This could end up being a very strange night for MLB DFS. We are scheduled for 9 games today with 6 in the afternoon.
The problem is that four of the nine games take place in the northeastern part of the country and all of them currently have over a 50% chance of rain. The four are the games in New York, Philly, Baltimore, and Boston.
That could be a problem as not only do we have some of the higher team totals here, but also some pitchers guys may want to use. It’s way too early in the day to stress over this now, but definitely keep an eye on it and maybe wait to enter all your tournaments until you get a better idea of it.
Nothing is worse than having to scramble to rework lineups after the livestream because of weather and not be able to get out of them if you can’t make a lineup you really like before lock.
With this said, I’m going to break down the slate as if all the games will play, so adjust accordingly if the weather news comes back negatively on any of these guys.
So the good news is that we do not have Coors on this slate to contend with. The bad news is obviously the weather. The top projection and best offensive situation belongs to the Boston Red Sox. Most days, the highest projected team total is around a 5.5 run over/under, but the Red Sox are basically even money for 6.5 runs today and the projection is for 6.75.
We have a handful of other teams around 5.5 projections and near even money for 5.5 runs, but the Red Sox really stand out with more than a run projected over their closest peers. The Royals, Diamondbacks, Indians, Dodgers, and the Yankees are all in that 5.5 range, so for only a 9-game slate we do have plenty of ways to go.
You will notice that I am very light on some teams here that other people are likely to be heavy on, and the shorter the slate, the more important it is to take some stands where your opinion differs from Vegas.
For me, I’m not as high on the Yankees as others are today. I respect Yonny Chirinos too much to want more than one or two Yankees on my lineups tonight. I disrespect the Orioles too much to play them, even though I would like to take bats against Eric Fedde of the Nationals.
I’m also shocked to see the Texas Rangers with over a 5 team total. I’m high on Robbie Ray today against them due to the lack of scary right-handed bats and the big K rate of the Rangers hitters.
These are a few of the teams I will be avoiding as I think others are way more interested in them than I am. I would much rather put my faith behind teams that I have been riding lately like the Red Sox and Dodgers who seem to be pounding out runs and have much softer matchups.
Chalk Stack: Red Sox (Clearly the #1 and should be the highest owned)
Slightly less Chalky: Dodgers, Yankees
Under the Radar Stacks: Indians, Royals, Diamondbacks
Top HR Call: Max Muncy
10% HR Call: Yordan Alvarez
5% HR Call: Bryce Harper
1% HR Call: Jose Abreu
Gary Sanchez – Yonny is not a guy I am looking to pick on, but the position is so weak I can’t not mention the guy who has the most upside here. Yonny does allow 1.35 HR/9 and Sanchez has elite power even in same handed spots with a .264 ISO since 2016 against righties and a solid 121 wRC+ for a catcher.
Chance Sisco – The price on DK doesn’t make it easy to fit him in, but the matchup is favorable. Fedde has a 3.79 ERA, but the xFIP is over 5 and lefties own a .388 wOBA against him. Sisco’s numbers aren’t elite, but he does hit righties much better and is a clean up hitter. We don’t have many catchers batting above 7th or 8th in the lineup, so the ones that do in soft spots have the best upside.
James McCann/Welington Castillo – McCann has been batting clean up lately too and Welington is fresh off the DL. Both guys have a history of hitting left-handed pitching well and they face a guy in Danny Duffy that struggles with right-handed bats with power. Castillo is very cheap and would be a nice value compared to the high prices on guys like Sanchez and Sisco. McCann is slightly more expensive, but either of them fit depending on who draws the start behind the dish.
Jose Abreu – I love Abreu here today. I’m probably higher on him than anyone else in the industry tonight and always am against lefties. Abreu has elite level numbers against LHP since 2016 with a .391 wOBA, .249 ISO score, and a 149 wRC+. Duffy has a long history of struggles with right-handed bats too, so the matchup is super soft today. Abreu is reasonably priced on both sites and should go nearly unowned as I doubt many if any are stacking White Sox, meaning his only exposure will be as a one-off play.
