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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo, July 19 (FREE)

Josh Engleman



Yahoo DFS MLB picks like Justin Verlander for September 28 MLB DFS based on projections and ownership from the number 1 DFS player.

MLB DFS: Friday, July 19th has all 30 teams in action with an afternoon game between the San Diego Padres at Chicago Cubs and then a fourteen game set for our main slate at 7:05pm ET on Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel. Before you lock in your fantasy baseball lineups, make sure to check out Awesemo’s MLB rankings and projections. Not a member? Sign up HERE and use Promo Code: MLBSTACKS for 50% off any one month subscription.

For Friday’s free Spotlight Hitters and Stacks article click here 

For Friday’s free Yahoo Strategy article click here 

I wanted to put a different spin on Spotlight Pitchers, so I’m giving everyone a peek behind the curtain on how I look at them. Below you’ll find three tables, one each for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo, with the pitcher pool for today’s slate. In the table, you’ll find the pitcher’s name, salary, my projection and my percentage likelihood that they hit a particular target score.

This is the information that helps me make my decisions for which pitchers to roster. Using my projected stat line for a pitcher, I can estimate their chances of scoring 45+ FD points or 30+ DK points. These targets ignore the points acquired for getting the win, as I use the Vegas odds to set those scores for my pitchers.

Since I am a strict MME player in baseball, these are the thresholds I’ve determined I want on a day-to-day basis to try and win a tournament. Because of the difference in roster construction between the sites, I end up with a concentrated pool on FanDuel and a more spread out pool on DraftKings.

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FanDuel MLB

Walker Buehler$1020039.213.7%
James Paxton$980034.29.0%
Jose Berrios$960035.711.0%
Dallas Keuchel$900028.43.7%
Tyler Glasnow$880027.53.1%
Anthony Desclafani$840030.44.2%
Mike Fiers$830027.91.6%
Dakota Hudson$790025.40.9%
Marcus Stroman$780030.53.4%
Eric Lauer$770024.11.9%
Austin Voth$760023.70.9%
Vince Velasquez$760030.23.5%
Zach Plesac$740023.11.4%
Jose Urquidy$700026.61.5%
Justus Sheffield$690021.40.6%
Pablo Lopez$680026.03.9%
Alec Mills$680021.90.6%
Johnny Cueto$670022.91.2%
Nathan Eovaldi$650025.01.9%
T.J. Zeuch$630015.90.2%
Asher Wojciechowski$600019.00.9%
Steven Brault$590025.41.1%
Zach Davies$570018.61.0%
Taylor Clarke$560018.40.3%
Antonio Senzatela$560018.80.4%
Patrick Sandoval$550015.70.2%
Joseph Palumbo$550011.60.1%
Eric Skoglund$550015.30.3%

DraftKings MLB

Walker Buehler$1170021.812.4%
James Paxton$1120018.38.4%
Jose Berrios$1080019.19.9%
Marcus Stroman$1030016.23.2%
Anthony Desclafani$990016.54.1%
Dallas Keuchel$960015.43.4%
Johnny Cueto$930012.01.2%
Austin Voth$900012.00.9%
Justus Sheffield$870010.50.6%
Zach Plesac$850011.41.4%
Dakota Hudson$810012.60.9%
Mike Fiers$790014.61.6%
Jose Urquidy$750014.01.4%
Eric Lauer$720012.51.9%
Tyler Glasnow$690014.83.1%
Alec Mills$690011.00.7%
Patrick Sandoval$67007.40.2%
Pablo Lopez$650014.03.7%
Vince Velasquez$620016.03.3%
T.J. Zeuch$59007.50.2%
Eric Skoglund$56007.10.3%
Antonio Senzatela$54008.60.4%
Joseph Palumbo$54005.50.1%
Asher Wojciechowski$52008.80.9%
Zach Davies$47008.81.0%
Taylor Clarke$45009.30.4%
Steven Brault$430012.81.1%
Nathan Eovaldi$410013.11.9%

