We are into the month of June, and we have now had two full months to digest the statistics throughout Major League Baseball. While there is certainly time for cold players to turn things around, and for red hot players to go south, we have a much better idea about who to trust and who to avoid.
We have your regular mix of studs buoying DFS and season-long Fantasy teams, but there are some unlikely studs like Oakland Athletics SP Rich Hill, San Diego Padres SP Drew Pomeranz and Philadelphia Phillies SP Vince Velasquez who have emerged as go-to options. Not many predicted Oakland Athletics OF Khris Davis or Cincinnati Reds OF Adam Duvall would emerge as DFS staples, but that is exactly what has happened. That’s why baseball is so unpredictable and fun to watch.
For more recommendations from me throughout the week, plus tips from other top industry analysts like Drew Dinkmeyer, check out DailyRoto.com for comprehensive free and premium DFS content.
DraftKings.com salaries included below where applicable. (*** salaries subject to change ***)
PROBABLE PITCHERS TO START
TUESDAY (15 games – 13 after 6:10 pm ET)
Jose Fernandez, SP, Miami ($12,400 vs. PIT): Fernandez’s career home record has been well documented, but lately it hasn’t mattered where he is pitching. He has won six straight starts while allowing just eight runs during the span. Over his past four outings, he has 43 strikeouts over 27 innings with a mere three runs allowed. You’ll get what you pay for, and that’s a quality start and high rate of strikeouts.
Steven Matz, SP, N.Y. Mets ($11,100 vs. CHW): Matz has rattled off seven straight wins after losing his first start of the season April 11. He has quality starts in each of the outings while averaging seven strikeouts per assignment. He has walked just two batters over his past 28.2 innings, too.
WEDNESDAY (15 games – 12 after 6:10 pm ET)
Felix Hernandez, SP, Seattle (at SD): This season Hernandez has been a bit off from his strikeouts per nine innings career average, but he could make up for lost time in San Diego. The Padres rank third in the majors with 485 whiffs through 52 games, or 9.32 per game. That’s good news for King Felix, who still owns a solid 2.86 ERA and .217 opponent batting average despite a mediocre 4-4 record.
Max Scherzer, SP, Washington ($13,000 at PHI): Pitching is the cornerstone of success in DFS, and while Scherzer costs a pretty penny, you can’t scrimp when it comes to quality. Sure, overall the numbers have been off for the ace with multi-colored eyes, but he has rolled up 44 strikeouts over his past 30.1 innings and he is 1-0 with a 2.77 ERA in two outings against the Phils this season.
THURSDAY (11 games – eight after 7:05 pm ET)
Matt Moore, SP, Tampa Bay ($6,200 at MIN): The southpaw Moore is a good DFS value against a bad club. Sure, Moore has had his issues lately, but he is coming off a quality start with seven strikeouts against the Yankees, and he faces a god-awful Twins offense which has been punched out 444 times through 50 games, seventh-worst in the majors.
FRIDAY (15 games – 14 after 7:05 pm ET)
Gio Gonzalez, SP, Washington ($8,400 at CIN): Gonzalez might be a bit of a contrarian play given his 13 runs allowed in 9.2 innings over his past two starts, both losses. But he is facing a poor Cincinnati club that has won once every three games. The Reds will be the elixir to cure Gonzo’s ills.
Drew Pomeranz, SP, San Diego (vs. COL): Better late than never. Pomeranz was once a top prospect and key figure in a major trade between the Colorado Rockies and Cleveland Indians. He has toiled in relative obscurity for many years, but the light has gone off this season. He ranks 15th in the majors with 69 strikeouts over 58 innings while posting a 2.48 ERA. And he is eighth in MLB with 10.71 K/9.
SATURDAY (15 games – nine after 7:15 pm ET)
Nathan Karns, SP, Seattle (at TEX): Karns has been a pleasant surprise for the Mariners, especially considering some of their bigger name pitchers haven’t pitched up to their lofty standards. Karns has won five straight decisions since losing his first start of the season April 9, and he has allowed three or fewer runs in all but one of his five road outings.
Collin McHugh, SP, Houston (vs. OAK): McHugh started out a bit shaky this season, but he has found his sea legs. Over the past three outings he is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 21.1 innings. The A’s do not strike out much, but McHugh does have a favorable matchup since he is working at home and up against SP Rich Hill, a pitcher coming off an injury.
