MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks for Wednesday, June 2nd

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·8 min read
MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks for Wednesday, June 2nd
MLB DFS Picks & Stacks for Yahoo, DraftKings + FanDuel daily fantasy baseball lineups, including today's top pitchers | Wednesday, 6/2
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Wednesday, June 2nd is the first of two getaway days this week which means early baseball. Half of the teams playing today will be in new cities tomorrow, and the travel combined with day games after night games may lead to a few veterans getting some rest. Let’s get into the top MLB DFS picks for pitchers and stacks for Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel.

Be sure head over to the Awesemo MLB DFS home page for all the best written daily fantasy baseball content, including daily article like Spotlight Pitchers, MLB DFS Tournament Strategy and MLB Cheat Sheets for all the major DFS sites.

MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Stacks, Wednesday, June 2nd

Yahoo Stack of the Day: Atlanta Braves vs. LHP Jon Lester — 5.4 implied runs

Today the Rockies in Coors Field against old friend Jordan Lyles and the Twins in Camden Yards facing journeyman Matt Harvey somehow escaped notice from the Yahoo salary algorithm. They will be popular targets for good reason, so this section will focus on Atlanta, which is also in a tremendous spot.

Southpaw Jon Lester barely even qualifies as an innings eater at this point, making it beyond the fifth inning only twice this season and only going four innings in his last two starts. Lester’s fastball and changeup are each down a tick from last year, sitting at 88.6 mph and 82.2 mph, respectively. Since Lester gets noticeably worse the second time through the order, it makes sense to not let there be a third.

In his last 325 lefty/righty matchups, Lester is allowing a .205 ISO and a milquetoast 15.4% strikeout rate. Yesterday Ronald Acuna Jr. had himself a game and then some, scoring four of Atlanta’s six runs, recording two steals, a home run, a double and two RBIs. In his last 240 plate appearances against southpaws, Acuna has tallied a .390 wOBA and a .266 ISO. Ozzie Albies is finally heathy and back in the top third of the order. He excels when swinging the stick from the right side of the plate, with a .427 wOBA and a .305 ISO in his last 244 such matchups. Albies is also 7-for-9 with one home run, one steal and no strikeouts in his career against Lester.

Austin Riley tends to fly under the radar. However, he should always warrant strong consideration as a core member of Atlanta stacks against lefties. Today he comes with a lofty $21 salary on Yahoo, which is a lot to ask from anyone, but he has a .303 ISO in his last 173 plate appearances against lefties.

Finally, Freddie Freeman can hold his own against same-handed hurlers, and he has a couple career home runs against Lester. The hidden upside with all of the Bravos today is that the Nationals’ bullpen had to pick up the slack for Stephen Strasburg yesterday after he left in the second inning. Six relievers were used, and the only two that did not see action were righties Kyle Finnegan, who threw 29 pitches Sunday and another 33 on Monday, and Tanner Rainey, who threw 19 pitches on Monday. Needless to say, most all of the Braves are great MLB DFS picks today.

Early Slate

New York Mets at LHP Madison Bumgarner — 4.0 implied runs

There are some weather concerns in Cleveland and Cincinnati, so the Mets get the nod since they will not be affected by Mother Nature. This will be a lunchtime start in Arizona, and as such, the roof is scheduled to be closed to avoid the heat of the day. Madison Bumgarner has come back to earth in his three starts since his seven-inning no-hitter, recording 14 innings, four home runs, eight free passes and 12 strikeouts. In these games, Bumgarner’s pitch mix has gone away from the changeup he successfully used against Miami and is leaning more towards his fastball.

While New York is missing a few key bats, they have upside in the top half of the lineup. Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor are the obvious plays. James McCann should be behind the dish and has had sustained success against southpaws throughout his career. Leadoff man Jonathan Villar has hits in 14 of his last 17 games, including three home runs and a double, and he is also a stolen base threat.

