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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for May 17

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

We’ve got ourselves a weird slate on Tuesday. At first glance, it would appear to be a pretty normal collection of 10 games, yet with Game 2 of two different doubleheaders part of the action, you’ll have to keep your head on a swivel. I mean, there’s no more seven-inning contests to worry about, but with 27th men being activated and bullpens being taxed, it’s at least something to keep in mind in Kansas City and Los Angeles.

Let’s break down some studs and values.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $222,222 Relay Throw [$50K to 1st]

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Editor’s Note: White Sox SP Davis Martin will start Game 2 of today’s doubleheader vs. the Royals.

Lucas Giolito, Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals, $8,500 - We’re still waiting on Giolito to be officially announced as the starter on Tuesday night, but if he’s selected, he’s a no-brainer in terms of viability. For some reason — most likely his three-day stay on the COVID-19 injured list — Giolito’s salary is way down in comparison to where it’s been the past month. The right-hander has been special so far in 2022, maintaining a 2.67 xFIP to go along with a 35.2% strikeout rate. The Royals are also far from the scariest opponent to draw, as the team has managed just a .124 ISO and a 92 wRC+ in May.


J.T. Brubaker, Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs, $7,500 - This slate is gross when it comes to pitching options, which is why we’re going to lean deep into matchup quality. Prior to exploding for nine runs in Monday’s win over the Pirates, the Cubs had been struggling at the dish. In fact, through the first 15 days of May, Chicago owned the National League’s lowest wRC+ (67) and baseball’s highest strikeout rate (28.2%). That’s a pretty enticing combination. Brubaker’s also been alright if you dig a little into his statistics. Despite a 5.34 ERA, the RHP sports a 3.96 xERA with 33 strikeouts in 30.1 innings of work. He can exploit this Cubs lineup.



Editor’s Note: Rangers C Jonah Heim is not in the lineup for tonight’s game vs. the Angels.

Jonah Heim, Texas Rangers vs. Los Angeles Angels, $4,400 - I know. Believe me, I know. Reid Detmers ($7,600) is on the heels of a no-hitter. Why would I ever want to pick on him? Well, for starters, he’s averaging just 5.81 strikeouts per nine through six starts. Secondly, he’s left-handed. Heim has crushed LHPs throughout his brief career, mustering a 140 wRC+ within the split dating back to 2020. Specifically in 2022, Heim’s 24 plate appearances against southpaws have been extremely fruitful, with the backstop generating an eye-popping .444 ISO.


J.P. Crawford, Seattle Mariners at Toronto Blue Jays, $4,100 - As Jose Berrios ($7,800) continues to struggle, you must continue to stack against him. The veteran enters tonight’s slate in possession of a 7.37 xERA, while his .432 xwOBA is the highest of any pitcher who has induced at least 60 batted ball events so far in 2022. Berrios has mostly had his issues with LHBs, which opens the door for Crawford to shine. In 99 plate appearances versus RHPs, the shortstop is slashing .357/.455/.464 with a 186 wRC+. Not bad for an asset that’s also set to hit out of the three-spot in Seattle lineup.


Christian Walker, Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles Dodgers, $4,000 - You might not be paying too much attention to what’s going on with the Diamondbacks, but Walker is having one heck of a season. In fact, the first baseman currently ranks in the 94th percentile or better in barrel rate, expected slugging percentage and xwOBA. In May alone, Walker is batting .304 with a .994 OPS. Needless to say, he’s locked in. Tyler Anderson ($8,700) can not make the same claim, particularly after allowing seven earned runs in his most recent outing.


Josh Donaldson, New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles, $3,900 - This price is absurd. While Donaldson got off to a bit of a slow start in 2022, he’s on fire to begin May, slashing .311/.404/.556 with a 187 wRC+ in 52 plate appearances. Then there’s the matter of Spencer Watkins ($6,600). The Orioles’ RHP has been rocked by opposing right-handed bats this season, surrendering a massive .461 wOBA within the split.



Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers, $5,500 - Barrels. This is a play that’s all about barrels. I mean, if you’ve been watching baseball for the past decade, it shouldn’t come as a shock that Trout produces more barrels than the average player, yet the fact that 23.5% of his BBEs in 2022 have been barrelled remains incredibly impressive. It’s why he sports a .471 xwOBA and a 212 wRC+. As for Taylor Hearn ($7,400), no qualified pitcher is conceding more opponent barrels per batted ball induced at 16.2%. Seems like a pretty amazing matchup for Trout, right?


Giancarlo Stanton, New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles, $5,200 - Like seemingly every other member of the Yankees, Stanton has been crushing the baseball so far in May. In 57 plate appearances, the veteran is slashing .320/.386/.720 with a .400 ISO and a 218 wRC+. How’s that for upside? For the season as a whole, Stanton is also second to only Aaron Judge ($6,100) in barrels produced per BBE at 25.0%. This is major as it pertains to Tuesday, with Watkins surrendering a 93.6% zone contact rate. If you can’t miss bats, you don’t stand a chance against the middle of New York’s order.


Editor’s Note: Giants OF LaMonte Wade is not in the lineup for tonight’s game vs. the Rockies.

LaMonte Wade, San Francisco Giants at Colorado Rockies, $3,100 - We had to get at least a little exposure to Coors, right? Wade has been phenomenal since returning to the Giants’ lineup, registering a noteworthy .430 xwOBA across his first 31 plate appearances of 2022. He’s also served as San Francisco’s primary leadoff man against RHPs within this span. Chad Kuhl ($9,000) has been solid with the Rockies, yet he is on the heels of allowing five earned runs to this same Giants squad last Wednesday.


Jesse Winker, Seattle Mariners at Toronto Blue Jays, $3,100 - After a mercifully slow start at the dish, Winker has started to pull out of the nosedive in May. The outfielder is hitting .293 with an .811 OPS and a 145 wRC+ in the month, and he’ll get a chance to continue the good times in a juicy matchup against Berrios. LHBs have combined to hit .310 with a .405 wOBA off of the 27-year-old so far this season.


New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles - It’s the chalk, but it’s the chalk for good reason. Watkins is a contact-oriented pitcher that struggles with RHBs. If there’s a single archetype that would struggle most with this power-laden Yankees’ lineup, it’s that. Also, the price points of DJ LeMahieu ($4,600), Gleyber Torres ($4,100) and Donaldson are modest enough to offset the huge cost of Judge and Stanton.

Seattle Mariners at Toronto Blue Jays - In terms of a bargain basement stack, the Mariners are incredibly appealing going up against the floundering Berrios, who is surrendering 2.70 home runs per nine to LHBs in 2022. Crawford, Winker and Adam Frazier ($4,000) are appealing plays at the top of the lineup, while Julio Rodriguez ($3,000) could also be a steal thanks to a 158 wRC+ in May. Keep an eye on Mike Ford ($2,100), too. His floor is non-existent, but he’s a left-handed bat with some pop that’s basically free. You could do worse.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $222,222 Relay Throw [$50K to 1st]

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and customer (my username is theglt13) 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 do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. 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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