Thursday, June 3, has a robust eight-game main slate with Pittsburgh looking like the only weather concern. Let’s get into the top MLB DFS picks for pitchers and stacks for Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel.
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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks, Thursday, June 3rd
Today will mark the second start of this season for Jon Duplantier, which doubles as his 17th appearance in The Show. Two-thirds of his outings have been as a reliever, so that can obfuscate some of his rates against major league hitters. The 39 strikeouts in 41.1 innings are solid, as are the paltry three home runs allowed, but he allows too many baserunners, which is demonstrated by his 1.60 WHIP. In his first start last Friday against St. Louis, Duplantier threw 86 pitches. Thus between now and the All-Star Break he will get a chance to stick in the Diamondbacks rotation.
Yahoo has very favorable salaries today for the majority of the Brewers, which makes them a very malleable group that will provide flexibility as a primary or secondary stack. A bonus is that Omar Narvaez ($11) is a bargain at catcher who will be hitting in the middle of the order. Daniel Vogelbach ($12) and Travis Shaw ($10) provide power upside at the corner positions, and Christian Yelich ($18) is a targeted play in all formats.
Kansas City Royals vs. LHP J.A. Happ — 4.7 implied runs
This is the 15th season for 38-year-old J.A. Happ. The Twins just want him to take the mound every fifth day and throw 90 to 100 pitches and give their bullpen a respite. While Happ has done a solid job of limiting power, the strikeouts are few and far between as he embraces the strategy of pitching to contact. That can lead to some big innings with a couple mistakes followed up by an extra-base hit. The Royals are second in the league with 40 stolen bases, and they like to push things at every opportunity.
The projected lineup for Kansas City has a paltry 15.9% strikeout rate against southpaws over the last two-plus seasons. They have a nice mix of contact hitters such as Carlos Santana and Salvador Perez. They also have cheap power upside with Hunter Dozier and Michael A. Taylor, along with the speedy Whit Merrifield at the top of the order. Rookie Edward Olivares has shown some flashes of upside replacing the slumping and dinged-up Jorge Soler, and he is providing solid salary cap relief on most DFS sites.
Chicago Cubs at RHP Anthony DeSclafani — 4.5 implied runs
Back-to-back games against the Dodgers at home and then on the road saw the wheels come off of the wagon for Anthony DeSclafani. Across 7.1 innings in these games, DeSclafani allowed 21 baserunners and 12 earned runs, ceding two home runs and recording just six strikeouts. Traditionally, lefties have given DeSclafani fits.
Joc Pederson should be at the top of the Cubs’ lineup today, and he has tremendous homerun possibilities with his .275 ISO in his last 766 matchups against opposite-handed hurlers. Anthony Rizzo is also very much in play batting in the heart of the order with his .230 ISO against righties, and switch-hitter Ian Happ is sliding under the radar of most DFS salary algorithms, which has him in the mix as part of a stack or as a one-off discount dandy.
Top Target: RHP Yu Darvish vs. New York Mets — 3.2 implied runs
DFS Salary: Yahoo $53 | FanDuel $11,500 | DraftKings $10,700
It is going to cost a pretty penny to roll with Yu Darvish tonight, but the matchup against the depleted Mets is a good one. New York has key batsmen such as Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil and J.D. Davis on the injured list. Jonathan Villar is dinged up as well and unlikely to play tonight. While Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor and Dominic Smith are solid bats, things fall off quickly after that with the understudies rounding out the rest of the lineup. Darvish has tallied a 30.9% strikeout and 6.7% walk rates across the last 1,300 batters he has faced while limiting them to a .160 ISO. Tonight he is the clear top pitcher.
Secondary Option: RHP Adam Wainwright vs. Cincinnati Reds — 3.6 implied runs
DFS Salary: Yahoo $35 | FanDuel $9,000 | DraftKings $9,800
Adam Wainwright is seeing an uptick in strikeouts with nearly one per inning. This could be a result of the new baseball, favorable umpires or just a small sample size, but through 10 starts he has allowed four or fewer runs seven times. The opposing Reds losing Joey Votto and Mike Moustakas to injury definitely waters down their lineup and decreases the danger factor. Wainwright is a solid SP2 on Yahoo in all formats for his reasonable salary, and he becomes a tournament differentiation option on FanDuel and DraftKings.
Wild Card: RHP Vladimir Gutierrez at St Louis Cardinals — 4.4 implied runs
DFS Salary: Yahoo $28 | FanDuel $6,000 | DraftKings $5,000
While there is no reason to roll with Vladimir Gutierrez on FanDuel, as there is more bang to be had from the top-shelf options, on Yahoo and DraftKings he is an intriguing SP2 with his bargain-basement salary. The Cardinals are a tough lineup, but Gutierrez only needs to survive and not give up negative numbers. This is a tournament-only play, but the savings will allow for building some otherwise phenomenal lineups.
Final Thoughts for the Thursday, June 3rd MLB DFS Slate
This should be a fun tournament slate, as there are many different roster construction strategies that are viable tonight. 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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