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Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks

DFS Pitching/Monkey Knife Fight Picks for 5/26: Back on Bauer



Sundays are my favorite slates of the week. It’s a huge, generally 14 game main slate with plenty of options. And today is no different! We do have plenty of weather issues, with the three California games (OAK, SF, LAA) and PIT as the four main trouble spots.

Top-Tier Arms

Justin Verlander, Red Sox at Astros ($11,700 FD, $11,200 DK): Verlander is currently the best overall pitcher in MLB. I will only recommend using him in GPPs today for a few reasons: a) his price b) his opponent (more about that to follow) and c) the park he is pitching in. Verlander is riding an incredible hot streak, with a 3-0 record over his last three starts, a combined 22 innings pitched, four hits given up, two earned runs (both on solo homers), 29 strikeouts and five walks. Those three starts were against Detroit, Chicago and Texas, with the game against Detroit being the only road start. The Red Sox have a deep and powerful lineup, but they do not seem to have the same magic nor do they strike fear into opposing pitchers like they did last season on their way to the World Series championship. Mookie Betts seems to be having a one season MVP/HOF caliber, the next above average MLB player pattern (with this being the latter obviously) and J.D. Martinez is not putting up the stats like he did last season. Using Verlander will make lineup construction challenging, especially with Coors on the slate.

Chris Paddack, Padres at Blue Jays ($10,600 FD, $10,400 DK): Another GPP-only option for me, as he has flashed his incredible upside several times this season, including in his last start against Arizona at home: six innings pitched, five hits allowed, one earned run, zero walks and seven strikeouts. The main reason I like him here is that the Blue Jays continue to stink offensively. Fans of the team North of the Border were hoping that Vlad Jr. would awaken them from their offensive funk but that has not happened. The roof continues to be closed at the Rogers Centre due to some minor structural repairs taking place so that helps the arms a bit.

Trevor Bauer, Rays at Indians ($10,100 FD, $9,800 DK): Trying to tempt me with these prices huh FD and DK? Because of his recent struggles, Bauer’s price has dropped on both sites. But we do not have to go back too far to see the upside he has, seven innings pitched: 10 strikeouts and only two hits allowed against Oakland three starts ago on May the 11th, another seven inning gem with another 10 strikeouts against the Marlins on April 30th. According to, Bauer has been “putting in time over his past few off days searching for the answer to his recent command troubles, especially for his cutter and slider that have caused him issues over his past few starts.”

The Associated Press quoted Bauer as saying, “If you take the second inning out of it (his last start against Oakland), I think things were OK. The command of my fastball and curve ball were pretty good. My slider and cutter are really letting me down right now. Those are two pitches I rely on heavily. It’s hard when you can’t throw half of your arsenal anywhere close to the spot you’re trying to throw it to. Overall, I thought my stuff was really good tonight. I gave up four hits. A curve ball on the black (Matt Olson in the third inning) goes for a bloop single, and five pitches later a fastball at the letters (Mark Canha) goes for a homer. That’s just kind of the way things are going for me right now.” So, do we believe he has command back and he is THIS (fingers spread just a bit apart) close to being dominant yet again? This screams GPP-only but one that has a ton of potential.

Middle-Tier Arms

Zack Wheeler, Tigers at Mets ($9,500 FD, $8,600 DK): That DK price is appealing! It’s probably too much for me on FD, so lets say cash worthy on DK, GPP-only FD. This is his first career start against the Tigers, so maybe that gives him a bit of an advantage? Overall, he has been good this season, especially if you take his first two starts of the year away when he was dealing with command issues. This is more about picking on the Tigers. The Detroit baseball team lacks pop, they find themselves in one of the worst parks for hitting the longball in all of MLB this afternoon and they rank in the bottom 10 in OPS in the league as well. Wheeler, as they say in the industry, is in a smash spot.

Caleb Smith, Marlins at Nationals ($9,900 FD, $9,700 DK): Maybe he is a bit too expensive to be considered middle-tier, maybe he isn’t. That is for me to decide, ha. Anyway, maybe Smith won’t be used as much across the industry as he has been recently. He is coming off his worst start of 2019…..and by worst that means striking out seven batters over five innings while allowing two runs and three hits against Detroit. If that is his worst start, sign me up for a time when he is really good! He is a GPP-only mainly because of his price.

Jake Odorizzi, White Sox at Twins ($8,700 FD, $8,200 DK): Here is my likely cash game pitcher on both sites. Don’t expect a stinker from him today! (Did you get that pun?) Anyways, Odorizzi is very good at home and against righties. His splits show he is 4-0 with a 1.45 ERA at home and against righties he is allowing a batting average against of only .144 with a .221 slugging percentage and a OPS of .460. He has Ks on 24 of the 104 official righty at bats against. Though the White Sox could have up to five left-handed bats in their lineup, most of the good ones are righties (Jimenez, Abreu, Anderson) while their lefties aren’t that good. The one bat that could hurt him is Yoan Moncada, who hits for more power and average against righties. As long as he limits the damage in front of Moncada (Garcia batting leadoff is nothing to be scared of if that is the case) Jake the Snake should be in for a slithering good day.

Bargain Basement Arms

Brandon Woodruff, Phillies at Brewers ($9,000 FD, $6,600 DK) and Spencer Turnbull, Tigers at Mets ($7,700 FD, $6,900 DK): I will combine these two since I am not going to touch Woodruff’s $9,000 on FD so I wanted to give you a FD option too. Woodruff I really like as a pitcher but….it is warm in Milwaukee, the roof and the sides will likely be open and the ball flies out of there. I believe four or five homers were hit there with the roof open yesterday and the Phillies are a good hitting team. Woodruff, however, has the stuff and makeup to keep them down. He has been really good over his last five appearances, not giving up more than two runs in any of them and striking out at least six batters each time out. A GPP option for me on DK. Turnbull has come back down to earth a bit his last few starts but he flashed his potential a few times this year: seven innings with seven strikeouts against K.C. on the 5th of May, 10 strikeouts against K.C. on the 4th of April, six innings with five strikeouts on April 17th against the Pirates. A quality start is possible and he will most likely not be blown up against the Mets.

Monkey Knife Fight Pick of the Day: Trevor Bauer over 6.5 Strikeouts

Even though Bauer has been off a bit this season, I like the narratives going for him today as mentioned above. He has struck out at least seven batters in eight of his 11 starts this season. The Rays have struck out 22.6% of the time against righties. Play MLB Prop Games now and get 100 percent Bonus!

DFS meteorologist concentrating on MLB and the NFL, I graduated from UMass-Lowell with a degree in meteorology in 1996. I worked at AccuWeather as a meteorologist for almost a decade. I combined my two loves, weather and sports, and like to think I help 1000s of DFS'ers out each day. Huge Boston sports fan, lover of nature and animals and a proud father of 4 boys (2 biological).

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