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MLB DFS Lineup Picks - Early Slate (5/22/21): DraftKings, FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball

Hello there, MLB DFS grinders! It's Saturday, and that means we have yet another split slate of MLB games today with seven games in the afternoon and six games on the main evening slate.

While most of our MLB DFS coverage here at RotoBaller is geared towards the main slate, I wanted to give you some of my favorite pitchers and bats for these early games that will help you cash in tournaments and cash game contests. I'll highlight my favorite pitching options here first and then give you some hitters at each price tier to consider as well as my favorite teams to stack up! You can read our DraftKings DFS lineup picks for the main slate and FanDuel DFS lineup picks for the main slate as well.

I'll be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for the FanDuel and DraftKings afternoon slate at 4:05 PM on 5/22/2021. Be sure to also check out all the MLB player news, including late scratches, and the projected and confirmed daily MLB lineups for each DFS slate. You can also check out today's MLB DFS lineup picks for the main slate here, and read more DFS advice and lineup picks for other sports too. Let's get to it!


MLB DFS Pitchers

Shane Bieber vs. MIN ($11,500 FD, $11,200 DK)

Bieber is the top arm option on this early-only slate and if Nelson Cruz sits again, that only gives another bump to rostering him. When looking at all of his starts this season, Bieber has recorded at least sevens strikeouts in every game and has managed to record a quality start in eight of his nine starts as well. Minnesota is averaging .234 as a team against right-handed pitchers and has a 23.6% strikeout rate against this handedness so there is some strikeout upside in this matchup for Bieber. Rostering Bieber might be tough to do in tournaments but he would be someone to plug in for your cash game lineup and build around.

Matthew Boyd vs. DET ($8,200 FD, $7,700 DK)

Despite having a 2-4 record, Boyd has gotten off to a strong start this season as he has a 2.45 ERA and is generating a 19.5% strikeout percentage in just 47.2 innings pitched. Boyd is the third-highest priced pitcher on FD but is the sixth-highest priced pitcher over on DK but is in play on both sites in all formats. The Royals are only batting .239 against lefty pitchers this season and while they only have 80 strikeouts in 403 plate appearances, they have only managed to hit seven home runs against lefties which is the second-lowest total in the league.

Others to consider: Lance McCullers Jr. vs. TEX, Sonny Gray vs. MIL


Want more MLB DFS tools and content? Our MLB Premium package includes our daily DFS Cheat Sheets, Research Station, Optimizer, and access to our Premium Slack Chatrooms where members can chat with our MLB analysts. Check out this recent big win from RotoBaller's RealTalkRaph on DraftKings - join in on the winning!


MLB DFS "Bats Worth Paying For"

Trey Mancini – 1B/OF, TB @ WSH ($3,900 FD, $5,600 DK)

The hot streak continues for Mancini as he has now recorded a hit in eight straight games while hitting three home runs during that stretch. The Orioles will face off against Jon Lester and several of their batters fare very well against lefties with Trey Mancini leading the charge. He is batting .333 against lefties and leads the team with six home runs off of this handedness. Mancini has a .480+ ISO against both of Lester's fastball and cutters which he throws roughly over 60% of the time against right-handed batters so if he sees one he likes, he could take Lester out of the park.

Jose Ramirez – 3B, WSH @ CHC ($3,700 FD, $5,500 DK)

Ramirez has arguably the most upside at the third base position on this slate as he could double-dong at any given moment and this seems like a game where he could take Maeda yard. Ramirez is batting .264 against righties this season but has also taken them deep 10 times this season. Ramirez has an ISO of .268 against righties and profiles well against Maeda as he has a .349+ XwOBA against all three main pitches that Maeda throws against lefty hitters.

Nick Castellanos – OF, CIN vs. MIL ($4,300 FD, $5,600 DK)

Castellanos is definitely one to consider as he has been swinging a hot bat all season long and has fared very well against left-handed pitching which is what he will get against Brett Anderson. Castellanos is hitting .346 against lefties this season with three home runs and sporting an ISO of .321 against this handedness. He is riding a nine-game hitting streak so there is no reason to not consider him in all formats for this matchup.


MLB DFS Values

Ozzie Albies – 2B, ATL vs. PIT ($2,700 FD, $5,200 DK)

Albies is an absolute steal on FD at $2,700 while the DK pricing has him all of the way up in the $5,000 range. Albies is coming off of a strong performance at the plate on Friday night where he recorded two hits in five at-bats while recording a home run and three RBIs. Lefties have an ISO of .193 against Keller this season and Albies profiles extremely well against Keller as he has an ISO of .472+ and an XwOBA of  .364+ against his fastball and cutter which he throws for a combined 70% of the time against lefty batters.

Austin Riley – 3B, ATL vs. PIT ($2,800 FD, $4,200 DK)

If you're wanting to get a tad different with your Braves stack, you should look to include Austin Riley in them. He should come in lower owned than the likes of Acuna, Freeman, and Albies but still provides a very good bat against Keller. Riley is hitting .321 against righties this season which leads the Braves in batting average against this handedness and has five home runs against this handedness which is tied for the third-most on the Braves team.

Cedric Mullins – OF, BAL @ WSH ($2,800 FD, $4,500 DK)

While Mullins has been a little cold at the plate over the past couple of games, that should not scare us away from considering him. Mullins has the second-highest batting average on the team against lefties (.311) and leads the team with 13 singles and four doubles against this handedness. While Mullins isn't a big power threat, he is a threat if he gets on the basepaths which is something we like against a pitcher like Lester who has a slow delivery so there could be some stolen base upside with Mullins.

Also Consider: Ryan Mountcastle vs Jon Lester, Eddie Rosario vs. Kenta Maeda 


MLB DFS Hitter Stacks

Atlanta Braves vs. Mitch Keller

The Braves are coming off of an epic night at the plate as they scored 20 runs so we might as well go right back to the well and consider them against Mitch Keller. Keller has struggled in eight appearances this season as he has a 7.16 ERA and both sides of the plate are hitting .290+ against him. The Braves have the second-most home runs against right-handed pitchers and as a team is sporting an ISO of .209 against right-handed pitchers so looking at some of their power bats like Acuna, Ozuna, Freeman, Albies, and Riley would be the way to go with this team.

Cincinnati Reds vs. Brett Anderson

When the Reds play at home, they definitely get placed into consideration and with Brett Anderson on the hill for the Brewers, they become a team to really consider stacking. Anderson has a 4.50 ERA in 24 innings pitched this season and has gotten roughed up from both sides of the plate. The Reds do come into this matchup pretty banged up so guys like Castellanos, Winker,  Stephenson, and Suarez would be the guys to focus on from Cincinnati.

Other stacks: Baltimore Orioles vs. Jon Lester, Cleveland Indians vs. Kenta Maeda

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