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June 28 MLB DFS: Good Benintentions
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Welcome to June 28 MLB DFS action. You’ll find Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium Cliff Notes for June 28 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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Time Stamps
00:39 
Starting Pitcher
06:06 Catcher
08:53 First Base
11:30 Second Base
14:01 Third Base
16:56 Shortstop
19:35 Outfield
24:07 Stacks

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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.
  • 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.

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Range of Outcome Projections

June 28 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

Starting Pitcher

On a small slate, Lance McCullers (HOU) leads all pitchers in overall projection. He faces a pretty weak Rays lineup in pitcher friendly Tropicana Field, leaving McCullers as the largest favorite on the slate (-165) with the lowest IRTA (3.3, just one of two pitchers with an IRTA less than 4). Given the favorable Vegas odds and McCullers’ strikeout upside (highest K projection on the slate by half a strikeout), he’s an excellent building block in cash games on both sites. It is interesting, though, that are optimals currently leave him out of the top lineups in an effort to spend more on bats. Our intuition is to sacrifice slightly on the projected points side and squeeze McCullers in.

Aaron Nola (PHI) is the next in line option but a tough Washington lineup and hefty price tag on DK makes him a poor value. He is an acceptable GPP play on FD at a cheaper cost than McCullers, although McCullers is still the better value.

The best mid-tier values on this slate are Tanner Roark (WAS) and Anthony DeSclafani (CIN). Roark faces a Philly team that is filled with high K rate baselines against RHP, which gives him a strikeout projection that competes with the top options at a much lower cost. The issue with Roark is a mediocre overall skill set as his GB rate has dropped leading to a career worst 4.38 xFIP.

DeSclafani has significant downside given his home park and a high upside Brewers offense. However, Steamer projects him to strike out just over 8 batters per 9, and the Brewers have a 25.2 K% against RHP, the fourth highest mark in that split.

Basically, you can drop down to Roark and DeSclafani without losing a ton in median K expectation to clear up salary for bats, but in doing so you’re accepting a much lower floor. This is the case on both sites.

Catcher

Tucker Barnhart (CIN) and Evan Gattis (HOU) are the two top projected catcher options on this slate. Neither have particularly great matchups but Barnhart usually gets a good lineup spot and Gattis is a skilled hitter who should likely have the platoon edge the majority of the game. Both are a bit pricey and we’d rather save funds at the catcher position without any standout plays.

The clear cut top value at the position is Sandy Leon (BOS) who offers plenty of salary relief at just $2,700 for a Red Sox offense that has an implied total more than half a run higher than any opponent on the slate. Leon isn’t a great hitter by any means (.274 wOBA, .119 ISO against RHP since 2017) and Jaime Barria has pitched well early on but a nearly 40 percent hard hit rate allowed suggest he’s gotten very fortunate. With a big park downgrade, Vegas is giving Barria a 5.6 implied total against. If Leon is in the lineup, we like taking advantage of the salary relief on the top offense.

Martin Maldonado (LAA) and Manny Pina (MIL) are other bottom-of-the-order catching options that are viable tournament targets with adequate individual skill sets and decent matchups.

First Base

Eric Thames (MIL) leads the way at first base with a matchup against a homer-prone RHP in Anthony DeSclafani who has allowed a ridiculous .383 wOBA and .310 ISO in a small sample (47 PAs) against LHBs since the start of last season. If you extend the sample out to 2015, he has allowed a .347 wOBA and .193 ISO to LHBs. Thames has ridiculous numbers against RHP (.390 wOBA, .297 ISO) since returning from Korea. He’s more affordable on FanDuel than DraftKings and thus a slightly stronger play over there.

Mitch Moreland (BOS) is the next-in-line target at first base. Moreland is on the team with the highest implied total on the slate and has posted a solid .347 wOBA and .231 ISO against RHP since the start of 2017. With a sizable price gap between Moreland and Thames on DraftKings, Moreland will likely find his way into more of our optimal lineups. On FanDuel, the lean is toward Thames though playing both is viable if you go cheap at SP.

Joey Votto (CIN) should be a contrarian expensive target on this slate with a solid matchup and park environment but a tough Brewers bullpen behind Junior Guerra. Albert Pujols (LAA) and Carlos Santana (PHI) are lower owned mid-tier pivots in GPPs.

Second Base

Jose Altuve (HOU) and Ian Kinsler (LAA) are the two highest projected second base options on this slate. Altuve is priced way differently and thus more of a tournament option. Kinsler is the prized target for cash games on the slate. He’ll face Brian Johnson who has allowed a .365 wOBA and .196 ISO to RHBs since the start of last season. Kinsler’s an aging veteran but still has posted a .322 wOBA and .197 ISO against LHP. Fenway is a big boost to RHBs compared to Anaheim

On FanDuel, it’s possible you’ll need more salary relief than Kinsler offers at $3,100. This brings Brock Holt (BOS) and Jonathan Villar (MIL) into the conversation as punts. Neither player is likely to garner a strong lineup spot but Villar has a speed-power combination that plays above his hitting talents for DFS and Holt is a part of the highest projected offense which boosts his raw projection with FanDuel’s scoring system. We view Villar as the higher upside target of the two.

In tournaments, Cesar Hernandez (PHI) and Joey Wendle (TB) are leverage targets against pitchers that figure to carry some of the strongest ownership levels. Scooter Gennett (CIN) and Jose Altuve (HOU) are the expensive targets that figure to carry lower ownership due to price tag.

