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MLB DFS Tournament Picks & Home Runs 5/22/22

Terry McBride

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Daily fantasy baseball advice. MLB DFS Picks on Slate Live Before Lock. DraftKings and FanDuel picks for 6/18

Sunday afternoon’s main slate features 10 games on DraftKings and a massive 12-game affair on FanDuel that waits to include the 3:05 ET White Sox vs Yankees game from the Bronx and the Mets vs Rockies game from Coors Field. With those two contests carrying the highest game totals on the slate, the slates take very different shapes from site to site. The slate includes several high-end starters with interesting salary landing points from site to site, and there are numerous opportunities to stack bats against lesser arms and bullpens. The Sunday main slate kicks off at 1:35 ET this afternoon, so we are in short-form Sunday mode for this article once again this week, in an effort to actually post content prior to the contests starting.

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Top Home Run Ratings & Predictions

Using a model based on a blend of several predictive statistics for the batter-pitcher matchup we will give each team one of the top choices from their projected lineup. However, the pick included below will not always be the actual top-rated player, particularly when there is an obvious star who rates atop his team’s lineup each day. Check out all of Awesemo’s top-notch baseball content and free MLB DFS picks.

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Scale: 5-10 Average; 10-20 Good; 20-25 Very Good; 25+ Great

Arizona Diamondbacks: Christian Walker — 4.73

Atlanta Braves: Ozzie Albies — 5.08

Baltimore Orioles: Rougned Odor — 5.32

Boston Red Sox: Bobby Dalbec — 8.13

Chicago Cubs: Ian Happ — 7.36

Chicago White Sox: A.J. Pollock — 9.27

Cincinnati Reds: Tyler Stephenson — 4.92

Cleveland Guardians: Jose Ramirez — 12.49

Colorado Rockies: C.J. Cron — 10.86

Detroit Tigers: Spencer Torkelson — 6.27

Houston Astros: Alex Bregman — 8.38

Kansas City Royals: MJ Melendez — 12.15

Los Angeles Dodgers: Freddie Freeman — 8.64

Miami Marlins: Jorge Soler — 6.70

Milwaukee Brewers: Luis Urias — 2.20

Minnesota Twins: Max Kepler — 5.72

New York Mets: Peter Alonso — 12.20

New York Yankees: Joey Gallo — 9.64

Philadelphia Phillies: Rhys Hoskins — 6.34

Seattle Mariners: Eugenio Suarez — 6.76

Tampa Bay Rays: Ji-man Choi — 10.10

Texas Rangers: Mitch Garver — 7.02

Toronto Blue Jays: Matt Chapman — 10.35

Washington Nationals: Nelson Cruz — 5.79

Power Index

This is intended to capture the full range of home run upside for each team. It is not meant as a stack ranking and does not account for pricing or popularity — only home run potential. The first column is the average rating for the full projected lineup and the second is for the top six hitters in the projected lineup.

MLB DFS Weather Update: Postponements & Risk Assessment

The weather forecast looks clean across the league for the afternoon main slate. Temperatures remain warm in the Northeast and across many parts of the country, which should lead to a continuation of the offensive upswing we have seen over the past week or more.

MLB DFS Picks Today: Pitchers, Best Stacks & Low-Owned Plays

This section will feature a few standout MLB DFS spots and teams to look at for potential plays on DraftKings and FanDuel. Be sure to check out the Awesemo MLB DFS Ownership Projections for critical updates and monitor the top stacks tool throughout the day for changes.

On the Hill

Sunday’s main slate includes a wealth of options on the mound, most notably a wildly mispriced Shane Bieber in a start against the lowly Tigers. Bieber costs just $9,000 atop the board on DraftKings and he is an $8,600 option on the FanDuel slate. While the pitcher may not be the Bieber of old, the matchup is far too good for him to fall to such a low price, a fact that has not escaped the public’s attention. Bieber checks in as the most popular pitcher on both sites, he is by far the most negatively leveraged option on the mound on both DraftKings and FanDuel as well, despite landing at the top of the probability board on both sites. Bieber should be played, he is an elite option at these prices, but undercutting a -25 DraftKings leverage score and a -32.5 mark in favor of positively leveraged pitchers of similar skill seems like a sharp decision. Bieber has a 22.1% strikeout rate and a 3.71 xFIP over his 38.2 innings this season, but he was at 33.1% in 96.2 innings before his injury last season and he has a track record of pitching at or around that level, he stands a great chance of posting a strong fantasy score on this slate, even with the crushing weight of the entire public on his back.