Joc Pederson – Joc has been playing some first base lately and that is actually the only position he is eligible at on FanDuel. He’s under $3K which feels way too cheap given the runs the Dodgers have been smashing so far in Philly this series. They draw another favorable matchup here today as Nick Pivetta is allowing over 2 HR/9 with a 4.69 xFIP on the year. Pederson leading off for one of the most potent offensives in one of the better hitter’s parks at a low price makes him a very intriguing option again tonight.
Nate Lowe – Another cheap play I am very interested in is Nate Lowe. Lowe is still underpriced for his skill set. Domingo German is not a guy I am looking to pick on heavily and I much prefer Pederson around the same price on FD in cash, but German does give up some homers and Yankee Stadium does play well for lefty bats. Lowe could take him yard today and give you that upside and low ownership in GPP play.
Max Muncy – No real surprise here as I have ridden him all series and he draws another matchup that skews in his favor. Muncy has elite power with a .377 wOBA, .271 ISO, and a 140 wRC+ since 2016. His second base eligibility is what is key here as you won’t find many others with that combo of power and on-base ability. In fact his ceiling is so much higher than everyone else that I have been just plugging him in at 2nd and working around it. Sure he is likely to be chalky, but very few, if any, have the 20+ upside he does at second base.
Jose Altuve – Honestly, he really doesn’t project that well here, but at a weak position he is the guy I trust most behind Muncy. He is 9 for 20 over the last 4 games and has multiple hits in 3 of those 4. Felix Pena is coming off 7 strong innings as part of that miracle no-hitter on Tyler Skaggs night, but this matchup against one of the best lineups against RHP in the league is not going to end as rosy.
Nicky Lopez – The Royals’ second baseman faces a guy in Ivan Nova who has struggled with those left-handed bats. Lopez is dirt cheap and likely to be hitting in the top part of the order. The Royals have a big projection today and while Lopez is not an elite upside kind of guy, the low price and great spot has him popping up high on a lot of the screeners I use to pick my players.
Rafael Devers – The Red Sox with the huge total makes all the main guys very interesting. Devers probably profiles the best of them all too. Aaron Sanchez is a disaster this year as every one of his numbers is moving in the wrong direction. His ERA is over 6, xFIP over 5 and he’s allowed 1.3 HR/9, all of which are way up from his career averages. Devers has crushed righties and been hot in the month of July. He’s pricey, but he’s been worth it when the Red Sox smash opponents as Vegas expects them to do today.
Anthony Rendon – I love Rendon here today. I’m not super high on the Nationals stack as I’m not a huge fan of the offense around him. With that said, he will face a weak starter in Aaron Brooks for 2-3 innings and then get a couple at-bats against the dreadful Orioles bullpen. The game is in Camden Yards, a great place to hit and a big park bump. Rendon’s matchups are tough to break down as he likely sees a different pitcher every at-bat, but his numbers are good against both righties and lefties and he has HR upside in this spot as well.
Justin Turner – Again, I love the Dodgers and am going to continue to ride them against Pivetta. Not only does Pivetta have the high HR/9 over 2, but his numbers actually show him weaker this year and for his career against same handed hitters. Turner has always been one of the better same handed hitters so these guys fit together well with his strength v. Pivetta’s main weakness. The lefties have been way more interesting to me the first two games of this series, and while I still like them too against Pivetta, today may be the first time all series I include Turner in my lineups.
Francisco Lindor – I include him here because of where he ranks on a lot of my matchup data, but I’m very unlikely to pay the price tag. Still, my hesitation with Lindor shouldn’t trump the fact he does project well here. Turnbull is a GB pitcher who isn’t likely to serve up homers today, but he does give up hits and you can run on him too. Throw in the high projection and Vegas is expecting the Indians to do some damage. Guys like Mercado and Santana behind him are also in play here and putting up good numbers. Hell, even Jose Ramirez is showing signs of life with hits in 7 straight games, getting 7+ DK points in each, including five games with double digit production. Due to Turnbull’s GB style I’m not spending up on many, if any, Indians today. With that said, I understand why they are being projected well and Lindor’s positional eligibility make him a guy I would consider playing today.
Trea Turner – The Baltimore Orioles bullpen game is likely one that turns out negative for them. Turner should be right on top of that Nationals order, with the park bump, facing a slew of overmatched AAA pitchers out of one of the worst bullpens in baseball. I don’t play Turner that often and am not in love with the Nationals offense, but Baltimore is bad enough you can’t dismiss them.
