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DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks (5/18/21): MLB DFS Lineups

Brandon Woodruff - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, MLB Injury News, DFS Lineup Picks

We have a 14-game main slate on tap tonight, and it's a doozie. There is a lot of quality pitching options with some nice tournament pivots. At the same time, there are a ton of places to look for bats. We don't have Coors, which is nice, but we do have Coors South and some other really intriguing stacking spots. With so many ways to go, I will not cover all the plays in this article. Make sure to listen to MLB DFS Quick Hits to get the full slate rundown with all the plays to build your lineups around tonight.

The slate starts with paying up for both pitchers or saving some money for more expensive bats. It is a great dilemma as there are some great, cheaper hitting stacks to attack tonight, which allows for the high-priced pitchers. At the same time, there are some really nice, pricier stacks tonight that are worth building around and would take some savings with your pitchers. I am leaning towards at least one high-priced pitcher with a value and a pricey stack. We shall see how the builds continue as lineups are released. So many ways to go on a 14-game slate, and I am looking forward to seeing where everything falls at the end of the day.

This article will provide you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for DraftKings on 5/18/2021. 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 @bdentrek.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received five total writing awards and 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, tops in the industry! Congrats to all the award winners and nominees including Best MLB Series, NFL Series, NBA Writer, PGA Writer and Player Notes writer of the year. Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!


DraftKings DFS Starting Pitchers

Brandon Woodruff - P, MIL at KC ($10,200)

Woodruff is the highest-priced pitcher tonight, and rightfully so as he has been a consistent ace every start. Since his opening day hiccup, Woodruff has thrown at least six innings in seven straight starts allowing no more than two runs per start, and that two-run occurrence only happened once. Over these seven games, he has a 1.19 ERA to go with a 2.32 FIP and a 34.1% strikeout rate. Woodruff is striking out plenty, including 10 or more in two straight starts. He also limits contact quality by allowing a 5.2% barrel rate and 34.4% hard contact rate over the last seven games. Tonight Woodruff faces a Royals' offense that strikes out around 23% of the time versus RHP in May with a 93 wRC+. Look for Woodruff to feast again tonight on his way to a quality start and well over 20 DK points.

Zach Plesac - P, CLE at LAA ($8,000)

Plesac started the season a bit rough, but things have looked up of late. Over his last four starts, he has throwing 7.2 innings or more in three of four starts, allowing five runs over 29.1 innings pitched. Plesac has been successful over this stretch thanks to a 58% groundball rate and 34.6% hard-hit rate. Strikeouts have been down as he has six or more strikeouts in two of the four starts. The lack of strikeouts is usually a concern when facing the Angels, but that may not be the case tonight. In May, the Angels are striking out 26.3% of the time and will likely be without Mike Trout, who left Monday's game with an injury. Plesac brings a solid floor with a high ceiling tonight at only $8,000. He should be your cash SP2 with Woodruff and is even viable in tournaments.

Other Options:  Zack Wheeler (PHI vs MIA) $10,000, Blake Snell (SD vs COL) $8,900, JT Brubaker (PIT at STL) $7,600, Spencer Turnbull (DET at SEA) $7,100, Kris Bubic (KC vs MIL) $4,000


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DraftKings DFS Infielders

William Contreras - C, ATL vs Thomas Szapucki ($4,000)

When the Braves lost their starting and backup catchers nearly simultaneously, Contreras arrived and has run away with the starting job. He has started 12 games since May 2 and has hit safely in eight of the 12 games. He has been a fantasy-producing machine thanks to his extra-base hit/power output as he has five extra-base hits (three home runs). Contreras has been mashing to the tune of a .316 ISO and 152 wRC+, both statistics are leading all catchers since May 2, and the closest is Yan Gomes with a .227 ISO and 131 wRC+. Contreras has been raking, and that should continue tonight in a great matchup versus Szapucki, who will be making his debut tonight. Conteras has a .545 ISO versus LHP this season in a tiny sample and has hit two of his three home runs versus lefties. You can always pay up for his brother Willson Contreras, but why not save some money for the brother that is absolutely raking right now.

Josh Bell - 1B, WAS at Zach Davies ($3,300)

The Washington Nationals offense has slowly come to life in recent games, and Bell has been a part of the offensive awakening. Bell brings a four-game hitting streak into tonight's game, a streak that has seen Bell wrack up two multi-hit games and a home run. He has been batting sixth for the Nats, which has allowed him to be a run producer, driving in five runs over this four-game stretch as well. Bell has always had a decent eye at the plate, and that has not changed with a walk rate over 11% during the four-game stretch. Bell has put up 10 or more DK points in three of the last four games and is averaging 7.6 DK points per game over his last 10 games, not bad for a $3,300 price tag. He faces Davies tonight, allowing LHH to slug .400 this season while only striking out 13.6% and walking 14.8%. Bell should be in line for another productive day, making for a nice cash game value and piece of a Nats' stack.

