Scouting The MLB - June 23

Our expert brings you his Daily Fantasy Baseball picks

Weather Report

  • Chance of thunderstorms in Kansas City, Chicago (Cubs), and Colorado worth monitoring if you're using pitchers from those games
  • Stackable Menu

    Longshot stack: Miami Marlins visiting RHP Roberto Hernandez

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    Two Studs:

    Chris Sale (CWS) @ BAL: $11,800 – Facing LHP Wei-Yin Chen

    With the Red Sox offense picking up some steam, Felix Hernandez may not be quite as safe as his salary would indicate. The second most expensive pitcher on the board, Sale will take on an Orioles squad that battled to hand Tanaka is second loss of the season yesterday, but are they capable of grinding down two aces in consecutive days?

    Well, the fact that LHB are almost automatic outs against Sale (batting .188 since 2011) should negate Nick Markakis and Chris Davis, and the park shift from Cellular Field to Camden Yards should also benefit the southpaw. Baltimore's home stadium actually has the second lowest Run Factor in the MLB, and the Home Run Factor is approximately 30% lower than it is in Chicago's stadium. The O's are scoring just 3.18 runs per game at home this season, compared to 5 per game on the road, as they are batting a collective .246 in Camden Yards. Sale hasn't pitched in this park since 2012, when he wasn't nearly as dominant, and he should be able to post a Quality Start with plenty of Ks tonight.

    Alex Cobb (TB) vs. PIT: $8900 – Facing RHP Edinson Volquez

    If you take away his numbers in a few starts against the Blue Jays and Mariners this year, Cobb has given up just 4 ER over 40 innings of work. He's averaging 29.15 DK points per game over his last two starts, and although he took a hard luck loss at home (gave up 1 unearned run) last week, he's been extremely consistent in the Trop with a 3.30 ERA over the last 3.5 seasons. Most of those starts have come against the high-powered offenses of the A.L. East, not middling N.L. teams such as the Pirates. The ascendency of Gregory Polanco seems to have jump started Pittsburgh's offense, as Starling Marte and McCutchen are also heating up, but they're still a below average offensive team. The Bucs have struck out the second most times against RHP (499) this season, and they've scored the 5th fewest runs on the road (131). This is not a scary matchup for Cobb, and if he can avoid a few dangerous hitters, he could cruise through this National League lineup.

    Two Duds (Value Plays)

    Matt Cain (SF) vs. SD: $7600

    Once an elite pitcher, Cain is now only in play under the right circumstances. However, when he takes on the worst offense in the league at home, and his adversary (Andrew Cashner) has been scratched, he's in a great position to succeed and probably worth the risk. An extreme fly ball pitcher at this point in his career, Cain has been solid in cavernous AT&T Park, where he's averaging 17.3 DK points per game, and is sporting a surprisingly high 20.6% K rate this season. His best performance of the year came against these Padres in their massive stadium, as he limited San Diego to an unearned run over 7 IP and struck out 8 to produce a season-high 28.2 DK points. Current Padres are now batting a measly .195 against the veteran RHP, and Seth Smith, their most dangerous LHB, is 2 for 29 in his career against Cain. Even if he produces his season average at home tonight, he will exceed value at this price tag.

    Chase Whitley (NYY) @ TOR: $6800 – Facing RHP Marcus Stroman

    It seemed at first that the Yankees just wanted to see what they had in young Chase Whitley, as he pitched a maximum of 5 innings in his first four starts. Yet since then, they've let the RHP spread his wings and he's led the Bronx Bombers to three straight victories while allowing just 2 ER over 3 consecutive starts. That's good for an average of 18.5 DK points, as the rookie is now sporting a very respectable 2.56 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. He's done an excellent job eliciting weak fly balls, as his 2.1% HR/FB ratio would lead the Majors if he qualified. That stat will be vital as he pitches in the hitter-friendly Rogers Centre tonight, and his job will be made easier with Jose Bautista (leg) and Brett Lawrie (finger) likely out of the Blue Jays lineup. This is a big test for Whitley, and he's still priced in a range where he could swing GPPs if he comes through with another solid outing.



