MLB DFS Picks, Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks: Julio Rodriguez + Mariners Bats! (May 5)

The Sunday MLB DFS action has a 1:35 p.m. ET first pitch 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 Freddy Peralta and Joe Ryan as key arms, with the Mariners and Angels as the teams to stack.

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks | May 5

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers

Main Slate Primary Pitching Target: RHP Joe Ryan vs. Boston Red Sox — 3.6 implied runs

First Pitch: 2:10 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $9,800 | FanDuel $10,600 | Yahoo $49

Yesterday, RHP Pablo Lopez held the Red Sox to just one run across six innings while recording eight strikeouts. The Stokastic Top Pitchers Tool likes the match even more for RHP Joe Ryan, who has been in top form all season. In his six starts, Ryan has held the opposition to three or fewer runs, allowing just four round-trippers in 34.2 innings. Most impressive have been the 41 strikeouts, and while nearly half of those came in two games against the Detroit Tigers, Boston is not much better when it comes to current offensive production.

Triston Casas and Trevor Story are both on the 60-day injured list, and now Masataka Yoshida is out with a thumb issue. Rafael Devers, Tyler O’Neill and Jarren Duran are still a terrific trio at the top of the order, but things begin to fall off with inconsistent youngster Wilyer Abreu, journeymen Dominic Smith and Garret Cooper as the only other notable bats in the lineup, and that is being generous for two of the three.

Main Slate Secondary Pitching Target: RHP Freddy Peralta at Chicago Cubs — 3.2 implied runs

First Pitch: 2:20 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $10,500 | FanDuel $10,500 | Yahoo $52

Aside from a dreadful outing where he allowed five runs and five walks in Pittsburgh, RHP Freddy Peralta has been stellar. In these five starts, he allowed just seven earned runs and struck out 40 in 29.0 innings. The Cubbies have some good hitters, but they lack any scary bats aside from Christopher Morel, Ian Happ and Michael Busch. This trio has pop, but they also offer above-average strikeout potential, as do Patrick Wisdom, Dansby Swanson and Pete Crow-Armstrong.

Late Slate Pitching Target: LHP Nick Lodolo vs. Baltimore Orioles — 4.2 implied runs

First Pitch: 4:10 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $10,500 | FanDuel $10,500 | Yahoo $50

This is a tough matchup for LHP Nick Lodolo, though he is getting respect from the salary algorithms on the popular MLB DFS sites. His left-handed teammate just held the Orioles to two runs on a pair of solo shots and struck out eight on Saturday afternoon. Lodolo has even better strikeout stuff, but it could be hard to quiet the Batters of Birdland for consecutive days in the launching pad also known as the Great American Ballpark.

Injury recovery delayed the start of the season for Lodolo, though this is already his fifth start. He has a stellar 31 strikeouts in 24 innings, allowing just one longball and four doubles. Baltimore should be rolling out a righty-laden lineup, with shortstop Gunner Henderson and outfielder Colton Cowser the only left-handed batsmen. Lodolo has a 29.9% strikeout rate in his last 221 matchups against right-handed hitters, so the platoon advantage has not been much of one against the 27-year-old.

The other options on the late slate would be lefties Max Fried and James Paxton squaring off in Los Angels, though going against the Dodgers and Atlanta bats does not sound fun. RHPs Joe Boyle and Ryne Nelson are the next pair up, but while Boyle is facing a watered-down Miami squad, he has been sketchy all season, and Nelson is going against the Padres, who are actually an offense to consider stacking. This has the makings of a spicy slate, so while it certainly won’t be comfortable, it should be fun!


MLB DFS Picks: Top Stacks

Main Slate Primary Target: Los Angeles Angels at RHP Carlos Carrasco — 4.4 implied runs

First Pitch: 1:40 p.m. ET

It has been a rough week for the Angels, who lost Mike Trout to a knee injury. This afternoon, however, they do have a chance to shine in a matchup against RHP Carlos Carrasco. While the 37-year-old never made an All-Star squad, he was a frontline starter for the latter half of the 2010s, highlighted by his 2017 campaign when he led the league with 18 wins. The last two years have been rough, and in his 26 starts, he has allowed 1.8 home runs and 4.1 walks while striking out only 6.8 per nine innings.

In this timeframe, lefties have posted a .194 ISO, but same-handed hitters have been even better with a .246 ISO against Carrasco. Things look good for Taylor Ward, Brandon Drury and Jo Adell, as this trio is terrific against fellow righties. From the left side of the plate, Willie Calhoun profiles well against Carrasco, as does switch-hitter Luis Rengifo, who was out yesterday with an illness.

