Early Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top Targets, Values For May 16

Wednesday brings a huge nine-game MLB slate of fantasy baseball starting at 12:05 p.m. ET, and there are a number of contests with potential weather issues, including PHI-BAL, CWS-PIT, TOR-NYM and TB-KCR. This article will give targets as if all games will be played, but be aware of the weather as you construct your lineups.

As always, you can reach me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Pitcher

Stud

Trevor Bauer, CLE vs. DET, $12,800 — Bauer’s price tag is too expensive, but we’re almost forced to play him against the Tigers. To be fair, he has been great heading into this start despite being rocked by the Royals his previous time out, which ended him posting just 0.7 DKFP. The Tigers, however, look like they’re trotting out a minor league team at this point, and that’s a big reason for their .290 wOBA against righties with a .138 ISO and 21.8 K%. Other Option — Miles Mikolas ($11,000)

Value

Matt Koch, ARI vs. MIL, $7,400 — Koch has been more than serviceable at his mid-tier price point, and I’m looking to go back to him again against the Brewers. Koch is averaging 14.1 DKFP in his four starts at Chase Field, allowing eight runs (seven earned) on 19 hits in 25 1/3 innings with a 13:6 K:BB ratio. The Brewers enter this game with a 23.9 K% against righties, which ranks 10th in the league. I don’t believe Koch will get you 30 DKFP on a given start, but at his price point, we can make it work.

Other Option — Jameson Taillon ($7,600)


Catcher

Stud

Salvador Perez, KC vs. TB, $4,100 — Perez is the most expensive catcher on the slate, but he hardly breaks the bank. The Royals own a 4.5 projected run total against Rays starter Jake Faria, and Perez has been hitting righties well at home thus far, sporting a .354 wOBA with a .242 ISO and a 51.6 percent hard-hit rate in these matchups. He easily slides into your lineup at his price point. Other Option — Buster Posey ($3,900)

Value

Tucker Barnhart, CIN vs. SF, $3,300 — It’s only a small sample size for Andrew Suarez, who has pitched 21 2/3 innings in the majors, but he sports a .440 wOBA against righties in that span. He also already has allowed five home runs against righties. Barnhart owns a .343 wOBA and a .149 ISO against lefties since last season.

Other Option — Mike Zunino ($3,500)


First Base

Stud

Carlos Santana, PHI vs. BAL, $4,900 — I hope they fit in this game, as I love this spot for Santana. He’ll take on Orioles righty Andrew Cashner, who’s in the midst of a horrific season. Cashner is allowing a .382 wOBA against lefties, with six of his 10 home runs, allowed despite a 27.9 percent hard-hit rate. Despite Santana sporting some less-than-stellar numbers, he does own a .260 ISO against righties.

Other Options — Ryon Healy ($4,200), Justin Smoak ($3,600)


Second Base

Stud

Yoan Moncada, CWS vs. PIT, $4,300 — I must admit that none of the upper-tier second basemen particularly excites me on this slate, so I’m rolling with Moncada. He owns a .407 wOBA against righties with a .291 ISO and a 46.2 percent hard-hit rate. His matchup against Jameson Taillon isn’t ideal, but Moncada has plenty of upside. Other Option — Cesar Hernandez ($4,000)

Value

Asdrubal Cabrera, NYM vs. TOR, $3,800 — Whenever I’ve looked to save money at second base, Cabrera has been my pick. He continues to smoke the ball for the Mets, and will face off against Blue Jays lefty J.A. Happ. Cabrera is sporting a .327 wOBA against lefties with a .135 ISO on the year. Happ is allowing a ton of home runs, with eight of his nine yielded to righties thus far with a .371 wOBA.

Other Option — Kolten Wong ($3,000)


Third Base

Stud

Jose Ramirez, CLE vs. DET, $5,100 — Just keep locking Ramirez into your lineups until he starts slowing down. He’s averaging a ridiculous 15.2 DKFP over his past 10 games, which includes five home runs, six doubles and 10 RBI. He’ll face lefty Ryan Carpenter, and Ramirez owns a .419 wOBA and .291 ISO vs. southpaws on the year. Other Option — Eugenio Suarez ($4,300)

Value

Matt Carpenter, STL vs. MIN, $3,700 — Carpenter is having a brutal start, averaging just 5.1 DKFP, but I have some faith in him against ex-Cardinals teammate Lance Lynn. It’s no secret that Lynn struggles against lefties, evidenced by his .442 wOBA this year and .362 wOBA since last season. I hope Carpenter can starting building upon his .378 wOBA and .235 ISO against righties from last year.

Other Option — Yolmer Sanchez ($3,600)


Shortstop

Stud

Francisco Lindor, CLE vs. DET, $5,500 — While much talk has been made about how well Ramirez is hitting the ball, Lindor is in the same boat, averaging 15.2 DKFP over his past 10 games. Like Ramirez, Lindor also is hitting lefties extremely well, sporting a .455 wOBA with a .233 ISO and a 51 percent hard-hit rate. Other Option — Manny Machado ($5,600)

Value

Brandon Crawford, SF vs. CIN, $3,300 — Matt Harvey made his Reds debut last week and pitched quite well, allowing only one hit through four innings with two strikeouts. Am I convinced he’s back? Absolutely not. In fact, I’ll trot out Crawford, as Harvey owns a .419 wOBA against lefties since last season.

Other Option — Nick Ahmed ($3,200)


Outfield

Stud

Odubel Herrera, PHI vs. BAL, $4,800 — Remember, we have weather concerns for this game, but if they get it in, I absolutely love Herrera. His salary has caught up to his production, as he sports a 12.9 DKFP average over his past 10 games. He heads into this game with a .436 wOBA against righties and a .189 ISO in a matchup against Cashner. Other Options — Eddie Rosario ($4,700), Mitch Haniger ($4,200)

Value

Dexter Fowler, STL vs. MIN, $3,800 — Taking another shot on a struggling Cardinal against Lynn. As I mentioned, Lynn is downright atrocious when it comes to left-handed bats, and switch-hitting Fowler fits the mold. Granted, Fowler has been awful this year and owns just a .283 wOBA against righties. However, I believe it’s a worthy spot to take a shot with Fowler and one that still could go low-owned despite Lynn’s struggles.

Other Options — Teoscar Hernandez ($3,700), Adam Jones ($3,700)


I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Steveazors) 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 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.