    Wilson Rosario (COL) vs. STL: $4200 – Facing RHP Lance Lynn

    The numbers indicate that Rosario has a great chance to keep his hot streak going in the thin Colorado air tonight, as he faces the inconsistent flamethrower- Lance Lynn. The Cards RHP has an impressive 10.54 K/9 ratio on the road this year, but also allowed 1.32 HR/9, and batters to post a .322 wOBA away from Busch Stadium. He's only made 2 career starts in Coors Field, and while he's come away with no decisions and a 2.92 ERA, Lynn was somewhat lucky as he gave up 17 H and 5 BB in just 12 innings of work. This year's Rockies squad will take advantage of those situations, especially with Rosario lurking in the 4-6 spot of their lineup. After lighting up Brewers pitching over the weekend (7-10, 2 doubles, 1 HR in 2 games), Rosario is now batting .320 at home this season and should be locked in for this matchup. He's still a bit risky, but worth a look in all formats tonight.

    Potential Values:

    Phillies RHP Roberto Hernandez can struggle against lefties, and that includes switch-hitters like Jarrod Saltalamacchia (MIA), who is 4 for 11 with 3 doubles in his career against Hernandez.

    First Base

    Allen Craig (STL) @ COL: $4300 – Facing RHP Jhoulys Chacin

    We'll stay in hitter-friendly Coors Field for the next recommendation, as this game has a massive 10.5 O/U for good reason. Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin has been better at home in the small sample size of this season, but has a career 4.15 ERA and 4.22 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) at Coors Field. He hasn't been any better against RHB lately, and Craig is 3 for 5 against the RHP in his career. Other first base options may have a bit more upside, but I think Craig is the "safest" player at his position this evening. He'll likely produce between 5-15 DK points, as the Cardinals offense should come to life in Denver, and the RBI-machine that is Craig will be in the heart of their lineup.

    Potential Values:

    Your GPP alternative at first base could be Adam LaRoche (WAS), who is 2 for 3 with a HR off Matt Garza and has an uppercut swing that can result in some bombs.

    For pure value, consider Casey McGehee (MIA) at $3700. He has reached base in 17 straight games and has a .419 OBP this month.

    Second Base

    Anthony Rendon (WAS) @ MIL: $4300 – Facing RHP Matt Garza

    Second base is a mess tonight and value options may be the way to go, but Rendon is swinging a pretty hot bat lately and has a good chance to extend his 9-game DK point streak going against Garza. The journeyman RHP has allowed high Line Drive rates for a few years now, and it's started to catch up to him as he's sporting a 4.02 ERA, and a SIERA (Skill Interactive ERA) of 4.23 this season. That means line drive hitters like Rendon have a great chance to get on base against Garza, and the streaky second-year player comes into this matchup 5 for his last 13 at the plate. With most of the top-tier options at 2B facing aces, I'd roll with Rendon against a pitcher that's far from imposing.

    Potential Values:

    So Brandon Cumpton shut down the Cubs offense yesterday…that's baseball. I'm still a fan of Luis Valbuena for $3100, especially since LHB have decent power numbers against Reds starter Alfredo Simon.

    Third Base

    Evan Longoria (TB) vs. PIT: $4300 – Facing RHP Edinson Volquez

    Anyone fooled by Volquez producing double-digit DK points in 5 straight starts was rudely brought back to earth as he gave up 8 ER in 2.1 IP to post an impressively awful –12.2 DK points in his last start. While the Rays have one of the worst offenses in the A.L. they can still put together a dangerous lineup that includes a DH, and a perennial all-star like Longoria. The struggling third basemen has quietly averaged 9.7 DK points per game while producing in 10 straight, and he's always been more dangerous at home. This season, Longo is batting .100 points higher (.314) with an OBP of .392 at Tropicana Field. The thing about the Trop- and any stadium with artificial grass- is that the infield plays fast, and players that put the ball in play often get rewarded. Volquez has his best ground ball rate in years, but that's not going to do him much good in this ballpark, and it wouldn't be surprising to see him get lit up once again.

