MLB DFS Picks, Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks: SP1s Freddie Peralta + Jesus Luzardo (May 22)

On Wednesday, the action is coalescing around a featured slate with a 6:40 p.m. ET first pitch on DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo. Before we get to our MLB DFS picks, as always, we will use Stokastic’s tools to help identify today’s MLB DFS stacks, key pitchers and daily fantasy baseball lineups. Look to Freddy Peralta and Jesus Luzardo as the key arms to build around. For stacks, the Blue Jays and Dodgers are the teams to target.

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks | May 22

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers

Main Slate Primary Pitching Target: RHP Freddy Peralta (MIL at MIA)

Brewers at Marlins – 3.6 implied runs
First Pitch: 6:40 p.m. ET
$10,200 at DraftKings
$10,000 at FanDuel
$47 at Yahoo

The Stokastic Top Pitchers Tool has RHPs Tyler Glasnow and Freddy Peralta rising above the rest of the fray. However, since FanDuel has elected to skip the last two games of the night for misguided reasons only known to them, this analysis will focus on Peralta.

Across three May starts, Peralta has tallied 16 innings, a dangerous eight walks and a not-so-nice 1.69 baserunners per innings. This has led to a 6.19 ERA in this timeframe, but the 19 strikeouts and 98 pitches per game are good indications that the 27-year-old ace will battle through this slump. This also includes games in Houston and in Chicago against the Cubs, which will make tonight’s matchup against the Marlins in Miami seem like a cakewalk by comparison.

Miami has won six of the last nine games, but this has been on the strength of pitching, as evidenced by winning games with just three, two and one runs. In 19 games this month, the Marlins have scored more than four runs just seven times.

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Main Slate Secondary Pitching Target: LHP Jesus Luzardo (MIA vs. MIL)

Marlins vs. Brewers – 4.1 implied runs
First Pitch: 6:40 p.m. ET
$7,800 at DraftKings
$9,400 at FanDuel
$41 at Yahoo

Wednesday has ample pitching options, with LHPs Jesus Luzardo and Nestor Cortes looking like a coinflip on FanDuel at similar salaries, while the former gets the edge on the two-pitcher sites. Luzardo has a pair of rough starts that are inflating his numbers, allowing 12 runs across 9.2 combined innings in consecutive starts against the Yankees and Braves.

In his last three appearances, Luzardo has a sterling 2.04 ERA, 1.45 FIP and a .188/.235/.234 triple-slash line. During these 17.2 innings, the 26-year-old also has an impressive 21 strikeouts, ceding one double and one triple as the only extra-base hits.

Milwaukee has scored the fourth-most runs in the league this season, but the offense has still been inconsistent. Catchers William Contreras and Gary Sanchez, along with shortstop Willie Adames, are the only real threats for the Brew Crew against lefties.

Main Slate Wild Card Pitching Target: RHP Chris Bassitt (TOR vs. CHW)

Blue Jays vs. White Sox – 3.5 implied runs
First Pitch: 7:07 p.m. ET
$7,200 at DraftKings
$8,400 at FanDuel
$37 at Yahoo

The last four starts for RHP Chris Bassitt have been rough, beginning with a seven-run outing against the Dodgers. The 35-year-old veteran has somewhat righted the ship with eight runs across his last three appearances, but the 20.2 innings in the four-game stretch still have him with a 6.53 ERA, though the 4.65 FIP indicates he was somewhat unlucky.

The matchup against the White Sox is one we review every day, as Chicago has scored 32 fewer runs than any other team in the league. For perspective, that is 0.65 fewer runs per game, which is over one standard deviation from league average. Luis Robert Jr. and Yoan Moncada are on the injured list, and Eloy Jimenez is once again dinged up. Half of the projected lineup has a sub-.120 ISO against right-handed pitching since the start of last season, which all plays to Bassitt’s favor.

For those in season-long leagues with daily moves, Bassitt may be available on waivers after being dropped by exasperated gamers. Take a chance that there is still a little fight left in this dog across all fantasy baseball formats today.

