Wednesday marks the middle of the workweek with an eight-game featured slate locking at 7:05 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 Pablo Lopez and Jose Berrios as tonight’s aces, and there are plenty of stacking options, including Atlanta, Minnesota and the participants in the Coors Field Extravaganza.
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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks | Sept. 26
MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers
Main Slate Primary Pitching Target: RHP Pablo Lopez vs. Oakland Athletics — 2.9 implied runs
First Pitch: 7:40 p.m. ET
- DFS Salary: DraftKings $11,400 | FanDuel $11,300 | Yahoo $48
The Stokastic Top Pitchers Tool has RHP Pablo Lopez as the premium preference tonight in the pristine matchup against the putrid Oakland Athletics. On Tuesday evening, RHP Bailey Ober — who is not usually known for his prolific strikeout rate — received a gift of eight strikeouts in five innings against Oakland. All told, the A’s struck out 15 times against Minnesota pitchers.
The Twins have to be thrilled with how Lopez has performed in his first season away from Miami. He has been a top-10 pitcher, with the fourth-most strikeouts (224) and quality starts (20). The 27-year-old also has a 3.61 ERA and 1.15 WHIP, and his 10.8 strikeouts per nine innings are the seventh most in the league among qualified starters.
Over the last 30 days, the Athletics have a 26.3% strikeout rate, which is the third highest in the league, and the offense has scored the second-fewest runs during this timeframe.
Main Slate Secondary Pitching Target: RHP Jose Berrios vs. New York Yankees — 3.9 implied runs
First Pitch: 7:07 p.m. ET
- DFS Salary: DraftKings $8,600 | FanDuel $9,900 | Yahoo $41
Last night the Yankees put up two runs in the ninth inning to sneak by the Blue Jays 2-0 in Toronto. Aaron Judge (toe) did not play, but he did get news that he would not likely need offseason surgery to correct the situation. He is expected to be in the lineup tonight, and while he is the best hitter on the team, he still brings a 29% strikeout rate to the table. Four players in tonight’s projected lineup have a 25.2% strikeout rate or higher against right-handed pitching this season.
For as many times as DFS gamers have seemed to have been burned by RHP Jose Berrios meltdowns, looking at his career numbers, they are amazingly good. Other than a dreadful 5.23 ERA last year and an 8.02 ERA in 15 starts during his rookie year, Berrios has finished every other season with an ERA at or below 4.00 — in other words, six out of eight years. The real answer seems to be that he does have more than his share of poor performances against lackluster offenses.
Main Slate Wild Card Pitching Target: RHP Dane Dunning at Los Angeles Angels — 3.9 implied runs
First Pitch: 9:38 p.m. ET
- DFS Salary: DraftKings $7,800 | FanDuel $8,200 | Yahoo $34
Tonight RHP Dane Dunning earns the wild card recommendation, and he looks like a strong SP2 on DraftKings and Yahoo. Walks have plagued him from time to time, causing him to burn through his pitch count. Additionally, while he gets his fair share of strikes, strikeouts do not always follow. Last night the Angels roared to a 9-3 victory, but that was only the third time they pushed more than four runners across the plate in their last 13 games. The team has a 26.7% strikeout rate over the last 30 days, behind only the Yankees 26.9%.
MLB DFS Picks: Top Stacks
Main Slate Primary Target: Minnesota Twins vs. RHP Joey Estes — 4.8 implied runs
First Pitch: 7:40 p.m. ET
RHP Joey Estes was knocked around by Seattle in his MLB debut,, ceding six runs, five of which were earned, along with three home runs and just two strikeouts in 4.2 innings. Tonight he is taking on the Twins, who just put up 11 runs on the Athletics last night. Estes is a middling prospect for Oakland and not even on the radar for any of the industrywide top 100 lists.
Best-case scenario for the 21-year-old is that he develops better command and control, otherwise he is going to be a short-term reliever at best. Most projection systems have him for below-average strikeouts, above-average walks and something north of 1.6 home runs per nine innings.
Minnesota is loaded with power upside, and the projected lineup has a collective .186 ISO, with only Kyle Farmer falling below .180 this season. They do have ample strikeouts, with nearly a 29.4% rate against right-handed pitching over the same timeframe, but that is a fine tradeoff in the mind of DFS gamers.
Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco, Alex Kirilloff and Edouard Julien are the core four to build around. From the bottom of the order, Michael A. Taylor and Trevor Larnach are solid discount dandies who can bring differentiation to Minnesota stacks or be used in conjunction as a cheap mini-stack with hitters from the Coors Field Extravaganza.
Main Slate Secondary Target: Atlanta Braves vs. RHP Jameson Taillon — 5.4 implied runs
First Pitch: 7:20 p.m. ET
The Braves have similar salaries to their Dodger counterparts, but they are not getting as much attention since Los Angeles has the Coors Field bump. While the gap may close in the projected popularity throughout the day, it is unlikely that these teams swap positions. RHP Jameson Taillon has been a little better over his last few starts, but he still has been a mess for the majority of the season.
The perpetual prospect is now in his age-31 season, and he has had by far his worst campaign, with a 5.05 ERA and a 3.4 strikeouts-per-walk rate that has fallen off dramatically from his 4.7 last year. Power has also been an issue, and he has allowed a career-high 26 home runs for 1.6 per nine innings, which is well above his 1.2 career average.
Lefties have had Taillon’s number, with a .251 ISO this season. That means Matt Olson, Michael Harris II and Ozzie Albies are the trio to target in this matchup. Of course, Ronald Acuna Jr. has been in the zone all season, and Austin Riley has been one of the best hitters in the league against fellow righties over the last two seasons. Outfielders Marcell Ozuna and Eddie Rosario provide varying degrees of salary relief, depending on your DFS site of choice, and whoever is behind the plate makes for a good catching option.
Other DFS and Sports Wagering Opportunities
Mark Canha is an interesting option in the sports wagering market for his total home run prop. The True Odds feature on OddsShopper shows that the Milwaukee batsman has +689 “true odds” of knocking one out of the park, and the +800 odds currently available are indicative of a line that is inefficient by nearly 12%. This is still a longshot, as there is just a 13% chance that he does get a round-tripper tonight, but the numbers are otherwise favorable.
This season, Canha has a .206 ISO against southpaws, and LHP Zack Thompson is not particularly daunting, with a .192 ISO in 192 opposite-handed matchups. Milwaukee did clinch the Central Division last night, even though the team lost — so we could get a lineup filled with replacement players and reserves.
Leave Canha out of parlays until the starting lineup is announced, but single wagers are typically refunded if the player does not start. Be sure to look at the fine print for your sportsbook of choice, as this is far from a standard that operators are required to follow.
Final Thoughts for Wednesday, September 27 | MLB DFS Picks
Keep tabs on the Midwest, with the games in Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit carrying above-average precipitation risk.
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