MLB DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Friday May 26

MLB DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Friday May 26

This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.

Friday kicks off the Memorial Day weekend in the United States, and we've got a nice night of baseball to enjoy. There are 12 games starting at 7:05 p.m. ET or later. To kick the holiday weekend off on a strong note, here are my DFS lineup recommendations.

Pitching

George Kirby, SEA vs. PIT ($10,600): With elite control, Kirby has built upon a rookie season in which he posted a 2.98 FIP. Through nine starts this year, the hurler has a 2.69 FIP. Remember when the Pirates were the darlings of baseball? Well now they have a 25-24 record and rank 21st in runs scored. Life comes at you fast.

Shane Bieber, CLE vs. STL ($9,800): The only concern with Bieber is the run support. He has a 3.08 ERA this year and a 3.17 ERA for his career, and this season his home ERA is 2.41. St. Louis has been good offensively, but at this salary I will take Bieber at home and hope for a low-scoring affair.

Reid Detmers, LAA vs. MIA ($8,300) Detmers has perhaps been a bit unlucky. He has a 4.87 ERA, which is obviously concerning, but he has a 3.42 FIP which is more palatable. Plus, he's struck out 11.73 batters per nine innings. The Marlins rank 27th in runs scored, and they were in the bottom three last year, so this offense isn't likely to pick things up.

Top Targets

Admittedly, Rafael Devers ($3,600) is lacking in certain elements of his game, but the power is still there. Even though he has a sub-.300 OBP, Devers' .513 slugging percentage and 13 home runs are carrying the day. Atypically, the lefty has been better against southpaws than righties, but I don't think that will continue. Over the last three seasons Devers has a .925 OBP against right-handed pitchers. Brandon Pfaadt's first four MLB starts have yielded a 7.62 FIP, and he's allowed seven home runs in only 20.0 innings.

From the beginning, Bo Bichette ($3,600) has had a top-level bat and significant power. In his career he has a .300 average and .492 slugging percentage. A lack of patience has sometimes hindered him, but Bichette has a .366 OBP this season, though his .326 average in 2023 is carrying that a bit. Louis Varland has a 4.67 FIP through 10 starts, and a key reason for that is the 1.83 home runs he's allowed per nine innings.

Bargain Bats

I was looking at Austin Riley ($3,000) scuffling a bit and thinking he was a buy-low candidate, and then he went ahead and hit two home runs Thursday. After two 30-homer seasons, Riley's issue this year has been a regression against righties, but since 2021 he has an .854 OPS in those matchups, so I think he'll be fine. Recent play would indicate that is likely to be the case. Taijuan Walker's first season in Philly has been a disaster, as he has a 5.79 ERA and has allowed 1.54 home runs per nine innings.

While Alec Bohm ($2,900) has never panned out as a power hitter, he has a .276 career average, and he has shown power against lefties. Since 2021 he has an .866 OPS versus lefties, including a .500 slugging percentage. Jared Shuster is a lefty, and in four MLB starts he has a 5.05 FIP.

Stacks to Consider

Mets at Rockies (Connor Seabold): Pete Alonso ($4,300), Brandon Nimmo ($3,500), Starling Marte ($3,100)

Any game at Coors Field is worth looking into. Then, you see that Seabold is on the mound. He has a career 7.81 ERA, even though he made his first six starts with Boston, not Colorado. It doesn't really matter if you are a lefty or righty when it comes to Seabold. Right handers have hit .344 against him in his career, and then lefties kick that up to a .354 batting average.

When you think Coors, you think home runs, and when you think Alonso, you also think home runs. He has 19 this year, which leads MLB. Give me a guy with a career .537 slugging percentage in the Mile High City any day. Nimmo is more of a guy who hits for average, but some of that is his home ballpark. Since 2021 he's slugged .462 on the road. Plus, a guy who has a .296 average and .373 OBP can do damage even if he doesn't go yard. I am hoping Marte can provide some bang for your buck, as his struggles have lowered his DFS salary. His power has disappeared, but his speed hasn't. Marte has stolen 14 bases, and in the past he has been a guy who was usually good for 25 or so doubles and a few triples. Coors also plays well to doubles power and speedy base runners.

Rangers at Orioles (Grayson Rodriguez): Marcus Semien ($4,400), Adolis Garcia ($4,300), Nathaniel Lowe ($3,200)

Rodriguez has been this season's Hunter Greene. He's a vaunted pitching prospect with a big fastball, and he's racking up the strikeouts. However, he's also given up 2.14 home runs per nine innings and has a 6.21 ERA. Even worse, he has pitched 10 innings of shutout ball against the lowly Tigers. If not for those starts, Rodriguez's numbers would be looking even worse. The Rangers are the inverse of the Tigers, as they top MLB in runs scored. They can tee off on Rodriguez (and hopefully convince the Orioles to rest their elite bullpen arms).

As expected, Semien is bringing the counting stats, with eight homers and seven stolen bases. This year, though, he also has a .299 average and .373 OBP. He also has a .960 OPS on the road for good measure. Garcia is stealing fewer bases, but he's taken his power to a new level. He has 14 homers and a .530 slugging percentage, and with everybody else around him hitting he's racked up 49 RBI already. While both righties and lefties are teeing off on Rodriguez, southpaws notably have a .303 average against the rookie. Lowe is the lefty in my stack, and he has an .883 OPS against right-handed pitchers this season.

Yankees vs. Padres (Joe Musgrove): Aaron Judge ($4,500), Gleyber Torres ($3,200), Anthony Volpe ($2,900)

I don't know what's going on with Musgrove. I just know it hasn't been good. Through five starts he has a 5.81 FIP. His walks are up, his home runs are up, and his groundball percentage is way down. That's not a good recipe at Yankee Stadium. I went with three righties here, as somehow right handers have managed to hit .400 against Musgrove thus far in 2023.

Judge has given up a worthy encore to his MVP campaign. He's slashed .288/.402/.630 with 14 home runs. Interestingly, he's struggled against lefties, but he's slugged a whopping .703 versus righties. After having 24 homers and 10 stolen bases in 2022, Torres has nine of the former and five of the latter this season. He's enjoyed being at home this year, posting an .836 OPS at Yankee Stadium. Volpe is the latest example of something that has been commonplace: a vaunted rookie who is lagging in terms of getting on base but racking up the counting states. Sure, Volpe is below the Mendoza Line, but he has seven homers and 13 stolen bases, and for a DFS option, that stands out.

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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