Setting your daily fantasy baseball lineups for Tuesday, May 31? SI’s DFS expert recommends
Every weekday during the MLB season, we’ll provide you with our ultimate DFS cash game lineup. Please note that the column is written in the morning, and you should check all lineups to make sure the players we’ve recommended are starting that day. There are two games starting at 3:40 p.m. ET today—Astros at Diamondbacks and Padres at Mariners—but none of our DFS recommendations come from those games.
Starting pitcher: Steven Matz ($11,100) vs. Chicago White Sox and Tyler Duffey ($7,200) @ Oakland
Matz surrendered seven runs in 1 2/3 innings in his first start of the season. Since then, he has allowed a total of six runs and fanned 49 batters in 48 innings. On a staff that includes Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom and Matt Harvey, Matz has been arguably the best pitcher this season. Harvey shut down the White Sox on Monday, and while there is some firepower in their lineup, it’s not an offense without holes. They are better against lefties than righties, but Matz remains a strong play Tuesday.
Duffey is more of a matchup-based than merit play, but there’s nothing wrong with that, especially when you can find a guy at $7,200. Duffey has struggled in his last two outings, allowing a total of 11 runs in 12 1/3 innings, but he still has a 3.93 ERA and 3.35 FIP this season. What’s more, those starts were against the Blue Jays and Royals. This one is against the A’s, a team that sits 26th in wOBA. This should be a much more manageable lineup for Duffey.
Catcher: Russell Martin ($3,400) vs. New York Yankees, CC Sabathia
Martin was arguably the worst position player in the majors over the first two months of the season, but he finally started to hit last week. In his last six games, Martin is 7-for-22 with three homers, one double and six RBI. Sabathia has been surprisingly effective this season, but you can still feel free to stack the powerful, right-handed Toronto hitters against him. Martin is a cheap avenue into that stack.
First base: Anthony Rizzo ($3,800) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers, Scott Kazmir
Rizzo is stuck in his worst slump as a Cub. He has been undeniably terrible against lefties this season, after all but negating the platoon disadvantage last year. So why is he in our lineup? Well, we’re getting a guy who remains one of the most talented hitters in the league in the middle of arguably its best lineup for just $3,800. No slump or matchup can change the fact that Rizzo is a steal at that price.
Second base: Devon Travis ($3,300) vs. New York Yankees, CC Sabathia
Travis completes the first of our two mini-stacks on Tuesday. He has yet to get going since coming off the DL, but we can forgive him if he needs to shake some rust off the bat. Travis raked against lefties last season, slashing .328/.371/.603 with four homers in 62 plate appearances. The smart money is on him finding his stroke sooner rather than later.
Third base: Kris Bryant ($4,700) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers, Scott Kazmir
Here’s the completion of our second mini-stack. Bryant is among the hottest hitters in baseball, riding a six-game hitting streak during which he has gone 9-for-23 with two homers and six RBI. He has four homers in his last 11 games and six in his last 17, helping push his season slash line to .285/.373/.508. He has been better against righties than lefties, though four of his 11 homers have come in just 61 plate appearances with the platoon advantage.
Shortstop: Aledmys Diaz ($3,900) @ Milwaukee, Wily Peralta
Diaz has continued to provide one of the most dangerous bats in the league, carrying a .326/.357/.547 slash line into the final day of May. He was obviously going to slow down some from his ridiculous start, but the fact that he has been able to maintain this high a level of production hints at the sort of player he can be all season. Peralta, meanwhile, has a 6.62 ERA and 1.90 WHIP on the season.
Outfield: Carlos Gonzalez ($5,200) vs. Cincinnati, Jon Moscot; Odubel Herrera ($3,700) vs. Washington, Joe Ross; Nomar Mazara ($3,500) @ Cleveland, Corey Kluber
Gonzalez snapped out of his May funk over the last week. He is the owner of an eight-game hitting streak, during which he has gone 16-for-32 with four homers and seven RBI. Despite that slowdown at the beginning of the month, he’s hitting .304/.348/.510 on the year. Herrera hasn’t had to deal with a slowdown this season. For him, it has been a steady climb toward being one of the league’s most productive, prototypical leadoff men. He’s always worth a look when you need an outfielder priced in the upper-$3,000s. Finally, Mazara has a tough matchup with Kluber, but there’s a lot of value in a .309/.355/.491 hitter at $3,500, no matter who’s on the mound.