Late Slate

Oakland Athletics at RHP Chris Flexen — 4.4 implied runs

There are only two games on the night slate, so there are limited options. The Dodgers going against Carlos Martinez in Chavez Ravine deserve attention, and gamers can also look once again to the Athletics, who did not disappoint with 12 runs against the Mariners. Once again, it is going to be warmer in Seattle with game-time temperatures approaching 80 degrees. Similar to the Nationals, the Mariners’ bullpen had to carry a heavy load last game, with four relievers combining for 123 pitches and getting shellacked for 11 runs. They used two of their three lefties, so it will likely be their righties coming in after Chris Flexen exits the game.

It is always a treat to target against Flexen because he lacks any semblance of strikeout upside. In his last four starts spanning 20.2 innings, he has only nine punchouts. While he has allowed just three home runs and four walks in these games, he pitches to contact, which has still resulted in 1.55 baserunners per inning and a 5.66 ERA. Keep in mind that he was so bad that the Mets outright released him in 2019, which technically was his best year in The Show: 6.59 ERA and a 2.05 WHIP in 13.2 innings. While he did earn his way back to the majors after pitching for the KBO last season, it is hard to think he will be with the team after the All-Star Break.

Because of his inability to generate swings and misses — 7.8% swinging strike rate and a 29.2% swing rate on pitches outside the zone — this is a nice spot for the Athletics’ power hitters. Gamers can target freely up and down the lineup, with just Chad Pinder and Tony Kemp as the two bats that can be skipped tonight as MLB DFS picks.

Spotlight Pitchers

Top Target: RHP Walker Buehler vs. Nolan Arenado — 3.2 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $52 | FanDuel $9,700 | DraftKings $10,600

The 3.2 implied run total for the Cardinals seems improbably low, but there were reliable sources that posted it at 3.1 runs. Walker Buehler has pitched at least six innings in all 10 of his starts averaging nearly 95 pitches, and with the Dodgers offense behind him, he is always live to earn the victory in any game where he takes the mound. Even though they have more left-handed batters than in recent seasons, the Cardinals are still in the bottom third of the league against right-handed pitchers. This also holds true when looking at the two- and three-year production for their current roster. While no pitcher is ever truly safe, Buehler grades out as the top option in all formats today.

Secondary Option: LHP Sean Manaea at Seattle Mariners — 3.6 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $38 | FanDuel $8,500 | DraftKings $9,600

Tonight there are not many discounted pitching options who are even remotely appealing, and with so many premium stacks, there are going to be some difficult decisions. This is definitely shaping up to be an outstanding tournament slate. On Yahoo, Sean Manaea is a core MLB DFS pick at just $38, and he is also arguably the best tournament play on FanDuel at $8,500. On DraftKings, the preference would be to move up to Buehler or down to rookie Alek Manoah, who is discussed below.

The Mariners batting order falls off quickly after the first four or five hitters. While Mitch Haniger, Kyle Seager and Tom Murphy are solid options, it gets pretty dire. Ty France is in play on DraftKings as a$2,800 second baseman to provide necessary salary cap relief, but that is about it. Evan White and Kyle Lewis are promising talents, but both are on the injured list.

Manaea will have some strikeout upside in this matchup both for his skillset and with Seattle likely forced to start four lefties. In his last two-plus seasons, Manaea is striking out same-handed hitters nearly 30% of the time. If he can navigate Haniger and Murphy, he should have a solid fantasy showing tonight.

Wild Card: RHP Alek Manoah vs. Miami Marlins — 3.6 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $48 | FanDuel $10,000 | DraftKings $8,200

The DFS salary algorithms are giving a great deal of respect to rookie Alek Manoah, who will be making just his second career start. On Thursday in his debut, he held the Yankees scoreless across five innings, with seven strikeouts, two hits and a pair of walks. Be mindful that the Blue Jays are now playing in their Buffalo Triple-A ballpark, which is still a favorable hitting environment, though not to the extent their Florida facility was.

During 2020, Manoah did not see any official action with the minor leagues shut down, but he tallied 18 innings across three starts for Buffalo before joining Toronto. He was sublime, posting 27 strikeouts, three walks and seven hits allowed. With his lofty salary today combined with several terrific hitting matchups, he will likely garner very little popularity. This makes him intriguing as a wild card option in a nice matchup with the Marlins. Manoah threw 88 pitches against New York, so while Toronto is unlikely to push him hard, there is a good chance he will get 85 to 90 pitches tonight.

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