DFS Plays of the Day – May 20th

Tim Speros shares his favorite plays for Friday's 13-game slate!

Welcome back to DFS plays of the day, Friday edition. We have a doozy of a 12-game slate tonight. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM ET in New York where Nasty Nestor Cortes Jr. and the Yankees take on the White Sox. We have two games in California that include four teams from California. I don’t know why but I’m really interested in watching the Rangers vs. Astros game to see if Martín Pérez is for real this year.  If he can limit one of the hottest hitting teams in baseball we might see his price tag jump to $9,000 on both DraftKings and FanDuel.

The weather report tonight says a good chance of rain in New York so I’m on the fence about playing Yankees and unfortunately Nestor Cortes Jr. because if they do play, and there is a delay, he likely won’t pitch enough innings to warrant a DFS selection. One more game to watch is the Mets at Rockies. They are expecting snowfall in Colorado in late May! That game is likely to be postponed at this point, so I’m going to cross it out for now.

It’s important to have a process when playing DFS so I’ll share a few things I do every time I build a lineup.

Selecting a Pitcher

  • To get a lot of fantasy points a pitcher needs to rack up the Ks. I look at a pitcher’s K% and the team K% of their opponent.
  • Take a look at the lineup for the opposing team. Are all the regulars starting? How many L vs. R are there?
  • Where is the game? Coors Field, Fenway Park, and Great American Ballpark are places to try and avoid.

Selecting Hitters

  • Look at the implied run totals for teams. Selecting hitters from teams with high IRTs is a good start.
  • Look at the opposing pitcher’s stats. What is their weakness? LHH or RHH?
  • Where in the lineup are they hitting? Finding cheap pieces batting near the top of the order is idea.


  • Provides the best chance to win GPP tournaments
  • 5-3 for DraftKings and 4-4 or 4-3-1 for FanDuel
  • Diversify your stacks. Don’t always go for 1-4 in the batting order. Mix it up with the bottom of the lineup.

Ok, now that you know where to start, let’s get to my favorite plays and stacks so YOU can finish in the green with ME.


Timmy’s Top 3 SP



We have a rematch of Nestor Cortes Jr.and Dallas Keuchel who faced each other just six days ago. Both pitched well and for Keuchel to give up 0 ER in 5 innings vs. the Yankees was quite amazing. Can he do that again? Survey says…..doubtful (IMO)!

Eric Lauer, SP, MIL

Well, I guess we are here now. Eric Lauer has earned the top pitching spot on my list today. He earned his first loss of the season in his last outing in Miami and gave up 4 ER on 3 HR.  He only gave up six hits and did have seven strikeouts. On the season Lauer has a 35.5% K rate and a 2.25 xFIP both tops on the slate today. His K% ranks sixth-best for the entire majors. I think Lauer will bounce back after his mediocre start against the Nationals tonight and warrant the most expensive price on both sites. Washington does not strike out much with a mere 16.9% rate but their .079 ISO is worst in the majors and they are a bottom-ten hitting team vs. LHP. We likely won’t see a 10 strikeout game tonight but a quality start and great ratios are very much in play. Play Lauer with confidence.

Tarik Skubal SP, DET

Coming off an eleven strikeout game against the Orioles, Skubal gets the Cleveland Guardians who rank 25th or worse in wOBA, wRC+, and average vs. LHP. They strike out at a clip of 21.1% which isn’t bad but their power is really limited with a mere .100 ISO vs. LHP. The big news is José Ramírez is likely to miss tonight’s game after hitting the ball off his shin last night. Slugger Jack Naylor is OUT as well so Skubal should have an easier time with this lineup. Skubal has a 28.3% K rate and limits hard contact to 23%.

Aaron Civale, SP, CLE

Yes, Aaron Civale has a 9.85 ERA and a record of 1-3 in 24 innings this season and yes, I’m recommending him for DFS tonight. His price on DraftKings is so cheap at $5800 and is the perfect SP2 to make stacking whoever you want possible. Three of his six starts were against the Yankees, Blue Jays, and at Twins but we can’t really give him a pass for giving up 6 ER at Oakland. However, on the positive side, he does have 27 strikeouts, and his 22.3% K rate ranks seventh-best of the 24 pitchers starting tonight. The main reason I’m playing him is because the Tigers are awful. Detroit tanks 29th in wOBA and wRC+ and has the worst ISO in the majors at just .095. Civale is 6-0 with a 2.19 ERA and 36 strikeouts over seven starts against the Tigers.


Minnesota Twins vs. Daniel Lynch

The Twins are crushing the ball lately. They sport a 146 wRC+ and a .368 wOBA both top three over the past two weeks. With the exception of Buxton, this roster is priced relatively cheap vs. Daniel Lynch who has walked eight batters in his last two starts. If men get on base Lynch could be in trouble early with Correa back in the lineup.

Seattle Mariners vs. Michael Wacha

Wacha’s surface numbers should regress to the mean soon since his xFIP is up over 4.34. His 1.38 ERA and .221 wOBA are elite and he’s just not an elite pitcher. Seattle hit the ball well yesterday in Fenway but did get blown out by Trevor Story and the Red Sox. I think they put up some big numbers today as Vegas put the run game total at 9.5 second-highest behind Coors Field. Julio Rodríguez homered yesterday while Ty France continues his breakout season. Seattle puts up five or more runs today.

Milwaukee Brewers vs. Erik Fedde

The Brew Crew has slowed down a bit over the past two weeks hitting just .214 but Erik Fedde should help them get on base with his 12% BB rate, second-worst on the slate. Kolton Wong and Hunter Renfroe are coming on strong both with a wRC+ over 178 in their last 25 at-bats. This team does have the firepower with Christian Yellich and Rowdy Tellez and Tyrone Taylor and Jace Peterson are cheap pieces to complete a stack tonight.


Best Bats

Here are some of the best value bats for tonight. If you see a guy on this list, it’s safe to play other players from their team. We will see some value pop up once lineups are announced so use this as a reference and pay attention to the news, as there are always one or two guys batting at the top of a lineup that are not there on the regular.

Good luck tonight and I hope you win some beer money for the weekend!

Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)

Tim Speros

Tim "Cousin Timmy" Speros has been writing about DFS and Sports betting since 2019. He use to serve hot dogs at the media dining hall at Fenway Park and was a part of the Fox Sports broadcast team for the 2004 and 2007 World Series. Tim's claim to fame is winning the 2005 Charles River Wiffleball League MVP.

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