MLB DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Friday, May 22

MLB DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Friday, May 22

This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.

A pretty full 11-game slate is on tap Friday evening, with first pitch at 7:10 p.m. EDT, and it seems to have everything we can ask for. Two games have juicy run totals of 10+ runs in positive ballpark environments, and we've got four big-name arms atop the slate priced at $9,800 or more who all get to face weak offenses. Four games come with a slate-low 7.5 run total, which should give us some options on cheaper pitching.

Early weather reports suggest we'll need to keep an eye on Chicago for rain, while we could see blustery conditions in Colorado, Minnesota and Oakland that can aid home run chances.

Pitching

Zac Gallen, ARI vs. MIA ($10,200): All of the top four pitchers stand out for matchups, but Gallen looks like the right blend of price, form and opponent. Gallen comes in with three straight quality starts, allowing 12 hits and five runs across 18.2 innings while striking out 20. His 3.02 ERA comes with a 3.22 xFIP, so he seems as stable as they come. Miami doesn't strike out a ton against righties at just 21.1 percent, but they come with a below average 88 wRC+ and .299 ISO. Arizona is heavily favored, and the game has an 8.0 run total, seemingly setting Gallen up for stability and upside, making for a cash and GPP option.

Yu Darvish, SD vs. NYY ($9,400): Emphatically, this is for GPPs only. Darvish is in terrific form, currently owning a 24.0 inning scoreless streak where he's fanned 24. Both teams played Thursday out east, but the Yankees head across the country on the road while the Padres return home, and I think that's a factor. Current Yankees have faired well off Darvish, going 17-for-43 (.395) with a .967 OPS, so there's clear risk. The Yankees also have a league-high .347 wOBA off righties. It's form versus a bad matchup, but the price is right to take a stab in tournaments.

Miles Mikolas, STL vs. CHC ($7,400): If we consider run totals and underdog moneylines as the best way to find a value arm, we're seemingly left with Mikolas (+122, 7.5 runs), or Kyle Harrison (+112, 7.5 runs) as our baseline. Mikolas is cheaper by $1,400 and is in good enough form to back. The Cubs come with a .303 wOBA, 97 wRC+ and targetable 24.1 percent strikeout rate off righties. There's ample familiarity here, with current Cubs going 40-for-149 (.268) with just a .670 OPS. Mikolas isn't going to be clean, but he's earned 24 fantasy points or better in four of five, which can give us a 3x baseline while freeing up offensive spending.

Top Targets

This starts and likely ends with Phillies' bats in Coors Field. Rockies' starter Ty Blach has curiously been better at home, but he's still allowing a .421 wOBA and .970 OPS to righties overall. J.T. Realmuto ($3,800) sits with a .409 wOBA, 167 wRC+ and modest .180 ISO, while Alec Bohm ($4,100) goes .404/164/.200.

Minnesota starter Bailey Ober has a 4.40 ERA but a 3.28 xERA, so while I like the Rangers lineup from top to bottom, it seems like a risky stack to consider. On the high end, Corey Seager ($3,600) has a .363 wOBA and 134 wRC+, while Adolis Garcia ($3,500) has homered in four of his last six. Ober is a flyball pitcher at 52.0 percent, and if winds are indeed blowing out, look out!

There's minimal BvP success within the Astros lineup against Ross Stripling, but he's allowing a .369 wOBA to lefties overall. Kyle Tucker's ($4,600) price point is large, but so is the potential return with four homers and seven RBI over his last four. He's 3-for-11 off Stripling. Yordan Alvarez ($3,900) is cheaper, far less consistent and 0-for-9 off Stripling, but he can lift the ball for a wind-aided homer.

Bargain Bats

If we're backing the wind in Minnesota, Twins bats are targetable against Jose Urena, though his current stats and splits are far better than his price suggests. I can't get there with Ryan Jeffers' price despite his .394 wOBA, 158 wRC+ and .311 ISO, so sliding down we find Carlos Correa ($3,200) and Max Kepler ($3,300). Correa has homered in two of his last three and sits at .359/135/.181 and Kepler .380/149/.229. Carlos Santana ($2,700) hasn't homered since May 12 but is 6-of-19 (.316) off of Urena with a long ball, though he's laboring against righties overall with a .255 wOBA and 64 wRC+ this year. GPP dart only.

As noted above, Ober is a flyball guy. If looking for a cheaper share of the Rangers offense, Nathaniel Lowe ($2,800) is the play. He's surrounded by the bigger names in the lineup, and sits with a .375 wOBA and 142 wRC+ off righties.

Jeimer Candelario ($2,700) appears in a good spot Friday. He's boasting a .371 wOBA and 137 wRC+ off lefties, the Reds don't have many other positive splits off southpaws, and we've got a high run total in a favorable ballpark.

Stacks to Consider

Diamondbacks vs. Braxton Garrett (Marlins): Ketel Marte ($3,500), Christian Walker ($3,300), Lourdes Gurriel ($2,800)

We can't focus on Garrett's body of work as he's thrown only 9.2 innings and faced 47 total batters to date, but we can hone in on the Diamonbacks proclivity to mash lefties. Marte is priced too favorably and is a great stand alone play, posting a .475 wOBA, 213 wRC+ and .389 ISO off southpaws. Lock him in! Walker and Gurriel give us two additional right-handed hitters against Garrett atop of the order, with Walker's .363 wOBA and 136 wRC+ being their collective low point. Gurriel is also quietly surging, with seven hits in his last five. As previously noted, Garrett doesn't have massive season-long exposure, but he's been statistically worse against lefties, which make Corbin Carroll an intriguing option as well.

Angels vs. Logan Allen (Guardians): Taylor Ward ($3,100), Jo Adell ($3,000), Kevin Pillar ($3,000)

I find both sides of this game to be attractive, but the Angels are going to be largely overlooked, making for a low-rostered GPP stack. They have seven options with a wOBA of at least .393 off lefties, though Miguel Sano isn't yet healthy, so you can pick and choose pieces as your roster needs dictate. Ward is the safest play and comes with that "low" wOBA. He's guaranteed to be in the heart of this order. I'm tempted by Adell and Pillar's power upside here. Pillar has been hitting cleanup against lefties, and boasts an unsustainable .535 wOBA, 252 wRC+ and .350 ISO, while Adell sits at .463/203/.484! This is likely going to be a 3-4-5 lineup stack, and hitting down the order even some could limit their at bats against Allen to just two. Luis Rengifo ($3,000) offers position flexibility, while Zach Neto ($2,900) and Nolan Schanuel ($2,600) also have favorable splits against lefties. Wait and see how their lineup card shakes out, but there's a lot of fine options here.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Chris Bennett plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: k30kittles, DraftKings: k30kittles.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Bennett
Bennett covers baseball, college football and college basketball for RotoWire. Before turning to fantasy writing, he worked in scouting/player development for the Atlanta Braves and Montreal Expos. He's also a fan of the ACC.
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