MLB DFS Picks, Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks: SP1 Cole Ragans + Royals Bats (June 24)

Monday looks like another banger, with a nine-game featured slate locking at 7:10 p.m. ET on DraftKings and FanDuel. Yahoo is reaching forward to grab the three earlier games for a 12-gamer with a 6:35 p.m. ET first pitch. 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 Cole Ragans as today’s ace, with a couple of wild card options in James Paxton and Griffin Canning. The offensive options are plentiful, even with no Coors Field Extravaganza. Kansas City, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and San Diego are all in play, which should create a tremendous tournament environment tonight.

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks | June 24

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers

Main Slate Primary Pitching Target: LHP Cole Ragans (KC vs. MIA)

Royals vs. Marlins – 3.8 implied runs
First Pitch: 8:10 p.m. ET
$10,100 at DraftKings
$11,000 at FanDuel
$48 at Yahoo

The Stokastic Top Pitchers Tool has just one concern for LHP Cole Ragans, which, of course, is the temperatures pushing triple digits in Kauffman Stadium and a 12 to 15 mph wind out to left-center. This, along with a matchup against RHP Roddery Munoz, has the Royals with a projected team total of six, while the Marlins have only a 3.8 implied total against Ragans.

After a series against Seattle that saw Miami in this article every day, it is hard to come up with new ways to articulate just how poor this offense is for the season. Fortunately, it is against a southpaw today, which is something that we did not see against the Mariners. The current active roster for the Marlins has a 66 wRC+ against lefties, which basically indicates it is creating runs one-third less efficiently than league average. It also means that both Los Angeles teams and the Mets are essentially twice as good as Miami when squaring off against southpaws.

The one saving grace is a 21.5% strikeout rate against left-handed hurlers, though that is unlikely to come into play today with Ragans being an elite strikeout artist. The projected Miami lineup has a 23.2% K rate against lefties since the start of last year, while Ragans has a 28.9% combined rate in that same timeframe. Enjoy!

Main Slate Secondary Pitching Target: LHP James Paxton (LAD at CHW)

Dodgers at White Sox – 3.8 implied runs
First Pitch: 8:10 p.m. ET
$7,700 at DraftKings
$8,600 at FanDuel
$31 at Yahoo

The White Sox are the third-worst offense in the league against lefties, posting a 79 wRC+, but that is almost a full standard deviation better than the Marlins. Chicago also has below-average power and above-average strikeouts. Today will be only the 170th start of LHP James Paxton’s career, despite debuting back in the 2013 season with Seattle.

The Big Maple is in his age-35 season and has logged only 184.1 innings since 2020, including 66.2 this year. When healthy, he had 10-plus strikeouts per nine innings and did a solid job of limiting power and walks. The myriad of injuries he has dealt with has sapped (cwidt) him of his best skills, so this is a recommendation based on salary and matchup. Paxton would be better served in the wild card section below, but it is already occupied — he is serviceable as an SP2 on DraftKings and especially Yahoo for his discounted salary.

Main Slate Wild Card Pitching Target: RHP Griffin Canning (LAA vs. OAK)

Angels vs. Athletics – 3.5 implied runs
First Pitch: 9:38 p.m. ET
$6,100 at DraftKings
$7,200 at FanDuel
$32 at Yahoo

Tonight we have an irresistible force on a collision course with an immovable object. This is taking shape of the Oakland offense against RHP Griffin “Tomato” Canning. Why yes, the same pitcher we have targeted with opposing batsmen several times this season. So what gives?!

First off, the A’s offense is consistently inconsistent. They it has seventh-most home runs in the league but the second-most strikeouts and third-fewest runs. This is best encapsulated in their two weekend games against Minnesota where the team hit two home runs, which in turn were the only times they saw runners cross the plate in 18 innings.

Canning is a perfectly average starter; this year he seems to have lost his strikeout mojo, dropping to 6.02 per nine innings, well down from his career-high 9.85 last year and his career average of 8.78. His fastball is down a tick from last season to 93.6 mph but otherwise is in line with the rest of his career. He has moved some of his fastballs and sliders over to sinkers and changeups but beyond that has a similar pitch mix over the last few years.

