Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Chris Durell

Daily Fantasy MLB Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 6/15/18

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Justin VerlanderJustin Verlander FD 11700 DK 13500
Opponent - DET (Francisco Liriano) Park - HOU
FD - 50.97 DK - 27.82

Verlander will give up a chance to pitch in the All-Star game by taking the mound for the Astros on Sunday afternoon. This gives us an elite option for fantasy today in a terrific matchup. The Tigers rank 23rd overall when looking at runs scored on the season and have really struggled going into the All-Star break with a .283 wOBA, 75 wRC+, and crazy high 27.2% K rate over the last seven days. For Verlander, it has been a terrific season as he has held opponents to two or fewer earned runs in 15 of his 20 starts for an impressive 2.05 ERA and has also provided upside with a 10.94 K/9 and 13.1% swinging strike rate. Considering he is pitching in the best pitchers park in the league as a huge favorite in a great matchup, he is the top option and in all formats today.

Also consider Miles Mikolas(STL) who is coming off four straight quality starts holding opponents to two or fewer earned runs in each

Clayton KershawClayton Kershaw FD 10800 DK 12900
Opponent - LAA (Deck McGuire) Park - LAD
FD - 33.94 DK - 18.99

Both sites are running an afternoon three-game slate and the top option is Clayton Kershaw who will almost certainly be back to a full workload on Sunday. Since returning from the DL, he has gone 55, 68, 74, and 89 pitches in his four starts and steadily gotten better and comes into this start with back to back quality starts allowing just two earned runs overall. He will face an Angels team that has been much worse against lefties with a .293 wOBA and 87 wRC+(.322 wOBA, 107 wRC+ vs. RH) and the only real issue here is that they don't K very much(19.9%). Considering the other options, I think Kershaw is a great start to your lineups in all formats.

Also Consider Jon Lester(CHC)  who comes at a big discount and also gets a plus matchup against the Padres

First Base/Catcher

Yuli GurrielYuli Gurriel FD 3100 DK 4300
Opponent - DET (Francisco Liriano) Park - STL
FD - 9.39 DK - 7.21

To fit Verlander today, we're are going to need some value and the first name at first base that pops for me is Yuli Gurriel. He has been on an absolute tear lately with hits in 11 straight games with five doubles, two home runs, and 14 RBI and is averaging 12.1 DraftKings/16.9 FanDuel points per game in that span. He gets a terrific matchup to keep the streak alive going into the break as Francisco Liriano has been pretty bad this season with a 4.74 ERA, 4.99 xFIP and is coming off a start where he allowed seven earned runs. With a 4.97 BB/9 rate, there is a good chance Gurriel will have runners on in front of him giving him tons of opportunities to drive in runs and crush his value. He is in play in all formats, especially on FanDuel in the low $3K range.

Brandon BeltBrandon Belt FD 3600 DK 4100
Opponent - OAK (Sean Manaea) Park - SF
FD - 10.66 DK - 7.99

The options are limited at the first base position on the three-game main slate so I will be leaning on Brandon Belt as my top option. He is having a very solid first half hitting .294 with an elite .391 on-base percentage and while he is better against righties, he has also had success against southpaws with a .327 wOBA and 108 wRC+ so I am not too concerned. The matchup isn't terrific as Manaea has been solid with a 3.44 ERA in his 19 starts but doesn't K many(6.27 K/9) and sits with an xFIP that is almost a full run higher than the ERA.

Catcher Consideration: Russell Martin(TOR)

Second Base

Whit MerrifieldWhit Merrifield FD 3200 DK 4300
Opponent - CHW (Lucas Giolito) Park - CHW
FD - 10.65 DK - 8.33

It used to be James Shields we got excited about targeting one to two times a week but now it's his teammate, Lucas Giolito. Coming into today, he sits dead last among all qualified pitchers with a 6.59 ERA and the xFIP(6.32) doesn't show that there is much sign of life. What stands out the most from a fantasy perspective is that he has allowed four or more earned runs in half of his 18 starts and a whopping 17 home runs. The Royals are, by no means, a top-tier offense that we target on the regular but today it makes senses and I will start with Merrifield who hits at the top of the lineup and comes in red-hot with hits in 14 of his last 15 games including nine multi-hit efforts. He is a player I will be targeting in all formats today.

Also consider Cesar Hernandez(PHI) who also hits leadoff and is running a four-game hit streak

Max MuncyMax Muncy FD 3800 DK 5100
Opponent - LAA (Deck McGuire) Park - LAD
FD - 10.35 DK - 7.74

If you are looking for some upside at the position today look no further than Max Muncy. He was drafted by the A's back in 2012 and made two brief appearances in 2015 and 2016 showing little to no promise before coming to the Dodgers organization where is career has taken off. He hit .300 at AAA last year with 12 home runs and has impressed so far with the big club hitting 22 home runs with a .276 average. Even more impressive for a power hitter is his patience at the plate as he walks an 18.9% rate and sits with an elite .415 OBP. Today he faces Deck McGuire who has spent time in the rotation and bullpen and been less than impressive walking 4.79 per nine with a 6.10 ERA and has allowed seven home runs(23.3% HR/FB rate). He will be tough to fit into cash lineup with Kershaw but is an excellent high upside GPP play.

