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MLB DFS Spotlight Pitchers: May 18th (FREE)

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The following Spotlight Pitchers, Hitters & Stacks were selected by Awesemo.com writer Jake Hari. For more analysis on today’s slates(s), check out Awesemo’s Projections, Rankings, Ownership Projections, and make sure to tune into the MLB Strategy Show

Early Slate

Lucas Giolito ($7,500 DK, $9,500 FD, $40 Y!)

Giolito has been frustrating for DFS players over the last year and change, but it’s hard to argue with his numbers so far, as he’s striking out over 32% of right-handed hitters this season and as well as 26% of lefties. Coming off back-to-back 7+ inning, 8K perfromances with just one run allowed, he’ll have a chance to make it three quality outings in a row against a Blue Jays team that has struck out over 24% of the time versus righties with a lackluster 85 wRC+ as a team. On a day where we’re lacking solid pitching options, Giolito makes for a logical option on Yahoo at $40 on the all-day slate slate as he’s got both strikeout upside and a good matchup against the Blue Jays.

Main Slate

Jose Berrios ($10,300 DK, $10,400 FD, $48 Y!)

Berrios has had puzzling career struggles away from Target Field, but with much of the ownership going to other pitchers (Strasburg) who are in similarly tough matchups, Berrios makes for an excellent pivot in tournaments on the main slate. While his swinging-strike rate is lacking so far this year (10.4%), he’s getting almost a 35% chase rate on the year, and even in a tough matchup against the Mariners, there may be more K upside that it looks on the surface. The Mariners have flashed a ton of power early on, but they’re striking out 24% of the time versus right-handed pitching. The Twins’ ace is striking out over 24% of lefties this season, so a matchup against 5 lefties shouldn’t be problematic, especially when we factor in the ownership discount we’ll get off of Strasburg, who should be a trendy spend-up on a tough pitching slate.

Griffin Canning ($8,500 DK, $6,800 FD, $37 Y!)

Despite not going deep into games, Canning has shown flashes of being a valuable fantasy asset on daily formats, striking out at least six hitters in each of his first three starts. While the raw numbers are good to see, the swinging-strike rate (17.8%) and chase rate (35.2%) have been fantastic so far, and in his limited sample, he ranks #2 in the MLB amongst all starters in Whiffs/Swing rate at a whopping 42%. Canning also was pushed to 101 pitches in his last start, so getting to 5 or 6 innings is well in reach. The ability to get swings and misses will be crucial against the Royals, who have just a 21.6% K-rate versus righties on the season, but looking at some of their individual K-rates (O’Hearn, Mondesi, Soler), there should be enough opportunities for punch outs to make Canning a quality option even if he is popular across the 3 sites..

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