MLB Sim Sports Picks for 6/25/20 on FanDuel

On a simulated slate loaded with aces, Yu Darvish brings a bargain salary to a quality matchup. Who else stands out for MLB DFS on FanDuel?

Did you think the MLB sims were going to go quietly into the night now that the real thing is less than a month from returning?

Think again, my friends.

Thursday's simulated DFS slate on FanDuel is loaded with top-tier starters. There are nine different starters -- out of 14 total -- who had strikeout rates near or above 30% last year. Hot diggity.

There will be no shortage of solid pitching options, and that always makes for a beautiful offering. So let's dive on in.

Here are those aforementioned starters sorted by their FanDuel salary. The individual numbers are 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+
Max Scherzer $12,000 PIT 2.93 35.1% 4.8% 20.1% 94
Jacob deGrom $11,500 SFG 3.29 31.7% 5.5% 24.0% 89
Jack Flaherty $11,000 MIA 3.68 29.9% 7.1% 24.4% 95
Blake Snell $9,700 OAK 3.56 33.3% 9.1% 19.9% 114
Matthew Boyd $9,300 CWS 3.61 30.2% 6.4% 23.8% 119
Sonny Gray $8,900 CHC 3.97 29.0% 9.6% 23.5% 108
Yu Darvish $8,700 CIN 3.55 31.3% 7.7% 24.3% 95
Caleb Smith $8,200 STL 4.58 26.0% 9.3% 22.4% 96
Mike Soroka $8,000 PHI 4.28 20.3% 5.9% 24.5% 90
Dallas Keuchel $7,600 DET 4.39 18.7% 8.0% 24.9% 98
Zach Eflin $7,400 ATL 4.90 17.9% 6.6% 22.4% 100
Sean Manaea $7,000 TAM 3.86 27.5% 6.5% 27.1% 99
Mitch Keller $6,300 WAS 3.78 28.6% 7.1% 21.5% 96
Johnny Cueto $6,000 NYM 5.49 19.4% 13.4% 21.5% 109

Time to wipe that slobber off your chin and dig in.

All of the higher-salaried pitchers are in good spots, and you won't hear me push back on any of them. But it's so hard to ignore Yu Darvish just sitting all the way down at $8,700.

The opposing Cincinnati Reds are a solid offense, but they also sport a 24.3% strikeout rate. Darvish -- even when you include his early-season struggles -- had a 31.3% strikeout rate last year. His 3.55 SIERA ranks third on an insanely loaded slate. We should be inclined to accept the discount and tab Darvish as being the top arm of the night.

Among the higher-salaried pitchers, both Jacob deGrom ($11,500) and Jack Flaherty ($11,000) have elite matchups in pitcher-friendly parks. We should give the slight edge to deGrom, who both had better individual numbers last year and gets a slightly better park and matchup. If you have a strong inclination toward Flaherty, though, he still checks every box.

Because Darvish is so cheap, we can afford to go pretty much wherever we want with our stacks. That pushes us toward the Atlanta Braves against Zach Eflin.

Eflin had the second-highest SIERA on the slate last year (4.90) and the lowest strikeout rate. That's up against a league-average offense with some hitters who can do big damage. You can afford the studs in your Darvish lineups, but Marcell Ozuna ($2,800) is someone you can target regardless of where you go at pitcher.

Our second stack will violate one of the big rules of MLB DFS: never stack a team in San Francisco. It's a hideous park for offense, and praying for dingers is usually a fruitless endeavor. But with Johnny Cueto being the pitcher on the slate who had the worst metrics last year -- by a cavernous margin -- we almost have no choice but to stack the New York Mets.

Unfortunately, the park is harshest on lefties, which is where we find the value on this team. Still, with how reasonable the salaries on Jeff McNeil ($3,100), Brandon Nimmo ($2,700), and Michael Conforto ($2,700) are, we can accept the downsides of the park and still justify exposure to the offense.

For additional stacks -- if you're okay with risk -- we can check out the Chicago White Sox against Matthew Boyd. Boyd is an awesome pitcher, but he is certainly prone to blow-ups. Additionally, the White Sox's active roster had a 119 wRC+ against lefties last year, the highest mark on the slate and one of only five above-average marks. There's a chance they can get to Boyd, and if they do, it will likely be at lower popularity in the contests.

There's no entry fee here, so we can afford to have a little fun. Boyd could very well be the highest-scoring pitcher on the slate. But the upsides of stacking against him are decent, making the White Sox worth a roll of the dice after you get your share of the Braves and Mets.

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.