Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Chris Durell

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 6/15/16

Welcome back to another mid week edition of our daily fantasy baseball picks. Today we have five afternoon games mixed in with 10 games on the main evening slate. The early slate gives us some elite pitching options(Kershaw, Strasburg, Cueto, Hammel) and a terrific stacking game in Coors Field. The evening slate is pretty straight forward with a couple decent pitching options at each price salary level. Let's dig in!


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Early Slate

Johnny CuetoJohnny Cueto FD 10700 DK 12800
Opponent - MIL (Nelson) Park - @SF
FD - 42.64 DK - 24.2

The early slate on Wednesday is loaded with high end starters and leading the way on a PTS/$ basis is Johnny Cueto. Outside of two bad starts against the Dodgers and Reds earlier in the season, he has been elite with a 1.19 ERA in his other 11 starts. His ground ball rate is north of 50% for the first time since 2013 and his K rate(7.62 K/9) is on par with his career numbers. He gets the best matchup of the top pitchers and should get a boost in the K department as the Brewers are striking out 26% of the time vs. right handed pitching.


Evening Slate

Corey KluberCorey Kluber FD 10000 DK 13100
Opponent - KC (Kennedy) Park - @KC
FD - 36.52 DK - 20.05

Kluber comes in at a nice value on FanDuel at a bit of a discount from Sale and Thor but is a bit over priced on DraftKings tonight to be considered in cash games. It has been an up and down season to this point as Kluber has allowed four or more earned runs in five starts and two earned runs or less in seven starts. He is either on his game or way off. No in between. The K rate(8.83 K/9) is slightly lower than his career mark(9.41 K/9) but nothing alarming as the fastball velocity remains over 92 mph. He will face the defending champion Kansas City Royals who rank 19th in wOBA(.311) while striking out 19.9% of the time vs. right handed pitching.

Marco EstradaMarco Estrada FD 8600 DK 10900
Opponent - PHI (Hellickson) Park - @PHI
FD - 32.84 DK - 20.37

The home at home series between the Phillies and Blue Jays shifts to Philadelphia tonight where Estrada will enjoy a park boost. He has pitched well away from Toronto this season with a 1.77 ERA while limiting opponents to a .229 wOBA. After seeing his K rate drop below 7 K/9 last season he started throwing the cutter more(15.3% up from 8.4%) which has resulted in a 7.92 K/9 rate. While he is due for some regression with a 3.68 BB/9 rate and .189 BABIP I don't think it will be tonight as the Phillies rank 28th in wOBA(.287) and strike out 22.3% of the time vs. right handed pitching. Estrada also has the red hot Jays offense to produce runs for him tonight.



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*Note - For the Early Slate I am not going to list the players from the Yankees/Rockies as they will be highlighted in the Stacks Article later this morning. I will instead list a player from the other games in case you are looking to fade that matchup* 


Early Slate

Welington CastilloWelington Castillo FD 2000 DK 2400
Opponent - LAD (Kershaw) Park - @ARI
FD - 7.4 DK - 5.7

Okbefore you go calling the loony bin telling them I am loose hear me out. I mentioned not talking about the Yankees/Rockies game as they will be listed in the stacks article. In that article you will find that Brian McCann ranks high on the projection system and is the safest option in the early slate. If you want to go contrarian or trying to fit in a top pitcher or two(DraftKings) you are going to need some punt plays. Castillo makes a terrific value at minimum pricing due to the Kershaw affect but is the best hitting catcher in the majors against left handed pitching with a .367 average with five HR and 14 RBI. He is definitely worth a shot in GPP formats.


Evening Slate

Russell MartinRussell Martin FD 2900 DK 3200
Opponent - PHI (Hellickson) Park - @PHI
FD - 9.57 DK - 7.36

After an absolutely horrible start to the season, Martin has started to pick it up hitting .294 with five home runs and a 164 wRC+ over the last three weeks. He has spent most of his starts hitting out of the five or six hole giving him some added value over other options in the bottom third of their respective lineups. The Jays will face Jeremy Hellickson tonight who has struggled at times with his control and has gotten into trouble giving up a 20% HR/FB rate. His confidence is most likely at a season low after giving up seven earned runs(3 HR) to the Nationals in his last start. The Jays are heating up and won't make life any easier and Martin makes a great play in any format tonight.




