MLB DFS Picks and Pivots – Wednesday June 27

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 12: Fans stand under an overhang during a rain delay before a game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on May 12, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The game was later postponed due to weather. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 12: Fans stand under an overhang during a rain delay before a game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on May 12, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The game was later postponed due to weather. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /
PHILADELPHIA, PA – MAY 12: Fans stand under an overhang during a rain delay before a game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on May 12, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The game was later postponed due to weather. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /

Welcome to the Wednesday 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.

Tuesday’s MLB DFS slate was a reminder of pretty valuable lesson around using the industry to supplement your research. One of the keys to success in DFS in my mind is doing your research on a slate independent of anyone else’s voice or opinion and only AFTER you have gotten a feel for a slate should you start to dig around the “advice” of others. Once you have a good feel my advice – is to get as MUCH advice as you can – read, listen, watch as much DFS content as you can to supplement your initial views and have it either confirm your thoughts or open your eyes to a play you had not considered. Another valuable aspect of this is to understand where the buzz is going and this sometimes can be just as valuable – and yesterday was an exceptional reminder of that as Freddy Peralta was seemingly mentioned in every single piece of DFS content I came across as THE SP2 to use on sites like FantasyDraft and DraftKings.

This is not a knock on Peralta at all and clearly his 12K outing supported the love, but once lock hit and I saw he was 78% owned in the $25 Home Run GPP on FantasyDraft, I knew fading him was the right call. Listen, this was not about the player or the play but if there is a player that is going to be THAT high owned on a 14 game slate in tournaments, the only option in my mind is to fade because at that point it is not even about the player but simply having a different roster build than the rest of the field will have. Keep your ear to the ground throughout the day because sometimes understanding where the field is going will help you just as much as ensuring you have picked the right plays yourself.

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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!

LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 16: Madison Bumgarner #40 of the San Francisco Giants warms up in the bullpen for the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on June 16, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

MLB DFS – Starting Pitching Overview:

At first glance this pitching slate reminds me so much of Monday’s Justin Verlander slate where we have one clear ace up top and then a bunch of mediocre options and no clear offense to pay up for so I could see the masses flocking to Madison Bumgarner ($21.1K) here at home against the Rockies. First off, as far as aces go, this price point is a bargain and you can easily fit in MadBum with a few big bats so the path to paying up for him as an SP1 is one you feel good about and it is hard to argue that it is the path of least resistance when picking your top arm.

Bumgarner is coming off an 8 inning shutout of the Padres in his last start where he struck out 8 batters in what was by far his best start of the 2018 season. The only “red flag” I see is that Bumgarner’s swinging strike rate in that game was only 9% so the elevated K’s were more opponent based than anything but when you consider the ballpark here and the fact that MadBum has thrown 112 and 100 pitches in his last two starts, this would seem like the best bet for your SP1 as you are getting an ace for discounted price.

The reason I bring up Verlander on Monday is that he too felt like the safe choice, the must play SP1 and so it is worth remembering that going that route backfired and we need to at least consider our pivot options.

Alex Wood ($16.1K) gets a home start against the Cubs who will be without Kris Bryant for the foreseeable future as he has been placed on the 10 day DL and this opens up a major opportunity for the Dodgers left-hander here tonight. The Cubs without Bryant look like a totally different opponent against LHP as you have only two hitters in the projected line-up with a .200+ ISO against lefties this season. The Cubs most dangerous hitters (Rizzo/Schwarber) hit from the left side and Wood is nearly untouchable against lefties with a stellar .051 ISO and 27% K rate in 2018 so the more lefties the better for Mr. Wood.Wood is a -140 home favorite (compared to MadBum at -145) and the Cubs have a 3.42 projected run total which is just slightly ahead of the 3.38 slate low total that the Rockies have against the Giants. The risk with Wood is Dave Roberts and the fact the Dodgers have not let him go more than 92 pitches in a game this month so the ceiling is limited due to his unspoken pitch count restrictions.

Shane Bieber ($15.8K) sits just below Wood in the pricing order and after a 97 pitch, 9 K shutout against the Tigers the last time out, the Indians right-hander could be an intriguing mid-tier pivot on this slate. What really stands out to me over Bieber’s first three starts is how he has dominated right-handed batters with a 34.5% K rate a .000 ISO and 63% ground ball rate and today will take on a Cardinals team that will likely have 6-7 RHB in the line-up. Bieber had a solid K rate (26%) and 55% ground ball rate in AAA before being called up so the pedigree says this 3 game sample size at the MLB level is sustainable and assuming we get a right-handed heavy line-up, the Biebs is in play today.

