MLB Sim Sports Picks for 6/18/20 on FanDuel

Charlie Morton brings his nastiness into a plus matchup on Thursday's simulated MLB DFS slate, making him an easy selection. Who else should we target on FanDuel?

Sometimes, the stars just align to make life easy on us. That's what we get on today's simulated MLB DFS slate.

Two of the top pitchers on the slate -- Mike Clevinger ($11,600) and Charlie Morton ($10,200) -- find themselves in elite matchups that give them both a floor and a ceiling. When that's the case, you don't want to overthink things; just accept the gift the universe has given you and lock them in.

To see how juicy the spots are for Clevinger and Morton -- and to see who else we could consider -- here's a list of the starters on the slate, sorted by their FanDuel salaries. The individual numbers come from starts they made in 2019, and 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+
Mike Clevinger $11,600 BAL 3.31 33.9% 7.4% 21.5% 86
Zack Wheeler $11,000 MIA 4.20 23.6% 6.0% 24.4% 95
Charlie Morton $10,200 TOR 3.54 30.4% 7.2% 25.2% 85
Corey Kluber $9,000 LAA 4.68 22.6% 8.9% 20.3% 109
Zac Gallen $8,400 LOS 4.24 28.7% 10.8% 20.2% 122
Danny Duffy $8,200 SEA 4.89 20.7% 8.3% 23.4% 106
Jose Berrios $8,000 NYY 4.28 23.2% 6.1% 23.4% 119
Marco Gonzales $7,600 KAN 5.08 17.0% 6.5% 21.7% 88
Anibal Sanchez $7,500 SFG 5.07 18.8% 8.2% 24.0% 89
Drew Smyly $7,100 WAS 4.73 24.2% 10.4% 20.2% 106
Pablo Lopez $6,600 PHI 4.44 20.3% 5.8% 24.5% 90
Jordan Montgomery $6,500 MIN -- -- -- 20.4% 123
Trent Thornton $6,300 TAM 4.94 21.7% 9.5% 24.3% 99
Kohl Stewart $6,100 CLE 6.33 5.8% 9.6% 22.1% 96
Julio Urias $6,000 ARI 3.75 29.4% 6.4% 21.5% 112
Patrick Sandoval $5,800 TEX 4.89 22.8% 11.4% 26.4% 97

This should make it obvious why we want both Clevinger and Morton in our lineups. Between the two, though, Morton seems to hold a slight edge.

Morton is on the road, but that's his only negative. There, he'll face the Toronto Blue Jays, whose active roster had a 25.2% strikeout rate against righties last year. That's the second-highest mark on the slate. Add to it Morton's 30.4% strikeout rate, and it's easy to accept the discount he provides relative to Clevinger.

That's not to say Clevinger's unworthy of his salary. He very much is, especially against a hapless Baltimore Orioles offense. It's just that Morton checks all the same boxes and comes in at $1,400 more budget-friendly. Still, Clevinger's 33.9% strikeout rate is disgusting and puts him a comfortable second on our list.

If you don't want to fork over all that salary for those two, your top value option is at the other end of the spectrum in Julio Urias ($6,000). Urias likely won't get a super hefty pitch count from the simulations, which is why we should still strive to afford Clevinger or Morton. But with a 29.4% strikeout rate in the starts he did make last year, Urias will at least be effective while he is on the mound. If you're using Urias, though, you have to embrace the tilt if he leaves before getting the six innings required for a quality start.

With the focus at pitcher being on Morton and Clevinger, we will need to find some value hitters in our stacks. That's where the Tampa Bay Rays come into play.

They'll be facing Trent Thornton, who finished last year with a 5.04 ERA and 4.89 SIERA as a starter. We can stack against that. Our incentive to do so is even higher when we have Hunter Renfroe ($2,500) and Yoshi Tsutsugo ($2,100) are hitting fifth and sixth, respectively. Renfroe is better against lefties, but he also had a .251 isolated slugging percentage against righties last year. Tsutsugo is at a good spot in the order and projects to bring pop to the Rays' lineup. They'll make affording our stud pitchers a whole lot easier.

Although the Philadelphia Phillies aren't as flush with values as the Rays, they still stand out as a second stack. They're facing Pablo Lopez, whose 20.3% strikeout rate and 5.8% walk rate last year mean he figures to let up a bunch of balls in play. That's good for the studs at the top of the order, and it lets us check out the five-six-seven hitters in Jean Segura ($2,900), Didi Gregorius ($2,300), and Jay Bruce ($2,600). Bruce, specifically, benefits from the rules of the sims where he won't leave for a pinch-hitter, allowing us to drool over his power even from the seven hole.

If you find yourself with salary to burn after those stacks, then Cleveland's lineup deserves some attention. They're facing Kohl Stewart, who had an ERA north of 5.00 in both Triple-A and the Majors last year. Cleveland may be too expensive to stack alongside Clevinger or Morton, but some one-off exposure to Francisco Lindor ($4,100) in the stud tier or Franmil Reyes ($3,200) in the middle is never a bad idea.

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.