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Marlins starter Sandy Alcantara comes at a higher price than Bieber at $10,100 on the blue site which is suppressing his ownership somewhat, but he checks in at just $8,800 on DraftKings, which is keeping him relatively popular in the high 20% range. Alcantara has a 20.9% strikeout rate with a 3.97 xFIP and an 11.7% swinging-strike rate, while yielding a 34.1% hard-hit percentage and a 3.7% barrel rate this year, he should be able to find a few bonus strikeouts against a swing-happy Braves lineup, but he will be challenged to stay clean through six or seven innings. Atlanta’s active roster has created runs at league average in the split but they have shown more power than most of the league, the team has a fourth-ranked 3.77% home run rate and a sixth-ranked .175 ISO against righties this season, but they also strike out at a 29th-ranked 25.8% clip against righties, which plays in Alcantara’s favor. The Marlins righty ranks second on both sites, he is at lower raw ownership and better leverage on FanDuel than he is on DraftKings.

The Brewers will have a right-handed ace of their own on the mound, one of several on the loaded pitching staff. Freddy Peralta is the day’s most expensive starter on both sites and they both see him ranked third on the Top Pitchers Tool when sorting by the pitchers’ probabilities of success. Peralta is an excellent option despite the high prices, he comes at a fraction of the ownership that the two starters above him are drawing, and he is not facing stiff competition. Peralta is taking on a Nationals active roster that has a sturdy 20.8% strikeout rate against righties, but just a .125 ISO and a 2.29% home run rate that are in the bottom third of the league in the split, and they have created runs exactly at league average against righties. Peralta has a 32.4% strikeout rate and a sharp 2.75 xFIP so far this season. He has yielded some premium contact with a 44.7% hard-hit rate but he has just a 3.5% barrel rate and he has a 0.6% home run rate for the season, allowing only one long ball in his seven starts so far. Peralta is in the low single digits of ownership on FanDuel and he lands just over 10% on DraftKings, he is a terrific spend-up target with positive leverage on both sites.

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Nathan Eovaldi and Logan Gilbert are two quality righties who will be dueling in the Mariners vs Red Sox game. They both ranks a few places down the board from the top-end options, but ultimately they come with somewhat similar probabilities of being a top option, and they both land with very strong leverage scores at low ownership across the industry. Gilbert is priced at more than $10,000 while drawing less than one percent ownership on both sites, the salary is roughly correct, and the public is misjudging the pitcher in leaving him on the shelf. Gilbert has been excellent this season, he has a 28% strikeout rate and a 3.32 xFIP over 45 innings in eight starts, he has earned this level of respect from MLB DFS sites, even in a matchup against a Red Sox lineup that has been good at limiting strikeouts against righties. Boston’s active roster has a 19.9% strikeout rate in the split, and their other metrics are slowly creeping up the board. Boston sits 15th with a .152 ISO and 17th with a 2.40% home run rate, and they are now creating runs three percent better than average against righties. Gilbert will be challenged, but he is easily worth a few shots at no popularity. On the other side, Eovaldi draws a Mariners roster that strikes out just 19.9% of the time in the split and creates runs 13% better than average against righties but has not been good for power. Seattle has just a .124 ISO and a 2.26% home run rate in the split, the 26th and 22nd ranked marks on the board. Eovaldi is projected for low single-digits ownership for $9,400 on DraftKings and $9,000 on FanDuel. The righty has a 23.7% strikeout rate and a 3.35 xFIP for the season, though he has yielded a lot of premium contact with a 44.9% hard-hit percentage and a 14.2% barrel rate. Eovaldi is a slight step down from his opponent, but that is reflected in the pricing, he is a fine option for leverage across the MLB DFS industry.