Early Slate

Justin BourJustin Bour FD 3000 DK 4000
Opponent - SD (Perdomo) Park - @SD
FD - 10.13 DK - 7.75

He got a night off vs. the lefty last night and should be well rested for the day game on Wednesday. He is a power hitting left handed batter who has crushed right handed pitching(.353 wOBA/123 wRC+) in his young career and gets an elite matchup today. He will face Luis Perdomo who will be making his third spot start for the Padres this season.  He went just two innings in his first start allowing two earned runs and was blasted in his second start giving up six earned run sin 4.1 innings to the Rockies. He has really struggled with the long ball lately giving up seven home runs in his last five appearances increasing his HR/FB rate to an awful 24.1% for the season. This is a great spot to roster Bour at a very affordable price with a great shot to hit a bomb.


Evening Slate

Joey VottoJoey Votto FD 3500 DK 4400
Opponent - ATL (Norris) Park - @ATL
FD - 12.08 DK - 9.19

Summer is coming and Joey Votto is starting to get hot. In the past two weeks he is hitting .341 and has been extremely patient with a 20.8% BB walk rate resulting in a sky high .491 OBP and 190 wRC+. He is back and well on his way to another 20+ HR season with 11 to this point in mid June. He will get a decent matchup vs. Bud Norris tonight who has made his way back to the starting rotation for the Braves. While he has only allowed just two earned run sin those first two starts back, I am not buying into it as he has allowed opponents a 38% hard hit ball rate with a low 2/1 strikeout to walk rate. Look for the Reds to take advantage.


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Early Slate

Derek DietrichDerek Dietrich FD 3100 DK 4000
Opponent - SD (Perdomo) Park - @SD
FD - 8.98 DK - 6.96

The Marlins are going to be a great team to stack in the early slate as they face Luis Perdomo who has given up a .400+ wOBA to both right handed and left handed batters this year. Dietrich, like his teammate Justin Bour, got the day off on Tueday as he struggles vs. left handed pitching. He more than makes up for it against righties with a  .375 wOBA and 136 wRC+ with a 32.7% hard hit ball rate. The power will be limited in Petco but the Marlins are excellent gap hitters who should make quick work of Perdomo.


Evening Slate

Brian DozierBrian Dozier FD 3500 DK 4100
Opponent - LAA (Santiago) Park - @LAA
FD - 9.89 DK - 7.82

Dozier has been red hot over the past three weeks with hits in eight straight and 17 of his last 19 games. He has moved around the lineup and with the run production he has shown has been moved away from the two spot and down to the five hole. He has really struggled vs. right handed pitching this season(.280 wOBA/72 wRC+) but has absolutely crushed lefties(.434 wOBA/178 wRC+). He will get a great matchup vs. a gas can lefty in Hector Santiago who has pitched to a 5.64 ERA and 4.88 xFIP while struggling with control(3.76 BB/9) and giving up a 16.3% HR/FB rate. Dozier is in a great spot ot put up some monster numbers tonight. Safe in all formats.



Early Slate

Alexei RamirezAlexei Ramirez FD 2600 DK 3200
Opponent - MIA (Nicolino) Park - @SD
FD - 6.83 DK - 5.83

Outside of a few stacks in GP formats I will be punting the shortstop position on both slates Wednesday. Ramirez always provides decent value when facing left handed pitching with strong career splits(.293 average). He also adds some speed upside with two stolen bases in his last six games. He will face Justin Nicolino who had a promising start in April with a dominant start but has been awful since going 1-3 in eight starts with a 5.56 ERA while striking out less than five batters per nine innings. Outside of Coors this could be the highest scoring game in the early slate.


Evening Slate

Tim AndersonTim Anderson FD 2200 DK 2000
Opponent - DET (Pelfrey) Park - @CHW
FD - 7.84 DK - 7.05

At minimum price recently called up Tim Anderson makes a terrific punt play in the evening slate and is coming off a two double game vs. Detroit on Tuesday night. To remain in the leadoff role he is going to need to work on the plate discipline as he has yet to record a walk in the majors and was running a 3.1% BB rate in AAA before being called up. Either way, if he does again hit in the leadoff spot will be close to a must play if you plan on getting some high end stacks with a top pitcher tonight.



Early Slate

Justin TurnerJustin Turner FD 3100 DK 3400
Opponent - ARI (Corbin) Park - @ARI
FD - 8.94 DK - 6.99

If you are fading Arenado or the Coors game completely, Justin Turner brings some nice value at the 3B position today. He has been hitting in the two and three hole for the majority of the season and while he has struggled to a .225 average there are signs of positive regression coming. He average can be somewhat explained by his low .251 BABIP which is 62 points below his career mark while the walk rate(8.8%) and K rate(16.3%) are on par. He will face the struggling D Backs starter Patrick Corbin who is giving up 17.9% HR/FB rate. Turner comes at an affordable price on both sites and is safe option for cash games with limited upside for tournaments.


