Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Joel Bartilotta

DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Thursday, 7/1/21

Now’s your chance to get DFSR PRO, which will give you access to our MLB and NBA optimizers and our new player lab! Get started for free by clicking the button below.

This week has been crazy. It feels like Shohei Ohtani, Joey Gallo, and Kyle Schwarber homer every day, with the league OPS creeping up by 15 points in a one-week span. That's an indicator of how much the ball is flying right now, and you probably understand by the heat across the country. That means finding the right pitchers is more critical than ever, and there's 3-4 guys we absolutely love on this slate. Let's go ahead and start with two of those players!


Corbin BurnesCorbin Burnes FD - P 10600 DK - RP 9200
Opponent - PIT (Wil Crowe) Park - PIT
FD - 44.44 DK - 25.32

Milwaukee has quietly developed one of the best rotations in baseball, and this guy is a major reason why. Big Burnes has a 2.53 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and 115/14 K:BB rate to kick off his Cy Young campaign. Those are truly absurd numbers, with CB providing a ridiculous 13.9 K/9 rate as well. Those crazy figures have led to an imposing floor for Burnes, scoring at least 22 FanDuel points in all 13 starts while dropping at least 39 fantasy points in nine of those. That would make him a great option against anyone, but he happens to have one of the best matchups in baseball here. The Pirates currently rank 28th in OBP and dead-last in both wOBA and wOBACON. All of that is backed by the fact that Pittsburgh is projected for just three runs here, with Burnes entering this matchup as a -220 favorite.

Ian AndersonIan Anderson FD - P 8400 DK - SP 7100
Opponent - NYM (Jacob deGrom) Park - ATL
FD - 42.57 DK - 22.62

This pricing is crazy. Anderson established himself as an up-and-coming stud last year and has carried that form over to this year. In fact, Mr. Anderson has a 3.28 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 9.5 K/9 rate through 15 starts this year. That's slightly below his amazing averages last year, but it makes these price tags hard to understand. The $7,100 DraftKings price tag is especially egregious, with IA playing at a $9,000 level. What makes it even crazier is the fact that he has a superb matchup, with the Mets ranked 28th in OBP while scoring the fewest runs in baseball. That was pretty clear when Anderson pitched 5.1 scoreless innings against them just last week.

If you have the salary, Jacob deGrom is obviously a brilliant pick behind his video game-like numbers. We also like Framber Valdez against a bad Indians lineup.


Catcher/First Base

Keston HiuraKeston Hiura FD - 1B 3200 DK - 1B 3200
Opponent - PIT (Wil Crowe) Park - PIT
FD - 11.37 DK - 8.61

Let's kick things off our bats with a couple of cheap first basemen. Hiura is just that because he was one of the worst hitters through the first two months of the season. The reason we're going to overlook that is that he's starting to feel it recently and has shown flashes in the past. We'll start by talking about his recent form, with Keston collecting three homers, five runs scored, and nine RBI over his last three games played. That's a tiny sample size, but it's encouraging nonetheless. We're also talking about a guy who posted a .570 SLG and .938 OPS just a couple of years ago, and we have to believe he'll positively regress towards those averages. Facing Wil Crowe is the icing on the cake, and we'll discuss that a little later on.

Albert PujolsAlbert Pujols FD - 1B 2200 DK - 1B 3100
Opponent - WSH (Patrick Corbin) Park - WSH
FD - 9.91 DK - 7.52

It feels absolutely nuts that Pujols is even in this article, but here we are! He's earned his way in here because of his resurgence with the Dodgers, doing most of his damage against left-handed pitching. In fact, The Machine has a .681 SLG and 1.036 OPS in 76 at-bats against southpaws this year. That's the stud we saw in the past, and it's clear that this lineup protection is doing him a lot of good. The biggest reason we like him is this price, though, sitting around the minimum on both sites. That makes him a brilliant option against a struggling Patrick Corbin, and we'll discuss his numbers in the next write-up.

If you need a catcher on DraftKings, Will Smith is just $4K and gets to face a lefty.

Second Base

Chris TaylorChris Taylor FD - 2B 2800 DK - 2B/OF 4200
Opponent - WSH (Patrick Corbin) Park - WSH
FD - 11.2 DK - 8.47

We foreshadowed how we want to stack against Corbin, so let's get into that. The Washington lefty is pitching to a 5.34 ERA and 1.37 WHIP this season, with the Dodgers projected for over five runs. That's big news for Taylor, as he'll likely hit in the heart of this order from the right side. He's earned that spot in this order with a career year, amassing a .375 OBP, .571 SLG, and .946 OPS with the platoon advantage in his favor. That's hard to overlook in such a good spot, especially at this price.

Jeff McNeilJeff McNeil FD - 2B 2600 DK - 2B 3000
Opponent - ATL (Ian Anderson) Park - ATL
FD - 8.57 DK - 6.59

McNeil has been criminally priced on these sites for quite some time, and I truly don't understand why. This dude has been mashing ever since his call-up, accruing a .309 AVG, .376 OBP, .480 SLG, and .856 OPS. Those would be really nice season-long numbers, but those happen to be his career averages! What makes the pricing even more bizarre is the fact that McNeil rakes against righties. Jeff has a .378 OBP, .522 SLG, and .900 OPS against right-handed pitching in that same span. We did write up Anderson as one of our favorite pitchers, but we can't fade McNeil at this price tag.


