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MLB DFS Slate Breakdown (6/15/21)

This content will be dedicated to providing you with an easy-to-follow breakdown of the elite cash plays, GPP plays, and leverage stacks.

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MLB DK Pitcher Table

Mike Minor

Minor’s thrown well through 13 starts this season. He enters this game with a 4.07 xFIP and a 26.6% strikeout rate. His strikeout rate quietly ranks in the top-25 of MLB starters this season. Minor gets an interesting matchup against the Detroit Tigers, who have shown flashes as an offense at times but are far from a lineup you’d consider avoiding. The biggest concern with this matchup is that Detroit is expected to utilize nine right-handed batters tonight. Still, this slate lacks elite pitching options, and Minor is a -141 favorite in a game set at 8.5 runs.

Kwang Hyun Kim

The San Diego Padres are going to be the chalk stack of the night, meaning you’ll have to find salary relief somewhere. Kim allows that. Through 9 starts, he’s posted a 4.20 xFIP with a 20.3% strikeout rate. Kim gets a plus matchup against the Miami Marlins, who have struggled against left-handed pitching this season. He’s coming off of the IL, but he missed the minimum 10 days, suggesting he won’t be on a pitch count tonight. Kim lacks elite upside, but he’s a cheap option that will allow you to grab high-end bats tonight.

Taijuan Walker

Initially, I wanted to outline Lance McCullers here, but it doesn’t look like he’s going to throw deep into that game after missing quite a bit to time with an injury. Instead, Walker can be used, as he boasts a 4.08 xFIP and a 24.9% strikeout rate this season. He’s an interesting player, as he’s avoided regression throughout the majority of his career, suggesting his elite success this season doesn’t necessarily have to come to an end. Walker gets a matchup against the Chicago Cubs, who have plenty of upside throughout their lineup but also feature plenty of strikeouts. The Mets are also -143 favorites in a game set at 8.5 runs.

Other GPP Targets: Andrew Heaney, Luis Castillo, Casey Mize, Julio Urias

MLB Top Batters



Victor Caratini

Caratini’s seen mixed results throughout the season. He isn’t consistent, but he has flashed upside with some power and surprising speed through 51 games. Caratini gets an elite matchup against Chi Chi Gonzalez tonight. He’ll benefit from playing in Coors. Overall, this isn’t about Caratini’s talent but rather that he gets an ideal matchup in the most hitter-friendly stadium in the MLB. It’s a cheap way to get a part of San Diego’s offense, although he’ll hit near the bottom of the order.

Austin Hedges

You’re going to have to spend up at multiple positions on this slate, meaning you’ll need to find salary somewhere. Hedges isn’t a good player, but he does have some power. Most importantly, he gets a matchup against Matt Harvey, who’s given up 5+ earned runs in 5 of his last 6 games. Similar to Caratini, Hedges will hit near the bottom of the order, but he’s solely used as a salary relief option on this slate.


Eric Hosmer

Hosmer’s been ice cold recently, posting a .118 average without any extra-base hits and 3 RBIs over his last 10 games. He hasn’t posted any double-digit DK points in those contests. With that being said, he’s expected to hit fifth in the best projected offense on the slate. He’ll benefit from a hitter-friendly environment, as well. Hosmer gets an elite matchup against Gonzalez, making him a priority spend-up tonight.

Bobby Bradley

Bradley’s only played in 7 games this season, but he’s found plenty of success. He’s hitting for a .429 average with a .810 slugging percentage and a 1.288 OPS. Overall, Bradley owns 4 extra-base hits (2 home runs) and 8 RBIs in his 7 games. He gets a great matchup against Harvey, who’s struggled against left-handed batters. Bradley’s expected to hit fifth in the Cleveland lineup, and he continues to be a bit underpriced for his recent success.


Jorge Polanco

There are several elite spend-ups at second base tonight with Polanco being my top option at the moment. He’s caught fire recently, posting a .349 favorite with 5 extra-base hits (4 home runs) and 8 RBIs over his last 10 games. Polanco gets a plus matchup against Chris Flexen, and he’s expected to lead off for the Minnesota Twins. Keep in mind, it’s reasonable to pay up for virtually any of the expensive options at second on this slate.

Josh Harrison

Harrison’s been enjoying a solid season for the Washington Nationals, flashing a combination of power and speed. He gets a solid matchup against Tyler Anderson, and he enters this game with .040 wOBA and .040 ISO differentials against left-handed pitching this season. Harrison’s also performed significantly better at home in 2021. If you don’t want to spend up at this position, Harrison is an outstanding option with a significantly cheaper price tag.


Manny Machado

I was also considering Jose Ramirez and Justin Turner at this spot with Machado winning out. He’s expected to hit third in the top offense on the slate. Machado gets a great matchup against Gonzalez, who’s struggled this season and doesn’t boast strikeout potential. Similar to a lot of the San Diego offense, Machado hasn’t found a ton of success in recent games. Still, this is a matchup where we’re attacking the pitcher rather than the recent success of the offense.

