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MLB DFS Picks Today (4/23/22): Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks Saturday

Eric MacPherson

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MLB DFS picks today DraftKings Fantasy Baseball FanDuel Yahoo fantasy baseball rankings projections stacks

Saturday, April 23, brings all day baseball highlighted by a five-game main slate starting at 7:20 p.m. ET 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 | Saturday, April 23

Yahoo Stack of the Day: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs. RHP Spenser Watkins — 5.4 implied runs

Baltimore is the gift that keeps on giving with one of the worst rotations in the league. Surprisingly its relievers have been getting it done, however, they have accounted for the fifth most bullpen innings in the league. That workload is going to catch up soon with this motley crew and we will want to be there when it does.

Spenser Watkins is on borrowed time as he had actually hung up his cleats last year and was looking for a high school coaching job when he got a call from the Orioles. The well-travelled right-hander had spent two years pitching for Western Oregon University and then another seven seasons toiling in the Detroit farm system. In 16 appearances spanning 54.2 innings, Watkins had an 8.07 ERA and 1.70 WHIP with an abysmal 2.3 home runs allowed per nine innings. This season he has a 2.25 ERA in two starts, but excludes three unearned runs, which makes things seem far better than reality.

Shohei Ohtani ($18 — .289 ISO), Mike Trout ($22 — .392 ISO) and Jared Walsh ($19 — .225 ISO) all have massive power against right-handed pitching with elite isolated power numbers notched over the last two seasons. Anthony Rendon ($14) lost most of last year due to injuries and he is starting to shake off the rust and get back in the groove. The former National has hits in six of his last seven games and should be in the heart of the order tonight for the Halos. Brandon Marsh ($17), Max Stassi ($14) and Jo Adell ($10) can be worked in as differentiation options from the bottom half of the order.

Early Slate: Chicago Cubs vs. RHP Zach Thompson — 4.5 implied runs

While the Wrigley Field renovations from a few years ago did help mute some of the wind impact, today there is a strong 15- to 20-mph breeze blowing out to left field. On the bump for the Pirates is Zach Thompson, who has no “Ks” in his name or in his game. The former Marlin has suffered a .200 ISO in his last 161 righty-lefty matchups, so that is a great place to start with the Cubs.

Switch-hitters Ian Happ and Jonathan Villar both have above average power from the left side of the plate, and should be in the middle of the order this afternoon. Rafael Ortega will likely draw leadoff duties and he checks in with a near-minimum salary on FanDuel ($2,200), as well as an appealing $3,700 on DraftKings. Frank Schwindel has quietly become an offensive stalwart with a .216 ISO in his last 204 opportunities against same-handed hurlers. Rookie Seiya Suzuki and veteran Patrick Wisdom are in play as well depending on where they land in the lineup.

Afternoon Slate: St. Louis Cardinals at RHP Tyler Mahle — 4.3 implied runs

The early season has been rough for Tyler Mahle, who has been hammered in his last two starts, allowing 11 earned runs in just 7.2 combined innings against the Dodgers and Guardians. On the positive side of things, Mahle does have well over a strikeout per inning and he has yet to allow a ball to leave the yard. The 27-year-old is too talented for his horrid performances to continue, however, be it conditioning or potentially tipping pitches, teams have been doing their damage the second time through the order.

Mahle has allowed a .218 ISO to fellow righties in his last 393 same-handed matchups. Once again, St. Louis is loaded with power hitters who excel from the right side of the plate. Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado and Tyler O’Neill are the power trio to target in all formats this afternoon. This will be a popular approach, so for leverage, use Paul DeJong and Harrison Bader from the bottom of the order, along with switch-hitter Tommy Edman.

Spotlight Pitchers

Top MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Matt Brash vs. Kansas City Royals — 3.4 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $37 | FanDuel $8,600 | DraftKings $9,000

Through two starts, 23-year-old Matt Brash has given Mariners fans hope that the rebuild that has been underway for the last decade may finally be bearing fruit. Brash was acquired from the Padres as a “player to be named later” in, what seemed like, a throwaway deal at the 2020 trade deadline when San Diego received Taylor Williams as it was looking for bullpen depth. After three seasons with Niagara University, Brash was selected in the fourth round of the 2019 MLB Draft. He has a solid track record with strikeouts, however, prior to his debut in The Show this season, he had never pitched above Double-A.

Tonight’s projected lineup for Kansas City is loaded with strikeouts. Salvador Perez, Hunter Dozier, Adelberto Mondesi, Michael A. Tayolor and Bobby Witt Jr. all strike out more than 25% of the time against right-handed hurlers. Perez, Dozier and Andrew Benintendi are the only hitters with above average pop, making the Royals a good team to target with opposing pitchers. Finally, Carlos Santana has struggled mightily at the plate this season with just two hits in 38 chances. Though he still has a discerning eye with six walks against only four strikeouts, at some point, pitchers are going to challenge the 36-year-old and likely find some holes in his formerly smooth swing.

Early MLB DFS Picks Target: Alex Wood at Washington Nationals — 3.8 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo N/A | FanDuel $9,600 | DraftKings $9,200

The Washington offense is far from imposing with Juan Soto, Josh Bell and 42-year-old Nelson Cruz being the only real power threats. Rookie catcher Keibert Ruiz has shown promise, but he still has a lot to learn when it comes to hitting breaking balls. The back half of the order is an unmitigated disaster with Lane Thomas, Alcides Escobar, Victor Robles and Maikel Franco being the regulars. Hopefully, Nationals fans hold on to their 2019 World Series goodwill as this team is going to be in the cellar for the next few seasons.

Alex Wood has a lot of success against right-handed hitters, which is rare for a southpaw. In his last 465 lefty-righty matchups, Wood has an impressive 27.7% strikeout rate, allowing just a .131 ISO with a 47.3% ground ball rate. In his first two starts, Wood has thrown 86 and 87 pitches, so he should be able to close the book on the fifth inning with a chance to earn a victory if his team has the lead when he heads to the showers.

Afternoon MLB DFS Picks Target: Alek Manoah at Houston Astros — 4.2 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $51 | FanDuel $10,400 | DraftKings $10,100

The Masses are going to be targeting Frankie Montas on the afternoon slate, which, in turn, makes Alek Manoah an outstanding pivot in tournaments. While it is never a comforting feeling rolling out a pitcher against the Astros, their lineup is not as good against righties as it is lefties. Jose Altuve is on the injured list, which also waters down the lineup. Aledmys Diaz, Chas McCormick and Martin Maldonado are at the bottom of the order and all three have essentially no power against right-handed pitchers. Manoah has looked strong in his two starts with 13 punchouts in 12 innings, allowing just one home run and two earned runs.

Final MLB DFS Thoughts & Weather Notes for the Saturday, April 23 Fantasy Baseball Slate

The only game with precipitation concerns is in Minnesota with the Twins hosting the White Sox. The worst case scenario is that the storms arrive earlier than projected and things start to get wet in the middle innings. Temperatures across the Midwest and East Coast are starting to warm up as April winds down, which, of course, will begin to help offenses more than the frigid first week of the season.

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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