Eight games are on tap on Monday as 14 teams enjoy a day off to get away from the ballpark. There are some compelling matchups and a clear hierarchy of pitchers. Chris Sale is the most expensive by $1,000 over Cole Hamels and by nearly $2,000 over AJ Burnett. There are some pitchers that appear to have some value and of course there are going to be some hitters worth looking at. For a lot of teams, they will only have one or two days off between now and the All-Star Break, with rainouts as an exception, so keep that in mind. Managers may try to steal rest for guys over the next five weeks.
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The salaries listed are from DraftKings.
Here are the top teams to stack for June 8:
Atlanta – Ian Kennedy is due for some positive regression, especially in the form of his home run rate, but his splits are concerning. In 101 plate appearances, lefties have hit .297/.366/.637 with seven home runs and 15 extra-base hits overall. In terms of the Braves, their best bet for scoring runs is with their left-handed batters, like Freddie Freeman. Kennedy’s splits have normally shown issues with lefties, which isn’t a big surprise. There aren’t a lot of stacking options with a card this small, so you have to get kind of creative.
Toronto – This is going to be a very popular stack with Brad Hand on the mound, a lefty making his third start against the league’s premier right-handed power lineup. Hand has done a good job suppressing power in his MLB career, but pitching in an AL hitter’s park is a much different animal to spot starting or relieving in the NL. He is predominantly a three-pitch pitcher that uses a two-seamer, so the Blue Jays may have a hard time the first time through, but it should be “all systems go” after that.
Kansas City/Minnesota – This is a bit of a cop out, but one of these two teams is capable of really going off because one of these two pitchers is capable of getting shelled. You could try a couple different GPP entries with a stack of both or you can figure out something else. The Royals take on a pitch-to-contact guy with a bad defense and the Twins take on a bad pitcher with a great defense. Something has to give. It will probably end 2-1 given this suggestion, but there are reasonable reasons to stack both lineups.
Here are the top value hitters for June 8:
Ryan Howard ($3,600) – Howard has really struggled over the last week, but that’s not particularly surprising because he has a lot of holes in his swing. Fortunately, he draws a favorable matchup against Mike Leake, who has always been a guy with an elevated home run rate. Howard has a 11 bombs on the season and 13 doubles, so the extra-base power has been there when he has made contact. Leake isn’t going to give Howard fits with swing-and-miss stuff, so Howard should put some balls in play.
Will Middlebrooks ($3,400) – Nobody has really noticed, but former top prospect turned bust Will Middlebrooks is starting to pick it up a bit for the Padres. He has hit .317/.338/.525 over his last 10 games and has eight home runs on the season. Regular playing time was unavailable in Boston and perhaps AJ Preller found a diamond in the rough. He’s inching closer to getting SS eligibility in DFS and regular fantasy formats, so watch out for that as well.
Danny Valencia ($3,200) – If Brad Hand is able to navigate his way through the key bats in the Toronto lineup, does he lose focus against Danny Valencia? That could certainly be the case. Valencia has made a decent living out of being okay with the glove and good against southpaws. He has a career .333/.371/503 slash in 591 PA against lefties. This is a good value at a good price, assuming he’s in the lineup.
Here are the top value pitchers for June 8:
Lance McCullers ($7,400) – McCullers will be overshadowed by Chris Sale, and rightfully so, but the youngster has some pitching chops of his own. Hitters don’t seem comfortable in the box, swinging just 41.8 percent of the time as McCullers runs it up there into the upper 90s. Hitters are swinging less than 60 percent in the zone, which is often a sign that they are confused. He’s had trouble working ahead, but it shouldn’t hurt him against a bad White Sox lineup that swings and misses a lot.
Marco Estrada ($5,500) – It’s hard to find good value starters. It may simply be in your best interest to take the aces and hope for the best. If you want to bargain bin shop, you can try Estrada, who probably has enough to get through the weak Marlins lineup a couple of times before the wheels start falling off. He doesn’t strike out a lot of batters and doesn’t work deep, so this is really grasping at straws for a value guy, but the Blue Jays project to give him a lot of support and he could find a way to scrounge up 15 points.
Chris Sale ($11,400) – Pay it. Pay that man his money. Sale has 53 strikeouts over his last five starts and he’s going to strike out at least 10 in this one as well. The Astros have a lot of exciting young players, but they also have young players that swing and miss a considerable amount. There’s not much more that needs to be said.