DFS Plays of the Day – May 24

Dave Swan previews the DFS slate for Monday's action.

Monday’s slate is a very tricky one. The best matchup could have weather issues deciding its game. Furthermore, the slate is only six games, so we need every single one to be played. Cross our fingers; they get the game in! I can offer some of the best advice on slates like today; set an early lineup and be ready to make pivots. The first game starts at 7:10 EST, so keep a close eye on the forecasts. Good luck!


Top SP: John Means, BAL ($10,200 DK, 9,100 FD) at MIN


John Means is the top SP of the day. Baltimore’s ace has been dealing this year. Through nine starts, he has failed to reach the sixth inning only once. That’s tremendous when you consider he also carries a 9.1 K/9 and 1.70 ERA. Minnesota could be a scary offense to start any SP against, but Means has mastered his command, and the basepaths should be clean most of the day. If there were one thing that will keep Means from putting up massive points, it’d be the HR ball. He has given up seven on the season, and that’ll happen when you pound the zone as much as Means does. But, fear not—the Twins strike out near 25% of the time and walk the fifth-lowest in the MLB.

Honorable Mentions: Blake Snell ($10,200 DK, $9,100 FD) at MIL; Lance Lynn ($11,100 DK, $9,300 FD) vs STL.


Value SP: Frankie Montas, OAK ($6,200 DK, $8,400 FD) vs SEA


First, Montas is an absolute steal on DraftKings. His 4.79 ERA doesn’t show off his recent success very well. Since the calendar turned May 1st, Montas has a 3.22 ERA backed up by a 3.91 FIP. Additionally, the Athletics have let him work through his games, and he continues to pitch 80-plus pitches in each of those outings. Another reason for Montas is his matchup. The Detroit Tigers strike out against RHP big time! Their 27% strike-out rate is second-worst in the MLB, and the .150 ISO means HRs may not be a concern either.

The slate is such a wonky one; I say we drop Montas in as our SP2 and take whoever we want for hitters. The extra savings from Montas will come in very handy when selecting a pricey stack!

Honorable Mention: Spencer Turnbull ($7,900 DK, $8,600 FD) vs CLE; David Peterson ($7,000 DK, $8,000 FD) vs COL.


OF Ramón Laureano, OAK ($5,600 DK, $3,600 FD) vs SEA


Laureano is destroying southpaws right now. In 55 ABs vs. LHP, he is slashing an insane .382/.433/.673 with a 1.106 OPS. Additionally, the Statcast numbers back up his overall production. The 14.3% barrel rate is well above MLB average, and he is generating a hard-hit batted ball 46.2% of the time. His nemesis on the day, Kikuchi, likes to keep the batted balls on the ground, but let’s see if Laureano can take advantage of a mistake and get a hold of one. When he does, his .469 xwOBAcon suggests damage will be done, and DFS points will flow!

Honorable Mentions: Nelson Cruz, OF ($6,100 DK, $3,500 FD) vs BAL; Trey Mancini, 1B/OF ($5,500 DK, $4,200 FD) at MIN.


OF Robbie Grossman, DET ($4,700 DK, $2,900 FD) vs CLE


Grossman has been a DFS stud this season! He has found so many ways to put up points; it’s pretty crazy. Scoring runs, stealing bases, hitting a few HRs. When you look up and down his game logs, it’s just littered with production. However, where he has really excelled is against southpaws, where Grossman is slashing .311/.418/.511 with a .816 OPS.

Another reason to roster Grossman as a one-off play is the matchup. Cleveland is using LHP Sam Hentges on the mound day. Hentges gives up a world of hard contact, as shown by his 15.2% barrel rate and .490 xwOBAcon. Additionally, his 10th percentile whiff% and 22nd percentile chase rate means he isn’t fooling any hitters. Sometimes in DFS, you have to spot the weaker SPs to exploit.

Honorable Mentions: Christian Yelich, OF ($5,000 DK, $3,700 FD) vs SD, Austin Hays, OF ($3,600 DK, $3,200 FD) at MIN.


Value Batter: Willy Adames, MIL ($3,100 DK, $2,300 FD) vs SD


Adams has some new scenery around him since the trade to Milwaukee. We can see continued growth in barrel% throughout his career, and 2021 is no different. Unfortunately, his 14% barrel rate has only yielded five HRs as a return. On top of the barrel rate, in overall contact, Adames his the ball hard 44.2% of the time. Additionally, a good rule of thumb is anything over 40% is what you’re looking for. So what stunts his production? Look away when I say this, but Adames has a 34% strikeout rate. Nevertheless, a value bat is going to have some warts. Plug him in your SS spot; I’ll bet he would love to take his former teammate deep today.

Honorable Mentions: Kyle Lewis, OF ($3,300 DK, $2,400 FD) at OAK; DJ Stewart, OF ($3,100 DK, $2,300 FD) at MIN.


Top Stack: Oakland Athletics vs SEA (LHP Yusei Kikuchi)


I never love stacking against an SP with as solid of a skillset as Kikuchi. But that is just how today’s slate fall. We are already tossing Ramón Laureano into our build today, but we aren’t stopping there. Put the powerhouse bats like Matt Chapman and Matt Olson in there as well. Over the last two seasons vs. LHP, both have ISOs north of .230, so an HR shot from either is in the making.

Ok, those three bats make a very pricey stack so far. We need to pay down a little to leave room for everything else. Chad Pinder is an excellent option at 2B because he has loads of pop in his bat. Additionally, in the last two seasons, his .350 ISO makes him another prime candidate to take a Kikuchi mistake deep. Furthermore, his salary is such a relief we can add another bat to the Oakland stack.

When making a stack, always keep an eye out for the catcher. In this case, Sean Murphy pops up and while he is the third-highest priced backstop. The additional correlation value from him adds another element to the build. I mean by correlation value, say Kikuchi allows Olson and Pinder to reach base, and then Murphy takes one deep; one swing of the bat isn’t worth 14 points. It is actually worth more like 20 points because they are all part of your stack. This is exactly why stacks are very important for building GPP tournament lineups.

Honorable Mentions: CWS vs STL (Kim); BAL at MIN (Shoemaker).


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

Dave Swan

Dave Swan is an avid Chicago Cubs fan that enjoys all aspects of fantasy baseball-especially DFS. He would trade his right arm for a GIF library of Greg Maddux pitches. Swan's baseball thoughts are available at @davithius.

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