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MLB DFS Picks Sunday 6/12: Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks Today

Eric MacPherson



Free MLB DFS picks today from Stokastic fantasy baseball projections and rankings, and the best lineups & value targets for DraftKings & FanDuel 6/17.

Sunday, June 12, wraps up the weekend with a 10-game main slate at 1:35 p.m. ET, bringing along a couple of aces and a couple potential batting practice pitchers. Let’s get into the top MLB DFS picks today for pitchers and stacks for DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy baseball lineups.

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DraftKings & FanDuel MLB DFS Picks Today (6/12)

Top Stack: Phillies vs. Arizona Bullpen — 5.3 implied runs

Lefty Kyle Nelson pitched at UCSB for three seasons prior to being a 15th-round selection in the 2017 MLB Draft by the Guardians. After toiling in the Cleveland farm system for five seasons, Nelson was claimed off waivers by Arizona last November. Nelson has put up gaudy strikeout rates in the minors and been solid as a reliever for the beleaguered Diamondbacks pitching staff. It would be a surprise for Nelson to go more than an inning and change, so this is definitely going to be a bullpen game for Arizona.

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Luke Weaver was moved to the taxi squad this morning after completing his rehabilitation assignment. That indicates there is a strong chance he will be officially activated for today and be the “bulk-inning” option. During his two appearances for Triple-A Reno, Weaver threw 43 and 60 pitches. In his seven seasons split between the Cardinals and Diamondbacks, Weaver has been a solid, though far from spectacular, pitcher. Collectively the rest of the Arizona relief corps has been a bottom-five squad by most metrics, making the Phillies a strong team to target, even going against a collection of relatively fresh arms.

The focus for Philadelphia stacks should be at the top of the order, with reigning National League MVP Bryce Harper leading the way. Rhys Hoskins, J.T. Realmuto, Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos are excellent options at a variety of positions and salaries. For differentiation or additional discounts, Alec Bohm and rookie Bryson Stott can be sprinkled across tournament entries.

The Awesemo Stack Tool has the Yankees popping as the best overall stack, though they will be quite popular after crushing six home runs last night. This proprietary tool shows that the Phillies have solid leverage against the field, which in turn boosts the potential upside success in tournaments if they do well and New York somehow falters.

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Afternoon Slate: Rays at RHP Cole Sands — 4.5 implied runs

It would appear that the DraftKings salary algorithm thought Tampa Bay was playing in Tropicana Field this afternoon against peak Roger Clemens. There is no other explanation for Ji-Man Choi ($3,800), Brett Phillips ($2,600) and Kevin Kiermaier ($3,300) to be assigned buy-one, get-one salaries.

Bryson “Cole” Sands has struggled mightily this season, allowing 23 baserunners in just 11.2 innings with nearly half of them crossing the plate. Through four appearances, the 24-year-old righty has also allowed four home runs and seven total extra-base hits on his way to an 8.49 ERA and 1.97 WHIP. One slim silver lining is that he does have 13 strikeouts, which indicates all is not lost, though he will likely be sent back down to the minors for additional seasoning once the Twins have enough healthy arms to staff their rotation. Sands does have an impressive curveball, but his fastball is average at best and he has no other solid offerings to lean on.

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Choi and Phillips are the top two targets this afternoon, with Randy Arozarena and switch-hitting Francisco Mejia savvy selections. Kiermaier should be at the top of the order, and he will likely be sitting on a fastball in the hopes of starting off the game in style with a round-tripper.

Late Slate: Mariners vs. RHP Kutter Crawford — 4.6 implied runs

Today the Mariners will be facing Kutter Crawford, who certainly has a perfect name for a pitcher. Crawford missed 2020 while rehabilitating from a Tommy John procedure, so the minor league season curtailed by the pandemic did not have an impact on his development. Across 12.2 innings in The Show, Crawford has showed his strikeout upside, but he has struggled with his command and allowed three home runs. The main knock against Crawford is that he has been behind in the count on nearly two-thirds of his pitches, despite an 82.4% first strike rate.

