Welcome to June 12 MLB DFS action. You’ll find Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium Cliff Notes for June 12 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!
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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.
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June 12 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
Aaron Nola (PHI) is in a tier by himself entering a home matchup against the Rockies in which he’s a -150 favorite and has a slate low 3.4 IRTA. Nola has been the definition of steady after a couple of short outings to begin the year. Since his first two starts, he’s completed 6 IP or more in 11 straight starts, 10 of those quality starts. His K rate has also picked up steadily following a pedestrian March/April (19.1). With a scorching May (over 30% K rate) and a solid single June start, the overall K rate is now up to 24.8%. Nola will face a Rockies team that is dead last in wRC+ against RHP and slightly increases opposition K rate. Nola is usable in cash games at $12k on DK, but it’s also easy to pass on him and build around more expensive bats there. However, on FD he’s the clear top value and our preference in cash games there.
Mike Foltynewicz (ATL) has been phenomenal this season, allowing just a .276 wOBA (.295 xwOBA) and striking out over 28% of batters faced. The price tag has gotten hefty, especially on DK, but in a favorable matchup against the Mets he is tournament viable on FD.
Miles Mikolas (STL) is in a similar box as Folty from the “has exceeded expectations and how has a high price tag” standpoint, but unlike Folty, Mikolas doesn’t have the K rate upside that makes us willing to overpay for the upside in tournament formats, despite the elite matchup.
From a surface point perspective, Jon Gray (COL) has really struggled, recording a 5.66 ERA through 3 starts. However, his expected ERAs are in the low 3s, and his xwOBA is 30 points lower than his actual wOBA. A combination of bad luck and a horrific home park have bitten Gray, but we can take advantage of a depressed price point on the road. The win equity against Nola is not great, but our mean baseline K rate for the projected Phillies lineup is nearly 25%, right around Gray’s baseline. The end result is a 6.7 K projection topped only by Nola on the slate. He’s the best value play on DK.
On DK, you probably want to take advantage of Gray’s tag. After that, there are routes to build a higher floor team with an expensive spend on Nola or you can go cheap with someone like Jaime Garcia (TOR). The Garcia route is definitely less comfortable as it puts a second 5-plus ERA SP into your lineup. Garcia has had some bad fortune but mostly has just pitched poorly. What Garcia has done well, relatively speaking, is put up the second best K rate of his career, and that lines up well against a Rays team that will inflate Ks against LHPs. The Rays home park is favorable for opposing SPs as is the projected home plate umpire.
On a 15-game slate, there are no shortage of additional tournament options that either provide legitimate K upside or just enough projected production to be intriguing given the cap relief offered. The options are relatively site specific. On FD, high K upside plays like Eduardo Rodriguez (BOS) and Lance McCullers (HOU) are in play.
On DK, we can move further down the pricing spectrum. Jake Odorizzi (MIN) and Tanner Roark (WAS) (will be basically unowned) have some minor appeal as mid-low tier options while cheap plays like Austin Pruitt (TB), Mike Leake (SEA) (awesome recent run due to GB and BB rate improvements but K rate still unimpressive as is Hard%), and Chase Anderson (MIL) are cheapies to allow you to build around expensive bats on a large slate.
Tucker Barnhart (CIN) and Yasmani Grandal (LAD) offer slightly different routes to value on a full Tuesday slate. Barnhart, the lesser skilled offensive weapon, is the cheap way to get exposure to a top lineup spot at a weak position. At just $3,200 on DraftKings he’s jumping into early optimals alongside Grandal, and we’ll be getting him from the stronger side of the plate (though, it’s still largely pretty weak). It’s mainly a price play, though opposing arm Ian Kennedy is in his second straight season allowing 40%+ hard contact, and would help aid whatever minimal power Barnhart has (.115 ISO in the split) given his flyball and home run problems.
