DraftKings & FanDuel MLB Lineups & Picks for May 23, 2017

Posted By Nate Weitzer on May 23, 2017
DFS MLB

DFS MLB Lineups for May 23, 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 15 games on the DFS MLB slate, and it’s everyone’s favorite, a Kershaw Day! We’ve also got hurlers Cueto, McCullers, and Carrasco on the super high end, Duffy and Shoemaker in the upper middle tier, and several highly volatile (with decent upside and no floor) names that might help you gain a big bat or two in your lineups. As far as those big bats go, the Diamondbacks get Dylan Covey, so that’s a great place to start. The Astros draw Jordan Zimmerman and his 1.6 WHIP and 2.2 HR/9. And we get to find out if Andrew Cashner and his 11.5% strikeout rate, 12.7% walk rate, 5.94 SIERA, and ridiculously low .242 BABIP against will finally get torn to shreds. At first glance, this looks like a really fun slate and I’m looking forward to having a lot of action. – Matt 

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!

5/23/17 MAIN SLATE TOURNAMENT RUNDOWN

DraftKings Mega 8’s: $888 buy-in, $888k guaranteed  
DraftKings Medium 8’s: $88 buy-in, $300k guaranteed    
DraftKings Mini 8’s: $8 buy-in, $250k guaranteed  
FanDuel Monster: $555 buy-in, $200k guaranteed
FanDuel Grand Slam: $33 buy-in, $100k guaranteed 
FanDuel Rally: $9 buy-in, $250k guaranteed

Best DFS MLB Pitchers for May 23, 2017

Lance McCullers Jr. vs. DET ($10.2k DraftKings, $9.4k FanDuel)
Clayton Kershaw and Johnny Cueto are appealing options tonight, but both come with some risk in tough matchups. McCullers is not immune to the occasional implosion, but he’s been a revelation for the most part with a 1.09 WHIP and a 9.94 K/9 ratio on the season. He’s ramped up lately with three consecutive shutout performances and he’ll face a top-heavy Tigers lineup at home tonight, where he’s 2-0 with a 2.09 ERA on the year. Detroit counters with suddenly washed-up RHP Jordan Zimmermann, so McCullers seems like a relative value as an elite option.

Kyle Hendricks vs. SF ($9.1k DraftKings, $9.2k FanDuel)
With Hendricks, you know what you’re getting and sometimes that’s all you can ask for in cash game formats. Johnny Cueto is capable of stepping up against the Cubs elite lineup, but he’s a bit more volatile than the steady Hendricks, who is returning to his status as a Quality Start machine lately while allowing just 6 ER over his last 5 outings. The Giants are scuffling with the fourth-lowest collective batting average (.232) this season and the second-lowest wOBA (.286) over the last 14 days, while Hendricks was a beast with a 1.32 ERA at Wrigley Field last season.

Jesse Hahn vs. MIA: ($6.1k DraftKings, $7.8k FanDuel)
His numbers aren’t really blowing anyone away and neither does his pitching style, but that could be effective for Hahn in a home tilt against the Marlins. Miami depends on the long ball to produce at times and Hahn is sporting a minuscule (yet unsustainable) 2.2% HR/FB ratio on the season while posting a 2.87 FIP to go along with his solid 3.02 ERA. He’s been better at massive Oakland Coliseum with a career 3.08 ERA and .232 BAA, while the Marlins have produced the second-fewest runs (43) in the Majors over the last 14 days.

Other pitchers to consider: Clayton Kershaw (obviously), Matt Shoemaker, Danny Duffy, Jimmy Nelson, Jhoulys Chacin, German Marquez

Best DFS MLB Hitters for May 23, 2017

Paul Goldschmidt vs. CWS ($5.4k DraftKings, $4.7k FanDuel)
White Sox rookie RHP Dylan Covey’s rough campaign continued last Thursday, as he coughed up 4 ER and 2 more homers to raise his HR/9 ratio to a rough 2.80 and maintain that weak 7.64 ERA. Now he’ll have to face an elite D’Backs lineup on the road and a RHB in Goldschmidt, who is mashing in RvR matchups with a .339 batting average and 25.8% HR/FB ratio with a .295 ISO Mark against RHP this season. Goldy went yard again last night and is now sporting a .480 wOBA at Chase Field, where he could serve as the heart of a D’Backs stack tonight.

