DraftKings & FanDuel MLB Lineups & Picks for May 18, 2017

Written By Matt Brown on May 18, 2017

DFS MLB Lineups for May 18, 2017 at Draftkings.com & Fanduel.com

For this daily fantasy baseball season, each day there’s a good slate of DFS MLB games, we’ll be writing up a group of pitchers and hitters that we’re considering for our cash and GPP lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel. We’ll also provide a list of stacks to consider, MLB start times, starting pitchers, and game run totals to give you a good idea of where the fantasy goodness might come from on a given night. As with any DFS sport, the advice below is relevant for fantasy purposes. A player or team might be better or worse from a fantasy perspective than they are in real life due to matchup, price, park factor, etc. This is important when constructing a roster.

We have just five games on the main DFS slate, but the big sites are still rolling out big money contests for us to sweat. We have only a few options at pitcher, but one guy really stands out at DraftKings…for all the wrong reasons. Marcus Stroman comes in at a whopping $11,300! For reference, he’d have been more expensive than every pitcher on the slate other than Clayton Kershaw and Johnny Cueto (more than Lance McCullers, Michael Fulmer, Michael Pineda, etc). My guess is he’ll still be popular because there’s a decent amount of players who roster the most expensive pitcher, no matter what. I’ll be on a full fade and will actually have some Braves bats across some of my lineups, though the team as a whole will be much less attractive if Freddie Freeman is out of the lineup after being hit on the hand last night.

A quick reminder while playing DFS MLB, don’t forget baseball is a game of variance. You can make a really solid lineup and still fall short of the cash line. Even Clayton Kershaw can get lit up, and Mike Trout can still go 0 for 4. Baseball is funny like that. Trust the process and know that if you’re playing quality lineups, you’ll be a winner in the long term.

Another thing to remember outside of making sure your player is in the lineup, is to always check the weather. Always. Make this something that is part of your basic routine. Baseball games can get postponed! Your players receive no points from postponed games!


DraftKings Fastball: $33 buy-in, $200k guaranteed  
DraftKings Four Seamer: $4 buy-in, $75k guaranteed (20 Entry Max)  
DraftKings Moonshot: $3 buy-in, $80k guaranteed (Arcade Mode) 
FanDuel Squeeze: $3 buy-in, $100k guaranteed
FanDuel Grand Slam: $25 buy-in, $30k guaranteed (Tiered)
FanDuel Rally: $16 buy-in, $200k guaranteed


7:35p: Blue Jays (Stroman) @ Braves (Teheran): 7.5
8:15p: Yankees (Montgomery) @ Royals (Duffy): 8.5
10:05p: Red Sox (Velazquez) @ A’s (Gray): 9
10:10p: Marlins (Volquez) @ Dodgers (Ryu): 8
10:10p: White Sox (Covey) @ Mariners (Gaviglio): 9

DFS MLB Pitcher Thoughts for May 18, 2017

– I mentioned above that Stroman is going to be a fade for me and I also will be off of Hyun-Jin Ryu tonight. With him being a full $2.2k cheaper than Stroman and having a matchup with Marlins, I’d guess we see ownership levels of around 35-40%. Also, the Marlins are actually tied for 8th in the league in wOBA versus left handed pitching and 7th in wRC+ against the handedness.

– As for guys I will be rostering, I will likely have healthy exposure to Jordan Montgomery. I really like the youngsters stuff and think he’s going to be a solid starter in the majors. So far in 2017, he’s sporting a 4.40 SIERA while giving up hard contact only 23.5% of the time (only 22% over the last 15 days, second lowest on the slate). He’s a -111 favorite against the Royals today, a team with the second lowest wOBA against left handed pitching in MLB. He’s got K upside having recorded at least 7 strikeouts in 3 of his 6 starts while reaching at least 14 DK points in every start this year, despite facing the Orioles, Cubs, and Astros along the way. The Royals aren’t in the same stratosphere are those teams and I’m looking for at least 20 DK points out of Montgomery today.

– We have two relative unknowns on the bump tonight in Settle’s Sam Gaviglio ($5.1k DraftKings, $5.5k FanDuel) and Boston’s Hector Velazguez ($6.4k DraftKings, $5.6k FanDuel). Here’s what we do know, both draw fairly good matchups in the White Sox for Gaviglio and the A’s for Velazguez. We also know Gaviglio posted a 3.31 ERA with a 16:3 K/BB ratio in five AAA starts this year. Velazquez on the other hand, is a 28 year-old righty who has played seven pro seasons in Mexico and put up a 1.05 WHIP across 246 innings last year. He’s been a force at AAA as well, posting a 1.55 ERA with a 20:5 K/BB ratio. I’m going to dig in more throughout the day, but there’s at least some intrigue given their matchups and pricing.

– Finally, I have no problem if you want to roll out Julio Teheran, Edinson Volquez, or Danny Duffy in tournaments to try and be different. Look, there’s only 10 options, so it’s likely the winning tournament lineup will have zigged where others chose to zag. The knock on Duffy would be that this Yankees team if firing on all cylinders right now. For Volquez, the dude just can’t keep guys off the bases having walked at least four batters in 4 of his last 5 games, including one game with EIGHT walks. The best of this trio in my eyes is Teheran, who struggles mightily against left handed bats, but fortunately for him, the projected Blue Jays lineup only has one real power lefty in Justin Smoak. He’s still dominating right handed hitters, allowing hard contact just 21.5% of the time while holding them to a .224 wOBA.

DFS MLB Hitter Thoughts for May 18, 2017

– First and foremost, I have an obligation as a DFS player to play hitters against Dylan Covey every single time he takes the mound. The guy has already surrendered 9 homers this year in just 29 innings. He’s got a K rate of just 14.4% overall, just 11.7% to righties. He’s also walking righties at a 14.3% clip and of those 9 homers he’s given up, 7 of them to RHB. Let’s all say it together, play Nelson Cruz. Jean Segura will also be in a healthy portion of my lineups.

– As mentioned in the pitching section, if Hyun-Jin Ryu is going to be the mega chalk, then sign me up for some Marlins bats. The Marlins crush LHP and on a small five-game slate, some game theory working in your favor can vault you up the leaderboards. Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, and JT Realmuto are all very much in play tonight and I might be all in on Stanton.

– Lastly, I do not think Sonny Gray is good anymore so I’ll be deploying Red Sox bats up and down my lineups. Gray has a 12.7% K rate and there’s just far too much fire power in the Boston lineup to ignore if they’re not going to strikeout. I’m likely going with two cheap pitchers tonight, so I’ll be able to fit in most any bat that I want.

– Other hitters I will have exposure to tonight: Kyle Seager, Ben Gamel, Derek Dietrich, Justin Smoak, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Matt Holiday, Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, Corey Seager, Yasmani Grandal

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Matt Brown

Matt is the managing editor of PlayPicks.com. He has been a high volume DFS player since 2013, with sports betting and poker entering the scene about a decade prior to that. He's served as editor at multiple print and web properties as well as serving as host and producer on numerous television, web, and radio programs in the gaming space. A sports addict since the age of three, Matt continually redefines the absolutely insane number of hours one can consume sports in a single year.

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