MLB DFS Picks, Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks: SP1s Joe Ryan and Freddy Peralta (April 19)

Friday wraps up the work week with a 10-game featured slate, with a 7:05 p.m. ET first pitch on DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo each have their own interpretation of featured slates, so be sure to know the nuances for your site of choice. Before we get to our MLB DFS picks, as always, we will use Stokastic’s tools to help in identifying today’s MLB DFS stacks, key pitchers and daily fantasy baseball lineups. Look to Joe Ryan and Freddy Peralta as key arms. There is of course a Coors Field Extravaganza, which is always intriguing, along with the Dodgers and

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks | April 19

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers

Main Slate Primary Pitching Target: RHP Joe Ryan vs. Detroit Tigers — 3.6 implied runs

First Pitch: 8:10 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $8,900 | FanDuel $10,200 | Yahoo $47

The Stokastic Top Pitchers Tool has identified a trio to target when it comes to throwing talent, with the hurlers covering each part of today’s table. First up is RHP Joe Ryan, who has been on a heater thus far, which is a bonus since it is cold and windy in his home park. Tonight it will be in the mid-40s during the game, with winds blowing out to right-center in the 12-to-17 mph range. Those two factors should mostly neutralize each other, which leaves the magnificent matchup against the muddling offense of the Motor City Kitties.

Detroit will be looking to stay above .500 this weekend, bringing in a 10-9 record, along with a five losses in the last seven games. The Tigers currently have an 85 wRC+ for the season, indicating that they are producing runs 15% less efficiently than league-average. Their run production does improve about 4% against right-handed pitching, but the team strikes out 24.5% of the time, which is the eighth highest on the season.

Looking to the individual matchups, the top of the order is serviceable with lefties Riley Greene and Kerry Carpenter, along with right-handed batsmen Mark Canha and Spencer Torkelson combining to create a quartet that is above average against pitchers of either handedness. Things fall apart after that with dusty veterans Javier Baez and Gio Urshela on the wrong side of 30, while Parker Meadows and Colt Keith are struggling to prove they belong in The Show.

Though Ryan is still searching for his first victory, he has piled up 24 strikeouts in his three starts, authoring a 2.60 ERA and 0.92 WHIP across 17.1 innings. Last year the 28-year-old ace did allow a career-high 1.78 home runs per nine innings, though he has ceded just two round-trippers so far and should have the talent advantage to hold sway over the Tigers tonight.

Main Slate Secondary Pitching Target: RHP Freddy Peralta at St. Louis Cardinals — 3.6 implied runs

First Pitch: 8:15 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $9,500 | FanDuel $11,200 | Yahoo $51

Tonight RHP Freddy Peralta is coming in as the most expensive option on two of the three main DFS sites and he has the second largest salary cap hit on DraftKings. This season it will be up to the 27-year-old to lead the Milwaukee rotation, with RHP Corbin Burnes traded to Baltimore and RHP Brandon Woodruff on the 60-day injured list.

Peralta is off to a strong start, allowing a mere five runs in 17.2 innings. Most impressive are the 26 strikeouts against just two walks and four total extra-base hits consisting of a pair of doubles and home runs. On the season, St. Louis has been in the bottom-third of the league for run creation against right-handed hurlers, while striking out 24.2% of the time, which is the 10th most in the league.

Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado and Willson Contreras have the best past history against Peralta, though that success should not have gamers shying away from this matchup.

Main Slate Wild Card Pitching Target:  LHP Jordan Montgomery at San Francisco Giants — 3.6 implied runs

First Pitch: 8:15 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $9,200 | FanDuel $8,300 | Yahoo $25

The salary algorithms are not in agreement with how to handle LHP Jordan Montgomery in his debut with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Yahoo seemingly forgot he was in the league after not securing a deal until late-March. The free agent was one of the four prominent clients of Scott Boras, who saw the expected market never materialize for Monty, LHP Blake Snell, third baseman Matt Chapman and former National League MVP Cody Bellinger. 

Since he did not see action during spring training, the 31-year-old southpaw made a pair of MiLB appearances for Triple-A Reno. Though these were tune-ups, it is not overly comforting to see the 10.57 ERA and 2.217 WHIP, in 7.2 innings. Montgomery threw 60 and 71 pitches in these outings, so something around 80-to-85 pitches feels appropriate. We should not feel too sad for the southpaw as he will be making $25 million on his one-year deal with the Diamondbacks.

San Francisco will be running out a mostly right-handed lineup tonight. The collection of hitters has above average pop against lefties, but also above average strikeouts. The weather and ballpark favor Montgomery, so he is an easy click at the Yahoo minimum, though it is harder choose that path for the featured tournaments on FanDuel and DraftKings. The late-slate is a different story, with the player pool slimmed down to just six starting pitchers.

