MLB DFS Plays: Tuesday 5/25

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This article outlines the best daily fantasy MLB plays of the day at every position. We 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.

PITCHER

Top Play: Lucas GiolitoWhite Sox (vs Cardinals)

This is a truly incredible and extremely top-heavy pitching slate. Giolito offers the best combination of ceiling, median projection, and bargain potential. The Cardinals have a below average offense with the fourth-best strikeout rate. However, their 22.3 percent strikeout rate isn’t a reason to avoid pitchers against them. Giolito could still easily reach double-digit punch outs. He’s been volatile this season, blending gems like his start last week against the Twins with more mediocre performances like the previous four outings.

Pivot: Andrew Heaney – Angels (vs Rangers)

Heaney is the top bargain target. Heaney’s unusual approach leads to a plethora of strikeouts and home runs while avoiding walks. The inconsistent Texas offense has already been no-hit twice. They’ve also had their share of good days. A 26 percent strikeout rate bodes well for Heaney. With a wide range of possible outcomes, expect about six innings pitched and just under eight strikeouts.

Also Consider: Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, Corbin Burnes, Joe Musgrove, Jack Flaherty, Jose Berrios, Tyler Mahle, Rich Hill, Corey Kluber, Kevin Gausman, Aaron Civale, Corbin Martin, Logan Gilbert

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CATCHER

Top Play: Salvador Perez – Royals (at Hill)

While Hill has a reputation as a fly ball pitcher, it’s a misleading one related to the execution of his repertoire. He works at the top of the zone with his fastball and drops in his curve. He’s actually induced more grounders than flies since the start of 2018. Perez has a mirrored approach – slightly more flies than grounders which leads me to expect improved outcomes today. He’s among the league leaders in barreled and hard contact rates. He’s shaken off his mini-slump in recent days – just not in any way that was noticeable on the DFS circuit.

Pivot: Eric Haase – Tigers (vs Civale)

For a bargain catcher, Haase has better than league average power, superior hard contact rates, and a neutral matchup against a slightly homer prone opponent. Strikeouts are his weakness, although Civale isn’t a high-whiff pitcher. He’s a slightly more affordable alternative to the other homer-or-bust bargain at catcher – Mike Zunino. However, Zunino has a better matchup.

Also Consider: Yermin Mercedes, Mitch Garver, Gary Sanchez, Carson Kelly, Buster Posey, Zunino

FIRST BASE

Top Play: Freddie Freeman – Braves (at Garrett Richards)

While Richards isn’t a bad pitcher by any means, he’s one of the more easily targeted arms in tonight’s slate. A stack of the Braves stars should be relatively uncommon since it’s a second-tier grouping and extremely expensive. Still, they’re valued decently. Freeman is a multi-hit and run production threat with a decent one-in-five chance to homer. Fenway is tough on left-handed power.

Pivot: Danny Santana – Red Sox (vs Morton)

Santana’s power stroke has been on display. Including his rehab stint in Triple-A, he has four home runs in 35 plate appearances. The Green Monster could help him to another one this evening. In terms of pure punts, the value proposition here is obvious. He’s even hit in the top-five of the order in all three of his starts. The matchup against Morton is detrimental, although with the way this slate is built, it’s acceptable.

Also Consider: Shohei Ohtani, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Miguel Sano, Brandon Belt, Josh Bell, Matt Olson, Andrew Vaughn, Alex Kirilloff

SECOND BASE

Top Play: Whit Merrifield – Royals (at Hill)

Like Perez, Merrifield’s contact profile matches decently against Hill. He’s not much of a power hitter. Instead, we’re hoping for multi-hit and run production with an outside shot at a deep fly. Over 80 percent of his plate appearances end with a ball in play, increasing the potential for a superlative performance.

Pivot: Luis Arraez – Twins (vs Dean Kremer)

I tend to focus on acquiring shares of home runs which leads me away from considering Arraez most days. The Twins stack should be among the most popular with Arraez in the leadoff role. Roughly 80 percent of his plate appearances end with a ball in play each of which has around a one-in-three chance to convert to a hit. He leads the entire slate in expect hits.

Also Consider: Ozzie Albies, Max Muncy, Brandon Lowe, Nick Solak, Owen Miller, Taylor Walls, Nick Madrigal

THIRD BASE

Top Play: Josh Donaldson – Twins (vs Kremer)

Donaldson is making plentiful hard contact – he’s among the league leaders in barrel rate. Thus far, it hasn’t yielded many home runs. Even so, he comfortably projects as the second-best third baseman thanks to a friendly matchup against Kremer, and he’s a much better value than Jose Ramirez.

Pivot: Austin Riley – Braves (at Richards)

Riley appears to be in the midst of a breakout. This isn’t an ideal matchup – both Richards and Riley have low angles of contact. However, while clearing the Green Monster might be a challenge, a banger or two off the wall is certainly possible. He’s been batting fifth lately.

Also Consider: Jose Ramirez, Alex Bregman, Anthony Rendon, Justin Turner, Evan Longoria

SHORTSTOP

Top Play: Gleyber Torres – Yankees (vs Steven Matz)

This is a day to chase value at shortstop. The top options are ludicrously overpriced. Torres may have tepid results on the season, but he’s been hitting well for over a month. Since April 22, he’s slashing .349/.413/.470 with a pair of home runs and stolen bases. It’s mostly singles, but the essential ingredients for power output remain in place. He usually bats fourth or fifth in the lineup. Matz is homer prone and Yankee Stadium won’t help matters.

Pivot: Amed Rosario – Indians (at Tarik Skubal)

Rosario bounces between second and eighth in the lineup. He’s obviously a better target at the top. He makes hard, low-angle contact although he does struggle to barrel the ball. As such, he needs a little help for home run potential. Fortunately, Skubal is a below average left-handed fly ball pitcher. Multiple hits are still a likelier positive outcome than a home run.

Also Consider: Xander Bogaerts, Trea Turner, Freddy Galvis, Walls, Josh Rojas, Willy Adames

OUTFIELD

Top Plays: Ronald Acuna – Braves (at Red Sox)
Austin Meadows – Rays (vs Brad Keller)

Acuna is the top play of the day. Tune in for first pitch to witness his best shot. He tops the league in leadoff home runs. His launch angles and quality of contact are such that the Green Monster is a meager chip shot. Meadows is a more controversial target. His extreme fly ball rate pairs brilliantly against Keller’s ground ball tendencies. He should also fair well against Keller’s slider. If he can’t take advantage of the front line matchup, then he’s a serious risk to zero out.

Pivots: Jesse Winker – Reds (at Scherzer)
Kyle Garlick – Twins (vs Kremer)

On Sunday, I recommended Winker as an expensive, contrarian play against Freddy Peralta. He rewarded us with a home run. This is another matchup against an elite pitcher who is somewhat susceptible to Winker’s profile. Between his price and opponent, he should appear on few GPP rosters. Garlick has been used less consistently of late. He’s a discount-price all-or-nothing power bat. He and Kremer are both fly ball guys so there’s serious fly out risk. He also strikes out 30 percent of the time.

Also Consider: Max Kepler, Nelson Cruz, Aaron Judge, Randy Arozarena, Marcell Ozuna, Ohtani, Santana, Juan Soto, Justin Upton, Mitch Haniger, Kyle Lewis