MLB DFS Hitting Coach: June 17
Published: Jun 17, 2021
Vladimir Guerrero, 1B, TOR – I probably don’t have to go in depth too far to tell you to use the guy who is threatening to win the Triple Crown. It has been a whole two days since Vlad homered last after hitting one in four straight. He has a hit in seven consecutive games and is on absolute fire. He has been great at Sahlen Field so far this season, hitting .385 in his seven games there with two home runs and will face off with the Yankees Michael King. He has been unable to go deep into games at all with just 11.1 innings in his last three starts combined, allowing eight runs. Guerrero has just two hits against him in seven at-bats, but the 2021 version of Vlad is a whole other monster from previous in his career. Guerrero is hitting .342 in 11 games against the Yankees this season and is well worth his high price tag on Thursday.
Aaron Judge, OF, NYY – He has dealt with some nagging injuries this season and has been rested from time to time, but Judge has played the last two games so he should be in there today. Even with that, his batting average is near his career high, and his home runs have not slacked off as he already has 15. He also happens to be facing probably the weakest starter on this slate in T.J. Zeuch. He hasn’t pitched in the Majors since April 18th after being hurt and then sent to the Minors. In his two relief appearances and two starts this season, Zeuch allowed nine earned runs in 12 innings, including five home runs. Judge has a ridiculous 50.6% hard-hit rate this season, which I guess makes sense since he is an actual giant. His .389 wOBA also says when he hits the ball, he makes it count. He has three hits in eight at-bats against Zeuch including a double and two home runs. Zeuch gives up runs and Judge hits the ball real hard. That is a recipe for a great DFS option.
Jared Walsh, 1B, LAA – I continue to be a big fan of Walsh, and he is on another nice streak. In the last five days he has three doubles, two homers, and six RBI even thought he was hitless yesterday. He gets an interesting matchup today against Tigers’ rookie Matt Manning. This kid was a top-50 prospect but has been awful at Triple-A this season with an 8.07 ERA, and he has allowed 11 home runs in just 32.1 innings across seven starts in 2021. Walsh is destroying right-handed pitching with a .340 average and a 1.065 OPS including 11 of his 15 home runs. It seems like Manning is getting this chance more because of an injury than actually being ready for the shot. Rookie pitchers often come up and struggle in their opening outing which makes me love Walsh tonight considering all of the circumstances.
D.J. LeMahieu, 1B/2B, NYY – I called Zeuch arguably the worst starter on the slate today, so let’s attack him again. LeMahieu has been terrible all season long but seems to be waking from his slumber with five multi-hit games in his last seven including three doubles and a homer. This guy is too good of a hitter to be this bad all season. While he can hit a lefty or righty with equal ability, LeMahieu did hit all ten of his home runs last season against right-handed pitching and we already detailed how Zeuch is prone to the big fly. LeMahieu is more likely to double twice than to homer, but his price tag is definitely down from where it probably should be, and you can use him at a couple of different positions. Try to forget the first two awful months and focus on him heating up and a great matchup today.
Tim Anderson, SS, CHW – He is one of the hottest hitters in baseball with ten hits in his last four games with three doubles and a stolen base. In fact, in the month of June, Anderson has eight multi-hit efforts, and it is the 17th of the month. He faces Jose Urquidy tonight who hasn’t been great lately allowing nine earned runs in his last two starts over 11.1 innings. And while Anderson isn’t a big home run hitter, it is interesting to note that Urquidy has allowed five home runs over those last 11 innings. They have not faced each other yet in their careers, but Anderson is hitting 24 points higher against righties with a .319 average and five of his six home runs have come against right-handed pitchers. If you don’t pay all the way up for the elite shortstops on the slate, Anderson is a great option on Thursday.
Yadier Molina, C, STL – He hasn’t exactly been at his hottest lately, but this one comes down to familiarity against the opposing starter. Molina has ten hits in 28 career at-bats (.357 average) against Charlie Morton including four doubles and seven RBI. His batting average this year has been better against lefties, but that isn’t a small sample size against the right-handed Morton. The Braves pitcher also hasn’t been going deep into games lately with just 14 innings in his last three starts combined. If Molina can’t find success against Morton, he likely will against the Braves bullpen which has the fourth worst ERA in the Majors as a unit. There isn’t a plethora of quality catchers on this slate and Molina is a nice option at an attractive price.
Dominic Smith, OF, NYM – He has feasted on Cubs pitching this week and DK still hasn’t really raised his salary so let’s keep the good times rolling. Smith has four hits in the first three games against Chicago including a double and two home runs so you can say he is on a nice streak. His power definitely comes when facing right-handed pitching as five of his six homers this year and eight of his ten last year came against righties. Kyle Hendricks is a pretty decent pitcher but has been victimized by the long ball lately. The Cubs hurler has allowed eight home runs in his last four starts and Smith is a guy to target given how he is hitting in this series and his very reasonable cost.
J.P. Crawford, SS, SEA – It never hurts to have a cheap option on your roster that just hits well against left-handed pitching. Crawford fits that bill tonight even though Rich Hill isn’t a bad pitcher. Crawford has a hit in four straight and 11 of his last 13 including six multi-hit efforts over that span. He isn’t a big power hitter by any stretch, but he does have seven doubles and two home runs in the last two weeks. He has yet to face Rich Hill in his career, but he is hitting .349 against lefties as opposed to .244 against right-handed pitching and his price tag makes him very enticing on a Thursday slate.