DFS Plays of the Day – June 25

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

We have a more extensive slate today with 13 games in play. Run totals are all over the board, from over six to lower than three. This massive swing in point totals could lead to high levels of chalk, especially for the bats. There is not a ton of safer options and far too many suspect arms on the pitching frontier. My advice for taking down a large field GPP would be to pick a chalkier stack to pair with higher variance pitching. On the flip side, anyone playing double-ups or cash games should see plenty of value bats. So, get pricey with the SPs and pay down for hitting. Good luck!


Implied Run Totals


Away Total Home Total
BAL 4.02 TOR 6.48
CHC 3.87 LAD 5.13
NYY 5.51 BOS 4.99
HOU 5.76 DET 3.24
WAS 3.51 MIA 3.99
KC 4.25 TEX 4.25
SEA 3.14 CWS 4.36
PIT 3.68 STL 4.82
OAK 4.25 SF 4.25
ARI 2.96 SD 5.54


Starting Pitchers


The Cash Game Studs
Player Opponent DraftKings FanDuel
Carlos Rodón vs. SEA $10700 $11200
Framber Valdez at DET $10200 $10700
Sean Manaea at SF $9800 $9400


The Mariners are a fun team to pick on in DFS, especially when facing off against a southpaw. And it’s even more fun when that southpaw has over a 33% CSW on their four-seamer and slider. It’s safe to say Carlos Rodón is the top arm on the slate based on his dominance(73 IP, 1.83 ERA, 0.83 WHIP) and Seattle’s offense, or lack thereof. Strikeouts should be aplenty, and even though Carlos Rodón is pricey, he will be worth every penny.

Take all you stretched out concern and wipe them away. Framber Valdez is tossing over 96 pitches in each of his previous four outings and looks incredible. The elite curveball that Valdez featured in 2020 is still producing a 50% ground ball rate and 34.9% CSW. In fact, batters are only hitting .091 against the breaking ball. And, if we are looking for a safe cash SP, Valdez gets a terrific matchup against the Tigers. Over the last 30 days, the Tigers are striking out at a 29% clip with a putrid .594 wRC+.

Sean Manaea has the most challenging matchup compared to the other cash game SPs. However, it’s impossible to overlook how productive he has been. His fastball velocity is up, he is spotting the changeup with ease, and even the slider carries a 13.8 SwStr%. Everything appears to be working in harmony for Manaea, so he is as safe as they come until further notice. Even better, he arrives with over a $1K discount than Rodón and Framber. The additional salary savings could help load up on an extra value bat of your choosing.


GPP Potentials
Player Opponent DraftKings FanDuel
Chris Paddack vs. ARI $8500 $8500
Mike Minor at TEX $8700 $8200
Alek Manoah vs. BAL $8100 $7700
Griffin Canning at TB $8000 $7300


Chris Paddack was so close to making his way into the cash game tier. He is throwing absolute filth as of late and goes deep into games without walking many batters. His most recent two starts have been phenomenal. The 97-mph fastball location is spot on, and the changeup is generating an abundance of whiffs. Now, that is Paddack’s bread and butter. What is really lovely to see is the development of the curveball. He is throwing it for strikes over 50% of the time and getting a 15.5 SwStr%-dangerous! Paddack squares off against a Diamondbacks squad that is lost at the dish. This matchup is a perfect spot for Paddack to toss a gem.

Mike Minor often gets forgotten, and I am not sure why. However, in DFS, we can’t overlook what he does. Only once in 15 games started has Minor not thrown more than 90 pitches. Throughout that timeframe, Minor piles up the innings pitched and stacked the strikeouts. Sure, he may allow his share of HRs, and while that is not ideal. The terrific aspect to see is the lack of walks. Additionally, Minor draws a favorable matchup against the boom-or-bust Rangers that have plenty of whiffs in their game. It’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility for Minor to outscore some of the cash game arms.

Depending on your level of risk tolerance, Alek Manoah could be the GPP arm for you. Let’s start with the obvious; he faces off against the Orioles, who strike out nearly 27% of the time, vs. RHP. And boy have they struggled as of late. In the previous two weeks, the orange birds show a weary 72wRC+ fueled by a .273 wOBA and 28% K-rate. On the flip side, Manoah touts a fastball and slider combo with over 14% StStr rate. Now, because that fastball doesn’t blaze past batters because it nearly breaks 94-mph, he relies on a third pitch at times, the changeup. However, his changeup needs time to develop. We will label Manoah as our “high risk, high reward” SP of the day.

The last GPP arm I would recommend is Griffin Canning. Again, much like Manoah, this is a risk to reward upside play. We’ve seen Canning toss a gem, like on June 9th vs. the Royals when he threw nearly seven innings of one-run baseball with six Ks. Then, he can toss a clunker like his last outing against Oakland(5 IP, 2 ER, 2 K). Because Canning has been so up-and-down, I would expect him rostered on far fewer builds than the previously mentioned GPP arms. Additionally, he gets a favorable matchup against the Rays in Tropicana. Over the past 30 days vs. RHP, the Rays are striking out at a 27% clip while only .701 OPS(seventh lowest in the MLB).




The chalk stack is easy to spot. It will be the Toronto Blue Jays because they have the only implied run total over six. Oh wait, they also get to face Matt Harvey. The DFS world makes a living stacking against Harvey because he gives up tons of HRs to right-handed and left-handed bats. Furthermore, the Blue Jays showcase a .191 ISO vs. RHP, which is second in the MLB. I don’t feel like piling on this one too much, but roster% will be through the roof. The struggle will be stacking enough of them because those salaries are incredibly high.

Another chalkier stack that leaps off the page is the Houston Astros. They are demolishing baseballs right now. In the last two weeks against RHP, the Astros touts an insane .410 team wOBA and .263 ISO. Their 167 wRC+ means they have been 67% better than an average MLB ballclub against RHP. Those are staggering numbers, and stacking a team this hot is a smart move if you’re looking to run up the point totals. Again, like the Blue Jays, this dominance comes with a hefty price tag. I suppose I should also mention where the Astros get one of the weakest SPs on the slate, Wily Peralta, whose last start included allowing seven hits(2 HR) and five earned runs.

If you’re looking for a stack that could go off and have less roster% than others, I suggest looking at the Cincinnati Reds. First, the game is set in the ballpark that allows the most HRs in the MLB(according to BaseballSavants Statcast Park Factors). Next, they face Drew Smyly, who has looked alright his last two outings but gives up the longball at a high rate, especially to left-handed batters. So Jesse Winker and Joey Votto need to be included in any Reds stack. Toss in Nick Castellanos as well since he touts a .232 career ISO against southpaws. Also, if you’re looking for an inexpensive slate-breaker that can go deep multiple times? Aristides Aquino has a career .318 ISO and .362 wOBA vs. left-handed pitchers.


Value Bats


Player Position DraftKings FanDuel
Jorge Alfaro C $2600 $2300
Ryan O’Hearn 1B $3000 $2300
Eli White 2B(FD), OF(DK) $3000 $2100
Leury Garcia 2B/SS(FD), 3B/OF(DK) $3200 $2100
Paul DeJong SS $2700 $2700
Bryan Reynolds OF $3100 $3100
Victor Robles OF $2500 $2200
Trevor Larnach OF $2600 $2700


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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