Brady Singer got a brief mention in this space prior to a terrific outing in his most recent start, today he falls at negative leverage on both sites, but he is a solid discount in salary on a talented arm on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Singer draws a Twins roster that has a .154 ISO and a 2.88% home run rate against righties, and they strike out at a 22% rate in the split, all right around the middle of the league. Minnesota ranks ninth in creating runs in the split, they sit 13% above average by collective WRC+, so Singer is not going to breeze through this lineup. The young righty has made one start at the Major League level this season, striking out nine White Sox in a seven-inning outing last week. Singer has thrown 12.2 innings overall so far, he has a 30% strikeout rate and a 2.07 xFIP with a 0.95 WHIP while inducing a 12.8% swinging-strike rate. The righty costs just $5,800 on FanDuel and $4,900 on DraftKings, he is drawing fair ownership on both sites, but he is not an over-owned value pitcher. Singer can be rostered in spite of negative leverage scores, he is one of the better extremely low-cost options. Twins starter Bailey Ober is worth a brief mention in his return from the injured list as well, Ober could provide value with a long enough leash, he is a control and command specialist with reasonable strikeout acumen, but he comes at a much higher price than his opponent on both sites.


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Coors Field

The Coors Field game switches sites today, it will be available on FanDuel but not DraftKings. The Mets and Rockies both rank in the top four by probability on the blue site, with New York landing as the top overall team despite a matchup against capable Austin Gomber. New York is drawing the most ownership of any team on the slate and they unsurprisingly land at negative leverage, but their top stack probability is 4.5 percentage points ahead of the second-ranked Rays. The Mets will all be popular, but targetable bats for those who want to ride with the public should include Brandon NimmoMark CanhaPeter AlonsoFrancisco Lindor, and Starling Marte, if he is in the lineup. The remaining Mets offer varying quality and price or position offsets, Eduardo Escobar can provide power from time to time, while Jeff McNeil is a hit tool specialist. J.D. Davis and others make up a capable bottom third of the lineup, but the prime targets are up top.

On the Rockies side, there is an appeal in getting to bats that are pulling just single-digit ownership projections in a matchup against Taijuan Walker. The righty has been striking out hitters at just a 12.8% clip so far this season, and he has yielded a 37.3% hard-hit rate with a 9.3% barrel rate, but somehow the Rockies are at positive leverage. Colorado bats to focus on include Charlie BlackmonKris BryantC.J. CronRyan McMahonBrendan RodgersRandal Grichuk, and Samuel Hilliard, with fillers like Yonathan Daza and Garrett Hampson on the board as needed.

Tampa Bay Rays

A matchup against Spenser Watkins has the Rays near the top of the board on both sites for the third straight day. Tampa Bay should be able to exploit the righty’s 10.2% strikeout rate and 41.9% hard-hit percentage with an 11.4% barrel rate, Watkins is simply not a good pitcher. Rays bats to target for stacks and one offs include Yandy DiazWander Franco, assuming he returns to the lineup, Harold RamirezJi-man Choi, and Randy Arozarena. Outfielder Kevin Kiermaier has shown uncharacteristic pop in a few games this season, he has four home runs and a .160 ISO while creating runs 14% better than average, he can be rostered sparingly depending on where he is hitting in today’s lineup. Isaac Paredes has a solid power bat from later in the lineup, the infielder should not be forgotten at cheap prices and low ownership. Mike Zunino unleashes thunder from time to time with his aggressive approach to power hitting, and Brett Phillips adds a sneaky power and speed option for a minor investment at the bottom of the batting order. The Rays are negatively leveraged on both sites, but there are pockets of low ownership up and down the lineup that can help carry the weight.

Toronto Blue Jays

It seems like a minute since the Blue Jays have really come through for fantasy gamers. The team ranks near the top of the board on both DraftKings and FanDuel in a matchup against Graham Ashcraft, a 24-year-old starter so unheralded that a few websites are still listing his first name as Douglas just three hours before game time. Ashcraft is not a highly regarded prospect, he ranks 17th in the Reds system and he has serviceable but uninspiring numbers through the minor leagues, this is a clear getaway day starter who is with the club because several pitchers were unable to travel to Toronto due to their vaccination status, the Blue Jays should have an opportunity to feast on minor league pitching to start this game, they are expensive but positively leveraged and highly worthwhile.

Outfielder George Springer is slashing .270/.335/.489 with a .219 ISO and seven home runs this season. The elite leadoff man is creating runs 37% better than average so far this season while striking out 22.4% and making hard contact 39.6% of the time with an 8.5% barrel rate. Springer has more to give at the plate, he is a star option who is owned by less than eight percent of the field on either site. The outfielder is arguably cheap at $3,800 on the FanDuel slate, but he is not pulling in the requisite popularity, Springer is a great way to get an under-owned Toronto stack in gear.

