MLB DFS Picks: DraftKings Plays and Strategy for Monday, June 17

MLB DFS Picks: DraftKings Plays and Strategy for Monday, June 17

This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.

It's hard to believe, but we're creeping close to the midpoint of the season. It's always hard to believe how quickly the season goes by because it feels wild to have a 162-game schedule. I respect these players so much because playing 162 games in 180 days is truly a battle of attrition. That becomes evident when you look at the injury reports, and we're hopeful that some of these injuries will slow down at some point. In any case, we can capitalize on some of those for DFS, so let's get started by looking at the pitchers.

Pitching

Sonny Gray, STL at MIA ($10,500)

Gray was a huge signing by St. Louis, sporting a 3.01 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 11.9 K/9 rate in yet another sensational season. That's on par with what we've seen since 2019, posting a 3.14 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in that span. This guy is simply one of the most reliable arms around, scoring at least 19 DraftKings points in 10 of his 12 starts. We expect that to be his floor against Miami, who rank 29th in on-base percentage (OBP), OPS, wOBA, xwOBA and runs scored. 

Max Fried, ATL vs. DET ($9,800)

Fried struggled through the opening weeks of the year, but he's been one of the best pitchers in baseball since then. The lefty has only allowed 14 runs in nine starts since, generating a 2.02 ERA and 0.84 WHIP in that span. That's one of the best WHIPs in baseball, with Fried scoring at least 26 DraftKings points in six of those games. Another one of those could be in play against Detroit's disastrous offense, ranked 27th in OBP, 24th in wOBA and 22nd in strikeout rate. 

Paul Skenes, PIT vs. CIN ($9.500) 

Skenes is the most highly-touted pitching prospect since Stephen Strasburg, and he's actually pitched above expectations. The rookie hasn't allowed more than three runs in any of his six starts, tallying a 2.43 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 12.4 K/9 rate. We saw this guy post an ERA and WHIP below 1.00 in the minors, and he should benefit from pitching in a spacious stadium like PNC Park. Cincy is far from a scary matchup, too, sitting 25th in strikeout rate and xwOBA. 

Top Targets

Adolis Garcia, TEX (vs. David Peterson) $5,200

Garcia just ended one of the worst slumps of his career this weekend, snapping a 5-for-60 stretch on Thursday. He's had a hit in three games since then, adding two walks and a steal in this mini resurgence. We expect this guy to continue a positive regression surge because he's averaged 32 dingers and 17 steals over the last three years. He's also had his way with left-handers, posting a .341 OBP and .832 OPS against them since the start of last season. He faces a southpaw he can slice right through, with Peterson providing a 4.93 ERA and 1.56 WHIP since the start of last season. If you want to stack Texas, Marcus Semien ($5,100) is a wonderful pairing with Garcia behind his .398 OBP and .974 OPS against lefties. 

Ezequiel Tovar, COL (vs. James Paxton) $5,200

This guy has one of the worst walk rates in baseball, but he's quietly having a breakout season in Colorado. The shortstop is hitting .294 while totaling a .820 OPS. Tovar is also rolling right now, registering a .326 batting average (AVG) and .953 OPS across his last 31 games. Like most Rockies bats, Tovar has also tallied a .357 OBP and .835 OPS at home. Paxton's numbers might look decent on the surface, but Colorado is projected to score five runs, which is no surprise since the lefty has a 5.43 xFIP and 1.41 WHIP. With Paxton's inability to keep people off the base paths, we wouldn't mind a Rockies stack. That could include Charlie Blackmon ($4,900), Nolan Jones ($5,100) or Ryan McMahon ($5,000). 

Bargain Bats

Jarred Kelenic, ATL (vs. Reese Olson) $3,200

Kelenic has not given us much reason to use him, but this promotion to the leadoff spot makes him enticing. Atlanta has lost Ronald Acuna and Michael Harris to injuries, forcing Kelenic to bat leadoff over the weekend. Hitting atop one of the best lineups makes anyone an interesting DFS option, especially since this former top prospect has a .315 AVG and .893 OPS across his last 17 games. He's also got the platoon advantage against Olson, with the righty amassing a 10.43 ERA and 2.18 WHIP across his last three starts. With Olson's recent struggles, we don't mind using Matt Olson ($5,300), Austin Riley ($5,200), Ozzie Albies (5,500) or Marcell Ozuna ($6,200) in a Braves stack. 

Dylan Carlson, STL (vs. Braxton Garrett) $2,500

Carlson's numbers are far from impressive, but he always seems to rake when St. Louis squares off with a southpaw. The outfielder has a .358 OBP and .768 OPS against them since 2021. Those numbers would be higher if this guy didn't get off to a nightmare start this season but he has a .348 OBP across his last seven outings. It's not like Garrett is a guy we're worried about, generating a 6.10 ERA. We actually love a full-on St. Louis stack, with Paul Goldschmidt ($3,900) and Nolan Arenado ($3,800) getting hot and both guys having the platoon advantage against Garrett. 

Stacks to Consider

Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies (Cal Quantrill): Shohei Ohtani ($7,000), Freddie Freeman ($6,300), Andy Pages ($4,300)

This feels like cheating to recommend the Dodgers in Coors Field, but it needs to be said. This is the best offense in baseball, and they regularly reach double-digit runs when they play in Colorado. That's why they're projected to score over six runs in this game despite Quantrill pitching well above expectations. The regression monster could come for him here, compiling a 4.58 career xFIP. This Rockies team ranks last in ERA and WHIP, and it's scary to think what L.A. could do to them here. 

All the usual suspects are in play for the Dodgers, with Ohtani looking like the best option of the bunch. The two-way stud has 19 homers and 15 steals, averaging over 11 DraftKings points per game. That's one of the highest totals in baseball, with Ohtani obtaining a 1.112 OPS against righties since the start of last year. Freeman is quietly one of the hottest hitters right now, too, accruing a .415 OBP and 1.043 OPS across his last 19 games. He also has a 1.333 OPS in 12 at-bats against Quantrill. Pages is the one value play in this lineup, posting a .468 OBP and 1.023 OPS over his last 16 fixtures. 

Philadelphia Phillies vs. San Diego Padres (Randy Vasquez): Bryce Harper ($6,100), Kyle Schwarber ($5,700), Brandon Marsh ($4,100)

The Phils have developed into one of the toughest lineups in baseball, ranking fourth in OBP and runs scored. Those numbers skyrocket at home, and they shouldn't struggle against a guy like Vasquez. The Padres pitcher has a 4.93 ERA and 1.51 WHIP this year. That has the Phils projected to score five runs in this sensational spot. 

If Philly is projected to score so much, Harper should do some damage in the heart of their lineup. The All-Star has a .417 OBP and .973 OPS across his last 49 games while posting much better splits against right-handers. Schwarber has been much better against righties throughout his career, collecting a .403 OBP and .866 OPS across his last 42 outings. Marsh was just activated off the injured list (IL) a few days ago and has a .384 OBP and .867 OPS against righties since the start of last season. 

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Joel Bartilotta plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: Joelbartilotta Yahoo: Joelbartilotta.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joel Bartilotta
Joel has 20 years of Fantasy experience, and can recall riding a young Daunte Culpepper to a championship in the 2003-04 season in his inaugural fantasy year. He covers NBA, NFL, daily fantasy, EPL, and MLB for RotoWire.
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