DFS Plays of the Day – 5/20/23

Your plays for OwnersBox/DraftKings/FanDuel for Sat May 20

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Slate Details

All 3 sites – OwnersBox/DraftKings/FanDuel – have multiple slates on Saturday, but we’ll be focusing on the following:

OwnersBox- Main slate (9 games) – starts 4:04 PM EDT; Late slate (4 games) – starts 7:14 PM EDT.

DraftKings – Early slate (9 games) – starts 4:05 PM EDT; Main slate (4 games) – starts 7:15 PM EDT.

FanDuel – Main slate (9 games) – starts 4:05 PM EDT.

Since Main/Early are interchangeable depending on the site, slates will be referred to by their start times instead.

Weather Impact

Two gusty games for the 4pm slate (CHC@PHI & NYY@CIN), and possible rain for CLE@NYM (4pm) & SEA@ATL (7pm).

Pitching (4pm)

PLV Pitching (4pm) May 20 23

I get it…it’s a Mad Max slate – but I’m scared of him with his injury history this year, plus this game has potential rain delay issues with wind blowing out to left-center. He’s probably not going to see my lineups – and now that José Ramírez is back for CLE, I’m not sure this is a team to pick on as much now. Frankly, Max isn’t really an eight IP/10 K guy anymore, yet he’s still priced like it. His pricing will be included here since he’ll likely have rostership, but we can do better…

Personally, I think the SP1 for this slate should be Jon Gray. He’s never pitched against his former team (#revenge!) but he’s been pitching deep into games, getting plenty of run support (welcome back Corey Seager!), and his last two starts have had one ER or less. It doesn’t hurt that Globe Life Field is the safest pitching environment of the 4pm games either. He might not have the K upside of some of the other options for the slate – we’ll get to those in a moment – but this feels like the safest and best value SP of the slate.

The next safest SP of the slate is Logan Webb. It’s a day game in Oracle Park, which can have a little more pop than normal, but his GB contact numbers are high, meaning he should limit any damage from MIA hits. MIA is still without Jazz – so he basically needs to contain Jorge SolerBryan De La Cruz. Soler actually is only 1/12 lifetime vs Webb – the one hit was actually a HR, but stick with me – with seven Ks. The Giants can hit LHPs fairly well giving Webb a decent chance at the win too.

The GPP pitcher of the slate for me is likely going to be Mitch Keller. His K numbers are insane – and in yesterday’s shocker in PIT, even Oviedo got seven Ks vs this young D-backs team. It’s hard to say what Pirates effort we see tomorrow – doing what they did to Gallen is a Herculean effort in itself – but there’s a decent wind out to left-center, and Brandon Pfaadt is primarily a FB pitcher while Keller forces more GB contact.

Hunter Brown gets the As…he’s still a little up and down, but even when he’s given up a number of ERs to teams like ATL & CWS, he also threw eight Ks (and Bielak had a personal best nine Ks yesterday). JP Sears is probably the best starter the A’s have right now – which might keep this more competitive than most of the A’s games to date – but Brown has the stuff to still reach solid value.

I haven’t forgotten Aaron Nola – he still has loads of talent, but this is a boom/bust spot vs the Cubs. Ironically, with the strong wind out to right-center, this game is right up there with GABP as the most volatile park of the slate. The Cubs are more than capable of taking advantage of that wind – but they also can whiff with the best of them (especially if recent return call-up Edwin Ríos is in the lineup). The Phillies are currently stuck in a five game-losing streak so this is not a great spot for Nola on multiple fronts – but he’s risen to the occasion before.

Pitcher Pricing (4pm) May 20 23

Batting (4pm)

Citizens Bank Park will be giving Great American Ball Park stiff competition for the most run-happy park of the day on Saturday. The good news is that there are enough value plays available that you can fit the top pitchers featured above plus Aaron Judge, Anthony Rizzo, & Bryce Harper from both parks and not have to extreme dumpster dive to do it.

Other bats to consider from these two prime hitting spots:

Since batters from those parks will cost you, we need to find some value to offset them. Luckily, we have an 80-degree game in Nationals Park between DFS favorite Patrick Corbin and HR-friendly Alex Faedo. Tigers bats that we can use vs Corbin are Jake RogersSpencer Torkelson, and Andy Ibáñez. For the Nats, Jeimer Candelario would love to stick it to his former team, and Corey Dickerson has recently joined the team and is not yet priced to match his power.

