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June 18 MLB DFS Late Slate: Mad Max
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June 18 MLB DFS Late Slate: Mad Max

00:56 Starting Pitchers
06:21 Catchers
08:52 First Base
11:08 Second Base
12:54 Shortstop
14:28 Third Base
16:40 Outfield
19:43 Cash Game Roster Construction & Stacks

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June 18 MLB DFS Late Slate Pro Tip

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Max Scherzer (WAS)

Tier Two

2) Steven Matz (NYM)

Tier Three

3) Jon Lester (CHC)

Tier Four

4) Mike Bolsinger (LAD)

Tier Five

5) Edinson Volquez (KC)

6) Chase Anderson (MIL)

We’re adamant about paying up for top tier starting pitching in this slate. There are clear gaps between each of the top four starting pitchers, including precipitous drops from tier three to tier four and from tier four to tier five. As a result, we’re honing in on a top three starting pitcher. With Jon Lester (CHC) priced appropriately and in a tough matchup (Pirates are sixth in wRC+ against LHP and heavily right handed), we can further refine out list to the top two starting pitchers.

Max Scherzer (WAS) is the lock in cash on both sites. We have him projected for a K percentage just under 33 percent in this matchup and additionally the most innings pitched. The matchup is just spectacular as the Padres rank dead last in wRC+ against RHP with the fourth highest K rate. He’s a heavy -230 favorite.

While we prefer Scherzer to Steven Matz (NYM), he’s actually the larger favorite of the two (-245) and an acceptable pivot if you need to save some money on FanDuel. On DraftKings we feel there should be enough cap relief options to pay for both pitchers. Matz has been spectacular, posting a 2.61 FIP and 3.04 xFIP with a 24.3 K percentage. Like Scherzer, he has one of the best possible matchups. Most of Atlanta’s best hitters are left handed, and their 58 wRC+ against LHP is absolutely putrid.

If you are unable to afford Matz as your second starting pitcher, Mike Bolsinger (LAD) should post good K numbers from a rate perspective against Milwaukee, but he’s usually limited to 5-6 IP and has been yielding lots of hard hit contact. Chase Anderson (MIL) and Edinson Volquez (KC) are the only other pitchers we’d pursue in tournaments.

Catcher Rankings

1) Victor Martinez (DET) (where eligible)

2) Salvador Perez (KC)

3) Yasmani Grandal (LAD) (if top six)

4) Wilson Ramos (WAS)

5) Jonathan Lucroy (MIL)

The catcher options run fairly deep for a short slate as all of our ranked catchers are have something positive in regards to their matchup and will hopefully land in a top five or six lineup spot. With that said, this is a position with a quantity of okay options with upside better marked for tournaments rather than great cash game per dollar values. That’s accentuated by the emphasis of top tier starting pitching, so if you’re unable to pay up for one of our ranked options (large drop off after Lucroy), it’s fine to simply punt the position. With Jon Lester pitching, David Ross (CHC) should start and has a punt price across the industry in a plus matchup against LHP Jon Niese. For a few hundred dollars more, we might try to squeeze in Yasmani Grandal (LAD) if he gets a good lineup spot. He has more power from the left side, and Chase Anderson has a 5.02 FIP. While they’re expensive pushing them to better tournament options, we need to point out just how hot Salvador Perez (KC) (+0.9 delta in our well-hit tool) and Wilson Ramos (WAS) (+0.7) have been.

First Base Rankings

1) Miguel Cabrera (DET)

2) Anthony Rizzo (CHC)

3) Adrian Gonzalez (LAD)

4) Eric Hosmer (KC)

5) Kendrys Morales (KC)

In general, Adrian Gonzalez (LAD) and Kendrys Morales (KC) (if top five in the lineup) are the best value options across the industry. Both are affordable and in plus matchups. Gonzalez has that tasty matchup against Chase Anderson we discussed above. Morales will face the very homer prone Matt Boyd, who possesses a 33.7 hard hit rate and 48.1 FB rate over 16 career starts (18 total appearances). Keep in mind that while Kauffman Stadium is a pitcher’s park in general, it’s been really hot in Kansas City, leading to low air density, which is good for hitters. More of the same is expected tomorrow. On FanDuel, Anthony Rizzo (CHC) is way too cheap. We don’t care about the L/L matchup given Rizzo’s skills and the prospects of his team.