Grandal – the superior skilled offensive player will draw a favorable matchup, also from his strong side of the plate against Bartolo Colon. The platoon discrepancy is quite large for Grandal, as he’s posted a .231 ISO versus RHP since 2015, as compared to a .126 ISO from the right side of the plate. At just $4,000 on DraftKings he’s rather easy to fit – particularly if spending down at the second SP spot.
Willson Contreras (CHC) fits handily in between Barnhart and Grandal at $3,800 on DraftKings. The matchup with Chase Anderson will pit him against the more difficult of the three opposing starters, but he gets a nice park grade and a strong(ish) lineup spot. Though the matchup with Anderson won’t gift him the platoon edge, Anderson has historically been susceptible to same-handed power, allowing a .201 ISO to RHB since 2015. If you couldn’t make the jump to Grandal, and don’t feel comfortable dropping to Barnhart, Contreras could be a cash game alternative.
Mitch Garver (MIN) would be an even cheaper option than Barnhart, albeit with a worse lineup spot. And we shouldn’t forget Gary Sanchez (NYY) even on a full slate, as he projects as the second highest scorer at the position behind Grandal.
Yonder Alonso (CLE) and Joey Votto (CIN) top the first base position on DraftKings, but are quickly replaced by Edwin Encarnacion (CLE) and Miguel Cabrera (DET) at the position on FanDuel when considering value on Tuesday.
Alonso and Encarnacion will both get a lovely matchup with James Shields, the king of all gas cans. In 13 starts this year, it’s likely not surprising that Shields has posted a 5.08 xFIP, is striking out just 16.4% of batters and routinely allowing over one home run per nine. The Indians have an implied run total over five runs as they get a nice park shift moving to Guaranteed Rate Field, also guaranteeing them nine full at-bats. Encarnacion and Alonso have both posted excellent batted ball data of late – the discrepancy is mainly in their price, where Encarnacion is significantly cheaper at $4,200 on FD and $4,600 on DK versus $3,600 and $3,600 respectively for Alonso.
As such, Alonso gets most of the early optimal nods on DraftKings – while it’s Encarnacion that sneaks into some on FanDuel. Though on FanDuel he has to duke it out with a $2,800, Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera won’t get the luxury of facing Shields, but instead will get Jake Odorizzi who has struggled with same handed batters (.209 ISO allowed since 2015). Cabrera too joins the crew with good batted ball data, and the price is tough to pass up. Even in optimals which thrust in another first baseman, he winds up as a utility piece.
Votto gets left out of the mix a little bit given his price is a bit higher, and the overall context is a little less desirable. Still though on DraftKings at just $4,300 he is grossly underpriced given his skillset and is a viable cash game play.
There are a lot of other names to dig through at a loaded position, but Cody Bellinger (LAD), Anthony Rizzo (CHC), Freddie Freeman (ATL), and Greg Bird (NYY) should float up during the tournament conversation.
Yoan Moncada (CHW) takes the cake as the top second base value on both sites. On DraftKings the sub-$4,000 price tag is hard to pass up, as Moncada gives us a top of the order hitter with both speed and power upside. Don’t be fooled by the 3.93 ERA from Adam Plutko, he’s outperformed a 5.53 xFIP while allowing 5 home runs (one start of 3, one start of 2) in his measly 18 innings of work. Though he’s the top value though, there are some reasonable pivots available on both sites if you should need to go cheaper or desire more upside.
Brian Dozier (MIN) would represent the latter, providing us with a road leadoff hitter for just $400 more on DraftKings. With the platoon edge he’s been a monster, posting a .373 wOBA and .259 ISO against LHP since 2015.
You can also drop cheaper – to Joe Panik (SF) or Ben Zobrist (CHC). Panik’s value is a bit easier to peg as his lineup spot is a bit more consistent. We should get him at the top of the order against right-hander Trevor Richards. The park isn’t great, the batted ball data isn’t particularly encouraging either, but Richards has allowed 44% hard contact and Panik has been more than serviceable against RHP since 2015 (.338 wOBA, .158 ISO).
