DraftKings Plays of the Day—5/20
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This writeup is just for DraftKingss eight-game main slate.
Top Play SP: Mike Soroka, ATL ($9,200) at SFG
Mike Soroka has been really good so far this year. He’s allowed just four earned runs in 36.1 innings pitched and has increased his strikeout rate and ground-ball rate while decreasing his line-drive rate. Sure, the projection systems don’t anticipate Soroka finishing the year without giving up any home runs, but a perfect matchup in Oracle Park should keep the home run regression monster at bay. The Giants are dead last in wRC+ against right-handed pitchers at home this year over 486 plate appearances. Soroka’s price and matchup make him an easy lock as my SP1 in cash games today.
Honorable mention: Patrick Corbin, WAS ($10,900) at NYM.
Value SP: Luke Weaver, ARI ($8,500) at SDP
This year’s version of Luke Weaver is what those of us that drafted him last season thought they were getting. Weaver’s increased his swinging-strike rate and consequently his strikeout rate thanks to a cutter that he’s added to his repertoire. Today, Weaver faces the Padres in Petco Park. The Padres have been pretty mediocre against right-handed pitching this year and have just a .291 wOBA and .170 ISO, both in the bottom half of the league. They also strike out at a league-high 27.9% rate against righties and as we know in DFS, strikeouts are king. In case you need a cherry on top, the temperature at first pitch is forecast to be just 62 degrees, which gives a little extra bump to pitchers.
Top Play: OF Willie Calhoun, TEX ($4,500) vs. SEA
By the time this article is published, hopefully, Willie Calhoun has been secured to my TGFBI team. Calhoun’s only played in four games since being called up on the May 15, but man, has he been fun, smashing two homers while only striking out once in his first 20 plate appearances. Calhoun will get his first taste of Mike Leake today, who is, well, doing as well as Mike Leake can do. Leake doesn’t strike out a lot of batters (17.6%) and has allowed a 40.2% hard-hit rate, which has lead to allowing greater than a .200 ISO to both lefties and righties. I’m happy to ride Calhoun’s hot bat, but I’m also a believer in his skills.
Honorable mention: OF Juan Soto, WAS ($4,500) at NYM, OF Ronald Acuna, ATL ($4,600) at SFG, Eddie Rosario ($4,300) at LAA.
Top Play: 3B Josh Donaldson, ATL ($4,300) at SFG
When I started my research on this slate, the White Sox probable starter was Manny Banuelos, who would be facing the red hot Astros. However, he’s since been removed, and as of 5 a.m., no starter has been announced. If they come out with a mediocre pitcher, of course, I’m all about playing the Astros. So instead of writing up Alex Bregman, we’ll turn to Josh Donaldson. Donaldson has struggled a little to open the season, batting just .200 versus left-handed pitchers, but he has a 52.9% hard-hit rate to go along with that. As long as he keeps hitting the ball hard, I have to think the balls start finding holes instead of gloves. The Braves get a matchup against Andrew Suarez, who will be making his first appearance of the season. In 2018, Suraez allowed a 45% hard-hit rate to right-handed batters, which led to a .215 ISO and .367 wOBA. In addition to Donaldson, I really like Ozzie Albies, who has been much better against left-handed pitchers for his career.
Honorable mention: 1B Luke Voit, NYY ($5,200) at BAL, Alex Bregman ($5,600) vs. CHW.
Value: Adam Eaton, WAS ($3,700) at NYM
As of this writing, the Mets are projected to have Drew Gagnon on the mound to start today’s game. Gagnon last pitched on the May 15, going just 2.1 innings in relief and throwing 26 pitches, so I’m going to treat Gagnon as essentially an opener. In addition, the weather in Citi Field is calling for 80-degree temperatures with wind blowing out to right field at 13 mph. This makes the Nationals one of my favorite stacks for the day, and there are some cheap bats to take advantage of. Adam Eaton is projected to bat second in today’s lineup, and at this price, I’m happy to have a bat of this caliber to help me afford the more expensive bats.
Honorable mention: 3B Asdrubal Cabrera, TEX ($3,800) vs. SEA, 1B/3B Yulieski Gurriel, HOU ($3,900) vs. CHW, OF Max Kepler, MIN ($3,800) at LAA.
Top Stack: Rangers vs. Mariners (RHP Mike Leake)
As of this writing, the Rangers currently have the highest implied team total at six runs, and overall, they’re relatively affordable. Joey Gallo ($5,700), Shin-Soo Choo ($4,900), and for some reason, hot Logan Forsythe ($4,800) are pretty pricey, but if you can mix in the aforementioned Willie Calhoun, Asdrubal Cabrera, Nomar Mazara ($4,100), and Rougned Odor ($4,200), you should be on your way to a winning night.
Honorable mention: Nationals at Mets (RHP Drew Gagnon).
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.