Paul DeJongPaul DeJong FD - SS 3500 DK - SS 3400
Opponent - COL (Antonio Senzatela) Park - COL
FD - 12.88 DK - 9.71

How often do you see a slugger in Coors Field priced like this? Dejong has established himself as one of the best power-hitting shortstops in baseball, and it's hard to understand why he's so affordable in a place like Coors. Most players see a $1,000 bump when they step into that hitter's haven, but DeJong did not for whatever reason. DeJong has a .203 ISO for his career while totaling a .445 SLG. Those are by no means special numbers, but it's really all you can ask for from a sub-$4K player in Coors Field. We also love the matchup with Senzatela, and we'll discuss that in the third base section!

Willy AdamesWilly Adames FD - SS 3100 DK - SS 4400
Opponent - PIT (Wil Crowe) Park - PIT
FD - 8.89 DK - 6.77

I was unsure that Adames would ever capture the spark that once made him a top prospect, but a move to Milwaukee did the trick. The young shortstop is having the best season of his career, accumulating a .417 OBP, .667 SLG, and 1..083 OPS over his last 11 games played. That doesn't even include a game on Wednesday in which he got on base three times and recorded four RBI and a dinger, making him one of the hottest hitters in baseball. That makes him really intriguing against an unknown guy like Wil Crowe, with the Pirates pitcher compiling a 6.51 ERA and 1.62 WHIP.

Third Base

Nolan ArenadoNolan Arenado FD - 3B 4200 DK - 3B 5500
Opponent - COL (Antonio Senzatela) Park - COL
FD - 14.55 DK - 10.98

As someone who lives in Denver and has watched Arenado do work throughout his career, I have to believe he's going to go off in this series. This is his first time back in Coors Field since the offseason trade, and he's been a perennial All-Star because of the ridiculous numbers he posted in that friendly ballpark. In 543 games at Coors Field, Nolan posted a .322 BA, .376 OBP, .609 SLG, and .985 OPS. Those are some stupendous averages, and he finally gets the benefit of facing some of this horrendous Rockies pitching. It happens to be Senzatela, with the Rockies righty owning a 4.76 ERA and 1.44 WHIP.

Eugenio SuárezEugenio Suárez FD - 3B 2900 DK - 3B 4000
Opponent - SD (Ryan Weathers) Park - CIN
FD - 11.94 DK - 8.87

Suarez is still sitting below the Mendoza Line, but this guy will eventually turn it around. We say that because he's showing flashes recently, tallying a .353 OBP over his last eight games while collecting two homers and five RBI in that span. That's the power stud we've been waiting for, with Eugenio owning a .496 SLG since 2017. That makes him one of the best sluggers around, and it's hard to overlook the fact that someone with that sort of power potential is being priced this cheap. We also love that he gets to face a lefty who's just $6,700 on DK, giving Suarez the advantage from the right side.


Yordan AlvarezYordan Alvarez FD - OF 4200 DK - OF 5200
Opponent - CLE (J.C. Meij­a) Park - CLE
FD - 14.58 DK - 10.88

This man is on track to have a Pujols-type career, developing into one of the best pure hitters in baseball. So far this year, Yordan has a .299 AVG, .366 OBP, .524 SLG, and .890 OPS. Those absurd numbers might look a bit outlandish, but they're actually below his career averages and are backed up by some incredible advanced metrics. That makes him worthy at any price, and he happens to have a spectacular matchup here. The Cleveland righty he's facing is the lowest-priced pitcher on the slate behind a 4.94 ERA. He also gives Alv the platoon advantage from the left side, with Yordan amassing a .396 OBP, .602 SLG, and .998 OPS against right-handers for his career.

Wil MyersWil Myers FD - OF 2300 DK - OF 3400
Opponent - CIN (Luis Castillo) Park - CIN
FD - 12.73 DK - 9.57

Myers got off to a terrible start this season, but he's starting to turn things around. In fact, Wil has three homers and two doubles over his last 11 games, providing an OPS north of 1.000 in that span. That's the guy we've been waiting to see, with Myers flirting with 20-20 averages for most of his career. That's a rare power-speed combo, and it makes him really attractive in this price range. Luis Castillo is generally a scary pitcher to go against, but he has to pitch in Great American Small Park and sports a 5.14 ERA and 1.48 WHIP in the worst season of his career.

AJ PollockAJ Pollock FD - OF 2400 DK - OF 3000
Opponent - WSH (Patrick Corbin) Park - WSH
FD - 11.36 DK - 8.58

It's honestly strange how often Pollock gets to face lefties on Thursdays. It's a totally random occurrence, but it's forced AJ into this section a ton this season. The simple fact is, this guy is an elite hitter when he gets the platoon advantage in his favor. The former All-Star is hitting .314 against southpaws since 2019, generating a .557 SLG and .921 OPS in that span. That's on par with some of the $5K guys, and it makes it shocking that he's $3K and below on both of these sites. We already discussed how bad Corbin has been in the Taylor write-up, and it makes the Dodgers one of the best stacks of the day with these affordable bats.





Our free NBA and MLB eBooks, and picks to your inbox every day!

Your eBooks are on their way!