Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Chris Durell

Daily Fantasy MLB Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 5/22/18

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Gerrit ColeGerrit Cole FD 11800 DK 12900
Opponent - SF (Andrew Suarez) Park - HOU
FD - 48.43 DK - 26.21

Gerrit Cole comes in as the top pitcher of the night(raw points on projection system) on Tuesday as he continues to put on a pitching clinic this season. He is one of just six qualified pitchers to have a sub 2.00 ERA and leads all qualified pitchers with a 2.34 xFIP. Not only does he provide us with a high floor but also comes with some All-World upside having recorded 10 or more strikeouts in five of his nine starts for a ridiculous 13.57 K/9 and 16% swinging strike rate. He will face an opponent in the Giants who come into this series hot having scored nine runs in back to back games but now go into one of the best pitching environments in the league and overall rank mid-pack of the league against right-handed pitching and strikeout 25.1% of the time. Despite the high price, you should be building the core of your lineups around Cole tonight and finding value at other positions.

Chris SaleChris Sale FD 11500 DK 13100
Opponent - TB (Jacob Faria) Park - TB
FD - 44.16 DK - 24.78

We have two elite options to pick between tonight and a case can be made for both. Some people thought when he came over from the White Sox last offseason that he may feel the effects of moving to a terrific hitters park in Fenway but that just hasn't been the case at all. He finished last season with a 3.16 ERA and 2.89 xFIP at home and has been equally impressive to start 2018 with a 1.96 ERA and 3.29 xFIP. He has yet to allow more than three earned runs in any start(2.29 ERA overall) and has held opponents to one earned run or less six of his 10 starts. He is also flashing the same upside as last season as he sits with a 12.43 K/9 and 16.2% swinging strike rate. The only reason he comes in second to Cole for me tonight is the matchup as the Rays have been a Top 10 team vs. southpaws(.330 wOBA, 110 wRC+)but they still strikeout a ton(23.5%). While I will probably be loading up on Cole in cash games, I think Sale is a less owned pivot for GPP formats tonight with nearly the same upside.

Jeremy HellicksonJeremy Hellickson FD 7600 DK 8000
Opponent - SD (Eric Lauer) Park - WSH
FD - 32.18 DK - 15.55

For value, I am going back to the well with Jeremy Hellickson who has been terrific in his first season with the Nationals. He has given up more than two earned runs in a start just once(3 ER vs. Dodgers on April 22) and sits with an impressive 2.20 ERA and is backed up by a 3.29 xFIP and 3.58 SIERRA. He isn't going to provide a ton of upside as he rarely makes it through six innings and strikes out batters at a league average rate(7.16 K/9 and 10% swinging strike rate) but does give us some stability in our lineup and a ton of salary relief. He is best used as an SP2 on DraftKings but can also be considered a GPP play on FanDuel to help load up on bats.

First Base/Catcher

Jose AbreuJose Abreu FD 3800 DK 4300
Opponent - BAL (Kevin Gausman) Park - CHW
FD - 11.23 DK - 8.57

This is an interesting slate when looking at the first base position as three of the Top 5 options(on DraftKings) have less than appealing matchups and the other two(Thames, Miggy) are injured. This gives us a great opportunity to slide down and take a bit of a discount with a couple guys who are in great spots. It starts with Jose Abreu who has been very consistent overall this season and has been even better in the month of May where he went into Monday night with a .354/.403/.569 slash line with three home runs, 13 RBI, and 10 runs scored. Tonight he gets a matchup vs. Kevin Gausman who has actually been arguably the Orioles best pitcher but that doesn't say a whole lot as they have one of the worst rotations in the league(27th in ERA, 26th in xFIP). Fire up Abreu in all formats.

Jose MartinezJose Martinez FD 3500 DK 4000
Opponent - KC (Jason Hammel) Park - STL
FD - 10.77 DK - 8.28

If you are looking to save even more salary tonight, consider Jose Martinez who has also been very consistent this season. While he doesn't provide the same power upside as Abreu he has posted a .313/.383/.481 slash line with 30 RBI and 17 runs scored this season which gives him a very high floor. He hits third in the order for Cardinals who have the fourth-highest implied run line of the slate while getting a tremendous matchup against Jason Hammel who has given up 25 earned runs(six home runs) over his last four starts. All things considered, he is a great play by himself or as a part of a Cardinals stack.

