MLB DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Friday, May 17

MLB DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Friday, May 17

This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.

A busy 13-game main slate awaits Friday evening, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET. Oakland is currently without a starting pitcher listed at FanDuel, but we've still got a massive 25 pitchers to choose from and against. Only two of those pitchers are priced in the five figures, which you would think would lead to some higher expected run totals, but the odds don't follow. Our highest run total is just 9.0, coming from the Rangers-Angels matchup. As such, offense again looks like a struggle while pitching should be plentiful.

Weather looks like a major concern in Atlanta and a minor concern in Cleveland. The former is a shame, as Matt Olson ($3,300) would be a terrific bargain choice as he's starting to hit the ball hard and with success. We'll omit that game from consideration here, but it merits consideration before lineup lock. Wind does not appear to be a factor in any spot.

Pitching

Kyle Harrison, SF vs. COL ($9,000): Harrison, Cole Ragans ($9,600) and Nestor Cortes ($9,500) profile as very similar options here. They all face bad offenses against left-handers with nearly identical splits and strikeout rates. Harrison is the cheapest and has already faced his opponent, limiting the Rockies to four hits across seven shutout innings in Coors Field. He only struck out two there, his lowest total across his last five starts, so there can be a question about his upside. But at this price, he doesn't need 40 fantasy points to be elite. I like him for both GPPs and cash lineups.

Triston McKenzie, CLE vs. MIN ($8,000): The Twins have scored one run in their last 27 innings and zero in their last 26. They come in with a mediocre .301 wOBA off righties, a below-average 99 wRC+ and a somewhat targetable 24.1 percent strikeout rate. McKenzie is trending positively, allowing four runs in his last three starts, two of which were of the quality variety, working 18.2 innings. The current Twins roster is a collective 17-of-97 (.175) with a .613 OPS and a 28.0 percent strikeout rate off McKenzie. Perhaps this is too obvious? Again, keep an eye on possible rain here.

Hunter Brown, HOU vs. MIL ($6,700): Do I think Brown is the right play Friday? No, not so much. But below McKenzie, I find the arms to be more targetable against than for with the possible exception being here. Milwaukee has tremendous splits against righties, ranking second with a .342 wOBA and third with a 121 wRC+. But are we trusting their bats outside of William Contreras? Brown has been brutal for the season, but he's quietly allowed just three runs in his last two starts. He worked only 9.1 innings in those outings but struck out 12. He's been worth at least a 2.8x return across his last four thanks to the strikeout potential. The Brewers will swing and miss. The talent here still exceeds the price, and for GPPs, especially multi-entry players, he merits consideration at the slate's lowest price.

Top Targets

Aaron Judge ($4,200) is 9-for-15 with four walks across his last four games, homering twice and scoring five runs. Mike Clevinger hasn't thrown enough innings to mention his splits, but he's been hit much harder by righties in that limited work. Judge is 4-for-11 with a homer off of him. 

Every night is a good night to invest in the Dodgers' lineup, but the price point makes it challenging. Reds starter Frankie Montas has a 7.30 road ERA, allowing a .454 wOBA and 1.066 OPS to lefties, and .410/.919 to righties. Shohei Ohtani ($4,800) is 10-for-24 (.417) with four homers off of Montas, but perhaps we target Max Muncy ($3,700) or Freddie Freeman ($3,500) for the pricing discount.

Bargain Bats

Who do we find less trustworthy between Arizona starter Ryne Nelson or the Tigers' offense? Nelson has been more vulnerable to righties, allowing a .473 wOBA and 1.104 OPS, which doesn't play into the Tigers' splits against righties, which favor Riley Greene ($3,300) and his .388 wOBA or Kerry Carpenter ($2,900) and his .384 wOBA. Mark Canha ($3,200) sits with a .327 wOBA but would be the option against Nelson's splits. All three can be considered as one-offs to finish your build.

The same lead can be used for Ryan Feltner against the Giants' offense. Feltner has curiously been worse away from Coors Field, but the Giants don't have many plus splits off righties, especially given their injury situation. LaMonte Wade ($2,700) is perhaps the exception. The upside is non-existent, but with a .400 wOBA and 165 wRC+ off righties, he's in a spot to provide an above-average return for this price.

Baltimore's Cole Irvin has been very good, so we likely shouldn't stack against him. But for as bad as the Mariners have been on the year, they do have some options that have faired well off lefties that are discounted. Cal Raleigh ($3,100) has a .396 wOBA, 164 wRC+ and a massive .500 ISO off southpaws. Mitch Garver ($2,800) sits at .389/159/.323 should he return to the lineup. Even Julio Rodriguez ($3,100) can be considered despite the poor form, sitting at .366/143/.146.

Stacks to Consider

Blue Jays vs. Tyler Alexander (Rays): Vladimir Guerrero ($3,200), Justin Turner ($2,800), Bo Bichette ($2,800)

Alexander has a targetable 5.45 ERA, 5.38 FIP and 2.04 HR/9 to date, and has been more vulnerable to righties. It's been a season-long struggle for the Jays' lineup as a whole, but Turner and Guerrero have been great against lefties in minimal exposure (67 combined plate appearances). Turner has a .478 wOBA, 217 wRC+ and .296 ISO. Guerrero sits at .427/183/.138. Turner has been sick, so we'll need to confirm he's back in the lineup before locking this in. But the price point for these three is superb given the matchup. Bichette is our third piece. It would be impossible for him to be worse off lefties, sitting with a .136 wOBA, -17 wRC+ and .000 ISO. But he's quietly riding a six-game hitting streak where he's collected 10 total hits and he gives us a third top-of-the-order piece.

Rangers vs. Tyler Anderson (Angels): Marcus Semien ($3,900), Corey Seager ($3,500), Jonah Heim ($3,100)

Anderson looks due for serious regression, bringing a 2.92 ERA but 4.80 xFIP and unsustainable .223 BABIP into Friday. He doesn't miss bats either with just 6.6 strikeouts per nine innings. Semien has a team-best .406 wOBA, 164 wRC+ and a decent .211 ISO, giving us a building block atop the order even if he's just 1-for-8 off Anderson. The other two are BvP plays more than season splits, as Seager and Heim are a combined 16-for-35 (.457), having each taken him deep. It's not a traditional lineup order stack with Heim likely hitting fifth, but they're close enough that they can still feed on each other. Adolis Garcia ($3,800) has homered in two straight and has solid numbers off lefties. He would be more traditional if you can afford him.

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 Bennett plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: k30kittles, DraftKings: k30kittles.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Bennett
Bennett covers baseball, college football and college basketball for RotoWire. Before turning to fantasy writing, he worked in scouting/player development for the Atlanta Braves and Montreal Expos. He's also a fan of the ACC.
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