DFS Plays of the Day – June 15

Ryan Amore previews Tuesday's DFS slate.

Tuesday greets us with a full slate, with all thirty teams in action. All eyes should be on the Padres once again as their trip to Coors Field continues; this time a meeting with Chi Chi González is on tap.

 

Top Tier Pitching

 

Right away you can tell this is a very tricky slate in terms of pitching, as we’re missing a clear ace at the top. Because of that, I think you can prioritize bats at Coors and find whatever pitching fits. Let’s take a look at tonight’s top tier. Julio Urías ($9,600 DK, $9,600 FD) leads the way with a 24% K-BB rate through 13 starts, backed by an excellent 32.8% CSW. The Dodgers are strong home favorites against the Phillies (-181) who will counter with Zach Eflin. Urías has been a very strong option on a per inning basis the only problem is the Dodgers, as is their want, have kept him under 90 pitches in each of his last four starts. With a game at Coors Field, there is significant opportunity cost in choosing to roster Urías, whose pitch count limits his ceiling and floor. He can get there, but he’ll need to be very efficient. The Phillies have been just about average as a team against lefties with a .319 wOBA (14th). 

Yu Darvish ($9,400 DK, $9,000 FD) follows with a 23.7% K-BB rate backed by a 31.4% CSW. He’s priced down a little bit tonight, but not enough for me to have a ton of interest. Yes, the Rockies have been awful offensively but it’s still Coors Field.

Trevor Rogers ($10,000 DK, $10,000 FD) has been strong too, with a 21.4% K-BB% and 30.9% CSW. The strikeout potential is there, but it’s a similar situation to Urías in that we’re likely paying up for a pitcher who doesn’t have a high ceiling by way of pitch count as he has yet to clear 100. It’s not a great spot for Rogers either, with the Marlins installed as slight underdogs to the Cardinals (-111), who have hit lefties very well this season with a .341 team wOBA (tied for third). Rogers seems like a pay up to be a pay-up-to-be-contrarian type of option on the chance that he posts an efficient line.

Mike Minor ($9,200 DK, $8,800 FD) is coming off of one of his best outings of the year: seven innings and eight strikeouts (30.2% CSW) against the Athletics. It did, however, come with a noticeable dip in velocity as his fastball sat around 89 mph. With a matchup against the Tigers and their league-worst wOBA of .279 against lefties on deck, my best guess is that we’ll see a lot of Minor by default tonight. The floor here is decent as the Tigers are unlikely to thrash him, but with his salary at a high point, I think I’d want to fade this spot in tournaments. Minor has been decent overall this year, with an 18.8% K-BB% and 28.3% CSW, but I think we are largely paying up for the matchup against the Tigers, which makes me hesitant. He’s also allowed 12 home runs this year. All told, Minor is decent, but there are plenty of reasons to avoid this. 

Hyun-Jin Ryu ($9,000 DK, $8,500 FD) and the Jays are slight home favorites against the Yankees (-120). Overall, Ryu has been decent, with a 17.7% K-BB% and 28.7% CSW. If Aaron Judge is forced to miss another game tonight with back spasms, I’d have a lot of interest in Ryu, as this lineup would be rendered punchless outside of Giancarlo Stanton. We’ve seen Ryu pitch well against the Yankees already this year back on April 13, when he fired 6.2 innings while collecting seven strikeouts backed by a 36.8% CSW. Given the context of the slate, I’d have no problem with Ryu in any format, even more so if Judge is forced to miss. Despite their plethora of righties, the Yankees have been a below-average offense this year against lefties with just a .311 team wOBA (19th). 

 

Value/Mid-Tier Pitching

 

Casey Mize (13% K-BB%, 27.1% CSW) has been excellent recently, although Vegas isn’t buying it, installing the Tigers as sizable road dogs tonight against Mike Minor and the Royals (-139). I’m torn on Mize, as his salary is very reasonable considering his recent results. Overall, though, I think he could simply be overperforming, considering his .298 wOBA allowed versus a .343 xwOBA to go along with a 4.80 xERA and a modest 20.8% K rate. Coupled with the Royals having an implied total of over four and a half runs, and I think there are enough reasons to want to look elsewhere. Still, his salary remains reasonable against a Royals offense that has been below-average overall this year (.301 team wOBA, 21st). They did also lose one of their only capable lefty hitters in Andrew Benintendi. Mize is on the board as a volatile SP2.

