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Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top DraftKings MLB DFS Targets, Values for June 19

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

Seattle Mariners v. Texas Rangers Photo by Cooper Neill/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Monday night, Major League Baseball starts another work week with seven new series getting underway on the DraftKings main slate. Two of the series are divisional matchups and only one is an interleague contest. There aren’t a ton of top pitchers scheduled to take the mound, but there are some good matchups to consider as well as a few to avoid. Check out my top targets below. While there are some great potential plays in Cincinnati, the weather for that game looks extremely sketchy. I avoided highlighting those options below, but I’ll re-evaluate as we approach the scheduled first pitch.

As usual for DFS fantasy baseball, be sure to keep up with the latest on pregame lineups and the latest player news leading up to game time. You can do that by installing the DK Live app and following DK Live on Twitter (@dklive). I’m also on Twitter (@ZT_Sports), where you can keep up with all my picks as the season continues.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $300K Relay Throw [$100K 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.



Merrill Kelly, Arizona Diamondbacks at Milwaukee Brewers, ($9,600) – Kelly and Corbin Burnes ($10,000) go head-to-head in one of the most intriguing pitching matchups on Monday. Burnes has the pedigree, but Kelly has the matchup advantage since the Brew Crew’s offense has been stuck in neutral most of the season. Milwaukee is in the bottom 10 of runs scored, batting average and wOBA this season. In June, the Brewers are hitting .222 with just a .296 wOBA, and Kelly will hope to continue their struggles Monday.

Kelly has been rolling, going 7-0 in his last nine starts and only allowing more than three runs in one of those outings. In those nine starts, he has a 2.86 ERA and 3.51 FIP with 64 strikeouts in 56 23 innings. He has averaged 23.7 DKFP per start over his past nine appearances with over 25 DKFP in four of his past eight starts. In five of those eight starts, he has at least seven strikeouts, and his strikeouts give him a good ceiling in this matchup in Milwaukee.

Other Options – Hunter Brown ($10,200), James Paxton ($9,300)


Max Scherzer, New York Mets at Houston Astros ($8,800) – Getting Scherzer at this price is extremely unusual, but the ace is coming off a few brutal outings as he gets ready for this road start against the defending champs in Houston. He gave up six runs in only 3 13 innings against the New York Yankees in his most recent outing for a total of -5.9 DKFP. While that start was his worst fantasy performance of the season, his season-long numbers have been well below his lofty standards, as he has posted a 4.45 ERA and 4.35 FIP in his 11 starts.

There had been some good signs, though, before that implosion against the Yankees. Scherzer had a run of four straight starts with over 20 DKFP including a pair of games with over 30 DKFP at the end of May and beginning of June. He still brings plenty of strikeout potential, as he had 10 strikeouts just two starts ago while facing an excellent Atlanta Braves lineup. His fastball velocity is still there, but his slider hasn’t been as effective. If he can get that resolved on Monday, he could end up being an awesome value play since he still has a high ceiling. While Monday’s matchup isn’t a favorable one, it isn’t as awful as you might think. The Astros have actually dropped four straight and have only averaged 3.3 runs over their past seven games. While there’s definitely risk involved, getting Scherzer under $9K is an opportunity that’s too good to pass up, especially since the other value options all carry significant risk.

Other Option – Michael Wacha ($8,300) Drew Smyly ($6,500)



Corey Seager, Texas Rangers at Chicago White Sox ($6,000) – Seager had been outstanding in his second season with the Rangers and returned from the IL in mid-May to give the already-productive offense even more power. He has played 29 games since returning on May 17 and is hitting .364 over that span with nine home runs, 36 RBI, a .331 ISO and a .453 wOBA. He had four hits and three RBI on Sunday as the Rangers erased a six-run deficit to beat the Blue Jays, and over his last nine games, he has hit an incredible .486 (18-for-37) with five doubles, four homers, a .459 ISO and .611 wOBA while producing a fantastic 16.1 DKFP per contest. He’ll look to stay scorching hot as the Rangers roll into Chicago and face Jesse Scholtens ($5,000), who was just recalled from Triple-A on Friday and is expected to serve as the opener for the team’s bullpen game.


Lamonte Wade Jr., San Francisco Giants vs. San Diego Padres ($4,500) – Wade is another left-handed hitter who has also been hot lately. He and the Giants just completed an impressive sweep of their rivals the Los Angeles Dodgers in L.A. over the weekend and return home for another divisional series. In June, Wade is hitting .306 (15-for-49) with five doubles, two homers and a .416 wOBA. As the Giants' usual leadoff hitter, he gets plenty of volume in most matchups and can produce big games in multiple ways. He is usually right in the middle of San Francisco’s offense and comes at a very reasonable midrange salary Monday.

