Welcome to June 15 MLB DFS action. You’ll find Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium Cliff Notes for June 15 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 15 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
Corey Kluber (CLE) is the clear top SP on this slate as a -230 favorite with just a 3.0 IRTA. Kluber hasn’t been quite as dominant this season from a K rate perspective, still striking out a strong 27.5% of batters faced. He’s been on a roll recently, posting a FIP of 2.72 or lower in each of his past six starts. In a neutral matchup against the Twins, Kluber is a very safe option but appropriately priced. He’s viable in cash games but there’s a value we prefer in the next tier.
The next tier of pitchers all project closely in Ross Stripling (LAD), Charlie Morton (HOU), and James Paxton (SEA). While our baselines upgrade for Stripling is arguably aggressive, he’s been absurd this season. Stripling ranks fifth out of 313 pitchers in xwOBA with just a .230 mark. Stripling currently has a 25.5 K-BB% to go with an above average GB rate and just a 1.3 Hard-Soft%, all leading to a stellar 2.33 FIP. At a lower cost than Morton or Paxton, Stripling is our preferred value.
Morton faces a Royals team that ranks 25th in wRC+ against RHP but is very contact oriented. With Morton having some shaky performances lately (6 BB last game), it’s tough to make a case for him at $12,100 on DK, even in tournaments. It’s also 90 degrees with the wind blowing out to LF. On FD, he’s priced much closer to Stripling and is a GPP play on that site.
Paxton has struck out an outstanding 31.4% of batters faced this season. Given the price and our baselines having the matchup against the Red Sox as a pretty negative one, Paxton falls behind both Kluber and Stripling as a cash game value. However, if you think the current team splits for Boston against LHP are more indicative of future performance (27th in wRC+, 24.6 K%), then it’s a good opportunity to play Paxton in GPP at reduced ownership.
With some expensive offensive priorities on a full slate (juicy total in Texas), you likely want to go cheaper at SP2 on DK. The main options for that are Reynaldo Lopez (CHW) and Clayton Richard (SD). Lopez has not been good this year, but has gotten away with in to an extent (.346 xwOBA, .295 wOBA; 3.26 ERA, 5.45 xFIP). The 16.7 K% has been disappointing, too. However, Lopez has forced enough soft contact that along with some optimism for the K rate climbing given his velocity puts him in a good spot against a heavily right-handed Tigers lineup that is 21st in wRC+ against RHP. It’s a rare start where Lopez will find himself as a favorite (-133) with a modest IRTA (4).
Richard is in a more difficult spot in Atlanta, which is reflected in his 4.5 IRTA, but the ability to work deep into games and keep the ball on the ground gives him an okay floor, despite a low K rate. Our projections prefer Lopez, but Lopez’s projection also likely carries a higher error bar since we’re unsure where to place the K rate.
It’s easy to overlook the mid-tier on this slate, but Zack Godley (ARI), Jake Arrieta (PHI), and Gio Gonzalez (WAS) are all in play in tournaments. In fact, if you wanted to get less aggressive with the bats, Godley could be used in cash games over Lopez/Richard. Godley is in a favorable home matchup against the Mets, and is also favorably priced on FD, where he’s a smart cheap tournament play at a cost not much higher than Lopez’s. Jon Lester (CHC) can also be included in this grouping.
Gary Sanchez (NYY) represents the top projected scorer at the catcher position. Sanchez won’t have the platoon edge tonight and Nathan Eovaldi has respectable baselines (.300 wOBA, .131 ISO) vs. RHBs, which keeps Sanchez projection in check. Sanchez projects as a near breakeven target tonight on DK where he remains a little bit too cheap for his long term skills. We like him in tournaments but our optimals will opt towards salary relief at the position.
Robinson Chirinos (TEX), Tucker Barnhart (CIN) and Chris Iannetta (COL) are our preferred cash game targets at the position with low to mid $3k price tags on DK. Since the start of last season, Chirinos has generated a .223 ISO vs. RHP and while he doesn’t hit in a good lineup spot, he’s hitting in 90 degree weather in Arlington tonight. Chirinos has generated a 35.3% HHR over the L15 days.
Barnhart gets the favorable lineup spot (second) and he’s facing Chad Kuhl, who’s allowed a .369 wOBA and .226 ISO to LHBs since 2017. Barnhart is in the inferior hitting environment (PNC Park) but his projection isn’t any different than Chirinos’.
