MLB DFS Plays: Saturday 6/12

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This article outlines the best daily fantasy MLB plays of the day at every position. We take a comprehensive look to uncover these core recommendations, factoring respective salaries into the analysis.

Please note, these player picks were organized early in the day. For MLB contests, always check lineups and weather closer to game time. Rain, wind, or unexpected managerial decisions could open up additional sources of value. Be sure to keep an eye on the MLB Headlines and Injuries desk.

Take note: today’s 11-game main slate kicks off at 4:05pm ET.

PITCHER

Top Play: Corbin BurnesBrewers (vs Pirates)

After a mini-slump, Burnes is coming off his best outing to date. The Pirates actually represent a modest challenge. They’re one of the least strikeout prone offenses, and they’ve recently been reinforced with Ke’Bryan Hayes, Colin Moran, and Phillip Evans. Even so, Burnes projects to lead the slate with somewhere around five-and-two-thirds innings and eight strikeouts.

Pivot: Caleb Smith – Diamondbacks (vs Angels)

The Angels have a much-diminished offense with only Justin Upton, Shohei Ohtani, and Jared Walsh rating as threats lately. Ohtani might not play on account of it being a National League game. Smith can’t be counted upon for much more than 20 to 24 batters which will hopefully see him through five innings. He typically records over a strikeout per inning so we’re looking for something like five innings, six strikeouts, and around a one-in-four chance for the win bonus.

Also Consider: Joe Musgrove, Dylan Cease, Rich Hill, Max Fried, Yusei Kikuchi, Wade Miley

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CATCHER

Top Play: Yermin MercedesWhite Sox (at Jose Urena)

Urena is a pitch-to-contact ground ball guy. Mercedes’ aggressive approach, natural lift, and valuable lineup role combine for the best median and ceiling among catchers. However, he’s not a good dollar-for-dollar value. You’ll likely be better off going for a mid-tier catcher today.

Pivot: Max Stassi – Angels (at Caleb Smith)

Yesterday’s recommendation for Stassi remains true even in a more challenging matchup. In limited work, he’s delivering premium hard and barreled contact rates. Smith is a left-handed fly ball pitcher, a profile against which Stassi should thrive.

Also Consider: Salvador Perez, Yasmani Grandal, Gary Sanchez, J.T. Realmuto, Sean Murphy, Eric Haase, Omar Narvaez, Christian Vazquez

FIRST BASE

Top Play: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – Blue Jays (at Nick Pivetta)

This is almost a golden matchup. Pivetta is a fly ball pitcher and Vladito’s incredible talent is maximized against such hurlers. However, his home runs tend to be line drive missiles. The Green Monster could potentially steal a couple, turning a blast into a single or double. Even so, he has a one-in-four chance to homer along with the usual mid-lineup run production opportunities.

Pivot: Danny Santana – Red Sox (vs Steven Matz)

It’s my sincere hope the Red Sox don’t give up on Santana too soon. He has high rates of hard and barreled contact. The element that’s missing is line drives – just one of 30 batted balls. This has small sample quirk written all over it. As the line drives balance out, his .107 BABIP should rise towards his .327 career BABIP. That in turn would yield an above average batting line.

All of this is to say that Santana looks like he’s terrible but might actually be just fine. He’s not bargain priced, but he is an affordable pivot who should be close to un-rostered. He has about a one-in-six chance to homer along with various other positive outcomes.

Also Consider: Freddie Freeman, Matt Olson, Jose Abreu, Rhys Hoskins, Jonathan Schoop, Trey Mancini, Jared Walsh, Bobby Bradley

SECOND BASE

Top Play: Ozzie Albies – Braves (at Zach Thompson)

Albies slumped out of the gate this season. Since late-April, he’s hitting a torried .299/.368/.569 with all kinds of extra base hits (27 in 185 plate appearances). The Marlins are starting a depth reliever – the kind who ideally doesn’t spend much time on the active roster. The Braves feature as one of the top stacks with Albies playing a central role.

