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MLB DFS Picks and Plays for May 19: Top DraftKings and FanDuel Plays

Friday’s MLB DFS slate is looking mighty shaky from a pitching perspective even with 12 games on tap. With guys like Joe Ryan and struggling Sandy Alcantara as the most expensive options, it looks like it could be a night to spend up on the bats and throw some darts on cheaper pitchers in good matchups.

If you have any thoughts or recommendations for how we can better cover MLB DFS in 2023, reach out to us on Twitter or send me a message (@CableBoxScore). I’m always happy to talk a little DFS throughout the day, and let’s win some slates together! Let’s start by looking at weather issues for Friday as well as the best hitting and pitching environments on the main slate today.

More great fantasy baseball advice and analysis: Waiver Wire & FAAB Recommendations | Daily MLB Injury Report | MLB DFS Picks | Line-up Analysis | Dynasty Rankings and Strategy | MLB Bullpen Updates | MLB Player Props | Prospect Rankings & Analysis | Fantasy Baseball Risers and Fallers

MLB DFS Picks and Plays for May 19

Today’s analysis covers the 12-game main slate on DraftKings and FanDuel at 7:05 PM ET.

Weather Concerns:

  • At the time of publication, there were no significant weather concerns for any game on the slate.

Best Hitter’s Parks:

  • Guaranteed Rate Field
  • Angel Stadium
  • Citizens Bank Park

Best Pitcher’s Parks:

  • Citi Field
  • Oracle Park
  • Petco Park

DraftKings Top Plays

High-Dollar Pitcher

Sandy Alcantara ($9,800) vs. San Francisco Giants – Joe Ryan may have looked slightly better lately, but Alcantara is $500 cheaper, has the better matchup, and the better park tomorrow night as he takes the mound against the San Francisco Giants. The Giants are just a decimal point behind the Mariners for worst strikeout rate in the league and their walk rate is tied for 19th in the league. Even when Alcantara gives up some earned runs like he did in his last start, he goes so deep into games and strikes out enough hitters that he can cover up some mistakes.

Value Pitcher

Brandon Bielak ($6,200) vs. Oakland Athletics – In the words of Logan Roy, the Oakland Athletics are not serious people. Their team on-base percentage and slugging percentage are both 23rd in the league and with Ken Waldichuk (more on him later!) on the mound, Bielak has an excellent chance at a win if he can make five innings. If we get five innings, four strikeouts and one earned run like his last outing, that will be an absolute win at this low salary.

High-Dollar Infielder

Nathaniel Lowe ($4,200) vs. Karl Kauffman – The Rockies apparently think it is time to bring Karl Kauffman to the majors to get his first start against a massive offense like the Rangers. Kauffman was horrific in AAA this season with a 7.78 ERA and 6.3 strikeouts per nine innings. Lowe has a .349 OBP, a .482 SLG, and a 120 wRC+ against righties this season.

Value Infielder

Miguel Vargas ($2,600) vs. Steven Matz – I love this low salary for Vargas on Friday considering his current hot streak and the potential to smash a soft-tosser like Steven Matz at home. Vargas has at least nine DraftKings points in three straight games and has an 11% walk rate against left-handers this year. The Dodgers are -138 favorites on Friday night and should dispatch of Matz easily.

High-Dollar Outfielder

Adolis Garcia ($5,100) vs. Karl Kauffman – When you’ve got an opposing pitcher against you that is this bad, you don’t care if they are right-handed, left-handed, ambidextrous, or throwing with their feet. Garcia should absolutely smash in this spot. His slugging percentage in May is up to .556 and that is still lower than his slugging percentage against right-handers over the whole season.

Value Outfielder

Robbie Grossman ($2,400) vs. Karl Kauffman – Grossman may have been moved down to sixth or seventh in the lineup after Corey Seager returned, but he has remained hot with seven or more DK points in three of his last four games. It appears that Kauffman is allowing a crazy high 30% line drive rate in Triple-A this season, which perfectly suits what Grossman wants to do at the plate.

Best DraftKings Stack

Texas Rangers vs. Karl Kauffman – There’s no surprise here as I am all-in on the Rangers at these salaries on DK Friday night. Kauffman and the Rockies bullpen should get beat around in this game and the Rangers have the third-highest team slugging percentage this season at home (.479). You can stack this game any way you want and there are cheap left-handers, right-handers, and stacks in the top, middle, and bottom of the order that can work in different lineups. Corey Seager and switch-hitter Jonah Heim also make for great plays in addition to lefties Lowe and Grossman.

FanDuel Top Plays

High-Dollar Pitcher

Joe Ryan ($11,000) vs. Los Angeles Angels – Joe Ryan produced an absolutely dominant start last time out against the Cubs, striking out 10 with no earned runs over six strong innings. Compared to his rookie season in 2022, Ryan has improved his strikeout rate, walk rate, home run rate, and has increased his ground balls. If Ryan can walk around the Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani landmines tonight, this could be another big strikeout game.

Value Pitcher

Martin Perez ($8,400) vs. Colorado Rockies – On the road this season, Colorado has been about as bad an offense as anyone can imagine. Their team OPS ranks 28th and they are seventh in strikeout rate. Once they leave the friendly confines of Coors Field, this team becomes very mortal and easily beaten. Perez has been up and down all year but should be able to breeze through five innings against the Rockies.

High-Dollar Infielder

Fernando Tatis ($3,700) vs. James Paxton – Paxton did look great in his first start of the season, striking out nine guys in five innings while only giving up one run. But now he travels across the country to face a potent offense with Tatis leading off on Friday night. We typically see Tatis as a $4,000+ player, so we can take advantage of the dip here in a game that should feature plenty of runs.

Value Infielder

Alex Bregman ($3,000) vs. Ken Waldichuk – Bregman is white hot right now with five hits, two homers, five RBI, and two walks in his last three games. And now he gets a salary so low against a jabroni left-hander that I can’t find any reason why it would be this low. This game has the highest implied total of the slate, and Bregman should be batting second for the top overall offense on the slate.

High-Dollar Outfielder

Mookie Betts ($3,800) vs. Steven Matz – Steven Matz is about as uneven as you can find when it comes to his handedness splits. He is a borderline ace against lefties this year but against right-handers? He allows a .341 batting average and 1.7 home runs per nine innings. He also strikes out righties only 18% of the time while allowing a higher walk rate. Betts is in the perfect spot to take advantage of these splits as is slashing .279/.367/.651 against left-handers this season.

Value Outfielder

Kyle Tucker ($3,100) vs. Ken Waldichuk – I don’t care if it is a lefty-lefty matchup, Kyle Tucker being just $3,100 in this matchup means somebody pressed the wrong button at FanDuel. He is $400 cheaper than teammate Chas McCormick and is the same salary as someone like Whit Merrifield who doesn’t even play every day. Tucker’s slugging percentage is higher against lefties than it is against righties this season.

Best FanDuel Stack

Houston Astros vs. Ken Waldichuk – All the runs are bigger in Texas tonight, I guess. I would not be surprised if the Astros and the Rangers are the two highest-scoring teams on the slate. Waldichuck is the very definition of a pitcher who legitimately does not belong in the majors. But the Athletics, again, are not a serious team. Fun fact: the Astros are 24-19, two games out of first place, and have a +31 run differential, but they haven’t played a single game against Oakland yet. For as good as the Astros have been the last week (ninth-best OPS in the league), things are about to get even more explosive.

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