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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks for Saturday, Oct. 2

Eric MacPherson



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Saturday, Oct. 2, is our least regular-season split slate with five afternoon games leading into a nifty nine-game main slate. 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, Saturday, Oct. 2

Yahoo Stack of the Day: Cleveland Indians at RHP Jordan Lyles — 4.7 implied runs

The weather in the Midwest could end up pushing gamers to look at the Astros against Paul Blackburn in Minute Maid Park. Though Houston has clinched their playoff spot, they could still be caught by the White Sox for seeding purposes. Expect the usual lineup from the Astros with perhaps one or two regulars getting the day off. If the Astros can salt this one away early, we know they will pull their key hitters in the later innings. In the event they run out a watered down lineup, that means value options galore in the form of a secondary stack.

Cleveland gets a matchup tonight with Jordan Lyles, who is the league leader in ignominy with 38 home runs. Though the Globe Life Field roof is likely to be closed turning the park into a pitching friendly venue, that is not going to be enough to save Lyles tonight. Jose Ramirez ($21) and Franmil Reyes ($17) are far and away the best hitters and are fine as a pair or one-offs. If we are looking for mini stack or full stack, then Bobby Bradley ($12) or Bradley Zimmer ($10) brings discounted power and Amed Rosario ($12) has been on a heater down the stretch.

Afternoon Slate

Cincinnati Reds at RHP Max Kranick — 5.2 implied runs

Rookie Max Kranick has struggled in his eight outings this season with a 6.23 ERA and 1.70 WHIP. While he has limited the opposition to just three home runs in 34.2 innings, he has been hittable and allows far too many baserunners. Kyle Farmer is likely to be shut down with just two games left with an oblique issue, though the rest of the Reds are looking to go out in style. Though he turned 38 last month, Joey Votto ($25) has 35 home runs, which is only two shy of his career best, which he set back in the 2010 season. Nick Castellanos ($23) has been outstanding and he, too, has a career high with 33 home runs despite missing 24 games with injuries. While his .195 average this season is 50 points below his career mark, Eugenio Suarez ($24) still has power with 30 home runs. Rookie Jonathan India ($21) is looking to bring home the hardware for newcomer of the year after a phenomenal season. We can look to fellow youngster Max Schrock ($10), who is a bargain across the DFS sites if he lands in the two-hole again this afternoon.

Late Slate

Seattle Mariners vs. LHP Jhonathan Diaz— 4.6 implied runs

There are only two games on Saturday’s late slate. Cy Young frontrunner Corbin Burnes has the challenging task of taking on the Dodgers, who need to win tonight and have the Giants lose in order still mathematically catch them with the same outcome tomorrow. Siding with the Dodgers makes sense if the Giants lose their afternoon game. Milwaukee is unlikely to risk Burnes prior to the postseason even with the Cy Young in his grasp, particularly if facing the full gauntlet of Los Angeles regulars.

Last night, the Mariners lost 2-1 and saw their playoff hopes nearly evaporate while Boston took down the Nationals, and now have an 80% probability of securing the second American League Wild Card spot. Tonight, Seattle is facing 25-year-old Jhonathan Diaz ($28), who has been a fringe prospect that struggled in Triple-A. Though he does not allow a lot of power, he projects to be a low-strikeout reliever with walk issues. This, of course, is also known as a crafty lefty and he should be able to carve out a five year career in The Show.

Focus on Mitch Haniger ($20), who is by far the Mariners’ best hitter and we can pair him with Kyle Seager ($12). While it is a lefty/lefty matchup for the Mariners 34-year-old veteran he can more than hold his own. Additionally, he is in the midst of an impressive season with 35 home runs and 100 RBIs. Both of the catchers are likely to be in the lineup as they mash southpaws and while we can only roster one on most sites, both Tom Murphy ($9) and Luis Torrens ($13) are viable options, even on the main slate.

Spotlight Pitchers

Top MLB DFS Picks Target: LHP Julio Urias vs. Milwaukee Brewers — 3.5 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $52 | FanDuel $8,900 | DraftKings $10,100

Weather issues in the Midwest as well as most playoff positions being locked up are limiting the top-tier pitchers. Julio Urias could fall into the latter category if the Giants win this afternoon since the Dodgers need them to lose two and win two themselves in order to force Game 163 to determine which team gets the National League West title and which is playing as the Wild Card in a win-or-go-home situation. What a crazy year that the two teams with the most wins in the league end up being this situation. If San Francisco wins, then we are likely to just see a maintenance start from Urias in the 70- to 75-pitch range.

Wild Card MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Chris Flexen vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim — 3.4 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $39 | FanDuel $7,800 | DraftKings $7,300

This is far from a sexy play, but we should at least get six innings from Chris Flexen and a shot at the quality start bonus on FanDuel. After reinventing himself in the KBO last season upon being released by the Mets, Flexen has been a tremendous find by the Mariners. While he does not have any strikeout upside, he does limit power and keeps Seattle in every game he starts. Only seven times in 30 starts has he allowed more than three runs and in two of those he only ceded four.

Early MLB DFS Picks Target: RHP Alek Manoah vs. Baltimore Orioles — 4.4 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $48 | FanDuel $10,300 | DraftKings $9,900

Rookie Alek Manoah is in the midst of a tremendous season and is a key cog in the surprisingly successful Toronto rotation. The Blue Jays have not yet clinched their postseason slot and after Boston’s victory last night, they have just under a 20% chance of snagging a Wild Card slot. This afternoon we also have pivots with Kevin Gausman squaring off against Joe Musgrove and Tyler Mahle in a tantalizing matchup with the Pirates. The Orioles are a bottom-five squad against right-handed hurlers which bodes well for another solid start for Manoah. If he struggles, there could be a quick call to the bullpen, but the Jays are two-to-one favorites to garner the victory this afternoon.

Final Thoughts for the Saturday, Oct. 2 MLB DFS Slate

Keep and eye on the weather in the Midwest today. Chicago, Kansas City and particularly St. Louis all have varying degrees of precipitation risk.

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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