Third Base

Rafael Devers (BOS) and Alex Bregman (HOU) are the two top projected third base targets. Devers is an inferior hitter to Bregman (Devers .313 wOBA/.202 ISO since 2017 against RHP, Bregman – .389 wOBA, .237 ISO against LHP since 2017) – and Bregman’s been obscenely hot of late but he’s priced appropriately and getting a big park downgrade. Devers is the better value and our optimal lineups will prefer taking the salary relief he provides and getting more exposure to the offense with the highest implied total on the slate. It is unclear what kind of ownership Bregman’s hot streak will bring along with him but we view guys like Mookie Betts or JD Martinez in better hitting environments as priority spends above Bregman.

Travis Shaw (MIL) projects slightly behind Devers and is priced similarly. Shaw has big power upside against RHP (.381 wOBA and .264 ISO against RHP since 2017) and given DeScalfani’s issues with home runs is an ideal tournament pivot off of Devers.

Eugenio Suarez (CIN) and Anthony Rendon (WAS) are adequate tournament plays based on expected low ownership but both have below average matchups.

Shortstop

Xander Bogaerts (BOS) and Carlos Correa (HOU) are the clear cut top projected shortstops on the slate. Correa is priced appropriately and with the park downgrade projects as a below average play. Bogaerts is priced a bit more favorably on FanDuel where he’ll come into some optimal lineups if you choose to go cheap at SP. Otherwise this tier is mostly reserved for tournaments with Bogaerts a part of Red Sox stacks and Correa a contrarian pivot.

The cash game emphasis at shortstop is more about salary relief. Andrelton Simmons (LAA), Brock Holt (BOS), and Scott Kingery (PHI) all fit the bill. Simmons and Holt are the cheaper options on DraftKings, while Kingery is priced near a punt play on FanDuel. Simmons and Holt get the benefit of playing in the best offensive environment on the slate with a total over 10 and they’ll both hold the platoon edge. Neither are great hitters but Simmons has shown big improvements this season that have bumped his splits to .327 wOBA, .101 ISO against LHP since the start of last season.

On FanDuel, Kingery and Orlando Arcia (MIL) are priced near the pure minimum. This is the primary reason they’re coming into optimals as opposed to their skill set. The shortstop position just doesn’t have much and on FanDuel all the reasonable plays are priced aggressively.

Outfield

Mike Trout (LAA), Mookie Betts (BOS), J.D. Martinez (BOS), and Andrew Benintendi (BOS) are projecting so far ahead of the rest of the outfield options that optimals are often preferring lesser pitching in order to jam the studs. The offensive environment in Boston is very strong with two below average starters and the wind blowing out to LF. Trout projects a bit ahead of the group and while figuring out his health is a challenge through this hand injury having the platoon edge in Fenway is really appealing. On DraftKings, you’ll want at least two of these three and if you’re playing multiple mid-tier targets you can afford three. On FanDuel, two are possible with the cheap Tanner Roark SP route, but if you force in McCullers you’ll likely be limited to just one.

Ryan Braun (MIL) is one of the better mid-tier value targets on the slate. Braun is a bit underpriced on both sites with a solid .331 wOBA and .206 ISO against RHP since 2017. DeSclafani has been adequate against RHBs in his small sample since returning this season (.331 wOBA, .150 ISO allowed) but used to be dominant against them. With most of the mid-tier vacant on this slate, Braun stands out as one of the few values to target in all formats.

Jackie Bradley Jr. (BOS) is the main cheap target in the outfield that grades out well. He’s been fine against RHP (.303 wOBA, .162 ISO since 2017) with most of the production through power but he offers a bit of speed and most importantly is part of the offense with the highest implied total on the slate.

In tournaments most of the mid-tier and secondary high-end outfielders should go under owned with ownership flooding the Red Sox outfielders and Trout. This leaves lower ownership opportunities on guys like Justin Upton (LAA), George Springer (HOU), Rhys Hoskins (PHI) and Odubel Herrera (PHI).

Stacks

Tier One

1) Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox have a stack score that blows the rest of the teams on this slate out of the water. That’s not really a surprise given a 5.6 IRT that is more than half a run higher than any other team on the slate. The Red Sox face Jaime Barria whose 3.40 ERA doesn’t tell the whole story. While Barria has missed more bats than expected, he’s allowed 1.61 HR/9 and has a .379 xwOBA and .252 xISO.

Tier Two

2) Milwaukee Brewers

3) Los Angeles Angels

The Brewers LHBs are particularly intriguing against Anthony Desclafani who has displayed wide splits over his career, allowing a .350 wOBA and .198 ISO to LHBs.

The Angels have a large positive park shift, especially for their RHBs, playing in Fenway Park and also get an additional boost from an unfavorable umpire for starting pitchers.

Tier Three

 

4) Houston Astros

5) Philadelphia Phillies

6) Cincinnati Reds

The Astros are a difficult team to project against the Rays, who will open with a RH RP in Ryne Stanek before turning it over to long man Ryan Yarbrough (LHP). Surprisingly they have just a 4.2 IRT, but their RHBs could go underowned.

While our projections like the K upside for Roark at his price, it doesn’t mean you can’t pick on him, especially in tournaments. Roark has a .313 wOBA but his xwOBA is .341, and he’s failed to get out of the fifth inning in two straight outings, allowing a combined 10 ERs.

The Reds culminate our ranked stacks in a home matchup against Junior Guerra, who has pitched much better this season across the board. Still, his 2.82 ERA is largely the result of a .259 BABIP (much lower than league averages but it is in line with his career mark) and likely luck driven improvements in LOB% and HR/FB rate. He still has a sub-40% GB rate and 40-plus % Hard%.

MLB MLB Daily Analysis

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