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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for May 22

Matt LaMarca gives his top studs and value plays at each position for Saturday’s fantasy baseball slate on DraftKings, which starts at 7:15 p.m. ET.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Philadelphia Phillies Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday is an excellent day for sports fans. We’ve got four NBA playoff games, the third round of the PGA Championship, and all 30 MLB teams in action. That includes a six-game main slate starting at 7:15 p.m. on DraftKings.

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

Walker Buehler, Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants ($11,000) – Buehler has gotten off to a good start this season, pitching to a 2.98 ERA through his first eight starts. His strikeout numbers aren’t off the charts – he’s averaged 9.47 strikeouts per nine innings – but he has more upside than usual in that department vs. the Giants. They’ve posted the highest strikeout rate in the league against right-handed pitchers this season. There’s currently no DraftKings Sportsbook data available for this game, but expect Buehler to have one of the lowest opponent’s implied team totals, as well.

Other Options – Robbie Ray ($9,500)

Value

Adbert Alzolay, Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals ($8,000) – Alzolay is an interesting option on today’s slate. He’s been decent to start the year, but he’s struggled with the long ball. He’s allowed an average of 1.95 home runs per nine innings, and 24.2% of his fly balls allowed have gone over the wall. Alzolay was much stingier with his home runs allowed last season, so expect some positive regression for him moving forward.

That could start today vs. the Cardinals. They’ve been mediocre against right-handers this season, ranking just 20th in wRC+, and their implied team total of 4.3 runs is tied for the second-lowest mark on the slate.

Other Options – Nathan Eovaldi ($8,700), Chris Bassitt ($7,800)


Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $125K Bat Flip [$25K to 1st]


CATCHER

Stud

Christian Vázquez, Boston Red Sox at Philadelphia Phillies ($4,600) – The Red Sox are taking on Spencer Howard ($4,000) on Saturday, and he’s yet to be able to put things together at the major league level. He’s an impressive prospect who has pitched well in the minors, but he’s posted a 6.28 ERA over 28 2/3 MLB innings. His advanced numbers from this season suggest he’s due for improvement, but the Red Sox don’t seem like the best matchup to get right. They rank second in the league in runs per game and fourth in the league in wRC+ vs. right-handed pitchers. Vázquez is someone who has historically performed better against southpaws than right-handers, but he’s actually been better in righty-righty matchups this season.

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

Other Options – Willson Contreras ($4,500), Will Smith ($4,400)

Value

Tom Murphy, Seattle Mariners at San Diego Padres ($2,600) – Murphy is expected to bat fifth for the Mariners on Saturday, and that is reason enough to consider him at just $2,600. He’s also displayed excellent power against left-handed pitchers over the past 12 months, posting a .276 ISO. He’s already hit two home runs against left-handers in just 32 at-bats this season.

Other Options – Danny Jansen ($2,800), Andrew Knapp ($2,300)


FIRST BASE

Stud

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays ($5,700) – Guerrero entered the league with more hype than virtually any prospect in recent memory, and he’s delivered on that promise this season. He’s absolutely raked to start the year, posting a 197 wRC+, and he’s posted a .404 wOBA and .299 ISO against southpaws over the past 12 months. He stands out at a relatively weak position on today’s slate.

Other Options – Anthony Rizzo ($4,500), Rhys Hoskins ($4,400)

Value

Yandy Díaz, Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays ($3,200) – Robbie Ray ($9,500) has gotten off to a fantastic start this season, but he’ll have his hands full with the Rays on Saturday. Díaz is someone who has feasted on left-handed pitching throughout his career, and he’s posted a 123 wRC+ against southpaws so far this season. He’s expected to hit third for the Rays, which makes him a nice value at $3,200.

Other Options – Paul Goldschmidt ($3,900), Albert Pujols ($2,000)


SECOND BASE

Stud

Max Muncy, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants ($4,900) – The Giants still aren’t sure who they’re going to start vs. the Dodgers, but Muncy should be fine regardless of who he’s facing. He’s off to a fantastic start this season, and he’s been essentially just as good against left-handers as he is against right-handers. He owns a wRC+ of at least 131 in both splits this season.

Other Options – Marcus Semien ($5,600), Tommy Edman ($4,500)

Value

Marwin Gonzalez, Boston Red Sox at Philadelphia Phillies ($3,700) – Gonzalez is a cheap way to get some exposure to the Red Sox offense in this matchup. He’s not expected to bat particularly high in the order, but second base is arguably the weakest position on the slate from a value perspective.

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

Other Options – Jed Lowrie ($4,200), Mike Brosseau ($3,000)


THIRD BASE

Stud

Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox at Philadelphia Phillies ($5,400) – Devers had a down year by his standards in 2020, but he’s back to being one of the best left-handed hitters in the league this season. He’s posted a career-best 151 wRC+ through his first 43 games, including a 175 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers. He’s also posted a .395 ISO in those matchups, so he has immense upside vs. Howard on Saturday.

Other Options – Anthony Rendon ($4,900), Justin Turner ($4,500)

Value

Alec Bohm, Philadelphia Phillies vs. Boston Red Sox ($3,500) – On the other side of that matchup, Bohm is someone I’m looking to buy low on. He’s off to a slow start this season, but he absolutely raked as a rookie in 2020. His Statcast data is actually better this season than it was last year – he owns a higher average exit velocity and higher hard-hit rate – so I’m expecting him to turn things around in the near future. His expected batting average of .270 is nearly 50 points higher than his actual batting average of .225.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Bohm is not in the lineup for tonight’s game vs. the Red Sox.

Other Options – Cavan Biggio ($4,000; questionable), Santiago Espinal ($2,700)


SHORTSTOP

Stud

Bo Bichette, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays ($5,800) – There are a few top shortstops to consider on Saturday, but Bichette stands out as my favorite. Not only is the Blue Jays’ implied team total the top mark on the slate currently, but Bichette will be on the positive side of his splits vs. left-hander Shane McClanahan ($7,300). Bichette has posted a .364 wOBA and .235 ISO against southpaws so far this season.

Other Options – Fernando Tatis Jr. ($5,900), Xander Bogaerts ($5,700)

Value

Jose Iglesias, Los Angeles Angels vs. Oakland Athletics ($3,700) – If you’re not paying up for one of the top shortstops, Iglesias is a decent pivot. He’s expected to bat leadoff for the Angels on Saturday, and he’s posted a 110 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers this season. He was even better in those matchups last season, posting a 166 wRC+, so he’s underpriced vs. Chris Bassitt ($7,800).

Other Options – Joey Wendle ($4,300), Brandon Crawford ($3,600)


OUTFIELD

Stud

Randy Arozarena, Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays ($5,500) – Arozarena has been red-hot recently, and the Blue Jays wanted no part of him yesterday. He has scored at least 33.0 DKFP in his previous two contests, so the Rays decided to walk him in three of his six at-bats. That’s obviously not ideal from a fantasy perspective, but it goes to show the type of respect he’s getting at the plate.

If Ray does give him something to hit on Saturday, he’ll have the potential to do some damage. He’s posted a .376 wOBA and .235 ISO against southpaws over the past 12 months.

Other Options – J.D. Martinez ($5,800), Teoscar Hernández ($4,800)

Value

Seth Brown, Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels ($2,900) – The Angels are another team who have yet to announce a starting pitcher on Saturday, but Brown should be near the top of their lineup regardless. He’s posted solid numbers against both right and left-handed pitchers this season, so he seems underpriced at just $2,900.

Other Options – Manuel Margot ($3,400), Dylan Carlson ($2,800)

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $125K Bat Flip [$25K 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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