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The MLB Slate Starter: MLB DFS Strategy for DraftKings + FanDuel | Tuesday, July 20

Eric Lindquist



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Monday was as insane as a slate can get, with the Nationals and Red Sox both scoring double-digit runs in less than two innings. The Tigers, Mets and Reds all added 10-plus runs themselves, making it an absurd five of the 20 teams on the main slate to put up double-digit totals. These massive games can certainly be more commonplace in the summer months, but it is hard to imagine Monday’s sheer number of offensive outputs being duplicated anytime soon. But time to get to the MLB DFS picks, strategies and the best MLB DFS stacks for tonight’s 13-gamer on DraftKings and FanDuel.

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MLB DFS Slate Starter: Fantasy Baseball Picks | July 20

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Why It is Hard to Recognize Mistakes in MLB DFS

MLB DFS is one of the more difficult sports to assess whether or not a particular player is a good or bad play on a given night. In a sport like basketball, it is easy to review exposures and say whether or not mistakes were made without even looking at the results. Sure, there are times when deviating off volatile chalk in the NBA is important as well, but on the whole the best plays come through more than they don’t. So if a top DFS player has very little of a 50%-owned player who has a decent per-minute rate and projects for a bunch of run, that is easy to consider a glaring mistake.

In fantasy baseball, however, there is such a delicate balance when it comes to ownership that it is hard to look in the rearview and recognize mistakes. Take last night, for instance: Jesse Winker was flat-out mispriced at $4,200 on DraftKings. But at 23.2% ownership on a 10-game slate, was it right to be over or under the field on him if making multiple lineups? If he put up zero fantasy points instead of the 21 that he did, would it have been a mistake to have more ownership of the most popular bat on the slate? (Note: Winker’s price somehow dropped to $3,900, so this question is applicable to tonight as well).

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The answer is somewhere in the middle, but that is why it is so important to focus on the lineup as a whole. As a hard and fast rule, if playing Winker as a one-off in the largest-field GPP on DraftKings, rostering a lesser-owned stack or pitcher around him needs to be a strong consideration. Utilize the Awesemo Top Stacks tool and Top Pitchers tool to find points of leverage, combined those underrepresented plays with Winker, and voila: That lineup has far fewer barriers to get to the top. So while it is hard to say exactly what is or is not a mistake when it comes to batters, playing only chalk hitters together is almost always the wrong way to go.

A Quick Coors Thought

In previous years, MLB DFS players would flock to Coors Field bats like moths to a flame. But with the Rockies’ emphasis on acquiring ground ball pitchers — as well as their significantly depreciated lineup — it has not been the standout spot that it has been in previous seasons. Still, with the help of Awesemo’s OddsShopper finding the best MLB betting lines, there are a number of books with 11 totals floating around for tonight’s Rockies’ home game against the Mariners, which means offense is still expected by Vegas.

But with German Marquez‘s recent performances, it is hard to be overly enthusiastic about rostering Mariners bats in this spot:

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That is a serious run considering 1) they all occurred after the ban on sticky substances, and 2) three of the five outings were at home. His 4.1-degree average launch angle surrendered for the season, combined with an elite 36.8% hard-hit rate, is exactly what one needs for success in Coors. Simply put, Marquez is the ace of this Rockies rotation, and picking on him feels like a fool’s errand. Take note of where Mariners bats come in ownership-wise, but it is hard to prioritize them even with a 4.8 implied run total due to this matchup.

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Final Thoughts for MLB DFS Lineups

  • On Friday and Monday, DFS player “BRORANNOSAURUS_REX” has now taken down back-to-back $100,000-to-first weekday tournaments on DraftKings. He is utilizing almost exclusively 5-2 stacking, which is definitely something to look into on a future edition of the MLB Slate Starter.
  • After the Padres – Braves dry rainout on Monday, Yu Darvish is back in our lives tonight. He is still under $10,000 on DraftKings, which should lead to massive ownership compared to his hefty $11,200 tag on FanDuel.
  • Just play Bryce Harper.

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