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MLB DFS Weekend Planner: May 20-22

The MLB DFS Weekend Planner is back for the 2022 season! After a long lockout and a short Spring Training, the time for grinding MLB DFS lineups is here. 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, Fenway Park, and Citizen’s Bank Park in Philadelphia with two elite offenses going up against mostly mediocre pitching. 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, the only significant rain chance is in the Saturday game at Coors Field between the Rockies and the Mets. There does appear to be the possibility of heavy wind in Colorado as well as Cleveland and New York in the early part of the weekend. 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
Oracle Park 25th 29th
loanDepot Park 23rd 22nd
Yankee Stadium 22nd 12th

Best Hitting Parks

Park Offensive Park Factor HR Park Factor
Coors Field 1st 5th
Fenway Park 2nd 19th
Camden Yards 4th 2nd
Citizens Bank Park 7th 7th

Data courtesy of Baseball Savant (3-year averages)

Best Offenses to Stack

New York Mets (@ COL) – Beyond the massive park upgrade (Citi Field ranks 20th in park factor the last three years), the Colorado starting pitching corps is starting to really struggle in May. As a group, they have the highest WHIP allowed this month and the sixth-lowest strikeout rate. Meanwhile, even before the offensive explosion capped by Pete Alonso’s walk-off bomb on Thursday, the Mets are 12th in on-base percentage this month and 10th in runs scored. If we get any wind blowing out adding to the altitude factor, this could be a rough three days for German Marquez, Austin Gomber, and Chad Kuhl. The Mets will be pricey all weekend, and justifiably so. But they are likely to have some of the highest implied run totals of any team the next three days.

Tampa Bay Rays (@ BAL) – The Rays’ salaries should come in much cheaper than the Mets, but they have the same factors working in their favor as they travel to Baltimore. They get a DFS win just by avoiding Bruce Zimmerman this weekend and instead will see Tyler Wells, Kyle Bradish, and Spenser Watkins. Tropicana Field ranks 24th in offensive park factor, so they get a huge bump up to fourth in Camden Yards. As we will see below, their lefty hitters should feast against three mediocre right-handers this weekend. Ji-Man Choi, Brett Phillips, and Francisco Mejia all should offer very cheap secondary stack options in the Charm City.

Best Pitching Staffs

San Diego Padres (@ SFG) – As an opponent, the Giants are not always the easiest offense to match up against. In May, they have the highest walk rate and the third-lowest strikeout rate in the league. But the Padres are going to roll out three pitchers who are absolutely dealing right now and they get a pitching park upgrade moving up the coast to Oracle Park. We could also be looking at an immovable object, unstoppable force situation with how dominant the Padres’ starters have been. In the last two weeks, they have the second-best strikeout rate and the sixth-lowest walk rate among all starting staffs. Sean Manaea starts the weekend at $10,200 on Friday, which is high coming off his latest 12-strikeout performance. But it’s still less than Eric Lauer so there may be some meat on the bone there.

Atlanta Braves (@ MIA) – Facing the Marlins’ offense in Miami is a great landing spot for Charlie Morton, Kyle Wright, and Ian Anderson this weekend for several reasons. The first is the obvious park upgrade. loanDepot Park has been depressing runs since it opened and is down to 23rd in park factor the last three years. Second, the Marlins as a team don’t do themselves any favors by taking free passes. Over the last two weeks, they rank dead last in MLB in walk rate (5.0%). As a result, their team on-base percentage ranks 21st in that time. They also strikeout almost 24% of the time this season and Morton and Wright have been trending up with their punch-outs in recent starts.

Underrated Weekend Bat

Wander Franco (SS, TBR) – Depending on where salaries come in this weekend, Franco might be one of the best offensive options across all DFS sites. After a fantastic April, Franco is only slashing .219/.250/.234 in May, but we know he is capable of busting that slump at any time. DraftKings lists him at $5,200 on Friday which is asking not giving us much of a discount. But we can be encouraged by the fact that Franco’s walk rate has gone up in May while the strikeout rate is going down. I’m officially predicting Franco busts out of his slump in a big way this weekend.

Underrated Weekend Arm

Patrick Sandoval (SP, LAA) – Left-handers against the Oakland A’s offense are always a good idea, and it’s even better when you get a strikeout-upside pitcher like Patrick Sandoval on the mound. On the season, the Athletics strike out at the eighth-highest rate in the league against southpaws (25%). Their slugging percentage against lefties is a miserable .345, checking in at 23rd in the league. Left-handers tend to neutralize the semi-competent hitters the A’s do have in Tony Kemp and Seth Brown. That often forces Oakland to start non-power guys like Kevin Smith and Chad Pinder, which would be a great outcome for Sandoval. He also just faced this Oakland team and gave DFS managers 6.1 innings of one-run ball with four strikeouts. I can easily see that kind of line again and wouldn’t be surprised if he gets up to five or six strikeouts this time.

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