Today is June 26th. On this day in 1961, Yogi Berra collected his 2000th career hit. The Hall of Famer and 18-time All-Star is widely regarded as one of the greatest catchers in baseball history. Some of his very long list of baseball accomplishments include 14 World Series appearances, catching Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series, and finishing 5 seasons where he had more HRs than Ks (can we get more players like this please?). I can’t do justice with a few sentences here in summarizing Yogi’s contributions to the game of baseball. Take a few minutes today and look up this baseball icon for yourself. I’m sure you’ll be just as impressed as I am.
For those counting at home, today is also the 177th day of the calendar year and that means we’re just about half-way home in 2022. Some might say this is an accomplishment worth mentioning. What’s the connection with baseball you ask? Well, the MLB season has 179 game days and today is the 81st…so we’re also just about half-way home here too. Today’s DFS article title is an ode to Yogi and this little tidbit of useless calendar knowledge.
As we begin the downside of the baseball season, it’s time to assess and refocus. If you haven’t been cashing in baseball DFS consistently, now’s the time to start learning from our previous mistakes. The Razzball DFS team has a stellar lineup of prognosticators to help you every single game day. Today happens to be mine. I’ll do my best to give you money-making suggestions for your DFS lineups. They don’t call me “The Lineup Builder” for nothing…
Before we get to the players though, just a quick reminder to check out Streamonator and Hittertron and the other DFS tools from Razzball. There are so many great tools for use, no matter what format or contests you get yourself into. It’ll be well worth your time.
Now, back to the lineup building…
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Shane McClanahan, SP: DK: $10,300 / FD: $11,400 – What is there to say about Shane McClanahan? Let’s start with a MLB-leading 1.81 ERA, then add a MLB-leading 0.85 WHIP. Throw in 113 Ks (only Corbin Burnes has more). Sprinkle on a MLB-best .185 average against. Add all this up and you get a no-brainer SP recommendation today against the Pirates. He’ll be a popular selection today but one you really should make as well.
Joe Ryan, SP: DK: $9,100 / FD: $9,500 – The Joe Ryan everyone fell in love with during the first month of the season has generally been MIA since. Following a 3-week stint in the IL due to illness, he has come back to toss two sub-par outings versus Seattle and Cleveland. There are signs of encouragement though after locating 70% of his pitches for strikes and logging 7Ks against the Guardians. He’ll need that control today as the Twins host the Rockies and their MLB-leading team batting average. Granted, that stat is dominated by playing half their games at Coors, but it’ll be a challenge nonetheless. Colorado is expected to field a right-hand dominant lineup and Joe is yielding a paltry .194 batting average against. Something must give here. My money is on Joe.
Alejandro Kirk, C: DK: $4,300 / FD: $3,300 – Alejandro Kirk is the hottest hitting catcher in baseball right now. Over a 3-game stretch this week, Kirk scored 85 FanDuel points but ran into Corbin Burnes yesterday and cooled off a bit. The Blue Jays face the Brewers RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez today. If Kirk plays, he’ll bring his 6 HRs and .883 OPS versus RHP into the game and look to start a new streak of 25+ DFS outings. If he doesn’t play, I’d recommend looking toward the Lone Star State first and go with one of the Rangers backstops (Jonah Heim or Mitch Garver). MJ Melendez is appealing too.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B: DK: $5,900 / FD: $3,900 – The best team in baseball was no-hit by the Astros yesterday. RHP Joe Urquidy gets the task of trying to silence the Yankee bats for the second day in a row. Do you see that happening? I don’t either. Rizzo has 13 of his HRs and an .870 OPS versus RHP like Urquidy. He should be in line for a strong outing today and I’ll be there for it.
Nolan Gorman, 2B: DK: $4,300 / FD: $3,200 – After his first 32 games in The Show, Nolan Gorman is holding his own with a .267/.330/.476 triple slash. He is almost exclusively in the lineup against RHP due to his favorable splits (.849 OPS versus RHP). The Cubs scheduled starter is RHP Matt Swarmer with an ERA approaching 6.00. The math here is pretty straightforward forward and the clear answer is to play Gorman today.
Nolan Arenado, 3B: DK: $5,500 / FD: $3,700– How about we do a mini-Nolan stack today and team up these two Cardinals infielders. Arenado may have a higher SLG against LHP but he is maintaining a higher AVG and OBP versus RHP this season. He’s clearly more comfortable in St Louis in year two as his BB%, K%, Contact%, BABIP and wOBA are all better in 2022. 3B looks like a position everyone will be paying up for today with the likes of Rafael Devers and Jose Ramirez each providing great matchups to consider. We already established Matt Swarmer is vulnerable on the bump for the Cubs so there’s no reason to rehash that information. I’ll save a few bucks here to help pay for McClanahan and go with Arenado on the hot corner.
Amed Rosario, SS: DK: $4,700 / FD: $2,700 – So far, we’ve been spending money like my wife does on Black Friday. This is a position we can make a more economical selection. Amed Rosario has been solid lately with 8 double-digit FanDuel outings over the past 2 weeks. He lines up against LHP Rich Hill in a matchup clearly favoring Rosario. Don’t start sending hate mail if Rosario fails to provide a long ball today, that’s not his game. Rather, a career .375/.500/.625 slash against Hill should give you confidence that another double-digit outing is very doable. Remember, we’re saving a few bucks here. I’ll take it.
Alek Thomas, OF: DK: $3,000 / FD: $2,800 – It’s very tempting to go after a Yankee bat here but I’ll take a road less traveled for my OF picks. Let’s start off in Arizona. I like both Alek Thomas and Daulton Varsho versus Detroit RHP Beau Brieske, but leaning toward the former. Thomas brings in an .873 OPS and 5 of his 6 HRs versus pitchers like Brieske. He’ll also mix in a SB here and there to boost his numbers. He’s played in every Diamondback game since June 7th and has 8 double-digit scores to boast about. Let’s add one more today.
Oscar Gonzalez, OF: DK: $3,400 / FD: $2,600 – Another low-owned flyer for me today is Oscar Gonzalez. Oscar joined the Guardians in late May and has performed admirably since. He comes in with a .311/.345/.466 triple slash over his first 26 games. Generally, a pull-hitter, Gonzalez’s game lines up well in Fenway Park versus Rich Hill. Like Thomas, a double-digit score is a realistic expectation for the low-cost OF.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
There are a couple games listed with low chances of rain but overall, a nice day of baseball should be on tap for us.
Weather forecasts predict strong winds (15-16 mph) blowing out to right field during the Twins-Rockies game. I understand if this affects your decision to start Joe Ryan but I’m still betting on Joe and his 0.66 GB/FB ratio to negate the weather here.
Doing Lines In Vegas
For prop betting, it’s all about Shane for me. Based on options as of 9:00 this morning, I’m like all the following: record a W (+130), under 1.5 ER (-130), and over 4.5 H allowed (+110). The last is a small nod to the Pirates’ group of exciting young players on the rise.
On the team side, the Dodgers (+145) are giving 1.5 on the Run Line. Tony Gonsolin has been straight money for the Dodgers, leading the league in wins. As a starter, Spencer Strider has been decent against the weaker teams but not so much against playoff-caliber teams. Freddie should depart “The ATL” after leading his new team to a big W and puts a few bucks in your pocket for good measure.