MLB DFS Picks, Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks: Look to the Rangers Boppers! (May 4)

Saturday brings a busy day of wall-to-wall baseball. There are two waves of action, with the first at 1:05 p.m. ET and then a second, with the fun focused the evening action 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 Lance Lynn on the early slate and rookie Christian Scott on the evening slate as a key arms. The Rangers and Dodgers are the teams to stack in the second wave of games, while the Twins look good for the afternoon action.

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks | May 4

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers

Early Slate Primary Pitching Target: RHP Lance Lynn vs. Chicago White Sox — 3.5 implied runs

First Pitch: 2:15 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $8,400 | FanDuel $8,700 | Yahoo $39

Weather could be taking away RHP Kevin Gausman in Washington against the Nationals and RHP Jared Jones, at home as the Pirates host the Colorado Rockies. The Stokastic Top Pitchers Tool currently has RHP Lance Lynn as the safest option when combining weather and matchup. Lynn will celebrate his 37th birthday next Sunday, and while his best days are behind him, he is still a strong DFS candidate in good matchups. Last year when he was with the White Sox, Lynn had some serious home run issues, which also followed him to Los Angeles for his late-season appearance with the Dodgers. He allowed a whopping 2.2 home runs per nine innings at a near identical rate with each team. That does appear to be an aberration as his “worst” year prior to that was 2022, when he ceded 1.4 home runs per nine and in 2021 he was an All-Star, finishing third in the American League Cy Young voting. 

While his fastball is down a half-tick from last year and 2 mph from his All-Star season, he still has enough movement and guile to bedevil opposing batsmen. The projected White Sox lineup has a 24.0% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching since the start of last season and the only opposite-handed power bats the elder statesman will need to worry about are Gavin Sheets and slumping Andrew Benintendi. From the right-side of the plate will be Eloy Jimenez who even in his age-27 season, rarely takes the field in an effort to keep him healthy and recently signed veteran Tommy Pham, who is on his sixth squad in the last four seasons.

If weather permits, Gausman is ahead of Lynn as the Toronto ace has righted the ship, allowing a scant two runs in his last three starts, including games against the Dodgers and Yankees. Jones would be a wild card option with more upside than Lynn as the rookie has electric stuff and tremendous strikeout potential, but an underlying propensity for walks and home runs make for a scary downside. Thankfully the top-prospect gets a dreamy matchup against the Rockies.

Main Slate Primary Pitching Target: RHP Christian Scott at Tampa Bay Rays — 3.9 implied runs

First Pitch: 9:40 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $7,500 | FanDuel $6,300 | Yahoo $25

Tonight rookie RHP Christian Scott will be making his MLB debut for New York. The 24-year-old is a top prospect for the Mets, while also sneaking inside the top-100 on most industry lists. Scott was a fifth-round selection in the 2021 Draft, having spent three seasons at the University of Florida. He has worked his way through each level of the minors, and after 25.1 crisp innings at Triple-A with a 3.20 ERA, 0.711 WHIP and 36 strikeouts, he is deserving of a looksee. He has ceded seven home runs, though only nine earned runs overall. Most projection systems have him pushing for an SP2 or SP3 role in the next year or two with New York. The control is good, as is the strikeout stuff, but The Show will be a true test. The former Gator has allowed a scant 14 home runs in 174.2 minor league innings, so it will be interesting to see how he handles the top level.

This has been a rough season for Tampa Bay, with injuries and idiocy gutting the offense. It doesn’t help that most of the team is also in a slump at the plate, with youngster Richie Palacios and veteran Isaac Paredes the only available regulars with any sort of power this season. The combination of a weak offense, good pitching park and low salary should have Scott as one of the most popular pitchers across the DFS sites tonight.

Pivots include RHP Tyler Glasnow is a tricky matchup against Atlanta and groundball artist LHP Framber Valdez taking on the visiting Seattle Mariners.

MLB DFS Picks: Top Stacks

Early Slate Primary Target: Minnesota Twins vs. Boston Bullpen — 4.6 implied runs

First Pitch: 2:10 p.m. ET

This afternoon it looks like the Boston bullpen will be asked to carry the water for a decimated rotation. Brayan Bello, Garrett Whitlock and Nick Pivetta are all on the injured list and while the trio should return to action later this month, that does not help today. LHP Brennan Bernardino will be leading off the fun, though he is unlikely to be on the mound for much more than an inning. The good news for the Red Sox is that RHP Naoyuki Uwasawa is the only reliever unlikely to see action. The bad news is that Chase Anderson (14.2 innings, 5.52 ERA) and Chris Martin (12.1 innings, 5.11 ERA) are likely to be called upon. The BoSox have trimmed off some of their relievers like Joely Rodriguez, Isaiah Cambell and Joe Jacques, but Cam Booser and Justin Slaten are not exactly the cream of the crop. Bernardino and Booser are the only lefties, which is worth noting.