At $5,100 on DraftKings and just $3,700 on FanDuel, there is no argument, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is priced too low across the industry. One of the best hitters on the planet is pulling in less than 10% popularity on DraftKings and he is just above that mark on the blue site. Guerrero is slashing .268/.350/.444 this season, numbers that are well below expectations and last year’s production so far. The slugger has seven home runs, but if it seems like a while since he has connected for one after a scorching start, you are correct, Guerrero’s last home run came on May 5th. The first baseman is still creating runs 29% better than average, but his .176 ISO pales in comparison to the .290 that he posted last season, betting on a return to form is the play with Guerrero and will remain so until further notice.

Shortstop Bo Bichette is another Blue Jays hitter who has underperformed to start 2022. Bichette slashed .298/.343/.484 with 29 home runs and 25 stolen bases in 2021. This season, he is off to just a .248/.287/.406 start with six home runs and four steals. The dip in on-base percentage is concerning for a player who does so much on the base paths, but ultimately Bichette is too talented to fail for long. The shortstop is pulling in just five percent popularity on FanDuel, where he costs just $3,600. He is a more popular play at $5,000 on the DraftKings slate, but he will be well below the 10% mark and is eminently playable.

The lineup was missing Teoscar Hernandez for much of the early part of the season. The star outfielder has made just 71 plate appearances so far, slashing .167/.225/.288 as he struggles to find his form. Hernandez has hit two home runs but he has created runs 52% below average to this point in the season. Just last year, Hernandez had a 132 WRC+ and a .227 ISo with 32 home runs and 12 stolen bases, he is another player who will be fine in the long run and he should be included in Blue Jays stacks.

Infielder Santiago Espinal has been a pleasant surprise, he has displaced Cavan Biggio in the lineup by slashing .295/.350/.434 and creating runs 25% better than average over 143 plate appearances this season. Espinal is still a low-cost player, he comes in at less than one percent ownership for only $3,900 on DraftKings and he costs $2,700 with multi-position eligibility and no popularity on FanDuel. Espinal is not a major producer, but he has been good this year and he is a cheap way to push a Blue Jays stack forward with correlated scoring.

Matt Chapman has hit six home runs and has a .176 ISO while struggling to a .191/.275/.368 triple-slash and creating runs 14% worse than average. Chapman costs just $4,000 on DraftKings and $2,800 on FanDuel, he will be owned by two percent of the field on the former and less than one percent on the latter, making him an excellent target for late lineup power. Chapman has scuffled over the last two seasons in his hit tool, but his power has remained mostly intact, he hit 27 home runs in 622 plate appearances with a .193 ISO last season, marks that were down in quality from years past, but still worthwhile for MLB DFS.

The two-catcher configuration is in play for Toronto today. Both Danny Jansen and Zack Collins are in the lineup at the position on both sites, they are drawing very minor attention on DraftKings and none on FanDuel. Jansen is slashing .300/.391/.800 with three home runs in 23 plate appearances, Collins has three home runs in 66 opportunities while slashing .200/.273/.400 with a .200 ISO. Either catcher could be a sneaky positional play where they are required, they are longshots to deliver for FanDuel but they are both capable bats for their position and no one else will be playing them.

The lineup rounds out with outfielder Raimel Tapia, who can deliver a bit of speed if he manages to get on base, a trick he turns only 26% of the time. Tapia has stolen three bases and he is slashing .237/.266/.288 while creating runs 41% worse than average, he is mostly an afterthought at the end of this lineup, he is a less than appealing wraparound play despite the speed.

Home Run Prediction Today: Vladimir Guerrero Jr — Toronto Blue Jays

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Terry used to do other things, now he writes words on the internet. He hopes his more than 20 years’ experience in season-long and daily fantasy sports and his custom models for MLB, NBA, and NFL don't steer you too wrong when he writes columns and makes picks on Awesemo.com. A lifetime of experience keeping odd hours make Terry ideal to cover KBO baseball overnight until the world returns to normal. Most of those late night hours have been spent on the couch watching sports, T.V., and movies; just try to shut him up about any of the above. You can find his pop-culture ramblings and more on Sideaction.

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