Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Chris Durell

DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Wednesday 6/16/21

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Lucas GiolitoLucas Giolito FD - P 10000 DK - SP 9900
Opponent - TB (Ryan Yarbrough) Park - CHW
FD - 38.24 DK - 20.68

The early slate gives us a choice between two ace pitchers in average-at-best matchups and while the system has Peralta slightly ahead I personally lean Giolito. There have been a few starts that have gotten away from him but he has been consistent lately with a 2.86 ERA/3.55 xFIP while striking out 31% of batters over eight starts since the start of May. While the overall matchups are almost identical, Giolito gets the edge as the Rays strike out 27% of the time overall(2nd most) and 26% vs. right-handed pitching(4th most). Fire up Gioito in all formats.

Also Consider: Tyler Mahle(CIN) as a GPP pivot in a plus matchup against the Brewers who have a 83 wRC+ and 26% K rate vs. right-handed pitching

Gerrit ColeGerrit Cole FD - P 11000 DK - SP 10500
Opponent - TOR (Ross Stripling) Park - TOR
FD - 46.14 DK - 26.36

The main slate also gives us a big choice to make at the top but I just can't fully trust deGrom will get his max innings after leaving early(80 pitches) in his last start. I also like the fact that Gerrit Cole has dropped below $11K on DraftKings for the first time in close to a month. While the K rate is down some(36.7%) it is still in elite territory and he has been consistent holding opponents to two or fewer earned runs in 11 of 13 starts(1 or less in 7 starts) this season. He has also had the Jays number holding them to just three earned runs over two starts with 16 strikeouts. All things considered, he is my top pitcher in cash games and my exposure in GPP will come down to deGrom status throughout the day.

Also Consider: Clayton Kershaw(LAD) as a -150 favorite in a low total(7.5) game facing a Phillies team that strikes out 27.6% vs. left-handed pitching


Catcher/First Base

Matt OlsonMatt Olson FD - 1B 3700 DK - 1B 5700
Opponent - LAA (Griffin Canning) Park - OAK
FD - 11.98 DK - 8.88

The price is pretty much at its peak on DraftKings but first is pretty thin on the early slate and Matt Olson is not only having a breakout season, but he also gets an elite matchup. We know about the season numbers but he has been even better lately with hits in 10 of 12 games in June with four doubles, five home runs, and 15 RBI. That is a great month for some. He now faces Griffin Canning who gives up tons of hard contact(42%), scoring opportunities(1.44 WHIP), and mighas a 5.27 xFIP against lefties. There is also a good chance he is lower owned with most people paying up for Machado or Tatis in Coors Field.

Yuli GurrielYuli Gurriel FD - 1B 3100 DK - 1B 4900
Opponent - TEX (Jordan Lyles) Park - HOU
FD - 13.3 DK - 10.2

First of all, I am just thrilled to have a slate without Coors, and second, I am quite surprised that Gurriel is still under $5K on DraftKings on a smaller slate. I have mentioned many times how he is having a career year in his age 37 season coming into tonight hitting .323 with a .394 wOBA and sits Top 10 in RBI in the league. The Astros also get a plus matchup vs. Jordan Lyles so I will be trying to jam in as many as possible in all formats and it starts with Gurriel at first.

Second Base

Josh HarrisonJosh Harrison FD - 2B 3400 DK - 2B 3300
Opponent - PIT (Chase De Jong) Park - WSH
FD - 8.54 DK - 6.58

If you thought first base was tough, second is a wasteland so I will take the value(on DraftKings) and run. Harrison doesn't provide a ton of upside but has been consistent lately with hits in six of his last eight games including three extra-base hits. He is projected to hit 5th in the lineup and gets a plus matchup vs Chase de Jong and the Pirates. I will have exposure in all formats on DraftKings.

Also Consider: Jed Lowrie(OAK) on FanDuel at just $2,700 in a plus matchup and he has been hitting back up towards the top of the lineup

DJ LeMahieuDJ LeMahieu FD - 2B 3100 DK - 1B/2B 4200
Opponent - TOR (Ross Stripling) Park - TOR
FD - 11.66 DK - 9.01

While we are still waiting on the full upside from LeMahieu, he has really come on as of late with multi hits in four straight and five of his last six. The price on both sites is still in buy-low territory and will so be going up substantially if this hot hitting continues. There is a good chance it continues at least for tonight as the Yankees get a plus matchup vs. Ross Stripling so take advantage of the discount while it is still available.


