A Beautiful Six Game MLB Slate on Tap 6/21
Hello there great denizens of the DFS multiverse. It’s a pleasure to be with you today. And what a lovely day it is. Why is it lovely you might ask? Because any day with an MLB slate is a lovely day.
By the way, the word denizen means “an inhabitant or occupant of a particular place”. So there’s your fun fact for the day if you get nothing else out of this article. (Shoutout to Midnight Gospel on Netflix for that word)
I haven’t written an article in a while so this feels funny to be typing this out. I’m happy to be back though and this is my first ever MLB article so thank you for dropping in. Anyways, who cares about the past, all we care about is the next slate.
Seriously though, what is better than a fresh start to the week with a six game MLB slate?? Not to mention the massive prize pools since there is no NBA today.
I thought I was gonna give some large introduction about how much I love MLB and me not writing an article for several months but honestly who needs it? I’m here writing this article now so I suppose that’s all that really matters. If you wanna check out my RG profile you can see whatever you want in terms of ranking or how often I play MLB (every day in case you’re wondering).
Truly, I only want to put out good content for myself (out of pride) and for anyone who happens to stumble upon it. If you think the information helps that’s awesome, if not that’s cool too.
Alright enough of all that. Let’s dive into this banger of a slate.
This is actually a pretty wonky slate for pitching. Wonky is also a weird word. Reminds me of that chocolate factory.
There are a surprising amount of options for a 6 game slate and there is also no “lock button” type of pitcher in a great matchup. Yu Darvish is the only true ace on this slate but he has to face the Dodgers. Although the Dodgers are certainly less threatening without Bellinger, Seager, and Muncy.
These are my favorite type of pitching slates because there is no auto-lock pitcher and plenty of options to pivot away from if there happens to be over consolidation on one pitcher.
Super early ownership projections have Darvish as the highest owned followed by Odorizzi (?), Alzolay, and Montas. I definitely disagree with the Odorizzi ownership, I’m sure it’ll be much lower by lock but I agree with the other three.
I have no arguments with Yu Darvish being the most likely to score the most points and I think he deserves that ownership even against the Dodgers. He’s a solid option in any format.
Let’s start with Alzolay. He has been been pretty consistent this season with no real major flaws to his game since keeping the walk rate lower this season. However, I’m struggling with both his last outing, him coming off the 10 Day IL with a blister, and the matchup.
I’m sure he’s probably fine injury wise but it feels like an unnecessary risk to roster him against a low K% Cleveland team where he may be on a slight pitch count. There are more than enough red flags for me to be completely off Alzolay at this ownership.
Frankie Montas has probably been better than I have given him credit for this season. Every time I open his PlateIQ I see nearly 40% hard hits allowed from both sides of the plate over the past two seasons and a 0.217 ISO to lefties. Granted, his K% has spiked to 30.1% against lefties this season but has dropped significantly down to 17.8% to righties.
The matchup is definitely good with the Rangers striking out 27% against RHP. I’m fairly neutral on Montas, I’m not in love with it has he shown some potential to get blown up on occasion, let’s see if the other options are better.
The only other options I see are Julio Urias, Tyler Mahle, and Aaron Civale. You might be asking about Kyle Gibson and that’s certainly fair, he’s been nothing but solid all year long but I don’t think salary is a big problem on this slate and I’d like a little more K% upside from my SP2. You can disagree with me, that’s the beauty of DFS.
Aaron Civale was not someone I would’ve thought I’d be writing about in my first MLB article but here we are. Generally, I avoid this type of pitcher with a 20% K rate and 49% hard hits allowed to righties, it’s just not fun to roster that on a daily basis. That said, he has shown flashes of upside, most notably 11 K’s against Seattle two weeks ago.
The real reason I’m interested is obviously the favorable pitching conditions in Wrigley with winds blowing in at 10mph and the surprisingly solid K% matchup against the Cubs. The Cubs are swinging and missing at a 25% rate against righties this season. I think Civale is more than reasonable on this slate and will probably be very low owned.
Lastly, let’s wrap up pitching with Urias and Mahle.
