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MLB DFS: Best/worst plays for Wednesday, June 23rd

There aren’t many safe options at pitcher, making it a fun and interesting MLB DFS slate to attack on Wednesday!

Oakland Athletics v New York Yankees Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

It is hump day, which means it is the day after Taco Tuesday (yes the Carlin household takes Taco Tuesday seriously). But above all, we have another day where we can place some of our responsibilities aside to play MLB DFS. Following Tuesday’s loaded 14-game slate, Wednesday will have seven games on the docket. There aren’t as many elite-tier arms available on Wednesday, making us dig even deeper to decide who we want to insert in our lineups. The top-tier pitchers that are on the slate are far from safe choices, as they are involved in less-than-ideal matchups. Weather doesn’t appear to be an issue in any of the games upon an early look at the slate, which could be subject to change throughout the day, so keep an eye on it.

Pitching

Favorite pitcher: Robbie Ray @ Miami Marlins ($9,200)

Throughout the season, Robbie Ray has shown signs of concern on the mound for the Toronto Blue Jays. However, even with some issues still popping up (3.1 BB/9 in last five starts), Ray has shown signs of life too. Ray’s fastball is hitting a career-best 95.1 MPH this season and he’s struck out 7+ batters in eight of his 13 starts (four out of his last six). The veteran lefty has also notched 24+ fantasy points on DraftKings in four out of his last six outings. As for who he faces, Ray gets the Miami Marlins, a team that has drawn the eighth-lowest walk rate to RHP this season. The Marlins also have the second-highest strikeout rate and the lowest ISO to RHP in the last month.

Second-favorite pitcher: James Kapriellan @ Texas Rangers ($8,400)

It was hard to determine a second-favorite pitcher on the slate, let alone a favorite pitcher. There aren’t many pitchers that I’m overly confident in, but James Kapriellan is one of the pitchers I’ll be rolling out on Wednesday. Despite making only seven starts for the Oakland Athletics, Kapriellan has gone five innings or more in all but one of them. Similar to Ray, walks have been a problem for Kapriellan, as he’s walked 3+ batters in three out of his last four starts. On a positive note, Kapriellan is logging 10+ K/9 in five of his seven starts. The 27-year-old right-hander squares off with the Texas Rangers, who have the third-lowest AVG, seventh-lowest ISO, and the fifth-lowest wRC+ to RHP in the past month. Also, the Rangers have only two players that have a wRC+ over 100 that has 50+ plate appearances against RHP in the last month.

Least-favorite pitcher: Mike Foltynewicz vs. Oakland Athletics ($5,500)

Where to begin on why Mike Foltynewicz is my least favorite pitcher to use on Wednesday? Amid struggles to both sides of the plate, Foltynewicz owns a putrid 3.3 HR/9 and a 6.31 xFIP to left-handed batters this season. Against right-handed batters, Foltynewicz is recording 1.23 HR/9 and a 4.18 xFIP. So far in the season, Foltynewicz is inducing a career-worst 44.4% hard-hit rate, and he isn’t striking guys out with a career-low 15.9% strikeout rate. The experienced right-hander will take the mound against an Athletics squad that is heating up versus RHP in recent weeks.

Hitting

Favorite team to stack: Oakland Athletics @ RHP Mike Foltynewicz

As mentioned above, the Athletics have been much better against RHP in recent weeks following a leisurely start to the season. Oakland sports slashes of .252/.341/.412 to RHP in the last month. Given Foltynewicz’s woes to left-handed batters, Matt Olson is one of my favorite hitters to use on Wednesday. The other lefties — or switch-handed hitters — on the Athletics to consider for your lineups are Mitch Moreland, Jed Lowrie, and Tony Kemp. Don’t ignore the right-handed batters on Oakland’s roster, with Matt Chapman, Ramon Laureano, Elvis Andrus, and Sean Murphy boasting a wRC+ of 139 or better versus RHP in the past 30 days. Mark Canha is worth attention as well, especially if he continues to bat leadoff. Just get exposure to the entire lineup of the Athletics on Wednesday is what I’m trying to say.

Second-favorite team to stack: Houston Astros @ RHP Thomas Eshelman

For the first time this week, I don’t have the Houston Astros as my favorite stack to use. This time around, I have the Astros as my second-favorite stack to have shares of on Wednesday, so give me some credit for being different. With that out of the way, Houston gets an opportunity to face the Baltimore Orioles in what could be a bullpen game. Thomas Eshelman is slated to draw the start for Baltimore, who made one spot-start for the Orioles on June 18th against the Toronto Blue Jays, a game in which he allowed only one earned run in 4.2 innings pitched. Despite his impressive start, Eshelman will be taking on an Astros team that is lighting up RHP. Houston leads the MLB in AVG, OBP, and SLG versus RHP this season. Jose Altuve, Michael Brantley, Yuli Gurriel, Carlos Correa, and Yordan Alvarez are the main targets. Chas McCormick, Myles Straw, and Abraham Toro have been providing us with salary relief as well.

Favorite one-off: Wander Franco ($2,000) vs. RHP Garrett Richards

It almost feels lazy listing Wander Franco as my favorite one-off on Wednesday, but it’s hard not to, especially with DraftKings not touching his price. The highly-touted prospect made his major league debut on Tuesday, going 2-of-4 from the plate, with a home run, 3 RBIs, and a walk. Franco was given the second spot in the lineup and he didn’t disappoint. Moving forward, the Tampa Bay Rays have no choice but to make Franco a mainstay in their lineup. Even though Garrett Richards hasn’t been awful for the Boston Red Sox, it’s hard to argue against Franco being a viable play on Wednesday.

Second-favorite one-off: Hunter Renfroe ($3,500) @ LHP Rich Hill

With me taking the easy route by listing Franco as my favorite one-off, I’ll throw in another one-off player that I’m intrigued by on Wednesday. The Red Sox are an interesting team to consider as they face Rich Hill. Hill hasn’t been awful this season, but in his last two starts, he’s shown signs of a pitcher we may want to target. While Boston is a formidable team versus southpaws, Hunter Renfroe is one of their lefty-hitting specialists. Renfroe has hit three HRs and has accrued six RBIs versus southpaws in the past 30 days, along with an eye-popping .409 ISO. If you’re looking for a salary-saving option in the outfield, you can do worse than Renfroe.