MLB DFS Picks, Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks: Pick on the Rockies Once More! (March 29)

Get ready for a festive Friday night of MLB DFD action, with contests locking at 6:50 p.m. ET on DraftKings and FanDuel, while Yahoo goes with a 7:10 p.m. ET first pitch. 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 Merrill Kelly and George Kirby as today’s aces, for the main and late slates.

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks | Mar. 29

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers

Main Slate Primary Pitching Target: RHP Merrill Kelly vs. Colorado Rockies — 3.7 implied runs

First Pitch: 9:40 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $9,400 | FanDuel $9,400 | Yahoo $50

Wow, that certainly was a shellacking that the Diamondbacks pasted onto the Colorado Rockies, with a 16-1 victory. LHP Kyle Freeland was tagged for 10 runs in 2.1 innings, allowing the only three extra-base hits of the game, with one longball and a pair of doubles. RHP Zac Gallen was strong and while he had just three strikeouts, he ceded just one earned run and five total baserunners across five innings.

Tonight it is RHP Merrill Kelly who gets the cherry matchup against the Rockies, who struggle mightily on the road. It is going to be a race to the bottom for Colorado, Oakland and Washington this season, so we know these teams will see a lot of words written about them in this article series, both for stacks against and opposing pitchers.

Kelly had a long and winding road to The Show, but that is a story for another time. All we need to know for today is that he had a personal best 9.47 strikeouts per nine innings last year, while logging 30 starts for the third time in the last four full seasons. The projected lineup for the Rockies will have three lefties in the first five batsmen, but Charlie Blackmon is getting pretty long in the tooth, while Nolan Jones and Ryan McMahon do not exactly have a lot of protection around them. All told this crew had a dismal 26.9% strikeout rate against right-handed hurlers with a putrid 5.7% walk rate.

Though DFS gamers wish Kelly had a higher strikeout rate, if he maintains what he had last season, with around one per inning, he should be in for another strong year. He is mostly splits-neutral, while also doing a good job of limiting power. He and Gallen form a nice one-two punch with similar skill sets.

Main Slate Secondary Pitching Target: RHP George Kirby vs. Boston Red Sox — 3.6 implied runs

First Pitch: 9:40 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $9,700 | FanDuel $9,600 | Yahoo $47

Both of the recommended Friday pitchers also double as late-slate options, so we will not have a need to specifically highlight that subset of the player pool. The Boston Red Sox will have moments this season, but against frontline pitching, their top-heavy lineup is likely to be exposed more often than not. The back of the order will typically be Ceddanne Rafaela, Emmanuel Valdez and whomever is behind the dish, which for tonight is likely Connor Wong. That is a trio of rally-killers and it isn’t like the first five are overly formidable.

Yes, Rafael Devers is one of the best bats in the game, but Trevor Story has a hard time staying healthy and while both Triston Casa and Tyler O’Neill have excellent power, they have holes in their swings. That leaves a pair of talented, though unproven outfielders in Jarren Duran and Masataka Yoshida, who are still finding their way.

The Mariners love RHP George Kirby as he limits power with is 44.6% groundball rate, but hardly issues any walks, with just 2.4% last year and a league-low 0.9 per nine innings. He does have strikeout ability when needed, but his efficient style works best when he is just focused on inducing weak contact. He made 31 starts last year while leading the league with a 9.05 strikeouts per walk ratio. He pitches deep into games and ended up with 20 quality starts, which is key on FanDuel where they receive bonus points.

Main Slate Wild Card Pitching Target: RHP Zach Gallen vs. Colorado Rockies — 3.9 implied runs

First Pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $7,000 | FanDuel $7,000 | Yahoo $27

There is a chance of rain and even a postponed game in Oakland, which will likely remove LHP Logan Allen from the mix. Fellow southpaw A.J. Puk is far from a consolation prize, though he can be skipped on FanDuel, as he is better utilized as an SP2 for DraftKings and Yahoo. Pittsburgh will run out as many right-handed hitters as they can, which should leave only Oneil Cruz and Rowdy Tellez as the batters swinging the stick from the left-side of the plate. The projected lineup for the Pirates has a 19.9% strikeout rate since the start of last season, with only Henry Davis, Jared Triolo and Michael A. Taylor whiffing at an above average rate. The tradeoff is pitiful power, outside of Taylor, Ke’Bryan Hayes and Connor Joe.

