As always, Sunday afternoon features the majority of the games played with nine of them on tap. We have some fantastic MLB DFS pitching options to consider including Max Scherzer going up against the lowly Tigers team who can’t hit righties. You’d think when assembling a roster, you could get some bats that hit righties? Let’s dive into the information for today and as always, you can reach me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Cleveland Indians (6.6) @ Baltimore Orioles (4)
Shane Bieber (RHP) vs. Gabriel Ynoa (RHP)
Over/Under: 10.5 Moneyline: Indians -225
Pitcher Breakdown: The Indians are massive favorites as they wrap up their series with the Orioles. Bieber wiped the floor with this team once already, striking out 15 through a complete game shutout. The only concern here is that the Orioles offense is red hot, having scored 13 runs in two straight games against this club. Bieber has been fantastic as of late, allowing no more than two earned runs in three straight starts. On the road, Bieber has a .277 wOBA with a 3.52 xFIP.
Hitter Breakdown: Ynoa has been a mess at Camden Yards and stacking against him would be optimal. Righties have completely smashed him at home, as he’s allowing a .463 wOBA and a 4.77 xFIP. While he only has a .198 wOBA against lefties at home, the 5.17 xFIP tells a different story. Francisco Lindor, Oscar Mercado, Carlos Santana, Jason Kipnis and Jose Ramirez (basically 1-5) will all be on my radar.
If you want to take a shot after Bieber, lefties would be the way to do it. Jonathan Villar, Dwight Smith Jr, and Chance Sisco would be the only bats I’m considering.
Kansas City Royals (4.6) @ Toronto Blue Jays (5)
Brad Keller (RHP) vs. Aaron Sanchez (RHP)
Over/Under: 10.5 Moneyline: Blue Jays -104
Pitcher Breakdown: As seen in our Line Movement Tool the Royals total has dropped quite a bit to 4.6 since the lined opened. I’m not sure if that makes me want to play Sanchez, who has been rocked in five straight starts. It’s still noteworthy nonetheless. As for Keller, he’s been decent at times but nothing consistent. Honestly, this just feels like a game I don’t really want any part of. Keller doesn’t have good numbers on the road (.333 wOBA 5.05 xFIP) and Sanchez I have zero trust in. I’m good here.
Hitter Breakdown: Despite the team total dropping a significant amount, some of the Royals bats are still worth using because of how bad Sanchez has been. Hunter Dozier would be the top option followed by Jorge Soler. One other bat to consider is Martin Maldonado. He’s absolutely raking right now and would be a really good salary saver at catcher. For the Blue Jays, all I’m considering is Lourdes Gurriel Jr and Randal Grichuk.
Texas Rangers (3.3) @ Tampa Bay Rays (4.7)
Jesse Chavez (RHP) vs. Blake Snell (LHP)
Over/Under: 8 Moneyline: Rays -155
Pitcher Breakdown: Honestly, I think one could make the case that these runs totals could be reversed. I really like Chavez in this spot and he’s coming off a ridiculous outing against the Tigers, pitching 6 1/3 innings allowing one unearned run on five hits and striking out seven. With his really cheap salary, I think he’s a great way to save some salary.
With the Rangers, they aren’t a strong club against lefties. They enter this game with a team .297 wOBA with a .162 ISO and a league-leading 28 K%. Naturally, if you want to play Snell, I won’t blame you. Stats wise, this is a REALLY good spot for him. To play devil’s advocate, however, Snell has a .425 wOBA, a 4.75 xFIP through 17 1/3 innings in June. Something just isn’t right with him right now and putting him on my roster doesn’t feel great. Despite his latest poor results, he’s going to be popular.
Hitter Breakdown: A Rangers stack would really be a contrarian option, it’s just figuring out which guys to take. Logan Forsythe, Joey Gallo, and Danny Santana are all viable options in my opinion. Just realize this is going to be extremely boom-or-bust.
As for the Rays, man, I’m really giving a ton of respect to Chavez here. He’s essentially been lights out between the bullpen since the beginning of May, so it’s hard to gauge who I’d want from the Rays here. If I’m looking at anyone, I’d go with Tommy Pham and Yandy Diaz.
