Setting your DraftKings and Fanduel lineups for Wednesday, June 1? Here are the recommendations from our daily fantasy baseball expert.
Every weekday during the MLB season, we’ll provide you with our ultimate DFS cash game lineup. Please note that the column is written in the morning, and you should check all lineups to make sure the players we’ve recommended are starting that day. Today there are three games that kick off earlier than normal: Chicago White Sox at New York Mets (1:10 p.m. ET), St. Louis at Milwaukee (1:40 p.m. ET) and Minnesota at Oakland (3:35 p.m. ET). Per usual, none of our recommendations are playing in the early games.
Starting pitcher: Jacob deGrom ($9,900) vs. Chicago White Sox and Matt Shoemaker ($7,100) vs. Detroit
With all the focus on Matt Harvey’s struggles, the fact that deGrom has dealt with similar, though not nearly as significant, velocity issues has gone largely unnoticed. He looked like the guy we’ve come to know for the first time all season in his last start, striking out seven while allowing one run on three hits in seven innings against the Dodgers. Most importantly, his average fastball velocity was at 95 mph, the fastest it has been all year. That’s the surest sign he’s shaking out of his spring doldrums at the start of the summer.
A lot of Shoemaker’s 2015 owners, present company included, are wondering where the guy we’ve seen in his last two starts was all of last season. Shoemaker has 23 strikeouts over 15 2/3 innings in his previous two outings, a no-decision against the Orioles and win over the Astros. Remember, Shoemaker finished second to Jose Abreu in the 2014 AL Rookie of the Year voting after he won 16 games and racked up a 3.04 ERA, 3.26 FIP, 1.07 WHIP and 124 strikeouts in 136 innings. He’s an intriguing guy for season-long owners, as well, but for our purposes here, the strikeout upside he brings to the table makes him an attractive purchase at $7,100.
Catcher: J.T. Realmuto ($3,200) vs. Pittsburgh, Jon Niese
Each start Niese makes could be his last before ceding his rotation spot to Jameson Taillon or Tyler Glasnow, though Jeff Locke could be the first pitcher on the chopping block. Realmuto has eight hits in his last six games, though only one of those has gone for extra bases. The combination of matchup, platoon advantage and price, however, makes Realmuto a strong play on Wednesday.
First base: Paul Goldschmidt ($4,800) @ Houston, Mike Fiers
It’s possible owners in OBP leagues aren’t even aware of Goldschmidt’s batting average struggles this year, thanks to his league-leading 49 walks pushing him to a .426 OBP to go along with 10 homers and 33 RBI. Owners in batting average leagues are finally starting to get the first-round pick they thought they had. Goldschmidt is 10-for-20 with two homers, two doubles and seven RBI in his last six games. The hard-throwing, but erratic, Fiers isn’t likely to slow him down.
Second base: Jean Segura ($3,900) @ Houston, Mike Fiers
We’re going with a mini-Diamondbacks stack against Fiers and the Astros on Wednesday, teaming Segura with Goldschmidt. Segura’s rates predictably took a dip in May, but he has four hits, including a double and a triple, and three RBI in his last three games. He has never met a fastball he didn’t like, and he should see a healthy diet of them from Fiers.
Third base: Nolan Arenado ($4,500) vs. Cincinnati, John Lamb
Arenado leads the majors with 16 homers, the NL with 43 RBI, and sports a .590 slugging percentage. He hit two jacks on Tuesday for his third multi-homer game of the season. Lamb, meanwhile, has surrendered 18 earned runs and five homers in 23 2/3 innings this year, and is making his first career start at Coors Field on Wednesday. Don’t overthink this one.
Shortstop: Carlos Correa ($3,600) vs. Arizona, Robbie Ray
Correa may not be enjoying the banner second season everyone expected him to, but this is too cheap a price for him. He has four hits, four walks and five RBI in his last 11 trips to the plate, and gets a platoon advantage against Ray on Wednesday. He has struggled mightily against lefties this season, but don’t put too much stock into that sample of 47 plate appearances.
Outfield: George Springer, ($4,500) vs. Arizona, Robbie Ray; Carlos Gonzalez ($4,500) vs. Cincinnati, John Lamb; Christian Yelich ($3,800) vs. Pittsburgh, Jon Niese
Springer is one of the hottest hitters in baseball, piling up 10 hits, including a homer and two doubles, in his last four games. Go back four more, and he’s 16-for-35 with three homers, three doubles and eight RBI in his last eight games. He’s also raking to the tune of a .375/.457/.650 slash line against lefties this season. Gonzalez doesn’t hit lefties nearly as well, and he’ll be dealing with one Wednesday, with Lamb on the mound for Cincinnati. Still, he has homered in four straight games, and is 19-for-37 with five bombs on his nine-game hitting streak. Finally, let’s get another righty against Niese into the lineup. Yelich has a .314/.415/.371 line against lefties this year, and rounds at our lineup nicely at $3,800.