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June 7 MLB DFS: Mining For Cole
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Welcome to June 7 MLB DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Baseball Premium Cliff Notes for June 7 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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01:01 Starting Pitcher
09:04 Catcher
11:47 First Base
16:33 Second Base
19:43 Third Base
23:08 Shortstop
25:34 Outfield
28:47 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 7 MLB DFS CLIFF NOTES

Starting Pitcher

Gerrit Cole (HOU) projects approximately 10 DK points higher than any other SP on this slate. Even if you think our projection is off, there’s a lot of wiggle room here for Cole to still end up as the best option for you in cash games. He’s a -180 favorite (largest on the slate) and one of three SPs with an IRTA below 4. His 8.7 K projection is 3.3 strikeouts more than any other SP on the slate, and only two other SPs even project for more than 5 Ks. Cole has been more human lately, posting an xFIP between 3.27 and 3.79 in five straight outings – consistently good but not as dominant as early in the year. He has struck out at least 7 hitters in every start but one this year, which has given him a ridiculously high floor. Throw in a favorable umpire and a Rangers lineup that will inflate strikeouts, and there’s virtually no way around Cole in cash game formats.

Unfortunately, on DK, you are actually forced to take a second SP. We have just three options outside of Cole that project for 14-plus DK points: Jalen Beeks (BOS), Frankie Montas (OAK), and Mike Leake (SEA). We’re pushing for Beeks for a couple of reasons. For starters, he’s meaningfully cheaper than both Montas and Leake. Secondly, his baseline K rates are meaningful higher. More K upside at a lower cost is tough to pass on, even if there are some risks associated with Beeks and some reasons to believe Montas and Leake will have solid outings.

Beeks is making his MLB debut. He had an okay year in his first go-around at AAA last season, striking out more than a batter an inning but posting a mediocre 3.77 FIP in 17 starts. Beeks has moved towards dominant in 10 AAA starts this season, putting up a 29.2 K-BB%. On the risk side, Beeks has been fly ball risky this year and will face a righty-heavy Detroit lineup with the wind blowing out to LC in a park that accentuates right-handed power.

Montas and Leake are more in the lower run prevention risk but lower K upside mold, and sometimes these pitchers appear safer than they really are. Montas is a Vegas darling as a -173 favorite with just a 3.7 IRTA. However, his small sample MLB numbers and Minor League numbers suggest he’s a mediocre SP at best, and one with a below average K rate.

Leake is pretty scary as his K-BB% has dropped for the second straight year, and now he’s seeing a big decline in GB rate and Hard%. On the plus side, Leake is coming off a 10 K game against this same Rays team. More importantly, he’s been the Leake of old. The BB rate concerns are gone (1 BB total over his last 5 starts) as are the GB rate concerns (mean GB rate of 55.46%). For whatever reason, though, Leake continues to allow hard-hit contact night in and night out, which is concerning.

If we were ranking SPs matchup agnostic, Cole Hamels (TEX) would be an intriguing pivot off of Cole as he has the next highest batters faced/outs baseline and the third highest K rate baseline on the slate. Unfortunately, a home matchup against the Astros leaves him tied with the second highest IRTA on the slate (5.1). He’s a fringe candidate for tournaments if you want to isolate SP skills from the matchups, something we don’t really advise doing but this is a unique slate.

Austin Pruitt (TB) is a potential full punt at $4,600 if he’s the confirmed long guy for the Rays.

Catcher

Russell Martin (TOR) is the top value behind the plate on a shortened Thursday slate. Martin not only comes with a cheap price tag ($2,800 on DK) but he’s also got a good matchup with right-hander David Hess in his home park. Hess has not been much to be frightened of in the early going, only striking out 12.6% of hitters and pitching to a 5.50 xFIP. With fewer than two other “NEAR enticing” options, Martin will likely be the bat you flood to in cash games.

The issue beyond Martin is the options don’t get any better, or cheaper. Jonathan Lucroy (OAK) is the next best option, but he’s nearing the range of strong negative value on DraftKings at $3,000. The lineup spot is bad, the park won’t be great, the only saving grace is Jason Hammel struggles with RHB (.171 ISO allowed since 2015).

Christian Vazquez (BOS) will get you exposure to the Red Sox and their 5.4 implied run total. Much like last night against Blaine Hardy, the Red Sox look to exploit a weak left-hander and a battered pen (5th worst overall via xFIP, and they have no left-handers in the pen). The lineup spot won’t be good, but Vazquez is $100 cheaper than Martin. Evan Gattis (HOU) is the only rival to Martin from a raw projection standpoint, but he’s much more expensive and draws a matchup with Cole Hamels.

First Base

Justin Smoak (TOR) and Brad Miller (SEA) duke it out at the top of the first base value chain. Smoak and the Jays have one of the best matchups available against the aforementioned Hess, and better yet we’ll get to use him from the left side of the plate. As a left-hander against RHP, Smoak has posted a .352 wOBA and .244 ISO since 2015. At just $3,400 on FanDuel and $4,300 on DraftKings he belongs in the cash game conversation.

