it is a 14 game schedule for this last Sunday in June as the Red Sox “host” the Yankees across the pond at 10 am. Will today’s ace (Max Scherzer) disappoint like last night’s (Justin Verlander) did? The odds say no, but also Coors will likely have more than eight runs scored. Something has to give when it comes to designing your DFS lineups today. It is going to be very difficult to make a choice between spending on Max and spending on Coors bats. And we have other aces to chose from as well!
Upper-Tier DFS Arms
Max Scherzer, Nationals at Tigers ($12,500 FD, $12,300 DK): This just might be the highest price tags on a player/pitcher that you will see this year. So it comes down to this: do you pay up for Scherzer and require an ace start out of him (anything less and your day is likely done)? Or do you find a more affordable arm and try to get some big Coors bat in? Decisions, decisions today for sure! What makes this start for Max even more interesting is Scherzer hasn’t started at Comerica Park since joining the Nationals in 2015. The last time this ace faced his former team was his 20-strikeout game in ’16. Scherzer is 5-0 with a 0.97 ERA with three straight double-digit strikeout starts in the month of June. Scherzer certainly has to be in your cash-game consideration.
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Gerrit Cole, Mariners at Astros ($11,200 FD, $11,900 DK): This is not much of a discount today for sure! The last time Cole and Scherzer pitched on the same day, I chose to take the discount with Cole and spent up a bit for bats. That really did not work out for me. And I do not think that works out for you today either. Obviously, he is in play every time he takes the mound but today I am considering him GPP-only. Cole has posted a quality start in each of his past six games, with a 2.19 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 37 innings in that span. He has pitched great recently, coming off a stretch where he has allowed two earned runs or less in eight of his last nine starts. He already has 151 strikeouts on the season and 300 is not an impossibility.
Middle-Tier DFS Arms
Blake Snell, Rangers at Rays ($8,500 FD, $8,000 DK): Oh how the mighty have fallen. Look at that price on DK, talk about savings. He is obviously a GPP-only choice here with how the results have been recently. But the upside is still there. Advanced statistics (K%: 31.6% in ’18, 31.7% this season, xFIP: .316 in ’18 vs. 3.20 in ’19) tell us that Snell is no different than he was last year. Our eyes tell us something else. He is not a choice for the faint of heart (or cash-game players).
Robbie Ray, Diamondbacks at Giants ($9,600 FD, $10,000 DK): It is debatable as to whether he should be considered middle-tier or upper-tier, Ray is beginning to pitch like a potential ace. Ray has nine punch-outs in each of his last two starts and it seems a 15 K game is just around the corner. He has good history against both the Giants and at this park, going 5-1 with a 3.01 ERA in 13 career starts, including 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA in six outings at Oracle Park. Even through his struggles earlier in the year, Ray has remained consistently able to throw strike three. He’s averaging 11.8 strikeouts per nine innings, 0.3 short of his NL-leading average from 2017.
Bargain Basement DFS Arm
Andrew Heaney, Athletics at Angels ($7,400 FD, $7,500 DK): When you look at cheap pitchers, you at least want some upside. And the easiest way to fantasy points are strikeouts. And with Heaney, we have a cheap pitcher with strikeout potential, with 36 strikeouts in 30.2 innings pitched on the year. It is an afternoon game in Anaheim, so the shadows and bright sunshine can make the ball more difficult to pick up from the batters’ perspective and this could give Heaney an edge.
Joc Pederson, Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy over 1.5 HRs
The old saying is scared money does not make money. So let’s go back to where some people may be scared away from today, Coors Field. With only eight runs scored there last night. some people got burned there (I did! I did!) 90 degrees in the middle of the day with very little wind? Sounds like a good recipe for HRs. Oh, did I mention someone named Chi-Chi is pitching for the Rockies? I thought he was a golfer from the 80s.
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DFS meteorologist concentrating on MLB and the NFL, I graduated from UMass-Lowell with a degree in meteorology in 1996. I worked at AccuWeather as a meteorologist for almost a decade. I combined my two loves, weather and sports, and like to think I help 1000s of DFS'ers out each day. Huge Boston sports fan, lover of nature and animals and a proud father of 4 boys (2 biological).