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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Lineup Strategy for Phillies vs. Braves Showdown on May 9

Pearce Dietrich gives his top lineup advice for Sunday’s fantasy baseball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Phillies and Braves, which starts at 7:08 p.m. ET.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Two of the best pitchers in the National League will square off in Atlanta tonight. They will face offenses that have not quite live up to expectations. Atlanta has a 98 wRC+ and Philadelphia has an 89 wRC+ this season. Against right-handed pitching, Atlanta has the sixth-best wRC+ in MLB, but those numbers are buoyed by the incomparable Ronald Acuna Jr. On the other side of the diamond, the Phillies' numbers against right-handed pitching are buoyed by no one. This should be an excellent pitcher’s duel.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $80K Sunday Night Showdown [$20K to 1st] (PHI vs ATL)

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves

Captain’s Picks

Ronald Acuna Jr. ($15,600 CP; $10,400) - Pitcher matchups do not matter for one of the best hitters in baseball. Acuna vs. Aaron Nola ($16,200 CP; $ 10,800) isn’t fun, but every hitter has a tough matchup tonight. If any hitter is able to overcome their matchup, then it will be the expensive hitters. Besides, Nola isn’t likely to pitch a complete game and the Phillies’ bullpen is allowing 1.85 HR/9 this season. Acuna’s numbers are off the charts again in 2021. Against right-handed pitching, Acuna has a .435 wOBA, .340 ISO, 174 wRC+ and 42% hard contact. His righty vs. righty stats are better than most stars’ splits. I should be noted that Acuna left last night’s game after getting hit by a pitch and is considered day-to-day, so keep an eye on his status for this one.

Huascar Ynoa ($15,000 CP; $10,000) - Let’s start with the bad, and get it out of the way: His schedule has been soft. That being said, he did exactly what he was supposed to do in those matchups, and the truth is that tonight, he draws another soft matchup. The Phillies have a .293 wOBA, .142 ISO, and a 27% K rate against right-handed pitching this season. Ynoa has a 29% K rate, a 6% BB rate and a 29.8% fly-ball rate. He’s keeping the ball down, in the zone and away from bats. That’s bad news for a struggling offense.

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Value Plays

Austin Riley ($7,400) - Every hitter has a tough matchup on this showdown slate. The value players have even worse odds, but DFS players have to spend down somewhere. Against right-handed pitching this season, Riley has a .371 wOBA and a 133 wRC+. Riley hasn’t been around long enough to determine if this statistical increase is due to development or a product of a small sample size. Over his career, Riley has rated well above average against curveballs, and that’s Nola’s famous pitch.

Alec Bohm ($6,200) - Cheap right-handed Phillies are in play for the sole purpose of chasing a home run against Ynoa. If there is one weakness in the Braves pitcher’s armor, it has been his propensity to allow power to right-handed batters (5 HRs, .274 ISO). Bohm has struggled against right-handed pitching this season, but that is generally the rule for right-handed batters, especially right-handed value batters. Although Bohm’s splits aren’t great, he has power and is facing a pitcher that allows power to right-handed batters. Bohm has 10 barrels with an 11% barrel rate and a 53% hard-hit rate this season. His xwOBA is .347 despite his average launch angle only being 4.4 degrees.


Freddie Freeman ($14,700 CP; $9,800) - DraftKings refuses to lower Freeman’s price. His slump (.214 wOBA) is extending into month two, and the DK algorithm is pretending it’s not happening. At some point, Freeman will break out, but tonight does not seem like the night. Nola is having another great season (3.37 xFIP), and Freeman has never been able to hit Nola. In 56 plate appearance against Nola, Freeman has a .315 wOBA and a .125 ISO. He has not been awful, but he’s worth about half of his salary,

The Outcome

Neither offense is looking great, but at least the Braves may have Acuna if he’s able to play through his hand issue. It looks like the Phillies rushed Bryce Harper back a little too soon. In his two games back in the lineup, Harper’s average exit velocity is 81.6 mph and he’s struck out four times. This game will be about pitching, and about the lineups facing the pitching. Aaron Nola has been great, but the matchup is better for Huascar Ynoa.

Final Score: Braves 4, Phillies 3

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $80K Sunday Night Showdown [$20K to 1st] (PHI vs ATL)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Greenflagradio2) 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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