Welcome to June 17 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for June 17 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 17 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
01:42 Starting Pitcher
12:54 First Base
15:59 Second Base
19:08 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 17 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections
It’s a difficult day at starting pitcher. On DK the way to construct is more direct, but on FD there are two different routes and each of those routes involves a difficult decision. On DK you’re likely spending up on one of Stephen Strasburg (WAS) or Chris Archer (TB). The difficult decision is in picking between the two of them. Strasburg rates slightly higher in our model and has been fantastic striking batters out recently. He’s struck out at least seven in five straight starts, with an overall 38.6 K% over that span. The matchup against the Mets is subpar. They rank sixth in wRC+ against RHP, strike out at a below average rate, and rank fourth in FanGraphs’ Hard% as a team over the last two weeks.
The main reason Strasburg is pushed ahead of Archer in our model is the Vegas line expectations, where Strasburg is a larger favorite (-158 versus -105) with a much lower IRTA (3.6 versus 4.5). On DK where he’s slightly cheaper, it makes sense to roll with him. On FD the decision is tougher because Archer is $500 cheaper, and that’s a meaningful savings even though it does not sound like a whole lot. Like Strasburg, Archer has been missing a ton of bats recently (35.3 K% over his last five starts), and his fastball velocity has been stellar over that span (consistently around 96 mph or higher). On paper the matchup is better for Archer than Strasburg, as the Tigers are middle of the pack in wRC+ against RHP, strike out at an above league average rate in that split, and have lost Victor Martinez to the DL.
If you’re not paying up for Strasburg or Archer, you’re likely settling into the mid-tier. There are a trio of options that catch our eye there, although all three are just okay plays, not great. The highest projected of the bunch is Chase Anderson (MIL). The matchup against the Padres is elite, and Anderson has seen a nice bump in velocity as the season has progressed. That could help to explain a 22.8 K% (18.6 last season). Anderson is still prone to power, especially in his home park, which is a problem because he’s priced fully despite the positive trend/matchup.
If falling off Anderson, the next two options are Michael Fulmer (DET) and Masahiro Tanaka (NYY). Fulmer is beating expected ERAs for the second straight year, posting an above average GB rate and K-BB%, but nothing too dominant. He has that high risk/reward matchup against the Rays we often end up taking on because of the K upside. Tanaka’s K rates have been tough to predict from game to game, which along with his HR issues, might make him a better tournament option than cash game play. The matchup against Oakland is nice because the bigger park might help mitigate the HR risk, while the A’s strike out at a high rate against RHP (24.6%).
On FD, it’s difficult to decide between paying up for Strasburg/Archer or settling on the Anderson/Fulmer/Tanaka tier. On DK, we think it’s best to pay up for Strasburg/Archer, and a big reason is the value on Jerad Eickhoff (PHI). It’s not a risk free selection by any means, but he’s too cheap at $5,000. With a K baseline of around 20% facing a Diamondbacks team that strikes out 23% of the time, we’re just hoping for a handful of Ks and that he won’t get shelled. It narrowly worked to perfection last night with Aaron Nola, but the team brought him out one inning too long.
A tournament pivot off Eickhoff on DK is Asher Wojciechowski (CIN), who is very high risk but has the K rate to pay dividends (think Nick Pivetta the other night).
On FD, Coors Field is not part of the slate so we don’t think it’s necessary to use Eickhoff, but he rates as a good cheap value on that site as well.
On DK, if you wanted to load up on bats in tournaments you could opt to pair a mid-tier option with Eickhoff rather than Strasburg/Archer. If you really wanted to load up on COL bats in cash games (IRT of 7), this is viable.
Yasmani Grandal (LAD) headlines the catching position on both sites. Grandal and the Dodgers are taking advantage of a big park shift in their favor and they’ll get a fly ball prone, Asher Wojciechowski. Grandal will also benefit from being able to swing from the left side as he’s posted a .221 ISO against RHP since 2015.
If playing on DK, you’ll get a chance to roster Buster Posey (SF) in Coors Field. Given some of the potential cheap SP options, you can reasonably fit Posey into either your cash game or tournament builds. The matchup with Kyle Freeland will provide him the platoon edge as well. Whether it’s Tony Wolters (COL) or Tom Murphy (COL), one way or another you can gain exposure to the Rockies against Matt Cain with one of their catching options on DraftKings.
