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June 5 MLB DFS: Marcus Down for the A’s
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Welcome to June 5 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium Cliff Notes for June 5 MLB DFS along with our LIVE Premium Chat. 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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00:54 Starting Pitcher
16:20 Catcher
19:27First Base
24:10Second Base
27:57 Third Base
30:01 Shortstop
31:33 Outfield
36:22Stacks

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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 5 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

Starting Pitcher

Sometimes it can be difficult to pay up for pitching on a full slate given the amount of offensive options and generally some good value pivots at pitcher. However, Max Scherzer (WAS) has an absurd projection that squeezes him into optimals on both sites. We’re currently projecting 11.3 strikeouts, which is 3.3 higher than any other SP on the slate. After a career high 34.4 K% last season, Scherzer has managed to up that to 38.7% this season; his SwStr rate of 17.5% and F-Strike% of 67.4% are both career bests. Scherzer has just a 2.7 IRTA facing a Rays team that loses the DH and possesses zero bats with a wOBA split projection of .315-plus, which is pretty remarkable.

Corey Kluber (CLE) is next in line. He’s pitched really well recently (even for him), putting together three straight outings with a sub-2 xFIP, combining for 27 strikeouts. The issue with Kluber is that he is priced somewhere near Scherzer, and we simply have Scherzer in a different stratosphere – pegging him with a higher win probability, lower ER expectation, higher K expectation, and more favorable context elsewhere (Milwaukee gains the DH for example, while Rays lose it).

Our favorite value pitcher on both sites is Kyle Hendricks (CHC). We don’t yet have a total on this game, but it’s a cooler evening in Chicago with a slight breeze in from CF. With Hendricks a large favorite (-200), we’re expecting an IRTA in the low 3s. Hendricks faces a Philly team that ranks 21st in wRC+ against RHP and has the highest K% in that split (26.9%).

In a similar price range, both Andrew Heaney (LAA) and Sean Newcomb (ATL) are pivots, pitching out West in some bigger parks. In a small sample last year, Heaney had a strong mid-20s K rate. That’s carried over to this season, but Heaney has gotten the contact he allows in better shape – upping his GB rate while dramatically cutting down his Hard-Soft%.

Newcomb has an elite matchup against the Padres who will bolster opposing pitchers’ K rates. The tiny concern here is an unfavorable umpire and reduced K rates of lates. Both are minor concerns but are worth noting given that Newcomb is priced a little bit higher than either Hendricks or Heaney.

On FD, you can add Carlos Martinez (STL) into this tier. He’s really underpriced for his return from the DL and pops as a potential option even with us docking his baselines batters faced and outs categories given that he only got up to 63 pitches in a rehab start. It’s a great spot for Martinez to return, as a hefty home favorite against a Marlins team that is 28th in wRC+ against RHP and strikes out at an above average rate. You can make a similar case for Madison Bumgarner (SF) as well, but we prefer Martinez.

There are some cheap options on DK, but all come with one concern or another. The top two rated cheap plays both have longevity concerns in Jason Vargas (NYM) and Steven Wright (BOS). Vargas has a favorable home matchup against an Orioles team that loses the DH, but even when he goes right he seems capped at 5 innings. He hasn’t surpassed that mark yet this season, even after facing just 19 batters and allowing no runs during his last start.

Wright has been pitching in relief, so it’s also difficult to lay a high IP baseline down on him. However, the fact he is a knuckle baller does make it a bit more likely he could ramp up his outing duration quickly than the usual starting pitcher. He faces a pretty tame Tigers lineup.

Two options that are huge run prevention risks are Jose Urena (MIA) and Marco Estrada (TOR). Urena has pitched surprisingly well this season (20.1 K%, up recently and a .301 wOBA allowed). Estrada has not pitched well and is in a pretty terrifying spot with a 5.5 IRTA, but there is some okay K upside here for an SP at a full punt price ($4,100).

James Paxton (SEA) is priced in between the Scherzer/Kluber tier and Hendricks. We skipped over him as he’s not really a cash option for us in a difficult matchup against the Astros, but the price actually isn’t bad for the skills he’s flashed. Paxton has a 2.97 FIP, buoyed by a 32 K%.

