MLB DFS: DraftKings Plays and Strategy for Friday, May 24

MLB DFS: DraftKings Plays and Strategy for Friday, May 24

This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.

The holiday weekend kicks off Friday. Maybe you are packing for an excursion, or just stocking up four days worth of beer in your fridge. Before all that, though, there is the matter of Friday's MLB DFS contests. There are 11 matchups included on the DFS front, with the first pitch at 7:10 p.m. ET. Let's kick the weekend off right. Here are my recommendations.

Pitching

Zac Gallen, ARI vs. MIA ($10,300): Gallen has a 3.02 ERA even though he's made five of his nine starts on the road. That's notable, because Gallen enjoys home cooking as much as any pitcher. Since 2022 he has a 2.38 ERA at home. Miami may outside the bottom five in runs scored, but the team, collectively, has a .232/.288/.349 slash line. Yeah, that won't cut it.

Justin Verlander, HOU at OAK ($8,600): Given that he's in his age-41 season, I'm a little concerned about Verlander's 3.97 ERA through six starts. That being said, a brutal outing at Yankee Stadium has played a major role in that. Oakland's ballpark is much kinder to pitchers, and so is the lineup. The A's are in the bottom five in runs scored.

Kyle Harrison, SF at NYM ($8,500): Harrison is only 22, and he's already made 17 MLB starts. Not only that, but in 2024 he's looked decidedly better than in his brief stint in 2023. Harrison has a 3.60 ERA. He's also a lefty, and that's not good for a few notable Mets bats. New York is middling in terms of runs scored, and its lineup tends to hit worse at home.

Top Targets

Let's just say I'm feeling pretty good about my preseason pick of Kyle Tucker ($6,400) for AL MVP. He's slashed .288/.422/.638 with 17 homers and nine stolen bases. Ross Stripling has had some major issues with lefties the last couple of years. He allowed lefties to hit .289 against him last season, but this year southpaws have averaged a whopping .345 versus the veteran righty.

If you're wondering why Freddie Freeman ($5,600) "only" has an .839 OPS, it's because he's really struggled with lefties, much more than in the past. Against righties, he still has a .987 OPS in 2024. Graham Ashcraft is right handed, and he has some incredible home/road splits. In his MLB career, Ashcraft has a 3.93 ERA in away games, but a 5.46 ERA at home. 

Bargain Bats

He's off the pace of last season, when he stole a whopping 43 bases, Nico Hoerner ($4,000) has five swiped bags in 44 games. Plus, he has a .349 OBP, so if he keeps getting on base, he'll have more opportunities to swipe bags. Getting on base is a common occurrence against Miles Mikolas, one of the most-hittable pitchers there is. Only once since returning from Asia to join the Cardinals in 2018 has he walked more than two batters per nine innings, but in that time he's only struck out more than seven batters per nine once as well. Through 10 starts this season he has a 5.77 ERA as well.

"Hey, let's play Kevin Newman ($2,900) a lot" was likely not in the ideal plans for the Diamondbacks in 2024, but the 30-year-old shortstop has secured a regular role due to injuries and the fact he is right handed on a roster that leans heavily lefty. He's the kind of guy you sign to have for when a southpaw is on the mound, as since 2022 he has an .801 OPS against lefties (compared to a .626 OPS against righties). While Braxton Garrett's 10.24 ERA comes in only two starts, that's still concerning for a guy working his way back from a shoulder injury.

Stacks to Consider

Phillies at Rockies (Ty Blach): Alec Bohm ($6,100), J.T. Realmuto ($5,400), Johan Rojas ($3,600)

If Blach is on the mound at Coors Field, it's a case of run, don't walk, to find three righties to stack. Since joining the Rockies, the southpaw has allowed righties to hit .358 against him. He's faced 61 righties this year, and those righties have batted .404 against him. Plus, again, the whole Coors Field thing.

Bohm's overall numbers are up in 2024 because he's actually hit righties well, which has not been the norm, but for years he excelled against lefties. Over the last three seasons he's posted a .932 OPS versus southpaws. A catcher whose batted .285 and hit seven home runs is enticing at Coors as is, but Realmuto has pretty start home/road splits. Since 2022 he has a .742 OPS at home, but an .840 OPS on the road. Rojas doesn't have any real power, but he's stolen 11 bases and has the speed to leg out a double or a triple. He also has a .754 OPS on the road in his career. Crucially, he's a righty, and like I said, this is a matchup you want to find three righties for.

Orioles at White Sox (Chris Flexen): Gunnar Henderson ($6,100), Jordan Westburg ($4,900), Ryan O'Hearn ($4,300)

Corbin Burnes must be salivating about facing Chicago's atrocious offense (which is a bonus for him, because nobody enjoys spitting in public more than professional athletes), but the Orioles' lineup gets a fine matchup as well. Flexen has a career 4.99 ERA, and this season his ERA is up to 5.48. You could argue he's been lucky, given that his 6.90 K/9 rate, which poor, would be a career high, and his 18.7 line-drive percentage would be a career low.

Henderson's following up his Rookie of the Year campaign with a sophomore surge. While his success against his fellow lefties has been the most-intriguing thing, his .894 OPS versus righties feels much more sustainable. Henderson has been great on the bases as well, tallying four triples and seven stolen bases already, while not being caught stealing even once. Westburg is a righty, but since 2022 righties have hit .299 against Flexen. He's improved across the board (aside from still being allergic to walks) and has batted .275 with seven homers, three triples, and five swiped bags. Unlike with Henderson, the Orioles glue O'Hearn to the bench when a southpaw is in the game. Since he has an OPS over .800 against righties since joining Baltimore, though, he has a clear role with the team, and a spot in the starting lineup Friday.

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.
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only MLB Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire MLB fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
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.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Colorado Rockies & More MLB Bets Today: MLB Props for June 18
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Colorado Rockies & More MLB Bets Today: MLB Props for June 18
MLB Best Bets and Expert Picks for Tuesday, June 18
MLB Best Bets and Expert Picks for Tuesday, June 18
MLB DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Tuesday, June 18
MLB DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Tuesday, June 18
MLB DFS Picks: DraftKings Plays and Strategy for Tuesday, June 18
MLB DFS Picks: DraftKings Plays and Strategy for Tuesday, June 18
MLB Injuries: Long-Term and Short-Term Betting Impact
MLB Injuries: Long-Term and Short-Term Betting Impact
Week 12 FAAB Results - Closer Carousel
Week 12 FAAB Results - Closer Carousel