MLB DFS Plays: Tuesday 6/1

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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.

PITCHER

Top Play: Tyler Glasnow – Rays (at Yankees)

This is quite obviously not an ideal matchup. The Yankees lineup, while missing some familiar faces, is effectively at full strength. However, Glasnow is the type of pitcher who is usable against all opponents if the price is right. He’s cheaper than Aaron Nola and Sandy Alcantara tonight, two pitchers with tough opponents of their own. Glasnow should be treated as a volatile play. He projects for a little over five innings with around 7.5 strikeouts – fair output for his price tag. There’s a one-in-four chance to catch over six innings and over 10 strikeouts which would likely make him the leading pitcher. In fact, only twice has he recorded fewer than eight strikeouts – one of those times was against the Yankees.

Pivot: Robbie Ray – Blue Jays (vs Marlins)

The Blue Jays have relocated their home field from Dunedin to Buffalo. They’re now in a Wrigley Field-like venue where winds off Lake Erie will often greatly influence the game. The breeze should be tame tonight. Cool temperatures will help the venue to play like a pitcher’s park. Ray’s greatest issue this season has been home runs. Aside from a surplus of dingers, he’s having a career-best season including an uncharacteristic 2.25 BB/9. His velocity is also humming at a career-high 95.3-mph. The Miami offense is both below average and dinged up.

If Ray isn’t your speed, there are a LOT of viable pitchers tonight.

Also Consider: Aaron Nola, Sandy Alcantara, Michael Pineda, Chris Bassitt, Sonny Gray, Alex Wood, Eric Lauer, Marcus Stroman, Luis Garcia, Andrew Heaney, Brady Singer

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CATCHER

Top Play: Mitch Garver – Twins (at Bruce Zimmermann)

Garver has reached a sort of equilibrium between his masterful 2019 and dreadful 2020. His strikeout and swinging strike rates have increased from his peak, but they’re also well below his trough. The result is a sort of less extreme version of Gary Sanchez. Expect a low batting average with a home run per every 11 batted balls. Zimmermann is a hittable ground ball pitcher. Garver is the truest multi-homer threat at the position.

Pivot: Omar Narvaez – Brewers (vs Matt Boyd)

Narvaez probably shouldn’t be a pivot tonight, but he is the cheapest “good” backstop likely to start. He bats fifth in a decent Brewers lineup set to face a rapidly regressing Matt Boyd. The Tigers southpaw has somewhat miraculously avoided home runs this season after over a half decade of elevated homer rates. There’s no reason to expect continued success in this regard. The roof at American Family Park should be open tonight which helps the ball to fly. Boyd has career-long issues with right-handed hitters. As a fly ball pitcher, he specifically matches up poorly against Narvaez’s contact profile.

Also Consider: Salvador Perez, Willson Contreras, J.T. Realmuto, Casey Kelly, Will Smith, Buster Posey

FIRST BASE

Top Play: Miguel Sano – Twins (at Zimmermann)

A Twins stack should be popular tonight given Zimmermann’s relative mediocrity, Camden Yards, and the multi-homer potential inherent in many Twins hitters. Sano, like Garver, matches up particularly well. His most glaring weakness is a near-40 percent strikeout rate. Zimmermann should at least tamp that down to a 25 percent expected rate for his first couple plate appearances. Sano is probably best viewed as a stack or GPP one-off target. He’s one of the likeliest to lead the hitting slate with a multi-homer tirade, but it’s also around a one-in-ten outcome. The mode for tonight’s projection is probably a zero with multiple strikeouts.

Pivot: Carlos Santana – Royals (vs Wil Crowe)

Crowe really isn’t a Major League caliber pitcher. Projection systems tab him for anywhere between a 5.00 and 6.00 ERA. Incidentally, he has an actual 5.67 ERA through 27 innings. Crowe has below average command, doesn’t induce whiffs, and is prone to home runs. The Royals stack might not completely slip through the cracks, but it should be rather overlooked. Santana “suffers” from a high walk rate which slightly depresses his DFS output. We want him hunting multiple extra base hits with run production.

Also Consider: Pete Alonso, Kris Bryant, Freddie Freeman, Matt Olson, Trey Mancini, C.J. Cron, Alex Kirilloff, Nate Lowe

SECOND BASE

Top Play: Jose Altuve – Astros (vs Garrett Richards)

Altuve is very quietly having a rebound season. One of the reasons it’s been so quiet is that his performances haven’t translated to big DFS point totals. However, only J.D. Martinez has more multi-hit games. Altuve is an ever-present threat to fill the boxscore with hits, run production, and even the rare multi-homer adventure. Richards isn’t a perfect matchup – they’re both ground ball guys.

