MLB DFS: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Monday, May 20

MLB DFS: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Monday, May 20

This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.

The DFS slate Monday starts slightly earlier than usual, but just slightly. First pitch is at 6:40 p.m. ET. However, that early start gives us eight games worth of players to pick from. Thus, picking from that octet of contests, here are my lineup recommendations.

Pitching

Pablo Lopez, MIN at WAS ($10,600): Though Lopez's 3.93 ERA is high for him, he has a 3.13 FIP that speaks to a better pitching performance than his ERA would indicate. The righty also has an elite K/BB rate, all the way up to 7.25 thanks in part to a remarkable ability to avoid walks. Washington doesn't walk much, or do much of anything but steal bases, as it is in the bottom five in runs scored.

Marcus Stroman, NYY vs. SEA ($7,900): Stroman is kind of the flip side of Lopez, as his K/BB rate is a bit concerning, and as such his 3.33 ERA is paired with a 4.94 FIP. That being said, he's coming off six innings of shutout ball against the Twins, the third time this season he's gone six innings without allowing an earned run. The Mariners, like the Nationals, are in the bottom five in runs scored, so if you'd like to save some salary by going with a lesser pitcher with an equally good matchup, Stroman is the guy for that.

Top Targets

He's slowed down after a hot start, but Tyler O'Neill ($3,200) just got on base four times and picked up a homer Sunday. That gives him a .263/.376/.556 slash line with 12 home runs on the campaign, his first with the Red Sox. Taj Bradley has only made two starts this season, so don't read too much into his 2.45 ERA. Last season as a rookie, he had a 5.59 ERA and allowed 1.98 homers per nine innings. Also, though he is right handed, in 2023 his fellow righties hit .282 against him.

His average has dipped, and he has possibly giving up on stealing bases, but Riley Greene ($3,200) has a .354 OBP and has hit nine home runs. The southpaw has also posted an OPS over .800 against righties over the last two seasons. Michael Wacha is on his sixth team in six seasons for a reason. His 3.82 FIP, which is mediocre in and of itself, would be his best since 2017, so sustaining even that number feels unlikely.

Bargain Bats

One of baseball's best prospects, Jackson Chourio ($3,000), may be in line for an Anthony Volpe-style rookie season. That is to say, there will be flaws in his game, and his slash line will be concerning, but the counting stats will be there. Indeed, the speedy outfielder has five homers and six stolen bases, even with his sub-.300 OBP. Ryan Weathers has a 3.81 ERA, but a 4.56 FIP, which is actually below his career 5.28 FIP. Plus, since 2022 righties have hit .286 against the southpaw.

After hitting 19 homers last season, Bryan De La Cruz ($2,900) already has nine through 48 games this year. Maybe getting to DH most of the time is helping. He's also a righty who does better against right-handed pitchers, slugging .453 against them since 2022 (his disdain for walking tends to make his OPS number look less impressive). Joe Ross is pitching in MLB for the first time since 2021 after dealing with the fallout of Tommy John Surgery. He has a 4.61 ERA and righties have batted .275 against him.

Stacks to Consider

Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks (Slade Cecconi): Mookie Betts ($4,300), Freddie Freeman ($3,400), Jason Heyward ($2,500)

Slade Cecconi still has a cool name, but he still isn't a viable MLB pitcher. He had a 4.33 ERA in 27 innings at the MLB level last year, but that cup of coffee did nothing for him. This season he has a 5.27 ERA and has allowed 1.65 homers per nine innings. Oh, and now he has to face MLB's best offense.

Betts is going to be the NL MVP at this rate, having batted .337 with eight homers, eight stolen bases, and three triples. He also has a .996 OPS at home since 2022. Freeman has batted .294 and posted a .407 OBP. While his power lagged early, he's slugged .515 over the last three weeks. Freeman hasn't slugged under .500 since 2015, so I think the lefty will be just fine. Speaking of southpaws, I figured I'd slot Heyward into my stack given his salary and the chance for him to face a righty. It turned out when Heyward returned from injury, it was James Outman who lost his spot. Heyward has barely played this year due to said injury, but he has a homer and a stolen base since returning, and had an .818 OPS against righties last season.

Astros vs. Angels (Reid Detmers): Jose Altuve ($3,700), Jeremy Pena ($3,300), Jake Meyers ($2,700)

Detmers is heading in the wrong direction. He went from a 3.77 ERA in 2022 to a 4.48 ERA last season to a 5.19 ERA through nine starts this year. The lefty has allowed multiple homers in three of his starts, and righties have hit .271 against him. Houston provides a three-righty stack worth going with Monday.

Batting over .300? Check. Delivering power and base running? He has eight homers and seven stolen bases. Yes, Altuve has been up to his usual tricks in 2024. He also has a .956 OPS at home this year. Pena has gotten better at the plate every season. This year he's slashed .328/.368/.461 with five home runs and six swiped bags. For the first time, he's been viable against his fellow righties, but the shortstop has always been strong against lefties, and this year his OPS versus southpaws is up over 1.000. It's still relatively early, but Meyers has made major strides at this plate, allowing him to be the regular centerfielder for the Astros. He has a .302/.368/.552 slash line. Meyers has an .889 OPS versus lefties, and even last year he had a .785 OPS in those matchups.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Chris Morgan plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: cmorgan3, DraftKings: cmorgan3.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Morgan
Chris Morgan is a writer of sports, pop culture, and humor articles, a book author, a podcaster, and a fan of all Detroit sports teams.
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