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June 24 MLB DFS: Mining For An Ace
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Welcome to June 24 MLB DFS action. You’ll find Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium Cliff Notes for June 24 MLB DFS along with LIVE Premium Chat. Make sure you’re using the 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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  • 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.
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Range of Outcome Projections

June 24 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

UPDATE: Jason Vargas (NYM) has been scratched from his start today. He’s been placed on the 10-day DL. The Mets haven’t named a starter yet, but it’s clear that this will be a bullpen day today. We’ll find out more information in the morning. As usual, it becomes tricky to attack a bullpen day with offense as generally they’re better than a bad starter and it doesn’t allow the offense to get in a rhythm against one pitcher. 

Starting Pitcher

Gerrit Cole (HOU) and Chris Sale (BOS) form the top tier of starting pitchers in this slate, and no other pitcher is coming close to their projections around the industry.

Cole is deservingly a higher favorite (-340) with a lower IRTA (2.8) as he’s at home in a park that accentuates strikeouts and gets to face the hapless Royals, an offense that’s ranked 28th in wRC+ vs. RHP. They’re only striking out 18.3% of the time vs. RHP, but that number is going to be on the rise with Lucas Duda back and additions like Adalberto Mondesi (25% K rate baseline vs. RHP) to the lineup. Cole has slowed down a little bit of late as the K peripherals have come back down to earth in his last 4-5 starts, but this is a very strong context for him and the season long numbers remain incredible (36% K rate, 2.66 SIERA). He’s a strong target in all formats, particularly on FD where he’s just $100 more expensive than Sale.

Sale is having a more impressive season than Cole when it comes to the batted ball data, allowing a a ridiculous -3% hard minus soft hit rate. You read that correctly. His K rate is sitting at 34.6% on the season and his run prevention has been remarkable (2.74 ERA/2.74 xFIP). The reason Sale is projecting a little bit behind Cole in projection today is because of the context. He’s having to deal with Fenway Park, which is a boon for RHBs, and the matchup against the Mariners (ranked fourth in wRC+ and are striking out 20.6% of the time vs. LHP) isn’t a great one. As a result, he has a lower K projection (8.7) than Cole (9.4) and a higher IRTA (3.4). If you’re playing him in cash games, it’d be on DK where he’s $1k cheaper than Cole. On FD, the cash game conversation ends after Sale and Cole.

Rich Hill (LAD) and Jose Berrios (MIN) represent the next highest projected scorers at the position. Hill has the vegas information you’d love for a SP2 on DK (3.4 IRTA, -180 favorite) along a strong K projection (5.9) in a strong matchup against a Mets offense that’s ranked dead last in wRC+ and are striking out 25.5% of the time vs. LHP. Unfortunately, Hill is priced correctly on DK ($8,600) and Berrios is way out of reach ($11,800). We’ll have to look elsewhere in cash games but Hill is a viable tournament target on both sites.

Luke Weaver (STL) and Brandon McCarthy (ATL) are a bit more approachable on DK where their price tags are in the $7k range. Weaver’s context is a difficult one as he’s facing the Brewers in Miller Park. As a result, his IRTA is elevated (4.7). Weaver is particularly cheap on FD ($6k), where he’s an intriguing option in tournaments since he allows you to spend up for bats. McCarthy is cheaper ($7,200) on DK and has a matchup against an Orioles offense that’s getting a negative league shift going into the NL. They’re losing the DH and they’ve been awful vs. RHP (ranked 26th in wRC+ and are striking out 24.9% of the time vs. RHP). McCarthy has a 3.9 IRTA. He’s a viable SP2 in all formats on DK.

The Rockies are in Coors Field once again with a 6.4 IRT and they’re available on DK. If you want to grab a piece of their offense or get an expensive bat into your lineup, you’ll need a cheaper target than McCarthy. That’s where Adam Plutko (CLE) and an even riskier option like Jason Vargas (NYM) come into play. Vargas is simply too big of a risk to take on in this slate. He’s back in his home park, but he’s been dreadful this season (8.60 ERA/6.55 FIP). The K peripherals are slightly above average, but he’s going to have a hard time putting hitters away with an 87 MPH fastball. He’s just $4,200 on DK and the Dodgers are less potent of an offense against LHP, but he’s only viable in GPPs and that’s only because of what he allows you to do on the hitting side of things.

