MLB FanDuel: Daily Pitching Focus June 21 Early

Jun 6, 2017; Bronx, NY, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz (31) reacts after the final out against the New York Yankees during the fourth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 6, 2017; Bronx, NY, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz (31) reacts after the final out against the New York Yankees during the fourth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports /
MLB FanDuel
Apr 29, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher, and MLB FanDuel Max fade today, Dan Straily (58) looks on from the dugout during the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

Welcome back to the MLB FanDuel: Daily Pitching Focus column, for Wednesday, June 21st.  This edition is focused on the Early FanDuel slate only.  We’ll review the top pitching play of the day, the chalky top pick, value pick, sneaky pick, and stacking options for your FanDuel lineups.

Wednesday afternoon presents an active MLB schedule, with four games and eight teams to pick through for our MLB FanDuel lineups.  We have several solid pitching match-ups and surprising splits to review.  Because of the limited options, ownership will be lumpy with some pitchers above 50% and others below 20%, giving us better odds at cash games over GGP winnings.

Among the two games starting around noon, we’re review the chalky expensive play and one of the best value plays.  For the 2pm ET games, we’ll review our top play of the day along with a sneaky pick.  Here’s a look at the Early Slate games:

WSH Max Scherzer at MIA Dan Straily (12:10pm ET)

CIN Timoth Adleman at TB Erasmo Ramirez (12:10pm ET)

BOS Drew Pomeranz at KC Ian Kennedy (2:15pm ET)

SD Miguel Diaz at CHC Eddie Butler (2:20pm ET)

We’ll start with the top pitching play of the day…

MLB FanDuel
Jun 6, 2017; Bronx, NY, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher, and top MLB FanDuel pick of the early slate, Drew Pomeranz (31) talks with Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts (2) against the New York Yankees during the second inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports /

Top MLB FanDuel Pitching Play

Scherzer is a clear top pick for today, but before you immediately pick Max, take a long hard look at Drew Pomeranz ($8,000).  The Boston Red Sox southpaw has a modest 4.18 ERA and 1.30 WHIP, but 77 strikeouts in only 66.2 innings.

Drew is averaging just over 30 MLB FanDuel points-per-game.  Pomeranz had a rough outing against a the Tigers of right-handed bats on June 11th, but that game aside, he pitched a quality start for 32 points against the Astros in Houston, and grabbed the win for 39 points against the Yankees in New York.

This afternoon, Pomeranz isn’t facing an Astros or White Sox type of offense, he’s throwing against the dreadful Kansas City Royals.  Against LHP’s at home, the Royals have a horrible 70 wRC+, 26th in MLB.  The Royals also have a high 30.8% strikeout ratio in this scenario, likely leading to Drew piling up eight to twelve K’s this afternoon.

Among all the pitchers slated today, Pomeranz has the second best SIERA, 3.82 compared to Scherzer’s 2.77.  That’s pretty solid.  Also, Drew has a 26.6% strikeout rate or over ten strikeouts per nine innings, close to Max’s twelve per nine innings.  So we’re nearly getting a Max type play against a horrible offense while saving over $4K for hitting.  Pomeranz is a steal today, but unfortunately by the end of the day that may also make him the chalky play of the day.

MLB FanDuel
May 4, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) walks out of the clubhouse prior to a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Patrick McDermott-USA TODAY Sports /

Expensive ‘Chalky’  MLB FanDuel Pitching

We’ve already mentioned Max Scherzer ($12,300) several times in our comparison to Pomeranz. If you follow baseball at all, you know Max is one of the top pitchers in baseball.  Scherzer currently has a 2.77 SIERA, clearly the best of the eight pitching options this afternoon.  Max also has an incredible 35.1% strikeout rate, compared to a very low 6.0% walk rate.

Scherzer’s only issue, is the occasional flurry of home runs given up in one inning.  The risk with Max today is the Marlins have several great long-ball hitters and enjoy going yard in their home park.  Also, the Marlins have been very good against RHP’s at home.

