FanDuel DFS MLB Picks | 5/17/19

Matt Carpenter swinging for the fences in St. Louis

After a split slate yesterday, we have ALL FIFTEEN GAMES tonight! Right off the bat, the decision between deGrom and Scherzer is hive-inducing, but we’ll help you make the best lineups we can this evening at FTA. Chat should be hopping so DM @FanTeamAdvice for a free trial today! I can also be found on twitter @jac3600. Also, our own Derek will likely not be able to get his DraftKings article out today, but I’ve included some of his DK plays at the bottom of this article, so keep reading!

STARTING PITCHER

TOP PLAY

Max Scherzer, WAS ($10,800)

OK, here we go. I guarantee you everyone in the industry is going to easily pick deGrom, and let me say that I offer no argument to that. If there are enough value hitters to accommodate his 12k price tag, I’m all for it and I may switch myself. He is, after all, facing the Marlins which has been money for right-handed pitchers, and deGrom is arguably the best one. That said, it’s my job to provide the best PER-DOLLAR plays in this article, and in no universe should Max Scherzer be $1200 than deGrom. His SIERA (2.73) is lower than deGrom’s (2.84). His K rate (34.1%) is higher than deGrom’s (32.4%). His swinging strike rate (16.1%) is higher than deGrom’s (15.2%). So why the big price difference? Max has also allowed a far higher HHR and a lower GB rate than deGrom this year, and he’s struggled even more so than usual with lefty power. A lot of this decision is going to come down to the Cubs’ lineup which has looked a lot more watered down lately without Anthony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist, so we’ll have to wait till later to make this final decision. At this point, I’m a lot more apt to save over 1k on a pitcher whose fantasy-point output shouldn’t be all that different from deGrom’s tonight, no matter the matchup difference.

Other options – Jacob deGrom, Gerrit Cole

VALUE PLAY

Joey Lucchesi, SD ($6200)

You can’t do this play in cash given the opportunity cost at the top of the pitcher pool, but MAN is this an amazing value. Lucchesi has a career 25.4% K rate and his 3.37 FIP indicate that his 4.57 ERA should improve. Yesterday we saw Eric Lauer (a worse overall pitcher) limited the putrid Pirates lineup to one run, and I can easily see the same result tonight with more K upside. Lucchesi has an IRTA of 3.4 runs (lower than Scherzer’s) and the Pirates are 29th in wOBA and last in ISO against LHP. Lucchesi will be my SP in almost every FD GPP lineup tonight as you have carte blanche to stack any offense you want.

Other options – Max Fried, Rich Hill, Jefry Rodriguez, Trevor Richards, Matt Harvey

CATCHER/FIRST BASE

TOP PLAY

Paul Goldschmidt, STL ($3900)

The Cardinals are the class offense of the night, and their 6.1 IRT is a full run higher than the next tier of teams that are hovering right around five. The Cards get a massive park shift going to Texas AND get a league shift playing in an AL park where they’ll add the DH. Adrian Sampson is the worst pitcher on the slate with a 4.94 SIERA, 14.8% K rate, and 45.4% HHR allowed, and he’s backed by a bullpen that is 28th in FIP. Goldy’s power is down so far in St. Louis (.199 ISO this year, career .233 mark), but he’s still an elite hitter that is getting the best matchup possible, and he shouldn’e be under 4k.

Other options – Rhys Hoskins, Freddie Freeman, Luke Voit, Carlos Santana, Gary Sanchez

VALUE PLAY

Max Muncy, LAD ($2800)

The disconnect in pricing across the sites baffles me sometimes. Muncy is $5000 on DK, yet sits at only $2800 on FD. At that price, he’s a near lock for me, and the beauty of the UTIL spot means you can play him with Goldschmidt if you want both. Muncy has been hitting second for the Dodgers as of late and he has a .298 ISO and .946 OPS against RHP since the beginning of last year. In that span, Anthony DeSclafani has allowed a .222 ISO to LHB. Muncy also has a 40% HHR the last 15 games and the Dodgers are one of the teams with an IRT of five runs.

Other options – CJ Cron, Justin Smoak, Mark Reynolds, Mark Canha

Catcher values – JT Realmuto, Yadier Molina, Willians Astudillo

SECOND BASE

TOP PLAY

Whit Merrifield, KC ($3900)

Second base is full of value, so this is an obligatory play for GPP. Merrifield has event upside which can always win you a tournament, and Matt Harvey has allowed a 39.7% HHR this year. You’re value hunting in cash.

Other options – None

VALUE PLAY

Jason Kipnis, CLE ($2800)

Kipnis will be mega chalk after blasting two homers and six RBIs yesterday. I think this warrants fading him in GPPs since he’s not a good hitter anymore, but this is chalk I have no issue eating in cash. Dylan Bundy’s 2.29 HR/9 allowed since the beginning of last year is the worst in the majors for all qualified pitchers, and while he can dominate righties, he’s equally bad against lefties. After the obvious Cardinals, the Indians come in as my second favorite stack of the night.