Plutko isn’t very good either, and he’s an extreme fly ball pitcher (59% FB rate allowed this season) that allows hard contact (24.4% hard minus soft hit rate). His K peripherals aren’t great (57.7% F-Strike rate, 8.9% SwStr rate) either. For a pitcher that isn’t very talented, the Vegas information sure looks impressive as he’s a -158 favorite with a 4.2 IRTA. That’s mostly matchup related, as he’ll have a matchup against a Tigers’ offense that’s ranked 24th in wRC+ vs. RHP. He’ll have to be considered in both cash games and tournaments on DK.

The other cheap options to consider on DK are Sal Romano (CIN) in Great American Ball Park facing the Cubs, or Matt Andriese (TB) facing the Yankees. Andriese hasn’t pitched more than 3 innings in a game all season. These are options that you should fade entirely despite the cheap price tags in a Coors Field slate.  Domingo German (NYY) ($9,500) and Carlos Rodon (CHW) ($8,400) are simply overpriced on DK. Those pitchers don’t have much of a place in this slate since they don’t pitch deep into games to begin with and the price tags are too steep. We view Caleb Smith (MIA) as a good pitcher that can miss bats, but he’s in Coors Field. Marco Gonzales (SEA) has pitched well this season but he’s in Fenway Park. This looks like a slate where you can cross of a decent amount of pitchers.

Catcher

J.T. Realmuto (MIA) and Willson Contreras (CHC) represent the top projected scores at the catcher position. Realmuto is projecting ahead of Contreras on DK, and that’s because he’s in Coors Field hitting second and in a good matchup, as German Marquez has surrendered a .351 wOBA and .233 ISO to RHBs since the start of last season. Realmuto is really pricey, and this slate has expensive pitching that we’re prioritizing. He’s only viable in tournaments today. IF Contreras hits fifth against a RHP like he did yesterday, he’ll be a viable cash game target on DK where the price tag is under $4k. Contreras is in Great American Ball Park facing Sal Romano, who’s allowed a .198 ISO to RHBs since 2017. He’s a viable tournament target on FD where he’s just $2,600.

Tom Murphy (COL), Yasmani Grandal (LAD) and Tucker Barnhart (CIN) are next up in projection at the position and they’re the last batch of catchers that we’d seriously consider in this slate. Murphy will have the platoon edge in Coors Field, but he’s priced correct and the projeciton is being held back a little bit since Caleb Smith isn’t a bad pitcher. Of this group, Barnhart makes the most sense in cash games relative to price tag on DK where he’s just $3,300. As long as he’s in the lineup, he’ll be hitting second for the home team in Great American Ball Park.

Grandal will hit from his worst side of the plate (right), but the matchup against Jason Vargas is a strong one that keeps him afloat in the GPP conversation.

First Base

Freddie Freeman (ATL) and Anthony Rizzo (CHC) are back to represent the first base position with the top projections as both will have the platoon edge in favorable hitting environments. Rizzo in particular stands out relative to the context as he’s a road hitter in a ballpark that accentuates power (Great American Ball Park). As skilled as these two hitters are against RHP, they’re simply too pricey on DK in a slate where we don’t view them as priorities. On FD, Rizzo is just $3,600, which puts him squarely in the cash game conversation in a non-Coors Field slate on that site.

We’re going after salary relief at the position on both sites. Logan Morrison (MIN) is just $3,400 on DK and $2,300 on FD and he has a matchup against Bartolo Colon, who’s surrendered a .371 wOBA and .231 ISO to LHBs since the start of last season. Morrison homered yesterday and his HHR (24.2% over the L15) is on the rise. He’s an important play in this slate. Teammate Joe Mauer (MIN) leads off for the Twins and he’s also cheap on both sites, but he doesn’t have much power upside.

There are some intriguing site dependent tournament options at the position, with Justin Bour (MIA) priced in the mid $4ks on DK in Coors Field and Eric Thames (MIL) at home with the platoon edge with a sub $4k price tag on FD (third best 1B value at the position). Joey Votto (CIN) is another option to consider in tournaments in this slate. He won’t come with much ownership and he’s generated a 32.3% HHR over the L15 days.

Second Base

DJ LeMahieu (COL) and Jose Altuve (HOU) carry the top projections at the keystone position. LeMahieu will leadoff and have the platoon edge in Coors Field, which puts him above Altuve in terms of raw projection on DK. These two are simply too pricey to consider in cash games, but they remain strong parts of stacks in tournaments.

