Friday, June 11, gets the weekend started off right with a 13-game main slate chock-full of top-shelf pitching and excellent offensive matchups. Let’s get into the top MLB DFS picks for pitchers and stacks for Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel.
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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks, Friday, June 11
The forecast has late-afternoon rain in Cincinnati with clearing in the early evening right around the scheduled first pitch. Southpaw Kyle Freeland will be on the bump for the Rockies, and the Reds have an eye-popping 5.9 implied run total. Freeland missed nearly seven weeks to start the season recovering from a shoulder injury, and he has seen his effectiveness decline in each of his three starts. Across these 13 innings he has allowed eight walks and two home runs, which are the main contributors to his 6.23 ERA and 2.08 WHIP. Though he has never been much of a strikeout pitcher, the paltry seven this season has certainly not helped his cause.
The Reds are not particularly great against lefties, with the worst wRC+ this year and a bottom-three figure over the last three seasons with their current roster. Fortunately, the production and fantasy upside are consolidated in Nicholas Castellanos ($24 Yahoo salary), Eugenio Suarez ($15) and Tyler Stephenson ($13). While there is a slight weather risk, the byproduct of heavy humidity and temperatures in the mid-80s should create a positive home run environment. If later forecasts bring worsening news, then by all means pivot to a safer situation.
Matt Shoemaker is likely thrilled at the prospects of facing any team other than Kansas City. After back-to-back starts against the Royals, lasting just 4.2 innings with 15 earned runs and 13 of 18 baserunners scoring, Shoemaker is in desperate need of a reset. In 50.2 innings this season he has allowed 43 runs, though 23 of those have occurred in his three matchups with Kansas City.
Houston is firing on all cylinders right now, averaging 7.3 runs per game over their last six games. Michael Brantley is back after missing a couple weeks with a hamstring injury, so the only Astros regulars who are still sidelined are Aledmys Diaz and platoon catcher Jason Castro.
Since 2019, Shoemaker has been nailed by lefties (.217 ISO) and righties (.192 ISO) alike over 468 matchups. Yordan Alvarez, Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa and Yuli Gurriel are solid power options for the Astros. Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley are the on-base guys, and outfielders Kyle Tucker and Myles Straw are the discount dandies for differentiation.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. RHP Michael Foltynewicz — 4.9 implied runs
Hat tip to Michael Foltynewicz, who has allowed just two dingers over his last five starts spanning 26.1 innings. However, the real kicker is that he is pitching to contact and has managed only nine strikeouts in that timeframe. Clearly that dog won’t hunt against the Dodgers. Now that Max Muncy is healthy, Los Angeles is back to fielding a veritable All-Star lineup on a daily basis. With power and patience up and down the batting order, this is not going to be a fun series for the Rangers.
Muncy, Cody Bellinger and Mookie Betts are the top MLB DFS picks here, with Justin Turner only a tick behind. Chris Taylor is on a tear with hits in nine of his last 11 starts. Gavin Lux and A.J. Pollock will supply some late-slate savings and differentiation. Finally, whoever is behind the plate should warrant strong consideration on sites requiring a catcher.
Top Target: RHP Brandon Woodruff vs. Pittsburgh Pirates — 2.7 implied runs
Brandon Woodruff is in the midst of a career season. He is fourth with a 1.42 ERA, second with a paltry 0.74 baserunners per inning and 12th with a career-high 10.9 strikeouts per nine innings. It looks like Max Scherzer and the Nationals will be rained out for a second consecutive night, so just lock in Woodruff and move on.
Pittsburgh is a bottom-five offense against right-handed pitching. Even if Colin Moran is able to rejoin the lineup, his high strikeout rate will mitigate his power bat. That leaves Adam Frazier, Ke’Bryan Hayes and Gregory Polanco as the only above-average batsmen in the Pirates’ projected lineup.
Secondary Option: RHP Shohei Ohtani at Arizona Diamondbacks — 4.1 implied runs
The only knock against Shohei Ohtani is that he is unlikely to exceed six innings or 90 pitches. Of course, this makes sense for the Angels, as his health is paramount considering he is their best pitcher and hitter now that Mike Trout is on the shelf. On Yahoo and DraftKings, rolling with Ohtani is an easy decision as SP2 or even the primary pitcher. FanDuel is more of a decision point since quality starts matter and Ohtani has only reached that threshold twice in eight starts. The strikeout upside is there with 60 in 42.1 innings this season, plus he will be facing a pitcher instead of a designated hitter for the first time this year.
Wild Card: RHP Ryan Yarbrough vs. Baltimore Orioles — 3.3 implied runs
While Trevor Mahle against the Rockies is worthy of consideration, ultimately Ryan Yarbrough gets the lean as the secondary pitcher on the two-pitcher DFS sites. Yarbrough is coming off a career-high 113 pitch nine-inning complete game against the Yankees where he allowed just two home runs, leading the Rays to a 9-2 victory last Thursday. Tampa Bay elected to give him some extra time between starts, and he should be good for his usual workload of 80 to 85 pitches. While he has allowed six home runs in his last four starts, they have not caused too much damage since he generally limits baserunners. With only 12 walks on the season in 66.0 innings and a matchup against the strikeout-prone Orioles, this is lining up nicely for Yarbrough.
Final Thoughts for the Friday, June 11 MLB DFS Slate
It seems highly unlikely that the Nationals will play tonight, as consistent rain is in the forecast until the early hours of tomorrow morning. Even if their game is not postponed prior to contest lock, there is a strong chance it will be at some point unless Mother Nature changes course. As always, be mindful that salaries and scoring formats differ across the various fantasy sites, and a home run play on Yahoo may be a below-average MLB DFS pick on DraftKings or FanDuel.
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