Welcome to June 4 MLB DFS action. You’ll find Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium Cliff Notes for June 4 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!
03:02 Starting Pitcher
14:55 Stacks/Tournament Thoughts
- 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.
MLB DFS Optimizer Tutorial
Our MLB DFS Optimizer is live. Arturo put together an overview with MLB DFS Optimizer Cliffnotes that walk through the various features and frequently asked questions (FAQs) from customers during testing. We have also produced a basic optimizer tutorial video on YouTube (linked below) as well as a power user optimizer tutorial for the most advanced tournament players on how to get the most out of the optimizer. You can join the #MLB channel in slack if you have additional questions.
June 4 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES
Tuesday’s giant 15 game slate is loaded with high-end starting pitching. Stephen Strasburg (WSH), Blake Snell (TB), Noah Syndergaard (NYM), and Chris Paddack (SD) all come with implied totals at 3.3 or lower as strong favorites.
Strasburg projects above the rest as he faces a White Sox offense that loses the DH and has the second highest K Rate in baseball against RHP. While Strasburg is the top dog on the slate, Syndergaard is the top value. We remain optimistic on Syndergaard regaining his production from years past. His K Rate (24.5 percent vs. 24.1), BB Rate (5.4 vs. 6.1) and GB Rate (47.2 vs. 49) are all similar to last season when he posted a 3.03 ERA. The big difference for Syndergaard is a big jump in hard contact allowed (31.8 percent vs. 21.9) and an overall drop in swinging strike percentage. With the velocity the same it looks like Syndergaard is battling some location issues and then some pitch selection issues with lower slider usage that are contributing to the disappointing results. The rest of it is just poor luck. The Giants rank 27th in wRC+ against RHP this year and present another favorable matchup for Syndergaard. It’s possible to pair Syndergaard with Strasburg in cash games on DraftKings.
If you’re uncomfortable with Syndergaard’s recent performance, Chris Paddack (SD) gets a home matchup with a Phillies’ lineup that may be further watered down by the absence of Andrew McCutchen who left last night’s game early. Paddack has been the opposite of Syndergaard in regards to luck. His ERA (2.40) is well below the FIP (3.41) but he’s actually allowed far more hard contact (46.8 percent). Paddack gets a slightly better home environment and has a better defense behind him but the profile between Paddack and Syndergaard is quite similar.
Blake Snell (TB) gets lost in the shuffle among the group because he doesn’t typically work quite as deep but he’s as dominant as anyone. It’s the primary reason he doesn’t project quite as well as Strasburg with a similar price tag.
Madison Bumgarner (SF) and Kyle Hendricks (CHC) project as a solid second tier of starters. Both pitchers work deep into the game but don’t carry quite the same strikeout upside of the tier above them. With Hendricks’ price tag elevated, his profile is caught a bit in limbo. He’ll need to work deep to capture his upside and he has a slew of high strikeout rate competitors to best. Bumgarner is a bit cheaper and gets a Mets lineup that does project as a bit more strikeout prone with all their injuries. The price gap makes Bumgarner a more reasonable alternative in all formats.
Shane Bieber (CLE), Masahiro Tanaka (NYY), Luis Castillo (CIN), and Hyun Jin Ryu (LAD) represent the next group of starters that all project as overpriced on both sites. The matchups are difficult here for everyone but Tanaka and even the Jays project as a more contact-heavy lineup these days.
Eduardo Rodriguez (BOS), Griffin Canning (LAA), Chase Anderson (MIL), and Jerad Eickhoff (PHI) represent the value tier and more likely SP2 candidates if trying to roster high-end stacks on this slate. All of these starters have above average matchups. Rodriguez has the higher ceiling but Anderson and Eickhoff have elite matchups and cheaper price tags.
Drew Smyly (TEX) is one other cheap option with higher strikeout upside but huge run prevention issues against the Orioles in Texas.
1) Boston Red Sox
2) Los Angeles Dodgers
3) Texas Rangers
4) New York Yankees
The Red Sox carry the highest implied total on the slate with a game against Glenn Sparkman and a weak Royals bullpen. It’s a park downgrade for the Red Sox on the road but a guaranteed nine innings coupled with relatively affordable price tags on their starts makes them a solid stack selection. They don’t have any clear cut values so ownership shouldn’t get out of control.
The Dodgers are a more expensive version of the Red Sox on DraftKings but similarly affordable on FanDuel. They’re also guaranteed nine innings on the road but are getting a park upgrade. With all the high-end starting pitching we expect both the Red Sox and Dodgers to carry more modest ownership.
The Rangers are the most affordable offense of this top tier and especially so on FanDuel where we expect ownership to contend and possibly surpass the top two offenses. Without Joey Gallo, the upside on the offense takes a hit but it’s also thrust some more value into key lineup spots.
