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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Hitters & Stacks for Thursday, April 8th

Eric MacPherson



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MLB DFS action on Thursday, April 8, features nine games across three slates with giant contests on Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel. Before locking in lineups, make sure to check out Awesemo’s daily fantasy baseball top stacks, picks, rankings and projections. Let’s dig into some MLB DFS picks and daily fantasy baseball stacks including the Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers and Miami Marlins.

Don’t forget to head over to the Awesemo MLB DFS HOME PAGE for more great written daily fantasy baseball content, including FREE daily article series: Spotlight Pitchers, MLB DFS Tournament Strategy and MLB Cheat Sheets for all the major DFS sites.

MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Hitters and Stacks, Thursday, April 8th

Yahoo Stack of the Day: Miami Marlins at RHP Taijuan Walker — 4.1 implied runs

This will be an interesting exercise today in keeping tabs on how the masses react to Taijuan Walker at a reasonable $36 salary on Yahoo. The hope is that he will be one of the more popular hurlers and we can use this as a leverage point to our advantage. Walker has a reputation as a strikeout artist, though he has never been able to reach his full potential because of numerous injuries over the last several seasons. Walker started his career with a couple of solid seasons for the Mariners, who dealt him to the Diamondbacks in 2016, along with Ketel Marte for Mitch Haniger, Jean Segura and Zac Curtis, who has been out of the league for three seasons.

Walker was a stalwart of the Diamondbacks’ rotation his first season, making 28 starts with a 4.04 ERA and nearly a strikeout per inning. Unfortunately, he made only four more starts in the next two seasons, as he was unlucky with injuries. Last year the Mariners brought him back, and he made six starts for them before wrapping up the season with five pedestrian outings for the Blue Jays.

The current incarnation of Walker is one that has allowed more than his fair share of power. Though they are not an exciting group, the Marlins have several sluggers in the top half of their order. Gamers can employ the services of Corey Dickerson and Adam Duvall on the cheap, and Jesus Aguilar has always crushed same-handed hitting. If looking for a full stack, then Starling Marte and Brian Anderson would be the next duo to target. Miami makes for a nice secondary or mini stack at their current salaries, which will allow for working in the batters playing in Coors Field or the Red Sox facing Matt Harvey.

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Main Slate

Milwaukee Brewers at St. Louis Cardinals — 4.3 implied runs

Is this the year that Adam Wainwright finally ceases to be an effective pitcher? He will be turning 40 years old at the end of this summer, and at some point he is going to run out of ways to reinvent himself. The consistent strikeouts disappeared years ago, but Wainwright has managed to be successful at limiting power and letting his defense do a lot of the heavy lifting. The Cardinals organization will likely let Wainwright go out on his own terms after 16 seasons with the franchise.

Milwaukee is no stranger to Wainwright as a fellow National League Central franchise. Among the projected hitters today, seven of them have seen Wainwright in at least seven at-bats, and the other is former teammate Kolten Wong, who played alongside Wainwright for the last eight seasons.

Gamers should look at the Brewers swinging the stick from the left side of the plate. Clearly Christian Yelich is the first choice, but many are thinking the same thing. Omar Narvaez is swinging a hot bat, with home runs in each of his last two starts, and he is going to be a popular MLB DFS pick on DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo, as he’ll likely draw the start behind the plate after getting the day off yesterday.

The ideal situation would be Kolten Wong carrying the bright red questionable tag next to his name for most of today. Though he did not start yesterday due to a sore oblique, he did make a pinch-hit appearance, and his manager has said he does not think it is anything that will linger. Finally, there is Travis Shaw for power, who should be batting cleanup, and Jackie Bradley Jr., who is coming in at a discounted salary on DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo.

Late Slate

Houston Astros vs. LHP Cole Irwin — 5.3 implied runs

There are going to be a lot of the Astros in this article series going forward. Three of their divisional rivals currently feature a trio of southpaws in their starting rotation. The Athletics and Angels look to be joining the Mariners with a proclivity of lefties. Last year, Seattle was utilizing four left-handed hurlers regularly, though they are down to just three at this time.

Even with the loss of George Springer, the Astros still are brimming with hitters who have long track records of success against lefties. This will be the second start of the season for Cole Irvin, who joined the Athletics after 45.1 innings in The Show for the Phillies in 2019 and 2020. Irving was a fifth-round selection for Philadelphia in the 2016 MLB Draft and has a reputation as a crafty lefty. In other words, he does not have any strikeout stuff to speak of but was able to get by on breaking balls and control.

That is fine in the low-level minor leagues, but it does not play well in the majors. Irwin has been hammered in his 49.2 innings against major-league hitting, with a 1.45 HR/9 and a subpar 6.70 K/9 rate that does not get him out of jams.

The Astros can be selected on all slates, but they are going to be the key to late-slate success. The obvious MLB DFS picks are Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa. It is still early in the seasons, and a lot of the less-savvy gamers continue to shy away from all lefty/lefty matchups. That is a mistake when it comes to Yordan Alvarez, who absolutely crushes same-handed hurlers. Kyle Tucker has also more than held his own in lefty/lefty matchups. On the DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo late slates for differentiation, there are several options with the Houston hitters in the bottom third of the lineup, which should include Yuli Gurriel, Myles Straw and whoever is behind the dish.

Final Thoughts for the Thursday, April 8th MLB DFS Slate

Similar to yesterday, there are only two games starting after 7 p.m. ET, so do not dilly-dally when entering daily fantasy baseball contests today. Keep in mind that salaries and scoring formats differ across the various fantasy sites, and a home run play on Yahoo may be a below-average MLB DFS pick on DraftKings or FanDuel.

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

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