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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for May 25

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

After tormenting a bunch of teenagers on Thursday in a rehab start at Low-A St. Lucie, Jacob deGrom ($11,800) will be back on an MLB mound this evening. Very likely, he’ll still be tormenting his opponents. On tonight’s 13-game slate, deGrom is the most expensive pitching option by over $1,000. Will he be worth that hefty price tag? Or is there another direction that you can go?

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

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Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers vs. San Diego Padres, $9,100 - Over his last four outings, Burnes has never been listed at less than $10.3K on DraftKings. Knowing that, it’s incredibly odd to see his salary fall this low on Tuesday, even with the amount of “stud” pitchers also scheduled to start. While the Padres are far from an ideal matchup, Burnes has been basically untouchable all season long, registering a 1.79 ERA and a 0.84 FIP over his first 40.1 innings of work. Burnes also owns a 44.7% strikeout rate — the second-highest mark in baseball among the 103 pitchers to throw at least 40.0 innings. I’m just not sure how you don’t take advantage of the discount here.


Kevin Gausman, San Francisco Giants at Arizona Diamondbacks, $7,200 - This is another price point that I simply don’t understand. Has anyone actually watched Gausman throw the past month? In the right-hander’s past six outings, he’s been able to maintain a pristine 0.90 ERA and a 2.03 FIP, all while holding opponents to a microscopic .202 wOBA. Gausman’s vaule isn’t solely based in run suppression, either. Across that same span of time, he’s managed to strike out 32.2% of the batter’s he’s faced. Heck, Gausman’s scored at least 31.0 DKFP in three of his last five appearances, which gives him a legitimate shot at 4x value, especially considering Arizona’s posted a ghastly 74 wRC+ so far in May.



Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants at Arizona Diamondbacks, $4,500 - There are a handful of teams on Tuesday that have an implied total above five runs, and the Giants are certainly in that grouping. While some of that obviously has to do with the success San Francisco has had so far in 2021, it also hinges quite a bit on the presence of Corbin Martin ($5,200). After his start last Tuesday against the Dodgers, the right-hander has now surrendered 3.70 home runs per nine across his 24.1 innings at the MLB level. That’s horrendous and something that Posey, who is currently in possession of a 194 wRC+, can exploit.


Tom Murphy, Seattle Mariners at Oakland Athletics, $3,100 - While Cole Irvin ($6,700) has definitely pitched far better than even Oakland fans could have imagined two months ago, the wheels might be starting to come off for the lefty. Irvin is sporting an ugly 6.47 xFIP over his past three starts, a span of time where the LHP has mustered just an 8.0% strikeout rate. That’s good news for Murphy, whose biggest flaw is his inability to make consistent contact. However, for his career, Murphy does have a .251 ISO against southpaws, so he carries a high-ceiling into Tuesday’s slate.

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Matt Olson, Oakland Athletics vs. Seattle Mariners, $4,600 - Though I do believe that Logan Gilbert ($5,000) will soon figure out the transition to the majors, it’s undeniable that the young RHP has been crushed in his first two big league outings. In fact, a whopping 65.2% of Gilbert’s 23 batted ball events have had an exit velocity of at least 95.0 mph, a huge reason for the rookie’s 6.80 expected ERA. Olson, who comes into tonight’s game with a 161 wRC+ versus right-handed pitching, has a home run in two of his past three games. If Gilbert makes a mistake to the LHB, it could go a very long way.


Alex Kirilloff, Minnesota Twins vs. Baltimore Orioles, $4,000 - With Nelson Cruz ($6,000; wrist), Jorge Polanco ($4,900; ankle) and Max Kepler ($3,900; undisclosed) all game-time decisions for tonight’s contest against the Orioles, it’s hard to really get an idea what the team’s lineup might eventually look like. Still, even with the uncertainty, it would be shocking to not see Kirilloff in a high-leverage spot. Not only has the rookie produced an eye-popping .453 expected wOBA in his first 62 plate appearances, but Dean Kremer ($6,000) has been terrible against LHBs. To wit, left-handed opponents have averaged 3.21 home runs per nine off of Baltimore’s right-hander. Yuck.



