Friday, July 16, brings the first mega slate since Sunday. There is afternoon action and a couple of doubleheaders, so there are a variety of sub-slates on tap. Let’s get into the top MLB DFS picks for pitchers and stacks for Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy baseball lineups.
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MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks, Friday, July 16
Yahoo Stack of the Day: San Diego Padres at RHP Erick Fedde — 5.2 implied runs
Tonight it is going to be hot and humid in Nationals Park with game-time temperatures in the mid-80s 60-65% humidity. This is definitely hitting weather and yet another knock against Erick Fedde. In his last three starts, Fedde has allowed four home runs, a 9.43 ERA and a whopping 2.17 baserunners per inning. While this definitely has been a bad stretch, it is not surprising at all. Over the last two-plus seasons, Fedde has a subpar 15.1% strikeout rate and a horrendous 9.9% walk rate. Though he keeps fly balls to a minimum, they get taken out of the yard at an above-average clip.
Seeing a fully healthy Padres lineup is a sight to behold. Fernando Tatis Jr. ($27) and Manny Machado ($25) are the household names, but the rest of this lineup has posted some excellent numbers. Eric Hosmer ($14) and Wil Myers ($17) have above-average pop and provide a way to discount a full San Diego stack. Tommy Pham and Trent Grisham are coming in at $19 each and have both base-stealing ability and extra-base upside. Jake Cronenworth ($21) has a nice mixture of skills, and Friday’s salary is likely to keep his popularity in check.
The Padres lead MLB with 82 stolen bases, and most of their lineup has the green light. Catchers Yan Gomes and Alex Avila are both on the injured list. That means Tres Barrera is going to be behind the dish. In fine fashion, much like Gomes and Avila, Barrera is horrible at preventing stolen bases. It would not be a stretch to see San Diego get 10 steals in this series.
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Kansas City Royals vs. LHP Keegan Akin — 5.6 implied runs
Baltimore is handing the ball to Keegan Akin as their first pitcher out of the All-Star Break. In his last seven starts, Akin has allowed seven home runs, a 10.47 ERA and just over two baserunners per inning. The silver lining is that he has 35 strikeouts across these 32.2 innings.
Even with Adalberto Mondesi on the shelf for the third time this season, Kansas City still has an intriguing blend of speed and power. Whit Merrifield is leading MLB with stolen bases, and Pedro Severino is not a catcher with the throwing skills to prevent him from adding to his total tonight. Carlos Santana and Salvador Perez are commanding top salaries, but with the attention pointed towards the Coors Field matchup, may want to allocate their dollars elsewhere. Hunter Dozier and Jorge Soler are cheap power options from the right side of the plate.
Andrew Benintendi and Ryan O’Hearn are discounted left-handed options who are likely to be facing right-handed relievers for the back half of the game. Michael A. Taylor has been chipping in with power and stolen bases and is completely overlooked at the bottom of the lineup, making him an excellent evening slate discount dandy.
Chicago Cubs at LHP Madison Bumgarner — 5.0 implied runs
Tonight Madison Bumgarner is expected to make his first start since June 2, when he left the game with a sore left shoulder. He logged 16 innings in his four starts leading up to his injury stint, allowing five home runs, a 10.12 ERA and a 1.93 WHIP while striking out just 13.
The Cubs are in sell mode, having just dealt Joc Pederson to Atlanta for a prospect. That means there is a very good chance Willson Contreras could reprise his role as an unconventional leadoff man. Kris Bryant (.317 ISO) and Javier Baez (.291 ISO) have crushed opposite-handed pitching over the last two-plus seasons.
Though Patrick Wisdom has just 56 at-bats against lefties, he too has been a masher with a .220 ISO and is a steal on Yahoo ($7) and FanDuel ($2,700). Anthony Rizzo can hold his own against mediocre lefties, and switch-hitting Ian Happ is a late-slate option for some differentiation at the bottom of the order.
Top Target: RHP Kevin Gausman at St. Louis Cardinals — 3.4 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $55 | FanDuel $10,600 | DraftKings $10,300
There are enough cheapies on each of the DFS sites that there will not be too much of a challenge rolling with Kevin Gausman as the main pitcher, accompanied by a Dodgers stack in Colorado. This has been a phenomenal season for Gausman, as he is second in the league with a 1.73 ERA, a 0.82 WHIP and a 10.4 strikeouts per nine inning (top 20). While the Cardinals do not strike out a lot, they have no power and are a bottom-three scoring team against right-handed pitchers.
Secondary Target: RHP Chris Bassitt vs. Cleveland Indians — 3.3 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $45 | FanDuel $9,900 | DraftKings $8,500
If the weather cooperates, Robbie Ray is the preferred option to pair with Gausman. However, with that game looking risky, Chris Bassitt is a fine consolation prize. Bassitt has shut down fellow righties, allowing a .095 ISO, a miniscule 5.1% walk rate and a solid 22.4% strikeout rate in his last 411 same-handed matchups. While switch-hitters Jose Ramirez and Cesar Hernandez are solid against righties and rookie Bobby Bradley has flashed power as well, they are on the only hitters from the left side of the plate for Bassitt to worry about. Franmil Reyes has light-tower power against all pitchers, but he also strikes out nearly a third of the time in same-handed matchups.
Wild Card: LHP Andrew Heaney vs. Seattle Mariners — 4.2 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $36 | FanDuel $8,800 | DraftKings $7,400
This season has been a rollercoaster for Andrew Heaney, who has been outstanding from a strikeout (28.5%) perspective but is still allowing too many hard-hit (47.7%) balls and extra base hits to right-handed batsmen. This season Seattle has been a bottom-five team against southpaws, scoring 12% less efficiently than league average. While they have league-average power, they are striking out at the third-highest rate against lefties, at 27.1%. The key will be for Heaney to navigate Mitch Haniger and Ty France, and then the rest of the lineup is not particular daunting to say the least.
Final Thoughts for the Friday, July 16, MLB DFS Slate
Pretty much every game east of the Mississippi seems to have some sort of weather concern. Both doubleheaders in Detroit and Philadelphia may struggle to get in two games. New York, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati all have varying degrees of in-game precipitation risk. Toronto, who is still playing their games in Buffalo, will also be dealing with rain. Keep an eye on everything leading up to first pitch.
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