MLB DFS Slate Preview: Friday, May 26
Erik Wardenburg previews the Friday, May 26th slate, breaking down his favorite MLB DFS picks, the top stacks, and some optimizer values at DraftKings & FanDuel. Sign up for MLB Premium to build DFS lineups like a pro!
A massive 12-game main slate to end the week, with great weather overall, fantastic pitching options, and one of the highest project team totals of the year. We also have an MLB debut for Yankees SP Randy Vasquez, who happens to be only $4,000 on DraftKings.
There is a ton to get to today as far as news and notes, along with MLB DFS picks, so let’s not waste any more time!
MLB DFS Picks: FanDuel & DraftKings
This daily article highlights some of RG’s most helpful MLB DFS tools, including our industry-leading MLB DFS projections and MLB DFS optimizer, with some picks and analysis along the way. I will focus on the main slate of the day, but you can still find plenty of other tools, content, and analysis on RG for other slates.
MLB DFS Weather Check
Before we look at the projected lineups and MLB DFS picks for the day, it’s crucial to understand how the weather will impact the slate. Then we can better understand if we want to target certain games with ideal hitting conditions, for example, and possibly avoid games at risk of delay or postponement. Two tools to use are the MLB Weather Report and MLB WeatherEdge, which are both managed by RG’s Chief Meteorologist, Kevin Roth. You should also be following Roth on Twitter for his important weather news and updates.
- Our only rain concern happens to be in Coors Field, but for now, I’m working under the assumption it will play, possibly after a delay. Right now, computer models show showers in the area until about game time, so hopefully they get light enough to play through or go away soon. We have high humidity and 10 mph winds blowing out, giving an even bigger boost to bats here.
- TEX/BAL, SD/NYY, PHI/ATL, WSH/KC, and TOR/MIN will all have similar weather today with temps in the low 70s to mid-60s and slight breezes blowing in.
- STL/CLE, MIA/LAA, and HOU/OAK will be cooler with temps in the low 60, with the latter two seeing 5-10mph wind blowing out.
- Today’s dome games are PIT/SEA, BOS/ARI, and SF/MIL.
MLB Projected Lineups – Analysis & Top Stacks
There are ways to get edges in MLB DFS, such as stacking a lineup or targeting guys higher in the order (since they are more likely to see an extra at-bat). We should always look for value bats that arise each slate. They allow us to fit those extra one or two players into our lineup who are likelier to hit home runs and get us those ceiling games we need to win tournaments.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at MLB Starting Lineups to see what the likely batting orders are for this slate, which teams I’m looking to stack, and any other interesting notes. Going forward, the projected lineups will usually be pretty consistent daily, with the main changes being based on the opposing pitcher being a righty or lefty. Also, certain players are more likely than others to get a day off if playing a day game after a night game.
- Ha-Seong Kim fouled a ball off his knee yesterday and left the game, so he’ll likely need at least today off. Brandon Dixon is a likely candidate to join the starting lineup, with Odor or him moving to 3B.
- Carlos Correa is back in the Twins lineup hitting second, while Joey Gallo remains out with his hamstring injury.
- Nolan Jones is being called up today for the Rockies, and there’s a good chance he will crack the lineup today. Brenton Doyle hurt his knee making a play at the wall and was carted off yesterday, so Jones and Grichuk will get most of his playing time now.
- Jake McCarthy is being called back up for the D-Backs, with Fletcher returning to AAA. Against a lefty today, McCarthy could hit 8th or 9th, but expect him to get regular starts higher in the order once he faces more righties.
- Drew Waters is off the IL for KC, and in the lineup today hitting 9th. Matt Duffy will hit leadoff against against another lefty, and Fermin will catch with Perez at DH.
- Danny Jansen is dealing with a groin injury and will likely miss some time, so Kirk should get most of the catcher starts for Toronto with Varsho as his backup unless they promote someone else.
- Murphy is off the Atlanta so d’Arnaud will catch and hit cleanup. Marcell Ozuna has moved up from 7th to 5th in the order today.
- Estrada is getting a day off for SF, so Sabol will hit second today and Schmitt/Wisely will play SS/2B. The Brewers are going with Darin Ruff at leadoff as he has fantastic career numbers against Wood.
- Devers is getting a day off for Boston, so Tapia will join the lineup and hit leadoff tonight with Yoshida moving to cleanup.
- The Mets have a silly run total of almost 7 currently, as they are facing a bad righty (Seabold) in Coors Field with the wind blowing out and high humidity. They are clearly the highest-upside stack of the slate and easily will be the highest-owned in all formats. The Braves are my top stack outside of Coors, as they too will be in great hitting weather against the very average Taijuan Walker. Houston has a big run total of almost 5.5, but they are facing the same SP (Kaprielian) that just blanked them for 1 ER over five innings in his last start. I’ll still have stack exposure to them in GPPs and might use one or two of their bats in cash games, but I’m not thrilled about them overall today. Other stacks I like today include BOS, WSH, KC, MIL, and SD.
Make sure to follow the RG MLB Twitter feed for confirmed lineups, as well as our DFS Alerts page for important news and analysis.
MLB DraftKings & FanDuel DFS Optimizer Picks
With a good feel for the projected lineups, weather, and strong stacks to consider, let’s check out the RotoGrinders MLB DFS optimizer, LineupHQ. With this tool, you can create up to 300 MLB DFS lineups in seconds, all of which will adhere to the custom settings you input. For insight into how one of the best MLB DFS players uses LineupHQ, read this article and watch the embedded videos from the GOAT himself, CheeseIsGood.
