DFS Plays of the Day – May 26

Ryan Amore previews Thursday's DFS slate.

After some thin Thursday slates last week, we have a nice nine-game selection to play out tonight. There could be some rain in the Philadelphia/Atlanta game and the battle of socks in Chicago so be sure to double-check the weather closer to game time. Note that FanDuel has opted to include the Yankee/Rays game in their main slate which starts at 6:40 p.m. EST, but here we’ll be ignoring that game and sticking to the DK main slate.


Top Tier Pitching 


Note: As we go through tonight’s pitching options, you’ll find their line from their previous outing, and in the table above you’ll find their stats from the 2022 season.

Aaron Nola : ($9,200 DK, $ 8,900 FD): vs LAD (ND) – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 98 pitches.

Kyle Wright: ($9,900 DK, $ 9,500 FD): @ MIA (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 91 pitches.

A likely pitcher’s duel in Atlanta. Wright is an early nominee for pitcher breakout of the year and for the Phillies, Nola comes into this game having recorded nine Ks in his last start against the Dodgers, an impressive total even though his overall line was a bit disappointing. Atlanta comes into tonight’s game with the highest team K rate in baseball at 26.3% which could certainly play into Nola’s favor.

Frankie Montas ($9,000 DK, $8,800 FD): @ LAA (ND) – 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 24 pitches.

Eric Lauer ($10,100 DK, $10,600 FD): vs WSH (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 83 pitches.

Tarik Skubal ($9,700 DK, $10,100 FD): @ CLE (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 66 pitches.

Montas left his last start early after getting dinged in the hand by a comebacker. But before that, he piled up 12 Ks against the Angels. Tonight he’s a modest home favorite against the Rangers who have struggled to do much of anything offensively (.288 team wOBA, fourth-worst in baseball).

Like Wright, Lauer is another breakout star so far who has seen his K rate spike from 23.9% last year to 32.9% this year across his first seven starts. The Cardinals, however, have been one of the better offenses in baseball (.321 wOBA, seventh-best) so this will be a stiff test for the southpaw.

Similar to Montas, Skubal left his latest start early, also against the Guardians. He had been pitching well and zero walks are what we like to see. Skubal is at peak salary right now, making him more of a tournament play in his rematch against the Guardians, but he certainly has the strikeout ability to pay dividends.


Mid-Tier/Value Pitching



Shohei Ohtani: ($8,700 DK, $9,900 FD): @ TEX (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 94 pitches.

Sure, it’s the Blue Jays but it will be hard to not plug in Ohtani at his salary on DK. Through seven starts this year, he carries a slate best K rate of 34%.

Devin Smeltzer: ($7,600 DK, $5,600 FD): @ KC (W) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 74 pitches.

There aren’t many options in the value tier today. Smeltzer carries the advantage of being a substantial home favorite (-180) but very little else. Going back to 2019 when he made six starts for the Twins, the lefty carried a K rate of just 18.8%, so the upside appears nominal at best.

Even though he’s the road dog in this game, I’d be a little more interested in Daniel Lynch. He’s shown a little bit of strikeout ability having recorded 7 Ks in two starts this year along with a 12% SwStr% rate which could him a dart if you’re multi-entering tournaments but the smart play is to just stick with the bats in this game.

Martín Pérez: ($8,300 DK, $9,700 FD): @ HOU (W) – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 108 pitches.

If you’re intrigued by the veteran southpaw’s recent success, Ben Palmer explored the topic in his recent article and you can check it out here. It looks like he’s basically locating really well right now. Does it continue? Probably not. But he does get the A’s and that is a matchup we’ve been targeting, so he could keep the good times rolling. He’s a pitcher who has very little margin for error given his low K rate. I feel like this is one of those things where if you were to somehow fast forward to the end of the night and rummage through the box scores and see that he allowed four earned runs through five innings along with nine baserunners and three strikeouts, you’d be nodding your head and thinking Yeah, probably should have seen that coming. Anyways, he’s playable as an SP 2 on DK given how bad the A’s are right now, but on FD with only one pitcher, the far better idea looks like spending $200 more to secure Ohtani.

