Friday, June 25, leads into another fun weekend with a plethora of pitchers to target against. Let’s get into the top MLB DFS picks for pitchers and stacks for Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy baseball lineups.
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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks, Friday, June 25
While it would be great to roll with the Blue Jays or Astros tonight, the Yahoo salary algorithm has put them above my budget. Not to fear, there are plenty of other excellent offensive environments that offer more value. The salaries for the Yankees are quite enticing, Martin Perez is still not the most targetable pitcher. Despite allowing 12 earned runs and four round-trippers in his last three starts spanning 9.1 innings, he has allowed more than three earned runs only three times this year. Look to the opposing dugout and let the masses roll with the Yankees tonight.
Domingo German has allowed home runs in four of his last five starts, including three multi-homer outings. In 24.2 innings spanning these appearances German has posted a 6.20 ERA while allowing 1.74 baserunners per inning and a pedestrian 7.66 strikeouts per nine innings. The 2.55 home runs per nine innings are particularly enticing in combination with Boston’s reasonable salaries.
Rafael Devers ($21) is the only Boston hitter with a salary over $18 on Yahoo tonight. This is still a steal when considering that he has a .401 wOBA and a .295 ISO in his last 828 plate appearances against opposite-handed hurlers. Alex Verdugo ($17), Xander Bogaerts ($18) and J.D. Martinez ($15) are all sporting .200-plus ISOs over the last two-plus seasons against righties. Adding in Michael Chavis ($11) or Christian Vazquez ($8), further averages down the salary cap hit per position for the top Yahoo stack of the night.
St. Louis Cardinals vs. RHP Wil Crowe — 5.5 implied runs
If there is anything that can serve as the catalyst to get the St. Louis offense going, it’s a matchup with Wil Crowe. This has been a rough go for Crowe, who will be making just his 13th career start tonight. In his 49 innings in the majors, he has a dreadful 7.35 ERA, 1.76, 14 home runs allowed and a tick shy of one strikeout per inning.
Over their last 23 games, the Cardinals have logged only five victories while averaging 2.91 runs. Game-time temperatures will be in the upper 80s with heavy humidity, along with a 10 to 12 mph breeze heading out to left field. While the Cardinals have a righty-heavy lineup, Crowe has been equally bad against hitters on either side of the plate.
The initial focus should be on Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado, who are easily the most accomplished Cardinal bats. Tyler O’Neill struggles to make contact, with a 31.4% strikeout rate in his last 405 same-handed matchups, though when he does he has a .254 ISO. Depending on where they are in the batting order, switch-hitters Dylan Carlson and Tommy Edman are solid options. Yadier Molina can also be used to fill catcher obligations. On the evening slate, Paul DeJong has multi-extra-base hit upside and will be overlooked at the bottom of the order, as will Lars Nootbaar, who has just 11 big league at-bats under his belt. Using these two hitters is a good way to get some differentiation.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. RHP Jake Arrieta — 5.1 implied runs
Thursday night starter Zach Davies and three relievers combined to no-hit the Dodgers, though they did allow eight walks. In a fun twist, Jake Arrieta’s no-hitter back in August of 2015 took place in Chavez Ravine, though Justin Turner is the only Dodger from that game still on the Los Angeles roster.
Over four June starts, Arrieta has managed to last only 15 innings and has a 9.00 ERA, a 1.60 WHIP and five home runs allowed. He has surrendered 14 home runs this season, among the league leaders, and this is nowhere close to being offset by his 7.63 strikeouts per nine innings. With Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger returning from the injured list this week, Corey Seager is the only key member of this veritable All-Star lineup still sidelined. Focus on the lefties first, as Arrieta has allowed a .218 ISO to opposite-handed hitters over his last 538 matchups. Mookie Betts, Will Smith and Turner are all excellent options as well in this get-right spot.
Top Target: LHP Carlos Rodon vs. Seattle Mariners — 3.2 implied runs
DFS Salary: Yahoo $45 | FanDuel $9,600 | DraftKings $10,700
This season Seattle has been a bottom-five offense against southpaws, creating runs 15% less efficiently than league average. They have the fifth-highest strikeout rate (27.6%) with league-average power. While tonight’s venue is an offensive upgrade over their home park, that barely moves the needle. Over the last 450 batters he has faced, Carlos Rodon has a 32.6% strikeout rate, is limiting hard contact to 35.8% and has an impressive 3.85 xFIP. As long as he is able to negotiate the less-than-daunting trio of Mitch Haniger, Ty France and Tom Murphy, Rodon should be in line for an excellent fantasy performance.
Secondary Target: LHP Framber Valdez at Detroit Tigers — 3.3 implied runs
DFS Salary: Yahoo $43 | FanDuel $10,700 | DraftKings $10,200
This has been a phenomenal season for Framber Valdez, who was recovering from an injury and did not make his first start until Memorial Day Weekend. In the four starts since then, Valdez is averaging seven innings and 101 pitches while logging a 1.59 ERA, 0.917 WHIP, 7.94 strikeouts per nine innings and ceding only two home runs. While his fantasy upside is not as high as Rodon’s, he has a comparable point-per-dollar projection with his matchup against Detroit.
Wild Card: RHP Chris Paddack vs. Arizona Diamondbacks — 3.0 implied runs
DFS Salary: Yahoo $44 | FanDuel $8,500 | DraftKings $8,800
Chris Paddack is locked in, with 26 strikeouts over his last 17 innings for 13.7 per nine. In this stretch he has faced the Mets twice and the Reds once while averaging just over 88 pitches per appearance. Arizona has won once in its last 20 games and three times in its last 36. It is the second-worst offense in the league against right-handed pitching and has the lowest power numbers. Its 3.0 implied run total has already dropped by two-tenths from the overnight numbers and may fall even lower. The Padres are 3-to-1 favorites to garner the victory as well.
Final Thoughts for the Friday, June 25, MLB DFS Slate
Keep an eye on the weather forecasts leading up to first pitch in the Midwest. Detroit, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis all have precipitation risk to varying degrees. As always, be mindful that salaries and scoring formats differ across the various fantasy sites, and a home run play on Yahoo may be a below-average MLB DFS pick on DraftKings or FanDuel.
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