Daily Fantasy MLB Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 6/7/18
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Thursday brings us two five-game slates and while the options are somewhat limited, there is one name that stands out on the early slate. The 2018 season has been nothing short of a roller coaster ride for Jose Berrios as he has given up four or more earned runs in six of his 12 starts but the good news is that in his other six starts he has held opponents to two or fewer earned runs. More good news as he has been even better at home in Target Field where he has recorded a 3.35 ERA(4.55 on the road) while holding opponents to a .221 wOBA(.326 on the road) and striking out 30.1% of batters he faces(18.9% on the road). The Twins open as -210 favorites as they close out the series vs. the White Sox who do sit just above average in wOBA and wRC+ against right-handed pitching but also sit 28th overall in runs scored this season while striking out 24.5% of the time. Considering Miles Mikolas, who has limited upside, is more expensive on DraftKings and just $300 cheaper on FanDuel I will locking Berrios in as my top pitcher on the early slate in all formats.
Cole's price has reached a season-high on DraftKings and close to it on FanDuel but with limited options on the small slate, he is nearly impossible to fade in this spot. The Astros starting rotation ranks #1 in the league in ERA, xFIP, and K/9 rate and Cole has been a large part of their success despite only recording six wins in his first 12 starts. He has provided a ton of safety averaging 6.8 innings per start and has yet to allow more than three earned runs in any start and sits with a 2.20 ERA, 2.61 xFIP. He has provided a ton of upside leading the team with a 12.78 K/9 and 14.3% swinging strike rate. Tonight's matchup works right into his hands as the Rangers rank 26th in wOBA(.300) and wRC+(83) against right-handed pitching while striking out at a very high 26% rate. He will be the foundation of my lineups in all formats tonight.
It has mostly been a disappointing start to his first year in Philadelphia as he went in Wednesday night with a .220 average but he has provided some upside with nine long balls, 34 RBI and 32 runs scored. He has also started to pick it up lately as well with hits in 10 of his last 13 games with five multi-hit efforts and four extra-base hits. The Phillies implied run line(3.7) seems a little low and I wouldn't be surprised if it goes up considerably as lock approaches as they get a nice matchup vs. Tyler Chatwood who pretty much buries himself walking over eight batters per nine and sits with a 4.02 ERA and 5.51 xFIP on the season. They should get a ton of chances to score runs here and with Santana's price under $4K on both sites, he is in play in all formats on this five-game slate.
Also Consider: Logan Morrison(MIN) if he gets back in the lineup which is likely as he was available off the bench last night
On the main slate, the A's make terrific targets and while they sit fourth in implied runs on this small slate, two of the three teams in front of them(HOU, BOS) have some very expensive bats which can be an issue if we are rostering Cole at pitcher. The top bat for the A's I am looking at is Matt Olson who has been red-hot over the last two weeks slashing .318/.388/.705 with five home runs and 12 RBI and now sits second on the team in home runs(12) and third in both RBI(31) and runs scored(30). He gets a premier matchup against Jason Hammel who enters tonight with a 5.17 ERA, 4.91 xFIP while striking out under six batters per nine. All things considered, Olson is a near lock for me in all formats tonight.
Also Consider: Justin Smoak(TOR)
I talked about Santana at first base and how Chatwood pretty much walks the park and if that continues the Phillies stand a great chance to score a ton runs. For Santana to drive those runs in there will have to be runners on base and not better target to do that than Cesar Hernadez in the leadoff spot. He is currently walking at an elite 15% rate and sits with a .373 on-base percentage and has already scored 39 runs on the season. He also offers us speed upside with 10 steals and has some sneaky power as well with seven dingers. His best value comes on FanDuel where he comes to us in the low $3K price range.
Also Consider: D.J. LeMahieu(COL) who hits in the leadoff for the Rockies who sit with the third-highest implied runs on the slate
Joey Wendle FD 2400 DK 3300
Opponent - SEA (Mike Leake) Park - TB
FD - 8.23 DK - 6.42
If we are going load up on Gerrit Cole on the mound tonight it is very likely we will have to use a couple punt values to make it all work. The one at the top of my list tonight is Joey Wendle who has been hitting out of the three-hole for the Rays for the most part and has been very consistent over the last three and a half weeks with hits in 15 of his last 17 starts. He isn't going to give us much upside but I will take that floor in all format considering the low cost and huge salary relief on both sites.
