DFS: Major League Baseball Lineup Tips for June 21, 2018

Ryan K

Here is a look at our Daily Fantasy Sports – Major League Baseball Lineup Tips for June 21, 2018:

Pitchers:

Max Scherzer has been far and away the best pitcher in baseball this year and faces an Orioles team that can really struggle against elite right-handed pitchers. Scherzer is the definition of an elite right-handed pitcher and is the definition of a great play. The question is whether or not we can fit him in our lineups. To put into perspective, Scherzer played Baltimore once already this year. He was decent, I guess. Scherzer threw 8 shutout innings while allowing 2 hits and a walk.

Oh yeah, he also struck out 12 and posted an absurd swinging strike rate of 26.1% in that start. How good is a 26.1% swinging strike rate? Justin Verlander, James Paxton, Blake Snell, and Luis Severino all have season swinging strike rates of about HALF that number, and are in the top 15 in baseball. Not only was Scherzer’s stat line crazy, but the advanced numbers show that Baltimore never had a chance. I believe the roster construction will have a lot to do with using Scherzer. Last night, I used pitchers that got 5-10 points in virtually all of my lineups and faded the expensive guys. This allowed me to get the Astros and Yankees stacks that hit multiple home runs and landed me at the top of GPP’s despite of the really bad pitching. Now, in a perfect world, we find all the cheap home runs to go along with Scherzer’s 35+ DK points, but that’s not easy at all. I believe I will bite the bullet on Scherzer because of how dominant he should be, but don’t force him in for GPP’s if you think certain bats may be able to get you over the hump.

On a slate like today, we want to try and find differentiations off of the chalk to create a different lineup build around Scherzer. I will most likely be talking about some plays that are not for the weak and are solely GPP plays. I do not see any amazing spots after Scherzer, so generally paying down to get more bats than others with the top guy is my favorite way to go on DK. We know Scherzer will garner a lot of ownership and will shift ownership with him. Scherzer’s price tag will inherently decrease the ownership of 6k Mike Trout because you can’t spend that kind of money. Building a stars/scrubs lineup in baseball is talked about less but gives you a lot of leverage on slates like tonight. Playing Scherzer + cheapest viable pitcher + 6 cheapest viable bats + 2 studs will not be too highly owned and you can get Mike Trout or Bryce Harper at very low ownership due to the slate dynamics.

Let’s separate everyone else into 3 different tiers with brief explanations, assuming we play Scherzer.

Can’t do it:

Bumgarner: Clearly not 100% and the price is too high. Need to see something positive first

Skaggs: Too expensive for the construction. Skaggs is playable if you want to fade Scherzer hoping they both get 30 and you save $4,000

Martinez: Since returning from the DL, here are his walk totals in chronological order: 5, 7, and 6. Pass.

Hendricks: Hasn’t been very sharp this year and now faces a solid offense in a terrible park. There are guys for cheaper with more upside and a similar floor.

If you need to be different:

Chad Kuhl: A talented arm that hasn’t figured it out yet. However, he hasn’t been bad at all this year and at home should be able to stay alive, which is really all we can ask for.

Kevin Gausman: Similar to Kuhl with more ability to have great games and a much worse situation. The matchup and park are terrible here, but Gausman has it in him to score 30 DK points vs. ANY team. You can chase the viable upside here.

Brent Suter: Has been decent recently? Rather cheap? That’s about all I got. I’m not a fan but it’s possible Suter’s 11 DK points can be a part of the lineup that wins someone $50,000 tonight with the price tag.

Matt Harvey: Yes. I think Matt Harvey is terrible. No, I am not confident he will escape this game with positive points. The reason to play Harvey is simple. His 5 points can be the best option if an expensive team goes off. This is the biggest slate I will ever even suggest possibly playing multiple hitters from a team against your pitcher. I know, sounds very bad. The thing here is the roster construction Harvey can get you may be enough to not care that he gets you 3 points. Its slim, but no one else will do it and there is more viability than it would seem on the surface.

My guys:

Zack Godley: Talented arm vs. a non-threatening offense in a pitcher’s park. He is not too expensive and I assume he will be the chalk. If he is, try to differentiate elsewhere tonight if you want the combination of safety, upside, and savings Godley provides.

Aaron Sanchez: Sanchez WILL be my second highest owned pitcher. He gets a park upgrade and is more talented than the guys down here. Two years ago, Sanchez was projected to be one of the guys at the top of the Toronto rotation. Last year he saw many setbacks mostly due to blister problems. This year he has started to return to form and I will bet on the talent on a slate as ugly as this. Sanchez also did face the Angels once this year and wouldn’t have killed you. He walked 5 and struck out 2, which is probably more of a one start issue than an actual problem. That being said, he still went 5 innings and allowed only 2 hits and no runs. I think Sanchez can get 15-20 and I am plenty fine with that.

Stacks:

Since I elaborated on every pitching matchup on the slate. These will be a bit shorter as the case has already been made about most of the bats.

The Cubs are the clear top stack and will be popular. Knowing the Cubs, there will be a couple of cheap guys at the top of the order that instantly get 35% ownership because no one can afford guys like Rizzo and Bryant. I really like those two and Schwarber and will be forcing them in before almost everyone else.

The Cardinals are a great stack as a right-handed heavy team in Milwaukee vs. lefty. My favorite play is Ozuna, but the whole lineup is in play.

Every stack beside Baltimore is very viable today. I plan on differentiating with different stacks.

The Padres vs. Bumgarner in a terrible park should be unowned, but Bumgarner has been sloppy and one rough inning can be enough to make the Padres’ stack viable.

The Brewers are very interesting against Martinez and his walk problems. The Brewers have shown a willingness to steal and even though Yadi should be behind the plate, you can steal on him, especially the guys at the top of the order. The walks provide a nice floor for the Brewers stack, which should also be under-owned.

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