Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Chris Durell

DraftKings and FanDuel MLB Picks for Thursday 7/8/21

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Taijuan WalkerTaijuan Walker FD - P 9500 DK - SP 8400
Opponent - PIT (JT Brubaker) Park - NYM
FD - 33.32 DK - 18.1

Not going to lie. I am getting tired of being burned by elite-priced pitching and making the decision to fade those top ones is much easier tonight as they are facing each other(Max vs. Yu). I will be going with a much more balanced approach and it starts with Walker who has been terrific lately holding opponents to two or fewer earned runs in four of his last five starts(2.90 ERA/3.10 xFIP) with a 30% K rate. The Pirates don't strike out a lot(22% vs. RH pitching) but rank as a bottom-five offense overall leading to the Mets being big -195 favorites and Walker one of my favorite pitchers on this slate.

Alek ManoahAlek Manoah FD - P 10300 DK - SP 6800
Opponent - BAL (Keegan Akin) Park - BAL
FD - 33.44 DK - 18.38

This is mostly a DraftKings-only play as he is massively underpriced, especially considering the rookie is coming off his best start of the season. It was also his longest outing(7 IP) and against a tough Rays team that he struck out 10 times. He now has a season-low price tag(since his debut) facing a bottom 10 offense in the Orioles who are also much worse against righties with an 84 wRC+ and 25% K rate. Manoah is my top, and likely chalk, SP2 on DraftKings and makes a nice high upside/low owned GPP pivot on FanDuel.


Catcher/First Base

Vladimir Guerrero Jr.Vladimir Guerrero Jr. FD - 1B 4700 DK - 1B 6000
Opponent - BAL (Keegan Akin) Park - BAL
FD - 16.83 DK - 12.77

The Blue Jays are like a super team tonight as they are easily the highest projected offense and despite being very expensive aren't too hard to fit if using Manoah as your SP2. While the lineup is stacked top to bottom it revolves around Valddy who is having an MVP-like first half hitting .344 with 28 home runs and 72 RBI. He and the Jays now get a matchup against a struggling Keegan Akin who has given up 6+ hits and 4+ earned runs in four straight starts. If you needed more convincing, Vladdy has destroyed lefties to the tune of a .409 wOBA and 159 wRC+. You know what to do!

Eric HaaseEric Haase FD - C 2900 DK - C/OF 4300
Opponent - MIN (J.A. Happ) Park - MIN
FD - 7.95 DK - 6.15

I don't normally write up catchers, let alone ones priced over $4K on DraftKings but I want some exposure to the Tigers in a plus matchup against J.A. Happ. For Haase, he has been both catching and playing in the outfield in an attempt to keep his red-hot bat in the lineup. Since the calendar flipped to June, he has posted an elite .415 wOBA/164 wRC+ with 10 home runs and has crushed lefties to the tune of a .450 wOBA, 186 wRC+, and .411 ISO. He is my top catcher on this slate.

Also Consider: Dominic Smith(NYM) who has been hitting 3rd in the lineup and red-hot with hits in five straight and seven of his last eight games

Second Base

Jorge PolancoJorge Polanco FD 3100 DK 4300
Opponent - DET (Tarik Skubal) Park - DET
FD - 10.71 DK - 8.23

The middle infield will once again be a source of value for my lineups and there are multiple options available. Let's start with Polanco who got off to a horrid start but has really come around since the start of June hitting .274 with a 112 wRC+. He now gets a plus matchup against rookie Tarik Skubal who has really struggled with command walking over four batters per nine innings which has led to some long ball issues(17.5% HR/FB). For Polanco, he is back up in the two-hole where PTS/$ opportunity is the name of the game. At these prices, he is in play in all formats.

Jonathan IndiaJonathan India FD 3600 DK 4100
Opponent - MIL (Adrian Houser) Park - MIL
FD - 9.48 DK - 7.24

Like Polanco, India isn't going to win you very many contests on his own but does provide PTS/$ value and top of the lineup exposure to the big bats behind him. He has flown a bit under the radar in his rookie season but has been very consistent hitting .275 and shown some great patience at the plate with an elite .392 OBP. That should lead to opportunities tonight vs. Adrian Houser who has tallied multiple walks in seven of his last nine starts. I like India as a one-off in cash or as a part of a high upside Reds stack.


Bo BichetteBo Bichette FD 3900 DK 5500
Opponent - BAL (Keegan Akin) Park - BAL
FD - 16.62 DK - 12.76
Marcus SemienMarcus Semien FD 4200 DK 5500
Opponent - BAL (Keegan Akin) Park - BAL
FD - 15.54 DK - 11.78

Like I mentioned with Vladdy above, there is a route to get multiple Jays in your lineup tonight and for me, it's all about the infield. Take your pick with these two who have been elite at the top of the lineup. Just check out these numbers:

  • Bichette → .295 avg, 16 HR, 57 RBI, 70 runs scored with a .359 wOBA/126 wRC+
  • Semien → .282 avg, 21 HR, 54 RBI, 66 runs scored with a .375 wOBA/136 wRC+

This is why both are going to the mid-summer classic and Semien is getting the start. They get a terrific matchup tonight and if I had to choose just one it would be Bichette who has been on another level vs. lefties with a .432 wOBA and 174 wRC+.

Amed RosarioAmed Rosario FD 2900 DK 4500
Opponent - KC (Danny Duffy) Park - KC
FD - 10.91 DK - 8.56

If you are looking for some value at the position, Amed Rosario is someone who always shows up on my radar in a plus matchup vs. a lefty. The splits are pretty staggering as he has a wRC+(115) that is 38% higher against lefties and then throw in that he gets tons of opportunity hitting second in the lineup and you have a top value play.

Third Base

Jeimer CandelarioJeimer Candelario FD 2800 DK 3400
Opponent - MIN (J.A. Happ) Park - MIN
FD - 10.45 DK - 7.9

Third base is tough tonight, especially on DraftKings, so I will be looking to go the value route which plays into my "stack as many Jays as possible" strategy. With that, I love the spot here for the Tigers against Happ tonight and Candelario is projected to hit Top 3 in the lineup and comes in hot with hits in five straight games with four extra-base hits. He also comes with positive splits against lefties with a .342 wOBA and 115 wRC+. One of my top values at any position on this slate.


Teoscar HernándezTeoscar Hernández FD 3500 DK 4800
Opponent - BAL (Keegan Akin) Park - BAL
FD - 14.26 DK - 10.72

You may have noticed that I am high on the Jays tonight and I can't finish off the article without mentioning Hernandez. While all the other options I mentioned, hitting 1-2-3 in the lineup, have ballooned prices Teoscar's has stayed very fair making him a top PTS/$ play. He broke out during the 2020 shortened season and picked up where he left off this year as he enters the night hitting .297 with a .376 wOBA. While he is now hitting 5th with Springer back, he still gets to hit behind arguably the best top 4 in the league which leads to a ton of opportunity to drive in runs.

Franmil ReyesFranmil Reyes FD 3300 DK 4000
Opponent - KC (Danny Duffy) Park - KC
FD - 12.31 DK - 9.24

This pick is a nice buy-low situation with Reyes just recently coming off a month-long trip to the IL. He hasn't missed a beat it appears as he comes into tonight with hits in three of four games since his return including two three-hit efforts and home runs in each of his last two games. I love the matchup for Cleveland here and Reyes also has positive splits vs. lefties making him a top PTS/$ play for me along with Teoscar in the outfield tonight.





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