MLB DFS DraftKings.com & FanDuel.com Lineups & Picks for June 24, 2018
Happy Sunday, DFSers. We’re back for another full slate of MLB DFS games scheduled for 6/24/18. The main slates on both DraftKings and FanDuel kick off at 1:05 p.m. EST. We’ve got 12 games in play at DraftKings, while FanDuel’s main slate features 11.
For today, we’re listing our MLB DFS best picks at pitcher, hitter, and stacks to target in Cash and GPP lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel. The info below can also be used for crafting your daily fantasy baseball strategy at FantasyDraft.
Please note the advice below is relevant for daily fantasy purposes. A player or team might be better or worse from a fantasy perspective than in real life due to matchup, price, and lots of other factors. This is important to consider when constructing a roster. Remember that more than in other sports, variance is a huge part of baseball. Even Mike Trout can go 0-for-4 on a given night, and Max Scherzer can get lit up by an unsuspecting team.
Weather can also play a huge role in MLB DFS on a nightly basis, and lineups are constantly shifting. So always, always check the starting lineups and weather reports when playing for an MLB slate.
6/24/18 MLB DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS
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Best MLB DFS Pitchers for June 24, 2018
Chris Sale vs. SEA ($13.4k DraftKings, $11.3k FanDuel)
Let’s face it, he’s expensive, but Sale also has the highest ceiling on the slate today. RotoQL projects him at more than 27 DraftKings points, and fairly so. The veteran ace has struck out 30 batters in his last three starts, including 11 on the road at Minnesota in his last outing. He also allowed just four earned runs over that span, compared to 10 earned runs in the two starts immediately prior. He’s clearly back to form, and the Seattle Mariners are in a very different condition. As of this writing, they’ve lost five straight, and a road game in Fenway doesn’t provide much promise.
And keep this in mind: Sale is striking out left-handed batters at a 40% clip this season. That’s nearly 20% higher than his strikeout rate against lefties over the past three seasons. The Mariners are a left-handed heavy lineup and should trot out at least four hitters of that handedness today. It doesn’t seem at all implausible that Sale could get into the double digits in strikeouts.
Rich Hill @ NYM ($8.6k DraftKings, $7.6k FanDuel)
The New York Mets struggle against left-handed pitching, achieving an OPS of just .631 against LHPs (compared to a .718 OPS against RHPs). Meanwhile, Hill is having a rough year working through recurring issues with blisters on his throwing hand. But in his return to action earlier this month, he allowed just three hits across six innings in a no-decision against the Chicago Cubs. He added six strikeouts for good measure, which is tied for the highest mark he’s achieved in a game this season. The Mets just got swept by the Rockies, then lost game one of their series with the Dodgers at Citi Field. Hill appears to be back to full health, and he’s certainly well rested given he’s thrown just under 31 innings this year. Many will likely stay away from Hill due to health concerns, but he’s squarely on my radar given his reasonable price tag and his last outing. He seems to have turned a corner. Get ahead before everyone else gets back on board.
Domingo German vs. PHI ($9.5k DraftKings, $8.5k FanDuel)
I’m worried about how chalky German may be today, but I have to mention him. The Yankees starter has racked up 28 strikeouts combined in his last three starts, two of which ended up as wins for the righty. He’s also made it through six innings in all four of his June starts, and the Tampa Bay Rays are not a team that seems primed to derail the youngster. After all, German faced this very team just a few weeks ago, making it through six innings, allowing three runs, and striking out 10 batters. On the road in Tampa, German is in a good position to mirror his efforts from earlier this month. In his last road start, German allowed three runs to the New York Mets, but also struck out nine. Ride the RHP’s hot streak in a not-so-intimidating matchup today, but I’d recommend sticking to GPPs as he does have some blowup risk.
Caleb Smith @ COL ($6.9k DraftKings)
Caleb Smith faced the Colorado Rockies in the friendly confines of Marlins Park earlier this year, allowing two hits and striking out nine over seven innings. Today, he’ll travel to Coors Field for a rematch, but one at a very hitter-friendly park. I’m actually okay with this. DFS players avoid Coors pitchers like the plague, but Smith has the edge in my book. The lefty allows roughly one home run per nine innings, but he has strikeout upside, and the Rockies rank 11th in strikeouts per game. Again, Smith didn’t help Colorado improve that stat when he struck out nine of them earlier this season. And we’ve seen him succeed in other hitter-geared ballparks, like when he struck out seven across 5.2 innings of shutout ball in a win against the Cincinnati Reds. At Miller Park prior to that, he allowed two runs on two hits across six innings, but threw in 10 strikeouts. Whether home or away, the Rockies know how to strike out. And their combined 2-for-22 history against Smith makes me lean his way. He’s an excellent leverage play, while also giving you some exposure to the slate’s latest game.
