FanDuel MLB Daily Lineups: Saturday June 23

FanDuel MLB: LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 12: Kenta Maeda #18 and Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers line up for the National Anthem before the game against the Texas Rangers at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
FanDuel MLB: LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 12: Kenta Maeda #18 and Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers line up for the National Anthem before the game against the Texas Rangers at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
FanDuel MLB: PHILADELPHIA, PA – JUNE 12: Starting pitcher Jon Gray #55 of the Colorado Rockies throws a pitch in the first inning during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on June 12, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /

Welcome back to the FanDuel MLB Daily Lineups column. This is the Saturday, June 23rd 2018 edition. We’re a fantasy baseball column focused on helping you build a DFS MLB optimal lineup for each slate.

For the most part, we faded yesterday’s Main FanDuel MLB slate due weather conditions. But we still played a few lineups. It was a very hard slate to win. Sean Newcomb earned a quality start, but with only three strikeouts, he had 31 FanDuel MLB points. That’s short of expectations, given the $8,900 salary.

Still, with a Braves and Rockies stack, along with Pujols, we had well over 130 FanDuel MLB points with that lineup. But you needed 140+ FanDuel MLB points in many cash plays, and over 160 in most GPP’s. We tried a later play, with Jon Gray as a cheap value picture. The value allowed us to stack Astros and Twins, along with some Rockies.

Astoundingly, the Astros and Twins only combined for a total of one run, so those stacks fell way short. Ironically, Gray finally had the game we’d been expecting now for weeks. Jon continues to throw K’s at a high rate, but has been giving up too many runs to be a consistent top pitcher pick.

Last night, he had another twelves strikeouts against the Marlins, but only gave up one run in seven innings, and earned the win. Gray’s 64 FanDuel MLB points would’ve been fantastic with a better offensive stack.

We have a true split slate for FanDuel MLB on Saturday. The majority of games are in the Early Only slate, with the balance of game in the Main slate. Each option has a robust set of lineup picks, so we’ll cover each in our article today.

Before we get there, a reminder to never take a DFS MLB optimal lineup as ‘bible’ for your personal lineup each day. Use the suggestions as guidance. Also, make sure you follow final lineup thoughts throughout the day on our twitter account @FantasyCPR or me @mattymcmatt17 look for late breaking lineup news.

Weather Note: Stick with the theme over the last couple of days, but likely the last day in a while, we have rain and thunderstorm concerns again today. In the afternoon action, Early Only slate, we have some delay concerns for the Phillies and Nationals in D.C. and Orioles and Braves in Atlanta. However, it appears both games should get in.

The bigger concern are the games in New York and Boston tonight. The Dodgers, Mets, Mariners, and Red Sox are at risk of playing, due to extended shows and thunderstorm risks. Neither currently appears to be a slam-dunk postponement, so we’ll consider those teams playable. But we need to be weather-aware for each game if we have them in our lineups for the Main slate.

With weather-related considerations addressed, let’s get to the top pitching options…

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FanDuel MLB: PITTSBURGH, PA – JUNE 17: Joe Musgrove #59 of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers a pitch in the first inning during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park on June 17, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

 FanDuel MLB: Top Pitcher Early Only Slate

Starting pitchers for the Early Only slate are loaded with risks. Aaron Nola ($9,500) is the most expensive option for that reason. With a 3.15 xFIP, 1.01 WHIP, home run rate well below one per nine innings, and a 25.3% strikeout rate, Nola is the most efficient pitcher on the mound for this slate today.

But, while the Nationals offense has seemed quiet lately, they’re still producing runs. Against RHP’s like Nola, the Nats have a 21% K-rate, one of the lowest in baseball. Their 93 wRC+ is modest, but not terrible.

And several Nats offensive starters today, like Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy, are hitting nearly .500 against Nola. Nola is a decent ‘back pocket’ play for today, but he’s likely not the best play and is clearly the most expensive.

Dylan Bundy ($9,300) and Zack Greinke ($8,900) are two of only three pitchers with a 25%+ K-rate and starting for the Early Only today. Unfortunately, they’re each facing one of the top five lowest K-rate offenses against RHP’s. While they’re a tempting fade from Nola, they’re not great options, and appear to be a waste of salary.

