DraftKings MLB DFS Picks – May 31st

I mentioned last night’s DraftKings MLB DFS Picks were best used for cash games, and from that standpoint they performed well.

I was able to cash in some double ups and I barely missed the cash line in other for a decent, if unspectacular profit.

Our top pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu was once again brilliant, pitching 7.2 scoreless innings, allowing just four hits and a walk while striking out seven, earning the win in the process.

Our second pitcher didn’t fare nearly as well as Carlos Carrasco was roughed up for six earned runs in just 6.1 innings of work, allowing 10 hits and striking out seven. Carrasco’s ownership was massive, however, and upwards of 87%, so the poor outing didn’t hurt as much as you might have thought it did.

Our three-man Dodgers stack was decent despite L.A. scoring just two runs. Justin Turner didn’t start, so the stack was David Freese (two hits, double run scored), Chris Taylor (triple, run scored) and Kike Hernandez (single, RBI).

I inserted Jose Ramirez into the Indians stack to make it a four-man group, and the stack was carried by Ramirez and Jordan Luplow. Roberto Perez walked twice and Jake Bauers put up a goose egg, but Ramirez doubled, walked and scored a run while Luplow continued his assault on Manny Banuelos with yet another homer off of him – the fourth time he’s done so in the last two weeks. Dude is raking right now.

98.90 points wasn’t wait we were hoping for, but it was good enough to get into the cash in some of the higher-priced double ups, so I’ll take it and move onto tonight’s jam-packed 15-game slate!

P – Chris Sale (BOS) – $10,800 vs. NYY

I avoided the Red Sox/Yankees series opener in last night’s slate due to weather and it turned out to be the right call as the game was postponed, however we have the same pitching matchup on tap tonight as Chris Sale gets the nod against a Yankees offense that is surprisingly futile against left-handed pitching this season. After a tough April, Sale has been lights out in the month of May to the tune of a 2.23 ERA and 2.10 FIP while he owns a massive 15.59 K/9 for the month as well, a month that included a 17-strikeout game against the Rockies but also a pair of 10-strikeouts games and a 14-strikeout game as well. He struck out just five in his last outing against the Astros, but this a much more favorable matchup for the left-hander. Entering this one tonight, the Yankees rank 24th with a .295 wOBA against left-handed pitching, but also rank 28th with a huge 27.2% strikeout rate against them. A team that strikes out a lot against lefties facing Sale – with the roll he is on – seems like a matchup that has a massive ceiling for the southpaw this evening.

P – Joey Lucchesi (SD) – $8,800 vs. MIA

Lucchesi is coming off a double-digit strikeout performance himself and he also has the best matchup on the slate as evidenced by the Marlins’ weak offensive numbers and the fact that their 3.1 run projection is the lowest mark on the slate. Lucchesi’s last start came in Toronto where he went 6.2 frames while allowing three runs but also striking out 11 Blue Jays. Now, the Marlins actually sport the fourth-lowest strikeout rate against left-handed pitching this season at just 19.7%, however they are absolutely atrocious against lefties, ranking last with a .260 wOBA, last with a .103 ISO and last with a .604 OPS, the latter two of which are not even close. Lucchesi owns a tidy 2.83 ERA and 3.15 FIP at home this season and also owns a solid 8.49 K/9 clip at home as well. We know that Petco Park in San Diego is one of the league’s most pitcher-friendly venues, so while the strikeout upside may not be as high as I’d like, it’s still very much there and the run prevention aspect is very appealing on top of the win upside with the Padres sitting around -160 to win this one tonight.

