Tuesday, July 20, has a frontloaded 13-game main slate with some intriguing pitchers both to ride with and target against. 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, Tuesday, July 20
Yahoo Stack of the Day: Cincinnati Reds vs. RHP Robert Stock — 5.5 implied runs
This is not chasing runs after the pinball scoring of last night by any means. The Mets will be rolling out Robert Stock, whom they acquired off waivers late last month after he was released by the Cubs. Over the last decade, Stock has toiled in the minors with five different franchises while cobbling together 71.2 innings in the majors with the Padres, Red Sox, Cubs and now the Mets. This is likely the last stop for Stock, who is only getting this chance because New York is so desperate for starting pitchers. He will likely be in the 75-pitch range unless he is chased early.
Yesterday six New York relievers combined for 133 pitches, and on Sunday five had to clean up the mess left by Taijuan Walker, who managed to log just one out. This could be a situation where Stock is going to take one for the team.
Nick Castellanos ($19) did pinch-hit yesterday, so there is a decent chance he will return to the starting lineup tonight if his wrist is feeling better. It has been 15 games since Jesse Winker ($12) hit a home run after his torrid start to the season, so he should be in line for some positive regression soon. Joey Votto ($16) seems to have turned back the clock, as he has a .383 wOBA and .243 ISO across 165 lefty/righty matchups. Tyler Naquin ($8) is a pinch-hit risk if a lefty comes in from the bullpen, but with Aaron Loup throwing 82 pitches on Sunday and Anthony Banda going 30 last night, there are no particularly fresh-armed southpaws for New York. Finally, Eugenio Suarez ($12) may not be making a lot of contact with his .170 average — which is .082 points below his career figure — but he does have 18 home runs.
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Chicago White Sox vs. RHP Bailey Ober — 5.4 implied runs
While rookie Bailey Ober has shown glimpses of talent, he has been knocked around quite a bit in his debut season. Across eight outings he has logged 33 innings and a solid 37 strikeouts accompanied by a concerning nine home runs. In his last four starts he has failed to close out the fourth inning twice and completed the fifth inning only once. Two of those starts came against the White Sox, and this will be his fourth game against them this season. Chicago has accounted for five of the nine home runs suffered by Ober this year.
The top of the lineup should be the priority, with Jose Abreu, Yoan Moncada, Tim Anderson and Brandon Goodwin leading the way. For differentiation, gamers can also look to the bottom half of the order for a discounted contrarian stack on the evening slate. Leury Garcia, Andrew Vaugh, Gavin Sheets and Jake Burger have cheap power upside, and they will allow players to roll with a Coors Field stack in the same lineup.
Pittsburgh Pirates at RHP Taylor Widener — 4.5 implied runs
While the late slate does not have any great pitchers, there are no completely horrible ones either. This leaves no obvious targets, which should make for an intriguing two-game slate. There is not a lot to love about the Pittsburgh offense this season, which is going to be the same assessment of the DFS competition. By default, most gamers are likely to talk themselves into the Dodgers, but Alex Wood is a competent pitcher, and that is not a clear advantage by any stretch of the imagination. Also, because there is a dearth of aces and top-end hitters, do not be afraid to leave a fair amount of extra salary on the table.
Tonight marks the second start for Taylor Widener, who missed most of May with a groin injury that he reinjured immediately upon his return to action. That ended up costing him another month and change. Widener threw 63 pitches in his return on July 9, and it would seem likely that he should be in a 70- to 80-pitch range tonight.
The focus should be on the best hitters for the Pirates, but that is a pretty small group. Adam Frazier, Ke’Bryan Hayes, Bryan Reynolds and Gregory Polanco would be the core four to target. This is definitely going to be a situation to play both sides of this game.
Top Target: RHP Trevor Rogers at Washington Nationals — 4.5 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $45 | FanDuel $10,000 | DraftKings $10,000
If there are no weather issues in Atlanta, definitely consider Yu Darvish against a watered-down Braves squad. Trevor Rogers has put together a solid sophomore campaign with a 2.31 ERA that is the seventh best in the league and a 1.07 WHIP that ranks 20th. Across 18 starts spanning 101.1 innings, Rogers also has posted 10.9 strikeouts per nine innings, which ranks 13th. While the Marlins may start to limit his innings, he should be in line for 85 to 90 pitches tonight. Even though the Nationals have plated 37 runs in their four games since the All-Star break, this is not a particularly deep lineup.
Secondary Target: LHP Tarik Skubal vs. Texas Rangers — 4.2 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $41 | FanDuel $8,200 | DraftKings $7,700
This is a nice matchup for Tarik Skubal, who has seen an uptick in his strikeout rate over his last 10 starts. The best two hitters for the Rangers are lefties Joey Gallo and Nate Lowe, which further plays to Skubal’s advantage. Detroit will likely begin to monitor his workload over the next few weeks, but he should be in line for 90-ish pitches tonight against Texas.
Wild Card: RHP Dane Dunning at Detroit Tigers — 4.7 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $31 | FanDuel $7,600 | DraftKings $6,700
Dane Dunning looks like a decent second starter for Yahoo and DraftKings, which require to pitchers. Even though the Tigers knocked Kyle Gibson around, today’s salary is a solid one for Dunning. It is important to note that he may be pulled as soon as he finishes the fourth inning or almost certainly the fifth, but there is enough strikeout upside to keep him as a viable point-per-dollar play.
Final Thoughts for the Tuesday, July 20, MLB DFS Slate
Last night they delayed the game in Atlanta without having any rain and then ultimately postponed the game when the barest of sprinkles finally arrived, which was well over an hour after the scheduled start time. This seems to be taking a page out of the Nationals weather playbook in order to avoid facing a top-shelf pitcher. While anecdotal, there probably is a modicum of truth buried somewhere in this conspiracy. The game in Buffalo tonight between the Red Sox and Blue Jays does have legitimate and potentially substantial rain in the forecast. Tread lightly here tonight.
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