MLB DFS Picks, Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks: The Batters of Birdland Rule the Roost (June 29)

Saturday brings three waves of games and two solid tournament slates. The afternoon action is underway at 4:05 p.m. ET, then things coalesce around a four-game featured slate with a 7:15 p.m. ET first pitch 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 the pitchers in the Pacific Northwest, with Tyler Glasnow and Pablo Lopez the featured-slate aces, with a passel of pitchers toeing the rubber this afternoon. For offense, it is the Phillies in the early action, even though they are without three of their four best hitters and the Batters of Birdland rule the roost for the evening entertainment.

MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks | June 29

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers

Main Slate Primary Pitching Target: RHP Pablo Lopez (MIN at SEA)

Twins at Mariners – 3.8 implied runs
First Pitch: 9:40 p.m. ET
$9,100 at DraftKings
TBD at FanDuel
$47 at Yahoo

The Stokastic Top Pitchers Tool indicates that RHP Tyler Glasnow is an easy click, though he is carrying an apex salary that makes for some intriguing decisions on the featured slate. The soon-to-be 31-year-old reached 100 innings for the season in his last start, which is the second-highest total for the oft-injured ace. He is battling a pair of Philadelphia pitchers in Zack Wheeler and Ranger Suarez for the National League Cy Young Award and the Giants are far from a formidable matchup.

In Seattle tonight, RHP Pablo Lopez will be getting a chance to see if he can build on the eight scoreless innings he authored on Sunday in Oakland. He tied his career-high with 14 strikeouts, though even with that performance, his June has been dreadful with a 6.00 ERA across 21 combined innings. Half of the 14 runs occurred three weeks ago in New York, courtesy of the Bronx Bombers. While he should get a mulligan for that, it does not paper over the fact that he has allowed five or more runs in four of his last seven starts (6.69 ERA, 37.2 innings).

The Mariners pulled off a 3-2 victory, courtesy of catcher Cal Raleigh, who drove in the game-winning run, completing the sixth walk-off win for Seattle this season. While that magic is fun, the M’s had 13 strikeouts, adding to their league-leading total. Seattle continues to get by with amazing pitching and timely hitting, with mediocre run production getting masked by favorable variance. This is a good spot to employ Lopez and see if he has escaped the doldrums of his recent putrid performance.

Main Slate Secondary Pitching Target: RHP Reese Olson (DET at LAA)

Tigers at Angels – 3.9 implied runs
First Pitch: 10:07 p.m. ET
$6,800 at DraftKings
TBD at FanDuel
$36 at Yahoo

Shout out to the Angels for winning five consecutive games, 6-of-7 and 10-of-15. However, in the last 10 games, the team has tallied more than five runs only once. Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon remain out, and while Brandon Drury is off the injured reserve, he is battling some sort of illness that has sidelined him for the last 10 days. Miguel Sano also has returned to action after missing two months, but the human wind machine has five strikeouts in his nine June at-bats. Though naturally, his lone hit was a solo home run.

This has been an uneven season for RHP Reece Olson and while he has a sterling 3.35 ERA and 1.19 WHIP, he has allowed five or more runs in three of his last five outings. The 24-year-old is still honing his craft, and tonight will be only his 37th appearance in The Show.

Like many young pitchers, Olson had his development derailed with the cancellation of the 2020 MiLB season. Last year, he got his first experience at Triple-A with 36.2 innings, giving a solid 103.2 innings after being called up to the big leagues. He will be wildly popular on DraftKings and Yahoo tonight as the SP2 with his favorable salary. It is okay to follow the crowd on this play as there are ample opportunities for differentiation elsewhere.

Early Slate Primary Pitching Target: RHP Aaron Nola (PHI vs. MIA)

Phillies vs. Marlins – 3.4 implied runs
First Pitch: 4:05 p.m. ET
$8,700 at DraftKings
$10,600 at FanDuel
$48 at Yahoo

Holy Aces, Batman! There are plenty of pitching options on the afternoon slate, with Cole Ragans, Paul Skenes, Max Fried and Framber Valdez representing the lefties. Rookie Paul Skenes is in Atlanta, while Zac Gallen gets the Athletics in his return from a hamstring injury. In Tampa, Jake Irvin and Aaron Civale are squaring off as a pair of discount dandies, in a game with a 7.5 implied run total.

Still, it is RHP Aaron Nola, who gets the official shout-out from the Stokastic Top Pitchers Tool. The only knock is that the mercury will be approaching 90 on this humid afternoon, with a 12-to-15 mph breeze blowing to left-center. Nola celebrated his 31st birthday earlier this month, and the veteran of 10 MLB campaigns continues to churn out productive seasons. This year he has a 3.39 ERA, which is below his 3.70 career average, with his 1.12 WHIP also bettering his norms.

The strikeouts have been in decline for each of the last five seasons, and the 8 per nine is a big drop from 9.4 last year. While his fastball is down a touch, the rest of his pitch mix is in line with the last several seasons, so this could just be a smallish sample size thing.

Miami is in the middle of the pack when it comes to strikeouts, but the team has the second-fewest total bases while being a bottom-two squad with home runs and doubles. The Marlins have scored 32 more runs than the Chicago White Sox, but they in turn are still 21 behind Oakland as they languish among the dregs of the league for run production. If the weather turns you away from this game, no worries, as mentioned in the first paragraph, there is a bountiful selection of hurlers this afternoon.