Other options that don’t project well but are at least intriguing enough to consider for GPP are Patrick Corbin (ARI) (matching his early season K rate, but batted ball/velocity issues have hurt overall production), Ross Stripling (LAD) (insane combination of K% and Hard-Soft% his last several starts), and Zach Eflin (PHI) (velocity is up, really difficult to know where to set K rate baselines given a massive improvement in a small sample this year, up to 25.7% from 12.5% last year).

Catcher

Gary Sanchez (NYY) is once again the top projected catcher and likely by a wide margin. Sanchez faces Marco Estrada who has allowed a .377 wOBA and .227 ISO against RHBs since 2017.  The Yankees have one of the highest implied totals on the slate (5.5) with a road trip to Toronto. Sanchez is clearly the top option at catcher and he’s reasonably priced on both sites. The slate requires spending big at starting pitching which may make Sanchez an afterthought. If you can afford him, he’s a very strong play.

There are certainly ways to save salary at this position which may come in handy with the presence of high-end pitching. Jonathan Lucroy (OAK), Robinson Chirinos (TEX), and Russell Martin (TOR) are the most prominent ways to save funds as both get the platoon edge in good hitters’ parks. Lucroy has the softer matchup against Matt Moore who has allowed a .346 wOBA and .186 ISO against RHBs since the start of last season despite spending all of last season in an elite pitchers’ park in the National League. Chirinos is the most skilled hitter of the group with a .406 wOBA and .231 ISO against LHP since 2017, but he faces Sean Manaea who is the most skilled pitcher of the three. Sabathia, who Martin faces, has been vulnerable to power (.171 ISO against RHBs since 2017) but better at limiting production (.316 wOBA allowed). Martin is the more skilled hitter with typically the better lineup spot but Lucroy’s matchup and hitting on the road negates much of the difference in skill. These three are $3,000 or below and provide a nice source of salary relief.

Tournament alternatives at the catcher position come in the form of one-off power options or parts of stacks. Devin Mesoraco (NYM), Willson Contreras (CHC), Yasmani Grandal (LAD), and Buster Posey (SF) hold the kind of skill sets to make for contrarian plays on a slate that ownership figures to drive towards punt plays or Gary Sanchez.

First Base

Anthony Rizzo (CHC) leads the projections at first base as he faces Zach Eflin backed up by a bullpen that on paper projects as one of the weakest in the league but has wildly out-performed expectations early on this year. Eflin’s a difficult pitcher to pin down baselines on early in the season as he’s throwing 1.5 mph harder than he ever has and is generating more swings and misses. He’s still allowing a ton of aerial contact and hard contact, but he’s likely a better pitcher than the one we’ve seen the last few years that allowed a .390 wOBA and .277 ISO to LHBs since the start of 2017. With cool temperatures and the wind blowing in at Wrigley, Rizzo isn’t an exciting play. He is slightly underpriced at $3,900 on FanDuel and $4,500 on DraftKings which makes him a reasonable target.

Greg Bird (NYY) once again profiles as a strong value target on both sites. Estrada is better at limiting wOBA to LHBs (.315 wOBA allowed since 2017) but has yielded a ton of ISO (.213) in that same span. We project Bird as a really strong hitter against RHP who is aided by hitting in the middle of a Yankees’ lineup filled with patience and power around him. He’s likely the preferred cash game target on this slate.

Matt Olson (OAK) and Mitch Moreland (BOS) are also secondary values. Olson is left on left but Matt Moore has yielded a ridiculous .450 wOBA and .250 ISO to LHBs over the last 230 plate appearances. Olson is not a great hitter against LHP but the big park shift, the hefty implied total, and Moore’s struggles against LHBs make Olson an acceptable target. We prefer him in tournaments over cash games. Moreland is expensive on DraftKings but certainly in the cash game conversation on FanDuel where the price is down and he’s hitting in the middle of the order for a Red Sox offense with a 5.5 implied total. He’ll face Artie Lewicki who is making a bullpen spot start after the Tigers just played a double header on Monday.

Trey Mancini (BAL), Kendrys Morales (TOR), and Justin Bour (MIA) are interesting one-off power targets at cheap price tags. On DraftKings, Mancini may make his way into the cash game conversation as a cheap target if he garners a good lineup spot.

 

Second Base

Jed Lowrie (OAK) is a new face atop the projections at second base. The A’s are getting a monstrous park shift in Texas where temperatures in the high 80s/low 90s should provide good weather for offense. They also get to face Matt Moore who has been among the worst starters in baseball the last few seasons. The challenge with Lowrie is the price tag doesn’t particularly fit the slate well. He’s priced fairly and a strong play but a bit cost prohibitive to pair with Max Scherzer.