Yan Gomes (CLE) will be a part of a double header tomorrow, so you’ll need to ensure he catches the early game to use him – but he’ll hold the platoon edge on either of the Twins starters tomorrow. He won’t give you a good lineup spot, but the Indians have implied run totals of greater than five runs for each game.
Eric Thames (MIL) and Wil Myers (SD) remain two of the most valuable first basemen as their price tags have remained stagnant. The two will square off against each other in Miller Park (a positive park shift for Myers) and will get the right platoon draws. Thames will draw young right-hander Dinelson Lamet, who has flashed strikeout potential but has been punished with the long ball and has been unable to consistently find the strike zone or generate soft contact. Myers will have a more difficult matchup with Chase Anderson, but he’ll take advantage of Anderson’s woes with same-handed batters. Since 2015, Anderson has allowed a .359 wOBA and .203 ISO to RHB.
Both Carlos Santana (CLE) and Edwin Encarnacion (CLE) rate well in our model given their matchup with left-hander Adam Wilk. Wilk does not have much big league experience, but he doesn’t project too kindly in ZiPS, with an ERA projection greater than 5 and HR/9 of 1.67. Edwin is the higher upside player in this matchup, but Santana will come with lower ownership and a much cheaper price tag on both sites (just $3,300 on FD, and $3,200 on DK).
Buster Posey (SF) holds 1B eligibility on DraftKings, where you could use him and still take the savings with someone like Yasmani Grandal. Teammate Brandon Belt (SF) will draw a left on left matchup, but is a good tournament option. Cody Bellinger (LAD) is just another 1B eligible player on DraftKings – he and the Dodgers are excellent alternatives to Coors Field.
Second base is one of the most site-specific positions on this slate. On DraftKings, Jason Kipnis (CLE), Brian Dozier (MIN), and D.J. LeMahieu (COL) are all available for selection. It’s Dozier that is the most enticing, drawing a matchup with left-hander Ryan Merritt, but Kipnis is truly the most valuable option. Despite not holding the platoon edge, Kipnis is just $3,400 on DraftKings and will give you exposure to the top of the order second highest non-Coors implied run total.
On FanDuel, you’ll be dealing with a far inferior player pool. Robinson Cano (SEA) is the best player, and will be getting a nice park shift in his favor. We’re not particularly concerned about the left-on-left matchup, and instead are looking to capitalize on the macro environment. Cano and the Mariners hold an implied run total of 5.3 runs in Texas and at just $3,300 he’s fairly accessible. Opposing player Rougned Odor (TEX) has been stinging it of late, (44.6% Hard% in last fifteen days) and the Rangers hold an implied run total of 5.7 runs against Yovani Gallardo and the horrendous Mariners bullpen. He will come with a less appealing lineup spot, but is still a great option at a weak position.
If looking to save, Jose Peraza (CIN) or Jose Pirela (SD) seem to be potentially the best way to do so. Peraza does not offer much upside, or a great lineup spot, but at $2,400 the park environment and price tag don’t require much. Pirela has been scorching the ball in his small time at leadoff (47.7% Hard% in last fifteen days) and he’ll also be getting a park upgrade. He’ll cost you a bit more than Peraza, but the road leadoff hitter is certainly more valuable than the home sixth place hitter.
Justin Turner (LAD) and Jedd Gyorko (STL) lead the way in terms of value available on both sites. Turner has returned to the Dodgers lineup and promptly slid back into the third spot of the order. His prowess against RHP is no longer “sneaky” as most are well aware of his .401 wOBA and .221 ISO against RHP since 2015. He’s in reach on both sites but is particularly valuable on FanDuel at $3,600. Gyorko is the cheaper, beta version of Turner in this scenario. He’ll get a nice park and league shift as the Cardinals travel to Baltimore and face Wade Miley. The numbers are less jarring, but the $2,900 price on FD and $3,800 tag on DK are quite valuable.
Nolan Arenado (COL) against Matt Cain needs little justification. The Rockies have an implied run total closing in on seven runs and Arenado is a big chunk of the meat of this lineup. He’s priced appropriately on DraftKings ($5,500) but there is a way you can fit him in depending on your SP build.
Miguel Sano (MIN) is a viable tournament pivot where available on DraftKings, while Joey Gallo (TEX) fills the same void on FanDuel. Jake Lamb (ARI) is available on both sites and will get the wide splits of Jerad Eickhoff. He’s pricey, so his name should stay in the tournament conversation.
