Welcome back to MLB DFS, Money Monday edition. It’s me, Cousin Timmy, wishing you a belated Happy Father’s Day! I hope you all had a great day and were able to have some DFS success. I used to ask my dad every year what he wanted for Father’s Day and his response was always “I just want you to be a good boy and be nice to your mother.” With three kids of my own now, I finally realize what he meant. He just wanted some peace and quiet. No yelling, no trouble, and no stress. How does this translate to DFS? The gift everyone thinks they want is to bink a GPP. Sure that would be nice, but in reality we just want some calm in our process. No potential rainouts, no late scratches, and no starting pitchers getting pulled after 5 2/3 innings when we play on FanDuel. If I have that peace than I can theoretically just buy my own gifts or cash a double-up in DFS terms. Does that make sense? I hope so because we have some stats and plays to get too.
We have an eight-game main slate today with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm ET in Pittsburgh for the Cubs and Pirates. There are two late games tonight, both in southern California and because of regional sports network broadcast deals I can’t watch the Padres on MLB TV or YouTube TV (my current tv provider). Maybe I’ll just go to the game and check on Manny Machado’s hurt ankle in person. We have eight aces on the mound tonight including Shane McClanahan and Geritt Cole who will both face tonight’s opponent for the second strait start. They happen to be facing each other in what should be a great pitching matchup. The other news of note is that the Tigers actually scored some runs over the weekend and now have both top prospects in the starting lineup. Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson will hopefully help Detroit become respectable for the reminder of the season and tonight they are definitely in play priced below $2800 in Fenway against Josh Winckowski. Speaking of prospects, O’Neil Cruz is set to make his season debut with the Pirates. Yo-ho-ho! All right, you ready to win some money with me? Come on, let’s go!
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Since Tampa Bay lost a few of their starters weeks ago, their offense has struggled. Over the past 30 days the Rays have a 90 wRC+ and a 24% K rate. Wander Franco, Brandon Lowe, and Mike Zunino are all still out of the lineup and star outfielder Randy Arozarena is struggling, hitting just .209 in his last 12 games. Ji-Man Choi has had success against Cole hitting .474 with 3 HR in 19 at-bats in his career, but besides him, Cole should have no problem with this lineup. Cole has a 30% K rate on the season and has only given up one run in 12 innings against Tampa.
Choosing a second top tier starter tonight is tough with so many good pitchers on the mound but I’m going with Darvish. Corbin Burnes had 11 strikeouts vs the Cardinals in his last outing but pitches much better on the road. McClanahan is solid choice as he has held his own vs the Yankees in two starts but I can’t see him hitting a ceiling against the best offense in the majors. Lastly, Max Fried pitches better on the road but tonight is at home against the pesky Giants, who hit LHP really well. So the choice for me is Yu Darvish. He has not had a double-digit strikeout game yet this season with a high of eight, but his 30.5% CSW rate and 5% BB rate tell me he will soon. Tonight could be the that night vs an Arizona team that has a 24.4% K rate and a weak .299 wOBA on the season.
If you’re looking for value on this slate there are two guys you could go with, Josh Winckowski vs the Tigers or Thor vs Royals. With Detroit possibly heating up and Winckowski’s small sample size, let’s trust the hammer tonight and go with Thor. Syndergaard’s numbers are solid this season with a 3.53 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and a 47% ground ball rate. He’s not getting many whiffs with a 16% K rate but he limits free passes and gets out of jams. With the exception of starts at the Yankees and at Texas, he has limited opponents to 3 ER or less in his other eight starts. I’m expecting 30+ points tonight vs the Royals who have a bottom-five offense.
Wilson, not to be confused with William, is my top catcher tonight. He’s hitting .375 with 3 homers in his last six games. JT Brubaker is on the mound for the Pirates and he has a 10% BB rate while serving up 9 HR in 12 starts this season.
We’ll need some value in our lineups if we are using a top tier pitcher like Cole or Darvish. The Tigers see a light at the end of the tunnel with the addition of Riley Greene and Javier Baez possibly starting to produce something. Torkelson is cheap and has four hits in his last two games. He’ll get to face unproven rookie Josh Winckowski and hit into the shallow right field of Fenway Park.
It’s Story time in Boston tonight, so bring your kids to the game if you’re going. The Red Sox will face Alex Faedo and have a 5.6 implied run total, highest on the slate. Faedo has given up 6 HR in just 40 innings and has an xFIP of 4.46 the highest of any pitcher tonight that’s thrown more than 40 innings. Story has not been great lately hitting only .208 in his last 26 at-bats but we know the power he has and this is a great spot for the Sox.
The most expensive hitter on the slate, Devers deserves it. With Machado likely out few games and Austin Riley and Nolan Arenado facing elite pitchers, Devers is the clear cut choice at 3B today. He’ll likely be rostered in over 40% of lineups but it’s one of those days to eat the chalk. Devers has been elite all season leading all 3B with a .330 average and a 176 wRC+. These numbers are also top five in the majors for all hitters. Alex Faedo is on the mound for Detroit sporting a 44.5% fly ball rate to go with a 36% hard contact rate. This should translate to some home runs in Boston tonight and put Devers in a prime spot to go for extra bases.
Oniel Cruz, SS: $2000 – Pirates
I’m perfectly fine with playing Bogarts in this spot and will definitely have some shares of him in my Red Sox stacks but I wanted to highlight O’Neil Cruz who the Pirates plan to call up before tonight’s game. Cruz went 3-for-8 with a HR in two games to end the Pirates season last October and everyone has been waiting for him to play in 2022. Well, the time has come and he’s minimum price against Caleb Killian who’s walked 7 batters in 9 innings of work. Cruz is only hitting .233 in AAA but he has 9 HR and 11 SB in 240 at-bats. Today is a good day to make his debut and I may even stack a few other Pirates around him.
Mike Trout is back and if you drafted him in the late first round of season long, you’re licking your chops right now. Tonight he’s the most expensive outfielder on the slate and for good reason. He’s hitting .304 with 207 wRC+ which is 13 points higher than Judge’s wRC+. The matchup couldn’t be better for the king fish tonight. Kris Bubic has at 13% BB rate, a 33% fly ball rate, and a 37% hard contact on the season. Pretty bad numbers across the board. It gets even better for Trout. Bubic is a lefty and vs LHP Trout is even better; a 237 wRC+ with a .365 batting average. Sure, Bubic could avoid him all together by walking him three times (still 9+ points) but I’m going to take the chance and pay up for Trout tonight.
Jack Suwinski, OF: $2,200 – Pirates
Who is Jack Swuinski? Out of no where this guy has 11 bombs, 5 in his last 13 games, and had him self a day with 3 HR yesterday on his way to 59 FanDuel points. He’s only hitting .230 on the season but this power seems legit. The Pirates have a great matchup vs. Caleb Killian and with O’Neil Cruz also on the list this is a great opportunity to stack the Pirates.
Ohtani is just a beast. I think this is going to be one of those games where the Angels hit multiple homers and Ohtani will prove the Lefty vs Lefty naysayers wrong. Ohtani already has a homer against Bubic in his career and with a 5.4 implied run total I think he’ll have plenty of opportunities to get points tonight. If we are stacking the Angels, let’s try to fit in both Ohtani and Trout.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
Here comes the sun! No rain today!
Doing Lines In Vegas
This is as close as I’ve got to doing lines in Vegas in over six years, so let’s make it count. Angels run line (-1.5) at (+110) odds is my favorite play on the board.
Good luck tonight and feel free to hit me up @TimmySperos on Twitter with any questions!