FanDuel DFS MLB Picks | 5/18/19

Trea Turner launches a home run for the Nationals

Well…yesterday stunk. There’s no two ways about it. The stud pitchers were underwhelming (deGrom was downright bad) and some of the top offenses crapped out too. Today we have a split slate, and this article will deal with the seven games on the main card tonight. For help with the early, jump on into @FanTeamAdvice chat with us, and follow me on twitter @jac3600.

STARTING PITCHER

TOP PLAY

Stephen Strasburg, WAS ($10,800)

It’s scary to pay full price here after the Cubs hung 14 runs on Washington pitching yesterday, but that was more a mark of the Nats’ bullpen which is last in SIERA now. Scherzer was “OK”, but it’s certainly not an easy matchup as the Cubs rank sixth in wOBA against RHP with the tenth lowest K rate. Ultimately the key is Stras’ 29.8% K rate and 12.9% swinging strike rate that reigns supreme here, and his 51.1% GB rate is elite too. It’s not an ideal option, but the lack of pitching depth on the slate makes paying full price for Strasburg a worthy option.

Other options – Jose Berrios

VALUE PLAY

Griffin Canning, LAA ($6800)

The quality start is so important on FD that it’s tough to recommend Canning for cash, but it’s viable today with opportunity cost not near as high as usual on the pitching slate. In his first three starts, Canning has flashed an elite 30.7% K rate which is backed by an even more elite 17.9% swinging strike rate. He’s a -168 favorite which is the largest on the slate, and the Royals are an average team against RHP. They also have an IRT of 3.9 runs, joining the Cubs as the only two teams to be under four tonight.

Other options – Madison Bumgarner, Kevin Gausman, Zack Godley, Steven Brault

CATCHER/FIRST BASE

TOP PLAY

Freddie Freeman, ATL ($4200)

If you choose to go cheap at SP, any of these top plays are viable, and Freeman ranks at the top of the 1B crowd. His power has been down this year, but he’s rocking a career high 13.1% BB rate which really enhances his floor for cash. Since the beginning of 2018, Freeman has a .392 wOBA and .236 ISO against RHP and Chase Anderson isn’t to be feared. The Brewers’ bullpen is, however, so just remember this if stacking Braves, even with their 4.9 IRT.

Other options – Anthony Rizzo, CJ Cron, Mitch Moreland

VALUE PLAY

Willians Astudillo, MIN ($2800)

It’s a catcher day on FD (as long as he leads off)! Astudillo is the epitome of a cash play, as he has an absolutely unbelievable 2.9% K rate for his career (that number is mind-boggling). He’s not going to blow the roof off with his power, but his career .168 ISO isn’t awful either, and the Twins have an IRT of 4.8 runs against a very pedestrian Wade LeBlanc and his 19% K rate.

Other options – Brandon Belt, Howie Kendrick, Yuli Gurriel

Catcher values – Yasmani Grandal, Robinson Chirinos, Kurt Suzuki

SECOND BASE

TOP PLAY

NONE

Sorry. I don’t like Merrifield in a park downgrade against Canning, and Albies is awful right now. Spend down at 2B no matter who you roster at SP.

VALUE PLAY

Jonathan Schoop, MIN ($2700)

With Nelson Cruz on the IL, Schoop has swooped up the lineup to much more desirable spots (like, second or third). That makes him a virtual lock for me in cash as he’s popped a .341 wOBA and .214 ISO against LHP the last two seasons. At a position with no opportunity cost whatsoever, Schoop is an easy punt play that also carries a high floor and ceiling.

Other options – Joe Panik, Dee Gordon, Wilmer Flores, Ian Kinsler, Brian Dozier

THIRD BASE

TOP PLAY

Alex Bregman, HOU ($4300)

The Astros have the highest IRT on the slate at 5.3 runs, and Bregman is arguably the best overall hitter tonight (if you’re not 100% on the Trout train). Hector Velasquez is not the man you want against this powerful Astros lineup who ranks first in wOBA and second in ISO. He has a 4.62 SIERA and only a 15.6% K rate and the Astros are only striking out 18% of the time against RHP. Bregman himself is awesome in the reverse split, with a .377 wOBA and .235 ISO against RHP since the beginning of last year.

Other options – Anthony Rendon, Tommy La Stella, Manny Machado, Mike Moustakas

VALUE PLAY

Josh Donaldson, ATL ($3400)

Donaldson this year has not resembled “OG Donaldson” with his usual immense power, but some other things have changed that help him in tonight’s matchup. His walk rate is over 15% this year which is a career high, and the usual lefty killer has actually been better against RHP this season, with an .871 OPS and .228 ISO. Chase Anderson is a career reverse split pitcher, and has allowed a .211 ISO to RHB the last three years.

Other options – Rafael Devers, Miguel Sano, Evan Longoria

SHORTSTOP

TOP PLAY

Trea Turner, WAS ($4200)

Trea Turner is back, and he didn’t miss a beat yesterday with two hits and a steal. Tonight he gets Jon Lester, who is a quality pitcher but has allowed the most stolen bases since 2016. If Turner gets on, he should run wild. He’s a viable play in all formats this evening.

Other options – Jorge Polanco, Carlos Correa, Javier Baez

VALUE PLAY

Dansby Swanson, ATL ($3200)

Swanson has found himself in the two-hole for the Braves lately, and that’s good enough for cash at his price tag. Chase Anderson continues to struggle against same-handed hitting and the Braves have an IRT pushing five. Swanson’s HHR is up as well, with almost a 30% mark the last ten games. I’d rather get up to the Turner/Correa range, but Swanson is adequate in cash.

Other options – Andrelton Simmons, Brandon Crawford, Greg Garcia

OUTFIELD

TOP PLAY

Mike Trout, LAA ($4700)

If you use a cheap SP in cash like Griffin Canning, Trout is an easy fit and I suggest you make him a priority. Jake Junis has been really bad this year with a 4.63 xFIP, 15.7% K rate, and a 41% HHR allowed, and the Angels have an IRT of 5.2 runs which is pushing for the best on the slate. Trout is the best hitter on the planet, and has a .445 wOBA and .333 ISO against RHP since 2017. I love stacking the Angels as well, as they simply don’t strike out against RHP (15% team K rate).

Other options – Mookie Betts, JD Martinez, Andrew Benintendi, George Springer, Michael Brantley, Ronald Acuna, Christian Yelich, Eddie Rosario, Juan Soto, Shohei Ohtani

VALUE PLAY

Kyle Schwarber, CHC ($2400)

This is far from an ideal matchup for Schwarb, as he’s a high K guy and Strasburg has dominated lefties over the last three seasons with a 34% K rate. However, Schwarber is leading off now and he also has an elite 15.4% BB rate since last year to go along with a .352 wOBA and .244 ISO against RHP. As long as Strasburg doesn’t go the distance, Schwarber should get at least one crack at the bottom-ranked Nationals bullpen as well.

Other options – Adam Jones, Ryan Braun, Lorenzo Cain, Hunter Renfroe, Wil Myers, Franmil Reyes, Brian Goodwin, Austin Riley, Jackie Bradley, Jorge Soler

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