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MLB DFS Picks Today (5/20/22): Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks Friday

Eric MacPherson



Free MLB DFS picks today from Awesemo fantasy baseball projections and rankings, and the best lineups & value targets for DraftKings & FanDuel 5/20.

Friday, May 20, kicks off the weekend fun with a robust 11-game main slate with a 7:05 p.m. ET first pitch. Let’s get into the top MLB DFS picks today for pitchers and stacks for DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy baseball lineups.

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DraftKings & FanDuel MLB DFS Picks Today (5/20)

Top MLB DFS Stack of the Day: Tampa Bay Rays at RHP Tyler Wells — 4.7 implied runs

Game-time temperatures in Baltimore will be coming down from a late-afternoon high of 90 degrees. Humidity is approaching the magic number of 65% along with an 8- to 10-mph breeze blowing out to left field. The conversion from a role as a reliever to the starting rotation has had some ups and downs. Looking across all of his stats since making his MLB debut last season, we can see that, like many hard-throwers, Wells trades off power for strikeouts. Across his 333 batters faced, Wells has a 24.3% strikeout rate with a 1.38 home-run-per-nine-innings rate.

Tampa Bay has lefties and righties with above-average power throughout the lineup and not many are household names. Ji-man Choi, Kevin Kiermaier and Brandon Phillips are the lefties to target while Wander Franco, Randy Arozarena and catcher Mike Zunino are the righties. Most of these options are in the back-half of the lineup, which should keep their popularity in check.

Evening Slate: Milwaukee Brewers vs. RHP Erick Fedde — 4.7 implied runs

Somehow Erick Fedde has a reasonable 4.24 ERA despite issuing 18 walks in just 34 innings. This is going to catch up to him at some point if the opposition can just string together a few hits when there are ducks on the pond. Similar to Tampa Bay, the Brew Crew doesn’t have many exciting names in its every day lineup. The 2018 National League MVP Christian Yelich has seen some power improvement this year, compared to the last two seasons — but he still does not resemble anything close to his prior production when he won back-to-back batting titles in 2018 and 2019. Similar to the last two years, the fastest way to making unique Milwaukee stacks is to exclude Yelich, though that is no longer a slam dunk.

Kolten Wong will also be popular as the likely leadoff man and it is hard to pass up on his .186 ISO against righties. Rowdy Tellez (.230 ISO) and Hunter Renfroe (.218 ISO) have elite power and basically no name recognition. Luis Urias or catcher Omar Narvaez can be used to fill in the rest of the stack and they too have upside, particularly when the beleaguered Washington relief corps gets the call to action.

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Late Slate: San Francisco Giants vs. LHP Sean Manaea — 4.1 implied runs

Tonight, the Giants are a tremendous leverage stack against southpaw Sean Manaea, who is shaping up to be the most popular pitcher on both DraftKings (28.3%) and FanDuel (23.2%). Though the best hitters for San Francisco are lefties Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford and Mike Yastrzemski, they do a good job of loading up their lineup with right-handed hitters against southpaws. Austin Slater, Darrin Ruf and Evan Longoria all have .230 or higher ISOs against opposite-handed hurlers since the beginning of last season, and Wilmer Flores, of course, has a long history of top-shelf performance against lefties. Because this group drops down the order or even to the bench against righties, none of their salaries are prohibitive. That along with the leverage against the Manaea’s popularity make them a prime secondary stack focusing on duos or trios.

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Best MLB DFS Pitchers Today

Top MLB DFS Target: LHP Eric Lauer vs. Washington Nationals — 3.4 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $10,400 | FanDuel $10,400

Though he has allowed five home runs in his last three appearances, Eric Lauer has also been racking up the strikeouts. His 12.8 per nine innings are third among starters and the Nationals do not have many threating power hitters. Lauer should be in line for a quality start tonight, which makes him extra valuable on FanDuel, and the strikeouts along with Milwaukee being -200ML favorites to win make him a strong pitching choice in all formats tonight.

Secondary MLB DFS Target: RHP Chase Silseth vs. Oakland Athletics — 3.2 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $7,480 | FanDuel $6,400 | Yahoo $28

Now that the Coors Field game has been pre-emptively postponed, there is no need to consider rookie Chase Silseth on FanDuel. However, he is coming in as one of the better point-per-dollar options on DraftKings, so do not overlook Silseth, who just turned 22 years old on Wednesday. Last Friday, he held the Athletics scoreless, allowing one hit and two walks in six innings to go along with four strikeouts. While there can be increased risk for pitchers going against the same opponent twice in one week, the salary and overall lack of consistency from this iteration of the Athletics lineup make Silseth a viable SP2 in tournaments.

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Additional Opportunities:

Rostering Tarik Skubal on the main slate against Cleveland is a strong play for DFS, though we are seeing an apex salary across the board. However, we can also we can also take advantage of this matchup by targeting the southpaw in the MLB player props market. Currently, he has an over/under on his strikeout prop of 5.5, and the Awesemo player projections have him for a reasonable 6.1 against the Guardians. That gives him a 60% probability of reaching the over and there is a good chance that Jose Ramirez will miss this game due to injury. In four of his last six starts, Skubal has tallied at least half a dozen strikeouts with four and five in the other two games with an average of 7.0 punch-outs per tilt.

Other Pitching Options:

  1. Tarik Skubal at Cleveland Guardians
  2. Aaron Civale vs. Detroit Tigers
  3. Nestor Cortes Jr. vs. Chicago White Sox

One-Off Hitters:

  1. Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge vs. LHP Dallas Keuchel
  2. Mookie Betts at LHP Ranger Suarez
  3. J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts vs. LHP Robby Ray
  4. Tim Anderson and Jose Abreu at LHP Nestor Cortes Jr.
  5. Kyle Garlick at LHP Daniel Lynch

Final MLB DFS Thoughts & Weather Notes

Yesterday, it was in the upper-80s in Denver and today there are snow flurries. The inclement weather has already forced this game to be postponed, but at least we won’t have to put on our meteorologist hats tonight. New York and Philadelphia have some potential for delays, though postponement is unlikely.

Thanks for reading to the end of this article! If you appreciate this free content and want to see more of it every day, you can help us out by sharing this article on social media! Looking for more MLB DFS picks content? We have loads of daily fantasy baseball articles, data, DraftKings and FanDuel cheat sheets and more on the Stokastic MLB DFS home page.

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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