MLB DFS Picks, Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks: PNW Pitching + Yankees Bats (June 15)

Saturday has a pair of featured slates. The early slate owns a first pitch of 4:05 p.m. ET at DraftKings and FanDuel — and there are some large prize pools this afternoon. Yahoo joins the Big Two with a five-game featured slate locking at 7:15 p.m. ET. 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 Nathan Eovaldi and George Kirby as key arms. The New York Yankees look like an excellent alternate to the Coors Field Extravaganza.

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks | June 15

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers

Main Slate Primary Pitching Target: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (TEX at SEA)

Rangers at Mariners – 3.7 implied runs
First Pitch: 7:15 p.m. ET
$8,900 at DraftKings
$9,300 at FanDuel
$46 at Yahoo

The Stokastic Top Stacks Tool would like to draw everyone’s attention to the Pacific Northwest tonight, where the World Champion Texas Rangers are squaring off with the current Team of Destiny in Seattle. The Mariners lead the league in strikeouts taken this year. They rank seventh in home runs, 29th in doubles and have cobbled together a .221/.299/.366 triple-slash line, which is among the bottom five teams this season.

 

However, the M’s pitching is off the charts, which is how the team leads the American League West by 6.5 games while boasting a 41-31 record despite only a +12 run differential. For perspective, the Mariners have won five of their last six games but have averaged a pedestrian 4.16 runs per game. The squad is 17-7 (70.1%) in one-run games, which is ridiculous.

This is RHP Nathan Eovaldi’s age-34 season, and he has somehow produced a career year with a personal-best 2.68 ERA and second-best 1.09 WHIP. He is still striking out 9.2 batters per nine innings — good for his best ratio in three seasons — while coming in well above his 7.7 per nine career mark. The MLB nomad has played for six franchises and began his career all the way back in 2011, just when DFS was taking hold with FanDuel and DraftStreet (RIP) leading the way, with an upstart company called DraftKings bursting onto the scene that summer.

Eovaldi has the second-best odds of being a top-two pitcher on DraftKings and Yahoo, behind only Yoshinobu Yamomoto, and is in a similar position for the blue site.

Main Slate Secondary Pitching Target: RHP George Kirby (SEA vs. TEX)

Mariners vs. Rangers – 3.4 implied runs
First Pitch: 7:15 p.m. ET
$8,600 at DraftKings
$9,000 at FanDuel
$43 at Yahoo

The main thing pushing RHP George Kirby below Eovaldi is that the 26-year-old does not have the same consistent strikeout production. However, if we swapped these two players, Kirby would get the slight edge versus his K-happy teammates. Kirby has highs of 12, nine, eight and eight strikeouts this season, but he also has three or fewer in five of his 14 starts.

The Texas offense has struggled almost as much as Seattle’s, scoring just 20 runs in the last seven games. The Rangers do a good job of limiting strikeouts, but the team is bereft of power, ranking 18th in home runs, last in doubles and with a bottom-five .239/.309/.374 triple-slash line.

Injuries are a major culprit in this poor production, with All-Star third baseman Josh Jung playing in just four games and Corey Seager also missing significant time. Seager is back, but now Evan Carter is on the injured list and Josh Smith is banged up. Last year, we would not have dreamed of actively targeting the Rangers, but here we are today.

Early Slate Primary Pitching Target: RHP Charlie Morton (ATL vs. TBR)

Braves vs. Rays – 4.3 implied runs
First Pitch: 4:10 p.m. ET
$8,600 at DraftKings
$8,900 at FanDuel
$37 at Yahoo

What’s old is new again, and RHP Charlie Morton is o-l-d, OLD! Though he is not to be confused with the Charlie Morton who was a combination infielder/outfielder between 1882 and 1885, for Allegheny (now the Pittsburgh Pirates), the St. Louis Brown Stockings (with teammates Sleeper Sullivan and Jumbo McGinnis) and the long-since-dissolved Detroit Wolverines.

Oh, he also was a player-manager for the Toledo Blue Stockings and the Wolverines — as well as a manager for the Toledo Maumees.

Current Charlie Morton is in his age-40 season, having played 17 seasons for five franchises. The elder statesman still has a strong groundball and strikeout mix, which allows him to pitch deep into games while holding DFS upside. Tampa has struggled this season, largely due to a myriad of injuries and the continued suspension of he-who-shall-not-be-named. The team has some pop, but Morton should mitigate that while taking advantage of the 24.1% strikeout rate presented by the projected lineup.

Fellow Old, RHP Justin Verlander, is in play against the Detroit Tigers, though Verlander is now 42 years old and slipping on the strikeout front. In Baltimore, RHP Grayson Rodriguez will be facing the Phillies, who just lost J.T. Realmuto to the injured list, joining Trea Turner, Brandon Marsh and Kolby Clemens.

