teres major muscle strain in his upper back. His return date is uncertain.
We had all 30 teams play on Friday May 17. I will go into detail on some players that did well and some that underperformed. Points and salaries are based on DraftKings.
Frankie Montas ($8,800)
It would be difficult to ignore what Montas did for the Athletics last night in Detroit against the Tigers. He had a career night with all-time personal highs in innings (8.2) and strikeouts (10). He didn’t give up a single walk throughout the game and has only allowed one walk this month. He was an out short from a complete game to give additional value to the pick, but he looks like he is locked in throughout May with his third consecutive quality start.
Frankie Montas will face the Cleveland Indians in his next start. Montas pitched against the Tribe in his previous start and went six strong innings and gave up two runs on eight hits with seven strikeouts and a free pass. The Indians have lost two of their last three games against the White Sox and Orioles, so expect Montas to have another good start.
Kris Bryant ($5,100)
When he traveled to Washington and faced off against a struggling Nationals team, Bryant took advantage of a weak bullpen. Bryant homered in each of the final three innings and finished the game 4-for-6 with three home runs and a single. He also had five total RBIs and scored three times. Add those up and you get 49 fantasy points. He’s keeping his name in the MVP hunt and attempting to keep up with Christian Yelich’s monster start, and Friday night was definitely a step in the right direction.
Bryant now has 14 hits in his past five games and is getting on base almost half the time (.493) in the month of May. He gets fantasy points and looks locked in at the plate. The Chicago Cubs have two more games against the Washington Nationals and Stephen Strasburg doesn’t look intimidating.
Ivan Nova ($6,200)
Ivan Nova has been off his game this season and last night was more of the same. He lasted only three innings and gave up nine runs (eight earned) on eight hits. He had trouble finding the plate at times with four walks and only one strikeout against the Blue Jays.
By no means should you give Nova the pick until he proves himself worthy. His ERA is now up to 7.42. Coming off two quality starts, Nova looked like a decent choice on last night’s slate, but a team that struggles behind him and seven walks in his past nine innings makes him a hard pass for me. He next faces the Houston Astros, who are riding a nine-game win streak, so stay away from Ivan Nova at all costs next time through the rotation.
Jacob deGrom ($11,400)
This was a matchup any DFS player would have jumped at, facing the lowly Miami Marlins, but deGrom did not look like the reigning Cy Young Award winner or even a marginal starter. He pitched five innings and gave up seven runs (six earned) on nine hits and only had three strikeouts. It’s very difficult to get your money’s worth when picking the most expensive player on the slate and he fizzles. The history was on his side, though, as in 2019 he had dominated the Marlins in his first two starts against them, only giving up one run in 14 innings with 22 punchouts.
This is not the outing anyone could have anticipated for deGrom. In his last seven games, he is 1-5 with a 5.31 ERA in 39 innings. To expect him to have the historic numbers he had last season would be asking a lot, but he looks like a middle-of-the-rotation pitcher on a bad baseball team. His next start will be in Citi Field against the rival Washington Nationals, who are also struggling this season. deGrom has faced the Nats once this season and threw six shutout innings with 10 strikeouts. Expect him to have a bounce-back effort for the Mets.