FanDuel MLB DFS Picks – May 21st

Yu Darvish was a great call as my favorite value arm yesterday and Kyle Schwarber donged, but the rest of my MLB DFS picks were trash. I had a slew of fun bats in great spots, but they just didn’t show up and if you rolled with me, Sunday was pretty lame for daily fantasy baseball purposes.

There is always the next one and Monday offers up a fun nine-game schedule. There is not a ton of elite pitching available to us, but there could be a few spots to look at and there’s some potential to really load up on bats.

Let’s see where I’m looking with tonight’s GPP squad at FanDuel:

SP: Masahiro Tanaka – New York Yankees ($8.1k)

There are a lot of decent options at pitcher tonight. Zack Greinke against the Brewers is in play, while Jose Berrios at home against the Tigers is also very appealing. It’s going to be Tanaka for me, as he’s due for a gem and is just too talented to keep stinking it up.

This is a similar approach I took with Darvish this weekend and I’m hoping the logic pans out. On top of that, Tanaka has most of his hard contact issues against righties and this Texas offense he’s facing is stacked with lefty power.

Tanaka’s .130 ISO awarded to lefty bats is about half of what he’s allowing to the right side of the plate. Throw in his K upside and the fact that the Rangers whiff at a ridiculous 25.7% clip against righties and Tanaka looks awfully good on paper.

Keep in mind this is a strict GPP play. Texas is still a very dangerous offense with a lot of power against a high contact arm in a hitter’s park. However, this matchup does benefit Tanaka and he has a gem coming around the corner. I think it arrives tonight.

C/1B: Kurt Suzuki – Atlanta Braves ($2.7k)

I get the feeling everyone will pay up for the ATL power lefties (and they might wreck), but the best way to target Nick Pivetta thus far has been with potent righies. I think Pivetta is a guy you can target from either side, but he’s giving up a .247 ISO to right-handed hitters.

Ronald Acuna is worth a look because of that, but Suzuki and his .210 ISO versus right-handed pitching is a way better bargain.

2B: Jonathan Schoop – Baltimore Orioles ($3.2k)

I don’t mind Brian Dozier in this spot, either, but I like the O’s a bit going up against a hard contact guy in Hector Santiago. Santiago is pitching in a hitter’s park against a powerful lineup and that’s probably bad news considering he’s allowing a staggering 59% fly ball rate so far in 2018.

Taking bats from the right side against Santiago (.207 ISO) is the smart play, while Schoop smashes southpaws to the tune of a .247 ISO.

3B: Jake Lamb – Arizona Diamondbacks ($3k)

You’re looking at another loaded 3B slot and if I have my way, Anthony Rendon (.321 ISO) against a southpaw is the way to go here. I love him, but he has cooled off a bit lately and hasn’t been all that efficient on the year.

I might just drop down to Lamb, who gets to play in the ever hittable Miller Park and is dirt cheap when you consider his power upside.

Chase Anderson does a solid job against lefties and normally isn’t a guy I go out of my way to target, but his 45% fly ball rate makes him a risk in this park. Lamb’s .255 ISO against righties could come up big for me here.

SS: Manny Machado – Baltimore Orioles ($4.9k)

I’ll keep a small Baltimore stack rolling here with Machado, who feels like one of the top hitters on this slate. Santiago has problems with fly balls and in this park, I get the feeling a few will reach the stands tonight.

Machado is always in play no matter who he’s lining up against, but so far in 2018 (.372 ISO) he is killing left-handed pitching.

OF: Charlie Blackmon – Colorado Rockies ($4.5k)

Walker Buehler is not a guy I want to bet against, but he’s still a rookie and he’ll be taking on a dangerous Rockies squad. I don’t want to stack Colorado bats, but I don’t mind paying a premium for a surely low-owned Blackmon.

Buehler doesn’t have much to pick at, but he does struggle more against the left side of the plate. That’s where Blackmon and his .296 ISO reside.

OF: Trey Mancini – Baltimore Orioles ($3k)

I’m a bit torn on diving head first into this slate with a three-man O’s stack or pivoting here or at 2B and keeping it at two. Regardless, I’ll roll it out for now and honestly, Mancini (.235 ISO versus lefties) is a great play on paper.

This is all about Santiago, this park, the splits and a powerful lineup. I think Baltimore is destined to dong a few times tonight and I wouldn’t be all that shocked to learn it’s the three O’s bats I’m singling out.

Feel free to complete a four-man stack if you feel compelled to. Mark Trumbo, Adam Jones and even Danny Valencia are also in play with this mouth-watering matchup.

OF: Dexter Fowler – St. Louis Cardinals ($2.6k)

There are some dirt cheap Cardinals bats to look at tonight, which is a little shocking considering they take on a hard contact guy in Ian Kennedy. Kennedy has not been great in 2018 and has actually been lit up lately (14 runs allowed) over his last two starts.

Kennedy will be operating in a fairly good park for pitchers, but I don’t mind taking a crack or two at dinging him. Marcell Ozuna is the same price and his past splits put him in play, but Fowler (.222 ISO) has displayed more power this year. Ozuna is also stuck in a nice 0-20 slump, so I’ll pivot to Fowler and hope he can dong Kennedy.

Util: Christian Villanueva – San Diego Padres ($2.9k)

There are a lot of ways to close this thing up, but I like Villanueva’s sick .596 ISO against southpaws. Nobody will want to touch Padres bats on the road against Gio Gonzlaez, so he should be rather contrarian.

Gonzalez certainly isn’t an arm I like to target, but those are some sick splits and Villanueva is red hot (3 HR in his last four games) at the moment. I’m going to capitalize on his cheap price, his gaudy splits and his current form and hope he dongs Gio into oblivion.

Boy, this sure is a slate of GPP fodder, isn’t it? Outside of maybe Greinke, I’d say just about every arm here is a tourney-type pitcher.

I still like Tanaka and see a lot of different ways to go, but you’re probably assuming risk no matter what. As safe as Greinke even seems, he doesn’t tend to be the same guy on the road and his K numbers haven’t been elite lately.

The feeling is similar with the bats. The Yankees could murder Bartolo Colon, but the way he pitches, it’d be so fitting for them to turn up lame here. There are a lot of offenses you normally wouldn’t feel too comfortable about loading up on, but on this slate they look really attractive.

The Orioles lead the way for me and I don’t mind sprinkling in some Cards, Braves and other bats. Whatever you decide to do, I hope I helped you in some way tonight. Good luck in your daily fantasy baseball contests!


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Luke Hutson

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