Evening Slate

Todd FrazierTodd Frazier FD 3200 DK 4200
Opponent - DET (Pelfrey) Park - @CHW
FD - 10.7 DK - 8.43

In his first season with the White Sox he has continued to provide huge power upside as he sits second in the league with 19 home runs coming into tonight. He will get a great opportunity to add to that total as he faces Mike Pelfrey and his disgustingly low strikeout rate(4.68 K/9), high walk rate(3.86 BB/9) and 15.6% HR/FB ratio. The average has dropped off big time for Frazier(.206) but there is definitely positive regression coming his way as he is working with a .185 BABIP which is almost 100 points lower than his career mark.



Early Slate

Bryce HarperBryce Harper FD 3500 DK 4600
Opponent - CHC (Hammel) Park - @WSH
FD - 13.22 DK - 10.2

On a slate with high end pitching and a terrific spot in Coors Field you can get Bryce Harper at low ownership and as the 7th most expensive OF on FanDuel and 9th on DraftKings. He has gone through a rough stretch since April but is showing signs of a breakout as he is hitting .300 over the last two weeks despite zero home runs. I wouldn't trust him in cash games but if he is going to be less than 5% owned he makes an excellent contrarian GPP play.


Evening Slate

Mike TroutMike Trout FD 4100 DK 4700
Opponent - MIN (Duffey) Park - @LAA
FD - 14.37 DK - 11.18

He isn't quite having the MVP season we have come to expect but isn't too far off. He is slashing .308/.412/.538 with an impressive 162 wRC+. He continues to show patience at the plate with a 15.1% walk rate and has actually brought his strikeout rate down below 20% to this point in the season. It feels a lot like the Harper pick in which it will be very hard to pass up the incredible upside especially at a discount from the top options. The one difference is Trout is much safe and a great pick in any format.


Franklin GutierrezFranklin Gutierrez FD 2700 DK 3000
Opponent - TB (Smyly) Park - @TB
FD - 6.2 DK - 4.78

Gutierrez has been a part of a platoon in the Mariners outfield with Seth Smith and should get the start on Wednesday facing facing a left handed pitcher. He has an impressive .359 wOBA and 131 wRC+ vs. southpaws and gets a great matchup vs. struggling Drew Smyly. Since May 10(6 starts) Smyly has given up 27 earned runs in just 31.1 innings pitched including nine home runs and a walk rate above three.  If Gutierrez is again hitting out of the two hole on Wednesday night he is a great value in any format.




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20 Visitor Comments

  1. CacinG!$$ the optomizer is purrrring! Double stacks have been spot on, on FD. Thanks DFSR crew, keep it runnin! ⚾️??

  2. Ike Davis may be cheap way to get exposure to Coors if in lineup

  3. Do you guys do the podcast everyday? I definitely like listening to it and it helped me out yesterday. Good plays for sure.

  4. Utley, Pederson, Turner! The optimizer brought many LA home runs last night. Nice work guys!

  5. been thinking about paying for optomizer..I think this is the last time I’m going to see people say how great it is and NOT jump on board.I did 5 hours of research yesterday and lost all the money I had banked..time to trust the census.thanks for the writeup and thanks for the convincing ccomments fellow dfSr guys

  6. Very pumped for this early lineup! Kershaw, 4 NYC bats, CarGo and a couple punts. 🙂

  7. @ Joesph, Maybe I’m in the minority, but I always make a free lineup vs my buddy using the optimal lineup just to see how it does. Without making any adjustments it usually would cash 50% of the time in my 50/50s. Thought I’d chime and let you know. Don’t expect to hit optimal lineup and just win. It’s better as a tool, grab a few guys you like, lock them in and see what else it gives you. When users say “crushing it” I expect them are doing the same.

  8. does this optimizer really produce picks that win?………….if so what is the winning percentage?……….on a nightly basis….all of the line up optimizers ive tried hardly ever produce winners……..

  9. You guys like kike hernandez as a punt play(2,000) batting first vs corbin?

  10. Love how you stayed away from Coors in this article but still mentioned it. I read your comment yesterday on the topic and it made a lot of sense. Still good to mention who ever at Coors when it’s a good target or matchup. I love reading the picks everyday always learn something!

  11. You guys call Kike Hernandez a must play all the time, and he’s awful every time.

    • Lol. Hitting leadoff at the minimums with a career .900+ OPS against lefties. Easiest call ever

  12. 0-3 and pinch hit for in the 7th. He’s now hitting under .200 for the year.

    • Sure. That’s a results-based look at value and severely misses the forest for the trees

  13. I’m adding Harper to my “Might Be Injured not playing List”. Just like with Stanton something is off…

    From ESPN: since April 26 Harper is slugging just .324. That ranks 159th out of 169 MLB players.

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