Expert MLB DFS Advice: Don’t Sleep on Mariners Bats (May 24)

Today’s main MLB DFS offers plenty of options for gamers to exploit. That means MLB DFS value options abound. In today’s column, will analyze each game and pinpoint the players to target. Without further ado, here are some potential MLB DFS value picks for Wednesday, May 24, including Jarred Kelenic and the Mariners.

MLB DFS Value and Advice | May 24

San Diego Padres (Ryan Weathers) at Washington Nationals (Trevor Williams)

This game has two weak pitchers facing each other. San Diego is second in top stack percentage and first in ownership. Williams has given up power to both sides of the plate this season, but he is especially vulnerable against left-handed hitters, as his strikeout percentage is about 10 points lower than against right-handed hitters. As a result, Juan Soto, Jake Cronenworth and Matt Carpenter stand out as very strong plays. Fernando Tatis Jr. and Xander Bogaerts are strong plays as well from the right side. Weathers has done a decent job of limiting power this season, but he has only struck out about 15% of hitters. The Nationals lineup leaves a lot to be desired, but they do rank sixth in stack score because of how inexpensive they are.

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Baltimore Orioles (Tyler Wells) at New York Yankees (Nestor Cortes)

Cortes has the second-highest chance of being a top-2 pitcher on DraftKings, while Wells is seventh. Cortes is tied for the most ownership on the slate, and Wells is only projected for about 5% ownership. Cortes is inexpensive compared to most of the other viable pitchers, so his ownership makes sense. It is worth noting that he has a tough matchup against the Orioles, and he has not been as sharp as expected this season. He has struck out 23.5% of hitters and has a 4.50 FIP while allowing about 1.5 home runs per nine innings. He has been susceptible to right-handed power this season, allowing a .191 xISO to opposite-handed hitters. The Orioles lineup will probably have seven right-handed hitters in it, with Adley Rutschman, Ryan Mountcastle, Anthony Santander and Austin Hays being the most dangerous.

Wells has struck out 24.4% of hitters this season, so there is upside in his arm, but he has also posted a 4.87 FIP and 1.91 home runs per nine innings, so there is upside in Yankees bats as well. He has allowed a .229 xISO to righties and a .226 xISO to lefties, so it is reasonable to target power hitters from either side.

Los Angeles Dodgers (Tony Gonsolin) at Atlanta Braves (Bryce Elder)

Neither pitcher is getting much ownership since they each have a difficult matchup. It is interesting that Gonsolin has thrown at least 80 pitches in four straight starts, and he threw a season-high 94 in his most recent appearance. The biggest issue with rostering Gonsolin is typically that the Dodgers keep him on a short leash. He has still only gone more than five innings once, but his recent pitch counts suggest that he will be allowed to go deeper if he is pitching well and being efficient. That said, he is not a priority against Atlanta. The two offenses are middle-of-the-pack stacks, as they both have a ton of good hitters they are also relatively expensive in difficult matchups.

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New York Mets (Kodai Senga) at Chicago Cubs (Marcus Stroman)

Senga was supposed to pitch yesterday, but the Mets moved his start back to tonight and went with Tyler Megill last night. The wind is blowing in in Wrigley, so this game only has a 6.5 total and sets up nicely for pitching. Senga has struggled with home runs this season, but the wind should help that. He has been very good at getting strikeouts so far, striking out 29.4% of the hitters he has faced. He leads the Top Pitchers Tool, with a 29.6% chance of being a top-2 pitcher tonight. Stroman has the fourth-best chance of being a top-2 pitcher, as he should also benefit from the weather in Chicago. He has struck out 22.5% of hitters and has a 3.56 FIP this season.

