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MLB DFS Slate Breakdown (7/16/21)

This content will be dedicated to providing you with an easy-to-follow breakdown of the elite cash plays, GPP plays, and leverage stacks.

By utilizing this content, you will be able to build +EV lineups and start increasing your DFS ROI in minutes. Our staff uses this data along with the player pool that is available with our premium package. You can find that here, in our Premium Core Plays

 

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NOTE: Tables are embedded in the breakdown and update LIVE. The various tables will update with starting lineups confirmation, when projections are edited in the projections portal(s), and every hour. If a table is showing an error message or is blank, please wait a moment and refresh the page and it should re-populate correctly. Thanks!

Pitching

MLB DK Pitcher Table

Kevin Gausman

Gausman has been elite for the Giants this season, his 30.5% K% ranks second-overall on this slate to go along with a 3.31 SIERA. I love his match-up tonight against the Cardinals, and if the weather ends up too risky (see below) he will become my top overall spend-up option on Friday night. St. Louis is not a team I expected to target much this season, but they just haven’t turned in the results offensively anyone was expecting. Gausman has been dominant against right-handed hitters allowing just a .180 wOBA and .077 ISO. He should see at-least six righties in the Cards lineup tonight, and you can see why their implied team total is barely over three runs. I will likely anchor my main team with Gausman tonight.

Chris Bassitt

Bassitt actually grades out as my favorite overall option tonight when baking in salary. He is enjoying another solid season for Oakland, pitching to a 3.83 SIERA with 24.5% strikeouts. He draws a strong match-up against the Cleveland Indians, who might be one of my top teams to target in the second-half of the season. They were winning games before the break, but the numbers are alarming. Cleveland has been labeled as a “low strikeout” opponent at times this season, but their projected lineup has a combined strikeout rate of over 25% against right-handed pitching. Their combined wOBA is also buoyed by Jose Ramirez, Franmil Reyes and Bobby Bradley. Aside from those three hitters, only one player (Mercado .307) owns a wOBA above .300 vs righties this season. Bassitt can be used in all formats tonight at his price tag.

Weather Situations

It’s early Friday morning, but it appears that Brandon Woodruff, Robbie Ray and Kenta Maeda all have serious weather concerns on Friday night. This makes the slate extremely hard to decipher as of now, with these being three of the top projections and options in their respective match-ups. Ray is someone that I’ve played a ton this season, and he would actually end up my number one option if this game is safe to play. Woodruff is likely going to be the top projection here, and could be used in all formats against the Reds.

As for Maeda, he has the top overall match-up tonight against the Tigers, and would likely be one of the highest-owned options if the game is good to go. All three of these guys are going to be in my player pool depending on weather news, and it’s something we will have to monitor up until lock.

Other GPP Targets: Andrew Heaney, Tyler Mahle, Charlie Morton

Top DraftKings Batters

MLB Top Batters

Top FanDuel Batters

FD MLB Top Batters

Batters

C

We have a massive 14 game slate on tap filled with high-end pitching, gas cans and weather conditions! My top overall play at catcher today is Salvador Perez, who gets a great match-up against Keegan Akin. Perez has the best metrics on the Royals vs southpaws this season including a huge .453 wOBA. If you need some savings here, Luis Torrens is cheap and provides power. Andrew Heaney is likely to draw heavy ownership once again tonight, and he is the exact type of pitcher I like to take bats against if I’m not using him in my own lineup.

1B

Shohei Ohtani

The MVP favorite needs no introduction, ranking second in baseball in wOBA (.435) and leading in ISO (.419). He is finally being priced accordingly over $6K on DK, but he still remains the top overall option here and a scary fade in all formats. Flexen has been good against lefties, but Ohtani is better and the low strikeout rate from Flexen means we will likely see balls in play here.

Andy Ibanez

Even though I like Ray as a pitcher, Ibanez has had success against lefty pitching this season albeit a limited sample size. His .423 wOBA leads the team and it comes with a hefty 35% line drive rate. If you are looking to double-spend at pitcher, Ibanez can be viewed as a punt to jam them in.

2B

Max Muncy

Muncy and the Dodgers are going to be the top overall stack tonight, implied for nearly 7 runs in Coors Field. Colorado will once again send the underwhelming Antonio Senzatela to the plate, and you can see why we are expecting a big night from LAD. Senzatela survives thanks to his 54% ground ball rate. The reason I like the Dodgers so much against him, aside from the Coors bump, is pretty much none of their hitters are considered ground ball hitters. Everyone outside of Gavin Lux and Chris Taylor come into tonight with sub-40% ground ball rates this season. Muncy is one of the best in this lineup vs righties, and is a priority spend up for me on Friday.

Jake Cronenworth

If you’re not stacking the Dodgers, there’s a good chance the Padres are one of your top choices against Eric Fedde. Cronenworth doesn’t possess slate-breaking power, but he is a good hitter and has the lowest strikeout rate in this lineup vs RHP. Fedde is a sinker baller, and Cronenworth owns the second-highest expected wOBA on the Padres vs sinkers at .454.

