MLB DFS Picks, Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks: Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (April 12)

Friday brings the end of the work week with a 12-game featured slate locking at 7:05 p.m. ET first pitch on DraftKings and FanDuel, and Yahoo is going with a 7:05 p.m. ET start for their five-game featured tournaments. Before we get to our MLB DFS picks, as always, we will use Stokastic’s tools to help in identifying today’s MLB DFS stacks, key pitchers and daily fantasy baseball lineups. Look to Andrew Abbott as a key arm, and Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the rest of the Blue Jays against RHP Ryan Feltner.

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks | April 12

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers

Main Slate Primary Pitching Target: LHP Andrew Abbott at Chicago White Sox — 4.0 implied runs

First Pitch: 7:40 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $8,200 | FanDuel $8,400 | Yahoo $36

The Stokastic Top Pitchers Tool has LHP Andrew Abbott being rostered by just 10% of the field on DraftKings and FanDuel, while he is in the single digits on Yahoo. That feels relatively light when considering the 24-year-old southpaw has thrown 90 and 95 pitches in his first two starts. Chicago has had a rough go of things in the early part of the season, scoring a scant 29 runs over the first dozen games. The team has already been shut out four times and posted one run in two other games. Yikes!

Injuries have not been kind either, with the White Sox currently trying to replace Luis Robert Jr., Eloy Jimenez and Yoan Moncada — in other words, three of the best four hitters from the Opening Day lineup. Andrew Vaugh and Andrew Benintendi are the only players who should be considered in their prime, with everyone else in the projected lineup young, below replacement level or well into the downside of their career.

Abbott impressed last year, and the then-rookie made 21 starts, spanning 109.1 innings. He had an excellent 9.88 strikeouts per nine innings and actually is expected to maintain that ratio by the main projection systems. He turns 25 in June, so there is still attainable upside as he continues to mature and hone his craft. It is going to be in the mid-50s tonight, though that is somewhat neutralized by a 12 to 15 mph breeze out to center field. Baseline expectations should be for something along the lines of a quality start with half a dozen strikeouts.

Main Slate Secondary Pitching Target: LHP Reid Detmers at Boston Red Sox — 4.7 implied runs

First Pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $8,300 | FanDuel $9,400 | Yahoo $51

The Yahoo salary algorithm is not screwing around, and it has assigned an ace-level cap hit to LHP Reid Detmers. The wind is blowing out to left field at 12 to 15 mph, which does favor right-handed hitters. Boston has been in the middle of the pack when it comes to scoring runs over the first part of the season, but the back half of the lineup is getting by with smoke and mirrors. Tristan Casas rakes against fellow lefties, as does Rafael Devers, but the latter is day-to-day while dealing with shoulder discomfort. If he is out of the lineup as expected, then Tyler O’Neill and leadoff man Jarren Duran are really the only other worrisome threats at the plate.

It seems odd that the projection systems and oddsmakers are anti-Detmers, with the 24-year-old ace coming off a 12-strikeout performance against the Red Sox on Saturday. That makes Detmers the perfect pivot away from LHP Max Fried, who is popping at the top of most models for his matchup against the moribund Marlins in pitching-friendly Miami.

Late Slate Pitching Target: RHP Yoshinobu Yamamoto vs. San Diego Padres — 4.6 implied runs

First Pitch: 10:10 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $9,600 | FanDuel $10,200 | Yahoo $41

This will be the second time that rookie RHP Yoshinobu Yamamoto faces San Diego, and in the Seoul Series, he lasted just one inning as the Padres got to him for five runs. Since then the 25-year-old former Japanese League star pitcher has had a pair of scoreless five-inning outings, allowing a total of five hits and two walks and striking out 13.

The Friars are a top-heavy team that looks extra-thin with Juan Soto being traded to the New York Yankees. The core four of Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado, Xander Bogaerts and Jake Cronenworth are still formidable, but the rest of the lineup lacks power.

MLB DFS Picks: Top Stacks

Main Slate Primary Target: Toronto Blue Jays vs. RHP Ryan Feltner — 5.0 implied runs

First Pitch: 7:07 p.m. ET

The Stokastic Top Stacks Tool loves the Yankees against venerable veteran RHP Carlos Carrasco, but there is a chance the 37-year-old will receive a reprieve in the form of a weather postponement. Atlanta, of course, is always in play, so let’s take a closer look at the Blue Jays.

