Make sure you keep a close eye on our MLB weather and line movement tools. If you have any questions, you can always hit me up @chrismeaney. In today’s MLB DFS breakdown, we attack sneaky GPP standalone plays from St. Louis and San Francisco, so we can spend up for Texas, Houston, Colorado and Boston.
Chicago Cubs (5) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (4.6)
Yu Darvish (RHP) @ Chris Archer (RHP)
Over/Under: 9.5 Moneyline: PIT +120
Pitcher Breakdown: Yu Darvish is one of the better value pitchers on the slate, and there are not a lot of them. If you want to get involved with some of the big bats, you’ll have to take a shot on a Darvish type. Opponents are only hitting .191 against Darvish on the road and he has a 3.59 ERA away from Chicago, compared to a 6.23 mark on the road.
Another plus for Darvish is that he’ll likely get some run support with Chris Archer on the mound. Archer has a 4.64 BB/9 and he’s allowed 18 homers this season – 16 in his past 11 starts. He enters with a career-high 40 FB% and 44 HH%.
Batter Breakdown: I believe the heart of the Cubs order is in play with guys like Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez and Kris Bryant. Lefties have 10 of the 18 homers Archer has allowed and they are rocking a 47 HH% against him, so don’t forget about Kyle Schwarber atop the lineup. There’s some savings with him on FanDuel.
Right-handed batters are only hitting .185 vs Darvish, so consider lefties if you’re looking to get involved with PIT. Josh Bell has 18 homers, with a .318 average and .427 wOBA vs RHP as LHB. Adam Frazier is affordable and should lead off for the Pirates.
Boston Red Sox (6.1) @ Toronto Blue Jays (3.6)
Chris Sale (LHP) @ Jacob Waguespack (RHP)
Over/Under: 9.5 Moneyline: TOR +255
Pitcher Breakdown: It’s hard to roster a balanced squad with Chris Sale as your pitcher, so it’s a strategy I may stay clear of in cash, unless you’re playing on FanDuel. As you’ll see below, there are plenty of value plays over there. My one problem with Sale is the fact he’s failed to pitch into the seventh inning over his last three starts, which came against bad teams: CWS, TOR and BAL. Even still, he’s racked up at least 8K in six straight starts and 12 of his last 13 outings. The Blue Jays have surprisingly scored eight runs on 14 hits over nine innings vs Sale. It’s part of why I’d just roll him out in tournaments, given the recent struggles and price tag. I doubt it’ll lower the ownership all that much, but something to think about.
Jacob Waguespack will make his first big league start tonight as he has four innings on the MLB resume and they came out of the pen in May. He fanned seven over four innings but allowed three runs. The command has been an issue for him throughout the minors, so we should be thinking BOS bats again.
Batter Breakdown: Rafael Devers worked out for us yesterday, to say the least, and all of a sudden he’s the most expensive BOS bat on DraftKings. I mean, it makes sense. He’s second in the AL in average, third overall in hits and fourth in doubles. It’s been a fun ride on FanDuel as he’s only now just over the $4K mark. I’d be taking shots with Devers, Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez. Andrew Benintendi and Jackie Bradley are the value bats in this lineup. Martinez and Betts could even be considered value bats with a team implied total of 6.
Milwaukee Brewers (4.3) @ Cincinnati Reds (5.3)
Jhoulys Chacin (RHP) @ Sonny Gray (RHP)
Over/Under: 9.5 Moneyline: CIN -133
Pitcher Breakdown: There should be some runs in this game again with Jhoulys Chacin and Sonny Gray on the hill. Chacin comes in with an 82 percent contact rate, 45 HH% and 40 FB%. He’s allowed 15 home runs in 15 starts and four in his past three outings. The Reds just lit him up for five runs and two homers over 4.2 innings on June 22nd.
Gray has been much more consistent and at least enters with a 55 GB%, but the homers and walks have crept back into his game. Gray has allowed five homers in his past three games and nine walks in his past four starts. The Brewers torched him for four runs, two homers and four walks over 4.1 innings on June 21st.
Batter Breakdown: It’s hard not to attack this game from an offensive standpoint. Gray has limited left-handed bats to a .193 average, so consider Lorenzo Cain and Keston Hiura, but don’t completely ignore Christian Yelich and Mike Moustakas.
