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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for May 8

Zach Thompson gives his top studs and value plays for Monday’s fantasy baseball slate on DraftKings.

Miami Marlins v Chicago Cubs Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Monday night gets another work week started with a great slate of fantasy baseball. There are eight games on Monday night’s main slate on DraftKings, which gets underway at 7:05 p.m. ET. Half of the games are divisional contests, including a pair of games between AL West foes as the Angels host the Astros and the Rangers roll into Seattle to face the Mariners.

Make sure to keep a close eye on pregame lineups and the latest player news by installing the DK Live app and following DK Live on Twitter (@dklive). I’m also on Twitter (@ZT_Sports), where you can keep up with all my picks as the season continues.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $250K Relay Throw [$50K to 1st]

For up-to-the-minute news, analysis, and lineups, download the DK Live app. You also can follow DK Live on Twitter @dklive.



Zac Gallen, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Miami Marlins ($10,200) – Gallen has gotten off to a great start to the season and will look to keep rolling as he welcomes his former team to Arizona. He has gone 4-1 in his seven starts, with a 2.53 ERA, 1.72 FIP and an average of 25.7 DKFP per start. None of Monday’s other probable pitchers have averaged within five points of him this season.

Gallen did give up three runs in his most recent start, which was on the road in Texas, but he’ll be back on his home mound for his matchup with Miami. Prior to that down start in Arlington, he had gone at least six innings and hadn’t allowed a run in four straight starts, three of which were at home. He also faced the Marlins earlier this season and held them to just two hits in 6 23 shutout innings for 31.2 DKFP. At home in this great matchup with the extra motivation of facing the team that traded him away, Gallen is worth spending up for since there is plenty of other places to save salary without sacrificing upside.

Other Options – Hunter Brown ($9,200), Freddy Peralta ($8,600)


Anthony DeSclafani, San Francisco Giants vs. Washington Nationals ($8,100) – While DeSclafani hasn’t been as dominant as Gallen, he does have the second-best average of the pitchers on this slate with 20.2 DKFP per start in his first six outings of the season. He also gets a favorable matchup at home against a light-hitting team from the NL East.

The 33-year-old made only five starts last year due to surgery to repair a damaged tendon in his right ankle. He looked good in Spring Training and has built on that in the regular season, going 3-1 with a 2.13 ERA and 3.39 FIP. His strikeout rate is only 7.11 K/9, which gives him a much lower ceiling than Gallen’s since the Arizona starter has a 12.02 K/9 rate. In his most recent start on Tuesday, DeSclafani hurled eight shutout innings on the road against the Astros for 26.2 DKFP, and he’ll be in a much more fantasy-friendly situation on Monday as the Giants open their series against the Nats, who have scored the fourth-fewest runs of any team in the Majors while hitting just 21 home runs, the second-lowest total in the Majors. His form coming into this matchup makes him a strong play at just over $8K, especially in comparison with the other starters available Monday night.

Other Option – Jon Gray ($7,700), J.P. Sears ($6,300)



Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago Cubs ($6,000) – With his team desperately needing a win on Sunday, Goldschmidt came through in a huge way. He clobbered three homers while going 4-for-5 on his way to a massive 54 DKFP. I had him in my picks but never saw such a monster performance coming. With his trifecta of taters, he is now hitting .321 on the season with seven homers, 20 RBI and a .425 wOBA. He has been especially heating up lately with nine extra-base hits and a pair of stolen bases helping him average 11.9 DKFP per contest over his past 10 games. He also has a great matchup against Marcus Stroman ($8,800), who he has gone 8-for-18 with five extra-base hits and three home runs against in their past matchups.


Thairo Estrada, San Francisco Giants vs. Washington Nationals ($5,300) – Estrada has been excellent for the Giants this season and can fill either middle infield spot for increased roster flexibility. He homered for a second straight game on Sunday and produced 20 DKFP. He has double-digit DKFP in nine of his past 14 games and raised his average to .346 on the season with three hits in Sunday’s loss. He has an impressive .409 wOBA on the year with a .197 ISO and 151 wRC+. Estrada has also added nine stolen bases, including seven in his 18 most recent contests.