Nelson Cruz @ WAS ($4.3k DraftKings, $4k FanDuel)
He’s always a great option and tonight seems like a particularly good choice against a struggling young pitcher. Joe Ross has posted a 7.47 ERA through 3 starts this season and is having a tough time keeping the ball in the yard with a 25% HR/FB ratio. Ross has been trying to refine his delivery, but is still scuffling with a 5.50 ERA during his last stint in AAA, so he might not be ready to face one of the best power hitters in the Majors. Cruz is not hitting for as much average over the last couple weeks, but still has 3 homers over his last 10 appearances and won’t cost too much on DK tonight.

Whit Merrifield @ NYY ($3.7k DraftKings, $2.6k FanDuel)
Merrifield is trying to provide CPR to the Royals incapacitated offense and he’s been doing a great job with a .297/.350/.486 slash line over his last 10 appearances. Tonight he’ll look to start things off against a young LHP in Jordan Montgomery, who is sporting a 4.81 ERA with a matching 4.81 xFIP on the season. Merrifield is 11-for-29 (.379) with 2 SB off LHP and went 2-for-2 at the dish in a meeting with Montgomery earlier this season, so feel free to take a shot on a value play with speed and some power.

Other hitters to consider: Bryce Harper, Mookie Betts, Travis Shaw, Kyle Seager, Ryan Braun, Daniel Descalso, Yasmani Grandal, Khris Davis, Seth Smith, Justin Ruggiano

5/23/17 DFS MLB STACKS

Astros vs Jordan Zimmermann
Zimmermann has been an absolute mess since moving to the American League with a 4.87 ERA last year and he’s been much worse with a 6.25 ERA and 6.06 FIP through 8 starts this season. He’s posting a 15.1% HR/FB ratio and could give up a long ball to red-hot Carlos Correa or George Springer. Jose Altuve is a great option due to his speed and Carlos Beltran has been a great addition for the first place Astros. It’s worth considering Evan Gattis in GPP formats and Brian McCann could be very appealing when you consider that Zimmerman is giving up a 2.25 HR/9 ratio and 49.3% Hard Contact Rate when facing lefties this year.

Diamondbacks vs Dylan Covey
The Diamondbacks came through as a great stack last night and the matchups simply continue to get better with a rookie RHP starting tonight. Dylan Covey has allowed RHB to go 28-for-91 (.364) with a .495 wOBA so far this year and he’s been even worse on the road with an 8.33 ERA and 8.00 FIP. Jake Lamb and David Peralta are appropriately expensive with the platoon advantage in this matchup, while Chris Owings and Yasmany Tomas are definitely worth a look given his struggles in RvR matchups and Paul Goldschmidt may be the most appealing play on the slate.

Red Sox vs Andrew Cashner
One of the biggest overachieving pitchers in baseball so far this season, Cashner managed to limit the struggling Mariners, light-hitting A’s and Phillies at home over his last 3 outings, but he’s probably not capable of shutting down the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Boston’s top hitters are expensive for good reason in Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts, while Hanley Ramirez is a bit cheaper and seemed to really regain his power stroke over the weekend in Oakland. Cashner’s 2.45 ERA is a bit misleading when you look at his 5.10 FIP on the year and he’s had trouble against the platoon in his career, so consider Jackie Bradley Jr. and Sandy Leon for some value.

Other Stacks to consider:
Nationals vs Christian Bergman
White Sox vs. Patrick Corbin
Padres vs. Matt Harvey 
Rockies vs. Zack Eflin
Pirates vs. R.A. Dickey

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Nate Weitzer

Nate Weitzer is a successful DFS player at DraftKings and FanDuel with numerous tournament wins in NBA and NFL contests. He's been writing about DFS for several years, specializing in NBA picks and advice while continuing to build his bankroll across the daily fantasy industry. When he's not playing DFS, Weitzer is often covering high school sports in the greater Boston area for outlets such as The Boston Globe, or playing basketball himself. Follow Nate on Twitter @Nweitzer7.

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