Thursday, June 24, opens up with a two-game afternoon snack followed by an eight-game main slate. 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, Thursday, June 24
Yahoo Stack of the Day: Toronto Blue Jays vs. RHP Dean Kremer — 6.5 implied runs
Once again an Orioles pitcher presents a targetable matchup. Toronto is currently playing its homes games at their Triple-A facility in Buffalo, N.Y. While this is a couple steps up from its Single-A spring training location in Florida, it is still a friendly environment for offense.
Today marks the 16th start for Dean Kremer. Across 68 innings he is notching nearly a strikeout per frame. That, however, is the end of the good news, as he has also ceded 13 home runs on his way to a 5.82 ERA and 1.47 WHIP. While his 5.04 xFIP indicate he has been somewhat unlucky, he is still allowing ISOs over .224 to batters from both sides of the plate, with seven home runs allowed to righties and six to lefties.
George Springer is back in action after his second stint on the injured list, which was sandwiched around his only four healthy games of the season. Though he is hitless in seven at-bats since returning, the Blue Jays’ offense is not at full strength for the first time in nearly two months. Over the last two-plus seasons, only Lourdes Gurriel (.184) and catcher Reese McGuire (.189) have a sub-.200 ISO. It is hard to go wrong with any of the nine projected starters, at least until the actual action starts. Mix and match any way salary and position requirements allow on the main slate.
New York Yankees vs. RHP Brad Keller — 5.5 implied runs
This has been a disaster of a season for Brad Keller. Between 2018 and 2021 he kept batters in check and was arguably the best starter in the league at limiting power. In 771 matchups against lefties he allowed a miniscule 0.68 home runs per nine innings and a .100 ISO. Same-handed hitters found the going equally as tough, with 736 managing only 0.53 home runs per nine innings and a .102 ISO. While Keller did not strike out many batters, he rarely was blown up by the opposition.
That has all gone out the window this season, with lefties rolling up 1.33 home runs per nine innings and a .178 ISO, with righties not far behind at 1.19 home runs per nine innings and a .182 ISO. His pitch mix and velocity have not changed much at all in his four seasons, so perhaps the league has finally caught up to the two-pitch arsenal that is not deceptive at all.
The Yankees lineup improves with the return of Luke Voit, and he can be incorporated into any stack in all formats. The usual Yankee targets are in play as well, with D.J. LeMahieu, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton rounding out the core four MLB DFS picks.
Minnesota Twins vs. RHP Jean Carlos Mejia — 5.1 implied runs
Tonight is going to be a warm one in the Twin Cities, with game-time temperatures in the mid-80s and an 8 to 10 mph breeze out to right field. In his four June outings, Jean Carlos Mejia has been consistently ineffective. Over 12.2 innings he has an 8.53 ERA, 1.263 WHIP, nine strikeouts and two home runs allowed while inducing only 16 ground balls against 25 fly-ball outs.
It seems like Minnesota is the most snake-bit team in the league; they just lost Byron Buxton to the injured list yet again, this time with a fractured left hand after being hit by a pitch. While Max Kepler has returned, Josh Donaldson is now day-to-day, and Mitch Garver, Kyle Garlick, Jake Cave and Rob Refsnyder are still out.
Kepler and Nelson Cruz are the priority plays, along with Miguel Sano if he is in the lineup. Trevor Larnach and Alex Kirilloff will have the platoon advantage, though both are struggling with the MLB learning curve at the moment. Depending on available salary, positional needs and their placement in the batting order, Luis Arraez and Jorge Polanco are not going to wow with their power, but they should be able to get on base.
Top Target: RHP Luis H. Garcia at Detroit Tigers — 3.9 implied runs
DFS Salary: Yahoo $45 | FanDuel $9,600 | DraftKings $8,700
The cash game pairing on the two-pitcher sites tonight will be Luis H. Garcia and Walker Buehler. However, if choosing only one, the initial lean is towards Garcia for the sizable discount of 20% on Yahoo and 30% on DraftKings. Targeting pitchers against the Tigers has generally been a savvy strategy this season, as their lineup gets thin rather quickly. The strikeouts have been there for Garcia, who is averaging 10.2 per nine innings, a sterling 2.82 ERA and just over one baserunner per inning. Though it is tricky to project a victory for a starting pitcher, it should be noted that Houston is a 2-to-1 road favorite tonight.
Secondary Target: Walker Buehler vs. Chicago Cubs — 3.2 implied runs
DFS Salary: Yahoo $54 | FanDuel $11,000 | DraftKings $11,500
It will be interesting to see if the Cubs look to give Buehler an additional review for substances on top of the two that are mandated by the latest Rob Manfred directive. For what it’s worth, Buehler’s spin rates on his fastball and curve increased by around 10 to 15% between 2018 and present day. Additionally, they have both noticeably decreased over his last couple starts. Before panicking, it should be noted that in his four starts this month he has a 1.71 ERA, two home runs allowed and a strikeout per inning. This season Chicago is in the top five for strikeouts against right-handed pitching, and they are creating runs nearly 10% less than league average.
Wild Card: RHP Chad Kuhl at St Louis Cardinals — 4.9 implied runs
DFS Salary: Yahoo $30 | FanDuel $5,800 | DraftKings $6,900
This is the fun part of DFS baseball. Typically it would be smart to recommend hitters against Chad Kuhl rather than suggesting Mr. Kuhl himself. However, the Cardinals have been brutal this season against right-handed pitching, producing runs 15% less efficiently than league average. They are in the bottom third of the league for power and bottom five for walks, although they are striking out 23.0% of the time, which is below league average.
Over their last 22 games St. Louis has just five victories and are averaging 2.95 runs scored in this stretch. The upside for Kuhl would be a quality start, which he has posted in two of his last three appearances. Something in the five-inning range with a couple of runs and a handful of strikeouts is an acceptable performance for tonight’s salary.
Final Thoughts for the Thursday, June 24, MLB DFS Slate
Today it looks like there will not be any precipitation issues for all four MLB slates. 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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