MLB Picks (Early Slate): Top Fantasy Baseball Targets, Values for May 15

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The Yankees face the Orioles in a matchup that has a lot of upside for both sides while the Blue Jays and Giants face off with two questionable pitchers. It should be a chalk-ridden slate with a lot of ownership concentrated in a couple choice places, so it’ll be important to consider where you can pivot on a short slate like this. Let’s talk through my favorite options.


PITCHER

Stud

Zack Greinke, ARI vs. PIT, $10,200 — Greinke has been great this year even with diminishing velocity thanks to superb command and understanding of how to utilize his stuff. He has six games of 20-plus DKFP and faces a team with limited power in a neutral park, and with six games of 5-plus strikeouts and the ability to pitch a complete game he is by far the top option on a short slate.

Other Options — J.A. Happ ($9,500)

Value

Shaun Anderson, SF vs. TOR, $7,300 — Anderson is making his big league debut against the Blue Jays in the best possible pitcher’s park. He profiles as somebody with above average strikeout potential and a good ground ball rate with solid run prevention stats in the minors. The Blue Jays are one of the worse offenses in baseball although and although they might have some power bats they strikeout often making Anderson a great cheap option.

Other Options — Thomas Pannone ($7,700)


CATCHER

Stud

Gary Sanchez, NYY vs. BAL, $5,300 — I’m not a fan of super expensive catchers but Gary is a monster playing in the best possible park against the worst pitcher on the slate. He’s averaging 7.7 DKFP in his last 10 games and has 11 home runs on the season with a matchup that plays well to his power with David Hess ($4,800) sporting a .692 xSLG percentage against RHH. He’s a near must-play in cash.

Other Options — Alex Avila ($4,000)

Value

Francisco Cervelli, PIT vs. ARI, $2,900 — Short slates don’t offer a lot of value options at the weaker positions, so we are going to bet on talent over matchup and take Cervelli as the top value. He’s hitting .226/.351/.258 in his last 10, which are all upgrades on his season stats and has seven hits and a stolen base in the span. Greinke will give up a couple hits and Cervelli is cheap enough to hope he hits a double and makes value.

Other Options — Danny Jansen ($2,300)


FIRST BASE

Luke Voit, NYY vs. BAL, $5,000 — It’s really difficult to get away from stacking the Yankees on this slate with the value pitchers available to make it all work, and Voit is in a fantastic spot to continue his 2019 power surge. He’s been bad in the last 10 games with just three hits, but two of them have been home runs and up against a pitcher that doesn’t miss RHH and gives up all the power in the world, it’s the perfect spot for Voit to exploit.

Other Options — Josh Bell ($5,600)

Value

Chris Davis, BAL at NYY, $3,400 — On the other side of the Yankees game are a couple good options to savings. Davis has been good in his recent sample after breaking his hitless streak to start the year and now has five home runs and a .189/.287/.379 slash line for the season. He is definitely worse against LHP but J.A. Happ ($9,500) gives up massive power to LHH with an average exit velocity of 99 mph on fly balls and line drives. Davis is boom-or-bust but if he makes contact it’s probably going to be a home run.


SECOND BASE

Stud

Ketel Marte, ARI vs. PIT, $4,800 — Marte is a switch-hitter with power on both sides of the plate and he gets a matchup with a pitcher that exhibits pretty drastic splits for him to take advantage of. Chris Archer ($8,400) is good against LHH but gives up a .436 xwOBA against RHH that comes with a lot of power and a SLG over .500, giving Marte plenty of upside in the spot.

Other Options — DJ LeMahieu ($4,700)

Value

Stevie Wilkerson, $BAL at NYY, $3,500 — Another switch-hitter in a great spot, Wilkerson has been underpriced most of the year and that hasn’t changed yet. He’s averaging eight fantasy points in his last 10 games with two home runs and five RBI on 12 total hits and comes into a matchup with a pitcher that has a lot of issues giving up extra base hits. He’s good value in a great park.

Other Options — Hanser Alberto ($3,000)


THIRD BASE

Stud

Eduardo Escobar — We can repeat a lot of the same thoughts on Marte when it comes to Escobar. A switch-hitter with power on both sides of the plate, but Escobar has recent performance on his side as well. He’s averaging 7.4 DKFP in the last 10 with nine hits, a double, a triple and two home runs, showing solid power and placement on batted balls. His price is a bit prohibitive, but he makes a great contrarian option.

Other Options — DJ LeMahieu ($4,700), Gio Urshela ($4,300)

Value

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., TOR at SF, $3,700 — After hitting the first two home runs of his career, Vlad will look to continue on a power surge in the same park tonight. As discussed, Anderson looks to be an above-average arm for the majors but Vlad has been destroying minor-league arms for the better part of a year, so he has an understanding of how they pitch. He will probably be very popular, but it’s time to start considering him every slate with the power finally coming through.

Other Options — Rio Ruiz ($3,300)


SHORT STOP

Value

Cole Tucker, PIT at ARI, $3,000 — Another cheap Pirates bat that is worth consideration for value is Tucker, who is coming off a home run game raising his season total to a whopping two in all. He’s a switch-hitter that can take advantage of splits when need be and although Greinke is good, he does give up a good amount of power to LHH. The idea is to pay up at shortstop on this slate but Tucker represents a decent shot at value.

Other Options — Richie Martin ($2,700)


OUTFIELD

Stud

Dwight Smith Jr., BAL at NYY, $4,900 — With the Yankees’ sluggers still on the IL they don’t have a lot of high-priced options to consider, so I’ll take Smith in the same park and a good upside matchup. Smith is one of the best bats on the Orioles with eight home runs in 2019 to go with a .286/.333/.510 slash line and he’s averaging 10.3 DKFP in the last 10. His matchup with Happ represents a huge power exploitation for a LHH and he has a good chance of hitting a home run at low ownership.

Other Options — Starling Marte ($4,800)

Value

Cameron Maybin, NYY vs. BAL, $4,000 — There is a serious lack of cheap option on this slate as all of them either have a rough matchup, are in a rough park, or are just straight out bad player. Maybin has contact issues and hardly any power but he does have stolen base upside in a matchup with a pitcher that can’t strike out RHH. I wish he was cheaper but this is a spot to deploy someone with his skillset making him one valuable, if not a great value per price.

Other Options — Teoscar Hernandez ($3,400)


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