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MLB DFS Weekend Planner: April 29-May 1

The MLB DFS Weekend Planner is back for the 2022 season! After a long lockout and a short Spring Training, we finally have MLB DFS back in our lives this year. There’s absolutely nothing better than diving into the data, the matchups, and the ballparks to build some daily lineups.

This season, this weekly piece will look ahead to each MLB DFS weekend through a few different lenses. We can’t cover every possible matchup or salary so this macro view will cover the schedule, the weather, ballparks to fade and stack, and the best offenses and pitching staffs of the weekend. At the end, I will give my thoughts on an underrated bat and arm that look to have favorable circumstances over the coming days.

Let’s dive into the MLB DFS Weekend!

MLB Weekend Schedule

The “Probable Pitchers” grid at Fangraphs is always a fantastic resource for looking ahead at the MLB schedule. Here is the weekend at a glance. As we will look at in the Weather section, below, just about all of the games should see good baseball conditions during the holiday weekend.

You can see, we have Coors Field, Dodger Stadium, and Guaranteed Rate Field, which gives an advantage to certain hitting stacks. There are also plenty of pitching-friendly options over the weekend. More on that in the Ballparks section of this column.

MLB Weekend Weather

Presently, there are no significant rain chances as we look at the slates early in the weekend. There does appear to be the possibility of heavy wind in Chicago and in Colorado. The direction and speed of those winds might play a pivotal role in who we play in those parks.

Weather for this weekend’s games and for any MLB game can be found at Swish Analytics or any number of MLB tracking sites.

Best Pitching Parks

Park Offensive Park Factor HR Park Factor
loanDepot Park (MIA) 23rd 22nd
Oracle Park (SFG) 24th 29th
Busch Stadium (STL) 28th 25th

Best Hitting Parks

Park Offensive Park Factor HR Park Factor
Coors Field (COL) 1st 5th
Dodger Stadium (LAD) 16th 3rd
Camden Yards (BAL) 4th 2nd
Guaranteed Rate Field (CHW) 13th 4th

Data courtesy of Baseball Savant (3-year averages)

Best Offenses to Stack

Cincinnati Reds (@ COL) – This just falls into the don’t overthink it category. The Reds are moving from a great hitter’s park to an even better hitter’s park and facing three pitchers who can best be described as “meh.” Chad Kuhl may have a sparkling ERA and WHIP, but his K/9 is the lowest of his career (7.16) and he allows almost four walks per nine innings. The .190 BABIP is a mirage and is bound to course-correct. Antonio Senzatela is just straight bad. His 4.73 ERA covers up an xERA of 7.22 and his 3.38 K/9 is the third-lowest among all pitchers with at least 10 innings so far this season. I would load up on lefties Tyler Naquin, Joey Votto, and Mike Moustakas in those first two games and fill in with Jonathan India and Tommy Pham if they start.

Boston Red Sox (@ BAL) – The adjustments made to heighten the left field fence in Baltimore were supposed to cut down on offense, but so far that has not been the case. Whether it’s the stadium, the putrid Baltimore pitching staff, or both (likely), Camden Yards ranks first in both offensive park factor and home run factor for the 2022 season. Load up on your left-handed batters on Friday and Sunday and give it a full stack on Saturday. With no John Means in the rotation and the Red Sox missing Bruce Zimmerman and his new changeup, they should be able to tee off on Spenser Watkins, Keegan Akin, and Jordan Lyles. Rafael Devers and Co. won’t come cheap this weekend, but they should still pay off handsomely.

Best Pitching Staffs

St. Louis Cardinals (vs. ARI) – When you first glance at the pitchers for St. Louis this weekend, what stands out the most is that it doesn’t look like they will offer you many strikeouts. Strikeouts are like gold in MLB DFS and are essential to high pitchers scores. None of the Cardinals’ projected starters (Wainwright, Mikolas, Hicks) have a K/9 over 9.4 this season. However, the Diamondbacks strike out more against righties than any other lineup in the league. In fact, against those pitchers, they strike out 27% of the time. They rank 25th in slugging percentages against righties. Add in one of the best possible pitching environments, and these Cardinals’ pitchers look like a strong string of SP2 on DraftKings or Yahoo all weekend.

San Francisco Giants (vs.WSH) – If the St. Louis pitchers are your best choices for SP2 all weekend, then the Giants’ staff might line up nicely as three SP1 candidates. The ballpark certainly helps, as Oracle Park is one of the stingiest at allowing runs over the last three years. But the Nationals are so far equal-opportunity bad against righties and lefties this year. Their team OBP of .292 ranks 22nd but is at least respectable. Their team SLG% of .315 is laughable and ranks only ahead of Cincinnati, Baltimore, and Arizona this year. Both Logan Webb and Carlos Rodon have been exceptional this year with ERAs under 3.00. Rodon should absolutely mow this team down on Sunday as somehow their SLG% against left-handers is only .281 this season.

Underrated Weekend Bats

Brandon Lowe (2B, TBR) and Ji Man-Choi (1B, TBR) – A home series against the bottom 60% of the Twins’ all right-handed rotation is going to be just what the doctor ordered for left-handers like Brandon Lowe and Ji-Man Choi this weekend. Along with Wander Franco, they represent what will likely be three hitters in the top four all weekend, and that is going to be a problem for righties Dylan Bundy, Chris Archer, and Chris Paddack. Each of these pitchers allow slugging percentages over .400 for their careers against left-handed batters as well as on the road. Tampa Bay currently has the 10th-highest wRC+ against right-handed arms this season. Both Lowe and Choi have slugging percentages over .450 in their careers against the opposite hand.

Underrated Weekend Arm

Nestor Cortes (SP, NYY) – Even if the Friday night slot in the Yankees’ rotation was occupied by a marginal left-hander instead of the Mustached Menace, I would still recommend them against this Kansas City Royals lineup. So far this season, Kansas City ranks 26th in OBP and 25th in slugging against southpaws. They also strike out over 20% of the time against them and rank 22nd in walk rate. Cortes brings an incredible 14.36 K/9 into this matchup and his 1.37 xERA lines up with the 1.15 ERA he posted this year. The combination of low walks and increased ground balls really are aiding Cortes this season and now he gets to face the Royals in the park ranked 28th for home run factor the last three years.

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