Today's MLB DFS picks, top stacks and pitchers on DraftKings and FanDuel include MLB DFS predictions for key talent like Tanner Bibee...
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MLB DFS Picks: Top Stacks

Main Slate Primary Target: New York Yankees

Yankees vs. Red Sox – 4.9 implied runs
First Pitch: 7:15 p.m. ET
Opposing Starter: RHP Cooper Criswell
DK Top Stack %: 16.2%
FD Top Stack %: 15.9%

The Stokastic Top Stacks Tool has the New York Yankees as the second most productive stack, behind only the Pittsburgh Pirates in Coors Field. If Seattle is the Team of Destiny, then Aaron Judge is the Player of Destiny. Since May 5, Judge has 160 plate appearances with a .394/.513/.976 triple-slash line, 19 home runs, 35 total extra-base hits, 31 walks, three hit by pitches and only 36 strikeouts.

The former Rookie of the Year, American League MVP, five-time All-Star and three-time home run champion (including this season) actually broke the Yahoo salary algorithm, becoming the first $32 player in “classic” format history. He is at $30 today, with Juan Soto ($24) and Giancarlo Stanton ($18) rounding out the spendy Bronx Bombers on Yahoo.

Surprisingly, FanDuel has Judge at $5,000, though with Alex Verdugo ($3,000) and Anthony Volpe ($3,200) underpriced, it is not too difficult to use this trio with Soto ($4,200) or Stanton ($3,400). DraftKings has Judge ($6,700) and Soto ($6,300) nearly $1,500 more than any of the bats in the Coors Field Extravaganza, which also makes for some fun decisions.

Not to ignore RHP Cooper Criswell, but he was an unheralded prospect who was a 13th-round selection in the 2018 MLB Draft by the Angels. L.A. ultimately released him in mid-2022. Tampa Bay claimed Criswell off of waivers, ultimately calling him up in April 2023 for 10 games. That offseason, Criswell was released and signed by Boston to a one-year, $1 million deal. Criswell is at best an innings eater who hopes for groundballs to save him from his low strikeout rate and elevated home run challenges.

Arizona checks in as the third-most productive stack, hosting RHP Erick Fedde tonight. Next up are the Rockies at home against RHP Jared Jones, who is having a strong rookie season but has yet to experience the thin Denver air.

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Early Slate Primary Target: Baltimore Orioles

Orioles vs. Phillies – 5.0 implied runs
First Pitch: 4:05 p.m. ET
Opposing Starter: RHP Taijuan Walker
DK Top Stack %: 9.8%
FD Top Stack %: 7.5%

The Stokastic Top Stacks Tool has the Batters of Birdland ranked as the preeminent target for the afternoon slate in a nice matchup against RHP Taijuan Walker. Despite his DFS name recognition, Walker has had just one All-Star appearance, which came back in 2021 during his age-28 season.

Since joining Philadelphia last year, Walker has made 39 starts, spanning 216 innings. In this time he has a 4.58 ERA, 1.338 WHIP and is allowing 1.2 home runs per nine innings, with a league-average strikeout rate. Having spent the last four-plus seasons in the National League, the Orioles do not have many active players who have seen Walker in action more than a handful of times.

Baltimore has some boppers, and the projected O’s lineup has a .192 ISO this season against right-handed pitching with a solid 19.5% strikeout rate. They have a nice mix of batters swinging the stick from both sides of the plate, which will be useful when Walker ultimately gives way to the bullpen.

Gunnar Henderson, Anthony Santander, Adley Rutschman and Ryan O’Hearn are the core four today. Differentiation can be found from the bottom of the order with Jordan Wesburg, Colton Cowser and Cedric Mullins.

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Ty Blach is near the top of the OddsShopper model for the under on his 3.5 strikeouts prop. The best line is the -139 currently posted on Caesars.

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OddsShopper shows this bet has -154 “true odds,” so the -139 line brings a desirable 4.2% expected ROI.

We can also see how crucial it is to shop the odds, as sportsbooks tend to vary wildly with their offerings. This can be seen with FanDuel all the way down at a punitive -172, which works out to a horrible -6% expected ROI. Be a savvy shopper!

The 61% probability of Blach falling below the four-strikeout threshold is favorable, which is why this wager has such a “heavy” line for the under. On the season, Blach has just 22 strikeouts in 44.1 innings, with four or more only once. The projected Pittsburgh lineup has a 20.0% strikeout rate against southpaws this season, though those same batsmen struck out 23.9% of the time when facing lefties last year. Over the last two seasons, Blach has a horrid 13.2% strikeout rate, which bodes well for the under on this wager.

Other wagers are continually popping up and disappearing every few minutes as lineups are being announced, which is why it is key to get an OddsShopper Premium subscription to take advantage of all opportunities.

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Final MLB DFS Picks & Thoughts for Saturday, June 15

Things look reasonable for Saturday, though Atlanta is worth monitoring as there will be “humidity” storms in the vicinity of the venue. This is the start of “summer rain season” in Georgia, so for the next 10 weeks the default forecast without glancing at the real one for any games in Atlanta will have this as the baseline. Be sure to check in with your favorite MLB Weather Report page closer to first pitch for updates.

Before you finalize your MLB DFS picks, check out today’s Stokastic MLB Live Before Lock Show, at 3:00 p.m. ET brought to you by Sleeper – new users, use this link to receive a $100 first deposit match! Full details here.

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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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