The Yankees offense is far more threatening against LHP and they get a contact oriented Clayton Richard shifting to the American League East. This is another strong matchup with price tags similar to the Dodgers-Red Sox that may keep ownership slightly softer given the lower implied total.
5) Washington Nationals
6) Baltimore Orioles
7) Tampa Bay Rays
The Nationals offense profiles as a possible under-the-radar secondary target with a similar implied total as the Yankees and improved depth against RHP with Matt Adams back in the lineup. Reynaldo Lopez gives up a ton of aerial (51 percent fly ball rate) hard contact (39 percent hard hit rate) and is backed up by a below average bullpen.
The Orioles offense is one of the cheaper stacks with an implied total in the mid-5s which should draw some attention. The ownership should be more modest on DraftKings than on FanDuel given the pricing but guys like Hanser Alberto, Pedro Severino, and Keon Broxton are cheap ways to access the best game environment on the slate.
The Rays are an interesting stack option as their offense profiles far better against RHP but their lineups against LHP introduce a ton of cheap options into premier lineup spots. Willy Adames, Daniel Robertson, and Travis d’Arnaud all get big boosts in projection with a better lineup spot against LHP. In higher stakes tournaments on DraftKings we expect the Rays will be one of the more popular stacks given the ease with which you can access high-end SP alongside them. Given the unfamiliarity of the names, they may be a bit under-owned in lower stakes GPPs.
8) Milwaukee Brewers
9) Chicago Cubs
10) Atlanta Braves
This third tier of options should see minimal ownership given their heavier price tags relative to the top tier options. The Brewers have the highest offensive upside given the best park environment for power and the lack of depth in the Marlins bullpen.
Cincinnati Reds – The Reds are affordable and their lineup depth takes a bit of a hit against LHP so their stack score doesn’t contend with the top offenses on this slate. Genesis Cabrera has really struggled at AAA and the big league level with walks and homers. The Reds are a nice pivot from the Rays as a cheap stack target to pair with high-end starting pitching.
Gary Sanchez (NYY) represents the top projected scorer at catcher. Sanchez’s base production and upside are simply very different than any other catcher. That’s particularly the case against LHP, where Sanchez holds an absurd .372 wOBA and .305 ISO baselines. The main hurdle for Sanchez is a price tag that’s above $5,000 on DraftKings. Even then, we view him as an incredible tournament play.
In cash games, our optimals will side with the salary relief that Travis d’Arnaud (TB) brings to the table. d’Arnaud is $2,800 on DraftKings, and with the platoon edge he carries a .305 wOBA and .159 ISO baselines. Those are competent baselines relative to where he’s priced. All in all, d’Arnaud just fits what we’re trying to do in this slate.
Will Smith (LAD) is a competent alternative that’s priced just above d’Arnaud on DraftKings.
Yasmani Grandal (MIL) and Robinson Chirinos (HOU) are additional targets with ISO baselines well above .200 that are viable in tournaments.
The top projection at the position belongs to a catcher, as Gary Sanchez (NYY) is projecting well above every first basemen on FanDuel. Sanchez’s base production also tops the first base position, in particular his massive .305 ISO vs. LHP. He’s priced appropriately on FanDuel but he’s viable in all formats.
On DraftKings, Cody Bellinger (LAD) projects as the top first baseman. His $5,800 price tag is a difficult one to fit in cash games, but as usual Bellinger is a strong tournament play. The same can be said about teammate Max Muncy (LAD). Muncy’s $5,300 price tag on DraftKings takes him outside of the cash game conversation, but his $3,800 price tag on FanDuel puts him in play across all formats. The Dodgers carry a 5.4 IRT tonight, and Muncy is one of their elite power hitters (.240 ISO baseline vs. RHP).
Our optimals are going for salary relief on DraftKings with the likes of Matt Olson (OAK) and Joey Votto (CIN). Both of these options are priced under $4,000, but at this point we’re siding with Olson, who’s shown a strong ability to hit for power at every level. Olson’s ISO baseline vs. RHP is .272. He’s also viable on FanDuel, as well as Matt Adams (WSH). Adams projects a bit stronger than Olson because his team projects to have more success (5.1 IRT).
Votto has declined, and the signs of a bounce back are waning. On top of this, he has to deal with a LHP tonight.
Luke Voit (NYY) and Anthony Rizzo (CHC) are additional high end targets with power upside to consider in tournaments. Trey Mancini (BAL) doesn’t have the hitting pedigree as the options above, but his context (hitting third in Arlington against Drew Smyly) is as good as they come.
Mike Moustakas (MIL) is the top projected scorer at second base. Moustakas’ price tag is appropriate, but his power stroke (.278 ISO baseline vs. RHP) makes him a viable tournament option.
