DFS June 17 – Pitchers and a Prayer


Neil previews today’s game action and shares his top Draft Kings plays for June 17h.

Today we have 15 games on the MLB schedule starting at 7:05 p.m.  Be sure to check the weather forecasts before game times as always as there might be issues in the Red Sox/Braves, Cubs/Indians, Tigers/Reds and Cardinals/Twins games.  I hope the good weather comes to North America soon.
Make sure to check your lineups before game times for late scratches!

Quick tip of the day – always check the batting orders in order to make some last-minute adjustments.  Yesterday I threw Derek Dietrich and Travis Snider into my lineups at the last-minute because they were batting high in the order (both 2nd) against pretty weak pitching.  This allowed me to throw Bryce Harper into my lineup and all of these moved paid off handsomely and led to a very profitable evening.  If you see a cheap player batting in the 1-5 spots of the order against bad to mediocre pitching, always jump at it.

As for today, I am splurging on pitching and hoping to find lightning in a bottle in the scrap heap for my position players (with one notable exception).  Let’s see how it goes.

1. Clayton Kershaw, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers ($12,900)

I am splurging on pitching today, including spending over 25% of my budget on the defending National League MVP.  Kershaw has been coming around recently and gets to face off against the Rangers who are worse against lefties than righties, given their lefty heavy lineup.  The Rangers whiff the 2nd most in MLB against LHP and I expect Kershaw to approach or exceed 10 Ks on the evening.  Vegas also loves Kershaw in this game as the Dodgers are -251 favorites and the over/under in the game is only 6 runs.  I am banking on Kershaw today and hoping to find good value elsewhere.

2. Felix Hernandez, SP, Seattle Mariners ($10,300)

I am either brave or stupid.  I recommended King Felix a short five days ago and he rewarded me with 1/3 of an inning allowing 8 earned runs.  King Felix deserves a mulligan for that terrible outing though and I expect him to bounce back at home.  On the season, Hernandez has a WHIP of 0.944 in Safeco, with 9.8 K/9 and an opponents’ batting line of .174/.257/.311.  It may not be easy getting a win as he faces off against Madison Bumgarner, but I won’t chase those 4 points.  I think King Felix is good for 20+ today.

3. Sean Rodriguez, 2B, Pittsburgh Pirates ($2,600)

I am using as many Pirates as possible today against John Danks.  Danks turns all right-handed hitters into Mike Trout as they have hit .327/.373/.567 against him on the season.  Sean Rodriguez may be getting into a groove as he blasted a homer against lefty Jose Quintana yesterday.  More importantly, he has hit Danks very well in 18 career plate appearances with a .375/.500/.688 line.  For $2,600, let’s see if S-Rod can maintain his success against Danks.

4. Jung-Ho Kang, 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates ($3,800)

Kang has been an absolute terror against left-handed pitching, and as I said above, John Danks is not very good against righties.  On the season, Kang has a .333/.429/.533 line against lefties.  The Pirates also usually bat Kang clean-up against southpaws, so he will have plenty of opportunities to drive in runs.   I love him at $3,800.

5. Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates ($5,100)

Concluding my mini-stack of the Pirates is their best player of all, Andrew McCutchen.  McCutchen has gotten hot recently hitting .368/.451/.659 line over the last month.  In 4 career games against the White Sox, McCutchen has an impressive .533/.588/.600 line.  Of course, the real reason that I am playing him is the same reason that I mentioned above – John Danks cannot get righties out and McCutchen is one of the best right-handed hitters in the majors.  He is my one splurge among hitters today.

6. David Lough, OF, Baltimore Orioles ($2,800)

Relying on batter versus pitcher stats is sometimes dangerous given the very real possibility of small sample size white noise.  But when you spend half your budget on pitching, if a batter versus pitcher match-up really stands out and you can get the batter for cheap, you jump at the chance.  In 11 career plate appearances against Phillies’ starter Kevin Correa, Lough has a very impressive .636/.636/.909 line.  This is probably the first time that I will be starting Lough in DFS (assuming he gets into the Orioles’ lineup), but I need some cheap options and this seems to be a good one.

 7. Chris Heisey, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers ($2,500)

Make sure to check your lineups to make sure that Heisey appears in the Dodgers lineup tonight.  If he does, he is a guy who owns good career success against Rangers’ hurler Wandy Rodriguez.  In 24 career plate appearances, Heisey has taken Wandy yard 3 times and owns a .304/.333/.739 line.  Again, I am forced to go really cheap with hitters given my splurge on Kershaw, Felix and McCutchen and Heisey looks to be a fine choice.

For my complete lineup, follow me on twitter @nschnurbach

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Neil has been an avid fantasy sports player since 1991 and a profitable low stakes DFS grinder since 2014. Neil is ranked in the top 20% of DFS players in 3 sports and in the top 10% of DFS players for his stakes per RotoGrinders rankings. As a native Montrealer Neil hopes to get a Major League Baseball team back to his hometown some day soon.