Saturday, June 25, has the bulk of the action in the afternoon with only four games on the “main” slate with a 7:15 p.m. first pitch. Let’s get into the top MLB DFS picks for pitchers and stacks for Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy baseball lineups.
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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks, Saturday, June 26
Yahoo Stack of the Day: Boston Red Sox vs. LHP Jordan Montgomery — 5.4 implied runs
There are actually several pitchers we can target on our main slate, however, on Yahoo the salaries for the Red Sox are very appealing for a second straight day. Yesterday, Boston was solid though not spectacular and they were unable to keep their momentum from their three-run first inning. They still chased Domingo German early and they have an even better matchup tonight against lefty Jordan Montgomery.
While Montgomery has solid surface numbers with a 4.03 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP, he has had uneven performances throughout the year. Today marks his 15th start of the season and the first against the Red Sox. The focus will be on the right-handed power bats with J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts leading the way in the heart of the order. Martinez has a stratospheric .325 ISO in his last 319 righty/lefty matchups. Though he does not get enough credit from the DFS world, Hunter Renfroe has been nearly as good from a power perspective with a .319 ISO in his last 274 matchups against opposite-handed hurlers.
Bobby Dalbec will be at the bottom of the order, though he is very much in play for differentiation as well as for his 16.2 degree launch angle, 19.1% barrel rate and .481 xSLG. Michael Chavis will be leading off and at only $11 he is my MLB DFS pick on Yahoo today.
Toronto Blue Jays vs. LHP Keegan Akin — 6.7 implied runs
The Blue Jays have a total today that rivals most that we see in Coors Field. They are hosting the Orioles in Buffalo at Sahlen Field, which is their Triple-A stadium. Today will be just the 12th start for 26-year-old Keegan Akin. Across 59.1 innings in The Show, he has allowed “just” eight home runs with a solid 1.13 strikeouts per inning, however, that is the end of the good news. Akin does not induce many swings outside of the zone, and with only a 55.8% first-strike rate, he is usually starting behind in the count.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is tied for the league lead in home runs with 25 as well as being near the top of the RBI leaderboard with 62 on 91 hits, which ranks fourth. Additionally, he is third with a .340 batting average and he has a very real chance of flirting with the Triple Crown. George Springer is back in action, and with his propensity for success against southpaws, he is a steal at $3,700 on DraftKings. Allow salary and positional need to dictate your preferences for Marcus Semien, Randal Grichuk, Teoscar Hernandez, Lourdes Gurriel and Bo Bichette.
San Diego Padres vs. RHP Merrill Kelly — 4.8 implied runs
Once again, Merrill Kelly is a featured target in this article series. The 32-year-old righty had a long and winding path to The Show and as he makes his 53rd start tonight, there are not many tricks left up his sleeve. While he did survive two April starts against the Padres for 10 combined innings with only four earned runs, he was lucky with 15 flyball outs as he allowed 1.4 baserunners per inning.
Now that everyone is healthy, San Diego is firing on all cylinders leading the league by 20 stolen bases and being in the top-third or better for most other offensive metrics. It has a nice mix of hitters from both sides of the plate, and other than the pitcher, not one easy out. Last night, Fernando Tatis Jr. had a three-homer game, which moved him into a tie at the top of the leaderboard with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. On the season, he has 25 home runs and 15 steals with a 40/30 season very much in play.
Manny Machado and Jake Cronenworth each have 12 home runs and both are threats to steal at any time. Tommy Pham has pulled out of his early season tailspin and has been on a tear making up for lost time. The back half of the lineup is a viable stack with Eric Hosmer, Wil Myers and Trent Grisham lending their skills to the embarrassment of riches boasted by the Padres.
Top Target: RHP: Dinelson Lamet vs. Arizona Diamondbacks — 2.8 implied runs
San Diego has been very careful with the pitch count for Dinelson Lamet as evidenced by the 81 pitches he threw in his last appearance, which was his season high. They have no need to push him as they have designs on a World Series run and he will be an important part of their rotation. Tonight, the Padres are nearly 3-to-1 favorites to earn the victory, though it is probably 60/40 or 70/30 that Lamet completes the fifth inning, which is required in order to qualify for a win. The Diamondbacks have one win in their last 21 games and just three in their last 37. There is a good chance that Ketel Marte rejoins the lineup, however, Arizona still has the worst offense in the league against right-handed pitchers.
Secondary Target: LHP Julio Urias vs. Chicago Cubs — 3.7 implied runs
Do not let the sub-4 implied run total fool you, the Cubs are a tough matchup for southpaws with a top 10 106 wRC+. Julio Urias has thrown at least 82 pitches in 13 of 15 starts, however, he has not topped 96 and has been over 90 only once in his last six appearances. From a pitch-per-dollar perspective, we are being hit with a hefty premium. While Urias has ceded 13 round-trippers, he has been excellent this season when challenging hitters with a 27.6% strikeout rate with a miniscule 3.6% walk rate. The budding ace has a healthy 40.2% groundball rate with an excellent 3.68 xFIP. The Dodgers know they are on a collision course with San Diego in the postseason, so they are being careful with workloads. That is the only knock against Urias.
Afternoon Slate: RHP Adrian Houser vs. Colorado Rockies — 3.4 implied runs
There looks to be some precipitation in Milwaukee, which will likely lead to the roof being closed at American Family Field. Colorado is the worst offense in the league this season against right-handed pitchers creating 31% less runs than league average. Even including their Coors Field games, they have a bottom-five .139 ISO with a 24% strikeout rate. In 13 starts this season, Adrian Houser has allowed more than three runs only twice. Once against the Reds in Cincinnati and then in his last start, which was against this same squad in Denver. Houser generally goes five or six innings with a handful of strikeouts. Although he has a walk rate approaching double digits, his elite 57.9% groundball rate and limiting the longball — just 10 in 70.1 innings — generally keeps him out of trouble.
Final Thoughts for the Saturday, June 26, MLB DFS Slate
Keep an eye on the weather forecasts leading up to first pitch in the Midwest. Detroit, Chicago, Minnesota and St. Louis all have precipitation risk to varying degrees. As always, be mindful that salaries and scoring formats differ across the various fantasy sites, and a home run play on Yahoo may be a below-average MLB DFS pick on DraftKings or FanDuel.
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