Thursday brings a brief, five-game featured slate with a first pitch at 7:07 p.m. ET on DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo. As always, we will use Stokastic’s tools to help in identifying today’s MLB DFS top stacks, key pitchers and MLB DFS picks. Look to Chris Bassitt and Jesus Luzardo as tonight’s primary pitching recommendations, along with the Blue Jays at home against baseball nomad RHP Luke Weaver.
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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks | Sept. 28
MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers
Main Slate Primary Pitching Target: RHP Chris Bassitt vs. New York Yankees — 3.8 implied runs
First Pitch: 7:07 p.m. ET
- DFS Salary: DraftKings $8,600 | FanDuel $9,500 | Yahoo $44
The Stokastic Top Pitchers Tool has RHP Chris Bassitt with a slight edge over the other pitchers on tonight’s five-game slate. Toronto has a two-game cushion over Seattle, who is hoping to run down the Blue Jays or the Astros (1.5-game lead) for the final American League Wild Card slot. They are not going to ride Bassitt into the ground, but he should be out on the mound as long as he is effective, and he is going to get the best offensive combination behind him. The Blue Jays are -180 favorites to win tonight in front of the Toronto faithful.
Even with the 6-0 victory last night, the Yankees are barely averaging over four runs per game over the last 30 days, and their 26.6% strikeout rate is the third highest in the league. The projected lineup for New York has five hitters who strike out above league average against right-handed pitching, including Aaron Judge (29.1%) and Giancarlo Stanton (31.9%). We know that duo can take one out of the park on any swing, but if the bases are empty, it is not the end of the world — particularly since it is not uncommon to see either with a three-strikeout game.
Main Slate Secondary Pitching Target: LHP Jesus Luzardo at New York Mets — 3.6 implied runs
First Pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
- DFS Salary: DraftKings $9,000 | FanDuel $9,700 | Yahoo $41
The Mets are not bad on offense, and LHP Jesus Luzardo has shown flashes that he could consistently be inside the top 20 pitchers for the next several seasons. This is a crucial game for the Marlins as they look to squeak into the postseason. Currently, they are tied with the Cubs for the final National League Wild Card berth, with the Diamondbacks two games ahead and the Reds 1.5 games behind the fracas.
The main challenge for Luzardo will be to contain the power of Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor. Outside of that duo and Mr. Contact Jeff McNeil, there are four hitters in the projected lineup who sport a 28% strikeout rate or higher against southpaws this season.
MLB DFS Picks: Top Stacks
Main Slate Primary Target: Toronto Blue Jays vs. RHP Luke Weaver — 5.0 implied runs
First Pitch: 7:07 p.m. ET
RHP Luke Weaver has pitched for three teams this season, with the Reds and then Mariners cutting bait before the Yankees were the next team to grab the 30-year-old washout off the scrap heap for one last hurrah. Even though Weaver has allowed just three runs in 9.1 innings and struck out 10 in his two starts wearing pinstripes, this old dog has not learned any new tricks. There is a reason he has been on five teams in the last two seasons: It is because his time in the league is just about up.
Combining this five-team production into one stat line, Weaver has a .385 wOBA and a .221 ISO across his last 719 batters faced. Basically, he makes opposing hitters look like a slight better version of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and tonight he will be facing the actual Vladdy Jr. Brandon Belt is healthy once again, but we can only play one of him and Guerrero on DraftKings and Yahoo, where they only have first base eligibility.
Bo Bichette and George Springer round out the trio to target, but we can play all four together on FanDuel, where the utility slot allows for extra flexibility. Cavan Biggio, Dalton Varsho, Matt Chapman and Kevin Kiermaier can be employed as a bottom-of-the-order stack for direct leverage against their far more popular teammates.
Main Slate Secondary Targets
Atlanta has clinched the best record in the National League, so we may not see all of their regulars tonight. In turn, that means the Dodgers are locked into the second-best record, so they could rest some players as well. Of course, with Mookie Betts (+350) and Ronald Acuna Jr. (-550) in the National League MVP race, would one of them or their respective teams risk an injury this close to the postseason, or will this duo be allowed to battle for the hardware?
Looking to the Yankees as leverage against the popular Bassitt is a fine strategy, and the Cubs at least are going to be running out their best hitters, so joining the crowd in running out Chicago stacks is also fine. Just be sure to look for a little differentiation against RHP AJ Smith-Shawver.
Lastly, we have the Rockies, who at least are home and rolling out a righty-laden lineup against LHP Ryan Yarbrough, though they are seeing their fair share of popularity in the Stokastic Top Stacks tool. Then there are always the understudies and reserves seeing action for the playoff contenders who are resting stars — plus, those players are unlikely to be pinch-hit for if they are on teams locked in the standings.
Other DFS and Sports Wagering Opportunities
Carlos Santana is an interesting option in the sports wagering market for his total home run prop. The True Odds feature on OddsShopper shows that Santana has +689 “true odds” of knocking one out of the park, and the +750 odds currently available are indicative of a line that is inefficient by close to 8%. This is still a wild card wager, as there is just a 13% chance that he will hit one out of the park this afternoon against RHP Dakota Hudson.
This season, Santana has a .187 ISO when swinging the stick from the left side of the plate. Even if a southpaw comes in from the bullpen, the smooth switch-hitting Santana has a .172 ISO from the right side. For those looking for a more frequent payout, look to Santana over 1.5 total bases, but just know that anything under -165 is a negative expected value proposition. That does not mean it is a bad bet, but there are likely better bets available.
Final Thoughts for Thursday, September 28 | MLB DFS Picks
Keep tabs on the East Coast, with the venues in Baltimore, New York and Philadelphia at risk of in-game rain.
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