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June 19 MLB DFS: Oh, I Believe in Lesterday
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Welcome to June 19 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium podcast for June 19 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 19 MLB DFS Position Timestamps
01:40 Starting Pitcher
11:04 Catcher
13:17 First Base
15:33 Second Base
18:34 Third Base
21:40 Shortstop
23:23 Outfield
28:44 Stacks

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CUSTOMIZABLE PROJECTIONS WITH VALUE RATINGS CLICK HERE

  • 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 19 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

Starting Pitcher

For full SP rankings, see our projections: https://dailyroto.com/mlb-customizable-projections

Our top two ranked pitchers overall are also our top two values by a wide margin: Clayton Kershaw (LAD) and Jon Lester (CHC). They rank similarly from a per dollar perspective, but Kershaw of course carries the higher cost along with the higher projection. His K% is on the rise recently (+3.4 over his last five starts, +5.8 over his last three), and he’ll face a Mets team that has struggled against LHP, ranking 23rd in wRC+ in that split. Kershaw is a monstrous -300 favorite with a lowly 2.6 IRTA. It’s a good slate to pay up for pitching in cash games, and Kershaw is firmly in play on both sites.

On DraftKings in fact, it might make sense to pay up for both Kershaw and Jon Lester (CHC), who the more cost friendly alternative on FD. Lester ranks behind only Kershaw in money line odds (-235) and IRTA (3.2). He’s been up and down all season but is coming off an impressive 10 K performance against the Mets and now gets to face the Padres, who rank dead last in wRC+ against LHP with a 24.5 K% (sixth highest).

The only competitors to kershaw from a raw total perspective are Corey Kluber (CLE) and Johnny Cueto (SF), but both are better for tournaments. We do love Kluber’s K upside as he has struck out 10, 8, and 10 batters in three starts since returning from the DL. However, he pitches in Baltimore, and there is weather risk present. Cueto ironically also carries some weather risk (both precipitation and heat). The price has dropped on Cueto, but rightfully so as his GB rate has dropped, BB rate risen, and a career high Hard% has made it difficult to match, let alone beat his expected ERAs.

There’s not much in the way of value on FD, even for tournaments. Brad Peacock (HOU) rates as the best cheaper option. Peacock offers some K upside given an impressive K rate this season. Despite eclipsing 5 innings just once in five starts, he has struck out 8 or more batters in four of those starts. He’ll get a matchup against a strikeout prone Oakland team in Oakland, which represents a positive park shift.

On DK there’s more variety in the way of tournament options. In the mid-tier, Gerrit Yawn Cole (PIT) has been a big disappointment, but a matchup against a K heavy Brewers team at that price tag at least draws an eye of consideration. Jake Odorizzi (TB) has better Vegas odds against a Cincinnati team in his favorable home ballpark. His longevity is all that keeps him behind Cole in terms of raw total projection.

If going cheap, you can take stabs at Scott Feldman (CIN) (positive park shift, K prone Rays team, but not very good and velocity has dipped recently) or Daniel Gossett (OAK) (almost entirely a price play at $4,200, but the minor league numbers are decent and allows you to stack a good offense with Kershaw or Lester).

Catcher

On a slate that includes Clayton Kershaw, Corey Kluber, and Jon Lester, it’s important that we use a weak catching position to save some salary cap. As is customary though, our cap savings come in different forms when looking at FanDuel and DraftKings. On DraftKings, it’s Yasmani Grandal (LAD) that leads the way from a value perspective. Grandal has been less than impressive of late (15 day Hard% at 2.3%), but at just $3,000 on DK, he’s the cheapest starting catcher you’ll get that actually comes with some upside. We’ve been over his potential power upside against RHP time and time again, hopefully he can realize it tonight.

FanDuel presents us with a few other options in Willson Contreras (CHC) and Russell Martin (TOR). Contreras will cost you $200 more than Martin, but at just $2,400 he’s still provides a wide savings and will draw a matchup with former Cub, Clayton Richard. In a small sample size, Contreras has posted a .366 wOBA and .180 ISO against LHP. Martin is just $2,200 on FanDuel and will hold the better overall environment as the Blue Jays head to Texas. He’ll likely hit seventh, but given the savings and the exposure to the highest implied run total on the slate, you can deal with it.

Buster Posey (SF) and Alex Avila (DET) would be tournament plays should you use a roster construction that didn’t focus on the top tier of pitchers.

First Base

Carlos Santana (CLE), Brandon Belt (SF), and Kendrys Morales (TOR) lead the way as the most valuable first base trio on both sites.

Santana and the Indians will travel to Baltimore, generating a nice positive park shift as they get to square off with Dylan Bundy. Bundy’s a fly ball arm that has yielded at least one home run in each of his last eight starts. Santana is priced a bit more appropriately on FanDuel at $3,400, but he’s still sub $4,000 on DraftKings, where he fits the cash game conversation a bit more.

