MLB DFS Picks, Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks: SP1 Luis Castillo + Rangers Bats! (May 6)

The Monday MLB DFS action has a six-game featured slate with a 7:10 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 Luis Castillo and Cole Ragans as key arms, with the Rangers and Cardinals as the teams to stack.

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks | May 6

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers

Main Slate Primary Pitching Target: RHP Luis Castillo at Minnesota Twins — 3.7 implied runs

First Pitch: 7:40 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $9,600 | FanDuel $10,200 | Yahoo $51

The Stokastic Top Pitchers Tool has bestowed ace honors to RHP Luis Castillo, who continues to be a frontline starter in his age-31 season. Most of his numbers are similar to his career rates, with the exception of his 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings, which are an improvement, though also in line with what he has produced since joining the Mariners. It is fun to remember that the first 77 of Castillo’s 188 career starts occurred while he was in the National League, prior to the universal designated hitter. For those missing the subtle nuance of that statement, he is striking out batters at a higher rate, even though he does not have the luxury of facing pitchers as nine-hole hitters.

Minnesota has a decent offense, particularly with Max Kepler and Carlos Correa healthy. However, Byron Buxton is hurt yet again, and talented youngster Royce Lewis is still a couple weeks away from returning to action. Plus, longtime stalwart Jorge Polanco is now hitting in the middle of the Seattle lineup, so a lot of the recent 12-game winning streak for the Twins was based on pitching and fortuitous offensive luck. There is no forgiveness in Castillo’s salary tonight, but he is the best option for all DFS formats.

Main Slate Secondary Pitching Target: LHP Cole Ragans vs. Milwaukee Brewers — 4.0 implied runs

First Pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $8,800 | FanDuel $9,500 | Yahoo $43

The Royals have been proactive and moved up the start time of this game by 30 minutes in an effort to finish most of the game prior to a storm system that is arriving later this evening. Kansas City is one of a couple Midwest teams that took this approach last year, which is refreshing to see.

Outside of a meltdown against the Baltimore Orioles, LHP Cole Ragans has put up some excellent numbers yet again. Half of his 14 runs occurred in those 1.2 innings, which means in his 35.0 remaining innings, he has a 1.80 ERA and 10.8 strikeouts per nine innings.

Christian Yelich, Joey Wiemer and Garrett Mitchell are all out with injuries, and catcher/designated hitter Gary Sanchez is dealing with sore hamstring. Former Philadelphia slugger Rhys Hoskins has been a nice addition to the lineup, but there is less overall depth than there was last season when the team won the National League Central title.

Ragans does a nice job of limiting power and racking up strikeouts while also being above average with ground balls. He should feast on the back half of this lineup against the likes of lefties Sal Frelick and Bryce Turang and righties Joey Ortiz and  Jackson Chourio. This quartet has a collective 203 plate appearances against southpaws over the last season and change, with almost no power and a 25% strikeout rate.

MLB DFS Picks: Top Stacks

Main Slate Primary Target: Texas Rangers at LHP Alex Wood — 4.4 implied runs

First Pitch: 9:40 p.m. ET

This is a good matchup for the Texas Rangers, with the only knock against them being the cooler weather in Oakland, where the game-time temperatures will be in the mid-50s, albeit with a 10 to 15 mph breeze to right field. Veteran LHP Alex Wood has allowed just three runs in his last two starts, spanning 9.2 innings. However, he has allowed a home run in five consecutive games. All told, opposing hitters have 18 extra-base hits against him in just 31.1 innings, and the 33-year-old has had control issues, allowing 17 walks thus far.

Across his last 417 lefty/right matchups, Wood has surrendered a .191 ISO, which is horrible for a “ground ball” pitcher. Since the start of last year, he has only a 17.7% strikeout rate and an unsightly 10.0% walk rate. Every right-handed hitter in the Texas lineup is in play, along with Corey Seager, who smashes fellow lefties.

Main Slate Secondary Target: St. Louis Cardinals vs. LHP Sean Manaea — 4.4 implied runs

First Pitch: 7:45 p.m. ET

The Stokastic Top Stacks Tool likes the Cardinals against LHP Sean Manaea. Over his nine seasons in the league, the 32-year-old lefty has been solid, but he gets far more credit for his name recognition than he should in the DFS world. Control has been a challenge for the veteran this season, as he is throwing a career-low 51% fastballs and has moved away from his slider to include a cutter. Manaea has four walks in each of his last two games, with 18 in just 29.1 innings this season. If this continues, it is going to ultimately lead to crooked numbers on the scoreboard.

While Paul Goldschmidt (36) and Nolan Arenado (33) are each another year older, we still have to respect their career production against southpaws. Catcher Willson Contreras has taken things to a new level, leaving his opening-month slump last year in the rear-view mirror. Dylan Carlson (shoulder) is finally available, and he rounds out a strong foursome at the top of the lineup.

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Other DFS and Sports Wagering Opportunities

Even if you are not ready to attack LHP Sean Manaea with a St. Louis stack, we can look to the under on his 4.5 strikeouts prop, which is currently available on Hard Rock at -105. Manaea is projected for just over four strikeouts today, which is under tonight’s milestone.

OddsShopper shows this bet has -105 “true odds,” and the -121 provides a nice 6.9% 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 sharp book Pinnacle all the way down at -142, which is punitive by comparison.

Manaea has tallied five or more strikeouts in three of his six starts but only once in his last three. The projected lineup for the Redbirds has struck out only 18.1% of the time against southpaws since the start of last season, and it has also been incredibly selective with nearly a double-digit walk rate. The hope is that Manaea burns through his pitches, and his control issues continue, leading to subpar outing and fewer than five strikeouts.

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Final Thoughts for Monday, May 6 — MLB DFS Picks

Kansas City has moved up the slate by adjusting the first pitch from 7:40 p.m. ET, to 7:10 p.m. ET, which should help the game be completed prior to the pending precipitation. Cleveland and Pittsburgh will see some rain, but it looks like at most only a delay is in play. 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, at 5:30 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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