With the Padres priced up in an eruption spot at Colorado, value pitching takes center stage. J.A. Happ (9.1% K-BB%, 22% CSW 2021) is borderline terrifying at this stage, but thankfully he gets a draw against the Mariners, who we’ve been picking on all year. They’ve managed just a .281 wOBA against lefties, tied with the Pirates for 29th. Mitch Haniger is questionable with a knee injury, and his absence should help Happ’s case. The veteran lefty is your specious matchup based punt play of the day.

Speaking of the Pirates, Patrick Corbin (8.1% K-BB rate, 25.4% CSW) gets them at home with the Nationals installed as strong favorites (-161). Corbin has been a disaster this season though, as he enters tonight’s contest with a 6.21 ERA and 1.51 WHIP. And he has failed to reach double-digit points on DraftKings in each of his past five starts, so it’s hard to have much hope still he’s there as a risky SP2 if you’re multi-entering tournaments.

Note that Lance McCullers Jr is making his return from a shoulder injury and is expected to piggyback with Jake Odorizzi, so we can safely cross off both of them.

Shane McClanahan has shown remarkable ability to miss bats this season, with a 29.6% K rate. But given that his salary is at a high point on DraftKings at $8,200, while also being held to 80 or fewer pitches in all of his appearances to date, he seems like an easy fade against the White Sox, who can string together some good righty bats.

Frankie Montas ($8,500 DK, $8,300 FD) is coming off an excellent start his last time out against the Royals, with eight strikeouts across 6.1 innings, backed by a 35.4% CSW. Montas has been effective this season so far, with a 17.8% K-BB rate and 27.8% CSW. He’s also shown some interesting reverse splits this year, allowing a much higher .343 wOBA to righties, probably a product of his splitter helping to neutralize lefties. His case would be further strengthened if Anthony Rendon (triceps) is forced to miss tonight. The Athletics are decent home favorites (-126) as they host the Angels. Montas doesn’t necessarily stand out, but I think he’s a decent option that comes with a reasonable floor.

Andrew Heaney ($8,100 DK, $9,200 FD) has shown the pitch count and strikeout upside that we’re looking for in tournaments. Overall, Heaney has an excellent 20.8% K-BB rate, but some clunkers have kept his price down. For those willing to embrace volatility, Heaney is an appealing mid-range option tonight that should be overlooked. Of the two in this game, I’d give the slight edge to Heaney, as I think he has more strikeout potential.

Cash Game Bats

 

The smash spot for offense belongs to the Padres, whose implied total of over six and a half runs easily takes the cake tonight. The Rockies will start off with Chi-Chi González on the bump, who owns a career 5.27 ERA and 1.47 WHIP across 213.1 IP. The righty González was rolled in his last start at sea level, no less against the Marlins, who charged him with eight earned runs and eleven hits across five innings. Over the last three seasons, Gonzalez has allowed a wOBA of .364 to lefties and .345 to righties to go along with a career K rate of 13.8%. Simply put, it’s a fire-away spot for any and all Padres led, of course, by Fernando Tatís Jr who is priced up on both sites ($6,400 DK, $5,000 FD). In terms of power upside, Manny Machado ($5,600 DK, $4,000 FD) follows with his career .356 wOBA. Trent Grisham ($4,400 DK, $4,000 FD), who recently returned from the IL following a heel injury, will have the platoon advantage with a career .350 wOBA against righties and is another building block for all formats. 

The Indians are another team we should be looking at for offense as they take on Matt Harvey and the Orioles. The 2021 season has been none too kind to the former Met, who enters tonight’s contest with a 7.41 ERA, 1.68 WHIP, and .364 xwOBA. Over the past three seasons, Harvey has surrendered a .386 wOBA to lefties and a .372 wOBA to righties, making him a prime target. José Ramírez ($6,000 DK, $4,100 FD) is the lead here with a career .365 wOBA, and he’s priced accordingly. Eddie Rosario ($3,800 DK, $2,800 FD) has struggled this year but has hit righties well with a career .338 wOBA against them and is a viable play in all formats as the cleanup hitter. Bobby Bradley ($4,000 DK, $3,400 FD) has shown some impressive power, notably a stellar .303 ISO for Triple-A Columbus back in 2019. Amed Rosario ($3,900 DK, $3,100 FD) has settled into the two hole and is another reasonable play to consider as he brings some speed to the equation and has been decent this year with a .326 wOBA. Harold Ramírez ($2,900 DK, $2,500 FD), likely hitting sixth, is a former Marlin prospect who was cast away this past February. He has hit the ball well so far, evidenced by a .385 xwOBA to go along with a max EV of 114.5 mph, suggesting some impressive power. He’s an interesting cheap salary dart throw. 

