MLB DFS Picks, Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks: Triston Casas, MacKenzie Gore and MORE! (April 13)

Saturday brings wall-to-wall baseball, with each of the main MLB DFS sites electing to go with different featured slates, so be sure to understand when you need to register and set your lineups on n DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo. 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 MacKenzie Gore and Ryan Pepiot as key arms, with Triston Casas and the Boston Red Sox against RHP Griffin Canning.

Still trying to find your MLB DFS edge? Luckily Stokastic has a new tool to help you get there — the MLB Sims Tool! With it you can simulate any MLB DFS contest you are playing on a given night and see what lineups are the likeliest to be profitable. And if you need a head start on strategy, we’ve broke down how to use the MLB Sims Tool to create the best DFS lineups on a nightly basis.

MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks | April 13

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers

Main Slate Primary Pitching Target: LHP MacKenzie Gore at Oakland Athletics — 3.9 implied runs

First Pitch: 4:07 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $8,800 | FanDuel $8,000 | Yahoo $40

The Stokastic Top Pitchers Tool has LHP MacKenzie Gore highlighted as this will be one of his best spots all season — well, outside of him taking on the divisional rival Miami Marlins. The forecast calls for a cool and damp day in Oakland with temperatures in the mid-50s. Watching the forecast will be key, but there are plenty of pivots away from this game if the precipitation coverage proves too daunting for a game this afternoon.

The A’s have a bottom-five offense with an anemic 79 wRC+ (weighted runs created plus is an advanced metric that neutralizes variables, including park factors, to create a league-wide scoring efficiency baseline of 100), indicating that they are scoring runs 21% less than the average team. Last year, home runs were an issue for Gore, as he allowed 1.78 per nine innings. To his credit, he did have nearly 10 strikeouts per nine innings, and we know that young lefties sometimes have trouble with the endless stream of right-handed power bats in The Show.

Fortunately for Gore, the projected lineup for the Athletics has a combined .126 ISO against southpaws since the start of last season with a 21.5% strikeout rate. The only hitters to worry about will be catcher Shea Langeliers, the nomadic J.D. Davis and switch-hitting leadoff man Abraham Toro. Advantage Gore.

Main Slate Secondary Pitching Target: RHP Ryan Pepiot vs. San Francisco Giants — 3.9 implied runs

First Pitch: 4:10 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $8,100 | FanDuel $7,800 | Yahoo $50

The Yahoo salary algorithm is not screwing around, and it has assigned an ace-level cap hit to RHP Ryan Pepiot. Though this game is not on their featured slate, it is a good indicator of the matchup that seems to be overlooked by DraftKings and FanDuel. The 26-year-old had a rough go in the opener, ceding six runs to the World Series Champion Texas Rangers. He lasted 5.2 innings and the four walks and timely hitting (four base knocks) led to all but two of his baserunners crossing home plate.

Last Sunday, he mowed down the Rockies in Coors Field, striking out 11 over six scoreless innings with just three hits allowed. In each game, he recorded 94 pitches, so he should be able to log enough innings to potentially earn a quality start, which is key on FanDuel for the bonus points.

San Francisco will be putting out as many left-handed bats as possible this afternoon, though Michael Conforto, Mike Yastrzemski, LaMonte Wade Jr. and Jung Hoo Lee are certainly not world-beaters. The projected lineup for the Giants has a 25.8% strikeout rate against right-handed hurlers since the start of last season, with a mediocre .155 ISO.

For those not interested in Pepiot, his counterpart RHP Logan Webb is available at a similar salary on FanDuel and DraftKings, with a $12 discount on Yahoo. While he does not get the consistent strikeouts that DFS gamers desire, he does have an elite 60% groundball rate, with a scant .126 ISO across the board against his last 850 batters faced.

Late Slate Pitching Target: LHP Shota Imanaga at Seattle Mariners — 4.6 implied runs

First Pitch: 10:10 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $10,000 | FanDuel $9,200 | Yahoo $53

Through two starts, one against the Dodgers and one against the Rockies, LHP Shota Imanaga has authored 10 scoreless innings, allowing only four hits with 12 strikeouts. He also has only two groundball outs, which is a little concerning, though it’s still a small sample size. While he is a rookie for MLB purposes, the soon-to-be 31-year-old began his career in the Japanese league back in 2016 as a 22-year-old. Projection systems have him with something approaching 10 strikeouts per nine innings, with good control (2.5-2.6 walks) and close to average home run numbers.