Other options – Kolten Wong, Jonathan Villar, Nicky Lopez, Rougned Odor, Brian Dozier

THIRD BASE

TOP PLAY

Jose Ramirez, CLE ($3800)

I figured Ramirez would be a core play at under 4k in the matchup described above in Kipnis’ blurb, but Matt Carpenter is $600 cheaper with the better matchup. You can still do both with the UTIL spot. Ramirez has struggled a bit to start the year and has dropped to fifth in the order as a result, but this is a guy who has a .374 wOBA and .235 ISO against LHP since the beginning of last year while also stealing 45 bags in that span. I think Cleveland’s IRT of five runs is too low.

Other options – Alex Bregman, Nolan Arenado, Matt Chapman, Justin Turner

VALUE PLAY

Matt Carpenter, STL ($3200)

Carpenter has under a 10% HHR over the last ten games, but he homered yesterday and his HHR is rising slowly. He’s too cheap for the leadoff hitter for by far the top offense tonight, and Carpenter has a .367 wOBA and .234 ISO against RHP since the beginning of last year. Adrian Sampson has allowed well over a .400 wOBA to LHB this year while posting a 7.04 FIP against them. Good luck.

Other options – Josh Donaldson, Vlad Guerrero, Tommy La Stella, Asdrubal Cabrera, Miguel Sano, Austin Riley

SHORTSTOP

TOP PLAY

Paul DeJong, STL ($3900)

The choice between DeJong and Francisco Lindor is VERY difficult for top play honors on this slate (you’ve seen why, with the various St. Louis and Cleveland writeups you’ve seen so far). Ultimately the tie-breaker goes to the offense that simply looks like they’ll be the best one, and DeJong has taken massive strides this year, cutting his K rate from 25.1% to 16.7% while raising his ISO 36 points. He’s also been great in the reverse split, posting a .210 ISO against RHP since last year.

Other options – Francisco Lindor, Trevor Story, Adalberto Mondesi, Carlos Correa, Gleyber Torres

VALUE PLAY

Corey Seager, LAD ($2900)

I’m sorry I’ve only given you three different offenses to look at so far with 27 other teams playing, but I call ’em as I see ’em, and the Cards, Indians, and Dodgers look to be in the best spots (honorable mention to Oakland). Seager has dropped in the Dodgers’ order but his price has adjusted accordingly as well, and he has a .191 ISO against RHP since the beginning of 2017.

Other options – Marcus Semien, Dansby Swanson, Greg Garcia

OUTFIELD

TOP PLAY

Cody Bellinger, LAD ($4500)

Sorry again. This outfield section is gonna be totally Dodger-ific. Bellinger has been absolutely absurd this season with a .504 wOBA, .368 ISO, and 227 wRC+ while mashing 15 homers AND swiping seven bases. He’s likely out of reach in cash unless you take the plunge on Joey Lucchesi, but he should batter Anthony DeSclafani and a Reds bullpen that is 23rd in FIP.

Other options – Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Marcell Ozuna, Khris Davis, Nelson Cruz, Joey Gallo, Shin Soo Choo, David Peralta, Charlie Blackmon, George Springer, Bryce Harper, Tommy Pham

VALUE PLAY

Joc Pederson, LAD ($3100)

I know, I know. I have to do this, though. DK has made it very difficult to play Dodgers by hiking them all to peak price, but FD has done no such. There is absolutely no reason Joc should be $3100 with a 1.032 OPS against RHP this season. His K rate is back up 2% from last year but so is his BB rate, and his 144 wRC+ sits at a career high. He’ll lead off for the Dodgers who need to to be one of your main priority offenses tonight.

Other options – Willie Calhoun ($2100 on FD is easy cash), Nomar Mazara, Jose Martinez, Dexter Fowler, Stephen Piscotty, Ramon Laureano, Chad Pinder, Aaron Hicks, Randal Grichuk, Yasiel Puig, Jarrod Dyson

DEREK’S “ROUND THE BASES” PICKS FOR DK:

  1. Kipnis brings some solid value on DK tonight as the Indians get RHP Dylan Bundy and the Baltimore Orioles. Kipnis has struggled this year but against RHP he supports a .329 wOBA with a .177 ISO and over his last seven games he has a .418 wOBA, .348 ISO, 161 WRC+ and a 47% HH Rate. Bundy in 2019 has a 4.55 SIERA with a 5.63 xFIP against LHB. Kipnis will be part of my core tonight at this price and it helps Cleveland has an IRT over 5 as of right now. 
  2. The Oakland A’s head to the motor city tonight to face LHP Daniel Norris and that awful Tigers bullpen. In 2019 Norris supports a 4.67 xFIP against RHB and is also giving up a 40% HH Rate to lefties. Khirs Davis comes into tonight priced extremely low in my opinion as he is only $4100 on DK. In 2019 against LHP he is cooking a .405 wOBA, .439 ISO, 159 WRC+ and a 45% HH Rate. He also gets a slight park upgrade tonight and the A’s are another team getting an IRT over 5 runs. Davis will once again be a big part of my cash lines on tonights 15 game slate. 
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