A full night of baseball is on tap on the eve of NBA and NHL Free Agency. The 30 starting pitchers are very clearly tiered for Tuesday night with seven over $9,000, a second tier that includes guys like Shelby Miller and Justin Verlander, and then a bottom tier of guys that cost less than $7,000. It should be a good night find value with so many different types of pitchers in action. One of the things that separates this article from other daily fantasy tip columns is that this one focuses on finding value, so that’s what we will look to do for June 30.
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The salaries listed are from DraftKings.
Here are the top teams to stack for June 30:
Chicago Cubs – The Cubs have already gotten some love in the betting market, and with good reason. Their offense ranks third in wOBA against left-handed pitching on the season and Jon Niese has had some control and command problems throughout 2015. Chicago’s .331 wOBA has a lot to do with a .350 on-base percentage as their young hitters have shown great patience against southpaws. After a bad May, Niese has turned it around, but he’s still allowing a .303/.379/.454 slash with men on base.
Houston – A lack of command has really hurt Danny Duffy this season. His home run rate isn’t particularly alarming, but a line drive rate of nearly 30 percent over nine starts is a big problem. Even with an elite defensive team behind him, Duffy has allowed a .357 BABIP against, because he’s hitting too many barrels. The oft-injured lefty has a 5.44 ERA and some positive regression in his metrics, but a 4.57 xFIP is hardly impressive. The Astros rank seventh in SLG against southpaws and Duffy does work up in the zone a lot with his fastball.
Pittsburgh – Justin Verlander skipped his last start with back issues and has only made two starts at the MLB level this season. In those two starts, his stuff hasn’t flashed a whole lot of bite, with a 90 percent contact rate on pitches in the zone. The swing-and-miss stuff will take some time to come back, if it does, and Verlander has been in decline over the last couple of seasons. The Pirates aren’t a great offensive team, but Verlander is not a good pitcher right now.
Here are the top value hitters for June 30:
Danny Valencia ($3,200) – One of my favorite DFS plays this season has been Danny Valencia against left-handed pitching. The Blue Jays take on a tough one in Eduardo Rodriguez, but they blasted him three starts ago. The Blue Jays have a historically-good offense against lefties and Valencia is a big part of it. The part-time player has a ridiculous .404/.440/.511 slash against southpaws. DFS formats haven’t caught on, so we’ll gladly add him to our lineups at a low cost.
Chris Young ($3,400) – Chris Young isn’t a particularly good player overall, but, like Valencia, we’ll exploit the fact that DraftKings and Fanduel do not accurately price players with sharp platoon splits against lefties. Young is one of those guys this season with a .371/.436/.700 slash against lefties. It comes in a small sample of 79 PA, but Young has a .261/.362/.475 for his career. He was a great platoon bat early in his career with several .900+ OPS seasons against southpaws.
Joe Panik ($3,500) – Panik’s impressive sophomore season continues. What’s truly impressive about Panik is that he’s hitting both lefties and righties. He has a .313/.374/.472 slash against righties on the season, flashing some pretty interesting power. Power is harder to come by at Marlins Park, but Mat Latos is a good matchup for Panik. It’s also nice to get a low-cost middle infielder that bats high in the order.
Here are the top value starting pitchers for June 30:
Taylor Jungmann ($6,200) – Why not? Fading the Phillies at a reasonable cost seems like a +EV move. The downside to using Jungmann is that he has to face Cole Hamels, but Jungmann has shown some good stuff in his first few Major League starts with a decent strikeout rate and a lot of ground balls. Stringing hits together isn’t exactly a strength of the Phillies team, so Jungmann should be able to work deep and could very well pick up a strikeout per inning.
Ryan Vogelsong ($6,100) – This is the kind of play you hate yourself for, but sometimes it’s necessarily. The Marlins have been one of the worst offenses in all of baseball against right-handed pitching and the imposing presence of Giancarlo Stanton is no longer there. If you package Vogelsong with one of the top arms, you have a good chance at getting Vogelsong into double digits, if not 15 points. Vogey is in a good environment at Marlins Park and has strung together some decent starts throughout the season.
Gerrit Cole ($9,600) – My love affair with Gerrit Cole knows no bounds, and that’s true against the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers have been a league average offense against everybody but Cleveland this season and Cole is one of the game’s elites. He’s improved his K, BB, and HR rates this season and he has held opponents to a .188/.258/.245 slash with men on base. He’s cleaned up his mechanics from stretch, developed his secondaries, and has improved his sequencing. He’s elite, no matter the opponent. Getting him under $10k is a bargain.