Welcome to June 15 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for June 15 MLB DFS along with our LIVE Premium Chat and cliff notes. Make sure you’re using our 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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June 15 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
00:52 Starting Pitcher
8:23 First Base
11:16 Second Base
13:11 Third Base
- 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.
June 15 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections
A small slate with both Coors Field and a clear-cut elite top SP can be tricky. Luckily for us, it’s not too difficult to lock in the floor of Chris Sale (BOS) and still make a lineup that nets you roughly 50% Coors Field exposure. Sale’s 35.3 K% on the season leaves him with an unbelievably high floor, and he now gets a positive league and park shift facing a Phillies team ranked 23rd in wRC+ against LHP. Sale is the largest favorite at -235, and his IRTA of 3.4 is low, especially relative to the other options on the slate (no one else lower than 4).
There are viable complements to Sale on DK that have upside and are cheap enough to allow you to keep Coors exposure if willing to punt a non-Coors position or two. Our model has strong value rankings on Justin Verlander (DET), Steven Matz (NYM), Michael Wacha (STL), and Matt Strahm (KC). All have their warts. Verlander’s peripherals have been shaky. Matz’s velocity and K% in his first start were disappointing. Wacha has Gerrit Cole syndrome (just can’t seem to put it together). Strahm is volatile, especially since we’re unsure how long he’ll pitch.
Let’s take a look at the positives now. Verlander is a heavy home favorite against a Rays team that strikes out a bunch against RHP. Matz is underpriced for his skill set, if you’re confident in the baseline we’ve set out for him. Wacha is missing enough bats, is also a heavy home favorite, and faces a Brewers team that strikes out a bunch against RHP. Strahm’s longevity is an issue, but he’s a punt price allowing you to stack Coors with Sale. Strahm projects to miss a lot of bats, so it’s a situation where you can hope for 4-5 Ks in limited innings, and that will be enough for the tag. It’s a nice park for pitchers, but the Angels are better against LHP.
Wrapping it all up, Matz is the riskiest of the bunch, and he makes for a better tournament option. After that it really depends on how much you want to spend as the dropoff from Verlander to Wacha is about the same as the drop off from Wacha to Strahm. Our initial lean is to middle things with Wacha.
On FD, despite the stricter pricing with Coors bats, Sale’s floor combined with a monstrous value rating even at his expensive price tag really makes him the play for cash games with Verlander/Wacha/Strahm as tournament pivots.
The catching position serves an important purpose on Thursday, as you’ll need to save some cap space to fit Coors Field and Chris Sale. With that in mind, Josh Phegley (OAK) and Sandy Leon (BOS) look like two of the more reasonable punts. Neither represent great skill sets, but instead offer cheap price tags with reasonable context. Phegley will hold the platoon edge on left-hander Jordan Montgomery. Though he hasn’t shown much against left-handers, the .168 ISO against southpaws since 2015 doesn’t mean he is absent of some upside. Leon is less likely to be in the lineup, but should he find himself there he’ll get a better park and worse pitcher in Nick Pivetta. The Red Sox have the second highest non-Coors implied run total on this slate, and Leon is a switch hitter, meaning he’ll always hold the platoon edge.
Buster Posey (SF) is of course a great option in Coors Field, but this isn’t a position we’re spending on in cash games.
We likely will spend on Coors at first base though, as Brandon Belt (SF) is the top ranked player at the position on both sites. The matchup with Jeff Hoffman isn’t as scary as it may seem on the surface, because despite the strikeout potential, Hoffman has been very fly ball oriented and has allowed nearly 33% hard contact thus far. Belt has fared well against RHP, posting a .204 ISO since 2015 and the price is accessible enough for the middle of the order at Coors Field.
Beyond Belt you can begin to look at the sites more narrowly. On DraftKings, you get your choice of Miguel Cabrera (DET) or Albert Pujols (LAA) for less than $3,500 (Pujols is also just $2,600 on FanDuel). Neither holds the same macro environment as belt, but they are two of the most valuable first basemen on the slate from a per dollar perspective.
Eric Thames (MIL) will rank similarly to Cabrera and Pujols on both sites. He’ll be taking on a negative park shift in St. Louis, but his power upside should not be forgotten.
Ian Desmond (COL) holds 1B eligibility on DraftKings and is a cheaper way to get exposure to the highest implied run total on the slate. Matt Carpenter (STL) also remains fairly cheap on both sites, but admittedly lags a bit behind in overall context.
D.J. LeMahieu (COL) continues to be the cheapest way to get exposure to the Rockies on FanDuel. At $3,400 he’s our top value at the position and despite lacking power or speed upside, he’s a great piece for cash games.
Despite the lack of upside though, D.J. will likely still be highly owned in tournaments, where you could pivot to Dustin Pedroia (BOS) for the same price. Pedroia comes with perhaps a slightly higher ceiling, but won’t get the advantage of playing in Coors.
On DraftKings the conversation is pushed to the platoon extraordinaire, Wilmer Flores (NYM). Flores is often thrust into the conversation whenever he gets to face a left-handed starter as he’s posted a .418 wOBA and .297 ISO against southpaws in limited playing time. At just $2,900, he’s a key piece to allowing you to roster Chris Sale along with some bats from Coors Field.
