MLB DFS: DraftKings Plays and Strategy for Friday, May 17

MLB DFS: DraftKings Plays and Strategy for Friday, May 17

This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.

It's a busy Friday night for MLB. Now, are there any particularly exciting matchups from a stakes and pure entertainment standpoint? Perhaps not, but there are plenty of intriguing matchups from a DFS perspective. Thirteen games are taking place starting at 7:05 p.m. ET or later. These are my lineup recommendations for your Friday.

Pitching

Nestor Cortes, NYY vs. CWS ($9,400): Cortes enjoys the confines of Yankee Stadium. Since 2022 he has a 4.35 ERA on the road but a 2.52 ERA at home. Not only is this game in the Bronx, but the visiting squad happens to be the worst offense in baseball. The White Sox are falling behind the rest of the league in runs scored in a remarkable way.

Cole Ragans, KC vs. OAK ($9,200): Ragans had had a couple really poor starts this season, but otherwise he's pitched well. I don't want to just brush aside when things have gone poorly for the Royals lefty, but he has a 2.61 FIP compared to a 4.22 ERA with a 3.56 K/BB ratio. There's been a bit of bad luck in the noise of the data thus far. The Athletics have ridden an unexpected number of homers out of the bottom 10 in runs scored, but their overall hitting profile is still poor. Also, Ragans has allowed a mere 0.78 homers per nine innings in his career.

Brayan Bello, BOS at STL ($8,000): Bello's first start after an injury absence went well, and now through six starts he has a 3.13 ERA. The Cardinals have climbed above the Blue Jays, so they are now a robust 28th in runs scored. Of course, it's only three runs, and the Cardinals have played one more game. So, you know, there's that.

Top Targets

In his second season with the Brewers, William Contreras ($6,000) has slashed .359/.434/.553. Oh, and he's a catcher. Hunter Brown is getting a start in this series, though solely due to a lack of options. He has a career 5.10 ERA, and for a righty he struggles to a remarkable degree against right-handed hitters. In his career, righties have batted .290 versus Brown.

As a rookie, Anthony Volpe ($4,800) was a counting-stats darling (21 homers, 24 stolen bases) with a sub-.300 OBP that showed he had a lot of growing to do. This year, he has six homers and nine swiped bags, but also has gotten on base at a .348 clip. That's a fully rounded star kind of player! Mike Clevinger's 5.40 ERA this season comes in only two starts, but over the last three seasons (i.e., since returning from missing all of 2021) he has a 4.03 ERA.

Bargain Bats

With Brandon Lowe out, Richie Palacios ($4,500) is seeing action at second base, at least when a righty is on the mound. He does not play against his fellow southpaws, with good reason, but he has a .791 OPS against righties with three homers and six stolen bases. Chris Bassitt has a 5.06 ERA through eight starts, and lefties have played a big part in that. Southpaws have batted .324 against him.

He's only played in a smattering of games thus far with the Mets, but when a lefty is on the mound, it's good to have J.D. Martinez ($3,300) on your DFS roster. Since 2022 he has notched a .962 OPS versus southpaws. Lefty Jesus Luzardo has only made six starts, but he has a 5.97 ERA in part due to the fact he's allowed 1.45 home runs per nine innings.

Stacks to Consider

Atlanta vs. Padres (Matt Waldron): Matt Olson ($5,200), Michael Harris ($4,500), Jarred Kelenic ($2,900)

In his career, Waldron has a 5.02 FIP. He's also allowed 1.67 homers per nine innings. Lefties have batted .289 against Waldron at the MLB level, so I have three lefties in this stack from Atlanta. Maybe Atlanta's big bats haven't been as robust as they were in 2023, but there is still a strong stack to be found here.

Olson's been the foremost example of disappointing performances in 2024, but I think he'll be just fine. He had an .897 OPS over his first two seasons with Atlanta, and he hit 54 home runs last season. Plus, he does have a .799 OPS at home, with his struggles being more egregious on the road. Harris is having the worst season of his young career, but he still has four homers and five stolen bases. His home OPS is .823 as well. Maybe Atlanta's problems involve homesickness? Even Kelenic, new to Atlanta's lineup, has the same home/road split issues. He has a .766 OPS in his new ballpark.

Dodgers vs. Reds (Frankie Montas): Freddie Freeman ($5,700), Max Muncy ($5,100), James Outman ($3,100)

After basically not pitching in 2023, Montas has had some issues with his new team, the Reds. Although, those issues have largely come on the road. At home, the righty has a 2.04 ERA. In away starts, his ERA is 7.30. Well, Montas is visiting Dodgers stadium Friday, where he will see these three southpaws. Montas has allowed four home runs this season, and lefties have hit three of them.

Freeman's power is starting to come around, as he's slugged .536 over the last three weeks. Considering that he has a .543 OPS versus righties since 2022, I expect his power numbers to stick around that level. Few bats have been as reliable as Freeman's. Muncy has slugged over .500 against righties over the last two seasons, but he also enjoys home outings. This year, his OPS at home is all the way up to .966. Outman has struggled this year, not really looking like the guy who hit 23 homers and stole 16 bases in 2023. However, while he may keep struggling with lefties, he should pick it up against righties. Last year he had an .836 OPS versus right-handed pitchers.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Chris Morgan plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: cmorgan3, DraftKings: cmorgan3.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Morgan
Chris Morgan is a writer of sports, pop culture, and humor articles, a book author, a podcaster, and a fan of all Detroit sports teams.
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