FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks and Helper: Sunday 6/16/24

Austin Swaim
Austin SwaimASwaim3
FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks and Helper: Sunday 6/16/24

Our daily fantasy helper is available every day to analyze FanDuel's main slate and help give you a starting point when you're building lineups.

Be sure to also incorporate numberFire's great tools into your research process, including daily projections, the latest starting lineups and weather, and batting and pitching heat maps to find the best matchups.

Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.

Note: All MLB odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook. All stats come from FanGraphs and Baseball Savant unless noted otherwise.


Pitchers to Target

Corbin Burnes ($10,000)

With the Pittsburgh Pirates scratching Paul Skenes from his Sunday start, the three aces on the slate all have difficult matchups to choose a top option. Of them, Corbin Burnes ($10,000) should have the easiest day at the office.

Burnes will take on the Philadelphia Phillies at home, and Philadelphia hasn't been the same squad against right-handed pitching that tore through the earlier part of the season. They've got just a 93 wRC+ in the split since May 15th -- the ninth-worst mark in baseball. The only issue is their low strikeout rate against righties has persisted in the sample (19.3%).

The Baltimore Orioles' ace can still deliver, though. He's still generating a whiff on 12.5% of his pitches despite a strikeout rate (24.0%) that seems reduced on the surface. Yet, the upside to using him includes a miniscule hard-hit (31.2%) and flyball (33.8%) rates allowed, resulting in a miniscule 0.83 HR/9 this season.

I'll take that security at a $10,000 salary that doesn't command extreme upside. Oddsmakers agree he's least likely to blow up on Sunday, per the Phillies' slate-low 3.55-run implied team total.

Bailey Ober ($8,100)

Sometimes, the universe just finds a way.

Bailey Ober ($8,100) was my second choice to Shota Imanaga on yesterday's slate, and weather wiped out his start. With no ace as appealing as Shota and plenty of elite stacks on Sunday, I'm defaulting to Ober in single-entry tournaments as the top choice.

Ober's opponent is the same as yesterday: the lowly Oakland Athletics. Oakland's posted the fourth-worst OPS against righties in baseball (.652), and they've struck out the second-most often in the split (26.9% rate). They're a pristine matchup to help the gangly right-hander regress to how he's actually performing.

Ober's 5.13 ERA is an eyesore, but his 3.87 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) is significantly better. Take his last start as a prime example; Ober allowed one run with five Ks in the first five innings against Pittsburgh and was BABIP'd to death in the sixth. It's been that kind of year for him.

At 30.6 projected fantasy points, Ober is FanDuel Research's daily MLB projections' top value option of the day at hurler. I'll agree for a second straight day.

Others to Consider

  • Jose Berrios ($8,800)
    • The Cleveland Guardians are missing Jose Ramirez for a second straight day and were blanked without him on Saturday. Berrios (4.17 SIERA) isn't perfect, but Cleveland is barely functional without J-Ram.
  • Mitchell Parker ($8,300)
    • Ober should be popular due to superior K upside relative to a guy like Parker in his salary tier, but the Miami Marlins' league-worst 66 wRC+ against lefties could make him an elite pivot if Ober's luck doesn't turn around.

Stacks to Target

Chicago Cubs

This slate has two dreadful pitchers at Coors Field and an extreme wind game at Wrigley. If there are enough no-doubt options, it's excellent we don't have to target the same one as everyone else.

I'm putting the Cubs at the top of my pecking order today since they appear to be behind both Coors teams and the St. Louis Cardinals that are visiting them to everyone else. The Baby Bears can absolutely explode today against Miles Mikolas.

Mikolas' 4.97 ERA isn't that much better than his expected one (4.35 xERA), and the 35-year-old is struggling with career-long issues in 2024. While generating a swing-and-miss on just 6.2% of his pitches, 41.4% of the baseballs put into play against him have been hard-hit ones. Now, he'll enter an environment where pop flys can leave the yard.

A low-whiff pitcher is an ideal matchup for the Cubs, who struggle with efficiency in this split far more than power. Christopher Morel ($3,500), Ian Happ ($3,400), Cody Bellinger ($3,300), Seiya Suzuki ($3,300), and Mike Tauchman ($2,800) all have at least a .160 ISO against orthodox pitchers.

The Cubs are a -130 favorite to win today's game but project to be less popular than their visitors. I took notice.

Colorado Rockies

Here's another example of targeting the sharper side of an environment.

I'm not sure I'll ever understand the DFS community's obsession with stacking against Dakota Hudson. Hudson's 28.8% flyball rate has resulted in just 0.82 HR/9, requiring you to earn fantasy points tiny nibbles at a time. Give me the Rockies facing Daulton Jefferies instead.

Jefferies has ceded 3.86 HR/9 in 4.2 innings of work this year, and I'm not extremely optimistic that turns around when he's rocking a 5.24 xFIP in Triple-A this season. Plus, when Jefferies departs, he'll give way to the league's seventh-worst bullpen by xFIP (4.31).

This is a lineup where you really want to stick to the blue-chippers. Ezequiel Tovar ($3,700), Ryan McMahon ($3,400), and Charlie Blackmon ($3,400) are the only three sticks projected in the lineup with an OPS above .715 against righties, so their salaries are warranted. Fresh off the injured list, I'm willing to also take a dart at Nolan Jones ($3,000). He's 2-for-4 with five (!) walks since returning on Friday.

If DFS gamers are going to flock to Pittsburgh's 6.55-run implied total instead of the better pitcher to target in this format, I'll gladly let them.

Others to Consider

  • Minnesota Twins
    • Any stacks outside of Coors and Wrigley will be contrarian ones -- even with the Twinkies holding a 5.22-run implied total against the struggling JP Sears (4.72 SIERA). They could be dynamite if the key parks come up empty.
  • Milwaukee Brewers
    • I'm always down to stack against Frankie Montas' 37.6% flyball and 40.1% hard-hit rate. The Brewers crush righties as a team (.751 OPS), and their implied total (4.79) isn't shabby, either.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.