The MLB DFS Weekend Planner is here for the 2022 season! There’s absolutely nothing better than diving into the data, the matchups, and the ballparks to build some daily lineups. and we need to get it in while we can. There are less than six weeks left in the regular season!
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.
You can see, we have Dodger Stadium, Camden Yards, and Coors Field that all host elite hitting environments. Colorado looks to have weak pitchers on both sides this weekend, so that is a park to target for offense each day. There are also plenty of pitching-friendly options over the next three days. More on that in the Ballparks section of this column.
MLB Weekend Weather
Presently, the weather looks like it could be problematic in Atlanta on Friday for the World Series rematch between Houston and Atlanta. We also are looking at some rain in Colorado that would take an elite hitting environment off the board if the weather prevented the game from happening. Both of these games should be able to play, but be sure to check all forecasts closer to game time.
Weather for this weekend’s games and for any MLB game can be found at Swish Analytics or any number of MLB tracking sites. It is important to monitor the weather right up until a game starts to get the latest local updates.
Best Pitching Parks
|Park||Offensive Park Factor||HR Park Factor|
Best Hitting Parks
|Park||Offensive Park Factor||HR Park Factor|
|Citizens Bank Park||5th||7th|
Data courtesy of Baseball Savant (3-year averages)
Best Offenses to Stack
San Francisco Giants (@ COL) – Traveling from one of the best pitchers’ parks to one of the best hitters’ parks? Check. Facing a string of vulnerable pitchers? Check. Reasonable salaries across the DFS landscape? Check. What more really needs to be said about the San Francisco offense this weekend? Facing Jose Urena, Ryan Feltner, and Kyle Freeland, this is a spot where the largely “who-are-they” lineup for the Giants can pay huge dividends. At just $4,000 on DraftKings, Thairo Estrada is their most expensive player on Friday night with most of their other regulars checking in below $3,800. Don’t be afraid to be overexposed to this group if others fade them on the weekend.
Los Angeles Dodgers (vs. MIA) – I understand if you want to fade the Dodgers on Sunday against Sandy Alcantara and his historic season. Alcantara has an outside chance of becoming the first pitcher since Dwight Gooden and John Tudor in 1985 to pitch 245 innings with an ERA under 2.00. But on Friday and Saturday, we should stack as many right-handed Dodger bats as we can, because lefties Jesus Luzardo and Braxton Garrett come calling. Pitching in the pitcher-friendly loanDepot park may be one thing for these Marlins’ pitchers, but moving to homer-happy Dodger stadium against one of the best lineups ever assembled is a different story. The Dodgers will likely throw seven righties at these guys plus Freddie Freeman. We will have no shortage of ways we can stack the lineup this weekend. On the season, the Dodgers have the sixth-best OPS against lefties on the year.
Best Pitching Staffs
Seattle Mariners (@ OAK) – You know how Baseball Savant has the feature for batters that shows how many home runs they would have if they played all their games in a certain park? Well, I wish they would roll out something similar for pitcher game performances because I would love to know what Luis Castillo’s season would look like if you gave him all his starts at T-Mobile Park as opposed to half a season at Great American Ballpark. He already has a 2.86 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP on the year, and now gets an even better park to pitch in over the weekend, facing Oakland at the Coliseum. The Mariners will also throw rightly Logan Gilbert on Saturday against the Athletics. On the year, Oakland owns the 29th-ranked OPS against righties (.619). To make things worse, they also have the eighth-highest strikeout rate against righties on the year. Whatever it costs to roster Gilbert and Castillo on Saturday and Sunday this weekend, it will be worth it.
Tampa Bay Rays (vs. KCR) – Even getting back Salvador Perez and pushing stud prospect Bobby Witt, Jr. to the top of the lineup hasn’t helped the Kansas City offense over the last month-plus. In the last 30 days, the Royals have the eighth-highest strikeout rate in the majors and just the 21st-best walk rate. Their team slash line in that span is a meager .252/.308/.388 as they have suffered from a team-wide power outage. Now they travel to Tropicana Field, one of the notoriously tougher places to hit and have to face Cy Young contender Shane McClanahan and Drew Rasmussen, who took a perfect game into the ninth inning in his last start. Among all teams this season, the Rays have the fifth-best home ERA (just 3.12) and that number is likely to improve with the anemic Royals bats coming to town.
Underrated Weekend Bat
Rowdy Tellez (1B, MIL) – There aren’t many left-handed power bats as terrifying to opposing pitchers as Rowdy Tellez. He is slugging .508 with 21 of his 24 home runs this season against right-handers and has a .374 wOBA average against righties. He also plays in the perfect park for left-handed power. This season, American Family Field is the fourth-best power park for left-handers, ranking 30% better than league average in homers for lefties. That mirrors the field’s standings over the last three years where it is also top-six in allowing home runs to left-handed batters.
This weekend, Tellez opens with matchups against Keegan Thompson and Marcus Stroman at home. Both of these pitchers are right-handers not known for their stuff that will blow hitters away. Thompson, in particular, looks especially vulnerable. He allows 4.03 BB/9 to lefties and only strikes them out 21% of the time. On Sunday, the Cubs will throw Wade Miley out on the mound to pitch, and while he is a lefty, he doesn’t appear to be long for that game. This weekend sets up for Tellez to see a string of mediocre right-handers which should allow him plenty of opportunity to showcase the left-handed power.
Underrated Weekend Arm
Tyler Anderson (SP, LAD) – Where would the Dodgers be without Tyler Anderson and Tony Gonsolin? With Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw ailing, Los Angeles has had to rely on pitchers like Anderson, and he has delivered. Sometimes, you look at the matchup and think it’s not a place to deploy Tyler Anderson based on his history. But a home matchup against the Miami Marlins is one of those times where things just seem to be lined up perfectly for him.
Simply put, the Marlins are atrocious against left-handers. Their 28.4% strikeout rate against them is 1.8% worse than any other team and their walk rate of 6.8% is also dead last in the league. On the season, the Marlins have scored just 75 runs against Southpaws, which is 30 fewer runs than any other team in the majors. If you buy into the validity of wRC+, the Marlins are at 71 against left-handers this year, meaning their offense is 29% below league average when they face that handedness. Basically, Anderson just needs to throw strikes and not fall off the pitching mound and he could be looking at seven innings, seven strikeouts, and an easy win.
Statistics used in this piece are courtesy of Fangraphs and Baseball Savant