DraftKings MLB Lineup Advice: Thursday (5/18)

by Bobby Sylvester | @bobbyfantasypro | Featured Writer
May 18, 2017

Using Bellinger against a bad righty always makes sense

We have a five-game slate tonight without much in the way of strong pitching options. The Yankees/Royals game could end up postponed, but more likely delayed, with makes Danny Duffy (and Jordan Montgomery if you were actually considering him) unplayable. On top of that, we have an interesting situation brewing in Atlanta where there is a near certain brawl shaping up. For those of you who didn’t see, Freddie Freeman was hit by the pitch right after Aaron Loup surrendered a double to Brandon Phillips. Some think it was done intentionally. Either way, Freeman is expected to miss two months and you’d better believe Julio Teheran will be throwing at someone early. The threat of him being ejected has me shying away from him in cash games.

This all leaves us with four reasonable pitching options:

  • Sonny Gray for $7,200 against the Red Sox after traveling from St. Louis to Oakland following a 13-inning game
  • Marcus Stroman for a fortune ($11,300) in the brawl game at Atlanta
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu (who has a 4.99 ERA and 1.60 WHIP) at home against Miami
  • Sam Gaviglio (who you just heard about when you read this sentence) at home against the White Sox

As odd as it may sound, I thought Ryu was the easy choice. Look past the five losses and the 10-run massacre at Coors Field and you will find that Ryu has actually been quite good. Vegas agrees, giving the Dodgers the top spread of the night at -183 and the lowest opponent implied total at 3.35.

Then I had to decide between the other three, but think of it this way: I could have Stroman, 2 stud hitters and 6 mediocre ones, or I could have Gray, 6 stud hitters and 2 mediocre ones, or I could choose the pitcher from the group that has the best spread (-154) and a 3.79 implied opponent run total, plus the best hitter at every single position. Yeah, I think I’ll take the rookie, Gaviglio. He isn’t going to strike out a bunch of guys (same as Sonny Gray) but doesn’t get hit hard, as evidenced by allowing just 2 homers before his call-up and a sub 4 ERA.

Sam Gaviglio (SEA): $5,100 vs CWS
Hyun-Jin Ryu (LAD): $9,100 vs MIA

For reference throughout the season, be sure to bookmark our overview of MLB Park Factors and how to Use Weather to Your Advantage in MLB DFS. Also, check out our GPP and Cash Games Primers to learn more about different daily fantasy game types specific to MLB.

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Yasmani Grandal (LAD): $3,800 vs MIA

  • Batting 4th in 2nd highest implied total lineup
  • ISO is 128 points higher against RHP than LHP over the past three years (53 to 5 HRs)
  • OPS at home last year was .999 compared to just .628 on the road
  • Doesn’t have a postponed game threat like Gary Sanchez

First Baseman

Cody Bellinger (LAD): $4,400 vs MIA

  • Edinson Volquez has been getting rocked all year and gives up plenty of bombs to LHB
  • With Freddie Freeman out tonight, the position is actually rather weak
  • 10 of his 13 extra-base hits have been against righties
  • In the minors, his OPS vs righties was well over 1.100

Second Baseman

Starlin Castro (NYY): $4,300 @ KC

  • Don’t look now, but Castro is batting .351 with 7 homers
  • This is by far the weakest position tonight
  • Danny Duffy is great, but his OPS vs RHB was 311 points higher than against LHB last year

Third Baseman

Kyle Seager (SEA): $4,200 vs CWS

  • Power is starting to heat up
  • Batting 4th in highest implied offense tonight
  • OPS vs RHP is 104 points higher over the past three seasons than against LHP
  • Dylan Covey sports a 7.98 ERA and has given up 9 homers in just 29 innings pitched


Corey Seager (LAD): $4,500 vs MIA

  • Again, Volquez has been terrible and especially against lefties
  • Seager bats 2nd in a high-implied offense
  • His OPS against righties this year is .949 compared to .683 vs lefties


Aaron Judge (NYY): $5,100 vs KC

  • Has been on base 12 times in his previous 5 games
  • As previously mentioned, Duffy struggles against righties with power
  • OPS vs LHP was 169 points higher last season and 405 two years ago than vs RHP

Nelson Cruz (SEA): $5,000 vs CWS

  • Batting third in that juicy lineup
  • Two homers in his last three games
  • Again, Covey may be the worst pitcher in the Majors

Jose Bautista (TOR): $4,500 @ ATL

  • A free three points with the guaranteed hit-by-pitch in the first
  • Power is finally coming on
  • 6 hits in his past three games
  • Julio Teheran gives up a ton of homers

17 Other Hitters to Consider (in order)

  1. Jean Segura (SS – SEA): $4,800 vs CHW (D Covey)
  2. Joc Pederson (OF – LAD): $3,700 vs MIA (E Volquez)
  3. Marcell Ozuna (OF – MIA): $4,000 @ LAD (H Ryu)
  4. Gary Sanchez (C – NYY): $4,800 @ KC (D Duffy)
  5. Jorge Soler (OF – KCR): $3,700 vs NYY (J Montgomery)
  6. Ryon Healy (1B/3B – OAK): $3,700 vs BOS (H Velazquez)
  7. Giancarlo Stanton (OF – MIA): $4,400 @ LAD (H Ryu)
  8. Tyler Moore (1B – MIA): $2,800 @ LAD (H Ryu)
  9. Jed Lowrie (2B – OAK): $3,600 vs BOS (H Velasquez)
  10. Andrew Benintendi (OF – BOS): $4,300 @ OAK (S Gray)
  11. Alcides Escobar (SS – KCR): $2,800 vs NYY (J Mongomery)
  12. Lorenzo Cain (OF – KCR): $4,200 vs NYY (J Montgomery)
  13. Carlos Sanchez (2B – CHW): $3,000 @ SEA (S Gaviglio)
  14. Justin Turner (3B – LAD): $3,900 vs MIA (E Volquez)
  15. Tyler Flowers (C – ATL): $3,500 vs TOR (M Stroman)
  16. Todd Frazier (3B – CHW): $4,000 @ SEA (S Gaviglio)
  17. Matt Joyce (OF – OAK): $3,700 vs BOS (H Velazquez)

Recommended Cash Game Lineup

P – Sam Gaviglio (SEA): $5,100 vs CWS
P – Hyun-Jin Ryu (LAD): $9,100 vs MIA
C – Yasmani Grandal (LAD): $3,800 vs MIA
1B – Cody Bellinger (LAD): $4,400 vs MIA
2B – Starlin Castro (NYY): $4,300 @ KC
3B – Kyle Seager (SEA): $4,200 vs CWS
SS – Corey Seager (LAD): $4,500 vs MIA
OF – Aaron Judge (NYY): $5,100 vs KC
OF – Nelson Cruz (SEA): $5,000 vs CWS
OF – Jose Bautista (TOR): $4,500 @ ATL

If you have any questions or need suggestions, feel free to tweet me @bobbyfantasypro anytime. Best of luck today!

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