Second Base Rankings

1) Neil Walker (NYM)

2) Daniel Murphy (WAS)

3) Ben Zobrist (CHC)

4) Whit Merrifield (KC)

5) Chase Utley (LAD)

Neil Walker (NYM) is the top play at the position as he’s always carried power from the left side (.195 ISO since 2014) and Aaron Blair has been horrific, showing a complete inability to get LHBs out (.420 wOBA, .178 ISO, -8.7 K-BB%). Similar to catcher, though, while we like the matchups for all our ranked second basemen, they do seem to be priced appropriately, opening up the door for you to simply grab cap relief here to help squeeze in the top tier pitching. On DraftKings, Walker’s teammate Kelly Johnson (NYM) is pretty cheap, and Scooter Gennett (MIL) is the best cap relief option on FanDuel.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Corey Seager (LAD)

2) Asdrubal Cabrera (NYM)

3) Alcides Escobar (KC)

4) Javier Baez (CHC)

5) Addison Russell (CHC)

We love Corey Seager (LAD) (.224 career ISO) as his 41.1 career hard hit rate lines up nicely against Chase Anderson‘s current 35.6 hard hit rate. In cash games, you’ll want to save some money though by dropping down to either Asdrubal Cabrera (NYM) or Alcides Escobar (KC), top of the order options in lineups we like. The Cubs SS’s are excellent for tournaments.

Third Base Rankings

1) Kris Bryant (CHC)

2) Justin Turner (LAD)

3) Jung Ho Kang (PIT)

4) Javier Baez (CHC)

5) David Freese (PIT)

If you’re going to make a big spend on this slate, it should come at third base where Kris Bryant (CHC) is the top third base option and second overall ranked hitter on the slate. He has elite power upside at home against Jon Niese, who has allowed a career high 1.65 HR/9 on the season. Justin Turner (LAD) is the easy cap relief option. His power has returned, just look at his ISO by month: .078/.135/.235 (doesn’t even count the two homers he hit last night).

Outfield Rankings

1) Bryce Harper (WAS)

2) Kris Bryant (CHC)

3) Dexter Fowler (CHC)

4) Michael Conforto (NYM)

5) Lorenzo Cain (KC)

6) Andrew McCutchen (PIT)

7) Yoenis Cespedes (NYM)

8) Curtis Granderson (NYM)

9) Ryan Braun (MIL)

10) Ben Revere (WAS)

Bryce Harper (WAS) is the clear cut top overall hitter as Colin Rea, coming off a disaster start, simply isn’t a good pitcher (4.72 xFIP). He’s better for tournaments given the slate breakdown, but the price tag on FanDuel is particularly compelling. In the mid-tier, Dexter Fowler (CHC) (leading off for a Cubs team we expect to have the highest team total), Michael Conforto (NYM) (love the power upside in this matchup despite injury concerns), and Andrew McCutchen (PIT) (elite splits against LHP overshadow cold streak/tough opposing pitcher, especially at that price tag on DraftKings) are all viable. We expect to get a strong source of cap relief from the Cubs outfield in the form of either Matt Szczur or Albert Almora (CHC). Outside of that it’s mostly picking and choosing correlation plays from stacks.

Stack Rankings

Tier One

1) New York Mets

Tier Two

2) Chicago Cubs

3) Kansas City Royals

4) Los Angeles Dodgers

Take a look at Aaron Blair‘s xFIP by start and you see why the Mets represent our top stack: 6.35, 5.28, 6.45, 5.92, 6.35, 4.41, 8.67, 5.20, 7.62 (most recent).

Contrarian Tournament Stacks

-Pittsburgh Pirates (Brutal lineup for a LHP to face, and the matchup on some sites really keeps pricing down; Lester has difficulty holding base runners.)

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