Adam Wainwright: ($8,800 DK, $9,100 FD): @ PIT (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 98 pitches.

Waino just keeps on going. But we might be tempting fate at this point considering his 5.8% SwStr% rate this year.

Germán Márquez: ($6,200 DK, $7,600 FD): vs NYM (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 102 pitches.

He’s really struggled this year to put it nicely. But I do think he’s always at least worth considering when he’s out of Coors Field and his salary has plunged.

Konnor Pilkington: ($4,000 DK, $5,500 FD): vs TOR (ND) – 3.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 83 pitches.

If you’re looking just to completely punt your SP 2 on DK, Pilkington is an interesting dice roll considering he gets the Tigers. The southpaw struck out six in his last appearance against the Jays and he doesn’t have to do much at all to return value at $4,000 on DK. His numbers in Triple-A this year are rough (5.02 ERA and 1.60 WHIP in 14 IP) but he did post a K rate over 30% in just under 100 IP in Double-A last year in the Guardians and White Sox systems.


Bats and Stacks


  • LAD (5.3 implied run total) at ARI Humberto Castellanos (RHP) 11.4 K-BB%, 4.29 ERA, 1.18 WHIP: The Dodgers jump to the top of the board with the only implied total north of five runs but they are a difficult lineup to stack given their salaries and the lack of value pitching.
  • LAA (4.2 implied run total) vs TOR Hyun jin Ryu (LHP) 10.5% K-BB%, 6.00 ERA, 1.33 WHIP: We haven’t seen much of Ryu this year just 18 IP but he was fairly mediocre last year. Unfortunately, we can’t play Ohtani’s bat tonight which takes some steam out of a potential stack, but Taylor Ward’sreturn would be a big boost to the Angels lineup.
  • COL (4.3 implied run total) at WSN Patrick Corbin (LHP) 9.2% K-BB%, 6.60 ERA, 1.69 WHIP: The funny thing is that Corbin not only survived but thrived the last time these two teams met at Coors Field back on May 4th allowing three earned runs across eight innings. For a game outside of Coors, the Colorado bats seem overpriced on DraftKings but they’re a potential tournament stack considering Corbin whose xERA on the year stands at 6.45, by far the worst the slate has to offer.


  • PHI (implied run total) at ATL Kyle Wright (RHP) 21.1% K-BB%, 2.49 ERA, 1.09 WHIP: He is very much a different pitcher this year but my mind simply can’t forget Wright’s Game 3 start in the 2020 NLCS. The Phillies have the power to break a slate making them a team to consider in tournaments. At the very least, I do like targeting proven hitters whose price has fallen. In which case, Nick Castellanos at just $3,800 on DK sticks out.


  • BOS (4.6 implied run total) at CSW Dallas Keuchel (LHP) -1.3% K-BB%, 6.60 ERA, 2.00 WHIP: The negative K-BB% tells you all you need to know. After dismantling Cease a couple of nights ago, the Red Sox deserve a long look against the ghost of Dallas Keuchel.


  • MIN (4.7 implied run total) vs KC Daniel Lynch (LHP) 10.7% K-BB%, 4.01 ERA, 1.37 WHIP: I mentioned Lynch as a potential dart in tournaments as an SP 2 if you’re rolling out a bunch of different lineups, but the better play is to stick with the bats in this game. In which case, the Twins’ righties make the most sense considering that Lynch coughed up a .381 wOBA to RHB last season.
  • ARI (3.9 implied run total) vs LAD Mitch White (RHP) 18% K-BB%, 6.17 ERA, 1.29 WHIP: On the other side of the Dodger game, don’t cross off the D-Backs for tournaments. White struggled in his last outing against the Phillies so it wouldn’t be too terribly surprising to see the D-Backs put up some runs. They have some potential value bats in their OF.

Value Bats


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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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