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Spotlight Pitchers: MLB DFS Picks for DraftKings + FanDuel | Blake Snell or Kenta Maeda?

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DraftKings DFS MLB DFS picks like Blake Snell for the July 26 MLB DFS slate based on projections and ownership from the #1 DFS player.

Welcome to Sunday afternoon in the MLB! We have a plethora of starting pitcher options on today’s 13-game slate, ranging from the extremely expensive to cheap. The following FREE MLB DFS picks for fantasy baseball lineups are based on Awesemo’s MLB Projections for today’s MLB DFS fantasy baseball slate on DraftKings. For more free DraftKings MLB picks and analysis for DFS baseball lineups, check out the Awesemo.com YouTube Channel for today’s MLB Strategy Show, Deeper Dive and Live Before Lock Shows. Picks in green are for cash or GPP-style contests.


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Top Value Plays

Blake Snell –  Rays at Marlins – FanDuel $9,400, DraftKings $9,200

Snell has been unplayable of late, sitting with an upside-killing pitch count that DFSers dread. The reigns are all the way off tonight, and we’ll get to see the former Cy Young winner go as deep as he can against a dreadful Marlins lineup. Snell has been the same dominant pitcher we’ve become used to, even in limited innings. He’s striking out 12.17 batters per nine innings and posting a career-best 3.05 xFIP. With a dynamic changeup, he’s actually better against righties (.286 wOBA allowed), and the Marlins will offer up at least seven of them here.

The Marlins are one of the chippier teams in the MLB, but there’s a prerequisite for being chippy in baseball, and it’s not being very good otherwise. They rank 29th in baseball against southpaws with a .262 team wOBA and 28% strikeout rate. The sky is the limit for Snell in this spot, and we’re getting him at a discount. Without a pitch count, this is a guy who’s closer to $11,000 than $9,000 in two starts. Jump on board now while the value is elite on both sites and not everybody knows he’s being unleashed. Awesemo projects 27% on FanDuel and 46% on DraftKings, where you roster two SPs.

Awesemo FanDuel Grade: A, A

Awesemo DraftKings Grade: A, A

Kenta Maeda – Twins at Tigers – FanDuel $9,700, DraftKings $9,600

Maeda didn’t have much upside in his years as a Dodger. He was often held under 100 pitches and typically went just five or six innings before the dominant bullpen was relied upon. In Minnesota, the Twins have milked Maeda for everything he’s worth. They are using him like the workhorse he can be of late, and it has showed. He struggled against the Indians, but threw 115 pitches against the Brewers two starts ago and went eight innings with 12 strikeouts. I doubt he’ll throw that many pitches again, but I expect somewhere around 100-105 after being rested a bit in his last start. Maeda is striking out just over a batter per inning and has held an elite 2.8 xFIP.

The Tigers are god-awful against right-handed pitching, ranking 27th with a .303 team wOBA while striking out a monstrous 28.4% of the time. If Maeda is on his game, there is no doubt he will dice up this lineup and strike out a batter per inning through seven or eight. The Twins are -205 favorites, and Detroit is implied to score just 3.37 runs by Vegas. With some other solid options on the slate, this likely comes down to how many pitches Maeda gets. I think the plan is for 100-plus tonight, and that puts right in the conversation as SP1 on this slate.

Awesemo FanDuel Grade: A, C

Awesemo DraftKings Grade: A, B

Luis Castillo – Reds vs. Cubs – FanDuel $9,100, DraftKings $9,000

We touched on two rock-solid cash game plays above, so let’s dive into a guy that deserves some attention in GPPs. Castillo is still one of the best young arms in baseball and one of the guys with the highest ceilings in an individual start. He’s upped his streikout rate to 12.53 per nine and has posted a career-high 3.10 xFIP. The point is that he’s dealing and might still be getting better. He’s also gone over 100 pitches multiple times this season, so the pitch count isn’t a worry if he’s dealing. What is a worry are the walks and long, pointless at-bats that result in either walks or hits.

Castillo is often caught up in seven- or eight-pitch battles that are labor-intensive no matter the outcome. If he can avoid falling into too many of those against the Cubs and can command his fastball and slider, there is a huge ceiling here. The Cubs are surprisingly middle of the road against righties (.322 team wOBA), and they strike out a ton at 26.4%. I don’t expect Castillo to garner much attention on either site with the options around him, and he very well could have the most upside of them all. In tournaments, I have equal exposure to Snell and Castillo as my top dogs with Maeda, Brandon Woodruff, Griffin Canning and Kris Bubic sprinkled in. Don’t be afraid to take your shot here but only do it in a tournament, as rostering Castillo is never for the faint of heart.

Awesemo FanDuel Grade: A, A

Awesemo DraftKings Grade: A, B


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