Coming off some truly remarkable scoring outputs in recent days, Tuesday’s far more subdued slate was a welcome change of pace. Only the lowly Diamondbacks managed to tally double-digit runs on the day, and no pitchers went ballistic besides Luis Garcia against a watered-down Cleveland Indians lineup. It allowed for large edges on the field to be had if willing to be contrarian, which has always been the better long-term fantasy baseball strategy despite its flailing results of late. Let’s stick to that plan tonight and find some more under-the-radar MLB DFS picks and strategies for DraftKings and FanDuel.
MLB DFS Slate Starter: Fantasy Baseball Picks | July 21
What to Do at SP2
Pitching has been a difficult position to pin down in recent slates. With managers wanting to give aces that pitched in last Tuesday’s All-Star game an extra day or two of rest, almost every top arm appeared on smaller slates over the weekend. So unless it is a team with a deep starting rotation, the number of secure pitching options the past few days has been limited to say the least. Fortunately for everyone with an Awesemo+ subscription, the Top Pitchers Tool exists, so it is still relatively easy to find some points of leverage for tournaments. But that does not take away from the fact that it has been slim pickings to say the very least.
Luckily, Robbie Ray takes the mound for the Blue Jays tonight, albeit in a tough spot against a potent Red Sox lineup. But at least that is one more high-upside option to join the likes of Lance McCullers, who should be the unquestioned top projected pitcher of the evening going against a weak Indians team sporting just an 88 wRC+ against right-handed pitching this season. Julio Urias and Adam Wainwright also make viable tournament options, but both are above $9,000 and give lineups little flexibility to reach the expensive Astros and Blue Jays bats with the most offensive firepower tonight.
So if not paying top dollar for pitching, who is there to possibly trust at SP2 that unlocks anything useful in the stacks department? All things considered, it has to be Dylan Cease. While $8,600 on both DraftKings and FanDuel does not exactly scream “savings,” there is such a steep drop-off between his arm talent and anyone below him (or above him, in Kyle Hendricks‘ case). Just look at his Baseball Savant breakdown:
While he can give up the occasional long ball, as evidenced by the five he has surrendered in his past four appearances, there is not anything close to a 30% strikeout rate looming in his price range. It is a terrifying matchup with a Twins team sporting a .181 ISO against righties this season (fifth best in MLB), but his ability to generate whiffs with his breaking pitches should give him enough strikeout upside to survive the occasional solo shot or two. If he is walking batters and those homers become multi-run shots, however, it could certainly spell disaster.
Still, the opportunity cost of rostering anyone else under $9,000 on this slate is so low, as it is hard to imagine 20-point upside out of any other arm below him. Of course, this is fantasy baseball, so one or two cheapies could slip through the cracks to put up a decent outing (Jordan Holloway if his pitch count can get to around 80, for instance). But as it stands right now, a majority of lineups should be concentrated at Cease’s salary and above on DraftKings, as there is simply too much upside and stability to give up by comparison.
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Final Thoughts for MLB DFS Lineups
- With only 16 teams in play on tonight’s main slate, the Top Stacks tool will have even more importance than normal. It is hard to know exactly where ownership might flock the night before, but with Asher Wojciechowski and his career 5.95 ERA somehow making his debut for the Yankees, there is no doubt the Phillies will be a popular cheap-ish stack. Finding ways to pivot if they are going over-owned could prove an essential part of this slate.
- Not to jinx it, but this looks like the first clear weather day in quite some time. Always have notifications to the @AwesemoMLB Twitter account turned on just in case, but enjoy the reprieve from postponements and cancellations.
- Just play Yoan Moncada.
Tune into the MLB DFS Live Before Lock Show at 11 a.m. ET for all of our free expert MLB DFS picks and advice for DraftKings and FanDuel fantasy baseball lineups.
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