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Scouting The MLB DFS - Thursday, June 15

Cash in on tonight's full slate of MLB action with our top DFS plays on DraftKings and FanDuel

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Plays of the Day

Value: Whit Merrifield still swinging a hot bat at the top of the Royals lineup with 7 hits over his last 4 appearances and he’s scored 5 runs during that span with Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas going well behind him, so give him a look at a diminished price tag.

Fade: I’m not suggesting Chris Sale has a bad game tonight against the weak Phillies offense, simply that he won’t produce enough DK points to justify his price tag over $14K on that DFS site.

Team Target Stacks

Royals: Whit Merrifield, Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas

Nationals: Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy, Anthony Rendon

Rockies: Nolan Arenado, Ian Desmond, Trevor Story

Red Sox: Mookie Betts, Dustin Pedroia, Jackie Bradley Jr.

Weather Report

No weather concerns tonight.


Pitchers

Two Studs

Gio Gonzalez: (WAS) @ NYM DK: $9,000/FD: $8,700

I’m fine with paying up for Chris Sale as your lone SP on FanDuel, but he’s a bit too pricey on DK ahead of what is certainly a fantastic matchup. Gio also gets a plus draw against a Mets team that’s ranked 24th with a collective .233 batting average and is sporting a 22% K-rate against LHP this year. Current Mets are hitting a collective .240 with more K’s (48) than hits (47) over a huge sample of at-bats (196) against Gonzalez, who is in the midst of a resurgence with a 2.91 ERA and 5-1 record for the first-place Nationals.

Sonny Gray: (OAK) vs. NYY DK: $7,700/FD: $8,200

Facing the red-hot Yankees lineup makes Gray a bit of a tournament option, but he’s going so well right now that he’s worth a look at this modest price tag. He’ll at least be pitching at massive Oakland Coliseum, which has the lowest HR Factor of any A.L. ballpark and he’s been great with a .202 BAA and 2.92 ERA to go 2-0 over 4 home starts this year. Current Yanks are 12-for-45 (.267) with 11 K’s and just 1 HR in their careers against Gray, who appears to be regaining his form and was once a CY Young candidate after all.

Potential Value

Michael Wacha: (STL) vs. MIL DK: $6,300/FD: $7,400

The Cardinals and Brewers seem likely to play another low-scoring contest tonight, which makes both Zach Davies and Wacha worth a look as intriguing value plays. Wacha has been much more reliable at home this season with a 2.95 ERA and .232 BAA at pitcher-friendly Busch Stadium and he’s facing a Brewers lineup that’s plagued by injuries with both Ryan Braun and Jonathan Villar on the DL. Current Brewers are just 6-for-29 with 8 K’s and 0 HRs in their careers against Wacha, who has been a solid cash game play against weaker offenses even if he often struggles against the better teams in the National League.

Longshot

Justin Verlander: (DET) vs. TB DK: $7,600/FD: $9,300

His price tag is so low on DK that it might seem like a trap, but Verlander’s last two outings were cut short by injury, followed by a rough outing at hitter-friendly Fenway Park in a brutal matchup. Now he’ll return home, where he’s sporting a 2.10 with a .198 BAA over 5 starts this season and he’ll face a Rays team that’s sporting the highest K-Rate (26%) in the Majors this year, so his upside likely outweighs the risk.

Batters

Catchers

Sandy Leon: (BOS) @ PHI DK: $2,600 / FD: $2,100

It’s typical of the Red Sox to struggle for spurts and then catch fire and it appears that the lowly Phillies have served as a spark for that offense after they walked off in successive nights and had a big performance on Wednesday led by 2 HRs from Mookie Betts. They could be all over Phillies rookie RHP Nick Pivetta, who is sporting a 15.6% HR/FB ratio with a 5.52 ERA and 27% Line Drive Rate over 6 MLB starts and that makes Christian Vazquez or Leon great options as part of that stack. Leon started last night and chipped in with a double, walk and run scored and you almost root for him to draw another start so that you can save salary and potentially afford Chris Sale.

Potential Value

Dustin Garneau: (COL) vs. SF DK: $3,500 / FD: $2,800

Should start tonight with the platoon advantage against vulnerable LHP Matt Moore.

Longshot

Salvador Perez: (KC) @ LAA DK: $3,800 / FD: $3,400

He has great splits against Angels veteran RHP Ricky Nolasco.

First Basemen

Miguel Cabrera: (DET) vs. TB DK: $3,400 / FD: $3,700

I can’t really fathom why Miggy remains so cheap on DK, as he’s the fourth-most expensive 1B on FD and deservedly so after logging 2 hits in a third consecutive game last night. He hasn’t performed up to his lofty standards this season, but is now slashing .335/.414/.465 over his last 10 appearances and that’s right on par with what we’re accustomed to seeing from him. Rays RHP Alex Cobb is pitching better than he did during a disastrous 2016 campaign, but still sporting a rough 4.29 ERA with a 38.3% Hard Contact Rate and he’s an easy target with a stud value like Cabrera.

