Wednesday, June 16, brings split-slate action as the first of two getaway days this week. 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, Wednesday, June 16
Yahoo Stack of the Day: New York Yankees at RHP Ross Stripling — 4.8 implied runs
Keep in mind that, while the Blue Jays are no longer playing their home games at their spring training facility in Florida, they are not yet back in the Rogers Centre in Toronto. For at least the next month they will be based out of their Triple-A stadium in Buffalo at Sahlen Field. This is also where they played most of their home games during the pandemic-shortened run last season.
Ross Stripling is a perfectly adequate back-of-the-rotation pitcher. Typically he goes between 75 and 85 pitches and can usually get through five innings. With a strikeout per inning, a 4.91 ERA and 1.41 WHIP, he is clearly not a shutdown ace by any stretch of the imagination.
New York is mostly healthy now, only missing regulars Luke Voit and Aaron Hicks. They are back in the American League, so we should once again expect to see Giancarlo Stanton as the designated hitter, which dramatically increases the overall quality of the lineup. D.J. LeMahieu, Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres round out the core four MLB DFS picks to target. Rougned Odor provides savings with his $8 salary on Yahoo, and utilize Brett Gardner ($9) can also be utilized as part of a wrap-around stack for additional synergy with some discounted differentiation.
San Diego Padres at LHP Kyle Freeland — 7.0 implied runs
While Coors Field is not frequently touched on in this article series, today is an exception. Game-time temperatures are going to be flirting with triple digits with the Rocky Mountain heat wave. Kyle Freeland missed essentially the first two months of the season while dealing with an injury to his left shoulder, which is not a good sign for a southpaw. The four starts he has made have been progressively worse, culminating with four innings in Cincinnati on Friday in which he allowed nine runs and five home runs. Across his 17 innings he has allowed nine home runs, 2.12 baserunners per inning and a 9.00 ERA while striking out a batter every other inning. It is only a matter of time before he is back on the injured list or even waived, as he is on a one-year deal.
There is a 12-run total for this game, with seven earmarked for the Padres. Although there have “only” been 17 runs in the first two games of this series, it does seem that the teams matching that total this afternoon is not out of the realm of possibilities. With the day game after a night game, there could be a few reserves in the lineup before San Diego leaves after the game to prepare to host Cincinnati tomorrow. However, veterans may be clamoring to be in the lineup with this juicy matchup. Look to the usual suspects first, but anyone up to and including the batboy is a viable option this afternoon.
San Francisco Giants vs. RHP Merrill Kelly — 4.6 implied runs
Merrill Kelly is not a horrible pitcher, but he does wind up in this column a fair amount because he pitches on the West Coast and therefore is typically on the late slate. Over his last eight starts, the strikeouts have ticked up to around one per inning. However, the free passes and home runs are not in his favor.
The Giants have quietly cobbled together the best record in the National League West. While they are just one game ahead of the Dodgers, they are five up on the Padres and also lead the next two closest National League teams by the same mark. With the exception of Evan Longoria and Alex Dickerson, their offense is back to full strength, and while there are not many household names, there are not many easy outs.
Mike Yastrzemski, Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt are the core four to target first. Kelly has allowed more power to right-handed batsmen recently, but with his short track record, that is likely noise. Reclamation projects LaMonte Wade Jr. and Mike Tauchman have both been leading off recently, and whichever is at the top of the order is the priority. For the full slate, San Francisco is best utilized as a secondary or three-man stack.
Top Target: RHP Jacob deGrom vs. Chicago Cubs — 2.4 implied runs
This is an apex salary across the board for the best pitcher in baseball. It has been noted that Jacob deGrom has driven in as many runs as he has allowed, with four. While he has only six wins, he is leading MLB with a 0.56 ERA, 0.53 WHIP and 14.5 strikeouts per nine innings. This season the Cubs have been a league-average team against right-handed hurlers, and they are currently projected to plate just 2.4 runs. There is not much else to add here.
Wild Card: RHP Bailey Ober at Seattle Mariners — 4.1 implied runs
Rookie Bailey Ober makes for an interesting pitcher to pair with Jacob deGrom on both Yahoo and DraftKings. Ober has improved in each of his three starts. The Twins are not pushing him, as he is averaging just shy of 70 pitches in these outings, though that is still a bargain for today’s salary. Across his 13 innings he has just two walks against 15 strikeouts and three home runs allowed, which is not too shabby.
Seattle is without Kyle Lewis and Evan White, who are on the injured list, and rookie Jared Kelenic is back in the minors. Finally, Mitch Haniger who is arguably the best Mariner hitter, is day-to-day with a bruised knee that has kept him out of action since Sunday. Even though the Mariners have a four-run implied total, their five-inning mark is just below three runs, which corresponds with the innings Ober is likely to be on the mound.
RHP Lucas Giolito vs. Tampa Bay Rays — 3.6 implied runs
RHP Freddy Peralta vs. Cincinnati Reds — 3.6 implied runs
The top option on the afternoon slate is too close to call. In this salt-to-taste situation, there are two respective aces at home looking down 3.6 implied run totals. Lucas Giolito will be facing Tampa Bay, who has the second-best offense against right-handed hurlers this season, though they are among the league leaders with a 26.1% strikeout rate. Freddy Peralta gets the Reds, who have the fifth-best offense against righties. Even without the designated hitter, Cincinnati has the fifth-lowest strikeout rate against righties at 22.1%, and they just saw Peralta in his last start on Thursday.
Final Thoughts for the Wednesday, June 16, MLB DFS Slate
Today there is wall-to-wall baseball with five different slates across the various DFS sites. 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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