Though he only has 147.2 innings at the major league level, Puk is no longer a prospect, having made his debut for the Oakland Athletics back in 2019, during his age-24 season. He will be 29 years old next month and still has not proven that he can stay healthy and maintain a high level of productivity. Caveat Emptor!

MLB DFS Picks: Top Stacks

Main Slate Primary Target: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. RHP Cal Quantrill — 5.6 implied runs

First Pitch: 9:40 p.m. ET

The Chase Field roof will be open again tonight, which is not going to do any favors for RHP Cal Quantrill. Though he is a legacy, it would seem that his Uncle Paul may be about as effective against the Diamondbacks tonight, even though he has been out of the league for 20 years. The younger Quantrill struck out just 5.24 per nine innings last year, for 58 strikeouts in 99.2 innings. Yes, he basically managed one whiff every other inning … yikes.

Lefties are his real Kryptonite, which means we should see Corbin Carroll leading off and Joc Pederson in the heart of the order. Colorado has just one healthy left-handed reliever in the bullpen and Jalen Beeks threw 23 pitches last night. It is the start of the season, so he could go again tonight, but that bodes well for Pederson not being lifted for a pinch hitter.

Switch-hitter Ketel Marte is also a coveted option, with the final lefty Alek Thomas being a cheapie from the bottom of the order. Christian Walker is the other notable mention, though Lourdes Gurriel Jr., catcher Gabriel Moreno and swing-from-his-heels Eugenio Suarez are fine for full stacks.

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Late Slate Target: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. LHP Zack Thompson — 5.5 implied runs

First Pitch: 10:10 p.m. ET

First and foremost, we should not confuse LHP Zack Thompson with RHP Zach Thompson, and while neither is overly formidable, the latter is four years older and was last seen being released by the Toronto Blue Jays. Anytime the Dodgers are facing a lefty, we should see veterans Chris Taylor and Kike Hernandez (yes, he is back in LA) in the lineup. Considering the boys in blue have three former MVPs at the top of the order, it will be interesting to see where this duo slots in. Also, with their ability to field multiple positions as well as at least being adequate against same-handed hurlers, there is less of a pinch-hit risk if a southpaw comes in out of the pen.

Mookie Betts of course is amazing and thankfully DraftKings is likely to have him well into the $6,000s most slates. That cannot be said for FanDuel ($4,500), where he is the most expensive bat, but the salary cap is pretty soft or Yahoo ($20) where 10 other players command a larger cap hit. Shohei Ohtani and Freddie Freeman are golden gods against same-handed pitching, but they too are expensive. Teoscar Hernandez comes at a significant salary savings and he is excellent in righty/lefty matchups.

Other DFS and Sports Wagering Opportunities

Tonight we can look to J.P. Crawford in the sports wagering market with his +870 prop to hit a home run. The True Odds feature on OddsShopper shows this long-shot bet has +770 “true odds” and the +870 line currently available at FanDuel is the book to place this wager, with an 11.5% expected return on investment (ROI). Most of the other popular books are in the +600 range, which shows just how favorable this line is on FanDuel.

Home runs are of course very fickle and this prop has just an 11% probability of coming to fruition. Crawford had a personal-best 19 home runs last year in 638 plate appearances. For perspective across his seven seasons in The Show, he has 46 total home runs in 2,785 plate appearances. He led the league with 94 walks, so he is good at getting the pitch he wants. The hope is that he will regularly move into the leadoff slot against right-handed pitchers. That along with a matchup against RHP Nick Pivetta, who allowed 16 of 23 round-trippers to lefties, along with a .284 ISO, gives us hope that these long-odds pay off tonight.

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Final Thoughts for Friday, March 28 — MLB DFS Picks

Keep tabs on the weather in Oakland where a rare rainout is currently a possibility. Los Angeles also has a non-zero chance of precipitation occurring in the game-window, though there should be enough lead time to avoid anything other than late-game risk. It will be cooler in Chavez Ravine tonight, with temperatures in the upper-50s, and while there will almost certainly be rain – it looks like that will not arrive until around midnight. Keep tabs on any changes closer to first pitch, with your favorite DFS weather sources.

Before you finalize your MLB DFS picks, check out today’s Stokastic MLB Live Before Lock, at 5:00 p.m. ET, 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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