Neil previews today’s game action and shares his top DFS Plays for May 18
Tommy Joseph and Jorge Polanco. Those are two guys that smart DFS players had in their lineups yesterday, and I hope you did too. I write my quick hits in the morning, before lineups are posted, but one thing that you should be doing in order to win at daily fantasy is to check lineups and find cheap players in favorable lineup positions.
Joseph – who is catcher eligible – was batting 4th for the Phillies and cost the minimum of $2,000 on DraftKings and scored you 20 points. Polanco cost a mere $2,700 and was hitting 2nd for the Twins in a very nice match-up and scored you 10 points. If you put these guys in your lineups, you were able to fit in one or two of the aces that pitched yesterday (Kershaw, Bumgarner, Scherzer etc.).
Side Note – it’s good to be a bit lucky too. To get both Kershaw and MadBum in a couple of lineups, I also played Paulo Orlando yesterday – for the sole reason that he was cheap – even though he was hitting 9th for KC in a not so great match-up. He went 3/4 with a homer, a triple 4 RBIs and 2 runs scored, and he was the main catalyst for my most successful lineups.
As for today; pitching isn’t as great, but there a bunch of good tier 2 options on the mound.
Here are your quick hit thoughts for today.
Batter versus Pitcher Warriors:
- Alexei Ramirez vs. Johnny Cueto – 9/14 with 2 doubles and a homer
- Andrew McCutchen vs, Julio Teheran – 5/12 with 2 homers a double and a walk
- Mike Aviles vs. Ricky Nolasco – 8/14 with a homer and a double
- Jon Jay vs. Johnny Cueto – 13/33 with 3 homers 2 doubles and 2 walks
Stacks to Target:
- Tigers vs. Ricky Nolasco – The Tigers hit Nolasco well with a .366/.407/.499 collective line. When Nolasco is on, he is usually a soft contact inducing pitcher – but this year he is allowing hard contact at a 30.9% clip. Couple that with a low K-rate and a good hitting Tigers team and this could be a long day for Ricky.
- Astros vs. Mat Latos – The Astros are my favorite boom or bust team. If they face a strikeout pitcher, I usually have some exposure to the pitcher in a GPP. But against non-strikeout pitchers, they are one of my favorite stacks. Mat Latos’ surface numbers look good, but peel one layer off that onion and it starts to smell. His xFIP sits at 5.43, his K/9 is extremely low at 4.31, his strand rate is high at 80.6%, and his BABIP allowed is low at .262. This has regression written all over it, and I think the Astros will benefit.
Weather Factors to Target or Avoid:
None – Let’s Play Ball!
Pitchers of the Day:
- Drew Pomeranz vs. Giants – Tread carefully here as I like this play for GPP only. Pomeranz is turning into a great pitcher, ranking 3rd in the NL in K/9 and 9th in FIP. While the Giants are not a huge strikeout team, they do rank 9th in MLB for Ks versus lefties. Pomeranz is only the 7th most expensive option on the evening slate on DraftKings and presents perhaps the highest upside. I will roll with him tonight.
- Francisco Liriano vs. Braves – For some reason, when I started writing this section I wrote Liriano’s first name as Nelson. For those of you who are old like me, you remember Nelson Liriano – a pretty terrible utility infielder in the ’80s and ’90s. In any event, I like Francisco Liriano tonight against the Braves. The Pirates’ lefty has a fantastic K/9 of 10.44 giving him high upside, and the Braves rank last in MLB in OPS versus lefties with an awful .543. The next lowest NL team is Philadelphia whose OPS is nearly 100 points higher at .632. This is a good cash and GPP play.
Platoon Split Hitters:
- Matt Joyce vs. Julio Teheran – Teheran struggles against left-handed bats. Joyce has an otherworldly .527 wOBA and 237 wRC+ versus righties
- John Jaso vs. Julio Teheran – I like a mini-Pirates stack tonight. Jaso has a more than respectable .353 wOBA and 121 wRC+ versus right-handers.
Any more questions? Hit me up on Twitter @AssemblyNeil
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