The one asset for bullpen games is that there are a lot of fresh arms and with everyone having at least 48 hours since they last worked, Boston should be able to rotate through hurlers as needed. Switch-hitters Carlos Santana and Willi Castro are the best options as they will have the platoon-advantage all game. Catcher Ryan Jeffers is really coming into his own as a hitter and he is great against pitchers of either-handedness. Manuel Margot is a pinch hit risk as he is much better against southpaws, but the Twins are missing Byron Buxton and Royce Lewis. That still leaves the liks of Trevor Larnach and Max Kepler as options to replace Margot, so be wary.

Early Slate Secondary Target: Chicago Cubs vs. RHP Tobias Myers — 4.8 implied runs

First Pitch: 2:20 p.m. ET

The Stokastic Top Stacks Tool likes the Cubs today against RHP Tobias Myers, who will be making just his third start in The Show. The 25-year-old was a sixth-round selection out of high school in the 2016 Draft, landing in Baltimore. Since then he has work through the minors in Tampa Bay, San Francisco, Cleveland and Chicago, being claimed in 2022 by Milwaukee after the White Sox released him. All told, he appeared in 140 games, with 123 starts, logging 618.1 mostly non-descript innings. He has a pair of five-inning outings, allowing three home runs, five earned runs and recording nine strikeouts.

Look to the heart of the order with Ian Happ, Christopher Morel and Michael Busch as the trio to target. Full-stack candidates include Nico Hoerner, Mike Tauchman and Dansby Swanson, though there is no need to force things too much.

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Late Slate Target: Texas Rangers at RHP Michael Wacha — 4.8 implied runs

First Pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET

The Dodgers stand out on the evening slate, but that is too easy. Texas of course is the reigning World Series champions, but the Rangers still fly under the radar. Tonight they will be in Kansas City, where it will be in the mid-60s with a 10-to-15 mph breeze blowing in from left field. On the mound is RHP Michael Wacha, who is not a bad pitcher – but he is in the absorbing punishment phase of his career. He is on his sixth different team in as many seasons and while he does not allow an abundance of power, his strikeouts are trending down, walks trending up and his mediocre groundball rate does him no favors in keeping the bases clean. He has allowed five or more runs just seven times in his last 50 starts, but he is not making any batters nervous at this stage of the game.

Aside from Josh Jung, the rest of the Rangers are available and this is a deep lineup that has the luxury of putting Wyatt Langford in the bottom of the order for less pressure packed at bats. Over the last three seasons, Marcus Semien, Corey Seager, Nathaniel Lowe, Adolis Garcia and switch-hitting catcher Jonah Heim have each playing in an All-Star Game, won a Silver Slugger Award or both. Evan Carter, Josh H. Smith and switch-hitting outfielder Leody Taveras are all excellent with the platoon-advantage, making this a fun team to stack.

Other DFS and Sports Wagering Opportunities

Today we can look to Andrew Abbot and his under 5.5 strikeouts prop, which is currently available on PointsBet and Fanatics at +100.

OddsShopper shows this bet has -107 “true odds,” and the +100 line provides an acceptable 3.3% expected ROI. We can also see how crucial it is to shop the lines, as sportsbooks tend to vary wildly with odds. This can be seen with BetRivers and Unibet all the way down at -137, which is just ridiculous by comparison.

Abbot does project for right around 5.5 strikeouts today, so this is going to be a tight wager. The 52% probability of Abbott falling short of the six-strikeout milestone is another indicator that anything less than +100 is a stayaway for this proposition.

Abbott has good strikeout stuff, but he doesn’t always end up getting the actual whiff as he is happy to get ground ball outs. Home runs are a challenge and he has allowed a pair in two of his last three games. Pitching in the Great American Ballpark is no easy feat as it is the most favorable to home runs of any venue in the league. The Batters of Birdland do strike out around 25% of the time against southpaws, but since the beginning of last year the projected lineup also boasts a .184 ISO.

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Final Thoughts for Saturday, May 4 — MLB DFS Picks

Ugh, there will be rain in the forecast hitting all the MLB DFS slates. In the early action, Pittsburgh and Washington will be impacted and knowing the Nationals, well a postponement is in play.  For the “featured-slate” there will be precipitation in Cincinnati, though there is a good possibility the game takes place tonight. Be sure to check your favorite DFS meteorological resources closer to first pitch to see if there are any 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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