The Marlins have a 130 wRC+ in Miami against righties, 7th highest in baseball.  Also, their strikeout rate plummets to 19.2% and they have a decent 9.2% walk rate.  Along with a .506 slugging average and .883 OPS, and we start to worry about the Scherzer play today.

However, Max isn’t your average right-handed pitcher, so those stats are inflated in this scenario.  If Scherzer keeps the home runs limited and walk and strikeout ratio within the average, he’s still a great play for today.  But considering the risk, you’re paying too much for Max today.

MLB FanDuel
May 31, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher, and MLB FanDuel value stud, Tim Adleman (46) delivers a pitch against Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /

MLB FanDuel Pitching Value

A right-handed pitcher on the mound this afternoon for the Reds in Tampa, Tim Adleman ($6,900) is our value pick of the day.  Over the last month, Tim hasn’t landed below 21 MLB FanDuel points in his five starts, the lowest in Los Angeles against the Dodgers.  Against the Cardinals in Cincinnati and Phillies in Philadelphia, Adleman had 49 and 46 MLB FanDuel points.  So for only $6.9K, we have a solid floor and high ceiling this afternoon.

Adelman has a 4.67 SIERA, fourth best among the eight pitchers this afternoon, and a solid 20.4% strikeout rate.  The Rays have been about average against RHP’s at home, with a 116 wRC+.  But Tampa’s lineup is notorious for strikeouts, and they have a high 25.8% rate in this scenario.  So it’s likely we’ll see five to eight strikeouts for Tim today, and with a win and quality start, we could see 45-50 MLB FanDuel points out of Tim, for a very low $6.9K salary.

MLB FanDuel Sneaky Pick

When I first looked at this slate, one of the immediate thoughts coming to mind was to stack the Chicago Cub bats.  Miguel Diaz ($5,500) only pitched 29.1 innings this season, and survived just 3.2 innings against the Brewers last Friday, an extra innings loss for the Padres.

But, when looking at the Chicago Cubs splits, I realized stacking the Cubs would likely be a mistake. In day games at Wrigley, against right-handed pitchers like Diaz, the Cubs have a bad 86 wRC+ over the last month, 22nd in major league baseball.  The Cubs have a very high 28.2% strikeout rate and low .241 BABIP in this scenario.  Fade the Cubs bats, and if you’re loading up on big bats with a sneaky pitching pick target, Diaz is your guy.

MLB FanDuel
Jun 7, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher, and MLB FanDuel pitching fade this afternoon, Erasmo Ramirez (30) looks on against the Chicago White Sox at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Pitching Targets / MLB FanDuel Offensive Stacks

Cincinnati Reds vs. Erasmo Ramirez

Several of the hitting match-ups this afternoon aren’t ideal.  But Erasmo presents an opportunity for the Reds.  Ramirez has a decent 4.12 SIERA, but most of the solid results came from his stint as a reliever for the Rays.  When you narrow results down to his last three starts, things get worse.

Over the last three games Erasmo was on the mound, he gave up an average of eight hits per game, in just 4.5 innings per game.  Ramirez is also giving up over a run per inning.  Erasmo has yet to get a quality start or win, and his only upside is an average of just over four strikeouts in under five innings per game.  But the Reds aren’t striking out often against RHP’s away from home, 20.7%.  So Ramirez is a hard pitching fade, and stack some Reds in your lineup.

San Diego Padres vs. Eddie Butler 

I would rarely recommend stacking the Padres in this scenario.  The Padres have a low 81 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers away from home, and 26.0% strikeout rate.  But, they’re facing Butler on the mound, one of the worst pitchers in this slate.

Butler has a dreadful 5.76 SIERA, the worst of the eight pitchers on the mound this afternoon. Eddie is hardly striking out anyone, the lowest K% at 14.3%.  And Butler is walking too many, 12.2%, the second highest.  Butler is going to give the Padres too many chances to score runs today, and a mini-stack of Padres should pay off.  Also, make sure you fade Butler this afternoon.

Next: FanDuel MLB Picks and Pivots

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