MLB DFS Picks, Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks: Pablo Lopez & the Twins (June 23)

Sunday brings a full afternoon slate, with the day concluding with Sunday Night Baseball. The main slates begin at 1:35 p.m. ET 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 Paul Skenes as today’s ace if the weather cooperates, with Bryce Miller and Reese Olson as alternates. On offense, the Reds may be in play, depending on who is announced as the bulk reliver for Boston, while the Mariners and Rangers stand out as the next-best offenses.

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks | June 23

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers

Main Slate Primary Pitching Target: RHP Bryce Miller (SEA at MIA)

Mariners at Marlins – 3.4 implied runs
First Pitch: 1:40 p.m. ET
$8,800 at DraftKings
$9,800 at FanDuel
$48 at Yahoo

The Stokastic Top Pitchers Tool loves the matchup in Pittsburgh for rookie RHP Paul Skenes who is facing the Tampa Bay Rays. However, there are some weather concerns, which could take this game off the board. Keeping that in mind, we are putting forth two other options.

This afternoon RHP Bryce Miller will be making his 16th start of the season and the 41st of his career for the Mariners. Seattle selected the 25-year-old righty in the fourth round of the 2021 MLB Draft after Miller had three solid seasons with Texas A&M. Last year he made the jump from Double-A to The Show, and he has not looked back since. Miller is above average in pretty much every aspect of the game, but he is not dominant in any one category. That has him as a solid pitcher with few weaknesses. DFS gamers would like to see more strikeouts, but it does not look like that is in the cards, as Miller seems to be settling into 8.0 to 8.5 per nine innings.

Miller’s go-to pitch is his splitter, which, as detailed in this FanGraphs article, he is able to tweak slightly in a variety of ways, so it is almost like a knuckleball with its varied appearances. When he is dialed in, this offering can flummox opposing batsmen and even the slightest hesitation can create weak contact.

Miami has won three of the last four games but only five of the last 18. In this stretch, the Marlins have plated five or more runs three times while being held scoreless on six occasions. The team ranks 20th for hits, but they are in the bottom 2 for home runs, total bases and runs scored. The squad is 23rd for total strikeouts, with that being the smallest of silver linings found in this lost season.

Main Slate Secondary Pitching Target: RHP Reese Olson (DET vs. CHW)

Tigers vs. White Sox – 3.8 implied runs
First Pitch: 1:40 p.m. ET
$6,500 at DraftKings
$8,300 at FanDuel
$37 at Yahoo

RHP Reese Olson is another hurler in his sophomore campaign who gets a great matchup against a dreadful offense. Olson’s salary is all over the place, but it is particularly discounted on DraftKings. The 24-year-old has struggled in June, allowing 17 runs, including a trio of taters, in his first three starts.

Monday he righted the ship by going into Atlanta and posting six scoreless innings and eight strikeouts, tying his season high. Today the row should be much easier to hoe, with a matchup against the White Sox. Chicago is 26 runs below Miami for the fewest runs scored in the league while being in the bottom 2 for runs and total bases, with the 10th-most strikeouts. Even when Eloy Jimenez returns, likely on Monday or Tuesday, it should not have much of a lift, as Yoan Moncada is still out and the back of the lineup is filled with nobodies.

The main threats for Olson today will be Luis Robert Jr., Gavin Sheets and Andrew Vaughn. Though he is far from being considered a strikeout artist, Olson gets enough to keep himself out of trouble, and his ability to limit power keeps the big innings to a minimum.

Late Slate Primary Pitching Target: RHP Pablo Lopez (MIN at OAK)

Twins at Athletics – 3.5 implied runs
First Pitch: 4:07 p.m. ET
$8,500 at DraftKings
$9,600 at FanDuel
$42 at Yahoo

The late slate is sparse this afternoon with only two games on the docket. RHP Pablo Lopez easily stands out as the preferred pitcher in a matchup against the anemic Oakland offense. Though the A’s have 21 more runs than Miami and 47 more than the ChiSox, they are still the third-worst offense in the league, trailing only Seattle in strikeouts.