Also consider Carlos Asuaje(SD) or Jose Pirela(SD) as value plays at the position


Paul DeJongPaul DeJong FD 3300 DK 3700
Opponent - CIN (Anthony DeSclafani) Park - CIN
FD - 9.53 DK - 7.27

DeJong has seen his price drop once again, especially on DraftKings and provides us some value at the position today. Since returning from a two-month stint on the DL, he has been very consistent with hits in seven straight games with eight runs scored and appears to be getting back to where he was in 2017 when he had a breakout rookie season. He has also shown reverse splits hitting .290 against righties with a .363 wOBA and 130 wRC+(.175/.291/82 against lefties) and will face Anthony DeSclafini who sits with a 4.43 ERA and 4.38 xFIP through seven starts with 10 home runs allowed. The Cardinals are in a good spot and should be able to put up some runs and DeJong is a nice addition to a lineup in all formats.

Also consider Scott Kingery(PHI) as a punt play

Addison RussellAddison Russell FD 3000 DK 4100
Opponent - SD (Eric Lauer) Park - SD
FD - 9.59 DK - 7.26

Russell's name doesn't pop up in our articles or projections very often as he hits down in the order for the Cubs but I am willing to throw caution to the wind on this three-game slate. He is having arguably his best season in the big leagues with a career-high .273 average and .348 on-base percentage but what stands out the most is the splits. Against lefties, he has posted a .293 average, .363 wOBA, and 127 wRC+ and while Eric Lauer has been pretty good lately he has struggled overall walking over 3.5 per nine and sits with a 4.40 ERA and 4.53 xFIP so the upside is most definitely there.

Also consider Freddy Galvis(SD) as a punt play

Third Base

Alex BregmanAlex Bregman FD 4400 DK 5500
Opponent - DET (Francisco Liriano) Park - HOU
FD - 12.56 DK - 9.56

I love the Astros stack on the early slate for GPP and if you are paying up for one bat in cash games, Alex Bregman most definitely deserves our attention. In his second full season, he enters the last game before the break with a .287/.385.538 slash line and in 59 fewer games than last year has already topped his home run total with 20 on the season. He has also been a monster against lefties with a .439 wOBA, 187 wRC+, and 1.048 OPS and faces a weak one today in Francisco Liriano who sits with a 4.74 ERA and 15.2% HR/FB rate.

Also consider Travis Shaw(MIL) who has been consistent lately with his in four straight and eight of his last nine games

Christian VillanuevaChristian Villanueva FD 2500 DK 4100
Opponent - CHC (Jon Lester) Park - SD
FD - 7.99 DK - 6.06

On the smaller main slate, it is harder to find values but one that stands out, especially on FanDuel, is Christian Villanueva. The park is not ideal and the Padres offense overall is pretty garbage but Villanueva is always an option against left-handed pitching as he leads the team with a .453 wOBA, 193 wRC+, and 1.097 OPS on the season and went into Saturday night with hits in five of his last six starts. He allows us, at least on FanDuel, to load up on Kershaw and a couple big bats.

Also consider Kris Bryant(CHC) who also destroys left-handed pitching and has hits in each of his first two games back from injury


Bryce HarperBryce Harper FD 4200 DK 4600
Opponent - NYM (Corey Oswalt) Park - NYM
FD - 12.75 DK - 9.49
Juan SotoJuan Soto FD 3600 DK 4100
Opponent - NYM (Corey Oswalt) Park - NYM
FD - 12 DK - 9.09
Adam EatonAdam Eaton FD 2900 DK 4300
Opponent - NYM (Corey Oswalt) Park - NYM
FD - 11.41 DK - 8.82

The Nationals are in a great spot today against the Mets and Corey Oswalt who has struggled since his call-up allowing 13 earned runs(4 HR) in his first 17.1 innings and sits with a 6.75 ERA and 4.24 xFIP. It starts with Adam Eaton who has been hitting leadoff for the Nats and comes in red-hot with hits in 10 of his last 13 games(.400 average) including eight multi-hit efforts. His best value comes on FanDuel where he is still in the sub $3K range. Up next is Juan Soto who is having a terrific rookie campaign and through his first 50 games has posted a .306/.415/.526 slash line and has also flashed big upside with nine home runs. Capping off the Nats outfield stack is Bryce Harper who may be struggling with consistency hitting just .214 but he still has a TON of power upside as he sits with 23 home runs on the season(Top 10 overall). Get at least one of these bats into your lineups in cash games and all or a combination of them in GPP formats today.

Chad PinderChad Pinder FD 2400 DK 3900
Opponent - SF (Andrew Suarez) Park - SF
FD - 6.81 DK - 5.23

The matchup is not a great one as young Andrew Suarez has been terrific lately but has shown he can be hit as he struggled early in the season. For Pinder, it comes down to splits as he has been strong against lefties with a .299 average, .382 wOBA, 147 wRC+, and .895 OPS. He also comes in with a four-game hit streak and his value will spike up a bit if the A's were to move him up in the lineup in his strong split today. I would reserve him to GPP only on DraftKings but with a mid $2K price tag on FanDuel, I will be considering him in all formats.


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