Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Thursday 5/26/22
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The options up top are not very appealing tonight so let's get things started with Ohtani who easily tops our PTS/$ projections. He has been elite on the mound lately averaging six innings per start while holding opponents to just five earned runs(1.50 ERA), striking out 33% of batters, and averaging 26.3 DK/ FD points per game. I am not in love with the matchup against the Jays but the good news is Shohei is catching them at the right time as they rank bottom three in runs scored, wOBA, and wRC+ since the start of May. All things considered, Ohtani is our top pitcher and in play in all formats.
This is a bit of a flashback season for Perez who has returned to Texas, after stops in Boston and Minnesota and is playing some of the best ball of his career. Since being limited in his first two starts, he has been near elite holding opponents to just three earned runs over his last six starts with a 31:8 strikeout to walk ratio. While the upside is somewhat limited with a lack of K's(20% K rate) he gets a terrific matchup against the A's who are ranked bottom five in runs scored, wOBA, wRC+, and strike out at the 6th highest(24.2%) rate overall. Perez is an excellent mid-tier option to pair with Ohtani and still leaves you lots of salary left for bats.
While it seems wild to start things off with Cron who is the most expensive option at first, he has actually been better than most of the superstars at the position(Vladdy, Freeman) to start the year. Cron leads all first basemen in home runs(12), is 2nd in RBI(33), and 4th in wRC+(151) and while he has been better at Coors he gets an elite matchup that cannot be ignored. He faces lefty Patrick Corbin who enters with an ugly Ag ERA after giving up 10 earned runs over his last two starts and more alarming is the fact he has given up double-digit hard hits in three of his last four starts. All things considered, Cron is my top pay up at the position and one of my top overall upside plays on the slate.
For value at the position, I will be turning to Hunter Dozier who has settled into the middle of the Royals lineup in the month of May. Since the move, he has put together a very impressive .306/.383/.486 slash line with eight extra-base hits, seven RBI, and 14 runs scored. What stands out the most is the matchup against Smeltzer who has just two strikeouts in 10.1 innings pitched with 11 hard-hit balls. There likely isn't a ton of upside here but I like the PTS/$ floor Dozier offers and is best utilized in cash games.
Let's go right back to the Royals at second base as we get a bit more PTS/$ value with Whit Merrifield. He got off to a painfully slow start in 2022(.135 avg first 26 games) but has been much better as of late with hits in 15 of his last 16 games while hitting .353 with an eye-popping .401 wOBA/169 wRC+. I mentioned the matchup against Smeltzer who doesn't K many but also doesn't give up a ton of big hits. This works for us tonight as the price on the Royals is cheap and a nice cash stack option to pair with some top offenses.
Enrique Hernández FD 2900 DK 3500
Opponent - CHW (Dallas Keuchel) Park - CHW
FD - 10.81 DK - 8.15
One of those top offences we are going to be stacking tonight is the Red Sox who are the hottest team in baseball lately scoring a league-leading 84 runs since Friday the 13th. It starts with Kike Hernandez who provides some excellent PTS/$ on both sites as the leadoff hitter who comes in with hits in 11 of his last 12 games with seven extra-base hits. He has also been successful against southpaws with a .352 wOBA and 131 wRC+ in the split this season. Hernandez is one of our top PTS/$ plays at any position and is also OF eligible on both sites.
Shortstop is loaded at the top but lacks value so let's spend some salary and the first place I am stopping is the battle of the Sox. Let's start with Story who has had his struggles with his new team in 2022 hitting just .224 overall but the good news is that he has found his power stroke with a .450 wOBA/201 wRC+ and all eight of his home runs since May 11. He also mashes lefties to the tune of a .386 wOBA, 155 wRC+, and crazy .345 ISO. Fire up Story in all formats.
On the other side of this game, we have one of the most consistent bats in the league with Tim Anderson who sits third overall with a .355 average on the season. He tallies such a high average thanks to his propensity to record multiple hits almost every game and comes in with five in his last six. I am also not buying into Michael Wacha's laughable 1.76 ERA as he has only given up a .173 BABIP and has a 4.51 XFIP. I expect the regression to start tonight and Anderson is in play for me in all formats.
Gio Urshela FD 2700 DK 3200
Opponent - KC (Daniel Lynch) Park - KC
FD - 8.22 DK - 6.35
While I absolutely love shortstop tonight, the same cannot be said at third base which is a complete minefield. With that in mind, I will be mostly taking the value route here and it starts with Urshela who has been trending lately with hits in five straight and nine of his last 11 games for a .333/.405/.528 slash line. Tonight, he and the Twins are a Top 5 team when looking at implied runs in a matchup against Daniel Lynch who sports a 4.01 ERA/4.88 xFIP and has given up 91.2 mph exit velo(2nd highest on the slate) and 46.5% hard contact(4th highest on the slate). Fire up Urshela as a top PTS/$ value in all formats.
Anthony Rendon FD 3100 DK 4500
Opponent - TOR (Hyun Jin Ryu) Park - TOR
FD - 10.56 DK - 7.94
This isn't a matchup I would normally be targeting tonight but a ton of factors come into play here starting with the lack of plays at the position. Ryu isn't a pitcher I have liked targeting in the past but things have been different in 2022 and despite only allowing one earned run in two starts since returning, he has allowed a whopping 18 hard-hit balls in that time for a 53% hard contact rate. The other contributing factor is that I am almost always trying to get exposure to the Angels offence when Trout and Ohtani are healthy and for cash, with their elite prices, I like siding with Rendon who is a nice value on both sites and hits directly behind them.
J.D. Martinez FD 3900 DK 4900
Opponent - CHW (Dallas Keuchel) Park - CHW
FD - 11.13 DK - 8.43
We are going to have to monitor the weather in this one but I expect it plays and that is great news as the Red Sox are in a great spot against Keuchel. I love Hernandez for value leading off as he allows us to spend up for some big bats, one of which is his teammate JD Martinez. Outside of the power stroke which is still a work in progress, Martinez has been elite leading the league with a .372 average and sitting 4th in wOBA(.400), 3rd in wRC+(193) overall. He is also one of the best against southpaws and has posted a .409 wOBA/157 wRC+/.290 ISO in the split since the start of 2019. Lock and load in all formats.
AJ Pollock FD 2700 DK 3100
Opponent - BOS (Michael Wacha) Park - BOS
FD - 11.12 DK - 8.44
Let's stay in this game to close things out with another one of our top projected PTS/$ value plays. It comes down to opportunity as both Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez are out of the lineup which has given Pollock some extra playing time and while he is hitless in two straight, he is coming off a six-game hit streak before that. The other thing to watch for here is the starting lineup for the White Sox as he is currently projected to hit in the top four but the value would drop off if buried down the lineup. Stay tuned.