 

GPP Bats

 

On a massive 15-game slate the Pirates should be a virtual lock to be ignored. Corbin, though, has allowed a .377 wOBA and .207 ISO to opposing RHB over the past two seasons, making Ke’Bryan Hayes ($4,600 DK, $3,400 FD) an interesting tournament play. The switch-hitting Bryan Reynolds ($3,200 DK, $2,800 FD) is someone who is criminally overlooked playing on a dreadful Pirates squad and he’s really shined this year, producing a .385 wOBA (.376 xwOBA). And it’s not out of nowhere either, considering his .314/.377/.503 slash from his rookie 2019 season. He looks underpriced on both sites.

Brett Anderson has been absolutely crushed this season, allowing a .360 wOBA or greater to both sides of the plate along with an alarming .429 xwOBA. And that comes along with a non-existent ability to miss bats, with just an 11.5% K rate backed by a 4.7% swinging-strike rate. Ouch. The Reds put up ten runs last night and can bang out home runs with the best of them, making them an excellent tournament stack. Nick Castellanos ($4,900 DK, $4,300 FD) is one of my favorite tournament targets if you’re searching for one-offs. Aristides Aquino is a very interesting boom/bust punt play ($2,500 DK, $2,200 FD) if he cracks the lineup again.

Luis Castillo might be turning it around as he’s posted two decent starts in a row now. Still, considering that overall we’re looking at a 6.47 and 1.58 WHIP, I’d have some interest in Christian Yelich in tournaments as Castillo has allowed a .356 wOBA to lefties this season. For as bad as Anderson has been, this game is essentially a pick ‘em. 

The Royals are an interesting team for tournaments considering that I think Mize could gain some steam as an SP2, but as we mentioned earlier, there’s some reason to believe in potential regression. Knowing that the Tigers are armed with one of the worst bullpens in baseball, the Royals have some potential, so at the very least I’m interested in Jorge Soler ($3,100 DK, $2,700 FD) as a cheap target with excellent power upside. Edward Olivares ($2,400 DK, $2,000 FD), who was recently called up following the injury to Benintendi, has shown some excellent power/speed potential in the minors and is another potential value play for tournaments.

Overall, Jordan Montgomery has pitched well this year, with an 18.7% K-BB%, 29.2% CSW, and 3.88 xERA. Still, he’s shown some sharp splits with his K rate dipping to to just 21.4% against righties. He’ll have a precariously thin margin for error against a Jays lineup replete with righty power. Their modest implied team total of just over four and a half runs could make them a little overlooked for tournaments. 

With all the attention going to Fernando Tatís Jr, and understandably so, there could be some potential value in targeting Ronald Acuña Jr. who could be overlooked a little tonight as he goes against Eduardo Rodríguez, who has thrown a couple of clunkers up lately. Ozzie Albies ($3,900 DK, $3,000 FD) has shown strong splits as a righty and looks like a strong option to consider at 2B, and at a very affordable price point too.

Kyle Gibson has done a phenomenal job in limiting both lefties and righties to a wOBA of .235 and .255, respectively. But he’ll have very little margin for error tonight as he faces an elite Astros offense. They have one of the better implied totals of the evening at just under five runs. At the very least, Yordan Álvarez ($4,400 DK, $3,700 FD) and his career .409 wOBA is a very tempting one-off. 

The Twins are a team that can stack up a ton of power. They’ll face Chris Flexen tonight, who has done an excellent job limiting walks but has shown next to no strikeout ability (14.3% K rate). As always, Nelson Cruz ($4,700 DK, $3,900 FD) is an excellent one-off in tournaments. Alex Kirilloff ($3,900 DK, $2,600 FD) is another name that stands out with an excellent .405 xwOBA so far this year.

On the other side of that game, if you’re avoiding Happ, which is probably the correct thing to do, there is some cheap potential power in Ty France ($3,000 DK, 2,600 FD) and Dylan Moore ($2,600 DK, 2,400 FD). 

Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)

Ryan Amore

Writer for PL, artist, DFS enthusiast, and occasional Yankee fan. Once won a GPP with Henderson Alvarez. A proprietor of the Ketel Marte Fan Club. Appreciates walks but only of the base on ball variety.

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