DFS Plays of the Day – June 18

Dave Swan previews the DFS slate for Friday's action.

Friday’s slate brings us a slew of games, 15 in total. However, there will be a few games with weather concerns. Cleveland visits the Pirates, and there is precipitation lined up to start the game. Additionally, the Chicago Cubs take on the Miami Marlins at home, and there is heavy rain in the forecast. My advice is to fade both of those games. Even if we take out those games, that leaves us with 26 SP to choose from. Unfortunately, our SP surplus is very top-heavy, so finding the correct SPs to play will a challenge. On the flip side, because we have so many suspect pitchers, that means the implied run totals are higher than usual. Typically, this makes the stacks a bit more interesting. To sum it all up, today’s slate is going to be a fun one with many ways to win. Good luck!


Implied Run Totals


Away Total Home Total
NYM 4.5 WAS 4.5
CLE 4.57 PIT 3.93
STL 4.13 ATL 5.37
MIN 4.72 TEX 3.78
CWS 4.25 HOU 4.25
MIL 6.09 COL 4.41
DET 3.77 LAA 5.73
PHI 4.05 SF 4.45


Starting Pitchers


  • Tier 1 “The Cash Game Studs”
Player Opponent DraftKings FanDuel
Trevor Bauer at ARI $10600 $10500
Robbie Ray at BAL $9300 $11000
Carlos Rodon at HOU $10800 $10200
Corbin Burnes at COL $10200 $9500

What puts any SP in the cash game tier is the high strikeout upside. All of the arms in tier one can throw double-digits strikeouts. Trevor Bauer gets the safest matchup and the most pitcher-friendly park, so I slotted him a shade higher than Robbie Ray. Both Ray and Bauer should be locked for terrific afternoons and put up massive DFS point totals.

Today is a scary one for Carlos Rodon. The Houston Astros have the lowest K%(18.4%) in the MLB and plenty of firepower to draw concern. However, you can’t look past Rodon’s fastball and slider because they’ve been mowing down batters. Through 66.2 IP, Rodon touts a staggering 30.7% K-BB rate that helps fuel his sub-2.00 ERA. Something has to give today, and I still believe Rodon will get his strikeouts, but you have to approach cautiously.

Speaking of a scary matchup, Corbin Burnes vs. the Rockies in Coors Field. Nothing brings me less joy than recommending a pitcher starting in Coors, but Burnes has been on another level this year. Burnes is featuring an incredible 41.5% K-rate. Whether he is facing lefties or righties, it hasn’t mattered. The only thing that could stand in his way of pitching a gem is maybe some bad luck from the park.


It is pretty well documented now that the Tampa Bay Rays struggle against southpaws. On the season, they carry the second-highest K% in the MLB(28.7%). That’ll play right into Kikuchi’s hands for a big afternoon. The Seattle slinger is showing off impressive velocity this year and touts a career-high 25% K-rate. When you add that Kikuchi is tossing 90-to-100 pitches per start, we could see a big point total coming from his small salary.

Speaking of tossing a ton of pitches, the Athletics continue to allow Kaprielian to throw 90-plus pitches every time out. Going deep into games and striking out a fair amount of batters (25.7% K-rate) has made him a DFS stud. Unfortunately, the matchup against the Yankees took him out of the “lock” category. However, all indications point to there is a solid outing coming. My recommendation is to pair him with a chalkier stack like Boston.

Luis Garcia is always a tougher pitcher to gauge because of the lack of groundballs. However, he mixes the cutter and slider up very nicely. The two pitches have wOBA’s under .200, which is wild when you consider they are thrown a combined 35% of the time. He faces the Chicago White Sox, who are in a rut lately, vs. RHP. They are showing a 70 wRC+ and .094 ISO in that timeframe.

Nick Pivetta and Alex Cobb are nearly the same play today. Pivetta needs to command his fastball while maintaining the added velocity. Cobb needs the secondaries to be effective because the fastball velocity sits at 92-mph. Both SPs have matchups they can score big points against but need that one aspect to click in; otherwise, it could get ugly quick.




  • Coors Field always drives up the roster%, and today will be no different. With Corbin Burnes taking the mound, the Rockies make for a very intriguing stack. Building a four-person stack that included Trevor Story and Ryan McMahon would still leave plenty of salary on the table for a high-priced SP. The question you need to ask yourself is, do I want to stack against Burnes? That will rely on how risk-averse you like to play. On the flip side of the Rockies is the Milwaukee Brewers, who have the highest implied run total on the slate. Well, duh, they are playing in Coors against a mediocre SP. The team’s salaries are inflated more than usual, and the field will likely stack this squad. I would not recommend stacking them but chasing a one-off if you would like. I suggest Daniel Vogelbach because he touts a .920 OPS in June and a .432 SLG% vs. RHP.


  • Outside of Coors Field, take a look over at the San Francisco Giants. In the previous two weeks, they are demolishing RHP. The squad showcases a .228 ISO and 136 wRC+. Even better, the ball club only strikes out at a 20% clip, which is well below league-average.  Now, one thing that the Giants love to do is platoon players. So, keep an eye on the left-handed bats they trot out today. Lastly, because they do get platooned so often, the salaries remain below market value. So, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Giants threw a double-digit run total up against Vince Velasquez and his 6.35 ERA vs. left-handed hitters.


  • The Boston Red Sox draw a favorable matchup against Jackson Kowar. Unfortunately, the Royals’ prospect does not look ready to face MLB-level talent. In both of his starts this season, Kowar has thrown negative point totals and can’t find the strikeout. Unfortunately, the world knows this as well, so expect this stack to be heavily chalked. If you wish to stack a Red Sox lineup, you’ll need to find the under-rostered SPs that will boom today.


  • My under-owned stack of the day is the Detroit Tigers, who face off against Alex Cobb. There are two reasons I am putting a bunch of emphasis on them. One, Cobb has been a Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde type of pitcher where he throws a gem and then a total clunker. Second, the Tigers have been a much better team recently. In the last two weeks, against RHP, they’ve been the seventh-best team in the MLB in terms of wRC+(117). The implied run totals do not favor the Tigers, but Jonathan Schoop and a few value bats could make Cobb’s afternoon very short.



Value Bats


Player Position DraftKings FanDuel
Victor Caratini C $2900 $2200
Ty France 1B(DK), 2B/3B(FD) $2700 $3200
Brendan Rodgers 2B/3B $3000 $3000
Jeimer Candelario 3B(DK), 1B/3B(FD) $3200 $2100
Andrelton Simmons SS $2900 $2300
Dylan Carlson OF $3000 $2500
Akil Baddoo OF $2200 $2500
Taylor Ward OF(DK), 3B(FD) $2800 $2800


Featured image by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)

Dave Swan

Dave Swan is an avid Chicago Cubs fan that enjoys all aspects of fantasy baseball-especially DFS. He would trade his right arm for a GIF library of Greg Maddux pitches. Swan's baseball thoughts are available at @davithius.

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