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June 11 MLB DFS: The Month of Junis

Adam Hummell
June 11 MLB DFS: The Month of Junis
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Welcome to June 11 MLB DFS action. You’ll find Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium Cliff Notes for June 11 MLB DFS along with LIVE Premium Chat. Make sure you’re using the customizable projections tool, you’re actively participating in the live chat, and you’re reviewing the cliff notes to supplement your research and roster construction process. Very best of luck in tonight’s action!

Timestamps
01:16 Starting Pitcher
10:36 Stacks/Tournament Thoughts
24:26 C
25:36 1B
27:05 2B
28:49 3B
30:51 SS
32:51 OF

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  • In cash games, we recommend focusing on value plays to build your rosters (far right hand column of Projections page linked above). Value plays are those we feel have the highest probability of out-earning their current price tag. By packing value plays into your roster, you’re creating a team with a higher floor.
  • In tournaments, we recommend building a core of the best value plays and then complementing them with players who have a high ceiling. This combination is essentially turning up the variance on a strong foundation and we believe often is the best recipe for tournament success.

MLB DFS Optimizer Tutorial

Our MLB DFS Optimizer is live. Arturo put together an overview with MLB DFS Optimizer Cliffnotes that walk through the various features and frequently asked questions (FAQs) from customers during testing. We have also produced a basic optimizer tutorial video on YouTube (linked below) as well as a power user optimizer tutorial for the most advanced tournament players on how to get the most out of the optimizer. You can join the #MLB channel in slack if you have additional questions.

June 11 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

Starting Pitcher

Trevor Bauer (CLE) and Patrick Corbin (WSH) edge out Chris Paddack (SD) and James Paxton (NYY) on slate with a few potential aces up top. While we have high end pitching, they don’t come with the types of low implied totals you’re accustomed to. Bauer (4.1), Corbin (4), and Paxton (3.9) are all above average implied totals against in part due to the environments they’re pitching in and in part due to the summer temperatures rising around the country. Paddack is the only one on the slate with an implied total at 3.5 or lower but faces a Giants’ offense that profiles well for contact. With this group priced tightly, we generally prefer the cheapest options. On FanDuel, it’s Paddack. On DraftKings, it’s Bauer.

Despite the strength of the options up top, this slate is mostly about hitting. Four offenses on the slate have implied totals at 5.5 or better and optimals prefer to build through offense. This brings us to Jakob Junis (KC) who projects just behind the top tier of starters thanks to a favorable matchup with the Tigers who rank 29th in wRC+ against RHP with the second highest K Rate in the league. Junis has an implied total against of just 4.3 which isn’t far behind the leaders for a price tag that is a few thousand cheaper. Junis is a priority on this slate in cash games on both sites. He’s far too cheap.

Junis has a price tag that would often earn consideration for your SP2 on DraftKings and he certainly can be utilized in that way but optimals will prefer to emphasize offense for cheaper. There are a few decent options to consider. Martin Perez (MIN) has pitched the best of the group this season (3.72 ERA, 3.73 FIP) and has the offense most likely to provide strong run support. He’s a fairly known quantity but draws a boom-or-bust matchup against a Mariners’ offense that whiffs a lot but also slugs quite a bit. Elieser Hernandez (MIA) is the cheaper option and a bit more of an unknown. He’s been dominant at AAA (1.13 ERA, 2.09 FIP, 34.3 K Rate) including 45 strikeouts in his last five starts. Hernandez is just $5,000 with a favorable umpire in one of the best pitching environments on the slate in Miami. Junis-Hernandez is a cost conscious pairing that can easily afford high end stacks and our optimals prefer that route on DraftKings.

Dakota Hudson (STL) is a secondary option with a lower implied total against but also a weaker strikeout projection. Hudson gets the same environment as Hernandez but doesn’t have as many weapons to miss bats and comes with a higher price tag.

Although it’s a huge slate, we view the pitching as pretty straight forward. The mid-tier is almost entirely eliminated by the strength of the cheap options. If you’re uncomfortable with the cheap options you can emphasize the aces who are appropriately priced and hope the top offenses don’t bury you.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Chicago Cubs

The Cubs are a very good offense (seventh in wRC+ against RHP) and getting a huge park shift against a rookie they get to see for the second time in a week. They have the highest implied total on the slate at six and project well ahead of all the other top offenses. Their ownership will depend largely on how confident the field gets with cheap starting pitching. Our inclination is the field will end up very comfortable and the Cubs will be the highest owned stacks on the slate.

