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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for June 18

Zach Thompson gives his top studs and value plays for Saturday’s fantasy baseball slate on DraftKings.

San Diego Padres v Colorado Rockies Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Major League Baseball has five games ready to roll under the Saturday night lights on the main fantasy baseball slate on DraftKings. The action starts at 7:15 p.m. ET as Cardinals-Red Sox and Guardians-Dodgers continue. The middle game of the slate between the Rockies and Padres at Coors Field starts at 9:10 p.m. ET. The final two games of the fantasy baseball evening come from out West, featuring a divisional matchup between the Angels and Mariners and an interleague contest between the Twins and Diamondbacks.

It should be a solid slate with 10 teams providing sufficient options but not an overwhelming amount of info. As always at this time of year, there are plenty of injury updates and lineup situations to monitor closely leading up to the first pitch. In order to keep tabs on the latest availability news and player updates throughout the day, install the DK Live app and follow DK Live on Twitter (@dklive). You can also find me on Twitter (@ZT_Sports), where I’m happy to answer questions or break down my picks highlighted below.


Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $100K Relay Throw [$25K to 1st]


For up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups, download the DK Live app. You also can follow DK Live on Twitter @dklive.


PITCHER

Stud

Julio Urías, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Cleveland Guardians ($9,400) – It’s a tricky pitching slate without much depth on Saturday night, so rolling with Urías is a good option even though he’s the most expensive play. He’s coming off a season-high 27.7 DKFP in his most recent outing, in which he allowed two runs on three hits in six innings while striking out a season-high 10 vs. the Giants. He has a 2.80 ERA and 4.57 FIP but has only managed a 3-6 record. His strikeout rate has dropped from 9.45 K/9 last season to just 7.83 K/9 in his 64 1/3 innings, but he has started to turn that trend around and actually has an 11.42 K/9 rate over his past three starts. The 25-year-old lefty has a high ceiling if he can find his best strikeout form, and he’s in a solid matchup at home vs. Cleveland.

Other Option – Cal Quantrill ($9,200)

Value

Luke Weaver, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Minnesota Twins ($6,900) – Weaver looked sharp in his return from a stint on the 60-day IL with an elbow strain. He fanned seven in three shutout innings vs. the Phillies, who have been one of the best offenses in the Majors in June. He’s still not fully stretched out but did throw 62 pitches in his return. Weaver followed an opener in that contest, and that would help his fantasy value if it happens again since it gives him a better shot at a win. He has struggled to stay healthy but has a 9.21 K/9 rate over his past four seasons, to go with a 4.46 ERA and 4.35 FIP, showing he can produce good numbers when available. Of all the cheap plays, he brings the best track record and gets a solid home matchup, as well.

Other Options – Kutter Crawford ($5,900), Justus Sheffield ($5,600)


INFIELD

Stud

Jake Cronenworth, San Diego Padres at Colorado Rockies ($5,400) – Cronenworth has been a consistent contributor for the Padres this season, helping them stay in contention without Fernando Tatis Jr. (wrist). He is hitting .251 with a .329 wOBA on the season but has been much hotter than that lately, going 17-for-38 (.447) with seven doubles, a home run and a .534 wOBA over his past 10 games. He has had at least one hard-hit ball in each of those 10 games, per Statcast, with a 42.9% hard-hit rate over that span. He has posted double-digit DKFP in five straight games and in eight of his past 11, and he also has a great track record against German Márquez ($7,400), going 4-for-11 (.363) with two long balls in his past meetings with the veteran righty. At first glance, this may seem like a lot to pay for Cronenworth, but with a deeper look at his form, matchup and the Coors Field factor, he’s definitely worth considering.

Stud

C.J. Cron, Colorado Rockies vs. San Diego Padres ($4,700) – On the other side of that NL West matchup, Cron also makes sense after starting the series with two home runs and 37 DKFP on Friday. The Cron-Cronenworth stack on the right side of the infield gives you two red-hot bats since Cron has gone 12-for-37 (.324) with three doubles, a triple, two home runs and a .407 wOBA over his past nine games. He’s hitting .350 at Coors this season with a .336 ISO and .453 wOBA. Any time he’s at home and under $5K, he’s worth a look, especially in a matchup against Nick Martinez ($8,500), against whom he has gone 7-for-20 (.350) in the past with two doubles and two home runs.

Other Options – José Ramírez ($6,100), Tommy Edman ($5,100)

Value

Brendan Donovan, St. Louis Cardinals at Boston Red Sox ($3,100) – Donovan has settled into the second spot in the Cardinals’ order, hitting in a great position between Tommy Edman ($5,100) and Paul Goldschmidt ($5,300). The left-handed-hitting rookie is riding a six-game hitting streak, during which he is 14-for-25 (.560) with five doubles and a .590 wOBA. He doesn’t offer elite speed or power, but at this salary, he brings plenty of upside near the top of a strong lineup swinging a hot stick.