In a fun twist, the current Athletics have only 14 at-bats against Canning, it should be no surprise that Shea Langeliers and Brent Rooker got to him for home runs, but that lack of familiarity is one more thing pushing this matchup towards Canning’s favor, along with a discounted salary.

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: Cincinnati Reds

Reds vs. Pirates – 5.2 implied runs
First Pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
Opposing Starter: LHP Bailey Falter
DK Top Stack %: 9.2%
FD Top Stack %: 9.2%

This game can be stacked on both sides, with excellent hitting weather and shaky pitching for each team. Ultimately the track record of disappointment is longer for LHP Bailey Falter, though do not be shy about taking some of the Pittsburgh lefties against rookie RHP Carson Spiers.

So far this season, Falter looks good with a 3.74 ERA, but that is accompanied by a career-worst 5.12 xERA and just 5.90 strikeouts per nine innings, well below his 7.13 average. Cincinnati will be rolling out a right-handed-heavy lineup, with Spencer Steer and Tyler Stephenson anchoring the heart of the order. Switch-hitters Jeimer Candelario and Elly De La Cruz are always in play, with Jonathan India and Stuart Fairchild also on the short list. It is going to be in the mid-80s with moderate humidity, making this a great MLB DFS environment in the most homer-happy park in the league.

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Main Slate Secondary Target: Kansas City Royals

Royals vs. Marlins – 5.9 implied runs
First Pitch: 8:10 p.m. ET
Opposing Starter: RHP Roddery Munoz
DK Top Stack %: 6.8%
FD Top Stack %: 6.4%

The Stokastic Top Stacks Tool is fired up for the weather in Kansas City, where it is hot and humid with 12 to 15 mph winds out to left-center and a gas can on the mound in the form of RHP Roddery Munoz. The 24-year-old has a 95 to 97 mph fastball, but there is very little movement on it and he has below-average alternate pitches.

In his six starts, Munoz has allowed multiple home runs four times and 11 — yes, ELEVEN — total round-trippers in 29.2 innings. He has 30 strikeouts, but that loses some luster when remembering he has allowed 20 total runs. It also has not been helpful (well, for the Marlins) to see Munoz issuing 14 walks in his limited work.

Start off the fun with lefties Vinnie Pasquantino and MJ Melendez while rounding out stacks with Bobby Witt Jr. and Salvador Perez. Sadly, Hunter Renfroe is on the injured list, but this is a matchup where the light-tower power of Nelson Velazquez should be of great consequence.

Late Slate Primary Target: San Diego Padres

Padres vs. Nationals – 4.9 implied runs
First Pitch: 9:40 p.m. ET
Opposing Starter: LHP Patrick Corbin
DK Top Stack %: 5.8%
FD Top Stack %: 6.0%

In three of his last four games, LHP Patrick Corbin has allowed only four total runs. In that fourth game, the Mets hung six on him, including a trio of taters. In his last six starts, Corbin has three multi-home run efforts. Across these 33.2 innings, he has struck out 26 while allowing 22 runs. All told he has four games of six runs or more in just 15 starts.

Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado, Ha-Seong Kim and switch-hitter Jurickson Profar are the key building blocks for San Diego stacks. Kyle Higashioka could draw the start at catcher, making him the punt du jour at that position, even if he is batting at the bottom of the order. Utility man Donovan Solan is having solid year against southpaws, putting him in play, depending on where he lands in the lineup.

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.

Focusing on the Reds in DFS is a great strategy today, but we can also look to target LHP Bailey Falter on his under 3.5 strikeouts prop, which is currently available at +125 on Hard Rock and Fanatics.

OddsShopper shows this bet has +117 “true odds” for under 3.5 strikeouts, which works out to a +3.8% expected ROI.

Though Falter projects for just shy of four strikeouts tonight, the plus money is key to offset the 46% probability that he falls under the 3.5 milestone for this wager.

 

 

 

Falter has four or more strikeouts in four of his last five games, but he has been close with three, five, six, five and four. In the three games preceding this arbitrary data set, he had two, one and three strikeouts. The point is that Falter is not a strikeout pitcher, and with weather and the ballpark working against him, it stands to reason there is a good chance that the Reds can force him from the game before he gets that fourth strikeout.

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 Monday, June 24

Warm weather is again the message of the day, with no real precipitation concerns. 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 6:00 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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