MLB DFS: 7/21 If Not, Then Who?

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It should be a fun weekend for MLB DFS, and it starts tonight with a 14-game slate. “If Not, Then Who?” is a fun way to explore pivots for the slate. Keep an ear out for the newest episode of our 60 Feet 6 Inches podcast by clicking the image below.
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Pitchers:

If not Chris Sale and Max Scherzerthen Alex Wood

Sale (BOS @ LAA, FanDuel: $11,800/DraftKings: $13,400) and Scherzer (WAS @ ARI, FanDuel: $11,600/DraftKings: $12,700) are priced where you’d expect, but if you want those Coors bats in your lineups but still want to spend up on a pitcher, look to Wood (LAD vs. ATL, FanDuel: $10,200/DraftKings: $11,800). He’s been absolutely dominant this season with a record of 11-0, and a 1.56 ERA. K/9 is up, BB/9 is down, but what I think is important is his ground ball rate which is currently at 63.7%; the best of his career so far. Wood’s keeping the ball in the park and gives his defense a chance to make outs for him. The Braves have the third highest ground ball rate as a team in MLB, with 47.7%. Although they don’t strikeout much, Wood has left 81.6% of baserunners on base, which is ninth best for pitchers with a minimum of 80 innings pitched. If you want to save some salary but still have an elite pitcher, Wood is the way to go tonight.

 

If not Jeff Samardzijathen Trevor Cahill

Samardzija (SF vs. SD, FanDuel: $8,800/DraftKings: $9,100) has been alright this season, but Cahill (SD vs. SF, FanDuel: $8,600/DraftKings: $8,300) has showed much more improvement. If you like Samardzija’s matchup with the Padres but aren’t comfortable with the potential of a blow up game that tends to happen with him, go for his counterpart. Cahill gets to pitch in the same park, against a team who has only scored 15 more runs than his own team. Samardzija is vulnerable, and Cahill looks like he’s getting back to form. His starts have been trending in the right direction since coming back from the DL. Cahill’s struck out eight batters in each of his last two starts, and allowed just one walk combined. If you need a second starter, or don’t want to pay up for pitching, Cahill is your guy.

 

If not Mike Fiersthen Trevor Bauer

If you want to spend down even more, you’re probably thinking of Fiers (HOU @ BAL, FanDuel: $8,400/DraftKings: $7,500) and Bauer (TOR @ CLE, FanDuel: $7,600/DraftKings: $6,200). The other Trevor (Bauer), is way more risky, but you need to take some risk to win some GPPs. At his price, especially on DraftKings, you’re not expecting too much out of him. Bauer certainly has the strikeout potential to give you the fantasy points you want, but getting docked on hits and walks allowed can hurt if it gets out of hand. The Blue Jays’ offense are still having their struggles, so it’s not totally out of the question that Bauer could get the best of them tonight. The Jays are second-to-last in BABIP in MLB, only to be ahead of the Angels. Bauer has done a good job of keeping the ball in the park in his last 10 starts by only allowing four homeruns during this span. Power isn’t there for the Jays, as they’re sixth from the bottom in slugging percentage. Bauer’s a target if you want to take a chance.

 

Hitters:

If not Charlie Blackmonthen Gerardo Parra 

Blackmon (FanDuel: $5,100 – OF/DraftKings: $5,700 – OF) should be in tonight’s lineup, but it’s a steep price to pay. Parra (FanDuel: $3,900 – OF/DraftKings: $4,500 – OF) is a teammate to pivot to if you don’t want to spend up. He’s been on a tear and can produce just as much as Blackmon can. Parra’s batted third or fourth for the Rockies but anywhere in the middle of the lineup is perfect. Having the platoon against Pirates’ pitcher, Trevor Williams, is a plus. Of course, this game is at Coors Field and they’ll be popular picks. It’s all about a few pieces that differentiate yourself from the rest.

 

If not Andrew McCutchenthen Nelson Cruz

McCutchen (FanDuel: $4,600 – OF/DraftKings: $4,600 – OF) had a slow start to the season but has heated up with summer. Lately, Cruz (FanDuel: $4,000 – OF/DraftKings: $4,800 – OF) has been homerun or nothing, but it pays off if you can pin it on the right night. He’s at home, facing lefty, CC Sabathia. There’s a chance for it here, and could warrant some exposure if you’re one to build multiple lineups. Tonight’s Rockies’ pitcher, Jeff Hoffman, has pitched fine at home in a few of those starts. When you’re paying the prices that you do for Coors Field batters, it stings when a pitcher doesn’t get lit up.

 

If not Gary Sanchezthen Salvador Perez 

This is more of a pivot to save salary. Sanchez (FanDuel: $3,300 – C/DraftKings: $4,500 – C) should do fine against Mariners’ starter, Andrew Moore. Perez (FanDuel: $2,900 – C/DraftKings: $3,600 – C) gets to face former teammate, James Shields, who has been much less than, “Big Game.” The Royals are back in it and you can’t go wrong with Perez. He’s been so consistent over the years, and his splits have been very good between both handedness of pitcher so you don’t need to worry about the platoon. On a night where every $100 you save to spend elsewhere can make all the difference, go with Perez over other catchers with higher costs.

 

Thank you for reading, and good luck with your picks!


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