    Potential Values:

    Josh Harrison (PIT) is worth a look even if you're considering starting his opponent, Alex Cobb. The Pirates' utility man reaches base with extreme regularity and is definitely worth a look if he's batting 2nd again tonight.


    Troy Tulowitzki (COL) vs. STL: $5700 – Facing RHP Lance Lynn

    If you've been playing DFS all season, you know the rap on Tulowitzki. Absolutely insane numbers at home (.475 avg, 11 HR, 17 BB to only 12 SO), and a fantastic play if you can afford him. His price tag is still uncomfortably high, but this seems like the right time to splurge on the best SS in baseball. As mentioned above, Lance Lynn has flirted with danger in 2 starts at Coors Field, as he gave up 17 hits without any of them leaving the yard. It's only a matter of time before a pitcher with Lynn's track record gets taken deep in the stadium with the greatest Run Factor in the MLB, and Tulo could certainly be the man to do just that.

    Potential Values:

    Jhonny Peralta (STL) has produced DK points in 13 of his last 14 starts and could be a viable alternative as a power-hitting SS that is 2K less than Tulowitzki.


    Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) @ PHI: $5600 – Facing RHP Roberto Hernandez

    Stanton is the expensive outfielder that would be worth targeting on Monday. The Marlins starter is justifying his price tag by hitting .301 and stealing the occasional base as he's produced 26 DK points without going yard in his last three games. Of course, his upside is due to his immense power, and while he doesn't need a handicap to leave the park, Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park has the 6th greatest Home Run Factor in the MLB. Roberto Hernandez (formerly known as Fausto Carmona) has given up plenty of homers over the last few years, and it's worth noting that his horrible 15.9% HR/FB ratio is a marked improvement over his ratio the last two seasons. This is a great spot to bank on a Stanton Dong.

    Matt Holliday (STL) @ COL: $4900 – Facing RHP Jhoulys Chacin

    Holliday would complete a Cardinals/Rockies stack as he should certainly be familiar with the confines of Coors Field. The man who spent the first 5 years of his career in Colorado has outstanding career numbers at Coors, including a .359 average and 91 HR over 1402 at bats. Over a third of his career homers have come in that park, and he's facing a lackluster pitcher that he happens to be 2 for 5 against with a HR and 3 RBI. Holliday has been hit or miss this year, and the Cardinals tried to solve his inconsistency by putting him in the 2-spot yesterday. That experiment failed (he went 0-4) and he should be back in the heart of the lineup tonight, which would ideally put him in position to drive in some runs.

    Brett Gardner (NYY) @ TOR: $4400 – Facing RHP Marcus Stroman

    Young Marcus Stroman will face the Yanks for the second straight start, and while he certainly has the potential for a lengthy, productive MLB career, this matchup is not ideal for him. The Yankees are loaded with dangerous LHB, which has directly contributed to Stroman's poor platoon splits (allowing lefties to slash .348/.561/.963) this season. He was chased after throwing 98 pitches through 3.2 innings in Yankee Stadium last week, and although he was only tagged for a couple of runs, it was Gardner that took him out for a 2-run shot. The diminutive leadoff man isn't likely to go yard again, but he's been incredibly consistent with double-digit DK points in 7 of his last 10 outings and remains an excellent play in 50/50 and H2H formats.

    Potential Values:

    If you're going to target the Blue Jays rookie Stroman, Carlos Beltran (NYY) is an intriguing value play at $3900. The switch-hitter is leaving a lot to be desired with a .220 average, but has produced DK points in 7 straight and smashed two HRs during that span.

    Matt Joyce is priced at $3300 and Kevin Kiermaier costs $3000 this evening. Both Rays outfielders have a relatively high floor as they each have an OBP around .400 at Tropicana Field and are averaging over 6.5 DK points per game at home.

    Don't sleep on Brandon Guyer (TB) either, as he's produced an average of 9.42 DK points per game in his last 7 Major League apperances and has reached base in all five starts since getting called back up.

    I will answer any lineup questions on Twitter: @nweitzer7

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