Brandon Lowe, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Kansas City Royals, $5,100 - While Lowe’s surface numbers don’t look amazing, much of that is due to his status as an every-day asset for the Rays. Lowe has been abysmal in left-on-left plate appearances; however, when given the opportunity to face an RHP, the veteran has posted a .250 ISO and a 155 wRC+ so far in 2021. Lowe should be able to do some damage against Brad Keller ($5,700), as the right-hander comes into Tuesday’s slate in possession of a 7.28 xERA. Keller’s also surrendered a barrel to 8.5% of the batters he’s opposed this season — tied for the third-worst mark in the league among qualified pitchers.


Editor’s Note: Twins 2B/OF Luis Arraez is not in the lineup for tonight’s game vs. the Orioles.

Luis Arraez, Minnesota Twins vs. Baltimore Orioles, $3,200 - Here’s a fun twist: It’s actually Kremer that’s tied with Keller, as the rookie has also allowed 8.5% of the batters he’s faced in 2021 to notch a barrel. The 25-year-old has conceded eight home runs in his past five starts and, for the season as a whole, lefties have compiled a massive .409 wOBA against Baltimore’s RHP. It’s doubtful that Arraez is going to be the Minnesota player to take Kremer deep this evening — he currently owns a .057 ISO — however, the Twins’ leadoff man is a career .339 hitter versus right-handed pitching. I think he’ll have little trouble reaching value if he’s able to get five plate appearances this evening.



Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Baseball Team at Detroit Tigers, $5,700 - It’s a little insane I’ve made it this far into the article without mentioning Tarik Skubal ($5,500), the man who has surrendered the most opponent barrels of any pitcher in baseball so far this season (20). Now, Ramirez has definitely preferred to hit as a lefty to this point in 2021, but when Skubal is the LHP forcing his move to the right-handed batter’s box, I’m not overly concerned about splits. It also helps that since the beginning of May, Ramirez owns a .301 ISO and a .385 wOBA. He can flat out hit anyone from either side of the plate.


Yandy Diaz, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Kansas City Royals, $3,100 - Diaz is always an interesting DFS asset. It’s often difficult to find a situation to use the infielder, as his .045 ISO is the third-lowest qualified mark in the league; yet, at the same time, he’s always cheap and he’s always hitting near the top of Tampa Bay’s batting order. With the struggling Keller taking the mound for the Royals on Tuesday — and the Rays averaging 8.6 runs per game during their 11-game winning-streak — I think this is one of the rare nights where Diaz is viable.



Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox vs. Atlanta Braves, $5,400 - As I’ve said many times in the past, if you’re ever unsure of what to do at shortstop, just use Bogaerts, especially if the Red Sox are playing at Fenway. So far in 2021, in 99 plate appearances in Boston, Bogaerts is slashing .363/.414/.637 with a 183 wRC+. This trend isn’t new, either. Bogaerts has been mashing opponents in his home park for the past couple of seasons. Charlie Morton ($7,900) may not be pitching as poorly as his 4.60 ERA suggests, but he has conceded 1.62 home runs per nine in May. He’d be wise to tread carefully with Bogaerts at the plate.


Amed Rosario, Cleveland Baseball Team at Detroit Tigers, $3,800 - Recently, Rosario was moved up into the two-spot in Cleveland’s batting order. At this price, a high-leverage slot by itself would be enough to be considered viable against Skubal and an awful Tigers’ bullpen; yet there’s more to this play than a simple lineup card. Quietly, across 62 plate appearances in 2021, Rosario has been punishing left-handed pitching. The shortstop is slashing .328/.371/.500 within the split with a 140 wRC+.



Aaron Judge, New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays, $5,500 - At this point, I’m just blindly playing Judge against any left-handed pitcher he happens to draw. The hulking RHB is hitting .400 in his 54 plate appearances within the split so far this season, while he also sports a .504 wOBA and a 229 wRC+. As for Steven Matz ($6,800), opponents have managed to hit to a .394 wOBA off of the lefty since the beginning of May. If his struggles continue against a very powerful New York lineup, the Yankees might be putting up some crooked numbers on Tuesday.


Trevor Larnach, Minnesota Twins vs. Baltimore Orioles, $2,700 - As mentioned above, it’s unclear who is going to be available for the Twins this evening, though it should be noted that Larnach has started each of the team’s past six games. The rookie hasn’t looked out of place so far in the majors, as Larnach has registered a .373 expected wOBA in his first 55 plate appearances. If the 24-year-old finds his way into Minnesota’s lineup on Tuesday, he’s another left-handed bat to add to the stack, and one that comes at an incredibly inexpensive price point.

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