We’ll get Zobrist from his better side of the plate and with a positive park shift, but one that actually pits him against the better side for Chase Anderson‘s changeup. Still though, at just $2,900 on FanDuel he’s the second best value for a deep Cubs team in Miller Park. Unfortunately, that value is heavily tied to the lineup spot.
Jason Kipnis (CLE) needs to be kept in the conversation as part of Indians stacks and as a filler option in the middle of the pack price wise. The matchup with James Shields is too good to pass up and getting exposure to the Indians for cheap is a desirable act on this Tuesday.
Jose Ramirez (CLE) blows away the field in raw projection and is the top value on both sites at the hot corner. The matchup with Shields is phenomenal as mentioned many times, and Ramirez is another Indian with excellent batted ball data of late. The issue of course will largely be the price tag. On FanDuel, Ramirez doesn’t find his way into many of the early optimals – but on DraftKings where we can save with a second starting pitcher he does make his way in.
If you decide that you can’t stomach someone like Jaime Garcia, you’ll have to drop. A step drop in price to Justin Turner (LAD) is not met with much less of a desirable matchup though, as Turner gets the age old wonder Bartolo Colon. He’s just $3,700 on DraftKings and $3,200 on FanDuel, an affordable price tag for cash games and tournaments. The issue with Turner is he’s been dealing with wrist soreness and has missed five out of the teams last six games. According to manager Dave Roberts, he was supposed to start on Sunday and is expected to play on Tuesday.
If you can’t use Turner, Jake Lamb (ARI) is just $3,100 on FanDuel. Lamb possess a ton of upside potential against RHP (.232 ISO since 2015) and will get right-hander Trevor Williams in his home park. Rafael Devers (BOS) would be a comparable pivot to Lamb on DraftKings where he’s just $3,400. The lineup spot is not quite as compelling, but opposing right-hander David Hess is allowing 1.84 HR/9 and only striking out 13.6% of opposing hitters.
Francisco Lindor (CLE) is nearly the only positive value at the shortstop position. The matchup needs no more justification, and the dude continues to just rake. Another Indian with a positive delta in batted ball data, he’s actually shown an uptick in power thus far (.241 ISO, though projecting ROS around .205) and he’s still running enough to keep you honest. He’s the dream play at the position, it’s a matter of price.
That’s where you could swap to an equally talented Carlos Correa (HOU) who is somehow only $2,700 on FanDuel. Sadly, you’re almost guaranteed to just filter right to Correa in a matchup with the exploitable, likely fraudulent Daniel Mengden. The aerial hard contact woes finally got to Mengden in his last start as he allowed four home runs in Texas. While he’s park will save him a little bit, this matchup and price tag is too good to pass up.
Correa is more appropriately priced on DraftKings, so you might drop to someone like Trea Turner (WSH) or Chris Taylor (LAD) in the mid to low $4,000s. Turner’s matchup with C.C. Sabathia is less desirable from an opposing skills perspective, but he’s moving to Yankee Stadium and getting a big park shift in his favor. Though he hasn’t flashed really any skills versus LHP, this is still a good spot to take advantage of his upside.
Taylor draws a much more enticing matchup with the Big Sexy in Los Angeles. The run scoring environment can’t match that of Lindor, but anyone at the top (15.6K%, 2.02 HR/9) needs to be considered in all formats. Taylor’s batted ball data isn’t encouraging, but he’s the 4th highest projected scorer at the position.
You don’t need to move away from Correa on FanDuel, but if you needed to be cheap Alcides Escobar (KC) might help answer the call on DraftKings.
