DraftKings MLB DFS Picks – June 18th

We had some nice picks that delivered value last night, however far too many of our DraftKings MLB DFS Picks underwhelmed on Monday night.

Our top pitcher, Kenta Maeda, was one of those underwhelming players as he lasted just five innings while allowing three earned runs and struck out just four while earning the loss to the lowly Giants.

On the flip side, Miles Mikolas was very good in throwing six shutout innings with four strikeouts and landed in the win column with a 5-0 victory.

Mikolas’ effort was backed by Dexter Fowler who hit us a three-run homer, however Yadier Molina and Kolten Wong delivered nothing, so our three-man Cardinals stack wasn’t all that productive as a whole.

Neither was our four-man A’s stack outside of Marcus Semien and Matt Olson. Both guys doubled for us while Semien scored two runs and Olson notched an RBI. Otherwise, Matt Chapman singled and scored and Khris Davis posted a zero.

Finally, we got some serious production out of Shohei Ohtani who clubbed a three-run homer and doubled as well.

After a wonderful lineup Friday we missed profits on Monday, so let’s get things turned back around on tonight’s maximum 15-game slate! However, more weather concerns are on the slate. I’m most concerned about the Phillies / Nationals again tonight after last night’s PPD.

P – Justin Verlander (HOU) – $11,900 vs. CIN

Until Justin Verlander shows us that he is indeed human he is simply a real tough fade given his work this season. Sure, his 3.57 FIP and 3.47 xFIPare notably higher than his 2.41 ERA, however Verlander is striking out 11.18 batters per nine innings this season and only walking 1.70 to boot. The matchup here is also fantastic despite the hitter-friendly venue. The Reds enter this one ranked 25th with a .298 wOBA on the season against right-handed pitching while their 24.2% strikeout rate against righties is the ninth-highest mark in baseball. Of course, Verlander is coming off a massive game against the Brewers where he allowed three earned runs but also struck out 15 across seven innings. Like the Reds, the Brewers are a high-strikeout team against righties, so we can see what kind of ceiling we have here. That strikeout upside is just too hard to ignore on this one and I don’t have much of a problem paying up for Verlander as opposed to the much lower strikeout upside of Clayton Kershaw who also resides in this price range. At -170 on the moneyline, the win upside is quite good here as well.

P – Jack Flaherty (STL) – $8,700 vs. MIA

We saw last night that the home/road splits of the St. Louis rotation can give us some value when pitching at home, and that’s what we have with Flaherty after his teammate Miles Mikolas stymied the Marlins at Busch Stadium in St. Louis last night. Like Mikolas, Flaherty’s splits greatly favor the home side as the sophomore right-hander owns a 2.25 ERA at home compared to a ghastly 6.68 mark on the road. Furthermore, his 3.55 FIP and 3.34 xFIP at home to go along with a 10.13 K/9 tower over his 5.34 FIP, 4.82 xFIP and 9.62 K/9 on the road. Flaherty was roughed up for eight earned runs against over just 8.2 innings in his last two starts – both on the road – but allowed just two earned runs over his previous two starts spanning 11 innings – both at home. Obviously, he gets arguably the top matchup on the slate against a Marlins team that ranks 29th with a .283 wOBA against right-handers while their 24.8% strikeout rate versus righties is tied for the fifth-highest mark in baseball. Sign me up for this value upside this evening.

C – Beau Taylor (OAK) – $2,800 vs. BAL

Obviously, Verlander isn’t cheap and Flaherty isn’t dirt-cheap, so we need to be cost-conscious with our bats in this lineup, and that begins with Taylor who will begin a mini-stack tonight against right-hander Gabriel Ynoa and the shaky Orioles bullpen. Taylor has logged just nine big league plate appearances this season and only 15 for his big league career, but he’s put up some awfully impressive numbers against right-handed pitching at Triple-A this season. His minor league walk rates are massive- – including a 21.9% mark this season – which has helped him post some big OPS numbers as well. However, he’s also hit right-handed pitching for plenty of power in the minors with a .605 SLG combined with a massive .509 OBP that results in an eye-popping 1.113 Triple-A OPS against right-handed pitching this season. All five of his homers and seven of his eight doubles have come against a righty at Triple-A this season. Right away I want him in this lineup at this price to give us some value against arguably the worst pitching staff in baseball.

1B – Paul Goldschmidt (STL) – $3,800 vs. MIA

Goldschmidt’s tenure in St. Louis hasn’t been up to snuff so far this season as he enters tonight’s contest with just a .160 ISO and .776 OPS on the season, numbers that resemble falling off a cliff from his MVP-caliber numbers over the last several seasons. He’s also taking on a pitcher that pitched seven shutout innings over him and the Cardinals in his MLB debut last week in Miami in the form of right-hander Jordan Yamamoto. While it was a memorable debut for the 23-year-old, let’s keep in mind it was his first start ever above Double-A and he has pitched to a solid, but unspectacular, 3.58 ERA and 4.10 FIP across his 12 Double-A starts this season. As a result, I’m going to roll out a reasonably-priced Cardinals stack beginning here with Goldschmidt who owns a .161 ISO, .773 OPS and a 106 wRC+ on the season against righties. There aren’t many numbers I can put forth that will stand out, however this guy has a history of 30-homer, 100-RBI production with ISO rates hovering around .250, so I would be shocked if his struggles lasted much longer in his first year in St. Louis.

