FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks and Helper: Sunday 5/19/24

Austin Swaim
Austin SwaimASwaim3
FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks and Helper: Sunday 5/19/24

Our daily fantasy helper is available every day to analyze FanDuel's main slate and help give you a starting point when you're building lineups.

Be sure to also incorporate numberFire's great tools into your research process, including daily projections, the latest starting lineups and weather, and batting and pitching heat maps to find the best matchups.

Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.

Note: All MLB odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook. All stats come from FanGraphs and Baseball Savant unless noted otherwise.


Pitchers to Target

Corbin Burnes ($9,700)

There is a two-headed case at the top of today's FanDuel pool, but Corbin Burnes of the Baltimore Orioles gets the nod for me.

The reason I'm targeting him over Carlos Rodon ($9,800) is exclusively his form as both enter ideal matchups. Baltimore's Opening Day starter has a sensational 2.90 expected ERA (xERA) this season, allowing a flyball on just 31.5% of those in play. From a fantasy perspective, Burnes' 23.4% punchout rate is also more than serviceable.

From a whiff perspective, matchups don't get better for right-handed hurlers than the Seattle Mariners. Seattle's 28.8% K rate against them is 1.5 percentage points worse than any other team in the league, and their .141 ISO (11th-worst in baseball) isn't overly imposing to make up for the swings and misses.

Seattle's 3.23-run implied team total is tiny. While it might be tougher for Burnes to score a win bonus than Rodon with George Kirby toeing the slab for the M's, I still prefer his current form and security.

Jameson Taillon ($8,600)

A quick check of the wind at Wrigley Field shows that Sunday will be a day for pitchers. Jameson Taillon gets this nod as a result.

The former Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander should have one of his better outings of the season against his former club. Pittsburgh's 78 wRC+ against righties is tied for the worst mark in baseball, and they carry the fifth-highest strikeout rate in the split (24.7%), as well.

Taillon flashed 49 FanDuel points just two starts ago, so the upside is there. He's a curious case for regression when his 1.61 ERA is actually hiding a 4.68 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA), and it's largely because he's a low strikeout pitcher (15.4% rate). Allowing a hard-hit ball on just 31.4% of ones put into play, I feel pretty secure with Taillon's floor in this spot.

Our MLB projections expect 26.9 FanDuel points from Taillon, but the overall game projection algorithm notoriously struggles with wind at Wrigley Field compared to its impact at the average park. He's an excellent option if looking at higher-salaried stacks.

Others to Consider

  • Carlos Rodon ($9,800)
    • The opposing Chicago White Sox have a dreadful 57 wRC+ against lefties, so Rodon should find success. I'm just worried about his longball tendency (1.47 HR/9 allowed) popping up at the wrong time when expecting massive popularity.
  • Sean Manaea ($8,200)
    • Like Chicago, the Miami Marlins can't hit lefties (64 wRC+), but they also have a fairly low strikeout rate in the split (20.1%). If Taillon didn't have the wind in his favor, Manaea would have gotten the value nod.

Stacks to Target

New York Yankees

The Yanks' 5.62-run implied team total leads the way by a country mile on this slate, so you'll have to begin the hitting section by accepting or rejecting them.

I just don't see the path to failure for the Bronx Bombers today. Chicago is sending out Chris Flexen, and while the righty is enjoying a decent season, he still profiles to be a punching bag for elite offenses behind a 4.58 SIERA, miniscule 8.2% swinging-strike rate, and 1.12 HR/9 allowed.

Once Flexen departs, the White Sox's bullpen should only make matters worse. They sport MLB's worst reliever xFIP (4.70).

Of course, the standouts for the Yankees are salaried as such. Aaron Judge ($4,500) and Juan Soto ($4,300) both have wRC+ metrics north of 160 and ISOs north of .250 in the split. Giancarlo Stanton ($3,500), Anthony Volpe ($3,500), Anthony Rizzo ($3,200), and Alex Verdugo ($3,100) are all rocking an OPS above .765, so there's no wrong answer here depending on position of need.

With Coors Field and Great American Ballpark off the slate, there is no better source of offense than the Pinstripes.

New York Mets

The interesting part of the slate begins after the Yankees. There's no true standout alternative, but I'm eyeing their crosstown rival in a spot that could be sneaky.

New York's Metropolitans conclude their road series with the Marlins on Sunday, and this should be the weakest arm of the series for them to face. Miami's Sixto Sanchez has struggled badly in his rookie campaign. The fireballer's swing-and-miss stuff hasn't translated to the next level, per an ugly 5.6% swinging-strike rate. That's led to a 4.81 SIERA and concerning 41.5% hard-hit rate allowed.

Of course, Miami's 'pen only aids the argument here. After four more runs on Saturday, their reliever xFIP (4.27) is now the seventh-worst in baseball.

The Mets' bottom half is pretty dreadful, but all top-five hitters here post either a 115 wRC+ or .165 ISO in the split. There's some combination of power or contact until you reach Brett Baty ($2,700) in the six hole, but even his salary could be handy.

You'll want to be cautious in tournaments not to load up on Yankees everywhere in case Flexen does the improbable. I see no better spot than this behind them.

Others to Consider

  • Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays
    • There's a modest total (8.0) with two bottom-five bullpens (by xFIP) in this game. Toronto's Alek Manoah (4.75 xERA) is the weaker pitcher, but Tampa has struggled to a .681 OPS against righties. It's a tough game to read, but there could be gold somewhere.
  • Kansas City Royals
    • K.C.'s 5.03-run implied total trails only New York's, but JP Sears (4.44 xERA) has turned away those seeking to target the Oakland Athletics before. They're an intriguing pivot off the Yanks, but I wouldn't play the two most popular stacks in tandem.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.