What should be a beautiful mid-May Sunday afternoon features eight games on the main slate on DraftKings and should include plenty of fantasy baseball goodness. It has been a fun weekend of interdivisional matchups for the most part, and all eight games are series finales before the teams move to new locations on Monday. Before that, though, there are some great matchups to get to Sunday afternoon.
Be sure to keep up with all the news, lineups and updates in the DK Live app and on Twitter, where you can follow DK Live (@dklive). I’m also available on Twitter (@ZT_Sports), and I’ll be happy to answer any questions about these picks, discuss alternatives, and I’ll also highlight more bargain-specific content all season long.
Justin Verlander, Houston Astros at Washington Nationals ($10,300) – The 39-year-old Verlander has shown no signs of slowing down in his comeback season after Tommy John surgery. He has gone 4-1 with a 1.55 ERA and 3.16 FIP while totaling 36 strikeouts in 40 2⁄3 innings. He has allowed one or zero runs in four of his six starts with over 30 DKFP in three of those outings, including his most recent start, when he held the Twins hitless for 7 1⁄3 innings and finished with 30.2 DKFP. He has been especially sharp on the road, where he has allowed two runs in 28 innings. The Nationals rank in the middle of the pack offensively, but they have very little experience against Verlander aside from his former AL Central opponents Nelson Cruz ($4,500) and Alcides Escobar ($3,400) who have had little success. Verlander should be set up for another strong outing and has dominated in day games since arriving in Houston back in 2017.
Other Options – Alek Manoah ($9,600), Joe Ryan ($8,400)
Tarik Skubal, Detroit Tigers vs. Baltimore Orioles ($6,000) – Skubal is extremely cheap for a starter going up against the weak-hitting Orioles in a pitcher-friendly park like Comerica Park. On the season, Baltimore is batting .231 with only 24 home runs in 34 games. Only the Tigers and Royals have scored fewer runs than Baltimore, which might mean Skubal struggles to get run support, but he should have a strong start anyways. He is 2-2 over his six starts with a 2.94 ERA and 2.42 FIP. His strikeout rate has been better than Verlander’s with 34 strikeouts in 33 2⁄3 innings. The 25-year-old southpaw allowed zero runs in three of his past five starts including his most recent outing when he blanked the Athletics for seven innings while striking out five and finishing with 26.2 DKFP, giving him over 23 DKFP in four of his past five starts.
Other Options – Carlos Carrasco ($8,000), Triston McKenzie ($7,400)
Tim Anderson, Chicago White Sox vs. New York Yankees ($4,600) – Anderson is surprisingly affordable and has been very productive with four home runs, five stolen bases, a .327 average and a .382 wOBA coming into play on Saturday night. He has two of those homers and two of those stolen bases over his past 12 games while going 19-for-51 (.373) with a .430 wOBA. Anderson has done most of his damage against lefties, lighting them up at a .529 clip with two home runs and a .666 wOBA in his small sample size. Anderson has always thrived against lefties, so he’s definitely worth a look at under $5K from his leadoff spot against Yankees’ lefty Nestor Cortes ($10,000).
Jesús Aguilar, Miami Marlins at Milwaukee Brewers ($4,000) – Sunday seems like a good day to believe in Jesús as he and the Marlins take on Brandon Woodruff ($9,000). Woodruff has allowed four homers in his six starts while allowing righties to post a .355 wOBA. Aguilar has five homers on the season, and four of them have come in his past 10 games. During that stretch, he has gone 12-for-41 (.293) with three doubles to go with those four home runs and seven RBIs. He has been hitting second in a nice lineup spot and comes at only $4K on Sunday.
Other Options – Alex Bregman ($4,900), DJ LeMahieu ($4,400)
Aledmys Díaz, Houston Astros at Washington Nationals ($3,200) – Díaz brings key versatility in his role off the Houston bench and has been helping to fill in for Jeremy Peña ($4,300; knee) over the past few games. Even if Peña returns, Díaz will likely slide to a different spot in the field since the Astros like to get his bat in the lineup against lefties. His average for the season remains uninspiring, but he has gone 7-for-21 (.333) in May. He has hit .267 off of southpaws this season coming into Saturday’s contest with a .400 wOBA. He also has a home run in his five previous at-bats against Patrick Corbin ($5,400).
Royce Lewis, Minnesota Twins vs. Cleveland Guardians ($2,200) – Even though he’s hitting at the bottom of the lineup for the Twins, the 22-year-old has shown enough upside to be a valuable punt play. He hit safely in seven of his first eight games in the Majors, and he connected on his first Major League home run on Friday night, which was a grand slam that helped him finish with 27 DKFP and raise his average to 7.3 DKFP per contest over his first seven games.
