Tuesday, June 1, brings a fresh page on the calendar along with a 14-game main slate. The precipitation issues from this weekend have subsided, and there is the start of a Rockies homestand in Coors Field. Let’s get into the top MLB DFS picks for pitchers and stacks for Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel.
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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Stacks, Tuesday, June 1st
Yahoo Stack of the Day: Minnesota Twins at LHP Bruce Zimmerman — 5.1 implied runs
It is going to be a pleasant evening in Camden Yards, with game-time temperatures in the mid-70s and a light 5 to 7 mph breeze out to left field. The Orioles starting rotation has been dodgy at best and is bottom 10 in most advanced metrics. For the traditional stats, it is allowing a .271 batting average, which is 10 points higher than the next-worst team. Its 5.35 ERA is also the worst in the league, which should be no surprise since it also has allowed a league-leading 51 home runs. Baltimore’s beleaguered bullpen has thrown the fifth-most innings this season and is below league average by most measures.
While Minnesota has been mediocre this season against southpaws, expanding the timeframe of the active roster to the beginning of the 2019 season shows that they have a 118 wRC+ against lefties, which is the third-highest mark in the league.
Tonight will mark the 10th start of the season for Bruce Zimmerman. It has been a rough go for him, having allowed a home run in all but one appearance. He has more of a groundball lean, and while he does not allow many walks, he does not garner many strikeouts.
Even with Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Luis Arraez and Jake Cave on the injured list, Minnesota still has a formidable collection of bats. Tonight they will likely roll out an entirely right-handed lineup against Zimmerman, with the exception of rookie Alex Kirilloff, who has been pushed into a regular role with three of the top four outfielders on the shelf.
Nelson Cruz is still getting it done in his 40s with a .403 ISO in his last 254 righty/lefty matchups. Mitch Garver (.340 ISO) and Miguel Sano (.266 ISO) will be in the heart of the order, and while they strike out frequently, they have tremendous power upside when they connect. Kyle Garlick is a fine discount dandy, and he will likely be leading off. Switch-hitter Jorge Polanco and Kirilloff can also be considered as part of a full stack.
Kansas City Royals vs. RHP Wil Crow — 4.7 implied runs
Tonight will be the 10th career start for 26-year-old Wil Crow. It has been a rough go in The majors thus far, as he has suffered a 20.3% walk rate and 1.84 homeruns per nine innings to opposite-handed batsmen. It has not been a picnic against righties, who have hammered him with 3.05 home runs per nine innings. He has only a 37.8% groundball rate overall, and his 5.60 xFIP and 7.15 FIP indicate that he has not been particularly unlucky.
Jorge Soler has been in a slump and is a little dinged up, so he may get a third straight game off. Last night Adalberto Mondesi left the game early with a tight hamstring, so he may not be available either. If these guys are in the Royals lineup, they should be in MLB DFS lineups. If they are out, that will open up some opportunities for other players, such as Michael A. Taylor.
Carlos Santana and Salvador Perez should be the core of any Royals stack tonight. They are both excellent hitters and should find success even after Crowe exits the game. Andrew Benintendi has hits in seven of his last 10 games, including three multi-hit efforts. While he is too spendy on Yahoo, the salary algorithms on DraftKings and FanDuel are not giving him any respect. Hunter Dozier has cheap power upside, and rookie Edward Olivares has gone 3-for-7 with a stolen base and two runs scored while starting over Soler the last two games. Speaking of stolen bases, Whit Merrifield is leading the league and is a fine option as part of a stack or as a one-off.
Oakland Athletics at LHP Marco Gonzales — 4.5 implied runs
Today is going to be a warm one in Seattle, with game-time temperatures approaching 80 degrees. Lefty Marco Gonzales has struggled this season, already allowing half a dozen home runs and 15 total extra-base hits while facing just 121 batters. Tonight marks his first appearance in over a month as he has been out with a strained forearm. The Mariners have indicated they will be capping him in the 50- to 60-pitch range. Seattle’s bullpen is not particularly daunting, so this is an all-around good situation for the Athletics.
Ramon Laureano is dealing with a groin injury, and his absence will open things up for Stephen Piscotty to draw an outfield start at a near-minimum salary across the DFS sites. Chad Pinder also should see a bump in the batting order hitting either third or fifth, and while he is a pinch-hit risk if a right-handed reliever enters the game, just one swing of the bat will make his backers smile if he can poke one over the fence. Core MLB DFS picks from the A’s will be Mark Canha and Matt Chapman at the top of the order and, Matt Olson is stellar in lefty/lefty matchups. Finally, on sites that require a catcher, Sean Murphy is in play on all slates.
Top Target: RHP Chris Bassitt at Seattle Mariners — 3.6 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $52 | FanDuel $9,300 | DraftKings $9,100
Cleveland is playing early tonight, so Shane Bieber will not be in main slate contests. Instead, give strong consideration to Chris Bassitt. The Mariners offense is not particularly imposing, and the bottom half of the order is downright weak. This year they have just an 87 wRC+ against right-handed hurlers, which is a bottom-five figure. Evan White is on the injured list, and Kyle Lewis was pulled late in last night’s game with a sore knee. That leaves Mitch Haniger and Kyle Seager as the only real offensive threats. Bassitt does not get the credit he deserves pitching in relative obscurity with Oakland. He has held fellow righties to a miniscule .107 ISO over the last two-plus seasons, and while Seattle will be running out as many lefties as they can, it is a nondescript group after Seager and top prospect Jarred Kelenic. Do not let this lofty salary for Bassitt dissuade from making him the targeted SP1.
Secondary Option: LHP Andrew Heaney at San Francisco Giants — 3.6 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $32 | FanDuel $6,700 | DraftKings $7,700
Andrew Heaney is coming in with a bargain salary considering he will be playing under National League rules and facing a pitcher tonight instead of a designated hitter. Heaney has a 28.4% strikeout rate over his last 640 lefty/righty matchups, though the tradeoff is 1.75 HR/9. The Giants are a disciplined team, with only Mike Yastrzemski striking out at a higher-than-league-average rate. It is going to be in the mid-50s during this game, which makes for a nice pitching environment.
Wild Card: RHP Sonny Gray vs. Philadelphia Phillies — 3.8 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $43 | FanDuel $7,700 | DraftKings $8,900
Anyone who has had their hopes and dreams crushed by Sonny Gray multiple times over his career can raise their hand. That inconsistency is why Gray is relegated to the Wild Card section. J.T. Realmuto is back from his injury, but Bryce Harper and Didi Gregorius are still out, which leaves the Philadelphia lineup without much power. Collectively, their projected lineup has a .143 ISO against right-handed pitching dating back to the beginning of the 2019 season. Other than Realmuto, Rhys Hoskins and maybe Brad Miller, there are not many home run threats. Gray has posted at least five strikeouts in all but one start, and he has held his walks to an acceptable level. Tonight he should be good for 90 to 95 pitches, which makes his salary more palatable than at first blush.
Final Thoughts for the Tuesday, June 1st MLB DFS Slate
Though they were not written up, yes, play hitters in Coors Field. The Blue Jays have changed to their Triple-A facility in Buffalo, which, while still hitter friendly, is nowhere near the slugger’s paradise of their Florida spring training site. Finally, Freddie Freeman has had sustained success against Stephen Strasburg and is a nice leverage play. As always, be mindful that salaries and scoring formats differ across the various fantasy sites, and a home run play on Yahoo may be a below-average MLB DFS pick on DraftKings or FanDuel.
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