DraftKings MLB Picks – May 31st

Last night’s lineup was extremely disappointing. Both Chris Sale and Michael Wacha delivered brutal efforts while our Phillies’ stack did next to nothing. A serious rebound effort is in the cards tonight so let’s get right back at it!

P – Max Scherzer (WAS) – $13,300 vs. SF

It’s extremely tough to turn the other cheek when Max Scherzer takes the mound against one of the league’s worst offenses in one of the league’s most pitcher-friendly venues. That is the case with Scherzer tonight as he takers on the Giants at the spacious AT&T Park in San Francisco this evening. Scherzer racked up 13 punchouts while coming just one out shy of going the distance his last time out against the Padres which was very encouraging considering he went a combined 11 innings over his previous two starts. Nonetheless Scherzer enters play tonight sporting an 11.72 K/9 on the season to go along with a 2.77 ERA. The Giants rank 29th league-wide in runs scored this season and also rank 30th in OPS, giving Scherzer another light-hitting opponent to take advantage of tonight.

P – Masahiro Tanaka (NYY) – $8,100 vs. BAL

Tanaka has gotten off to a pretty brutal start to the season with a 5.86 ERA through ten starts, however he still sports an 8.46 K/9 on the season and the fact that his xFIP sits at 3.90 tells me that he is due for positive regression once his home run numbers start to normalize. Tanaka’s strikeout upside gets a boost tonight as he takes on an Orioles team that has the ninth-most strikeouts in the league this season despite playing four or five less games than the teams ahead of them on that list. After all, he is coming off of his best start to the season with a 7.1-inning, 13-strikeout effort against the A’s his last time out. Look for Tanaka to continue racking up strikeouts again this evening.

C – Sandy Leon (BOS) – $2,900 vs. TEX

First man up for position players is Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon. Leon and his Red Sox teammates will take on White Sox right-hander Mike Pelfrey so I feel a Red Sox left-handed stack could be in order this evening. The switch-hitting Leon has displayed more power against left-handed pitching recently, however given the price tag and the fact he is part of a stack I don’t mind rolling with who I believe will be a low-owned catcher this evening. Pelfrey has been knocked around for the better part of the last season and change and Leon and his left-handed hitting teammates also get a boost in terms of the ball park shift, away from the confines of Fenway Park that limit home runs to left-handed bats. Regardless, Leon could be hitting with the other two Red Sox in this stack given the fact he will likely be in the 8-hole tonight for Boston.

1B – Mitch Moreland (BOS) – $3,800 vs. TEX

Next man up in this Red Sox stack is the left-handed hitting Mitch Moreland. Moreland has brought lots of extra-base power with him to the Red Sox as he already has 16 doubles, six home runs and an .846 OPS on the young season. Moreland specializes in hitting right-handed pitching so it would not take me by surprise if he displayed some more of that extra-base power tonight. Moreland does have a home run and a double in 14 career at bats against Pelfrey and should have every opportunity to produce more offense tonight, likely with plenty of traffic on the bases.

2B – Whit Merrifield (KC) – $3,600 vs. DET

Merrifield enters play tonight sporting a whopping 15-game hitting streak and that should continue against Tigers’ southpaw Matt Boyd. Not only has Merrifield compiled a 1.169 OPS over his last ten games, but he has also hit lefties to the tune of a .229 ISO and a 1.090 OPS on the season. He was no slouch against lefties in his rookie season last year as he compiled an .891 OPS and a .379 wOBA against lefties. Merrifield is a standalone play in this lineup as the Royals offense as a whole is one of the worst in the league this season, but he could provide plenty of value at his very reasonable price tag tonight.

3B – Jose Reyes (NYM) – $3,600 vs. MIL

Reyes hasn’t gotten off to the best of starts this season, however he has also been the ceipient of some poor fortune as his .219 BABIP against right-handed pitching would suggest. He strikes out just 13.1% of the time so he is still putting plenty of balls in play and his season will turn around once that low BABIP inevitably rises. He also has six steals on the season, giving him upside on the basepaths as well.

SS – Asdrubal Cabrera (NYM) – $3,500 vs. MIL

The cost-effective Mets stack continues here with veteran shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. Like Reyes, Cabrera has a low strikeout rate (14.3% against righties) and more pop against right-handed pitching compared to left-handed pitching for the switch-hitting middle infielder. Cabrera recently spent some time on the DL with a thumb injury but could be a valuable member of this Mets stack given how well the team has hit right-handed pitching this season.

OF – Andrew Benintendi (BOS) – $4,000 vs. CWS

After a fairly hot start to the season Benintendi has cooled off considerably in the month of May, however a .222 BABIP this month isn’t helping his cause, but is understandable as his April BABIP stood at .365. Nonetheless, Benintendi has displayed the ability to hit right-handed pitching for power in his young big league career and he has also swiped seven bases this season, giving him cross-category appeal against one of the worst pitchers on the slate tonight.

OF – Jay Bruce (NYM) – $4,300 vs. MIL

Here is a guy who has simply mauled right-handed pitching this season, although his bat has gone quiet as of late too. Bruce owns a massive .321 ISO and .959 OPS on the season against righties, but a low .229 BABIP in the month of May has his OPS sitting at .727 for the month, although his ISO remains excellent at .224 in May. We don’t really know when these hot and cold streaks start or finish, so let’s stick with the stats and roster a righty-masher this evening.

OF – Guillermo Heredia (SEA) – $2,900 vs. COL

Heredia was the final addition to this lineup, but he offers plenty of value at his price point. Last night is a perfect example as he posted three hits, a walk and an RBI for 17 DraftKings points. This was after putting up 16 points thanks to a home run and a walk in his previous start. The switch-hitting outfielder will take on Rockies’ righty Antonio Senzatela tonight who carries an elevated 4.83 FIP against lefties into play this evening.

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