C – Buster Posey (SF) – $3,300 vs. BAL

I am rolling out a pair of stacks tonight, this one a three-man Giants stack beginning here with Posey. I needed some value in my stacks as my pitching is a little pricey, and I think the Giants’ potent bats have plenty of upside as they take on right-hander Andrew Cashner in the hitter-friendly Camden Yards in Baltimore. After a down 2018 season, Posey has bounced back here in 2019, especially against right-handed pitching as he owns a solid .167 ISO and .764 OPS on the season with a 105 wRC+ against righties. However, when Posey gets out of the pither-friendly Oracle Park in San Francisco, he is hitting right-handers for a much-improved – and powerful – .222 ISO and .836 OPS to go along with a 123 wRC+. His bat is 23% more productive than league average on the road against right-handed pitching, and going up against Cashner and his elevated 4.55 ERA, 4.73 FIP, 4.57 xFIP and 1.52 HR/9, I like the chances of Posey eclipsing value in this one tonight. Finally, Posey has mashed Cashner in their history against one another as he’s gone 12 for 31 (.387) with two homers and two doubles against him, good for a career .258 ISO and 1.086 OPS against the veteran right-hander.

1B – Eric Thames (MIL) – $4,000 vs. PIT

The Pirates were making a charge for the postseason at the trade deadline last season and added Chris Archer from the Rays at the expense of two highly-touted prospects in Austin Meadows and Tyler Glasnow. While Meadows and Glasnow are absolutely thriving in Tampa Bay, Archer is being lit up in Pittsburgh to the tune of a 5.75 ERA, 5.58 FIP, 5.47 xfIP, 5.31 BB/9 and a huge 1.77 HR/9 rate. He also owns a 5.72 FIP and 5.80 xFIP at home this season, so I think the Brewers could be in for a big night tonight after putting up 11 runs on the Pirates in last night’s opener. Enter Thames who, despite hitting lefties better so far this season, owns a rock-solid .188 ISO and .763 OPS against righties. He owns a .214 ISO and .852 OPS on the road against righties as well. Considering he hit righties for a massive .268 ISO in 2018 and a .286 mark in 2017, we certainly know the power is there against righties for the lefty-swinging first baseman/outfielder.

2B – Mike Moustakas (MIL) – $4,400 vs. PIT

Next man up in the four-man Brewers stack is Moustakas who had himself a night last night. Moustakas went 4 for 6 with two home runs and four RBI in last night’s game after registering just one hit in his previous three contests. To say he’s enjoying a quality season against right-handed pitching would be an understatement. The infielder owns a massive .329 ISO and .951 OPS on  the season against right-handed pitching with 12 of his 15 home runs coming against a righty. His 143 wRC+ against righties is 43% above league average. One aspect that we need to make sure we check when stacking against a certain team is their bullpen as we need to continue scoring runs after the starter leaves the game. I am loving to see the Pirates’ bullpen sporting a 5.11 ERA on the season, good for 25th in the league. Furthermore, Moustakas is just 3 for 14 (.213) against Archer (most of that coming in the AL while Archer was with the Rays and better), but he’s also homered and doubled against him for a big-time .286 lifetime ISO off of him. After the breakout last night we could certainly see some more power tonight.

3B – Pablo Sandoval (SF) – $4,400 vs. BAL

The Panda may have endured some tough times after his first stint with the Giants ended, but he’s back in a big way this season with seven homers already, but the switch-hitters numbers are simply off the charts against right-handed pitching. Sandoval is hitting .313 with an unbelievable .363 ISO and 1.020 on the season against right-handed pitching to go along with a massive .418 wOBA and 164 wRC+. If that weren’t enough, the veteran corner infielder is sporting an eye-popping .459 ISO and 1.195 OPS with a .485 wOBA and 208 (!!!) wRC+ on the season against right-handed pitching on the road. Those are simply some unfathomable numbers that the Panda is putting up against righties this season, making his $4,400 price against a weak right-hander Cashner, in a hitter-friendly park, an absolute steal in my opinion. Sandoval is also 3 for 10 (.300) with a homer in his career against the righty, so sign me up all day for the once heavily scrutinized Sandoval tonight.

