MLB DFS Plays for 6/8/16

Max Scherzer

A full day of baseball is divided neatly throughout the day, as almost every hour will include some action. Storylines are equally abundant, as Wednesday includes the Major League Baseball debut of Pittsburgh’s Jameson Taillon, as well as James Shields’ first start with the Chicago White Sox.


Currently, we are using xFIP and wOBA simply to compare one pitcher’s performance against another – especially against opposite-handed hitters. We aren’t using these numbers for calculation. To help with some calculations, we have assumed that each hitter and pitcher has played at least one game. Each pitcher was assigned an innings total relative to his average projection.

Check the starting lineups and weather reports prior to making any plays, as these change without notice.

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Projected Low-Scoring Games

Atlanta Braves at San Diego Padres – Both Julio Teheran and Drew Pomeranz continue to build on their impressive seasons, and they conveniently square off on Wednesday afternoon. The two offenses that are scheduled to arrive are so inept that scoring runs against poor pitchers is nearly impossible. Factoring in Teheran and Pomeranz’s ERAs of 2.92 and 2.22, respectively, a pillow-fight is in the works. Both pitchers are in position to thrive, where Teheran gets the slight edge in strikeout potential.

Targets: Julio Teheran and Drew Pomeranz

Washington Nationals at Chicago White Sox – James Shields cannot catch a break. Immediately after a trade to the White Sox, he is scheduled against Max Scherzer. Adding insult to injury, Shields will be pitching to a National League lineup, although in an American League ballpark, where he must pitch to a designated hitter. Regardless of the unfortunate circumstances, Shields should keep pace with Scherzer in a lower-scoring affair. In fact, both pitchers are carrying somewhat elevated ERAs and, one day after a combined 15-run outburst, a regression across the board appears likely.

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Targets: Max Scherzer and James Shields

Boston Red Sox at San Francisco Giants – Madison Bumgarner, as always, gains our attention. The Giants’ ‘ace’ delivers everything we would want for a daily fantasy baseball lineup, and he deserves recommendation every time he toes the rubber. Surprisingly, Wednesday night’s matchup with the high-scoring, low-strikeout offense of Boston makes him slightly less appealing. David Price faces a more extreme split offense, where San Francisco hardly ever strikes out – at a lower rate than Boston by a significant margin – but scores runs at a more reasonable rate. Neither pitcher has an overly-outstanding setup, but a pitcher’s duel – especially in San Francisco’s ballpark – will yield enough value for either arm.

Targets: David Price and Madison Bumgarner


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Projected High-Scoring Games

Los Angeles Angels at New York Yankees – The Yankees and Angels have already played two relatively high-scoring games, although New York has benefited both. The Angles only have a few more chances to enjoy some offensive success before returning home to their pitcher-friendly ballpark. Wednesday presents the next opportunity, as Nathan Eovaldi – finally bested in his last outing, although he carried a lead into the sixth inning – will put his 4.09 ERA on the line. Eovaldi gains much of his success from the strikeout, but the Angels strike out fewer than any other team in the league. Yankees’ hitters have an obvious advantage against Jered Weaver in a hitter-friendly ballpark. Weaver has allowed ten home runs over his last six outings.

Targets: Los Angeles Angels and New York Yankees Hitters

Miami Marlins at Minnesota Twins – It took extra innings for the Marlins and Twins to combine for double-digit runs on Tuesday, but the scoring should carry over into Wednesday’s contest, as Wei-Yin Chen and Ricky Nolasco take the mound. The two pitchers have performed well, of late, but a high over/under run total for two offenses quietly heating up should yield another high-scoring contest.

Targets: Miami Marlins and Minnesota Twins Hitters

Undervalued Plays

Jameson Taillon and Pittsburgh Pirates Hitters – As noted in the introduction, Jameson Taillon will be making his Major League Debut against the Mets. In a shrewd stroke of bad luck, Taillon will be opposed by Noah Syndergaard and his 1.91 ERA. With the uncertainty that surrounds a rookie – especially in a matchup against a scorching hot pitcher – the common perception is that he will be thoroughly over-matched. Why, then, are the odds on the game so deceivingly low? New York’s offense strikes out at an incredibly high pace, and averages a mere 3.67 runs-per-game. In the pitcher’s ballpark of Pittsburgh, Taillon’s upside is incredibly high. If going with a true ‘contrarian play,’ Pirates hitters can be used, as the lopsided nature of the matchup is based more in appearance than reality.

Houston Astros Hitters – For the second consecutive day, Houston’s bats make the list of undervalued options thanks to a matchup that is perceived to be more difficult than its potential. As noted prior to his last start, Yu Darvish would be somewhat of a rarity if he immediately pitched at the same level prior to his surgery. Struggles are to be expected, and Houston – now coming off back-to-back one-run losses – stands to benefit.


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Mario Mergola
Mario Mergola is a writer, avid sports fan, former ESPN Radio producer, husband, and father who specializes in finding the hidden gems of the less-explored option. Follow @MarioMergola