Other Options – Santiago Espinal ($3,400), Leury García ($3,300)
Byron Buxton, Minnesota Twins vs. Cleveland Guardians ($5,900) – Buxton in day games is an absolute beast, and you can actually partner him with Lewis to get a mini-stack of back-to-back hitters with correlation against McKenzie. Buxton got Saturday night off but has been in the zone so far this season with 10 home runs in 22 games with a crazy .432 ISO and .439 wOBA. He has hit seven of those home runs in his 11 day games where he has a .528 wOBA. It’s not just a small sample size thing either, Buxton hit .372 with a .490 wOBA last season in day games. He should be back in his customary leadoff spot and ready to do damage Sunday afternoon.
Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers at Miami Marlins ($4,900) – Yelich has been heating up in May and gets a great matchup to wrap up this trip to Miami. Over his past nine games, Yelich has gone 13-for-36 (.361) with four doubles, a triple, two homers and a .486 wOBA. He has been absolutely crushing the ball with a 62.1% hard-hit rate and 27.6% barrel-rate over that span, and he brings a very high ceiling when he’s producing at this elite level. There’s more on his matchup against Elieser Hernandez ($6,500) below.
Other Options – Luis Robert ($4,800), Teoscar Hernández ($4,200)
Julio Rodríguez, Seattle Mariners at New York Mets ($3,600) – After a slow start to the season, Rodríguez seems to be settling in at the Major league level and offers multiple paths to production. He had a nice six-game hitting streak before going 0-for-4 on Friday night, and during that span, he went 9-for-23 (.391) with a .424 wOBA and 47.4% hard-hit rate. Rodríguez also can turn in big fantasy days by producing on the basepaths, picking up 10 stolen bases on 11 attempts so far this season. He has moved up a little bit in the batting order and even hit third in a few games earlier this week. He and the M’s will look to get the bats going against Carlos Carrasco ($8,000) on Sunday afternoon.
Willi Castro, Detroit Tigers vs. Baltimore Orioles ($2,700) – The 25-year-old switch-hitter has been one of the few bright spots in the Tigers’ lineup and actually brings solid value against the Orioles from under $3K. He homered for the first time this season on Saturday and raised his average to .333 with three doubles and a stolen base in his 49 plate appearances. He has scored 8.0 DKFP or more in four of his past five games, which is a great return for a player in this price range.
Other Options – Max Kepler ($3,600), Jack Suwinski ($2,900)
TEAMS TO STACK
Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays – The Blue Jays will take on Corey Kluber ($7,100) in their series finale in Tampa as they try to shake off a little bit of a slump that had seen them drop five straight games coming into Saturday when they beat the Rays, 5-1. Facing Kluber could set up well for them to break through, though, since they have several hitters with great histories against him. Last season, Kluber made four starts against Toronto and gave up nine runs on 20 hits in 15 2⁄3 innings. Matt Chapman ($3,800) is 5-for-5 with a pair of doubles and a pair of home runs against Kluber while Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($5,200) is 4-for-7 with a home run and Bo Bichette ($4,500) is 4-for-9 with a home run. If George Springer ($4,900) is back in the lineup, he’ll be a solid play too, since he is 8-for-20 with two doubles against Kluber in the past. If you need to mix in bargain plays, check out Santiago Espinal ($3,400) and even Vinny Capra ($2,200) if the rookie is in the lineup. Toronto’s offense seems overdue and Kluber gave up 11 hits in just three innings in his most recent start including two home runs. His effective starts have come against soft-hitting teams while the White Sox, Red Sox and Angels beat him up.
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Miami Marlins – There’s a lot to like about Elieser Hernandez ($6,500) and his high strikeout potential, but there’s also a lot to like about stacking against him since he has allowed at least three runs in all but one of his outings with 22 runs allowed in six starts for a 6.37 ERA. He has allowed eight home runs and at least one long ball in all but one of his starts. Six of those eight home runs have come off the bat of lefties, who have a .388 wOBA against him. The Brewers have several left-handed bats that should be in a good position to tee off against Hernandez, led by Christian Yelich ($5,700), Rowdy Tellez ($5,500) and Kolten Wong ($5,600). If you are looking for some less expensive options to mix into the stack, Omar Narváez ($3,600) is a solid play behind the plate and Jace Peterson ($3,400) has two home runs and three steals over his past nine games, showing multiple ways to produce fantasy points.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) 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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