Paul previews today’s game action and shares his top Draft Kings plays for June 20th.
Today we have a full slate of games on the MLB schedule starting at 1:07 p.m. Keep an eye on the weather forecast, as there may be issues with the following games: St. Louis at Philadelphia, Detroit at New York (AL).
Make sure to check your lineups before game times for late scratches or further weather issues.
Once again Draft Kings does not have an all-day contest, meaning twice the work for yours truly. I will focus on the late games today as it has the largest field with 9 games. I’ll also list some suggestions for the day games below. Let’s get right to it:
1. Corey Kluber, SP, Cleveland Indians ($10,400) Kluber is coming off three straight losses, and finds himself sitting with a 3-8 record and a 3.54 ERA for the season. A deeper look shows Kluber has the same 28.3% K rate as last year with an even lower BB rate (4.6% vs 5.4%) His xFIP is 2.46, just off last year’s 2.35 and he’s still averaging the same 6.9 innings per start. He’s inducing more swinging strikes, as hitters are swinging at more offerings in and out of the zone, while making less contact across the board. He’s at least as good as the pitcher last year who won the American League Cy Young. Today he gets the Rays who are the 8th worst offense in June and for the year have just a .299 wOBA against RHP. Vegas has the Indians as clear -180 favorites with just a 7 for runs scored.
2. Taijuan Walker, SP, Seattle Mariners ($7,400) I’m going back to the
well Will with this pick, relying on yesterday’s Field of Streams. Here’s what Will Emerson had to say about Taijuan Walker:
“Looking at the overall number for Taijaun is neither going to impress you nor tell you the full story. Walker sports an ERA over five and a WHIP near 1.50, neither number of which is considered, um, good. Well, Walker has a SIERA of 3.98, a K/9 over eight, and a ground ball rate a shade over 40%. While I don’t care to hang too much credence on BABIP as a major indicator of certain whatnots, I will point out that Walker’s BABIP is at .319, slightly above league average. But enough of those season numbers, let’s look at what Walker has done lately. Walker has thrown four consecutive quality starts, allowing five runs over his last 29 innings. Walker has also struck out 27 batters in that same time frame and the Astros like to strike out. Well, maybe not so much like it, but they tend to do it quite a bit. Walker probably won’t be eligible for Field of Streams much longer, so if he is available, go grab him!”
Vegas has the Astros as slight favorites over Walker and the Mariners at -120, but have it as the lowest scoring game of the night at just 6.5 runs.
3. Kolten Wong, 2B, St. Louis Cardinals ($3,900) The Cardinals face off against Aaron Harang today in Philly, and while most have scuffled in July, this is the kind of match-up to get them back on track. Wong hits RHP very well, with a .297/.356/.486 line for the year and is 4-6 lifetime against Harang. Wong hits in the leadoff spot and I’m pairing him with Carpenter (who also crushes RHP) today. I’ve had enough of Mr Harang in 2015, and so has Jim Finch; it’s time that ship sunk.
4. Matt Carpenter, 3B, St. Louis Cardinals ($4,300) You didn’t really think I was giving away an extra name, did you? Follow me @fantasyassembly , Jim @TheJimFinch, and Neil @nschnurbach on Twitter for our complete lineups every day. Today Carpenter brings his .333/.426/.553 line against RHP to the table for the feast that is Aaron Harang. Just 2-8 lifetime against him, Carpenter is due to have some success today in the 2-spot. Carpenter had a rough stretch in the 2nd week of June, but has turned things around of late. I really like this 1-2 punch today for the Cardinals.
5. Mookie Betts, OF, Boston Red Sox ($4,300) Betts has been on fire recently with 14 hits in 24 at bats over his past 6 games (.583 AVG). Betts also has reverse splits, with 19 of his 23 XBH against RHP. Today he goes up against Edinson Volquez and his 3.10 ERA for the season. While Volquez managed to out-perform his xFIP last year, no one is forecasting him to do it again in 2015. With his 4.10 xFIP, Steamer and ZiPS project him around the 4.40 mark for the rest of the year. He’s due for some correction, and there’s no time like the present.
6. Nelson Cruz, OF, Seattle Mariners ($4,500) A general rule of thumb is to plug Cruz in whenever he faces a LHP. While his opponent is one of the best LHP in the game right now, the discounted price makes it a good pick. Cruz has also had past success against Keuchel, going 5-10 with a 2B, HR and a BB. We can talk about how good Keuchel is and has been, but I’m not ever arguing with a .419/.519/.930 line against LHP. Take the bargain price and run with it.
7. Victor Martinez, 1B, Detroit Tigers ($3,400) Martinez faces Nathan Eovaldi who has been really ugly against LH hitters this year. How ugly is he? He’s so ugly that when he sits in the sand, cats try to bury him. Eovaldi’s line against left-handers this year: .400/.453/.556, making him easy pickings for the Tigers left-handed bats today. While V-Mart is just back from an extended DL trip, he’s tough to ignore at this price. The game is also in New York where Eovaldi has been even a little worse than that. Just remember to watch the weather as there’s a chance of rain all night in NY.
Some suggestions for today’s afternoon games:
- Oakland LH power hitters (Vogt, Reddick) vs Jered Weaver (9 HR, 18 XBH vs LH in 180 AB)
- Baltimore RH hitters vs Mark Buerhle (they’ve all had a ton of success against him)
- Colorado bats vs Kyle Lohse (could get rough in Colorado)
- White Sox bats (Eaton, Abreu, Flowers) vs Nick Martinez
For my complete lineup, follow me on twitter @fantasyassembly
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