2B – Kolten Wong (STL) – $3,700 vs. MIA

Wong was used in last night’s three-man stack and didn’t do anything for our lineup, but I continue to like the power/speed upside he brings to the table and the price is certainly right given our need to be cost-efficient in this lineup tonight. The power splits continue to be reverse this season as he owns a .172 ISO and .787 OPS against lefties compared to a .133 ISO and .689 OPS against righties, however the speed upside is much higher against righties with his 10 steals against them more than tripling his three against southpaws. One thing we need to keep in mind with this stack as well is the fact that not only do I still see Yamamoto as a targetable arm, but the Marlins bullpen is also among the worst in baseball as their 5.28 ERA rank them 26th. We’re not only stacking against the starter but also the bullpen. The idea here is to get to Yamamoto early and get him out of the game and tee off on that brutal Marlins bullpen afterwards.

3B – Matt Carpenter (STL) – $3,800 vs. MIA

I absolutely love the price we are getting Carpenter at tonight for several reasons. First, he’s going to hit out of the leadoff spot tonight, otherwise known as the most valuable spot in the batting order in terms of DFS. Second, this is another guy that we have seen go on an absolute tear and hit for power with the best of em’ in baseball, which is why I am happy to see him club a home run in last night’s win to go along with a double. That’s not a homer and three doubles over his last four games while he’s driven in two, scored four runs and stolen a base in that time as well. He owns an .814 OPS but also a 121 wRC+ at home against right-handed pitching this season. His numbers aren’t going to stand out a whole lot thanks to a a dreadful month of March/April, but I can feel Carpenter heating up and when he’s hot, he’s among the best bats in baseball. I’ll take that all day at this price out of the leadoff spot.

SS – Paul DeJong (STL) – $4,400 vs. MIA

DeJong cooled off for a period there after a white-hot start this season, however he’s back to swinging the bat with plenty of confidence which should bode well for this stack and lineup tonight. DeJong scuffled through most of May, however he has been white=hot over the last five games. Over that span, he’s gone 9 for 22 (.409) with three home runs, six runs, five RBI and a stolen base. This is a also a guy that is able to hit righties and lefties for plenty of power, although the power numbers are up against lefties. Nonetheless, DeJong has still hit right-handed pitching for a .218 ISO and .854 OPs on the season to go along with a 125 wRC+. He’s also swiped five bases on the season which gives us plenty of stolen base upside to go along with his 13 home runs on the season. He’s putting up All-Star numbers this season and he should be able to deliver us plenty of value on his reasonable price out of the projected two-hole tonight.

OF – Ramon Laureano (OAK) – $4,100 vs. BAL

I will complete our A’s mini-stack here with Laureano who also brings real nice power/speed upside to the table while he also sports some reverse-splits on the season as well. On the surface, Laureano’s 10 homers and eight steals on the season show us that aforementioned power/speed potential. Furthermore, most of that damage on both ends has come against right-handed pitching despite Laureano swinging from the right side. Six of those eight steals have come against a right as well as eight of the 10 homers and 13 of his 14 doubles to boot. All said, he owns a .188 ISO and .762 OPS against righties with a 103 wRC+ compared to a .106 ISO and .601 OPS with a 62 wRC+ against left-handed pitching. He’s also been swinging a powerful bat as of late as he’s gone just 5 for 21 (.238) but with two homers and a double over his last five games. He’s also stolen two bases in that time as well. There’s plenty to like about Laureano as he and Taylor could give us a real shot in the arm with some production tonight.

OF – Tyler Austin (SF) – $3,400 vs. LAD

This is where the lineup takes a dramatic GPP turn as Austin and the Giants line up to take cuts against Clayton Kershaw at Dodger stadium where he has been historically dominant. That said, Kershaw is no longer among the most dominant pitchers in baseball as his 3.13 ERA, 3.62 FIP and 3.45 xFIP are well above career norms (although still nice numbers). He continues to allow more home runs than every before with a 1.25 HR/9 this season, which would be the highest mark of his career of the season ended today. He allowed two home runs in six innings in his last home start which came against the Cubs. Enter Austin who is a lefty-masher and brings plenty of raw power to the table. He has posted a big .259 ISO and .894 OPS on the season against left-handed pitchers to go with a 137 wRC+. He’s homered four times in 54 at-bats against a lefty to go along with two doubles. He won’t see much ownership at all tonight so let’s look for him to put one into the seats in a sneaky-good matchup tonight.

OF – Kevin Pillar (SF) – $3,400 vs. LAD

I had an average of $3,400 to use on a mini-stack of outfielders tonight and I think this low-owned duo can get something going against Kershaw. Overall, Pillar is not a productive bat as he is very much a glove-first outfielder. That said, he does have pop in his bat and he has speed on the bases as well, which works just fine in DFS circles. For instance, Pillar has eight home runs and eight steals this season. He hit 15 homers and stole 14 bases last season after hitting 16 homers and stealing 15 bases in the 2017 season. I don’t like his .648 OPS against lefties, but I sure do like his .214 ISO against them and that’s pretty much all I’m worried about. He’s even stolen three of his eight bases on the season against left-handed pitching as well. I also like the fact that he’s hitting the ball real well right now by going 7 for 20 (.350) with a double, two homers, five runs, five RBI and two stolen bases over his last five games. Finally, he’s gone 2 for 6 with a double in his career against Kershaw, so I believe there’s plenty to like about the potential value we can get with not only Pillar, but this Giants mini-stack overall.

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Brenton Kemp / author

Brenton is a lifelong sports fan who resides in Ontario, Canada. Brenton is a fan of most all sports but specializes in hockey, baseball, football, basketball, and golf. He’s a fierce researcher with a strong appetite to deliver accurate and relevant facts that in turn have led to past success with picks and DFS advice across the board. Brenton’s biggest goal is to deliver readers with the picks and advice that can build their bankroll. He takes great pride in his success and loves nothing more than to share that success for the benefit of everyone involved.