MLB DFS Plays: Saturday 5/18

Brad Johnson
Rotoworld

This article will outline the best daily fantasy MLB plays of the day at every position. We will take a comprehensive look to uncover these core recommendations, factoring respective salaries into the analysis.

Please note, these player picks were organized early in the day. For MLB contests, always check lineups and weather closer to game time. Rain, wind, or unexpected managerial decisions could open up additional sources of value. Be sure to keep an eye on the MLB Headlines and Injuries desk.

Editor’s Note: Stay ahead of the competition from wire to wire with rankings, customizable projections, trade evaluator, exclusive columns and more in our Season Pass. And start using optimized lineups with our DFS Toolkit!

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Let’s focus on the seven-game evening slate. Weather shouldn’t be an issue.

PITCHER

Stephen StrasburgWashington Nationals (vs Cubs)

There’s no need to get overly clever with the top pitcher today. While a couple cheap arms have friendly matchups, it’s still far safer to take the most talented hurler. That comes down to a conversation between Strasburg and Jose Berrios. Personally, I prefer to go with the guy who's been thriving for the better part of decade (when healthy). Strasburg is currently on top of his game. Even as his fastball velocity has declined, improvements to his pitch usage seem to have unlocked another level. Despite a challenging matchup against a top offense, he projects to throw between six and seven innings with around eight strikeouts.

Also Consider: Griffin Canning (value), Nick Margevicius (value), Jose Berrios

CATCHER / FIRST BASE

Freddie FreemanAtlanta Braves (vs Brewers)

The best combination of expected performance and value at first base is blatantly obvious. Freeman is expensive, but he’s also head and shoulder above the completion. A line drive machine, Freeman hits for high average, reaches base at an over-40 percent clip, hits for power, and also produces runs in bulk. While he doesn’t feature the same multi-homer power upside of a Khris Davis, he’s also extremely likely to provide at least some production. Freeman is a staple of 50/50 lineups. Today he’s a nice addition to GPPs too. Chase Anderson is returning from a minor finger injury and could be in line for a brief outing.

Also Consider: Jesus Aguilar (value), Buster Posey

SECOND BASE

Jonathan SchoopMinnesota Twins (at Mariners)

This evening, Schoop is a top five second baseman in both value and overall projection. The position on the whole is a great place to target some cost savings. Schoop also benefits from being a relatively known quantity compared to some of the alternatives. He’s an aggressive, volatile power hitter set to face Wade Miley - a pitch-to-contact southpaw backed by a bad bullpen. The Twins figure to be one of the most popular stacking targets.

If you prefer a more consistent option, try Nicky Lopez.

Also Consider: Nicky Lopez (value), Keston Hiura (value), Ty France (value)

THIRD BASE

Alex Bregman – Houston Astros (at Red Sox)

Bregman shares much in common with Freeman. The Astros third baseman is the top projected infielder, and he comes with a price tag to match. The Red Sox will call upon Hector Velazquez, a right-handed swing-starter. He tends to make short starts so we’ll likely see Houston crack into the softer bits of the Boston bullpen. Bregman is in the early mix for AL MVP. He’s showing his usual mix of pristine plate discipline, high contact rates, and power. This year, he’s done so without the early-season slumps he suffered in 2017 and 2018.

Also Consider: Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson (value), Tommy La Stella, Ty France (value)

SHORTSTOP

Trea Turner – Washington Nationals (vs Cubs)

This isn’t a day to chase value at shortstop. The best assets at the position are expensive. Turner is back from the injured list in time to face notoriously runner friendly Jon Lester. The southpaw has quietly improved upon his ability to hold runners, even while remaining incapable of making a pickoff throw. While Lester’s ability to freeze runners can work on the merely fast, Turner’s elite speed is likely to be on display. IF he reaches base.

Also Consider: Greg Garcia (value), Andrelton Simmons (value), Carlos Correa, Javier Baez, Jorge Polanco

OUTFIELD

Christian Yelich – Milwaukee Brewers (at Braves)

Yelich carries the top projection in the slate. Kevin Gausman has turned into a two-pitch guy. His splitter has helped him to buff his strikeout rate, but it also isn’t quite on the same level as other splitter specialists. He should be considered volatile and homer prone. He likes to work up in the zone which feeds right into Yelich’s new strengths. Behind Gausman lurks a horror show bullpen.

Franmil Reyes – San Diego Padres (vs Pirates)

Honestly, I’m running out of ways to recommend Reyes. The Padre is a close approximation of Khris Davis, bats in a premium lineup slot, and offers rare multi-homer potential. All the major daily fantasy platforms continue to price him very cheaply even though he’s performing well. There is obvious volatility with Reyes. If it’s not a home run day, you probably won’t receive much production. He’s an ideal GPP target.

Also Consider: Austin Riley (value), Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Ronald Acuna, J.D. Martinez

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