For those feeling bold, it is worth noting that Lopez has been very hittable this month, allowing 14 runs in 13 innings of action. The Yankees hammered him for seven runs in the Bronx two weeks ago, which is understandable. However, home dates against the Rockies and Rays also resulted in seven runs across nine combined innings.

The last six appearances have left Lopez with just under a strikeout per inning, but the nine home runs in 29.2 frames have been costly. For those rostering Lopez, feel free to take a hitter or two against him as well for differentiation. Oakland has the seventh-most home runs in the league, but they typically are with the bases empty. JJ Bleday, Brent Rooker, Shane Langeliers and Tyler Soderstrom are candidates for this sadistic strategy.

For those looking to take the road less traveled, it is a scenic one with RHP Tobias Myers allowing just one run in his last 20.1 innings, RHP Michael King ceding five in his last 26.2 innings and LHP Hogan Harris allowing four in his 25 most recent frames. For those scoring at home, that is just 10 runs across 72 innings. Perhaps this is the path to glory rather than rolling with Lopez.

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: Texas Rangers

Rangers vs. Royals – 5.0 implied runs
First Pitch: 2:35 p.m. ET
Opposing Starter: RHP Alec Marsh
DK Top Stack %: 5.8%
FD Top Stack %: 6.6%

Instead of turning things around and building on his seven shutout innings of the Yankees, RHP Alec Marsh was whomped by the Athletics in Oakland on Tuesday. He allowed seven of his nine baserunners to score, despite ceding only one round-tripper. The three doubles were not kind either.

Across his last five starts, Marsh has compiled 27 innings, a 7.00 ERA, 5.00 FIP and 3.92 xFIP. Yes, he has been unlucky and does have 29 strikeouts in this timeframe, but the trend is not his friend. Texas has been mediocre on offense this season, though there should be some buzz at the stadium today with RHP Max Scherzer toeing the rubber. After a five-game slide, the Rangers have rattled off three wins, and the team has plated at least five runs in five of the last seven tilts.

Marsh has had some power struggles, with a .217 ISO across his last 630 batters faced. Corey Seager, Adolis Garcia and Marcus Semien are the trio to target, and Josh Smith, Nate Lowe and Wyatt Langford are in the mix for full stacks.

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Main Slate Secondary Target: Seattle Mariners

Mariners at Marlins – 4.3 implied runs
First Pitch: 1:40 p.m. ET
Opposing Starter: RHP Kyle Tyler
DK Top Stack %: 6.8%
FD Top Stack %: 6.4%

The Stokastic Top Stacks Tool would like to know who the bulk-innings hurler will be today for the Boston Red Sox. If we get word that it is RHP Chase Anderson, definitely pivot to the Cincinnati Reds in the Great American Ballpark.

Seattle tends to perform better on the road, but Marlins Park is a pitching-friendly venue. This is all about targeting RHP Kyle Tyler, who is slated to make the start after languishing in the minors. Tyler was the 601st player selected in the 2018 MLB Draft after three seasons with the University of Oklahoma. He worked his way through the Angels farm system, getting a cup of coffee in 2021 for 12.1 innings. He was designated for assignment the following spring and claimed by Boston, who dropped him less than 72 hours later, but hope was not lost, as San Diego scooped him up. Sadly, he barely lasted a week with the Padres, who DFA’d him, only to have the Angels snag him again for about three days before cutting him a second time. It was the Friars back to the rescue, and Tyler actually saw another brief stint in The Show before being cut.

The journey does not end there by any stretch, as Tyler also spent time with San Francisco and Seattle before landing with Miami. The Marlins used him for two innings in April before sending him to Triple-A Jacksonville. The 27-year-old has a sterling 2.80 ERA across 45 innings, but the 18 walks and just 35 strikeouts are a problem.

