Daily Games

MLB DFS Plays: Wednesday 6/23

by Brad Johnson
Updated On: June 23, 2021, 6:09 pm ET

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This article outlines the best daily fantasy MLB plays of the day at every position. We take a comprehensive look to uncover these core recommendations, factoring respective salaries into the analysis.

Please note, these player picks were organized early in the day. For MLB contests, always check lineups and weather closer to game time. Rain, wind, or unexpected managerial decisions could open up additional sources of value. Be sure to keep an eye on the MLB Headlines and Injuries desk.

PITCHER

Top Play: Robbie Ray – Blue Jays (at Marlins)

In a thin slate, there’s no hiding a good pitcher with a friendly matchup. The Marlins offer a weak (90wRC+), strikeout prone (26.1% K%) lineup. Ray is coming off arguably his worst outing of the season, and he’s had some issues with home runs. His walk rate has trended upwards recently too. Nevertheless, he projects for six innings and over eight strikeouts tonight. He’s a lock as the top pitcher.

Pivot: Garrett Richards – Red Sox (at Rays)

My analysis style is predicated on having baseball reasons to make a recommendation. Most of the pitchers tonight do not have a plausible use case. James Kaprielian is pitching well but has scary/rapidly declining spin rate metrics. Danny Duffy is on a mystery pitch count. Kyle Wright, Mike King, and Thomas Eshelman are witheringly unlikely to finish five innings. Mike Foltynewicz is homer prone, isn’t inducing whiffs, and hasn’t turned in a “good” DFS outing since 2019. There might be gambling justifications to roster these pitchers, but I can’t offer you a baseball hook.

That leaves us with Richards. He doesn’t project to be especially useful tonight, but a wide range of plausible outcomes invites at least a glimmer of upside. He’s capable of seven innings and 10 strikeouts as a ceiling against a whiff-prone opponent. Of course, we should only expect five innings and five strikeouts.

Also Consider: Trevor Bauer, Trevor Rogers, Jose Urquidy, Joe Musgrove

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CATCHER

Top Play: Salvador Perez – Royals (at Mike King)

This is a standard recommendation for Perez. His aggressive, power-hitting profile should play up at Yankee Stadium.

 

Pivot: Martin Maldonado – Astros (at Thomas Eshelman)

The Astros will be the most popular stack for very obvious reasons. While the available pitching is compressed in the expensive end of the spectrum, there are enough affordable Astros like Maldonado to form a complete stack and roster your preferred arms. He makes sufficient line drive and fly ball contact to occasionally stun with a big performance. It’s a long shot play.

Also Consider: Gary Sanchez, Will Smith, Sean Murphy

FIRST BASE

Top Play: Matt Olson – Athletics (at Mike Foltynewicz)

Olson is one of the most accomplished power hitters in the league. He’s taken a step forward at the plate this season, trimming his strikeout rate from 31.4 percent last season to 16.2 percent this year without sacrificing any power. Folty isn’t likely to coax a strikeout from him. Most of the Rangers relievers are ground ball pitchers, a profile upon which Olson feasts.

Pivot: DJ LeMahieu – Yankees (vs Danny Duffy)

LeMahieu has quietly embarked on an impressive hot streak. Over the last two weeks, he’s hitting .326/.383/.605 with three home runs and nearly twice as many walks as strikeouts. He hits around three-quarters of his home runs at Yankee Stadium. He’s more likely to poke a dinger against a fly ball pitcher like Duffy.

Also Consider: Freddie Freeman, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Max Muncy, Pete Alonso, Yuli Gurriel, Nate Lowe, Carlos Santana, Luke Voit, Ryan Mountcastle

SECOND BASE

Top Play: Jose Altuve – Astros (at Thomas Eshelman)

Another standard recommendation, Altuve leads the slate in projected hits and has better than a one-in-four chance to homer. Eshelman is a pitch-to-contact ground ball pitcher who depends on BABIP luck to survive even four innings. The Astros will tuck into the Orioles soft underbelly in this one.

