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DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks (5/12/21): MLB DFS Lineups

Happy Wednesday, RotoBallers! After an extra-small five-game slate for my last write-up on Monday, I am ecstatic to see 10 games on the DraftKings evening slate. There are a few day games if you need a piece of the DFS action earlier than usual, but we will only look at the nighttime tilts in today's article. As far as weather watch goes, there isn't a ton to report. As of this writing, there is no particular danger of any rainouts, and the only thing to watch is the wind in Atlanta and New York.

We should be in line for some fantastic pitching performances tonight. Gerrit Cole ($10,500) leads the slate ahead of Brandon Woodruff ($9,800), Zack Wheeler ($9,500), and Zac Gallen ($9,000). Those four are electric options, but I'm going discount hunting and taking a look at the arms in the sub-$9,000 range. Danny Duffy, Julio Urias, and Hyun-Jin Ryu all have exploitable matchups as lefties. Duffy and Urias are my favorites (see below), and Ryu is also a good option, but I think the Atlanta bats will eventually wake up against southpaws. I don't want to be left holding the bag when that breakout happens.

This article will provide you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for DraftKings on 5/12/2021. The lineup will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays. You can also check out today's FanDuel MLB DFS lineup picks and read more DFS advice and lineup picks for other sports too. It’s also important to monitor injury news and today's MLB starting lineups. If you have any questions or comments, contact me on Twitter.


DraftKings DFS Starting Pitchers

Danny Duffy - P, KC at DET ($8,900)

Happy play a lefty against the Tigers day, Rotoballers! Duffy enters tonight's contest against his AL Central foe coming off his "worst" start of the season, but we will hop right back on the bandwagon and roll him out against Detroit. Duffy has compiled a 1.26 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP with 40 strikeouts in 35 2/3 innings. He's also averaging 23.9 fantasy points per start, and that's including a 28.9-point performance versus Detroit on Apr. 25.

While the advanced metrics suggest the 32-year old is pitching a bit over his head right now (3.62 expected ERA), the matchup versus the Tigers is too enticing to ignore. When facing left-handed pitching, Detroit is striking out 35 percent of the time while slashing .177/.239/.235. As a team, the Tigers are 64 percent worse than the league average against southpaws (36 weighted Runs Created plus), and this will make Duffy a popular play among my lineups.

Julio Urias - P, LAD vs. SEA ($8,700)

Will the real Julio Urias please stand up? Throughout seven starts, the 24-year old has produced three starts with at least 27 fantasy points and four starts with less than 14 points. Fortunately, his up and down nature may not matter against a tepid Seattle Mariners lineup. Urias dominated this lineup a few weeks ago when the teams met in Seattle on Apr. 20. In seven innings, Urias allowed one hit and one walk while striking out 11 to rack up 40.6 DraftKings points. It was his best start of the season, and while 40 is a lot of points, it's not out of this world to expect another 30-piece tonight.

The Mariners are a great matchup for any pitcher in general, but left-handed pitching especially. They allow the third-most fantasy points per start to pitchers, as our own Jon Anderson broke down on Twitter. If it weren't for Detroit and Atlanta, Seattle would be the premier team to target versus left-handed pitching. In 356 plate appearances, the team is striking out 29 percent of the time and has produced a mediocre .639 OPS when a southpaw is on the mound against them.

Other options: Gerrit Cole at TB ($10,400), Brandon Woodruff vs. STL ($9,800), Zac Gallen vs. MIA ($9,000), Hyun-Jin Ryu at ATL ($7,100)


Want more MLB DFS tools and content? Our MLB Premium package includes our daily DFS Cheat Sheets, Research Station, Optimizer, and access to our Premium Slack Chatrooms where members can chat with our MLB analysts. Check out this recent big win from RotoBaller's RealTalkRaph on DraftKings - join in on the winning!


DraftKings DFS Infielders

Kyle Higashioka - C, NYY at TB ($3,300)

With Gerrit Cole on the mound for the Yankees, we will likely see his personal catcher Higashioka behind home plate on Tuesday. He's started in six of Cole's seven starts this year, and they have a 1.37 ERA with 58 strikeouts in 39 1/3 innings as a duo. Regardless, the 31-year old is having an early-season home-run flurry in the pinstripes and will look to keep the good times rolling in Tampa. In 17 games, Higashioka sports a .949 OPS with eight runs, three doubles, five home runs, and eight RBI.

