MLB DFS Picks, Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks: Get Ready For Split-Slate Action! (May 9)

Thursday brings split-slate action with a pair of three-game slates. The early action is underway at 1:10 p.m. ET, and the late action locks at 7:40 p.m. ET on DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo. Before we get to our MLB DFS picks, as always, we will use Stokastic’s tools to help identify today’s MLB DFS stacks, key pitchers and daily fantasy baseball lineups. Look to Pablo Lopez and Sonny Gray as key arms. The Coors Field Extravaganza dominates the early slate, while the featured slate has a variety of mediocre stacking options.

Still trying to find your MLB DFS edge? Luckily Stokastic has a new tool to help you get there — the MLB Sims Tool! With it you can simulate any MLB DFS contest you are playing on a given night and see what lineups are the likeliest to be profitable. And if you need a head start on strategy, we’ve broke down how to use the MLB Sims Tool to create the best DFS lineups on a nightly basis.

MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks | May 9

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers

Main Slate Primary Pitching Target: RHP Sonny Gray at Milwaukee Brewers — 3.9 implied runs

First Pitch: 7:40 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $10,800 | FanDuel $11,600 | Yahoo $54

The Stokastic Top Pitchers Tool gives RHP Sonny Gray the best odds of providing the most fantasy production on the three-game slate. However, he is also at an apex price point and far from impervious. Impressive can be used to describe the first five starts for the 34-year-old as he has allowed runs in only two of his five starts, with three total. He has faced a mix of the dregs (White Sox, Athletics) but also playoff-bound teams (Phillies), and the Brewers were one of the teams that put up runs against him in late April.

For as much guff as Gray gets from the DFS world, he has a 3.42 ERA across his 1,601.1 career innings. His strikeout rate is going to slide closer to one per inning, rather than his unsustainable 11.3 per nine frames, and the walks will tick up, but Gray is still on the cusp of being a frontline starter.

The real questions for today are, how much of our salary cap should we earmark for this uber-popular pitcher, and at what point to we flip the script and look to the Milwaukee bats? Christian Yelich returned to action yesterday after missing 20 games with a lower back issue. He was hitless in five at-bats, but having the former MVP and two-time batting champion in the lineup is always a good thing.

Yelich and Willie Adames each have home runs in prior meetings with Gray, though no other hitter in the projected lineup, aside from Rhys Hoskins, has seen Gray more than four times, with most getting their looks a couple weeks ago. This trio, along with catcher William Contreras, would be the foundation of any stack against Gray, and taking one or two in lineups with Gray is not the craziest idea in the world on Yahoo and DraftKings, where gamers will be required to roster two of the six starting pitchers.

Early Slate Primary Pitching Target: RHP Pablo Lopez vs. Seattle Mariners — 3.4 implied runs

First Pitch: 1:10 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $9,300 | FanDuel $9,200 | Yahoo $47

The top options for the early slate are both in this game as RHPs Logan Gilbert and Pablo Lopez square off in Minnesota. Lopez gets the slight edge for being at home, with a small salary difference and going against the Seattle offense that has lacked consistent run production.

Lopez had a rough April bookended by a pair of masterful one-run starts. The five appearances in between were not horrible by any means, but he did cede five home runs, leading to a 5.84 ERA, though advanced metrics show he was unlucky with a 4.21 FIP and 3.23 xFIP. The Minnesota ace also had 30 strikeouts in these 24.2 innings, and he is not too far off his career high with 10.8 per nine innings on the season.

The Mariners lost yesterday while the Texas Rangers won, which allowed the World Champions to regain the lead in the AL West. Seattle has been getting by with amazing pitching this season, accompanied by just enough offense to eke out victories. The team has allowed the fewest runs in the league, but the offense is in the bottom 6.

In addition to Lopez and Gilbert, RHP Hunter Greene warrants a mention, as he does have amazing strikeout upside. However, he is at home against a tough Arizona offense, which has him as the clear third wheel, though still in play for the short slate.

MLB DFS Picks: Top Stacks

Main Slate Primary Target: Kansas City Royals at LHP Reid Detmers — 4.4 implied runs

First Pitch: 9:38 p.m. ET

Kansas City is actually not the top stacking option, but it is the most interesting to analyze. The St. Louis Cardinals and Cleveland Guardians are shaping up to be more productive based on median outcomes, but there is little leverage against the respective pitchers facing them. That is not the case with LHP Reid Detmers, who is worthy of considering as an alternative to Gray, with the shallow player pool.

