DFS Plays of the Day – May 22

Ryan Amore previews Saturday's DFS slate.

After a wild 15-game marathon Friday night, Saturday night brings what looks like a comparatively tame six-game slate.


Top SP: Robbie Ray TOR ($9,500 DK, $9,100 FD) vs TB


Uh-oh. We should probably just play Walker Buehler, right? If you can afford it, Buehler is definitely the preferred play at the top (24% K-BB%, 30.8% CSW 2021) against the Giants who have struck out at a 28.5% clip against RHP (league-worst). But, if you’re looking to save salary and are stocked with plenty of antacids, Robbie Ray could be an interesting play considering the Rays have K’d at an astronomical 30.9% rate this year against LHP, trailing only the Tigers (33.9%). Ray against the Rays, what could possibly go wrong? In all seriousness, Ray has pitched well this year with a 22.3% K-BB% and 30.8% CSW through seven starts. Through what is clearly some sort of sorcery, he’s managed to cut his walk rate down all the way to 6.6% which would be a career-low if it sticks. Or maybe it’s something else? Robbie Ray and the magical Rapsodo. Yes, that explains it. Either way, the lefty makes sense and his pitch count peaked at 112 his last time out, hinting at some extra upside. The Blue Jays are very modest home favorites (-116) tonight against Shane McClanahan and the visiting Rays. 

Honorable Mentions: Walker Buehler, LAD ($11,000 DK, $10,500 FD) at SF. 


Value SP: Chris Bassitt, OAK ($7,800 DK, $8,800 FD) at LAA


Shane McClanahan (23.6% K-BB%, 34.7% CSW 2021) has shown phenomenal bat-missing ability through his first four appearances with a fantastic 17% swinging K rate. We’re seeing his pitch count slowly come around too as he got to 80 a couple of starts ago in Oakland. But given his tight leash and a very tough matchup against the Jays, it’s probably best to wait this one out. Though I can’t blame you for taking a chance with him in tournaments in the hopes that he avoids any damage and the Rays let him inch closer to 90 pitches. 

The safe albeit boring play is Chris Bassitt (19.2% K-BB%, 28.4% CSW 2021) against the Angels sans Mike Trout. The Athletics are strong road favorites (-152) tonight. 

Honorable Mention: Shane McClanahan, TB ($7,300 DK, $6,400 FD) at TOR. 


SS Fernando Tatís Jr, SD ($5,900 DK, $4,500 FD) vs SEA


Justus Sheffield hasn’t been all that great this year with just a 10.3% K-BB% and 7.7% swinging K rate. And the Padres have an implied team total of just under five runs. Considering how thin Shortstop is tonight, we should probably find a way to squeeze in Fernando Tatís Jr. Who am I kidding? Even if there were other clear options at short, finding a way to jam in Tatís is never wrong. 

Honorable Mentions: Manny Machado, 3B ($5,300 DK, $3,200 FD) vs SEA; Xander Bogaerts, SS ($5,700 DK, $3,800 FD) at PHI; Anthony Rizzo, 1B ($4,500 DK, $2,900 FD) at STL. 


3B Rafael Devers, BOS ($5,400 DK, $3,800 FD) at PHI


Phillies’ top pitching prospect Spencer Howard will be called up to start tonight’s game against the Red Sox. He’s only made three starts in the minors thus far this year, capping out at four innings so he’s unlikely to go too long here. In his brief major-league action (28.2 IP, 6 starts) Howard’s ERA and WHIP are at 6.28 and 1.67 respectively so he’s certainly had some difficulties. Vegas is anticipating similar results tonight installing Boston as a road favorite (-136) with an implied total of over four and half runs. In that case, Rafael Devers (.352 career wOBA) makes sense as he gets the favorable lefty/righty matchup and has been productive, slashing .281/ .357/ .588 in the early going. 

Honorable Mentions: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 1B ($5,700 DK, $4,100 FD) vs TB; J.D. Martinez, OF ($5,800 DK, $4,300 FD) at PHI; Bryce Harper, OF ($5,400 DK, $3,800 FD) vs BOS.


Value Batter: 1B/OF Joc Pederson, CHC ($4,000 DK, $2,500 FD) at STL


Miles Mikolas, who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2019 due to shoulder and arm ailments, is set to make his return tonight. Joc Pederson, who hit leadoff last night for the Cubs, has a career .359 wOBA against RHP, makes sense as a value play against Mikolas who has just a 17.8% career K rate.

Danny Santana hit leadoff for Boston last night, at just $2,400 on DraftKings, he could be a way to make things work so keep an eye out for the Red Sox lineup tonight. 

Honorable Mentions: Danny Santana, 1B ($2,400 DK) at PHI; Gavin Lux, 2B/SS ($3,500 DK, $2,900 FD) at SF; Jarred Kelenic, OF ($3,600 DK, $2,600 FD) at SD; Ian HappOF ($3,800 DK, $3,100 FD) at STL; Dylan Carlson, OF ($2,800 DK, $2,400 FD) vs CHC. 


Top Stack: OAK at LAA (TBD)


As of this writing, the Angels have yet to announce an official starter for tonight’s contest. It could potentially be Patrick Sandoval who is probably not a good bet for more than four innings. Considering the Angels bullpen has struggled this year with their relievers combining for a 5.05 ERA (fifth-worst) this is an interesting spot for the Athletics. The top of their order has power upside with the likes of Mark Canha (career .341 wOBA), Ramón Laureano (.350), Matt Olson (.355), and Matt Chapman (.350).

The Red Sox against the rookie Howard and the Blue Jays in tournaments (if you’re avoiding McClanahan of course) are two other teams that have stack appeal.

Honorable Mentions: BOS at PHI (Howard); TOR vs TB (McClanahan).

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

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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