Jonathon Villar– Erick Fedde is a guy I wish I could pick on today, but that Orioles lineup is just dreadful. No way in hell am I stacking Orioles when you have good lineups pounding out 5+ runs on bad days. Still SS is a tough position to fill and if you want some savings off the higher priced options (Lindor, Turner, Bregman, Tatis) than Villar fits the bill. The matchup is great and he is cheap, so it will give you savings vs the masses who likely spend up for one of the guys just mentioned.
Cody Bellinger – Bellinger has homered in each game this series, including 2 in the opener. He’s 7 for 17 over the last four games with 2 walks, 6 runs scored, 6 RBI, and four homers. Dude is absolutely on fire right now and the matchup is favorable. He crushes righties, has massive home run power, and Pivetta is around league average to lefties with over 2 HR/9 this year. The price tag is astronomical now, approaching $6K, but how can you fade a guy in a good spot who just keeps smashing?
Yordan Alvarez – Probably my favorite matchup play tonight. Felix Pena allowed a .360+ wOBA with 9 homers in 36 innings to left-handed bats this year. Yordan Alvarez has a small sample size at the MLB level, but it’s an elite return so far with a 190+ wRC+ score through 75 ABs with a .450+ wOBA and a .350+ ISO score. Those would be the most elite numbers in the league, and as much as I love the kid, it will likely adjust downward at some point. Still, it’s clear he likes hitting righties and given Pena’s struggles with lefties, the pieces all fit for a big game from him today.
Juan Soto – The Orioles are going to throw 4-5 pitchers today, each getting 1-2 innings of work. Soto homered yesterday (as predicted) to make us some money. He owns a .400 wOBA and a .229 ISO score since being called up against righties and the ballpark shift is a very favorable one for him.
JD Martinez – The Red Sox’ huge team total means the whole squad has above average projections today. JD has elite numbers against both righties and lefties and prime real estate with solid protection behind him and good on base guys in front. If the Red Sox do damage, he’s likely to be involved.
Mookie Betts – Much of what I said for JD applies here too. Betts is more likely to rack up a bunch of stats with hits, RBI, and Runs scored. JD is more likely to give you that one big swing for an HR to get upside. Still, both guys are grading out as top plays on many optimizers today and rightly so given the Red Sox project for more than a run over any of their opponents.
Michael Brantley – Yordan Alvarez profiles better, but Brantley also fits the description of a guy who should do well against Pena. Brantley is a tad cheaper, but doesn’t have the same HR upside, which is why he ranks lower on my list. I do think the lefties can get to the Angels and without the Skaggs bump from last time, I expect the Angels pitching to regress.
Andrew Benintendi – Another Red Sox player who makes sense here given the projections. Plus, he profiles better than his teammates as a lefty facing Sanchez. Lefties have always crushed Sanchez and the elevated HR/9 this year is just icing on the cake. They will be chalky, but in cash I’ll swallow chalk and rake profits all day long.
Aaron Judge – Yonny is a pretty solid pitcher for the Rays and not one I am looking to pick on, but Judge’s numbers against RHP are elite. The guy has a 155 wRC+ since 2016 with a monster .294 ISO score. Chirinos has allowed 1.35 HR/9 even though he’s got a low wOBA to each side. Given Judge’s power, he could be a nice swerve at lower ownership than using the stacked outfield bats from the Dodgers or Red Sox, both of which project to be uber chalky.
Bryce Harper – At $4100 on DK, he fits nicely into a bunch of lineups I started building because we get him at a slight discount. Kenta Maeda is lights out to righties, but has been garbage against left-handed bats. Lifetime they own a .332 wOBA against him and this year those numbers are even worse. Maeda has allowed over 1.4 HR/9 and many of them are from left-handed power. Harper does still own an elite 141 wRC+ against righties since 2016 with a solid .378 wOBA and a big .244 ISO score.
Lourdes Gurriel – Eduardo Rodriguez has pitched pretty well this year, but Gurriel has proven elite against lefties since his call up. His current numbers literally jump off the page at you. A .406 wOBA, .293 ISO score, and a monster 158 wRC+ against LHP. E-Rod is no scrub and I don’t love the Toronto offense as a whole, but Gurriel batting third with these kind of numbers against lefties stands out in a crowded outfield full of higher priced options.