MLB DFS Picks: Top Stacks

Main Slate Primary Target: Baltimore Orioles

Orioles vs. Rangers – 5.1 implied runs
First Pitch: 7:15 p.m. ET
Opposing Starter: RHP Alec Marsh
DK Top Stack %: 8.9%
FD Top Stack %: 8.7%

Tonight the temperature will be around 80 degrees, with a similar humidity level, which should have Camden Yards playing like the offensive haven it was before the field renovations a few years ago. RHP Michael Lorenzen is a decent pitcher, though his strength is surviving, rather than overpowering opposing offenses. The 32-year-old is well into the “journeyman” portion of his career, having played for five teams over the last four seasons.

Baltimore (137) has more home runs than Miami (64) and Washington (67) combined this season. The Orioles have 26 more round-trippers than the Yankees and 84 more total bases than the Dodgers. No matter how you look at the Batters of Birdland, this is a formidable offense.

Gunnar Henderson is off the charts in opposite-handed matchups, with a .397 wOBA and .301 ISO in his last 703 such plate appearances. Anthony Santander and Jordan Westburg also boast .200+ ISOs since the start of last season against right-handed hurlers. Adley Rutschman, Ryan O’Hearn and Ryan Mountcastle are no slouches, either. Even enigmatic Cedric Mullins has been crushing from the bottom of the order, making this squad an easy one to stack with all the positional flexibility.

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Main Slate Secondary Target: Minnesota Twins

Twins at Mariners – 3.9 implied runs
First Pitch: 10:10 p.m. ET
Opposing Starter: RHP Bryce Miller
DK Top Stack %: 19.4%
FD Top Stack %: 19.2%

The Stokastic Top Stacks Tool has Minnesota being underrepresented in tournaments tonight, with all of the attention going to the Orioles and Dodgers. Though the weather, ballpark and team total are less than inspiring, there is merit in riding with the Twins tonight.

Among the Mariners four horsemen, it is RHP Bryce Miller who is arguably the weakest link. Yes, most teams would kill to have a fourth pitcher with a sub-4.00 ERA, who allows just over one base runner per inning. On Sunday, the Marlins got to Miller for six runs in Miami, including a pair of round-trippers. That is the second time in four starts that the 25-year-old has allowed six or more runs and his strikeouts have dropped in this stretch to just 5.8 per nine innings.

The projected lineup for the Twins has a ridiculous collection of power bates, with Carlos Correa (.156 ISO), Byron Buxton (.163 ISO), Carlos Santana (.163 ISO) and Willi Castro (.167) the only players below a .170 ISO against right-handed hurlers this season. Minnesota has lefties Trevor Larnach and Max Kepler, who will combine with switch-hitters Castro and Santana, to have Miller dealing with a staggered lefty-right lineup all night. For his career, Miller has allowed opposite-handed batsmen a collective .235 ISO.

This is a bit of a math play and of course a hunch, but the Twinkies could be the key to victory on the four-game featured slate tonight.

Early Slate Target: Philadelphia Phillies

Phillies vs. Marlins – 4.7 implied runs
First Pitch: 4:05 p.m. ET
Opposing Starter: RHP Roddery Munoz
DK Top Stack %: 12.6%
FD Top Stack %: 12.7%

The Stokastic Top Stacks Tool loves the Phillies this afternoon against RHP Roddery Munoz. The weather is conducive to offense, as mentioned in the Nola analysis above, and Munoz is basically a batting practice pitcher. Though the 24-year-old is averaging just over a strikeout per inning, he has also walked a batter every other frame while suffering five multi-home run games in his seven appearances.

Munoz began his MLB journey with Atlanta, playing for their Dominican League club when he was 18 years old. He toiled for the organization at all levels, including being on the active roster for nearly 72 hours in June 2022, but he never actually appeared in a game. He was designated for assignment in July of that year, being claimed by the Washington Nationals, who used him for a dozen games at Triple-A before placing him on waivers. Pittsburgh claimed him in early December of 2023, only to put him on waivers two weeks later, ultimately trading him to Miami for the proverbial bag of baseballs.

Sadly Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber and J.T. Realmuto are on the injured reserve, but that means more playing time for cheaper understudies. Alec Bohm and Bryson Stott are strong plays who are likely to log multiple total bases today, along with the potential for runs and RBI at the top of the order. Trea Turner and Nick Castellanos are of course the steady veterans, with discount dandies like Brandon Marsh, Kody Clemens and David Dahl providing cheap power upside. Main stacks, sub-stacks, one-offs, this lineup has hit all today.

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Tonight the under on Bryce Millers’ 4.5 strikeouts prop is one worth attacking. Currently, this is available at +126 on FanDuel.

OddsShopper shows this bet has +116 “true odds” for under 4.5 strikeouts, which works out to a steady 4.8% expected ROI.

While Miller is projected for just over 5.3 strikeouts, there is still a 48% probability that he records fewer than five strikeouts.

We can see how important it is to shop the odds, as evidenced by Bet Rivers, Unibet and Super Book with a -103 line, which works out to a NEGATIVE 9% expected ROI.

Over his last nine outings, Miller has games with eight, nine and nine strikeouts. In the other outings, he tallied three, two, one, six, four, one and three. He is not a strikeout artist by any stretch of the imagination and in his three least productive games from this vantage point have him with four strikeouts across 14.1 innings.

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.

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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Final MLB DFS Picks & Thoughts for Saturday, June 29

For the evening action, only Baltimore is carrying any precipitation risk as there are summer storms around the Beltway tonight. In the early afternoon, St. Louis may see some rain on either side of the game window, though it looks like only a minor probability of an actual delay. 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 3:00 p.m. ET brought to you by DraftKings Pick6 – new users, use this link to receive $50 with your first $5 play!

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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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