I lean more on the Reds side of things than the Brewers, and I know I sound like a broken record…but Eugenio Suarez has been in my write-ups for weeks now even throughout the struggles, and now he has four homers in his past three games. The price is rising, but not to the point where we should fade him. RHB have 10 of the 15 homers Chacin has allowed and they are rocking a .356 wOBA and 44 FB% against him. Meanwhile, LHB have a 51.4 HH%. Scooter Gennett is affordable on both sites, especially on FanDuel where he’s $2.9K. Yasiel Puig and Derek Dietrich are extremely cheap there as well. Feeling the Reds for sure, and it’s a stack you can make work with Sale on FD.
Baltimore Orioles (3.5) @ Tampa Bay Rays (5.1)
John Means (LHP) @ Ryne Stanek (RHP)
Over/Under: 8.5 Moneyline: TB -205
Pitcher Breakdown: John Means has been a favorite of ours here at TQE, and he’s in a decent spot tonight as well. The price has jumped where he’s not quite as valuable, but his game log is terrific. I do worry about his 47 FB%, but he’s allowed three or fewer runs in 12 of his 13 starts, and two or fewer in 10 outings. That’s impressive. The Rays also have the second-highest strikeout rate in baseball vs LHP. At least it’s enough to think about the under in this game.
New York Yankees (5.4) @ New York Mets (4.7)
Domingo German (RHP) @ Jason Vargas (LHP)
Over/Under: 9.5 Moneyline: NYM +130
Pitcher Breakdown: Domingo German hasn’t pitched since June 7th, so he’s a fade when you also factor in his price. German had allowed eight homers and 16 runs in his final 19.2 innings before the injury. There’s definitely some strikeout upside in his game, but there are some red flags well: 38 HH% and 38 FB%.
This is probably the start where Jason Vargas comes crashing down to earth. Vargas has allowed three or fewer runs in 11 straight starts, which is remarkable to think about. His worst outing over that span, though, came against the Yankees where he allowed seven hits and three runs over six innings. It had been six or fewer hits in every other start during this run. It’s tough for any lefty to face this NYY lineup. Pass.
Batter Breakdown: Right-handed bats have seven of the eight homers Vargas has allowed, and they enter with a 41 FB% and 40 HH%. Aaron Hicks is at a good price on both sites and I believe most have cooled off when it comes to Edwin Encarnacion. Now is the time to get on board. Hicks and Gleyber Torres are steals on FD. Very small sample, but Aaron Judge is hitting .400 with a .469 wOBA vs LHP, and DJ LeMahieu is rocking a .353 average and .400 wOBA.
Robinson Cano has been awful, but he’s basically free on DraftKings and FanDuel. Michael Conforto and Dominic Smith have HR potential tonight.
Philadelphia Phillies (5.5) @ Atlanta Braves (6.1)
Nick Pivetta (RHP) @ Bryse Wilson (RHP)
Over/Under: 11 Moneyline: ATL -128
Pitcher Breakdown: Nick Pivetta is nothing more than a GPP play and you’ll sweat it out all night if you go there. I’m semi-interested due to the price and what it’ll allow you to do with the bats, but it’s a secondary pitcher on DraftKings only. You don’t want him being your one arm on FanDuel. Pivetta has been hit around all year as he’s allowed 14 homers in 10 starts – three to the Braves on June 14th. He has 11.1 innings against Atlanta and he has 10 strikeouts, but he’s coughed up eight runs.
Bryse Wilson has 8.2 innings on his resume this season and he’s allowed 10 runs on 11 hits, including two homers. He’s walked five over that span and was roughed up up Philadelphia earlier in the season.
Batter Breakdown: This total keeps rising, so you’ll likely want a piece of both sides. I think lefty Bryce Harper is worth the cash as well as Rhys Hoskins.
Righties are rocking a .336/.379/.598 and .405 wOVA vs Pivetta so you should want all the Ronald Acuna Jr. you can get. Freddie Freeman is also worth your money, and you know how I feel about Josh Donaldson and Nick Markakis on FanDuel…value! J.D. and Freeman took Pivetta deep earlier this month.