Julio Urias will definitely be the forgotten man tonight in terms of ownership but it may be justified against this Padres team. They strike out at an average clip but definitely have enough power to give any pitcher trouble. Urias is amazing at control and keeps his walks to a minuscule level. The strikeout rate is also good at 27.6% this season. They have enough power to make him pay for the fly balls. Overall, I’m lukewarm on the situation as a whole.
Tyler Mahle is last but certainly not least. He is your risk vs. reward type of pitcher that can definitely make or break your lineup. People will absolutely shy away at the high price tag and the relatively difficult matchup against the Twins. He has the K ability to make up for the power risk in my opinion.
Buxton being back for the Twins is not ideal but there are enough strikeouts in this lineup to think he can have some success. He is worth a shot at being overweight in tournaments on a small slate at potentially single digit ownership. UPDATE: Okay, Mahle is coming in at way higher ownership than I thought. I still don’t hate the play but it’s obviously less appealing at higher ownership based on the type of pitcher he is.
Okay wow that took longer than I expected at pitcher. Hopefully you took away something from that. I’ll be much quicker on the hitting side of things.
There’s no way to get around it. The Astros will be the highest owned team by a wide margin. They are the only team with a 5+ implied team total and are showing up all over the optimal lineup builds. The question is not whether they will be owned, the question is are they going to be worth the ownership and the highest scoring team on the slate? Let’s see if we can poke some holes in that ownership.
The Astros face Keegan Akin in Camden Yards. Akin is actually not all that terrible when you look under the hood. Although it’s a small sample size, he has allowed a tiny .097 ISO against righties this season on 68 PA’s. The 45% hard hits aren’t great and could signal some regression but overall this isn’t a terrible pitcher by any means. I’m assuming he won’t be in here past 5 innings though which means we should take a look at the bullpen for Baltimore.
Well this is interesting, the bullpen for Baltimore hasn’t been that terrible! Everyone loves to hate on the Orioles bullpen but it truly isn’t all that bad. A 3.57 xFIP, 0.253 wOBA, and .123 ISO ranks in the top half of all teams this season. So yes, the Astros have been very good recently but are there ways this is not the highest scoring stack on the slate? Personally, I think so. Let’s finally get to the stacks that I like as pivots to the Houston chalk.
Cincinnati should be your next stop in terms of ownership but this is chalk I’m willing to eat all day. J.A. Happ is simply not Happ-ening this year. Righties are just blasting this dude all season and there’s no reason to think it’ll stop today. A 0.263 ISO allowed to right handed hitters just screams Castellanos and Stephenson.
Don’t forget to throw in India if he’s batting leadoff and feel free to mix and match anywhere. Also there’s a chance Happ doesn’t last long in this game so don’t be afraid of getting some lefties in there.
Hey this may be contrarian but man Odorizzi has been getting lit up in terms of power from both sides of the plate. Baltimore will inevitably be low owned because it’s the Orioles but they will be playing on the same field as the Astros and Camden yards has been kind to home runs.
They might even be less owned then people think because people hate playing too much from one game so if they stack the Astros they will be unlikely to add in two more Baltimore bats on top. Food for thought.
The last two teams I’ll mention actually face off against each other and are both bad offenses facing bad pitchers. The Diamondbacks have been nothing short of terrible this season in terms of winnings games. But we don’t care about wins. We care about offense. Brett Anderson can be very lucky in terms of his BABIP with his elite GB%, but jeez does he get hit hard.
Again this isn’t like the best spot in the world or anything and if this stack comes in over-owned I’ll likely be off the D-Backs except for maybe a one-off with Eduardo Escobar. It is certainly in play at low ownership though.
Finally, we can top off this slate with some Milwaukee stacks. I’m sure you’ve been let down by the Brewers this season once or twice. They are not a team I love stacking at high ownership no matter who is pitching. It looks like Milwaukee will be low owned today though.
People have weird respect for Merrill Kelly I guess? When I see Merrill Kelly I see over 46% hard hits allowed to BOTH sides of the plates this season. That is just not a recipe for success in the MLB today. Stack some Brewer’s up any way you like.
Okay, that was longer than I expected it to be! If you made it this far I appreciate your commitment to a random blog post you clicked on. If you enjoyed the article let me know. Or don’t. Do whatever you want! It is your life after all. Either way, let’s bink some GPP’s tonight.