DFS Plays of the Day – 5/18/23

DFS on OwnersBox, FD, and DK.

Sign-up for OwnersBox here and get two free entries + up to $500 of your first deposit matched.

If you’re unfamiliar with OwnersBox, they offer a really unique roster format that includes one pitcher, four IF, three OF, and one Super Flex (OF, IF, and P).

We’ve got another tiny Thursday slate. There are only two games tonight, so we’ll focus on the four-game afternoon slate that begins at 12:35 with the O’s hosting the Angels.




A quick note on the PLV metric listed above: If you’re curious as to its intricacies, check out Nick’s primer. A too-brief summary: PLV is a quantifier that uses several variables to assess the quality of each individual pitch; the higher the value, the better the pitch. PLA is the ERA equivalent to PLV (the lower, the better). 

The fact that Dylan Cease is the most expensive SP this afternoon on OwnersBox kind of tells you a thing or two about today’s slate. In his latest start against the Astros, Cease’s slider and fastball were rated well by pitch type PLA at 2.82 and 2.32 respectively maybe giving us some hope that he’s turned the corner. Thanks to the Astros, he now has at least two very good starts. It’s odd seeing the Astros near the bottom of the pile with a .300 team wOBA (27th). Regardless, the Guardians have been the worst offense in baseball by wOBA at .283 so it’s not a bad spot for Cease especially if José Ramírez (bereavement list) and Josh Naylor (leg) remain out.

It seems like we’ve seen a lot of big pitching prospects debut already. Eury Pérez is one of the latest. The fact that he’s 20 years old and already here tells you a lot about his talent. His debut was impressive as he racked up seven strikeouts in only four and two-thirds innings. Installed as a big home favorite (-154) against a weak-hitting Nats team (.307 team wOBA, 22nd tied with CWS) Pérez should be the premier SP 2/Flex play on DraftKings and OwnersBox. Joey Meneses (paternity) is out making it an even easier matchup for the rookie.

However, if you dissect his PLV report card from his first start, it looks very much like a raw fastball or nothing sort of approach so there’s definitely an angle here if you want to fade him. Plus, he’s probably not going to go much longer than five innings (88 pitches in his debut).

Similar to Pérez, Taj Bradley is another really talented pitching prospect. He’s made three starts already this season, the latest back on April 24th, against the Astros, and has been impressive. But because it’s his first start back in the bigs after a few weeks, I think I’d probably put Bradley behind Cease, Pérez, and Tyler Wells. He also only threw 67 pitches in his latest start with Triple-A Durham so he might be somewhat limited. The Mets are a decent offense too, or at the very least they’re a tough team for strikeouts (19.9% team K rate, tied-second lowest).

Tyler Wells is the interesting option in today’s slate. There might be some sticker shock given his excellent outing against the Pirates has resulted in a pretty big bump in salary. I don’t know what to make of Wells but his changeup has rated out really well by pitch-type PLA so his recent success might not be smoke-and-mirrors. The Angels are tenth in team wOBA at .326 but they did recently lose one of their better hitters, Anthony Rendon. I think my interest in Wells would probably be tied to what the Angels lineup looks like. Today’s a getaway day so they might sit one of their regulars. Wells is also a big home favorite (-155) so that helps too.

This is a battle of Tylers, so I suppose I have to mention Tyler Anderson on the other side. There he’s been mentioned.

The other option is Logan Allen. He’s shown some above-average strikeout totals in the minors but his past two outings have netted only eight strikeouts, so he doesn’t really inspire a ton of confidence at the moment. I think he’s just a play if you’re looking to be different. He’ll face the White Sox who have been an underwhelming offense so far with a .307 team wOBA (22nd-tied with Nats).



The pitcher I really want to pick on the most is Tylor Megill. He just really hasn’t given us any reason to believe with a 17.3% K rate and an elevated 1.51 WHIP. Meanwhile, the Rays have been the top offense in baseball with a .369 wOBA.

Don’t forget the Orioles. They’ll face Tyler Anderson, who has surrendered a .385 wOBA against RHB this year. Anthony Santander has had better splits as a righty. Ryan Mountcastle, Adley Rutschman, and Jorge Mateo (tournaments) are all options too. The O’s have the highest implied run total today at just over five.

Trevor Williams is certainly one of the weaker options on the slate. But unfortunately, the Marlins don’t exactly give us many options to pick from. Luis Arraez is very cheap on FanDuel ($2,800). Other than that, Jorge Soler is the only other bat that really sticks out.

Knowing that Pérez should be really popular makes the Nationals worth considering in tournaments. Unfortunately, that means considering some rough-looking options like Dominic Smith or Lane Thomas. Oh, the things we do in four-game slates.

Ryan Amore

A proprietor of the Ketel Marte Fan Club, Ryan Amore has been writing things at Pitcher List since 2019. He grew up watching the Yankees and fondly remembers Charlie Hayes catching the final out of the '96 WS. He appreciates walks but only of the base on ball variety.

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