Potential Value

Eric Hosmer: (KC) @ LAA DK: $3,900 / FD: $3,200

Worth a look with the platoon advantage tonight against Nolasco.

Longshot

Hanley Ramirez: (BOS) @ PHI DK: $3,600 / FD: $3,200

Could break out of his funk tonight in a plus matchup against Nick Pivetta.

Second Basemen

Whit Merrifield: (KC) @ LAA DK: $3,600 / FD: $3,300

You can look to the Royals as a value stack tonight against RHP Ricky Nolasco, who has avoided serious implosions, but given up steady production with a 5.81 Era and 1.39 WHIP over 6 home starts this season. The ball was flying out of Angels Stadium last night and the Royals offense is coming around with Merrifield still swinging a hot bat at the top of that order. He’s logged 7 hits over his last 4 appearances and scored 5 runs with Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas going well behind him, so give him a look at a diminished price tag.

Potential Value

Dustin Pedroia: (BOS) @ PHI DK: $4,000 / FD: $3,400

Multiple hits in five consecutive appearances for Pedroia, enough said.

Longshot

DJ LeMahieu: (COL) vs. SF DK: $4,600 / FD: $3,400

He’s hit Giants LHP Matt Moore hard throughout his career and is a quality option at Coors Field.

Third Basemen

Nolan Arenado: (COL) vs. SF DK: $5,400 / FD: $4,600

He really isn’t that expensive for the best hitter on the home team at Coors Field and Arenado should be well worth the money tonight. He faces a LHP in Matt Moore, who has really struggled with a 7.94 ERA and .338 BAA on the road while getting tagged for 11 ER on 19 hits and allowing 4 homers over 2 starts against the division-leading Rockies this season. The southpaw has allowed Arenado to go 7-for-14 with 3 doubles and a HR in his career and the Rockies slugger is absolutely crushing lefties this year with a .418 batting average and ridiculous 1.301 OPS against LHP this season.

Potential Value

Yunel Escobar: (LAA) vs. KC DK: $3,400 / FD: $3,200

Remains a quality value option with the Angels hosting converted reliever Matt Strahm.

Longshot

Mike Moustakas: (KC) @ LAA DK: $4,500 / FD: $3,300

He’s suddenly red hot and will have the platoon advantage against Nolasco tonight.

Shortstops

Brandon Crawford: (SF) @ COL DK: $3,500 / FD: $3,600

It’s somewhat rare to find a quality hitter priced below $4K on DraftKings when they travel to Coors Field, so consider Crawford as a bargain. He’s been cold lately, but will have the platoon advantage against Rockies RHP Jeff Hoffman, who has posted a 2.70 HR/9 ratio with a 5.40 ERA over a small sample at home this season. Crawford has logged 8 XBH with a HR and 12 RBIs over his last 103 at-bats at Coors and could serve as a cheap addition (on DK) to a visiting stack tonight.

Potential Value

Aledmys Diaz: (STL) vs. MIL DK: $3,100 / FD: $2,800

Good source of salary relief towards the bottom of the Cardinals lineup.

Longshot

Trevor Story: (COL) vs. SF DK: $3,700 / FD: $4,000

Surprisingly cheap on DK in a good matchup at home against Matt Moore.

Outfielders

Mookie Betts: (BOS) @ PHI DK: $5,200 / FD: $3,700

While Betts could be very highly owned after going deep twice last night, he’s still relatively cheap on FanDuel as he continues to break out of his slump in dramatic fashion. Betts draws a great matchup tonight against rookie RHP Nick Pivetta, who has been more vulnerable in RvR situations, as he’s allowing RHB to post a .428 wOBA with a 2.70 HR/9 ratio on the season. And even though Betts’ average is way down from where it was last year, his category juice is still alive and well with 22 doubles, 11 HRs and 11 SBs on the season.

J.D. Martinez: (DET) vs. TB DK: $4,400 / FD: $4,100

You simply can’t pepper Martinez with fastballs over the plate, as he posted a rating of 22.2 runs above average against four-seam fastballs last year according to data compiled by Brooks Baseball. Alex Cobb will frequently challenge hitters with a fastball that was rated -4.01 runs below average last year and that’s why JDM is 2-for-5 with 2 doubles and 3 K’s in his career against the Rays SP. It should be boom or bust for the Tigers slugger, and he’s been boom more often with an impressive 1.110 OPS over 29 appearances this year.

Values and Tournament Plays

Ian Desmond: (COL) vs. SF DK: $4,300 / FD: $3,800
Jackie Bradley Jr.: (BOS) @ PHI DK: $4,100 / FD: $3,300
Mallex Smith: (TB) @ DET DK: $3,300 / FD: $2,200

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