FanDuel MLB: Picks and Pivots for June 18

Jun 7, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) high fives a young fan before the game against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 7, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) high fives a young fan before the game against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports /
FanDuel MLB
Jun 7, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) high fives a young fan before the game against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports /

FanDuel MLB: Picks and Pivots for June 18

Welcome to the Saturday edition of Picks & Pivots, a daily fantasy baseball column focused on providing analysis and insights into the top FanDuel MLB lineups. The purpose of this column is to first identify key building blocks that can be used for any roster construction and then identify pivot points to help differentiate your lineup in hopes of a big payday!

FanSided and Fantasy CPR have you covered – For additional FanDuel MLB analysis, take a look at Matt Rogers FanDuel Economics column or Mike Marteny who provides Draft Kings MLB Picks analysis giving you the most in depth DFS coverage for tonight’s baseball slate.

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Saturday’s MLB action kicks off at 2:10PM EST with 10 afternoon games and an additional 5 games starting at 8:15PM EST which sets us up for a full day of FanDuel MLB action!

I will continue to track winning Tournament lineups and compare trends over 5 day periods to help us understand what it takes to remain profitable. I HIGHLY recommend each of you do this each morning to look back on the previous night and understand how the winning lineups are constructed in the games you participate in.

The view below tracks GPP entries over various time periods, breaking out key metrics to understand the trends and compositions of GPP winning rosters:

Time PeriodScorePitcher SalaryPitcher %Hitter %Hitter $/PlayerValue
Season254.9$ 8,61525%75%$ 3,2987.28
5 Day268.9$ 9,18626%74%$ 3,2277.68
Prev Day278.8$ 8,13323%77%$ 3,3587.97

Now on to the picks…For more DFS Strategy insights, check out my latest article to help take your game to the next level! I highly recommend gamers track their game performance across the various types of games they play – GPP’s, Cash, Multipliers etc – as this simple exercise will help teach you more about profitable roster construction than you can imagine.

Next: Who are the top pitching options on Saturday

FanDuel MLB
May 17, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel (60) pitches against the Chicago White Sox during the fourth inning at U.S. Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /

Saturday’s slate is one of those days where the setup of the available FanDuel games will dictate not only the player pool we can use but which contests we should target.

FanDuel offers an early only slate of 9 games, an afternoon slate with 7 games and a late slate of 5 games. Also keep in mind the White Sox and Indians play at 6:10PM which is only available to be played on the all day slate!

Dallas Keuchel ($7,700) at home versus Reds: If you are playing the early slate, the chalk play will be to go with Zack Greinke against the Phillies and with a only a subset of games to choose from, I will look to pivot away from the chalk and go with the highest favored pitcher to get the win on Saturday.

Keuchel has been a shell of his former self this year, pitching to a 5.54 ERA, which makes this more of a tournament play but there are a few signs that point you to the Astros left hander today.

First, Keuchel has pitched to an exceptional 34:4 K to BB walk ration over his last 5 starts spanning 31 innings pitched including 17 punch outs in his last two games. Also with this game being in Houston, Keuchel has shown his ability to dominate at home pitching to a 1.46 ERA there in 2015 and his ERA is a run lower at home this season(although still north of 4).

With a smaller slate, I am happy to move away from the chalk and pivot towards Keuchel who will likely pick up the win Saturday afternoon.

Max Scherzer ($11,500) at San Diego: The late slate is fascinating as we only have 5 games to chose from but we have 3 legit aces with Scherzer, Jon Lester and Steven Matz on the mound all in favorable match-ups. Normally fading the “chalk” on a small slate is the best strategy but with 3 elite pitchers on the hill, the ownership will likely be diluted as a result which will leave us with no dominant ownership percentage with any of the three.

Over the last month, Scherzer has averaged 51 points per start and he gets a tasty match up with Padres in the vast ballpark in San Diego which makes him an easy plug and play even at this price point.

Scherzer also has had stellar career success against Padres batters, surrendering a .126 average with only 5 extra base hits and 1 home run in 103 at bats!

Pitching Summary: Honestly, these split slates become difficult to manage as it will be harder to find differentiation plays with less games to choose from so my overall advice is to manage your bankroll conservatively today and look to get some exposure but do not go overboard.

If you are playing the early slate, Greinke is the clear cash play but Keuchel is my top choice from a tournament perspective. The late slate is much more interesting from a pitching perspective with 3 top starters to choose from, but locking in Scherzer in all formats is the recommendation with a start in San Diego.

Next: Where are the top stacks Saturday?

FanDuel MLB
Jun 8, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (1) warms up with second baseman Jose Altuve (27) and right fielder George Springer (4) before the game against the Chicago White Sox at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports /

On short slates, locking in a pitcher is critical but your differentiation in your lineup will be the key to cashing out and on weekend games, monitoring the lineups prior to lock is crucial as we can uncover bench players getting expanded roles which present top value in our FanDuel MLB lineups.

Houston Astros at home against LHP Cody ReedIf this section looks familiar, the Astros right handed bats against a Reds lefty, it is because its the same recommendation as Friday’s article. The Astros are the second highest projected scoring team on the slate and with a bit of dud on Friday night, many gamers will shy away from going back to the well but this is exactly where we should look to pounce.

Jose Altuve ($4,000) remains a top play against a left hander and Carlos Correa ($3,700) & George Springer ($3,800) actually saw their prices drop from Friday which makes them even better values today!

Red Sox against RHP Adrian SampsonThe top projected scoring team on the slate are the Boston bats against a pitcher making his MLB debut. Sampson has never topped 20% K rate in the minors which means more contact and with the Red Sox lethal bats, this could spell trouble for the rookie.

David Ortiz ($4,200), Travis Shaw ($2,800) and Jackie Bradley Jr. ($3,300) all have the platoon advantage in this game and Shaw and JBJ especially are nice value plays if you want to fit in the more expensive bats.

Hitting Summary: If you are playing the early slate, the Astros and Red Sox are the clear top plays and you will want exposure to them on a smaller slate. I mentioned in the open that a day like today will determine which contests to even enter, and with the top hitting options on the early slate, I will likely lean more heavily towards playing the early slate as a result.

Next: Top FanDuel MLB Lineup

FanDuel MLB
Jun 6, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees catcher Brian McCann (34) hits a solo home run against the Los Angeles Anglels during the seventh inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

Below you will find my initial lineup for Saturday’s Early FanDuel MLB slate including notes/comments on my roster construction.

Pitcher: Dallas Keuchel ($7,700)

More from FanSided

  • Catcher: Brian McCann ($3,100) BvP alert! McCann is 21 for 62 with EIGHT home runs  against Twins pitcher Ricky Nolasco!
  • First Base: David Ortiz ($4,200)
  • Second Base: Jose Altuve ($4,000) Price drop of $100 from yesterday and a LHP on the hill!
  • Third Base: Travis Shaw ($2,800) Shaw has at least one hit in each of his last 4 games and is showing signs of breaking out of his recent slump.
  • Shortstop: Carlos Correa ($3,700)
  • Outfield: George Springer ($3,800)
  • Outfield: Jackie Bradley Jr. ($3,300)
  • Outfield: David Peralta ($2,400) With a RHP on the mound, Peralta will likely be back in the lineup for Arizona and gets a favorable ballpark in Citizens Bank Park.
  • Next: DFS Strategy - Take Your Game to the Next Level

    Best of luck tonight gamer’s! Make sure to review the lineups as they are announced before locking in your lineups!