Our top optimals are going after Brian Dozier (MIN) on DK and Yoan Moncada (CHW) on FD. Dozier is still priced under $4k on DK, and the matchup against Bartolo Colon (.245 ISO allowed to RHBs since 2017) is a great one for his power swing. He’s not having a great season for his standards and his baselines do take a hit vs. RHP, but he remains a little bit too cheap on that site. Moncada is just $2,700 on FD, and he gets to hit from his better side (left) against Paul Blackburn, who doesn’t miss any bats (9.6% K rate vs. LHBs since 2017). Moncada is a legitimate power/speed threat out of the leadoff spot, and rarely do you see options with his upside priced like that on FD. He’s a viable alternative to Dozier on DK as well but the pricing gap is certainly wider on FD.

Dozier and Moncada are the only second basemen that you’ll consider in cash games on both sites when you factor in price tags. In tournaments, Ozzie Albies (ATL) is an intriguing upside target that can hit for power and flash speed upside, but his price tag is more appropriate.

Third Base

Nolan Arenado (COL) and Kris Bryant (CHC) are once again at the forefront of the third base projections. Arenado will have the platoon edge in Coors Field, and he’s been a monster with the platoon edge, generating a .540 wOBA and .416 ISO in his last 266 PAs vs. LHP (since the start of last season). In other words, we can finally say that someone has joined Stanton in the otherworldly category vs. LHP. Caleb Smith is a good pitcher, but that hasn’t changed vegas’ expectation for the Rockies as they have a slate high 6.4 IRT. Arenado remains a strong option in all formats.

Bryant is $1k cheaper than Arenado on DK, which is deserved, and the price tag on FD ($3,900) is even better. He also doesn’t have to compete with Arenado on that site since the Coors Field isn’t included in that slate. Bryant hasn’t generated strong results lately, but the HHR (23.5 over the L15 days) looks fine and he’s generated a .379 wOBA and .211 ISO vs. RHP since 2017. He’s the best cash game target at the position on FD.

The other target that’s even mildly interesting from a cash game perspective is Justin Turner (LAD), and mostly on FD where he’s cheap ($3k). Turner has generated a .462 wOBA and .291 ISO vs. LHP since the start of last season and he has a strong matchup against Jason Vargas today. He can be considered in tournaments on DK.

Matt Carpenter (STL) has generated a ridiculous 44% HHR over the L15 days and today he gets a very strong context. He’s in Miller Park facing a wide splits pitcher (Jhoulys Chacin). The price tag is appropriate, but he’s viable in tournaments. Alex Bregman (HOU) and Travis Shaw (MIL) are other potential targets in GPPs though we’d consider them as part of stacks rather than one-offs. Bregman’s HHR over the L15 days (37.2%) stands out as well.

Shortstop

Trevor Story (COL) and Francisco Lindor (HOU) carry the top projections at the shortstop position. Story has generated a .423 wOBA and .341 ISO vs. LHP since the start of last season and he’s making more contact this season (26.7% K rate; 11.1% SwStr rate, 28.6% Chase rate). Story is very pricey on DK ($5,500), and if you’re going after Rockies RH stud in cash games, it’ll be Arenado at a similar price tag. Story remains a vital part of Rockies stacks in tournaments. Lindor is $4,900 on FD, and he’s projecting as a breakeven target on that site. He’s simply too expensive to consider in cash games as well but he’s a fine target in GPPs.

We’d rather save some funds at the position with Marcus Semien (OAK), who’s priced at the average cost of a hitter on both sites. Semien has been a modest hitter vs. LHP since 2017, but he has some pop (.190 ISO baseline in our projections; 168 ISO vs. LHP since the start of last season) and gets to hit out of the leadoff spot with the platoon edge. That last part is meaningful, as he’s on the road in a much better hitting environment in Guaranteed Rate Field. That gives him a shot at the coveted fifth plate appearance.

Chris Taylor (LAD) is a viable alternative on both sites. He’s priced similarly to Semien and has a similar context (road leadoff hitter with the platoon edge) albeit in a NL park.

Carlos Correa (HOU) is another pricey shortstop that deserves tournament consideration in this slate. His HHR over the L15 days is up to 26.7%.

