MLB DFS Picks and Pivots – Saturday June 9

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 08: Walker Buehler #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers warms up in the bullpen before the start of the game against the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium on June 8, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 08: Walker Buehler #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers warms up in the bullpen before the start of the game against the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium on June 8, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 08: Walker Buehler #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers warms up in the bullpen before the start of the game against the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium on June 8, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) MLB DFS /

Welcome to the Saturday edition of MLB DFS Picks and Pivots, a fantasy baseball column focused on helping you find the best core lineup for this slate of DFS action!

For those of you finding us for the first time, the concept behind MLB DFS Picks and Pivots is to give you a first look at the day’s MLB DFS slate, including our top picks, plays and pivots, using FantasyDraft pricing as a reference, to help you build your best line-up and win big.

Picks and Pivots is not a simple “best plays” column but rather it focuses on slate strategy and roster construction to help give you insight into how I will look to play this slate.

Friday’s MLB DFS slate was frustrating, tilting and bankroll crushing all at the same time and the worst part of it was, I actually had a good night with ONE exception. The reality is when Stephen Strasburg left the game in the second inning due to injury I knew my night was over – there was simply no way to recover on a high scoring night with a dud from a high-end arm and honestly, I was fine with it – I went to bed knowing I donated to the DFS community and was at peace with it. The frustrating part, all day I was on a Dodgers stack as my late night hammer with a match-up that nobody was talking about and I got the Dodgers stack essentially unowned while all three batters I highlighted as great plays (Bellinger, Joc and Grandal) and they all homered, with Grandal doing it TWICE. I had the stack, I had Chris Sale as my SP1 and all because of Stephen Strasburg being a nincompoop, I donated in the most tilting way possible.

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Picks and Pivots is not a simple “best plays” column but rather it focuses on slate strategy and roster construction to help give you insight into how I will look to play this slate. The goal of this article is to dig through the slate, highlight our top plays and help you identify the best slate strategy across your MLB DFS line-ups.

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As always, we will look to update our final lineup thoughts throughout the day on our twitter account @FantasyCPR so make sure to give us a follow for all the late breaking lineup news.

Without further ado, let’s get into today’s slate!

BOSTON, MA – MAY 28: David Price #24 of the Boston Red Sox pitches at the top if the third inning during the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park on May 28, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. MLB Players across the league are wearing special uniforms to commemorate Memorial Day. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images) /

MLB DFS: Early Slate Pitching:

At first glance on this slate although we may not have the name value of Friday Night, I could think this is looking like another spot to pay up for starting pitching, potentially in both pitcher slots on two pitcher sites like FantasyDraft.

Blake Snell ($23.2K) has taken his game to another level this season, sporting a 29.5% K rate on the year which is an 8% jump over last season while seeing his swinging strike rate spike to 13.1% and his average fastball velocity up 2 MPH on his fastball at an average clip of 96.4 MPH. In his last four games, Snell is just on another level as he is sporting a 38% K rate with 35 K’s in only 25 innings of work including his best game of the year last time out against the Mariners where he struck out where he struck out 12 batters in 6  shutout innings.

The fact that Snell is facing the same exact team he just dominated will lead to game log watchers simply clicking him in and the ownership will likely be way higher than Snell at over $23K would normally be, but you can argue pretty easily there is no pitcher on this slate with the K upside of Snell and that is worth a ton on short slates like this.

David Price ($18K) is the fourth highest priced arm on FantasyDraft but he is the SP2 I most want to pair with Snell if I am making the case to pay up for both pitchers on this early slate. Price gets the same juicy match-up with the White Sox that Chris Sale dominated last night as Chicago strikes out at the highest rate in all of baseball against left-handed pitching. Prices’s season long 23% K rate may not stand out as much as someone like Snell but this is where we need to look at recent games more than season long numbers as Price as seemingly righted the ship, putting up a 27.4% K rate over his last five starts dating back to May 12th.

The White Sox and Mariners have two of the lowest totals on the board today and Price and Snell have, in my mind, the biggest strikeout upside of any arms on this early slate so my gut instinct it to build around pitching when I see there are arms capable of carrying the cash line.

CHICAGO, IL – JUNE 08: Josh Harrison #5 of the Pittsburgh Pirates dives safely into third base in the 1st inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on June 8, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

MLB DFS – Early Slate Hitting:

If you plan on paying up for both Snell and Price as we outlined, you will have only $7.3K per batter remaining to fill out your roster, but I believe there are high upside hitting spots in this mid-range we can attack while still paying up for pitching.

Danny Duffy could end up being a popular punt play again as the lowest priced arm on the slate which makes me excited for the leverage play with a dangerous Oakland line-up. On the season, Duffy is giving up a .259 ISO with a 40.4% HC rate to right-handed batters with only a 16% K rate and an elevated 12% BB rate and this Oakland team can get VERY right-handed heavy which should pose big time problems for the Duff Man.

Khris Davis has a .231 ISO against LHP this season while Matt Chapman has a .175 ISO but neither lead the team as that honor goes to Mark Canha with a massive .328 mark on the season. Duffy relies heavily on his fastball in the 92-93MPH range and this A’s team has six players in the projected line-up with a .200 + ISO against that pitch since 2016 with Davis, Chapman, Canha and Stephen Piscotty all sporting .300 + marks, so the upside is huge here for a powerful right-handed heavy A’s team that could be a great leverage spot if Duffy becomes the popular SP2 again today.