There are site specific values that save some salary and fit the slate a bit better.

On FanDuel, Eduardo Nunez (BOS) has been hitting fifth or sixth in the Red Sox lineup with all the injuries of late. Nunez has posted a solid .344 wOBA, .152 ISO against RHP since 2017 and he adds some speed upside. We have a more pessimistic offensive baseline on Nunez than what he’s done in recent years and he still grades out as a solid play thanks to the matchup with a Tigers’ bullpen game that has the Red Sox with a 5.5 implied total.

Asdrubal Cabrera (NYM) is also pretty affordable at $3,100 and has a plus matchup with Alex Cobb and the Orioles bullpen albeit in a below average offensive environment.

On DraftKings, Isiah Kiner-Falefa (TEX) isn’t a great hitter but has earned good lineup spots of late and is just $3,200 in the best offensive environment on the slate with the warm weather in Texas. He fits the slate fine as a pure punt.

Matt Carpenter (STL) is a bit more expensive at $3,900 but has turned the corner in May and gets a favorable matchup against Jose Urena.

Jonathan Schoop (BAL) has a bit more individual upside in his own talent and faces Jason Vargas who has allowed a .330 wOBA and .184 ISO to RHBs since the start of 2017. Schoop is only $3,500.   

Either Zack Cozart (LAA) or Ian Kinsler (LAA) should lead off against Brad Keller and the Royals poor bullpen behind him. Both guys are $3,500 and thus fit the slate a bit.

Third Base

Kris Bryant (CHC), Matt Chapman (OAK), and Nolan Arenado (COL) lead the way at third base. Chapman is the really intriguing option here with a soft price tag ($2,900 on FanDuel, $4,100 on DraftKings) against Matt Moore in Texas. Chapman has posted a .310 wOBA and .184 ISO against LHP since the start of last season. The power is particularly intriguing in Texas where it should play up. Chapman is our primary target on FanDuel due to the price tag.

Rafael Devers (BOS) is the primary target on DraftKings where he’s just $3,300 for a Red Sox team with an implied total of 5.5 runs. Devers has had modest success against RHP (.304 wOBA) but hit for good power (.191 ISO) at the big league level. The price is the same as Chapman on FanDuel and he’s very much in play over there as well, but our projections view Chapman as the more advanced hitter currently. With the utility spot on FanDuel it’s entirely possible to play both.

Adrian Beltre (TEX) is also cheap on both sites but comes with a tougher matchup against Manaea (.326 wOBA, .175 ISO allowed to RHBs) for a team with a lower implied total (4.6 runs). Beltre is also just off the DL and at his older age likely not as good of a hitter as Devers or Chapman for DFS purposes. He’s acceptable as a secondary cash game target but we prefer exposure in tournaments.

Miguel Andujar (NYY) continues to make sense as an affordable bottom of the order part of Yankees’ stacks in tournaments.

Shortstop

Marcus Semien (OAK), Francisco Lindor (CLE), Xander Bogaerts (BOS), and Manny Machado (BAL) top the projections at shortstop by more than a point before the next tier. Semien is the most intriguing cash game target on both sites with more of a mid-tier price tag than the rest of the high end options. Semien has a solid power baseline upside against LHP (.183 ISO) and gets that great matchup with Matt Moore. Bogaerts makes the most sense as a part of stacks while Machado/Lindor are better one-off targets in GPPs.

For cash games, we’re largely focused on salary relief at the shortstop position if you can’t quite squeeze in Semien. On DraftKings, Eduardo Nunez (BOS) is available to us with a very friendly price tag. We covered his appeal at second base.

On FanDuel, his teammate Brock Holt (BOS) is one of the few shortstops available priced below $3,000. Holt doesn’t get a good lineup spot but FanDuel’s scoring with the heavy emphasis on Runs/RBIs will really helps prop up his projection. Holt is willing to run a bit at the bottom of the lineup and hits close enough to the middle that he gets some RBI opportunities. At $2,800, he’s your best target if wanting to play Scherzer.

