MLB DFS: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Saturday, May 18

MLB DFS: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Saturday, May 18

This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.

Stepping in on a Saturday to take a look at the evening slate on the DFS front for Major League Baseball. There are seven contests on the docket starting at 7:10 p.m. ET or later. It's the weekend. You want some DFS success. Here are my lineup recommendations.

Pitching

Seth Lugo, KC vs. OAK ($10,300): Last year, the Padres moved Lugo from a reliever to a starter. He posted a 3.57 ERA, which was solid. This year, now a Royal, Lugo has been even better. Through nine starts he's posted an 1.66 ERA. The Athletics have managed to avoid being in the bottom 10 in runs scored thus far, but they are in the bottom five in team batting average and OBP.

Kutter Crawford, BOS at STL ($9,400): Crawford just had his worst start of the season. Why, he allowed a whole four runs in 6.0 innings. That raised his ERA all the way to 2.24. Crawford is one of a few pleasant surprises in the BoSox rotation. Meanwhile, the Cardinals and Blue Jays are in a fight to avoid being 29th in runs scored, last among the real MLB offenses (i.e., not including the White Sox). 

Top Targets

As a rookie, Elly De La Cruz ($4,700) was fun. In his sophomore campaign, he's been incredible. It's not just the nine homers and 30, yes 30, stolen bases, but his .270/.370/.503 slash line. Last season his .300 OBP held him back, but not any longer. Walker Buehler does not seem ready for an MLB rotation again just yet. He has an 8.42 FIP, and lefties have hit .529 against him.

Few players in MLB are more dangerous on the base paths than Bobby Witt ($4,300). He's stolen 15 bases, but he also has a whopping five triples. His own issue as a player these days? Witt still struggles on the road. Fortunately, this game is at home, where he has an .876 OPS in his career. Ross Stripling has a 4.49 ERA over the last five seasons, and he's a righty. It's generally easier to steal on righties.

Bargain Bats

Jason Heyward is working his way back, but Andy Pages ($3,100) has earned a role for the Dodgers. He's batted .267 and hit four homers in 28 games, with an OPS over .800 at home. While Graham Ashcraft is technically on pace for the lowest ERA of his career, his 4.12 ERA in 2024 is not remarkable. Also, he has a 4.69 FIP. Though Ashcraft is right-handed, in his career, righties have hit .292 against him, so hopefully Pages draws into the lineup, even though Heyward is easing himself back into the outfield rotation (and hit a homer in his return Friday).

Promising prospect Jackson Merrill ($2,700) has become a promising rookie. He's batted .294 with three homers and seven stolen bases. That's with better numbers against righties (i.e., the usual for a young southpaw) and also on the road. Bryce Elder's 4.79 ERA is admittedly built upon one terrible start against the Dodgers, but he has a career 4.19 ERA, and he's right-handed, so there's that.

Stacks to Consider

Red Sox at Cardinals (Miles Mikolas): Rafael Devers ($3,500), Tyler O'Neill ($3,200), Wilyer Abreu ($3,100)

A low-walk, low-strikeout pitcher, Mikolas has always had a game built around contact, and he's also long been hittable. This year, though, things have been even worse for the righty. Mikolas has a 6.19 ERA, and both righties and lefties have hit more than .300 against him. I did lean lefty with this stack, but I included a right-hander as well given the circumstances.

This has been a typical Devers season, as he has slashed .285/.384/.523. He has a .907 OPS against righties since 2022, but he has also been better on the road the last couple seasons, including a .990 OPS this year. O'Neill will face his former teammate in Mikolas. When healthy, O'Neill has posted a .365 OBP and hit 10 homers. He also has been better on the road, where he has a .985 OPS. In his career, Abreu has slashed .289/.368/.474, and he's hit four home runs and has stolen five bases this season. He has really struggled with his fellow southpaws, but in his career he has a .908 OPS against righties.

Rangers vs. Angels (Patrick Sandoval): Marcus Semien ($3,900), Adolis Garcia ($3,800), Ezequiel Duran ($2,300)

Sandoval does handle his fellow lefties well, and he doesn't allow many home runs. Beyond that, though, he isn't remarkable, which is why he has a career 3.93 ERA and a 5.00 ERA this season. Over the last three campaigns, righties have hit .271 against Sandoval, including .296 this year. That makes this an opportunity for a three-righty stack from the Rangers.

Last year, Semien had 29 homers and 40 doubles, and this year he has nine home runs and 10 doubles. While he has a history of hitting righties and lefties well, this season Semien has tilted toward smashing southpaws to the tune of a .934 OPS. Garcia has slugged .482, and in his career he's shown a real affinity for his home ballpark. Since 2022 he has an .876 OPS in the Rangers' ballpark. Duran wasn't playing a ton this year until recently, and he's experience a power outage, but he's batted .277. In 2023, he had 14 home runs and eight stolen bases. Duran has issues with his fellow righties, but in his career has an .808 OPS versus lefties.

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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