An ugly position is spared by Corey Seager (LAD), available on both sites. Seager and the Dodgers are a hot commodity on this slate, holding an implied run total of 5.7 runs in their move to Great American Ball Park. Typically his availability is contingent on where else you’re spending, and it’s no surprise that the same holds true tonight. But! At just $4,500 on DraftKings and $3,500 on FanDuel, he’s a reasonable expense. He’s posted a .397 wOBA and .218 ISO against RHP since 2015.
Zack Cozart (CIN) would be another potential option on both sites, as he’ll hold the platoon edge on Ryu. Cozart has been putting together quite a season (and is potentially in line for a donkey) and has quietly been good against LHP in his career. Since 2015 he’s posted a .367 wOBA and .242 ISO against LHP. At just $3,900 on DK, he provides a bit of savings from Seager. For $3,400 on FD though, you’ll likely just pay for Seager, unless trying to differentiate in tournaments.
On DraftKings you can get exposure to Brandon Crawford (SF), Trevor Story (COL), or Francisco Lindor (CLE) as well. Story and Lindor are the most enticing options though at just $3,900 and $4,200 respectively. They would be perfectly fine alternatives to Seager in cash games.
The outfielders you use will again depend on your site of play. The Rockies absurd run total has pushed Charlie Blackmon (COL) and Carlos Gonzalez (COL) to the top of the position given their matchup with Matt Cain. Blackmon will cost you, and rightfully so, but Gonzalez’ struggles have kept his price down as he’s just $3,600 on DraftKings. He hit fourth last night, and should he slide back in there he’s a great option against Cain.
Giancarlo Stanton (MIA), David Peralta (ARI), and Stephen Piscotty (STL) represent a trio just behind Blackmon and Gonzalez and this trio will be available to you on both sites. Stanton again will take to the box against a left-handed pitcher, a handedness he’s destroyed to the tune of a .450 wOBA and .421 ISO since 2015.
Peralta will get the aforementioned wide splits of Jerad Eickhoff, and comes with a more middling price tag, while Piscotty will also draw a positive park shift and will have the platoon edge on Wade Miley.
Mallex Smith (TB) is still very cheap on both sites and offers you plenty of speed upside at the top of a dangerous Rays lineup. Cody Bellinger (LAD) is OF eligible on both sites, but is extremely valuable on FanDuel at just $3,900. He’s shown an immense power upside and will get the fly ball ways of Wojciechowski.
Bryce Harper (WSH) is our second highest projected outfielder. Nelson Cruz (SEA) has tons of upside against a LHP where he’s available on FanDuel. And Brandon Belt (SF), and Eric Thames (MIL) both hold OF eligibility on DK.
1) Colorado Rockies
With an IRT nearly 7 against a pitcher made to get destroyed in Coors Field in Matt Cain, the Rockies possess immense upside throughout their lineup. You want exposure to multiple players in cash games, and a heavier stack is viable if willing to accept a lower floor on your SP1.
2) Los Angeles Dodgers
3) San Francisco Giants
The Giants are the safe of the tier two stacks given a high IRT in Coors Field against a below average LHP. However, the Dodgers possess immense upside in a homer friendly park against a pitcher who posted a 25.4 GB% in five AAA starts and now has a 27.6 GB% in 19 MLB innings.
4) Texas Rangers
5) Cleveland Indians
6) Washington Nationals
The Rangers are a good hedge stack in tournaments. We’re having a tough time deciphering value there, but their team total above 5.5 is right in line with that of the tier two stacks. At home, they’ll face an over the hill Yovani Gallardo who currently possesses a 6.11 ERA (expected ERAs are better, but a high Hard-Soft% means he’s unlikely to match those). The Mariners have a poor pen behind Gallardo.
Additional Tournament Stacks
-Arizona Diamondbacks: On DK, Eickhoff may end up popular. It’s mainly a price play, but it should deflate the ownership percentages of the Arizona offense. They rank second in FanGraphs’ Hard% over the last two weeks and fifth in wRC+ against RHP. The bullpen behind Eickhoff is not good.
-San Diego Padres: As good as Chase Anderson has pitched this season, keep in mind he’s been lucky (6.3 HR/FB%, 77.9 LOB%), still getting hit hard by RHBs (.180 ISO), and still fly ball risky (40.5 GB rate). It’s a positive park shift for a Padres team that is affordable on both sites.