Since that is the likely path of most gamers looking to be a little different on FanDuel, as well as those looking to roster the two best options on Yahoo and DraftKings, let’s see what potential weaknesses there are with Detmers.

Considering Detmers already has a no-hitter to his credit, consistency is really the only thing lacking in his profile. He has done a good job of increasing his strikeout totals, though that also costs him somewhat on the efficiency front, making it harder for him to close out six innings to have a chance for a quality start.

The three best options from Kansas City will be grouped together near the top of the order in Bobby Witt Jr., veteran catcher Salvador Perez and infielder Maikel Garcia, who should be leading off with a southpaw on the mound. The back of the lineup has a lot of holes, which could lead to quick innings for Detmers, as Nelson Velazquez and Hunter Renfroe are just as likely to strike out three times tonight as they are to get an extra-base hit. Baseball, you gotta luv it!

Early Slate Target: Cincinnati Reds vs. RHP Slade Cecconi — 4.8 implied runs

First Pitch: 1:10 p.m. ET

The Stokastic Top Stacks Tool is giving the green light to load up on both sides of the Coors Field Extravaganza. However, the overlap among offensive players is projecting to be heavy today with just six teams in the player pool. So in the interest of looking at alternatives, why not consider the Cincinnati Reds at home? The Great American Ballpark is actually more favorable for home runs than Coors Field, and rookie RHP Slade Cecconi will be making only his 10th career appearance in The Show.

Cecconi is the fifth-ranked prospect in the Arizona system, though he did not make the cut for the top-100 industry sheets. He is a fastball pitcher with his primary offering sitting in the mid-90s, and he can easily get it up to 97 to 98 mph on the regular. The knock is that he is a classic two-pitch righty who uses a slider as his out pitch. He will need a third pitch to survive in the majors, so he has been toying with a changeup, though it is still too small of a sample size to grade it against the best of the best looking back at him from the batter’s box.

Power is an issue for the 24-year-old hurler, and that is one thing that the Reds have in abundance, even as Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Matt McLain are on the injured list. Elly De La Cruz, Spencer Steer and Jake Fraley are the primary trio to target. Of course, they are also the most obvious, so journeyman Mike Ford and Jeimer Candelario can provide differentiation. It feels like it has been forever since both Jonathan India and TJ Friedl were healthy at the same time, but that is currently the case, which makes this an incredibly deep lineup, along with the luxury of sliding young Will Benson towards the bottom of the order for fewer pressure-filled at-bats.

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Other DFS and Sports Wagering Opportunities

Tonight RHP Eric Fedde looks like a pitcher to target for the under on his 4.5 strikeouts prop, which is currently available on DraftKings at -105. Fedde is projected for 4.6 strikeouts today, which is under tonight’s milestone but also not too far off the 4.5 threshold we need him to stay under. Thankfully, there are no partial strikeouts.

OddsShopper shows this bet has -111 “true odds,” so the -105 currently posted provides a slim, though still favorable 2.7% expected ROI. We can also see how crucial it is to shop the odds, as sportsbooks tend to vary wildly with odds. This can be seen with Fliff all the way down at -140, which is downright punitive by comparison. Be a savvy shopper!

Fedde washed out of the league and reinvented himself with a one-season sojourn in the KBO. He has introduced a sweeper pitch, which he developed while winning the pitching triple crown with the NC Dinos in Korea, also garnering the MVP award. Keep in mind during spring training that Fedde had 5.14 strikeouts per nine innings in 14.0 frames, so it makes one wonder how much longer he will keep things at double that ratio.

In his best season with Washington back in 2021, Fedde had 8.64 strikeouts per nine innings, which were well above his 7.17 career rate. In his seven games, starting with the most recent, he has two, nine, 11, five, three, four and seven strikeouts. Those are widely varying results, which would seem to imply the current overall rate is not sustainable.

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Final Thoughts for Thursday, May 9 — MLB DFS Picks

The early action has some weather risk in Cleveland, while the evening slate is showing an elevated chance of precipitation in Chicago. Be sure to check in with your favorite MLB Weather Report page closer to first pitch for updates.

Before you finalize your MLB DFS picks, check out today’s Stokastic MLB Live Before Lock Show, brought to you by Sleeper – new users, use this link to receive a $500 first deposit match! Full details here.

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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