Catcher Consideration:  J.T. Realmuto(MIA) who has a nice matchup against Zack Wheeler and has strong splits vs. right-handed pitching

Second Base

Jose AltuveJose Altuve FD 4000 DK 4600
Opponent - SF (Andrew Suarez) Park - HOU
FD - 14.08 DK - 10.89

I don't think it will be an option to play Altuve in cash games if you are loading up on either Gerrit Cole or Chris Sale tonight but those two pitchers soaking up a ton of ownership makes Altuve a great GPP option at the top of the second base salary tonight. It has been a struggle in the early going after winning the 2017 American League MVP but he is starting to come on lately with hits in six straight and 10 of his last 14 games with five multi-hit efforts, five doubles, and a triple. Some of the struggles can be attributed to the success or lack thereof against southpaws(.208 average) but he can start to bring those numbers back up in a nice matchup tonight against Andrew Suarez who has given up 4+ earned runs in three of his five starts. He is also giving up just over 44% hard contact and has already given up six home runs on the season.

Yoan MoncadaYoan Moncada FD 3600 DK 4000
Opponent - BAL (Kevin Gausman) Park - CHW
FD - 10.36 DK - 7.79

After sitting atop the MLB prospect list in July last year the White Sox called him up to the big leagues for the second half and while he struggled to a .231 average, he did flash his upside with eight home runs. He hasn't quite broke out yet in his first full season with the club but has made strides with a .263 average, .348 on-base percentage and already has six long balls. The biggest area he needs to improve is the strikeouts as he is currently whiffing at a 33% rate but if he moves back up to the leadoff spot on Tuesday in a great matchup vs. Gausman, he can be considered in all formats.

Also Consider: Jonathan Villar(MIL) as a GPP value play



Marcus SemienMarcus Semien FD 3400 DK 4000
Opponent - SEA (Mike Leake) Park - OAK
FD - 11.03 DK - 8.41

If you are looking to cement your middle infield with some consistent fantasy points look no further than Marcus Semien. He leads off for an Athletics team that sits inside the Top 10 of runs scored this season and while he isn't going to provide a ton of upside he has at least one hit in 16 of 19 games in May. The kicker here is the fact he gets a near elite matchup vs. Mike Leake who has given up four or more earned runs in four of his last six starts and sits with a 6.00 ERA, 4.70 xFIP on the season with eight home runs against(13.8% HR/FB rate). He has also been slightly worse against right-handed batters this season giving up a .383 wOBA(.363 vs. LH) and a 39% hard contact rate.

Jean SeguraJean Segura FD 3900 DK 4500
Opponent - OAK (Trevor Cahill) Park - OAK
FD - 9.12 DK - 7.15

I also seem to mention Segura against southpaws but we can't ignore what he is doing against righties either this season. In 130 at-bats, he sits with a .308 average, .335 wOBA, and 114 wRC+ and all three of his home runs have come against righties as well. Segura also comes in red-hot with hits in nine of his last 11 games including eight multi-hit efforts, four doubles, a triple, and a home run. He may also come in under-owned tonight going up against Trevor Cahill who has been good this season with a 2.79 ERA but has given up three earned runs in three of his last four starts with a home run in each of those starts.

Also Consider: Eduardo Escobar(MIN) who has positive splits vs. left-handed pitching

Third Base

Alex BregmanAlex Bregman FD 3600 DK 3700
Opponent - SF (Andrew Suarez) Park - HOU
FD - 12.54 DK - 9.54

Third Base, like first, is another place we can scroll down and save some money and it starts with the Astros Alex Bregman who is under $4K on both sites. After getting moved down to the 5/6 hole in the order for nearly a month, he was moved back up to the two-hole and has been consistent since with hits in seven of eight games with three doubles, a home run, and seven runs scored. The average(.264) is not where the Stros expect it to be at the end of the season but what he is doing well is getting on base(.376 OBP) which gives us as fantasy owners a ton of opportunity with Altuve, Correa, and Gurriel hitting behind him.

Matt CarpenterMatt Carpenter FD 3400 DK 3400
Opponent - KC (Jason Hammel) Park - STL
FD - 12.44 DK - 9.29

After a terrible start to the season(understatement of the century), Matt Carpenter has really started to turn things around and went into Monday night going 10 for his last 22 and is currently 2 for 2 in the series opener vs. the Royals. Neither DraftKings or FanDuel has yet to adjust his price as he sits in the mid $3K range on both which provides us with near-elite PTS/$ value tonight which is great news considering the top-tier pitchers available. Like I mentioned with Jose Martinez, the Cards are once again in a great spot against the struggling Jason Hammel who has allowed 25 earned runs over his last four starts and 44% hard contact on the season. Expect to see Carpenter in nearly all optimized lineups tonight.