We get some familiar names in the upper echelon of outfielders on this slate – Mike Trout (LAA), Mookie Betts (BOS), and Giancarlo Stanton (NYY). We also get one not so familiar name in Michael Brantley (CLE). Over on FD, Trout is clearly the most expensive, but Betts, Stanton, and Brantley are on the brink of affordability in the mid-$4000s. Ultimately we prefer all of them in tournaments over cash games given positional value. On DK, the story is different. Brantley is the best value of the bunch as he and Stanton are both priced meaningfully lower than Trout or Betts. Brantley has looked like his old self, posting an astounding 91.5 contact rate and high LD rate. In builds where you eschew Nola in cash games, you can also get access to Stanton’s immense power, despite Roark being good against RHBs. The ballpark and high IRT make it viable.
There are a plethora of mid-tier values on this slate, which makes it possible to get away from spending up on any of the top four outfielders, especially on FD. Rhys Hoskins (PHI) is in a high risk/reward matchup against Jon Gray and is ultimately underpriced given one of the best ISO baselines, even in a matchup where he lacks the platoon edge. He’s an industry wide value along with Brett Gardner (NYY) (platoon edge against Roark, slate high IRT) and Scott Schebler (CIN) (road leadoff hitter with the platoon edge against a power prone SP).
Two other near top of the order road bats to consider if you need a bit more cap relief are Ender Inciarte (ATL) (Wheeler has a career .339 wOBA allowed to LHBs and the battery projects to inflate opposition SB totals) and Jason Heyward (CHC) (strong positive delta in his 15-day hard-hit rate).
Nicholas Castellanos (DET) has outfield eligibility on FanDuel and finds himself in some of the early optimals on the site at just $2,900. The Tigers don’t strike as a particularly threatening lineup, but especially on FanDuel their price tags are far too affordable (plus good batted ball data, and Odorizzi’s susceptibility to RHB power).
Lonnie Chisenhall (CLE) and Cody Bellinger (LAD) have OF eligibility on DraftKings, where you can get a bit creative with lineup construction to utilize their services. Chisenhall has long been a platoon champ for the Indians, and we mentioned Bellinger’s upside (.287 ISO versus RHP) in the matchup with Bartolo Colon.
The value ranks can be rounded out with options like Kyle Schwarber (CHC), Michael Conforto (NYM), and Christian Yelich (MIL) who all get the platoon edge and rate just behind a whole wall of value options on both sites.
1) Cleveland Indians
Cleveland once again rules the stack rankings given another bad White Sox SP on the mound, this time in the form of James Shields. One one hand, it feels like picking on Shields has been annoying this year, yet he has a 4.92 ERA and things will likely get worse as his HR/FB rate continues to regress.
2) Chicago Cubs
3) New York Yankees
4) Boston Red Sox
The Cubs have plenty of power upside in a positive park shift facing the homer prone Chase Anderson. The whiffs have disappeared for Anderson this year as his K rate has dropped to 15.9%, which is borderline disastrous when you consider a really low 33.9% GB rate and high 34.7 Hard%.
The Yankees may be an underowned stack on a large slate where people won’t feel obligated to spend up for their elite RHBs in a R/R matchup against Tanner Roark. The potentially low ownership from high upside bats when they actually possess the highest IRT on the slate makes this stack appealing for tournaments.
With Boston rounding out this tier, the stack rankings look awful similar to yesterday despite nearly twice the amount of games. Boston has Mookie Betts back in the lineup, which gives the lineup not only a big boost in quality and depth but specifically adds some of the best individual event upside in the league to it. There’s not much of a sample size on Hess but so far he’s been unable to miss bats or keep the ball in the park, something ZiPS projects to continue leaving them with a ROS ERA projection of 6.01.
5) Los Angeles Dodgers
6) Cincinnati Reds
7) Atlanta Braves
The Dodgers may move up a tier depending where their actual team total winds up (guessing currently). Colon has kept the run prevention in check, but a lot of that is due to limiting walks. While that can allow him to pitch around trouble at times, it results in a ton of DFS upside for the opposition due to the sheer amount of balls in play allowed, which has led to 2.02 HR/9.
On the road, Cincinnati likely doesn’t get too much play, but mid-80s temperatures in Kansas City and a matchup against the very homer prone Ian Kennedy still leave them with a good deal of upside.