Interleague play continues across Major League Baseball, but every series will have a change of venue on Wednesday and Thursday. The home team on Monday and Tuesday is now the road team on Wednesday and Thursday. It’s an interesting little scheduling quirk, but one that can certainly have an impact on games by going from no DH to a DH, and vice versa. It’s a full slate of night games, so we’ll have all the information that we need to make smart DFS decisions on June 17.
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The salaries listed are from DraftKings.
Here are the top teams to stack for GPPs on June 17:
Toronto – You’re going to pay a king’s ransom for this stack, but I believe it’s worth it. I’ve been calling for Jon Niese to be removed from the Mets rotation for a while. His command simply isn’t there and the 17 percent HR/FB is a pretty good example. The Blue Jays have a top-10 offense by OPS against lefties. No, not just this month. No, not just this season. Out of all teams since 1994. Their .876 OPS is 90 points higher than the next team on the list. Their wOBA is 39 points higher and their wRC+ is 30 points higher. That’s impressive.
Cleveland – The Indians draw Tsuyoshi Wada as they return home for an eight-game homestand. The Indians and Tigers are tied with the highest walk rate against lefties at 10.5 percent. That’s right, that left-handed heavy Indians lineup that everybody told you can’t hit lefties. Cleveland’s 109 wRC+ ranks fourth and their wOBA ranks sixth. Wada has seen an increase in strikeouts with a drop in swinging strike rate and a major spike in contact on pitches outside of the zone. Therefore, it’s not sustainable. The Indians have a good matchup here.
New York Yankees – Jose Urena has an okay fastball, but that’s about it, and this start will be drastically different than any other start of the season. Five of Urena’s six appearances have been in good pitching environments. Yankee Stadium is not that. This is also Urena’s first start against a lineup with a DH. With his limited arsenal and below average secondary pitches, the Yankees could have plenty of success the second time through the lineup.
Here are the top value hitters for June 17:
Danny Valencia ($3,000) – Valencia is one of the best-kept secrets in DFS this season. He mauls left-handed pitching and his overall performance is dragged down by his problems against same-side pitching. The Blue Jays face Jon Niese on Wednesday and Valencia brings a .405/.432/.524 slash to the table against southpaws. He now has a .333/.372/.504 slash against lefties in his career, so this isn’t a “flash in the pan” thing.
AJ Pierzynski ($3,100) – You certainly don’t want to pay big money for a catcher. You could get a very good return on investment with Pierzynski on Wednesday. In 143 plate appearances against righties, Pierzynski has a .295/.329/.447 slash, good enough for a 113 wRC+. All four of his home runs have come against righties. With some expensive aces on the board, saving money at any position is critical.
Ben Zobrist ($3,800) – It worked yesterday as Zobrist was one of the good calls from Tuesday’s DFS article. He homered and racked up 16 points in DraftKings formats. Zobrist is swinging a good bat since he returned from the DL. Another thing to like about Zobrist is that he has a 12/16 K/BB ratio. That means that he doesn’t give away at bats while swinging at bad pitches. Variance is hard to overcome in DFS, but a hitter that will battle every time in the box is about the best way to fight that.
Here are the top value starting pitchers for June 17:
Michael Pineda ($8,600) – I don’t get this one at all. With five pitchers at $10,000 or more, Pineda is sixth at just $8,600. Pineda draws a Marlins lineup with very sharp platoon splits this season. They have the second-best offense, by wOBA, against lefties and the 25th-ranked offense, by wOBA, against righties. They strike out over 20 percent of the time and walk less than six percent of the time. Pineda’s a bargain at this price.
Ubaldo Jimenez ($7,200) – The Phillies are horrible. You know it. I know it. Oddsmakers know it. Dead people know it. Jimenez draws a Phillies lineup that ranks near the bottom in several statistical categories. The thing about Jimenez is that he’s often “effectively wild”. Hitters can’t center on anything he throws because it moves so much. The movement can be hard to harness. The Phillies don’t see much of Jimenez and that should work in his favor in this outing.
Shaun Marcum ($5,100) – I may end up hating myself for this. Of course, I considered Jeff Locke here as well, so…In any event, Marcum has some veteran pitchability and the Cubs have a lot of young, aggressive hitters. The harder you swing against Marcum and his changeup, the better off he is. He could very well get shelled in this outing. But, he has 30 strikeouts in 33 innings and home runs have been his Achilles’ heel. If they’re solo, that’s something you can live with. Five of the seven have been solo and the other two have been two-run shots. It’s a shot in the dark, but with paying for an ace and stacking Toronto, Marcum could be cheap value.