MLB DFS Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings – 5/22/17

Welcome to another edition of ResearchFantasy’s MLB Breakdown. These picks are what I consider to be the best play of the day, relative to their price. One of the most important things we must consider in daily fantasy is how many points a player gets per dollar. It helps us identify value plays to pair with studs that we know will produce in order to maximize our potential points in lineups. I also try to identify plays that can be used in either cash games or tournaments. Typically, when I build my cash games, I am looking for players that have the best floor combined with good upside. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let us know!

Prices listed are FantasyDraft/FanDuel/DraftKings


Zack Greinke (23400/10300/12000) – Greinke will most likely be the chalk option on the slate today. It makes sense because he’s the only higher priced option, as well as having a good matchup. The only thing he doesn’t have going for him is the stadium, but all things considered, it hasn’t caused him to stumble too badly. I’ll have a lot of him tonight, and he should be worth every penny.

Michael Pineda (20400/8700/10500) – I really don’t know what to make of Pineda, and ultimately, this just comes down to a testament of how poor pitching looks tonight. He has not been pitching like a high dollar pitcher like he’s priced on DraftKings, but he carries more upside than anyone else we’ve got on the schedule.


Kennys Vargas (7800/3000/3900) – Ubaldo Jiminez is on the mound tonight, so I do think it warrants looking into a few Twins. Vargas has the power upside I am looking for, and he isn’t going to break the bank either. A .443 wOBA, 44.4% FB ratio and a 40.4% hard contact rate make this play automatic for me.

Zack Cozart (8400/3500/4400) – I never mind using Zack Cozart, and tonight against Josh Tomlin will be no different. Tomlin isn’t allowing a ton of fly balls, but a .409 wOBA and 34.3% hard contact rate aren’t great. He’s going to give up some runs, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see Cozart get a piece of one tonight. I know he’s questionable, but it sounds like he’ll play.

Adam Frazier (7200/3300/3700) – Frazier was one of my favorite cheaper options to punt with last year, and this year has been much the same. Mike Foltynewicz has long struggles against left-handed bats, and I think we’ll see him struggle with the likes of Frazier and Josh Bell tonight. He’ll be in a ton of my tournament lineups.


Corey Dickerson (9300/4100/4700) – Dickerson has been absolutely on fire as of late, and should be able to match up well with a middling pitcher like J.C. Ramirez. There’s no doubt his price is up there, but with the kind of show he is putting on right now, he remains well worth it.

Michael Saunders (7500/3000/3800) – Saunders definitely burned me nicely on Sunday, but I’m willing to go back to the well tonight. It’s tough to really trust much of what we’ve seen of Jeff Hoffman so far, but I’m willing to side that what we saw against the Dodgers last week won’t be the constant for him. We know these Phillies can put some good games together, and I won’t hesitate to use Saunders here tonight.

Seth Smith (7200/3200/3600) – Smith is hitting for average right now, but I would like to see some more pop from his bat. Really, though, 4 home runs is not the worst we could see from him. The price is really nice across the industry and I wouldn’t hesitate to drop him into my tournament lineups tonight. Kyle Gibson’s .441 wOBA, 41.5% fly ball rate and 34% hard hit rate are exploitable.


Slate Strategy

We’ve hit the point where pitching isn’t great again, as that seems to happen like once a week. I think this is just my initial research talking, and things will change as they normally do as the day goes on.

Greinke is above and beyond my favorite. Pineda has upside, though we just saw him struggle somewhat registering strikeouts against this Kansas City team. I’m curious to see if Jeff Hoffman does get the start how many players will go that route. He wasn’t awful against the Dodgers but a lot of that was the strikeouts. Philly can do that with the best of them, but it screams trap play.

The Minnesota/Baltimore game seems to me to be the spot to go to for offense. It features two junk pitchers on the mound that could and should certainly end up giving up big games.

Top Stacks

Minnesota Twins [Vargas/Dozier/Sano/Castro]

Baltimore Orioles [Davis/Smith/Machado/Jones]


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