Detroit Tigers (Matthew Boyd) at Kansas City Royals (Zack Greinke)

This game is essentially the MLB version of the Hornets playing the Spurs in the NBA. There is a lot of fantasy upside to be had from players who are not particularly good at baseball (compared to other major leaguers). Boyd has struck out about 20% of hitters and has a 4.95 FIP, while Greinke has struck out about 17% of hitters and has a 4.60 FIP this season. The Tigers are inexpensive and have the fourth-highest stack score in the Top Stacks Tool because of the value they offer. Kansas City is not quite as inexpensive, but that is because they have a few actual good hitters like Bobby Witt Jr., Salvador Perez and Vinnie Pasquantino. Boyd has allowed a .192 xISO to right-handed hitters this season, while Greinke has allowed a .202 xISO to lefties. Witt and Perez stand out as the best right-handed bats for the Royals, and Riley Greene stands out for the Tigers.

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Miami Marlins (Sandy Alcantara) at Colorado Rockies (Karl Kauffmann)

Miami has not come through at high ownership in the first two games of the series, but now its gets to try again against a pitcher who has shown no signs of belonging in the major leagues at any portion of his professional career. Kauffmann survived his first big league start without too much damage, allowing four earned runs in 4.1 innings to the Rangers. A line like that is likely to be one of his best lines of the season, which speaks to how bad he projects to be. Now he gets to make his first start in Coors. Miami is not projected for as much ownership as it has been the last couple of slates, which makes its even more appealing.

Alcantara is an interesting pitching option, as he is very talented and faces a weak Colorado team. He is also only $8,300. If this game were in Miami, he would be the highest-owned pitcher on the slate by a wide margin. It is not in Miami, however, so his projection takes a hit, and he becomes much riskier. He still has a 14% chance of being a top-2 pitcher, and he is projected for a reasonable 21% ownership percentage.

Boston Red Sox (James Paxton) at Los Angeles Angels (Tyler Anderson)

Paxton turned in another solid outing against the Padres in his second start of the season. He once again averaged about 96 mph on his fastball, which is in line with his velocity in 2019 before he essentially lost three seasons to injuries. There is plenty of risk since he has such a lengthy injury history and cannot know when things will go off the rails, but he has provided plenty of reason for optimism through his first two starts. The Angels have a 4.6 implied run total, which is likely a product of the favorable hitter’s park and the uncertainty around what Paxton is at this point in his career. At the very least, there is plenty of upside in his arm, and he is only projected for 11% ownership. He is the only pitcher with a top-6 chance of being a top-2 pitcher that is projected for less than 21% ownership.

Anderson is a decent real-life pitcher but does not offer much in the way of strikeout stuff. Boston is fifth in stack score and has about an 8% chance of being the top stack, with 6% aggregate ownership.

Oakland Athletics (Ken Waldichuk) at Seattle Mariners (Bryce Miller)

Miller has gone from $4,000 in his major league debut against Oakland four starts ago to $10,100 against the Athletics tonight. He looks excellent against one of the worst offenses in baseball in a favorable park for pitchers. He has struck out 25% of hitters and has a 1.78 FIP through his first four starts while averaging over 95 mph on his fastball. While Miller’s swinging-strike percentage does not stand out, his chase percentage would rank between Spencer Strider and Kevin Gausman if he had enough innings to qualify. The stuff is very good, and the matchup is excellent.

Mariners bats look good on the other side against Waldichuk, as they are third in stack score. Waldichuk has allowed a .203 xISO to right-handed hitters this season and will have to deal with Julio Rodriguez, Eugenio Suarez and Teoscar Hernandez, among other right-handed power bats. He also has not been good against lefties, so do not sleep on Jarred Kelenic in stacks.

Adam Scherer
Adam "ShipMyMoney" Scherer has been playing and analyzing DFS full-time since quitting law school in 2016. He has qualified for the 2016 FanDuel MLB Playboy Championship, the 2016 DraftKings Fantasy Baseball World Championship (3x) and the 2019 DraftKings Fantasy Basketball World Championship. You can find him on Twitter at @ShipMyMoneyDFS or by emailing [email protected].

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