DFS June 4 – My Kingdom for a Pitcher

Jim shares his top Draft Kings plays for June 4th along with his thoughts for the day.

We have a 10 games on tap today kicking off at 1:08 with the Oakland at Detroit. Considering how the games are split up time wise, I can foresee a lot of turbo games on Draft Kings today – but there will also be all-day games.
Be sure to keep an eye on the weather forecast for potential cancellations and make sure to check your lineups before game time for late scratches.

Normally when I put together my team I look for value players up the middle and at catcher.  Today I decided to put together my entire infield first, and I must say I am happy with the way things look so far.  After that I picked my pitchers but there are some ugly matchups today and few quality arms to choose from; the few good arms out there have some tough matchups.  It is the first time I’m actually afraid to choose anyone.  Now my task is to put together the all-value team for my OF; something that is usually best to do close to game time when you have a better idea of who is in the lineup. For now, here are my picks for today.

1. SP – Wei-Yin Chen ($7,600) @HOU: The Astros don’t usually fare well against lefties and rank 29th in the league for strikeouts.  Chen isn’t a big strikeout guy, but he can average one an inning under the right conditions.  His road ERA is 80 points lower than his season ERA and he has only allowed 2 road home runs compared to 8 at home. While Chen didn’t have the best game last time he faced Houston (last Monday), he has shown improvements against teams his second time facing them.  I’m not sold on this pick and could easily go with Yovani Gallardo at $6,500 and feel just as confident.  I’m still confident enough though that Chen will get me 14-15 points today.

2. SP – Dallas Keuchel ($10,000) BAL: Since I’m not sold on any starting pitcher getting a win today, I’ll double down on somebody in the Baltimore/Houston game coming away with one.  I also like Keuchel for strikeouts, and Baltimore ranks in the top 10 for that.  Then there’s the innings, Keuchel has gone 6 or more in every start.  Baltimore has some hitters that feast on left-handed pitchers, but I’ll take my chances of there not being a repeat of last Monday.  Just like with Chen, I’m not sold here, just going with the best option on paper and crossing my fingers. 

3. C – Stephen Vogt ($4,100) @DET: Opposing pitcher Shane Greene has allowed 8 home runs this season, 5 of those were in his last game against the Angels.  He wasn’t pitching well before that matchup so there could be some residual nerves here making for a tasty start.  Vogt has 11 home runs this season, 10 of those are against righties and 8 of them are on the road and 7 of them are in May.  He has hit .300+ in each of the first two months and hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down.  I expect at least 2-3 hits here and anticipate a home run.

4. 1B – Adam LaRoche (3,900) @TEX: I went with the value play here, but that doesn’t mean I’m skimping on talent.  LaRoche is hitting .333 over the past 7 days and is hitting 100 points higher on the road.  He is also very familiar with opposing pitcher Yovani Gallardo from their NL days.  LaRoche has a career .367 average versus Gallardo (11-30) with 3 doubles and 2 home runs.  Gallardo has given up a home run in 6 of his 11 starts, and if anyone in Chicago can connect today for a long ball (short of Abreu) it’s LaRoche.  He has 2 homers in the past week so the odds are better than average.

5. 2B – Daniel Murphy ($4,400) @ARZ: Murph is finally heating up hitting .388 over the past 14 days, .375 over the past 7 days.  He’s batting .303 against righties and .337 on the road.  He’s also a fairly good hitter at Chase Field with a .283 career average.  Opposing pitcher Jeremy Hellickson has a home ERA of 6.58 (5 starts) and an ERA of 6.0 in night games this year (also 5 games).  He has also allowed home runs in 5 of his past 6 games (2 multi-home run games at home).  I can see a multi-hit game from Murphy and while he may not launch one over the wall, there is at least a double in his future and maybe a run (or two).

6. SS – Hanley Ramirez ($5,100) vs MIN: I know Hanley is only batting .255 for the season, but it’s his work against lefties that got him the job today.  Against lefties, Hanley is batting .313 and is a career .307 hitter versus south paws.  Tommy Milone has surrendered multiple home runs in his last two starts at Kansas City and home versus Detroit.  Hanley has 2 home runs in the past week but none in the past 5 days so he’s due.  With 9 earned runs allowed over the last 9.2 innings, Milone could be what the doctor ordered for Boston’s slumbering bats.

7. 3B – Todd Frazier (5,000) @PHI: As you can see I like to ride the hot hand when picking my players, and Frazier is no different.  Over the past 7 days Frazier is batting .500 (10 for 20) with 3 home runs, 4 doubles, 5 RBIs and 6 runs scored.  His average flyball distance this year is 302 feet, his FB% is currently 47% and Citizens Bank Park ranks 6th this season for home runs allowed.  Opposing pitcher Aaron Harang has a nifty 2.02 ERA (1.02 at home).  The red flags are the 4.15 xFIP, 4.12 SIERA and 46.8% FB ratio with a 4.2% HR/FB ratio.  His main weapon is an 89 MPH fastball (both two and four seam) which he uses 69% of the time.  The reason Frazier is my wild card player is he’s batting .230 on the road this year and holds a career .238 batting average at Citizens Bank Park.  He is also 0-11 his last two games at Philly.  The matchup screams winner, but the road and career average say find someone else.  I’m rolling the dice on the law of averages here.


That covers the infield, and leaves me $9,900 to play with for the OF.  Billy Burns ($3,500) is a nice value play and probably one of my favorite cheap players to fall back on, not to mention he has a nice matchup today.  Alex Guerrero ($2,900) is another value pick although he does have somewhat of a tough matchup.  I also have the option of moving Hanley to my OF and finding a value play at short.  I’m sure come game time someone from the OF will speak to me.

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Jim Finch

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The self proclaimed Grand High Exhausted Mystic Ruler of Fantasy Baseball. While I am not related to Jennie or Sidd Finch, I will attempt to uphold the integrity of the Finch family name as it relates to baseball.