Pivot: Taylor Walls – Rays (at Domingo German)

German’s fantasy reputation exceeds his actual talent. The reason has to do with certain predictor stats like swinging strike rate and CSW%. These are typically very useful for identifying breakout potential, but certain pitcher profiles – like German – can underperform. His main issue is that he intentionally pitches to contact with his fastballs but doesn’t limit the quality of that contact. In short, he’s a merely decent pitcher with the raw ingredients to become a great pitcher someday. He’ll flash brilliance now but also isn’t immune to mistakes. Walls is a cheap option with pristine plate discipline and just enough sneaky pop to escape Yankee Stadium.

Also Consider:

THIRD BASE

Top Play: Josh Donaldson – Twins (at Bruce Zimmermann)

Donaldson is a safer choice than the aforementioned Garver and Sano. His comparatively high rate of contact reduces the risk of strikeouts while he still has a small chance to deliver that coveted multi-homer ceiling. He also pairs better against the Orioles deceptively decent relief corps.

Pivot: Austin Riley – Braves (vs Stephen Strasburg)

Most DFSers are liable to avoid the Braves opposite Strasburg. However, the Nationals second ace isn’t quite in vintage form. He’s on a pitch count and missing velocity. His command and whiff rate are also worse than normal. I have him penned in for a 4.50 ERA tonight. Riley is now batting cleanup and so benefits from extra run production opportunities. He’s having a superb season both in terms of power and hitting for average.

Also Consider: Sano, Eduardo Escobar, Alex Bregman, Ryan McMahon, Rafael Devers, Manny Machado, Nolan Arenado, Anthony Rendon, Hunter Dozier

SHORTSTOP

Top Play: Fernando Tatis Jr. – Padres (at Kyle Hendricks)

The Cubs command phenom hasn’t been on top of his game this season. The Wrigley winds are blowing out to left at seven-mph, making this a slightly better than neutral day for right-handed power hitters. Tatis has slightly worse than a one-in-three chance to homer. The Cubs bullpen is exploitable too.

Pivot: Carlos Correa – Astros (vs Richards)

Shortstop plays a tad shallow today as Adalberto Mondesi will probably rest with a tweaked hammy. Most of the others are overpriced relative to their matchup.

Correa has a slightly better ratio of projected output to price than most of the shortstop studs. He’s recently resumed batting cleanup while Yordan Alvarez deals with a sore wrist. Like Altuve, his real-world performance this season has been better than his DFS numbers indicate. He’s arguably having his best season at the plate and seems primed for a power surge. His launch angle is a tad low to make this a perfect matchup, but it is still favorable.

Also Consider: Trea Turner, Javier Baez, Willy Adames, Gavin Lux, Walls

OUTFIELD

Top Plays: Nelson Cruz – Twins (at Zimmermann)
Kyle Tucker – Astros (vs Richards)
Joey Gallo – Rangers (at German Marquez)

We nearly got through this article without talking about any Coors Field hitters – this despite both lineups ranking among the better stacking opportunities. The individuals just aren’t very attractive by themselves with the exception of Gallo. His fly ball tendencies match up beautifully with Marquez’s ground ball rate.

Cruz leads the slate in projected output, home run potential, and by extension, multi-homer potential. He has better than a two-in-five shot to fire at least one deep fly. Tucker remains woefully underpriced as one of the 10 best hitters in this slate. He has a valuable lineup role, ridiculously low cost, and favorable matchup.

Pivots: Edward Olivares – Royals (vs Crowe)
Rob Refsnyder – Twins (at Zimmermann)

There’s no shortage of outfield bargains in this slate. Both of these are top of the pile plays – assuming they start! Olivares is a speed-first hitter with above average plate discipline and just enough power to keep pitchers honest. He hit .295/.473/.654 in 93 Triple-A plate appearances this season. Crowe is a prototypical Triple-A pitcher. Refsnyder, once a well-liked prospect, is having his best season since his Major League debut in 2015. He’s batting .320/.364/.500 with a new fly ball-oriented approach. He’s been able to ambush pitchers expecting a slappy, ground ball swing from him. Now he’s reaching the point where the league is adjusting. It’s still an excellent profile to use versus Zimmermann in particular.

Also Consider: Juan Soto, Ronald Acuna, Bryant, Austin Meadows, Willie Calhoun, Khris Davis, Hunter Dozier, Trevor Larnach, Kirilloff