MLB DFS Picks, Spotlight Pitchers & Top Stacks: SP1s Cole Ragans + Hunter Brown (June 19)

Wednesday keeps the week rolling with an eight-game featured slate, locking at 7:05 p.m. ET on DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo. Before we get to our MLB DFS picks, as always, we will use Stokastic’s tools to help identify today’s MLB DFS stacks, key pitchers and daily fantasy baseball lineups. Look to Cole Ragans and Hunter Brown as key arms, with Toronto and Milwaukee the offenses that present the best alternatives to the Coors Field Extravaganza.

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks | June 19

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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers

Main Slate Primary Pitching Target: LHP Cole Ragans (KC at OAK)

Royals at Athletics – 3.3 implied runs
First Pitch: 9:40 p.m. ET
$9,800 at DraftKings
$10,600 at FanDuel
$52 at Yahoo

The Stokastic Top Pitchers Tool has LHP Cole Ragans as a key building block tonight in a road matchup against the Oakland Athletics. It is hard to believe that Ragans has just 222 career innings in The Show, as he has already positioned himself as a frontline starter.

 

Though he is not quite elite, the 26-year-old southpaw is a tremendous DFS asset due to his strikeout upside. Currently he is a top-25 pitcher with his 3.14 ERA and 1.14 WHIP, which are accompanied by the fourth-most strikeouts in the league. Ragans has 10 quality starts in his 15 appearances, which is phenomenal on FanDuel, where that milestone is awarded fantasy points.

Oakland has the second-most strikeouts this season, trailing the Seattle Mariners by just 22, so we could see a change on the wrong end of the leaderboard in the next couple weeks. The A’s have the fifth-most home runs but the third-fewest runs since they have trouble getting runners on base. The Athletics set up better against southpaws, likely running out a fully right-handed lineup. Brent Rooker and Shea Langeliers are the only real threats to Ragans if he has his A-game tonight.

Main Slate Secondary Pitching Target: RHP Hunter Brown (HOU at CHW)

Astros at White Sox – 3.7 implied runs
First Pitch: 8:10 p.m. ET
$7,000 at DraftKings
$7,800 at FanDuel
$43 at Yahoo

It would seem that the DraftKings and FanDuel salary algorithms do not believe in the recent turnaround of RHP Hunter Brown. Yes, he had a troublesome stretch at the end of last year and through a good portion of this season, but things seem to be back on track.

 

Across his last seven starts, Brown has compiled 45.1 innings, a 2.58 ERA, a 3.77 FIP and a 3.24 xFIP. He has allowed six home runs and 13 total “Ernies” in this timeframe while striking out 10.32 per nine innings. He should be able to keep things humming along today against the worst offense in the league.

Chicago is averaging 3.12 runs per game this season, trailing the Miami Marlins by 29 and the league-leading Yankees and Dodgers by 141. The ChiSox have the 11th-most strikeouts and the fewest total bases, just adding to their futility. Eloy Jimenez and Yoan Moncada remain on the injured list, and even when they return, it will only marginally improve this offense outside the bottom 5, though even that bump is not guaranteed.

 

Today's MLB DFS picks, top stacks and pitchers on DraftKings and FanDuel include MLB DFS predictions for key talent like Tanner Bibee...
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MLB DFS Picks: Top Stacks

Main Slate Primary Target: Toronto Blue Jays

Blue Jays vs. Red Sox – 4.3 implied runs
First Pitch: 7:07 p.m. ET
Opposing Starter: RHP Brayan Bello
DK Top Stack %: 5.0%
FD Top Stack %: 5.5%

The Stokastic Top Stacks Tool has the Dodgers with nearly a 25% probability of being the top scoring stack across the main DFS sites. Toronto, on the other hand, is holding around a 5% likelihood of seeing that same outcome. So why the Blue Jays? Well, salary is a real thing in the DFS world, and the Jays have a top-3 value rating across the sites.