Chicago Cubs (5.7) @ Cincinnati Reds (5.4)
Jon Lester (LHP) vs. Anthony DeSclafani (RHP)
Over/Under: 10 Moneyline: Cubs -114
Pitcher Breakdown: I have zero interest in either pitcher in this matchup. I can’t even tell you the last time I used Lester in a lineup. He enters this game with a .360 wOBA and a 4.83 xFIP with eight of his 14 home runs allowed on the road. As for DeSclafani, he should be seeing a healthy amount of lefties in this lineup. That’s enough to scare me off since he has a .408 wOBA, a 5.56 xFIP and 10 of his 15 home runs allowed against them.
Hitter Breakdown: As I mentioned, get those lefties in your lineup against DeSclafani. Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber and Jason Heyward would be the locks here. Depending who else they put in, you could potentially mix in Carlos Gonzalez or Daniel Desclaso to save some salary.
On the Reds, I have a few guys here I’m really looking to go heavy on. Nick Senzel is my favorite option of the group, sporting a .363 wOBA and a .263 ISO against lefties at home. After him, I’m looking towards Eugenio Suarez, Curt Casali, and Kyle Farmer. Believe it or not, Farmer has the highest ISO on the team at home aginst lefties with a .368 mark.
Washington Nationals (5.9) @ Detroit Tigers (3.2)
Max Scherzer (RHP) vs. Jordan Zimmermann (RHP)
Over/Under: 8.5 Moneyline: Nationals -320
Pitcher Breakdown: I believe this is the third start Scherzer will be doing with his broken nose. Since doing so, Scherzer has struck out 10 in both games and allowed just one run on nine hits through 15 innings. Now he faces a pathetic Tigers offense that owns a league-worst .294 wOBA with a .153 ISO and 25.4 K% against righties. Scherzer is very much a top option today.
Even against a club that isn’t particularly strong against right-handed bats, I have no interest in Zimmermann.
Hitter Breakdown: I don’t think it will come as much of a surprise that the only bats being considered here are the Nats. Juan Soto is one of my favorite options overall today, as he owns a .380 wOBA and a .236 ISO on the road against righties. After him, I’m looking towards Trea Turner, Anthony Rendon and Kurt Suzuki. I really like Suzuki has he’s posted some low key power on the road with a .262 ISO, which is the third highest on the team.
Philadelphia Phillies (4.4) @ Miami Marlins (3.7)
Jake Arrieta (RHP) vs. Trevor Richards (RHP)
Over/Under: 8.5 Moneyline: Phillies -125
Pitcher Breakdown: Even before I looked at the team totals, I saw Arrieta against the Marlins and I truly couldn’t decide if I wanted to use him or not. That’s really saying something considering it’s the freakin Marlins. He’s in the midst of a tough month of June, posting a .350 wOBA with a 5.09 xFIP with five home runs allowed through 22 2/3 innings. I think it’s also telling that the Marlins opened with a 4.1 run total, as I don’t believe they’re usually that high. I might run one or two lineups with him but it’ll be very minimal.
As for Richards, his 5.70 xFIP at home is concerning. He’s been hit hard in a couple of his last starts, leaving some concern about using him today against a good hitting Phillies club. I would only use him in tournaments but even then, my exposure would be minimal. For what it’s worth, his first time out against the Phillies, which was on the road, he allowed five runs on six hits through just four innings.
Hitter Breakdown: One area that Richards has struggled with is home runs. Seven of the 11 he’s allowed have come at home so I’ll be looking towards the top of the order for the Phillies. After starting with Bryce Harper, I’ll be looking toward Rhys Hoskins and Scott Kingery. If you want to mix up your stack a bit, Maikel Franco makes a lot of sense. He has a .314 wOBA and a .236 ISO through 55 at-bats this month.
Left-handed bats are what has really given Arrieta a ton of trouble this season. Unfortunately for the Marlins, they don’t have many guys to use. Neil Walker and JT Riddle are the only guys consistently in the lineup that can bat from that side. However, if you think Arrieta won’t perform well in this start, I’d have no problem looking toward Garrett Cooper and Brian Anderson.
Minnesota Twins (4.4) @ Chicago White Sox (4.7)
Lewis Thorpe (LHP) vs. Lucas Giolito (RHP)
Over/Under: 10 Moneyline: White Sox -115
Pitcher Breakdown: Thorpe will be making his major league debut after making 14 starts at Triple-A this season. He posted a 3.91 xFIP with an 11.4 K/9. In the same respect, he’ll face a White Sox team who at home against lefties has a .337 wOBA with a .148 ISO and a K% of 23.2. I think Thorpe has some tournament upside but I would be cautious seeing as it’s his first start.
