DraftKings MLB Picks – May 18th

After a fantastic lineup on Monday night I took a step in the wrong direction last night, but that is simply how things go in the volatile world that is MLB DFS. We have a tiny main slate on our hands this evening so let’s get some winning picks out of that small draft board!

P – Julio Teheran (ATL) – $8,800 vs. TOR

Atlanta ace Julio Teheran gets the ball tonight for the series finale against the Toronto Blue Jays. Teheran has had some issues with control this season, but this pick has more to with his splits more than anything. Teheran is significantly better against right-handed hitter than is he lefties, and Toronto will throw out at least six righties tonight. Teheran’s FIP against righties this season is 1.56 and his K/9 is 7.83, compared to a FIP of 7.45 against lefties and a K/9 of 5.40. His walk rate is also significantly lower versus righties, making him a solid play against a righty-heavy lineup tonight.

P – Hector Velazquez (BOS) – $6,400 vs. OAK

Here is where the money could be made tonight. Velazquez makes his big league debut against the Athletics tonight after producing some very stingy figures this season in Triple-A. Velazquez has produced a minuscule 1.55 ERA in the upper level of the minors this season and takes on an A’s offense that was shutout last night and might be missing their best hitter this season Yonder Alonso with a banged up knee. He is certainly a GPP play but perhaps Velazquez can give the Red Sox some quality innings tonight.

C – Yasmani Grandal (LAD) – $3,800 vs. MIA

The Marlins will send right-hander Edinson Volquez to the mound tonight and given his gaudy splits on the season let’s roll out a Dodgers’ left-handed stack, beginning here with Grandal. It’s been mentioned several times in these pieces that the switch-hitting Grandal hits right-handed pitchers for more power, and considering Volquez has a 5.99 FIP to lefties this season compared to just 2.38 to righties, we have something to work from here. He has also given up all of his homers to lefties, making Grandal a nice home run upside catcher this evening.

1B – Danny Valencia (SEA) – $3,700 vs. CWS

We have a bit of an interesting scenario on our hands in Seattle tonight with White Sox starter Dylan Covey. Despite being a right-handed pitcher, Covey has been absolutely atrocious against right-handed hitters this season, entering play tonight with an 11.65 FIP and a 4.97 HR/9 against righties on the season. With numbers this reverse, right-handed Mariners exposure is required. Valencia hasn’t swung the bat too well this season with just a .712 OPS entering play tonight, however he does boast pop in his bat and could give Covey trouble considering the aforementioned splits.

2B – Dee Gordon (MIA) – $3,700 vs. LAD

The second base spot was the final spot to fill in this lineup, however Dee Gordon fits in just fine. He boasts hardly any power, but he is arguably the best base-stealer in the game and could rack up some points on the basepaths. Dodgers’ starter Hyun-Jin Ryu has a 4.99 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP entering play tonight, meaning he is giving up plenty of baserunners and plenty of runs, making Gordon a viable second base option this evening.

3B – Justin Turner (LAD) – $3,900 vs. MIA

Although I documented Volquez and his poor results against left-handed hitters, with Turner we have a reverse-splits hitter who actually hits righties better than lefties. In 2016, Turner had a .258 ISO and a .919 OPS against right-handed pitchers compared to a .128 ISO and .640 OPS against southpaw pitchers. Also, he is a career 6 for 12 with a homer and two doubles against Volquez, therefore he makes for an excellent play tonight.

SS – Corey Seager (LAD) – $4,500 vs. MIA

Seager will like hit in the two hole for the Dodgers which should be a very productive position to be tonight. Seager has simply mashed right-handed pitching in his young MLB career with a career .223 ISO and .956 OPS against opposite-handed pitching. He also loves to hit at Dodgers Stadium with a career .250 ISO and .978 OPS against right-handers at home. He is easily my top shortstop on the slate.

OF – Joc Pederson (LAD) – $3,700 vs. MIA

Last up in this Dodgers stack is outfielder Joc Pederson. Pederson is projected to hit in the leadoff spot tonight for the Dodgers which is a good thing considering his abilities against right-handed pitching. In his career against righties Pederson has a .228 ISO and .826 OPS. He is scuffling at the plate this season but is hitting the ball hard over 35% of the time against righties and the power in that bat will show up very soon and we certainly want to be there when it happens.

OF – Nelson Cruz (SEA) – $5,000 vs. CWS

I mentioned White Sox right-hander Dylan Covey and his severe struggles against righties earlier in this article, and here we have one of the best right-handed power bats in the game to take advantage. Cruz is crushing the ball this season with ten homers and a .994 OPS and shouldn’t have too much trouble tonight with the young right-hander. The Mariners are projected to score the most runs on the slate so Cruz should be right in the middle of that damage tonight.

OF – Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) – $4,400 vs. CWS

Forming a nice mini-stack with Gordon, Stanton’s power bat is a very nice addition to this lineup. He already has 11 homers and an .862 OPS on the season and given Ryu’s early struggles this season I don’t see why one of the most powerful bats in the world shouldn’t be in this lineup. Roll Stanton with confidence with cash to spare tonight.

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