Tuesday, April 12, gets things started with a three-game afternoon slate followed by a robust nine-game main slate beginning at 7:05 p.m. ET on Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel. Let’s get into the top MLB DFS picks for pitchers and stacks for Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy baseball lineups. As always, you can head over to the Awesemo MLB DFS & Fantasy Baseball home page for all the fantasy baseball content you need for any given slate.
MLB DFS Picks Today: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks | Tuesday, April 12
Yahoo Stack of the Day: Milwaukee Brewers at RHP Spenser Watkins — 5.2 implied runs
Last year, after spending six seasons in the Detroit organization, Spenser Watkins was ready to hang up his cleats and had already started looking for a high school coaching job when he received a call from Baltimore. The Orioles wasted no time pushing him into their depleted rotation, and Watkins realized his dream of pitching in The Show. It was not all butterflies and roses as Watkins looked more like a batting practice pitcher, allowing an 8.07 ERA and 14 home runs across 54.2 innings.
This is a prime matchup for Hunter Renfroe, who has notched a .223 ISO over his last 392 same-handed matchups. Watkins has a paltry 10.9% strikeout rate against righties, which is a bonus for Renfroe, who has several holes in his swing. Rowdy Tellez and Omar Narvaez bring the lumber from the left side of the plate, and neither are sexy names, so they should be under-the-radar options. Willie Adames is even more of a windmill than Renfroe, so he too should benefit in this matchup against Watkins. Finally, if the Brewers start to pick up steam as a popular stack, just omit Christian Yelich, who has struggled at the plate over the last two seasons and is projecting to be the second-most popular Milwaukee hitter tonight.
Seattle Mariners at RHP Vince Velasquez — 4.4 implied runs
On the early slate, most gamers will be looking to the White Sox against rookie Matt Brash, who is making the leap from Double-A to The Show. For differentiation, we can turn our attention to the Mariners against journeyman Vince Velasquez. Though he does have above-average strikeout stuff, Velasquez struggles with his secondary pitches and allows far too many home runs, which are a direct result from his 60 to 65% fly ball rate.
Mitch Haniger and Jesse Winker are going to be a strong one-two punch for Seattle this season. Eugenio Suarez has struggled with his contact the last two seasons, but when he does connect it is usually for an extra-base hit. When looking for a full stack, youngsters Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez are in play, though both are still very green.
Houston Astros at LHP Madison Bumgarner — 5.1 implied runs
Though several of the names have changed, the Astros still project to be a nightmare for left-handed hurlers. Tonight the Chase Field roof will be open, though there is a 10 to 15 mph breeze coming in from left field that should keep temperatures in the low 70s. Madison Bumgarner was able to limit the Padres to just one run in his first start of the season. The soon-to-be 33-year-old southpaw allowed one hit and four walks across three innings using 68 pitches. Most concerning was the six fly balls against just two groundouts and two strikeouts. Though he only allowed one hit — a double to Eric Hosmer with only one runner on base — Bumgarner was very lucky to get through his outing with little damage.
Houston has a projected lineup with Yordan Alvarez, Kyle Tucker, Yulieski Gurriel, Chas McCormick and Aledmys Diaz, who all have a .200 ISO or better against lefties over the last two seasons. Jose Altuve, of course, has been a nemesis to southpaws for his entire career, and youngster Jeremy Pena is in play if he is in the top half of the order once again.
Top MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Yu Darvish at San Francisco Giants — 3.9 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $43 | FanDuel $9,700 | DraftKings $10,100
While Yu Darvish authored six no-hit innings on Opening Day in Arizona, the underlying numbers were a little scary. Clearly he is fully stretched out, as evidenced by his 92 pitches thrown, though he managed only three punchouts against six free passes. San Francisco will be loading up with left-handed batsmen at the top of its order, though the cooler weather does help mitigate some of the fly ball risk. Darvish will turn 36 in August, and while he is no longer at the height of his power, he is easily one of the better options taking the mound on Tuesday night. Luis Garcia would be the pivot away from Darvish due to his above-average matchup against the Diamondbacks.
Wild Card MLB DFS Picks Target: LHP Martin Perez vs. Colorado Rockies — 4.6 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $25 | FanDuel $6,500 | DraftKings $5,600
Martin Perez is an intriguing selection on Yahoo and DraftKings, where two starting pitchers are required in each lineup. Perez will provide plenty of salary relief and enable his backers to choose any stack and any top pitcher they want. The fantasy baseball world has long categorized Perez as a gas can, and that simply is not the case. Yes, he does not offer a lot of strikeout upside; he is a ground ball pitcher who allows more home runs than average. Unfairly, that has a lot to do with him pitching in Texas for seven seasons, before the new stadium was built, and calling Fenway Park his home for the last two while battling the American League East offensive juggernauts. Isolating only his road starts, the 31-year-old southpaw allows only 1.06 home runs per nine innings with an elite 51.2% ground ball rate. If he is able to coax Kris Bryant, C.J. Cron and Randal Grichuk into ground balls, there is a strong possibility he can outperform his rock-bottom salary.
Early MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Shane Bieber at Cincinnati Reds — 4.1 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $48 | FanDuel $10,400 | DraftKings $9,900
On Opening Day Shane Bieber had an efficient start, logging 4.2 innings and four strikeouts while throwing 72 pitches. It would make sense that he is able to see something in the 80- to 85-pitch range this afternoon against a mediocre Reds squad. Cincinnati brought in Tommy Pham to help fill the void left by Jesse Winker in the outfield, though they will miss the power bat of Eugenio Suarez. Joey Votto and Mike Moustakas are each another year older, and it is hard to be afraid of Kyle Farmer and Jake Fraley. Jonathan India is always a tough out at the top of the order, though the youngster is still prone to mental lapses in the batter’s box.
Final MLB DFS Thoughts for the Tuesday, April 12 Fantasy Baseball Slate
Minnesota is looking at some above-average precipitation risk, which is going to make it tricky trusting pitchers from the Twins and Dodgers. The rest of the games on Tuesday’s docket look like they should proceed without any impediments.