José IglesiasJosé Iglesias FD - SS 2600 DK - SS 3700
Opponent - OAK (Cole Irvin) Park - OAK
FD - 9.25 DK - 7.23

I am sticking to value for the most part in the middle infield today, at least in cash games. The matchup isn't great against Irvin(3.70 ERA/4.54 xFIP) but he has given up four or more earned runs five times and doesn't strike many out. For Iglesias, he has been average overall but has been on a hot streak with hits in six of his last seven games going into Tuesday night and has a 111 wRC+ against lefties. At these prices, he is in play in all formats on the early slate.

Brandon CrawfordBrandon Crawford FD - SS 3000 DK - SS 4100
Opponent - ARI (Merrill Kelly) Park - SF
FD - 8.67 DK - 6.6
J.P. CrawfordJ.P. Crawford FD - SS 2700 DK - SS 3700
Opponent - MIN (Bailey Ober) Park - SEA
FD - 9.28 DK - 7.08

It's the Crawford show at shortstop tonight as both have been excellent values to their real-life teams and to our fantasy teams. Brandon is hitting his usual .250 but has seen a huge uptick in the production numbers early in the season with 15 home runs and 44 RBI in just 58 games. Combine this with a plus matchup vs. Merrill Kelly and you have a top PTS/$ play at the position.

If you are looking for even more value, look to J.P. Crawford who is currently hitting a career-high .274 and while he lacks the upside of Brandon, he does get a bump hitting leadoff for the Mariners and has hits in 11 of 14 games since taking over the role.

Third Base

Manny MachadoManny Machado FD - 3B 4500 DK - 3B 5600
Opponent - COL (Kyle Freeland) Park - COL
FD - 16.57 DK - 12.48

We are going to want as much exposure to the Padres as possible and if I had to choose just one it would be Machado who is much easier to fit under the salary cap today. He isn't putting up elite numbers but I see a turnaround coming soon as he is running a BABIP(.254) and is almost 50 points lower than his career mark. The kicker is the matchup against a struggling Kyle Freeland in Coors Field putting Machado right near the top of my exposure list overall and he is also my top play at third today.

Austin RileyAustin Riley FD - 3B 2800 DK - 3B 4900
Opponent - BOS (Garrett Richards) Park - ATL
FD - 10.84 DK - 8.17

If you have the salary, Jose Ramirez is at the top of my list tonight but comes with a hefty price tag so I will be personally looking elsewhere, at least in cash games. The Braves are a top 3 team in terms of implied runs tonight and Riley is in the midst of a breakout season and has not only been consistent with a .299 average/.384 OBP but has also provided a ton of upside with 12 home runs and a .218 ISO. I love that his price is hovering below $5K on DraftKings but his best value comes on FanDuel in the sub $3K range.


Justin UptonJustin Upton FD - OF 3300 DK - OF 4200
Opponent - OAK (Cole Irvin) Park - OAK
FD - 11.18 DK - 8.33

Almost all the top outfielders have been struggling or have a below-average matchup tonight which has me searching for value. The first name that jumped off the page was Justin Upton who has been red-hot with hits in 10 of his last 11 games with four doubles and four home runs. He now gets a matchup vs. a lefty and has tallied an elite .421 wOBA/172 wRC+ in the split and to top it off, has been the regular leadoff hitter for the Angels. At these prices, he is my favorite outfielder on the slate.

Yordan AlvarezYordan Alvarez FD - OF 3700 DK - OF 4700
Opponent - TEX (Jordan Lyles) Park - HOU
FD - 14.31 DK - 10.67
Michael BrantleyMichael Brantley FD - OF 3000 DK - OF 3900
Opponent - TEX (Jordan Lyles) Park - HOU
FD - 12.11 DK - 9.28

Back to the Astros in the outfield as I mentioned getting as much exposure as possible in this plus matchup and they have multiple options in the outfield at different price points. It starts with Yordan Alvarez who, like Gurriel, is still under $5K on DraftKings and provides an elite combination of consistency(.302 avg/.372 wOBA) and power upside(9 HR, 35 RBI). For Brantley, he missed two weeks with an injury but has picked up where he left off with hits in five of six games including four multi-hit efforts pushing his average over .340 on the season. Both players are top players in the outfield tonight.





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