Like Chirinos, Iannetta doesn’t get to hit in good lineup spots but he’ll have the platoon edge in Arlington. Iannetta has generated a .351 wOBA and .197 ISO vs. LHP since 2017. We prefer him over Barnhart even when accounting for the worse lineup spot.
J.T. Realmuto (MIA) and Yasmani Grandal (LAD) are viable options to consider in tournaments. Realmuto and the Marlins offense are getting a sizeable park shift going into Camden Yards. Realmuto has generated a 145 wRC+ in 204 PAs this season. Grandal is hitting from his worst side (right) but the matchup against Derek Holland (.389 wOBA, .250 ISO allowed to RHBs since 2017) is very favorable.
Eric Thames (MIL), Jose Abreu (CHW) and Joey Votto (CIN) form the top tier of first basemen in this slate. Votto is the superior hitter of this group, with .406 wOBA and .212 ISO baselines with the platoon edge. He’s also priced like it and he’s in PNC Park.
Votto is viable in tournaments where he shouldn’t draw much attention in a full slate, but in cash games were searching for cheaper price tags. On DK, Abreu represents the clear cut top value at the position with a $4,000 price tag. Abreu has a matchup against Mike Fiers, who’s allowed a .351 wOBA and .212 ISO to RHBs since 2017.
On FD, Abreu and Thames are $3,300. If you wanted to split exposure between the two, use Abreu in cash games on DK where he’s clearly underpriced and use Thames on FD. Thames doesn’t have an overly exciting matchup against Jake Arrieta but he hit leadoff coming off the DL against a RHP earlier this week. As long as he’s in that lineup spot, Thames will rate slightly ahead of Abreu. He’s generated a ridiculous .301 ISO vs. RHP since the start of last season.
Some site specific values to consider at the position are Joey Gallo (TEX) (on DK) and Greg Bird (NYY) (on FD). We believe both of these sluggers are underpriced on the aforementioned sites. Gallo is in Arlington with the platoon edge while Bird gets the platoon edge at home and he’s just $3,100 on FD. Nathan Eovaldi is a solid pitcher but he has wide platoon splits. Since 2016, he’s allowed a massive .250 ISO to LHBs. It’s a strong context for Bird and we’re willing to consider him in cash games as long as he’s in a top five lineup spot.
Josh Bell (PIT) (tournament viable on both sites and cash viable on DK) and Ian Desmond (COL) are additional tournament options to consider in this slate. Bell will hit from the left side against Matt Harvey, which is meaningful. Harvey has surrendered a massive .398 wOBA and .237 ISO to LHBs since 2016. Desmond has been a boom or bust option this season, which is the type of profile that fits tournaments. He’ll have the platoon edge in Arlington against Yohander Mendez, who’s making his first MLB start. We have pegged Mendez with a .215 ISO baseline vs. RHBs.
Yoan Moncada (CHW) and DJ LeMahieu (COL) carry the top projections at second base. They’re both projecting similarly tonight. Moncada is leading off against a power prone pitcher (Mike Fiers – .211 ISO allowed to LHBs since 2017) and LeMahieu is on the road in Arlington leading off with the platoon edge against the worst pitcher in this entire slate. With Moncada priced cheaper on both sites, he’ll be a bigger part of optimals but LeMahieu shouldn’t be ignored completely. We believe LeMahieu is viable in all formats as well given the context.
There’s not much to be excited about once you get past Moncada and LeMahieu at the position. Rougned Odor (TEX) is somewhat interesting on FD because he’s priced as a punt ($2,300) and we have him projected to hit sixth at home with the platoon edge. Odor is part of a Rangers offense that has the second highest IRT (5.4) in the slate and when he pays off it’s usually through power. He’s generated a .194 ISO vs. RHP since the start of last season and we have his ISO baseline at .211 vs. RHP.
Jose Altuve (HOU) deserves some tournament attention. He’s on the road in Kansas City where it’s scorching hot with temperatures in the 90s and he’s facing Jake Junis, who’s allowed a .193 ISO to RHBs since 2017. Behind Junis is one of the worst bullpens in all of baseball. Our guess is with Altuve carrying a bigger price tag than LeMahieu and Moncada, he’ll end up with the lower ownership tag in tournaments. Ozzie Albies (ATL) can be included in that tournament conversation as well but we’re more excited about Altuve’s context.
