Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Joel Bartilotta

DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Thursday, 5/27/21

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Thursday slates always tend to be lighter, and that's certainly the case here. We have six games making up this nightcap, with many West Coast teams taking the field. What I do love about this slate is all the value out there. It's clear that these DFS sites aren't reacting to hot stretches as quickly as they do in the NBA, leaving some of the pricing a bit soft. With that in mind, let's kick things off with a pitcher who has a ridiculous DraftKings price.


Stephen StrasburgStephen Strasburg FD - P 10000 DK - SP 8500
Opponent - CIN (Sonny Gray) Park - WSH
FD - 38.15 DK - 20.67

As you probably know, DraftKings pricing is usually way stricter than FanDuel. That makes this Strasburg price all the more confusing, sitting $1,500 cheaper over there. We'd argue that he should be $10K on both sites because Stras is always a beast when he's healthy. We're talking about a guy with a 3.20 ERA and 1.09 WHIP for his career while generating a ridiculous 28 percent K rate. He showed some of that form in his first start off the IL, allowing one hit across 5.1 scoreless innings. It's not like Cincinnati is an easy matchup, but they're missing two of their potent lefties in Joey Votto and Mike Moustakas. That only adds to Strasburg's intrigue, with the Washington starter entering this matchup as a -150 favorite.

Chris FlexenChris Flexen FD - P 5800 DK - SP 6200
Opponent - TEX (Kolby Allard) Park - SEA
FD - 31.56 DK - 17.03

I watched this guy in the KBO last year (yes, I watched KBO during COVID times!), and I was really impressed with some of his stuff. That noble year with the Doosan Bears earned him a contract with the Mariners and then got him into this rotation. He actually had one of the worst starts of the year when he surrendered eight runs to the Padres in his last start but was pretty good before that. In fact, Flex had at least 19 FanDuel points in six of his first seven starts, pitching to a 3.46 ERA in that span. He actually has a 2.18 ERA at home this year, too, which is really no surprise when you see how spacious Safeco Field can be. The best part about using him here is the matchup, though, with Texas ranked 23rd in K rate and 19th in xwOBA. All of that makes Flexen a fantastic punt play around $6K!


Catcher/First Base

Nate LoweNate Lowe FD - 1B 2600 DK - 1B 3500
Opponent - SEA (Chris Flexen) Park - SEA
FD - 9.65 DK - 7.3

We just mentioned how Flexen is a punt option, so that means a Rangers stack is in play. He did allow eight runs in his last start and now has a 1.57 WHIP for the year. Those are pretty ugly numbers, and it definitely puts a lefty like Lowe in play. The slugging southpaw has gotten his homer total up to eight for the year and has been amazing this week. Over his last five games played, Lowe has a .409 OBP and OPS just shy of 1.000. What makes him even more enticing here is the fact that he gets to face a righty, with Lowe posting a .858 OPS since the beginning of last season with the platoon advantage in his favor.

Keston HiuraKeston Hiura FD - 1B 2100 DK - 1B/2B 2700
Opponent - SD (Ryan Weathers) Park - MIL
FD - 10.04 DK - 7.6

This is obviously playing with fire with how poorly Hiura has been swinging the lumber this season, but a demotion to the Minors is the sort of thing that can get him going. The talented 1B/2B option slashed .438/.526/.906 with three home runs, seven RBI, and two stolen bases in nine minor-league games. That's the stud we saw in his first year in the Majors, and hopefully, it's a sign of things to come. So while he's earned every bit of this crazy-low price tag, it's still weird to see from such a talented hitter like this. We also don't mind that Hiura gets the platoon advantage against a lefty like Ryan Weathers.

Yasmani Grandal (FD $3000 DK $4400) has been an on-base machine lately and is probably the best option if you need a catcher.

Second Base

Tommy EdmanTommy Edman FD - 2B 2600 DK - 2B/SS 4800
Opponent - ARI (Matt Peacock) Park - ARI
FD - 9.29 DK - 7.22

Edman just had his best game of the season on Wednesday when he hit two dingers, and it extends his best stretch of the year so far. Over his last eight games, Edman has three doubles, two homers, eight RBI, and two steals en route to a .900 OPS. That's fantastic with Tommy hitting atop the Cardinals lineup, especially when he's just $2,600 on FanDuel. We're certainly not worried about him facing Matt Peacock either, with the righty owning a 7.24 ERA over his last five appearances.

Nick MadrigalNick Madrigal FD - 2B 2400 DK - 2B 3300
Opponent - BAL (Bruce Zimmermann) Park - CHW
FD - 11.35 DK - 8.97

Madrigal is another guy who comes into this matchup rolling. After another three-hit game on Wednesday, Mad is 13-of-30 over his last eight games played. That's obviously a ridiculous hitting rate, and he's got three walks and four extra-base hits in that amazing stretch too. That's the stud prospect we've been waiting to see, with Nick tallying a .309 AVG and .371 OBP in his Minor League career. All of that is horrific news for an unknown arm like Bruce Zimmermann, with Madrigal owning a .991 OPS against southpaws this year. We'll discuss Zimmerman's ugly numbers in the next section.


