Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

James Davis

DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Thursday 6/6/19

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Joey LucchesiJoey Lucchesi FD - P 8200 DK - SP 9000
Opponent - WSH (Patrick Corbin) Park - SD
FD - 32.08 DK - 16.82
Pitching on the main slate tonight is actually fairly complicated. While it seems like there is one clear ace going (more on him in a minute), our system is prioritizing Joey Lucchesi instead. Why? Well, there are a few reasons. The first comes down to Lucchesi himself. He's striking out a batter per inning, has upped his ground-ball rate to 49.5%, and has maintained a 3.71 xFIP this year. That's pretty solid. He's pitching in the spacious Petco Park, and you love to see that as well. But this is where it gets weird. On paper, the Nationals are just a much tougher match-up than the Padres are. Their OPS is .059 points higher against southpaws, and they strikeout 5% less often. And yes, Vegas sees this as a pick 'em with a 7.5 total. I actually have my doubts, and I highly recommend betting the Nats here, but if they are even close to correct taking the savings on Lucchesi looks like a no-brainer.

Patrick CorbinPatrick Corbin FD - P 10900 DK - SP 10300
Opponent - SD (Joey Lucchesi) Park - SD
FD - 35.33 DK - 19.17

The other half of the best pitching match-up on the slate, Corbin has to be one of the more underrated pitchers in the Majors right now. He piloted a sparkling 2.61 xFIP last season to a pedestrian 11 and 7 record, and never really got credit as one of 2018's very best pitchers. This year he's taken a slight step back, as his K/9 has dipped below 10 and his BB/9 and HR/9 have crept upward. Still, Corbin is an excellent pitcher, and this really is a great match-up. The Padres hold the 3rd highest K rate in the majors vs. left handed pitching while ranking in the bottom 10 in wOBA, and while they have some better right handed bats than they did last year I just can't sit here and feel scared of facing them in Petco. Maybe it's nuts, but I don't even mind running Corbin and Lucchesi against one another on a night without a lot of great options.

Also considered: Tyler Skaggs.

A quick note on the Cleveland/Minnesota match-up. With Berrios and Bauer facing off, you have two legitimately good pitchers that blend both a good K rate and plenty of other attributes that bring them into DFS consideration whenever they are starting. The issues here are that both are rather pricey, the game is basically a pick-em, and both offenses are solid. I still like both for big tournaments though.


Catcher/First Base

Gary SanchezGary Sanchez FD - C 4500 DK - C 5500
Opponent - TOR (Edwin Jackson) Park - TOR
FD - 13.93 DK - 10.43
Luke VoitLuke Voit FD - 1B 4300 DK - 1B 4900
Opponent - TOR (Edwin Jackson) Park - TOR
FD - 13.36 DK - 10.12
I guess it's fitting to get this out of the way early. Just curious - have you seen what Edwin Jackson has been up to in his brief stint with the Blue Jays so far? No? Let's just pretend like you haven't seen it. Jackson has managed 16 and a third innings in his four starts. In that time he's allowed twenty four earned runs. He's walked six batters, and allowed six home runs. He faced 21 batters in 2.1 innings against the Rockies, and allowed 10 earned runs. It's safe to say that Edwin Jackson is simply terrible at pitching a baseball. So yes, we'll get to lots of Yankees here as time passes.

But these two Yankees would be great plays even against average pitchers. Gary Sanchez has been absolutely crushing the ball to the tune of a 1k+ OPS. Luke Voit has been a revelation as well, posting a .926 OPS against right handed pitching this season. You can't play all the Yankees (unfortunately), but you'll want to play these two.