The total for the Twins is a bit surprising. Are we totally off Giolito already after two bad starts? Even with those starts, Giolito has a .296 wOBA and a 3.68 xFIP through 31 innings. Personally, I think the bigger concern is the home runs. He doubled his season total just this month alone, allowing five after giving up just four over the first two months of the season. If there is a team with power you don’t want to mess with, the Twins is one of them. With that in mind, Giolito is a lot less attractive than normal and my exposure will be minimal.
Hitter Breakdown: I think if you aren’t using Giolito than you should consider stacking against him. This is going to be a total boom-or-bust start for him as the Twins have the capabilities of posting those crooked numbers. If you can afford it, a stack consisting of Mitch Garver and Jorge Polanco would really get you exposure up and down the lineup with power against righties in all of them.
Depending on your stance against Thorpe, the White Sox have some guys to consider as well. Eloy Jimenez would be my top option on the White Sox while also considering Jose Abreu and James McCann. Personally, I think Thorpe grabs a decent amount of strikeouts in this game while also giving up three or four runs. So using some White Sox bats in this game makes a lot of sense.
Pittsburgh Pirates (4.7) @ Milwaukee Brewers (5.9)
Steven Brault (LHP) vs. Zach Davies (RHP)
Over/Under: 10 Moneyline: Brewers -150
Pitcher Breakdown: Bless the Pirates, who continue to run Brault out to the mound every five days. On the road, Brault owns a .344 wOBA with a 4.86 xFIP with four of his six home runs allowed. Being a lefty against the Brewers is not exactly a matchup I want to target with my pitchers. To be fair, Brault did recently face this club and allowed two runs on five hits through 5 1/3 innings, so maybe all hope isn’t lost.
Davis just doesn’t give enough upside to use on a normal basis. His 5.9 K/9 shows he has essentially no strikeout upside and through the 13 innings against the Pirates already this season, he only has logged six strikeouts. Davies does a good job overall at limiting damage but it doesn’t translate well into fantasy purposes.
Hitter Breakdown: Lefties have given Davies some trouble so I think they’re very much in play here. As a whole, the Pirates are hitting well as a team so I think they can give Davies some trouble here. Josh Bell, Corey Dickerson and Colin Moran would be my focus here.
As for the Brewers, we have a lot to like here (as usual). Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich would be the two main guys I’d lock in. From there, if you wanted more exposure, Manny Pina is an interesting name to consider. At home against lefties, he sports a .559 wOBA and a .533 ISO in 17 plate appearances.
Seattle Mariners (3.2) @ Houston Astros (5.4)
Marco Gonzales (LHP) vs. Gerrit Cole (RHP)
Over/Under: 8.5 Moneyline: Astros -270
Pitcher Breakdown: Both clubs have dropped half a run apiece to bring this game down to an 8.5 total. It doesn’t make me like Gonzales more though, however. Gonzales has been MUCH better on the road than he has at home but we saw the Astros have their way with the lefty last night. Home runs are a big problem on the road for Gonzales and now faces a team that hit lefties well. I’ll be steering away.
Cole is of course, very much in play today. When it comes to choosing between Cole and Scherzer, I think Scherzer is the better option here. It makes me curious about the ownership for Cole because he’s in a good matchup as well. The Mariners own one of the highest K% in the league against righties at 24.7%, which currently ranks fifth in the league. I still think he’ll be lower owned of the two because people will see Max against the Tigers and lock him in. Don’t ignore Cole though.
Hitter Breakdown: The Mariners hit Justin Verlander harder than we expected last night. With that in mind, I don’t mind considering a couple of their power bats again. Cole has allowed 10 of his 16 home runs at home, so Daniel Vogelbach and Domingo Santana draw some consideration.
As for the Astros, it’s essentially the same guys we looked at last night. Jake Marisnick continued to prove his home dominance against lefties last night so he’s very much in play again. He now owns a .468 wOBA and a .417 ISO in these matchups. Robinson Chirinos, George Springer and Alex Bregman round out the bats to consider here.
Best Overall Pitcher: Max Scherzer
Best Value Pitcher: Jesse Chavez
Best Overall Hitters: Juan Soto, Anthony Rizzo, Francisco Lindor, Alex Bregman, Bryan Reynolds, Mitch Garver, Bryce Harper
Best Value Hitters: Jake Marisnick, Maikel Franco, Kurt Suzuki, Chance Sisco, Manny Pina, Daniel Descalso
Home Run Call of the Day: Juan Soto
Stacks: Indians, Astros, Twins, Rangers (GPP)
Bet of the Day: Brewers -150