MLB DFS Punt Plays For DraftKings and FanDuel (May 9)

It is time to continue our MLB DFS Punt Plays series for the DraftKings and FanDuel main slate. Today’s top value plays feature Ben Lively, Kyle Manzardo and more.

However, some context first.

A quality MLB DFS punt play is not only cheap to roster but crucially has upside worth pursuing. In baseball, that often translates into an inconsistent batter with power-hitting or stolen base potential. Or it could be a volatile pitcher offering strikeout upside and the ability to pitch deep into ballgames. Whatever the reason, there is enough rationale to believe that punt plays exceed the value of their price tag and recognizing a great punt play is critical to success in MLB DFS.

This article will highlight the top punt plays available on Thursday’s mini three-game MLB main slate, locking at 7:40 p.m. ET on both DraftKings and FanDuel.

For a limited time only, you can use promo code MLBSIMSWEEK to get access to one week of our industry-leading MLB Sims Max, Sims Data or Data packages for 40% off by clicking here!

MLB DFS Punt Plays Today – May 9

Ben Lively – SP, CLE vs. CWS

MLB DFS DraftKings: $7,600

MLB DFS FanDuel: $10,300

There are only three games on this slate, so we’re treading a little loosely with what we call a punt play today. Given the lack of meaningful bats to spend up for, you probably don’t need to fully punt with a Tobias Myers. Instead, I’m highlighting Ben Lively as the best value pitcher on DraftKings, as he sports a 42.1% top-3 value projection. If you’re playing on FanDuel, Lively is the second-most expensive pitcher, so this won’t really apply in the same way over there.

At 32 years old, Lively is having his best season in the majors. He boasts an impressive 2.08 ERA through four starts. Though there is some regression behind his surface numbers, Lively’s body of work still amounts to a strong 3.67 xERA and a 3.33 xFIP. At the center of his success is a booming 28.6% strikeout rate. With an 18.5% career strikeout rate, it remains to be seen how sustainable Lively’s new output will ultimately be. Still, he has generated at least five strikeouts in each appearance this season, demonstrating some level of consistency.

With Eloy Jimenez and Tommy Pham injected into the lineup, the Chicago White Sox offense has shown some signs of life recently. Yet it is still horrible. The White Sox are scoring a league-worst 2.9 runs per game on the season. The struggles include a weak 75 wRC+ against right-handed pitching. It’s a great spot for Lively.

Kyle Manzardo – 1B, CLE vs. CWS

MLB DFS DraftKings: $2,100

MLB DFS FanDuel: $2,500

Sticking with the Cleveland Guardians, Kyle Manzardo might just be the best bang for your buck you can find today. His MLB career is only eight at-bats deep, but the 23-year-old has some heralded pedigree. Manzardo is the second-ranked prospect in the Guardians farm system and the No. 52-ranked prospect in all of baseball. He boasts an outstanding 55-grade hit tool alongside 55-grade power. Prior to his call-up, Manzardo was lighting up Triple-A pitching to the tune of a .303/.375/.642 slash line with nine home runs and a 148 wRC+ across 29 games played. His upside is much higher than his price tag.

Since returning from a stint in the KBO, Erick Fedde looks like a better pitcher than he ever was before. He sports a strong 3.67 xERA and a 3.76 xFIP over seven outings. Despite the success, Fedde is certainly not infallible. He’s surrendered a troubling 9.3% barrel rate to opposing hitters and left-handed hitters are slugging .444 against Fedde in 2024, part of a .461 career mark.

Alec Burleson – 1B/OF, STL vs. MIL

MLB DFS DraftKings: $3,000

MLB DFS FanDuel: $2,400

Alec Burleson’s bat is starting to rebound after a slow start to the season. He’s up to a .262 batting average with three home runs and 12 runs batted in. An offensive outburst wouldn’t be surprising to see from Burleson given his minor league production. He posted a .903 OPS with 20 home runs over 109 Triple-A games in 2022, building off a 22-home run campaign in 2021. Burleson hasn’t found sustained success in the majors yet, but at 25 years old, there is still plenty of optimism he has an unrealized ceiling.

Tobias Myers’ MLB career is off to a rocky start. Through three outings, he has a 5.28 xERA and a 4.67 xFIP, surrendering multiple home runs in each of his two most recent appearances. The struggles mirror what we saw from Myers in the minor leagues, where he posted a 4.93 ERA last year, down from a 7.82 ERA in 2022. Myers has never been a particularly acclaimed prospect, and there are no signs that his game will suddenly translate to the big leagues.

For a limited time only, you can use promo code MLBSIMSWEEK to get access to one week of our industry-leading MLB Sims Max, Sims Data or Data packages for 40% off by clicking here!

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Editor Note: If you’re looking for the best MLB DFS picks daily, we got you. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something with more of a gambling tilt, our friends over at OddsShopper can get you going by teaching you how to bet on home runs. You can also look at our brand new MLB Weather Forecast page for daily weather reports on today’s games.


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