MLB DFS Picks, Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks: SP1 Zac Gallen + D-backs Bats (May 24)

Friday wraps up the work week with an 11-game featured slate, locking at 7:10 p.m. ET on DraftKings and FanDuel. Yahoo is reaching forward to grab the 6:40 p.m. ET games for a festive 15-gamer. 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 Zac Gallen and Corbin Burnes as the key arms to build around, and the Dodgers and Diamondbacks are the teams to target for stacks.

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

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers

Main Slate Primary Pitching Target: RHP Corbin Burnes (BAL at CHW)

Orioles at White Sox – 3.0 implied runs
First Pitch: 7:40 p.m. ET
$10,600 at DraftKings
$10,600 at FanDuel
$52 at Yahoo

The Stokastic Top Pitchers Tool loves the matchup for RHP Corbin Burnes in Chicago against the pitiful White Sox, who have scored 40 fewer runs than the next worst team in the league and are likely to be doubled-up by the Philadelphia Phillies by early-June.

The only concern tonight for Burnes is that there is a strong chance of rain or even a postponement for this game. Fortunately, there are ample alternative options such as venerable veteran RHP Justin Verlander in Oakland, rookie RHP Christian Scott hosting the San Francisco Giants and our options detailed below.

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Main Slate Secondary Pitching Target: RHP Zac Gallen (ARI vs. MIA)

Diamondbacks vs. Marlins – 3.5 implied runs
First Pitch: 9:40 p.m. ET
$10,300 at DraftKings
$10,200 at FanDuel
$48 at Yahoo

After a five-game losing streak, Miami has been solid with seven wins in the last 10 games. The Marlins have been getting by with good pitching, as the offense has plated three or fewer runners in five of those games.

RHP Zac Gallen has been terrific this season, allowing more than three runs only once and two or fewer runs allowed on five occasions. Gallen has seen an uptick in his strikeouts to 9.77 per nine innings, which is the best ratio he has crafted since the 2021 season. He is coming off a 10-strikeout performance against Detroit, and he also had 10 strikeouts against the Rockies in Coors Field back on April 8.

The Marlins are closer to league average than they are the dregs when it comes to scoring, but they still have tallied the sixth-fewest runs in the league this season. Miami’s projected lineup has only a 21.9% strikeout rate against right-handed hurlers since the start of last season, but they have a pitiful 6.2% walk rate, which means a lot of their extra-base hits have empty results. Tonight the Chase Field roof is expected to be closed, which is a boost for pitchers.

Early Slate Primary Pitching Target: RHP George Kirby (SEA at WSH)

Mariners at Nationals – 3.8 implied runs
First Pitch: 6:45 p.m. ET
$9,000 at DraftKings
$9,300 at FanDuel
$46 at Yahoo

There is a potential pitcher’s duel brewing in our nation’s capital with two great pitchers going against two of the least productive offenses in the league. LHP MacKenzie Gore has the better strikeout matchup, but RHP George Kirby is not too far off and he is going against a less daunting lineup than his counterpart. The discount to Gore makes this more of a coinflip, and both hurlers can be employed on the same DraftKings and Yahoo rosters.

For the early slate, stacking the Atlanta offense in Pittsburgh against LHP Bailey Falter is a savvy strategy. Toronto also has a strong matchup in Detroit against RHP Matt Manning, and it looks like the Blue Jays are finally waking up from their early-season slumber.

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MLB DFS Picks: Top Stacks

Main Slate Primary Target: Los Angeles Dodgers

Dodgers at Reds – 5.9 implied runs
First Pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
Opposing Starter: RHP Graham Ashcraft
DK Top Stack %: 11.1%
FD Top Stack %: 10.5%

The Stokastic Top Stacks Tool loves that it can promote the Dodgers tonight without fear of being called overly obvious. This is possible since the Philadelphia Phillies are in Colorado taking on LHP Ty Blach after the Rockies used six relievers in an 11-inning, 10-9 loss to the A’s in Oakland on Thursday.

TLDR: Yes, stack the Phillies. For gamers looking to be different, then the boys in blue against RHP Graham Ashcraft are a great place to start. While Great American Ballpark is not quite as scoring friendly as the vast outfield in Denver, it does have one of the highest home run rates over the last four seasons.

Ashcraft is not a bad pitcher by any stretch, and he has a long career as a starter ahead of him. His main weakness is that he does not have a lot of strikeouts, though he had good stuff — instead he relies on inducing ground balls at a prodigious 50% rate. He does give up hard contact, so when those gappers and line drives are elevated, they can go over the fence and lead to crooked numbers for the opposition.

Lefties are the key, with Shohei Ohtani and Freddie Freeman leading the way. It is a shame that Max Muncy is on the injured list, but that does mean second baseman Gavin Lux will move up in the order and fellow lefty Jason Heyward should draw an outfield start. Mookie Betts and Will Smith are always excellent options, and Teoscar Hernandez can hold his own against same-handed hurlers. DraftKings and Yahoo did a nice job with the Los Angeles salaries, pushing them closer to the Phillies. That should make for some fun decision points, especially with some spendy pitchers toeing the rubber tonight.

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Main Slate Secondary Target: Arizona Diamondbacks

Diamondbacks vs. Marlins – 4.7 implied runs
First Pitch: 9:40 p.m. ET
Opposing Starter: LHP Braxton Garrett
DK Top Stack %: 4.0%
FD Top Stack %: 4.3%

The Diamondbacks have had a rough season against right-handed pitching, but they still have a top-3 offense against southpaws, with a 134 wRC+ that indicates they are creating runs 34% more efficiently than league average against lefties.

LHP Braxton Garrett was out with shoulder soreness, costing him most of spring training.

The soon-to-be 27-year-old made five starts in the minors before rejoining the Miami rotation 12 days ago. In his two starts, he has been roughed up with 11 earned runs in 9.2 innings. He has allowed three doubles and one home run while striking out 13. So there are signs he should regain his form, but it may not be this month.

Ketel Marte and Christian Walker have been terrific against lefties, as have outfielders Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Randal Grichuk. That is the clear core four to build around, with the struggling Corbin Carroll nowhere near his lofty production from last season that won him the National League Rookie of the Year Award. His salary is at a discount, but that is pushing up his popularity, making him someone to leave off stacks for differentiation, particularly on the late slate. Eugenio Suarez can still bring the power amid his strikeouts, and he is a good replacement for Carroll in full stacks.

Today we have the opportunity to look to Alek Manoah in the sports wagering world for the under on his 5.5 strikeouts prop. This is currently available at -125 on DraftKings and Hard Rock.

OddsShopper shows this bet has -135 “true odds,” so the -125 line brings a respectable 3.3% 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 down at -164. Be a savvy Shopper!

Manoah does project for around 4.8 strikeouts today, which is below the 5.5 threshold, but he has six, six and seven strikeouts in his three starts.

Manoah is looking for redemption from being awful for the last 18 months after bursting on the scene his rookie season. That year he made an All-Star Game and finished third in the Cy Young Award voting, only to receive several demotions to the farm system over the next two years before starting out this year in the MiLB.

The Tigers have made major improvements to what was an epically bad offense the last few years, but they are still below average. To the credit of the front office and talent scouts, the team has put a premium on discipline at the plate, and it is paying off. This wager is likely to go down to the wire, but it should be the first game where Manoah fails to record half a dozen whiffs.

Final MLB DFS Picks & Thoughts for Friday, May 24

The Midwest has a variety of trouble spots from the really sticky, such as Chicago and St. Louis, to those worth a quick check prior to first pitch in Cincinnati and Detroit. 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 $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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