Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Thursday 6/13/19
Now’s your chance to get DFSR PRO, which will give you access to our MLB and NBA optimizers and our new player lab! Get started for free by clicking the button below.
Let's start right at the top tonight on this smaller nine-game slate. There are some top options who have been consistent(Kershaw, Greinke) but have drawn tougher matchups tonight placing Jacob deGrom as the top option on this slate from a raw points perspective. He is coming off a 10 K performance against the Rockies and since the start of May, he has held opponents to two or fewer earned runs in seven of eight starts for a tidy 2.72 ERA/3.43 xFIP. He and the Mets open as -140 home favorites against a Cardinals team that is just below average offensively against righties(.316 wOBA, 95 wRC+, .157 ISO) and have been struggling overall lately with a .285 wOBA, 76 wC+, and 27% K rate over the last 14 days. The Mets offense has also been hot lately adding to the win potential in this matchup and further cementing deGrom as my top pitcher in all formats.
We have discussed a few different pitchers(Giolito, Castillo) who went from struggling last year to making some big changes and seeing early success in 2019. Boyd is another as he comes into tonight with an impressive 3.08 ERA which is, by far, a career-high in that area(career 4.76 ERA) and before you go shouting "regression" from the rooftops, consider he is also running a tidy 3.43 xFIP to back it up. The biggest change was throwing more four-seam fastball and sliders and fewer curves and changeups which has helped him drop the walk rate(4.4%) and raise the strikeout rate(30.5%). He now gets a plus matchup against a Royals team that has really struggled vs. lefties with a .279 wOBA, 71 wRC+, .131 ISO, and 25% K rate. With their prices so close and deGrom having the slightly worse matchup, I fully expect the ownership to be close and I am fine with either in all formats tonight.
When it comes to offense tonight, I am going to start with the Yankees who open as -170 road favorites and have the third-highest implied run line(5.4). They will face Ivan Nova who has been an interesting case study. He has held opponents to one earned run five times(Yankees included) but four of those matchups were KC, CLE x2, TOR. In his other eight starts, he has allowed three or more earned runs in each and five or more five times. While he didn't allow a long ball in his first four starts, he has allowed at least one(13 total) in six of nine starts since.
They are very expensive but more than worth it and we will start with Gary Sanchez who has been very consistent with at least one hit in 18 of his last 21 games(back to May 15) and tallied nine home runs along the way. He has also assaulted right-handed pitching to the tune of a .413 wOBA, 162 wRC+, and .392 ISO. He will be tough to fit in cash but makes an excellent GPP play that is likely lower owned considering that high price tag.
Voit comes a bit cheaper on both sites and like Voit, has been better against righties with a .384 wOBA, 142 wRC+, and .249 ISO. He is also second on the team(behindn Sanchez) in home runs with 16. He is easily my top pay up at the first base position tonight in all formats.
Also Consider: James McCann(CWS) as a mid-tier catcher option who has crushed lefties(.444 wOBA, 186 wRC+, .233 ISO) or Justin Smoak(TOR) at first base who is a switch hitter with strong splits vs. righties(.391 wOBA, 149 wRC+, .278 ISO) and faces a below average Gabriel Ynoa(BAL)
If we are targeting the Yankees bats tonight in this smash spots vs. Nova, we might as well start at the top. LeMahieu has been the leadoff hitter the Yankees have been looking for as he comes into tonight with a tidy .316/.361/.457 slash line and has already tallied 40+ runs and RBI on the season. He also comes in red-hot with multi-hit games in five of his last seven and despite having stronger splits vs. lefties, he has held his own against righties as well with a .301 average, .336 wOBA, and 110 wRC+. He is in play in all formats.
