Monday’s rainout between the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox has led to the second straight day in Major League Baseball with 16 games. There are five matinee games and 11 night games on Wednesday with a handful of teams looking ahead to off days on Thursday. It may be a good idea to jump on the afternoon slate with some underrated pitching options and two clear-cut top-ranked starters. The night games also provide a lot of intrigue. Today’s article will have a player and team selected from the early games just in case readers want to dive in on the five-game contests.
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The salaries listed are from DraftKings.
Here are the top teams to stack for June 3:
Minnesota – It’s tough to stack with only 10 teams in action, but the key should probably be to look for a team that most people are not going to stack with. The Mariners could be an option with Masahiro Tanaka’s first start back and the full-blown contrarian pick is the San Francisco Giants against Francisco Liriano, but you might be able to play on the perception of Eduardo Rodriguez. Rodriguez was great in his MLB debut against the Rangers, but this will be his first start at Fenway Park and the Twins have been very good against left-handed starters this season. Pay close attention to the Twins lineup before locking this one in, but it has a chance to be a good one. The Twins work counts and have some right-handed power.
Toronto – You will pay a premium for this stack against Taylor Jordan, but his lack of overpowering stuff and pitch-to-contact style is not conducive to pitching against the Toronto Blue Jays with the Washington Nationals defense. The Blue Jays got after Max Scherzer on Tuesday night and this truly is a legitimate offense. The pitching staff has been the problem. Jordan won’t fool many hitters and that’s going to lead to a lot of loud contact against a team not equipped to defend it.
Colorado – The Rockies will take their cuts at Mike Bolsinger on Wednesday. Bolsinger is cluster-lucking his way to a good season. He has a 1.15 ERA because of a very low home run rate and a very high strand rate. Bolsinger, whose strikeout rate is below league average in the NL, has stranded 91.2 percent of his runners. He’s not a bad pitcher by advanced metrics with a 3.46 xFIP and a 3.57 SIERA, but Coors Field is unforgiving and his sinker may not do what it’s supposed to in the conditions. Regression is coming and Coors Field seems like a good place for it to start.
Here are the top hitters for June 3:
Jason Heyward ($4,200) – Jimmy Nelson has allowed a .258/.359/.523 slash against left-handed hitters this season, including six of his eight home runs. Heyward had a great month of May and got a day off on Tuesday night to catch a breather before the Wednesday day game. His May slash of .284/.340/.443 should give players some confidence that he has snapped out of his slow start and Nelson has left some balls up against lefties that Heyward can take advantage of.
Martin Prado ($3,300) – This is an ideal spot to stream Martin Prado. The Cubs have had all sorts of defensive problems behind Jon Lester and Prado is a guy that puts the ball in play and has excellent success against southpaws. Prado has had limited work against lefties so far this season with a .333/.366/.462 slash, but he had a .366/.398/.580 slash last season against lefties. His K/BB rate is nearly 1/1 against lefties and he has a .296/.361/.462 career slash. That’s surprisingly good power for a guy not known as a major power threat.
Ben Paulsen ($3,300) – Ben Paulsen hasn’t gotten much respect in DFS formats even though he has reached base 22 times in 16 games. Paulsen has hit four home runs since getting called up to replace Corey Dickerson in the Rockies lineup. He would have a lower ceiling in any other park and organization in baseball, but Coors Field is a different animal. In 77 plate appearances in the hitter’s haven, Paulsen has a .357/.416/.586 slash. That’s pretty good.
Here are the top pitchers for June 3:
Rubby De La Rosa ($6,700) – You had to guess that I was going back to this one, right? Admittedly, this isn’t the optimal spot for De La Rosa, against a left-handed heavy lineup, but I’m a believer in his performance to date with a K/BB ratio approaching 4.00 and a 3.36 xFIP and a 3.44 SIERA. The Braves are wrapping up a 10-game road trip and have to be looking forward to Thursday’s off day and returning home for the weekend. They’re an older team in some respects, so that may play a factor. De La Rosa has a 33 percent chase rate and a 12.6 swinging strike percentage. The Diamondbacks desperately need length from him, so he’ll be pushed to the max and innings and strikeouts are what we want to see.
James Shields ($9,400) – The Mets are in the top 10 in K% this season and Shields has seen a major spike in his strikeout rate with the transition to the National League. By wRC+, the Mets are tied for the fourth-worst offensive team against right-handed pitching and not a whole lot of right-handers are markedly better than Shields. Pitching in the friendly conditions of Petco, Shields is a great streaming option on Wednesday, even at this high price tag.
Anibal Sanchez ($7,800) – I’m not quite sure what to make of Anibal Sanchez’s season so far. The Tigers righty has increased his strikeout rate by four percent, but has been victimized by the long ball. Sanchez allowed four home runs in 126 innings last season. He has already allowed 12 in 67.1 innings this season. The key thing for DFS players is that Sanchez averages better than a strikeout per inning and more than six innings per start. The home run rate should come down. It looks like it may be a usage issue with fewer sliders and a harder changeup that is being classified as a splitter. There’s less separation between velocities, which could be part of the problem. In any event, Sanchez gets strikeouts and innings, so he’s worth it at this price.