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June 22 MLB DFS Early Slate: Noah and the Jays
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June 22 MLB DFS Early Slate: Noah and the Jays

00:39 Starting Pitchers
07:15 Catchers
09:58 First Base
11:25 Second Base
14:02 Shortstop
15:45 Third Base
18:22 Outfield
22:01 Cash Game Roster Construction & Stacks



June 22 MLB DFS Early Slate Pro Tip

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tier One

1) Noah Syndergaard (NYM)

Tier Two

2) Jake Arrieta (CHC)

Tier Three

3) Danny Duffy (KC)

4) Matt Shoemaker (LAA)

Tier Four

5) Adam Conley (MIA)

6) Lance McCullers (HOU)

7) CC Sabathia (NYY)

8) Daniel Mengden (OAK)

9) Jonathan Gray (COL)

The afternoon slate has two aces on the mound but for DFS purposes they’re separated into two distinct tiers. While Jake Arrieta (CHC) will face a Cardinals’ offense that ranks tied for first in wRC+ against RHP, Noah Syndergaard (NYM) will take on a Royals team that loses the DH and ranks just 16th in wRC+ against RHP. You could argue the two are similar in run prevention in neutral matchups but for DFS purposes Syndergaard has a huge advantage in strikeouts (31.9 K Rate vs. 27.8 K Rate) that makes him the more valuable commodity. They’re priced similarly on DraftKings, but Syndergaard comes at a significant discount on FanDuel. He’s our foundational piece for this short slate and a starter we’re locking into cash game lineups.

It’s too expensive to pair Syndergaard and Arrieta and still field a competitive offense so our attention shifts to the third tier for a complementary pitcher on DraftKings. Danny Duffy (KC) has made incredible strides this year as a starter (29.4 K Rate, 4.9 BB Rate, .306 wOBA allowed) thanks to increased velocity (95.7 mph average fastball) and better command of the strike zone. Duffy is fly ball prone but now that he’s not walking batters the run prevention is held in check even when the fly balls clear the fence. The Mets rank 22nd in wRC+ against LHP and possess the league’s highest K Rate against LHP (25.4 percent). Duffy is getting a league shift boost not having to face a DH and he’s really cheap around the industry. He’s not only your best target to pair with Syndergaard, but he’s one of your best tournament targets on solo SP sites as well. The other option in the third tier that is viable for tournaments but someone we’d avoid in cash is Matt Shoemaker (LAA). Shoemaker has an imposing 4.6 implied team total against but the Astros possess the third highest K Rate against RHP (24.6) and Shoemaker has struck out 26.5 percent or more batters faced in five of his last seven starts since throwing his split finger fastball more than 40 percent of the time. The elevated price tag will keep ownership low which makes him an enticing tournament target. Lance McCullers (HOU) and Adam Conley (MIA) are secondary tournament targets with matchups that are a bit more difficult for strikeouts and neither starter typically works deep into the game.

Catcher Rankings

1) Russell Martin (TOR)

2) Welington Castillo (ARZ)

3) Brian McCann (NYY)

4) Stephen Vogt (OAK)

5) Willson Contreras (CHC)

The catcher position is one to keep an eye on in alerts as a few of these catchers were in the lineups last night and day games after night games are always tricky for backstops. Willson Contreras (CHC) remains underpriced, especially on DraftKings, but we think it’s especially unlikely he grabs a third straight start with Jake Arrieta on the hill. If in the lineup, he’s a fine value target. Russell Martin (TOR) and Welington Castillo (ARZ) represent our top options at the position and both are very viable spends. Castillo sat last night, so he’s almost assuredly in the lineup. Both catchers mash lefties (Castillo – .398 wOBA, .291 ISO since 2015, Martin – .366 wOBA, .200 ISO since 2015) and hit in the middle of the order for the two teams in the game with the highest total. The Blue Jays’ stronger offense and better matchup push Martin ahead of Castillo if they’re hitting in the same spot despite Castillo showing slightly stronger skills against LHP of late.

First Base Rankings

1) Paul Goldschmidt (ARZ)

2) Edwin Encarnacion (TOR)

3) Anthony Rizzo (CHC)

4) Alex Rodriguez (NYY) – where eligible

5) Justin Smoak (TOR)

Once again the Diamondbacks-Blue Jays game dominates our first base rankings as Paul Goldschmidt (ARZ) and Edwin Encarnacion (TOR) represent two of our top four overall hitters on this slate. The lack of elite values at the position make it important to pay up for one of the two lefty mashers.

