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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for May 21

Zach Thompson gives his top studs and value plays for Saturday’s fantasy baseball slate on DraftKings.

Atlanta Braves v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Major League Baseball is ready to stuff your Saturday full of fantasy baseball action, and there are several great slates to attack on DraftKings throughout the day. The main featured slate starts at 7:00 p.m. ET and includes the six games scheduled to take place under the lights. Four of the six matchups on this slate are divisional contests with the Mets visiting the Rockies for the second game of their doubleheader and the Brewers hosting the Nationals the only inter-division matchups. Coors Field is in play, which is always something to keep in mind, and the weather looks cooperative for the most part for these six scheduled games.

Make sure to keep up with all the news, lineups and updates as the day goes on in the DK Live app and by following DK Live on Twitter (@dklive). You can also find me on Twitter (@ZT_Sports), where you can keep up with all of my content and let me know who you’re chasing or fading this Saturday night.


Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $150K Relay Throw [$50K to 1st]


For up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups, download the DK Live app. You also can follow DK Live on Twitter @dklive.


PITCHER

Stud

Justin Verlander, Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers ($10,300) – Despite coming off of Tommy John surgery at 39 years old, Verlander has been excellent for the Astros this season, going 5-1 with a 1.38 ERA and 3.10 FIP over his first seven starts highlighted by 41 strikeouts in 45 23 innings. He only lasted five innings in his most recent start but still posted 22.3 DKFP. He was even better earlier this season against Texas, giving up just one run over seven innings and earning 31.4 DKFP. He has at least 18 DKFP and has allowed two runs or fewer in all but one of his starts this season, and he threw a season-high 107 pitches in his most recent start, meaning he should be fully stretched out and ready to keep rolling in this favorable matchup against the Rangers, who have hit just .220 as a team this season while striking out the sixth-most times of any team in the Majors.

Other Options – Frankie Montas ($9,800), Brandon Woodruff ($9,500)

Value

Joe Ryan, Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals ($8,800) – On the other end of the career spectrum, the Twins' 25-year-old Joe Ryan has also been putting up strong numbers in his first full year in the Majors. He has gone 4-2 with a 2.39 ERA and 3.42 FIP, striking out 36 in 37 23 innings. He doesn’t have the established elite strikeout upside that Verlander brings, but he has been very impressive and posted over 23 DKFP in four of his past six outings. Ryan gets a good matchup against the Royals who are in the bottom five in the MLB in home runs and runs scored. He held them to two hits in six shutout innings on his way to 25.7 DKFP earlier this season, and he’ll look to post another good result Saturday night.

Other Option – Michael Lorenzen ($8,600), Jeffrey Springs ($4,000)


INFIELD

Stud

C.J. Cron, Colorado Rockies vs. New York Mets ($5,600) – Cron’s numbers have gotten a nice boost from Coors Field since he joined the Rockies, but he’s definitely worth a look if you’re searching for a power bat when he’s playing at home like in this matchup. In 22 home games, Cron is hitting .391 with a .385 ISO and .443 wOBA, highlighted by eight home runs. He has been hot so far in May, going 23-for-64 (.359) with three homers and a .424 wOBA. He’s expensive but has shown he can deliver elite power production.

Stud

Anthony Rendon, Los Angeles Angels vs. Oakland Athletics ($4,500) – Rendon has helped the Angels earn their spot as one of the top offenses in the Majors and is trending in the right direction after a sluggish start. Rendon has multiple hits in each of his past three games and has hit safely in seven of his past eight while going 12-for-29 (.414) with four doubles, a home run and a .487 wOBA. While all of his home runs have come against lefties this season, Rendon does have a 5-for-11 career track record against righty Frankie Montas ($9,800), so it’s a nice matchup in which to get him at this mid-range salary.

Other Options – José Altuve ($5,800), Francisco Lindor ($5,000)

Value

Seth Brown, Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels ($2,400) – Brown has been a fixture in the middle of the Oakland lineup all season, but his season-long numbers are still a mess. However, his average is starting to climb after three straight multi-hit performances. He has extra-base hits in each of his past four games and added a stolen base to his home run on his way to 24 DKFP on Friday in the series opener. Brown has a high ceiling if he keeps providing so many extra-base hits and is a solid cheap play at 1B or in the OF Saturday night.