Yahoo MLB

Walker Buehler$5423.311.4%
James Paxton$4520.09.0%
Mike Fiers$4216.31.7%
Jose Berrios$4221.29.0%
Tyler Glasnow$3915.84.5%
Vince Velasquez$3817.43.8%
Anthony Desclafani$3718.24.3%
Taylor Clarke$3510.40.6%
Dallas Keuchel$3417.63.3%
Pablo Lopez$3416.14.0%
Marcus Stroman$3317.93.2%
Zach Plesac$3313.21.5%
Nathan Eovaldi$3314.52.6%
Eric Lauer$3214.52.1%
Steven Brault$3214.31.3%
Johnny Cueto$3213.61.5%
Dakota Hudson$3214.21.0%
Alec Mills$3112.60.8%
Austin Voth$3113.71.0%
Jose Urquidy$2815.81.7%
Asher Wojciechowski$2610.41.1%
Justus Sheffield$2612.00.8%
Antonio Senzatela$2610.40.5%
Patrick Sandoval$258.60.3%
T.J. Zeuch$259.00.3%
Joseph Palumbo$256.30.2%
Eric Skoglund$258.60.4%
Zach Davies$2510.51.2%

FanDuel MLB DFS Picks

Can someone explain why Justin Verlander isn’t the most expensive pitcher on FanDuel? He is, without a shadow of a doubt, the top arm on this slate. I have him projected for 9.9 strikeouts. The next closest guy is Jacob deGrom at 7.8. There’s no limit to the amount of Verlander I’m willing to roster. We know that the Rangers lineup leans to the left, which plays right into Verlander’s success. He has a 37.7% strikeout rate against lefties over the past two seasons with a .120 xISO. Just play him. A lot.

If Verlander isn’t your cup of tea, deGrom is next in line. This feels like the safest spot, just because of the ballpark. The Giants have the lowest team total outside of the AAA Marlins. That’s important in mid July. The problem is, Verlander is only $100 more expensive. Honestly, I wouldn’t be upset if I only had these two guys. If I needed to free up some salary,

I’m looking at Brendan McKay. McKay, the #2 prospect in the Rays system coming into the season, has shown big time strikeout stuff through his time in the minors. The former #4 overall draft pick gets a date with the White Sox, a team with massive strikeout problems. Not only that, but Chicago’s active roster has the lowest hard hit rate against lefties at just 28.7%. That’s 2.4% below the next closest team. Not only do they strikeout a lot, but even when they make contact, its medium contact at best.

DraftKings MLB DFS Picks

DraftKings has Verlander priced correctly as the top arm, but that won’t stop me from rostering him heavily. deGrom is still my number two. If I need an additional arm at the high end, I’m looking to Shane Bieber. In terms of strikeouts, Bieber is equally effective against righties and lefties. His only struggle seems to be left handed power. While the park plays up lefty power, the Royals lineup is largely devoid of it. In 2019, the Royals lefties have the 3rd lowest ISO (.139) against right handed hitters. That’s all I need to see. I still have some interest in McKay, but he’s at a price point that I don’t expect to be around when constructing my lineups.

I would rather go to someone like J.A. Happ at just $6400. There’s certainly some risk, but the price should help to mitigate that. Happ’s biggest struggle is right handed power, so don’t be surprised to see a home run from Story/Arenado/Desmond, but as long as he keeps guys off of the bases, you can survive one or two solo shots. Similarly, I’m happy to pay down for Tyler Mahle. Mahle is the opposite of Happ, with big time struggles against lefties. Lucky for him, the Cardinals active roster has the second lowest ISO versus right handed pitching this season. Mahle is better than his price implies.

Yahoo MLB DFS Picks

Yahoo has Verlander at $61 but that won’t keep me away. deGrom comes in at $53, so his spot as my second favorite starter is still intact. Bieber still looks good, but you can make a case for Patrick Corbin since he’s four dollars cheaper. McKay is sitting at $36, which is a perfectly acceptable price for an SP2. Unfortunately, Yahoo’s pricing is pretty tight below McKay. If I needed to go all the way down, I’m landing on Tyler Beede. The Mets aren’t particularly scary against righties, and this park can make anyone look good. When you’re rostering pitchers at $28, you’re willing to take some bad with the good. In this case, I’m not even sure there’s much bad to take.

Awesemo YouTube

Of course, please do stop by our Awesemo YouTube channel for loads of FREE MLB DFS content, including fantasy MLB lineup advice on The Strategy Show with Josh Engleman and Loughy, as well as MLB picks on Four Corners with Chris Spags, and the MLB Deep Dive with Awesemo, Loughy and ShipMyMoney, where they’ll discuss Awesemo’s MLB rankings.

Josh is Contributor for where he hosts video and writes content regularly across the primary sports of MLB, NBA, and NFL as well as contributing to the development of models and projections for soccer. He originally started producing projections & articles for Reddit's r/DFSports in 2014 where he built a loyal following that brought him to where he is today. Josh is most known for his elaborate Excel spreadsheets, which he shares in all of his video content. You can find him on Twitter or hanging out in Awesemo's Premium Slack. You can contact Josh by emailing