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Daily Fantasy Baseball: DraftKings Cheat Sheet–May 20th

Adam Pfeifer lists the best daily fantasy baseball picks and value plays for use on DraftKings.

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Here’s today’s DrafKings MLB Daily Fantasy Baseball info:

Details (MLB)
-$300,000 prize pool.
– First place wins $100,000
– Only $3 to enter (FREE with first deposit)
– Top 25,930 finishing positions are paid.​
– Starts today at 7:05 PM EST
– Salary Cap Style Drafting. $50,000 to select 10 players: 8 position players and 2 pitchers
– Roster Format: 2 pitchers, 1 C, 1 1B, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 SS and 3 OF
Starting Pitching
SP
Usually when writing these columns, the green section is labeled “Elite”. However, I truly don’t feel like there are any dominant arms on the mound today, hence the rather less-exciting “Good”. So let’s get to it.
-The most popular arm tonight will likely be Tyson Ross against the strikeout-prone Chicago Cubs. And the only real knock on Ross is the fact that he’s walking over five batters per nine innings. However, he has upside, striking out an insane 10.64 batters per nine, too, which ranks second in baseball. Pair that with a Cubs offense that swings and misses a league-leading 25.6 percent of the time, while also striking out to right-handed pitching more than anyone in the majors. Ross also gets to pitch in pitcher-friendly Safeco, so if his control is there, he should be in line for a very nice outing, especially since he has that downward slider that induces so many groundballs. Only Dallas Keuchel is inducing more groundballs on the year than Ross (63.1%).
-If you’re looking to pivot, Jordan Zimmermann doesn’t offer the same upside, but he’s an innings eater, which also has value. He only has 30 strikeouts through over 46 innings, but he’s essentially a lock to go seven innings. I also love the fact that the Yankees are in a National League park tonight, which means no designated hitter. I’d probably prefer him on a site like FanDuel where they favor the win more, but Zimmermann is still a good pitcher in a game with the lowest over/under of the evening.
-Now that I’m writing, it really feels like there are very little sexy options out there. Enter Wei-Yen Chen, who is an average to slightly above average pitcher. Over his last two games, Chen has gone seven innings in each, while also striking out seven batters in both outings. And on the season, he has 34 strikeouts to just 14 walks. While the Mariners have some big bats in that lineup, they have underperfomed a bit thus far.
First Base
1B
Jose Abreu is one of my favorite options of the evening at any position. He’s in homer-friendly U.S. Cellular Field against Shaun friggin’ Marcum, a guy who hasn’t pitched in the majors since July of 2013. It also helps that Abreu has reverse splits this year, batting .312 against righties, opposed to just .222 against lefties. Five of his six home runs this year have come off right-handed pitching, and is sporting a .389 wOBA. Don’t be at all surprised if/when Abreu sends one into the bleachers this evening.
-I love it when you call me Big Papa. Okay, I’d actually be disgusted if you did, but this was my “clever” introduction for David Ortiz, who is in a terrific spot tonight. Phil Klein of the Rangers is making his debut as a starter, so I’ll have some Boston stacks, for sure. Ortiz, meanwhile, absolutely crushes right-handed pitching, sporting a .301 average, 61 home runs, 172 RBI and a .407 on-base percentage against RHP over the last three seasons (868 at-bats).
Second Base
2B
Neil Walker has recorded at least one hit in nine of his last 10 outings, including two multi-hit games. And batting in the top-three of that Pittsburgh order, he’s averaging an intriguing four plate appearances per game during that span. I like him a lot tonight against Mike Pelfrey, who won’t strike anyone out (3.92 K/9), and the switch-hitting Walker sported a .364 wOBA, .831 OPS and .220 isolated power in 400 plate appearances against right-handed pitching last season.
Third Base
3B
-Third base may be my favorite position of the night. There are so, so many options to choose from, which is why playing on a site like DraftKings where some guys have multi-eligibility is so beneficial. Let’s get Miguel Cabrera out of the way, who is always in play. Rhymes. Miggy gets the right-handed Kyle Lohse, who absolutely gives up the long ball. Only four pitchers in baseball are sporting a worse HR/9 ratio than Lohse (1.89), while also ranking top-20 in HR/FB ratio (16.4%). The Tigers have an extremely righty-dominant lineup, but Miggy is Miggy and facing a weak arm.
Manny Machado is so good at baseball. He, too, has at least one hit in nine of his last 10 games and is coming off a game where he scored two runs and stole two bases for fantasy owners. In the middle of the Bryce Harper hype, people need to remember how incredible of a prospect he was. Tonight, he gets the platoon advantage against Roenis Elias, who is giving up 1.44 homers per nine innings this year, and will be throwing in Camden Yards, a venue that is allowing the third-most homers per game this year. Batting leadoff for a potent Orioles lineup, I love me some Machado (again) tonight.
-Another stack I like tonight is the Royals, which includes Mike Moustakas, who is hitting .331 on the season. He’s changed his approach and is driving the ball into different areas of the park, which has helped him immensely. Moose gets the platoon advantage against Jason Marquis, and is batting an insane .366 with 30 hits, six doubles and a .417 (!) wOBA against left-handed pitching on the year.
Shortstop
SS
-Any time Troy Tulowitzki is at home in lovely Coors against an unproven pitcher, he’s going to be the top option at the ugly shortstop position. I just wish he wasn’t striking out almost 23 percent of the time…
-The Angels offense has been putrid, but they are going to explode sooner or later, and Aybar has actually been solid, recording 14 hits over his last 15 games. He’s super cheap, is batting in a strong spot in the order in a hitter-friendly park. And with Kole Calhoun as the new clean-up hitter, Aybar is locked in at leadoff, which gives him high run upside with Mike Trout and company behind him.
Outfield
OF
-Let’s start with one of my favorite players in baseball, Adam Jones. As you can probably see, I’m a big fan of the Baltimore bats tonight, and it all starts with Jones, who is hitting both arms well this year, but dating back to last season, has been particularly dominant against southpaws. In 154 at-bats against lefties in 2014, Jones batted .344 with nine home runs, 11 doubles and slugged over .600. Like I mentioned earlier, Elias can give up the deep ball, surrendering four in four starts thus far.
-It was only a matter of time before Andrew McCutchen was… well, Andrew McCutchen. Over his last 12 games he’s raised his batting average from .189 to about .230, and while that’s nowhere near his usual numbers, consider that his current BABIP of .239 is almost 100 points worse than his career average. Cutch hits right-handed pitching well, and Pelfrey has reverse splits, meaning same-sided bats are hitting better off of him. In fact, a lot better, as he is sporting an insane .316 average and .359 wOBA against right-handed hitting this year.
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