MLB DFS Picks: DraftKings Plays and Strategy for Monday, May 20

MLB DFS Picks: DraftKings Plays and Strategy for Monday, May 20

This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.

Most Mondays tend to be light cards, but that's not the case today. We have 11 games in total, nine of which take place at night. We'll void the two early games because those won't be part of the main slate. We have some fun series kickstarting today, so let's go ahead and get started by looking at the pitchers.

Pitching

Framber Valdez, HOU vs. LAA ($8,800) 

Valdez has had the most quality starts in baseball since the 2022 season, posting a 3.12 ERA and 1.15 WHIP since then. Two duds against the Mariners and Yankees have hurt his numbers this year. Despite those stinkers, he still has a 2.95 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. He's scored at least 19 DraftKings points in every other start this year, generating a 1.35 ERA and 0.86 WHIP in those outings. That fantastic form makes him a fabulous option against the Angels because they have one of the worst lineups without Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani and Anthony Rendon. Even with most of those guys, Valdez has scored at least 25 DraftKings points in six of his last eight matchups versus the Angels. We also don't mind that Valdez is a -200 favorite.

Reese Olson, DET at KC ($6,900) 

This babyface assassin has quietly been one of the best pitchers in the American League. Many might overlook him because of his 0-4 record, but the 2.09 ERA and 0.99 WHIP speak much louder than the win-loss ledger. He's also allowed one run or fewer in six of his eight starts, scoring at least 15 DraftKings points in all six. Kansas City has been much better than anyone anticipated, but negative regression is hitting them like a rock. The Royals rank 24th in on-base percentage (OBP) over the last 30 days while sitting 25th in wOBACON for the season. 

Top Targets

Shohei Ohtani, LAD (vs. Slade Cecconi) $6,500

Some players are impossible to fade in DFS at certain times. Ohtani is that guy right now. The MVP candidate has 13 homers, 11 steals, 36 runs scored and 32 RBI while providing a .418 OBP. Those ridiculous numbers have him as a legitimate triple-crown candidate, generating a .444 OBP and 1.178 OPS across his last 38 games. He also has a 1.218 OPS against righties this season. He shouldn't have any issues against a pitcher with a 5.27 ERA. We wouldn't mind doing a full-on Dodgers stack if you want to use cheap pitchers, with Mookie Betts ($6,000) and Freddie Freeman ($5,500) also in play. 

Jazz Chisholm, MIA (vs. Joe Ross) $5,100

Chisholm got off to a terrible start this season, but we knew this talented stud would get going. That's what we've seen recently with Chisholm compiling a .396 OBP and .968 OPS across his last 12 games. He's also got two homers and three steals in that span, showcasing the power-speed combo that's made him one of the best per-game producers in MLB. An inability to stay on the floor has killed his value in season-long leagues, but that doesn't matter for DFS. We love that he has the platoon advantage against Ross, generating a .867 OPS against right-handers since 2022. It's not like Ross is someone we're scared of, posting a 4.76 ERA and 1.40 WHIP over the last eight years. 

Bargain Bats

Alex Bregman, HOU (vs. Reid Detmers) $4,200

There's no doubt Bregman has been bad this season, but this guy will replicate what we've seen on the back of a baseball card. This All-Star has never finished below a .350 OBP and .777 OPS since his rookie year, and he'll eventually get back to those. We're seeing flashes of it right now, with Bregman providing a .333 batting average (AVG) and 1.008 OPS across his last 10 outings. We also love that he has the platoon advantage against a struggling southpaw, with Bregman accruing a .374 OBP and .869 OPS against lefties throughout his career. We'll talk about how disastrous Detmers has been in the next section.

Nolan Gorman, STL (vs. Dean Kremer) $3,200

It's shocking to see Gorman barely above $3,000. A nightmarish start to the season earned him that price tag, but he's homered in three of his last seven games. The second baseman also has a .464 OBP and 1.247 OPS in that span, showcasing how he had 27 dingers and seven steals across 119 games last year. Almost all of his damage has come against right-handers, accumulating a .227 ISO and .765 OPS against them. Kremer is the type of pitcher he can clobber once again, with the righty collecting a 4.75 career xFIP against lefty bats. 

Stacks to Consider

Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Angels (Reid Detmers): Kyle Tucker ($6,100), Jose Altuve ($5,500), Alex Bregman ($4,200)

We briefly discussed how dastardly Detmers has been recently, so let's start there. The Angels lefty looked like he was having a breakout campaign through four starts, but it's been a nightmare since then. Detmers has allowed at least four runs in five straight, registering an 8.46 ERA and 1.66 WHIP in that span. Those are some of the worst numbers in baseball, and it looks even worse since he had a 10.13 ERA and 1.95 WHIP in three matchups with the Astros last season. 

With how much Detmers is struggling, we love Tucker against him even though he hits from the left side. This DFS darling has done damage no matter who he faces, providing a .371 OBP and .939 OPS against lefties since the start of last season. That's scary with how he's swinging the bat, sporting a .500 OBP and 1.316 OPS across his last 12 outings. Altuve is the best righty of the bunch, amassing a .371 OBP while providing seven dingers and seven steals. He also has a .384 OBP and .888 OPS against left-handers throughout his career, while posting a 1.136 OPS in 14 at-bats against Detmers. 

Milwaukee Brewers vs. Miami Marlins (Ryan Weathers): William Contreras ($5,800), Willy Adames ($5,000), Joey Ortiz ($3,500)

Weathers has been decent this season, but he will struggle against this bludgeoning Brewers lineup. We say that because Weathers had a 4.54 ERA and 1.32 WHIP before going eight scoreless innings against Detroit in his most recent start. The Motor City Kitties don't compare to the Brewers, with Milwaukee ranked third in OBP and runs scored. That's terrifying since Weathers has a 5.38 ERA and 1.44 WHIP throughout his career, making Milwaukee one of the best stacks of the day. 

Let's kickstart our Brewers stack with the best catcher in the National League. Not only does Contreras get the platoon advantage against Weathers, but he also has a .426 OBP and .980 OPS so far this season. That's startling when looking at his splits, sporting a .433 OBP and 1.036 OPS against lefties since 2022. Adames has been a different player since joining Milwaukee, picking up seven homers and eight steals en route to 8.5 DraftKings points per game. Ortiz is the sneaky option of the bunch because he's been batting between third and sixth over the last week. It's easy to see why he's earned that promotion, providing a .392 OBP and .941 OPS this season. 

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. Joel Bartilotta plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: Joelbartilotta Yahoo: Joelbartilotta.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joel Bartilotta
Joel has 20 years of Fantasy experience, and can recall riding a young Daunte Culpepper to a championship in the 2003-04 season in his inaugural fantasy year. He covers NBA, NFL, daily fantasy, EPL, and MLB for RotoWire.
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