DFS Plays of the Day – May 18

Ryan Amore previews Tuesday's DFS slate.

Tuesday brings us a wide open 14-game slate with what looks like plenty of pitching options across the board. 

 

Top SP: Zack Wheeler PHI ($10,000 DK, $10,400 FD) vs MIA

Zack Wheeler has been excellent through his first eight starts with a 2.85 ERA and 1.03 WHIP backed by a 20.5% K-BB% and 3.01 xERA. The Marlins have yet to announce a starter for this one so the line isn’t out yet but my best guess would be that Wheeler and the Phillies should be strong favorites in this one at home. Very few pitchers can match Wheeler’s upside in pitch count having already gone past 105 pitches in four starts. It’s a great matchup too in that the Marlins as a team have managed just a .287 team wOBA against RHP, third from the bottom.

If you are spending a little less, Blake Snell (15.8% K-BB%, 29.7% CSW 2021) makes sense on paper given that the Padres are the biggest favorite on the board (-205), though that probably has more to do with the Rockies being, well, the Rockies. Snell’s control has been the main issue this year as his walk rate sits at 15.2%, which would easily be a career-high. His swinging strike rate has been down noticeably too at 12.6%, the lowest it’s been since 2017 (10.8%). It’s hard to have much confidence in what we’ve seen of him so far this year, but the road Rockies present the ultimate get right spot for the former Ray. 

Honorable Mentions: Blake Snell, SD ($8,900 DK, $8,000 FD) vs COL. 

 

Value SP: Andrew Heaney, LAA ($7,800 DK, $7,600 FD) vs CLE

Andrew Heaney actually leads the pack today with a 26.7% K-BB% backed by an excellent 30.7% CSW through seven starts. He gets Cleveland today who have been one of the weakest offensive teams of the league so far with just a .289 team wOBA (29th). And they’ve been no-hit twice so far already. The Angels are moderate home favorites (-136) while the Indians implied team total sits at just three and a half runs. Jordan Luplow left last night’s game with an ankle sprain; his absence would further dilute an already tepid lineup.

I’ll admit he frightens me quite a bit because of his 5.21 ERA and 1.50 WHIP over his last 102 IP, regardless we do have to mention Patrick Corbin. His last start was encouraging as he sat over 92 MPH with his fastball against the Phillies while recording nine K’s backed by a 32% CSW. If that version of Corbin sticks, his price will only climb up from here. The Cubs like to strike out with a 26.9% team K rate against LHP (8th highest).

Kris Bubic is an interesting tournament play if you’re looking just to punt SP2 in tournaments. At just $4,000 he opens up quite a bit of salary. The Royal’s prospect had been working out of the pen and will be making his first start of the year. He threw 80 pitches in his last outing and that seems like a reasonable expectation tonight making him a risk/reward play against the Brewers another offense we’ve picked on in the early going. At the very least, he’s someone to keep an eye on as we move forward.

I’ve mentioned him a few times here and he always seems to disappoint, but I do feel that Jameson Taillon is underpriced considering his strong indicators (25% K-BB%, 3.01 xERA, .279 xwOBA allowed 2021). The Rangers are an offense that we’ve targeted with pitching, as a team they have the 7th highest K rate overall at 26.3%. The Yankees are strong road favorites this evening (-160). 

Honorable Mention: Jameson Taillon, NYY ($7,400 DK, $7,100 FD) at TEX; Kris Bubic, KC ($4,000 DK, $5,500 FD) vs MIL; Patrick Corbin, WAS ($6,100 DK, $8,500 FD) at CHC.

 

OF Austin Meadows, TB ($3,800 DK, $3,600 FD) at BAL

The Rays get a boost tonight as they head to Camden Yards to take on Matt Harvey (10.3% K-BB%, 22.8% CSW 2021). The Dark Knight does not miss many bats these days (7.1% swinging K rate) and has allowed a .368 wOBA to LHB going back to 2019. This seems like a good buy-low opportunity for Austin Meadows and his .352 career wOBA on DraftKings. 

Honorable Mentions: Juan Soto, OF ($5,900 DK, $4,000 FD) at CHC; Gio Urshela, 3B/SS ($4,800 DK, $2,700 FD) at TEX; Kyle Schwarber, OF ($4,000 DK, $3,100 FD) at CHC. 

 

1B Freddie Freeman, ATL ($5,700 DK, $3,900 FD) vs NYM

The Mets mystery starter could present a strong buying opportunity on the Braves offense this evening, in which case Freddie Freeman makes sense as a spend-up target. Thomas Szapucki (LHP) and Jordan Yamamoto (RHP) are two potential candidates on the Mets’ 40 man roster. Either way, advantage Braves. 

Honorable Mentions: Ronald Acuña Jr, OF ($6,300 DK, $4,400 FD) vs NYM; Ozzie Albies, 2B ($5,500 DK, $3,200 FD) vs NYM; Aaron Judge, OF ($6,000 DK, $4,500 FD) at TEX.

 

Value Batter: OF Jarred Kelenic, SEA ($2,900 DK, $2,900 FD) vs DET

Jarred Kelenic is just an impressive talent who I suspect won’t be this price for long. There’s value in this price so why not take advantage? Spencer Turnbull hasn’t been bad by any means. Actually, he’s been one of the few bright spots for Detroit’s staff. Even still, I’d have zero problems targeting Kelenic who will have the platoon advantage here.

Speaking of rookies: if you’re in need of a near minimum play, Andrew Vaughn is another exceptional talent whose price should rise going forward. He gets Michael Pineda on the road in Minnesota tonight. And for the injury to Corey Seager, might afford Gavin Lux a more prominent spot in the order against RHP. The D’Backs have yet to announce a starter but if it’s a righty I’d definitely have interest in Lux as a bargain option at 2B. 

Honorable Mentions: Andrew Vaughn, OF ($2,100 DK, $2,100 FD) at MIN; Gavin Lux, 2B ($3,300 DK, $2,500 FD) vs ARI; Tommy PhamOF ($3,100 DK, $2,700 FD) vs COL; Lorenzo CainOF ($3,300, $2,900 FD) at KC; Avisaíl García, OF ($3,300 DK, $2,900 FD) at KC.

 

Top Stack: ATL vs NYM (TBD)

As mentioned earlier, the Braves are in a potential eruption spot against the Mets mystery starter. Leading baseball in home runs so far at 60, the Braves have the sort of upside that could easily swing tournaments. Ronald Acuña Jr. (.387 career wOBA) and Freeman (.391 career wOBA) mentioned earlier are fantastic spend-up targets in all formats. Marcell Ozuna (career .345 wOBA) and Ozzie Albies (.375 xwOBA this year, .339 career wOBA) make for good spend-up targets in tournaments at OF and 2B respectively. While Austin Riley (.347 xwOBA this year, .320 career wOBA) provides power upside at a cheap cost. 

Honorable Mentions: NYY at TEX (Foltynewicz); LAD vs ARI (TBD); TOR vs BOS (Rodriguez)(GPP); TB at BAL (Harvey); WAS at CHC (Davies). 

Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)

Ryan Amore

Writer for PL, artist, DFS enthusiast, and occasional Yankee fan. Once won a GPP with Henderson Alvarez. A proprietor of the Ketel Marte Fan Club. Appreciates walks but only of the base on ball variety.

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