MLB DFS Plays for 6/26/16

Another week of baseball concludes with top pitching arms in abundance. The night officially ends with Clayton Kershaw squaring off against a rookie making his first career start in Major League Baseball.

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

Houston Astros at Kansas City Royals – It would be too easy to look at the Astros’ combined 26 runs over the past two games and expect it continue. It would be just as easy to expect any type of regression, let alone a more reasonable output. As noted in the past, Ian Kennedy has significantly better numbers at home compared to road games, and he looks to play ‘stopper’ against an offense that is absolutely rolling. Doug Fister – with a 3.21 ERA on the season – has been cruising lately to the tune of a 1.67 ERA over his last five starts. Both deliver a defensive and pitching-fueled contest, limiting the offense for the first time, this series.

Targets: Doug Fister and Ian Kennedy

Philadelphia Phillies at San Francisco Giants – Johnny Cueto against the Philadelphia Phillies’ strikeout-prone, low-scoring offense is as ideal a situation as it gets, but he is not alone in the matchup. Aaron Nola had dominated through early June, only to fall short in back-to-back outings. His strikeout potential is limited by San Francisco’s bats – the team rarely strikes out – but a legitimate pitcher’s duel should ensue in a ballpark that limits power drastically.

Targets: Aaron Nola and Johnny Cueto


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Projected High-Scoring Games

Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado Rockies – The series between the Diamondbacks and Rockies have, predictably, yielded runs with ease. More of the same is in store for Sunday’s finale, as Patrick Corbin and Chad Bettis bring their 4.63 and 5.44 ERAs, respectively, to the hitter-friendly ballpark. Buy bats, once again.

Targets: Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies Hitters

Toronto Blue Jays at Chicago White Sox – It is always dangerous to target bats against Chris Sale – with that, proceed with caution – but a southpaw against the right-handed power bats of Toronto’s lineup leans in the favor of the Blue Jays. Marcus Stroman’s 5.23 ERA would have the opportunity to lower if he locks into a pitcher’s duel with Sale, but, with runs expected throughout the game, the hitter-friendly ballpark will only inflate the score.

Targets: Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago White Sox Hitters


Undervalued Plays

Drew Smyly – It has been quite a while since we targeted Drew Smyly, one of our favorites throughout the early portion of the season. His strikeout rate has remained high, however, and he faces an all-or-nothing Baltimore offense – the team scores a lot, but strikes out a lot, as well.

Minnesota Twins Hitters – Nathan Eovaldi had dominated to the tune of a 3.71 ERA through May, only to hit a skid in June – a 9.00 ERA in four starts. In the hitter-friendly ballpark of New York, and with a high over/under run total, Eovaldi’s downtrend should continue. Minnesota’s hitters consequently rise.

Featured Image Credit: By Arturo Pardavila III [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