Well, after tonight, it is no longer going to be May. My deepest apologies to Justin Timberlake. To celebrate the change of months and the general passage of days, let’s build some fantasy baseball lineups — as of forefathers did before us. DraftKings has a six-game featured slate kicking-off just past 7:00 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive in.
Hunter Brown, Houston Astros vs. Minnesota Twins, $10,000 - Some of these numbers have to be taken with a grain of salt — Brown has faced the lowly Athletics in back-to-back outings — but the 24-year-old has posted an eye-popping 37.0% strikeout rate since May 14. In my books, that’s more than enough to be viable. Honestly, Brown’s been good for the entirety of 2023, registering a 3.04 FIP and 3.34 SIERA in his 57.2 innings. With the Twins in possession of baseball’s highest strikeout rate over the last 14 days (32.2%), I’d expect another large strikeout total for Brown on Wednesday.
Alek Manoah, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Milwaukee Brewers, $6,900 - I don’t feel great about endorsing Manoah in his current form, but to be blunt, this pitching slate is gross. This isn’t really about the former All-Star, anyway. It’s about the Brewers. Across the past two weeks, Milwaukee is hitting below the Mendoza Line as a team (.197). In that same span, the Brewers own an NL-low 69 wRC+ and an NL-high 27.1% strikeout rate. Jesse Winker (cervical), Willy Adames (concussion) and Luis Urias (hamstring) are all on the IL. If Manoah can’t take advantage of this spot, he’s toast.
Bo Bichette, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Milwaukee Brewers, $5,000 - Considering Bichette has been priced above $6K as recently as May 9, this is a very nice salary for the shortstop. The former top prospect is having a phenomenal month, slashing .345/.382/.543 with a 158 wRC+ across 123 plate appearances. For the season as a whole, Bichette’s .403 expected wOBA is by far a career-best. He’s taken his game to another level and Julio Teheran ($7,400) in the year 2023 is not exactly an imposing opponent.
Alex Bregman, Houston Astros vs. Minnesota Twins, $4,800 - Bregman is having another slow start to the season, but he’s been at his best in right-on-right matchups. To wit, Bregman owns a 120 wRC+ when facing RHPs, as opposed to a putrid 54 wRC+ when facing a southpaw in 2023. Louie Varland ($8,300) is right-handed. Varland is also surrendering a massive 2.70 home runs per nine to RHBs.
Justin Turner, Boston Red Sox vs. Cincinnati Reds, $3,600 - Generally, you’d want to be using Turner against a lefty, but the veteran has been quite good overall in May, managing a .805 OPS and a 117 wRC+. It’s also worth noting that Luke Weaver ($7,900) is in possession of some stunning reverse-splits so far in 2023. Weaver is allowing opposing RHBs to slug .628 with a .419 wOBA. The Red Sox have this slate’s highest implied team total, too. It all adds up.
Geraldo Perdomo, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Colorado Rockies, $3,600 - Look, I know how much Perdomo is outperforming his expected statistics, but it’s not like he’s being priced as an asset with a 142 wRC+ usually would be. He remains cheap, so I remain interested. The switch-hitter has been at his best in 2023 when batting from the left-side, as evidenced by a .242 ISO and a .391 wOBA. That’s good news for the Diamondbacks, because Dinelson Lamet ($5,100) has given up 2.2 home runs per nine to opposing LHBs since the beginning of 2022.
Jarred Kelenic, Seattle Mariners vs. New York Yankees, $4,900 - Kelenic’s come back down to Earth in May, but for the season, he still owns a .241 ISO and a .139 wRC+. However, for the purposes of tonight, the most important thing about Kelenic is that he bats left-handed. Lefties have been giving Clarke Schmidt ($7,700) fits in 2023. In fact, LHBs are slashing .354/.425/.616 with a .441 wOBA off the right-hander.
George Springer, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Milwaukee Brewers, $4,800 - It was only a matter of time before Springer started hitting again — and he’s hitting again. Since May 14, the veteran is slashing .355/.437/.597 with 188 wRC+ across 71 plate appearances. Basically, he’s looking like himself after a terrible first month in 2023. Toronto’s implied total is almost six runs on Wednesday. Part of that is the presence of Teheran, but some of it is also a red-hot Springer.
Randal Grichuk, Colorado Rockies at Arizona Diamondbacks, $3,900 - Any Rockies’ bat outside of Coors Field comes with a certain level of doubt, but Grichuk’s been amazing to start 2023, hitting .367 with a 141 wRC+ over his first 101 plate appearances. Grichuk’s been especially good against LHPs in this span, with a .409 average and a 200 wRC+. Small sample sizes be damned! It’s not like Tommy Henry ($5,700) and his 5.84 FIP have been all that impressive, anyway.
Pavin Smith, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Colorado Rockies, $3,100 - It won’t be too difficult to follow my logic on this one. Behind the Red Sox and Blue Jays, the Diamondbacks have the third-highest implied team total on this slate. They should do some damage against Lamet — particularly the left-handed bats. Not only does Smith sport a .204 ISO against RHPs this season, but he’s also been recently hitting leadoff for Arizona versus righties.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and customer (my username is theglt13) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.