MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Hitters & Stacks for Saturday, May 22nd

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·5 min read
MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Hitters & Stacks for Saturday, May 22nd
MLB DFS Picks & Stacks for Yahoo, DraftKings + FanDuel daily fantasy baseball lineups, including the Red Sox and Padres | Saturday, 5/22
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Saturday, May 22, brings us dual main-slate action with a seven-game 4:05 p.m. ET set and then half a dozen more with a 7:15 p.m. ET first pitch. Let’s get into the top MLB DFS picks for hitters and stacks for Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel.

Be sure head over to the Awesemo MLB DFS home page for all the best written daily fantasy baseball content, including daily article like Spotlight Pitchers, MLB DFS Tournament Strategy and MLB Cheat Sheets for all the major DFS sites.

MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Hitters and Stacks, Saturday, May 22nd

Yahoo Stack of the Day: Boston Red Sox at RHP Spencer Howard — 4.9 implied runs

It has been a rough go for rookie Spencer Howard, who is trying to turn things around. The young righty was selected in the second round of the 2017 MLB Draft after playing to seasons with Cal-Poly in the Big Sky Conference. With the pandemic shutting down the minors last season, Philadelphia elected to throw Howard into the deep end, giving him six starts in The Show. The results were not pretty with a 5.86 xFIP and a 2.22 HR/9 rate across 24.1 innings, however considering he only had 30.2 Double-A innings under his belt, there was some promise with his 8.51 K/9 rate. Howard had three starts in Triple-A spanning nine innings as he was getting stretched out and he has made three relief appearances with the Phillies for another 4.1 innings. We should expect something in the 65- to 70-pitch range for Howard tonight.

Alex Verdugo is dealing with a hamstring issue and is not expected to play tonight, however, there are still plenty of players to target from Boston. J.D. Martinez is likely to be manning one of the corner outfield spots, which should keep his bat in the lineup, even with the Red Sox losing the designated hitter option with this game being in a National League park. Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts round out our top trio to target with their excellent power upside. Christian Vazquez is a solid MLB DFS pick at catcher with his $9 Yahoo salary. Depending on who replaces Verdugo, we could see a lineup boost for Marwin Gonzales, who is an extreme salary saver at $7 or second-year man Bobby Dalbec, who is on a 162-game pace for 35 home runs and 100 RBIs.

Afternoon Slate

Atlanta Braves vs. RHP Mitch Keller — 5.6 implied runs

The results have been all over the board for Mitch Keller this season, who is coming into this game with an unsightly 7.16 ERA and 1.81 baserunners allowed per inning. The 12 walks over his last 16.1 innings are concerning, though on a positive note, he has allowed just one home run in this timeframe. Last night, the Braves plated 20 runs with seven dingers, including a pair of grand slams. Eight of these runs came in the eighth inning off of shortstop Wilmer Difo, who took one for the team to save the Pirates’ bullpen.

Atlanta has a nice mix of power from both sides of the plate at the top of their order. Ronald Acuna Jr. is on a tear right now, and he had one of the grand slams last night and is now tied with Shohei Ohtani for a league-leading 14 home runs. Freddie Freeman is right behind with a dozen home runs and this is a beauty of a matchup for him against the right-handed Keller. Marcell Ozuna and Ozzie Albies round out the key quartet.

We can also look to Austin Riley, Dansby Swanson and catcher Williams Contreras for differentiation and even as a contrarian “bottom-of-the-order” stack. This is particularly true on DraftKings, where they are neither cheap nor expensive and likely to be overlooked by most gamers.

Late Slate

San Diego Padres vs. LHP Justus Sheffield — 4.7 implied runs

Last night, the Padres took the Mariners to town in a 16-1 thrashing. While I do not expect that outcome tonight against southpaw Justus Sheffield, it is a reminder that when they are healthy, that San Diego has one of the best offenses in the league. Sheffield has done a solid job of limiting home runs, suffering only five so far this season in 39 innings. He has completed at least five innings in all seven of his starts, though he has not had as much strikeout production as projection systems have predicted.

The bonus when facing Seattle is just how shaky its bullpen is this season. It has the fourth-worst strikeout rate this season and when looking at its stats since the beginning of 2019, its current collection of relievers is in the bottom-third of the league by most metrics. The Mariners also placed four relievers on the Covid-19 list so they will likely be calling up some of their minor league pitchers.

Trent Grisham (heel) is dinged up and may get the night off to avoid a lefty/lefty matchup. Manny Machado got Friday off, though he is expected to be in the lineup tonight. Fernando Tatis Jr. and Austin Nola are the other two hitters that stand out in this matchup. Tommy Pham is a late-slate option and his swing is starting to come around finally and he does have a little stolen base upside.

Final Thoughts for the Saturday, May 22nd MLB DFS Slate

Even with the Coors Field Extravaganza taking place in the early afternoon, there are still plenty of good hitting environments with the weather warming up. We can focus on the games in Washington and Cincinnati along with the Blue Jays and Rays, who are playing in Toronto’s Florida spring training facility. As always, keep in mind that salaries and scoring formats differ across the various fantasy sites, and a home run play on Yahoo may be a below-average MLB DFS pick on DraftKings or FanDuel.

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