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Ben’s MLB DFS Game Theory (7/20/21)

Welcome to Ben’s MLB DFS Game Theory. In this article, I will provide my top pitchers, bats and stacks for each day’s Main Slate. You can find all of our Core Plays through our MLB Premium Package, or you click here to join our FREE Discord channel.


Pitcher 1B/C 2B 3B SS OF
Yu Darvish Vlad Jr Garrett Hampson Kyle Seager Trevor Story Haniger + Kelenic
Shane McClanahan CJ Cron Marcus Semien Yoan Moncada Fernando Tatis Jr Winker + Naquin
Tarik Skubal Jose Abreu Jose Altuve Justin Turner Nick Ahmed Brian Goodwin
Luis Garcia Gavin Sheets Adam Frazier Ke’Bryan Hayes Bo Bichette Juan Soto

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We have a big 13 game slate on tap tonight, with one weather concern in Atlanta. For it being such a big slate, we aren’t overwhelmed with pitching options and have just two guys I would consider ace-level pitchers — Yu Darvish and Aaron Nola. Both have tough match-ups tonight with the Braves and Yankees respectively, while Darvish is making his first start off the IL. Despite the tough match-ups overall, both the Braves and Yankees are high strikeout opponents so I can see both guys having success on Tuesday night. That being said, I’m not in love with them enough to force them into my lineups, and will likely consider them GPP-only options despite what I expect to be very high ownership on both.

The two arms I’m most interested in are Shane McClanahan and Tarik Skubal. With the presence of Coors Field and some other expensive stacks, I could see dropping down to these two in my main lineup, which is a different approach than what I usually take on DraftKings. I’ve been truther-level fans of these two since they made their debuts, and they have much easier match-ups against the Orioles and Rangers. McClanahan is not going to go 100 pitches, so he needs to be efficient to beat his salary which I will agree is a bit of a risk. That being said, he has looked great since joining the big league club this season posting a 3.64 SIERA and 28% strikeouts. The Orioles have actually been really good vs left-handed pitching this season, but over the last 14 days they are 23rd in baseball in wRC+ (86) with a 26.5% strikeout rate as a team.

Skubal was truly one of the worst pitchers in baseball as recently as the beginning of this season, but he has finally started to turn things around and flash the upside that was always apparent in the minors. If you isolate the numbers to the last month, his SIERA dips below 4.00 and the strikeouts sit around 25%. He still will give up a long ball or two, but the Rangers come into tonight second-worst in baseball with a .138 ISO as a team vs LHP this season. I like this spot a lot for him tonight, and he is my favorite option on the slate when you factor in price.

First Base

We have tons of spend-up options at first base with Vlad Jr, CJ Cron and Pete Alonso leading the way. Garrett Richards continues to be one of the worst pitchers in baseball, which puts the Blue Jays number one on my board even over Coors Field. The top value option is Gavin Sheets — Sheets gets Bailey Ober who has had alarming splits vs left-handed batters allowing a .484 wOBA in the split.


Second Base

Garrett Hampson and Marcus Semien are the top projections here, and I expect them to take on a ton of ownership in cash games on DK. My favorite value play here is Adam Frazier, who gets Taylor Widener and the Diamondbacks bullpen. Frazier doesn’t have tons of power, but his .366 wOBA is among the best in the Pirates lineup this season – and he couples it with a 32% line drive rate.


Third Base

Kyle Seager is a cash game lock for me tonight in Coors Field. Marquez has always been worse vs left-handed batters and Seager has remained elite in terms of batted balls with over 50% hard hits and fly balls this season. My favorite pivot would be Yoan Moncada, sticking with the theme of attacking Bailey Ober with good left-handed batters.



It’s very clear you want to spend-up here tonight, with Trevor Story, Fernando Tatis Jr and Bo Bichette all in great spots. If you are looking for value, Nick Ahmed is projected to lead-off for the Diamondbacks. He has hit the ball really well vs left-handed pitching the last two seasons, and owns a .398 wOBA this season in the split.



We have some very clear spots in the outfield with the Reds and Mariners being underpriced once again. Brian Goodwin gets the same match-up and Sheets/Moncada vs Ober and has quietly hit the ball really well this season (.356 wOBA). Soto is someone I have played every slate since the games resumed, and will continue to do so tonight. He has talked about how the HR Derby helped his swing, and he has always hit lefties well.



Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)

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