Zack Wheeler ($12.8K) gets the same treatment that Seth Lugo and Steven Matz have received the last two days – a depressed price point against a weak Pirates line-up in Citi Field. After watching both Lugo and Matz pitch well the last two nights, I could see Wheeler following a similar path and getting us close to 20 fantasy points which is really all you are asking from your SP2 each night.

Wheeler has hit 22 fantasy points in 2 of his last 4 outings and is averaging 19.1 fantasy points per game in his last four gome starts against the Dodgers, Orioles, Cubs and Marlins and will now take on a Pirates team that has scored the fewest runs in the NL over the last two weeks. Wheeler to me is exactly how I felt about Matz last night – for the price point, you are getting a talented pedigree of pitcher with a track record of success and K upside and using him as your SP2 allows you to go really any route you want.

The more I look at this slate the more I am convincing myself the mid-tier is not as bad as it felt at first glance and if Bumgarner is going to be the chalk route, it may be worth pivoting off him and having a totally different roster construction.

TORONTO, ON – MAY 12: Mookie Betts #50 of the Boston Red Sox is congratulated by J.D. Martinez #28 after scoring a run in the third inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on May 12, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

MLB DFS – Top Hitting Options:

Another slate and another night where the Red Sox are facing a left-handed pitcher in Fenway which means Mookie Betts ($11.2K) and J.D. Martinez ($10.2K) vault to two of the top plays available to us. Now, Andrew Heaney is certainly not a bad left-handed arm but over the last two seasons he has given up a massive .256 ISO to RHB in 346 PA with a 42.5% hard contact rate so I think prioritizing Betts and Martinez here again tonight as a 1-2 stack is where you simply start your roster builds.

Keeping with the theme of using smaller stacks, there are a handful of decent offensive spots to target and when you consider that the Red Sox are the only team with a 5+ run total on the slate, it may make more sense to pick and choose some mini-stacks to build around.

We get James Shields day today and although he has been much better than people want to give him credit for this year, he will face a dangerous Twins line-up that tagged him for 3 HR’s and 7 ER the last time they faced off. The two guys that really stand out to me here are Eddie Rosario ($9.6K) and Eduardo Escobar ($8.9K) who each homered off Shields last time they played and when you look at their .290 and .328 respective ISO’s against RHP this season you can see they are primed to take advantage of a pitcher like Shields again. Both batters have a 40% HC rate or higher against RHP this season and against a fastball that sits below 90 MPH, which is what Shields throws nearly 30% of the time, both Twins batters are sporting ISO marks of .285 or higher which again sets them up to have continued success in this match-up.

The Padres and Rangers were a popular game stack last night than crashed with only 5 total runs but with LHP Mike Minor on the hill tonight, I think going back to the Padres right-handed heavy line-up is warranted here. Minor on the year is giving up a .232 ISO TO RHB with a 43.6% HC rate and the top of this Padres line-up is loaded with left-handed mashers. Over the last two seasons guys like Manuel Margot and Wil Myers have had ISO’s right around the .200 mark against LHP but it has really been Hunter Renfroe and Christian Villaneuva that have been the biggest studs with a .329 and .471 ISO respectively against southpaws. The Margot-Renfroe-Villaneuva stack will cost you around $7.5K per batter and Myers is really the only expensive piece in this stack at $9K so they make for an interesting mini-stack that could get over-looked tonight after people got burned on Tuesday.

ARLINGTON, TX – JUNE 26: Eric Hosmer #30 of the San Diego Padres celebrates with Hunter Renfroe #10 of the San Diego Padres after scoring against the Texas Rangers in the top of the eighth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on June 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/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: Alex Wood ($16.1K)

SP: Zack Wheeler ($12.8K)

IF: Christian Villaneuva ($7.5K)

IF: Wil Myers ($9K)

IF: Eduardo Escobar ($8.9K)

OF: Mookie Betts ($11.2K)

OF: J.D. Martinez ($10.2K)

OF: Eddie Rosario ($9.6K)

UTIL: Hunter Renfroe ($7.8K)

UTIL: Logan Morrison ($6.7K)

Slate Overview: My gut instinct initially was to pay up for Bumgarner tonight at “only” $21K but I think there are enough viable options in this mid-tier tonight between Wood, Bieber and Wheeler to make the pivot off him a viable strategy and allows you to load up on bats in some of the best spots of the night. Keep an eye out on weather as we do have a few spots around the slate with weather concerns and let’s hope tonight we get all the line-ups we need before lock – looking at you Dave Roberts!

Next: DFS MLB Game by Game Breakdowns

Best of luck in your MLB DFS contests across FantasyDraft, FanDuel and DraftKings and stay tuned to Fantasy CPR for all the latest DFS news and analysis!