Mid-Afternoon Slate Target: Seattle Mariners at RHP Hunter Brown — 4.2 implied runs

First Pitch: 2:10 p.m. ET

The Stokastic Top Stacks Tool likes the Mariners today against RHP Hunter Brown, who has been dreadful and may get sent down to the minors to work on a few things in the near future. We saw a similar trajectory with RHP Alek Manoah, who had a tremendous rookie campaign in 2021, a solid sophomore season in 2022 and then lost everything last year, ultimately being demoted to the minors. In a fun quirk, Manoah has been recalled to take on the Nationals in Washington despite an unsightly 8.69 ERA and 1.983 WHIP in five MiLB starts. Last year his banishment to the minors was even worse, with a 14.09 ERA and 2.348 WHIP in two starts. If the weather permits, the Nationals are a fine contrarian stack this afternoon.

Back to Brown, control issues and extra-base hits have plagued him since mid-June of last year. In his final 15 starts of the season, he allowed five or more runs seven times. This season in his last five appearances, he has allowed five or more runs three times, including that dreadful outing where he gave up nine while getting only two outs in Kansas City.

Julio Rodriguez, switch-hitter Jorge Polanco and Cal Raleigh are the trio to target. Mitch Garver, Luke Raley, Mitch Haniger and Josh Rojas can be used to fill out full stacks, depending on positional need and where they land in the order. It is worth noting that the Houston bullpen is fresh, with only two relievers seeing action yesterday and three on Friday. Expect a quick hook for Brown if things go sideways in a hurry.

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Late Slate Target: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. RHP Matt Waldron — 4.8 implied runs

First Pitch: 4:10 p.m. ET

Last night San Diego hung 13 runs on the Diamondbacks, led by new acquisition Luis Arraez, who was 4-for-6, scoring twice and knocking in a run. Arizona will get a chance at redemption this afternoon against shaky RHP Matt Waldron. The 27-year-old was selected in the 18th round of the 2019 MLB Draft by Cleveland after a four-year career with the University of Nebraska. He was traded to San Diego in 2021 as part of a nine-player swap. Waldron is a unique pitcher, as he is the only hurler in the league to rely on a knuckleball as one of his offerings. In his 72.1 MLB innings over the last season and change, he has utilized that pitch nearly one-third of the time. The goal is weak contact, but if there is not a much fluttering movement, opposing hitters will not be fooled. Waldron has ceded at least four runs three times in his six starts, and while he has allowed a reasonable four round-trippers, he also has given up eight doubles and walked 10.

Most of the Arizona lineup is slumping against right-handed pitching, with the exception of slugger Christian Walker. That should course-correct, considering the underlying talent and when we remember that this squad made it all the way to the World Series last season. Rookie of the Year Corbin Carroll has been working through some issues but is getting some traction, and it is only a matter of time before veterans Lourdes Gurriel, Ketel Marte, Joc Pederson and Eugenio Suarez return to their career norms.

Other DFS and Sports Wagering Opportunities

Today we can look to Hunter Brown and his under 5.5 strikeouts prop, which is currently available on FanDuel at +120. Brown is projected for nearly six strikeouts today, but with the plus-money odds softening the downside, this is a wager to target.

OddsShopper shows this bet has -102 “true odds,” and the +120 provides an elite 11.0% 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 -120, which is punitive by comparison.

Brown does have a lofty 13 strikeouts in his last two starts, though he lasted just four and 5.1 innings while also allowing nine earned runs. The projected lineup for Seattle has a 27.3% strikeout rate since the beginning of last season against right-handed pitchers, but the team also brings a .186 ISO. The hope is that the Mariners light him up early and send him to the showers before he gets to half a dozen whiffs.

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Final Thoughts for Sunday, May 5 — MLB DFS Picks

More weather worries are in the mix as we wrap up the weekend. New York has a decent chance for a postponement. The Yankees will be in Detroit facing the Tigers in August, so the teams could always decide on a makeup date then, or with the Tigers playing in Cleveland tomorrow and the Bronx Boys getting an off day, they could wait around for a clean window.

Much like yesterday, Pittsburgh and Washington will be dealing with light rain, though there is a strong chance the games will be fine, with a delay being the worst-case scenario. Be sure to check in with your favorite MLB DFS meteorological resources 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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