Everything is back to normal in Major League Baseball entering the weekend. The Minnesota Twins host the Chicago Cubs in the only interleague series on the docket and the other 28 teams are back within their comfort zones of playing under the regular rules. We’re starting to see more spot starts and call-ups, so remember to be aware of those players and what impact they may have. Most of the top prospects have arrived on the scene already, but there are some other talented players waiting in the wings. Either stick with who you know or do your research into the youngsters.
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The salaries listed are from DraftKings.
Here are the top teams to stack for June 19
Chicago Cubs – Last season, Phil Hughes set career bests in strikeouts and not allowing home runs. Apparently that was the exception to the norm, because Hughes has seen a major drop-off in strikeouts and a huge spike in home runs. In 209.2 innings last season, Hughes allowed 16 round trippers. His next gopher ball will be the 16th of the 2015 season. Command has always been an issue for Hughes, who has good control. The Cubs have a very powerful lineup and the addition of a DH bat like Kyle Schwarber certainly deepens their lineup. Hughes will be around the plate and the aggressive Cubs hitters will like that.
Colorado – The Rockies lineup is a little bit banged up right now, but they should have some success against Taylor Jungmann in this game. Jungmann was pitching for the Triple-A Colorado Springs Sky Sox and had a 7.27 ERA at home in his six starts and one relief appearance. There’s a definitely learning curve to pitching in the altitude, one that Jungmann probably has not mastered yet. The Rockies always have inflated salaries at home, but this could be a worthwhile endeavor for you on Friday night.
Baltimore – If you read between the lines of the line movement in the Baltimore/Toronto game, it’s likely that sharp money players think that the Orioles can score some runs off of Marco Estrada. Why wouldn’t they think that? Estrada has a 5.01 ERA, a 4.47 FIP, and a 4.46 xFIP as a starter this season. The lack of depth in his arsenal has been an issue as a starter in the American League, which should come as no surprise. The Orioles are kind of an afterthought offensively given the power display of the Blue Jays and Yankees this season. Sleeping giants aren’t fun to wake up.
Here are the top value hitters for June 19:
Jung Ho Kang ($3,100) – The underappreciated SS/3B for the Pittsburgh Pirates is getting a lot of opportunities to drive in runs by batting in the middle of the order. He has a decent amount of speed, so the rare stolen base is a possibility, but getting solid offensive upside at a position like shortstop that is not generally known for offense is always nice.
Kyle Schwarber ($3,400) – Kyle Schwarber has already seen his DFS salary jump up by a few hundred dollars. He hits the ball hard and he’ll have a platoon advantage over Phil Hughes in this start. Hughes has some command problems and Schwarber showed good plate coverage in the games against the Indians. Pitchers aren’t quite sure how to work to him just yet and that plays to his advantage.
Domingo Santana ($2,800) – Domingo Santana has had a very nice start to the season and he’ll have a platoon advantage over Roenis Elias in this outing. Obviously this is a bit of a gamble since he really struggled in his 2014 debut, but DFS is all about finding value because the day-to-day variance is so tough. A guy like Santana is off to a nice start because pitchers don’t know how to attack him.
Here are the top value starting pitchers:
Lance McCullers ($8,000) – Once again, we’ll go back to the well with McCullers, who takes on a Seattle lineup that does not walk and does have a tendency to swing and miss. After jumping up from Double-A, McCullers has struck out 28.4 percent of opposing hitters. When they have made contact, it hasn’t been good contact with a .172 batting average and a 17 percent line drive rate. He’s worth looking at in just about every start because strikeouts are so important in DFS formats.
Carlos Carrasco ($8,800) – Command has been spotty at times for Carrasco, but the Tampa Bay Rays offense is not exactly setting the world on fire this season. The Rays aren’t walking as much as they have in the past, with a 7.3 percent BB%. They’re still seeing a lot of pitches, so they have struck out in 21.4 percent of their appearances. One of the benefits for Carrasco is that the Indians have seriously upgraded their infield defense with Francisco Lindor and Giovanny Urshela.
AJ Burnett ($8,700) – The Nationals lineup has really struggled when Bryce Harper hasn’t embraced his inner Babe Ruth. The Pirates are rolling along right now and their bullpen has preserved a lot of wins for the starting rotation. Burnett has found the fountain of youth again this season and his command and control have returned. His mechanics from the stretch have been solid, leading to an 83.3 percent strand rate, which has aided in run prevention.