Fantasy Baseball: Hitters to Target Monday 5/22

Fantasy Baseball Briefing for Monday 5/22

It’s not a full slate Monday — six teams are idle — but there are nine teams averaging five runs or more so far this season and eight of them are playing, so there should still be plenty of offense. Normally this article features three to five batter vs. pitcher matchups to target largely based on a combination of matchup history and recent success, but looking through that lens there’s not much to love Monday outside of Freddie Freeman.

There are ten pitchers starting who have faced the opposing teams’ batters ten or fewer times, which could be a good or bad thing for those hitters. Let’s take a look at some of the better chances to get some runs and see who’s hot.

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Hitters to Target

Easy-pickings always seems to be whoever is playing in Colorado, but based on early results it’s felt like a trap more often than not. The Marlins and Rockies play in Colorado and have the highest over/under run total on the board at 11.5, however, the Rockies are averaging 5.14 runs at home but are currently without C.J. Cron, who provides most of the pop in the middle of their lineup. The Marlins on the other hand are averaging a meager 3.46 on the season (lowest in the entire MLB); 3.67 on the road. This is a bet-the-under game.

Enough about that game — yuck. Let’s look at the highest scoring team in the majors — the Texas Rangers. They play in Pittsburgh and the over/under is 9. Pittsburgh started off the year hot, but if you take out a game against Detroit where they scored 8 and another against the D-backs where they scored 13, they are averaging 1.7 runs per game in 15 games in May. The Pirates are starting Luis Ortiz who has a 5.63 ERA and 2.38 WHIP in two starts in 2023, while the Rangers are starting 4-0 Dane Dunning who is sporting a 1.69 ERA and 0.88 WHIP. So the production should be coming from Texas, but who will it be?

Fantasy Baseball Picks to Make for Monday

Tier One Fantasy Picks

Marcus Semien – leads Texas in batting average (.305) after a 2-for-3, 1 BB, 2 R, 3 RBI day Sunday. He’s currently riding an 11-game hit streak, and has at least one hit in 17 of 18 May games.

Adolis Garcia – leads Texas in OPS (.868) and leads the entire MLB in RBI (49). If you need more, he’s got an expected batting average (xBA) of .281 and .675 expected slugging (xSLG) off of sliders, which Ortiz throws 27% of the time.

Tier Two Fantasy Picks

Nate Lowe

Lowe has turned it on in May, hitting .310 (23-for-74), although the power has not been there. He also has a .323 batting average, .600 slugging on 4-seam fastballs in 2023. Ortiz throws this pitch 29% of the time in two 2023 starts. He’s got a .444 batting average and .778 SLG off of changeups, which Ortiz throws 14% of the time.

Jonah Heim

Heim has an xBA of .421, and expected weighted on-base average (xwOBA) of .674 off of sinkers which leads all Rangers with at least 10 plate appearances. Ortiz throws this 28% of the time in two 2023 starts.

Josh Jung

If you’re looking for some pop, Jung is second on the Rangers in home runs, hitting his ninth of the year Sunday. He’s a little streaky, but can be a solid contributor if needed.

Oh, and the highest scoring team in the league just got a former Rookie of the Year, two-time Silver Slugger, and three-time All-Star back…

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Corey Seager

All he’s done in the four games he’s been back is go 7-for-16 (.437), with 3 2B, 2 HR, 5 R, and 8 RBI. You can put him in Tier One.

And hey, if you need some cheaper players, Leody Taveras is batting .377 (23-for-61) in May and has 5 stolen bases on the year; Ezequiel Duran is 22-for-70 (.314) in May with 23 RBI on the season.

Free DFS Stack to Make for Monday

The Stack: Semien/Garcia/Seager

Other games to consider: STL @ CIN, LAD @ ATL, BOS @ LAA


The o/u for this one is 10 runs, the highest on the board outside of the MIA @ COL game. This game features two lefties, Jordan Montgomery (2-6, 4.21 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 51.1 IP) and Brandon Williamson (0-0, 1.59 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 5.2 IP). For this game in Cincinatti’s hitter-friendly park, look to the St. Louis hitters:

Nolan Arenado

306 (11-for-36) versus lefty pitching this year, with 4 HR off of them (5 HR off righties in 151 ABs). He’s riding a 12-game hit streak as well.

Paul Goldschmidt

Goldy is scuffling right now, watching his batting average drop from .319 on May 15 down to .293 today, due to a 1-for-18 stretch over that period. But Goldy is a former MVP and a baseball season is full of ups and downs. What could turn it around this time? Perhaps a lefty pitcher. Goldy is hitting .333 (16-for-48) off lefties this season, versus .278 (37-for-133) off righties. Over a full season last year these splits were even more exaggerated, hitting a whopping .411 (46-for-112) vs lefties and .294 (132-for-449) vs righties.

Nolan Gorman

hasn’t been nearly as effective versus lefties, and doesn’t get many ABs against them either, going 3-for-13 this year. Last season he only received 19 ABs vs lefty pitchers to 264 ABs vs right. But if he’s starting, he’s one of the hottest hitters in the league right now, riding an 11-game hit streak and going 16-for-37 (.432) with 3 doubles, 6 HR, 16 RBI, 9 R, and 6 BB during that span.


the o/u is 9.5. As mentioned before, Freddie Freeman has good numbers against Charlie Morton and is hitting well as of late. Mookie Betts has had success too. The Dodgers are starting RHP Gavin Stone, who’s started just one game this season, giving up 8 hits and 4 earned runs. Ronald Acuna Jr. is an obvious play, but Matt Olson hits righties well and leads the Braves in HR with 13, so he’s a viable option too.


The O/U is also 9.5. RHP Tanner Houck is going for the Red Sox, so look for the usual suspects Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani to step up for the Angels. And remember, Hunter Renfroe has 10 HR on the season, 9 of which have come in his home park. The Angels are “starting” RHP Jaime Barria, who is much more vulnerable to lefty hitters, so you’re going to use Rafael Devers and Alex Verdugo.

Betting Angle

TEX @ PIT under 9 runs (-110 on FanDuel) – As outlined above, Texas should score runs, but will Pittsburgh?

MIA @ COL under 11.5 runs (-110 on FD) – Also outlined above, MIA is the lowest scoring team in the league and the Rockies are without their biggest power bat.

Freeman/Goldschmidt/Seager to get a hit parlay (+127 on FD): Freeman vs Morton against his old club in Atlanta, Goldy vs lefties, Seager is hot in this righty pitcher vs lefty hitter matchup.

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Jarod Rupp, Fantasy Sports
Jarod Rupp, Fantasy Sports
Jarod is a long-time fantasy sports veteran, with over 20 years of experience using salary cap, season-long, best ball, and DFS formats - mainly centered around MLB and NFL. Ever since the "Sid Bream Slide" he has been a die-hard Atlanta Braves fan. He also enjoys collecting trading cards and memorabilia from his favorite teams and players.

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