Other Options – Jeremy Peña ($4,500), Christian Walker ($4,300), Anthony Rendon ($4,100)


Ezequiel Duran, Texas Rangers at Seattle Mariners ($2,600) – Duran has filled in admirably for the injured Corey Seager (hamstring), and the 23-year-old could cause a roster crunch since he has definitely earned a spot in the regular lineup. He has multiple hits in five of his past nine games after going 2-for-5 on Sunday. His two-run blast opened the floodgates that allowed the Rangers to score 16 runs to take two of three games from the Angels. Duran went 14-for-38 (.368) over that nine-game span with three homers while averaging 11.2 DKFP per game over that span and raising his average to .318 with a .370 wOBA on the season. He has been way too regularly productive for a player under $3K.


Matt Mervis, Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals ($2,200) – The Cubs are expected to give Mervis a long look at 1B since Trey Mancini ($2,700) and Eric Hosmer ($2,300) have both stumbled out of the gate this season. Mervis started the season as the No. 6 prospect in the Cubs’ system, per MLB Pipeline. The big lefty hit .286 in his 24 games with Triple-A Iowa adding six homers for a .413 wOBA. Mervis has gone 4-for-14 (.286) in his three games with four singles a run scored and 6.0 DKFP per game. He has a solid ceiling for a player this cheap, especially when you consider that Miles Mikolas ($6,000) has been thumped this season, allowing lefties to post a .397 wOBA against him including three home runs.

Other Options – Mauricio Dubon ($3,600), Emmanuel Rivera ($3,100), José Caballero ($2,300)



Cody Bellinger, Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($4,800) – Bellinger is another Cubs lefty that makes sense against Mikolas, and he has been very good in his first season in Chicago. He added two steals on Sunday while going 2-for-5 for 24 DKFP. He has averaged 11.2 DKFP per contest over his first 31 games of the season with a .300 average and .394 wOBA. He has nine stolen bases to go with his seven home runs and has double-digit DKFP in eight of his 11 most recent contests. He offers good upside with both power and speed, and he’s still available under $5K even after a salary bump over the last few days.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Miami Marlins ($4,100) – Gurriel is another offseason acquisition who is thriving with his new team. The former Blue Jay posted a massive 40-DKFP performance on Sunday, going 2-for-3 with two home runs, two walks and four runs scored. He’s gone yard four times in his last three games and seems to be catching fire. He’s been known as a streaky contributor throughout his career, and it looks like he’s on one of his heaters. In his 30 games, he has hit .310 with a .381 wOBA. He has fared especially well against lefties with a .378 average and .374 wOBA and at home with a .347 average and .423 wOBA, and both those splits will be in his favor against Braxton Garrett ($5,600) in what should be a smash spot for Gurriel to stay scorching in the desert on Monday.

Other Options – Yordan Alvarez ($6,200), Adolis García ($5,600)


Esteury Ruiz ($3,100), Oakland Athletics at New York Yankees – I’m staying on board the Esteury train for another game since the speedster continues to deliver huge upside at a price barely over $3K. He only went 1-for-4 for 3.0 DKFP on Sunday but still leads the Majors with 16 stolen bases, 11 of which have come in his past 11 contests. He is hitting .273 on the season but has been much better lately (.304 in his past 11 games) and much better against lefties (.344 on the season). In this matchup with Nestor Cortes ($9,400), the Athletics may not be able to put up a ton of runs, but Ruiz should be able to get on base and could run wild to put up a big fantasy number. He has averaged 13.3 DKFP over his past 11 games.


Leody Taveras, Texas Rangers at Seattle Mariners ($2,400) – Taveras also brings high upside due to this speed and delivered a ceiling game on Sunday as part of the Rangers' 16-run outburst. He went 4-for-5 with four RBI and a stolen base on his way to 31 DKFP. It isn’t just that big game, though, he has started May by hitting in four straight starts, going 11-for-16 with two doubles, a home run, a stolen base and an average of 18.0 DKFP per game over that short stretch. The switch-hitter hit .261 with five homers and 11 steals in 99 games in the Majors last season, and even though he is no longer viewed as a top prospect like he was, he is a solid everyday option and comes at a very cheap price Monday night for the upside he provides.

Other Options – Harrison Bader ($3,500), Jesse Winker ($2,900)

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $250K Relay Throw [$50K to 1st]

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.