The last half dozen starts for RHP Brayan Bello have been less than inspiring. The 25-year-old still has shown flashes of upside, but in his current form, he can be targeted by power bats. Across his last 31.1 innings, he has a 6.89 ERA, 5.01 FIP and 4.02 xFIP, indicating he has been a little unlucky, but the 4.31 walk rate is troublesome, as are the nine walks against just 12 strikeouts in his last three tilts.

Dalton Varsho and young Spencer Horwitz are the key lefties to target from Toronto, as the team is lacking power bats from that side of the plate. Of course, that means this duo should be in the top half of the order, so that is a benefit. Catcher Danny Jansen has been terrific this season in same-handed matchups, and his .354 wOBA and .231 ISO in 123 plate appearances have helped mitigate the slump of George Springer. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. rounds out the core four, though he is not a must play and one way to get different from other Toronto stacks will be to leave him out.

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Main Slate Secondary Target: Milwaukee Brewers

Brewers at Angels – 5.0 implied runs
First Pitch: 9:38 p.m. ET
Opposing Starter: LHP Tyler Anderson
DK Top Stack %: 10.8%
FD Top Stack %: 10.3%

The Stokastic Top Stacks Tool has the Brewers as the second-most productive stack tonight, though it should be noted that LHP Tyler Anderson is in the midst of a career year, with numbers in line with his tremendous lone season with the other Los Angeles team. That must be annoying for San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Seattle since each franchise gave Anderson a one-season whirl, with mediocre results.

This season, the 34-year-old has a 2.58 ERA, but his 4.66 xERA and 5.09 xFIP indicate he has been rather lucky. He has a 4.20 career ERA and his 5.98 strikeouts per nine innings are the nadir of his production, while his 3.92 walks per nine are in the red as well.

Christian Yelich is fine against same-handed hurlers, and Willy Adames has a lone track record of success against southpaws. Youngster Joey Ortiz is likely to be at the top of the order with a southpaw on the mound, making him a key stacking component. Rhys Hoskins and catcher William Contreras have struggled at the plate this season against opposite-handed hurlers, but with prominent slots in the batting order and better production one and two seasons ago, they are firmly in the mix as well. MLB vagabond Gary Sanchez continues to find ways of being productive when teams give him a chance to hit, so he is your wild card option for this stack.

If you need some more tips on how to use the Post-Contest Simulator to improve your lineup study process, Steve Buzzard has a great guide here on how to maximize your lessons learned from the Sims! Check it out HERE.

It is rare to see a Coors Field home run prop so mispriced, but that is the beauty of the OddsShopper model for catching everything.

Currently, Freddie Freeman has +550 odds for the over on his 0.5 home runs prop, which is currently available on BetRivers and Unibet.

OddsShopper shows this bet has +466 “true odds,” so the +550 odds bring a terrific 14.8% expected ROI.

We can also see how crucial it is to shop the odds, as sportsbooks tend to vary wildly with their offerings. This is evident with Hard Rock all the way down at a punitive +325, which works out to a NEGATIVE-25% expected ROI. Be a savvy shopper!

 

Home runs are fickle, but when one is this far out of line with the market on a power hitter, in Coors Field, with the platoon advantage, don’t ask why; just seize the opportunity to sprinkle a few ducats on the wager for entertainment value that holds upside!

Other wagers are continually popping up and disappearing every few minutes as lineups are being announced, which is why it is key to get an OddsShopper Premium subscription to take advantage of all opportunities.

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Final MLB DFS Picks & Thoughts for Wednesday, June 19

There are no pressing precipitation concerns for the main slate, but be sure to check in with your favorite MLB Weather Report page closer to first pitch for updates.

Before you finalize your MLB DFS picks, check out today’s Stokastic MLB Live Before Lock Show, at 6:00 p.m. ET brought to you by Sleeper – new users, use this link to receive a $100 first deposit match! Full details here.

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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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