MLB Sim Sports Picks for 6/3/20 on FanDuel
Wednesday's simulated MLB DFS slate on FanDuel is thin on strikeouts. It's even more thin on strikeouts in favorable situations.
The top four starters on the slate are all guys who can rack up the third strikes themselves. But none of them are facing high-strikeout opponents, and three of them are facing teams that can bang pitchers of their handedness. It ain't pretty.
In other words, we've got to either roster a pitcher in a poor matchup or use a pitcher with concerns in his profile. Seems fun!
So that you can weigh this dilemma yourself, here's the list of starters sorted by their FanDuel salary. The individual numbers are from starts they made in 2019. The opposing numbers are based on current active rosters against that pitcher's handedness in 2019.
|Pitcher||Salary||Opponent||SIERA||Strikeout %||Walk %||Opp. K%||Opp. wRC+|
You can see why this slate is tough. So let's dig in and see where we should go with both our pitchers and our hitters.
With the top of the board being murky at best, we have more leeway to pay down for other imperfect pitchers. Here, the best outlet for that seems to be Kenta Maeda ($7,200).
Maeda is at home against the Tampa Bay Rays, who certainly aren't a bad offense. They are one that will strike out, though, as evidenced by their active roster's 24.3% strikeout rate against righties. Maeda had a 26.2% strikeout rate as a starter last year, showing he's capable of generating upside.
Maeda's imperfect because the simulations do account for length, and Maeda's likely not projected for anywhere near 100 pitches. But with his salary being so low, we can likely tab him as being the top pitcher on the slate.
Length is not an issue for Trevor Bauer ($10,500), who generally has as much leash as he can handle, which increases his volume projection. That helps boost what could otherwise be a muted ceiling.
Bauer is facing the Pittsburgh Pirates, whose active roster had a 20.1% strikeout rate against righties last year. That's lower than we'd like. Still, their wRC+ is just 94, and Bauer himself had a 27.8% strikeout rate as a starter. The salary on Bauer isn't overly restrictive, allowing us to target him despite his flaws.
The final name who stands out for this slate could be Joey Lucchesi ($7,700). Lucchesi is pitching in the best environment for pitchers in the league and facing a San Francisco Giants offense that qualifies as an even better matchup than the Pirates. Combining those two together should change how we view Lucchesi drastically.
Lucchesi individually isn't bad by any means, either. He had a 23.0% strikeout rate last year, helping him to an acceptable 4.18 ERA. He should be able to last longer than Maeda, too, giving us two viable options beneath $8,000. The lack of sure-fire options at the top of the board makes spending down a legitimate route, so we might as well take advantage and bathe in the savings.
Means has the second-highest SIERA on the slate at 5.19, thanks in large part to his 17.9% strikeout rate. His 5.8% walk rate is good for real life, but it also increases the number of times the Cubs will put the ball in play. That's a big plus for DFS.
With the salary flexibility, snagging Javier Baez ($3,700) and Kris Bryant ($3,600) is a must. Both players had an isolated slugging percentage above .300 against lefties last year, as did Willson Contreras ($3,100). We don't always get to lock in stud hitters in MLB DFS, but we can here, and they're in a plus spot to boot. Giddy up.
Outside of the Cubs, there aren't a ton of high-profile offenses in favorable spots on this slate. But we can find another high-powered offense that will put the ball in play a bunch as the Minnesota Twins face Yonny Chirinos.
Chirinos is a good pitcher, as evidenced by his 3.54 ERA and 4.22 SIERA. However, his combo of a 22.3% strikeout rate and 5.6% walk rate means the Twins will make contact in a good chunk of their trips to the plate. With as much power as they've got, that's a dangerous situation.
Like the Cubs, the Twins give us affordable, big-time pop. Max Kepler ($3,200), Nelson Cruz ($3,100), Miguel Sano ($3,000), and Mitch Garver ($3,000) all had isolated slugging percentages of .280 or higher versus righties even though Kepler was the only guy in that mix who had the platoon advantage. The highest-profile bats on our two favorite offenses on the slate are both in play if we use Maeda or Lucchesi, further incentivizing us to spend down.
If you prefer to roll with Bauer, you'll need to find some savings at hitter. The Twins can give that, depending on whom you decide to target. Another stack to utilize would be the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Phillies are down in Miami, which is less than ideal. The matchup is ideal, though, as they face Sandy Alcantara, who had a slate-high 5.28 SIERA last year with just an 18.0% strikeout rate. On a slate that's lacking in optimal stacking outlets, this is enough to get us on board.
The player on the Phillies who benefits the most from the rules of the sims is Jay Bruce ($2,400). There's no pinch-hitting, meaning Bruce won't leave for a defensive sub or if a lefty comes out of the bullpen. That better enables us to buy into his pop, which is pretty massive. Add in Didi Gregorius ($2,300) in the sixth spot in the order, and you should have all the flexibility you need to plug in Bauer as your pitcher.
The author of this article has no involvement with the MLB Sim Sports simulations powered by numberFire and has no knowledge of the results of tonight’s contest.