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MLB DFS Spotlight Hitters & Stacks, May 18th (FREE)

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Greetings Gamers!  We have a “double main slate” setup on Saturday with large contests locking at 4:05pm ET and a slightly later than typical 7:15pm ET game set.

Keep an eye on the weather for the STL at TEX game as this is the only time these two franchises will square off outside of the (insert jokes here) World Series, so if needed a Sunday doubleheader is a possibility.

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AFTERNOON SLATE

Texas Rangers vs RHP Dakota Hudson – 5.7 implied runs

We will actually be considering a “game stack” here for our afternoon action and as long as the weather holds, it should be a VERY NICE hitting environment for both teams.

Focusing first on the Rangers going against RHP Dakota Hudson we have to be pinching ourselves for the prime matchup.

In his last 153 LHB and 159 RHB batters faced, Hudson has been a terrifying hurler to have on your rosters with a 4.89 xFIP, 16.0 K% and abysmal 12.2 BB%… YIKES!

Against opposite-handed batters he has a pathetic .458 wOBA, .250 ISO and a (which I have not seen in a while) 17.0 BB% so we will want to focus on Shin-Soo Choo, Joey Gallo (duh EMac), Asdrubal Cabrera and if in the lineup Ronald Guzman along with recent call up Willie Calhoun who is discounted on some DFS sites.

St Louis Cardinals at RHP Ariel Jurado – 6.4 implied runs

Fingers crossed that the weather allows this game to get in, even if it is later this evening, as the implied run total for the Rangers is one of the highest I have ever seen outside of Coors Field.  RHP Ariel Jurado will be the first pitcher facing the buzz saw also known as the St Louis Cardinals and while he did make four starts in April with the AAA Nashville Sounds and was fully stretched out as evidenced by his 104 pitches in his last minor league start, that was on April 24th and in the ensuing weeks he has not gone over 35 pitches while with the big club. Word is that Texas is hoping he makes it four innings, my estimation is that he will be good for about 50 pitches and with this implied run total, that may just barely get him into the third frame.

Jurado is not an imposing figure on the mound standing just over six feet tall and tipping the scales at 180 lbs and he mostly relies on his sinker allowing A TON of contact and hoping that his defense is able to manufacture outs with his 53 GB% and relatively low 25 FB% which is pretty much the exact opposite pitching profile that we would want to see both in Arlington and against the Redbirds.

We will want to load up on the Cardinals early and often with our preferred order of preference based on position, price, popularity and projected production starting with Matt Carpenter and Paul Goldschmidt, spending on Yadier Molina if he is behind the dish, then rounding things out with Marcel Ozuna, Paul DeJong, Jose Martinez, Kolten Wong and ideally young slugger Harrison Bader if he is in the lineup as St Louis will get an extra batsman with this game being in an American League park.

EVENING SLATE

Houston Astros at RHP Hector Velazquez – 5.3 implied runs

For this matchup, we will be targeting against RHP Hector Velazquez who is continuing to stretch out with his new responsibilities as a starter and we will likely see him for around 70-75 pitches. While Velazquez is mostly solid against batters swinging the stick from the right-side of the plate, he still can be exploited against the accomplished veteran hitters on the Astros.

Our first choice should be newcomer Michael Brantley who has lost far too much time to injuries over the last couple seasons, but if he were on the Yankees would be a household name. Follow that up with Houston options who handle both lefties and righties with veritable ease in Alex Bregman, George Springer and Carlos Correa and while they will not be had for a discount, they are all potential All-Star bats.

To differentiate, we can give strong consideration to Robinson Chirinos who has immense power if he is behind the dish and specialist Jake Marisnick will likely be in the lineup at the bottom of the order if we are doing some home run hunting for an off-the-board play.

NIGHT SLATE

Minnesota Twins at LHP Wade LeBlanc – 4.9 implied runs

It looks like the Mariners will be activating LHP Wade LeBlanc for their Saturday evening game against the Twinkies and we will want to focus on the opposition for sure!

Over his eleven years in The Show, LeBlanc has been a very adequate fourth starter for seven teams, aka he is a journeyman at best.

Naturally we will want to focus on the right-handed hitters from Minnesota with our first priority being the recently hot hitting  C.J. Cron, recently activated Miguel Sano and the emerging Jorge Polanco as our power trio on the late slate. If you are considering a full-on late night hammer strategy, then Willans Astudillo and Marwin Gonzalez can be had for reasonable prices on most sites and this is a viable contrarian stack on the “main” slate for Saturday.

As always, you can reach out to me in Awesemo.com Premium Slack or on Twitter @EMacDFS if you have any questions.

Good Luck Gamers! ~ EMac

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing support@awesemo.com.