Jonathan Villar

Villar’s been a great surprise for the New York Mets this season. He’s leading off for the team, posting a .314 average with 4 extra-base hits (1 home run), 2 RBIs, and 2 stolen bases over his last 10 games. Villar enters this game with .049 wOBA and .096 ISO differentials against right-handed pitching in 2021. He also gets a solid matchup against Alec Mills tonight. Villar was recently over $5k on DraftKings, making him a solid value at his current price tag.


Fernando Tatis Jr. 

Tatis’ price tag is ridiculous because of his elite combination of power and speed. He gets an elite matchup against a weak right-handed pitcher without strikeout ability in the most hitter-friendly stadium in the MLB. There are several other options that can be considered as spend-ups with significantly cheaper price tags than Tatis. With that being said, the Padres shortstop is the top spend-up on this slate.

Amed Rosario

Rosario continues to play at a high level for the Cleveland Indians. He’s hitting for a .366 average with 2 extra-base hits (1 home run), 5 RBIs, and 2 stolen bases over his last 10 games. Rosario is hitting second in the Cleveland lineup, adding to his upside, as well. I prefer him against left-handed pitching, but the matchup against Matt Harvey is easy to attack. He’s another player that’s likely to get lost in the shuffle of San Diego tonight, but he is far too cheap at the moment.


San Diego Padres

It’s obvious that the entire San Diego outfield was going to take up a selection here. They’re expected to utilize three outfield-eligible players in their lineup tonight. Trent Grisham and Tommy Pham are the top options with Wil Myers in the tier below them. Pham’s price appropriately, but Grisham could be the most mispriced player on the slate. He’s at his best against right-handed pitching, is one of the hotter San Diego options at the moment, and is still priced roughly $1k below most of the “top” Padres bats. Grisham is borderline a must-start in all leagues tonight.

Cleveland Indians

Cleveland’s outfield is in a weird spot because they are expected to have four options tonight. With that being said, I believe all four can be considered for their prices and the matchup. Eddie Rosario is the top play of the group with Josh Naylor, Harold Ramirez, and Bradley Zimmer coming in behind him. I’m not overly concerned about the righty/righty matchup for Ramirez because he’s been playing well and should see plenty of innings against Baltimore’s bullpen. Each of these four can be considered, especially in GPPs tonight.

Matt Beaty

Beaty’s been ice cold in recent games, but we know he’s a solid hitter with power. He gets a plus matchup against Zach Eflin, who’s struggled on the road throughout his career. This season, Beaty boasts .218 wOBA and .130 ISO differentials against right-handed pitching. He’s expected to hit fifth in an injured Los Angeles Dodgers lineup, making him a great salary relief option.

Billy McKinney

McKinney’s another option that’s too cheap at the moment but likely won’t be for too long. He’s hitting for a .303 average with 7 extra-base hits (2 home runs), 8 RBIs, and 1 stolen base over his last 10 games. McKinney owns .017 wOBA and .091 ISO differentials against right-handed pitching this season. The Mets also feel great about the 26-year-old, as they’ve stated they’re willing to move him to center field to keep him in the lineup when the team starts getting healthier.


“Team Batting Score” – A metric that quickly highlights overall team batting based on Runs Created (RC+) by team and comparing it to the average and standard deviation of all other MLB Teams
“Opp. Pitcher SP Score” – A weighted metric that evaluates today’s starting pitchers based on xFIP and Games Started (currently using partial end of 2020 data blended with the 2021 season)
“Opp. BP Score” – Similar to SP Score but weights the xFIP for the team’s bullpen

Team Batting vs. Opp. Pitch

DK MLB Stacks

“T2” (and T3/T4/T5) represents the Top 2 projected hitters for the team on the left (not necessarily the top 2 hitters in the batting order)

Stacking is an extremely important element to MLB DFS. In MLB, all of your players are correlated to each other. Outside of solo home runs, they need each other to succeed. If you look at the top of all of the big GPPs every night you will see stacks dominating the leaderboard.

When using our stacks chart, we want to identify teams that are projecting well but the ownership does not reflect their chance of success.

This is a massive slate with two offenses sticking out above the rest because of their matchups. With that being said, there are several great stacking options in tournaments without there being many aces on this slate.

DraftKings 5-Man Stack Ideas

SD – Pham/Grisham/Machado/Tatis/Hosmer

CLE – Hernandez/Rosario/Ramirez/Rosario/Bradley

SF – Wade/Yastrzemski/Posey/Crawford/Belt

NYM – Villar/Lindor/Smith/Alonso/McKinney

LAD – Betts/Lux/Turner/Beaty/Taylor

DraftKings 3-Man Stack Ideas

SD – Pham/Grisham/Tatis

CLE – Rosaaario/Ramirez/Bradley

NYM – Lindor/Smith/Alonso

LAD – Betts/Lux/Turner

SF – Yastrzemski/Crawford/Belt

Written by Justin Bales (Follow @BalesSJustin on Twitter)

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