Friday night should be a fun one around Major League Baseball. Max Scherzer appears to have a chance to tie Johnny Van Der Meer’s record of two consecutive no-hitters when he takes on the Philadelphia Phillies. Along with Scherzer, top pitchers like Johnny Cueto, Corey Kluber, Jake Arrieta, Tyson Ross, Noah Syndergaard, and the emerging Taijuan Walker are all going to take the mound. Are there any surprise blow-ups coming from those pitchers tonight? Let’s find out as we look at daily fantasy baseball options for June 26.
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The salaries listed are from DraftKings.
Here are the top teams to stack for June 26:
Oakland – The A’s start up a huge series this weekend with the Kansas City Royals. They’ll get Edinson Volquez in the first game. Volquez has walked at least three batters in six of his 14 starts. He’s been bailed out countless times by the Royals defense with a .264 BABIP against. He may not be so lucky against the Athletics. The most patient team he has faced this season is the Cleveland Indians and they drew six walks on May 7. Oakland has gotten it going offensively and Volquez’s control problems are a concern against a patient lineup like the A’s.
Minnesota – Kyle Lohse still has good control, but his command and stuff are declining rapidly. The former Minnesota Twin has been beaten up in most of his starts this season with a 6.30 ERA, 4.97 FIP, and 4.10 xFIP. He has allowed 17 home runs in 85.2 innings. He allowed 22 over 198.1 innings last season. He allowed 16 home runs in 2011 in 188.1 innings. Home runs are the biggest problem, but he has also allowed the highest line drive rate in his career. At hitter-friendly Miller Park, he has an 8.48 ERA and a .314/.366/.565 slash against. Woof.
Houston – Nathan Eovaldi has a tough task on Friday night against the Astros. Eovaldi’s home run rate has climbed this season with the move to the American League, posting an 11.3 percent HR/FB%. The Yankees defense hasn’t done him many favors either with a .358 BABIP against. Part of that, though is due to fastball command and the high exit velocity that hitters have off of him. Hitters are batting .365/.421/.497 off his fastball and .319/.340/.479 off of his slider. These are bad signs because those are his bread and butter pitches and they’re not fooling anybody.
Here are the top value hitters for June 26:
Adam Eaton ($3,500) – The White Sox leadoff hitter got off to a very slow start, but he’s gradually coming around. He’s gotten more selective at the plate lately with a .302/.450/.447 slash over his last 10 games and homered for the first time in a while on Thursday. The lack of stolen bases has been a concern for fantasy players, but Eaton is going to be a threat to run as he gets on base more. The White Sox generally can’t afford to let baserunners get thrown out because they don’t get many, but if Eaton keeps setting the table, they can get more aggressive.
Ryan Raburn ($2,600) – Our old friend Ryan Raburn will be back in the lineup tonight to face lefty Wei-Yin Chen. With Carlos Santana’s struggles, Terry Francona has been hitting him fifth, which means that the Murburn platoon, as coined by MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, has been batting cleanup. That puts Raburn behind Kipnis, Lindor, and Brantley. The Indians are better against LHP than people give them credit for and this could be a great spot for Raburn. Righties have hit 10 of the 11 home runs that Chen has allowed and have a .447 SLG.
Blake Swihart ($2,900) – You don’t like to pay for catchers. Nobody does. Blake Swihart got off to a very slow start to his MLB career, with 26 strikeouts and three walks in his first 27 games. Things are looking up for the youngster now, as he looks more comfortable at the plate and is making more contact. Alex Colome has had some control and command issues throughout the season and has a tendency to lose focus with guys at the bottom of the order. Swihart fits the bill.
Here are the top value starting pitchers for June 26:
Francisco Liriano ($10,000) – Everybody will be all over this one, but the Braves offense did nothing against the Nationals without Freddie Freeman and there’s no reason to expect anything different against a tough southpaw like Liriano. Only the White Sox have been worse against left-handers this season. The Braves have a .282 wOBA and a .327 SLG. Their 76 wRC+ is 24 percent below league average. Liriano should have a field day.
Chad Bettis ($5,900) – Is Chad Bettis legit? He could be. He moved through the lower levels of the minors before hitting a road block in his first 44 Major League innings. Relief pitching did not work out for him in 2014, but he’s back working as a starter and seems to have figured things out. Over 49.2 innings, he has a 3.44 ERA, 3.13 FIP, and 3.61 xFIP. The home run rate shows a little bit of regression, but he’ll be at AT&T Park, not Coors Field, so that’s a nice benefit for streaming purposes on Friday night.
Williams Perez ($4,900) – The Pirates don’t walk a whole lot. Williams Perez is a ground ball guy with erratic control, but patience is not a strong suit of the Pirates, so this matchup is not bad for Perez. He scuffled in his first start against the Pirates, so it’s understandable to be skeptical, but taking a top pitcher and Perez to add 10 points or so is a good use of salary resources.