Written by Daily Fantasy Insider on May 21, 2018

These batters tonight offer a ton of upside and safety! Both batters are due for big nights so start your lineup construction by locking these Must-Haves in!

Tommy Pham (FDraft: $9,200 DK: $4,600 FDuel: $4,300): Tonight the St. Louis Cardinals will host the Kansas City Royals and taking the mound for the Royals will be Ian Kennedy. Taking a quick look at this profile and stats against right-handed hitters from last year, he owned a 1.76 HR/9, 4.96 FIP, 36.7% hard-hit rate, and allowed 16 home runs. Kennedy is completely a fly-ball pitcher as he owns a 43% fly-ball rate to righties and 52.7% to lefties. If we fast forward to this year, everything gets worse. The only thing that remains the same here is his fly-ball rate, as he is allowing a 41.4% rate to righties on the road this year. When we take a look into Kennedy’s 2018 campaign, we see nothing but a disaster. Against right-handed hitters, he is already allowing a 2.16 HR/9 and a .529 SLG%. When you narrow the stats down to him being on the road, right-handed hitters own him as he allows a 10.50 FIP, 5.40 HR/9, .800 SLG%, and a .371 batting average. These numbers are atrocious and certainly won’t fare well in Busch Stadium, a place where he owns a 1.059 OPS, .340 batting average, and 7.77 ERA. This stadium is his 2nd-worst ballpark to pitch in, behind Camden Yards, in his career. Tonight, Tommy Pham will step up carrying a .967 OPS and a .224 ISO against RHP this year. He’s also been rocking the ball at a 42.1 hard-hit %. Additionally, he has already sent six balls out the yard this year and he is no stranger to fly-ball pitching. In his career, Pham owns a .979 OPS, .604 SLG%, and a .375 OBP against fly ball pitching. Sounds great right? It gets even better. If you solely look at how he’s fared against fly-ball pitching this year, you will come to see that he owns a 1.033 OPS, .633 SLG%, and a .300 batting average. Kennedy is no elite strikeout machine and that fares well for Pham as he has owned a .341 batting average and a 1.045 OPS against average strikeout pitchers this year. When we take a look at Kennedy’s arsenal of pitches against right-handed hitters, we come to see that he throws a 91.9 mph fastball 53.03% of the time and a slider 21.80% of the time. These are the two main pitches Pham will see. If we look deeper into how Pham will fare against these pitches we can see that Kennedy’s long-ball problem this year has stemmed from the fastball. On that fastball against righties, he’s allowed a .333 ISO and owns .505 xwOBA. His regular wOBA is a .473 on that pitch which indicates that he’s due for even worst results in the near future. Unfortunately for him, Pham has absolutely owns this fastball pitch this year as he carries a .667 ISO and a xwOBA of .741 against it. In a large sample of 2017 against the slider, Pham owned a .424 wOBA which shows that he simply dominates both pitches. Pham gets a juicy matchup here and actually is no stranger to Kennedy as well. In his eight at-bats in his career against Kennedy, he owns a .500 batting average, 1.681 OPS, and has his a home run. Not too shabby Mr. Pham! Batting leadoff tonight, lock in Tommy Pham as our first Must-Have on the MLB DFS slate  tonight!

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Daniel Palka (FDraft: $7,700 DK: $3,700 FDuel: $2,700): Daniel Palka is our 2nd Must-Have of the night batting clean up against Andrew Cashner of the Baltimore Orioles. So far this year, Palka has produced a line of an .838 OPS, .314 ISO, and .343 wOBA with a hard-hit rate of 35%. This isolated power will play huge against the likes of Cashner who has allowed 2.52 HR/9 against lefties with a 6.07 FIP. Cashner is also an extreme fly ball pitcher to left-handed batters, allowing fly balls 53% of the time. Against fly ball pitching, Palka has a career .375 avg, and .875 SLG. He crushes fly ball pitching which goes against Cashner’s weaknesses. With Cashner struggling to keep the ball in the yard, Palka’s power will come from the clean up spot in the order. Palka also mashes finesse pitchers to the tune of a .375 avg, .656 SLG and 1.050 OPS. His BABIP of .417 against finesse arms typically means he is crushing the ball against them and the results are showing. To Cashner’s main pitches of a four seam fastball, two seam fastball, and change-up, Palka has a .333 ISO, .286 ISO, and .444 ISO, respectively. He has insane power to these pitch types and we are locking Daniel Palka as our second Must-Have of tonight’s slate.

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