FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks and Helper: Sunday 5/5/24

Austin Swaim
Austin SwaimASwaim3
FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks and Helper: Sunday 5/5/24

Weather and strong pitching has left us without a single implied team total of 4.50. How should we navigate the offensive drought, and which arm is the best to choose?

Our daily fantasy helper is available every day to analyze FanDuel's main slate and help give you a starting point when you're building lineups.

Be sure to also incorporate numberFire's great tools into your research process, including daily projections, the latest starting lineups and weather, and batting and pitching heat maps to find the best matchups.

Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.

Note: All MLB odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook. All stats come from FanGraphs and Baseball Savant unless noted otherwise.


Pitchers to Target

Freddy Peralta ($10,500)

Part of the reason we're without a truly elite stack is the top pitchers facing really solid offenses in their split. Freddy Peralta ($10,500) has the closest thing to a cupcake.

Peralta and the Milwaukee Brewers are visiting the Chicago Cubs in a game with just a 6.5-run total as winds are blowing in amidst cool weather. It's arguably the best pitching environment of the day, so the Cubs' 98 wRC+ (12th-worst in MLB) and 23.4% strikeout rate (tied for 12th-highest) against right-handed pitching seem even less imposing.

As for the ace, he's in prime form to begin 2024 as the new lead man following Corbin Burnes' departure. He's posted a 2.58 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) with a gargantuan 34.1% strikeout rate -- the latter of which providing at least 35 FanDuel points in five of his six outings.

Tarik Skubal and Joe Ryan have tough matchups -- particularly for strikeouts. Peralta's below-average one is an easy choice in cash games.

Ryan Feltner ($8,000)

This might be the first Colorado Rockies hurler recommended on the site all year, but Ryan Feltner ($8,000) is an extremely interesting choice in tournaments today.

When balancing matchup with form, Feltner makes plenty of sense. Away from Coors Field, you truly have to look at park-adjusted numbers beyond his ERA (5.13), which include a superior 3.74 SIERA and 3.11 expected ERA (xERA). Pitching half the time at baseball's funhouse, his 12.0% swinging-strike rate is extremely interesting for whiff upside, too.

It helps his case the Pittsburgh Pirates remain truly impotent offensively. They've scored just three runs in this series and hold the league's worst OPS (.605) and 10th-worst strikeout rate (23.7%) against righties.

I'd take the over on Feltner's 23.9 projected fantasy points, per our MLB projections. He's met or eclipsed eight strikeouts in two of his six starts this year, and the Buccos might be his easiest test to date.

Others to Consider

  • Joe Ryan ($10,600)
    • The tiebreaker between Ryan and Peralta was matchup despite the former (35.9 projected fantasy points) sitting at the top of our projections today. The Boston Red Sox's .726 OPS against righties is always a bit scary.
  • Hunter Brown ($6,700)
    • I think there's light at the end of the tunnel for the Houston Astros righty. He's posted six-plus strikeouts in consecutive starts before drawing a Seattle Mariners team that leads the league in strikeout rate against righties (29.2%). With no pitch count, his upside is huge at a punt's salary.

Stacks to Target

Cleveland Guardians

I feel tremendous about the Cleveland Guardians' outlook today despite a 4.24-run implied team total that leaves a bit to be desired.

Cleveland draws Griffin Canning to close out this series with the Los Angeles Angels, and Canning's profile is a juicy one to target. He's surrendered a 4.96 SIERA and 5.52 xERA while also allowing 1.55 HR/9 and a hard-hit baseball 40.6% of the time it's in play (40th percentile in MLB). The BaseballSavant page is pretty darn blue.

As a team, the Guards are pretty solid in this split behind a 100 wRC+ and miniscule 19.1% strikeout rate (fourth-lowest in MLB). Their standout performers -- beyond the great Jose Ramirez ($3,900) -- include Josh Naylor ($3,600), who has a giant .214 ISO in the split, and Estevan Florial ($2,300), who draws a spot start for Steven Kwan in the leadoff spot with a .216 ISO himself.

I'd round out this stack with Andres Gimenez ($3,000) at DFS' toughest position. Even after Canning departs, they'll get to attack a bullpen with the league's seventh-highest reliever xFIP (4.42).

Texas Rangers

Cleveland won't carry the popularity of the Texas Rangers today -- nor the ambiguity. That's why I've slid Texas into the two spot.

Most will see that Kansas City Royals starter Daniel Lynch makes his season debut today, and he hasn't posted an xERA below 4.95 in his three seasons of action. The top prospect has never quite been able to put things together, but he was in the 91st percentile in hard-hit rate allowed (32.0%) last season.

In general, I think Lynch has good stuff. There's a path where Texas falls off the rails to start his breakout season, but it seems unlikely when K.C.'s bullpen holds the third-highest reliever xFIP (4.71) as a unit.

The Rangers scored 15 runs on Saturday, so we know the upside is there. Their top performers in the left-handed split by wRC+ are Adolis Garcia ($4,000), Jonah Heim ($2,900), and Nathaniel Lowe ($2,800), who all have a wRC+ above 100. Notably, lefty Corey Seager ($3,400) has struggled in the split to an 8 wRC+, so perhaps it's best to leave him behind today.

Texas is a solid process play on paper, but they'll be enormously popular with the slate's best implied team total (4.47). Tread carefully with a path to failure.

Others to Consider

  • Washington Nationals
    • I wish the offense drawing Alek Manoah in his return and the league's third-worst bullpen (by xFIP) was stronger, but it's as good of a spot as our top-two stacks. A return to All-Star form for Manoah could sink the Nats quickly, though.
  • New York Mets
    • Getting creative, the Mets give righties enough issues (102 wRC+) to wonder if they could get to Ryan Pepiot (3.26 SIERA). The appeal here is another weak bullpen given Tampa's ugly 4.80 reliever xFIP.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.