Also Consider: Anthony Rendon(WSH) who has shown strong splits vs. left-handed pitching over the last couple seasons


Giancarlo StantonGiancarlo Stanton FD 5100 DK 5100
Opponent - TEX (Cole Hamels) Park - TEX
FD - 15.28 DK - 11.28
Cole Hamels hasn't been bad this season with a 3.48 ERA, 4.09 xFIP but has been susceptible to giving home runs and Giancarlo Stanton is one of the best power hitters in the game, especially against left-handed pitching. For the season, he sits with a ridiculous .589 wOBA, 282 wRC+, and .578 ISO with seven of his 11 home runs coming against southpaws. He has also been red-hot in the month of May with a .328/.409/.724 slash line while striking our 5% less than his season rate. I don't think it's a must for cash games but if enough value pops up when lineups come out in the afternoon, it is definitely worth consideration.

Christian YelichChristian Yelich FD 3600 DK 4400
Opponent - ARI (Matt Koch) Park - ARI
FD - 11.88 DK - 9.05
The more obvious play in the outfield considering those elite arms on the mound is going to be Christian Yelich. He came over in a trade from the Marlins in the offseason and has been a consistent bat at the top of the order for the Brewers all season with a .290 average and .353 on-base percentage while adding five home runs, 19 RBI, and 22 runs scored. Tonight, he and the Brew Crew get a terrific matchup vs. Matt Koch who has been disappointing to say the least as he is striking out less than five batters per nine and has already given up nine home runs in six starts and sits with a 4.06 ERA and even worse 4.88 xFIP. All things considered, Yelich is a great play in cash games and as a part of a Brewers top of the order stack in GPP formats.

Tyler O'NeillTyler O'Neill FD 2500 DK 3600
Opponent - KC (Jason Hammel) Park - KC
FD - 9.76 DK - 7.48
If you didn't know his name prior to this, get to know it soon and jump on board before the price absolutely skyrockets. He was traded to the Cardinals in 2017 for Marco Gonzales and over the last two seasons in Triple-A has 44 home runs and 126 RBI in 159 games. He was called up on April 19 and got just 10 at-bats in his first seven appearances as a pinch hitter and bottom of the order guy but has since blown the doors off. He has now made a start in three consecutive days going 6 for 12 with a home run in each game with six RBI and five runs scored. The price is still in a low enough position, especially on FanDuel where he is an easy play in all formats if back in the starting lineup on Tuesday. If he is not, I would consider Marcel Ozuna who is starting to come on strong as a positive regression candidate early in the season.

Also Consider: Gregory Polanco(PIT), Trey Mancini(BAL), Joc Pederson(LAD)



13 Visitor Comments

  1. Catcher Consideration: J.T. Realmuto(MIA) who has a nice matchup against Matt Harvey and has strong splits vs. right-handed pitching. Marlins play the Mets. Harvey no longer plays for the Mets. I think I find something wrong every time I read these articles.

  2. I’m sure someone will chime in here saying “it’s free, if you don’t like it leave.” But when I see stuff like Realmuto it’s just baffling. I won’t mention the Sale and Cole pricing errors, but cmon guys. I am a big fan of this site, but you can’t have information like Realmuto be posted not knowing basic information. Hope to see these errors improve.

  3. The pricing issue was an error in the system inputs. We do not enter these prices manually and when we write the articles so early, it can sometimes be an issue.

    My mistake on the Harvey thing. Meant to say Wheeler. You are free to submit an article anytime if you think you can do a better job(support@dailyfantasysr.com). People make mistakes. I apologize.

  4. Hey, I always enjoy the articles. It’s a good start and foundation when I start doing my research for the day. Keep up the good work.

  5. Yes I agree with Matt. Love this site for good info. You guys and dfs report are great. Some people just like to b!tch and complain about everything and nothing. Keep up the great work

  6. Maybe I’m missing something. Why is Realmuto not a good pick? He hits RHP very well and Wheeler is average (compared to the rest of the slate) against RHH. I’d roster him.

  7. Hey fellas…just realize some of the people complaining aren’t guys…just remember all bitches aren’t women.

  8. I would love to see Shane Barsell submit an article with his picks. Here’s your chance!!!

  9. Winning strategy. Read all the free picks then eliminate most of them from your picks when playing your lineup. Been doing it for over a month and up so far $5000

  10. I agree with Pittsburgh stack but a team stack that I like are Detroit and Milwaukee. Yankee stack is a given but they are expensive

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