Tier Two

2) Washington Nationals

The Nationals offense has the third highest implied total on the slate and a nine guaranteed innings against a weak White Sox pitching staff. We saw the Nationals explode late last night and some of their secondary players project better with the platoon edge against LHP. Guys like Brian Dozier, Victor Robles, and Yan Gomes all profile a bit better. They should be relatively popular but a guy like Juan Soto might come in under-owned with all the other ways to spend.

Tier Three

3) Colorado Rockies

4) Minnesota Twins

5) New York Yankees

6) Boston Red Sox

The Rockies offense profiles well against LHP with Story-Arenado leading the way. Those two will be very popular and Rockies mini-stacks will likely come with high ownership. The expensive lefties (Blackmon-Dahl) are ways to be contrarian within the Rockies stacks.

The Twins should also be one of the chalkier offenses on the slate. They have the second highest implied total (5.7) and they’re seemingly scoring double digits multiple times a week. A favorable matchup against contact-oriented Mike Leake is a good spot but one we think will come with decent ownership.

It’s hard to imagine the Yankees and Red Sox against Jason Vargas and Ariel Jurado might be more modestly owned but that’s the nature of the slate. Both teams aren’t guaranteed the full nine innings as home options and their implied totals are a bit more modest. We think they’ll still command higher single digits ownership but come in behind the Coors Field options.

Tier Four

7) Los Angeles Dodgers

8) Atlanta Braves

The fourth tier is where ownerships should start to come down on pretty strong offenses. The Dodgers are in a difficult ballpark but they get a DH on the road and face Felix Pena who was torched last time out along with a weak Angels pen.

The Braves have a tougher matchup with Chris Archer but also get a very worn down Pirates pen after Musgrove was ejected early on Monday. Archer can still miss some bats but he’s battling issues with both walks and hard contact this year. The combination is a good one for stacks and Archer gets a big park downgrade.

Cheap Contrarian Stack

Toronto Blue Jays – The Blue Jays face the Orioles “ace” in John Means who has pitched to a 2.67 ERA. The peripherals remain shakier for Means (4.04 FIP, 4.97 xFIP) which suggests some regression is coming at some point. The size of the slate and the low implied total should make the Jays a nice contrarian cheap stack to pair with high-end pitching.

Catcher

Gary Sanchez (NYY) will get the Jason Vargas matchup tonight, as the game got postponed last night. Here’s what we said about Gary yesterday; Sanchez owns one of the top projections in this slate regardless of hitting position. Sanchez gets the platoon edge, and in that split (vs. LHP) he owns a .375 wOBA and an absurd .309 ISO. The southpaw he’s facing is Jason Vargas, who owns a 5.05 SIERA this season. That’s much closer to his true skill rather than his 3.57 ERA. On top of this, Sanchez gets to hit in the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium. He’s expensive, but we’re doing everything we can to fit him in all formats tonight.

The high end pivots from Sanchez in tournaments are Willson Contreras (CHC) and Yasmani Grandal (MIL). Contreras gets the Coors Field bump, while Grandal is hitting from the left side of the plate, where he owns a .356 wOBA and .250 ISO baselines. Kurt Suzuki (WSH) is a fine target as well.

If going the punt route, Danny Jansen (TOR) is just $2,300 on DraftKings and projects decently against a LHP. Jansen carries a solid .152 ISO baseline in that split. Austin Hedges (SD) is $2,600 and projects a bit higher than Jansen due to a .192 ISO baseline vs. RHP.

First Base

Anthony Rizzo (CHC) represents the top projected scorer on the hitting side regardless of position. Rizzo gets to hit third with the platoon edge in Coors Field, which builds a strong projection to begin with. On top of this, he’s facing Peter Lambert, who projects to have an ERA above 5 at the major league level with a well below average K rate. Lambert faced the Cubs recently and was exceptional, but we’re not expecting that level of performance again, certainly not in Coors Field. Rizzo projects as an anchor of lineups in this slate and that’s how we’re treating him.

Freddie Freeman (ATL) and Luke Voit (NYY) are additional high end targets that will have the platoon edge in strong matchups. They’re viable tournament options. Max Muncy (LAD) and C.J. Cron (MIN) fit the bill as well.

It’s tough to justify paying $5,300 for Howie Kendrick (WSH) on DraftKings, but his $3,000 price tag on FanDuel is one of the best ones at the position. Kendrick will have the platoon edge and projects to hit cleanup against LHP. Kendrick carries solid baselines (.352 wOBA, .174 ISO) in that split, but it’s the context (on the road in an AL park, facing Manny Banuelos) that creates such a strong projection. He’s a great target in all formats on FanDuel.

Jake Bauers (CLE) and Ryan O’Hearn (KC) are viable punt plays on DraftKings that carry decent power upside vs. RHP.