Also Consider: Jonathan Schoop(BAL) who has strong splits vs. left-handed pitching
Opportunity is everything in Major League Baseball and after not getting his in Oakland over six seasons is now getting it with the Cardinals. He started the season in Triple-A but was called up after Paul DeJong went down with injury and has been a huge asset to the team not only defensively but with the bat as well. He went into Wednesday night's game with hits in 10 of his last 11 games pushing his season average to .295 and has also got on base at a .348 clip. Batting near the bottom of the order and approaching the $4K mark on DraftKings he is best utilized as a GPP play but on FanDuel he remains very cheap and is a nice play in all formats.
Also Consider: Jose Peraza(CIN)
I have routinely written up Segura against southpaws but he has also been pretty darn good against righties as well with a .353 wOBA, 127 wRC+ on the season. Segura is also enjoying his most successful stretch of the season with a .365/.378/.516 slash line since May 1 with 16 multi-hit games. Tonight he gets a matchup against a Rays team that has changed everything we thought we knew about starting pitching as they continually have started relievers for the first couple of innings. While they have been successful posting the third-best ERA(2.33) over the past 14 days, they will start Ryne Stanek tonight who has struggled with command walking just under 4.5 batters per nine and sits with a 4.38 xFIP. Segura and the Mariners should be able to take advantage and score some runs here.
Also Consider: Aledmys Diaz(TOR) as a punt play on both sites
The average is nowhere near where he or the Twins organization wants it but what he isn't providing in safety he is making up for with power upside. He missed nearly a month in with a hamstring injury and since returning to the lineup has picked up hits in seven of 11 starts with three doubles and two home runs and now sits with seven of each on the season with 25 RBI and 16 runs scored. Tonight, he faces James Shields who we have talked about a ton this season not giving up his usual allotment of home runs only to have given up three in his last start vs. the Brewers. He still sits with a respectable 7.3% HR/FB rate but has still been terrible with striking out just six per nine and walking over 3.5 per nine and sits with a 4.48 ERA and 5.11 xFIP. Sano provides some value as the fourth most expensive Twin on DraftKings and third most expensive on FanDuel and on a small slate, he is definitely in consideration in all formats.
I haven't touched on the bats for the Astros who sit with the second-highest implied runs on the main slate and a lot of it has to do with their pitcher being insanely priced on this small slate. One direction I will be going with their bats is Alex Bregman, at least on DraftKings where he is the fourth most expensive option on the team. He gets a ton of opportunity hitting in the two-hole between George Springer and Jose Altuve and while the average(.260) is below where he is capable of having it, he is getting on base at an elite level(.373) and has hits in 16 of his last 18 games.
Also Consider: Rafael Devers(BOS)
Blackmon went 0 for 5 last night but has been amazing lately with five straight multi-hit games and at least one hit in 15 of his last 16 games(.352/.387/.507 slash line). He is everything we are looking for in an elite fantasy play as he has a combination of a high average, on-base percentage, power, and speed. The matchup also stands out on the early slate as Tyler Mahle has been less than impressive this season with a 4.38 ERA, 4.03 xFIP and has given up 13 home runs in 12 starts(20% HR/FB rate) and 45.6% hard contact to left-handed bats. If you can afford him, he is the top outfielder and a great play in all formats.
For value on the early slate, I will go back to the top of the lineup for the Phillies. Vegas is favoring the Cubs here but like I mentioned with Hernandez and Santana, Chatwood is likely to give the Phillies every opportunity to score runs as he is walking over eight batters per nine this season and sits with a 4.02 ERA and much worse 5.51 xFIP. Herrera isn't a flashy upside play, although he does have seven home runs, but what he does provide is consistency out of the two-hole as he enters the day with a .306 average and .368 on-base percentage. He is in play on both sites but his best value comes on FanDuel where he is criminally underpriced at the moment.
Also Consider: Marcel Ozuna(STL)
Despite the Orioles offense sitting near the bottom of the league in run scoring this season, they are in a great spot tonight to put up some runs and most importantly provide salary relief to help us get to Gerrit Cole on the mound. I will be looking to their one, two combination at the top of the lineup and rolling with Mancini and Jones. While Mancini has been struggling overall he has been much better against left-handed pitching with a .321 wOBA and 101 wRC+(.288/78 against righties). Jones has been much better overall with a .288 average and has been consistent lately with hits in 13 of his last 16 games. The big thing here is the matchup as they will face lefty Jaime Garcia who is walking four batters per nine, has given up four or more earned runs in four of his last seven starts, and sits with a 6.08 ERA, 4.86 xFIP on the season. He has also struggled more against right-handed bats giving up a .391 wOBA and 41% hard contact in that split. All aboard!