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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Lineup Strategy for Rays vs. Angels Showdown on May 6

Pearce Dietrich gives his top lineup advice for Thursday’s fantasy baseball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Rays and Angels, which starts at 9:38 p.m. ET.

Tampa Bay Rays v Los Angeles Angels Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

This game can go several ways. The Rays have the second-highest strikeout rate against left-handed pitching (30.6%), and Andrew Heaney has a 15% swinging strike rate and a 35.1% K rate this season. Heaney has also given up a little too much hard contact (38.7% over his career) and a little too many fly balls (38.6% over his career). Josh Fleming could limit the Angels with his ability to generate ground balls, but the Angels have quite a few hitters that can smash left-handed pitching.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $30K Showdown of the Week [$10K to 1st] (TB vs LAA)

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Loa Angeles Angels

Captain’s Picks

Mike Trout ($16,500 CP; $11,000) - Fleming’s traditional stats look great, but under the hood it’s a different story (5.28 xFIP vs. RHB). Regardless of the pitcher, Trout is always a top option at captain, especially this season. Against left-handed pitching, Trout has a .357 wOBA and a shockingly low .043 ISO. The low ISO is not a lack of power — Trout has a 42.9% hard-contact rate against left-handed pitching — but his ground ball rate is 64.3%. His career ground ball percentage vs. left-handed pitching is 39.8%, so that number should normalize. Fleming is a ground-ball pitcher, so there is a chance Trout could pound some more balls into the ground, but there is also a chance Trout takes Fleming deep and then tees off against the bullpen with the 10th-worst xFIP this season (4.46) and the fifth-most barrels (32).

Randy Arozarena ($14,100 CP; $9,400) - Since he exploded on the scene last season, Arozarena has a .479 wOBA, .345 ISO and a .219 wRC+ against left-handed pitching. Heaney is not just another lefty — he gives up a ton of power (1.5 HR/9 over his career). This season, Heaney is allowing 2.0 HR/9 to right handed batters. Heaney throws a fastball 54% of the time, then mixes in a curve and a changeup. On the fastball, right-handed batters are hitting it with an average exit velocity of 96.1 mph and a 27-degree launch angle. Throughout Arozarena’s short career, he’s been an exceptional fastball and changeup hitter.

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Value Plays

Mike Zunino ($7,800) - In 19 at-bats against left-handed pitching, Zunino is off to a great start. He’s never been a specialist against left-handed pitching, but he’s always had decent power. This season, Zunino has a .550 wOBA and a .579 ISO against left-handed pitching. He’s been an above-average hitter against fastballs and exceptional against changeups. Curveballs are a significant weakness for Zunino, and Heaney has a good one, but the lefty cannot exclusively throw curveballs. If Zunino does not mash the fastball, then Heaney will likely sit him down with the curve.

Willy Adames ($6,200) - In 36 at-bats against left-handed pitching this season, Adames has a .278 ISO and a 52% hard-contact rate. His strikeout rate is an astronomical 42%, so there is a reason why he’s inexpensive. In 47 at bats against left-handed pitching last season, Adames had a .417 wOBA, .277 ISO, and a 173 wRC+. Adames has power against lefties, and Heaney gives up power to right handed batters. It’s boom or bust, but it’s worth the gamble at this price.


Josh Fleming ($14,400 CP; $9,600) - The Angels have one of the lowest strikeout rates against left-handed pitching (20.9%). As a lineup, they’re not threatening, but there are individual matchups that can do serious damage and knock Fleming out early. Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Justin Upton and Albert Pujols are all hitting left-handed pitching well this season. Even Kurt Suzuki has a .382 wOBA and a .214 ISO in 14 at-bats against lefties. It’s not hard to imagine Fleming surviving this lineup, but it’s very unlikely that he survives and earns strike outs. He’s predominantly a ground-ball pitcher that allows an 80.4% contact rate and has not struck out more than four batters in a game this season.

The Outcome

The good Andrew Heaney has shown up this season (10 K’s vs. Houston and nine K’s vs. Toronto), and the bad Andrew Heaney has shown up this season (seven earned runs vs. the White Sox and three home runs vs. the Mariners). Both Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde will show up tonight. Heaney gets the strikeouts and he allows the bombs, but not too many bombs and the Angels hang on for the win.

Final Score: Angels 5, Rays 4

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $30K Showdown of the Week [$10K to 1st] (TB vs LAA)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Greenflagradio2) 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 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.

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