A lot of midday games Saturday, as 11 of 14 games on FanDuel’s main slate start at 4:05 p.m. ET, which is also lock. FanDuel and DraftKings do not have matching main slates, so today’s article will focus solely on FanDuel’s offering.
Some of the best pitchers in baseball toe the rubber today:
- Corbin Burnes (R) $12,000, MIL vs PIT
- Trevor Bauer (R) $11,000, LAD vs TEX
- Luis Garcia (R) $10,500, HOU @ MIN
- Dylan Cease (R) $9,700, CHW @ DET
- German Marquez (R) $9,500, COL @ CIN
- Marcus Stroman (R) $9,200, NYM vs SD
Despite being in the same division, the two teams had not played a series in almost two months prior to Friday. Corbin Burnes gets his first crack at the Pirates and is coming off a 70-point effort on FanDuel. Pittsburgh has the second worst offense according to Offensive WAR and has a 77 Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) against right-handed pitching on the road. If Burnes can rack up strikeouts like he is capable of, this game could get out of hand early. For as bad as the Brewers offense has been, they have scored five-plus runs in seven of nine games in June.
Trevor Bauer and the Dodgers are -305 favorites over the Texas Rangers. That is by far the best of the day. Bauer has been okay over his last few starts, scoring between 25 and 36 FanDuel points but has been bogged down by nine walks over his past three starts. Despite the hardships, he is the second rated pitcher using the Bales Model and is tops among higher-priced options. No other pitcher is projected to score more fantasy points than Bauer, and he is tops at the position with eight Pro Trends.
Luis Garcia has been one of the biggest surprises in baseball, helping anchor a shaky rotation in Houston that has dealt with injuries. His Expected ERA (xERA) and Expected Fielder Independent Pitching (xFIP) are elevated compared to his 2.75 ERA, and he has lived off a .232 BABIP. The Twins are okay at home against righties (93 wRC+) and are in the bottom half of strikeout rate, a key to Garcia’s success. His salary will keep some DFS players away, making him a pivot based on the other familiar names priced around him.
Dylan Cease is far from perfect and has showed inconsistencies. Regardless, he is striking out hitters and not allowing home runs at his best rates, and batters have experienced some luck on balls in play (.311 BABIP). The Tigers have had issues with Cease in 2021, scoring zero runs on eight hits with 19 strikeouts in 14 innings against the 25-year-old. This will be Cease’s first start against the Tigers in Detroit, for what it is worth.
German Marquez has two straight road starts with 37 FanDuel points, but he did so against the Mets and Cardinals. The Cincinnati Reds have the best wRC+ against righties at home, and it is going to be a hot one in the Queen City. Marquez is a fade for me and is a bottom five option in the Bales Model.
If Marcus Stroman is to pitch like a higher-priced pitcher, he will have to miss Padres bats. San Diego has one of the lowest strikeout rates against righthanders in road games, but also sports a top-10 Soft Hit percentage (Soft%). Stroman will also have to limit his walks, something he has done the past two seasons he has pitched. I am less afraid of the Padres offense against Stroman than the Mets bullpen blowing a potential lead, ruining a chance for a win and more fantasy points.
James Kaprielian has a 96% Bargain Rating at $6,700. He has topped 36 FanDuel points in three of five starts this season but has been below that his past two. He is not likely to pitch more than six innings, but in his lone home start he pitched seven and posted a win and quality start. The Kansas City Royals are a bottom five wRC+, Home Run-to-Flyball ratio, and slugging percentage on the road against righties.
I am a fan of Triston McKenzie, but he has had a rough go in 2021. His walk rate is bad, he is inconsistent with missing bats, but he has had two positive outings the past couple weeks. He gets the Seattle Mariners at home. The Mariners have a top 10 strikeout rate on the road and cancel a solid Hard Hit percentage with a top 10 Soft%.
Joe Musgrove is the top rated pitcher against the Mets. Only Burnes and Bauer have higher projections than Musgrove, who is priced as the 11th pitcher.
Rich Hill pops on the Bales Model, but his opponent, the Baltimore Orioles, have a 119 wRC+ on the road against left-handed pitching.
Jameson Taillon leads all pitchers in Points Per Salary and Projected Plus/Minus.
We head to South Beach for today’s top projected stack:
- Freddie Freeman (L)
- Ozzie Albies (S)
- Austin Riley (R)
- Ronald Acuna Jr. (R)
Total Salary: $13,800
The Marlins have not named a starter for the day, but the Bales Model does not care. Acuna and Freeman are top 10 in projections. Freeman has not been playing at an MVP level, but he has had an encouraging start to June, collecting hits in six of 10 games, including two multi-hit games. Austin Riley’s $2,700 salary gives him a 97% Bargain Rating.
Jose Ramirez is heating up and only $3,700. He is nails against lefties but has been abysmal at home against them. He is hitting .188 against southpaws with zero homers and one RBI in 32 at-bats. I expect him to be popular with hits in all but one game in June.
Joc Pederson is the top rated hitter against Jon Gant and the Cardinals. He is 6-for-13 over his past three starts with two home runs and four RBI.
Justin Upton has a hit in every game since June 2. Since then, he has collected double-digit FanDuel points in six of those eight games.
Pricing is lower at the C/1B hybrid position, making catchers more palatable. Yasmani Grandal is the top rated catcher, but rostering any of Willson Contreras, Omar Narvaez, or Sean Murphy make sense to pivot off first basemen.