Toronto has a nice matchup against RHP Ryan Feltner, who actually has similar power numbers on the road as compared to his Coors Field innings. His strikeout stuff is average at best, and he lucked out last year on the home run front, allowing 0.42 per nine innings, which was crucial considering he allowed walks at a rate of 5.82 per nine innings. Feltner is a gas can just waiting for a spark — which is something that the Blue Jays can provide.

While the Jays are better suited to face lefties, they should be just fine tonight against Feltner. Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., of course, are the dynamic duo for any Toronto stack, but do not lose sight of the ancient Justin Turner, who can still get it done at the plate. Cavan Biggio has been showing some improvement, and perhaps this is the season he lives up to the family name. Alejandro Kirk, George Springer and even Dalton Varsho are fine options to provide in-stack differentiation.

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Late Slate Target: Oakland Athletics vs. RHP Jake Irvin — 4.3 implied runs

First Pitch: 9:40 p.m. ET

In a fun twist, we can give the Oakland offense a look on the late slate and even use them as a mini-stack for featured-tournament differentiation. They have a weekend series against the Nationals, which means up is down and down is up. RHP Jake Irvin survived his rookie season, but he does not have much strikeout upside with 7.4 per nine innings, and opposite-handed hitters have recorded 14 of the 21 home runs he has allowed and 29 of his 44 extra-base hits. He also has a double-digit walk rate that does no favors when considering his mediocre ground ball rate.

J.J. Bleday and Seth Brown are decent power options, and they would be in the mix as a duo for the featured slate. Switch-hitter Abraham Toro is a somewhat unconventional leadoff choice, but it does give him upside for an additional plate appearance. Shea Langeliers is fine on DraftKings and Yahoo, which require gamers to roster a catcher, and in a pinch, Zack Gelof or J.D. Davis can be used to round out a full stack. Keep in mind this is the A’s, so do not go overboard with more than a smattering of full stacks if you are making 50-plus lineups.

Other DFS and Sports Wagering Opportunities

Targeting RHP Chris Flexen in the DFS world with opposing hitters tends to be a lucrative proposition. Tonight we can look to the -122 odds on the under for his 4.5 strikeouts prop on FanDuel. OddsShopper shows this bet has -138 “true odds,” and the -122 line currently available at FanDuel provides a fine 5.7% expected return on investment (ROI).

Using OddsShopper to scan the entire marketplace, we can see that most books are in the -145 to -160 range, which means those are likely losing bets on a long-term time horizon. Be a savvy shopper!

This wager a healthy 58% probability of Flexen notching fewer than five strikeouts, which is why most books are putting a heavy tax, or “juice,” on the bettor’s side of the equation. Flexen washed out of the league with the Mets in 2019. He spent 2020 in the KBO, where he showed enough to have the pitching depleted Mariners take a chance on him in 2021. It worked for a bit, but the league figured out Flexen’s adjustments and Seattle released him in the middle of last year. Colorado scooped him up, but even they didn’t want another go-around this year.

Cincinnati’s projected lineup does have a 25.3% strikeout rate against right-handed hurlers since the start of last year, but this collection of hitters also had a 0.192 ISO. The hope is they send Flexen to the showers after just a couple innings and before he can get to five strikeouts.

Bonus wager: Less on the analysis and more about the opportunity. Joey Gallo should be in the lineup tonight against RHP Paul Blackburn. Though Blackburn does a good job of limiting home runs, Gallo has prodigious power and profiles well in this matchup considering Blackburn is not much of a strikeout pitcher.

Home runs, of course, are fickle, and it is important to shop around for the best number. As you can see below, there is a MASSIVE difference between the +375 offered by Unibet and the +235 line from Fliff.

Did you know that you can get up to $1,500 in Bonus Bets paid back if your first wager does not win at BetMGM? Claim here today!

Final Thoughts for Friday, April 12 — MLB DFS Picks

Cleveland looks dicey in the Midwest with cold and wet conditions. Though we will have better information closer to lock, it looks the most likely to be removed from the player pool via postponement. Baltimore is the only other game on the featured slate carrying risk, but under the current forecast there is a window of play available. Timing will, of course, be key.

Before you finalize your MLB DFS picks, check out today’s Stokastic MLB Live Before Lock Show at 5 p.m. ET, 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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