With the Red Sox and Indians sporting high team totals (and high prices), these will likely be the popular stacking spots which could leave a team in the mid-range like the Pirates against Jon Lester a bit under the radar. With cool temperatures in Chicago and the wind blowing in slightly, the Pirates run total once released will likely not be high, but this is a match-up against Jon Lester that they have flourished in over the last two seasons including back on May 29th where they knocked him around 8 hits, 2 HR’s and 4 ER in only 6 innings of work. Earlier this season, the Pirates got to Lester for another 4 ER in a start in Wrigley field which makes this a trend dating back to last season where the Pirates have scored 4+ runs of Lester in four of his last five starts against them.

The one bat that really stands out this year is Starling Marte who has a massive .325 ISO against LHP and when you dig into the pitch type of Lester, he has a team leading .240 ISO against low 90’s fastballs which is what Lester throws 45% of the time this season. If we look back to the last game these teams played there was some valuable pieces in the heart of this Pirates line-up as Josh Bell and David Freese were batting 4-5, which makes a 3-4-5 stack with Marte an interesting way to attack this spot against Lester today.

The one player that may get over-looked here is Austin Meadowsin a lefty-lefty match-up, but it is worth noting that in a small sample size this is a player with a .600+ ISO and average batted ball distance of 382 feet against LHP this season and it doesn’t hurt that Meadows just went 2-3 with a homerun against Lester the last time they battled. At $9K on FantasyDraft, I cannot imagine people will invest in Meadows over other pricey bats so he could be a low-owned difference maker in this Pirates stack today.

ST PETERSBURG, FL – MAY 8: Blake Snell #4 of the Tampa Bay Rays throws a pitch in the second inning against the Atlanta Braves on May 8, 2018 at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg, Florida. The Braves won 1-0. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

MLB DFS Sample Line-Up and Slate Overview:

The line-up below is meant to be illustrative only to further back-up the logic laid out in previous slides and is not meant to be an optimal line-up or a roster you simply plug and play on your own!  

More from FanSided

SP: Blake Snell ($23.2K)

SP: David Price ($18K)

IF: Matt Chapman ($7.3K)

IF: David Freese ($5.6K)

IF: Mark Canha ($6.6K)

OF: Khris Davis ($9.5K)

OF: Starling Marte ($7.3K)

OF: Austin Meadows ($9K)

UTIL: Jonathan Lucroy ($6K)

UTIL: Mark Carpenter ($7.3K)

Slate Overview: Paying up for both arms is going to require creativity when it comes to line-up building but the Pirates and A’s are two paths I believe that give you upside while still saving you enough salary to build around Snell and Price. Keep in mind on these Saturday day games that we will likely get some punt value plays so do not be afraid to hawk the line-ups and find a one-off punt play in a good line-up spot to help you build around the SP’s and batters you want to lock in.

DENVER, CO – SEPTEMBER 26: Nolan Arenado /

MLB DFS – Main Slate Overview:

The four game main slate seems like a pretty simple either/or decision – do you want Charlie Morton ($24.1K) or do you want the Coors Field stack? You cannot have both so you need to choose – what do you want to do?

Personally, as much as I respect Charlie Morton and recognize he struck out 14 batters against this same Texas team a few start back, I also realize that was his high water mark for the year in terms of fantasy production so I am not sure how much value is still left in this price especially at the expense of a TWELVE run total in Coors on a four game slate.

More from FanSided

Rather than pay up for Morton, I will look to New York for pitching with Domingo German ($16K) as my top option as he takes his 27% K rate to Citi Field to take on a pathetically anemic Mets offense. Over the last two weeks the Mets have scored the third fewest runs in all of baseball and German has shown his considerable upside with a 29% or higher K rate in three of his five starts since moving out of the bullpen. On the other side of this game Steven Matz ($11K) would not normally be someone I want to roster facing the dangerous Yankees line-up but with the Yankees losing the DH and Aaron Judge banged up with a hand injury, there is the potential for an easier path forward for Matz tonight. The Yankees strike out at a 23% clip against LHP this season which is 13th in all of baseball this season so there is upside relative to his price point here and the risk in my mind has already been fully priced in.

You can make the case to go with German AND Matz on two pitchers sites on a four game slate and load up on all the bats you want from Coors. Matt Koch is everyone’s favorite REGRESSION IS COMING candidate and the fact he has is giving up a 46% HC rate this season would seem to indicate that this spot, in Coors, is where the regression hits hard. Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado all have .200+ ISO’s versus RHP this season and with a 6+ projected run total – they will be in every single line-up I make tonight – fading them is entirely too risky in my opinion.

On the Arizona side, Chad Bettis gives up hard contact and over 2 HR/9 to LHB at home this season which puts guys like Jake Lamb and David Peralta firmly in play but do not overlook Paul Goldschmidt who has hammered Bettis in his career, going 8 for 20 with 3 doubles and an HR in his career.

Lastly, I am going right back to the Dodgers LHB tonight against Anibal Sanchez and as I mentioned last night, the Dodgers have 6 batters in their line-up with .200+ ISO’s against RHP this season. Cody Bellinger has now homered in four straight games and at only $7.4K just represents silly value and is one of my favorite one-off plays tonight within a full on Coors Field stack.

Enjoy the slates today and we will see you back here on Sunday!

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