Value

Jed Lowrie, Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels ($2,300) – Brown’s teammate, Lowrie has also consistently been a good punt play lately, going 8-for-18 (.444) with four walks and a home run over his past six games. While he doesn’t have a ton of power potential like Brown, he has been getting on base and usually finds a way to contribute some fantasy points. If you have to go cheap, the switch-hitting 38-year-old is an option worth giving a look thanks to his strong form and favorable lineup spot. You could go with an A’s mini-stack with these two players or utilize whichever sub-$3K play gives you the lineup flexibility you need.

Other Options – Garrett Hampson ($3,300), J.D. Davis ($2,800)


OUTFIELD

Stud

Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels vs. Oakland Athletics ($5,900) – Ohtani has again anchored the Angels’ offense and has provided consistently strong production across basically every split. He has gone 15-for-54 (.278) with four of his eight home runs and two of his three stolen bases on the season coming over his 13 most recent games. He has also gone 7-for-16 (.438) with three home runs against Montas in their past meetings.

Stud

Hunter Renfroe, Milwaukee Brewers vs. Washington Nationals ($4,700) – Renfroe continues to thrive against lefties and should be in a good matchup against Patrick Corbin ($4,900) as discussed below in stacks. Renfroe is batting .297 against southpaws this season with five homers and a .459 wOBA. In his first season with the Brewers, he seems to enjoy American Family Field, where he has hit .339 with a .238 ISO and .418 wOBA. He has also been heating up lately with multiple hits in five of his eight most recent games while going 13-for-30 (.433) with two doubles, three home runs and a 60.0% hard-hit rate. Renfroe has gone 4-for-15 against Corbin with two home runs against him in their prior meetings.

Other Options – Juan Soto ($5,400), Kyle Tucker ($5,300)

Value

Max Kepler, Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals ($3,600) – Kepler has improved his batting average to .252 this year after only hitting .211 last year and .228 the year before. He has also hit five home runs to go with 16 RBI and produced a .175 ISO and .343 wOBA against righties. He hasn’t homered yet in May but has been hitting the ball hard with a 41.0% hard-hit rate over his past 14 contests. He has two career homers against Brad Keller ($6,700) while going 5-for-14.

Value

Luis Barrera, Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels ($2,100) – For more value, let’s return to the A’s and take a look at Barrera, a 26-year-old rookie who has been making an impact since joining the team 11 games ago. The lefty has gone 9-for-19 (.474) over his past seven games with a pair of doubles and a home run. Before being called up, he had three home runs, two stolen bases and a .356 wOBA over 23 games with the Las Vegas Aviators in Triple-A. It’s not that I love the Athletics lineup, for sure, but they offer some interesting options at near the minimum salary, so don’t sleep on them to allow you to pay up for big bats in other spots.

Other Options – Brandon Marsh ($3,600), Anthony Santander ($3,100)


TEAMS TO STACK

New York Mets at Colorado Rockies – The weather forecast calls for what should be a great hitting environment in Denver on Saturday night, so getting bats at Coors Field will be key. The Mets will be facing lefty Austin Gomber ($7,400), who has given up 10 runs in 17 innings at home this season, including four home runs. He has been effective against lefties throughout his career, but righties have a .345 wOBA against him this season and have hit all six of the home runs he has allowed. While the Mets don’t have much experience against him, they do have some players that thrive on hitting lefties and aren’t priced up too horribly for a visit to Coors. Starling Marte ($4,400) is expected to return from the bereavement list for the twin bill and Francisco Lindor ($5,000) has solid splits against lefties. Pete Alonso ($5,500), Mark Canha ($3,200) and J.D. Davis ($2,800) all have nice upside as well from the right side of the split vs. Gomber. Since this will be the second game of the doubleheader be sure to check the lineup to see who may get the game off, but that situation could also up some interesting value plays.

Milwaukee Brewers vs. Washington Nationals – The Brewers will face veteran lefty Patrick Corbin ($4,900), who has gone 0-6 with an ugly 6.28 ERA in his first eight starts this year. He has allowed both lefties and righties to post good numbers against him, allowing a .394 wOBA to lefties and a .351 wOBA to righties, including all four of his home runs allowed. While the Brewers have some big lefty bats, they also have some notable bats that thrive against southpaws like Hunter Renfroe (discussed above) and Andrew McCutchen ($3,800), who each have multiple home runs in their past meetings with Corbin. Luis Urías ($4,600), Tyrone Taylor ($3,300) and Keston Hiura ($2,400) are other right-handed bats that have had success lately that make sense in this split against Corbin.


Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $150K Relay Throw [$50K to 1st]


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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 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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