Carlos SantanaCarlos Santana FD - 1B 3400 DK - 1B 4200
Opponent - MIN (Jose Berrios) Park - CLE
FD - 11.36 DK - 8.47

Man, this play just doesn't seem as exciting after I just got done writing up two great Yankees against Edwin Jackson, but maybe that just makes it a great tournament play. Santana has inexplicably returned to earlier versions of himself, setting aside his multi-year BABIP issues to an OBP heavy .907 OPS. He's still walking almost as much as he strikes out, and he just brings a hell of a floor against anyone except the very best pitchers. The switch hitter is basically platoon neutral for his career, so Berrios' right-handedness isn't a concern. As for Berrios himself, he's actually made himself a more attractive pitcher to target in DFS this year. He's striking out fewer batters while walking fewer as well, while still leaving plenty of balls up in the zone. His 4.22 xFIP paints the picture of a league average pitcher, and he isn't scaring us off the Indians here.

Second Base

Rougned OdorRougned Odor FD - 2B 2800 DK - 2B 3700
Opponent - BAL (Andrew Cashner) Park - TEX
FD - 11.31 DK - 8.65
Our lineup optimizer has had a love affair with the enigmatic Rougned Odor basically since its inception. And it makes sense. A 2B with back to back 30 home run seasons before the age of 25? Cooperstown should be making space already, right? Well, it hasn't worked out that way exactly. In Odor's second 30 homer season he remarkably posted a -1.2 WAR on the back of a staggeringly bad .252 OBP. This year has already been a forgettable one, as we've seen Odor slip down the lineup even against right handed pitching. But like, still. This is a guy with multiple 30 home run seasons, and he's less than $3,000! We can't just give up, right? Right?? I don't know, maybe we can. But I'm not quite ready to give up given who he is facing here. Doe-eyed optimists thought Cashner had turned a corner earlier this season, but the 11 ER that he's allowed in his last two starts have brought his season line to look very similar to the last two seasons' terrible campaigns. He's coming off a game where he walked 5 Giants and struck out zero. I'm ready to back up the truck on Rangers here, and I'm ready to roll the dice on Odor once again.

DJ LeMahieuDJ LeMahieu FD - 2B 3800 DK - 2B/3B 4400
Opponent - TOR (Edwin Jackson) Park - TOR
FD - 12.54 DK - 9.74

We gave you the case against Jackson already, so this is just a high floor option if you don't have the stomach for Odor. Again, you can't play 9 Yankees, so you will have to make cuts somewhere, but LeMahieu might just make it if you're concerned about Odor's floor. His minuscule 13.6% K rate and his lofty hard hit % and BABIP almost assure him to be a part of a Yankees pile on here. Just a solid play in any format.


Jonathan VillarJonathan Villar FD - SS 3300 DK - 2B/SS 4800
Opponent - TEX (Ariel Jurado) Park - TEX
FD - 11.57 DK - 9.03
Hey, we've made it until shortstop before mentioning Ariel Jurado, which he has to consider a win. Part of that is that he's facing the Orioles, of course, but this man is simply not Major League caliber. FanGraphs ranked him as the Rangers' 37th best prospect going into 2018, and he proceeded to strike out just 3.62 batters per 9 innings while walking 2.96. That's just... really bad. He's been a fair bit better this year, but a lot of that "success" has come from pitching out of the bullpen. Villar isn't anything special for sure, but if he happens to scoot back up toward the top of the lineup he's another way to play a non-Yankee at shortstop.

Gleyber TorresGleyber Torres FD - SS 3900 DK - 2B/SS 4600
Opponent - TOR (Edwin Jackson) Park - TOR
FD - 12.87 DK - 9.81

Yup. More Yankees. You're paying for Torres at this point, but you probably should have to. A shortstop with an .848 OPS at age 22? We might be looking at a future star here, if he's not one already. Jackson sucks, and Torres can hit him. Just another Yankee you can play.

Also considered: Marcus Semien.

Third Base

Vladimir Guerrero Jr.Vladimir Guerrero Jr. FD - 3B 3000 DK - 3B 3800
Opponent - NYY (J.A. Happ) Park - TOR
FD - 10.08 DK - 7.72
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is really good, and we're in the unique position where most people still don't realize it. The Orioles just picked catcher Adley Rutschman with the first overall pick in the Major League draft, and people are rightfully excited. A catcher with those kind of tools, and he's just 21 years old! Good stuff. But wait, did you realize that Vladdy Jr. just dropped an .800+ OPS in the Majors in the month of May? While Rutschman was wearing a jersey that said "Beavers" and trying to figure out who he was going to take to the Senior Formal, Guerrero was better than Major League average against real life MLB pitching. The man is insane. And he's still so cheap! I actually love the match-up with Happ here as well. The "crafty" lefty is sitting at a 4.66 xFIP this year after returning to his career-long sub 8 K/9 after last year's aberration. Vlad's a great play in any format.

