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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for May 15

Matt LaMarca gives his top studs and value plays at each position for Saturday’s fantasy baseball slate on DraftKings, which starts at 7:05 p.m. ET.

Cincinnati Reds v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Saturday features a full evening of baseball action, and DraftKings is offering a 10-game main slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.

Let’s go position-by-position and break down everything you’ll need to know to set your lineups.


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PITCHER

Stud

Trevor Bauer, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Miami Marlins ($11,000) – Bauer won the NL Cy Young award last season, and he’s off to an impressive start in his first season with the Dodgers. He’s pitched to a 2.50 ERA and an 11.98 K/9 through his first eight starts, and he’ll have a chance to better those numbers on Saturday vs. the Marlins. It’s one of the best possible matchups for a right-handed pitcher, with the Marlins ranking 23rd in wRC+ and eighth in strikeout rate in that split this season. Bauer is a massive -305 favorite in this matchup on DraftKings Sportsbook, and the Marlins’ implied team total of 2.7 runs is the lowest mark on the slate by more than half a run.

Other Options – Aaron Nola ($10,300), Carlos Rodón ($10,000)

Value

Chris Paddack, San Diego Padres vs. St Louis Cardinals ($7,700) – Paddack was viewed as a future star at one point, but his star has lost some luster. He’s pitched to a 4.78 ERA to start the season after struggling to a 4.73 ERA last year, and his strikeout numbers have also decreased since his rookie season. That said, his advanced metrics suggest he’s due for some positive regression. He owns a 3.03 FIP this season, which is significantly better than his traditional ERA. His average fastball velocity is also up, which tends to be a positive for pitchers.

Perhaps he’ll start to turn things around in a friendly matchup vs. the Cardinals. They’ve struggled against right-handers this year, ranking just 25th in wRC+ while striking out at the 11th-highest frequency. Their implied team total is the second-lowest mark on the slate, and Paddack is also a slight favorite. Add it all up, and this is a prime buy-low spot.

Other Options – Domingo Germán ($7,900), Triston McKenzie ($7,300)


Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $200K Bat Flip [$50K to 1st]


CATCHER

Stud

Carson Kelly, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Washington Nationals ($4,900) – The Diamondbacks’ offense has not been producing recently, but you can’t blame Carson for their struggles. He’s posted a sick 193 wRC+ through his first 28 games, and he’s walked at a significantly higher rate than he’s struck out. He’s also made some of the best contact in the league, posting a 13.4% barrel rate. He’s in a great spot Saturday vs. right-hander Joe Ross ($6,400), who has pitched to a 5.73 FIP this season.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Kelly is not in the lineup for tonight’s game vs. the Nationals.

Other Options – Yasmani Grandal ($4,500), Yermin Mercedes ($4,200)

Value

Daulton Varsho, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Washington Nationals ($2,800) – Let’s go right back to the well with the Diamondbacks. Varsho is extremely athletic for a catcher, to the point where the team has actually played him in the outfield recently. He hasn’t hit particularly well to start the season, but he did post a 116 wRC+ vs. right-handers last season. That’s a nice mark for a catcher.

Other Options – Austin Nola ($3,700), Martin Maldonado ($2,300)


FIRST BASE

Stud

Luke Voit, New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles ($5,400) – Voit recently returned to the Yankees’ lineup, and he’s blossomed into an elite hitter in New York. He posted a 152 wRC+ with 22 homers over 56 games last season, and he was at his best against right-handed pitchers. That gives him a sizable advantage against Jorge López ($6,200), who is about as poor of a right-handed pitcher as there is in baseball. He’s pitched to an ERA of at least 6.33 in each of the past two seasons, and he’s posted a mark of 5.63 to start the year.

Other Options – José Abreu ($5,100; questionable), Yuli Gurriel ($5,000)

Value

Connor Joe, Colorado Rockies vs. Cincinnati Reds ($2,500) – Connor Joe sounds like the default name for a created character in a baseball video game, but he’s impossible to ignore on Saturday. He’s expected to bat second for the Rockies at Coors Field, and he costs just $2,500. That combination doesn’t come around very often, but batters with a top-three lineup spot and a comparable salary have historically averaged 10.16 DKFP per game at Coors. That makes Joe an elite value option.