SS – Orlando Arcia (MIL) – $3,400 vs. PIT

Arcia is never going to wow you with his bat as he’s mostly a glove-first shortstop, but he’s actually flashed some pop this season, mostly against righties, while he also sports good numbers against Archer in a small sample. After homering just three times in 366 plate appearances last season, Arcia has six home runs already this season in just 207 plate appearances. Keep in mind this is a guy that popped 15 dingers in the 2017 season before that down 2018 regular season. He’s also a stolen base threat with a pair of steals on the season, seven last season and 14 back in 2017. Archer has allowed four steals this season and 10 last season, making him somewhat susceptible to the stolen base. Five of his six long balls on the season age come against right-handed pitching as well as six of his seven doubles. The ISO still sits at just .145 against righties, but the pop is there. Lastly, Arcia has gone 2 for 3 with a homer in his career against Archer, so I’ll take the value upside and run in this matchup tonight.

OF – Brandon Belt (SF) – $4,100 vs. BAL

Completing our three-man Giants stack is Belt who loves himself some right-handed pitching. Belt has pummeled right-handed pitching to the tune of a .274 ISO, .883 OPS and .372 wOBA on the season with his bat sitting 34% above league average against righties with a 134 wRC+ mark. However, like almost every Giants player, Belt thrives on the road and away from his pitcher-friendly home park as he has mashed righties for a massive .349 ISO and .980 OPS to go along with a .404 wOBA and 155 wRC+ on the road this season. I mentioned earlier that we are targeting a weak starting pitcher and bullpen against the Pirates, and that’s also the case here as the Orioles’ bullpen ranks 29th with a brutal 5.98 ERA while their 5.71 bullpen FIP is the worst mark in baseball. Lastly, Belt has also been successful in his career against Cashner as he’s gone 6 for 22 (.273) with a homer and two doubles against him, good for a .227 ISO and .833 career OPs against the right-hander.

OF – Lorenzo Cain (MIL) – $3,900 vs. PIT

Completing, but technically leading off, our four-man Brewers stack is Cain who bring some decent power/speed upside to the table. He’s homered four times and stolen five bases on the season, but the truth is that Cain isn’t having a great season against right-handed pitching as he owns just a .095 ISO and .678 OPS on the season against righties while only two of this five steals on the season have come against righties. It would appear to be a brutal matchup for Cain, but there’s a few things I like about it. One, Archer is actually sporting some reverse splits, meaning the right-hander has been worse against right-handed bats like Cain as he’s allowed a .923 OPS to righties and a massive 7.50 BB/9 rate to righties. Two, and related to one, Cain is going to hit leadoff tonight, the most valuable spot in the lineup. If he can even draw some walks, perhaps steal a bag or two and score a run or two, he will greatly eclipse value. Finally, and most impressively, Cain has destroyed Archer in their history and owns the best numbers of any Brewer against him by going 9 for 18 (.500) with a homer, a double, a triple and a stolen base against the veteran. I’m actually thrilled to get him in this lineup tonight.

OF – Steve Pearce (BOS) – $2,900 vs. NYY

Pearce may very well see some ownership tonight given the tiny salary against a left-handed pitcher, but the value upside is proving too high to fade as he has absolutely destroyed J.A. Happ in his career against the lefty and Happ is struggling this season. Entering this one tonight, Happ has allowed an .866 OPS to right-handed batters like Pearce and a huge .930 OPS to right-handed batters at home in Yankee Stadium this season. He also owns a 5.61 ERA for the month of May and is most importantly allowing a massive 3.09 HR/9 mark at home against right-handed Bats. Pearce has a long and extensive history of mashing left-handed pitching, even if he’s scuffled here in the early going, hence the small price tag. However, he had an RBI double in his last start on the 28th, so perhaps he’s perking up. That said, he owns the best batter vs. pitcher stats on this slate as he’s gone 11 for 35 (.314) with a whopping six home runs and two doubles in his career against Happ, good for a massive .571 ISO and 1.304 OPS in his career against the lefty. I’ll take it.


Brenton Kemp / Author

Brenton is a lifelong sports fan who resides in Ontario, Canada. Brenton is a fan of most all sports but specializes in hockey, baseball, football, basketball, and golf. He’s a fierce researcher with a strong appetite to deliver accurate and relevant facts that in turn have led to past success with picks and DFS advice across the board. Brenton’s biggest goal is to deliver readers with the picks and advice that can build their bankroll. He takes great pride in his success and loves nothing more than to share that success for the benefit of everyone involved.