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MLB DFS Picks Today (5/4/22): Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks Wednesday

Eric MacPherson



Wednesday, May 4, has split-slate getaway day action that features a seven-game main slate with a first pitch of 7:05 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.

Make sure to visit the Awesemo MLB DFS & Fantasy Baseball home page for the best fantasy basketball content you need for tonight’s slate of games.

MLB DFS Picks Today: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks | Wednesday, May 4

Yahoo Stack of the Day: New York Yankees at LHP Yusei Kikuchi — 4.4 implied runs

Things have been rough for Yusei Kikuchi this season, who signed a three-year, $36 million contract with Toronto. Through four appearances, he has closed out the fourth inning only once. Control and his inability to intimidate hitters have been a major problem, with 13 walks leading to nearly two baserunners per inning across 14.2 frames. This has been exacerbated by his elevated 1.9 HR/9 rate, resulting in a 5.52 ERA.

We are looking at a lofty salary for Aaron Judge ($26), but this is mitigated by Josh Donaldson ($15), Giancarlo Stanton ($16) and Aaron Hicks ($12) in full stacks. Since the beginning of last season, each member of this core four has a .221 ISO or higher against opposite-handed hurlers, led by the astronomical .350 ISO of Judge. Differentiation can be found with a discounted Gleyber Torres, who does have power when he can put the bat on the ball. Finally, Anthony Rizzo is always an option against same-handed pitchers, with a .217 ISO and a paltry 10.7% strikeout rate in his last 197 such opportunities.

Late Slate: San Francisco Giants at RHP Tony Gonsolin — 4.0 implied runs

Once again, there are just two games on the late slate, and you do not need me to point out that focusing on the batters in the Coors Field Extravaganza is the way to go. Plenty of gamers will also look to pick on former Dodger southpaw Alex Wood with Los Angeles’ veritable All-Star-caliber lineup that is brimming with right-handed power. For our subversive strategy, we can consider focusing on a few Giants.

Though it is not official as of this morning, Tony Gonsolin is likely to draw the start for Los Angeles. On the power front, Gonsolin is around league average, but he does not often work with clean bases, allowing double-digit walk rates to lefties (14.4%) and righties (11.8%). Joc Pederson is dealing with a sore groin, though if he is in the lineup, he should be considered a full-go. Fellow lefty Mike Yastrzemski is eligible to return from the health and safety protocol after missing the last 10 games. While he may be a little rusty, he is likely to be underrepresented in tournaments on the late slate. Brandon Crawford, Thairo Estrada, Wilmer Flores and Darrin Ruf can be mixed in to create three- and four-man stacks.

Early Slate: Detroit Tigers vs. RHP Bryse Wilson — 3.5 implied runs

Pittsburgh is going to employ a lefty-righty combination on the mound today. Reliever Dillon Peters will get the ball first, and the southpaw should be good for an inning or two, depending on how his 25- to 35-pitch workload holds out. Once Peters hits the showers, former Atlanta prospect Bryse Wilson will enter the fray. The Pirates realize they are going to have to help Wilson along by having an “opener” take care of the top half of opposing lineups. So far this season, the 24-year-old is averaging 65 pitches through four appearances. Across 15.1 innings, he has allowed an unsightly eight walks with only 10 strikeouts.

This afternoon we will want to look to the Tigers swinging the stick from the left side of the plate first. The main focus will be Austin Meadows, as he should still start in a lefty-lefty matchup. It will be even better if he drops down a few slots in the order to improve his chances of having his first at-bat be with the platoon advantage against Wilson. Switch-hitters Robbie Grossman, Jeimer Candelario and Eric Haase are fine discount dandies, and we can round out our full stacks with Javier Baez and his tremendous power upside.

Spotlight Pitchers

Top MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Lucas Giolito at Chicago Cubs — 3.3 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $44 | FanDuel $10,000 | DraftKings $9,500

This season Lucas Giolito was forced to go on the injured list with an abdominal strain after his first start. Since returning he has made two appearances, logging 76 and 99 pitches. In his last outing, he did cede two early home runs to the Angels, but he ended things on a high note with just three earned runs, one walk and seven strikeouts over six innings. That, friends, is a quality start and something that is in play tonight against a shallow Cubs lineup. Not to bury the lede, but the 27-year-old ace also has 22 strikeouts in 14 innings this year for an eye-popping 14.1 per nine innings, which would lead the league if he had just five more innings under his belt.

Secondary MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Nestor Cortes at Toronto Blue Jays — 4.0 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $45 | FanDuel $10,100 | DraftKings $9,900

There is no reason to look to Nestor Cortes on FanDuel outside of tournaments. However, on Yahoo and DraftKings, where we are required to roster two hurlers, he makes a fine wingman or even a primary ace in large-field tournaments. Toronto is second in the league behind only the Yankees with 31 home runs. However, it falls back to the middle of the pack in most other offensive metrics. Cortes has above-average strikeout ability and looks like he could finally be on the cusp of a breakthrough. If he can mitigate the damage done by the top half of the order, he should cruise through the latter portion of the lineup.

Early MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Justin Verlander vs. Seattle Mariners — 3.5 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo N/A | FanDuel $10,800 | DraftKings $10,100

In his age-39 season, despite having missed nearly two years with injuries, Justin Verlander is still a fierce presence on the mound. Through four outings, he has three quality starts as well as being the league leader with a 0.96 WHIP and ranking 11th with his 1.73 ERA. The strikeouts are still there as well with one per inning, though he is still susceptible to power with his propensity to challenge opposing batsmen. The Seattle offense is getting by with smoke and mirrors right now, as Mitch Haniger is, once again, on the shelf and offseason acquisition Jesse Winker has only three extra-base hits on the year — all doubles. Ty France and J.P. Crawford have been on career-best heaters, so, at some point, they will come back to Earth. This is a solid spot to roll with the veteran Verlander.

Final MLB DFS Thoughts & Weather Notes for the Wednesday, May 4 Fantasy Baseball Slate

Rain, rain, go away! Keep an eye on games in the Midwest and East Coast, with potential precipitation issues in Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland, Kansas City, New York and Philadelphia. There also is a storm in the Denver area, but it is always hard to predict how the weather will specifically impact things this far in advance.

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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