Wednesday, July 21, brings wall-to-wall baseball with split-slate action and some large prize pools to entice the NBA DFS gamers to stick around for a while. Let’s get into the top MLB DFS picks for pitchers and stacks for Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy baseball lineups.
MLB DFS Picks: Spotlight Pitchers and Top Stacks, Wednesday, July 21
Yahoo Stack of the Day: Toronto Blue Jays vs. RHP Garrett Richards — 6.5 implied runs
With the crackdown on sticky stuff, veteran Garrett Richards has been struggling quite a bit. He has been open when discussing how he has had to revamp every pitch in his arsenal. Since the 2015 season, Richards has managed to take the mound for just 63 starts. It is actually amazing that he is still pitching considering he has had Tommy John surgery, tore his knee ligaments covering first base, suffered multiple injuries to his right shoulder and also dealt with back issues.
The Coors Field game is on the afternoon slate, so gamers will be flocking to Toronto, with their implied 6.5-run total coming in a full 1.5 runs higher than any other team. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($26) is leading MLB with 78 RBIs, is second with 31 home runs and third with a .328 average. Marcus Semien and Bo Bichette are at the top of the order, and it will be interesting to see if gamers are willing to pony up for them with their identical $20 salaries.
For the budget-conscious, look to the Jays’ outfielders for some salary relief, with Randal Grichuk ($14), George Springer ($15) and Lourdes Gurriel ($15) the preferred target order. Lastly, Danny Jansen ($9) is a cheap way to fulfill the catcher requirement, and while he does not make contact often, when he does it is usually for extra bases.
Be sure to head over to the Awesemo MLB DFS home page for all the best written daily fantasy baseball content, including daily articles like Spotlight Pitchers, MLB DFS Tournament Strategy, and MLB Cheat Sheets for all the major DFS sites.
New York Mets at RHP Jeff Hoffman — 5.7 implied runs
Though Jeff Hoffman is having a solid season, he was hammered numerous while plying his trade for Colorado. The Great American Ballpark is not quite as stellar an offensive environment as Coors Field, but it is perpetually in the top five. Plus, tonight it will be warm (80 degrees) and humid (60-65%) this afternoon with a 7 to 9 mph breeze out to right field.
Aside from Francisco Lindor, who is on the shelf with a strained oblique, the Mets are finally healthy, and their lefties can be targeted without breaking the bank. Brandon Nimmo is all but assured five plate appearances as the leadoff man today, and he is at a very favorable salary across the DFS sites. While Michael Conforto will be further down in the order, he is a steal on DraftKings ($3,500), FanDuel ($3,000) and Yahoo ($11). While this has been a pedestrian season for Jeff McNeil, he is at least still getting on base at a reasonable clip, should be batting third and is a bargain on most sites.
Finally, Dominic Smith has elite power with a .220 ISO in his last 500 lefty/righty matchups. Pete Alonso and J.D. Davis also warrant strong considering with their extra-base upside in same-handed matchups. The Cincinnati bullpen has been getting a lot of work since the All-Star break, and they are nothing to be afraid of once Hoffman hits the showers.
Houston Astros vs. RHP Eli Morgan — 5.2 implied runs
The learning curve has been steep for rookie Eli Morgan, who has been knocked around for a 7.86 ERA across his six starts. While he has done a nice job of limiting walks, allowing just five through 26.1 innings, he has been hammered for nine home runs. Houston is in a nice spot today, and their projected lineup strikes out only 19.5% of the time against right-handed hurlers.
Yordan Alvarez (.295 ISO) and Kyle Tucker (.251 ISO) have been mashing from the left side of the plate this season, with both posting a .380+ wOBA along with elite power. Jose Altuve (.222 ISO) and Carlos Correa (.212 ISO) have been right behind that duo from an extra-base perspective. Though they are not flashy, Michael Brantley and Yuli Gurriel rarely strike out and seemingly put every ball in play. The Cleveland bullpen is reasonably fresh, but they are not likely to do much to slow down the Astros once they are called into action.
Top Target: RHP Lance McCullers Jr. vs. Cleveland Indians — 3.3 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $44 | FanDuel $10,200 | DraftKings $10,100
Through 15 starts Lance McCullers Jr. has certainly earned his lofty five-figure salary. Across 88.6 innings he has compiled a 2.80 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP while allowing a paltry six home runs. On the season Cleveland is creating runs 9% less efficiently than league average. Although they are striking out only 23.3% of the time, they are the worst team in the league at drawing walks (6.8%) against righties. They do have above-average power, (.176 ISO) but McCullers generally mitigates that threat with his 50% ground ball rate.
Secondary Target: RHP Julio Urias vs. San Francisco Giants — 3.6 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $40 | FanDuel $9,100 | DraftKings $9,700
The only knock against Julio Urias is that the Dodgers tend to keep him with a soft 90-pitch limit. While he has only been below 84 pitches three times in his 19 starts, he has thrown 90-plus in just four. Fortunately, he is an efficient pitcher and also has a top-25 strikeout rate at nearly 10 per nine innings. While it is folly to try to project a victory for pitchers, it is nice to see that Los Angeles is a decent -150 moneyline favorite against Logan Webb tonight.
Wild Card: LHP Robbie Ray vs. Boston Red Sox — 4.4 implied runs
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $48 | FanDuel $10,600 | DraftKings $9,900
This season Robbie Ray has been sublime with a 2.93 ERA and 1.04 WHIP, which is accompanied by the seventh-most strikeouts in the league. In his last nine starts he has not allowed more than three runs in any single outing, and on the season he has allowed four runs just twice. While Boston is a tough lineup, Ray held them in check five weeks ago, rolling up six strong innings, three earned runs and 10 strikeouts. It is always an adventure rostering Ray, and while the pucker factor will be high tonight, he is worthy of consideration as long as he does not become an overly popular option.
Final Thoughts for the Wednesday, July 21, MLB DFS Slate
The weather seems to be favorable across every game on Wednesday, which is one fewer headache to worry about. This is shaping up to be a great day for tournaments on both the afternoon and main slates.
MLB DFS Showdown/Single-Game Ownership Projections
Monkey Knife Fight MLB DFS Picks: Sunday Night Baseball – Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays | 8/1
MLB DFS Tournament Strategy: Leverage, Home Runs, Optimal Picks | Today, 8/01/21
MLB DFS Top Stacks Tool
MLB Power Rankings + Sportsbetting Model (Free Trial)
MLB DFS Projections for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo
MLB Player Props: Home Run Props & Strikeout Props Tool For MLB Starters Today (Free Trial)
Awesemo’s MLB DFS Rankings