Kike Hernandez FD - 2B 3100 DK - 2B/OF 3400
Opponent - CHC (Jon Lester) Park - LAD
FD - 12.04 DK - 9.08
The thing I like most about Hernandez is that he is so bad against righties it keeps his price down in the value range even when he faces a lefty in which he has much stronger splits. Coming into tonight he has a .351 wOBA, 121 wRC+, and .210 ISO against southpaws and faces a struggling Jon Lester who has given up four or more earned runs and at least one home run in four of his last five starts. His best value comes on DraftKings where he is the 23rd most expensive option at second but he is in play in all formats and gets a boost if back at or near the top of the order.
Gregorius didn't just make an entrance back into the Yankees lineup, he broke down the door. He has multiple hits in all three starts and hit a homer in his second game back, as well. The price is going up fast but if he keeps tearing the cover off the ball, it will keep going up so it still feels like a buy-low and in a terrific matchup as well. Load up in all formats.
Jonathan Villar FD - SS 3200 DK - 2B/SS 4300
Opponent - TOR (Marcus Stroman) Park - BAL
FD - 10.43 DK - 8.14
Consistency is not on the list of things that Jonathan Villar provides us with is .256/.314/.409 slash line but the system loves his opportunity as the leadoff hitter and value is hard to come by at shortstop tonight. Not that he is extremely cheap but, at this time, I won't be going any lower at the position. Stroman is an elite groundball pitcher so I won't be stacking O's tonight but if you need the extra savings, Villar is viable in all formats.
Also Consider: Fernando Tatis Jr.(SD) in all formats as he gets a huge park boost in Coors Field
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. FD - 3B 3000 DK - 3B 4200
Opponent - BAL (Gabriel Ynoa) Park - BAL
FD - 12.55 DK - 10.45
The Jays were one of my favorite value teams last night and they didn't disappoint as they currently have eight runs and Vladdy is currently 3 for 4 with two runs and an RBI. He has had the usual rookie ups and downs but has flashed a ton of upside that everyone has been expecting. The better news is that he has been better against righties with a .333 wOBA, 110 wRC+, and 45% hard contact rate(going up after last night). At these prices, you can once again expect to see him in the optimized lineups considering the matchup and implied run line.
Yandy Diaz FD - 3B 3500 DK - 1B/3B 4000
Opponent - LAA (Tyler Skaggs) Park - TB
FD - 10.38 DK - 8.01
Diaz spent last season with the Indians as a platoon player and while he only hit one home run, he did post a .312 average and .375 on-base percentage(120 at-bats). He is getting a chance to play full-time this season with the Rays and while is hitting just .264, he is getting on base at a .345 clip thanks to a sub 20% K rate and 11% walk rate. Most of all, he has found his power(10) and has been money against lefties with a .418 wOBA, 169 wRC+, and 1.012 OPS. Considering the matchup against a struggling Tyler Skaggs, Diaz is a great play in all formats.
Also Consider: David Freese(LAD)
The numbers have really fallen off after his MVP season but the good news is all the advanced stats(xwOBA, xSLG, exit velo, hard contact) point to regression. More good news as we do get him at a bit of a buy-low considering the elite player we know he can be and those are not the only boxes he checks off tonight. He gets a matchup against Adrian Sampson who has been better recently but over sits with a 3.72 ERA/4.89 xFIP and has displayed reverse splits giving up a .359 wOBA, .516 SLG, and eight of his nine home runs to righties. On the flip side, Betts has also displayed strong splits vs. righties over lefties this season so all things considered, he is my top outfielder to pay up for on this slate.
Here is part of what I wrote about Gurriel last night.
The Blue Jays are priced with two completely different models tonight when looking at FanDuel and DraftKings. Another player who stands out is Lourdes Gurriel Jr. who has been terrific since getting called back up in late May posting a .327/.373/.727 slash line with five home runs over 15 games played. He has been much better against lefties but still above average(111 wRC+) against righties and I don't expect Hess goes deep here and the O's boast the second-worst bullpen ERA(5.67) in baseball.
He added to those totals against righties last night as he is currently 2 for 3 with a walk and two runs batted in as I write this is once again underpriced on FanDuel tonight given the matchup. I will have exposure in all formats.