Los Angeles Angels (6.1) @ Texas Rangers (5.5)
Griffin Canning (RHP) @ Ariel Jurado (RHP)
Over/Under: 11 Moneyline: TEX +116
Pitcher Breakdown: Griffin Canning has a respectable 63:14 K:BB and 3.79 ERA over 61.2 innings, but the Rangers are a much better team vs RHP. Also, Canning has a 49 FB%, which would be the second-highest in the league if he had a couple more starts to qualify. It’s a big reason he’s allowed 12 homers in his 11 starts – five in his past three outings. He also has a 4.28 ERA on the road compared to a 3.41 ERA at Angels Stadium.
Ariel Jurado is off my radar because he doesn’t strike enough guys out, plus the Angels have the lowest K-Rate in baseball. He enters with an 84 percent contact rate and 87 percent mark for his career. Contact will be made by the LAA bats.
Batter Breakdown: There should be a ton of runs in this game as well as the total continues to rise. Right-handed bats have five of the seven homers Jurado has allowed, and they are slashing .297/.331/.492 with a .342 wOBA. I would attack the middle of the order with Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani and Justin Upton. Lefties have a 45 HH% against Jurado.
Canning will likely allow a home run to someone in this game and the likeliest candidate is Joey Gallo. He has a .429 wOBA and 39 FB% vs RHP. His 13 home runs against righties are the most on his team followed by Shin-Soo Choo (11) and Asdrubal Cabrera (10). Rougned Odor leads the team with a 44 FB% vs RHP, but we know the risk involved with him. GPP only as the price is right. Willie Calhoun is probably worth your money considering his .365 average, three homers and .418 wOBA vs righties.
There are so many free squares on FD in this game: Ohtani, Upton, Kole Calhoun, Andrelton Simmons, Choo, Calhoun, Nomar Mazara, Cabrera and Odor are all easy on the wallet.
Detroit Tigers (5.2) @ Chicago White Sox (6)
Tyler Alexander (LHP) @ Ross Detwiler (RHP)
Over/Under: 10.5 Moneyline: CHW -130
Pitcher Breakdown: Tyler Alexander is expected to make his first MLB start in the second half of the double-header, but let’s not bother going there. He has 87 strikeouts in 73.2 Triple-A innings this season, but he’s allowed 96 hits over that span, including 17 homers.
Batter Breakdown: If Jose Abreu finds a way to play again today, you should definitely consider him as he absolutely crushes lefties. James McCann is repping a .321 average and .410 wOBA vs LHP. Eloy Jimenez is too cheap to pass up in this series against the Tigers.
Houston Astros (7.9) @ Colorado Rockies (6.7)
Wade Miley (LHP) @ Peter Lambert (RHP)
Over/Under: 14.5 Moneyline: COL +115
Batter Breakdown: This is the highest total of the season for a game not played in London, and it makes total sense. Wade Miley has allowed 11 homers to RHB, and we know how well Trevor Story and Nolan Arenado hit LHP. There’s more value on the COL side on FanDuel with Story, Daniel Murphy and David Dahl, who has a .341 average vs LHP. Ian Desmond is another one to consider vs LHP.
Then there is the Astros, who have a 7.8 team implied total vs Peter Lambert. He has a 9.95 ERA at home compared to a 3.00 mark on the road. He’s been crushed by lefties: .348/.380/.804 and .469 wOBA. In 12.2 home innings, Lambert has allowed 21 hits, 14 runs and six homers. Let’s target Michael Brantley and Josh Reddick while taking the discount on Jose Altuve.
Cleveland Indians (5) @ Kansas City Royals (4.1)
Mike Clevinger (RHP) @ Danny Duffy (LHP)
Over/Under: 9 Moneyline: KC +142
Pitcher Breakdown: Mike Clevinger is definitely in play and we may get a low ownership due to his last outing in which he only lasted 1.2 innings in Baltimore. He allowed seven runs in that outing and has allowed 12 runs, two homers and six walks in his first 6.1 innings since returning from multiple injuries. He has 31 strikeouts in 18.1 innings, though. Give me that kind of upside in tournaments.
Batter Breakdown: I don’t really have a ton of interest in any bats from this game, but there’s some standalone value with Jose Ramirez and Jason Kipnis, despite the lefty on lefty matchup. Lefties are actually hitting .290 with a .380 wOBA vs Duffy. Jordan Luplow has been strong vs LHP this season, and Ramirez is hitting .278 vs LHP compared to .187 vs RHP.