Jose RamirezJose Ramirez FD - 3B 2800 DK - 3B 3500
Opponent - MIN (Jose Berrios) Park - CLE
FD - 11.6 DK - 8.78
Well, it might be time to adjust expectations on Jose Ramirez. It's pretty sad, because he was looking like one of the next greats, and now he isn't. But isn't it a little early to just pour dirt on him completely? There's still a lot to love here in a 26 year old player. It's June 5th, and he's struck out just 8 more times than he's walked. The lack of power is terrifying if you're an Indians fan, but if you're a DFS fan, can't you sort of live with this profile for what amount to minimum prices? I can. Ramirez's approach gives him a reasonably high floor, and if he figures out whatever is ruining him he's all of a sudden the best play on any given slate. I maintain that you can play him in cash games at these prices in a slightly bad match-up.


Nomar MazaraNomar Mazara FD - OF 3800 DK - OF 4700
Opponent - BAL (Andrew Cashner) Park - TEX
FD - 12.39 DK - 9.43

Shin-Soo ChooShin-Soo Choo FD - OF 4000 DK - OF 5500
Opponent - BAL (Andrew Cashner) Park - TEX
FD - 13.06 DK - 9.89
While I am hesitant to run Odor in cash games against Cashner, I have no such reservations about Choo and Mazara. Choo in particular has been embarrassing right handed pitching this season, posting a 1.005 OPS and 10 homers in 185 plate appearances against them this year. Mazara is also a pretty dramatic platoon guy, with an OPS .122 points higher against northpaws for his career. Both are just fantastic plays here.

Aaron HicksAaron Hicks FD - OF 3500 DK - OF 4100
Opponent - TOR (Edwin Jackson) Park - TOR
FD - 14.3 DK - 10.76
Heyyyy a position where we didn't list ever Yankee! I do like prioritizing Hicks here, though, if only because he's super under-priced. He missed the beginning of the season with an injury, and he's now at a deep discount after a slow start upon his return. His great walk rate and solid power make him another excellent option regardless of the format. I will say he probably has a lower ceiling than some of the other guys we've listed earlier.

Shohei OhtaniShohei Ohtani FD - OF 3500 DK - OF 3900
Opponent - OAK (Mike Fiers) Park - LAA
FD - 13.67 DK - 10.31
Ohtani is a tough guy to figure out. On one hand, he absolutely blistered right handed pitching to the tune of a .313/.387/.656 triple slash line. On the other hand, he was more like a regular pitcher against left handed pitching. And then he had Tommy John surgery, and his power has been way down this year. It's pretty much a yikes all around. That being said, he's now very cheap and still batting third near Mike Trout, so we have to look at him when he's facing right handed pitchers. Mike Fiers, for his part, is no average pitcher. This man is truly bad, and it's a real testament to how bad the Angels are that it's hard to play more than one of them tonight. Fiers is scraping above a 6 K/9 while flirting with 3 BB/9 and a low 40.7% ground ball rate. He's a dream to stack again, and in spite of their offensive woes you might still find reason to do just that with the Angels tonight.

Randal GrichukRandal Grichuk FD - OF 2600 DK - OF 3400
Opponent - NYY (J.A. Happ) Park - TOR
FD - 10.13 DK - 7.66
Just want to nod to the potential Blue Jay righty stack for a quick second, because there is a solid one there, and it's pretty cheap. Grichuk is now very very cheap thanks to his power not showing up as well this season, but he's still batting fifth (or higher against LHP), and he's still a threat to go yard against a guy like Happ. It's always hard to consider him a high floor option thanks to his .296 career OBP.


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