3B

Kris Bryant

Madison Bumgarner is back tonight for the Diamondbacks, after being one of our favorite targets earlier this season. The problem for Bum has been his massive 47% fly ball rate. Bryant has been great vs lefty pitching this season, and continues to play well in an audition for a trade at the deadline. Not only is Bumgarner attackable, but this continues to be one of the worst bullpens in baseball. Bryant is affordable, and one of my top plays on tonight’s slate.

Hunter Dozier

Dozier, like most Royals players, has struggled with southpaw pitching in 2021. While his wOBA is laughable, he still possesses a 49% fly ball rate with 56% hard contact. Akin allows a .200 ISO to right-handed hitters and this is the type of pitcher I feel comfortable using Dozier against. I like him in a Royals stack, or as a value power one-off tonight.

SS

Fernando Tatis Jr

Even though I noted above my interest in the Padres stack tonight, you don’t need to stack to consider Tatis Jr a top option on any slate. He is going to be one of the top projections nightly and if you can afford him, I would be comfortable building around him even over some of the Dodgers guys. Fedde actually gives up more power to righties than lefties, which is good news for Tatis Jr and Machado. Tatis features the highest hard hit rate on the Padres vs righties this season at 57%.

Francisco Lindor

I wrote up Lindor in this same spot last week, and I’m going back to the well here at his price tag. I see no reason why he is only $4,500 on DK, and that puts him firmly in the “viable in all formats” tier for me. He is still hitting the ball hard (40% hard hit rate) and still has one of the lowest BABIP’s on the Mets vs righty pitching. If you can’t afford Tatis Jr, dropping to Lindor in the mid-tier makes a ton of sense to me. I will continue to buy low on him while he is priced like this.

OF

Los Angeles Dodgers

Obviously in Coors Field, guys like Cody Bellinger and Mookie Betts are going to be top options if you can afford them. I would rank them in that order, and you also have a cheaper option in AJ Pollock.

I think that LAD is the clear top spot, but I do want to point out Juan Soto vs Chris Paddack. Paddack is someone that throws a ton of fastballs, and has historically struggled with left-handed batters. Soto is someone that crushes fast balls, and is due for some big positive regression after a lackluster first half of the season. Soto is actually going to be my HR call tonight, and I like him in all formats.

Trent Grisham

I’ve already expressed my interest in the Pads tonight, and I love Grisham’s mid-tier price point. I noted above that Fedde’s most-used pitch is his sinker — a pitch that Grisham is the best against on this roster. Over the last three seasons, Grisham has posted a .433 wOBA vs the pitch with a 50% hard-contact rate.

Jorge Soler

Soler has been a disaster for the Royals this season, no doubt, but he is now priced below $3,000 on DK. While the surface numbers are scary, they come with an encouraging 43% fly ball rate and 39% hard hit rate. He’s still hitting the ball hard and in the air, and is being held down by his near 30% strikeout rate. Akin is not a dominant strikeout pitcher, so those concerns are muted tonight. He also throws primarily fastballs to both sides of the plate, which is one of Soler’s best pitches.

Stacks

“Team Batting Score” – A metric that quickly highlights overall team batting based on Runs Created (RC+) by team and comparing it to the average and standard deviation of all other MLB Teams
“Opp. Pitcher SP Score” – A weighted metric that evaluates today’s starting pitchers based on xFIP and Games Started (currently using partial end of 2020 data blended with the 2021 season)
“Opp. BP Score” – Similar to SP Score but weights the xFIP for the team’s bullpen

Team Batting vs. Opp. Pitch

DraftKings Team Stacks

DK MLB Stacks

FanDuel Team Stacks

FD MLB Stacks

“T2” (and T3/T4/T5) represents the Top 2 projected hitters for the team on the left (not necessarily the top 2 hitters in the batting order)

Stacking is an extremely important element to MLB DFS. In MLB, all of your players are correlated to each other. Outside of solo home runs, they need each other to succeed. If you look at the top of all of the big GPPs every night you will see stacks dominating the leaderboard.

When using our stacks chart, we want to identify teams that are projecting well but the ownership does not reflect their chance of success.

We have a pair of six-game slates today with the early slate featuring significantly better games for stacking. Still, below I’ll outline my favorite stacks from both slates.

DraftKings 5-Man Stack Ideas

Betts-Muncy-Turner-Bellinger-Pollock

Grisham-Tatis-Machado-Hosmer-Cronenworth

Bryant-Baez-Contreras-Rizzo-Hoerner

Semien-Bichette-Vlad Jr-Biggio-Hernandez or Grichuk

Kemp-Lowrie-Olson-Chapman-Laureano

DraftKings 3-Man Stack Ideas

Muncy-Bellinger-Pollock

Grisham-Tatis-Machado

Bryant-Baez-Contreras

Soto-Bell-Turner

Dozier-Perez-Soler or Merrifield

Ohtani-Walsh-Stassi

Mancini-Mountcastle-Hays

Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)

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