Minnesota Twins (4.8) @ Oakland Athletics (4.8)
Kyle Gibson (RHP) @ Mike Fiers (RHP)
Over/Under: 9.5 Moneyline: OAK +100
Pitcher Breakdown: These are two ratio pitchers who don’t have high strikeout rates so I’m going to pass. I could see the under hitting here despite both offenses being able to rake. My issue here is that the Twins and A’s don’t strike out.
Mike Fiers has reeled off eight straight quality starts and hasn’t allowed more than three runs since April 20th. He’s also much better at home (3.08 ERA) compared to on the road (5.03 ERA). However, he’s rocking a 84 contact percentage, 39 HH% and 43 FB%, which will eventually catch up to you.
Kyle Gibson has a higher strikeout ceiling, but he’s taken advantage of bad teams and I have respect for the A’s. Nine of the 13 homers he’s allowed have come on the road where he has a 4.68 ERA and .291 opponents batting average, compared to a 3.77 ERA and .210 opponents batting average at home.
Batter Breakdown: With all those numbers, you’d think I’d lean heavy on the bats here, but I just think there are better game stacks to attack. Matt Olson is just copy and pasted in here every time the A’s play. He went yard again last night and is affordable on both sites, especially FanDuel. Khris Davis is free on both sites so take advantage of that. Marwin Gonzalez is the value bat in Minnesota’s lineup, but I just think you attack Fiers on the road, not at home.
San Francisco Giants (4) @ San Diego Padres (4.6)
Shaun Anderson (RHP) @ Cal Quantrill (RHP)
Over/Under: 8.5 Moneyline: SD -135
Pitcher Breakdown: Shaun Anderson has a ridiculous 87 contact percentage and 40 percent hard-hit rate, so not much else needs to be said.
This will be Cal Quantrill‘s first start since June 14th, and his six starts haven’t been great. Quantrill has allowed five homers in those six outings and 38 hits over 36.2 total innings this season. Lefties have a .325/.400/602 and .410 wOBA against Quantrill.
Batter Breakdown: The Giants absolutely worked out for us yesterday, especially Evan Longoria, who had two bombs. The same thing applies here today if you’re looking for ways to spend up elsewhere. SF has scored 23 runs over the first two games of this series. I think they are sneaky on the run total prop (3.5) and if you’re looking for some stand-alone value, so you can roster COL/HOU or Chris Sale, this is the way to do it. I like Brandon Belt again as he’s one of two SF players to have a price tag over $3K on FanDuel and he’s only $3.2K. You can take some shots with Pablo Sandoval and Mike Yastrzemski in tournaments as well.
The Padres should be able to make some contact against Anderson, so if you’re playing in the late slate I don’t hate spending up for Fernando Tatis or Manny Machado. Hunter Renfroe and Franmil Reyes are great targets on FanDuel.
Arizona Diamondbacks (3.2) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (4.9)
Merrill Kelly (RHP) @ Walker Buehler (RHP)
Over/Under: 8 Moneyline: LAD -244
Pitcher Breakdown: Merrill Kelly has a 4.99 ERA on the road and he’s allowed 10 homers to RHB this season. He comes in having allowed at least one homer in 10 of his past 13 outings.
Walker Buehler is the other top pitcher to consider if you want to pivot off Chris Sale. We can throw his last start in Colorado out the window and look to his last one against Arizona: 8 IP, 2 H, 1 ER and 11 K. Buehler has a cool 3.05 ERA at home where opponents are only hitting .185 against him.
Batter Breakdown: There are not a lot of RHB in the Dodgers’ lineup aside from Justin Turner and Chris Taylor. Both are very affordable on FanDuel and worthy of plays considering the struggle Kelly has had against righties. Don’t ignore the lefties, though, as LA has a .348 wOBA vs RHP, which is the second-highest mark in baseball. Joc Pederson has 20 bombs, Cody Bellinger 17 and Max Muncy 14 vs RHP.
