Saturday, May 15, has a quick afternoon appetizer and then a robust 10-game main slate with a side of Coors Field. Let’s get into the top MLB DFS picks for hitters and stacks for Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel.
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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Hitters and Stacks, Saturday, May 15th
Yahoo Stack of the Day: New York Yankees at RHP Jorge Lopez – 5.1 implied runs
Tonight, there is some imbalance with the Yahoo salary algorithm. It has assigned Jorge Lopez the comical minimum salary of $25, however, only the key Yankees have salaries in the double digits. Lopez is a league average pitcher at best who relies on a 47% ground ball rate to eat innings. Targeting him with lefties is the key to success, with a .249 ISO and a 2.32 HR/9 in his last 411 opposite-handed matchups. Righties with power and flyball tendencies can get to him as well, with a 1.54 HR/9 and a 17.8% flyball rate since the start of the 2019 season. This will be key since the Yankees do not have many lefties outside of Brett Gardner and potentially switch-hitting Aaron Hicks projected to be in the lineup tonight.
When healthy, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton are an imposing duo. They have 19 combined home runs already, which is the most by any pair of teammates in the league with Judge fifth overall with 10 and Stanton ninth with nine. Two-time Batting Champion D.J. LeMahieu has only two extra-base hits this month, however, they were both round-trippers and he does have four multi-hit games at the halfway point of May. Luke Voit will likely be in the heart of the order and there is a chance Gio Urshela will be back as well. He has been dealing with a knee issue, but did have pinch-hit appearance last night, which resulted in a three-run dinger. Finally, Clint Frazier, Miguel Andujar, Gary Sanchez and the aforementioned lefties can provide salary relief as well as differentiation from the Coors Field crowd.
Chicago Cubs at RHP Jose Urena — 4.6 implied runs
In this series, the Cubs will be playing under American League rules, which allows them to use the designated hitter. Jose Urena is adequate against same-handed hitters, but batters swinging the stick from the left-side of the plate give him fits. Since the beginning of 2019, he has allowed a 1.53 HR/9 with a 8.3% walk rate and a low 11.3% strikeout rate. Even double plays and his groundball tendencies cannot save him, as evidenced by his 6.26 ERA. The obvious options are Joc Pederson — likely leading off — and Anthony Rizzo in the cleanup spot. However, we can look for differentiation via a “wrap-around” stack with switch-hitting Ilemaro Vargas and lefty Eric Sogard, who will be at the bottom of the order.
Washington Nationals at RHP Seth Frankoff — 4.7 implied runs
On Friday, the Nationals rolled up 17 runs against the Diamondbacks, who resorted to outfielder David Peralta to close out the ninth inning. Tonight, the roof is scheduled to be closed, however, even the humidor is unlikely to be enough to save sacrificial lamb Seth Frankoff.
The right-handed hurler will be 33 years old in August and he has a grand total of 4.2 innings in The Show with one appearance in 2017 with the Cubs and two last year for the Mariners. The well-traveled journeyman played for the Doosan Bears of the KBO in 2018 and 2019. He has six winter ball seasons between Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. Plus, 13 different MiLB stops over nine seasons with the Athletics, Dodgers, Cubs and Diamondbacks. Oh and he played four years for UNC Wilmington. That, my friends, is some serious dedication to his craft.
Projection systems are not kind to Frankoff and we should feel free to target the Washington batters up and down the order. Trea Turner, Juan Soto and Kyle Schwarber are the recognizable names. However, there is utility and flexibility on all slates with the savings provided by Alex Avila, who will knock out our catcher requirements along with veteran switch-hitter Josh Bell and righties Josh Harrison and Starlin Castro.
Final Thoughts for the Saturday, May 15th MLB DFS Slate
We will need to monitor the weather in Minnesota, Chicago and Colorado with all three carrying precipitation risks. As always, keep in mind that salaries and scoring formats differ across the various fantasy sites, and a home run play on Yahoo may be a below-average MLB DFS pick on DraftKings or FanDuel.
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