The Mariners are a strikeout-happy crew, with a maddeningly inconsistent offense. A lot of this has to do with budding superstar Julio Rodriguez suddenly losing his power stroke, contributing only seven home runs and 29 RBIs on the season. Rodriguez has had at least that many home runs in three separate months during his short career, so hopefully he escapes the doldrums. He has been a wizard on the basepaths with 16 steals, and he does have 36 runs scored. By comparison, leadoff man J.P. Crawford has the same number of home runs and three more extra-base hits in 100 fewer at-bats.

In addition to this duo, switch-hitting catcher Cal Raleigh and lefties Josh Rojas and Luke Raley are the foundational plays for M’s stacks. The Miami bullpen is relatively fresh, but there are not too many daunting arms outside of LHP Tanner Scott.

Late Slate Primary Target: Minnesota Twins

Twins at Athletics – 4.7 implied runs
First Pitch: 4:07 p.m. ET
Opposing Starter: LHP Hogan Harris
DK Top Stack %: 30.2%
FD Top Stack %: 30.1%

The Twins will be popular with the best team total among the four squads taking the field this afternoon. LHP Hogan Harris can hold his own, but it is going to be against an entirely right-handed Minnesota lineup. Manny Margot had two round-trippers yesterday, and, of course, Jose Miranda is lights out with the platoon advantage.

Royce Lewis has been absurd with 10 home runs and three doubles in just 62 at-bats this season, and Carlos Correa seems to finally be healthy. That is the main selling point for the Twins but also why they will be the most represented stack in tournaments. Similar to the section above with Lopez, those actually reading the analysis and not just skimming the headers will get a subversive secret strategy. Milwaukee has a paltry 3.6 team total, but that is an insult to this squad, which ranks sixth in the league for runs scored and 12th for total bases.

Continuing to camouflage the subterfuge by not bolding these names, Christian Yelich, Willy Adames, Rhys Hoskins, Joey Ortiz and William Contreras are the makings of an excellent contrarian stack that is somehow underrepresented in a four-team player pool. Enjoy!

If you need some more tips on how to use the Post-Contest Simulator to improve your lineup study process, Steve Buzzard has a great guide here on how to maximize your lessons learned from the Sims! Check it out HERE.

Currently RHP Michael King is in an interesting spot, with two different lines both showing a positive ROI in OddsShopper.

Both are, of course, for the under on his strikeouts prop, though both the -154 line on FanDuel for under 6.5 strikeouts and the +117 line on Unibet and BetRivers hold value.

OddsShopper shows this bet has +107 “true odds,” for the under 5.5 strikeouts, which grants a 4.8% expected ROI on Unibet and BetRivers. The models have King for 6.01 strikeouts today, which also gives the -154 line on FanDuel a 3.0% expected ROI with the increased 6.5 strikeout threshold.




We can also see how crucial it is to shop the odds, as sportsbooks tend to vary wildly with their offerings. This is evident with sharp book Pinnacle all the way down at a punitive -116, which works out to a NEGATIVE 10% expected ROI. Be a savvy shopper!

King has been terrific this season with 101 strikeouts in 87.2 innings for 10.37 strikeouts per nine. However, the Brew Crew is relatively selective at the plate, with 21.6% strikeout and 9.5% walk rates against right-handed pitching this season. Extending that to the start of last year, the projected lineup has a collective 22.4% strikeout and 9.4% walk rate.

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 Sunday, June 23

Heat and humidity rule the day with some terrific hitting weather across the Midwest and East Coast games. There will be rain in Cleveland, though it should conclude within an hour on either side of the scheduled start time. Pittsburgh carries more risk as there is late-afternoon rain in the forecast. Be sure to check in with your favorite MLB Weather Report page closer to first pitch for updates before making your MLB DFS picks.

Before you finalize your MLB DFS picks, check out today’s Stokastic MLB Live Before Lock Show, at 12:30 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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