Unsurprisingly, Nolan Arenado (COL) is our top ranked third baseman in terms of raw projection, and he’s a top two per dollar value as well. Arenado and the Rockies will get Matt Moore on a huge negative park shift and look to take advantage of his fly ball oriented ways. Even having thrown nearly half his games in San Francisco, Moore has allowed 1.44 HR/9 this season and was tagged for three home runs in a start at Coors earlier this year.
If not landing on Arenado, you can take the previously mentioned value of Wilmer Flores (NYM) who is 3B eligible on both sites. Though we prefer his services on DraftKings, he would be an acceptable use of salary relief should you not be able to work in Arenado on FanDuel.
We’d like to shrink the conversation to mainly focus on Arenado and potentially Flores, but if you’re looking to differentiate a bit there are a few different ways you can go. Jedd Gyorko (STL) and Evan Longoria (TB) pop as acceptable alternative values, but we’re not in love with their matchups. Eduardo Nunez (SF) would be viable tournament pivot from Arenado, as he’s also getting the Coors bump.
Trevor Story (COL) and Brandon Crawford (SF) lead the way at the shortstop position, bringing accessible price tags and access to Coors Field. It’s Crawford who will come with the better lineup spot and perhaps less volatility, but Story offers the better upside. In his short career, Story has posted a .409 wOBA and .307 ISO against LHP. On FanDuel, Crawford offers a $400 discount, which is notable enough on a slate with Chris Sale, but just a $200 difference separates the pair on DraftKings.
Trea Turner (WSH) would offer a high upside, non-Coors option that would be a great pivot for tournament exposure as most all player should be looking to the cheaper price tags of Story and Crawford. Xander Bogaerts (BOS) is not a high upside player, but the Red Sox are one of the best non-Coors offenses on the slate and he’ll hit in the thick of the order.
The outfield conversation varies quite a bit from site to site. On DK it’s much easier to grab Coors Field exposure. Brandon Belt (SF) has OF eligibility. Both Denard Span (SF) and Hunter Pence (SF) are affordable given a Coors matchup. Both are surprisingly sub-$4k. As noted above, the Hoffman hype is predicated a lot on strikeouts and three straight non-Coors starts. Yes he has lots of talent and has been phenomenal, but his high FB% and impending BB rate regression still allows us to pick on him at home.
If you want exposure to the COL side of things, Ian Desmond (COL) is just $4,300 on DK. The homer prone Matt Moore is not built for Coors Field, and Desmond possesses plenty of upside as a result (.342 wOBA, .172 ISO against LHBs since 2015). His teammates (Gonzalez/Blackmon) make for better plays in tournaments given a L/L matchup with Moore, but do note that Moore has allowed a .347 wOBA and .194 ISO to LHBs since 2015.
Over on FD, Span and Desmond are attainable in the upper $3,000s as is Pence. However, stricter pricing and opportunity cost maye force you elsewhere. For starts, Mookie Betts (BOS) is our clear top value at $3,700. His peripherals are fine, and this is an event upside player with a high team total in a good contextual spot.
We’d like to pair Betts with a Coors option, but realistically you may need cap relief in the other two spots with a Sale team. The easiest way to get it is through Mallex Smith (TB), whose speed upside and leadoff role is tough to ignore at near minimum salary.
After Smith, you’re either hoping an unforeseen punt emerges or finding a way to pay up to the mid-tier right around $3,000 where guys like Andrew Benintendi/Jackie Bradley (BOS) (platoon edge, high team total) and Dexter Fowler (STL) (very hot, Davies has a 4.74 ERA/5.06 FIP/4.74 xFIP).
Juan Lagares (NYM) is a potential cap relief play on both sites if he leads off against a LHP as he did last night. Lagares quite frankly lacks talent. This is just about the lineup spot and a tough year for Gio Gonzalez peripherally speaking (4.30 xFIP is his highest ever with this many starts). Yoenis Cespedes (NYM) is tournament viable but note he missed last night’s game with a heel injury.
1) Colorado Rockies
2) San Francisco Giants
It’s a tough slate for tournaments because the opportunity cost on stacks is so low that it’s tough to fade Coors, yet we know it’ll carry high ownership on a short slate. One option is to go heavy on the Rockies side of things in tournaments. The Giants possess better price tags, so the Rockies ownership could be relatively tame and force you to add to your leverage by fading Chris Sale in some situations.
3) Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox are matched up against Nick Pivetta, who can miss bats but is still fun to stack against because he’s wild and homer prone. That nice combination can lead to early fireworks, a short outing, and extended time against a Phillies bullpen that is one of the worst in the league.
4) St. Louis Cardinals
5) Detroit Tigers
6) Tampa Bay Rays
7) Washington Nationals
There’s a massive drop off after the top three stacks on this slate, which makes it difficult to go contrarian in tournaments. Your best bet may be a combination of mini stacks, rather than forcing a full stack of a lower upside team.
The Nationals are the most interesting contrarian stack from this tier. Matz did allow just one run over 7 IP in his first start of the year, but his fastball velocity was down and the SwStr% at just 6.1%. The wind is projected to blow out to LF at 10-15 mph, and Matz is backed up by a subpar bullpen. This is a talented lineup that will allow you to mix some good hitters against LHP (like Rendon, Zimmerman) with some under owned LHBs that have elite upside if Matz is off/they get some at bats against RH relievers.
As far as IRTs go, the Cardinals and Tigers are around 5, which is in line with the Giants and Red Sox, despite our perceived large gap between the two teams. That could be due to some heat in the central part of the country, 80s in Detroit and 90s in St. Louis.