DraftKings Early MLB Picks May 23: Build around Verlander

HOUSTON, TX - MAY 19: Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros looks on from the dugout in the eighth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Minute Maid Park on May 19, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - MAY 19: Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros looks on from the dugout in the eighth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Minute Maid Park on May 19, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 12: The presidents race during the fourth inning of the game between the Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on April 12, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /

DraftKings Early MLB Picks May 23: Build around Verlander

We have a full 15 game day, but five of those games are in the afternoon on getaway day. That just leaves us open for a couple of aces in the afternoon, and the return of the all day slate on DraftKings! How does the early stack up to the late slate? For me, there are some early options that are more than good enough to use in the all day slate.

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Rain isn’t a threat today, but there will be a wind of about 12 mph blowing in from right at Nationals Park.

We will provide you with several options to build your lineup here. Want to spend all your money on pitchers and play bargain bats? We will highlight who is worth the money. Want to punt arms and pay up for the big boppers? We can help you with that as well, and everything in between!

These tips are based mostly on past performance. This is a nice tool for building a lineup, but should not be the only pieces of information you use. Stacking against a bad pitcher is always a good idea!

For you first time players, if you would like a free $10 showdown ticket for MLB or the NBA, use this link for the referral bonus with your first deposit of $5 or more! Then continue reading for tips on how to turn those DraftKings dollars into more!

Next: DraftKings Pitcher Plays

ST. LOUIS, MO – MAY 18: Michael Wacha #52 of the St. Louis Cardinals delivers a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies in the first inning at Busch Stadium on May 18, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

Top Tier:

Justin Verlander ($12,800): Verlander is so much more than everyone else on this slate. The crazy thing is that he just might be worth it. The Giants are hitting a poor .188 off of him with only one homer and four runs in 64 at bats with 16 strikeouts. That 25% K rate would qualify as low for Verlander right now. That’s what kind of season he is having. Verlander should easily be worth the price this afternoon.

Michael Wacha ($9,300): After a mostly forgettable 2017, Wacha is back to old form in 2018 with a 5-1 record and 3.08 ERA in nine starts. Wacha also posts a stellar 2.38 home ERA in six starts and has not lost at Busch Stadium this year. The Royals are a fairly weak offense. They are hitting .286 against Wacha in 63 at bats, but only have two homers and six runs to go with nine strikeouts. However, most of that damage is done by one person. More on that later.

Middle Tier:

Jake Junis ($7,400): Junis has cooled since a hot start, but he still held the Yankees to two runs in 5.1 innings in his last start. That isn’t easy to do. His ERA sits at an average 3.52 on the season, but it improves to 2.70 in four road starts. Junis should turn in a serviceable outing for the price. If you are fading aces to stack Diamondbacks, going with Junis and Fulmer is a decent option.

Bargain Pitchers:

Erick Fedde ($6,300): Fedde struggled in three major league starts last July, and honestly hasn’t been a lot better at AAA this year. However, there are some lineups at AAA that are better than the Padres right now. Don’t expect a lot of innings or a lot of strikeouts from Fedde, but this San Diego offense is a wreck right now.

Michael Fulmer ($6,100): Now, the Twins are a decent offense, and Fulmer isn’t an ace, but this looks like too low of a price for Fulmer here. His ERA is worse on the road, but Fulmer has a 3.00 ERA in two career starts at Target Field. The Twins are only hitting .214 against Fulmer in 42 at bats with two homers, three runs, and ten strikeouts. There is very good potential here, short slate or not.

HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 29: George Springer #4 of the Houston Astros celebratres with Carlos Correa #1 and Jose Altuve #27 after hitting a solo home run during the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game five of the 2017 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 29, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Brent Suter:

Milwaukee’s rotation is getting healthy, so this could be the last time we get to stack against Suter and his 5.82 home ERA for a while. This is a good team to stack with too. I like Jake Lamb, David Peralta, and Chris Owings for sure. Paul Goldschmidt is still worth a look with the depressed price. For the fifth, Ketel Marte is tempting because he is cheap. Same with Jarrod Dyson, whose speed is intoxicating.

Houston Astros vs. Jeff Samardzija:

Well, Shark has pretty solid career numbers against Houston, but I just can’t ignore his awful 6.30 ERA on the season. All of the usual suspects are in play here starting with Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and George Springer. That’s a good start to any stack. After that we can get creative. Lefties Josh Reddick and cheapo Tony Kemp look tempting. So does Brian McCann if he is in the lineup.

Washington Nationals vs. Tyson Ross:

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. The Nats are hitting .317 with four homers and 13 runs in just 41 at bats against him. Ross is a very good pitcher, just not against Washington. Trea Turner, Matt Adams, Bryce Harper, and Anthony Rendon are a combined 13-30 with four homers and 10 RBI against Ross. That’s a strong looking stack right there! You could add rookie Juan Soto as well since he should be back in the lineup with a righty on the hill.

Next: Other Notes for 5-23

PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 27: Tommy Pham #28 of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrates after scoring on a RBI single in the third inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on April 27, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Top Tier:

The Cardinals are pretty beat up right now, but Tommy Pham just continues to hit. I like him with just about anyone out there on the mound, so facing Junis doesn’t scare me any. However, I probably wont go out of my way to cram other Cardinals in there, but a cheap Kolten Wong near the top of the order is hard to pass on.

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Middle Tier:

Eddie Rosario and Brian Dozier have hit the Twins’ home runs against Michael Fulmer. I don’t expect Fulmer to pitch a shutout, so both of them are in play here as well.

The Tigers have solid numbers against Kyle Gibson, but I don’t trust Gibson at home. Gibson has a 6.16 ERA at Target Field this season. Nick Castellanos has hit two homers off of Gibson already despite his.188 average. Mikie Mahtook is 3-8 with a solo homer off of Gibson. Victor Martinez is dirt cheap, and he is 9-35(.257) with three walks, a double, five runs, and four RBI off of Gibson.

The Brewers held their own against Zack Godley last year, and Godley has been much better at home than on the road this year. I’m not stacking Brewers, but Yelich has two RBI against Godley so far, and Hernan Perez has the only homer off of him so far.

There isn’t much to like about the San Diego offense, but Eric Hosmer against a guy making his fourth major league start looks like a great idea. Travis Jankowski, Franchy Cordero, Manuel Margot, and Freddy Galvis are nice and cheap if you are thinking about a stack against Fedde

Bargain Shoppers:

Jorge Soler is 4-7 with three walks, two homers, an incredible six runs, and four RBI already against Michael Wacha. He is the only Royal that I would even consider today. There are better cheap options elsewhere.

Next: MLB DFS Picks and Pivots

Good luck out there, and check out our picks for FanDuel baseball, along with our PGA picks. We also have some EPL picks coming your way. And don’t forget, Fantasy CPR has something big coming your way in June. Stay tuned for that!