Awesemo Top Batters Tool is sending Seattle up the ranks at a few positions for the afternoon slate. Despite being a mostly anonymous group of hitters, the Mariners actually have a 117 wRC+ against right-handed hurlers, which is the fifth-best mark in the league. Former Reds Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez have been filling in nicely with Mitch Haniger injured and longtime Mariner Kyle Seager retired. Rookie Julio Rodriguez is leading the improbable league leader with 17 stolen bases, and he is showing enough pop to be the everyday cleanup hitter. Abraham Toro and Taylor Trammell are far from household names, but they are in play for cheap power upside.

Best MLB DFS Pitchers Today

Top Target: RHP Kyle Wright vs. Pirates — 3.2 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $10,100 | FanDuel $10,500

This looks like a breakout season for Kyle Wright, with his 2.39 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 73 strikeouts all top-15 marks this season. The main concern is walks, as he has issued three or more in four of 11 starts. Fortunately, he has been limiting power, with only three home runs and 10 total extra-base hits scattered across his 11 appearances.

Pittsburgh ranks in the bottom quarter of the league with an 89 wRC+ against right-handed hurlers and a 25.6% strikeout rate, which is the second highest. If Wright can continue inducing ground balls at his current 50.8% clip, he should be in line for a solid outing, and a quality start as well as the win are both in play.

Secondary Target: RHP Dakota Hudson vs. Reds — 3.4 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $7,100 | FanDuel $8,400

In his last three appearances, Dakota Hudson has allowed just two runs across 18.2 innings while averaging 98.3 pitches. While his 14.7% strikeout rate is woeful, his 57.4% ground ball rate and ability to limit power should have him in line for a win today if the Cardinals can get anything going against Graham Ashcraft. Cincinnati has a bottom-five offense by most traditional and advanced metrics and is one to target with mid-tier pitchers on the regular this season.

Wild Card Target: RHP Ross Stripling at Tigers — 3.4 implied runs

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings $6,900 | FanDuel $6,700

Journeyman Ross Stripling is a fine real-life pitcher, though for fantasy purposes he does not get enough strikeouts to be more than a lineup filler. Today he wins the lottery and will be facing a dilapidated Detroit squad that has a league-worst 70 wRC+ against right-handed hurlers. This indicates that the Tigers score runs 30% less efficiently than league average, and their 24.3% strikeout rate against righties is the sixth highest on the season. Stripling will be popular on DraftKings, with his $6,900 salary nicely slotting in as an SP2. There are half a dozen better options on FanDuel, though rostering Stripling on the blue site allows the creation of a veritable All-Star lineup of batsmen.

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Additional Opportunities

Ranger Suarez is a tough pitcher to roster in DFS since he does not have a tremendous amount of upside. However, he is good enough that it is typically not worth loading up on hitters against him, and he is deserving of our consideration in the MLB player props market. Currently, he has a 4.5 over/under on his strikeout prop and the Awesemo MLB Projections have him for 5.2, giving him a 62% probability of achieving the over. This will likely be an adventure getting to five strikeouts; however, the projected Arizona lineup has a 24.2% strikeout rate against southpaws. Furthering the cause, Suarez has five or more strikeouts in five of his last six appearances.

Other Pitching Options

  1. Justin Verlander vs. Miami Marlins (Main, Afternoon)
  2. Michael Kopech vs. Texas Rangers (Main, Afternoon)
  3. Jeffrey Springs at Minnesota (Main SP2, Afternoon)
  4. Carlos Rodon vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (Late)
  5. Julio Urias at San Francisco Giants (Late)

One-Off Hitters

  1. Austin Riley vs. LHP Jose Quintana (Main)
  2. Rowdy Tellez at RHP Paolo Espino (Main)
  3. Cedric Mullins at RHP Brad Keller (Afternoon)
  4. J.D. Martinez at LHP Robbie Ray (Late)
  5. Manny Machado vs. RHP German Marquez (Late)

Final MLB DFS Thoughts & MLB Weather Notes

Philadelphia and Washington have roving showers in the area through the early afternoon, but nothing that should cause a postponement. New York seems to be the biggest risk with rain into the evening. Monitor the forecast, as there could be windows that allow the game to be played, though it is tricky to tell six hours before first pitch.

Thanks for reading to the end of this article! If you appreciate this free content and want to see more of it every day, you can help us out by sharing this article on social media! Looking for more MLB DFS picks content? We have loads of daily fantasy baseball articles, data, DraftKings and FanDuel cheat sheets and more on the Stokastic MLB DFS home page.

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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