MLB DFS Picks, Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks: Look to Yordan Alvarez and Friends (May 14)

Tuesday keeps the week rolling with the MLB featured contests locking at 7:10 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 Logan Gilbert and Dylan Cease as Tuesday’s aces, with the Guardians and Astros shaping up as the teams to stack.

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks | May 14

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers

Main Slate Primary Pitching Target: RHP Dylan Cease vs. Colorado Rockies — 3.0 implied runs

First Pitch: 9:40 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $11,000 | FanDuel $11,000 | Yahoo $58

The Stokastic Top Pitchers Tool will happily accept the gift of RHP Dylan Cease taking on the hapless Colorado offense. This season the Rockies have plated the fourth-fewest runs in the league and are averaging just 3.85 per game. The active roster has a 25.3% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching, which is the fourth worst in the league, and the .126 ISO (third lowest) includes 20 games in Coors Field and two in Mexico City.

Cease is off to a strong start with his new team, leading the league with a 2.27 FIP and 3.8 hits allowed per nine innings. His strikeouts are in line with his career rates, and he has ceded only two longballs in his 49.1 innings. Enjoy!

Main Slate Secondary Pitching Target: RHP Logan Gilbert vs. Kansas City Royals — 3.2 implied runs

First Pitch: 9:40 p.m. ET

DFS Salary: DraftKings $9,200 | FanDuel $10,200 | Yahoo $49

Last night the Kansas City Royals scored just two runs, with both coming in the eighth inning after RHP George Kirby tossed seven clean innings. Tonight is not going to be any easier with RHP Logan Gilbert toeing the rubber for Seattle. The Royals are solely a matchup-based team, and this is not a good one for their hitters. In the last four games, they have cobbled together a scant 10 runs. The team does a good job of limiting strikeouts, with the third-best rate in the league against right-handed pitching, and they have decent power. The challenge is low walks, so if the bases are clean when the inevitable home run occurs, opposing pitchers can still survive.

Gilbert was a borderline All-Star each of his first two seasons as a full-time starter, and this year he is posting the best numbers of his career, with the exception of his walk rate, though that is still below league average. This is not as good a matchup as Cease offers, but Gilbert has the third-best probability of being the top-scoring hurler for the slate.

Main Slate Wild Card Pitching Target: RHP Ronel Blanco vs. Oakland Athletics — 3.8 implied runs

First Pitch: 8:10 p.m. ET

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $9,500 | FanDuel $10,000 | Yahoo $44

For those going bargain hunting, RHP Joe Ross Jr. is the scary option on DraftKings and Yahoo against the Pittsburgh Pirates, while RHP Sonny Gray against a watered-down Angels squad in Anaheim is available for those looking to spend on a more established pitcher.

The baseball journey for RHP Ronel Blanco has been a winding one, and he did not appear in The Show until his age-28 season. This year he announced his presence with authority, throwing a no-hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays on April Fool’s Day. Blanco has more walks than we would like to see with 20 in 44.1 innings, but he has allowed two or fewer runs in all but one start, and in that outlier he allowed three.

There is no salary relief when selecting Blanco, so it will be interesting to see where his popularity lands. The matchup against Oakland is a good one, as the A’s strike out at the fourth-highest rate in the league when facing right-handed pitchers, but there is danger with the squad posting the fourth-best power numbers.

MLB DFS Picks: Top Stacks

Main Slate Primary Target: Houston Astros vs. LHP JP Sears — 5.1 implied runs

First Pitch: 8:10 p.m. ET

Houston is showing signs of breaking out of the doldrums, putting up nine runs in each of the last two games. While we do not want to hang our hats on batter vs. pitcher performance against a specific pitcher with the sample sizes being miniscule, LHP JP Sears has been dreadful against the Astros. Jose Altuve, Jeremy Pena, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker all have had past success, and, of course, Yordan Alvarez is one of the best hitters in the game, with reserve Mauricio Dubon also likely to land in the lineup with his heavy platoon splits. Oh, that still leaves catcher Yainer Diaz, who looks like a star in the making, and Jake Meyers, who provides cheap power upside from the back of the order.

Sears had a dreadful 2023 campaign, allowing 34 home runs, which were the fourth most in the league. Essentially, he is like a young Patrick Corbin, though not the good version of Corbin, but rather the current batting practice disaster version.

Main Slate Secondary Target: Cleveland Guardians at RHP Jack Leiter — 4.6 implied runs

First Pitch: 8:05 p.m. ET

The Stokastic Top Stacks Tool likes the Guardians for a fourth consecutive day, this time with a tremendous matchup against RHP Jack Leiter. The rookie had a rough go in his last start, but it could have been worse since two of the six runs he allowed were unearned. He is a top-5 prospect for the Rangers, and with his dad and uncle both being longtime pitchers in The Show, he should right the ship at some point. Considering he has just 28.2 innings at Triple-A, it would not be a surprise to see him head back down to Triple-A Round Rock to gain more experience. Control has been an issue at each level for Leiter, which burns his pitch count and shortens his outings.

Similar to yesterday, Josh Naylor, Bo Naylor and Jose Ramirez are the core of any Cleveland stack, with Andres Gimenez and Will Brennan the next men up for full stacks. Yesterday the Naylor brothers were 0-for-8, but Ramirez was stellar, going 2-for-4 with four RBI and a pair of steals. The Texas bullpen has been a weak spot all season for the defending World Champions, and three relievers each gave up runs in the final two innings as the Guardians broke the game open for a 7-0 victory after being shut out by starter Michael Lorenzen for seven frames.

Late Slate Primary Target: San Diego Padres vs. RHP Cal Quantrill — 4.7 implied runs

First Pitch: 9:40 p.m. ET

Last night was a mixed bag for San Diego stacks, as the team scored just four runs but did have three home runs. The first four hitters in the lineup failed to record a hit — it is crazy to think that Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado and Jake Cronenworth did not account for any of the taters. Tonight the Padres are facing RHP Cal Quantrill, who got his start with the Friars back in 2019. The 29-year-old is a decent pitcher, though he is willing to look for ground balls at the expense of strikeouts. He still allows his fair share of power, and, of course, the Colorado bullpen is nothing special when Quantrill eventually heads to the clubhouse. Include leadoff man Luis Arraez and switch-hitting Jurickson Profar to round out full stacks with the aforementioned trio of usual suspects.

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Other DFS and Sports Wagering Opportunities

Tonight RHP Nick Pivetta is someone to target in the sports wagering world for the under on his 5.5 strikeouts prop, which is currently available on ESPN BET at -155, though that is admittedly a lot of juice to pay.

OddsShopper shows this bet has -172 “true odds,” so the -155 line still brings a solid 4.1% expected ROI. We can also see how crucial it is to shop the odds, as sportsbooks tend to vary wildly with their offerings. This can be seen with sharp book Pinnacle all the way down at -212.

Tonight will be only the fourth start for Pivetta, as he landed on the injured list in early April with a flexor tendon strain. In his return last Wednesday he allowed three dingers in Atlanta, striking out one and throwing just 58 pitches. Even if the 31-year-old is able to get into the 70- to 75-pitch range, it is still going to be hard for him to get six strikeouts against a disciplined Tampa Bay squad.

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Final Thoughts for Tuesday, May 14 — MLB DFS Picks

Baltimore has rain in the forecast, which could easily invalidate the two-game early slate. On the featured slate, Atlanta also has some weather risk, which could make things dicey for LHP Chris Sale. Be sure to check in with your favorite MLB Weather Report page closer to first pitch for updates.

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 $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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