Nolan Arenado (COL) is projecting as if he was in Coors Field tonight with a projection close to 11 DK points and over 14.5 FD points. He’s the top projected scorer at the position and it’s not even close. Arenado isn’t in Coors Field but he’s in Arlington where temperatures will be in the 90s and he’ll have the platoon edge against the worst pitcher in this slate, Yohander Mendez. Mendez has only made relief appearances at the major league level, and he’s been a mediocre relief pitcher. He made 10 starts at AA this season, and things didn’t go great (5.26 ERA, 1.75 HR/9 with a below average K rate). It’s a phenomenal spot for Arenado and he’s the Rockies’ RHB we’re most excited about in this slate. He’s projecting as a cash game priority on both sites.
The next highest projected scorer at the position is Jose Ramirez (CLE), who has a more difficult matchup against Kyle Gibson and he’s more expensive than Arenado on both sites. Ramirez projects as an overspend tonight though with Arenado likely getting a lot of attention in tournaments he might go under the radar a bit.
If you’re looking for alternatives on FD, it’s probably best to go cheap with White Sox options like Yolmer Sanchez or Matt Davidson (CHW). They’re sub $3k options that will have above average pitching matchups but they’re not very good hitters. On DK, Jace Peterson (BAL) is projecting as a fine source of salary relief but he’s a terrible hitter and is only projecting this way because we have him leading off against RHP. We prefer getting up to Arenado.
Trevor Story (COL), Trea Turner (WSH) and Francisco Lindor (CLE) form the top tier of shortstops in this slate. Story rates comfortably ahead of Turner and Lindor on FD where there’s a bigger emphasis on RBIs and runs. That’s because the Rockies have a slate high 5.6 IRT whereas Washington and Cleveland have middling IRTs (4.5). Of this group, Turner has been a bigger part of optimals followed by Story. Lindor isn’t cracking optimals as he’s the priciest of the group and on DK carries the worst projection of the group.
Story and Turner are very attainable targets on DK, but Marcus Semien (OAK) has been a bigger part of optimals because they’re priced appropriately and Semien is sub $3k. It’s not like Semien is underpriced – he’s appropriately priced but saving over $1k on FD at a middle infield position that’s not third base in this slate can prove to be meaningful for the rest of your roster. We have Semien pegged with a .190 ISO baseline vs. LHP and he hits leadoff against southpaws. It’s not an exciting context against Tyler Skaggs at home but he earns consideration off price tag alone.
Carlos Correa (HOU), Chris Taylor (LAD) and Jurickson Profar (TEX) are additional options to consider in tournaments as part of stacks or as one-offs. Taylor projects as a slight overspend but he has an incredible matchup against Derek Holland and in a full slate we’re not anticipating even modest ownership coming in his direction.
Mike Trout (LAA) edges out Bryce Harper (WAS), Giancarlo Stanton (NYY), and Aaron Judge (NYY) as the top projected outfielders on this slate. Trout has the weakest hitting environment and a largely neutral matchup but is simply the most skilled hitter with a ridiculous .445 wOBA and .331 ISO against RHP since the start of 2017. On DraftKings, there are routes with cheap starting pitching to be able to afford an elite outfielder or two but Trout’s far more aggressive price tag compared to the other studs makes him tougher to get. Bryce Harper has a great matchup with Aaron Sanchez who has allowed a .376 wOBA and .166 ISO to LHBs since the start of 2017. Stanton has a more challenging matchup against Nate Eovaldi who has been solid against RHBs amid some injury plagued seasons (.291 wOBA, .173 ISO since 2016) but is backed up by a poor bullpen and thus the Yankees have a healthy 5.1 implied total. Both Stanton and Harper project as slightly stronger per dollar targets than Trout while Judge is a bit more expensive and projects behind. On FanDuel, this group of outfielders will be difficult to get up to.
The mid-tier of outfielders is especially strong on FanDuel where Brett Gardner (NYY), Joey Gallo (TEX), and Austin Meadows (PIT) are all priced in the low $3,000s. Gardner is valuable as the leadoff hitter for one of the highest implied totals on the slate. Eovaldi has been far more vulnerable to LHBs (.360 wOBA, .250 ISO since 2016) amid his injuries which also helps Gardner’s projection at a relatively soft price tag. Gallos gets Chad Bettis who has been decent against LHBs (.305 wOBA, .144 ISO since 2016) but doesn’t miss many bats. He relies largely on great GB Rates. Meadows has a more intriguing matchup against Matt Harvey who has allowed a ridiculous .398 wOBA and .237 ISO since the start of 2016 to LHBs. Meadows is in an OF rotation with Dickerson/Marte/Polanco but when he’s in the lineup he typically hits second and the Pirates have a solid 4.9 implied total. On DraftKings, Gardner has a more appropriate price tag but Gallo/Meadows remain solid targets. Nomar Mazara (TEX) is a reasonably affordable alternative on DraftKings at just $4,000.