Tim AndersonTim Anderson FD - SS 3600 DK - SS 5500
Opponent - BAL (Bruce Zimmermann) Park - CHW
FD - 14.09 DK - 10.95

We just mentioned how we want to stack against Zimmerman, and it's easy to understand why. The Orioles lefty is just another arm they've thrown into this disastrous rotation, with Zim pitching to a 5.59 ERA and 1.55 WHIP. That's right on par with what you'd expect from another bad Baltimore pitcher, with his 4.97 ERA and 1.56 WHIP at Triple-A making it even harder to understand why he's at this MLB level. In any case, it gives us a great chance to stack against him, with a righty like Anderson looking like one of the best plays on the board. He's got one of the best averages in baseball over the last three years and has a .350 AVG and .962 OPS against southpaws in that same span.

Brandon CrawfordBrandon Crawford FD - SS 3000 DK - SS 4100
Opponent - LAD (Edwin Uceta) Park - LAD
FD - 7.67 DK - 5.84

I'd be lying to you if I said that I was excited about Crawford this season, but he's made a lot of fantasy analysts look dumb with his ridiculous two-month start. The elite defensive shortstop is one of the league leaders with 11 homers and 32 RBI, posting a .545 SLG and .883 OPS. Those are obviously the best numbers of his career, and it looks even better when you see his 1.151 OPS over his last 21 games played. All of that is good news against an unknown Uceta, with the Dodgers righty allowing eight runs across 7.2 innings so far this year.

Third Base

Justin TurnerJustin Turner FD - 3B 3100 DK - 3B 4700
Opponent - SF (Alex Wood) Park - LAD
FD - 10.64 DK - 8.04

It's difficult to ride any hitters against Alex Wood the way he's slinging the ball right now, but Turner is always a great option when he faces a lefty. Since 2019, Turner's got a .515 SLG and .874 OPS with the platoon advantage in his favor. That's actually just above what his 2021 numbers look like, with JT amassing a .363 OBP and .827 OPS so far this season. That's really all you can ask for from a guy in this price range, particularly when you see his splits.

Eduardo EscobarEduardo Escobar FD - 3B 3000 DK - 3B 5100
Opponent - STL (Carlos Marti­nez) Park - ARI
FD - 8.88 DK - 6.76

Trivia Time! Who is leading the NL in RBI this season? Yup, you got it. It's Eduardo Escobar! That really surprised me when I saw that a few days ago, but it's far from shocking when you look at his game log. The slugging utility man has 12 homers to go along with those RBI en route to a .471 SLG. That might look flukey on the surface, but EE has exceeded that slugging percentage in 2018 and 2019 as well. Carlos Martinez is far from a scary pitcher too, generating a 5.88 ERA and 1.41 WHIP since the beginning of last year.


Mitch HanigerMitch Haniger FD - OF 3400 DK - OF 5300
Opponent - TEX (Kolby Allard) Park - SEA
FD - 11.05 DK - 8.33

The Crawford breakout is one of the most surprising things in MLB this season, but a bounceback season from Haniger is equally as unexpected. He missed the 2020 season due to a horrific injury (look it up if you dare) but provided a .271 AVG, .351 OBP, .486 SLG, and .838 OPS between 2017 and 19. He also has some speed to go along with that, making this resurgence a little easier to understand. So far this year, Haniger has a .546 SLG and .861 OPS, hitting 12 doubles and 13 homers. Those are some of the best numbers in the AL, and we obviously don't mind that Haniger has an OPS north of .900 against lefties in that span too. It happens to be a weak southpaw, with Kolby Allard amassing 6.06 ERA and 1.59 WHIP for his career.

Joey GalloJoey Gallo FD - OF 3000 DK - OF 3900
Opponent - SEA (Chris Flexen) Park - SEA
FD - 11.37 DK - 8.34

If you want to go with a two-man Texas stack, Lowe and Gallo is the way to go. We already mentioned how much raw power Lowe has, but Gallo makes him look like a slap-hitter. The slugging outfielder has a .486 SLG and .277 ISO for his career. There aren't many guys who can match that ridiculous ISO, and we love that Gallo hit a dinger on Wednesday. We already talked about how risky Flexen can be, and we like that Gallo gets to hit from the left side against him.

Dylan CarlsonDylan Carlson FD - OF 2200 DK - OF 3100
Opponent - ARI (Matt Peacock) Park - ARI
FD - 9.6 DK - 7.32

Carlson has some ugly power numbers this year, but everything outside of that is pretty good. The top prospect is hitting .285 this year while compiling a .371 OBP and .782 OPS. Those are some pretty ridiculous numbers from such a cheap player, especially when you see that DC had a .372 OBP, .542 SLG, and .914 OPS in the Minors in 2019. We already talked about how we're not scared about a bird like Matt Peacock, with the D'Backs righty owning the ugly numbers we mentioned in the Edman write-up.





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