MLB DFS Picks: Top Stacks

Main Slate Primary Target: Cleveland Guardians vs. RHP Joe Boyle — 5.0 implied runs

First Pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET

The Stokastic Top Stacks Tool hopes that most of you have seen the move Bull Durham. It is a classic baseball flick, set in the bus leagues, where a savvy veteran catcher is tasked with molding a talented, flamethrowing knucklehead into a pitcher who can survive in “The Show.”

That pitcher of course is Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh, who has been bestowed with a “million dollar arm” but a 5-cent head. Early in the movie, the manager and the pitching coach are reviewing the stat sheet with the conversation as follows:

Joe Reardon (manager): “He walked 18.”

Larry Hockett (pitching coach): “New league record!”

Joe: “Struck out 18.”

Larry: “Another new league record! In addition he hit the sportswriter, the public address announce and the bull mascot … twice. All new league records!”

That dear reader is what we are looking at with RHP Joe Boyle. In 36 innings as a reliever for three seasons at Notre Dame, Boyle had 14.3 strikeouts per nine innings, but also 14.0 walks. It has been more of the same for the fifth-round selection in the 2020 MLB Draft in the minors with 13.7 strikeouts per nine innings, but 7.2 walks per nine – across 1,022 batters faced. Heck, he allows fewer hits (5.2 per nine) than walks.

Even more wild are the full-season projections from ZiPs, Steamer, The Bat, etc. which have him between 9.22 and 10.35 strikeouts per nine, but with 5.27 to 6.75 walks per nine. There are “live arms” and then there is Boyle.

Once again the Cleveland Guardians have built a lineup that limits strikeouts, with above average contact ability and power. That is the worst case scenario for Boyle as the 24-year-old figures out how to mitigate opposing big league lineups. Switch-hitter Jose Ramirez and the Naylor brothers (Josh and Bo) bring the power, while leadoff man Steven Kwan is an on-base wizard who strikes out barely 10% of the time. Add in lefty Andres Gimenez and we have the makings of a stack that uses only one outfield slot. Ramon Laueano (29.4%), Gabriel Arias (26.0%) and Bo Naylor (25.8%) are the only players in the projected lineup who strike out above league average against right-handed hurlers. Enjoy!

Late Slate Primary Target: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. LHP Sean Manaea — 5.1 implied runs

First Pitch: 10:10 p.m. ET

It has been a quick slide for LHP Sean Manaea this season. He roared through the Detroit offense in his first start, survived against the Reds in Cincinnati for the second and was exposed by Kansas City in the third. Name recognition is high for Manaea in the DFS world, but gamers need to remember that he is now 32-years old and never really broke through. Yes, he had many fine outings against the weaker teams in his division during his time in the American and National Divisions, but that was then and this is now.

Most projection systems still have Manaea as a plus source of strikeouts with just over one per inning, but his walks have been trending up and home runs are a concern, if he is not able to keep the bases clean. He continues to move away from his fastball, but his breaking stuff is not anything to worry about, so it appears he is embracing the “crafty lefty” portion of his career.

Chris Taylor and Enrique “Kike” Hernandez have been zeroes at the plate, which is a shame since they each have had long-time success against lefties. Teoscar Hernandez used to be “sneaky” against southpaws, but now that he is with the Dodgers, the word is out in fantasy circles. He is still a player to target, as are the trio of MVPs at the top of the order. Will Smith is a luxury play, but one who can be worked in on DraftKings and Yahoo which require gamers to roster a backstop. Then for late-slate differentiation, there is corner-infielder Max Muncy, who has extra-base upside in same-handed matchups.

Other DFS and Sports Wagering Opportunities

Tonight there is potential value in targeting the under 6.5 strikeouts prop for LHP Garrett Crochet OddsShopper shows this bet has -107 “true odds,” and the +110 line currently available at DraftKings provides a 6.5% expected return on investment (ROI).

Crochet is a prospect of note, raking third in the White Sox organization and sliding just inside the top-75 on industry lists. In his four starts this season, he has a stellar 31 strikeouts in 22.2 innings, for a lofty 12.3 per nine ratio.

So why go against the talented youngster? Well seven strikeouts is a lot to expect against a team like Philadelphia. While the projected lineup hovers around league average with a 21.5% strikeout rate against left-handed pitchers. Collectively they are selective at the plate with an 11.6% walk rate and have tremendous power (.181 ISO), dating back to the beginning of last year.

Among the first six batters in the order, only Trea Turner (.179 ISO) has less than a .215 ISO against southpaws and he is still well above average. The hope here is that the Phillies force Crochet to burn through his pitch count, while also putting runs on the board, ultimately sending him to the showers before he has a chance to collect seven whiffs.

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Final Thoughts for Friday, April 19 — MLB DFS Picks

Weather looks good for the most part today, though temperatures are on the cooler side across the country. There is some risk in Colorado with cold and possibly wet weather during the projected game window. Be sure to check in with your favorite DFS meteorological resources closer to first pitch.

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