Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Tuesday 5/18/21
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I don't think you can go wrong with either top pitcher tonight but I would be doing Woodruff an injustice not mentioning him here as he has been incredible to start the 2021 season. he has held opponents to two or fewer earned runs in seven straight straights going at least six innings in all of them while averaging 27.4 DK/46.36 FD points per game. That is just pure dominance on the back of a 33% K rate and 14% swinging-strike rate. The Royals are a league-average offense but what stands out to me here is that they rank outside the TOp 20 as a team against fastballs and Woodruff has the 2nd best one in the game, at the moment, and throws it 66% of the time. All things considered, Woodruff is my top pitcher in all formats.
If not paying up for both pitchers on DraftKings tonight there are some interesting options. I think the chalk SP2 falls with Snell who appears to be massively underpriced but for cash games, I just can't trust that 1.54 WHIP. This has me taking the savings with Andrew Heaney who is back under $8K after putting up a dud in two of his last three starts. The good news here is that he faces an Indians team that has an ugly 82 wRC+ on the season and even worse 76 wRC+ vs. left-handed pitching. At these prices Heaney is my favorite PTS/$ value play tonight.
Also Consider: Zack Wheeler(PHI) as another top pay-up option. He has been consistent all season and has held opponents to two or fewer earned runs in four of his last five starts and walked just two batters over his last three starts.
After somewhat of a slump, the Dodgers offense looks to be heating back up as they are averaging over 5.5 runs per game over the last 10 days. Muncy has been a big part of that as he has hits in eight of those 10 games with five multi-hit efforts, five home runs, and 12 RBI. He and the Dodgers now get one of the best matchups on the board facing Merrill Kelly who owns an ugly 1.46 WHIP thanks to 11 walks and 21 hits over his last four starts. Muncy is my top pay-up option at first base tonight.
Whether you are paying up for both pitchers on DraftKings or just looking for a little salary relief at the position, Matt Olson is on our radar tonight. His price always seems to stay in the same range in that 2nd/3rd tier despite his massive power upside from the left side of the plate. He is a very streaky hitter but the good news is that he comes into tonight with multi-hit efforts in back-to-back games and a .379 wOBA/150 wRC+ on the season. The A's also face a pitcher in Cristian Javier who has issues with command(11 walks last four starts) which should give Olson opportunities with runners on and Javier also gives up a 48% flyball rate which could lead to more long balls.
The Yankees are in another good spot tonight and lead all teams in implied runs and while the prices are expensive on Draftkings, most of them are massively underpriced and great plays on FanDuel. It starts at the top of the order with DJ LeMahieu who is starting to heat up with hits in four straight with a 132 wRC+ and 18 runs scored over his last 19 games. Folty has been much worse against lefties but LeMahieu is just too cheap on FanDuel and is in my player pool in all formats.
If you are looking for a pitcher on the verge of an absolute blowup, look no further than John Gant who has walked 27 batters in 34 innings yet comes into tonight with 1.83 ERA. I really don't buy it and hope you don't either as the xFIP(5.23) is over 3.5 runs higher. I also would not be surprised if it was the Pirates who somehow are the team to explode on him but either way, I am on board with Frazier tonight. He hits leadoff and while the upside is somewhat limited, he has been extremely consistent with a .373 wOBA and 136 wRC+ and at these prices is a top cash game value tonight on both sites.
A couple of things stand out in a big way with Tim Anderson here and it starts with him being arguably the hottest player on the planet. He enters the night with hits in 12 straight and 15 of his last 16 games including a whopping eight multi-hit efforts, three doubles, and two home runs. You may point out that the matchup isn't exactly the best as Pineda comes in with a 2.79 ERA/3.90 xFIP but Anderson has absolutely owned him(8 for 12 with 3 HR). Now add on that Anderson is somehow outside the Top 5 in price at the position on DraftKings and 4th on FanDuel and you have a must play in all formats.
I feel this game will come in a little under-owned considering the total is set at 8 with the Astros only slight favorites(-110) here. I am not sure why as they face Sean Manaea who has been a nice to target against early in the season as he has given up 5+ hits in six of eight starts and 4+ earned runs in three. For Correa, he comes into the night with hits in three straight and four of his last five and while the average is down(.258) he has been very productive with six home runs, 19 RBI, and 26 runs scored. All things considered, Correa is one of my top plays at the position in all formats.
Gio Urshela FD - 3B 2700 DK - 3B/SS 4800
Opponent - TEX (Mike Foltynewicz) Park - TEX
FD - 10.67 DK - 8.17
Urshela is another Yankees bat that comes underpriced on FanDuel and even for a cleanup hitter on a team with the most implied runs, he is also a bit underpriced on DraftKings. He has been a consistent bat in the middle of the lineup all season as he entered Monday night with .293 average, .348 wOBA, and 125 wRC+ while driving in 19 runs. He has also been much more productive vs. right-handed pitching with a .392 wOBA, 155 wRC+, and all five of his home runs coming in the split. All things considered, Urshela is my top play at third base tonight.
Seager has been struggling a bit in the short term but we are mostly looking at him for GPP formats tonight as he provides a ton of power upside. He comes into the night with eight home runs on the season and more importantly, has driven in 27 runs. The Mariners bats get a plus matchup against Spencer Turnbull who has given up 5+ hits in four straight starts and should start coming back down to earth any day now. The M's are my top value stack of the night.
Teoscar Hernández FD - OF 3100 DK - OF 4500
Opponent - BOS (Eduardo Rodriguez) Park - TOR
FD - 11.71 DK - 8.8
The Jays come into this series with Boston just 1.5 games back and while the pitching has been good, the offense has carried the team averaging almost six runs per game over the last 10 games. The top four in the lineup has been the force behind it all and they have really taken a big price increase except for one player. That is Teoscar Hernandez who hits cleanup and since his return from the COVID list, he has tallied hits in 12 of 15 games with six multi-hit efforts and a .416 wOBA/169 wRC+. Despite the tougher matchup against E-Rod, Hernandez is my top PTS/$ play in the outfield.
The system absolutely loves the Rays tonight going up against Matt Harvey who has show signs of the "Dark Knight" but has mostly struggled to a 4.81 ERA/4.58 xFIP over eight starts. For Meadows, it has been a struggle in his return from injury but appears to be coming out of the early-season slump with hits in four of his last five games with four doubles and a home run. The price is back up on FanDuel but DraftKings is legging behind making this a buy-low situation under $4K.