Belt has seen his lineup spot rise and fall a tad bit in the recent goings as well, and he’ll draw a matchup with the enigmatic R.A. Dickey. The Giants are holding an implied run total of 4.8 runs as of right now, and their receiving a notable positive park shift as the Braves new home has played quite friendly to hitters. At just $3,000 on FanDuel and $3,600 on DraftKings, Belt will provide you even more savings than Santana.

Morales though is the most enticing option, getting to play in the Texas heat as a part of the Blue Jays team that holds the slate’s highest implied total. Bibens-Dirkx does not have much of a sample size on the mound this year, but in the time he’s been out there he’s pitched to a 5.43 xFIP. Furthermore, the ZiPS is projecting his current 1.46 HR/9, to finish closer to 1.8 HR/9 the rest of the way.

Miguel Cabrera (DET) is still stupid cheap on DraftKings at just $4,000. Sam Gaviglio isn’t good enough to stop him.

Second Base

Second base provides you the option to stick with some middling price tags in Jason Kipnis (CLE) and Robinson Cano (SEA), or play down depending on potential lineup spots for someone like Javier Baez (CHC).

Kipnis and the Indians will get the aforementioned park shift and matchup with Dylan Bundy. After a few days of low, or mid-$3,000 price tags on DraftKings, Kipnis has seen his price rise to $4,000 on DraftKings. Nevertheless, the power/speed upside (.181 ISO since 2015 against RHP) at the top of a good lineup has him in the conversation today. Cano’s matchup with Anibal Sanchez is also one we’d like to take advantage of, but the overall environment lags behind that of Kipnis and the Indians. Cano has posted a positive delta in Hard% over the last fifteen days, and where he and Kipnis are priced the same on FanDuel ($3,300), he’s a reasonable alternative. However, on DraftKings where you’d need to spend $700 more, it’s likely you’d look to Kipnis.

Javy Baez and the Cubs haven’t seen a left-handed starter in two weeks (he hit 7th last time), but there was a time where Joe Maddon gave him some run at the top of the order. We wouldn’t expect to find him there, but hopefully we can squeak out a slightly better lineup spot. He’s just $2,100 on FanDuel and $2,900 on DraftKings where he’s our second highest value. He has a swing and miss game with power potential (.186 ISO against LHP since 2015), but the good news is Clayton Richard doesn’t miss many bats.

Jose Altuve (HOU) is the top ranked 2B in raw projection, but the price tag is out of reach for cash games.

Third Base

If building through someone like Jon Lester on FanDuel, it’s reasonable you could fit either of our top two third basemen in Josh Donaldson (TOR) or Kris Bryant (CHC). Donaldson will cost you $100 more on FanDuel, but if you’re already paying up, he’s where we’d lean. He’s posted a big positive delta in Hard% over the last fifteen days and draws the better environment. Bryant on the other hand has struggled for most of June and saw two days off in the Cubs last series with Pittsburgh. Nevertheless, his prowess against LHP precedes him, making him a great option if you have the cash.

It’s likely on DraftKings that you might not have that extra cash, pushing you into a tier with Evan Longoria (TB) or Kyle Seager (SEA). At $3,500 and $3,400 respectively, the pairing will provide you cost savings, as well as matchups with below average pitchers. Longoria will be back at home, an underwhelming park offensively, but a matchup with Scott Feldman and a third place lineup spot is an okay use of $3,500. Seager’s matchup is a bit more beneficial as Anibal Sanchez has been a home run allowing machine, having gifted nine long balls in only 21 innings this season, and allowing 1.76 and 1.66 HR/9 in each of the seasons prior. The Mariner’s have the second highest implied run total on this slate, despite being housed in Safeco.

Manny Machado (BAL) has a really tough matchup with Corey Kluber but is underpriced at $3,900 on DraftKings.

Shortstop

It’s our preference to again take some savings at shortstop, though Francisco Lindor (CLE) rates as the top option in our model. He’s reasonably priced at $3,400 on FanDuel, should you end up not using Kershaw he’s someone that you could fit into your lineups, getting a piece of the top of the Cleveland order.

Troy Tulowitzki (TOR) is a cheaper option, available to you at just $2,700 on FanDuel and $3,200 on DraftKings. No longer a particularly threatening offensive weapon, Tulo will at least give you a decent lineup spot (6) on the road in a good offensive environment. Plus, he provides access to the Blue Jays and has a slight positive delta in Hard% over the last fifteen days.