Other Options – Pavin Smith ($3,700), Dan Vogelbach ($2,200)


SECOND BASE

Stud

Jose Altuve, Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers ($5,300) – Altuve got the night off yesterday vs. the Rangers, but he’s been hot recently. He’s scored at least 12.0 DKFP in four of his past five games, and he’ll have the chance for another strong performance on Saturday. He’s taking on Dane Dunning ($6,800), and the Astros are currently implied for 4.8 runs in that matchup. Dunning is one of the Rangers’ most promising young pitchers, but the Astros rank second in the league in wRC+ vs. right-handers. He could struggle a bit on Saturday.

Other Options – DJ LeMahieu ($5,500), Jean Segura ($4,700)

Value

Nick Madrigal, Chicago White Sox vs. Kansas City Royals ($2,600) – Madrigal has recently moved up in the lineup for the White Sox, and he’s expected to bat second against Royals left-hander Mike Minor ($7,000). Madrigal doesn’t possess a ton of power, but he’s posted a strong 129 wRC+ vs. southpaws so far this season. Minor is a mediocre pitcher – he’s posted a 5.75 ERA through seven starts this season – so I’ll take Madrigal’s chances in this matchup.

Other Options – Josh Harrison ($3,300), Josh VanMeter ($2,500)


THIRD BASE

Stud

Mike Moustakas, Cincinnati Reds at Colorado Rockies ($5,200) – It’s hard not to love the Reds’ offense on today’s slate. They’re currently implied for 6.3 runs in Colorado, which is the top mark on the slate by more than a full run. You’ll have to choose between the Reds’ bats and Bauer – which is a tough call – but there’s no denying their upside.

Moustakas is one of their more appealing options. Opposing pitcher Jhoulys Chacín ($3,900) will be making his first start of the season, but he’s pitched to a 6.84 FIP in 12 13 innings out of the bullpen. That includes a dreadful 11.25 FIP against left-handed batters when pitching at Coors Field.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Moustakas is not in the lineup for today’s game vs. the Rockies.

Other Options – Eugenio Suarez ($5,800), Eduardo Escobar ($4,800)

Value

Starlin Castro, Washington Nationals at Arizona Diamondbacks ($3,100) – The Nats racked up 17 runs yesterday in Arizona, and they’re taking on a pitcher making his season debut in Seth Frankoff ($3,900). In fact, he’s pitched just 4 2/3 innings in the major leagues dating all the way back to 2017, and he pitched to a 9.00 ERA in his only start at Triple-A this season. Castro is expected to hit third for the Nationals, so he’s an appealing option at just $3,100.

Other Options – Kyle Farmer ($3,900), Josh Fuentes ($2,400)


SHORTSTOP

Stud

Trea Turner, Washington Nationals at Arizona Diamondbacks ($5,900) – I’m not sure the casual baseball fan realizes how good Turner is. His speed is obviously well documented, but he’s developed into a major threat in the batter’s box, as well. He posted a 158 wRC+ last season, and he’s followed that up with a 143 wRC+ to start the year. He’s been at his best against left-handed pitchers, but he’s more than talented enough to get to Frankoff.

Other Options – Trevor Story ($6,000), Tim Anderson ($5,000)

Value

Danny Mendick, Chicago White Sox vs. Kansas City Royals ($2,600) – Shortstop has become one of the most star-studded positions in the league, so there are not many appealing value options on today’s slate. If you do want to pay down at the position, Mendick could make some sense vs. Minor. He’s not expected to occupy a premium spot in the Chicago lineup, but he’s posted a .310 wOBA and .200 ISO against southpaws over the past 12 months.

Other Options – Kyle Farmer ($3,900), Didi Gregorius ($3,600; elbow, questionable)


OUTFIELD

Stud

Jesse Winker, Cincinnati Reds vs. Colorado Reds ($6,000) – Winker is quite simply one of the best hitters in baseball against right-handed pitchers. He has absolutely raked in those matchups to start the year, posting a ridiculous 223 wRC+. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out he’s a good play facing a right-hander at Coors Field for the team with the highest implied team total of the day.

Other Options – Mookie Betts ($5,900), Juan Soto ($5,600)

Value

Kyle Schwarber, Washington Nationals at Arizona Diamondbacks ($3,600) – Schwarber is off to an average start this season, but he remains an excellent source of power against right-handed pitchers. He posted a .298 ISO against right-handers last season, and he racked up 38 homers in the last full season.

Other Options – Nick Senzel ($4,400), Josh Harrison ($3,300)

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $200K Bat Flip [$50K to 1st]


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.


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