Second Base Rankings

1) Jose Altuve (HOU)

2) Derek Dietrich (MIA) – if leadoff

3) Devon Travis (TOR) – second if hitting second

4) Jean Segura (ARZ)

5) DJ LeMahieu (COL)

Jose Altuve (HOU) tops our second base rankings but it’s difficult to justify spending on Altuve in a matchup against Shoemaker’s improving skill set. Instead, we’re likely to dip down and focus our attention on one of the options ranked 2-4 in our second base rankings. Devon Travis (TOR) has the highest room to move. Robbie Ray can generate strikeouts but he’s allowed a 39.6 hard hit rate to RHBs this season and yielded a .345 wOBA and .161 ISO to RHBs since the start of 2015. Travis owns a .339 wOBA and .195 ISO against LHP during the same span and has gotten a boost in lineup spot of late with Jose Bautista out. If he’s in the top two spots in the lineup, he’s our first choice. Derek Dietrich (MIA) is also lineup dependent. Matt Wisler (.377 wOBA, .224 ISO allowed to LHBs since start of 2015) is vulnerable to LH power and Dietrich certainly has it (.386 wOBA, .197 ISO against RHP since 2015). Jean Segura (ARZ) is also a fine alternative as a road leadoff hitter with the platoon advantage.

Shortstop Rankings

1) Carlos Correa (HOU)

2) Troy Tulowitzki (TOR)

3) Trevor Story (COL)

4) Asdrubal Cabrera (NYM)

5) Javier Baez (CHC)

Carlos Correa (HOU) once again leads our shortstop rankings though Matt Shoemaker‘s noted improvements with the split finger fastball make him a less compelling play than our model may suggest. On DraftKings, he remains well underpriced and a fine target but on FanDuel it’s more appropriate to drop down to Troy Tulowitzki (TOR) or Trevor Story (COL). Tulowitzki slightly out-paces Story in our model as the Blue Jays have an implied team total nearly 1.5 runs higher and Robbie Ray is more vulnerable to RHBs than CC Sabathia.

Third Base Rankings

1) Josh Donaldson (TOR)

2) Nolan Arenado (COL)

3) Kris Bryant (CHC)

4) Alex Rodriguez (NYY)

5) Danny Valencia (OAK)

Josh Donaldson (TOR) is always in play against a weak LHP and he represents one of the top overall plays on the entire slate. The challenge is positional scarcity makes him a slightly easier fade than the elite first basemen. On FanDuel, Chris Coghlan (CHC) who has been leading off for the Cubs is just $2,400 and 3B eligible, while on DraftKings Nolan Arenado (COL) is almost $2,000 cheaper. Alex Rodriguez (NYY) and Danny Valencia (OAK) are viable mid-range targets, but roster construction preferences lead you away from the middle tier at third base.

Outfield Rankings

1) Mike Trout (LAA)

2) Kris Bryant (CHC) – where eligible

3) Brett Gardner (NYY)

4) George Springer (HOU)

5) Ryan Braun (MIL)

6) Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

7) Christian Yelich (MIA)

8) Carlos Beltran (NYY)

9) Colby Rasmus (HOU)

10) Yoenis Cespedes (NYM)

11) Jason Heyward (CHC)

12) Coco Crisp (OAK)

13) Charlie Blackmon (COL)

14) Carlos Gonzalez (COL)

15) Kole Calhoun (LAA)

Mike Trout (LAA) is once again our top ranked outfielder and he demonstrated his ability to contribute big Fantasy numbers without much positive team context around him last night. He ranks only behind Paul Goldschmidt in our overall ranks on this slate and he’s reasonably priced on both sites. He’s a very viable cash game target though we’re a little more likely to spend in the infield where there is more scarcity than in the outfield where there are a plethora of values. Both sites have some unusually cheap pricing on strong players. Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) remains cheap on FanDuel at $3,300 while Brett Gardner‘s (NYY) price tag has shockingly dipped below $3,500 on DraftKings. The Arizona outfield eligible duo of Peter O’Brien (ARZ) and Rickie Weeks (ARZ) are very cheap on both sites and project strongly against contract oriented LHPs. You’ve also got cheap price tags on Colby Rasmus (HOU), Ryan Braun (MIL) and George Springer (HOU) on DraftKings while Jason Heyward (CHC) is underpriced on FanDuel. As lineups roll out these options will start to separate each other among the two sites, but the most noteworthy point here is the depth of options you can choose from, which is very different than the infield.

Stack Rankings

Tier One

1) Toronto Blue Jays

Tier Two

2) New York Yankees

3) Arizona Diamondbacks

4) Chicago Cubs

5) Houston Astros

The Blue Jays are very clearly the chalk on this short slate. They have an implied team total over 5.5 runs and a number of hitters that profile as elite against LHP. They’ll likely be over-owned in tournaments given the slate, which makes them a solid fade in tournaments despite representing a top target in cash games.

Contrarian Tournament Stack

Chicago Cubs – The Cubs are expensive and almost all of their players at key positions are priced identically to Blue Jays players which is going to force ownership way down. Michael Wacha isn’t a dominant starter and the Cubs have already got to him once this year for eight earned runs in just four innings.