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The MLB Slate Starter: MLB DFS Strategy for DraftKings + FanDuel | Thursday, July 29

Eric Lindquist

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Free MLB DFS Picks fantasy baseball rankings DraftKings FanDuel Yahoo ESPN CBS las vegas betting odds picks predictions. The MLB Slate Starter breaks down the games on Thursday July 29 featuring Freddy Peralta

With only five games in store for the fantasy baseball main slate on DraftKings and FanDuel tonight, a lot of folks might take the night off or play less volume. But when the chalk becomes even more pronounced than normal on these smaller fantasy baseball slates, the Awesemo tools and data become even more of a weapon. That is because the Top Pitchers Tool and Top Stacks Tool can quickly highlight which plays are going way over- or under-owned in an instant, making it exponentially easier to make +EV decisions in a matter of minutes. Be sure to check in with them close to lock, as finding leverage tonight is the name of the game. But until then, let’s discuss a few MLB DFS picks today and strategies that can combine with Awesemo data to create winning lineups.

MLB DFS Slate Starter: Fantasy Baseball Picks | July 29

Peralta, Montas and Musgrove

With only 10 starters and 10 teams to discuss on today’s main slate, it is a more manageable day than normal to talk about the entire slate as a whole. There are some serious weather concerns for the second time this week with Blue Jays – Red Sox, which could further throw a wrench into things. But as it stands, here is every pitcher taking the mound tonight:

Free Fantasy Baseball Rankings Yahoo ESPN CBS DraftKings FanDuel MLB DFS picks daily fantasy stacks hitters pitchers MLB odds betting picks predictions las vegas betting lines Pirates Angels Red Sox BLue Jays Rockies Padres

For only five games, there are a number of serviceable pitchers at the top, albeit Eduardo Rodriguez and Hyun-Jin Ryu have difficult matchups plus the aforementioned weather problems. But drawing ace Freddy Peralta in such an obvious spot against a lowly Pirates team sporting a league-low .133 ISO against right-handed pitching on this slate feels like a gift, as it is hard to imagine he is not by far the most rostered arm of the evening. Just look at his underlying metrics on BaseballSavant:

Free Fantasy Baseball Rankings Yahoo ESPN CBS DraftKings FanDuel MLB DFS picks daily fantasy stacks hitters pitchers MLB odds betting picks predictions las vegas betting lines Pirates Angels Red Sox BLue Jays Rockies Padres

With the exception of potential walks and Peralta’s fly ball tendencies (more like pop flies with a super-high 23.3-degree launch angle), there is not a single dent you can put in him as a play against this putrid Pirates lineup, especially now that All-Star second baseman Adam Frazier is off the greener pastures in San Diego. Peralta is such a no-brainer that his ownership may not even be a consideration whatsoever; simply roster his absurd 35% strikeout rate and move on.

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As if the Pirates were not a good enough team to target, getting the Rockies outside of Coors is another gift from the fantasy baseball gods. In fact, they only sport a league-worst 71 wRC+ against righties this season, a number nine whole runs away from the second-worst team in the Diamondbacks (and it is never good to be worse than the Diamondbacks at something). However, Padres starter Joe Musgrove has been in a tailspin since the sticky stuff ban, posting no more than six strikeouts in an outing since June 12, indicating his 27.4% strikeout rate on the year could be in for even more regression. Still, this matchup and his ability to limit hard contact should come in handy and make him the most used SP2 on the board.

However, the real wild card of this entire slate is Frankie Montas, who heads to Anaheim to take on the one-man band Angels lineup. His underlying metrics laid next to Musgrove’s will not be nearly as impressive — 25.3% strikeout rate, 45.4% hard-hit rate and .431 xSLG are not the numbers of a $9,000 pitcher on most DraftKings slates — but man, has he kicked the strikeouts into gear of late:

Free Fantasy Baseball Rankings Yahoo ESPN CBS DraftKings FanDuel MLB DFS picks daily fantasy stacks hitters pitchers MLB odds betting picks predictions las vegas betting lines Pirates Angels Red Sox BLue Jays Rockies Padres

With 37 strikeouts in his last three outings, including 10 in a tough Astros matchup, Montas has proven to possess the sort of stuff to break a slate if he is on. Plus, he throws a split finger to neutralize lefties that generates an absurd 54.6% whiff rate, making the likes of Shohei Ohtani, Matt Thaiss, Adam Eaton and Brandon Marsh susceptible to a ton of swing-and-misses. In fact, Montas has some pretty distinct reverse splits this season:

It will be very interesting to see what Joe Maddon rolls out for a lineup, but it is pretty apparent to see righties have been the more successful side against Montas all year. Has that always been the case? Absolutely not, as evidenced by his 2020 results in a limited sample size:

A 2.21 WHIP in 22.2 innings is unheard of, but that goes to show what a step-up in class his splitter has taken this season. If that pitch is on, there should be little resistance in the way of the Angels bats and make Montas an elite tournament option off of either Peralta or Musgrove. And let it be known: Every other arm on this slate is going to come in super-low owned, so prepare for some uncomfortable clicks if trying to get different. But these three pitchers combined for by far the highest floors and highest ceilings on this slate and should rightfully make up a majority of lineups.

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Final Thoughts for MLB DFS Lineups

  • It is hard to know what to make of the Tigers and their slate-high 5.3 implied run total. There is no doubt the Orioles bullpen is garbage, but perhaps Alexander Wells can be a hero and stop the Tigers super-chalk from going off. There is no doubt that team total and their cheap salaries on DraftKings and FanDuel will make them the highest-owned team on the slate.
  • After being underpriced for the better part of three months, Kike Hernandez is finally $5,000 on DraftKings. Maybe now he will not be crazy-high owned every slate, but still doubtful.
  • Just play Manny Machado.

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