Second Base

DJ LeMahieu (NYY) represents the top projected scorer at second base on DraftKings, while Gleyber Torrres (NYY) carries the top projection at the position on FanDuel. Both represent strong plays in this slate but they’re not priorities.

Brian Dozier (WSH) typically hits seventh even against LHP, but he’s projecting as one of the strongest plays at the position and he remains priced favorably on FanDuel ($2,700). In that split, Dozier carries a .351 wOBA and a . 226 ISO baselines. Dozier is facing Manny Banuelos, who’s been a disaster at the major league level, in large part because he can’t keep the ball in the park (2.45 HR/9 allowed this season). It’s a great matchup for Dozier.

Dozier is priced more appropriately on DraftKings ($4,000). He’s still viable on that site, but there are options like Jonathan Villar (BAL) and Cesar Hernandez (PHI) that are priced similarly and project nearly the same as well. As a result, we view them as strong alternatives.

Third Base

Kris Bryant (CHC) leads the way in projection at third base. Bryant gets a R/R matchup tonight, but it’s at Coors Field and it’s against a pitcher that projects to be bad. Bryant’s baselines take a hit against righties, but we’re still talking about a hitter with a .371 wOBA and .240 ISO baselines in that split. He’s a great play in all formats and our optimals on DraftKings are all over him.

Third base is loaded with high end targets once again. Nolan Arenado (COL) will have the platoon edge (.422 wOBA, .320 ISO baselines vs. LHP) in Coors Field, while Anthony Rendon (WSH) gets the platoon edge (.394 wOBA, .257 ISO baselines vs. LHP) against a crappy pitcher in Guaranteed Rate Field. We love these options in tournaments and it’s not inconceivable to use them in cash games too.

Rafael Devers (BOS) deserves a mention in tournaments as part of Red Sox stacks. His baselines don’t compare to the options above, but to his credit Devers has been one of the better hitters in a Red Sox uniform this season.

If going the salary relief route, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (TOR) and Josh Donaldson (ATL) are priced at the average cost of a roster spot or below around the industry. Guerrero Jr. will have the platoon edge and carries great baselines for a rookie hitter. Once he gets going, he’ll be priced as a high end option routinely.

Shortstop

Javier Baez (CHC) projects as the top option at shortstop, barely edging out Trevor Story (COL). Both of these hitters get the benefit of hitting baseballs in Coors Field, and Story has the platoon edge (.400 wOBA, .308 ISO baselines vs. LHP). The reason Baez projects slightly ahead is because he has a superior matchup against Peter Lambert, a pitcher that the Cubs just faced recently. They’re both strong options in all formats.

There’s also Trea Turner (WSH) leading off against Manny Banuelos in this slate. Turner has more stolen base equity than the options above, but his base production isn’t as strong as Baez or Story. Turner is nearly $1,000 cheaper than Story on DraftKings. He’s a great cash game target on that site.

If trying to save a bit more, Gleyber Torres (NYY) is $4,100 on DraftKings while Manny Machado (SD) is just $3,600. Our lean goes to Gleyber, who’s just too cheap in a matchup against Jason Vargas in Yankee Stadium.

On FanDuel, Kevin Newman (PIT) would be our salary relief pick. He’s $2,600 and gets to leadoff. Newman would only be in play if paying up for one of the aces in this slate.

Outfield

Kyle Schwarber (CHC) is the top projected scorer in the outfield and only trails teammate Anthony Rizzo in overall projection tonight. Schwarber gets to hit leadoff in Coors Field and will have the platoon edge (.261 ISO baseline vs. RHP). He’s too affordable for this type of projection, particularly on FanDuel ($3,900). He’s a great play around the industry.

Mookie Betts (BOS) and J.D. Martinez (BOS) remain priced under $5,000 on DraftKings. This time around, they get a matchup against a RHP but they remain strong targets, particularly in tournaments. Teammate Andrew Benintendi (BOS) doesn’t project as strongly but is more affordable on FanDuel ($3,500).

Cody Bellinger (LAD) and Joc Pederson (LAD) are additional high end targets that carry plenty of upside in the outfield. Both will have the platoon edge in an AL park, and Pederson has an affordable price tag on FanDuel ($3,700).

Victor Robles (WSH) projects to hit second against a below average southpaw, and he’s priced at the average cost of a roster spot on both sites. He’s one of the strongest values available at the position.

Nelson Cruz (MIN) and Aaron Hicks (NYY) are part of offenses that carry IRTs above 5 and get to face weak pitchers. They’re viable options in the mid-tier.

Carlos Gonzalez (CHC) continues to be mispriced on DraftKings ($3,600). He’s a road leadoff hitter in Coors Field that gets to hit in the top 6 and will have the platoon edge as well.

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