Daily fantasy contests should be interesting on Monday night with less than half of the league’s teams in action. Only seven games are on the schedule tonight on the first full day of summer. Two clear-cut aces are on the bump as Clayton Kershaw and Felix Hernandez each have rather tough matchups. Kershaw draws a Chicago Cubs team with a lot of power, but a lot of swings and misses. Hernandez draws the Kansas City Royals, who make a lot of contact. Players will have a lot of options tonight, even though only 14 teams play.
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The salaries listed are from DraftKings.
Here are the top teams to stack for June 22:
Houston – I’m holding out hope that Hector Santiago’s regression hits one of these times when I expect it to. Perhaps he’s on the Jeremy Hellickson circa 2012 plan, but Santiago’s 2.77 ERA and 4.52 xFIP seem to be a bad match for the Astros and their homer-happy offense. Angel Stadium has been kind to Santiago, but the Astros have the fifth-best slugging percentage against LHP.
Seattle – Are you ready to believe in Joe Blanton? Me neither. The Mariners rarely score for Felix Hernandez, but maybe this is the day. Blanton is coming off of his first start in almost two years and worked behind in the count quite a bit in that start against the Brewers. Milwaukee couldn’t take advantage, but the Mariners have more platoon advantages and Blanton has had plenty of trouble with lefties throughout his career.
Tampa Bay – I never know which version of Drew Hutchison will show up. On a night with only seven games, perhaps the Rays are worth a stack. The Rays aren’t the most exciting offensive team, but that means that they come cheap. Since April 28, here are Hutch’s runs per start: 6, 6, 1, 2, 4, 0, 4, 1, 8, 0. They’re all over the place. The Blue Jays don’t have a great bullpen. If the Rays get bad Drew Hutchison, they could hang a big number.
Here are the top value hitters for June 22:
Stephen Drew ($3,200) – Stephen Drew has mastered the three true outcomes this season. He has 40 hits, but 39 strikeouts. Eleven of those 40 hits have left the yard. He has walked 20 times. Facing Kevin Correia, a pitcher with some command shortcomings, at Yankee Stadium, you could do worse than taking a chance on Stephen Drew on Monday. If he runs into a mistake, which seems plausible, he’ll easily validate that $3,200 price tag.
Yasiel Puig ($4,000) – With the wind blowing out at Wrigley Field, Yasiel Puig has a nice matchup against Tsuyoshi Wada on Monday. Puig missed some time with injury, but has a .313/.387/.495 slash in his 111 plate appearances this season. He’s barreling up more pitches this year and has seen a very small uptick in HR/FB%. Puig has nice career splits against lefties and has hit them well in a limited sample this season.
Miguel Cabrera ($5,100) – In 42 plate appearances against the Indians this season, Miguel Cabrera has a .647/.690/.1.147 slash. That’s 22-for-34 with two doubles, five homers, and 15 RBI. This comes after he hit .413/.438/.653 last season and .317/.442…you know what. Forget it. The guy destroys Indians pitching and it a must-play in nearly every format.
Here are the top value starting pitchers for June 22:
Michael Pineda ($9,300) – So this backfired yesterday with another Michael, as Wacha got touched up by the awful Phillies. Pineda certainly has more strikeout upside than Wacha and his advanced metrics suggest that he should be even better than he has been. With a 3.54 ERA, a 2.69 FIP, and a 2.58 xFIP, Pineda could see some positive regression in his .335 BABIP or 11.8 percent HR/FB%. Furthermore, the Yankees are the biggest favorite on the board, so he has a good chance to pick up a win.
Tsuyoshi Wada ($6,700) – Wada is coming off of one of his best starts as a professional when he had the luxury of pitching with a huge lead against the Indians. In this start, circumstances may help Wada again. The Dodgers played the ESPN Sunday Nighter and got into Chicago as the sun was rising, per Brett Anderson on Twitter. The weather conditions are a big concern with the wind blowing out, but a tired bunch of Dodgers may struggle on Monday.
Tommy Milone ($6,000) – Milone takes on one of the worst offenses against left-handed pitching in a long time. Ignore what you know about Milone and focus on the White Sox, who have a 45 wRC+ against left-handed pitching this season. That means that they are 55 percent below league average against lefties. They have a .240 wOBA. The next worst in wOBA is the Braves at .277. Since Tommy Milone throws with his left hand, he’s unhittable to the White Sox.