Jose Abreu - 1B, CWS vs. J.A. Happ ($4,800)

The 2020 American League MVP is having a slow six weeks to his encore season, but he's still doing what Abreu always does: racking up RBI. Despite a less-than-stellar .739 OPS through 31 games, the first baseman has collected 26 RBI, and, coincidentally, that's the same number of hits he has on the season. He's hitting way too many ground balls in 2021, and his line-drive rate has plummeted to a career-low 11 percent. However, Abreu is beginning to get things going at the plate over his last few games. In his weekend series against the Royals, the three-time All-Star went 4-for-12 with two runs, three doubles, and four RBI. The Twins are throwing J.A. Happ on the mound tonight, and with the White Sox proficiency to smash left-handed pitching (137 wRC+), there will be at least a few chances for Abreu to add some hits and RBI.

Marcus Semien - 2B, TOR vs. Max Fried ($4,800)

With George Springer (quad) still working his way back from the IL, Semien has resumed his early-season duties as leadoff for the Blue Jays. The infielder has a .807 OPS in 34 games this year, but he’s taken it up a notch over the last 10 games. Semien is slashing .400/.442/.725 with nine runs, four doubles, three home runs, and nine RBI. He and the Blue Jays will be in an excellent spot to pummel Braves starter Max Fried tonight. The southpaw has been rocked to the tune of an 8.44 ERA, and 2.06 WHIP in his five starts this season.

Asdrubal Cabrera - 3B/1B, ARI vs. Nick Neidert ($3,700)

Asdrubal Cabrera is batting in the heart of an MLB lineup, and it caused me to double-check it's 2021 and not 2012. While that may be a damning sign for the state of the Arizona offense, the veteran utility bat is holding his own as the season crosses the 20 percent mark. Over his last 10 tilts, Cabrera is hitting .400/.488/.686 with five runs, four doubles, two home runs, and eight RBI. Stacking Cabrera with Josh Rojas (see below) and Pavin Smith ($3,800) will give DFS managers exposure to a discounted stack against a bad pitcher. They won't be as popular, but they could be as lethal, and it makes Cabrera a worthy option as your first or third baseman.

Josh Rojas - SS/OF, ARI vs. Nick Neidert ($4,300)

As I just mentioned, Rojas, Cabrera, and Smith could be a huge value stack on Wednesday. If you total their salaries, it comes out to $11,800 of your $50,000 budget. Like Cabrera, Rojas is also on a tear over his last 10 games. The 26-year old is smashing a 1.370 OPS thanks to three doubles, a triple, and four home runs, and he's also tallied 11 runs and six RBI. The Diamondbacks will see Nick Neidert on the mount tonight and spell good things for their left-handed bats. Neidert has allowed three home runs in his last two games and is currently sitting at a 6.75 ERA through 12 innings this season.


DraftKings DFS Outfielders

Randal Grichuk - OF, TOR vs. Max Fried ($4,200)

We are rolling with two mini-stacks in today's picks. I already highlighted Arizona's duo, but now I'm adding Grichuk to my Marcus Semien recommendation. I don't believe in Max Fried right now. I'm sure someone will shove him in a lineup as a leverage play on Wednesday, but I'm not as brave as that person. Instead, I will attack him with Blue Jays bats. Grichuk is hitting right in the middle of this dangerous lineup, and the results have been consistent all season. The outfielder is scuffling a bit with a .802 OPS, but he's hitting fewer groundballs and more flyballs in 2021, so he's taking the correct approach. Grichuk has tallied 11 RBI in his last 10 games but only has three extra-base hits in the same stretch. As I said, I don't believe in Fried, and Grichuk will have the chance to punish him in Atlanta.

Andrew McCutchen - OF, PHI at Jon Lester ($4,000)

Getting a leadoff bat for anywhere close to $4,000 is a treat, but when it's Andrew McCutchen, it's a downright steal. The veteran outfielder is having an adequate 2021, but he's turned it up a notch over his last 10 games. In that stretch, Cutch is slashing .333/.405/.694 with eight runs, a double, four home runs, and eight RBI. Tonight, he will see Jon Lester, a pitcher he has had moderate success against in his career. McCutchen has eight hits off Lester in his career, and five of them have been for extra bases (two home runs).

Kyle Tucker - OF, HOU vs. Andrew Heaney ($3,300)

Tucker is a tough call because it's a lefty on lefty matchup against Heaney, but he seems to be right in the middle of turning around some early-season lousy luck. Even after baseball savant adjusted their metrics for the new baseball, the former top prospect has the 10th-largest difference between his batting average (.203) and expected batting average (.277). Over his last three games, Tucker is 5-for-9 with five runs, a double, a triple, two home runs, and five RBI. The outfielder is averaging 20.6 FPPG in the same stretch and is a fantastic discount option to plug in an Astros stack if you fill it around him with right-handed bats.


DraftKings DFS Stacks

  • Chicago White Sox vs. Minnesota Twins (J.A. Happ, LHP)
  • Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Seattle Mariners (Justin Dunn, RHP)
  • Game stack: Los Angeles Angels (Andrew Heaney, LHP) at Houston Astros (Jose Urquidy, RHP)

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