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MLB DFS Picks Today (5/18/22): Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks Wednesday

Eric MacPherson

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DraftKings MLB DFS picks today FanDuel fantasy baseball lineup optimizer projections rankings 2022

Wednesday, May 18, is the first of two travel days this week which means split-slate baseball action! 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 | Wednesday, May 18

Yahoo Stack of the Day: New York Yankees at RHP Jordan Lyles — 4.8 implied runs

Once again, Yahoo did a nice job with the Yankees’ salaries, which will make for some interesting decisions with a trio of aces in play on the main slate as well. Jordan Lyles must have felt like he was back pitching in Coors Field. He led the league with 38 home runs allowed, despite calling the new pitching-friendly ballpark in Arlington home. This season, he has allowed five home runs, but 16 total extra-base hits across 173 combined batters. Lefties are the bane of his existence with a .398 wOBA and .295 ISO this season, accounting for four of the home runs and nine of the extra-base hits in 61 at-bats.

That works out to around a double or better every five at bats for lefties. Focus on Anthony Rizzo ($21), Joey Gallo ($17) and Aaron Hicks ($11) first and foremost. Giancarlo Stanton ($23), Aaron Judge ($27) and Josh Donaldson ($20) are expensive, but they can be used to fill in the gaps between Rizzo and Gallo or as part of a wraparound stack from Hicks to Rizzo for maximum synergy.

Late Slate: Chicago White Sox at RHP Zack Greinke — 4.5 implied runs

On the late slate, it is hard to go wrong with the White Sox or the Angels, who have a date with Dane Dunning in Texas. Both of these squads are fine secondary stacks on the main slate as well. Ultimately, targeting 38-year-old Zack Greinke may be the most fruitful. Though he has allowed only two home runs and issued just three walks in 38.1 innings, he only has 14 total strikeouts, which means balls are constantly in play. By comparing his 3.52 ERA and 5.50 xFIP this season, we can see that he is due for some regression. In his seven starts, he is averaging just over a dozen flyballs per game — at some point, those are going to start leaving the yard.

The ChiSox have been slumping this season, but with their loaded lineup, it is only a matter of time before they start turning things around. Jose Abreu, Yasmani Grandal, Luis Robert, Yoan Moncada, Tim Anderson and Gavin Sheets are all worthy of our attention tonight.

Spotlight Pitchers

Top MLB DFS Target: RHP Max Scherzer vs. St. Louis Cardinals — 3.3 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $61 | FanDuel $10,400 | DraftKings $10,600

After a few days without any top-tier pitching options on the main slate, there are several hurlers in tasty matchups on Wednesday. Max Scherzer will turn 38 at the end of July, but he is still one of the most dominant aces in the game. Currently, he ranks fifth with 55 strikeouts, seventh with an 0.91 WHIP and 17th with a 2.66 ERA. Though he has allowed five home runs, he has ceded just 13 total runs across 44 innings spanning seven starts. St. Louis is likely to have only one or two left-handed hitters in the lineup and Scherzer boasts a 37.0% strikeout rate in his last 462 same-handed matchups. Enjoy!

Secondary MLB DFS Target: RHP Gerrit Cole at Baltimore Orioles — 2.8 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $53 | FanDuel $10,600 | DraftKings $9,900

Tonight there is a slight weather risk in Baltimore, but we can easily pivot to Kevin Gausman in Toronto against the Mariners, as he and Gerrit Cole have similar salaries across the various DFS sites on Wednesday. In his last four games, Cole has recorded nine, 10, six and nine strikeouts while earning a quality start in each appearance. Baltimore has scored the second-fewest runs this season and, much like the recommendations earlier this week with Luis Severino and Jameson Taillon, as long as Cole can neutralize Chris Mullins, Anthony Santander and Austin Hays at the top of the order, the rest of the lineup is a cakewalk.

Additional Opportunities:

There is a lot of risk playing Josiah Gray in DFS with his propensity to allow home runs, however, the 24-year-old has been racking up the strikeouts for Washington and he can be targeted in the MLB player props market in his matchup with Miami today. Currently, he has an over/under on his strikeout prop of 4.5, and the Awesemo player projections have him for a healthy 5.7 against the Marlins. That gives him a 69% probability of staying under that threshold. Additionally, in six starts this season he has recorded more than five strikeouts four times including 10 against this same Miami squad back on April 26th.

Other Pitching Options:

  1. Corbin Burnes at Atlanta (early slate)
  2. Walker Buehler vs. Arizona (early slate)
  3. Pablo Lopez vs. Washington (late-afternoon slate)
  4. Zack Wheeler vs. San Diego (late-afternoon slate)
  5. Shohei Ohtani at Texas (night slate)

One-Off Hitters:

  1. Everyone in the Coors Extravaganza (early slate)
  2. Yordan Alverez and Kyle Tucker at RHP Nick Pivetta (late-afternoon slate)
  3. Rhys Hoskins and Nick Castellanos vs. LHP Blake Snell (late-afternoon slate)
  4. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and George Springer vs. LHP Marco Gonzales (main slate)
  5. Ian Happ vs. RHP Roansy Contreras (main slate)

Final MLB DFS Thoughts & Weather Notes for the Wednesday, May 18 Fantasy Baseball Slate

Keep an eye on the weather in Baltimore, Cleveland and Philadelphia today. The Guardians and Reds have the most risk, though that game is on the late-afternoon slate. Neither team plays tomorrow, so that could factor into the game being pushed to Thursday, depending on the veracity of the precipitation.

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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