TEX bats should also be popular to pair with Jon Gray. Robbie Grossman hits LHPs very well, and Adolis García loves to take advantage of a favorable matchup. The aforementioned Corey Seager is back too and has always done well in L vs L matchups.

The Giants are also a solid team vs LHPs. Any of the following can be used in a stack or as decent one-offs vs Braxton Garrett – Casey SchmittThairo Estrada, or Wilmer Flores.

One option for GPPs, if you’re using Mitch Keller, is to stack PIT and look to build off the momentum from yesterday. A mini-stack from the middle of the lineup with Jack SuwinskiKe’Bryan HayesConnor Joe, and/or Carlos Santana could exploit Brandon Pfaadt’s FB tendencies.

Other notable one-offs for the 4pm slate:

  • The Rays have gone fairly cold lately, but Eric Lauer has a tendency to give up HRs, so moderately-priced Rays bats such as Isaac Paredes or Taylor Walls could be good isolated plays.
  • Although it may be chalky to want to stack vs Sears, PLV loves him – it may be better to consider one-off HOU bats and be underweight on them as a team. Kyle Tucker did really well vs Waldichuk yesterday, and Corey Julks is a cheap bat to consider vs LHPs.
  • Pete Alonso has hit a HR in four straight…just sayin’.
Batter Pricing (4pm) May 20 23

Pitching (7pm)

PLV Pitching (7pm) May 20 23

Small slates are really a pain to get two pitchers you can trust. Add in weather concerns, and a bullpen game for ATL, and the talent pool gets even more shallow.

SP1 looks like Chris Sale and it’s not close. Petco Park is relatively safe for pitching, and the Padres are weak vs LHPs without the services of Manny Machado right now. James Paxton relived his glory days last night in this spot.

Logan Gilbert appears to be the next PLV favorite with K upside, but it’s the Braves and he’s given up at least two ERs in his last five outings. This feels way too risky.

It’s not pretty, but SP2 honors may need to go to Patrick Sandoval as the GB rate king of the 7pm slate. Joe Musgrove is probably the best in terms of overall skills after Sale, but there’s likely little chance of a win and BOS LHHs pose a big challenge for a guy like Musgrove who is PLV average vs both sides of the plate. You might be able to get away with Louie Varland if this was in MIN, but with the wind blowing out to center for Angels Stadium, it’s a tough test for him. For OwnersBox’s Superflex format, this may be the rare night you skip a second pitcher and just load up on bats.

Pitcher Pricing (7pm) May 20 23

The 7pm/10pm games are not on FD (as of this writing)

Batting (7pm)

Since this is a small slate, we’ll go game by game and highlight the best plays from each.

SEA@ATL (rain risk?)

Since it’s a bullpen game for ATL, it’s hard to recommend specific SEA bats. Jarred Kelenic might be the one standout, as he’s likely to attempt a steal anytime he gets on base.

Matt Olson had two XBH in last night’s game, so strike while the iron is hot. The same could be said about Marcell Ozuna. Ronald Acuña Jr. is a must in all formats.


Given the pitchers in this one, it could end up like the 16-8 game from the other night. Freddie Freeman is really enjoying this visit to Busch Stadium, with four hits in the first two games, all XBH. Max Muncy had yesterday off, so he should be recovered from the game two nights ago. Miguel Vargas is also hitting well in this series. James Outman is worth consideration in stacks, but striking out a bit more lately.

The Nolan twins – Nolan GormanNolan Arenado – remain hot night after night for STL.


Louie Varland has been much stronger vs RHHs thus far, so we want LHHs – Shohei Ohtani and possibly Jared Walsh if he returns from IL.

The Twins are a tough team to trust, given how they love to platoon bats based on the pitcher, but that also makes for decent punt plays if you need some value bats. Donovan Solano is likely leading off, Kyle Farmer is a strong play vs LHPs, and Willi Castro has been playing very well lately.


Triston CasasPablo Reyes have both been good vs R pitching and tend to be value priced on DFS sites. Rafael Devers became very familiar with Petco Park with two HRs last night.

Batter Pricing (7pm) May 20 23


Justin Wainwright

Originally from the Midwest, but moved to Colorado almost 10 years ago for the sun & Red Rocks. My lifelong aspiration is to either build the perfect analytical simulation tool for MLB players & games or be the head writer for a hit TV show that changes the medium for the next generation. Unofficial president of the Bartolo Colon & Danny Trejo Fan Clubs

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