Value

Alex Kirilloff, Minnesota Twins at Arizona Diamondbacks ($2,100) – Even if you go with Cron or another big-ticket 1B, Kirilloff can slide into the outfield and bring you good upside at this bargain salary. The Twins’ prospect was called up Friday and struck out as a pinch-hitter. The 24-year-old lefty has struggled in the Majors but was on a tear in Triple-A, mashing eight home runs in 13 games to start the month of June while going 21-for-51 (.412). He posted a .478 wOBA in his 35 games overall with St. Paul and will now try to translate that success to the Majors. He has the upside to put up big numbers, so grabbing him at nearly the minimum salary could result in huge returns.

Other Options – Owen Miller ($3,400), Eric Hosmer ($2,700)


OUTFIELD

Stud

Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels at Seattle Mariners ($5,200) – Trout has turned things around after a rough stretch earlier this season. He has hit five homers while going 9-for-23 (.391) over his past seven games, giving him an unreal .739 ISO over that span to go with a .646 wOBA. He will likely face lefty Justus Sheffield ($5,600) in this second game of the rare double-header in Seattle, and he has pounded southpaws all season, posting a .333 average and .467 wOBA. Sheffield has struggled at Triple-A, and Trout and the Angels will look to give him a rude welcome back to the majors in the nightcap.

Stud

Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies vs. San Diego Padres ($4,300) – Chuck Nazty is in his 12th season with the Rockies but is still putting up decent numbers, logging a .267 average with 10 homers and a .341 wOBA this season. He has shown his vintage form lately, going 18-for-48 (.375) with four doubles, a triple and three home runs over his past 11 games. Blackmon has multiple hits in three straight games and six of those 11 contests, and he’s still very affordable in this matchup at home, where he sports a .342 wOBA on the season.

Other Options – Julio Rodríguez ($5,100), Byron Buxton ($5,300)

Value

Jarren Duran, Boston Red Sox vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($3,100) – Duran has bounced back and forth to Triple-A multiple times this season, but he has produced when given opportunities. He has hit leadoff and played CF in three straight games, going 3-for-9 (.333) with a double, a triple and two walks. He’s making a strong case to stick with the big league club and brings a lot of upside at barely over $3K if he continues hitting at the top of Boston’s productive lineup.

Value

Alek Thomas, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Minnesota Twins ($3,000) – Thomas has established himself as one of Arizona’s best hitters in his 36 MLB games, and the 22-year-old is a huge part of the team’s future. He’s hitting .276 with a .344 wOBA overall, but he has been even better lately, hitting .394 with a .405 wOBA during his current nine-game hitting streak. He’s also added three stolen bases during that span, averaging 10.2 DKFP per game over that stretch. Thomas will be on the favorable side of the splits against Dylan Bundy ($7,800), who has allowed lefties to hit five home runs and post a .400 wOBA in his 10 games.

Other Options – Myles Straw ($3,300), Dylan Carlson ($2,700)


TEAMS TO STACK

San Diego Padres at Colorado Rockies – The Coors Field effect makes the Padres and Rockies expensive stacks to consider but also gives them an extremely high ceiling in a matchup that has an over/under of 11.5 on DraftKings Sportsbook, the highest mark of the day, as usual. German Márquez ($7,400) starts for Colorado and has looked a little better lately after a brutal start. He still has a 6.09 ERA with a 4.94 FIP and has given up 13 homers in 12 games. He has allowed a .399 wOBA at Coors and allowed righties to post a .380 wOBA overall. Cronenworth (discussed above) and Eric Hosmer ($2,700) have good histories against him — Hosmer is 9-for-27 (.333) with a homer. You can also consider Jurickson Profar ($4,400), Manny Machado ($5,900) and Luke Voit ($4,000) from the top half of the lineup and even grab some value plays with Trent Grisham ($2,900) and Ha-Seong Kim ($3,000) surprisingly cheap given the matchup and location playing at altitude.

Seattle Mariners vs. Los Angeles Angels – Angels SP José Suarez ($6,500) has given up at least three runs in each of his past four starts, and his ERA has climbed to 5.96 with a 5.61 FIP. He has allowed 28 hits, including four home runs, in his 22 2/3 innings in the Majors, along with a .398 wOBA to right-handed batters. Julio Rodríguez ($5,100) has been excellent against lefties with a .321 average and .384 wOBA, and he’s joined on the favorable side of the splits by Eugenio Suárez ($4,600) and Ty France ($4,600). Switch-hitting catcher Cal Raleigh ($3,600) has also been productive lately, and there are other value options that make sense if they’re in the lineup, including Dylan Moore ($2,400), Justin Upton ($2,300) and Taylor Trammell ($2,100).


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.


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