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Ben’s MLB DFS Game Theory (7/8/21)

Welcome to another edition of Bales’ MLB Game Theory. In this article, I will outline my favorite plays and game theory thoughts for this MLB slate. You can find all of Karma staff’s cores through our MLB Premium Package. Without further ado, here’s our MLB Game Theory article!


Pitcher 1B/C 2B 3B SS OF
Max Scherzer Vlad Jr Marcus Semien Jose Ramirez Bo Bichette Blue Jays OF
Tyler Mahle Miggy Cabrera Cesar Hernandez Jeimer Candelario Francisco Lindor Nelson Cruz
Yu Darvish Joey Votto Jeff McNeil Ke’Bryan Hayes Amed Rosario Santander + Mullins
Taijuan Walker Pete Alonso Jorge Polanco Domingo Leyba Fernando Tatis Jr Bryce Harper
JA Happ

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*If you don’t already play 3 lineups and 3-max entry contests daily, try using the teams provided in the stacks above to maximize upside and correlation in your MLB lineups.

MLB is arguably the most volatile of the major sports in DFS. That gives us a massive edge to focus on in tournaments. It allows us to avoid the chalk, make elite pivots, and find success in GPPs. In this article, I’ll be focusing heavily on the game theory of what I’m looking at for tonight. Keep in mind, I’ll also be outlining cash options at each position.



We have a lighter seven game slate on tap tonight, with a clear pitching pool to decipher. We lead off with the top three arms in terms of strikeout rate, Max Scherzer, Yu Darvish and Tyler Mahle. All three have strikeout rates north of 30% this season, with Scherzer topping the slate at 35%. Scherzer and Darvish are squaring off in the night cap in San Diego, and both have tough match-ups on paper. Mahle draws the easiest of the trio, against the Milwaukee Brewers who strike out 26% of the time vs right-handed pitching.

Taijuan Walker has one of the top match-ups on the slate against the Pirates, but he is dealing with what looks like major weather concerns. If his game ends up safe to play, I expect him to be the highest-owned SP2 on DraftKings. I prefer Mahle for the upside, but both can be used in all formats.


Tonight’s offensive slate is pretty clear with the Toronto Blue Jays up against Keegan Akin. TOR is implied for over 6 runs as of Thursday afternoon, and is once again going to dominate ownership as a stack. I would 100% be prioritizing them in cash game / optimal builds, but it’s baseball and you can always pivot in tournaments. One spot I like in particular is the Detroit Tigers against JA Happ. As of now, Happ is actually projecting for double-digit (12%) ownership which would put him fourth on the slate behind Scherzer, Darvish, Mahle and Walker. Happ has been terrible this season, pitching to a 4.98 SIERA with under 18% strikeouts. He’s allowing a .383 wOBA and .283 ISO to right-handed batters…and the TIgers are going to send eight righties to the plate tonight. They are my top leverage stack tonight with Miggy Cabrera and Eric Haase being my top individual bats.

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