SUNDAY (15 games)
Aaron Nola, SP, Philadelphia ($10,600 vs. MIL): Nola has emerged as a DFS stud this season, posting 70 strikeouts over 66 innings with a 2.86 ERA and a microscopic 0.92 WHIP. He has ripped off seven straight quality starts, including a win with seven strikeouts over seven innings with one run allowed in Milwaukee April 22. The Brewers rank second in the majors in strikeouts, so look for more positive results for Nola.
HITTERS TO START
David Ortiz, 1B, Boston ($5,500 at BAL): Big Papi might be retiring at the end of this season, but he is certainly going out with a bang. He has homered in three straight games, and he has at least one extra-base hit in seven in a row.
Ben Zobrist, 2B, Chicago Cubs ($4,800 vs. LAD): Zobi strolls into play looking to extended his career-high tying hitting streak. He has hit safely in 16 in a row and is hitting .426 (26-for-61) with 12 runs scored, two homers and seven RBI during the span. He’ll face Dodgers LHP Scott Kazmir, and that should mean the streak continues. Zobrist is hitting .372 with 11 runs scored, three doubles, two homers, five RBI and a 1.052 OPS vs. left-handed pitching.
Jung Ho Kang, 3B, Pittsburgh ($2,800 at MIA): Kang is at his best against left-handed pitching, posting three doubles, three homers and eight RBI with a 1.130 OPS in 23 at-bats vs. southpaws. He’ll square off against Marlins LHP Adam Conley, who has been a little erratic lately. Kang is a tremendous DFS at this low price.
David Ortiz, 1B, Boston ($5,500 at BAL): D.O. leads the majors with 12 RBI on Wednesdays, and he has six doubles, two homers and a 1.147 OPS in nine Hump Day games. But that’s just coincidence, and you can’t base your decisions off such a small sample size. But you can base your decision to start him against Orioles RHP Mike Wright, who sports a dismal 5.05 ERA and 1.40 WHIP. Big Papi swatted a two-run bomb in the first encounter April 12, and he just might do it again.
Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado ($5,300 vs. CIN): You’ll want Arenado as part of your Colorado stack against the erratic RHP Alfredo Simon of the Reds. Simon enters 0-3 with a 14.79 ERA in five road appearances (four starts) this season, and the opposition is drumming him to the tune of a .417 average during the span.
Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Colorado ($5,200 vs. CIN): CarGo has turned up the intensity, going 14-for-28 (.500) with a double, triple, four homers and seven RBI over the past seven days. If you’re stacking Rox, Gonzalez needs to be a part of your plans.
Trevor Story, SS, Colorado ($5,500 vs. CIN): Story has produced more Fantasy Points Per Game (FPPG) than even Arenado and CarGo, as his dream season continues. He cooled a bit down the stretch in May, but he still has five RBI over his past five games and the power might be returning as well.
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, L.A. Dodgers ($3,200 vs. ATL): Saturday is shaping up as an L.A. stack, as the Dodgers welcome RHP Julio Teheran and the hapless Braves. Teheran has been studly at home over the years, but he has been poor quality on the road. While he has been solid in his most recent road outings, he cannot be trusted and has no offense to support him. Gonzalez will support his pitcher, and he has had success in limited encounters against Teheran in the past.
Yasiel Puig, OF, L.A. Dodgers ($3,400 vs. ATL): Puig limped to the finish line in the month of May, undergoing a big time power outage. However, he is the kind of player who can erase a slump with one swing of the bat, and you can expect big production against Teheran.
Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado ($5,300 at SD): Another Colorado stack Saturday? Well, just maybe. Padres RHP Andrew Cashner has been trash, posting a 2-5 record, 4.79 ERA and 1.40 WHIP. The Rockies will knock Cashner around early and often, and Arenado will roll up at least one extra-base hit and an RBI. You’ll also want CarGo, Story, etc. (see Thursday, and repeat!)
Evan Longoria, 3B, Tampa Bay ($3,900 at KC): Longo has just 17 at-bats in his career against Twins RHP Ervin Santana, but he has delivered seven hits with two homers. The good times should continue for the Tampa offense against Santana, who is a dismal 1-4 with a 4.13 ERA and 1.46 WHIP on the season. He is very hittable, and Longoria will lead the Tampa charge Saturday.
Adrian Beltre, 3B, Texas (vs. SEA): Beltre has been running hot, and he’ll be glad to see Mariners RHP Hisashi Iwakuma. Beltre is 13-for-42 (.310) with two doubles, three homers, five RBI and a .912 OPS in his career against the Japanese hurler.