DraftKings Plays of the Day—5/18
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Top Play SP: Aaron Nola, PHI ($9,400) vs. COL
Today I pray to the fantasy gods to give me the Aaron Nola of last year. Nola seemed to be back on the straight and narrow going 19.1 innings allowing three earned runs, before running into Christian Yelich and the Brewcrew. Today Nola gets the Rockies outside of Coors, who do not thrive away from home. In 530 plate appearances away from Coors, against right-handed pitching the Rockies have a 66 wRC+, third-worst in the league to go along with a 25.1% strikeout rate.
Honorable mention: Blake Snell, TBR ($10,500) @ NYY.
Value SP: Lucas Giolito, CHW ($7,500) vs. TOR
Lucas Giolito’s made some awesome strides this year, which Shelly Verougstraete covered in this amazing Going Deep piece. Giolito has increased his swinging-strike rate from 8.3% to 11.9%, which has led to a spike in his K% to 29.5%, thanks to increased velocity on his fastball and his slider being an elite weapon. Giolito gets a matchup against the Blue Jays, who have struggled to open the year, ranking third worst in wOBA against right-handed pitching and striking out at the sixth highest rate. I love this price for Giolito, who has put up 30 DraftKings points in his previous two starts.
Honorable mention: Nick Margevicius, SDP ($6,900) vs. PIT, John Means, BAL ($7,500) @ CLE.
Top Play: OF Shohei Ohtani, LAA ($4,400) vs. KCR
The addition of Shohei Ohtani to the Angels’ lineup changes everything. They go from having Andrelton Simmons and Albert Pujols batting behind Mike Trout, to a legit power threat every time he steps into the box. Ohtani and the Angels have a matchup against Jake Junis who’s been pretty meh to start the year, allowing 1.49 HR/9 after allowing 1.63 HR/9 in 2018. Junis is prone to leave mistakes over the heart of the plate and this Angels team, who strikes out at the lowest rate in baseball, should smash any mistakes Junis leaves up.
Honorable mention: OF Franmil Reyes, PIT ($4,400) vs. PIT, OF Joey Gallo, TEX ($5,700) vs. STL, OF Bryce Harper, PHI ($4,300) vs. COL.
Top Play: 1B Paul Goldschmidt, STL ($4,500) @ TEX
As of this writing, the Cardinals have the highest implied run total of 6.2 runs, so I’ll be trying to fit them in wherever I can. I love the price on Paul Goldschmidt today. Sure, he’s struggled some over the last couple of weeks, but he proved last year that he has the ability to turn it around right away, and playing in Texas facing Ariel Jurado and the rest of the Rangers bullpen is sure to help. For the season, the Rangers have the league’s worst SIERA (4.69) and lowest strikeout rate (17.8%).
Honorable mention: 1B/2B Max Muncy, LAD ($4,900) @ CIN, 3B/SS Manny Machado, SDP ($4,400) vs. PIT.
Value: Willians Astudillo, MIN ($3,800) @ SEA
This one’s for you Fast, as I love Willians Astudillo today. He checks off three critical marks on my checklist in terms of reasons to play. As of this writing, he’s projected to bat at the top of the Twins lineup. Combine that with him being a catcher at a reasonable price, along with his matchup against Wade LeBlanc and you now should understand my love for Astudillo today. For the season, LeBlanc has struck out just 15.6% of the batters he’s faced and when we combine that with Astudillo’s minuscule 2.7% strikeout-rate, we know that he’ll be putting the ball in play. My dad always told me in little league, “Put the ball in play and good things will happen.”
Honorable mention: SS Nicky Lopez, KCR ($3,100) @ LAA, 1B/3B Matt Carpenter, STL ($3,900) @ TEX.
Top Stack: Cardinals @ Rangers (RHP Ariel Jurado)
You’ll have to keep an eye on the weather in this game, as there’s projected to be rain leading up to the game and well into first pitch. I’d expect a long delay, but hopefully, they wait it out because this is a prime spot for both teams to put up some fireworks. This game currently has a 12 total, and on the Cardinals side, in addition to Matt Carpenter and Paul Goldschmidt, Paul DeJong ($4,900) and Marcell Ozuna ($4,900), and you can round out a stack with Yadier Molina ($4,100) 0r Kolton Wong ($4,100). I could see this whole game going relatively low owned because of the risk of rain, so if you’re feeling lucky, let’s stack them up.
Honorable mention: Twins @ Mariners (LHP Wade LeBlanc), Rangers vs. Cardinals (RHP Dakota Hudson), Phillies vs. Rockies (RHP Antonio Senzatela).
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is RMoss1983) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games on which I offer advice. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings, and 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 nonpublic information.