Other Options:  Matt Olson (OAK vs. HOU) $4,000

Adam Frazier - 2B, PIT at John Gant ($4,100)

Yes, I know the Pirates are not that good, but you know what may be worse? Gant and the luck he has had to survive so many games this season. That comes to an end tonight, and the Pirates will be the team to end the luck box run for Gant. Insert Adam Frazier. Frazier has hit safely in 13 of 15 games in May, good for a .361 average. Frazier has eight extra-base hits and even a stolen base over these 15 games while only striking out 10.4% of the time. That's a whole lot of balls in play for Frazier, meaning many chances for fantasy production. Gant brings his 1.83 ERA but 4.35 FIP and 5.23 xFIP into tonight's action. For those that prefer SIERA, it isn't any better at 5.84. Gant has an 18.7% strikeout rate but an even better 17.4% walk rate. He has dodged bullets all season, but the blow-up is coming tonight. The Pirates are the sneaky stack, and Frazier should be the main piece of the stack.

Other Options:  Jazz Chisholm Jr. (MIA at PHI) $4,400, Gavin Lux (LAD vs. AZ) $3,300

Nick Maton - 2B/SS, PHI vs Nick Neidert ($2,400)

The Phillies are experiencing many injuries to its regulars, including Didi Gregorius, leading to some playing time from some unexpecting sources. Maton has been the beneficiary of Didi's absence, and he has taken full advantage. Maton has started at shortstop in each game since May 12, hitting safely in four of those five games. Maton even flexed his muscle for two home runs in Sunday's game versus the Jays. Maton is barreling the ball 15.4% of the time to go with his .333 ISO and 201 wRC+. Sure, there will be some regression as a .455 BABIP is not sustainable, but we roll with Maton and his discounted price tag for now. Especially in a matchup versus Neidert tonight, who has not completed five innings in any start this season. Neidert has allowed nine runs over his 12 innings pitched, with three home runs and 11 walks while only striking out eight. Neidert walks a ton and puts a lot of balls in play. Stack up some Phillies tonight and enjoy the Maton discount to do so this evening.

Matt Duffy - 3B, CHC vs. Patrick Corbin  ($3,400)

I'll be honest, I never thought I would be writing up Duffy this season, but here we are. Duffy has been quite productive for the Cubs and has seen himself hitting fifth in the Cubs' lineup in recent games. Over the last 10 games, he is hitting .297, hitting safely in seven of 10 games. Duffy has three extra-base hits, a stolen base, and a solid .341 OBP, which helps the fantasy production. Duffy has also been a major part of the Cubs' run production over the last 10 games by driving in seven and scoring eight runs over the last 10 games. This has allowed Duffy to average 8.5 DK points per game over his last 10 games. He faces the lefty Corbin tonight and could be in line for another solid evening. Look for Duffy as a nice value piece in your Cubs' stacks.

Other Options:  Yoan Moncada (CWS at MIN) $4,700, Austin Riley (ATL vs NYM) $3,600


DraftKings DFS Outfielders

Kyle Schwarber - OF, WAS at Zach Davies ($4,000)

It's SCHWARBOMB SEASON!!!!! After a plodding start to the season, Schwarber has begun to absolutely rake. He is hitting .300 over his last 10 games with four home runs, seven runs scored, 11 RBI, and even a stolen base. The stat line is good for an average of 12.1 DK points per game over his last 10 games. The .325 ISO and 176 wRC+ are well supported by his quality of contact that showcases a 17.9% barrel rate and 53.6% hard-hit rate. Schwarber is absolutely locked in and just crushing baseballs. A Nats' stack versus Davies was already discussed above, and Schwarber should be one of the first players clicked when building the stack. Bell and Schwarber are cheap, making it easy to stack with Trea Turner, Juan Soto, and other Nats' bats.

Austin Meadows - OF, TB at Matt Harvey ($3,800)

Meadows has had an extremely up and down start to the 2021 season. He is only hitting .211 but has a 313 OBP and a really nice .246 ISO. He is still getting on base, and when he does get hits, they are usually quite productive. While only hitting .211, Meadows still has eight home runs. The power checks out with his ISO and quality of contact that showcases a 13.9% barrel rate. Consistency of contact, not quality, is the problem for Meadows. Insert Matt Harvey. Harvey is coming off his worst start of the season, where he allowed seven runs over 4.1 innings. Harvey has only made it six innings once this season and brings a 4.81 ERA into tonight's action. He has been able to keep the ball in the ballpark, but that can't last much longer. I love Meadows in tournaments tonight. He is a solid value and has the double-dong upside we always look for with our GPP one-off plays.

Adolis Garcia - OF, TEX vs. Jameson Taillon ($3,400)

You all should know me by now and know there was no chance this article was coming out today without some Adolis love. My man took Gerrit Cole deep last night, for crying out loud. The rookie continues to rake this season, hitting .296 with 11 home runs and a .296 ISO. He is driving in runs, scoring runs, stealing bases, doing everything. He is doing everything while DK sleeps on his price tag daily, making him a tournament play and the first piece in our near-daily Rangers' stacks. He faces Taillon tonight, which has allowed three or more runs in four of his last six starts, as well as eight home runs over his seven starts this season. While most stack the Yankees again tonight, I will take the other side of the game and load up on the underpriced Rangers, starting with the one and only ADOLIS GARCIA!!!!

Other Options: SOOOOOOOO many options tonight; make sure to listen to MLB DFS Quick Hits for the full slate rundown.


DraftKings DFS Stacks

  • San Diego Padres (Austin Gomber, LHP)
  • Washington Nationals (Zach Davis, RHP)
  • Philadelphia Phillies (Nick Neidert, RHP)
  • Texas Rangers (Jameson Taillon, RHP)
  • Sneaky Stack-  Pittsburgh Pirates (John Gant, RHP)

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