It’s Miller though who finds himself in most of the early optimals at just $3,100 on DraftKings and $2,500 on FanDuel. Miller comes with a much less enticing run scoring environment, but his skills against RHP are more than suitable for the price tag. He’s posted a .204 ISO versus RHP since 2015. Mike Leake is striking out even less hitters (somehow), allowing more balls in the air, and even more hard contact than ever before – all recipes for disaster.

Yuli Gurriel (HOU) is just $2,600 on FanDuel and represents the second best value on that site. He’s been nothing spectacular versus LHP, and Hamels changeup neutralizes the right-handed bats largely anyway, but the price tag and lineup spot are enough to keep him in the conversation. Trey Mancini (BAL) is the site specific play available on DraftKings. He’ll get the platoon edge on Jaime Garcia, a split he’s been successful in (.174 ISO since 2015, projected at .196 in the split). At $3,300 he finds himself in some of the early optimals that don’t take advantage of Brad Miller.

Joey Gallo (TEX) would be an interesting leverage play in what is anticipated to be heavy ownership for Gerrit Cole.

Second Base

Jose Altuve (HOU) and Jonathan Schoop (BAL) are two of the best values at the second base position on both sites. Altuve comes with a much higher price tag at $5,000 on DraftKings and $4,300 on FanDuel. We’ve noted the matchup with Cole Hamels isn’t quite as enticing as some of the others on the slate, but Altuve has demolished left-handed pitching in his career and particularly in the last few seasons. He’s posted a .393 wOBA and .174 ISO since 2015. Add in positive batted ball data and an implied run total at 5.1 runs and Altuve becomes one of the “potential spends” in cash games.

Schoop is much cheaper and he too will get the platoon edge, against an even weaker arm in Jaime Garcia. Garcia has found a few more strikeouts this season, but he’s seen a sharp decline in GB% which has resulted in 1.71 HR/9 thus far. Really for Garcia, the strikeout bump has been the only good – as he’s allowed a ton of hard contact and pitched to his career worst xFIP (4.87). At $3,000 on FanDuel and $3,700 on DraftKings, Schoop is a really affordable spend.

Yangervis Solarte (TOR) actually rates better than Schoop where eligible on DraftKings. The switch hitter will get the benefit of hitting from his more powerful side, while he continues to enjoy a positive delta in batted ball data over the last fifteen days and an excellent lineup spot. At $4,000 he’ll cost you a few hundred more than Schoop, but the overall context is a bit more exciting.

Eduardo Nunez (BOS) has 2B eligibility on DraftKings. He’s a part of this Red Sox team with the highest implied run total on the slate and he’ll get the platoon edge to start on Matt Boyd. Devon Travis (TOR) is the bare minimum on FanDuel. The lineup spot isn’t great, but even a few at-bats against David Hess could cure that.

Third Base

It’s Yangervis Solarte (TOR) and Alex Bregman (HOU) at the top of the hot corner on Thursday. We mentioned Solarte’s numbers at the 2B position, but without Josh Donaldson he’s been hitting second and he’s third base eligible on both sites. As a LHB against RHP, Solarte has been quietly pretty powerful (.179 ISO since 2015) and what we’ve seen from David Hess so far is that allowing hard, aerial contact results in home runs (allowing 1.93 HR/9 thus far).

Bregman gets the oft-mentioned matchup with Cole Hamels. Hamels has had a bit of a bounce back thus far, finding the strikeout more often despite putting the ball on the ground less. The latter notion has helped from an opposing fantasy perspective, as he’s been beaten for 1.88 HR/9 aided by a massive difference in Hard-Soft%. At $4,200 on FanDuel, Bregman feels a bit too restrictive to consider but he’s the same price on DraftKings where he’s a much more reasonable spend.

There’s a decent drop after Solarte and Bregman before we stumble upon Rafael Devers (BOS) and Matt Chapman (OAK). Devers on the surface might not look like an excellent play given the left-on-left matchup with Matt Boyd, but the Tigers pen holds no left-handed relievers. While it’s not the most ideal scenario, it makes Devers a bit more of an option – particularly as part of Red Sox stacks.

Chapman is an under the radar power guy that will get the benefit of facing a RHP that is susceptible to allowing power to RHB. Put that together with the .224 ISO he’s posted versus RHP in his young career and you have a high upside potential for tournaments. At $3,900 on DraftKings and $3,000 on FanDuel though he just rates as a neutral value.

Shortstop

It’s Manny Machado (BAL) and Carlos Correa (HOU) followed by a decent drop at the shortstop position on Thursday. Machado will get a nice matchup and the platoon advantage against Jaime Garcia in Toronto. We’ve mentioned Garcia’s struggles which will be all fun for Machado, who has seen the walk rate jump, the strikeout rate decline and the power numbers rise as he’s beasting to a 170 wRC+. Even at his high price tag he’s finding his way into plenty of the early optimals.