Outfield

Mookie Betts (BOS), Charlie Blackmon (COL) and J.D. Martinez (BOS) represent the top projected scorers in the outfield. Betts and Martinez will have the platoon edge at home in the friendly confines of Fenway Park, an environment that inflates RH power. Since the start of last season, Betts (.407 wOBA and .264 ISO) and Martinez (.456 wOBA, .359 ISO) have been remarkable with the platoon edge. They’re priced appropriately but remain intriguing pieces in tournaments. Blackmon will have a L/L matchup in Coors Field, and he’s priced as if he has the platoon edge on DK. He’s outside of the cash game conversation but the L/L matchup should affect his ownership in GPPs, where he remains viable.

The next in line projected scorers in the outfield are George Springer (HOU), Eric Thames (MIL) (1B/OF eligibility on DK), Eddie Rosario (MIN) and Derek Dietrich (MIA) (on DK). Rosario is the best value in the OF on FD where he’s simply underpriced ($3,300), but on DK he’s only a part of the tournament conversation with a very appropriate price tag ($5,200). Rosario will have the platoon edge, and he’s generated a .398 wOBA and .274 ISO vs. RHP since the start of last season. He’s a staple of cash games on FD. On DK, Dietrich has a middling price tag in the $4ks and he’s the road leadoff hitter with the platoon edge in Coors Field. He’s squarely in play in cash games on that site. Springer and Thames are priced appropriately, which makes them difficult options to get up to from a cash game perspective. They’re fine tournament options.

Max Kepler (MIN), Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist (CHC) (on FD), Chris Taylor (LAD) and Dexter Folwer (STL) (on DK) are viable sources of salary relief in a slate where you’ll need to save some resources at the position. Of this group, Kepler is the most valuable of the group since he’s the cheapest ($3,300 on DK, $2,300 on FD). He’s been a modest hitter with the platoon edge since the start of last season (.327 wOBA, .187 ISO). Heyward has the most impressive recent performance of this group, and his HHR over the L15 days (30.2%) backs that up. Fowler has been by far the worst hitter from this group this season but he continues to be priced as a punt ($3k) on DK, which is deserved at this point. Avisail Garcia (CHW) can be added to this group on FD where he’s priced as a full punt.

Kyle Schwarber (CHC) has a strong price tag on FD ($3,500). It’s difficult to roster two $3k outfielders in cash games on that site since you’re paying up for expensive pitching, but Schwarber should be considered in tournaments. He’s in Great American Ball Park facing Sal Romano, who’s allowed a .349 wOBA and .173 ISO to LHBs since 2017.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Colorado Rockies

2) Chicago Cubs

The Rockies finally disappointed yesterday, and today they’re facing a pitcher that can miss bats at an above league average level (Caleb Smith). They’re still in Coors Field and the Vegas expectation remains much higher (6.4 IRT) than any other team in this slate. There’s expensive pitching in this slate though, so perhaps that ends up affecting their ownership a bit.

The Cubs have been disappointing this entire series against the Reds in Great American Ball Park. We’re still expecting an IRT ~5, and they’re the best stack outside of Coors Field in this slate. They should have more ownership on FD where Coors isn’t included and price tags on Rizzo/Bryant remain on the cheap side.

Tier Two

3) Houston Astros

4) Miami Marlins

5) Minnesota Twins

6) Atlanta Braves

The Marlins are our fourth ranked stack, and this is probably the last time you can seriously consider stacking 4-5 options from their offense in tournaments. They’re the road team in Coors Field with an IRT ~5. The price tags aren’t easy to get up to on DK. We’re expecting low ownership coming their way once again and German Marquez is the least skilled pitcher from a run prevention standpoint that they’ve faced in this series.

The Astros, Twins and Braves are all facing subpar starting pitching. Those offenses have enough firepower throughout their lineup to be considered in more than just MME.

Tier Three

7) Los Angeles Dodgers

8) Milwaukee Brewers

9) Cleveland Indians

10) Boston Red Sox

11) Oakland Athletics

The Dodgers stand out a bit in this slate as they get a matchup against Jason Vargas (22% hard minus soft hit rate allowed this season) and have reasonable price tags around the industry. They’re an intriguing road stack that can be considered in all types of tournament formats.

The rest of this third tier is better utilized as mini-stacks rather than full stacks today. Each of those offenses (the Red Sox in particular) have at least 2-3 hitters at the top of their lineup that have plenty of upside, but we’re not looking to stack them alongside their team’s lesser skilled hitters in this slate.

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