Scanning through the rest of the list, we landed on to better options, each with value as well. Joe Musgrove ($7,800) and Luke Ferrell ($5,500) weren’t names who came to mind when we first looked at the starting pitchers today.

Ferrell has an insanely high 34.2% K-rate. But, all of Luke’s action this week has been in relief appearances. He did throw one very long five inning relief against the Mets, and piled up 42 FanDuel MLB points with seven strikeouts and the win. But, Farrell is also giving up a lot of hard contact and home runs this season.

Even against the Reds, Farrell is a risky play, but Luke is a high-risk/high-reward value play today, and could help someone take down a GPP slate. For a safer play, especially for cash games, Musgrove is an awesome option against the Diamondbacks.

The D-Backs have been surprisingly terrible against RHP’s this season. With an 80 wRC+, Arizona has the second worst run efficiency in this scenario, and their 25.1% K-rate is the fourth highest. Paired with Musgrove’s 23% strikeout rate and 3.76 xFIP, we may have ourselves a mid-salary steal for today.

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FanDuel MLB: LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 12: Kenta Maeda #18 and Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers line up for the National Anthem before the game against the Texas Rangers at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

FanDuel MLB: Top Pitcher Main Slate

We’ve got quite the conundrum for the pitching pick in the Main FanDuel MLB slate. First, we know the weather is bad in New York, so there is some risk of the Dodgers and Mets even playing. If the game is only delayed, we still have risk of their pitchers playing, or lasting more than five innings. And, they have the top two pitchers of this slate, starting tonight.

Clayton Kershaw ($10,800) is forgoing a rehab assignment and coming off the disabled list, to pitch against one of the worst offenses against left-handed pitchers like Clayton. Ugh! Kershaw likely won’t be allowed to go more than five innings regardless, but let’s be honest…he could still have ten K’s!

And the Mets have Jacob deGrom ($11,700) on the mound, who’s arguably one of the hottest starting pitchers in baseball right now. But, deGrom is $900 more expensive, and really limits your lineup picks tonight. And we have some expensive offensive options. If you want to pay up for top pitching talent, deGrom has the clear higher ceiling. Kershaw is cheaper and could still get you around 40+ FanDuel MLB points, but there’s a lot of risk with that play.

Instead of paying up for a pitcher, we actually have two solid mid-salary options with Lance McCullers Jr. ($9,200) and Eduardo Rodriguez ($8,700). Unfortunately, neither team these pitchers are facing has a high K-rate against these arms. However, ironically they’ve both recently pitched to the Royals and Mariners, and each pitcher had a great game, both fanning these teams nine times in their start.

Between the two, we like McCullers the most for two reasons. First, the weather in Boston tonight is dicey, and that presents another five-innings plus question for a starting pitcher. But also, between the two match ups, the Royals offense has been significantly less efficient than the Mariners, giving Lance the Edge.

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FanDuel MLB: ATLANTA, GA – JUNE 15: First baseman Freddie Freeman #5 of the Atlanta Braves is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a solo home run in the fifth inning during the game against the San Diego Padres at SunTrust Park on June 15, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images) /

FanDuel MLB: Top Hitting Stacks Early Only

With plenty of cash left to play with for the offensive stacks, we can target practically anybody. Our main focus for this afternoon is home run rates, control issues, and ERA from pitchers. Dylan Bundy and Chase Anderson both have solid WHIP’s, just below 1.20. But they’re also giving up nearly two home runs per nine innings, are struggling with control, and five up four to five runs per game.

I know we mentioned Bundy’s high K-rate earlier, but the Braves have a low 20% K-rate against right-handed pitchers. The Braves also have one of the more dynamic offenses, currently, in baseball. They do their most damage in Sun Trust Park, where they’re playing today. With so much salary available, it’s easy to stack top four bats like Ender Inciarte ($3,000), Ozzie Albies ($4,100), Freddie Freeman ($4,500), and Nick Markakis ($3,300).

We didn’t even need to find value in that lineup. So still cash rich, we’re taking a look at the Cardinals lineup against Anderson. Yairo Munoz ($2,600) is a value play we’ve been using at Shortstop. He’s had double-digit FanDuel MLB points in two of his last four games, and has another good match up today.

