We’ll put the focus on the night games with 20 teams in action on this final day of everybody playing interleague baseball. There are five night games, including some West Coast matchups, but this article is better served covering the night games with the slightly late posting. Interleague play won’t go away completely now with 15 teams in each league, but most of the league will get back to normal over the weekend.
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The salaries listed are from DraftKings.
Here are the top teams to stack for June 18:
Miami – The Miami Marlins are worth playing against southpaws because of some of their platoon bats. With a .341 wOBA, the Marlins are second in baseball, trailing only the Blue Jays, who are on another planet. Unlike the Cubs and Tigers, who rank third and fourth with .348 and .340 BABIPs, respectively, the Marlins performance seems more sustainable with a .319 BABIP. The difference is that they have hit more home runs with a .454 SLG. Given the park factor, that’s impressive, and Yankee Stadium is a much better park for hitting. CC Sabathia’s command problems are definitely a concern entering this start.
Toronto – Surprise, surprise, right? Well, the Blue Jays didn’t do as much damage as expected on Wednesday, but the league’s best fastball team faces the league’s highest fastball percentage pitcher on Thursday. Bartolo Colon has not lost his control, but his command seems to be wavering a little bit this season. He’ll be making this start in a great hitter’s park and against an extra hitter in the AL. Toronto is expensive to stack, but it’s still worthwhile.
Los Angeles (NL) – Anthony Ranaudo’s first start as a member of the Texas Rangers went about the same as his seven Major League starts that came before. He gave up six runs on six hits in 1.2 innings of work. He’s thrown the ball well in the minor leagues, but he has posted sub-3.00 ERAs at a few different stops since the start of the 2013 season. His stuff isn’t particularly good and his control profile is worse. It’s sort of a surprise that teams keep gambling on him.
Here are the top value hitters for June 18:
Chris Coghlan ($3,200) – Overshadowed like a spruce tree in a patch of redwoods, Chris Coghlan provides solid value as a platoon bat. His .260/.333/.474 slash against righties isn’t earth-shattering, but he has hit 11 doubles, a triple, and eight home runs against right-handed pitching this season. Progressive Field is a good ballpark for lefties to hit in and Danny Salazar occasionally loses focus and leaves a belt high fastball for the hitter to feast on. Coghlan may be that lucky guy today.
Joey Gallo ($3,200) – There’s lightning and thunder in the bat of Joey Gallo. He’s not expected to do a whole lot against Zack Greinke, but that’s exactly the role that you want to use Gallo in. With this low salary, a bloop and a bomb, or even just a couple of knocks, has some upside. Considering what you could spend on a third baseman, Gallo comes at a nice price. It has no bearing on what happens tonight, but the kid did hit a moon shot off of Clayton Kershaw.
Mark Teixeira ($4,300) – Teixeira got a day off on Wednesday to rest a sore neck, but is expected to be back in the lineup on Thursday. He ranks 10th with a .408 wOBA against righties on the season, including a .618 SLG percentage. Contest players will flock to the higher-priced guys, but Teixeira has a matchup against a fly ball pitcher at Yankee Stadium, which carries a lot of value.
Here are the top value pitchers for June 18:
Jeff Samardzija ($7,700) – As much as I love Gerrit Cole, I think he’ll have some competition in this start from Jeff Samardzija. He hasn’t found a lot of consistency this season, but a .324 BABIP and some shaky command have been part of the problem. A major rise in fly balls has hurt the number of home runs, but the HR/FB rate has stayed the same. That suggests that there could be some regression, which is why his xFIP is a full run lower than his ERA.
Jason Hammel ($9,000) – In what should be a pitcher’s duel, Jason Hammel has some value for the Cubs. The Indians have had a lot of problems with runners on base and Hammel should take advantage. His heavy slider usage leads to a lot of weak contact and the Indians haven’t seen Hammel since he made those adjustments. Given the Indians’ inability to consistently hit this season, Hammel is worth a flyer.
Clay Buchholz ($8,100) – Torn between Buchholz and Shelby Miller, Buchholz gets the nod for having the higher strikeout upside. Buchholz will draw a Braves lineup without Freddie Freeman and that changes the dynamic of that group in a big way. Buchholz has increased the strikeouts this season by staying healthy and improving the consistency of his secondary pitches. The improvements are legit and should be on display here.