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MLB DFS Picks: Top Stacks

Main Slate Primary Target: Toronto Blue Jays

Blue Jays vs. White Sox – 3.6 implied runs
First Pitch: 7:07 p.m. ET
Opposing Starter: RHP Nick Nastrini
Top Stack%: 6.5%

The Stokastic Top Stacks Tool has Texas, Philadelphia and San Diego ranked as better stacks than Toronto. However, the Blue Jays are also accompanied by far less popularity. This should be no surprise as the team has scored the second-fewest runs in the league and was blanked yesterday by LHP Garrett Crochet.

Today the Jays are facing another young Chicago pitcher, though RHP Nick Nastrini is not in the same stratosphere as Crochet. Nastrini was a fourth-round selection by the Dodgers in the 2021 MLB Draft after three seasons with UCLA. He came over to Chicago at the trade deadline as part of the Lance Lynn deal. Nastrini has talent but also control issues, and he was not projected to make it to The Show until the 2025 season. The 24-year-old has a top-notch fastball, but his high walk rate on his secondary pitches can limit the effectiveness if he turns into a one-trick pony.

In two April appearances, Nastrini walked seven while allowing eight runs in eight combined innings against Kansas City and in Philadelphia. After his cup of coffee, he was sent back to Triple-A, and he had 23 strikeouts and a more palatable eight walks in 22.1 innings across four starts with the Charlotte Knights. Still, he has only 10 starts at Triple-A, and he is likely to end up there again before the holiday weekend is over.

Even with Whit Merrifield and Matt Chapman now with other teams and Brandon Belt off on other adventures, there are still plenty of above-average hitters for Toronto to remain in the offensive doldrums. Catcher Danny Jansen, outfielder Dalton Varsho and leadoff man Davis Schneider are the only players performing at an above-average level against right-handed pitching this season. It is only a matter of time before Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and George Springer get it going, and as we saw last year, Justin Turner still has a little left in the tank.

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Main Slate Secondary Target: Los Angeles Dodgers

Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks – 5.4 implied runs
First Pitch: 10:10 p.m. ET
Opposing Starter: RHP Ryne Nelson
Top Stack%: 8.7%

If Merrill Kelly were healthy, RHP Ryne Nelson would likely be in the bullpen or potentially on a minor league assignment to work on some things against lesser competition. In his three May starts, the 26-year-old has a 9.88 ERA and just 10 strikeouts in 13.2 innings.

On a positive note, the former top prospect has allowed just two home runs in this stretch, though more damning are the eight runs he allowed last Friday to the Motor City Kitties. The Dodgers are one of the best offenses in the league, even with Max Muncy on the shelf.

In a “baseball being baseball” moment, the current Dodgers are just 2-for-22 (.091) against Nelson, though they have struck out only three times. Things are interesting on DraftKings, where the salary algorithm has goosed the cap hits for Shohei Ohtani ($6,500), Mookie Betts ($6,100), Freddie Freeman ($5,700), catcher Will Smith ($5,200) and Teoscar Hernandez ($5,300). This is a luxury stack for sure, but one that can be employed with some creative choices at both pitcher slots.

Today we have the opportunity to look to Gleyber Torres in the sports wagering world for the under on his 1.5 total bases prop. This is currently available at -175 on Fanatics.

OddsShopper shows this bet has -209 “true odds,” so the -175 line brings a solid 6.2% expected ROI. We can also see how crucial it is to shop the odds, as sportsbooks tend to vary wildly with their offerings. This can be seen with BetRivers and Unibet down at -250.

Torres burst onto the scene with back-to-back All-Star Game appearances in 2018 and 2019 while being a solid member of the New York offense since his arrival.

Currently he is in a dreadful slump, and despite playing in 49 games, he has just 53 total bases and just nine extra-base hits in 203 plate appearances. He has always excelled against southpaws, but this year against right-handed hurlers he is having his lowest production by far with a .263 wOBA and .075 ISO.

Final MLB DFS Picks & Thoughts for Wednesday, May 22

The Midwest has some precipitation risk for the games in Cincinnati, Cleveland and St. Louis. The game in Cleveland is on the featured slate, while the other two tilts are afternoon affairs. Be sure to check in with your favorite MLB Weather Report page closer to first pitch for updates.

Before you finalize your MLB DFS picks, check out today’s Stokastic MLB Live Before Lock Show, at 5:00 p.m. ET brought to you by Sleeper – new users, use this link to receive a $100 first deposit match! Full details here.

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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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