Pivot: Andy Ibanez – Rangers (vs James Kaprielian)

Ibanez is expected to take over as the second baseman with Nick Solak sliding into a utility role. Ibanez has a broad-based skill set with no standout traits. He should hit for a decent average with passable power. While hardly likely to rate among the top second basemen tonight, he offers a strong dollar-for-dollar value. Ibanez has been batting fifth or sixth.

Also Consider: Robel Garcia, Max Muncy, Marcus Semien, LeMahieu, Jeff McNeil

THIRD BASE

Top Play: Matt Chapman – Athletics (at Foltynewicz)

A historically streaky hitter, Chapman has recently scalded the ball. He has four of his nine home runs in the last 10 games. Between a homer prone Foltynewicz and a middling bullpen, this is an excellent opportunity for him to extend his torrid streak.

Pivot: Abraham Toro – Astros (at Eshelman)

I’m still enamored with Toro. His price is simply ridiculously cheap. Like Ibanez above, Toro doesn’t rate among the top third basemen. He’s roughly half-priced though which makes it a whole lot easier to jam in big bats without sacrificing elsewhere.

Also Consider: Justin Turne, Rafael Devers, Manny Machado, Gio Urshela, Austin Riley, Robel Garcia

SHORTSTOP

Top Play: Wander Franco – Rays (vs Richards)

Here we go. After a triumphant debut yesterday, Franco figures to be a frequent DFS target for the next decade. Tonight might be the last time he comes with a minimum price tag. He doesn’t actually project to be THAT exceptional this year – hope for something like a .270/.330/.430 batting line. That still easily exceeds his cost, especially for a neutral matchup like this one.

Pivot: Fernando Tatis Jr. – Padres (vs Bauer)

Everything is backwards! Usually, the bargain is the pivot and the expensive guy is the top play. Because Franco will be SO chalky, any expensive shortstop looks like a pivot. Tatis is a poor value, but he also projects as the top performer at the position. It’s a tough matchup. Bauer isn’t immune to home runs. He’s coughed up 1.32 HR/9 this season. Tatis’ batted ball profile also pairs well against Bauer’s.

Also Consider: Carlos Correa, Bo Bichette, Marcus Semien, Xander Bogaerts, Francisco Lindor, Jazz Chisholm, Freddy Galvis

OUTFIELD

Top Plays: Yordan Alvarez – Astros (at Eshelman)
Kyle Tucker – Astros (at Eshelman)
Aaron Judge – Yankees (vs Duffy)

Tucker is thought to be returning to the lineup today although that’s not yet confirmed. He appears to have suffered from food poisoning or another stomach virus, reportedly losing 10 pounds in the span of a week. He was on a long hot streak prior to the illness. He might have more rust to shake off than the typical hitter who hits the sick-list for a few days. Alvarez remains underpriced relative to his expected output.

Judge (and Giancarlo Stanton) really light up any time they face a pitcher who likes to work up in the zone. Duffy is a fly ball guy, and it’s unknown if he’ll be able to build on the velocity gains he showed earlier in the season.

Pivots: Chas McCormick – Astros (at Eshelman)
Austin Hays – Orioles (vs Urquidy)

It’s good that we can save a lot of money in the infield because I really don’t like the cheap options in the outfield tonight. McCormick is a solid enough hitter if Tucker happens to still be out of the lineup. He might also supplant Myles Straw in center field, though that might come with a bottom-three lineup role. Perhaps you can use him in a contrary wrap-around stack with Maldonado and Altuve. Hays is a roughly league average hitter who skews towards ground ball contact. Urquidy has extreme fly ball tendencies and doesn’t induce many strikeouts.

Also Consider: Ronald Acuna, Joey Gallo, Michael Brantley, Giancarlo Stanton, Mark Canha, Ramon Laureano, Austin Meadows, Randy Arozarena