Outfield

Once again the top of the outfield rankings are loaded with Yankees bats. Giancarlo Stanton (NYY) and Aaron Judge‘s (NYY) power against RHP profiles well against Marco Estrada‘s .200+ ISO allowed to RHBs in recent years. They both project well ahead of Charlie Blackmon (COL), Mike Trout (LAA), and Bryce Harper (WAS). If spending up in the outfield, our projections prefer a Yankees bat.

The slate is loaded with outfielders in good spots but most of them are priced accordingly. The next tier includes Khris Davis (OAK), J.D. Martinez (BOS), and Andrew Benintendi (BOS) who are all on teams with implied totals approaching 5.5. It’s difficult to argue against any of these options though our projections prefer the Yankees’ power upside with similar implied totals. On FanDuel, there is a steeper drop-off on the price tag of Khris Davis which makes him a viable cash game target.

The slate brings the need for salary relief. On FanDuel, there are a plethora of affordable options in the outfield. Delino Deshields (TEX) typically has hit lead off against LHP and is just $2,800. He’s a bit boom-or-bust since he’s so speed dependent so Carlos Gonzalez (COL) and Michael Conforto (NYM) are better hitters at similar price tags in favorable matchups. Conforto (.396 wOBA/.248 ISO against RHP since 2017) has the best skill set of the group. Conforto’s teammate, Jay Bruce (NYM), is only $2,500 and has posted a .366 wOBA and .245 ISO against RHP since the start of 2017. Jason Heyward (CHC) is another viable source of salary relief at just $2,500 and hitting second for the Cubs of late. Heyward has been better than you’d probably think against RHP since the start of last season (.329 wOBA, .144 ISO). Trey Mancini (BAL) is also just $2,300 if he’s in the lead off spot against Jason Vargas.

Then you have the A’s cheap bottom of the order OFs like Chad Pinder (OAK) or Stephen Piscotty (OAK) who make great candidates for GPPs but are also viable as a cash game punt play on the strength of the park shift and Matt Moore‘s struggles with power.

Some of those same names above are also affordable on DraftKings. Deshields, Heyward, Mancini, Piscotty, and Bruce are all below $4,000 but the pricing gap from the top options isn’t quite as severe.

Stacks

Tier One

1) New York Yankees

The Yankees let us down last night, but we should get their lineup at full strength tonight. While the gap between them and the other offenses is much closer tonight, they do still separate themselves from the pack. This time they’re at home against Marco Estrada, who allowed 1.50 HR/9 last season and is currently allowing 1.84 HR/9.

Tier Two

2) Oakland Athletics

3) Boston Red Sox

4) Chicago Cubs

Oakland gets a big positive park shift playing in Texas where they’ll take on Matt Moore, who has an xwOBA of .379, a year after posting an xwOBA of .364. Given the combination of a power prone SP and a power filled A’s lineup, this park shift is particularly significant.

The Red Sox offense that ranks first in wRC+ and ISO against RHP has a favorable home matchup against Artie Lewicki and the Tigers. Lewicki has six appearances, all in relief this season. While he is a long reliever, he likely won’t pitch deep into this game, which means the Sox offense should get plenty of at bats against a subpar Tigers bullpen.

The final option in this tier is a variant Cubs offense that has had a volatile scoring distribution this season, which is excellent for tournaments (although that’s not necessarily predictive of future scoring distributions). Opposing pitcher Zach Eflin has made big leaps in velocity and K rate this season, but his batted ball data is still horrific. Over a small sample, it’s tough to tell which is more likely to be the outlier – the K rate or the batted ball data.

Tier Three

 

5) Colorado Rockies

We rarely see the Rockies rate so well as a stack outside of Coors Field. However, they’re still in a good hitting environment for this matchup in Cincinnati. More importantly, they face Anthony Desclafani, who is making his first MLB appearance since 2016.

Tier Four

6) Texas Rangers

The Rangers are home versus a struggling Sean Manaea who has allowed a Hard% of 40.9% or higher in five consecutive outings. This is not the ballpark to get away with that type of contact. Manaea came out of the gate strong. While a good chunk of that was luck, the contact quality and low K rate recently have come out of nowhere and are red flags. The surface statistics have followed suit. Manaea has allowed 3 ERs, 4 ERs (4 times), and 6 ERs over his last six starts.

Tier Five

7) Cleveland Indians

8) Cincinnati Reds

9) Toronto Blue Jays

10) Washington Nationals

11) Los Angeles Dodgers

12) St. Louis Cardinals

13) Baltimore Orioles

14) New York Mets