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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks for Friday, August 13

Eric MacPherson



MLB DFS Picks, top stacks and pitchers for Yahoo, DraftKings & FanDuel daily fantasy baseball lineups, including the Rays | Sunday, 8/29

Friday, Aug. 13, has a consolidated 14-game main slate with plenty of pitchers to roll with and target against, along with some Midwest and East Coast weather to watch. Let’s get into the top MLB DFS picks for pitchers and stacks for Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy baseball lineups.

MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks, Friday, Aug. 13

Yahoo Stack of the Day: Boston Red Sox vs. RHP Spenser Watkins — 6.7 implied runs

Spenser Watkins is no stranger to this article series, as he has been the shakiest pitcher on every slate where he has drawn a start. He had actually hung up his cleats and was looking for a high school coaching job when he received a call from the Orioles. After a myriad of injuries to their already thin rotation, Watkins was thrown into the breach. Across 32 innings he has just 22 strikeouts, with an alarming 11 walks contributing to a constant parade of baserunners. This should be no surprise since Watkins has been in the bottom 5% of the league from a velocity standpoint.

Fenway Park is going to be in the mid-80s with 75% humidity tonight, which is contributing to the Coors-esque 6.7 implied run total for Boston. Only Rafael Devers ($20) is more than $17 on Yahoo, and with Jarren Duran checking in at the minimum $7 salary, there are a lot of ways to assemble Red Sox stacks. J.D. Martinez ($17) and Xander Bogaerts ($14) are core plays. Though Hunter Renfroe ($17) does not make a lot of contact against same-handed hurlers, he has a .206 ISO in his last 340 plate appearances. Franchy Cordero ($7) will likely be at the bottom of the order, but he will have the platoon advantage and can be used for differentiation as part of a wrap-around stack. Alex Verdugo should be returning from paternity leave, and that makes this lineup even more formidable.

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Evening Slate

Tampa Bay Rays at RHP Michael Pineda — 5.1 implied runs

This is a beautiful matchup for a lefty-heavy Tampa Bay lineup. Game-time temperatures should be touching 80 degrees, and there is a 10 mph breeze out to right field. While Michael Pineda has been serviceable this season, he has allowed a .243 ISO to opposing lefties and only an 18.2% strikeout rate. Luck has also been on his side, as his 4.58 xFIP is nearly a run higher than his ERA.

This season the lefty trio of Austin Meadows (.321 ISO), Brandon Lowe (.294 ISO) and Ji-Man Choi (.248 ISO) have absolutely crushed opposite-handed hurlers. Nelson Cruz gets game against his former team, and his power upside is well documented against all pitchers. Lefty Joey Wendle (.181 ISO) and switch-hitter Francisco Mejia (.184 ISO) continue the trend of Tampa Bay power bats, and they will be differentiation options at the bottom of the order.

Late Slate

Toronto Blue Jays at RHP Chris Flexen — 4.9 implied runs

After washing out with the Mets with an 8.07 ERA, 2.132 WHIP and 1.85 home run rate over 68 innings in the majors, Flexen has reinvented himself. Seattle took a chance on him, as they were desperate for starting pitching, and they have been paid off for that risk. Flexen has been lucky, but only once has his in-season ERA surpassed the 5.00 mark, and he has been below 4.00 most of the last two months.

That said, Toronto is loaded with talent and one resurgent season from Flexen should not deter from targeting Blue Jays. Cavan Biggio is on the injured list, and Corey Dickerson is dealing with a sore back, but the top of the Blue Jays order is still formidable. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is flirting with a Triple Crown season, and George Springer is firing on all cylinders. Marcus Semien continues to quietly mash the ball, and his premium salary tends to keep his popularity in check. Bo Bichette has the name recognition, but do not sleep on Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Teoscar Hernandez and Randall Grichuk, who have posted similar production. The Mariners still have a sketchy bullpen, so if Flexen is forced out early, the crooked numbers could pile up in the unseasonably warm Seattle weather.

Spotlight Pitchers

Top Target: LHP Robbie Ray at Seattle Mariners — 3.7 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $50 | FanDuel $10,700 | DraftKings $9,200

The pucker factor is always high when Robbie Ray is involved, but the Mariners are getting by on smoke and mirrors, having plated more than six runs just four times in 25 games since the All-Star Break. The only reason Seattle is above .500 with their negative-49 run differential is that they are 24-14 in one-run games this season. The Mariners have the second-highest strikeout rate against southpaws at 26.2%, though they are mediocre when it comes to power and creating runs. Ray has a 29.6% strikeout rate over his last 746 batters faced, with the tradeoff being around a .200 ISO.

Secondary Target: Blake Snell at Arizona Diamondbacks — 3.7 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $38 | FanDuel $9,000 | DraftKings $8,400

Tonight Blake Snell will be taking on the Diamondbacks in climate-controlled Chase Field. This matchup is by no means a lock, as only yesterday Arizona tagged Yu Darvish for five early runs on their way to a 12-3 win. However, that is an outlier for this anemic offense and not the start of anything sustainable. While Snell is far from trustworthy, he did just rack up 13 strikeouts against this same team in his last start on Sunday. The salary is not outrageous, so this is a fine evening to embrace the uncertainty of the pitchers brimming with untold upside.

Wild Card: RHP Tyler Mahle at Philadelphia Phillies — 4.8 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $38 | FanDuel $8,700 | DraftKings $7,100

This is far from an easy matchup for Tyler Mahle, though he comes at a corresponding discount on Yahoo and DraftKings. It is going to be warm and humid in Philadelphia, which means Citizens Bank Park is going to be very homer friendly. Surprisingly, the Phillies have posted a 90 wRC+ this season against righties, which means they are creating runs 10% less efficiently than league average. They are also middle of the pack when it comes to strikeouts, though again this is all factored into Mahle’s salary. The other option would be to look to Austin Gomber against the Giants in San Francisco tonight.

Final Thoughts for the Friday, Aug. 13 MLB DFS Picks Slate

Once again there is hot and humid weather across the Midwest and East Coast. Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington seem to have the highest chances of in-game precipitation, though the severity will not be accurately projectable until closer to first pitch.

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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