So too is Correa, who comes at a slight discount over Machado on both sites. If you’re entertaining paying up for one of the two, we’d lean towards Machado but Correa has been phenomenal against LHP and we noted the struggles Hamels has had with the long ball this season.

Xander Bogaerts (BOS) is a bit too closely priced to the aforementioned duo to love rostering him over the pair. Although, it should be noted that he comes with the best batted ball data of the trio, and the Red Sox have the highest implied run total of the bunch.

So if not rostering one of the big three, you’ll probably fall to Marcus Semien (OAK). Semien seems to be a natural default option at a much lower price tag at $3,400 on FanDuel and $4,300 on DraftKings. We mentioned the right on right abuse that Jason Hammel is prone to taking, and Semien has been serviceable in the split (.146 ISO since 2015). On DraftKings you could look elsewhere to Eduardo Nunez (BOS) a piece of the Boston offense that won’t cost you nearly as much as Bogaerts and comes with similar upsie (given his presence on the base paths).

Outfield

Curtis Granderson (TOR) and Trey Mancini (BAL) are platoon darlings squaring off against each other in opposing leadoff spots. Granderson is stupid cheap on FanDuel at $2,400 and should be a near cash game lock on the site against David Hess. Yes, we know he’s getting older, but he’s still posted a .228 ISO versus RHP since 2015.

Mancini is OF eligible on both sites and finds himself in the early optimals at that spot on both sites. The batted ball data isn’t impressive, but for $3,300 on DraftKings and $2,600 on FanDuel it’s tough to move away from a road leadoff hitter with the platoon edge.

You can look to exploit some better skilled players beyond this duo. J.D. Martinez (BOS) again reigns supreme as one of the best projected plays on the slate with the platoon edge. He’s posted .412 wOBA to go along with a .291 ISO versus LHP since 2015. George Springer (HOU) is perhaps the only other outfielder that can match Martinez’ upside on the slate, and he is a bit cheaper in his matchup with Cole Hamels. He rates as a top five value on both sites.

Mark Trumbo (BAL) and Adam Jones (BAL) will both get the platoon edge and are mid-priced options on an Orioles team that doesn’t project as one of the top scoring offenses on the slate, but their price tags make them really accessible and great fantasy options. While neither has been particularly potent against LHP in the last few years, Trumbo has posted a .204 ISO versus them.

Dustin Fowler (OAK) and Teoscar Hernandez (TOR) both have some appeal as cheaper options that could get looks near the top of their respective orders. And Joey Gallo (TEX) is OF eligible on both sites, and as we mentioned is an excellent leverage play against Cole given a .301 ISO versus RHP since 2015.

Stacks

Tier One

1) Houston Astros

2) Toronto Blue Jays

Hamels has had an odd season. His K rate has bounced back, and we’re starting to see him work deeper into games. With all that said, the GB is down, and his 5.31 FIP is a result of that low GB rate and career high 44.3 Hard% leading to 1.88 HR/9. It’s a tall task for Hamels to all of a sudden force weaker contact against an Astros team with an above average contact rate and third ranking in wRC+ against RHP.

The Jays are tied with Houston for the second highest IRT on the slate at 5.1. They’re at home against David Hess, who has just four MLB starts to his name. In those starts, Hess has run pretty pure, allowing just a .236 BABIP and strainding 90.5% of runners faced, allowing him to have a respectable 3.47 ERA despite a 5.64 FIP. ZiPS is projecting a 6.03 ROS ERA and our baselines on him are arguably on the conservative side of things.

Tier Two

3) Boston Red Sox

4) Baltimore Orioles

While the Red Sox are in the second tier of stacks, they possess the highest IRT on the slate at 5.4. It’s difficult to tell what to do with Matthew Boyd, who has a respectable 3.85 FIP and .297 xwOBA but has a really high FB rate and high Hard%. Something doesn’t quite add up, and some regression is likely headed the way of Boyd in terms of his surface statistics, especially given the favorable wind and park environment for right-handed hitters.

The Orioles are in the second best run scoring environment on the slate, inside in the Rogers Centre. They have a plethora of decent power upside RHBs to face LHP Jaime Garcia, who is coming off of a disaster start, his third such outing over his past six starts.

Tier Three

5) Oakland Athletics

We’re big fans of Oakland’s power upside against Jason Hammel, a RHP who consistently allows hard-hit aerial contact. His current 44.1 Hard% is the highest of his career. Oakland playing at home, which doesn’t guaranteed nine innings and is a favorable pitching environment, is the main reason they are separated from the tier one and two stacks.

Contrarian Stack:

Texas Rangers: Cole will be massive chalk tonight and for good reason. On these short slates, it can pay to be contrarian, especially when the entire slate can shift around one key point. It’s 90 degrees in Texas, an elite hitting environment. Cole has been a bit more human lately. And most importantly, it’s baseball; the game to game variance is extraordinarily high. This stack is unlikely to hit, but if it does hit, you’ll be so leveraged that you’ll flip the odds of profiting in your favor quickly.