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MLB DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Tuesday, May 21

The highest run total comes from Atlanta-Cubs at 10.5, which is a touch surprising to me but less so after checking the weather -- Wrigley is expected to have 20-plus mph winds blowing out to left field, suggesting we'll want to target right-handed pull hitters. Keep an eye on this however, as winds shift in Chicago often. Wind looks like it will also play a factor in St. Louis and Kansas City, with the former also having gusts blowing out but Kauffman Stadium the other way, with some serious gusts coming in on hitters. Even so, these two games have the slate's next two highest run totals, so the books seemingly don't back Alec Marsh or Casey Mize as viable DFS arms.


Clarke Schmidt, NYY vs. SEA ($9,900): Schmidt isn't showing any signs of slowing down, having now thrown 15.2 consecutive scoreless frames. His 2.49 ERA is supported by a 3.52 xFIP and his strikeouts (9.8 per nine) are at a near-career best. That should play up here against a Mariners side that fans at a massive 28.9 percent rate against righties. They're slightly below average with a 98 wRC+ and .300 wOBA. Schmidt looks poised for a stable outing at worst, with 40 fantasy point upside if he can earn some Ks.

Cristian Javier, HOU vs. LAA ($8,500): There are some warning signs with Javier, as his .226 BABIP likely isn't going to last and his 3.23 ERA comes with a 5.17 xFIP. And the Angels haven't been pushovers offensively despite a less than scary lineup. But they also sit with just a .306 wOBA and 95 wRC+ off righties, striking out at a 24.0 percent mark. Javier has dominated this roster, allowing current Angels to go 11-for-52 (.212) with a .685 OPS. He's also struck them out at a massive 40.3 percent rate (23 in 57 plate appearances).

Aaron Brooks, OAK vs. COL ($7,300): Brooks surprising success against the Astros last time out would seem unsustainable, but this matchup doesn't appear to be where the train derails. Colorado has just an 82 wRC+ with an elevated 26.3 percent strikeout rate.  Brooks needed only 84 pitches to work 7.0 innings, so we should feel confident in a solid workload, though some more pitch to contact than swing and miss. That's fine at this price however if he can minimize damage, and the matchup suggests that will be the case. There's enough potential in Brooks if you want to build an offense first lineup.

Top Targets

Seemingly the entire Baltimore offense is in an extended funk. it's caused their prices to slide and makes them incredibly stackable Tuesday, especially given the wind we noted and the fact it's going to be in the 90s in St. Louis. The ball is going to be jumping. Lance Lynn has been worse at home and carries a 40.0 percent fly ball rate, making him very targetable. It's just perhaps a bit too obvious. As such, give me Gunnar Henderson ($4,400) as my top play and build around him in a different manner.

Chicago's Javier Assad has been great, and isn't allowing homers (just 0.37/nine). But if we're expecting the ball to be flying out of Wrigley, Marcell Ozuna ($4,100) is an upside play Tuesday. He homered in both games of a double header Monday and has a .328 ISO, .432 wOBA and 182 wRC+ off righties to go with a 47.3 percent pull rate. Ronald Acuna ($3,900) still isn't showing power, but he's getting on base and scoring runs. He's got a 47.4 percent pull rate, but isn't lifting the ball with just a 25.3 percent fly ball rate. Still, he's priced under where his potential is.

With such obvious games to target due to wind and run totals, perhaps the Astros go overlooked. Angels' starter Griffin Canning is allowing a .427 wOBA and .997 OPS to lefties on the road. Kyle Tucker ($4,400) has earned nine fantasy points or more in 14 straight games, launching seven homers in that stretch. Yordan Alvarez ($3,800) isn't in similar form, but certainly is viable.

Bargain Bats

The Dodgers roster is a collective 16-for-40 (.400) off Diamondbacks' starter Brandon Pfaadt. Freddie Freeman ($3,500) hasn't found his power stroke, but is still second on the team with a .443 wOBA and 193 wRC+ off righties, and is 4-for-8 with a homer and two doubles off Pfaadt. He's priced far too reasonably.

Atlanta doesn't have a lot of secondary right-handed bats to take a dart throw on a wind-aided homer with Austin Riley still sidelined and Travis d'Arnaud uncertain to start after catching the later game Monday. That leaves Orlando Arcia ($2,900) as the only remaining option.

Kyle Bradish's profile is appealing on the mound here, striking out 11.2 per nine with a 57.1 percent ground ball rate. But he's not working deep into games so I can't trust the price point. And when we factor in weather, a share or two of the Cardinals lineup can provide a return. Brendan Donovan ($3,000) has minimal upside but is riding an eight-game hitting streak. Lars Nootbaar ($2,900) has homered in two of his last four and is third on the team with a .362 wOBA and 132 wRC+. Nolan Gorman ($2,700) is feast or famine, but he has also homered in two of four.

Stack to Consider

Cubs vs. Charlie Morton (Atlanta): Christopher Morel ($3,500), Seiya Suzuki ($3,400), Cody Bellinger ($3,400)

The Cubs just knocked Morton around for four runs and five hits in three innings, and while the veteran righty has done a solid job of keeping the ball on the ground (47.1 percent), he's also allowed a homer in three straight. Given the wind factor, we're chasing long balls and will set up this stack atop the Cubs' order giving us the most chances for a big fly and insulate around each option. Morel is our biggest risk given his low contact numbers, but despite just three hits in his last seven, he's driven in six runs. He is also 0-for-7 with four strikeouts against Morton, so not a must play. Suzuki seems like the safest bet, boasting a team-high .385 wOBA and 152 wRC+ off righties. Bellinger is a touch of a BvP play, going 7-for-18 (.389) with a 1.189 OPS off Morton. Again, keep an eye on the wind here. If it stays blowing to left, more right-handers are the play, keeping me in on Morel. Mike Tauchman ($3,100) is the only current Cub to take Morton deep and can be an option if things shift before first pitch.

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