Friday, April 22, provides a mega 13-game main slate with a 7:05 p.m. ET first pitch on Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel. Let’s get into the top MLB DFS picks for pitchers and stacks for Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy baseball lineups. As always, you can head over to the Awesemo MLB DFS & Fantasy Baseball home page for all the fantasy baseball content you need for any given slate.
MLB DFS Picks Today: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks | Friday, April 22
Yahoo Stack of the Day: Tampa Bay Rays vs. RHP Michael Wacha — 4.5 implied runs
Today Tampa Bay is facing off against Michael Wacha, who has seen better days as a pitcher. Last year, Wacha actually was in the Rays’ rotation, making 23 starts and 30 total appearances. Though the 10-year veteran has been nails so far this year, the regression monster is lurking and getting very hungry.
Over the prior two seasons, one with the Rays and the other with the Mets, Wacha has been hammered by righties, allowing 2.05 home runs per nine innings along with a .242 ISO. Opposite-handed hitters have found success as well with a 1.49 HR/9 rate and a .181 ISO.
Even with its roster turnover moving on from Austin Meadows, Nelson Cruz, Willy Adames and others, Tampa still has plenty of power from both sides of the plate. Brandon Lowe is the top target in the leadoff slot, while Ji-Man Choi batting cleanup is not far behind. Mike Zunino, Randy Arozarena and Kevin Kiermaier can be worked into full stacks or as cheap one-off power options.
Late Slate: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs. LHP Bruce Zimmermann — 5.0 implied runs
Similar to Wacha, Bruce Zimmermann has lucked into two solid showings, allowing no runs with 10 strikeouts across nine innings against the Yankees and Brewers. Last season, his first as a regular in The Show, Zimmermann had a 5.04 ERA and 1.51 WHIP while allowing nearly two home runs every nine innings.
The Halos have one of the bets offenses in the league against southpaws, and they are likely to roll with nine right-handed batsmen tonight. Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon all have a long history of success against opposite-handed hurlers. Jo Adell has light-tower power when he makes contact, and Jack Mayfield or Taylor Ward can be employed as part of a five-man stack. On sites requiring a catcher, Max Stassi is a solid option on the late slate.
Top MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Justin Verlander vs. Toronto Blue Jays — 3.6 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $51 | FanDuel $10,500 | DraftKings $10,500
Even after missing the better part of two seasons, Justin Verlander looks like he is back at the top of his game. Tonight will be his third start, and the Blue Jays certainly have a fierce lineup. So far the 39-year-old veteran has allowed only one earned run in 13 innings, and that was back in his second inning of the season against the Angels when Jared Walsh got a hold of one. Verlander also has an impressive 15 strikeouts against just three walks. Hopefully, he can stay one step ahead of Father Time and continue rolling for his fantasy backers on Friday.
Secondary MLB DFS Picks Target: Brad Keller at Seattle Mariners — 4.0 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $32 | FanDuel $9,100 | DraftKings $8,200
On FanDuel Brad Keller is best utilized as a late-slate option since only one pitcher is required to be on each roster. Yahoo has given a nice gift with a discounted salary, making Keller quite appealing as a second pitcher. Finally, on DraftKings Keller is a neutral option depending on salary cap constraints.
The main hallmark of Keller is that he does not allow a lot of power, ceding just 43 home runs in his career across 507 innings. In his last 475 matchups with lefties, he is allowing a miniscule .118 ISO and a well below-average .134 ISO against 398 same-handed hitters. Last year the 26-year-old had a career-high 8.08 strikeouts per nine innings, so it would not be a surprise to see that figure fall back into the mid-sevens. Tonight’s projected lineup for Seattle has a whopping 30.1% strikeout rate over the last two seasons against right-handed hurlers, which makes this an intriguing and somewhat off-the-radar opportunity for Keller.
Final MLB DFS Thoughts & Weather Notes for the Friday, April 22 Fantasy Baseball Slate
The afternoon game in Wrigley Field between the Cubs and Pirates has been pushed back to avoid a rain-filled afternoon. For the main slate, the Tigers and Rockies game in Detroit bears watching, as there are looming showers in the vicinity throughout the game window. With so many teams in play tonight, there is no reason to absorb extra risk if the weather has you nervous. There are plenty of viable alternatives at every position and at every salary level that building differentiated lineups in tournaments should be a snap.
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