St. Louis Cardinals (4.7) @ Seattle Mariners (4.4)
Adam Wainwright (RHP) @ Mike Leake (RHP)
Over/Under: 9 Moneyline: SEA +105
Batter Breakdown: There’s some value at the top of the Cardinals lineup with Tommy Edman and Jose Martinez, who hit us a HR last night. Those two are basically free on FanDuel. Have you noticed Paul Goldschmidt‘s price on FanDuel? $3.1K. Seems like we should jump on that and take a shot with Tyler O’Neill ($2K). I know the Cardinals have been struggling, but Mike Leake has an 84 percent contact rate and 41 percent hard-hit rate. He’s also allowed 23 homers this season. I’ve kind of talked myself into a Sale/STL stack on FD/DK because it can easily be done.
The Seattle lineup is packed full of LHB and lefties have crushed Adam Wainwright this season: .320/.408/.584 and .405 wOBA with seven homers allowed. J.P. Crawford‘s price on FanDuel is still doable and Dan Vogelbach has HR potential vs Wainwright.
In Case You Missed It:
Best Overall Pitcher: Chris Sale
Best Value Pitcher: John Means & Yu Darvish
Pitchers I’m feeling: Chris Sale, Walker Buehler, Mike Clevinger, Yu Darvish & John Means
Contrarian GPP options: Nick Pivetta
Pitchers to fade: Chris Archer, Sonny Gray & Domingo German
Pitchers to pick on: Chris Archer, Jacob Waguespack, Jhoulys Chacin, Jason Vargas, Nick Pivetta, Wade Miley, Peter Lambert, Mike Leake & Cal Quantrill
Top Overall Hitters: Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, J.D. Martinez, Mookie Betts, Rafael Devers, Christian Yelich, Eugenio Suarez, Yasiel Puig, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Bryce Harper, Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuna Jr., Mike Trout, Joey Gallo, Jose Abreu, Jose Altuve, Michael Brantley, Alex Bregman, Trevor Story, Nolan Arenado, Manny Machado & Cody Bellinger
Best value Hitters (DK): Kyle Schwarber, Adam Frazier, Jackie Bradley, Keston Hiura, Scooter Gennett, Aaron Hicks, Robinson Cano, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jose Altuve, Tyler White, Jose Ramiez, Marwin Gonzalez, Khris Davis, Brandon Belt, Jose Martinez & Tommy Edman
Best value Hitters (FD): Kyle Schwarber, Kris Bryant, Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, Keston Hiura, Scooter Gennett, Yasiel Puig, Eugenio Suarez, Aaron Hicks, Robinson Cano, Josh Donaldson, Nick Markakis, David Fletcher, Justin Upton, Andrelton Simmons, Willie Calhoun, Nomar Mazara, Asdrubal Cabrera, Rougned Odor, Jose Abreu, Eloy Jimenez, Jose Altuve, Trevor Story, David Dahl, Daniel Murphy, Ian Desmond, Jose Ramiez, Marwin Gonzalez, Khris Davis, Matt Olson, Brandon Belt, Pablo Sandoval, Mike Yastrzemski, Franmil Reyes, Jose Martinez, Tommy Edman, Paul Goldschmidt, Tyler O’Neill, J.P. Crawford & Chris Taylor
Home Run Call of the Day: Joey Gallo
Others HR calls to consider: Anthony Rizzo, J.D. Martinez, Mookie Betts, Christian Yelich, Keston Hiura, Eugenio Suarez, Yasiel Puig, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Edwin Encarnacion, Bryce Harper, Ronald Acuna Jr., Freddie Freeman, Shin-Shoo Choo, Willie Calhoun, Jose Abreu, Michael Brantley, Trevor Story, Nolan Arenado, Jose Ramirez, Jose Martinez & Cody Bellinger
Stack ranks: BOS, HOU, COL, NYY, ATL, CIN, MIL & PHI
Underrated stack: LAA, TEX, CHC, CWS, STL, SF
Best bet: NYY -152
Chris Meaney is a DFS contributor for The Quant Edge, covering fantasy sports. Chris covered NHL, NBA, NFL and MLB as the producer, writer and host at FNTSY Sports Network. He was lead host of the daily live shows, “Fantasy Sports Today” and “Home Ice Advantage.” Chris has written for The Athletic, the Associated Press, the New York Daily News, Fantasy Footballers, NBA Fantasy, Play Picks, Fantrax and more. @chrismeaney.