The next in line option at the position is DJ LeMahieu (NYY). LeMahieu’s context is fantastic, but his event upside lags well behind other targets at the position.
In fact, we view Ozzie Albies (ATL) and Rougned Odor (TEX) as underpriced targets and both carry more event upside than LeMahieu. Their projections ultimately lag behind LeMahieu because their contexts aren’t as strong. Still, priced at or under the average cost of a roster spot around the industry, these are the options we’re siding with in cash games.
Hanser Alberto (BAL) and Daniel Robertson (TB) (on DraftKings) are punt options to consider in cash games or as part of stacks in tournaments. Alberto projects to be an awful hitter, but leading off on the road in Arlington creates a strong projection relative to where he’s priced.
Rafael Devers (BOS) leads the way in projection at third base. The Red Sox are on the road in Kansas City and carry a slate high 5.7 IRT. Devers has been their most productive hitter of late, posting a 30.4% HHR over the L15 days. He now hits in a top four lineup spot in this Red Sox offense. There’s a lot to like about Devers, including his FanDuel price tag ($3,700), but we don’t view him as a priority spend in this slate.
Kris Bryant (CHC) is another power hitter that’s in a fine spot tonight, but his price tag is too appropriate to consider in cash games.
Justin Turner (LAD) is a viable in-between option to consider in all formats. Turner isn’t as powerful of a hitter as the high end bats at the position, but his price tag reflects that. Josh Donaldson (ATL) carries a similar price tag and his base production is stronger than Turner’s against LHP. Unfortunately for Donaldson, PNC Park is a difficult one for righties to generate power, and that’s the reason his projection takes a hit.
If going the punt route, Daniel Robertson (TB) is a recommended option, particularly for those that are playing cash games. Robertson doesn’t have much upside, but hitting fifth on the road with the platoon edge is a fine context for a punt. Ultimately, it’s the strong context that’s driving his projection.
Jonathan Villar (BAL) is the top projected scorer at shortstop. The Orioles are being implied to score 5.4 runs, which is highly unusual. In fact, in most of their games against the Rockies in Coors Field, their implied total was still just under 5. The reason for their uncanny total is they’re facing Drew Smyly in Arlington, and Smyly has been a disaster. Thus far this season, he’s posted a 6.98 ERA accompanied by a 6.67 FIP. This is a great spot for the Orioles, and Villar is hitting second. His $3,400 price tag on FanDuel isn’t a difficult fit for cash games.
However, Villar is $4,800 on DraftKings, and that’s a difficult tag to fit in this slate. The same thing can be said about Trea Turner (WSH), Gleyber Torres (NYY), Francisco Lindor (CLE) or any other high end shortstop in a good spot tonight. They’re strong tournament plays, but in cash games we’re going the punt route.
It’s not pretty, but Willy Adames (TB) can be rostered for $3,400 on DraftKings and $2,500 on FanDuel. We’re projecting Adames to hit cleanup vs. a southpaw on the road, and that along his punt price tags are the main selling points here.
Joc Pederson (LAD) and Cody Bellinger (LAD) carry the top projections in this slate regardless of hitting position. Pederson slightly edges Bellinger out in projection, and that’s because he’s leading off rather than hitting cleanup. Ultimately, these two are incredible hitters with the platoon edge, and Taylor Clarke has posted a 14.9% K rate at the major league level through four appearances. ZiPS is projecting a 5.19 ERA for the rookie pitcher. It’s a terrible spot for the young arm, having to face one of the top offenses in the league. These two are priced out of reach for cash games on DraftKings, but Pederson’s $3,800 price tag on FanDuel coupled with his immense projection makes him the strongest value available.
Mookie Betts (BOS), J.D. Martinez (BOS), Tommy Pham (TB) and Christian Yelich (MIL) are additional high end outfielders with plenty of upside to consider for tournaments. Betts and Martinez are on the road facing the Royals pitching staff, which is a great set up for them. They’re viable in cash games, too.
Avisail Garcia (TB) misses the cut of high end outfielder as his base production simply isn’t as strong as the hitters above, but he’s more affordable on FanDuel. He’s a strong cash game play on that site.
Khris Davis (OAK) and Shohei Ohtani (LAA) have struggled to get it going of late but their price tags on DraftKings are well under $4,000. Their contexts aren’t perfect but we love where they’re priced. They’re viable in all formats. The same goes for Kyle Schwarber (CHC), who hasn’t struggled of late (36% HHR over the L15 days) but for some reason remains priced under $4,000.
The strongest punt route at the position on FanDuel is Danny Santana (TEX). Santana’s ISO baseline vs. RHP (.173) is a fine one relative to where he’s priced, but it’s his context (hitting second, switch hitter, facing Dylan Bundy) that’s elevating his projection to close to 13 FanDuel points.