MLB DFS Punt Plays: Joe Ross and Heliot Ramos (May 14)

It is time to continue our MLB DFS Punt Plays series for the DraftKings and FanDuel main slate. Today’s top value plays feature Joe Ross, 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 Tuesday’s 11-game MLB main slate, locking at 7:10 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 14

Joe Ross – SP, MIL vs. PIT

MLB DFS DraftKings: $5,200

MLB DFS FanDuel: $7,000

There are some excellent high-end pitching options on this slate, but if you’re punting, then Joe Ross deserves some consideration. He’s not anything special, but Ross sports a decent 4.15 xERA through his first seven starts. Most of Ross’ advanced metrics are hovering around average, but a strong 27.7% whiff rate suggests a strikeout ceiling higher than what we’ve seen from him this season. He also doesn’t appear to have any glaring defects in his game. This isn’t meant to be a glowing recommendation, but it’s clear that he is too cheap for a full-workload pitcher, and his 25.4% top-2 value projection agrees.

Outside of the price tag, Ross is looking good today because of his matchup with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates have been among baseball’s worst offenses in 2024, plating fewer than 3.8 runs per game. This may surprise some people, but Pittsburgh sports a 75 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers this season, the lowest mark in baseball. That includes a .099 ISO and a 24.2% strikeout rate.

Kyle Manzardo – 1B, CLE vs. TEX

MLB DFS DraftKings: $2,200

MLB DFS FanDuel: $2,300

Kyle Manzardo has not broken out yet in the majors, but his MLB career is only 19 at-bats deep. Prior to his call-up, Manzardo generated a 1.017 OPS with nine home runs over 29 games in Triple-A. He is the second-ranked prospect in the Cleveland Guardians farm system and the No. 39 prospect in all of baseball. Manzardo features a 55-grade hit tool alongside 55-grade power. There’s a ceiling waiting to be unlocked.

Manzardo will square off against Jack Leiter today. Leiter’s initial two-game run in the majors was a disaster, posting a 12.91 ERA over 7.2 innings. In particular, the long ball seems to be a problem for Leiter. It has plagued him throughout his professional career, as he has surrendered 2.4 home runs per nine innings in Triple-A this season, up from a 1.7 mark in 2023.

Heliot Ramos – OF, SF vs. LAD

MLB DFS DraftKings: $2,800

MLB DFS FanDuel: $2,100

There isn’t much outfield value to extract from the sub-$3,000 price range on DraftKings today, though Heliot Ramos is proving to be a worthwhile producer. Despite early platoon concerns, Ramos has been a fixture in the San Francisco Giants lineup over the past week. He’s batting .333 and has posted multi-hit efforts in three of his past four contests. Ramos blasted Triple-A pitching to the tune of a .953 OPS and eight home runs through 30 games.

Gavin Stone is having a decent season, posting a 3.98 xERA and 4.31 xFIP through seven starts. He has done a good job at limiting power, but the underlying numbers suggest some regression may be on the way. Stone has surrendered a .400 xSLG and a .267 xBA while only striking out 17.1% of batters. The main thing I want to highlight here is Stone’s reverse splits: Right-handed hitters are slugging .510 against him for his career.

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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