MLB DFS Plays for 6/22/16

All thirty teams are in action on Wednesday, scattered throughout the afternoon and concluding with a decent night slate. The movement of Noah Syndergaard’s start from Tuesday to Wednesday pairs him with Jake Arrieta as the two outlier – in price – pitchers of the day.


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

Kansas City Royals at New York Mets – A reshuffling of the Mets’ starting rotation pushed Noah Syndergaard’s start into Wednesday, and he now enters a fantastic pitcher’s duel with Danny Duffy. Syndergaard has been incredible throughout 2016, beginning with a six-inning, nine-strikeout, scoreless performance in Kansas City. He faces the same opponent – albeit with a different lineup – on Wednesday, and should continue his success. It just may not be in as dominant a fashion as last time. Danny Duffy – a frequent target of this column – regressed a bit in his last start, but still touts a 3.17 ERA and impressive strikeout rate. With the Mets’ high strikeout potential and the boost gained from matching up with Syndergaard, Duffy is in another ideal position on Wednesday.

Targets: Danny Duffy and Noah Syndergaard

Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers – Considering the relatively low scores from the first two games of the series between the Dodgers and Nationals – both teams combined for five runs in each game – the threat of a suddenly explosion looms large. Regardless, Joe Ross got right back on track after a hiccup and enters Wednesday night with a 3.13 ERA. In his last start, Julio Urias – like Blake Snell on Tuesday and the aforementioned Danny Duffy, Urias is a frequent target of this column – exhibited the strikeout upside that makes him so desirable to own in fantasy baseball, and now has 29 strikeouts in only 22 innings. His limitations of both pitch count and innings cap his potential, but he should continue to produce on an inning-by-inning basis.

Targets: Joe Ross and Julio Urias


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Projected High-Scoring Games

Cincinnati Reds at Texas Rangers – Dan Straily and Cole Hamels sport ERAs of 3.66 and 2.88, respectively, yet the over/under run total for Wednesday night’s contest is suspiciously high. A possible cause for such an elevated number could come from the combination of Hamels’ recent decrease in strikeout totals and the ballpark in which he has pitched. Shifting from Seattle and St. Louis – both relatively tilted in favor of the pitcher – to hitter-friendly Texas should yield a dip in his numbers. On the other side of the game, the Reds did their part by delivering runs on Tuesday, and now the Rangers have the chance to respond. Dan Straily finally cracked in his last start to the tune of six earned runs. For a pitcher with a 4.38 career ERA, this might be the opening of the floodgates.

Targets: Cincinnati Reds and Texas Rangers Hitters

Seattle Mariners at Detroit Tigers – While Michael Fulmer’s status as a rookie inherently carries a lack of history, he is not far off from the aforementioned Dan Straily in terms of returning to earth after an unsustainable streak – Fulmer has allowed a total of two earned runs over his last six starts for an ERA of 0.45. Hisashi Iwakuma has simply been consistently average, allowing three, four, or five earned runs in ten of his fourteen starts, this season. His strikeout rate is low, and his risk to yield hits and runs is high.

Targets: Seattle Mariners and Detroit Tigers Hitters


Undervalued Plays

Adam Morgan – It should come as no surprise that the Twins and Phillies’ combined offensive assault from Tuesday night was a rarity – it was Philadelphia’s second and Minnesota’s first double-digit performance of the season. With that, a regression is likely across the board, especially since the Phillies and Twins score the fewest and sixth-fewest runs-per-game, respectively. While both of Wednesday’s starting pitchers deserve consideration, Adam Morgan actually has a decent setup. His ERA is high – 6.49 on the season – but he has struck out 27 batters over his last 23 innings, and faces a Minnesota offense with the seventh-most team strikeouts in the league.

Arizona Diamondbacks Hitters – The J.A. Happ decline – at least, towards a reasonable level – began a few starts ago, and was briefly interrupted by his last outing. Against the Phillies. The Diamondbacks are significantly more dangerous, and should further inflate Happ’s 4.74 June ERA – which includes the scoreless performance against Philadelphia. In addition, Happ’s numbers slip when facing right-handed bats, and Arizona has plenty of power from the right-handed batter’s box.

Featured Image Credit: By Arturo Pardavila III from Hoboken, NJ, USA (Noah Syndergaard throws live BPon #WSMediaDay) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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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