Tuesday, May 17, brings a 10-game main slate beginning at 7:05 p.m. ET and highlighted by a Coors Field Extravaganza. Let’s get into the top MLB DFS picks for pitchers and stacks for Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy baseball lineups. Make sure to visit the Awesemo MLB DFS & Fantasy Baseball home page for the best MLB DFS picks and cheat sheets you need to get prepared for tonight’s slate of games.
MLB DFS Picks Today: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks | Tuesday, May 17
Yahoo Stack of the Day: New York Yankees at RHP Spenser Watkins — 5.0 implied runs
Today, Yahoo did us a favor by goosing the salaries for the key Yankees bats. Both Aaron Judge ($27) and Giancarlo Stanton ($23) have salaries above any in the Coors Field projected lineups, with Brandon Belt ($23) and C.J. Cron ($20) being the most expensive option for each team in that matchup.
Spenser Watkins is no stranger to this article series, as he has been a pitcher to target since he made his debut last season. This is Watkins’ age-30 season, and it is clear why he toiled away for nine seasons in college and the minor leagues and was released before he got his chance with a Baltimore squad that was desperate for pitching of any kind. This season, Watkins has introduced a slider, but his new pitch mix is already being figured out by opposing hitters. Across his 80.2 innings in The Show, he has allowed 18 home runs, a 7.14 ERA and 1.66 WHIP. This year, he is striking out a batter every other inning, which is just plain awful. Load up on Judge, Stanton and the usual suspects in what is looking like a great countermove against the Coors Field stacking strategy.
Evening Slate: Texas Rangers vs. LHP Reid Detmers — 4.7 implied runs
Why, yes, Tampa Bay was a recommended stack against Reid Detmers in his last start, which, of course, ended up being a no-hitter. Now is the perfect time to go back to the well against the 22-year-old southpaw. In that start, he threw 108 pitches, which is 20 more than his season high, 30 more than the start that preceded it and 11 more than any of his five appearances last season. Just how dominant was he last Tuesday? Well, dear reader, he simply was NOT dominant in any form or fashion, striking out only two Tampa batters and issuing a single walk. Everything else was the product of his defense. To be clear, Detmers is not a bad pitcher, but he also is not a high-strikeout, flame-throwing lefty. His 92.9 mph fastball is OK, but his secondary offerings still need a lot of work to keep hitters off balance.
Look to the top half of the Texas lineup, with Marcus Semien, Adolis Garcia and switch-hitting Jonah Heim being the prime options. Corey Seager is above average in same-handed matchups, and he or a discounted Nick Solak can be worked into full stacks.
Even if you are not a believer in the Texas offense, we can still target Detmers in the MLB player props market. Currently, he has an over/under on his strikeout prop of 4.5, and the Awesemo player projections have him for just 3.5 in this matchup tonight. That gives him a 75% probability of staying under that threshold. Additionally, in six starts this season he has recorded more than four strikeouts only once.
Late Slate: Minnesota Twins at RHP James Kaprielian — 4.1 implied runs
Control has been an issue this season for James Kaprielian, as he has a massive nine walks in just 12.2 innings. Over his last 536 batters faced, he has a mediocre 10.5 swinging-strike rate and he is ahead in the count only 52.8% of the time. Power has been an issue as well, allowing a .220 ISO to lefties and a .152 ISO to righties in this same timeframe.
Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco lead the way for the Twins, as they will have the platoon advantage against Kaprielian. Byron Buxton has been doing his best Hank Aaron impression with 11 home runs, which is only one off the league lead despite Buxton having 35 fewer at-bats. There is no need to go all out with a full stack, but for those looking to really load up, catcher Gary Sanchez or infielder Luis Arraez can be added to the previously targeted trio.
Top MLB DFS Target: Jameson Taillon at Baltimore Orioles — 3.3 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $38 | FanDuel $9,200 | DraftKings $9,300
Tonight is another rough night for pitching options, with some of the better arms seeing action in the early slates. Picking on the Orioles is going to be a theme this season, particularly with renovations to Camden Yards making things more pitching friendly. The decision tonight comes down to a coinflip between Tyler Anderson taking on the Diamondbacks in Dodger Stadium and Jameson Taillon on the road in Baltimore. Taillon has the better track record with strikeouts, so he gets a slight edge. The Orioles have scored the second-fewest runs in the league and are no threat outside of their top four hitters.
Secondary MLB DFS Target: RHP Jose Berrios vs. Seattle Mariners — 3.6 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $36 | FanDuel $7,800 | DraftKings $7,200
Today’s salaries for Jose Berrios are far from a steal, and he has earned these mediocre tags with his inconsistent performance. Long touted as a top option, Berrios has not lived up to the hype, and he may just be a third starter at best. There is no shame in that at all, but we should no longer consider him a threat for double-digit strikeouts every time he takes the mound. That is a milestone he has reached only seven times in his last 83 starts. The fastball is still good at 94 mph and touching 98 on occasion; however, his pitch mix is the same as it has been over the last several seasons, which seems to be getting predictable with 56-58% fastballs, 28-30% curves and 12-18% changeups. The projected Seattle lineup has a 30.1% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching since the beginning of last season, but its lefties should still be considered viable one-offs for some home run hunting.
Other Pitching Options:
- Dylan Bundy at Oakland Athletics: Coming off the COVID-19 list.
- J.T. Brubaker at Chicago Cubs: Reasonable SP2, strikeouts are average at best.
- Brady Singer vs. Chicago White Sox: Likely to be starting the second game of the doubleheader; was down in the minors “working on things,” though at $4,800 he is in play on DraftKings.
- Everyone in the Coors Field Extravaganza.
- Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani at LHP Taylor Hearn.
- Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez at RHP Nathan Eovaldi.
- Cedric Mullins vs. RHP Jameson Taillon.
- Matt Olson at RHP Adrian Houser.
Final MLB DFS Thoughts & Weather Notes for the Tuesday, May 17 Fantasy Baseball Slate
Tonight, the games in Chicago and Kansas City are the only two with any precipitation concerns. Fortunately, both look to be playable, though it is always important to keep tabs on the forecast up until the games begin.
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