That makes affording Matt Carpenter ($3,800) and Marcell Ozuna ($3,100) easy to do this afternoon. Ozuna has cooled off, but has a great match up today. Meanwhile, Carpenter has been red-hot over the last week. Speaking of red-hot, Michael A. Taylor ($2,800) is another affordable hot bat, who helps bring this lineup together.

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FanDuel MLB: HOUSTON, TX – JUNE 22: Alex Bregman #2 of the Houston Astros lines out in thd eighth inning to Rosell Herrera #7 of the Kansas City Royals at Minute Maid Park on June 22, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

FanDuel MLB: Top Hitting Stacks Main Slate

The Angels starting pitcher Jaime Barria, and Royals hurler Ian Kennedy are the only two pitchers with a home run rate of 1.5 or higher. Between the two, Kennedy is a better pitcher to stack and offense against. Ian has a 1.52 WHIP and horrendous 5.31 ERA after 15 starts already this season.

The Blue Jays are a decent stack tonight, but we can still afford to stack the Angels as well. Before you grab Mike Trout ($5,300), who’s a great pick if you can afford him, we’re going to focus on value plays from the Halos. Albert Pujols ($3,100), Luis Valbuena ($2,600), and Andrelton Simmons ($3,100) give us plenty of home run, hits, and run potential on modest salaries.

The value Halos stack allows us to to target a more expensive set of options in Houston, the Astros. Yes, the Stros were frustrating to play yesterday, but they should bounce back against Stroman and his lovely 7.71 ERA. Marcus also has a 1.71 WHIP. So we know guys like Jose Altuve ($4,300) and George Springer ($4,100) have better potential to produce huge number tonight.

We still need to get some value from the Astros lineup, like a Marwin Gonzalez ($2,500) in the outfield. But we can still afford another solid play like Evan Gattis ($3,300). If you have McCullers at pitcher, you’ll need to mix your lineup up with a third team play like Teoscar Hernandez ($3,300).

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FanDuel MLB: ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 21: Andrelton Simmons #2 congratulates Kole Calhoun #56 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim after his two-run homerun during the fourth inning of a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Angel Stadium on June 21, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

FanDuel MLB: Summary and Example Lineup

For the Early Only slate, there are modest top pitching options. But most of those picks have mid FanDuel MLB point return potential, and the match ups aren’t great. Instead, we’re going to grab a value arm like Joe Musgrove for cash games, and would consider Ferrell as a great GPP pick.

The Main slate pitching is trickier. Both Kershaw and deGrom are pitching in New York, where there’s weather risk. But also, Clayton is coming off the DL, and may not last more than five innings. So we’re going with a safer play, and grabbing McCullers against the Royals.

For offensive stacks in the Early Only slate, we have plenty of money left over to stack the biggest Braves bats, along with some hot hitting from the Cardinals. For the Main slate, we also have some cash to spend, after grabbing value Halo bats. So, we’re going to stack some of the Astros top bats, with the Halos, and likely a Blue Jay with McCullers in our lineup.

With that summary in mind, here’s a look at sample lineups for the Early Only and MAIN FanDuel MLB slates on Saturday, June 23rd 2018:

FanDuel MLB Early Only Slate Sample Lineup:                 FanDuel MLB Main Slate Sample Lineup: 

P               Joe Musgrove ($7,800)                                            Lance McCullers Jr. ($9,200)

C/1B        Freddie Freeman ($4,500)                                     Albert Pujols ($3,100)

2B            Ozzie Albies ($4,100)                                               Jose Altuve ($4,300)

3B            Matt Carpenter ($3,800)                                         Luis Valbuena ($2,600)

SS             Yairo Munoz ($2,600)                                              Andrelton Simmons ($2,600)

OF            Nick Markakis ($3,300)                                           George Springer ($4,100)

OF            Ender Inciarte ($3,000)                                            Kole Calhoun ($2,700)

OF            Marcell Ozuna ($3,100)                                           Marwin Gonzalez ($2,500)

UTIL         Michael A. Taylor ($2,800)                                     Teoscar Hernandez ($3,300)

Remaining Salary: $0                                                                Remaining Salary: $100

Note: This is a recommended lineup after discussing our top options for today. You should use this as a guide, and provide your own input when building FanDuel NHL lineups.  We are not telling you, or selling you, to use this lineup.

Next: MLB DFS Game by Game Breakdown

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