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FanDuel DFS picks for Sunday, May 22

Heath scours the Main Slate on FanDuel for his favorite plays of the day.

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Okay, quality control tells me my previous sample lineup scored a mere 138.30 FDP. Those pesky Tampa Bay Rays got to Kendall Graveman and the Boston stack only managed six runs, so the upside was limited. Shout-out to Big Papi for always bringing the funk, though. Onward and upward.

FanDuel has two slates today, an Early Only (seven games) and a Main Slate (all 15 games). Both begin at 1:10pm. Here is the obligatory "always check starting lineups and the weather" sentence. You are welcome.


Max Scherzer ($10,500) vs. Miami

Scherzer and the Nationals are -150 favorites against the Marlins, which isn't as strong a number as I prefer when selecting my cash game pitcher of the day. Scherzer's tendency to give up the home run is likely part of the reason, as Mad Max has already allowed 13 homers this season. However, Scherzer does have 76 strikeouts in only 58.1 innings, and Giancarlo Stanton has been ICE COLD lately--so theoretically the pathway to the all-important win is a favorable one. Marcell Ozuna got to Scherzer with a home run the last time Scherzer faced Miami on April if you fire up a Marlins bat today you should make it Ozuna, who has been on fire recently. I only like that play as a one-off, though. I would not be looking to stack against Scherzer today, even though he is not my preferred pitching option.

Noah Syndergaard ($11,800) vs. Milwaukee

I like Thor in my cash games over Scherzer, as he and the Mets are -260 favorites against the Milwaukee Brewers.The Brewers have the lowest projected run total of the day at 2.59, and Ryan Braun has been battling a stiff back recently. If Braun happens to sit out today I would feel even more excited about Thor--and I already feel really warm and fuzzy. If you aren't starting Thor in cash games today you will probably be fighting an uphill battle.

Casey Kelly ($5,500) vs. Philadelphia

Is it crazy to say Kelly is interesting today? Philadelphia has never seen him pitch and he has the "hotter" offense behind him in this matchup. For a mere 5.5K on FanDuel he could be clutch if he stumbles his way to a victory over the Phillies, who have only managed a single run in two games against Atlanta this weekend. Freddie Freeman continues to "wake up" and is 3 for 5 with a home run against Philadelphia starter Jerad Eickhoff. He could provide all the offense Kelly needs today if the Phillies bats remain cold. I may take a shot with Kelly in a tournament today.


The Mariners (4.97), Blue Jays (4.77), and Orioles (4.63) have the highest projected run totals for the day. Seattle will likely be the chalk today against Alfredo Simon, which is a nice segway...

Seattle Mariners vs. Alfredo Simon

I would avoid leadoff hitter Norichika Aoki in tournaments due to his limited upside. I don't love him in cash, either, at his $3,100 salary. Instead, consider the 2, 3, 4, 5 stack or the some combo of the 2 through 5 hitters alongside Leonys Martin, who is hot and will likely be low-owned due to his poor lineup spot. Kyle Seager, Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, and Adam Lind are all in play for me. The ballpark upgrade is enough to make this stack my preferred one over the other two that have high projected totals today.

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Jaime Garcia

If you want upside for a fraction of the cost, look no further than the Arizona Diamondbacks, who have the fourth-highest wOBA (.351) and second-highest ISO (.212) against southpaws. Against left-handed pitchers, the Diamondbacks are also fifth in OBP (.341), third in SLG (.477), and fourth in OPS (.819). They offer a ton of upside against Jaime Garcia, who lost to these same Diamondbacks in April. Jean Segura is hitting .346 lifetime against Garcia, and should be the beginning of any Arizona stack alongside Paul Goldschmidt. Brandon Drury and Welington Castillo should both have favorable batting order spots, while Yasmany Tomas and Chris Owings are in play to a lesser extent. I will be taking a chance on Arizona today.

Stud of the Day

Robinson Cano is my guy against Alfredo Simon. Cano is 5 of 12 with a home run against Simon and he gets an upgrade in the Great American "Smallpark" of Cincinnati, which favors left-handed hitters. Nine of Cano's twelve home runs have come against right-handed pitching so far this year, and Cano is slashing .318/.370/.655 with a 1.024 OPS and .336 ISO against them so far. His .432 wOBA and 186 wRC+ against opposite-handed pitchers is stellar. His team has the highest projected run total of the day. What's not to love?

Sample Lineup

Chad Bettis, Welington Castillo, Paul Goldschmidt, Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager, Marcus Semien, Nelson Cruz, Leonys Martin, Brandon Drury

Chad Bettis came out of nowhere, right? I could use Kelly at pitcher in another lineup and would probably upgrade Semien to Brandon Crawford or Aledmys Diaz. But for the sake of quality control I will stick with Bettis in that pitcher's park and pray he can keep the ball on the ground. Yes, I'm talking about GPPs. Good luck grinding.