MLB DFS Picks, Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks: Astros + Yankees Stacks! (April 1)

Monday brings a seven-game featured slate, with the MLB action getting underway at 7:10 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 in identifying today’s MLB DFS top stacks, key pitchers and MLB DFS picks. Look to Triston McKenzie and Sean Manaea as today’s aces, with the Houston Astros and New York Yankees as the key offenses.

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks | April 1

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers

Main Slate Primary Pitching Target: LHP Sean Manaea vs. Detroit Tigers — 3.6 implied runs

First Pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $7,800 | FanDuel $7,400 | Yahoo $39

Most teams are now at the back of their pitching rotations, which is how we end up with LHP Sean Manaea as the highlighted hurler in the Stokastic Top Pitchers Tool. Additionally, he is the top-projected fantasy option across every major data provider. Though they are both southpaws, the talent level between Manaea and LHP Chris Sale is still dramatic. For those that did not read this article yesterday, I gave a cautious endorsement to Sale and will be doing the same for Manaea. Both projected as the top-scoring and most rostered options, but Manaea does have the more favorable matchup, as Sale was going against the Phillies in the City of Brotherly Love. For perspective, Sale was perfectly fine, with 5.1 innings, seven baserunners, seven strikeouts and two earned runs. However, he was outscored by half a dozen pitchers, several of inferior talent or in better matchups. Such is the way of MLB DFS.

Manaea will be making his debut for the Metropolitans in a favorable matchup against the Detroit Tigers. Riley Green, Matt Vierling and Parker Meadows are not daunting bats, and Javy Baez is on the downslope of his career. The projected lineup had a 28.1% collective strikeout rate against lefties last season, which plays to the strength of Manaea, who had a 25.6% strikeout rate last season.

Main Slate Secondary Pitching Target: RHP Triston McKenzie at Seattle Mariners — 4.1 implied runs

First Pitch: 9:40 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $9,000 | FanDuel $9,200 | Yahoo $34

Last year RHP Triston McKenzie lost time to both a shoulder and an elbow injury in what was a lost season. In 2022, McKenzie had a breakout year with a 3.56 FIP in 191.1 innings across 31 appearances. Prior to his breakout and, of course, the injuries, McKenzie had been a top prospect in the Cleveland organization. He had a solid spring and looks like he could pick up where he left off. It will be cool in Seattle tonight with game-time temperatures in the mid-50s, which is favorable for pitchers.

The Mariners have a deep lineup of competent hitters, though the only “scary” bat is Julio Rodriguez. The M’s pitching staff is also one of the better rotations in the league, and it is this balance that has them looking at the postseason. The projected lineup had a 24.6% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching, along with a .186 ISO. There is no salary discount for McKenzie on DraftKings or FanDuel, but he looks like a steal on Yahoo, which has priced in some of the risk.

MLB DFS Picks: Top Stacks

Main Slate Primary Target: Houston Astros vs. RHP Bowden Francis — 5.0 implied runs

First Pitch: 8:10 p.m. ET

In a bit of a surprise, RHP Bowden Francis made the Toronto rotation in spring training after appearing in 20 games as a reliever last season. The 28-year-old was a middling prospect for the Blue Jays and not on any industry lists. His ceiling is probably that of a fifth starter or multi-inning reliever, which has the Houston hitters popping in the Stokastic Top Stacks Tool.

Stick with the usual suspects, including Yordan Alvarez, Kyle Tucker, Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman as the core four. Chas McCormick has pop, so if he fits as a last man in, he is fine for full stacks or as a one-off. Similarly, Yainer Diaz works in the same fashion, particularly on DraftKings and Yahoo, where playing a catcher is mandatory.

Main Slate Secondary Target: New York Yankees at RHP Ryne Nelson — 5.3 implied runs

First Pitch: 9:40 p.m. ET

Tonight the Chase Field roof is closed, but it is scheduled to be open Tuesday and on Wednesday for the afternoon getaway day game. After recommending Arizona pitchers against the Rockies for the entire series, now we get a chance to pick on the weakest link of the rotation. RHP Ryne Nelson is akin to a batting practice pitcher, with a 15.9% strikeout rate and a .228 ISO across hitters of both handedness last season. He also had an elevated walk rate, which led to a 5.31 ERA and 5.27 xERA.

Juan Soto makes a dramatic impact on this aging lineup, which should help Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton … well, as long as they manage to stay healthy. Alex Verdugo looks like the next-best option, but we can only roster three outfielders on most DFS sites, so that will squeeze out one of the options everywhere except FanDuel, which has a utility slot. Gleyber Torres will see a boost in his popularity as a result, with gamers forced to look elsewhere to complete four- and five-man stacks.

Other DFS and Sports Wagering Opportunities

Tonight we can look to Kyle Gibson in the sports wagering market with his +130 prop record fewer than four strikeouts. The True Odds feature on OddsShopper shows this bet has +124 “true odds,” and the +130 line currently available at Fanatics and PointsBet are the books to place this wager, with a reasonable 3.5% expected return on investment (ROI).

Strikeouts have never been a consistent part of Gibson’s game, and his 7.36 per nine innings last year were his fewest in six seasons. The projected San Diego lineup had a paltry 18.0% strikeout rate against right-handed hurlers, with only Fernando Tatis Jr. striking out at an above-league-average rate.

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Final Thoughts for Monday, April 1 — MLB DFS Picks

There are no precipitations risks at this time for the featured slate, though for the early action keep an eye on both games in Chicago.

Before you finalize your MLB DFS picks, check out today’s Stokastic MLB Live Before Lock Show, get 30% off the Stokastic MLB Packages including DFS Sims, Lineup Generator and Data, with promo code DINGER.

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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