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

Eric MacPherson



Free MLB DFS picks today from Awesemo fantasy baseball projections and rankings, and the best lineups & value targets for DraftKings & FanDuel 5/22.

Sunday, May 22, brings a healthy featured slate with a first pitch at 1:35 p.m. ET and several intriguing matchups to disect. 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 (5/22)

Top MLB DFS Stack of the Day: Tampa Bay Rays at RHP Spenser Watkins — 5.1 implied runs

Happy Spenser Watkins Day! Lather, rinse, repeat – we are going back to the well against Watkins who has pitched a grand total of 30 innings across seven starts. Despite having an absurd 15 walks against a paltry 14 strikeouts, Watkins has a sub-6.00 ERA. All five of his home runs this year have been by right-handed batters, but he is still giving plenty of love to lefties with a .179 ISO and only a 14.5% strikeout rate.

Ji-min Choi, Brett Phillips and switch-hitter Francisco Mejia are the batters to target from the left-side of the plate. Each member of this trio has elite extra-base hit upside against right-handed hurlers. Randy Arozarena, Wander Franco and catcher Mike Zunino bring the power from the right-side of the plate and things should get particularly juicy once the Baltimore bullpen in pressed into duty.

Afternoon Slate: Milwaukee Brewers vs. RHP Aaron Sanchez — 4.7 implied runs

Despite being a groundball pitcher, Aaron Sanchez has a 1.56 home run per nine innings rate on the season which is a career worst. This is still a small sample size of just 22.2 innings this season and Sanchez is only 29-years-old, but it is not a good trend. He also has a career low 4.76 strikeout per nine innings rate and he has increased his fastball usage to 64.9% while cutting his changeups by half. Additionally, he has allowed a home run in each of his last four starts and he has an unsightly 7.94 ERA while allowing 1.68 baserunners per inning.

Rowdy Tellez is a prime option for a home run today and if Omar Narvaez is in the lineup, he is a nice way to take care of that pesky catcher requirement on DraftKings. Though we prefer Hunter Renfroe against southpaws, he does have light tower power against same-handed pitchers with a .217 ISO since the beginning of last season. Kolten Wong is an excellent option leading off, particularly on FanDuel where is is only $3,000. Clearly DraftKings tacked on a premium to his $4,700 salary for this matchup.

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Afternoon Slate: New York Yankees vs. RHP Johnny Cueto — 4.7 implied runs

Despite locking down one of his former teams in his age-36 season, Johnny Cueto is going to give up crooked numbers sooner rather than later. After a solid 2016 season with the Giants, his tenth in the league, a variety of injuries and of course the pandemic, has seen Cueto take the mound only 46 times in the last five years. Cueto tends to live on the edge these days with his unique delivery no longer surprising batters who have plenty of video clips to study. Lefties are the primary target has he has allowed a .197 ISO over the last 251 opposite-handed matchup, but righties have had their success as well.

Anthony Rizzo leaps off the page with an elite .226 ISO against righties over the last season-plus, but he is put to shame by Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton each boasting a .265 ISO over the same timeframe. Aaron Hicks can be used as a differentiation play if he is at the bottom of the order, though he does get promoted to a more prominent slot to take advantage of his switch-hitting abilities when a right-handed hurler is on the mound. D.J. LeMahieu and Josh Donaldson of course are always in play and we should get Joey Gallo in a prime spot after he got a day of rest Saturday.

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Best MLB DFS Pitchers Today

Top MLB DFS Target: RHP Shane Bieber vs. Detroit Tigers — 3.2 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $9,000 | FanDuel $8,600

Yesterday saw this game postponed, but the analysis still holds true for Sunday. Shane Bieber, has a date with the anemic Detroit offense. Sunday’s projected lineup has the Tigers striking out at a 27.5% clip, which bodes well for Bieber, who has a 29.9% strikeout rate of his own across his last 569 batters faced. The Guardians are nearly 2-to-1 favorites to secure a victory this afternoon which is another positive for Bieber.

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Secondary MLB DFS Target: RHP Freddy Peralta vs. Washington Nationals — 3.0 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $10,500 | FanDuel $10,500

It will be interesting to see how many strikeouts Freddy Peralta can coax out of the Nationals lineup today. Though they do a decent job of making contact against right-handed hurlers, the power has been nearly non-existent with a miniscule .090 ISO for the season from today’s projected lineup. Peralta has allowed only one home run and nine total extra-base hits across seven appearances. Additionally his 12.1 strikeouts per nine innings is a top-five mark among starters.

Additional Opportunities:

Rostering Nathan Eovaldi at a premium salary in DFS is a little tricky today, however, we can look to him 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 6.2 against the Rays. That gives him a 62% probability of reaching the over. In his last start Eovaldi was chased off the mound by Houston after he suffered five, yes FIVE home runs in the second inning. Prior to that ignominious outing, Eovaldi had tallied six or more punch-outs in five of seven starts.

Other Pitching Options:

  1. Bailey Ober at Kansas City Royals – solid MiLB rehab start in return from groin injury (afternoon)
  2. Merrill Kelly at Chicago Cubs (afternoon)
  3. Patrick Sandoval vs. Oakland Athletics (late)

One-Off Hitters:

  1. Yordan Alvarez vs. LHP Taylor Hearns (main)
  2. Jazz Chisholm vs. RHP Ian Anderson (main)
  3. Anthony Rendon vs. LHP Cole Irvin (late)

Final MLB DFS Thoughts &  MLB Weather Notes

There are minor precipitation risks in Baltimore, Colorado, New York and Philadelphia, though nothing looks to be anything more than a potential delay. It will be in the 80s for most of the East Coast games, though the Midwest is looking cooler with weather in the mid-to-upper-50s.

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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