The MLB slate for Thursday, April 21, gets an early start with seven games and a 1:10 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 | Thursday, April 21
Yahoo Stack of the Day: New York Yankees at RHP Michael Pineda — 4.9 implied runs
Michael Pineda will be making his Tigers debut on Thursday against one of his former teams. The 33-year-old made two starts with the Toledo Mud Hens in Triple-A and will be slotting into the rotation for youngster Casey Mize, who was placed on the injured list with elbow discomfort. Pineda can be exploited by lefties, and he is more of a brand name than a talented arm at this point of his career.
Anthony Rizzo, Joey Gallo and Aaron Hicks are the trio to target, with Pineda allowing a .213 ISO in his last 196 matchups against opposite-handed hitters. Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge have light-tower power in matchups against pitchers of either handedness, and they are, of course, a cornerstone for any full stack. Considering this is an early game on the road, it would not be a surprise to see Judge, Stanton or Josh Donaldson getting a veteran day off, which could boost a reserve or two in the lineup, providing some salary relief.
Late Slate: Chicago Cubs vs. RHP Bryse Wilson — 4.3 implied runs
Gamers tend to remember Bryse Wilson as an above-average prospect; however, he has never had success in The Show despite opportunities across four seasons with Atlanta. Last year Pittsburgh gave Wilson eight starts, and while he averaged five innings per outing, he barely notched a strikeout every other inning.
Despite trading away their most talented hitters, the Cubs still have a solid lineup against right-handed pitchers. Over the last two seasons, their projected batting order averaged a .371 wOBA, 0.188 ISO with a solid 17.5% strikeout rate. Switch-hitters Ian Happ and Jonathan Villar are always intriguing since they will have the platoon advantage for the whole game. Frank Schwindel has quietly become a trusted producer in the heart of the lineup and has been locked in at the plate since making his debut. Chicago will be popular, but with the poor pitching options on the late slate, this looks like it will be all about the bats and finding the starter that at least can avoid negative fantasy points.
Top MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Dylan Cease at Cleveland Guardians — 3.8 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $46 | FanDuel $10,300 | DraftKings $10,100
Through two starts, Dylan Cease has been impressive with 10.2 innings of action against Tampa Bay and in Detroit. Thus far he has a 1.69 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 16 strikeouts with nary a home run allowed to date. The only concerning thing is that he has five walks, but also just five hits. The projected Guardians lineup has an aggregated 0.140 ISO, 7.1% walk rate and a 19.4% strikeout rate against right-handed pitchers over the last two seasons. Jose Ramirez and rookie Steven Kwan are the only two tricky hitters that Cease will need to mitigate Thursday afternoon.
Late Slate MLB DFS Picks Target: Pablo Lopez vs. St. Louis Cardinals — 4.0 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $40 | FanDuel $9,500 | DraftKings $9,400
Pablo Lopez looks like he is in mid-season form with an average of 83 pitches through two appearances. In matchups against Philadelphia and at San Francisco, he has allowed only one earned run with a miniscule 0.97 ERA and 0.87 WHIP. The Cardinals are a tough matchup, as they have above-average power, but depending on the lineup, they also have above-average strikeouts. Over his last 436 batters faced, Lopez has logged a 26.6% strikeout rate, 6.7% walk rate with an excellent 0.151 ISO. Taking a power bat or two against Lopez is a fine strategy on the late slate.
Final MLB DFS Thoughts & Weather Notes for the Thursday, April 21 Fantasy Baseball Slate
Be sure to register early, as Thursday’s getaway day action is frontloaded to allow teams ample travel time to the location of their weekend series. Oakland looks to be the only weather concern, though with the Athletics hosting the Rangers tomorrow and the Orioles only traveling to Anaheim, there is some built-in flexibility.
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