If we click on the “P/$” column header in the LineupHQ grid, it will rank all of the available players from highest to lowest based on their expected fantasy points per dollar of salary on the specific DFS site you have selected — this is one of the best starting points for finding value on every slate. Let’s do that now and see what stands out on FanDuel and DraftKings.
- James Kaprielian ($5,900) is coming in as a top p/$ SP today, as his price dropped almost $1k even after two straight starts with 12 total strikeouts and just 4 total ER. Those starts came against the tough offenses of TEX and HOU, and in a rematch with HOU today, he’s my favorite extreme salary-saver SP option. I will definitely have exposure to him in GPPs. For cash games, I will spend more salary for a safer floor and higher ceiling, as we are loaded with elite pitching today. Hunter Brown ($10,300) gets the dream matchup with Oakland, who he just dominated in his last start for 46 FP, and right now he is my top cash game SP option. Mitch Keller ($11,400) and Kevin Gausman ($11,100) are other fantastic options today if you have the extra salary and want a likely lower-owned SP in cash games. Kirby ($10,600), Sale ($10,100), Peralta ($10,000), Detmers ($8,300), Liberatore ($7,700), and Shuster ($7,300) are other SPs I like today that will be in my GPP pool.
- The Mets are flat-out too cheap for this good of a spot today, and I will have four of their bats in my cash game lineup. Pete Alonso ($4,300) is my priority, followed by Brandon Nimmo ($3,500) and Brett Baty ($3,100). Meanwhile, Jeff McNeil ($3,200) also looks too cheap to fade. Lindor ($3,900) and Marte ($3,100) are fine options as well, and I will mix them into some GPP lineups.
- I won’t usually talk up a Nationals hitter, but Corey Dickerson ($2,000) remains at the minimum price and is one of my favorite cash game bats to help fit in a Mets stack, and a top SP. Dickerson should hit fifth today with the platoon advantage on Lyles in solid hitting weather, so if he can get 10+ FP he’ll be an absolute steal, and if happens to hit an HR he’ll likely be the top p/$ bat of the slate.
- Trea Turner ($2,800) stunk it up yesterday, but he remains at a great price against another lefty today, so I may end up on him again in cash games, especially if I don’t go with Lindor. The Brewers also disappointed big time yesterday, but against Alex Wood, I don’t mind going back to Miller ($2,800), Contreras ($2,800), and Adames ($2,900) for a super cheap stack with the platoon advantage today.
- George Springer ($3,000) remains a top OF option at this low of a salary, and the Astros are full of value in Altuve ($3,200), Bregman ($3,000), Tucker ($3,300), and Abreu ($2,400) if you need to fill a spot or two in your main build for cheap. Austin Riley ($3,000) is also worth mentioning as a top value at 3B today, as he’s on an eight game hitting streak and homered twice yesterday.
- Randy Vasquez has been solid in his last few starts at AAA, but the big leagues are a different animal, so I don’t mind stacking some Padres in GPPs or using some as one-offs in cash games. Tatis ($3,600) and Soto ($3,600) remain very affordable and have massive upside in Yankee Stadium. Cronenworth ($2,900), Bogaerts ($3,100), Carpenter ($2,600), and Odor ($2,200) are a great value stack, and all are solid one-off value bats for cash games.
- We have an interesting situation on DK today, as Randy Vasquez is $4,000 with a decent shot at 15+ FP. I’m all for using him in GPPs and stacking expensive bats with him, but with so many safer options, I will likely let others risk his low floor in cash games. If I do use a cheap SP in cash games, I’d rather go with Detmers ($7,700), Liberatore ($7,100), Shuster ($6,100), or Kaprielian ($5,800), who have big league experience and have shown their ceilings. Hunter Brown ($9,900) remains my SP1, and although I love Gausman and Keller, it’s hard to ignore the value of Sale ($9,000) and Peralta ($8,800) as SP2 cash game options who will help you fit in more top Mets bats.
- Brett Baty ($3,400) is the first bat I’m locking into DK cash games, as he is just too cheap with this good of a matchup in Coors Field. Jeff McNeil ($3,900) is my next priority at that price, while Nimmo ($4,900) and Alonso ($5,700) will almost certainly both make my cash game lineup as well. I like taking higher than 1.5 total bases for Alonso on Underdog today, and if you’re a new user, make sure to use RG’s Underdog Fantasy promo code.
(See RotoGrinders projections directly on the Fantasy Pick’em sites with our browser extensions, available to premium users.)
- Corey Dickerson ($2,300) remains an excellent value bat, while teammates Candelario ($3,400) and Meneses ($3,100) make for a strong value stack. Owen Miller ($2,900) is also still a great value play, along with Contreras ($3,700), Adames ($3,900), and Anderson ($3,200) from MIL.
- More value bats I like today include Raimel Tapia ($2,000), Jose Abreu ($2,900), Eddie Rosario ($2,600), Alec Bohm ($3,700), Adam Frazier ($2,700), Matt Carpenter ($3,000), and Rougned Odor ($2,700).
MLB Premium subscribers will have access to all of this data in LineupHQ, so be sure to keep checking there as we start getting the confirmed lineups and projections update. The very best P/$ plays tend to be pretty consistent throughout the day for MLB. That being said, projections can always change if someone is hitting higher in the order than initially projected or if a player with a low salary gets a spot start for an injured/resting player.
MLB DFS – RotoGrinders Premium Tools Pre-Lock
If you have any tough last-minute decisions or need some quick MLB DFS picks, our MLB Premium package also contains Consensus Value Rankings, an Expert Survey, and daily LineupHQ Premium tags from our MLB DFS experts.
And for up-to-the-minute news and analysis leading right up to lock, make sure to watch MLB Crunch Time later in the day.
Good luck today!