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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Lineup Strategy for Pirates vs. Padres Showdown on May 3

Garion Thorne gives his top lineup advice for Monday’s fantasy baseball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Pirates and Padres, which starts at 10:10 p.m. ET.

San Francisco Giants v San Diego Padres Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images

With injuries pilling up for the San Diego Padres, tonight’s pitching matchup against the Pittsburgh Pirates is certainly one to take note of. Miguel Diaz ($4,000), who hasn’t started a game since 2017, will take the mound for the Padres; a fate that we wouldn’t have anticipated as recently as four months ago when San Diego was seemingly acquiring every decent starting pitcher in baseball.

Can Diaz be fantasy relevant on Monday? Can the Padres bounce-back after a blowout loss on Sunday? Let’s break it all down from a Showdown perspective.


Captain’s Picks

Fernando Tatis Jr. ($15,600 CP) - I should start by saying that Tyler Anderson ($9,200) has actually been pitching pretty well to begin 2021. He’s in possession of a 3.52 FIP and he’s surrendered just four earned runs across his past three outings. Still, this is simply a matter of handedness. Anderson is a lefty and Tatis has rarely missed an opportunity to punish southpaw pitching in his brief career. To wit, in 169 plate appearances, Tatis is slashing .331/.444/.625 with a 178 wRC+ within the split. His .440 wOBA against LHPs is the highest mark among all active players in the league with at least 150 PAs. Tatis also has a 1.241 OPS dating back to Apr. 21, if recent success is something that more appeals to you as a prospective owner. He’s the new face of baseball for a reason, right?

Wil Myers ($13,500 CP) - Myers isn’t hitting quite as well as he did last season — it’s hard to recreate a 154 wRC+ — but he’s been producing at a decent clip so far in 2021 and he’s likely to be batting fifth in tonight’s lineup against the left-handed Anderson. To be blunt, Myers is really only a viable DFS asset when he draws a southpaw. His career numbers against RHPs are the dictionary definition of average, yet the former top prospect has posted a .308 ISO and a .390 wOBA versus lefties going back to the beginning of 2019. You could also very easily pivot to Manny Machado ($9,400) in this spot for very similar reasons, but I’ll side with Myers as he’s slightly less expensive.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB Showdown $10K Extra Inning [$2K to 1st] (PIT vs SD)

UTIL Plays

Colin Moran ($7,800) - While it isn’t a total shock to see Moran sitting below $8K — someone’s price has to be the counter-balance to all the expensive Padres bats — the former first-round pick is without question the best hitter on the Pirates. In fact, coming into tonight’s slate, Moran leads the team in home runs (4), RBI (19), wOBA (.359) and wRC+ (126). Moran’s numbers also get better when you isolate his plate appearances against right-handed pitching, a split where he’s slashing .310/.367/.535 so far in 2021. We might not have a ton of recent data on Diaz; however, in his 66.2 career MLB innings, he’s conceded a massive .427 wOBA to opposing LHBs. Moran could be in line for a huge performance.

Miguel Diaz ($4,000) - Alright, let’s talk about the elephant on the slate. Diaz is essentially a free space for this evening, as he’s priced like a backup catcher. Really, the only debate to be had with the right-hander is his viability as a Captain’s pick. I’m not ready to take things that far. According to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Tribune, “Díaz has been throwing three to four innings in alternate-site games the past month.” So, even against a Pittsburgh offense that currently owns the third-lowest wRC+ in baseball (86), Diaz’s ceiling is likely 12-15 DKFP, as he doesn’t appear stretched out enough to qualify for the win. Let’s also not ignore his career 6.61 ERA. You’re going to use him, but don’t get crazy.

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Tyler Anderson ($9,200) - The concept of an individual player’s ceiling can sometimes be murky, but that is not the case this evening with Anderson. We know what his best possible outcome for tonight’s contest is because we saw it just over two weeks ago. On Apr. 14, Anderson allowed just a single earned run against San Diego over 5.1 innings of work. However, due to the fact that the Padres have the National League’s lowest swinging strike rate (9.8%), Anderson struck out only two opponents and he finished with 14.4 DKFP despite picking up the win. If that’s the best-case scenario, it’s difficult to get too excited about the left-hander’s prospects on Monday, especially considering Tatis Jr. wasn’t active for that last meeting.


The total for this game on the DraftKings Sportsbook started at 9.0, but has now worked it’s way down to 8.0. It’s easy to understand. Over the past two weeks, the Padres and the Pirates are two of four teams with a wRC+ below 80, as both clubs have struggled immensely to put runs on the board. The under has also hit each of the last eight times San Diego has faced an opponent with a losing record at Petco Park. Give me the Padres to eke out a low-scoring victory.

Final Score: San Diego 5, Pittsburgh 3

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB Showdown $10K Extra Inning [$2K to 1st] (PIT vs SD)

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