It is going to be in the mid-50s in Seattle evening, with a light breeze in from left field. The Mariners are a pesky lineup, but aside from Julio Rodriguez, they do not have any overly terrifying bats. It is a long lineup with few easy outs, but not a lot of potential to make pitchers pay for mistakes.

MLB DFS Picks: Top Stacks

Main Slate Primary Target: Boston Red Sox vs. RHP Griffin Canning — 5.1 implied runs

First Pitch: 4:10 p.m. ET

The Stokastic Top Stacks Tool is giving the green light to load up on Atlanta against RHP Max Meyer in Miami this afternoon. Now for some actual analysis, let’s look at the Boston Red Sox who are hosting RHP Griffin Canning. After being a prospect of note for the Angels and sliding just inside the top 100 across industry lists prior to the 2019 season, Canning never quite put it all together in The Show. He suffered lower back stress fractures towards the end of the 2021 season and it cost him all of the following year as well. Though the now 28-year-old has decent strikeout results, he allows a lot of power, both before and after his injury absence.

This year has been particularly rough after two starts, with the erstwhile ace already allowing four round-trippers, including a trio of taters to the BoSox in Anaheim last Friday. Rafael Devers has been dealing with shoulder discomfort, and after resting the last three days, it still remains to be seen if he will be in the lineup this afternoon. If he is, that is a big help, though it is not the end of the world if he is out.

Tyler O’Neill profiles well as he mashes same-handed hurlers (.223 ISO in his last 222 plate appearances), which is a weakness of Canning’s who has allowed a .236 ISO over his last 277 righty/righty matchups. Triston Casas tends to be overlooked by gamers, which is a bonus for those who are more sophisticated — which, of course, means anyone reading this article. Jarren Duran and Masataka Yoshida are fine selections as well, though loading up an entire outfield of Boston bats does limit exposure to other top options.


Late Slate Target: St. Louis Cardinals at RHP Ryne Nelson — 4.9 implied runs

First Pitch: 9:40 p.m. ET

Tonight the Chase Field roof is scheduled to be open, which provides a boost to bats. This has been a rough start to the season for RHP Ryne Nelson, who has lasted just 7.2 innings, across two appearances. He has nine strikeouts, but also allowed a pair of home runs in his last outing and issued four free passes in his first. Power bats are also an issue with Nelson allowing a .220 ISO to same-handed hitters and a .237 ISO to lefties since the beginning of last year.

Lars Nootbaar made his first appearance of the season last night, knocking the ball out of the part for a two-run shot in the third inning. That was against RHP Brandon Pfaadt, who is far more talented than Nelson. Brendan Donovan and Nolan Gorman will be at the top of the order, on either side of former Diamondback Paul Goldschmidt. That is the key trio to target, but the fun doesn’t stop there with Nolan Arenado and catcher Willson Contreras both popping in the Stokastic models.

Other DFS and Sports Wagering Opportunities

Even as an unabashed fan of LHP Nick Lodolo, I see the tremendous value in looking to his under 6.5 strikeouts prop on Hard Rock. OddsShopper shows this bet has -148 “true odds,” and the -115 line currently available at Hard Rock provides an elite 11.4% expected return on investment (ROI), with a 60% probability of coming to fruition.

Using OddsShopper to scan the entire marketplace, we can see that most books are in the -130 to -142 range, which means those are likely losing bets on a long-term time horizon. Heck, “sharp” book Pinnacle is all the way down at -178 which is just punitive. Be a savvy shopper!

In his 137.2 innings to date, the 26-year-old has a wicked 11.6 strikeouts per nine innings, though this will be his first MLB action since suffering what ended up being a season-ending stress fracture to his left tibia last May. Lodolo has made two starts for the Triple-A Louisville Bats, tossing 77 and 64 pitches, with 49 and 44 going for strikes. All told, he notched 10 strikeouts in his 7.2 innings, but it does not seem like this would be the time for the Reds to push him too hard, with a long season ahead.

The bottom of the order for the White Sox is likely to consist of Paul DeJong, Korey Lee and Martin Maldonado, each of whom strike out 30% or higher against lefties. Seven strikeouts will be needed for Lodolo to disappoint his detractors today, which is a lofty total considering all the variables. Of course, he could rip through the watered-down Chicago lineup, but that is a risk we should be willing to take.

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Final Thoughts for Saturday, April 13 — MLB DFS Picks

California is worth watching for the weather reports as both Los Angeles and Oakland are getting rain on Saturday. Jumping to the East Coast, New York is the lone trouble spot. Be sure to monitor forecasts from your favorite MLB 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 12:10 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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