Juan Soto Stands Out (May 24)

Wednesday is getaway day, so that means early MLB action that coalesces into an eight-game featured slate with a 7:05 p.m. ET first pitch on DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo. Before you build lineups, several Stokastic tools can help identify daily MLB DFS Top Stacks, key pitchers and MLB DFS picks. Let’s dig into the player projections and popularity for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo lineups, including Juan Soto and the Padres.

MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers

Main Slate Primary Pitching Target: LHP Nestor Cortes vs. Baltimore Orioles — 3.8 implied runs

First Pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $8,100 | FanDuel $8,300 | Yahoo $43

Tonight LHP Nestor Cortes will be taking on the Baltimore Orioles, which means an offense full of talented, though inconsistent hitters as the youngsters continue to gain experience. Yesterday the Batters of Birdland faced RHP Gerrit Cole, and while they did plate five runs, along with a pair of round-trippers, the dichotomy of pitching styles going from Cole to Cortes is stark. “Nasty Nestor” brings a variety of arm angles and release points, plus an ever-changing delivery that keeps hitters off balance. When it is working, he is nails like in his last start in Toronto against the Blue Jays, where he tallied 21.9 DraftKings points. When it is not, well, that would be like his Yankees Stadium matchup against Tampa Bay two starts ago, where he ended up with negative fantasy points, albeit against the hottest offense in baseball.

Rolling with Cortes is not for the faint of heart, so some alternative options would be RHP Kodai Senga in Chicago against the Cubs, LHP James Paxton in Los Angeles against the Angels and deeply discounted RHP Zack Greinke at home against the pitiful Detroit Tigers.

Late Slate Pitching Target: RHP Bryce Miller vs. Oakland Athletics — 3.3 implied runs

First Pitch: 9:40 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $10,100 | FanDuel $10,900 | Yahoo $39

There is no salary discount for rookie RHP Bryce Miller tonight on DraftKings or FanDuel, but it does look like Yahoo missed the mark. The 24-year-old has been outstanding through four starts, and he even held Atlanta and Houston to a combined three earned runs across 12.1 innings while striking out nine. Miller actually made his debut in Oakland against the Athletics, and while it is highly unlikely he will record another 10 strikeouts, he should be able to produce around one per inning, and there is a good chance he will be in the mix for a fifth consecutive quality start.

Oakland has been dreadful on offense and against right-handed pitching. The A’s have the second-highest strikeout rate (25.7%) while also being well below league average from a scoring efficiency perspective, with an 89 wRC+. Salary caps will be tight on the featured slate, with a Coors Field Extravaganza taking center stage, so that should keep Miller’s popularity in check in the larger player pool.

Early Slate Pitching Target: RHP Joe Ryan vs. San Francisco Giants — 3.4 implied runs

First Pitch: 1:10 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $10,900 | FanDuel $11,200 | Yahoo $53

It is still early in the season, but RHP Joe Ryan is in the midst of a breakout campaign and on the shortlist for early American League Cy Young Award contenders. Through nine starts this season, Ryan has produced a 2.25 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 66 strikeouts in 56 innings. Seven of his starts have led to two or fewer runs, and in the other pair of outings, he allowed seven earned runs across a dozen combined innings against the Astros and in Boston versus the Red Sox. Over these two starts, he still had 13 strikeouts while also earning the victory in both.

The Giants are a good offense, and they will be running out a lefty-laden lineup. Of course, this season they are striking out at a top-5 rate against right-handed pitchers, so that does play into Ryan’s strengths.

MLB DFS Picks: Top Stacks

Main Slate Primary Target: San Diego Padres at RHP Trevor Williams — 5.5 implied runs

First Pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET

Veteran RHP Trevor Williams deserves to be in a major league rotation, and plenty of teams would love to have him for his innate ability to gobble up innings. The biggest risk with the 31-year-old journeyman is that his below-average strikeout rate and elevated 40.1% fly ball rate can work against him quickly when he is not inducing weak contact. Tonight game-time temperatures are forecast for the low-80s, with a slight breeze out to left field.

The Stokastic Top Stacks Tool has identified the Padres as a strong option in tournaments and a pivot away from the Marlins in Coors Field. Even without Manny Machado, San Diego is a deep lineup filled with tough outs. That is the worst combination for Williams, as he tends to get crushed by good hit sequencing. Fernando Tatis Jr. and former National outfielder Juan Soto lead the way in all stacking efforts. Xander Bogaerts and Jake Cronenworth should also figure prominently into the mix, with lefties Matt Carpenter, Trent Grisham and Rougned Odor providing value at a variety of positions.

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Late Slate Target: Seattle Mariners vs. LHP Ken Waldichuk — 5.5 implied runs

First Pitch: 9:40 p.m. ET

This is the third consecutive recommendation for the Seattle offense, though that should be no surprise considering it is facing the shaky Oakland pitching staff. LHP Ken Waldichuk came over from New York as part of the Frankie Montas deal, and while he had plenty of strikeout upside in the minors, he is having a rough adjustment to The Show. Like a lot of young lefties, he has had trouble with control, as major league hitters are far more disciplined when it comes to chasing pitches outside the zone. That has resulted in a whopping 16 walks for Waldichuk in his last three starts, and for the season he is issuing 5.5 free passes per nine innings. Though he has allowed “only” three home runs over his last three starts, he still is suffering from a bloated 2.5 longballs per nine innings.

Outfielders Julio Rodriguez and Eugenio are the pair to build around for DFS and in the home run market. Jarred Kelenic and second-year catcher Cal Raleigh have enough power to create extra-base hits out of poor pitches. Teoscar Hernandez has a wild .388 wOBA and .380 ISO in his last 144 plate appearances versus opposite-handed hurlers, and he has not been getting much love from DFS games. Finally, look to veteran A.J. Pollock at the back of the lineup or rookie Jose Caballero in the nine-hole for significant salary relief.

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Early Slate Target: Texas Rangers at RHP Johan Oviedo — 4.8 implied runs

First Pitch: 12:35 p.m. ET

RHP Johan Oviedo has shown flashes of upside, both as a prospect in the St. Louis organization and with Pittsburgh, who received him as part of the deal for veteran pitcher Jose Quintana last August. The biggest knock against Oviedo is an elevated walk rate, which also was a problem for the 25-year-old at all levels in the minors. Over 191 innings in The Show, Oviedo has walked 4.48 per nine innings. Fortunately, as a ground ball pitcher (47.8%) he allows his defense to do a lot of the heavy lifting, but when he does allow the occasional home run (0.94 per nine innings), there are usually ducks on the pond.

The Texas lineup is ridiculous now that Corey Seager has returned, and we should not forget that oft-injured catcher Mitch Garver is going to be back shortly. Marcus Semien, Adolis Garcia, Nate Lowe and Josh Jung provide plenty of pop as well as positional eligibility, which makes in-stack differentiation relatively easy when riding with the Rangers.

Final Thoughts for Wednesday, May 24 | MLB DFS Picks

Check back with your latest weather forecast sources closer to lock to see how the tilts in Denver and Kansas City may be impacted by in-game precipitation. Postponements are unlikely, but delays could be possible.

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