Other pitchers to consider: Carlos Rodon, Gerrit Cole, Jhoulys Chacin, Jose Berrios
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Best MLB DFS Hitters for June 24, 2018
Billy Hamilton vs. CHI ($3.7 DraftKings, $2.9k FanDuel)
Hamilton has never stolen a base on Tyler Chatwood, but that hasn’t stopped him from wreaking havoc against the former Rockies prospect, now with the Chicago Cubs. Chatwood’s season has been a roller coaster, as he’s made it through five innings in just six of his last 10 starts. He’s also allowed Hamilton to reach base four times in nine showdowns, including two doubles and a triple. That explains the lack of stolen bases, huh? Hamilton is not playing well this season, but he has nine hits across his last 22 at bats (prior to the weekend), including a double, a home run, and three stolen bases. And ultimately that’s what matters: that Hamilton is reaching safely, even if it’s on singles. His quickness and speed make him an elite runner, and it builds in some very strong upside. Ride Hamilton’s recent success today against Chatwood.
Ian Happ @ CIN ($3.6k DraftKings, $2.4k FanDuel)
Let’s start this out with an understanding that I like a lot of Chicago bats today. The last time Sal Romano played Chicago (back in May), he allowed seven earned runs in five innings. He only allowed six hits, but the six walks really killed him. And of course, a home run courtesy of Happ. In three career at bats against Romano, Happ has two hits. Both left the yard. Romano got his walks under control in recent starts, but he was back to his old ways in his most recent outing, allowing four base-on-balls at home against Detroit (though he ultimately held them scoreless). While Romano is improving, this Cubs roster has managed nine runs against him across 43 at bats. For a guy with control issues on the mound, that stat doesn’t bode well for future performance. Happ is the top option from this Cubs lineup for me, but feel free to explore other options, specifically lefties like this next guy.
Tommy La Stella vs. DET ($2.6k DraftKings, $2.0k FanDuel)
This could probably just be part two of why I like Chicago today, and it is. But let’s focus on La Stella. Like Happ, he also has succeeded against Romano in limited at bats (with a .500 average, albeit without the home runs). Romano also has allowed lefty bats to hit for an OPS of .867 this season, .150 points higher than his OPS allowed to righties. La Stella is projected to bat leadoff at RotoQL, and you’ll need salary relief if you’re going to pay up for Sale. He’ll probably be chalky, but I’m recommending him in cash games if you go for Sale. He’s a tournament option given his low salary and strong matchup. Just look at his .329/.376/.354 slash against righties this season.
Leonys Martin @ CLE ($4.7k DraftKings, $3.0k FanDuel)
He’s expected to bat leadoff, and Martin has quite the matchup to bolster his stock today. The left-handed veteran is hitting to the tune of a .840 OPS against right-handed bats this season, while opposing pitcher Adam Plutko is allowing lefties to hit for an OPS of 1.184. Lefties are also slashing .340/.418/.766 against Plutko. Like the Cubs, Detroit lefties are very intriguing, but I’m looking hardest at Martin. Hitting leadoff against a pitcher whose 3-1 record is completely disguised by run support (just look at his 5.04 ERA and 1.28 WHIP), and one who is helpless against lefties, makes Martin a cash and tournament play at FanDuel. He’s better in tournaments at DraftKings, though, given his high price.
Kike Hernandez @ NYM ($3.3k DraftKings, $2.4k FanDuel)
If you couldn’t tell by now, I’m very interested in rostering Sale (and think you should be, too), and for that reason we’re working in a lot of cheap options today. Hernandez fits the bill, but there’s more to it than just economics. He’s facing a struggling veteran lefty Jason Vargas today.
Vargas has allowed a 1.000+ OPS to both left-handed batters and right-handed batters, so you can look to stack Dodgers today (even at Citi Field). But Hernandez’ lefty-righty splits aren’t so balanced. Against RHPs over the past three seasons, Hernandez has managed an OPS of just .538. Compare that to his .909 OPS against LHPs, and you can see why Hernandez is an excellent value play today. He’s also hit three home runs in June (all against lefties), and he’s slashed .327/.469/.797 this month. Look for Hernandez in GPPs for salary relief, though he’s on the table in cash, too, given his upside and, again, Chris Sale’s salary.
Other hitters to consider: Paul Goldschmidt, Starling Marte, Jose Abreu, Khris Davis, Evan Gattis, Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich, Eduardo Escobar, Nomar Mazara, Derek Dietrich, Francisco Lindor, Eugenio Suarez, Jason Hayward, Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber
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MLB DFS Stacks to Consider for June 24, 2018
Cubs vs. Sal Romano (Reds)
Yankees vs. Ryne Stanek (Rays)
Dodgers vs. Jason Vargas (Mets)
Brewers vs. Luke Weaver (Cardinals)
Red Sox vs. Marco Gonzales (Mariners)