Pivot: Jonathan India – Reds (vs German Marquez)

India’s price tag is on the rise, but he remains one of my favorite DFS targets thanks to his above average across the board talent. He’s in the midst of a hot streak and benefits from a friendly home park. Marquez tends to make a few too many mistakes over the heart of the plate.

Also Consider: Marcus Semien, Brandon Lowe, Jonathan Schoop, Josh Rojas, Jean Segura, Brendan Rodgers, Shed Long, Brad Miller

THIRD BASE

Top Play: Anthony Rendon – Angels (at Smith)

Rendon’s had a worryingly hard time getting going this season. His profile – modest hard contact rates with a strong lean towards fly ball contact – is the most negatively affected by the 2021 baseballs. An investigation of his peripherals reveals relatively normal production aside from a modest increase in swinging strike and in-zone swing rates. The two things that are different? A career-worst .262 BABIP and 5.1 percent HR/FB ratio. I can’t say for certain those will normalize, but it seems like a reasonable bet. Rendon has superior plate discipline versus left-handed pitchers which helps all of his outcomes to play up. He’s a better value than some of the slightly superior alternatives like Jose Ramirez and Yoan Moncada.

Pivot: Kyle Seager – Mariners (at Triston McKenzie)

McKenzie is unquestionably a talented pitcher, but he’s really struggled to execute his pitches this season. In particular, he’s lost feel for his changeup which has made him susceptible to left-handed hitters. Seager projects for a one-in-four chance to homer. I’m inclined to manually adjust that down to around a one-in-five shot since they’re both extreme fly ball guys.

Also Consider: Jose Ramirez, Yoan Moncada, Eduardo Escobar, Austin Riley, Luis Urias, Gio Urshela, Alex Bohm

SHORTSTOP

Top Play: Tim Anderson – White Sox (at Urena)

Anderson is far and away the likeliest to supply one or multiple hits this afternoon. He’ll need to find holes in the infield though since he’s unlikely to lift the ball for extra base damage against Urena. The Tigers bullpen does include plenty of exploitable neutral and fly ball pitchers.

Pivot: Willy Adames – Brewers (vs Chad Kuhl)

Since joining the Brewers, Adames is hitting .294/.377/.485 with the peripherals to match. He’s also improved his walk and strikeout rates. He’s even tamed the steepness of his launch angle which could help explain the steep drop in punch outs. In any event, Kuhl is a below average pitcher with modest ground ball tendencies – the exact sort Adames should pummel. He’s the first player I added to my lineup today.

Also Consider: Trevor Story, Bo Bichette, Marcus Semien, Josh Rojas, Brendan Rodgers, Niko Goodrum

OUTFIELD

Top Plays: Bryce Harper – Phillies (vs Jameson Taillon)
Nick Castellanos – Reds (vs Marquez)
Aaron Judge – Yankees (at Vince Velasquez)

I don’t know why Castellanos is so inexpensive. He’s among the leaders in projected hits, home runs, runs, and RBI. He’s practically a must-play bargain which means he’ll also be very chalky in GPPs. Harper and Judge also project favorably in the power department. They both have juicy matchups for multi-homer potential. Harper’s even reasonably affordable due to his injury-related slump. Of course, we can’t be certain he’s out of the woods yet.

Pivots: Taylor Trammell – Mariners (at McKenzie)
Adam Engel – White Sox (at Urena)

Engel is the cheapest and highest value portion of the White Sox stack. He broke out last season with the help of a more contact-oriented approach. He actually has sneaky power, typically managing max exit velocities around 111-mph. He also has enough lift in his swing to do damage against both Urena and his lousy supporting cast. Trammell didn’t get a shot to start yesterday. He should appreciate a matchup against McKenzie who’s pitching like a Quad-A hurler at the moment. Trammell sealed his own Quad-A credentials by hitting .384/.413/.726 in 80 Triple-A plate appearances this season.

Also Consider: Christian Yelich, Avisail Garcia, Jesse Winker, Ronald Acuna, Teoscar Hernandez, Justin Upton, Danny Santana, J.D. Martinez, Alex Verdugo, Dillon Thomas, Jake Fraley, Andrew Vaughn