Other Options – Elly De La Cruz ($5,200), Matt McLain ($4,700), Ryan McMahon ($4,500)


Rodolfo Castro, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs ($3,400) – Castro has been a great value to consider this season whenever the Pirates face a left-handed starter. He is hitting .351 against southpaws this season with six home runs, a .311 ISO and a .456 wOBA. The switch-hitter got Sunday off against a righty, but he’ll likely be back in the lineup Monday against lefty Drew Smyly ($6,500) and the Cubs. He may have fallen into the short side of a platoon with Ji Hwan Bae ($2,900), but he still offers great upside whenever he’s in the lineup against lefties.


Yainer Diaz, Houston Astros vs. New York Mets ($2,900) – Diaz has been getting more regular playing time since the injury to Yordan Alvarez (oblique) and the 24-year-old can slot into your catcher spot to provide good offense from what can sometimes be a tricky spot. He has hit .274 in his 34 games with Houston this season with five homers and a .326 wOBA. Four of those five homers have come in his past 13 games, during which he has hit .348 (16-for-46) with five doubles, four homers and a .443 wOBA. All his Statcast numbers show he’s been seeing and hitting the ball well, so he’s a great option under $3K even against Scherzer.

Other Options – Justin Turner ($3,900), Geraldo Perdomo ($3,500), Zach Remillard ($2,300)



Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres at San Francisco Giants ($6,300) – As the most expensive hitter on the slate, Tatis will need to deliver a big game to be worth paying up for, but the Padres’ superstar has been doing just that on a regular basis over the past few weeks. Since June 1, Tatis has hit safely in 14 of 16 games while going 24-for-60 (.400) with five home runs, 15 RBI, 15 runs scored and an impressive .542 wOBA. On top of those numbers, he’s added seven stolen bases to average an impressive 15.4 DKFP per contest. He and the Padres will take on opener Ryan Walker ($4,000) and bulk reliever Jakob Junis ($6,400) on Monday to open their series in San Francisco. Tatis has enjoyed his previous trips to Oracle Park, hitting .300 with seven career home runs and an average of 10.6 DKFP per game in his 21 career appearances in San Francisco.

Corbin Carroll, Arizona Diamondbacks at Milwaukee Brewers ($5,300) – Carroll has been on a tear for the Diamondbacks over the past month and remains a great play on just about every slate. He has hit .346 (36-for-104) in his past 27 games with 20 of those 36 hits going for extra bases including nine home runs. He has a .385 ISO and .477 wOBA as a result of all that power production and has added nine stolen bases over that span as well to produce an average of 13.6 DKFP per game over that span. He and the Snakes will take on Corbin Burnes on Monday in a tough matchup, but Carroll has proven he brings a high ceiling regardless of who he’s facing since he can post a big number in several different ways.

Other Options – Kyle Tucker ($5,000), Luis Robert Jr. ($4,600)


Leody Taveras, Texas Rangers at Chicago White Sox ($3,100) – Despite usually hitting last in the order, Taveras is putting together a nice season for the Rangers. The 24-year-old is hitting .302 with eight homers, seven stolen bases and a .367 wOBA after delivering one of the big blows in the team’s comeback on Sunday. When he gets on base, he’s followed by the bigger bats, so he typically gets good run-production opportunities. He has also picked up his power production lately with seven of his eight homers this season coming in his past 21 games. Over that span, he has a .410 wOBA and .338 ISO, which is enough to make him a great play at barely over $3K in what should be a high-scoring spot for the Rangers on Monday. If you pay up for Seager, Marcus Semien ($5,900) or Adolis García ($5,400), Taveras is an affordable way to stack with them from the flip side of the lineup.


Luis Matos, San Francisco Giants vs. San Diego Padres ($2,800) – The Giants called up Matos last Wednesday, and the 21-year-old has been impressive in his first four games in the Majors. After struggling last year in Single-A, he dominated at Double-A and Triple-A this season. Before being called up, he hit a scorching .398 in 24 games for the Sacramento River Cats with seven homers, six stolen bases and a .475 wOBA. Matos has hit safely in three of his four big league games, going 4-for-12 (.333) with a double and a stolen base. He’s known to have an aggressive approach but has already worked five walks as well, which has helped him score seven runs in just four games. Matos had a key hit Sunday in the team’s win and looks ready to stay firmly embedded in the middle of the Giants' batting order for many years to come. Getting him under $3K is a bargain on Monday night.

Other Options – Ezequiel Duran ($3,000), Tommy Pham ($2,900), Jake McCarthy ($2,700)

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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.