Brandon Crawford (SF) had a decent time out at Coors Field and got to hit third for the Giants yesterday with a banged up lineup being condensed a tad. He’s just $3,000 on FanDuel and $3,300 on DraftKings and should he again find himself in the third spot is a great option against Dickey. As mentioned in previous pods, Dickey has found a way to strike out less hitters, walk more, and allow even more home runs this season.

Javier Baez (CHC) also has SS, eligibility on DraftKings, and teammate Addison Russell (CHC) would be another cheap way to attack the SS position. Russell has generated a positive delta in Hard% over the last fifteen days.

Outfield

The outfield will be a spot where you are mixing and matching to find value at or near the top of lineups. Jose Bautista (TOR) and Gregory Polanco (PIT) both fit that bill, and are ranked near the top of our model in terms of value at the OF position. Bautista and the Blue Jays find themselves in the positional analysis a bunch as they head to Texas, but we’ve yet to hit on the Pirates. The Pirates will be getting a positive park shift as they move to Milwaukee, and Polanco is priced at just $3,100 on FanDuel and $3,400 on DraftKings in a matchup with Matt Garza. Garza is one of many of the “older generation” arms that has not been able to keep up the strikeouts, getting less hitters to fall prey while allowing a big difference (25.4%) in Hard%-Soft% via FanGraphs. Bautista represents the better overall spend, but Polanco will bring a bit more savings.

There is a decent drop off in terms of value away from the top duo. Mallex Smith (TB), Billy Hamilton (CIN), and Denard Span (SF) represent a trio of speedy leadoff men who are all priced at sub $4,000 on DraftKings and less than $3,000 on FanDuel. Smith is probably the most complete player at this time, but Hamilton will come at a slightly cheaper cost and will get the slight benefit of being the road leadoff hitter. Span lags behind in terms of total upside, but fills a similar role.

Michael Brantley (CLE), Kevin Pillar (TOR), and Mookie Betts (BOS) all rate well in terms of value in our model, but each might be priced slightly outside of the cash game range, where we instead will look to utilize them in tournaments as their teams all represent enticing spends.

When being a bit more site specific, you can use Brandon Belt (SF) or Marwin Gonzalez (HOU) in the outfield on DraftKings. Both are priced at less than $4,000 there. Eric Thames (MIL) too of course rates as a great value on DraftKings where he is OF eligible.

Derek Fisher (HOU) would be a complete punt option on FanDuel at just $2,200. He won’t bring a good lineup spot, but comes with power/speed upside in a matchup with Daniel Gossett.

If not building with one or both high priced starting pitching options (likely only in tournaments), Bryce Harper (WSH) and Nelson Cruz (SEA), represent great options, even when viewing them in terms of per dollar options.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Toronto Blue Jays

2) Cleveland Indians

While Toronto and Cleveland share our top tier, the Jays are our clear favorites. Austin Bibens-Dirkx is coming off a supposedly strong start, but he struck out just two of 24 batters faced to go with a subpar Hard-Soft%. The inability to miss bats is going to get him in trouble in the Texas heat against a powerful Jays lineup, and it’s no surprise he carries the highest IRTA in this slate.

Tier Two

3) Houston Astros

4) San Francisco Giants

5) Pittsburgh Pirates

6) Chicago Cubs

The Astros will face RHP Daniel Gossett, who displayed a decent K + GB rate combination at AAA but got smacked around in his MLB debut, posting a disaster start as he allowed 7 runs and a couple of dongs in 3.1 IP. ZiPS has slapped a 5.09 ERA projection on him.

The Giants get a positive park shift against RA Dickey (terrible peripherals this season) in one of the hottest hitting environments on the day.

The Pirates in particular and the Cubs to a lesser extent will actually most likely carry lower ownership than many of the tier three stacks and can be considered contrarian stacks. The Pirates offense lacks any sort of sexiness appeal, but they do receive a sizeable park shift in their favor, while facing a ho-hum RHP in Matt Garza with a below average bullpen behind him.

Tier Three

7) Texas Rangers

8) Seattle Mariners

9) Washington Nationals

10) Boston Red Sox

While our projections leave the Rangers/Mariners/Nationals as tier three stacks, quite frankly you could make an argument to put any of these three teams as high as the second ranked stack, and they represent our focus in this tier. In particular, the Rangers are at home in 80-plus degree weather (only 1 of 2 games fit that criterion on this slate) against Marco Estrada, who is historically homer prone and has the worst Hard% delta over his last three starts among pitchers in action today.

Additional Contrarian Stack

-Tampa Bay Rays: The Rays are inherently a high risk, high reward team, which makes them appealing for tournaments. On this slate, they carry some hot bats (sixth in FanGraphs’ 14-day Hard%), and we always like to pick on pitchers suffering velocity dips, especially when they are as underwhelming as Scott Feldman to begin with.