There are plenty of secondary outfielders in play on both sites from the top offenses. Shin Soo Choo (TEX) is a bit expensive on both sites but has that same solid matchup with Chad Bettis that has the Rangers with a 5.4 implied total. Adam Eaton (WAS) is a road leadoff hitter for a Nationals’ offense that looks a bit underprojected by Vegas in their matchup with Aaron Sanchez in Rogers Centre.
Scott Schebler (CIN) gets a plus matchup with Chad Kuhl who has allowed a .366 wOBA and .217 ISO to LHBs since the start of 2016. While Pittsburgh is a big drop in park environment for Schebler it’s less of a drop for LHBs.
Daniel Palka (CHW) is a nice source of salary relief on both sites in a matchup against Mike Fiers who has allowed a .338 wOBA and .189 ISO to LHBs since 2016. Palka has shown great power early in his career with a .322 wOBA and .245 ISO against RHP. With Palka shifting into the middle of the lineup he represents a solid source of salary relief.
Secondary salary relief options on FanDuel include: Derek Dietrich (MIA), Michael Conforto (NYM), and Travis Jankowski (SD) who all get the platoon edge and favorable lineup spots with mid $2,000s price tags.
In tournaments, Rhys Hoskins (PHI) still carries a nice price tag and power upside against a below average lefty in Brent Suter (.326 wOBA, .163 ISO to RHBs since 2016) but the strength of the Brewers pen keeps PHI implied total in check as well as Hoskins projection. He remains a solid one-off tournament target.
1) Colorado Rockies
2) New York Yankees
The Rockies are our top stack hitting in hitter-friendly Texas against Yohander Mendez, who is making his first career start. Mendez has a 5.50 ZiPS projected ERA after putting up a 6.17 FIP in 10 AAA starts. Melendez yielded 1.75 HR/9 over those 10 starts, a year after allowing 1.50 at AA.
Any time the Yankees possess an IRT over 5 in their home stadium, they’re going to rake well from a stack perspective given the big upside and large overall projections that Stanton, Judge, and Sanchez carry, with a matchup against a RHP bringing LHBs like Gardner and Didi into play as well. Nathan Eovaldi
3) Texas Rangers
4) Washington Nationals
5) Houston Astros
6) Pittsburgh Pirates
The Rangers are at home with game time temperatures starting in the mid-90s. Chad Bettis has a .344 xwOBA, which is right around where we’re setting his overall baselines. The Rangers are a pretty affordable stack. The slight concern here is that most of the best values hold the platoon edge, which is usually a good thing but Bettis has flashed reverse splits over the course of his career.
The Nationals have a modest 4.5 implied total but their lineup with Adam Eaton and Daniel Murphy back is extremely deep and patient for an opposing starter with a 12.9 percent BB Rate this season. The Blue Jays bullpen got off to a hot start this season but have come back to the pack in the absence of Roberto Osuna. Throw in a road game in an American League park with the DH and we’re excited about the Nationals turning their lineup over a bit.
The Astros go on the road to excellent hitting conditions in Kansas City with temperatures in the low 90s and the wind blowing out to RF. Jake Junis‘ inability to generate ground balls and his propensity for hard contact allowed make him vulnerable to home runs. The bullpen behind Junis is really poor and the Astros have a hefty implied total that matches many of the top offenses on this slate.
7) Chicago White Sox
8) Los Angeles Dodgers
9) MIlwaukee Brewers
10) Cleveland Indians
The White Sox are a nice affordable mini-stack with Jose Abreu/Yoan Moncada/Daniel Palka all relatively affordable and projecting well. They’re a nice complement to either high end pitching or one of the top stacks but don’t play as great on a full stack because of the offense’s lack of depth.
The Dodgers have a great matchup with Derek Holland, albeit in a below average hitting environment. While the Dodgers are a bit more PH vulnerable against LHP with Kike Hernandez the most vulnerable, the return of Justin Turner gives them a nice set of options at relatively thin positions for stacks – Turner/Taylor/Kemp/Grandal.
11) Cincinnati Reds
12) Chicago Cubs
The final tier is pretty uninspiring but it’s two decent offenses on the road. They’re viable in MME but wouldn’t make our short list in most spots.